Best Powder for 9mm?


October 10, 2011, 02:45 PM
I am new to reloading. What powder should I purchase to load 9mm rounds?

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October 10, 2011, 02:47 PM
For jacketed bullets I like Power Pistol. For cast or jacketed general purpose rounds, I like Unique.

October 10, 2011, 03:08 PM
I use Unique for everything.

But I don't load light plinking loads in 9mm.

Depending on your desires, you can save a little money with faster powder like W-231 that takes less to reach mid-level performance.

Or slower powder that takes more powder to produce higher velocity with less pressure.

But like I said, I use Unique for almost everything I load except very light target loads, and heavy Magnum revolver loads.


October 10, 2011, 03:23 PM
For jacketed/plated bullets I like Titegroup, but I've been using Bullseye some lately too with good results.

For cast loads I've used Unique, but it doesn't meter that well (still within a useable margin of error as I don't load anywhere near max loads).

October 10, 2011, 03:44 PM
I have tried a lot of different Powder in My 9MM pistols & my 9MM like
Ramshot true Blue & Silhouette the best. I do a lot of Target shooting & load
in The medium Range using Berry 115 Gr Round nose Bullets.

October 10, 2011, 03:47 PM
Power Pistol is the best, hands down!... Goodnight:D

October 10, 2011, 04:05 PM
power pistol is working well for me also used hs-6 and w231

October 10, 2011, 04:08 PM
Power pistol.

October 10, 2011, 04:11 PM
I use Bullseye. Green Dot works pretty well too, but BE measures easier and gives a little higher velocities.

WSF for high performance if you don't mind burning a little more powder. It also measures great.

October 10, 2011, 04:12 PM
Herco, HS-6, Accurate Arms #7.

October 10, 2011, 08:26 PM
Bullseye for jacketed and Power Pistol for lead.

chris in va
October 10, 2011, 08:28 PM
I've been using Universal for my 9mm and 45 lead loads. Might have to try PP just because a pound of it at my LGS is only $14.

Redneck with a 40
October 10, 2011, 08:36 PM
I use Unique, works great in everything except heavy magnum revolver loads. All of my 40 and 9mm loads have Unique in them.

October 10, 2011, 08:55 PM
With 115 gr. and 124 gr jacketed bullest you can use anything from PROMO(RED DOT) to Power Pistol. I perfer WSF in either 124 or 147 gr. jacketed bullets. WSF is a ball powder and meters very uniformly.

October 10, 2011, 08:59 PM
What are you shooting most of the time?
Target/plinking, Action shooting Competition, SD practice?
I like 124 gr jacketed bullets in 9mm.

What you are shooting AT and the Bullet speed needed/wanted, may change powder recommendations.

With no other info, and being new to reloading, I'd recommend Win 231/Hp38 as a good 9mm first powder to learn to reload.
It's very easy to measure and gives a good "load range" to start with.

October 10, 2011, 09:19 PM
As you can see, there are tens of great powders for 9mm. As 1SOW said, it mostly depends upon the job at hand.

For first time reloading you want a powder that's very forgiving, has lots of information listed for it, meters well for novices, a powder that can be bought in almost any gun store, and is reasonably priced. That pretty much narrows it down to Winchester 231, which is also sold (usually for $1 cheaper) as Hodgdon HP-38. It's the exact same powder sold under 2 distinct labels.

Look around in your load books and you'll see it's always there. It's a perennial favorite that's very easy to work with and has a very wide load range to help keep you out of trouble. You won't find anything to dislike about this powder.


October 10, 2011, 09:27 PM
I've had good results with HP38,AA#5,and AA#7. I prefer #5.

October 10, 2011, 09:27 PM
Thank you all for your feedback. I mostly shoot steel targets, but was planning on reloading 115JHP to be similar to my Self Defense rounds that I purchase. Trying to get the same felt recoil and similar accuracy. Wasn't sure if there was an all around choice for this or not.

October 10, 2011, 09:28 PM
Then what speed are your 115gr SD rounds traveling?

Data from the Hodgdon web site....

115 GR. SPR GDHP Winchester 231 .355" 1.125" 4.7 1075 25,300 CUP 5.1 1167 28,100 CUP
115 GR. SPR GDHP Hodgdon HP-38 .355" 1.125" 4.7 1075 25,300 CUP 5.1 1167 28,100 CUP

Lyman got closer to 1200 fps with a similar load.

