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Anyone loading 357 with Blue Dot?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by C5rider, Feb 10, 2013.

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  1. C5rider

    C5rider Member

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    I've done some searching and there's a LOT of talk about the 125gr warning and some heavier bullets with Blue Dot.

    With all the bare shelves, I couldn't find my typical powder for my 357 so, with a little bit of searching, I found a load for Blue Dot behind 140gr bullets. It shows 11.5gr (Max load I assume. So start down about 10%?)

    This is with 140gr Speer bullets. Would Hornady XTP bullets use the same data? What can I expect from Blue Dot? Thoughts?

    thanks.
     
  2. thomis

    thomis Member

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  3. C5rider

    C5rider Member

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    Looks like he wasn't exceptionally happy with the accuracy. The Speer (I think) manual that I looked at had Blue Dot's best accuracy load at around 12gr. Which I think is more than Alliant recomends for this load behind a 140gr bullet. I've seen guys online pushing 140s MUCH faster but, I know, just cuz it's on the 'net...

    Their max load is 11.5, if I am reading it correctly. Id be starting 10% less (10.3gr) and working my way up from there.
    Just wondering if they've lowered their recommended loads to more conservative numbers. I know they've added their 125gr warning.

    I'll be shooting through Dan Wessons, Blackhawks, Vaqueros and Security Sixes. Not looking for max velocity, just a nice, accurate load for the 140s. Any characteristics for this particular powder that I should keep in mind?

    thanks!
     
  4. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    Just don't try to "hot-rod" it and its fine.
    It's designed for pressures in the 15,000-22,000psi range. Above, that and you're apt to get pressure spikes.

    I loaded a bit of it back in the late 70's and early 80's. I was young and broke, and the BlueDot went further on a pound of powder than 2400 or 296.

    Now days, I either use Unique/Universal for mid-range loads and 2400 for high end loads, what few I load/shoot....
    fwiw; the Unique in a .357 with a cast bullet at 155-160gr gives 1,200fps from a 4" bbl and does anything I need a handgun to do now that I'm retired....
    If that won't do it, I haul out the rifle or shotgun.... which I probably already have in my hands...so, the handgun only see's rare usage...
    except for target/competiton uses.
     
  5. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    My Speer data indicates 10.3 - 11.5 for their 140 grainers. Hornady data with their bullets lists 10.7 to 14.1 grs. with their 140's. Back in the 80's I used to run with Blue Dot for both 44 mag and .357 mag. and never had any issues with pressures, despite the fact that I was running them full tilt.

    As for 125 grainers, I have an old 66-2 S&W that has had at least 3 K of 125 gr. jacketed 296 / H110, & Blue Dot loads put through it, and it's still as tight and sound as the day I bought it. In addition to the 125 gr bullets, it has had a good number of 110's and 158's with full tilt loads as well. The real story of the 125's as I understand it from S&W, is forcing cone damage has resulted from lead build up, not specifically due to 125 gr. loads. If 125's were the problem, I can assure you one of my .357's would be toast by now after many years of full house 125's, and every other jacketed bullet under the sun and H110 / 296.

    Now I do know that because of the shorter profile of smaller projectiles, that gases can and will blow past the bullet, but S&W tested this therory with K frames and 125's burning 296. I believe some 50,000 rounds later, the firearm was still undamaged to any extent, including the forcing cone. So take it for what it's worth, and even see if you can find S&W's review regarding 125's to verify my memory, it should be pretty easy to locate it online.

    GS
     
  6. dsb1829

    dsb1829 Member

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    Another 66-2 here. I only use light bullets for light loads. My 357mag loads are with 158g jhp. I have also played with BD for 357/44. Not a big deal to use it, just go by the book. I find ejection stiffer at lower velocities than 2400. In a pinch I wouldn't hesitate to use it.

    Sorry, no data on 140g.
     
  7. MSgtEgress

    MSgtEgress Member

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    I have used Blue Dot very successfully especially with heavy bullets (158 & 180)

    Speer #11 Manual lists the following MAX Loads for Blue Dot:
    110g JHP 18.5g 1737 FPS
    125g JHP 16.3g 1589 FPS
    140g JHP 14.5g 1490 FPS
    146g SJSWC 12.9g 1440 FPS
    158g JHP 12.0g 1349 FPS
    160g SP 12.0g 1315 FPS

    I used 10.8g with a 180g Lead TC with an OAL .010 less than my cylinder length on my S&W 686. 2" groups at 50 yds with iron sights on sandbag rest

