Anyone load down 223 loads with Blue Dot or Unique????


April 29, 2009, 12:37 PM
Anyone else tryed loading some quiet loads with blue dot or unique for the 223???

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April 29, 2009, 12:45 PM
You can do it with cast bullets.

I wouldn't try it with jacketed bullets, as sticking one in the bore is a very real possibility.

That fast a powder cannot maintain adiquate bore pressure for the full length of a rifle barrel to keep a jacketed bullet moving at low velocity.

Lyman #49 has load data for two different 55 grain cast bullets using Red Dot, 700X, Green Dot, Unique, AA #9, and several other powders.


April 29, 2009, 12:51 PM
Man, good question. I have a couple pounds of Blue Dot sitting in my basement and was wanting to do some .223 reloading with it. I realize I may have to put it with a 40 gr bullet, but can it be done? I have a 16" AR-15, a Bolt Action .223, and a small AR Pistol. Would any of these shoot the Blue Dot Powder?

April 29, 2009, 12:51 PM
+ 1 on what RC said. I wouldn't load reduced loads with Jacketed bullets but Red Dot and Unique would work with Lead.


April 29, 2009, 01:07 PM

I used to use Blue Dot alot for 357 Mag cast bullets back in the day but I found a better result with a different powder. Nowadays, I found a new use for it, I am now loading Slugs for shotgun and I am using Blue Dot for this.

Something to think about, with the shortage of small rifle primers, you may want to wait until the fuss is over to experiment with low velocity and only assemble using your pet loads... you never know when SHTF


April 29, 2009, 01:11 PM
I have one of the old Hercules
(1990) pamplet that lists 2400 with a 55 gr bullet,, I think I have some older pamplets that go back to the 60' that might list the Blue Dot,, but they are in storage.

April 29, 2009, 01:22 PM
Make sure you're extra careful it'll be very easy to double or triple charge a case.

April 29, 2009, 02:49 PM
Blue dot is one of my favorite powders for 223 bolt actions but may not cycle an auto.You need to go very slow and carefull loading blue dot,It may be reduced velocity but not low pressure.How reduced are you looking to go?
I load mine down to Hornet velocity But you can run it down to 22 mag vel.
Ive loaded it in40.45,50And 55gr hornady with great accuracy and consistancy.Im getting1/2"groups@100yds with 40gr v-max.

April 29, 2009, 08:28 PM
For reduced loads in 222 remington I use 2400. Seems to work pretty good.

April 29, 2009, 09:10 PM
I also am trying to find data for a .223 reduced load (50-55gr varmint bullet @ 2000 fps) for a really quiet coyote load . I stock: Green dot, Unique, 2400, and H4895. Anyone have experience with a load like this?

April 29, 2009, 10:09 PM
I have used 700X for reduced loads in .22 Hornet, .222 & .223. They were all fired in bolt guns. I seriously doubt they would cycle an AR.

April 29, 2009, 10:42 PM
Hodgdon lists reduced loads for Tightgroup. I don't think Unique would be to hard to work up. I haven't used any reduced loads in this caliber so I don't have any personal recommendations.


April 29, 2009, 11:43 PM
I have shot some BlueDot in a bolt 223. They did not get stuck in the barrel. Decent accuracy. Do be very very careful, double charges are not to be trifled with. BlueDot double charges will not overflow the case

April 30, 2009, 07:12 AM
#2830452 - 02/20/09 09:55 PM Re: .223 ?? [Re: WyoJoe]

Heres some info on Blue Dot loads,Please be carefull,This guy has done a lot of reserch and was a big help to me.
Seafire Seafire
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 04/20/04
Posts: 2469
Loc: Southern Oregon USA

Originally Posted By: WyoJoe
Didn't you do some work with Blue Dot in the .223?


