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Old 09-03-2017, 06:14 PM
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Default Red Dot powder.

There's not been much discussion here about Red Dot powder. When Bullseye and others became unobtainable I bought a pound, liked it, and got a few more pounds. I think that it burns clean and depending on which burn rate chart you read it's a little faster or slower than Bullseye. I'm sure that it's a little bit more bulky than Bullseye, but I don't remember off the top of my head how it compares. What do y'all think?
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Old 09-03-2017, 06:55 PM
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Red dot is a large flake powder. Bullseye a relatively small flake. I have found that both meter fine in my ( mostly lee disk) powder measures.
IMHO, red dot is a good versatile powder. Certainly worth keeping around. That said, I've loaded it in 380 acp, 38 spl, 9mm, 40 and 45 acp ( as well as 12 ga shotgun). I've just never found any application where it was the best powder for a particular application.
Enjoy your new opportunity to experiment!
P.s. Google "Pistol Powder Comparison Pictures" and you'll find an interesting thread on the topic on another forum. It is complete with macro pictures of several powders including the two mentioned here.
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:34 PM
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I have loaded a lot of Red Dot and Green Dot in my .38 and .45. Its great powder that has worked well at it for years. There may be better powders out there but its good powder!
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Old 09-03-2017, 07:50 PM
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IMO Red Dot is one of the best bargain plinking powders out there.

I have shot a lot of it and it is cheap around here
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:39 PM
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When ever people start talking about red dot Ed Harris comes to mind.
I have tried this in a 7.62 X 54 and it worked great out to 100 yards.

Ed Harris articles for reduced loads - The Curio and Relic Firearms Forum
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:43 PM
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I shot #s of RD in 45colt when i was shooting CAS. It works great in 45acp & 9&40 minor loads. I get really good accuracy with lead & coated lead bullets in all 4 of those calibers.
Btw, the new imr Red looks like alliant RD, right down to the red markers, but i find it a tiny bit slower. Very uniform & meters a bit better than ARD.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:20 PM
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I like it. I only use it in the .38 Special, and as far as accuracy, I rate it up there with Bullseye and 700X. Those are my three favorite target powders for that caliber. And after that last little shortage, I'll never run out of any of them ever again!

As far as metering, I use Lee dippers, and don't load more than 100 rounds at a time, so no problem.
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:18 AM
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I believe Red Dot can be used in more calibers than any other powder. I love it in 32 Long, 44 mag and 45 Colt and it goes bang in 358 Win.
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Old 09-04-2017, 09:10 AM
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I was in the same boat, when Bullseye was unobtainable. Found a 1 lb bottle and tried it; then found a 4 lb container and bought that as well. It is on par with Bullseye, at least in my loadings. I shoot cast lead in 38 Special and 9mm and it works great for those. I have since stocked up on Bullseye, once it became available-some locally and the rest online with a free HazMat offer. Before Bullseye became available, I stocked up on what I could find-TiteGroup, 700X, W231; I won't ever run out of powder again!!
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtgianni View Post
I believe Red Dot can be used in more calibers than any other powder. I love it in 32 Long, 44 mag and 45 Colt and it goes bang in 358 Win.
In reality, any powder can be made to run in almost any caliber. It just takes a little tinkering.
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Old 09-04-2017, 11:31 AM
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Red Dot in a 38 special with a 158 gr. lead bullet works well in all my weapons.
It can even get light +p loads out of the J frame snub nose.

A great powder for plated target loads in the 9mm and attains a
full standard loading with a full case of powder with the 115 to 147gr bullets.
I find it a "Safe Powder", since I can't get enough in a case for it
to go into the over pressure, danger area, in modern weapons.....
where care needs to be taken with Bullseye.

Great in the 12 Ga. also.
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:29 PM
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Red Dot is my favorite powder. I use it in .45 Colt,, .44 spl, /.41 mag, .357 and .38 spl. A 215gr commercial .41 bullet with a Winchester large pistol primer and 6.5 gr of Red Dot will make about 950 fps from a 4 inch gun and close to 1000 fps from a six inch gun. My vision is not what it used to be so I shoot offhand at 25 feet. I have shot many one hole groups using that load. Dean
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Old 09-04-2017, 01:35 PM
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Red Dot for 38 WC 148 g . Inj my Hornady( Pacific) measure throws accurate charges. Use Universal for whatever Unique is used for.
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:22 PM
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I bought some Red Dot when my LGS didn't have any Bullseye. I only load .38 special at the moment, so I bought some. I think I like it better. Seems to burn a little cleaner than BE and I haven't noticed any difference in performance.
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Old 09-04-2017, 03:37 PM
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Works great for 12 gauge clay target shooting too......
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Old 09-04-2017, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
rwsmith wrote:
What do y'all think?
They can have my Bullseye when they pry it from my cold, dead, hands.

