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Green Dot for 9mm, 38 Spl, and .357 Mag

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ASCTLC, Feb 18, 2013.

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  1. ASCTLC

    ASCTLC Member

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    I've been reviewing posts until I'm blue in the face for info for using Green Dot for the subject listed calibers. While I see all three of these calibers can be loaded with Green Dot my question is more to the subject of which would likely be the best use of this powder.

    I generally use Hodgdon Universal for my plinking rounds in all three of these calibers and doing well with it, however I came upon a decent deal on a couple kegs of Green Dot and see that it sits quite a bit faster on the burn chart than Universal but still slower than the popular Bullseye. Knowing there are popular loadings with powders faster and slower than Green Dot and a decent enough number of documented recipes for this powder I jumped on the chance at the powder anyway.

    I'm not seeing that Green Dot is much for speed in these calibers and I'm not necessarily concerned with that for a range round. I guess I'm probably asking more about where better efficiency of this powder would apply with my 3 caliber loadings.

    My question boils down to this: Where is likely to be my best bet to using the GD for range shooting?
    Light, med, or heavy pressure 9mm 124 gr FMJ

    Light, med, or heavy pressure 38 Spl 125 or 158 gr heavy plated (Powerbond) or 148 WC and 158 gr LSWC

    Light, med, or heavy pressure .357 mag 125 or 158 gr heavy plated or 148 WC, 158 LSWC, and/or 174 gr Keith LSWC

    Worst case, I'll use it towards 12 ga reloading which I don't currently do yet.

    edited to add: Sorry all, I should have provided bullet details. I added it above
    Thanks,
    Andy
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Bullseye, Red Dot, and Green Dot are so close in performance in handgun calibers I would have a hard time picking one best use for it.

    I have used it for .380 ACP, 9mm, and .38 Spl.
    Never tried it in .357 though.

    I'd suggest you print out this 2004 Alliant handgun data and do some cyphering.
    http://glarp.atk.com/2004/2004Catalogs/2004AlliantPowderSM.pdf

    Green Dot will do decent enough in all the applications you listed.

    rc
     
  3. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    Green Dot is a relatively fast powder somewhere between Bullseye and Unique. Use it where you would use other fast powders, mostly for light and medium power target loads. I generally load lead bullets with Green Dot in 9mm with 125gr small ball Missouri bullets, 38 spl 158gr SWC and 148gr WC, and .45 ACP 200 gr LSWC's. It works fine with plated bullets using the same loads.
     
  4. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    I was in Outdoor World on Saturday, and Red Dot and Green Dot were about the only powders still in stock. I use Red Dot a lot for 9mm and .380 practice loads, but Green Dot and Blue Dot are good for handgun calibres, too. Loads are mostly 4 grains or less, so a pound cannister of powder (7,000 grains) goes a long way.
     
  5. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    I think Steve C got it right.
    Green Dot is a faster burning powder.
    That means light to moderate loads will work very well.
    You should also see a lite recoil.

    357 loads won't work well.
    You'll hit the upper pressure limit long before you get magnum velocity.
    For 357 you want a slower powder.
    My load uses Alliant 2400

    Please remember, the only stupid question is the one NOT asked, that get you or someone close by injured or worse!
     
  6. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

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    You are going to get good velocity out of GD when reloading for 38spl and 9mm. GD will work quite consistently in lower charge weights as well. Using a faster powder for 357 Magnum won't generate the most muzzle velocity but it is not correct to say "it won't work well". It just won't generate as much velocity as a slower burning powder like 2400.

    The reason GD isn't that popular is because on the one hand there isn't much currently published load data for it and on the other there are many powders which meter better in low charge weights. I've never had a problem using the older Alliant data that has already been posted.
     
  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    A while back I was given a pound of Green Dot and I gave it a try in the .38 Special and 45 Auto. Green Dot is very similar to W231/HP-38 and it's fairly clean and burns well. The only problem I found with Green Dot was accuracy. It seems if you find the sweet spot it's extremely accurate in both the .38 Special and 45 Auto but if you're just a little off the sweet spot accuracy takes a nosedive. Unlike W231 it doesn't have a wide range of accuracy. This was just my findings and you many have easier results.

