Post your Pistol Load


Well-Known Fanatic
May 6, 2012
Lexington, SC
Mods, I was hoping we could sticky these two threads about custom loads, obviously to be used at user's responsibility to verify minimum powders/charges, etc. A miss-key can cause some reloading data to become very inaccurate so again, USER BEWARE and ask questions/verify the load with manuals and/or powder manufacturer's information.


These are 2 very nice, soft shooting loads that work well through a suppressor or just on the range punching paper. Minimal recoil

Powder: 3.4gr Hodgdon's Titegroup
Primer: CCI Small Pistol Primer #500
Bullet: Hornady 147gr FMJ
OAL: 1.131"
Velocity: 900fps

Powder: 3.6gr Hodgdon's Titegroup
Primer: CCI Small Pistol Primer #500
Bullet: Hornady 124gr XTP
OAL: 1.125"
Velocity: 1005fps
Caliber: 9mm
Gun: Coharie MP5 clone
Bullet: Ballisticast 125 LRN
Powder: 6.0 grains of Vihtavuori 3N37
Primer: CCI 500
FPS: 1298, 1293, 1290, 1297, 1300

Caliber: 9mm
Gun: AR15 - 7.5? Oly barrel
Bullet: Ballisticast 147 LFN
Powder: 3.6 grains of Vihtavuori N340
Primer: CCI 500
FPS: 1008, 1010, 1011, 1031, 1007

Caliber: 9mm
Gun: AR15 - 7.5? Oly barrel
Bullet: Precision Delta 147 FMJ
Powder: 4.2 Vihtavuori N330 powder
Primer: CCI 500
FPS: 1036, 1030, 1001, 992, 1001

Caliber: 9mm
Gun: AR15 - 7.5? Oly barrel
Bullet: Precision Delta 147 FMJ
Powder: 3.7 grains of Universal
Primer: CCI 500
FPS: 878, 932, 934, 915, 917, 893, 927, 900, 902, 918
Caliber: 9mm
Gun: Glock 34
Bullet: Montana Gold 124gr JHP
Powder: 3.8 gr Titgroup
Primer: Winchester Small Pistol Primers
OAL : 1.135"
FPS: 1050 (safe load for minor power factor)
357 Magnum
Ruger GP-100
Mixed cases
Winchester primers
195gr cast bullets
10grs of 2400
Should be near 950 fps

Ruger Blackhawk
Mixed cases
Winchester primers
158gr gas checked bullets
10.5grs 2400 @950 fps
Also loaded
3grs bullseye @750 fps

9mm Luger
Ruger Blackhawk
Winchester primers
Mixed cases
121gr cast RN
3.5grs Bullseye @990fps
Also loaded
124gr JHP
4grs Bullseye @1000fps

All velocities are estimated using simple math and info posted in load manuals
I do not have a chrony.
The above loads all work fine and are accurate fired in good guns in working order. To duplicate is at your own risk.
Since a lot of normal pistol powders are out of stock, I thought I'd try something a little different based on Hodgdon's load data and the fact that I'd seen people using Clay's in larger pistol calibers. Titewad, normally a shotgun powder, is on all the shelves I've seen. I figured after looking at the specs, I'd give it a try.

The load that cycled my 5" 1911 flawlessly and extremely soft was 3.3gr Titewad under a 230gr plated round nose bullet sitting at 1.265" OAL. It wouldn't quite cycle my 4.5" Springfield XD-M, but the recoil spring is 2lbs heavier on the XD-M than my Kimber 1911 which has a 16lb recoil spring. The data says this load combo is running about 770fps.

The Titewad was EXTREMELY soft shooting and was pretty clean...that is to say it wasn't noticeably any more dirty than normal loads. If you load .45 and can't find your normal go-to powder, grab some Titewad!
Caliber: 9mm
Gun: AR15 - 7.5? Oly barrel
Bullet: Precision Delta 147 FMJ
Powder: 3.6 grains of Solo 1000
Primer: Wolf Small Pistol
FPS: Didn't chrono but definitely subsonic, sounded better than my Universal load!

Caliber: 9mm
Gun: MKE HK94 clone
Bullet: Ballisticast 125 LRN
Powder: 3.8 grains of Solo 1000
Primer: Wolf Small Pistol
FPS: Didn't chrono. Very little smoke with my cast lead bullets, seems promising!
Load #1
Powder: Titewad, 4.1gr
Primer: CCI Small Pistol Primer
Bullet: Berry's Plated 185gr Hollow Base Round Nose .45 ACP
OAL: 1.265"
Host: Kimber 1911 5" with 13lb recoil spring
Avg Velocity: 785fps