Blue Dot Range Report: 223 Caliber ( Full )

Bullet Weights Tested:
1. 35 grain Hornady V Max
2. 40 grain Hornady Vmax
3. 45 grain Sierra SP
4. 50 grain Sierra SMP
5. 52 grain Sierra Boat Tail Match
6. 55 grain Winchester FMJ

Rifle Used: Ruger 77 Mk 2, VT 26 inch Barrel, Stainless Steel First yr Model

Case: Lake City Surplus, previously fired

Primer: Remington 6 ˝

Powder: Blue Dot

Charge Weight Tested: 4 grains to 14 grains.

Weather: Sunny, NO clouds, 80 degrees, NO wind,

Altitude: 2000 ft

Humidity: Very Low

Field Results:

35 grain Hornady V Max:

4 grs: 1284 fps
5 grs: 1488 fps
6 grs: 1862 fps
7 grs: 2163 fps
8 grs: 2392 fps

9 grs: 2636 fps
10 grs: 2722 fps
11 grs: 3076 fps
12 grs: 3205 fps
13 grs: NO Reading
14 grs: 3518 fps

15 grs: NO Reading, Too hot, Extractor Marks, Scrapped Case
16 grs: NO Reading, Too Hot Blew Primer

Hornady 40 grain Vmax:

4 grs: 1161 fps
5 grs: 1538 fps
6 grs: 1798 fps
7 grs: 2148 fps

8 grs: 2243 fps
9 grs: 2539 fps
10 grs: 2771 fps
11 grs: 2956 fps

12 grs: 3013 fps
13 grs: 3218 fps
14 grs: 3375 fps

Sierra 45 grain SP

4 grs: 1239 fps
5 grs: 1447 fps
6 grs: 1688 fps
7 grs: 1880 fps

8 grs: 2118 fps
9 grs: 2363 fps
10 grs: 2553 fps
11 grs: 2811 fps

12 grs: 2875 fps
13 grs: 3008 fps
14 grs: 3164 fps

Sierra 50 grains SMP

4 grs: 1064 fps
5 grs: 1345 fps
6 grs: 1624 fps
7 grs: 1788 fps

8 grs: 2033 fps
9 grs: 2257 fps
10 grs: 2466 fps
11 grs: 2655 fps
12 grs: 2779 fps

13 grs: 2882 fps
14 grs: 3038 fps

Sierra 52 grain Boattail Hollow Point Match

4 grs: 1061 fps
5grs: 1460 fps
6 grs: 1632 fps
7 grs: 1916 fps

8 grs: 2142 fps
9 grs: 2225 fps
10 gr: NO Reading
11 grs: 2673 fps

12 grs: 2782 fps
13 grs: 2879 fps
14 grs: 3012 fps

Winchester 55 grain FMJ

4 grs: 896 fps
5 grs: 1264 fps
6 grs: 1568 fps
7 grs: 1825 fps
8 grs: 1994 fps

9 grs: 2201 fps
10 grs: 2328 fps
11 grs: 2453 fps

12 grs: 2677 fps
13 grs: 2821 fps
14 grs: 2915 fps


1. IN the evaluation of the 223, I came further to the conclusion of the versatility of the 223 in the use of training new shooters, and for a very versatile varmint caliber.
2. Essentially the 223 can be loaded to the specs of a 22 Long rifle, a 218 Bee, a 221 Fireball, a 222 Remington, a 22 Hornet, and a 22 Win Mag., while allowing the shooter to be able to pick the type of bullet that he prefers.
3. Bullets were limited to use of 35 grains to 55 grains. Heavier bullets will not serve any purpose unless a 223 is to be used for deer hunting. I do not believe that their would be a significant difference in the use of a 55 grain bullet vs a 60 grain bullet.
4. The recoil on the lighter loads using 4 to 6 grains of powder had minimal recoil if any at all. These would be ideal for young shooters being trained.
5. Noise level on the lighter loads ( 4 to 6 grains) were on par with a rim fire. An increase in noise level was very noticeable above 7 grains, but still very acceptable. ( No sounding like a rim fire any more)

Noted Observations:

1. It was noted but not considered part of the testing, with a tree used as a back stop for some of the testing, that all bullets ( 45 to 55 grains)penetrated thru the tree at a distance of 20 yds.
2. The diameter of the tree was measured at 5 inches.
3. The 40 grain Vmax loads failed to penetrate the tree at loads above 10 grs, above 2771 fps. However at 10 grains and less, the bullets penetrated thru the tree and did a large amount of damage ( like turning the wood into tooth picks) on the exit side of the tree. The penetration stopped at the 5 grain load.

