Red Dot question


September 20, 2012, 08:25 PM
So.... I bought a bunch of ammo from a friend the other day who acquired them through a marriage. The new spouse's previous (deceased) husband was very into guns and an avid reloader.

Included in the batch I bought were quite a few .45 Colt rounds, some new, some reloads.

The reloads are all clearly marked on the boxes as to all the pertinent data you'd want to see for reloads, and knowing the history of this ammo, I am confident they are what they say they are.

One box of 50 was marked as 250 gr LRNFP with 6.5 gr of Red Dot.

I have NO experience with Red Dot. My gun is a S&W Mountain Gun in excellent condition.

Question is: Does this load seem reasonable/safe for my gun?

If not, I be pullin' all them bullets out and starting over. Not that I'd look forward to it.

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September 20, 2012, 09:10 PM
what does your manual say?

September 20, 2012, 09:16 PM


IF I had a manual that gave me Red Dot information, I wouldn't be here asking for help.

September 20, 2012, 09:24 PM
Checked only one, Lyman, but says that's max load.

Gun Geezer
September 20, 2012, 09:36 PM
I've only shot someone elses reloads on time: Resulted in a squib in my Colt Series 80 45ACP. I will never buy reloads again.

My old Hercules Reloaders Guide from 1992 shows 6.0 grains of Redot is MAX for 250 gr lead.

Lyman 47th shows 6.0 grains of Redot is MAX for 255 gr lead.

You mention the ex is deceased. What did he die of?

I'd toss them in the lake.

September 20, 2012, 09:38 PM
Mine is the 48th. Lyman
Powder must be getting weaker.

September 20, 2012, 09:44 PM
I've been using Red Dot exclusively in all my hand gun calibers (.32 up to .44 mag) for about ten years. Its a fast powder, it burns clean, and I use it with lead, FMJ, and plated bullets. Also use it for .30 carbine and for rifle loads with lead bullets. But I don't load 45LC anymore and don't remember the loads. However, in my SW .44 magnum I load a 240g lead bullet with 7g of Red Dot. I don't crimp. On a 1-10 rating compared to factory .44 magnum loads its recoil is about an eight. I usually shoot 100 rounds of it per range trip. Have easily fired a couple of thousand rounds of it. Still using the same 250 brass that I got with the gun. The gun handles it well. To answer your question, if I loaded it I'd shoot it. But since you didn't and its at max might want to let it go. Here's my shooter

September 20, 2012, 09:53 PM
Looked at my reloading history.
Use 7.5. RD. 240 lead in my Anaconda.
And 5gr. RD. 158 lead in my 686.

Is a good powder for midrange loads.

September 21, 2012, 12:13 AM
The 2000 Alliant manual clearly shows max 6.0 gr Red Dot for a 250 gr lead bullet in 45 Colt.

September 21, 2012, 12:23 AM
This is interesting..

September 21, 2012, 12:29 AM
This is also interesting. Seems it might get it out the pipe at 750fps. never know though*%29

September 21, 2012, 12:33 AM
Okay, you guys have convinced me to proceed on the side of caution.

I've got too much invested in my gun (not to mention my hands, eyes, whatever) to take the risk for 50 rounds. I'll just salvage the components and call it good.

And Gun Geezer - to answer your question: "You mention the ex is deceased. What did he die of?" He died of natural causes. He didn't blow himself up with one of his reloads.

I'm told that he was an avid shooter and reloader (and an FFL holder and part-time dealer) and the ammo he left behind was for his own use, not for resale.

I'm confident that the rounds contain what the data says, but I don't run my guns on the hot edge of any ammo. I like them to last so I can play with them more.

I appreciate the feedback on my question and will act accordingly on it. Thanks all.


September 21, 2012, 12:44 AM
If I trusted the man with his reloading ways/reputation, I'd shoot them as they seem safe enough to me. That's just me though. Make your own decision as I don't know the fellow from Adam.

September 21, 2012, 12:49 AM
Sounds pretty mild.
Speer #10 listed 6.7 gr Red Dot as a 15,900 cup load.
You could take one apart to make sure.
You could give them to someone who has a Ruger.

September 21, 2012, 12:55 AM
It should be a good load.
I shoot 7.5 grains in a Ruger but *that* would probably be too much for a S&W.

September 21, 2012, 01:36 AM
Lyman 4th edition Cast Handbook has Red Dot load data using two 250gr lead bullets. With the Lyman #454190 bullet they list a range of 4.5gr to 6.5gr Red Dot. With the Lyman #452664 bullet they list a range of 5.8gr to 6.5gr Red Dot. With the 255gr Lyman #452424 bullet they list a range of 4.5gr to 6.0gr Red Dot.

It looks like that charge of 6.5gr Red Dot is at the max but not excessively hot and probably generates no more pressure than any other normal .45 Colt loads do. Unfortunately none of the Red Dot loads in the Lyman manual show pressure numbers but the loads that do are all under 14,000 PSI with many being just below or just above 13,000 PSI.

Since you said, "The reloads are all clearly marked on the boxes as to all the pertinent data you'd want to see for reloads, and knowing the history of this ammo, I am confident they are what they say they are" I would think those Red Dot loads are safe to shoot...