October 10, 2011, 09:35 PM
How about a nice medium speed powder like HS-6? It works very well in mechanical powder measures (meters well) and is quite versatile.

IMR SR-7625 is another favorite of mine for 115/124 9mm loads.

October 10, 2011, 09:38 PM
So, between Unique, Power Pistol, and Winchester

October 10, 2011, 09:45 PM
I've used several but my favorite is Power Pistol.



So, between Unique, Power Pistol, and Winchester

PP and W231/HP38 are good 9mm powders. Unique is good as well but I can get it to meter consistently.


October 10, 2011, 09:47 PM
I used to load everything with Unique and it worked well. I recently switched to WSF in 9mm only and like it better. A little softer recoiling load in my G19 and improved accuracy.

October 10, 2011, 10:10 PM
I rarely use jacketed bullets.

For the Lee 120tc conventional I use 4.4gr WSF. It's fairly accurate but this bullet leads my barrel. I won't be casting any more of these.

The same powder under an MP-Molds 128hp is horribly inaccurate. To make a long and boring story short, after leaving the 9mm in the safe for a year or more, I've recently tried power pistol and blue dot. Power pistol (5.4-5.6gr) tends to string vertically. 5.9gr of blue dot appears to be the winner for this bullet as it groups equal to if not better than the Lee. This bullet does not lead no matter what I do, in fact it will clean out lead from the Lee.

For some reason power pistol would spew burnt(?) residue all over the bench as well, more so than even titegroup. Not that it matters, just an observation.

5" XD9 with OEM barrel.

October 10, 2011, 10:21 PM
So, between Unique, Power Pistol, and Winchester

While flake powders give good casefill they do not meter as well as ball/spherical powders. Unique is certainly a capable 9mm powder albeit somewhat dirty. Power Pistol will get you the velocity you want but at the price of great muzzleblast/flash. W-231 will get you some excellent Target rounds, meters well, but it is limited in performance.

LBEE recommended two very overlooked powders by Ramshot. True Blue will meter like fine sand and has a low flash signature. Silhouette is treated to give very low flash and meters very well. HS-6 is one of the better 9mm powders and can get you some pretty high velocities, especially if older data is found and used. WSF is also worth consideration. Out of this group I would choose Ramshot Silhouette. It is very similar to Vihta Vouri 3N37 in 9mm but without the high price. ;)

October 10, 2011, 10:35 PM
Most steel plate comp ( like Steel Challenge, etc) requires bullet speeds less than SD loads to prevent frequent plate replacements.

Speeds (1200'/sec+) that open up your 115gr JHP SD bullets are NOT optimum for most steel plate shooting/comp.

Start with the 231/HP38 with the advantages rfwobbly listed above.
Cost: $17 worth of powder will load over 1000 rds to try it out (and learn to reload)
Local Powder Availablity
Wide load range / SAFE for a new reloader (1140-1150'/sec will run smoothly for steel)
Readily available Load data for many bullet types & weights
Easy metering ball powder
Clean burning when loaded above the lightest loads
Not positional
Not very temp sensitive

October 10, 2011, 10:51 PM
I use Green Dot & Bullseye for 9mm.

Lately I've been messing around with slower W231 for 147gr thumpers.

The Green Dot is roughly twice the bulk/gr so it's good if you're concerned about double charges.

So, between Unique, Power Pistol, and Winchester

For me it would probably boil down to what my local stores carried on a regular basis and availability of load data.

October 10, 2011, 11:46 PM
So, between Unique, Power Pistol, and Winchester

That's a bit like asking which of yours sons is your favorite. Buy a can of each and compare for yourself. You'll own them all sooner or later anyway.

October 11, 2011, 12:29 AM
I like bullseye so much I buy it in 8lb jugs now.

I use wsf,wst, blue dot and bullseye for 9mm.

blue dot for carbine loads.. If you have a carbine and a chrono its alot of fun to work up 90gr loads pushing over 2000fps.

WSF does a good job getting me power factor in uspsa(bullseye isn't the best above 4.3gr IMO.

October 11, 2011, 01:55 AM
Unique !!!!!!!!!!!! :)

October 11, 2011, 09:40 AM
OK, I apologize for all of the questions. I would like to understand the physics a little better. What does it mean when you say "slower powder that takes more powder to produce higher velocity with less pressure"?.......Slower Powder? taking more powder to produce higher velocity" Less Pressure" How does that translate into say "recoil"? "Case Life"? "Accuracy"? I did decide to go with fmj instead of jhp, still with 115gn, but, with that, could someone explain to me the physics of the lighter vs heavier bullets and how that affects the same questions I previously asked. recoil, case life, accuracy?

