Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Ammunition-Gunsmithing > Reloading
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-29-2013, 08:12 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 29
Likes: 2
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Question Blue Dot and 357 Mag

I'd like to use up my remaining Blue Dot in some .357 cases using small pistol primers and 125 JHPs. I checked Hornady, Sierra and Lyman for a minimum starting load. They range from 10.4 (Lyman) to 13.7. I will shoot in K, L and N frame S & Ws. I'll shoot sparingly through a J frame. Recommendations?
Thank you
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-29-2013, 11:03 AM
Rule3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,024
Likes: 3,969
Liked 3,873 Times in 2,141 Posts
Default

Alliant WARNS not to use Blue Dot with a 125 grain bullet. Others will of course say they do it but I am only telling you what the powder makers says.


Alliant Powder - Safety Notice
__________________
Occam's Razor
NRA, RSO
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #3  
Old 03-29-2013, 01:13 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 176
Likes: 9
Liked 97 Times in 37 Posts
Default

Blue Dot was one of the most commonly used Hercules/Alliant powders for the 357 Mag from the 110 gr right up thru 158 grain jacketed bullets. I have perhaps seven manuals including Ken Waters books all list Blue Dot for everything in the cartridge. So I guess I am at a loss why they advise against its use all o a sudden unless they changed the powder. I have at least 800 rounds of 357 loaded with BD
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-29-2013, 01:20 PM
Nevada Ed's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Reno Nv
Posts: 2,531
Likes: 24
Liked 703 Times in 448 Posts
Default

The old loads for the 125gr JHP bullets at 39,000 CUP or higher are no longer in the data due to "Unstable" results in testing.

Having discussed this with the S&W personnel, I was advised
that bluedot could be used but in a reduced loading where
consistent pressures were reached.
I tried their new maximum loads but found out that in my 6" revolver that the best accuracy with the new reduced loads was.............

eleven grains with a 1260 fps +/- , which makes for a nice practice load. If you want the old 1450fps loads you will need some 2400 or other powder .

Stay safe.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-29-2013, 02:09 PM
Rule3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,024
Likes: 3,969
Liked 3,873 Times in 2,141 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by garbler View Post
Blue Dot was one of the most commonly used Hercules/Alliant powders for the 357 Mag from the 110 gr right up thru 158 grain jacketed bullets. I have perhaps seven manuals including Ken Waters books all list Blue Dot for everything in the cartridge. So I guess I am at a loss why they advise against its use all o a sudden unless they changed the powder. I have at least 800 rounds of 357 loaded with BD
But are the 125 or 158 grain?? I agree I do not know about the shift in gears but that's what they say. I do not care much for the stuff
Flaming Dirt unless a full load is used and does not meter all that well. Plus its, dirty
__________________
Occam's Razor
NRA, RSO
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-29-2013, 04:46 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 176
Likes: 9
Liked 97 Times in 37 Posts
Default

Well the case hasn't changed, the bullets haven't changed much, the primers are about the same so I have to wonder if (1) the newer runs of powder are different somehow or perhaps they are worried about some liability issues with smaller and smaller frames and lighter guns chambered for this cartridge. Either way I shot a lot of Blue Dot for years in the 357 and 41 mag and had no issues with pressure and got respectable results. Good volume per case capacity ratio in the 357 and 41.

I am also smart enough to know that runs of powder from batch to batch can have some differences that if your are pushing the envelope can all of a sudden put you into the red zone. I had this happen many years ago with some IMR 4756 and at first thought it was me then finally read about some issues later in Handloader. Since then I always mix the last 1/4-1/3 of a can in with the new can to blend and average things out. . Very interesting information as it seems that nothing stays the same anymore.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-29-2013, 05:53 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Around the corner
Posts: 39
Likes: 4
Liked 24 Times in 12 Posts
Default RE

A pound of an alternate powder, even at today's prices would be cheaper than the grief of hurting yourself or ruining a good gun, so I'd recommend following the manufacturers advice under all circumstances.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #8  
Old 03-29-2013, 06:19 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Rocky Mtns, CO
Posts: 915
Likes: 15
Liked 152 Times in 108 Posts
Default

Quote:
A pound of an alternate powder, even at today's prices would be cheaper than the grief of hurting yourself or ruining a good gun, so I'd recommend following the manufacturers advice under all circumstances.
Reply With Quote
I couldn't agree more. And I am a person that has used a lot of BD in 357 Mag 125 gr. and lots of 41 Mag loads. I loaded and shot these many years ago. I still had quite a bit loaded and shot them up recently. But I just didn't feel as comfortable shooting them as I used to.

