So, I bought some Bullseye... what's it best for?


November 21, 2012, 12:49 PM
I originally intended to stick with one or two powders for all my reloading, and Red Dot has served well for the first 5 lbs (I just bought some more of it as well). I have worked up reliable, accurate loads for 9mm, .40, and .45 with it, and my .380 load is better than factory accuracy but still not as good as I'd like.

I'm working through 4 lbs of Herco now, and have tried it in .38 special (works fine, dirty) .45 ACP (very accurate load), .380 (lighter load is moderately accurate but very soft, hotter load is less accurate, haven't tried max yet) and 9mm (this has been a disaster so far... the recommended starting load doesn't even cycle the slide of my P226 reliably and causes jams, and accuracy is not good. I will try a few more loads working up to max and I imagine it will be fine the closer I get to max; at least that's the trend I've read about and have seen in my limited experience with Herco).

So to make a long story longer... What's Bullseye do that Red Dot, Herco, or HP-38/W231 won't do? I've read that it's THE go-to powder for wadcutter .38 specials, and a lot of people use it for .45 ACP as well... anyone like it for 9mm or .40? Or .380?

I like Alliant powders a lot so far, and I have fairly extensive data for them.

Thanks for taking the time :)

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Mike 27
November 21, 2012, 01:23 PM
I use it in all of my 45 acp loads, and have used it on 38sp and 9mm from time to time. I love the stuff.

November 21, 2012, 01:44 PM
Bullseye was the standard factory load powder in both the .38 Spl & .45 ACP for most of the 20th century.

Herco is not real good in anything unless loaded to max pressure to get it to burn.

For mild to factory equivalent standard pressure loads in either caliber, Bullseye is a much better choice then Herco.

But there are a lot of other powders better suited for the higher pressure 9mm then either of them.


November 21, 2012, 02:10 PM
Thanks. Red Dot's been working great for me in 9mm so I'll probably stick with that. I'll try Bullseye in .38 and .45. It'll have a hard time beating my last Herco load for accuracy in .45 though. Maybe it was a fluke. :D

November 21, 2012, 03:13 PM
Bullseye does pretty much what Unique does with about 10% less powder. Red Dot is still better for getting up the pressures in light recoiling loads. Even when you get the pressures that Bullseye likes, it is still a bit sooty/smokey. It will turn a stainless steel revolver into a "blued" revolver with less than 50 rounds, but it cleans off easily at home with some Hoppes #9 or CLP. Fortunately, the soot doesn't seem to build up because my autoloaders work fine even if I don't clean them after several 100-200 shot trips to the range.

Keep the Bullseye in the hopper for as short a period as possible with a LnL AP. The high nitroglycerin content will eat away at the walls discoloring and distorting the clear plastic. That happened to mine after 5 pounds this year even though the average time was less than an hour each session.

November 21, 2012, 04:25 PM

I've had good luck with Bullseye in 380 and 9mm. I'm still working on it for 45ACP. These are the only calibers in which I've tried using it. It's my go to 380 powder. It is at least acceptable in 9mm (I've got several 9mm platforms and I haven't had time to cross check all powder/bullet/platform combinations yet to find the best) and is one of the standards for 45ACP even though I haven't found the magic combination yet.

It works for me!

Good Luck.


the count
November 21, 2012, 04:35 PM
Bullseye is my all around pistol powder. Enough oomph for those finicky semi autos and economical to boot.

November 21, 2012, 05:30 PM
In the 38 Special, 2.7 grains Bullseye with a 148 LWC was a standard target load for decades. Any primer any case. Very accurate, hardly any recoil.

I have shot tens of thousands of 158 L (RN, LSWC, etc) with 3.5 grains Bullseye. Any primer any case. Very accurate, shoots to point of aim in everything adjusted for a 158 bullet.

I have shot thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of 45 ACP 200 gr H&G 68 type bullet with 4.0 grains Bullseye. Outstanding target load. Any case any primer.

A 230 LRN with 4.5 grains Bullseye is just at 800 fps, shoots great. A 230 FMJ with 5.0 grs Bullseye is the military ball load, just at or above 800 fps. Any case any primer.

Bullseye works well in the 32 S&W long, target loads in the 9mm. It is a great powder.

Whether it is the best or there is something better, heck if I know. It just works well as a target powder.