Seriously, pretty much anywhere Red Dot can be used, Bullseye, Unique, Herco or 800X can be used - and with comparable results. I've used all of those powders except Herco and I really think it comes down to a question of what works best for you.

For my own part, I'm a real fan of 800X. It is very versatile and performs well. The big gripe with it is that it doesn't meter well, but since I load on a single stage and can throw light and trickle up to the right load, that doesn't bother me.
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:00 PM
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It does a very good job in a lot of calibers;don't forget most cast bullets in rifle calibers too.
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:09 PM
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Love the stuff. A friend gave me 12# of it, and I have developed loads for just about everything I shoot with it. Promo is the same powder without the dots and it's cheaper.
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Old 09-04-2017, 07:13 PM
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Not quite - you use the same weight as Red Dot, but the volume is not the same.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:33 AM
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You are correct.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:31 AM
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A couple of yrs ago I contacted alliant and asked which had faster burn rate , bullseye or red dot ? Their answer " bullseye ".
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Old 09-07-2017, 03:11 PM
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When I first started reloading for the .44 Magnum back in 1964 (in an original flat-top Ruger Blackhawk revolver), I used 11 grains of Red Dot with a 240 grain SWC lead bullet. One reason for that was that I started loading 12 gauge trap loads about the same time, so I needed only one powder for both. I fired thousands of rounds of that .44 load, it did all I needed.
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Old 09-07-2017, 03:38 PM
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Default That is so strange.....

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Originally Posted by cowboy4evr View Post
A couple of yrs ago I contacted alliant and asked which had faster burn rate , bullseye or red dot ? Their answer " bullseye ".
That's what I thought, too, but Red Dot shows on many burn charts as being faster. You just have to accept that those things are for general info. I'm glad to hear that. I've confused about it.
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Old 09-07-2017, 04:00 PM
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First off, most everyone (unless they are in the powder business) has little concept as to what "burning rate" is and is not. The smokeless powder industry does not even use that term. They use "relative quickness." And that means it is relative to the application. Powder A may have a higher relative quickness than Powder B in a specific load and caliber, but it may be reversed with another load and caliber. It's really a lot more complicated than the simple published "burning rate" charts would lead you to believe. They are only general approximations of the facts.

The definition of RQ: "Ratio of the quickness of a test propellant to the quickness of a standard propellant, measured at the same initial temperature and loading density in the same closed chamber."

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Old 09-07-2017, 05:02 PM
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Totally agree with post #24 above me. I see it in simpler terms like this:

I don't ask which burns faster, Red Dot or Bullseye because the answer to that question just doesn't help me get anywhere. I can ask which burns faster, Red Dot or 2400 and that actually tells me some info I can use.

As to the subject of Red Dot, I wanted to see if I'd like it also, given all the positive reviews. I never bought any, opting for a single 8lb jug of Promo instead. With that 8lbs, I tried numerous loads in .38 Special and I liked zero of them. I dabbled just a bit in 9mm and that worked fine but I never pursued it.

What I did do was to make many, many thousands of rounds of .45 Auto, mostly using the Xtreme 230gr plated Hardball.

These loads have worked flawlessly and my 8lbs of Promo is now down to a tiny Dixie-cup sized fistful. When it is totally gone, my dance with Promo/Red Dot will have ended and will not happen again.

I've evolved over decades and when it comes to powder, my motivations have simply changed. My experience was a good one, but not so good that I feel I need to do it again.
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Old 09-07-2017, 05:14 PM
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Default I've noticed....

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
First off, most everyone (unless they are in the powder business) has little concept as to what "burning rate" is and is not. The smokeless powder industry does not even use that term. They use "relative quickness." And that means it is relative to the application. Powder A may have a higher relative quickness than Powder B in a specific load and caliber, but it may be reversed with another load and caliber. It's really a lot more complicated than the simple published "burning rate" charts would lead you to believe. They are only general approximations of the facts.

The definition of RQ: "Ratio of the quickness of a test propellant to the quickness of a standard propellant, measured at the same initial temperature and loading density in the same closed chamber."
I've noticed that if you were to graph two powders and different bullet weights, the lines almost touch in some places. I've compared 2400 to H110 and found that at the bullet weight I'm using, I give up VERY little in velocity to H110. If I wanted to squeeze a few more fps out I'd use H110, But why? 2400 works best for me.

PS I don't think there is an industry standard to measure powder burn rate precisely.

PPS. I think it would be cool to know something about internal ballistcs. Maybe one day I'll invest in the Quickload or whatever it's called.

PPPS. Light bulb. I'll bet Quickload would help me solve that problem I've been working on about heavy bullets in 9mm. Now I have a reason to get it.
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Old 09-07-2017, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwsmith View Post
That's what I thought, too, but Red Dot shows on many burn charts as being faster. You just have to accept that those things are for general info. I'm glad to hear that. I've confused about it.
Alliant used to publish their powder speed in comparison to Bullseye. Bullseye was 100%, Red Dot was around 94%, Green Dot about 78%, Unique 60%, Blue Dot around 40%, 2400 about 25%. So they say RD is slower. But a lot of load data shows lower charge weights for RD compared to BE, implying it is faster.

