Anyone have experience with Blue Dot or SR-4756 in .45 and .380?


The Wiry Irishman
January 18, 2010, 12:44 AM
I've been trying to find an ideal powder to load for my PPK/s and 1911s. I use cast roundnose bullets, 230gr and 95gr loaded a little hot to replicate the recoil feel and POI of my carry ammo. Also my PPK functions best on very hot ammo.

I started with Bullseye because that's what my friends loaded .45 with. I love it for light target loads, but for hotter loads the recoil feel in .45 was far too snappy and I had to load very close to max to get the velocity I wanted. It was also very dirty. This was just bothersome in the 1911, but I could only shoot 100 or so rounds in one go before the PPK would start to gum up and malfunction.

Next I tried Unique. I still had .380 Bullseye loads left because I don't shoot nearly as much of those as .45, so I never tried it in .380, but in .45 the recoil feel was excellent, I could get the velocity I want well short of max, and it burned clean. The only problem - it meters rather poorly through my progressive.

I want to try W231 for my upcoming large batches of .45 and .380, since its a ball powder it should meter great, I've heard its clean, and my manual says it gets excellent velocity in both calibers. The problem is I can't find it anywhere.

I started paging through my Lymans 49th, and found good velocities listed for two powders I've never heard mentioned before in the context of .45 and .380: Blue Dot and SR-4756, and both are easy to find online.

.45 225gr (before lube) Cast:
Powder | Start | Vel | Max | Vel |
SR-4756 | 5.5 | 662 | 7.5 | 955 |
Blue Dot | 7.5 | 660 | 10.7 | 964 |

.380 90gr (before lube) Cast:
Powder | Start | Vel | Max | Vel |
SR-4756 | 2.8 | 633 | 4.1 | 970 |
Blue Dot | 4.0 | 667 | 5.5 | 961 |

Does anyone have experience using these powders in these calibers? Specifically, cleanliness, accuracy, and metering? Are these ball, flake, or stick powders?

Thanks in advance.

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January 18, 2010, 10:23 AM
The only problem - it meters rather poorly through my progressive.

That is not a real problem. This falls into the category of cognitive dissonance. Somewhere you have acquired the belief that a powder is no good unless it throws exactly the same each time. And yet, as you have said, Unique shoots well. So you now have an itch you canít scratch.

You will be well served with W231/HP38 when you find it.

I do not recommend Blue Dot for the 45ACP. I have tried it and it has too high of breech pressures at unlock. My cases were ejected way too far and the slide action was harsh. I had to replace a M1911 frame due to peening, so I stay away from powders that push the slide back too fast.

What you want in an Automatic pistol is a fast burning powder. Like Bullseye. It reaches pressure quick and then the pressures drop fast. A sharp consistant kick that is over quick.

I load my 230's just at 800 fps. That is the original 45ACP spec, back in 1910, and incidentally, Bullseye was the original powder used in 1910.

I have buds who use Titegroup, they like it in the 45ACP. I am happy with Bullseye so I ain't changing.

January 18, 2010, 11:24 AM
SR-4756 is better suited to .45 ACP than Blue Dot (IMHO), and will work for full power stuff, but neither are ideal. Niether are very suitable for .380.

AA #2, AA #5, WST, W-231/HP-38, Universal, WSF, Competition, Silhouette, Bullseye, Unique, N320, N340. Surely one of these is available somewhere.

Marlin 45 carbine
January 18, 2010, 11:27 AM
B Dot requires a tight crimp, a roll crimp actually to burn well. I've never used SR. also a short bbl is generally better with a fast powder.
BE and Red Dot are the best I've used for cast slugs. (.32acp, .380acp, 9Mak, 9mm Para, .357Mag and .45acp, cheap too). I've switched to Power Pistol for jacketed.

Steve C
January 18, 2010, 04:18 PM
I tried Blue Dot in the .45 ACP one time and that was it. BD is too slow for the low pressure .45. The cases where all black on the outside lots of flash. The rounds shot adequately but nothing remarkable.

IMO Unique is a much better powder for max velocity loads in the lower pressure cartridges.

Marlin 45 carbine
January 18, 2010, 05:51 PM
PP is basically an easy metering Unique (which is good for taper crimp rounds)

January 19, 2010, 12:18 AM
I load .45 acp, and 9mm.

I used IMR 4756 for awhile. I found it to have excellent accuracy, metered fairly well, but had rather sharp recoil. I much prefer AA#2, or #5.

#2 is a very fast powder. It burns clean, has soft recoil, and meters like water. (If you measure is sloppy, it will leak like water also) Decent powder for .45, great in 9mm- should work as well in .380.

#5 is a little slower burning, and gets better velocity in .45, works almost as well in 9mm. Recoil is a little sharper, and you use a higher charge weight, which means fewer load per pound. It meters about the same as #2.

If you are trying to find one powder for .380, and .45, I would suggest #2 first, and #5 as a very close second.

Oh, and 4756 costs quite a bit more per pound than the other two.

January 19, 2010, 10:46 AM
45acp & Bluedot not a good choice.

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