Reloading: Shooters World Powders & Propellants

Reloading: Shooters World Powders & Propellants
Shooters World offers a wide array of powders for rifles and pistols alike. Photo: Massaro Media Group.

A look at the Shooters World line of propellants, European powders available for American reloaders.

Reloading, as we know, is all about options. Handloaders love nothing more than the options presented by the wide variety of components, but it can be a terrible experience when our favorite products are unavailable.

I have a dozen or so favorite powders that I routinely reach for, though I’m always looking to make a new friend. From the IMR classics like IMR4064, IMR4350 and IMR3031, to the Hodgdon offerings like Varget, H414 and H4831SC, to the Alliant stuff like Reloder 15, 16, 19 and 22, not to mention Unique and Bullseye, to the newer or less-familiar products like Accurate Arms MagPro, AA4350 and 5744, there’s plenty to choose from.

Ramshot has great powders, too, as does Norma and VihtaVouri. And the latest powder company I’ve began to use: Shooters World.

Shooters World

Importing a vast selection of powders from the Czech Republic, Shooters World brings the Lovex brand powders that are popular in Europe to America, and there are plenty of useful choices. Manufactured by Explosia, in their Pardubice-Semtín plant in the Czech Republic, the Shooters World powders are renamed from the European nomenclature to have more Anglicized names, such as Precision Rifle, Match Rifle, Long Rifle, Clean Shot, Heavy Pistol and SW4350.

From handgun cartridges to varmint cartridges—to the bigger centerfire rifle cartridges—Shooters World has a powder for nearly every application. I grabbed four of their rifle powders and headed to the reloading bench to see how they would operate in my rifles. For a broad selection of cartridges, I chose the .22-250 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Winchester and .300 Winchester Magnum. The Shooters World powders chosen were the Match Rifle, Long Rifle, Precision Rifle and SW4350.

Match Rifle Powder

Starting with the .22-250 Remington, I reached for the Shooters World Match Rifle Powder. A spherical powder with a burn rate similar to Alliant Reloder 15, CFE 223 and IMR4064, this powder is well-suited to the .223 Remington, .308 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield, especially when trying to duplicate military loads. My Ruger M77 .22-250 has always liked spherical powders like H380, H414 and H335, so even though the Match Rifle was a bit faster burning, I had faith.

Match Rifle is a spherical rifle powder perfectly suited to the .223 Remington and .22-250 Remington, which meters evenly in a powder thrower or electronic dispenser. Photo: Massaro Media Group.

I sized up some once-fired Remington cases, primed them with some CCI200 large rifle primers and seated a bunch of the Sierra 53-grain flat-based Match-King bullets. The initial load of 35.5 grains gave 1-MOA accuracy, but I knew the rifle could do better. At 35.8 grains, I brought that three-shot group size down to just over ½ MOA, with the chronograph indicating an average velocity of 3,590 fps. The spherical grain structure is very friendly to electronic powder throwers as well as the volumetric models. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Match Rifle in my .308 Winchester, either.

Long Rifle Powder

Shooters World’s Long Rifle powder is a stick powder engineered for the 6.5 Creedmoor, with a burn rate roughly on par with Hodgdon’s H414 or Winchester 760. It’s an extruded stick powder, though the diameter and length of the grains is smaller than many other stick powders, and I found that it metered very well in the RCBS ChargeMaster Link. Consulting the Shooters World digital reloading manual available on their website, I interpolated a load for the 135-grain Hornady A-Match bullets in once-fired Hornady cases sparked by a Federal Gold Medal GM210M primer, and it wasn’t long before three of those precise bullets were printing just over ½-MOA groups. Clocking in at an average of 2,685 fps, these sleek, ultra-uniform bullets are a great way say hello to a steel target plate ¾ of a mile away. Long Rifle gave very uniform velocities in my rifle.

The 6.5 Creedmoor liked Shooters World Long Rifle powder under a 135-grain Hornady A-Match bullet. Photo: Massaro Media Group.

Precision Rifle Powder

The .308 Winchester is a rather forgiving cartridge to load for, as it will generally get along with any medium burn-rate powder. I’ve had wonderful results with Reloder 15, Hodgdon’s Varget, IMR4064, IMR4320 and other similar powders. Shooters World Precision Rifle powder comes in a bit slower than the highly popular IMR40464, and closer to the discontinued IMR4320 (which was the factory-chosen powder in the 1950s).

I chose the Sierra 165-grain GameChanger—which is essentially the classic GameKing bullet with a translucent polymer tip—and Kinetic Industries match-grade .308 Winchester cases, along with a Federal Match GM210M large rifle primer for the testing. It took a couple of tweaks to the charge weight to get things where I wanted them, but in the end, three of those GameChangers printed groups measuring just over ⅝ inch, averaging 2,670 fps from a charge of 44.7 grains of Precision Rifle.

Shooters World Precision powder made a great choice for the .308 Winchester and the 168-grain Sierra Tipped GameKing bullet, giving groups averaging 0.70 MOA. Photo: Massaro Media Group.

Shooters World SW4350

For the slowest-burning rifle powder of the lot—Shooters World SW4350—I reached for the tried-and-true .300 Winchester Magnum. Though there may be modern cartridges that have more sex appeal, the .300 Winnie is an old favorite of mine, and has always been a great choice in the accuracy department, as well as in the terminal ballistics phase. Likewise, the Nosler Partition is one of our most revered hunting bullets, quickly approaching its 80th birthday.

Loading a 180-grain Partition into a .300 Magnum of any variety isn’t a bad idea for any hunter; if you need more bullet weight, switch cartridges. Having taken a .300 Winchester Magnum all over the globe, I can tell you that powders in the range of Hodgdon’s H4350 or IMR 4350 will work very well with almost all bullet weights. There are a number of variants on the “4350” concept, ranging from Hodgdon to IMR to Accurate Arms, and though they are all similar (though definitely not interchangeable), the Shooters World SW4350 has the slowest burn rate of the entire lot.

Loading 70½ grains of SW4350 in Norma cases, with a CCI250 Large Rifle Magnum for ignition, under a 180-grain Nosler Partition, gave 2,925 fps and just under 1-MOA accuracy, which is fine for all of my hunting needs. Considering all the issues involved with powder availability, it’s nice to have a propellant option for the .300 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield, 6.5 Creedmoor, .375 Holland & Holland Magnum, .280 Ackley Improved and more.

So, while you might already be familiar with the Shooters World lineup of propellant products, I remain impressed with their overall offerings and am happy that we have yet another option for reloading our shotguns, rifles and pistols.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in the June 2024 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.

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