Lv 6
Anakin asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 8 years ago

Favorite powder for 45 ACP and 9mm reloads?

For experienced handgun reloaders, what is your favorite powder for the 45 ACP & 9mm? Your "formulation" will be highly appreciated.

I'm a novice reloader trying to reload 115-gr & 124-gr 9mm FMJ and JHP. A friend recommended WSF because it is "clean".

I just started reloading 45 ACP with Longshot -- mostly 230-gr, 185-gr or 200-gr FMJ.


Please recommend your favorite powders based on personal experience:

1. For the same muzzle velocity, are certain powders more accurate than others?

2. Do slow-burning powders produce more "muzzle flash"? For example, Longshot (#52) vs 700-X (#12)?

3. Do slow-burning powders produce more recoil (or the opposite)?

4. Do slow-burning powders leave more soot on the cases?


I'm open to using any powder as long as it's based on your favorable personal experience with it. I'm open to using different powders for 9mm and 45 ACP.



I keep hearing Bullseye and "Red Dot" on reloading boards. Are they good powders for 45 ACP and 9mm?

Update 2:

I have a Beretta 92FS (9mm) and Taurus 1911 (45), both with 5" barrels. Springfield XDm 45; and Kimber 1911 (45) are in the plans.

3 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I agree with your friend, wsf is a nicely burning powder. First off in 45 ACP and/or 9mm your barrel lenghts are fairly unlikely to exceed 5".

    Knowing that, anything used in a pistol should be a quick burning powder because otherwise, when the bullet leaves the barrel the powder could still be burning which will affect accuracy by deviating the bullet (gases pushing on either side will have this effect), increase recoil, dirty the barrel quicker, dirty the case and will produce more muzzle flash.

    Now, don't go putting N1 Norma in you cases, the best way to know which powder is the best for is to try them out for yourself. Still, in a pistol length barrel I don't care much about the powder, I tend to focus on the bullet weights and shapes I use.

    Here is what I use to reference myself in the mayhem that powder burn rates are.

    Edit: I just found this, it might help , it looks like it's full of interesting facts (including the list up top).

    Edit 2: The trick is, in my experience, to match both bullet weight and burn rate with your barrel length and the strength of your guide rod spring, when the bullet is fired it's weight dictates how it will react to different burn times because it will be inherently slower in the barrel, a slightly slower burning powder is then the best choice. Both bullseye and red dot are made by Alliant powders, i don't have personal experience with bullseye but it seems to be in the fast category, which would fit a light, 115gr, 9mm bullet. Red dot, by being just a bit slower will accommodate say, a 147 gr bullet of the same caliber.

    Edit 3: A 92FS will tend to have a fairly lightweight slide because, as you know, there's no top, that means a very light load or a very slow powder should still get the action moving but the bullet may have a very low velocity and stay stuck in the barrel, when trying new powders I would recommend checking the barrel after 10 shots for residue and making sure that every bullet hits the target (no blockages). You might also consider doing a simple test, by taking any sheet of paper and putting it in front of an appropriate backstop (not necessarily right behind it but in a way to make sure to catch the bullet while still being protected from ricochets). Try it at point blank, 3, 5, 10 and 15 inches away from the muzzle to check for excessive residue and burn marks, any firearm will produce burn marks at point blank and close range but compare them to standard loads that you buy at the store (preferably something of good quality like fiocchi or federal white box, not cheap surplus steel cased russian ammo).

    Also, you seem to like 1911, if it is in your budget, I would suggest looking at some Les Bauers, Kimbers are great too, but you might get a lemon every now and then, I don't own and don't plan on owning a Springfield XD because already own Glocks and both are pretty much the same. 1911 will tend to have heavier slides and are usually more delicate in terms of ammo specs (bullets, powder load, etc.). If the powder is too slow or there is too light of a load, it will usually not cycle and you might want to check it in detail. Look for key holing in your targets at range to see if the velocity drops too low. You can also set up the same test as mentioned up there, but a sligthly slower powder could be used, considering the heavier, 230 gr slugs used commonly in 45 ACP cartridges.

    Here is my dream Les Bauer,

  • sabraw
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Best Powder For 45 Acp

  • judith
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    You ought to add up your aspect bills. For example i purchase a lot of Rainier bullets. They rate about $one hundred thirty.00 per thousand for 200 gr .45 FMJ. Primers are around $30.00 per thousand. Powder is set $28.00 a pound. I order my stuff on-line so I pay a $28.00 hazmat price for shipping. For economy, i buy powder via the eight lb can and primers I almost always get at the least 5000. With transport lets call it $250.00(that is for a pound of powder and a thousand primers). With a .45 acp load of about 6.9 grains of Herco you must get a thousand rounds from a pound of powder. The main issue is as of correct now most of the on-line suppliers i take advantage of are out of stock on components. Hopefully so as to trade when the frenzy ends. I'm happy I ordered a bunch of stuff simply before things got loopy. It's going to be quite a while earlier than you see any savings because of shopping the equipment. It's a fun passion. I exploit it for stress remedy. The motion of reloading seems to clear my brain of useless crap and helps me calm down. But it requires strict awareness to element so you don't injure or kill your self. Get a handbook or two and skim the reloading approach cautiously. If you recognize a pal that reloads get him to give you some instruction.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.