New call-to-action

Hodgdon® Announces “The Gunpowder People” Book

Hodgdon, The Brand That’s True®, is pleased to announce a new book, The Gunpowder People: The Official Authorized History of Hodgdon Powder Company, by James W. Bequette.

Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the company’s founding, this book covers the history of the Hodgdon family, the founding of the company in 1947, the key employees instrumental in building the company in the last seventy years and many other stories. Born in 1910, founder Bruce “B.E” Hodgdon launched Hodgdon Powder Co. after serving in the military in World War II. Hearing how the U.S. government scrapped surplus gunpowder by the shipload after World War I, Hodgdon took out a loan against a life insurance policy in order to buy surplus 4895 gunpowder in 1947. With an ad in American Rifleman in January 1948, Hodgdon was selling powder to the handloading public.

Along with wife Amy and sons J.B. and Bob, Hodgdon built Hodgdon Powder Co. in Shawnee, Kansas into the quintessential American success story. Sons J.B. and Bob (and a long list of passionate Hodgdon employees) grew the company further, establishing Pyrodex in 1976, purchasing competitor IMR in 2003, licensing Winchester Powder in 2005 and purchasing Goex Blackpowder in 2009.

“When one of our employees originally brought us the concept, we weren’t quite sure what to make of it,” said J.B. and Bob Hodgdon. “We mean, how can you write a book about your family’s experience? But we’re grateful Jim Bequette was able to pull all the stories together and Matt Johnson and the team from Ruckus for laying it out into book form. We really believe this is a heart-felt tribute to our father, B.E, and hope the rest of our family and the handloading industry will enjoy learning more about his life and the life of the company that bears his name.”

“The story of the Hodgdon family and the Hodgdon Powder Co. is the story of America,” said Steve Kehrwald, Hodgdon president and CEO. “We think it’s a story important to our customers and to our industry and we wanted to help the Hodgdons get the story out.”

This book is available immediately for $44.95 on the new Hodgdon website at

About Hodgdon Powder Company, Inc.

Established in 1947 by Bruce and Amy Hodgdon, today, sons J.B. and Bob have grown Hodgdon Powder Company into the largest U.S. supplier of smokeless and blackpowder substitute propellants. The company distributes gunpowder under the Hodgdon®, IMR®, Ramshot®, Acccurate®, Winchester®, Pyrodex®, Triple Seven® and Blackhorn 209® brands.

More news

Hodgdon Powder Company Acquires RCBS Reloading
Winchester® STABALL HD
Remembering Bob Hodgdon