Why can we not find Hodgdon Powder to buy?

Len Backus

Staff member
May 2, 2001
I happened to be up on the Hodgdon Powder website just now and noticed this comment on supply. It is not anything new, but I had not seen it before.

Why can’t I find Hodgdon powders?
(Revised April, 2014)

Hodgdon Powder Company continues to experience unprecedented demand for all smokeless powder.
This demand has created a world-wide powder shortage. Powder manufacturers are ramping up as safely as possible. As you know, it is not easy to safely ramp up a powder manufacturing plant. At Hodgdon Powder Company, we have been working overtime since the demand spike started.

We know that eventually the increased manufacturing will ease the shortage of smokeless powder. We continue to ship powder for your reloading at volume way above historic levels.

(original posting)
As you have seen, ammunition and reloading components – including all Hodgdon powders – are hard to find.

Dealer shelves that used to hold cans of powder are empty. Here are answers to your questions straight from Hodgdon.

Q: Are you still making powders?
A: We are shipping more powder this year than we shipped last year. We are shipping as fast as the powder is
available. The real problem why you are seeing empty shelves is demand. The demand for powder (and all
ammunition and components) is far greater than the supply from the manufacturers. We just cannot make
enough to feed this demand right now. No one wants to ship more during this time than we do.

Q: Are you still in business?
A: Yes, Hodgdon is here for the long haul. We are doing everything we can to supply our powders. Dealer’s
shelves are empty because powders are being purchased as soon as they arrive at the Dealer’s stores.

Q: What is causing this high demand?
A: The current political climate can have the regulatory consequence of impacting law abiding, hardworking
shooters and hunters. This has caused extremely high demand on all shooting industry products resulting in empty
shelves, long back-orders, and on-line auction sites asking exaggerated prices. Q: I have seen/heard many rumors and conjecture on the cause of this powder shortage.
A: If you do not hear it from Hodgdon Powder Company please don’t believe it.

Q: Is the shortage of reloading powder being caused by Hodgdon shipping their powder to the ammunition
manufacturing companies?
A: No. While we do sell to some ammunition manufacturing companies, we continue to sell over 80% of our
powder to handloaders just like you. Hodgdon has always been committed to the individual handloader.

Q: When will I start to see more powder on Dealer shelves?
A: This level of demand will not last forever. As soon as demand slows a little we will start making headway into
our backlog.


Well-Known Member
Mar 27, 2014
West Texas
Hi Len, I have actually seen more hodgdon powder on the shelves the last couple months, around here anyway. I recently bought 3 lbs of H-4350 as well as a one pound of H-4831 and Varget. Not a massive amount on the shelf but not too bad considering how it's been. Might be a sign things are turnin around.


Well-Known Member
Jun 28, 2011
Layton Utah
I should say here in Utah its still pretty sad. I would love to get a pound of H4831sc.
and a pound of norma MRP.


Well-Known Member
Jan 30, 2011
Availability has gotten a lot better over the last couple of months around here. My local gun shop has a lot of powder on the shelves, they've probably got 30+ 1 lb. cans of H4831SC. What they don't have is H4350 or Varget.

Hodgdon ships most of their powder in from Australia and I believe the ship carrying a particular type of powder only arrives on an infrequent basis. I remember about a year ago seeing a bunch of H4350 on the shelves then none since, although others have reported it showing up in their locations. It seems like Hodgdon picks a particular part of the country to send powder then they'll pick another region to supply when the next shipment comes. What it all adds up to is very spotty availability which I think contributes to the hoarding going on, people buy more than they need and store it because it might be a year before they see it on the shelves again. It's a vicious cycle but I'm guilty of doing it too, I've probably got 10 lbs. of Varget since I've picked it up every time I saw it available. I normally wouldn't keep that much but I don't want to be caught in a dry spell where none shows up for a year and be left not being able to shoot half my rifles.


Well-Known Member
Jul 10, 2012
North Central Valley California
Thanks for sharing that, Len. I sincerely hope that it helps quash some of the rumors flying around about government placing greater controls over smokeless powder production. Clearly, we have met the enemy and we are him (hoarding out of fear of government interference with our sport and the increase in the number of shooters over the past couple of years has had a big impact on availability of reloading materials).
Hodgdon powders are gradually increasing in availability in our region and I find that I can buy two pounds at a time and still find it available the next time I need a couple of pounds. gun) - - - - - - - - - - - - (X)
I even have nearly two pounds of Alliant RL17 that, believe it or not, even at a greatly reduced price (compared to retail) I can't find a local buyer for.


Well-Known Member
Jul 5, 2008
The powder supply in Western WA has been pretty good for the last few months. I've been buying Varget, H1000, and Retumbo buy the keg at very reasonable prices. And there's always a couple kegs still on the shelf the next time I go in.


Well-Known Member
Jul 24, 2014
SE Wyoming
Not only is it coming back to the shelves, its actually staying there for a few days in my city. There was a keg of H4350 that has been there for four days so far. However, during the weekend, people from the surrounding cities come over and empty the shelves. Outsiders......


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