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Thread: Blue Dot and the 357 Magnum

  1. #1

    Default Blue Dot and the 357 Magnum

    Not much in the reloading books for 158 Grain LSWCs but what is a good starting load for the 357 with Blue Dot ? I just want a good plinking round, nothing too hot and I sure don't want to get into that leading issue. . lets keep them around 1000 fps or less, probably will be less with my SP101 2.5" barrel but thanks for any help.

  2. #2

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    Since you said you have a 2.5 inch barrel, I wouldn't recommend BLUE DOT. It will work but will give a nasty muzzle flash and will burn and leave the gun very dirty. It works better for firearms with longer barrels and max. loads. You'll need a powder more like AA-2, AA-5, HP-38, Red Dot, Green Dot,. There are lots of powders in this burn range. Something fast to build pressure in a barrel that short without a flamethrower muzzle blast.
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  3. #3

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    My favorite load for 357 shorties is a 150-160 grain hard lead bullet on top of 7 or 7.5 grains of Unique. It's not so hard on the ears, but still gives you around a grand. That's plenty to hang onto in a little gun.

  4. #4
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    Default No Green Dot!

    Someone gave me a few pounds of Grren Dot years ago and I found it to give very erratic pressures in pistol cartridges. I actually slightlty bludged the cylinder on my S&W Mdl 28 with the stuff. It also gave erratic pressures in a couple of other guns I tried it in and I was carefully checking the charge weights etc. In contrast Red Dot and Blue Dot worked fine.

    Don't know what it wa with Green Dot but I would strongly cautionagainst using it - there are too many other powders that are known to work safely.


    Quote Originally Posted by brav01 View Post
    Since you said you have a 2.5 inch barrel, I wouldn't recommend BLUE DOT. It will work but will give a nasty muzzle flash and will burn and leave the gun very dirty. It works better for firearms with longer barrels and max. loads. You'll need a powder more like AA-2, AA-5, HP-38, Red Dot, Green Dot,. There are lots of powders in this burn range. Something fast to build pressure in a barrel that short without a flamethrower muzzle blast.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    For the FPS etc you are looking at, then you should look at 38 load data and not 357 data (obviously using 38 cases). FWIW I had a relatively light 38 load using 5.8Gr of Blue Dot and a relatively stout 357 load using 10Gr of Bluedot. Both using 158Gr lasercast SWC.
    However, as previously mentioned, the BD 357 load, gave an awesome fireworks show - impressive but not practical or efficient.
    I have now switched and use Unique (lots cheaper here than BD) for 38 loads and H110 for 357. The H110 gets me better performance (than BD) without the fireworks.
    If you want light loads using BD then use 38 cases, start at 5.4Gr (for 158 LSWC) and work up from there and you should be in the ballpark. You could use 357 cases, but it seems a waste and you would need to increase powder a tiny bity (due to increased case capacity)
    All above is using a 3inch bbl Ruger SP101.
    I am far from being a reloading expert and used data from manuals - so accept my advice for what it is, just a couple of loads I used that worked for me.

  6. #6
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    Default

    I go with Bullseeye or Unique, economical and versatile all round powders for 357. For light loadings you will be fine to under load with these powders in 357 to anything that will clear the barrel without any issue. I’ve played with a lot of 357 hot loads for snubs over the years and find Bullseye or Unique also fill the bill there quite well. For longer barrels other powders work better, I use some LilGun and H110 for stuff that may find its way into one of my 357 lever guns. Short barrel stuff is always Bullseye or Unique around here and on the higher end loadings since a max load of ether is still ain’t much powder. Use extreme diligence watching out for the dreaded double charge with these though since the case will hold way more than you want in there! I put every round over the scale on the way to the box looking for a heavy one just in case.
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  7. #7

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    If the cylinder on a mdl 28 was bulged (?) due to a load of Green Dot, then it was a very heavy overload, probably a double load. Actually, bulging a mdl 28 cylinder is pretty strange, considering the mass of metal.

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    The load was obviously heavy but it wasn't a double charge. I was weighting all the charges and a double charge of Green Dot in the little .357 mag case would have been obvious I believe. The cases that bulgded the chamber weren't even ruined so perhaps the cylinder wasn't properly heat treated or something. I still have it around- it was out of a 5 screw gun I also still have now with the new cylinder S&W installed.

    The strange thing with Green Dot was the irratic pressures that occured. One load would be fine and the next one would show signs of high pressure. This happened in several guns before I gave up on the stuff. I note that there is one shotgun powder on the market now that warns not to use it in handguns - I need to note which one it is next time I'm in SWH.



    Quote Originally Posted by mauserboy View Post
    If the cylinder on a mdl 28 was bulged (?) due to a load of Green Dot, then it was a very heavy overload, probably a double load. Actually, bulging a mdl 28 cylinder is pretty strange, considering the mass of metal.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  9. #9
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    Default

    FYI if you are using older manuals. Alliant put this out a couple of years ago

    "Alliant Powder periodically reviews and tests their published reloading data to verify that our recommended recipes have not changed over time.

    During the latest review Alliant Powder discovered that Alliant Powder's Blue Dot® should not be used in the following applications:

    Blue Dot® should NOT be used in the 357 Magnum load using the 125 grain projectile (Blue Dot® recipes with heavier bullet weights as specified in Alliant Powders Reloading Guide are acceptable for use).
    Blue Dot® should NOT be used in the 41 Magnum cartridge (all bullet weights).
    Use of Blue Dot® in the above cases may cause a high pressure situation that could cause property damage and serious personal injury.

    We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause and appreciate your understanding and cooperation in this matter."

    http://www.alliantpowder.com/safety/safetynotice.htm

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