Hodgdon Longshot: Not Just for Duck Hunting

Hand-loading 10mm Auto using shotgun powder

Hodgdon Longshot powder was developed primarily for waterfowl hunters who needed to propel heavy shot charges at really high velocities. It accomplishes that task well, but has been largely overlooked by handgunners, especially handgun hunters who need all the velocity they can get with heavy-for-caliber bullets.

Hodgdon Longshot is a spherical powder with a medium-high burn rate—slightly faster than Hodgdon 110, Hodgdon‘Lil Gun and alliant 2400. Longshot is available in 1-, 4- and 8-pound containers.

I favor bullets with high sectional densities—that is, heavy for caliber—for both hunting and personal defense. A bullet’s sectional density (SD) is its weight in pounds divided by its diameter squared. Therefore a 200-grain 10mm bullet has an SD of 0.179. Because the bore diameter is fixed, a bullet can only get heavier by making it longer. So the longer the bullet, the higher the SD.

High-SD bullets have a much greater probability of fully penetrating deer, black bear and other medium game (and don’t forget bad guys), typically making a caliber-size entrance wound and a fist-size exit wound. An X-ring hit with a high-SD bullet traveling at maximum velocity has a much higher probability of creating a wound that will cause the animal to bleed out quickly (and it virtually guarantees the terrorist bastard an express ride to paradise). Even if you miss the X-ring area, a full-penetration wound may still put meat on the table (or on the flight to paradise).

Longshot is the handgun velocity champ when loaded with high-SD bullets in the following cartridges, whether used for hunting or personal defense. Data in the two charts below shows the velocities/energies for Hodgdon’s published maximum charge weights for each cartridge/bullet combination. The first chart shows the highest SD bullets generally available for each cartridge.

While Longshot produces the highest velocities for those pistol cartridges in the charts at left, it is not appropriate for most Magnum revolver cartridges.

                                                                                                     Muzzle        Muzzle
                                                                                                     Velocity      Energy
Cartridge               Bullet                                      SD                    (f.p.s)        (ft. lbs.)

9mm Luger …..     147-gr. Hornady XTP JHP …..     0.167                  1,004         329
.38 Super …..        147-gr. Hornady XTP JHP …..     0.167                  1,119         409
.357 SIG …..         147-gr. Hornady XTP JHP …..     0.167                  1,254         513
.40 S&W …..         180-gr. Hornady XTP JHP ….      0.161                  1,159          537
10mm Aut …..      200-gr. Hornady XTP JHP ….      0.179                  1,172          610

This chart shows defensive pistol cartridges for which Longshot produces the highest velocities with lighter, lower SD bullets.
                                                                                                         Muzzle      Muzzle                                                                                                              Velocity    Energy
Cartridge            Bullet                                         SD                      (f.p.s)      (ft. lbs.)
.38 Super …..      125-gr. Sierra FMJ …..                0.142                    1,353           508
.38 Super …..      125-gr. Hornady HAP …..            0.142                    1,399           543
.357 SIG …..       115-gr. Hornady XTP JHP …..      0.130                    1,497           572
.357 SIG …..       124-gr. Hornady XTP JHP…..       0.130                    1,429           562
.40 S&W …..       135-gr. Nosler JHP …..                0.121                    1,434           616
.40 S&W …..       140-gr. Barnes TAC-XP JHP …..   0.121                    1,185           437
.40 S&W …..       150-gr. Nosler JHP …..               0.134                     1,320           580
.40 S&W …..       155-gr. Hornady XTP JHP …..      0.138                    1,283           567
.40 S&W …..       165-gr. Sierra JHP …..                0.147                    1,185           514
10mm Auto …..  180-gr. Sierra JHP                      0.161                    1,287           662
.45 ACP …..        185-gr. Hornady JSWC …..          0.140                    1,044          448
.45 ACP …..        200-gr. Speer Gold Dot JHP…..    0.140                    1,013          456

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