Thanks again and again, sorry for all the questions.

October 11, 2011, 01:05 PM
Recoil is the reaction to the bullet's movement. How the powder burns (fast or slow) and how much powder there is to burn affects how the bullet reacts and gets going. Does it take off like a rocket, or roll along down the barrel? In other words, is it a good hit on a fast ball or a bunt? Same ball, same bat, completely different feel for the batter.

"Fast" and "slow" powder speeds are of course relative to the caliber. A powder that's "slow" to a 9mm may be "fast" in a 44. And of course, are only separated by micro-seconds, maybe less.

Additionally, faster powders tend to be more abrupt or "spiky", while slower powders tend to develop the same energy at lower pressures. They do this by burning longer at lower pressures. In the cartoon above, the areas under the curve (total energy) is roughly equivalent, but as you can see the slower powders do the same work with lower (safer) pressures. The effect is that they "push" the bullet rather than "strike" the bullet.

It's the sudden spike in pressure that makes the faster powder so dangerous in novice hands. You'll notice from your load books that "faster" powders typically have a narrower "window" for safe operation. So that not only are the pressures higher, but the margins for error smaller. This is turn may call for a better grade of equipment and/or a more refined reloading procedure so that the weight of powder being dispensed can be more closely guarded.

That's why I'm suggesting a mid-range powder. You'll want something roughly in the speed range between Win231 and Win WSF. It just happens that Win 231 (aka HP-38) also meters well and uses about 15% less powder by weight to get the job done. So it's also economical.

Hope this helps! ;)

PS. THIS PAGE ( should be printed and put with your reloading info.

Marlin 45 carbine
October 11, 2011, 01:31 PM
MrWesson I like bullseye so much I buy it in 8lb jugs now.

I use wsf,wst, blue dot and bullseye for 9mm.

blue dot for carbine loads.. If you have a carbine and a chrono(( its alot of fun to work up 90gr loads pushing over 2000fps.))

WSF does a good job getting me power factor in uspsa(bullseye isn't the best above 4.3gr IMO.

"90grs" sho' enuff?:eek:

October 11, 2011, 01:59 PM
For lightweight accuracy loads, WST. Or, yeah, Bullseye.

October 11, 2011, 04:01 PM
True Blue or Unique in 9x19.

I have no problems with flake powders' metering in a Uniflow or Redding 10-X.

October 11, 2011, 04:37 PM
Vihtavuori N-320 is, by far, my favorite 9mm powder, in a "you can only have one powder" sort of way.

The Sarge
October 11, 2011, 07:55 PM
Power Pistol
have all been great loads for me.

October 11, 2011, 11:25 PM
Vihtavuori N-320 is, by far, my favorite 9mm powder, in a "you can only have one powder" sort of way.

Hands down my favorite for light 124gr 9mm comp loads, 130-132PF.
Expensive compared to the powders aforementioned, but not that much more per round at 132PF. 3.9 - 4.2 grs depending on the 124 gr jacketed bullet weight and shape. One pound loads 1794 rds for Zero 125gr jhp's at 132PF - 1055'/sec in my CZ

February 20, 2012, 07:44 PM
Trying to develop a load for Missouri 125 SWC lead. Loading data for Unique says starting weight of 5.3 and a max weight of 5.5. Tried 5.4 and experienced "keyholing" or "tumbling." Tried 5.3, same or slightly worse.

Since it is a lead bullet, could too much crimp be the problem? I can try max. 5.5, but that really fills the case.


February 20, 2012, 07:54 PM
aa #7 for me from 115 to 147g. Clean, consistent, very little flash. Great case fill. #2 would be Power Pistol.

Striker Fired
February 20, 2012, 07:58 PM
This is an old thread but as long as you asked ,there is a couple things.First did you slug your barrel to know if your bullets are not too small? Quite a few barrel run several thou. big so a stanard sized bullet would be to small,which could cause tumbling(not stabilized). Another would be,are you sure it is keyholing and not just ripping the paper target? thin paper can rip and look like a tumbling bullet.Try paper plates or cardboard.

February 20, 2012, 08:17 PM
Thanks for the reply. For this issue, These results have occured in two different pistols. Sig Sauer 226 X-5 and an S&W 59. Definately keyholing as the paper targets are mounted to corregated. Actually punched out a pretty clean outline profile of the bullet.

