American Pioneer Powder

American Pioneer Powder
SUPER STICKS™ | STICKS® Compressed Charges | Powder | Pre-Measured Loads™

Home | Products | Dealers | Loading & Use | FAQ | Customer Success

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why should I shoot American Pioneer® or Jim Shockey's™ GOLD™ products?

A: If you are looking for the best clean, dependable, and powerful black powder substitute, we believe we have the best powder or Compressed Charges for you. The performance of the powder and the STICKS Compressed Charges will give you the edge for hunting, target work and cowboy shooting.

Q. I see that American American Pioneer® and Jim Shockey's™ GOLD™ powders comes in two granulations - what is the difference between FFG and FFFG?

A. Traditionally, black powder has come in different sizes, or granulations. This was done to control the burn rates of the powder, with the smaller sizes burning faster than the larger sizes. The larger sizes have been traditionally used in larger calibers. FFG (2Fg) is primarily used in rifles. FFFG (3Fg) is a slightly smaller and finer powder then FFG and it is usually used in pistols and small caliber rifles.

Q: I want to use STICKS® or SUPER STICKS™ Compressed Charges in my muzzleloading rifle and I see that one end is smaller than the other. Which end of the stick should be loaded in the barrel first?

A: The tapered shape of the STICKS® or SUPER STICKS™ Compressed Charges makes for easier loading. Load by putting in the the smaller end in first and pressing with your thumb. Load your projectile on top of that and push to the bottom of the bore using your ramrod.

Q: What are the benefits of using Pre-Measured Loads?

A: These loads are pre-measured and pre-loaded into custom designed containers to protect the product from moisture and will allow the user to quickly and easily load this pre-measured product into their firearm. This will make follow-up shots and reloads much easier and faster especially when it counts - in the field. Pre-Measured Loadsprovide fast and complete ignition plus delivering superior performance, consistency, accuracy, and dependability.

Q: I see that the use of lube is NOT recommended and that it will actually reduce the results. Why shouldn't I use lube?

A: Lubricants used in muzzleloading have been added to ease loading and to help keep fouling down. Our products generate moisture when it is ignited, so it actually lubricates the barrel when you shoot. Loading will actually be easier than when using lubes. Also, our product produces only a very minimal amount of residue which does not build up. If lubes are allowed to come in contact with the powder, it can actually create fouling and lower performance when burned.

Q. Can I use American Pioneer® or Jim Shockey's™ GOLD™ powders when loading black powder cartridges?

A. Absolutely! As a matter of fact these powders are used by a number of the top cowboy action and mounted shooters in a variety of calibers, both in traditional black powder cartridges such as .45-70 and modern calibers such as .44 magnum. Basic loading instructions are to fill the case to the point where the bullet will slightly compress the powder, about 1/16", when seated, seat the bullet and crimp. DO NOT drill out the primer hole. The use of 'grease cookies' or wads is not needed or recommended. No special black powder lube is required for the bullet and regular smokeless lubed bullets actually work the best. As this is a 'bulk' type powder, it is important that the case be filled completely, leaving NO air space or gap. The use of fillers or wads is NOT recommended as some studies indicate that they can cause a 'ringed' barrel when used.

Q. Can I use American Pioneer® or Jim Shockey's™ GOLD™ powders in a flask?

A. Yes you CAN use these powders in a flask. Just don't store it long term in a flask and do NOT pour directly from the flask into the bore. Pour from the flask into a powder measure and then into your firearm. When you are done using it, put it back in the bottle. That will help keep the powder fresh for your next shoot.

Q. I want to use American Pioneer® or Jim Shockey's™ GOLD™ powders in cartridge loading. Should I do anything special with the fired brass to keep it bright and shiney? How should I clean my brass?

A. Fired brass should be rinsed right after shooting to neutralize any reaction of the brass and powder residue. A commonly used method is to dump your fired brass into a solution of either 50/50 water/vinegar or a mild solution of Simple Green or similar soap. Never use a mixture that contains any ammonia, as ammonia will attack the brass and weaken it. You should then rinse with tap water, let dry and tumble clean.

Q. Can I use a drop tube with American Pioneer® or Jim Shockey's™ GOLD™ powders to load my cartridges?

A. Sure if you so choose, though it is not necessary. As long as your loading technics are consistent, the results will also be consistent.

Q. Should I crimp my brass when loading?

A. The use of a good crimp helps to keep consistent results. The bullet should be held firmly in the case mouth.

Q. Should I change the primer I use?

A. American Pioneer® or Jim Shockey's™ GOLD™ will give good results with all types and brands of primers. If you have a favorite, keep using it.

Q. I am loading a caliber that has several bullet weights available. Is there a weight range that works best with American Pioneer® or Jim Shockey's™ GOLD™ powders?

A. As with black powder, American Pioneer® or Jim Shockey's™ GOLD™ powders will work with any bullet weight that is good for the caliber. Generally, a heavier bullet may be your best choice for top performance, though the lighter bullet weights often used with sabots will give great results as well.

Q. I want to use a sabot load in my rifle. Will American Pioneer® and Jim Shockey's™ GOLD™ powders and compressed charges work with a sabot? What should I look for when picking one?

A. Yes, they work extremely well with sabots, both loose powder and compressed charges. Since the powders and compressed charges doesn't leave fouling like black powder does, you should look for a sabot that fits fairly tighly in the bore, as they are often undersized to work with the black powder fouling. The same loading technics should be employed, in that the sabot/bullet should be firmly placed against the charge in the bottom of the bore, leaving no air space.

Q. I shoot patched round ball. Should I wet my patch or load it dry?

A. As the powder creates its own moisture when burning, it is not necessary or desirable to wet down the patch. If it is tight, you can 'spit patch' the first one, but you should find that reloads don't even need that.

Q. I'm at the end of my shoot and ready to clean. Can I really use nothing more than tap water?

A. Absolutely! Just dampen your patches with water and run them down the bore. You should find that 2 or 3 damp patches are all it will take to leave your bore nice and clean.

Q. Should I use bore seasoning, oil or other preservatives in my bore for storage?

A. A light wipe of lube or other preservative may be used to keep it from reacting with moisture while being stored. Your locale will largely determine your need to do that, as a more humid area will need more protection than a dry area. If you do need to oil down your bore, make sure and clean it out BEFORE loading it, as the oily residue will cause lower results and fouling if it is not cleaned out prior to loading.

Q. You have answered most of my questions, but I still have a few more. Can I contact you for an answer?

A. Absolutely! We want you to be successful when using our products and will be more than happy to work with you. We have several long time shooters and hunters with experience in just about every area of black powder shooting that will be happy to answer your questions. Just email your questions to


American Pioneer Powder, Inc.

20423 State Road 7 #F6-268, Boca Raton, Florida 33498
Toll Free 888.756.7693

Production Facility
1475 Blair Road, Whitewater, Colorado 81527

Links | Contact Us

Copyright ©2009 American Pioneer Powder, Inc.