I've never used RD, but used GD. GD makes excellent .45 auto hardball loads. I didn't like it at all for .38.
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:10 PM
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"PPS. I think it would be cool to know something about internal ballistcs. Maybe one day I'll invest in the Quickload or whatever it's called."

I have used Quickload for over 10 years. It's fun to use, but I don't put much faith in its correctness. I've had a lot of experience in chronographing loads which Quickload calculates to give a MV of, say, 900 ft/sec but that actually give a MV which is considerably less. Likewise, I don't put a lot of faith in the peak chamber pressures calculated with Quickload.
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgpcr View Post
I have loaded a lot of Red Dot and Green Dot in my .38 and .45. Its great powder that has worked well at it for years. There may be better powders out there but its good powder!
Plus, it's easily available (can't say that for Bullseye), and it's cheaper than Bullseye.

I started buying it during the last Obama panic, when I couldn't find Bullseye anywhere.
I had looked through my reloading manuals and found that it gave very similar performance to Bullseye, with very similar loads.

I tried a can and loved it.
I like it in .38 Special with a 140 grain Hornady Cowboy bullet.
Makes for an afternoon of cheap fun.
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:07 PM
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Default I gotcha.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
"PPS. I think it would be cool to know something about internal ballistcs. Maybe one day I'll invest in the Quickload or whatever it's called."

I have used Quickload for over 10 years. It's fun to use, but I don't put much faith in its correctness. I've had a lot of experience in chronographing loads which Quickload calculates to give a MV of, say, 900 ft/sec but that actually give a MV which is considerably less. Likewise, I don't put a lot of faith in the peak chamber pressures calculated with Quickload.
I see what you are saying, but I'm really in the dark about that 9mm problem I'm working on. As long as I understand
G.I.G.O. it would be of some help.

BTW I'll bet their algorithms are all based on a "10" test barrel".
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:57 AM
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per post #27
"... a lot of load data shows lower charge weights for RD compared to BE, implying it is faster."

Red Dot can get away with a smaller charge, also due to the fact
that it is bulkier than Bullseye and fills the case fuller per grains used.

With a Berry 147gr RN plated in a 9mm case with a 1.13" oal,
you can get 4.2 Bullseye but only 3.3 grs of Red Dot for a full case of powder.

Do not load these loads............ they are just for a reference !!
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:34 AM
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I've used RD, when I could get it, since the late '70s in 9mm and 45 ACP loads. I've had good success with it in those calibers. I found that for my mid range loads, it meters good enough thru my RCBS Uniflow.
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtgianni View Post
I believe Red Dot can be used in more calibers than any other powder. I love it in 32 Long, 44 mag and 45 Colt and it goes bang in 358 Win.
Mr Mtgianni, would you be so kind as to share your 32 Long formula for Red Dot? It's no secret that I love me some 32s and as luck would have it, I just came onto a cheap batch of Red Dot from the estate of an old shotgun reloader. Sounds like I may have a winner here! Of course I have a bunch of bought bullets and a variety of moulds as well, so I should be able to come close to matching whatever you are putting in yours. My 1920 vintage RP, my post-War Transition 32 HE Snub, and my Project 616 thank you!

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Old 09-10-2017, 04:34 PM
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It is 2.5 gr RD and a Lee 90 gr swc. This is the only bullet I tumble lube. I would not use it in a break open action but it runs fine in my old i frame. I am not sure I ever tried it with the RCBS 98 swc but I did drop it to 2.2 gr with the Lyman wc.
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:50 PM
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Use it for 380 and 38 Special
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Old 09-10-2017, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtgianni View Post
It is 2.5 gr RD and a Lee 90 gr swc. This is the only bullet I tumble lube. I would not use it in a break open action but it runs fine in my old i frame. I am not sure I ever tried it with the RCBS 98 swc but I did drop it to 2.2 gr with the Lyman wc.
Muchas gracias! I have Lyman moulds for both the wc and swc in the 90-95 gr range... I should be good to go. I knew I was grabbing up that Red Dot for a good reason!

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Old 09-10-2017, 11:37 PM
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For 38 special, it makes very accurate loads with 125 grain RNFP bullets.
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Old 09-11-2017, 05:13 PM
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Red Dot powder. Red Dot powder. Red Dot powder. Red Dot powder. Red Dot powder.  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: SW Wyoming
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Red Dot is one of those versatile powders that works for almost every aspect of reloading. Shotgun, pistol and reduced/cast rifle loads. Red Dot will do the job. Not always the best choice but will work. In recent past times, RD was a good fill in for just about any pistol from 9mm up and always does a good job.
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