What Rifle Powder Really Costs

There is a recurring thread on my local shooting forum, comparing the cost of imported rifle powders to the locally manufactured Somchem. The recurring gripe is that the imported powders are so expensive.

On the 4th September 2018, Somchem themselves physically managed to blow up the primary manufacturing facility producing rifle and pistol powders for the local market.

Prior to this, there were sporadic shortages, and inconsistency between sequential batch numbers.

It's now April 2021. Somchem powders have not been generally available for purchase. There was a company press release announcing the resumption of production in July 2021. But this is Africa - they give the month and the year, but not in which parallel universe.

Some people on the forum are waiting for them to resume production, so they can buy the products again. Some, like me, will never use their products again, even if they give it away for free.

    What's wrong with Somchem ? Firstly, the batch consistency is non-existent. The company publishes a correction factor, at random, not for each new batch.

    This number is not related to anything. Does it mean that my 3000 fps velocity with the previous batch is now 2988 fps with the new batch ? When I chrony different batch numbers, I can get 100 fps variation.

    Is the percentage the burn rate ? Then it's useless information, the load manual doesn't work on burn rate, it works on grains of powder.

    Perhaps what they call quality control is someone picking a random number within the limits of the annual objective for batch consistency.

    When the powder in the tin is not what the label says. True. It happened.