Precision and action shooters at the highest levels of competition need a consistent, clean-burning propellant. The New Alliant Powder® Sport Pistol TM is designed to meet these requirements thanks to its reliable cycling, high-quality charging and box-filling, and adaptable ballistics. While similar powders can dissolve polymer coverings on the basis of the bullet during ignition, the Sport Pistol low-muzzle-flash formulation is ideal for polymer-coated bullets.
Formulation of clean-burning
very reliable for competing shooters.
Optimized for bullets with a polymer coating
Various ballistic techniques
Excellent case for charging and filling.
Low flash muzzle
made in the United States.
Alliant’s new Sport Pistol powder has the purity and versatility necessary for competitive shooting, and it’s compatible with many different pistol calibers and bullet types.
In sports pistols, according to Alliant Powder’s communications coordinator, Jared Hinton, “small amounts of nitroglycerine are blended into a double-base flake propellant.” On the energy expenditure graph, Sport Pistol would overlap with American Select, both of which serve essentially the same function. Temperature sensitivity varies greatly between applications, but Sport Pistol is unusually stable.”Our extensive testing showed a difference of less than 15 fps between temperatures of -40 degrees Celsius and 212 degrees Celsius.”
The Sport Pistol’s composition reduces the likelihood that polymer coatings on coated lead bullets will be dissolved, and its low flash and burning temperature make it suitable for use with handguns. a product of the United States of America.
The density, measured in grains per cubic centimeter, of one gram of sport pistol is 10.6 (or 0.69 g/cc). This means the powder is relatively large, making it an excellent choice for filling cases. This powder works well with a wide variety of cartridges, including the 9mm Luger, the 9mm Luger +P, the.40 S&W, the.45 ACP, the.45 ACP +P, the.38 Special, the.357 Magnum, the.44 Special, the.44 Magnum, the.45 Colt, and the.44 Special. I tested 70 different handloads in 9mm Luger,.38 Super,.40 S&W, and.45 ACP calibers.When I measured the charges with my RCBS Uniflow powder measure, I found very little variance (+/- 0.1 grain). With the exception of the.38 Super, I’ve included the five most accurate loads for each caliber in the accompanying chart.There were only three loads tried out for that caliber, and they’re all included here.
The 9mm Luger will not achieve exceptionally high velocities with Sport Pistol compared to other, usually slower powders at the same pressure, but it will achieve velocities within the range of common factory ammunition.
With a 5.0-inch barrel and a fast-burning powder, I was able to shoot Sport Pistol at 900-1,000 fps with a 147-grain bullet and achieve velocities typical of the 9mm Luger with a 115-grain bullet traveling at 1,150-1,250 fps. Normal muzzle velocities for heavy artillery were between 800 and 900 feet per second.
Accuracy variations were to be expected when switching between ammunition types. For 15 shots, the best group size was 1.40 inches with 124-grain FMJ FP from Rocky Mountain Reloading, while other loads hovered around 1.50 inches. While it was true that groups tended to be bigger when the +P load was employed, this was not always the case, and the disparity in group size was often too small to matter.
Using Alliant’s information for the 9mm Luger, I loaded some.38 Super with Sport Pistol. Since I wanted to know how a low-velocity load would affect accuracy, I didn’t use any particularly fast loads in my experiment. With only three bullets to try, I still managed to get very good results: 1.50-inch or smaller groups across the board. In all honesty, I decided on those particular three bullets because, when using the right powder, they form small groups. Sport Pistol appears to be one of the “right” powders.
The accuracy of my pistol was roughly what I expected with these.40 S&W rounds. In comparison to my 9mm and.45 ACP pistols, the.40 S&W is much less accurate. Two of the sets were smaller than 2.0 inches. However, the average group size was only a few tenths of an inch larger than the 9mm and.45 groups, indicating that Sport Pistol has the same accuracy potential in these calibers.
I only loaded a small number of.45 ACP +P rounds, but I did try out a few different primers in an effort to increase velocity and/or decrease group size. Using Alliant’s published data as a reference, I compared my own measurements and found good agreement. My speeds can’t be compared to Alliant’s because there were times when I didn’t fill to capacity.
The Alliant’s muzzle velocities with loads near their maximum charge weights are typical for this caliber. Weighting in at 185 grains, bullets capable of traveling at 1,000 fps are certainly possible, while 230 grain bullets can travel at 850 to 900 fps. The speed figures you provided are in line with my own observations.
As with the other calibers, accuracy was found to be associated with bullet type. For my.45 ACP barrel, jacketed bullets provide the best performance overall, though some lead bullets can do a good job. Several groups of 15 shots were measured at 2.00 inches or less, demonstrating the pistol’s respectable accuracy.
My experiments with a 5.0-grain load and Hornady 230-grain HAP bullets and a wide range of primers showed that the velocity of a Sport Pistol round can change depending on the primer used. When comparing muzzle velocities, CCI’s was the slowest at 791 fps, while Remington’s was the fastest at 843 fps, a difference of 52 fps. Finally, the primer brand can have an effect on velocity when firing a.45 ACP Sport Pistol.
An additional way primers might help improve Sport pistol accuracy. With 230 grain HAP bullets, the Remington primer yielded the tightest group at 1.20 inches, while the Federal Match primer yielded the loosest group at 3.0 inches. Readers are encouraged to try various brands and types of primer to find the ones that work best for their loads, as the comparisons provided here are in no way conclusive.
Something wonderful happened to me during my practice sessions. The smoke produced by a sport pistol is notably less than that of a regular pistol. In comparison to other powders I’ve tried, this one seems to be the cleanest based on my smoke detector’s readings.
There are some fine customization options available for the Sport Pistol. It consistently meters, burns cleanly with low smoke, fills the case well, is stable at high temperatures, and delivers impressive accuracy when used with the appropriate bullet. Though it won’t generate the greatest velocities, fast to moderate burning powder is both inexpensive and accurate. Weights of 1, 4, and 8 pounds are available.