To me BD must be loaded near max to perform well. If you do that, then I don't understand the flaming dirt comments. If you don't, then I totally understand.

Handguns are really expensive. Bullets are expensive. Powder for handguns is relatively cheap. Make the right decision.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-30-2013, 04:25 AM
BLUEDOT37's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: N.E. OKLA.
Posts: 1,044
Likes: 616
Liked 530 Times in 297 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cp1969 View Post
What sets the .41 Mag apart from all other cartridges, making it unsuitable for Blue Dot with any bullet or powder weight? I wonder how Blue Dot can tell it's in a .41 Mag instead of a .44 Mag, or for that matter, that it's under a 125 gr. bullet in a .357.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUEDOT37 View Post
Exactly! How can it be okay with a 110gr. & a 140gr. bullet but not with a 125gr. in a 357 Mag? Wouldn't that make it the worlds most selective powder? Oddly to, Alliant lists using it in the 357 SIG (11.0grs compressed) with a 125gr. bullet & a 38 Super with a 124gr. bullet !?! And it's okay in the 10mm Auto & 44 Mag, but not the 41 Mag !?! If this isn't just one of their legal department's CYA ideas, I don't know what is. I don't doubt cold weather issues, but there's other powders with that problem too.
This is a reoccurring question....
Blue Dot load for 357 and a question
.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #10  
Old 03-30-2013, 11:19 AM
Rule3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,024
Likes: 3,969
Liked 3,873 Times in 2,141 Posts
Default

I don't profess to know the reason behind ALLIANTS warning or testing. What I do not understand is why people always have to go against the grain (no pun) and defy what the POWDER COMPANY says?? They posted it for a reason.

There are so many damn powders to use why beat it death?? Use something else that does not have a warning? Simple.
__________________
Occam's Razor
NRA, RSO
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #11  
Old 03-30-2013, 12:29 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 176
Likes: 9
Liked 97 Times in 37 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
I don't profess to know the reason behind ALLIANTS warning or testing. What I do not understand is why people always have to go against the grain (no pun) and defy what the POWDER COMPANY says?? They posted it for a reason.

There are so many damn powders to use why beat it death?? Use something else that does not have a warning? Simple.
I generally would agree with your advice all around — it just makes good sense and is information that should always be heeded. My only reason for commenting was to see if I could find out why such a ubiquitous powder and cartridge combo has been discontinued after so many years ? It's kind of like all of sudden saying you can't use Bullseye in the 38 anymore. Cause for years a lot of pin and silhouette shooters were relying on Bluedot in the small mag cartridges. As I mentioned earlier they either changed the formula or as 'Bluedot' noted the legal department is involved.

Now for guys like me who still have a nice stash of the old batch I see no reason to discontinue my loads until I run out. Does anybody know when Alliant began advising against using Bluedot in the 357 mag ? The last Alliant loading supplement I have on file is 2004 I believe there were no changes back then.
I would really like to know the batch # or label changes or some ID that lets you know when things changed since I think I have a couple of new cans from about six to seven years ago that I should know what they are. Perhaps I will contact Alliant on this.


Regards and all ears
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-30-2013, 02:31 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Hayward WI
Posts: 71
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Default

I think the problem was probaly always there IIRC there was a thread about this and the reason for BD being not recommended for use in certian calbres is that it gets erract in cold weather and i know a few people posted about it actually being the case..

so i am sure some of u use BD all the time and never see any issue and some of us in the north have and probaly have seen the issue.

But bottom line head the warnings guys.. there is ton other powders for 357 for full power loads and medium level loads

Last edited by ryanjames170; 03-30-2013 at 02:34 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #13  
Old 03-30-2013, 02:38 PM
Rule3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,024
Likes: 3,969
Liked 3,873 Times in 2,141 Posts
Lightbulb

Direct from the other thread and from ATK Dated 7/25/2008

This is all I know about it. The horse is dead

July 25, 2008

Dear Functional Wholesaler:

Please distribute this letter to all of your customers immediately with instructions for them to do the following:
• Post this letter in a highly visible area of their establishment
• Distribute to their customers as soon as possible

Alliant Powder Blue Dot® Product Safety Notice

Alliant Powder® periodically reviews and tests their published reloading data to verify that 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.
Thank you for your cooperation and if you have any questions or concerns please contact me at Dick.Quesenberry@ATK.com or call me at 540-639-8503.