November 21, 2012, 06:55 PM
my 92 FS 9mm likes 3.8gr of bullseye under a cast boolit

November 21, 2012, 07:02 PM
Bullseye works great in 9mm; I really like it at the upper end of the load data.

November 21, 2012, 07:21 PM
I use Bullseye for 9MM, 45 ACP, and my target 357 Mag loads. Measures great and produces very accurate loads.

November 21, 2012, 07:49 PM
All that smoke is good for keeping the skeeters at bay

November 21, 2012, 07:57 PM
Bullseye rocks a lot of cartridges. I've loaded more BE rounds (mostly .38spl, 9mm, .40cal, and .45ACP) than any other, by far, because it can work in just about any handgun cartridge. I've used many other powders but BE is what I reach for. Other than Varget, my go-to .223 powder, it's the only powder I buy in 8-lb jugs.

So load what you have, pretty much.

Magnum Shooter
November 21, 2012, 08:11 PM
Bullseye has been my go to powder for cast bullets in 38spl, 45acp, and 9mm for many years.

November 21, 2012, 10:39 PM
In general: Fast powders for heavier bullets loaded light works--like 147gr 9mm.

Slower powders for heavier loads/faster bullet speeds.

November 21, 2012, 10:56 PM
The "standard" target load for .38 Special is a 148 HBWC over 2.7 grains of Bullseye.

A mild "mid range" target load in .45 ACP is 3.5 grains of Bullseye under a 200 grain lead SWC. Some guns require a bit more powder to function well. (Older Colt NM autos had slightly lightened slides to function well with this and similar loads.)

I've loaded and fired many thousands of rounds of the above loads.

USGI military ammo used Bullseye as the standard propellant for a long time, although they probably used a non-cannister grade.

Miata Mike
November 21, 2012, 11:15 PM
I have a good amount of Bullseye and have dedicated the whole works to 9mm using 124 grain jacketed hollow points from Precision Delta. I have a Lee Pro 1000 also dedicated to this round also.

I have used it in .45acp, .38 special, .357 magnum, .44 magnum and of course 9mm.

November 21, 2012, 11:29 PM
I'm a big fan of Bullseye for .45acp, with both 200 Gr LSWC and 230 FMJ. I wouldn't switch. That said, it is all I use Bullseye for. Yet these work so well, I won't be without Bullseye for .45 ACP. I prefer different powders for 9x19, .38 spl, 45 Colt, .357 etc. But for .38 spl, it is viable, I just found a W231 load I prefer.

November 22, 2012, 10:47 AM
I like Bullseye in the 9 and the 45 with lead bullets.

3-4 grains under a variety of bullets.

November 22, 2012, 03:04 PM
I agree, Bullseye is very accurate for .45 and 9mm.
I like it

November 22, 2012, 07:20 PM
I have won the action pistol shoot at my local range twice in the past two years. Once shooting my Glock 22 with 5.4 gr of Bullseye behind 155gr pils and the other time shooting my 10mm Glock with 6.7gr of Bullseye behind 180 grainers.

November 24, 2012, 03:38 PM
Thanks guys. :Cool:

November 24, 2012, 04:01 PM
Since it hasn't been said: .32S&W Long 1.6gr Bullseye behind a 100gr SWC Missouri Bullets Cowboy#6. Shoots very nicely. Can't wait to chrony it when I get one.

November 24, 2012, 08:11 PM
Of all the powders I have for my pistols--I still keep coming back to Bullseye:)

November 24, 2012, 08:24 PM
When I had my Dan Wesson .357, I used Bullseye for .38 special loads. It is a very economical powder when used for this purpose. I'm sure you could use it for other calibers, but it worked very well for me with the .38 Special and 158 grain semi wadcutters.
Good Shooting!!!

November 25, 2012, 01:03 AM
I use W231 for most of my handgun loading and hardly ever use Bullseye. I don't load for the .380 but a friend does and after trying a lot of powders he settled on W231 because it's the most accurate for him.

For the .38 Special and .45 Auto there is no other powder than W231 for me...

November 25, 2012, 06:11 AM
4.0gr BE under a 124gr Berry's HBRN @ 1.135 COL is a great plinking round

November 25, 2012, 11:05 AM
I use bullseye in 9 mm. 4.0 grn with 125grn plated bullets. Last time out has better than expected accuracy.
I shoot this combo in steel challenge and IDPA. The recoil is also much improved over factory bullets

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