Powder in bulk - local vs online


May 1, 2008, 12:33 PM
I see many of you recommending buying locally to avoid hazmat fees. I cannot find any stores in the austin area where you could get an 8lb jug of powder. Im half tempted to pay the hazmat fees but it would raise powder cost approx 20%.

What do you do in this situation? group buy? pay the tax? look harder?

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May 1, 2008, 01:16 PM
I order powder in bulk from Graf & Sons because they will also ship primers under the same Haz-Mat fee. Midway does not do this because they don't actually keep either in inventory. So, when you order powder or primers from Midway, they actually ship from Midway's supplier. Powder Valley is very competitive with Graf's, so you might try either Graf's or Powder Valley. I can still beat local pricing by ordering, including a single Haz-Mat.;)

May 1, 2008, 01:27 PM
I usually go into with two or three friends, and then we try to maximize the amount we can get shipped under a single haz-mat fee.

If we split the $20 fee across 20 lbs of powser, we end up still saving money over what we can buy it for locally. And if we put effort into it, and get five or six people together, you hardly pay anything extra at all. You'd be surprised on how much powder can be shipped under a single fee.

I've also just paid the extra when I found somethin online that I couldn't get locally, like Federal SP primers. I wanted to get a couple of thousand, but ordered 10,000 to reduce the price per primer, and to get them while they were available.

May 1, 2008, 02:51 PM
I like Powder Valley for internet sales. Good prices and the best selection of powder and primers I've ever found. S&H and hazmat was about $30 total but I saved more than $30 by their low prices and buying a lot.

My last order from them I bought about 5k primers of various types, an 8# and a 4# can of powder IIRC. Total cost including all the fees was maybe $310 but I know it would have cost me at least $340 or more gettting it a local show, plus $8 to get in the show and driving over there and carrying everything... Bulk internet orders are the way to go as far as I'm concerned.

May 1, 2008, 06:28 PM
Don't forget Jeff Bartlett over at GI Brass ... I've done group buys there and when you get several 8# containers on one order all you can see is CHEAP powder ... the fees are totally lost in the noise! The selection isn't great, but at 7 to 10 bucks a pound, the price is right!


May 1, 2008, 06:31 PM
powder valley and wideners is cheaper than grafs even when grafs covers the hazmat charge (i think if you order 32 lbs they cover it)

both wideners and powdervalley will ship primers and powder in the same order and ship out fast. really great prices as well and generally keep most things in stock (well.. as good as anyone does these days)

May 1, 2008, 07:02 PM
1+ on a group buy from Powdervalley. Or, if you want to stock up. I usually like to buy local, but compared to PowderVally, it can be up to 50% more expensive.

May 1, 2008, 07:14 PM
What powder are you looking for. Sportsmans Warehouse in Austin sells 1,4,& 8 lbs jugs. It is still cheaper to order from from a place like powder valley. I am thinking about making an order myself. You have to order more than one 8 lbs jug to make it worth the effort. I am thinking about ordering 16 lbs of powder and 15k primers myself.

May 2, 2008, 11:38 AM
I do a yearly buy with a buddy for the powder and primers I know I'm going to use a lot in my 'standard' loads from Powder Valley. After I've got that laid away, I will buy 1lb. and 1-200 primers locally for new load development if necessary. Even with shipping and HazMat, I'd come out ahead of local cost plus sales tax (7.75%!) if I ordered solo.

May 2, 2008, 12:25 PM
What powder are you looking for. Sportsmans Warehouse in Austin sells 1,4,& 8 lbs jugs..

Accurate#5. All i have seen at sprotsmans warehouse is 1 pounders(in #5). Do they have this in the back or something or am i just not looking hard enough? And regarding the price i found their #5 in 1 pound is cheaper than at the saxet show(and cabelas doesnt stock it :( ).

The thing is i live in a not so nice neighborhood and dont really want anything firearms related left on my door step so its almost worth it to pay a little more and get it locally.

May 3, 2008, 01:18 AM
The Saxet show sucks for reloading stuff. SW only stocks Accurate powders in 1lb cans. I mainly use alliant and they stock all sizes of powders. The shipping and hazmat is worth it if you buy primers and powder together. If you add up how much you would spend locally it is cheaper to order over then net. I mean not paying tax on 500 worth of stuff would just about cover hazmat and shipping. I also like that I can buy alliant promo powder its just like red dot and 77.50 for an 8lb keg.

As far as delivery. I understand that. I never liked how UPS will leave it out where everyone can see. I am in an apartment at the moment so they leave the stuff in the office. It is pretty funny when I get a load of bullets or lead in and they comment about how heavy it is. Machine parts weigh a lot as far as they know.

May 3, 2008, 01:42 AM
"...cannot find any stores in the Austin area where you could get an 8lb jug of powder..." Possibly local powder storage rules and the cost of buying 8 lb kegs likely causes that. Gun shops must pay for anything they have in stock. They may or may not get credit terms. Most shops can and will order anything you want and be able to get it fairly quickly if their supplier has it in stock.
Be prepared to pay up front for anything you ask them to order though. Too many people order stuff then change their minds when the product is delivered to the shop.

Down South
May 3, 2008, 06:31 PM
Just made a large order from PV the other day. Haz-Mat is $20 for powder and primers combined. Prices are much cheaper than buying local. Just from the sales tax that I didn't have to pay, it payed my Haz-Mat and shipping.

May 3, 2008, 09:30 PM
I go in with some friends and we buy 48# at a time. The hazmat fee only adds around 40 cents per pound when you buy quantity. We buy at Graf's and Powder Valley.

Down South
May 4, 2008, 11:18 AM
This is a copy of a post that I just made on another forum concerning savings of buying online.

The PV Web Site is http://www.powdervalleyinc.com/. I usually order well over enough to offset the $20 Hazmat Fee. Usually what I save on sales tax pays the Hazmat plus most of the shipping.
I'm looking at my invoice right now so I can give you an accurate example.
My Sub-Total was $449.25
Hazmat was $20.00
S&H was 15.95
Now if I calculate sales tax on $449.25 at 8% (More or less depending on where you live) that equals $35.94. I've just completely offset my Hazmat and shipping charges by savings on sales tax.

Now mind you my order is somewhat large. On this order I had 10,000 CCI small pistol primers that calculate out to be $2.25 per 100.
I ordered Winchester WSF Powder in a 8Lb Can that calculated out to $13.50 per pound.
I had 1000 CCI Large Rifle Magnum Primers that calculate out to $2.55 per 100.
I had a few other powders in 1-pound canisters that I ordered as well that I was wanting to try but still with savings over buying local and then still having to pay sales tax.

I do buy local but my biggest problem is what I'm looking for is just not in stock many times. On occasion I'll pick up a pound of powder or a couple boxes of primers locally.

May 4, 2008, 11:20 AM
My local wants $27 for a pound of powder.

May 4, 2008, 11:46 AM
My LGS has two sections--the gun side and the reloading side. On the reloading side, John's prices are competitive, at least with the online-plus-hazmat-charge prices.

The only real issue is availability--he simply can't stock all the different (pistol) powders I may want to try.

So, I buy my primers from him (if he has them in stock), but for my one-and-four-lb. powder orders, I combine an order and get it online.

Jim H.

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