    Data for the .45 Auto from the Lyman 49th Edition manual ranges between 4.8gr and 5.8gr Green Dot with a 225gr LRN bullet with an OAL of 1.272".

    Lyman 49 and Hornady 9 don't list Green Dot for the .38 Special and the only printed manual other than the Alliant books that does is the old Speer #8 manual. My 1995 Alliant manual lists the same data as in the 2004 manual linked to above. Red Dot is much more popular in the .38 Special and Green Dot ever was and there is still data for Red Dot in current manuals and online data.
     
  8. ASCTLC

    ASCTLC Member

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    Thanks guys! Sounds like 9mm and 38 Spl might be better uses for it assuming I find satisfactory accuracy. My range isn't going to be but 15 - 20 yards so not needing long range accuracy with that specific powder. Light .357 mag would be great too for my wife if I can get acceptable accuracy. Maybe the 38 Spl will be light enough (safely) that my wife will not dislike the J frame so much.

    This'll save my Universal for the .357 mag and higher pressure/speed 9mm and 38 Spl.

    For higher velocity .357 mag I have plenty of W296 and a little bit (1lb) of Lil Gun so I'm definitely not lacking on that end of the scale.

    ArchAngel, did you find accuracy, at the low, middle, or higher end of the pressure range of Green Dot and was it somewhat the same range for both the 38 and 45? I'm sure I'll find it in mine, if it's to be found, but if you found it consistent that might save me a little understanding as I start working my loads up from the minimum recommended charge.

    Thanks,
    Andy
     
  9. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    Bear in mind Green Dot is a very bulky powder. The 9mm cases start getting pretty full around 4.5gr.

    And yes, it's way too fast for Big Dog 158gr Magnum loads.

    4gr of Green Dot under a 158gr LSWC in a .357 Magnum case is a favorite target load of mine.

    I'm glad I have enough to see me through this shortage. With the unavailability of Bullseye a lot of people seem to be discovering that Green Dot is a pretty excellent powder. My go to .45ACP is 4.6gr under a 200gr LRNHB from Bear Creek.
     
  10. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    I'm going to have to disagree on green dot in 357. Lee #2 lists 5.4-6.0 gr behind 158 gr lead, with the top end at 1,240 fps at 34,000 psi. One of my favorite loads. I also had decent results in 38 wadcutters, and am working on some 9mm lead, which looks promising.

    For the cartridges you have specified, it is certainly worth trying.
     
  11. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    I rolled up a batch similar to that. IIRC it was decidedly unpleasant to shoot in a 4" L frame. But yes, it does work. When I discovered 2400 I never looked back.

    2400 will yield more velocity at the same pressure. Of course, you're going to use more than double the charge weight to get there.
     
  12. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    Mine were shot in a 6" 686 and Trooper. I called the recoil moderate. What works for one person and their guns might not work for another. :)

    As for 2400, I understand it is a good powder, but the OP purchased 2 kegs of Green Dot, and wanted experiences using that powder.
     
  13. climbnjump

    climbnjump Member

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    For light .357 loads, I've used 5.2gr of Green Dot w/ 158gr LSWC and get a chrono'd 1050 fps out of a 686 w/ a 6" barrel - mild (to me, anyway) recoil, OK accuracy, but a bit smokey.
     
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Yes I did, 4.0gr Green Dot under a 158gr LSWC in the 38 and 5.2gr Green Dot under a 230gr LRN bullet in the 45. Remember, those are my numbers and safe in my guns.
     
  15. ASCTLC

    ASCTLC Member

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    Holy smokes ArchAngel my Lee 2nd Edition indicates you're off your rocker and found your accuracy at extreme pressures for that powder! :eek: :)

    My Lee 2nd Ed shows 3.4-3.5 for the 38 Spl with 158gr lead and 4.3 +/- nothing for 45 Auto with 230 lead.

    Alliant shows 5.4 gr max for that 45 Auto with 230 gr LRN and 3.5-4.3 gr for the 38 Spl with 158 gr lead. The Lee manual is obviously sorely lacking in this.

