October 01, 2020
By J. Scott Rupp
Hodgdon was already a major player when it comes to powders, with such brands as Hodgdon, IMR and Winchester in its stable, and the company announced today it was purchasing Western Powders. With that acquisition the company adds such notable powders as Ramshot and Accurate to the fold. And if you’re a blackpowder shooter, the purchase also adds Blackhorn 209 to Hodgdon’s gold-standard Goex, Pyrodex and Triple Seven offerings.
“This acquisition of the Ramshot and Accurate brands further solidifies our portfolio of smokeless brands and products for our handloading end users,” said Steve Kehrwald, president and CEO of Hodgdon Powder Company. “With these brands, we also add the capabilities of an additional ballistics lab to continue developing the data our customers demand from our Reloading Data Center tool and publications like our Annual and Basic Manuals.”
“Hodgdon has always been a strong competitor in the reloading powders industry,” said Doug Phair of Western Powders. “The Hodgdon family has built a robust company. Ramshot, Accurate and Blackhorn 209 will make excellent additions to the Hodgdon family of powders.”
“For years, our friends have referred to the Hodgdon family and company as ‘The Gunpowder People’ and this acquisition is another example of our dedication to the handloader and muzzleloader hunter,” said J.B. and Bob Hodgdon, co-owners and sons of the founder of the Hodgdon Powder Company.
On a recent call with a number of magazine editors, including RifleShooter, Hodgdon’s Aaron Oelger stressed that the new additions won’t be shunted aside into some dark corner, as can happen when brands are acquired by a bigger company. He said Hodgdon’s management team has the experience, knowledge and good sense to maintain the loyalty that powders like Accurate and Ramshot have built up over the years. That being said, he noted that in time some powders that overlap between brands may require the company to adjust its portfolio.
This seems like a win-win for handloaders. Combined with the fact that Hodgdon now handles distribution for Alliant powders as well, it’s more likely reloaders be able to find a wider variety of powders more easily at local gun shops and other outlets. And as mentioned by Kehrwald, adding another ballistic lab to Hodgdon’s already industry-leading knowledge base means more data for handloaders—and more data available in one-stop-shop resources like the Hodgdon Annual Manual.