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Blue Dot Powder

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Ala Dan, Feb 13, 2008.

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  1. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Please tell me about Blue Dot Powder for handgun use, mostly for .45 ACP
    and .357 magnum loads?
     
  2. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Dan: I've been using Blue Dot in both my 357's and 44's for some time now and find it to be a great powder for medium to high velocity loads for the heavier jacketed bullets and also found it to be cleaner burning than 2400(although I will get arguments on that). Blue Dot appears to work better and burn more completely in longer barrels of 6" or more. Much loading information is shown in the new Speer #14 Manual for these two cartridges. I believe this powder is a little to slow for the 45 ACP except for 230 gr jacketed bullets, but could be used in this cartridge if desired. There are a lot of newer powders on the market that I am sure might be better for the 357 and 44 Mag but why change what works for me. BTW, Blue Dot is an excellent powder for the 10 mm for those that load that cartridge. :)
     
  3. critter

    critter Member

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    I use Blue Dot in .45 ACP (230 gr), .357, .44 mag. 10mm. I find it does well in those calibers for moderately heavy loads. Good, clean burner. I understand it may get a little squirrely (pressure wise) when used to try to eke out the very last fps on really heavy loads however. I have personally never had a problem. I do not try to do ausgeloudenboomer loads with it (or any other powder for that matter).
     
  4. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Like L-R said, it's a little slow for normal 45 acp loadings. +p loads are however quite good.

    I wanted to try knocking some bowling pins over once. They recommended a SWC lead bullet of 230 grains or more. I found some 250 Kieth 45 lc boolits sized .452 at a gunshop. Also the owner showed me a load for blu-dot that would work with that boolit. That load was fantastic! Although the recoil was excessive, it took the pins down RIGHT NOW! I wouldn't shoot a lot of them but that was fun ONCE.

    As for 357, 44 mag, it's my go-to powder. I just started loading 7.62 X 25 Tokarev, I found a load for blu-dot for those too.
     
  5. rg1

    rg1 Member

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    13.7 grains of Blue Dot, CCI 500 primer, Hornady 125XTP in the .357 Magnum is a good mid-range load at approx. 1275-1300 fps in a 2 1/2-4" barrel. I found standard primers worked better than magnum with .357 Blue Dot loads. Probably too slow for .45acp and definitely too slow for .38 Special.
     
  6. Ceemack

    Ceemack Member

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    Blue Dot doesn't produce good results in standard-velocity .45 ACP loads. Velocities are low and inconsistent.

    However, it does very nicely in .357 Magnum. I cook up sort of a 7/8s load, using a hard-cast 158 SWC and 9.8 gr. of Blue Dot with WSP primers. You know it's not a .38, but you don't get all the blast, flash and recoil that comes will full-power 125-gr. loads. IIRC, it moves at about 1150 fps. It's also very accurate out of a 6" 686.
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Blue Dot can give some excellent velocities in the .45, but at the price of recoil. I don't believe the recoil to velocity ratio is worth it myself. AA#5 will give all that is needed with very good accuracy and less recoil. (As will Universal Clays)

    It works well in the .357. It gives good accuracy in both. I have gotten away from it myself though, except for midrange .44 Mag loads.
     
  8. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I do not like Blue Dot. I have tried the powder in 9mm, 38 Spl, 357, 44 Spl, 44 Magnum, 45 ACP and 45 LC.

    The only application that worked well was with jacketed bullets in the 357. Even then, in the 357, with the same cast bullet, using 2400 and AA#9, at the same velocities, I got leading with Blue Dot. Did not get it with the other powders. This is a real limited application when you can only use it for jacketed in the .357.

    Blue Dot burns poorly at anything but Magnum pressures. I had teaspoons of unburnt powder rolling around in my fired case box. In non magnum loads, my chronograph data shows huge extreme spreads, around 200 fps, showing that the powder is just not burning completely.

    I did shoot it in 45 ACP. Even when the velocity average was 800 fps in a M1911, it gave a very hard recoil. Which to me indicates a high residual breech pressure. Maybe if you are going to shooting something like a Thompson, or some submachine gun that has a huge blowback breech block, it might work well. But I don’t want to peen the frames of my pistols.

    I think it is an awful powder and don’t wish it on any one. :barf:

    Powders that I recommend for the 45 ACP: Bullseye and Unique.

    Powder that I recommend for the 357 Magnum: 2400.

    With these three powders, you can more than adequately create an outstanding load in any pistol/revolver cartridge.
     
  9. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    I think it's a facinating powder for the .30 Carbine. Gonna try it this spring.

    I tried it in .45 Colt +P and wasn't impressed. Ran out of good weather before I got around to trying it in .357, where it should be OK with heavy bullets.
     