Some of the Author’s Conclusions:

1. I learned some significant items beyond the versatility of the 223 with the bullets tested, but focusing on its use in the field, got some ideas.
2. A light rifle such as a Winchester Featherweight or Rugers Compact model with a 16.5 inch barrel or the Ultra Light with a 20 inch barrel would make a good combo with the use of Blue Dot.
3. Since the powder is burned cleanly in the first 10 to 12 inches of barrel, the shorter barrels are not handicappiing velocity in the lighter shorter rifles.
4. The penetration of the 40 grain Vmax into the tree did make me ponder the use of those plastic tip varmint rounds as potential loads for small deer for youth shooters. Just like my observations in the larger calibers, the plastic tipped bullet seem to do a lot more damage, at velocities under 2700 fps. The Vmax surprised me. This is a decision any shooter will have to test on his own and make their own decisions. I am just passing on that I saw potential merit in the application.
5. Although one has to weigh out the potential of Plastic Tipped Varmint bullets on bigger game like deer and antelope, some of these loads in real life use, utilizing Barnes’s X bullets in 22 caliber I can recommend. They make a 45 grain, 50 grain and 53 grain bullet. The way I saw much better penetration and more damage in wood, at the lower range velocities, 2200 to 2700 fps, this would make a good deer load in many parts of the USA, and recoil is minimal.

I did not test any bigger bullets as I feel that those tested would be represent the best potential with the powder. 60, 63, 64, 65 grain bullets and then the larger match bullets did not give what I considered useful velocity when I have shot them before with Blue Dot, in respect to their field design uses.

223 Range Report

Powder: Blue Dot

Bullet: Berger 30 grain HP, Varmint

Rifle Used: Ruger 77 VT

Barrel Length: 26 inches

Primer Used: Winchester Small Rifle

Bullet O.A.L. : 15.55 mms

Cartridge O.A.L. : 57.93 mms

10 grs: 2844 fps

11 grs: 3082 fps

12 grs: 3210 fps

13 grs: 3407 fps

14 grs: 3712 fps

15 grs: 3797 fps

15.5 grs: 3814 fps

16 grs: 3873 fps

16.5 grs: 3957 fps.

Accuracy Potential:
Load of 15 grains of Blue Dot, 30 gr Berger, WSR primer:
5 shot group size@ 100 yds: 0.4260 –0.224 bullet diameter = 0.202 group size
Scope: 6.5 x 20 Simmons.. setting at 10 Power.

Blue Dot:

223 & 36 grain Barnes Varmint Grenade HP.

Primer: CCI Small Pistol

Brass: Lake City

Rifle : Ruger 77 Mk 2

Barrel: 22inch

1. 7 grs: 1946 fps
2. 8 grs: 2286 fps
3. 9 grs: 2477 fps
4. 10 grs; No Reading
5. 11 grs: 2704 fps
6. 12 grs: 3024 fps
7. 13 grs: 3201 fps
8. 14 grs: 3321 fps

April 30, 2009, 07:55 AM
Blue Dot is EXTREMELY position sensitive. If it does not fill the case in .22 Hornet/.223, etc, it can cause major problems. FYI.

April 30, 2009, 08:36 AM
I personaly have not used less than 10 gr. and not more than 14gr.
Staying inside these paramiters I personally have not had Issues,
But I went slow and careful developing my loads.Mabe I should have just kepted this info to myself.

April 30, 2009, 09:30 AM
No, sharing is fine. I just wanted folks who might not use as much caution as you know about Blue Dots limits, which, in my mind, is a charge that does not fill the case well. :)

I wasn't saying don't use Blue Dot, just understand that the case needs to be relatively full. There is a THR member here who swears by Blue Dot in .223. I don't know what power levels though.