    Validating info against the powder mfrs info is definitely prudent!

    Andy
     
  16. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

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    The 4.3gr is a target load not a max load. Target loads are not based on of pressure limits for the cartridge.
     
  17. ASCTLC

    ASCTLC Member

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    Sounds logical but this Lee manual shows that 4.3 as also the "NEVER EXCEED" load.

    I suspect it's a typo and serves the point that crossing against another source can help show if things don't look right.

    Andy
     
  18. NWcityguy2

    NWcityguy2 Member

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    They pulled that load right from Alliants pre-2005 manuals. Alliant shows that load producing 13.2k psi, well below the 21k ceiling for 45acp.
     
  19. SHR970

    SHR970 Member

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    Lee manuals regurgitate everyone else's data. They do no pressure testing of their own.

    38 Spec. = Mod. to heavy loads. What the heck, 38 Spec. isn't exactly a barn burner.
    9mm = Mod. loads.
    357 = Mod. loads with light bullets to lighter loads with med bullets. I found it actually works well with 158 gr. swaged bullets when you run them from 900 - 1000 fps.

    Just my experience.
     
  20. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    Yup.
    My 2002 Alliant manual lists them as follows in relative burning rate:
    Bullseye - 100%
    Red Dot - 94.1%
    Promo - 94.1%
    American Select - 81.0%
    Green Dot - 77.9%
    Unique - 61.6%
    Power Pistol - 58.6%
    Herco - 56.1%
    Blue Dot - 37.8%
    2400 - 27.0%


    My Alliant manual has the same 45acp load you list, but designated as a target load. It also lists 5.0gr max of Green Dot for a 240JHP. Lyman's 49th lists 5.8gr max Green Dot behind a 225gr LRN.

    I also have a LEE 2nd Ed, and while I find it's useful for the occasional odd duck, it's far from a definitive reference in my book. It's usually the last place I look for any load.

    I'm running 5.2gr behind a MB #4-XD 200gr LRN bullet. I like it.
     
  21. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Lyman 49 which is the most current Lyman manual lists a charge of between 4.8gr and 5.8gr Green Dot under a 225gr LRN bullet do my charge of 5.2gr is not close to being hot.

    As for the 4.0gr Green Dot .38 Special load, I don't remember where I got it but I do know the Alliant data lists a Max charge of 3.8gr under a 158gr LSWC. That 4.0gr charge might be a little hot and possibly hitting the +P range but I never had a problem with it.
     
  22. Fishslayer

    Fishslayer Member

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    I believe you're right. Not sure where I found it but I do believe the 4gr was listed as "+P" I put that combo in Magnum cases & it has a bit of pop to it. ;)
     
  23. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    My normal practice isn't to hot rod everything but there are times I will load to the Max. Like I said, Green Dot was too picky for me so when that 1 lb was gone I didn't buy any to replace it. Back in 2008 I was very close to buying some until I found 3 lbs of W231 hidden in the back of the storage locker in my reloading room. (I have a 4lb jug in reserve now lol)
     
  24. wkuban

    wkuban Member

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    Light to medium in all 3 cals. you listed, it'll also work in .45 ACP, .44 etc. You can load 12 and 20 ga with it. It may not be the best powder in some of them but it will do an acceptable job in all of them. One of my pet .38 Special loads is 3.7 GD with a 158 cast bullet. If I could only have one powder for handgun and shotgun it would be Greendot.
     
  25. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    ASCTLC,
    Green Dot is a slower burning powder than Red Dot and about the same burning rate as Bullseye. The Alliant 2005 manual has a lot of data on those powders in the calibers you mentioned. If you cannot obtain a copy send me your e-mail address and I'll send you a pdf copy.
    I have used Red Dot in 12 & 16 ga., 45 ACP and a few experimental loads in 9m and 40 S&W. I prefer Trail Boss with lead or plated bullets in 38 Special, WSF in 9mm and full power 40 S&W lloads and WST or Red Dor for light 40 S&W loads
    Tony
     
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