It has been a couple of months since our last update, and we’re happy to say we’ve got some good news to share with you all, however there is still some disappointing news as well.
We have reloading data sorted for the most popular cartridges, which we will continue to add to as new data becomes available.
We now have transport approvals for all States/Territories.
As a result, this product has been released and is already on its way out to the dealer network via our distributors.
Please be aware that market demand for all our propellants the past 6+ months has outstripped our ability to supply, and access to APS950 is likely to be no different. It is also important to note that the resurgence of COVID-19 in a number of places, including Victoria where both of our distribution partners are located, may affect the movement of propellant around the country.
While we had been hoping for a May release of this product we were fighting an uphill battle coming into the colder, wetter months of the year. What some of you may not realise is that propellant manufacture can be and is affected by environmental conditions, with the propellant grains effectively absorbing moisture that needs to be expelled to achieve the correct burn rate.
Sadly, we were unable to complete the required development in the timeline we had, and have now been forced to delay the completion of the project until Q4 this year.
We understand this is not the news any of you wanted to here, and we ask for your understanding through these frustrating times. As the only domestic manufacturer of these products we would much prefer to have a finished product available, so we could continue to support the Australian sports shooting community.
APS650 / AP70N Frequently Asked Questions
Why don’t you just make more AP70N?
The Mulwala facility is owned by the Commonwealth of Australia and has a long-term management plan. The old WWII era propellant plant had an agreed date of closure that occurred a number of years ago now, with the decommissioning process starting shortly after that.
In other words, we simply don’t have the infrastructure to make AP70N anymore.
Why didn’t you make more AP70N to ensure you could continue to supply the market while the APS650 replacement was finalised?
While both the Benalla and Mulwala sites are large and have various storage magazines around them, there is an upper limit to what we can store under our government issued permits. As these facilities work on a large array of both defence and civil projects that at times include TNT, RDX and other energetics a vast amount of work goes into managing what is stored, where it is stored and in what quantities.
In the lead up to the closure of the WWII era facility we manufactured the maximum amount of AP70N we could and continued to supply it to the market. However, a combination of slower than anticipated industrialisation of the new facility, combined with increased demand in the market, has meant existing stocks were depleted before we could get the new product released.
I’ve heard AP70N is made and supplied to the US market, why don’t you just buy AP70N from there and bring it back to Australia?
This is something we looked at in great detail when it became apparent we were going to run out of stock before the replacement was ready to go. Discussions were held with our US distribution partner (Hodgdon Powder Company) as well as General Dynamics – Ordnance & Tactical Systems in Canada (who manufacture AP70N under licence).
Unfortunately, due to hazardous goods transport regulations between countries, the subsequent sea freight shipping requirements as well as the costs of transportation and repackaging upon arrival in Australia it was not a financially viable solution.
To put it another way, the price we would have had to sell the propellant for was so high that nobody would be willing to pay for it.
We understand how frustrating it is to be unable to access a particular propellant when it plays such a critical role in what we all love doing.
We’re also only too aware that without access to propellant, the costs involved in pistol shooting may not be easily covered by a lot of our customers if they have to revert to buying factory ammunition.
It is not a cheap sport after all, with licence and club fees, compulsory ancillary fees such as SSAA or IPSC membership, range fees, equipment, travel and of course the all-important ammunition which adds up very quickly in pistol sports.
We would like to ask for your patience during these trying times, and rest assured we are doing everything in our power to deliver this propellant as soon as possible.