Gunpowder Images, compare shape, color & size - free

Hi folks. New to this forum. I hope this topic is in compliance with all terms of this site. I’m a retired Electrical Engineer with two passions, shooting and shooting … guns and cameras. For years, I’ve seen forums with posts going something like this … “Does anyone know where I can get photos of various gunpowder for comparison?”

It’s bothered me that the standard answer is “Why? You can’t use them to identify powder”. That of course is the correct answer but I believe that answer is incomplete. I set out to prove there is value in (good) images. All images must be magnified by the same amount to allow side-by-side on-screen comparison. They must also be equally illuminated with a properly color balanced camera.

Magnification is an issue the powder manufacturers could/would never agree on.

I’ve done what I think is needed to make the images useful. I’ve 100+ powders and counting. To make the images even more useful, I took two shots of each powder, the highly magnified detail shot and a sizing shot that includes a ruler (scale) allowing measurement of single powder grain to within about 0.002" tolerance.

If you ever wanted to compare Hodgdon H4831 to H4831SC or wanted to find a powder that will meter well for that skinny mouth.223, these images should be of interest to you. They are free for personal use, download, viewing and even printing. The copyright release is included in the _readme.pdf file.

I hope you find these useful. The link below takes you to my Dropbox folder containing Smokeless Gunpowder Images. Expect to see 4 pdf files followed by over 200 images. Again, read the readme file first because it explains how to determine which powder is which, the image filename convention, the copyright release and a disclaimer.

I hope these images are helpful to all re-loaders. Total zip file if downlaoded to local disk or memory currently ~ 150 MB. A wifi connection is recommended for download to cell phones.

Best regards, John Perry


You sir have gone through a whole lot of trouble to make a quality product.


Thank you. The photography and post processing were easy. The hard part was getting samples. That’s pretty much come to an end. I’d like to get more but not being able to ship 2 grains by mail or UPS makes it difficult.
Hope you can use them and feel free to pass the word.
Best regards,John


Thank you Robert. Retired people gotta do something when arthritis, shakes and eyesight hamper shooting skills.


Robert has made a good case, and I know he is right. Also, what many people forget with powders, is they can come from a lot of sources. We have people coming in the shop that have purchased powders from Europe or even a commercial powder that someone has repackaged and resold. So instead of just the few hundred retail powders that you may ‘guess’ at in the U.S., you have to consider those that have been discontinued, commercial powders and European powders, so the number is much, much higher than you can imagine. PS, Love those images Robert, they are great!


@DistinguishedP1174 took the pics, pretty damn awesome job I say :star_struck:


This is a cool thread. Is the OP still on this forum or does he just drop in here and there


Hasn’t posted since June 2018


Hi, I just popped in. I didn’t get many forums interested in posting the link to these images for me. I thank all of you who find usefulness in the images. I’m not a big computer person so feel uncomfortable on these forums. That in addition to having my computer hacked and a demand for ransomware.
So I’m preparing a little article on how to be able to reload extruded powders into a small mouth casing using a Dillon. I’ll just need to find where to post it because Dillon’s Customer Service simply says "There are plenty of ball powders (sorry, that word is trademarked by Winchester) … spherical powders that are better. I happen to disagree and now can reload using my favorite .223 powder, N140. It gets even better. I can successfully reload using even larger extruded powder. Takes about an hour to fix the Dillon.


You’re in good company here brother, post what you have, what your comfortable with :+1:


Welcome back @DistinguishedP1174