Bulls Eye Powder Very Dirty?


May 1, 2007, 09:24 PM
357, Bulls Eye 5.8 grains, assorted brass,Magtech magnum small pistol primers ,Lee TL358-158-2r cast lead bullet ( wheel weights), heavy crimp, Ruger Security Six.
Shot about 120 rounds, hands and gun very dirty.Only have used Unique in all my reloads (380,40 s/w, 38special). Is this normal? Thanks in advance for any advice ect.

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May 1, 2007, 09:31 PM
Bullseye isn't what you would call an especially clean powder, but considering that it's over 100 years old, it's not bad. What you're probably getting is a combination of the Bullseye and bullet lube.

For a cleaner powder in the same range as Bullseye, you might try Hodgdon's Clays.

Hope this helps.


tasco 74
May 1, 2007, 10:15 PM
i have found bullseye to be SOOTY but it does burn completely...... some other powders leave grainuals(sp) of left over powder or something....... like fred said it's a combination of powder soot and bullet lube....... i use bullseye exclusively for all my reloading and i really don't mind how dirty it is..........

May 1, 2007, 10:21 PM
Have to agree that bullet lube is more the culprit than the Bullseye. I use it for my Bullseye loads; both lead and jacketed bullets. My Leg Match hardball gun with FMJs shoots a lot cleaner than the wad gun with lead bullets.

Navy Vet & SWIFT Boat OIC

May 1, 2007, 10:56 PM
An old Bullseye shooter, who'd shot tons of ammo and used Bullseye powder because he preferred it, asked me this question:

"How long does it take to clean a gun shot with "clean" powder and how long does it take to clean a gun shot with "dirty" powder?"

The answer, is of course, it takes the same amount of time if one does a thorough job and knows what one is doing. Since he asked me that question, I no longer consider the cleanliness of the powder, since I know I'll be thoroughly cleaning my guns after each range session.



May 1, 2007, 11:18 PM
DaveInFloweryBranchGA has hit the nail on the head. Dirty but who cares. It's a great powder. I also use it in 7/8oz. 12 ga. loads.

May 2, 2007, 02:21 AM
I dont worry about how a powder burns...Sooty is annoying I agree..But I only seem to see the sooty residue when I shoot reduced loads.


May 2, 2007, 08:12 AM
I think the soot comes from low powered loads, too. Bullseye was remarkably clean when I used it. I switched over to Unique quite a while back but it wasn't because Bullseye wasn't doing the job.

May 2, 2007, 11:23 AM
I'am with BigG. I was loading some light loads for 45 acp and it was very dirty.
I worked the load up and it got so much better. The light loads turned my fingers black. The other day my girl friend and i shot 600 rounds and are hands had a very small amount of residue on them. When i got home to clean my guns there was a big differance in them also. Just like the other guys said they cleaned up with no problem.

Steve C
May 2, 2007, 06:47 PM
I think every shooter should have at least one session with a black powder gun shooting real black powder. After clean up they'd never complain about any smokeless powder.

May 2, 2007, 07:05 PM
The old saying is, "It is better to have clean scores than clean bores". :)

With that said, I would almost bet that ammo loaded with Bullseye has won more pistol matches than any other powder. I think that the reputation of Bullseye burning dirty comes more from the lead bullets instead of the powder. With jacketed bullets, I think it shoots as clean as anything else. I have also noticed that people who load with Bullseye, and switch to something else, usually come back to it.

Just my .02,

May 4, 2007, 01:28 PM
I've noticed Bullseye being sooty with lower pressure cartridges. In higher pressure cartridges like 9mm it seems to burn fairly clean. Either way, I've been able to just wipe the soot off with a cloth.

I used to use Bullseye almost exclusively. I tried HP-38/231 and Titegroup because people wrote about it so much. I like the Titegroup powder okay but not much more than Bullseye. I found no advantage to HP-38/231.

May 4, 2007, 07:09 PM

Much of Bullseye's dirty burning reputation is more from the lead bullet lubes than the powder itself I think. I've shot it using bulk swaged bullets and it's not quite that bad.
The problem I had with it was that it was dirtier burning than HP38/W231, so I eventually switched. I agree cleaning your gun after a range session is a good idea when using it, but at leagues, I had only enough time between shoots, that I could wipe the gun down and do some quick brushing before I had to get my ammo ready for the next lineup.

Shoot 100 rnds. of each using the same components, and I think you'll see for yourself. Accuracy with Bullseye was great at the standard 2.7 grain loads.
A standard load for HP38/W2321 is 3.2-3.3 for 700fps with a 148gr wadcutter.

I actually had better accuracy with 231/HP38, and since it was cleaner for me, I switched. Besides, around here HP38 was cheaper in bulk.


Jim Watson
May 4, 2007, 07:21 PM
My FLG agrees with Tasco74, that Bullseye residue is light and sooty, while a lot of other powders leave less residue but it is gritty with scorched powder granules. Which is not a good thing under the extractor of a revolver.

May 5, 2007, 08:16 AM
Ditto for any powder that leaves light soot vs unburned granules. I like AA# 2, but if you don't get the pressure up enough it will leave unburnt granules behind. I like 700X, but sometimes it leaves a visible flake or two. Very clean though, residue wipes off, and when it leaves a flake they are almost gone. :)

May 7, 2007, 10:46 AM
Bullseye, to me, is a great 45 ACP powder. I love the stuff and can't wait to burn up some Clays I have laying around so I can go back to BE. Clays is good, but I MUCH prefer BE.

May 30, 2010, 02:25 AM
I have reloaded in excess of 100,000 rounds of Match grade 45ACP using Bullseye and have had very good results. This powder will maintain the same potency over a long storage period which helps for buying in bulk. I have had drastic issues with 700X when it gets a little old. The pressures go WAY up. As far as the dirtiness, you can help yourself with a tighter crimp. This burns more powder in the case instead of the barrel. Bullseye is a very fast powder that does not have the energy producing potential of many of the slower powders out there. It needs to be well contained to give the clean pop instead of the slower powder's push down the barrel. It is not recommended as a powder for magnum calibers, such as .357, although it will work, just not give you the velociity of the right powders. Incidentally, I load 3.5 to 3.7 grains under a 200gr SWC usually in Starline or TMZ brass with Winchester large pistol primers. The variance in load is due to the temperature of the match. Hot weather I shoot 3.5. Cold 3.7. This load give me 740fps with great consistency.

May 30, 2010, 06:44 AM
I use Bullseye in almost all my pistol loads and I too use Lee Alox and Lyman Black Moly lube. I think it is the lube. Bullseye will leave a smoky sooty film, but with Lee Alox and Black Moly that I use it leaves a caked on cruddy mess!

May 30, 2010, 07:41 AM
Bullseye- A magnum primer will clean it up some in the 38/357. In the 45acp use the WLP.

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