April 30, 2009, 10:12 AM
Understood,Im allways hesitant to post load info on the net as you dont know
who will use it or how,Im overlly cautious in my loading.

April 30, 2009, 11:59 AM
I notice all that data was developed in a bolt-action Ruger.

I would imagine some of the same loads in an AR-15 would be putting some pretty odd gas pressure spikes on the action!

There is a reason gas guns use pretty standard burn rate rifle powders and not Blue Dot.

The reason is, the gas system was designed around those burn rates.


April 30, 2009, 03:28 PM
I highly dought that even the higher grain loads would cycle the action.
These were bolt action only loads.

May 1, 2009, 12:27 AM
yup, you gots to be careful when you is playing with the Blue Dot.


May 1, 2009, 03:45 AM
There is some info over at cast boolits"
read the articles (listed in 2nd post). I also read a guy was getting his AR to cycle with 4895 i believe in a cast bullet reduced load. So cycling is possible.

April 16, 2012, 02:38 PM
I am very interested in loading lighter .223 loads for my Stag 11.5'' upper. The purpose would be to make the load quieter and save powder. It seems that full strength loads would burn powder outside the barrel creating excessive noise and wasting powder. Loading subsonic would be cool but, I understand this would pretty much guarantee my action would not function. My only concern is not jamming a round in the barrel. Any specific recommendations? I do have Blue Dot, Red Dot, AA #9, Bullseye and Winchester 748 on hand and 55 grain Remington FMJ. Payday I can go get better materials but, I'd like to get started with what I've got if I can. Thanks in advance for any input.

April 16, 2012, 04:15 PM
I suggest starting a new thread instead of confusing people with all this dust. I'll send you a PM.

April 16, 2012, 04:25 PM
Hodgdon lists reduced loads for Tightgroup.
I tried Hodgdon's Titegroup load before with 55gr FMJBT - it approximates 22LR, except with knuckleball accuracy and sooty cases. Also, with such a low pressure, there is no chance of extracting, so your semi-auto becomes a single shot - which is expected for such reduced loads. OTOH, they'd be fine "gallery" or backyard loads for kids or new shooters.

Redneck with a 40
April 16, 2012, 08:30 PM
You can safely download H4895 to 60% of the max listed charge, its the only rifle powder that you can safely do this with. A typical 25 grain charge behind a 55 grain bullet, could be reduced to 15 grains, safely. Although I don't think I'd go below 20 grains myself.

April 16, 2012, 08:40 PM
I called Alliant and asked about Blue Dot in the .223. I was aware of Seafire’s data, also aware of claims that people have blown up their rifles following Seafire’s data.

Alliant did not recommend Blue Dot in the .223. Basically, the pressure curve rises too fast for small changes in components and conditions.

April 16, 2012, 08:59 PM
It is easy to lose contraction & put a second charge in the case. I have shoot thousands of rounds with powder close to BD burn rate. I have never had a pressure problem. I could reload the cases without even sizing.

I am set in my ways of the steps I use tho. I keep the case turned upside down until I charge it & as soon as I set the powder pan back on the scale I seat a bullet. I will not break my rhythm. My wife always seems to have some kind of major crisis when I start loading them but I don't let it deter me until I get to the stopping point.

April 16, 2012, 09:57 PM
I downloaded for my 16" AR carefully following Seafire's data. Got my AR to mimic a 22 Magnum using 40gr and 50gr bullets around 2000 fps. No extraction, reasonably quiet, surprisingly accurate to 75 yards. Then I bought a 17 HMR, much less work and even more accurate.

I've used his data in 243 as well. Very good results there too just have to be extremely careful to avoid a double charge. He has a lot of data posted over on 24hourcampfire forum.

I stick with the middle loads, not too light, not to close to max. Safest bet would be to stick with H4895 but you will use more powder.

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