September 21, 2012, 08:40 AM
...take a few apart to confirn the powder loads....

September 21, 2012, 09:31 AM
...take a few apart to confirn the powder loads....Very good idea. It would certainly beat taking apart all 50 of them for component salvage. I really don't enjoy bullet pulling.

I also found out that the gun he loaded them for and used them in was a Uberti Colt US Army clone.

Not the strongest gun I'd think. Certainly no Ruger. Likely no beefier than my S&W Mountain Gun?

September 21, 2012, 09:59 AM
This is not a recomendation but I've gone as high as 8g of Red Dot in my 45 Colt Blackhawk. Red Dot is VERY accurate in my gun. Velocity is out of a 4 5/8" bbl

Bullet weight type Powder chg FPS ES SD
Missouri 250 LRNFP Red Dot 6 781.1 28.07 11
Missouri 250 LRNFP Red Dot 6.3 833.9 47.87 18.73
Missouri 255 LSWC Red Dot 6.8 853.9 51.08 20.17
Missouri 255 LSWC Red Dot 7.3 878 85.75 27.4
Missouri 255 LSWC Red Dot 8 946.4 69.36 25.13

Some of the above are over max for standard 45 Colt

September 21, 2012, 10:12 AM cannot trust the labels on boxes of handloads - even if the person that loaded them is alive and can respond to your questions.

I think the only way to get some assurance for your own safety and the safety of others, is to pull apart and inspect a representative sample of the reloads and see if they are consistent with the the information on the label.

If the labels are accurate, the load still looks hot; right? ....proceed with great care.

September 21, 2012, 10:20 AM
My concern would not be what load was written on the box but what was in the case. Did the man have a long suffering illness?
Was the ammo loaded during the time of his sickness?
Was the illness of the type that it could have caused problems with concentration or memory, motor skills?
No matter how meticulous and trustworthy the man might have been if his health was failing and he was loading ammo I wouldn't use it. The stated load won't hurt a thing, a double charge will.
I Had a similar situation with some rounds given by a trusted friend who received some reloads from a friend of his widow. I broke them all down.

September 21, 2012, 10:50 AM
As previously suggested, break down one of the reloads to confirm the powder and weight. A 6.5gr load of Red Dot with a 250gr lead bullet will shoot just fine in your S&W Mountain Gun.


September 21, 2012, 04:55 PM
While I'm here - a true story regarding a friend of mine and reloads.

My friend has a S&W Model 19. He also has a relative that supplies him with free miscellaneous ammo from time to time. This ammo often contains reloads from indeterminate sources. My friend is not a terribly savvy shooter and figures "It's free, why not go ahead and use it?" I had tried to dissuade him from this path but he's not much for listening to me.

He and a friend of his went out shooting his gun a while back with some .38 special reloads he'd recently acquired. A couple of days later he came to me and said, "My gun isn't working. The cylinder won't turn or open. My buddy (my friend's friend) was shooting it and said he thought the last round sounded kind of weak."

I handled the gun and sure enough, it was locked up tight. I looked down the barrel and saw a bullet lodged in there. I suggested that he take it to a gunsmith. He did.

While he was at the gunsmith's (who managed to get the cylinder open), the smith then took a hammer and dowel and knocked out the stuck bullet.

He then looked down the barrel and went at it again with the tools, knocking out ANOTHER stuck bullet.

My friend's friend apparently just kept pulling the trigger and managed to get two bullets lodged in the barrel before it locked up.


Imagine the fun if that second round had been a serious powder loading.

September 21, 2012, 07:57 PM
SAAMI spec 45 Colt loads are kept intentionally weak / low pressure due to the black powder guns and guns substantially of the black powder design that are still in circulation. A modern S&W Mountain Gun can take a hell of a lot more than the 14k psi / 15k cup pressures SAAMI specs out. My old Herc. manual from 1990 shows 6.0 gr. to be 12k cup. My Lyman 49 shows 6.5 gr. to be a "top" load with a 250 gr. lead an under 14k psi load.

Check one...if it is 6.5 gr. +/- .1 and you find a red flake in the powder mix, you know you have what he said it was. Then put it back together and shoot. Because of the dispersion of the red flakes in the canisters, you may need to check more than one round to find the identifier.

45 Colt is one of the rounds that in a modern gun, of modern metallurgy, and modern design an EXPERIENCED loader knows that you can go well above published standard pressure loads. That is why modern manuals have a Ruger / TC section. ;) 6.5 Gr. of RD is NOT a full throttle Ruger load by any stretch of the imagination. At worst, you just barely hit +P territory.

1) If you really trust the loader, a cursory check should do.
2) Your gun is WAYYY stronger than an Uberti Clone.
3) I run 7.0 gr. under a 240 gr. plated in my 44 and have very rounded primers and cases drop right not even showing pressure signs. The 45 and 44 cases are the same length with the 45 having more volume; thus less pressure for equal weight bullets of equal construction. I consider this a plinking load since they run around 950 fps. out of a 7 1/2" barrel.

Marlin 45 carbine
September 22, 2012, 09:41 AM
I'd knock a few down to check the powder and charge. if as stated find a friend with a Ruger and let him fire a cylinder off.
I use RDot under all the cast slugs I load for .32acp up to .45acp w/good results. it's clean and economical

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