  10. Clark

    Clark Member

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    Blue Dot is
    a) dirty at low pressures
    b) clean at high pressures
    c) peaky at very high pressures

    It is very useful to me for .223 reduced loads.
     
  11. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    What is "very high"? Enough to preclude its use in full power .30 Carbine loads? (> 40000 psi) Thanks.
     
  12. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    From reading this, maybe it's more of a niche powder.

    I use it for screamer loads in my 10mm's. With 180 Gold Dots, it's about impossible to get too much in the case and still seat the bullets. Even with that much powder, I get zero bulge with my G20 and Starline brass. I'd think it would be great in a .357 or .44 mag. 45LC may have too much room left in the case. I suspect that, like Unique, it has to be pushed or burn is erratic.

    Probably didn't build a pressure spike quick enough to slug the bullet into the rifling and you got blow by that melted the lead.
     
  13. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    Clark hit it on the head!

    From the middle to about 3/4 the way up the charts it works beautifully. Works ok from the 3/4 to the top. But this isn't a powder you push it with. It goes from good to stuck cases in a hurry.
     
  14. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I have a Redding model 3 powder throw and large flake powders do not meter well when I'm using the micro pistol meter :( BD will throw well if I use the larger universal charge meter with weights greater than 15gr. So for .357 mag and .45 acp I load medium charges with BD, I found that loading BD at the upper end was not worth the risk, to little room for error. I have had great results using 16gr of BD in my bolt action .308 win. with Nos. 125 BT These reduced loads are clean, cool, and accurate.
     
  15. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

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    Maybe I missed it's mention, but blue dot produces wonderful barrel flashes, great to shoot at dusk or dawn for full effect.
     
  16. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    Ala Dan, in it's niche, blue dot is excellent for "budget" magnum use in 357 magnum.

    Look for the sweet spot that will be around 2/3rds the way up the powder charges listed in the charts. You should find that around 10 grains under a 158 works VERY well. For me that load burns clean and is consistent over the chrono.

    Also, you get another 1/3 the loads per pound over 296/H110, with 85-90 percent of the velocity.
     
  17. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    What kind of numbers are you getting with that load? What length barrel? Is accuracy good? I was thinking of trying some blue dot with 158's for my .357 rifle.
     
  18. Clark

    Clark Member

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    CAUTION: The following post includes some really stupid loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

    1) Quickload said 90kpsi, it looked like 45kpsi from the pressure signs.
    I put in 15% more Blue Dot powder in the next step.
    Quickload said 129 kpsi
    The 30 carbine case head vaporized and brass coated the inside of my 19 Badger rifle action.
    That was 5 days ago.
    I still have a stupidity hangover [I can't believe I did that.]
    I called Calhoon. He says there is supposed to be load data in the die box. I got the dies used with no data. He is sending some.

    2) 8 years ago I bent the frame on a 38 Colt Agent Aluminum framed revolver with Blue Dot. This was way past the 357 mag max load.

    3) In 2004, 2006, 2007, I killed thousands of rodents with .223s loaded to ~25,000 ~45,000 psi with Blue Dot. It burns so clean and cool, I can shoot 100 rounds per hour without the barrel getting hot or dirty.

    4) It seems I can remember low level pistol and having a bright muzzle flash and dirty chamber and bore with Blue Dot.


    What does it all mean?
    I buy Blue Dot in the big jugs for shooting down loaded .223 at rodents.
    It stays sub moa all day without using a cleaning rod or waiting between shots.
     
  19. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    Seafarer12: Basically 1200 out of my 7 1/2 redhawk, with low ES and SD numbers. Never chrono'd them out of a rifle.
     
  20. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    Thanks, I am wanting to get about 1800 fps with a 158gr out of a 20in barrel. It is just something I will have to play with.
     
  21. moosehunt

    moosehunt Member

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    One caution regarding Blue Dot not mentioned--it does NOT do well in cool temperatures. If you do much shooting when it's less than 20F, you'll have problems with ignition, and it gets worse as it gets cooler.
     
  22. CSA 357

    CSA 357 Member

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    I Used Blue Dot For A While, I Now Use Red Dot For My 45 Acp
     
  23. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Wow Folks-

    many thanks for the ton of useful information~! After sorting thru all the
    posts, I think I will stick with AA#5 and Universal Clays. I don't do heavy
    magnum loads any more; due too my rebuit left wrist from the MVA back
    in '98. Thanks everyone, for your time and effort with these responses. ;)
     
  24. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    To all the nay sayers, I just bought another pound of it!:neener: It has enough uses for me, that I always keep some on hand.

    Yes, in shotshell loads, it is hard to ignite in cold weather. I don't think handgun loads would suffer from that.
     
  25. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    In handguns, the *pressure* goes up considerably in cold weather with Blue Dot. Just be careful.
     
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