Alliant Spherical Powders


July 30, 2009, 11:26 AM
I was reading Rifle Shooter magazine when I noticed that one of my favorite powder makers has a new line of spherical powders called Power Pro. I use a RCBS chargemaster 1500 to charge my cases and I mostly use extruded powders, except for Tac. What are the advantages of using spherical powder? I know spherical tends to be cheaper, fills cases easier and dispenses easier. Does it usually produce more velocity, etc.?

If you enjoyed reading about "Alliant Spherical Powders" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
July 30, 2009, 11:55 AM
Does it usually produce more velocity, etc.?There is no way to directly compare two different types of powder and say one type gives more velocity then the other.

It all depends on the burn rate, and there really isn't any ball & stick type powders that are exactly the same burn rate to compare.

In theory, ball powder burns cooler, extending barrel life.
It is supposed to be less tolerant of wide temperature swings from summer to winter.
It is harder to ignite, and Magnum primers are often called for in load data.
Some feel it is dirtier, although I think this depends more on the specific powder, and how hot the loads are.

On the other hand, it is very hard to argue with the way it flows through a powder measure, and doesn't get stuck in small caliber case necks & funnels.


July 30, 2009, 01:03 PM
I did try some AA2230 that I thought was pretty dirty. I also have some Ramshot Exterminator to try on some .223 loads.

July 30, 2009, 11:25 PM
I'm kind of a powder slut and have a bad habit of trying everything for my rifles within a general burn range. Probably tried 15 different powders in my .264 Win Mag and at least 10 in the .358 Norma (and you really don't want to spend a lot of time on a bench with a 7.5 pound gun producing 4,400 ft lbs). Anyway, I'm dying to actually see these new powders as I really prefer the ease of loading with sphericals. And I like how they don't bounce out of scale try like extrudeds coming out of the powder measure.

But back to your original question, they don't produce any higher velocity.

July 30, 2009, 11:56 PM
I have loaded H380 in my .22-250 and it was extremely accurate. It was equal or better than Varget, and it is also less expensive and easier to find.

July 31, 2009, 01:21 AM
It is my understanding that with ball powder, you can get up to 10% compression with a drop tube, which can be very helpful when trying to get max energy from limited case capacity. The only ball that I have used is TAC and that only recently. With my drop tube compressed TAC loads in the .405 WCF and .45-90, magnum primers are recommended for consistant ignition of the long powder column.
There must be some market for the ball powder, or Accurate would not have added ball powder to their product line. There is no question that ball powder meters better than other powder granule structures.
I also have some question about the "common knowledge" that ball is particularly temperature sensitive, since the US military has used ball powder for many years.

July 31, 2009, 01:39 PM
The reason that I asked about velocity is that the Alliant add states that this powder should increase velocity across the spectrum of the five new powders offered and should be able to closely duplicate factory loads. Are factory loads that hard to duplicate?

Also, aren't all Winchester powders ball powder? I haven't used Winchester powder yet, but have had pretty good results shooting Winchester factory ammo.

April 22, 2010, 02:03 PM
I just wrote to (& received a reply from) Alliant Powders about their production schedule for these "super powders" that will let reloaders approach (& match) the speeds of propriatary loaded factory ammo.
The answer was :
I talked to the product line manager and he has stated that we might
have it by late in the summer. We hope to get in a 1000 lb test lot in
the next few months and start shooting data. Thanks again.

I then asked about the Varmint version specifically :
My guess is that Varmint will not be out until late in the year or early
next year. Thanks for your interest in our powder and have a nice day.

They've been dropping [more than just] hints plus full-page ads about this powder ever since July of 2009 (or even earlier). I think it's unreasonable to run ads a full year in advance unless somewhere in those ads it's written an estimated date of retail sale. Too many people have to waste too much time tracking down those details after being frustrated by searching for and not finding any product at retailers.

April 24, 2010, 01:44 PM
I think that it is ureasonable too!

If you enjoyed reading about "Alliant Spherical Powders" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!