Handloader|February 2021
Randy Bimson

Shooters World, the relatively “new kid on block” in the canister propellant marketplace, continues to expand its propellant line with a clear focus on optimizing propellants for specific cartridge applications. This is not meant to imply the application of a given propellant is limited to a few specific cartridges. Rather, the propellants are suitable for a broad range of cartridges but offer enhanced performance for a number of specific cartridges.

With that in mind, Shooters World (SW) set its sights on targeting Hodgdon’s 1960’s-era spherical H-335 propellant, a long-standing favorite of people who load small to midsize rifle cartridges. ARPlus was developed for shooters who are looking for optimum performance using 55/62-grain bullets in appropriately chambered .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO rifles, or the standard 147/150-grain bullets in .308 Winchester or 7.62 NATO chambered rifles at industry-standard velocities.

AR-Plus is a spherical propellant manufactured for SW by Explosia Company in Pardubice-Semtín of the Czech Republic. Explosia is also the manufacturer of the Lovex line of propellants marketed extensively in Europe. AR-Plus is a very fine-grained, double-base propellant. The tiny AR-Plus spherical grains measure an average diameter of .0145 inch and are a shiny gray-black color. The propellant has a very high bulk density of .99g/cm3.

It is quite possible more spherical powders have been used in the quest for prairie dogs than any other propellant type. From the heyday of the .222 Remington to today’s darlings, the .223 Remington and 5.56 NATO, spherical powders have been indispensable propellants for many a varmint hunter. Combine that with the popularity of three gun matches and the general recreational shooting of .223 Remington, 5.56 NATO, .308 Winchester and 7.62 NATO rifles, it amounts to a lot of high-volume shooting. High-volume shooting equates to high-volume reloading, and the smooth and consistent metering characteristics of spherical powders have won many a reloader’s heart.

The very small grain diameter of AR-Plus makes for exceptionally smooth and consistent metering characteristics for use with powder measures and progressive loading tools. To validate that statement, a finely-machined Neil Jones Custom Products measure was used to throw 20 charges of 25 grains by weight. The difference in charge weight from the lightest to heaviest of the 20 charges was .01 grain, as verified on an Ohaus/ RCBS 10-10 beam scale and a Lyman Pro-Touch 1500 electronic scale.

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