As a side question, since this was my first post, how do I find more current threads?

February 20, 2012, 08:23 PM
Ease up on the crimp. Alls you need is to remove the bell and straighten the case walls. Retest. You should be GTG. That much Unique generates plenty of velocity to stabilize the bullet.

Striker Fired
February 20, 2012, 08:56 PM
Unless your crimp is so tight that the bullet is being swaged down,the crimp won't cause a tumbling bullet. Do you have some pics of thes rounds?

February 20, 2012, 09:24 PM
I have settled on power pistol for lead and jacketed in fullsize guns. AA#2 for compact. I read somewhere in this forum that fast burning powders are needed for compacts, makes sense to me.

February 20, 2012, 09:49 PM
Bullseye and HS-6 have worked very well for me with 115-124gr JHPs. Win231 gives better results with lead bullets (which in my CZ-75 have to seated short).

After reading good reviews, I recently loaded some JHPs with AutoComp. It metered well, but I have not taken any of these to the range yet.

February 20, 2012, 10:13 PM
HP-38 for target loads and HS-6 for power loads.

February 20, 2012, 10:16 PM
I use Green Dot for my cast lead target bullets in my 9mm 1911.....very accurate.

February 20, 2012, 11:37 PM
Today I tried power pistol, unique, and 231. I liked the 231 load and it was pleasant to shoot. The power pistol load was accurate and snappy at 5.5 grains with a 124gn fmj, oh and did I mention the flash! Five grains of unique was the load I will play with mostly because I have a fresh 4lb can on the bench.

February 21, 2012, 12:18 AM
Blue Dot works well for me.

February 21, 2012, 12:37 AM
Trying to develop a load for Missouri 125 SWC lead ... and experienced "keyholing" or "tumbling."
jim000711, keyholing usually occurs due to improper bullet-to-barrel fit, especially for oversized factory barrels, that allows a lot of high pressure gas leakage around the bullet when the powder ignites that won't deform the bullet base (obturation). Instead of bullet base expanding to seal with the barrel and rotating with the rifling as the bullet travels down the barrel, the bullet skids down the barrel with insufficient rotation to stabilize the bullet in flight, causing sideways holes on target you described.

For .356" diameter MBC 125 gr SWC lead bullet, your barrel should be .355" groove-to-groove. If your barrel is oversized (say .356"-.357"+), you may need to use larger sized bullets.

Keep in mind that 125 gr SWC bullet has substantial bullet base (see picture below) and will seat much deeper in the case neck than RN bullet (Due to this reason, I used .2-.3 gr below max load data of W231/HP-38 during my powder work up). With start-to-mid range load data of W231/HP-38, the 125 gr SWC load hardly showed any lube smoke out of .355" groove diameter Lone Wolf conversion barrels in G22/G27, indicating very good seal with the barrel with almost no gas leakage. I frequently produce 1" shot groups at 15 yards off hand with this load, even with the short barreled G27 and LW conversion barrel.

Slug your barrel and see what the groove diameter of the barrels are.

February 21, 2012, 12:47 AM
I do not load 9mm to shoot at targets or self defense.

I just overload 9mm to see how much power I can get as an experiment.

I can get the most power from Power Pistol.

February 21, 2012, 10:41 AM
Red Dot.

February 21, 2012, 12:13 PM
I can't say it's the best because it is all I have used, but unique works fine for me.

February 21, 2012, 06:35 PM
Does anyone have a favorite load using Missouri Bullet Company's 125 grain lead SWC?

February 21, 2012, 08:07 PM
For jacketed 9mm, nothing in my experience beats N330.

N340 is a close second.

Striker Fired
February 21, 2012, 08:10 PM
Try WSF or AA#5 with lead.Some of favorites anyway.
N330 was specifically made for the 9mm,so by rights it should work good.I have a can but have not done much experimenting yet.

I really ,really ,really like N320,N340,and even N350 in 40 and 45 jacketed for the soooooffffffffttttt recoil they exhibit.

February 21, 2012, 08:11 PM
Universal Clays. Meters perfect and burns clean.

It's right next to unique on the burn chart but cleaner and meters well.

I've had awesome results with fmj an Missouri bullets and Universal Clays.

February 21, 2012, 08:14 PM
I use bullseye.

February 21, 2012, 11:34 PM
Does anyone have a favorite load using Missouri Bullet Company's 125 grain lead SWC?
I've had good luck with 4.1 gr HP 38, 3.8 gr Bullseye, 5 gr AA#5.

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