New v. Old or Hercules 2400 v. Alliant 2400


After the earlier discussion about 2400 v W296/H110 my main issue with 2400 was the unburnt powder that spread throughout revolvers. Ric claimed that the new 2400 did not have that sin and perhaps I should try some new Alliant 2400 to see what was going on in the modern world. Because of the Chinese plague and my health issues I sent my son in search of some 2400. He found one pound in one store.

I loaded 50 rounds with each powder: .41 magnum 16.0 grains, Lyman 410459 220gr SWC, Winchester LP primers, and once fired Winchester brass. The results:

Ruger Blackhawk 6 1/2 inch barrel

Old Hercules 2400 1970s vintage

Average velocity 10 shots 1266 FPS
Extreme velocity spread 84 FPS
Standard Deviation 32

New Alliant 2400 purchased in June ‘20

Average velocity 10 shots 1316 FPS
Extreme velocity spread 34 FPS
Standard Deviation 13

I would have shown unburnt powder from the old 2400 but the wind blew it away! I’ll admit the new 2400 had about 1/10th the unburnt residue of the old. It was very overcast and hot here today. There was no appreciable muzzle flash from either new or old 2400. I shot a number of .357 loads with W296 and saw the bloom of muzzle flash at noon!

Accuracy with both was so so. First five shot groups at 25 yards with both were about 3.5 inches. They just got worse after that. I was trying some “simple lube” that left a lot of lead at the muzzle. Should’ve stuck with Ben’s !

New and old 2400 meters from my Redding powder measure just as accurately and smoothly as W296/H110 . 7FAB7EB6-C59A-45BB-936A-3B2EA72B95C8.jpegF1A4943D-C3E8-43EE-8FC9-DFC9C9C740E6.jpeg

My newer PACT chronograpph crapped out on me. Had to get my old Oehler 33 out. Finding 6 D cell batteries in the house was a chore but the old 33 worked!

Funny the old container was marked as rifle powder and the new magnum pistol powder.
I’m sold (again) on 2400. I’ll save my W296 for .410 shotshells.


Official forum enigma
I use a LOT of 2400, and very little 296/H-110 any more. I agree with all that appears above concerning the newer 2400 being a cleaner and more consistent fuel than the old Herc stuff was. In the 410 shotgun shells, it is MUCH cleaner new-to-old--even running at half the pressure of MagRev loadings. It is just plain BETTER POWDER.


Staff member
I have a fair bit of 2400 on hand and hadn’t noticed the reduction in unturned granules. I certainly won’t miss them.

And don’t let lube be a sensitive subject. Most of us are pretty open minded about it. I still have pounds of stuff I never even tried.

L Ross

Well-Known Member
Herc-2400, love the stuff. I do remember granules in handguns, but I never see them in my cast bullet rifle loads. I traded some current issue 4227 to get some 1980's vintage 2400. I want to return to the days of DuPont, Hercules, and IMR, real IMR. What the helck is an Alliant anyway? I still have cans of 4831 that are labeled as surplus WWI powder with load data on the cans.
I could shoot the rest of my life happily with Bullseye, Unique, 2400, 4227 and 4895, and 4350. If I had to I could get by handily with BE and 4895. The sole exception is STEEL. That stuff rocks. I no longer hate steel shot. I jack up 15/16 oz. of 3's to 1,700 fps and whack the pinfeathers outa ducks! Oh, ooh, ooh, and black, gotta have black, preferably Swiss or Olde Einsforde.
Tonight's ramblings are not fueled by bourbon. But some Woodford Reserve rye and chocolate covered espresso beans may have been involved.


Staff member
I get tired of explaining this.
As powder granules but they don’t do some in a totally uniform manner. The uneven release of energy makes the individual granules rotate as they burn.
Some granules don’t ignite properly and therefore release no energy. These granules don’t rotate and are therefore unturned granules.


California's Central Coast Amid The Insanity
Thanks for the tiring explanation.
Okay, then, I'm going to start turning my powder granules.


Staff member
No, no, no. We don’t manually turn them, they are turned by the uneven energy release and the powder burns.
The proper way, and only way in my opinion, is to load them in a case under a bullet and ignite the powder in a firearm.


Well-Known Member
insert the chain jerky emoji here.... Lol

it's not that sensitive Matt.
it's just that I could have fixed the muzzle thing for you if you were using simple lube.


California's Central Coast Amid The Insanity
This is making my head hurt.
I'm going to have a glass of cheap red wine, and like Scarlett O'Hara was wont to say" I'll think about it tomorrow".


Notorious member
Mine too. I rarely ever got any leading purely from a lube formula being off, so I wanna know if the fix is more beewax or more ATF. Stiffen it, or make it flow better without adding slippery?


Halcyon member
I wouldn't be so quick to blame the lube for revolver lead fouling, unless you've shot plenty of the same bullet, same alloy, sized the same, same load, lubed with something else and haven't had the lead fouling issue in that same gun.
That's my 2¢ ...and not meant to offend.

Charles Graff

Moderator Emeritus
I like 2400 having loaded many pounds of both the Hercules and Alliant versions. Frankly I hold the opinion that any differences are not more than those found in lot to lot variation. If one is any cleaner than another I have not noticed. Being old school, I wash my hands and clean my firearms as an article of faith.


No offense taken. Previous post was tongue firmly in cheek! This lube was a Vaseline + Paraffin + ATF mix suggested by Ed Harris some time ago as a simple to make lube. I split my Vaseline/ Paraffin mix trying ATF in half of it and a synthetic two stroke oil in the other half. Surprisingly the two stroke stuff was a pretty mint green color that was too soft. Added Paraffin to stiffen and a big blue crayon to color. It has worked well in some 1400-1500 FPS rifle stuff but was bad in the .41 revolver. Ben’s Red has always worked with this bullet/alloy/ velocity. Was trying to get a non beeswax formula because my bee keeper friend has retired from keeping bees so I can’t get the nice dark unrefined bees wax anymore.