Black Powder .45 ACP

Cemetery recently experimented with blackpowder .45 ACP loads.

Recently did a Wild Bunch match where I used black powder 45acp loads, which isn’t a new concept, seems darksiders have been doing this for years. But was more curious to see what it felt like, and how the 1911 functioned. Plus it would be cool to see all that hellfire and brimstone belching from a self loading pistol.

Most importantly, some flames went two to three feet out from the muzzle. Way cool.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Bora

    In some countries reloading supplies can be very tightly controlled and virtually impossible to get for individuals. Especially reloading supplies for rifles and handguns. On the other side reloading supplies for shotguns are much more easily found. Such is the case for Turkey at least. This is quite welcome news. In Turkey due to a ridiculous law, individuals can only buy 200 rounds of ammunition for each rifle and/or handgun they own. And you can only buy the ammunition from either the state’s ammunition manufacturer or from a select few licensed dealers who in turn must get the ammo from the same source as individuals. I guess I don’t have to say this sucks, hard.

    I wonder if powder used for shotguns can be used in handgun rounds. Shotshell reloading supplies are much more readily available here.

    Otherwise I now know that I can use homebrew black powder in a handgun. Would be quite a thrill to testfire though.

  • I’d buy some of that just for hoots.

  • DaveR

    Cool. Wish there were pics and/or videos.

    On a similar note, I wonder how long you could fire a gas-operated semi auto using black powder cartridges? Any takers out there willing to give it a shot?

  • Ramsey

    I LOVE black powder shooting, but normally stick to percussion cap revolvers or rifles. I would like to try this out with my 9mm.

    I imagine that you would quickly get run out of any indoor ranges you tried this at!

  • Dom

    Bora — That might work; handgun and shotgun powders are pretty similar. Fairly fast-burning. One powder, (for a reason) called “Unique,” is suitable for work in both. In fact I load .45ACP with Unique. Don’t have the recipe in front of me but I believe it was 6.6gr Unique under 185gr SWC. A crackin’ round. If Unique can do it, I’m sure most shotgun powders can.

    That said, reloading is dangerous stuff, especially discovering your own loads. Start low and go slow. Check for squibs and crushed primers every time. Don’t blow yourself up!

    +1 on DaveR’s request. I’d love to see how an AR bolt looks after all that!

  • Todd

    @ Bora, Belize is the same way insomuch as you can only have 200 rounds (i think) of ammo in your possession at any one time per weapon. My friend who lives there was able to get a CCW permit but only able to buy a 9mm Glock (G26) and the price was $1500 USD for the pistol.

  • Tom Stone

    Bora,check the reloading manuals.i have used blue dot for .45 reloads in the past,primers might be a problem…

  • Bora

    I wasn’t expecting so many helpful replies to my comment, thanks a lot people! I’ll be sure to stay safe.

  • Oswald Bastable

    Sure can use shotgun powder to load pistol rounds- I use AS30 and 700x for 9mm and 45acp

  • Oswald Bastable
  • To follow-up DaveR’s question: what about fouling? How long would a self-loading gun continue to function in any one firing session (no time for cleaning) using black powder?

    This thought crossed my mind when I recently read an SF novel about a time-traveller who took the plans for a Sten gun back to the 1850s. How workable would that be using black powder of that era?

  • Keith Applegate

    Years ago I experimented with Pyrodex loads in .45 acp.
    It worked but that’s about all I can say, except CLEANUP WAS HORRIBLE.
    It takes more that a firld strip, you have to do a complete detail strip.
    The fouling and soot was EVERYWHERE.

    I can only imagine FFG would be even worse.

  • larry

    I have a 45 cal alamo edition black powder long rifle. Good condition. What are they worth?