Dick Quesenberry
Alliant Powder
Product Line Manager"
__________________
Occam's Razor
NRA, RSO
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-30-2013, 03:17 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 176
Likes: 9
Liked 97 Times in 37 Posts
Default

Thanks for that Rule3. This is something, I mean an advisory, that you don't see very often so only a fool would disregard it.

I shoot up North in NH which is a qualifying latitude for moderate and some extreme cold. Cold and extreme heat are elements every loader should know about. However temperature with a specific bullet weight and the 41mag--period, is kind of weird. Like I said before something has changed and its best to follow the warning.

I once had about 300 rounds of 243 Ackley prairie dog medicine loaded up based on range testing in NH. I flew to CO to shoot dogs and coyotes with a buddy. Landed in Grand Junction and it was like 95 degrees. Went to sight in later in the day, ammo setting in back truck all this time. Shot maybe six to ten rounds some from each box-- all with serious pressure flattened, I mean really flat primers. Three days later temps fell to low 80's and the ammo was fine. Came close to a wash out but after that I backed off on travel loads
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-30-2013, 06:44 PM
Rule3's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,024
Likes: 3,969
Liked 3,873 Times in 2,141 Posts
Default

What I always found odd about the "warning" was that they buried it it in the get started section. I mean you had to really try to go find it. It was never published on the "front" page of the online reloading section with a big WARNING.

I certainly never saw or read about it until someone else mentioned it. Here in the Tropical sweltering heat, we do not have much variation in outside temp. Its hot or hotter so I do not know how the stuff reacts in cold. I lived up in MN, WI but never reloaded up there. Some powders are directly related to temp some inversely.
In the other thread Skip says it reacts crazy in cold, so coming from him, that is a fact.
__________________
Occam's Razor
NRA, RSO
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-30-2013, 07:56 PM
GP100man's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tabor City, NC
Posts: 55
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Default

THE REAL PROBLEM.

Is it`s burn rate is at peak pressure as the base of the 110or125 jacketed bullets are near or even with the cyl./ barrel gap , resulting in accellerated flame cutting of the top strap & forcing cones eroded from the bashing .
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-30-2013, 08:55 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 176
Likes: 9
Liked 97 Times in 37 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GP100man View Post
THE REAL PROBLEM.

Is it`s burn rate is at peak pressure as the base of the 110or125 jacketed bullets are near or even with the cyl./ barrel gap , resulting in accellerated flame cutting of the top strap & forcing cones eroded from the bashing .
Now that is interesting and could may well be the heart of the problem. It would explain the reason for picking the 125 grain bullet out of the pack. I recall years ago the flame cutting problems with the 357 Max and that Hornandy tested and found only two of their bullets to be a problem. Many of the other companies walked away from the cartridge but Hornandy tested it and determined that flame cutting was a problem only with certain bullets.

Thanks for the info and I now have to ask where did you get this information ?

Regards

addendum: Just re-read Rule3's ' advisory from Alliant ' and based on this information where they alert users to pressure problems including the 41 mag —— well this kind of cancels out the flame cutting theory. Flame cutting is not so much about contained pressure but intensity and length of burn and escaping pressure at the cylinder gap. This condition shelved the Ruger Blackhawks chambered for the 357 Max and relegated the cartridge to Contenders and Dan Wesson's for silhuette usage mostly. Why the 41 mag is in the mix I don't know. Right now I will just back out and wait to see if a real answer comes forward

Last edited by garbler; 03-30-2013 at 09:27 PM. Reason: addendum
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-30-2013, 10:42 PM
GP100man's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tabor City, NC
Posts: 55
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Default

Here`s as good a disscussion as you`ll find by some very knowledgable shooters .

Discuss why light 357 loads cut top straps & erode forcing cones? - THR
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-30-2013, 10:58 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 176
Likes: 9
Liked 97 Times in 37 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GP100man View Post
Here`s as good a disscussion as you`ll find by some very knowledgable shooters .

