Precision and action shooters require a constant and clean-burning propellant in order to compete at their best. The New Alliant Powder® Sport Pistol TM satisfies these specifications by offering exceptionally dependable cycling, great charging and box filling, and a wide variety of ballistics. The Sport Pistol low-muzzle-flash formulation, which is also tuned for polymer-coated bullets, may dissolve polymer coverings on the basis of the bullet during the ignition process, whereas similar powders can dissolve polymer coverings on the basis of the bullet during the ignition process.
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.
A low flash muzzle
made in the United States.
Alliant’s recently released Sport Pistol powder meets the needs of sport shooting- cleanliness and versatility- with a wide range of popular pistol calibers and bullet types.
Alliant Powder’s communications coordinator, Jared Hinton, characterizes Sport Pistol as a “low nitroglycerine, double-base flake propellant.” Sport Pistol would functionally replace/overlap with American Select on the burn rate chart. Temperature sensitivity varies by application, but Sport Pistol is highly stable with a little negative slope. It altered fewer than 15 frames per second between 0 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit in our most extensive testing.”
The formulation of Sport Pistol features a low flash point, a low burning temperature, and a chemical makeup that is less prone to dissolve polymer coatings on coated lead bullets. It’s produced in the United States.
The bulk density of Sport Pistol is 0.69 g/cc, or 10.6 grains/cc. This results in a rather heavy powder with good case fill. It’s ideal for loading 9mm Luger and +P,.40 S&W,.45 ACP and +P,.38 Special,.357 Magnum,.44 Special,.44 Magnum, and.45 Colt cartridges. I fired 70 different hand loads in 9mm Luger,.38 Super,.40 S&W, and.45 ACP. It passed through my RCBS Uniflow powder measure quite easily and consistently, with charge weights changing by less than 0.1 grain. Except for the.38 Super, I’ve included the five most accurate loads in each caliber in the accompanying chart. I only attempted three loads in that caliber, so they are all mentioned.
In the 9mm Luger, Sport Pistol won’t produce especially high velocities compared to other, usually slower, powders at the same pressure, but speeds are in the range of common factory ammunition.
My velocities with Sport Pistol were typical of the 9mm Luger with a fast-burning powder from a 5.0-inch barrel, with 115-grain bullets ranging from 1,150 to 1,250 fps, 124/125-grain bullets ranging from 1,050- to 1,150 fps, and 147-grain bullets ranging from 900 to 1,000 fps. The velocity of heavier projectiles ranged from 800 to 900 feet per second.
The bullet’s accuracy varied, which is usual. There were several tiny 15-shot groups around 1.50 inches, and the lowest 15-shot group was 1.40 inches with Rocky Mountain Reloading’s 124-grain FMJ FP. There was a minor trend that the +P load created a bigger group, but this was not typical, and the difference in group size was occasionally insignificant.
Using Alliant’s 9mm Luger data as a guide, I loaded some .38 Super with Sport Pistol. I wasn’t seeking a high-velocity load, just a mild one to see what type of accuracy it would produce. My test was limited to three bullets, and all three loads produced small groups, with none over 1.50 inches. I confess that I picked these three specific bullets because they normally produce small groups with the right powder. Sport Pistol appears to be one of those “right” powders.
Despite my barrel being an inch longer than Alliant’s test barrel, velocity measurements with the.40 S&W were extremely identical. Regardless, 135-grain bullets reached about 1,300 fps, which was somewhat quicker than Alliant’s speed, while 180-grain bullets reached around 1,000 fps.
Accuracy with the.40 S&W loads was about what I expected for my pistol. My.40 S&W pistol does not perform as well as my 9mm and.45 guns. Only two of the groups measured less than 2.0 inches. The average group size was only a few tenths of an inch bigger than the 9mm and.45 groupings, implying that Sport Pistol has the same accuracy potential in these calibers.
I only loaded a few +P loads for the.45 ACP, but I experimented with different primers to see if they affected velocity or group size. My measured velocities were comparable to Alliant’s reported figures. My speeds are not directly comparable to Alliant’s since I did not always load to the full charge weight. The velocity of Alliant with loads close to the maximum charge weights are roughly what one would anticipate for this caliber. Light 185-grain bullets travel at 1,000 fps or higher, whereas 230-grain bullets travel at 850 to 900 fps. My speeds correspond to those figures.
Accuracy was bullet dependent, as was the case with the other calibers. My.45 ACP barrel favours jacketed rounds over lead or plated bullets, while certain lead bullets may shoot quite well. Several 15-shot groups were 2.00 inches or smaller, which is pretty impressive for this handgun.
I tried several primers with the 5.0-grain load and Hornady 230-grain HAP bullets, and the findings revealed that the primers had an effect on the velocity generated by Sport Pistol. CCI had the lowest velocity (791 fps) and Remington had the greatest velocity (843 fps), a difference of 52 fps. The final truth is that the primer brand can affect the speed of a Sport Pistol in.45 ACP.
Some primers may also increase Sport pistol accuracy. The Remington primer delivered the smallest group of 1.20 inches, while the Federal Match primer produced the biggest group of 3.0 inches with the 230-grain HAP bullets. These comparisons are far from conclusive, and readers should experiment with other brands/types of primer to determine if their loads indicate a preference.
During my photography sessions, one thing became clear. The Sport Pistol emits very little smoke. If the lack of smoke indicates purity, this powder is noticeably cleaner than the other powders I use.
Sport Pistol offers some interesting characteristics. It meters extremely reliably, utilizes tiny charge weights for nominal velocities, burns cleanly with little smoke, and provides