I was having trouble between January and June finding 230gr or 200gr plated bullets for sale locally. I consistently saw Berry's 185gr HBRN bullets as well as Titewad on the shelf at Sportsman's Warehouse, I told myself I was going to make it work. I went through A LOT of charge weights to get a soft shooting load using these two components. This bullet/powder combo is usually seen on the shelves around here because 1) Not many people use Titewad (even though it's similar to Clay's in terms of burn rate and performance...just a hair faster) and 2) Hollow Base bullets because even though they share the same exterior dimensions as their 230gr counter part, the pressure drops due to the hollow base lead for very inconsistent or unreliable loads and the need to reinvent the wheel to find one that works. Working up to the charge of 4.1gr of Titewad, I started at 3.3gr (Hodgdon manual says start at 3.5 but I was loading some 230gr also and started at the same charge for both). While it was VERY soft, it would have been great in a 45 ACP wheelgun, but not in my 1911. I upped the next charges incrementally but stopped at Hodgdon's max listed load of 4.2gr (even though that was for a flat base bullet not taking into account the pressure decrease). 4.0gr was SOOO close...if I'd have a 12lb spring, it would have worked because 3 out of 5 rounds cycled fine and the other 2 were so close. 4.2gr cycled as well but I dropped back to the lowest charge that still cycled (4.1gr) to save powder and back off the max load.

Load #2 Reposted:
Powder: Titewad, 3.3gr
Primer: CCI Small Pistol Primer
Bullet: Berry's Plated 230gr RN .45 ACP
OAL: 1.265"

Soft shooting like the above listed load, Titewad and the .45ACP make a great combination. Like the label says: "A Little Goes a Long Way". The 230gr RN bullet takes much less powder because of the flat base; there is no pressure loss within the case, and believe it makes that much difference. The 185gr HBRN was designed using the 230gr profile so that chambering, loading, etc would fill the roll of the 230gr only in a lighter package.

With BOTH loads using Titewad, the cases come out more dirty than a factory load or a load using say Titegroup. I equivocate it to shooting suppressed; the cases come back dirty but are easily tumbled clean.

If anyone wants to give Titewad a shot and you're not sure...PM me and I'd be happy to swap notes!
As this is my very first load ever, here it is
.44 special
Bullet: 240 gr. plated Rainier .429
Powder: 6.2 gr. 800X
Primer: CCI Large Pistol
AOL: 1.600"
Pistol: Taurus M44 4in Barrel Ported
FPS: unknown (no chrony)

It shot to point of aim rather consistently, with very manageable recoil.

Second batch was almost the same but 6.5 gr. of 800X out of a Ruger Super Blackhawk SS w/4.5in barrel. I got the same results.
The joy I get from reloading is ..I experiment... a lot
Different bullet weights, ( & brands),different powders..constantly trying new combinations to see what works best, in whatever firearm I'm shooting @ the time.
Being blessed with a "few" pistols in the same caliber, what works best in 1 may not be the best in another of the same cal.
If I were (more) compulsive, I'd keep detailed reports of how a particular bullet brand / weight / powder charge combination worked in a specific firearm.
I even tried doing this, years ago.. didn't "take" for reasons I can't remember.
I do now ( & have been) making notes in my loading manual one powder charge / bullet weight combos that give better than average ( or usual) accuracy.

Here's a few notes from my 9mm data : Hornady 115 gr. XTP HP 4.6 gr Titegroup 1.12" OAL = very accurate in my PSA PA-9 (9mm 16" carbine )
and 125gr TC ( Hytek-coated ) behind 4.3 gr HP-38 / (W 231) OAL 1.10" = very accurate load in Springfield Armory 1911 Loaded Target (5")
this load also noted to be "soft shooting"

a few notes on 45 acp : 230gr. FMJ w/ 5.5gr HP-38 ( W 231) OAL 1.25" very accurate in a series 70 Colt Govt model (w/ Clark Hardballer" mod.)
also 185gr SWC Bayou ( coated pill) with 5.0gr. Titegroup OAL 1.135" very accurate in Colt Combat Cmdr.
and 200gr SWC Bayou coated bullet with 4.5 gr. Clean Shot OAL 1.18" very accurate in Dan Wesson CBOB.
I keep a log of loads for everything I load, but I have an issue with binge reloading, so don't remember the exact loads unless heading out to the shop to review the log.
Binge reloading equals typically 500 or more, usually a thousand rounds. Then they sit on the shelf until getting the urge to thin the ammo herd.
I make target loads, hunting loads and SD loads for each.
I've gotten away from loading large batches of ammo, now I'll only load 200-300 rds with the same load, w/o changing powder brand or weight , or bullet shape or weight. I shoot my loads in asst pistols, so finding a "best" load doesn't happen, just some loads have better accuracy than others, in a particular pistol.
If I was really wise, I'd only shoot 1 pistol in each caliber I shoot...but I'm not that smart.. err "disciplined. "

Lasted bench session has me loading 44 mag cases, with 258 gr. cast SWC , with gas checks,& 19.7 gr 2400 then some 180 gr. JHP w/ 25 gr of 2400,
Some more 180 gr. JHP's with 26.0 gr HS-7 next will load 240 gr JHP's with A/A #9 & Enforcer, maybe a few with 2400 & H-110.
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