Discuss why light 357 loads cut top straps & erode forcing cones? - THR
Good stuff and will read it more closely when I get a chance. Thanks. I have been talking on other threads here about heavier crimps and heavier bullets insuring a better burn and it looks like this may be the issue here. We are getting into the real nuts and bolts of loading here and something more people should look into.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 04-02-2013, 02:13 AM
BLUEDOT37's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: N.E. OKLA.
Posts: 1,044
Likes: 616
Liked 530 Times in 297 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GP100man View Post
THE REAL PROBLEM.
Is it`s burn rate is at peak pressure as the base of the 110 or 125 jacketed bullets are near or even with the cyl./ barrel gap , resulting in accellerated flame cutting of the top strap & forcing cones eroded from the bashing .
...but Alliant says it's okay to load 357s with 110gr. bullets & B-D... but not in a 38 Spcl.+P ?!?

Wouldn't it be the gun's manufacturer's responsibility to issue warnings for top strap cutting or forcing cone erosion on guns it thought are at risk?

And 41 Magnums are apparently so "problematic" that Alliant only says you can use Unique & 2400 in it.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 04-02-2013, 12:37 PM
Nevada Ed's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Reno Nv
Posts: 2,531
Likes: 24
Liked 703 Times in 448 Posts
Default

I think Alliant said to use bullets heavier than 125grs.........
that would include the 110gr as a no use bullet, I would think.

As for the 38 spl;
I have use the maximum 8.6grs of BD in my 6" and the groups
started to open up at the maximum velocity, but 7.5grs was...
a tack driver in my long barrel with the 125gr xtp and GD.

7.5grs with the 158Lhp in my snub nose gave me 812 fps and a POA
with an inch and a half groups with 5 rounds at ten feet.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 04-02-2013, 08:50 PM
Sunkist's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: north central Minnesota
Posts: 74
Likes: 8
Liked 6 Times in 3 Posts
Default

I started loading .357 with Blue Dot in 1990. The load books were all over the place back then. I had Sierra, Hornady and Speer. Sierra was hottest and Speer was the lightest. I was seeing some occasional pressure signs in the Sierra loads but I suspected the brass. One brand wasn't standing up and I was having extraction problems. I always loaded 140gr and up bullet weights, I still do. When the next generation of manuals came out my load was off in the kaboom stratoshere. That was when I started hearing horror stories about Blue Dot. I backed off into the range in the then current books and all the pressure signs went away. Go figure, huh? I haven't looked back and I trust today's manuals. I always blamed the lawyers and there may still be some truth in that. But facts is facts; my loads never show pressure problems, my milder Blue Dot loads are every bit as accurate, and my wrists don't throb painfully anymore. I was all about making nuclear loads when I was a pup. Now that I'm ole dog, getting the job done is what matters. If I can keep all my fingers and back off on the Ibuprofen that's good too.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 04-02-2013, 11:21 PM
rwsmith's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: (outside) Charleston, SC
Posts: 8,092
Likes: 7,104
Liked 3,545 Times in 2,163 Posts
Default Alliant Web Site

Alliant web site gives a BD load for 110 gr and 140 gr. bullets but no BD load for 125 or 135 gr. bullets.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 04-03-2013, 07:33 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 174
Likes: 12
Liked 38 Times in 29 Posts
Default

I first started using BD in 1979 using the Speer #10 manual. It lists the following: 125 gr jhp max BD load 15.8gr @1536fps. It was very hot and I had extraction problems in my Model 27 SW. In my Speer #12 printed 1995 the max load same bullet, is 13.0 gr BD @1333fps. Here is the joke??? the min loading in the #10 manual was 14.8grs @1441. what a change! I believe that since so many older manuals are still be used, that the manufacturer has just for safety sake (or law suits) has just covered it all be stating don't use BD with a 125gr bullet.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Reloading Thread, Blue Dot and 357 Mag in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; I'd like to use up my remaining Blue Dot in some .357 cases using small pistol primers and 125 JHPs. ...
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Super Blue vs. Oxpho Blue, shich gives better results? Marksman S&W-Smithing 11 06-28-2013 11:57 AM
WTB: 4506 (adj. sites, pre MIM,) 57-2 4" blue, 25-9, 29-2 6'' blue, 610 (pre lock) Malpasowildlifer WANTED to Buy 0 12-06-2010 03:22 AM
Blue spring on bolt carrier not blue anymore shawnfergie Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 6 07-12-2010 08:44 PM
Bright Blue versus Standard Blue finish splhcb S&W Revolvers: 1961 to 1980 3 01-12-2010 09:44 AM
PRICE REDUCED!! WTS Two Piece Blue Box For Model 17 & Newer Blue & White Folding Box for 2.5" K Frame tjsguns Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 1 11-30-2009 08:30 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:06 AM.


© S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)