CFE Pistol

Bottom Line: 👍 so far.the loads I’ve tried so far gave claimed high velocity, but that came with higher velocity spread..


  • Low Flash (lives up to manufacturer’s claims). More flash than True Blue though.
  • High performance at low pressure in 45 Colt and other handgun cartridges
  • Claims reduced jacketed fouling. I’m not sure how to evaluate this.


  • Gritty feel when metering
  • Sparse load data, but getting better.
  • “Low flash” does not mean “no flash”. Some powders do better, some do worse.
  • I have higher velocity spreads than with other powders.

Redding 3BR Pistol Insert

Grains Thrown ≈ 0.172 × pistol_insert_number + 0.4

Pistol Insert # Grains Thrown 10x Throws (Grains)
49 8.8+ 88.8
50 9.0
60 10.7

Advantage Arms 1911 Target Conversion Kit

Advantage Arms 1911 Target Conversion Kit

Bullet String Size Avg Velocity Ext Spread Std Dev Notes
CCI 40grain CPRN “AR Tactical” 7 Shots 1042.28 27.93 10.25 About 20% of the shots didn’t register on the LabRadar. Manually removed outliers, did a linear regression, and found -2.81 fps/yard

Comparison of lead bullets in 45 Colt with Power Pistol

All loads use 8.6 grains of Power Pistol and a Remington 2 1/2 primer. Unfortunately brass was not identical, and the powder measure may have dispensed ±0.1 grains.

Results from 6-shot string measured with a Lab Radar gen 1 at Reeds Indoor Range in Santa Clara. All velocity numbers are in feet / second, all distances are in yards, all weights in grains.

Firearm: Ruger Blackhawk, 5.5″ Barrel

Bullet Brass Avg Velocity Ext Spread Std Dev Approx. Drag*
225gr DEWC from Rim Rock Bullets *-* plated 1077 18.6 7.5 -5.64 fps/yard
230gr Hornady LRN #12308 *-* plated 958 35.6 14 -1.16 fps/yard
250gr Lyman #454190 (Montana Bullet Works) S&B 945 17.7 7 -0.97 fps/yard
255gr Bear Creek LRNFP moly coated S&B 956 33.2 13 -1.24 fps/yard

*Approx Drag: I plotted the velocity-measurements from a single shot in Excel, discarded obvious outliers by hand, then did a linear fit to velocity = v0 – drag•distance. Real-world drag is a function of velocity^2, and my methodology wasn’t rigorous, but this was an easy way to get an comparable number.

Conclusions: I’m surprised there’s so little difference between the 230 and 255 grain bullets. It’s less than an 11% difference in weight, but it’s still a difference, and yet the velocity is nearly identical. I’m not sure if the difference in StdDev and Spread is statistically significant. I need to run this experiment again with identical brass.

The DEWC was seated much deeper, and performed better. Looks like PowerPistol likes a bit more pressure. Or at least less space.

The Lyman #454190 lives up to the high ballistic-coefficient shown in the manuals.

I should gather seating depth numbers, and guesstimate pressure in Quickload. But it looks like this is a good example of seating depth mattering much more than weight.