    Good Shooting
     
  8. Lj1941

    Lj1941 Member

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    125 Grain Rem sjhp

    I have loaded and fired 11.5 Gr Blue Dot behind Remington 125 grain short jacket hollow points.This was the starting load from Speer #12da for their 125 grain slugs.They shot ok with no problems except for a substancial amount of fire. This was before Alliant said this powder was forbiden for 125 loads in the 357.I no longer shoot 357 loads in my Combat Magnum.I stick with 38 +P loads with Power Pistol.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  9. Drail

    Drail Member

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    The Speer #11 manual's listing of 16.3 gr. blue Dot for a 125 gr. bullet is WAY too hot. I ran that load in a new Ruger GP 100 for only about 3 months and the forcing cone has grooves in it and looks like it was sandblasted now. Quite a few other owners have done damage to their guns with that load. There is a gentlemen on another forum who has posted pictures of what that same load did to his gun. It looks exactly like mine. Speer does not list that load anymore. Be very careful with hot light bullet loads in .357 unless you don't plan on keeping the gun for very long.
     
  10. C5rider

    C5rider Member

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    Thank you all for the info.

    My main purpose for purchasing Blue Dot was to keep shooting, not necessarily to hot rod any particular caliber. I have my H110 loads for that. :D

    I'm relatively new to reloading and lack the YEARS of experience that many of you may have. I started loading various handgun calibers with Universal, as it fit most of the needs in my gun cabinet, handgun-wise. In looking at the recommended loads from Hodgdon, they listed a min and max load for each powder, Universal and H110. I knew my boundaries and felt secure.

    In looking on Alliant's listings in many of the books, I noted only one listing, which I understood as the Max-load. Knowing enough to be dangerous :) I knew that each powder has its own characteristics. Universal has a fairly broad operating load range where H110 does not. Never using Blue Dot before, I wasn't sure how forgiving it might be and, if the 10% below max was in fact, an accurate starting point.

    I may go out tonight and roll a few rounds of 357 and try them out, hopefully soon. I'm even liking that many have use BD in their 44 magnums, as I may try it in some of them as the opportunity permits.

    Not to burden with too many questions, but because BD is a slower burning powder, would it be "better suited" for less than max loads in my 44mag 1894Marlin lever-gun? Longer barrel might make better use of the slower burning powder? Would it work okay with 240gr lead in my lever-gun?

    The current climate has encouraged me to try other powders (available ones). But, reloading doesn't reward a rampant "let's try THIS!" mentality if it chooses not to play by some strictly-enforced rules. Again, still learning.

    And THANKS!
     
  11. 06

    06 Member

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    Have used Red/Green Dot but never Blue. Thanks for the info as I have one # that needs using.
     
  12. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I have Hornady data using a S&W 27 w/a 8.375" barrel.

    140 XTP COL 1.590" case trim to 1.280"
    F-200 primer
    Blue Dot
    start 10.7gr
    Max 13.1gr
     
  13. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    Looking at my records, I see that I tried Blue Dot with a 158 grain JHP, 10.9 grains of powder, for a .357. Gun is a 2.5" S&W Model 66.

    My comment column says, "Accurate. Huge muzzle flash. Seems kind of hot."

    I do remember it too... big old muzzle flash, but part of that may be due to the Mag-na-ported muzzle. :) Not a load to shoot a lot at night.

    R.
     
  14. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    I used to use Blue-Dot in 9mm around thirty five years ago. I used exactly one pound. It's half silly in that caliber as a proper (well, my "proper" charge back then, har) charge would be to the tippy top and then I'd/you'd have to crush a 140 grain SWC down on top of it.

    Don't do that though, probably.
     
  15. Hutch

    Hutch Member

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    Damnedest muzzle flash I've ever seen. Singed the hair off my knuckles. Like looking into an old type photo flashbulb.
     
  16. Jaxondog

    Jaxondog Member

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    I've used it for year's and it has alway's put on a show at night. Nice fireball.
     
  17. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I ran thousands of 125gr JHPs over 14.0 gr of Blue Dot thru my favorite King Cobra. When Alliant issued their warning, I switched powders.
     
  18. ZeSpectre

    ZeSpectre Member

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    WELL, IT WORKS BUT IT'S KINDA LOUD..ACTUALLY REALLY LOUD.
    WHAT?
    WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHY AM I SHOUTING?
    <grin>

    Seriously though, I use Blue Dot for some of my 10mm loads and it seems to be fine but in .357 Magnum it seemed somewhat...fussy.

    I was never really happy with the accuracy of any of those loads plus I never liked the size of the "butterfly wings" flash that I got out the sides of the forcing cone gap.
     
  19. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I tried BD for .357 mag mostly in a Colt Trooper .357 magnum.
    The 125gr loads were obnoxious I needed foam ear plugs with muffs over those.
    However I did find favor with BD in this gun using 180gr XTP I think the faster twist had something to do with it.
     
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