Other than black powder, almost all propellants used today are based on nitrocellulose, the only exception being the black powder substitutes Pyrodex and Triple Seven. Nitro-based powders fall into two categories: single- and double-based. Single-based powders are based on nitrocellulose alone, whereas double-based powders additionally use nitrogylcerin.
Another distinctive difference is the burn rate. Fast burning powders ignite easily, burn even at low pressures and release large amounts of gas. The fastest burning powders are used for shot gun loads and handguns. As a general rule, the slowest burning handgun powders are about as fast as the fastest burning rifle powders.
Slow burning powders yield excellent results in large caliber rifle loads. The following lists of smokeless powders are arranged from fastest to slowest burn rate.
Another distinctive difference between the various powders is the physical form.
Smokeless powders are available in spherical, cylindrical and flake form. The shape by itself does not say anything about burn rate or chemical composition. Spherical powders are much easier to use in powder measures than long cylindrical powder shapes. However, today most cylindrical shapes are so short that they can also be used in powder measures with little problems. In general, the weight per volume of spherical powders is higher than that of cylindrical powders, so loads in the same cartridge will be heavier.
We have no control over storage, usage, loading or any other use of our propellants after they leave our warehouse. Therefore, we deny any responsibility for damages that may occur through unsafe storage, transport of usage of the powders. The propellants listed on this web site are intended and sold exclusively for non-commercial reloading.
The propellant can only be used according to specifications as a propellant for loading and reloading of ammunition, based on tested reloading data. Reloading data has to be included with the propellant at purchase. The propellant is to be stored in a closed, dry and cool place. The recommended storage temperature is marked on the individual containers and has to be adhered to. Storage time can be maximized by storing the propellant is at recommended temperature in the original packaging (10-15 years). Small amounts of propellants may be burnt under expert supervision. Larger amounts can only be incinerated after consulting with the manufacturer or the importer. General safety rules apply when dealing with gun powder.
Approved maximum loading amount:
Loading amounts in the data tables of the various manufacturers are maximum amounts. Do not exceed maximum loads! We recommend starting with loads 10% under maximum load.
We are not responsible for printing errors or erroneous data. Technical changes are reserved. No part of the following short descriptions may be reproduced, printed, photocopied or digitalized without prior written consent by the editor.