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Thread: Green Dot in Handguns

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Green Dot in Handguns

    Hi, all.

    I bought a pound of Green Dot to try out in .38 Spl, 9mm, .380 ACP, .32 H&R Magnum, and 44 Spl. So far, I've shot about 100 rounds in .38 Spl using 150-gr commercial cast SWC with no crimp groove. I had difficulty finding much reloading data, so I relied on the 2004 Alliant Powder Guide, which I found as a PDF file online.

    I shot 75 rounds with 3.5 grains Green Dot from my 1956 4-screw K38. I shot everything at about 10 yards, double action, offhand. They were very accurate, so I'll try them next weekend at 25 yards from a rest to see how accurate they really are. Recoil was light.

    I then shot 25 rounds with 3.8 grains Green Dot from my Model 64-3, again at 10 yards, double action, offhand. Like the others, they were very accurate. I'll be shooting them at 25 yards from a rest to see if the accuracy at 10 yards holds. I suspect it will. Of course, it's hard to go wrong with target loads of any powder in a Smith .38.

    Next up, 9mm and .380 ACP.
    Last edited by UnderDawgAl; 04-29-2012 at 07:33 PM.

  2. #2
    UnderDawgAl,

    I have no experience with Green Dot in .32 H&R Mag, .380 ACP, or 9 X 19, but in the .38 Special, .357 Mag, .44 Mag, and .45 ACP with cast boolits, I find it to be comparable to Red Dot, just a bit slower.

    You can start with Red Dot data and figure maximum will be about a half grain higher than Red Dot.

    During the last "Great Component Shortage", I had a cousin that started loading for his new Kimber and Springfield pistols in .45 ACP. Red Dot, Bullseye, and 231 were not available at the time so he settled on Green Dot. Liked it so well that he is still using it in .45 ACP, .38 Special, and .357 Mag loads.

    PB

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    HI,
    I have used it in 38,357 & 44mag with some success.
    Even for squib loads in the '06.
    Prefer Unique,2400,WC820 over it though.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master BossHoss's Avatar
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    I have come into quite the quantity of Green Dot in 8lb cardboard canisters.

    #1 it is the best Handicap Shotgun powder because of it's slower burn rate.

    #2 it is PERFECT for full case loads of 9mm +P you cannot double charge a 9mm with it. My 9mm P+ carbine rounds use Small Rifle primer also.

    44magnum...and 45 Colt ....great plinkers 6.5gn to 8gn...

    45acp...a little dirty...winchester white box speed,,,5.4 gn 230 LRN

    My rule of thumb with it is 10% more by weight than Red Dot starting loads with pistol.

    38 and 357...no problem start at Red dot min with 10% added.

    It really shines with Handicap Trap loads...it design purpose, and 9mm +P .

    I dont know if the small 380 will take enough powder to get a good burn. It will go bang, but it may be too dirty without full ignition.

    I got a lot of it at 6 bucks a pound and I have found a lot of uses for it, cautiously however.

    The real suprise, I will say it again...9mm +P with small rifle primer. 4.0-4.4 gn 124 LRN ...I use the 4.0 in handgun, 4.4 in Carbine. It fills the case , no double charge possible.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    A friend of mine gave me 20 pounds of Green Dot years ago. I shoot it in every pistol cartridge I own. Takes a long time to use 20 pounds in pistol cartridges. With cast or jacketed, its a winner.
    Last edited by rbertalotto; 05-10-2012 at 07:15 AM.
    Roy B
    Massachusetts

    www.rvbprecision.com

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    green dot came out 50 years or so ago. red dot was the trap load powder at the time and the wads were felt and card. when the sleeved cups came out it raised the pressures and by using green dot, you could use the same charge bars, as I remember was the stated reason green dot was created.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    I used to use a lot of green dot in trap loads and in 38 special and 357. It will definitly get the job done.Lately I 've been using more and more of the LIL Gun.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Stick_man's Avatar
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    I recently read somewhere that Green Dot was sthe most underrated handgun powder on the market today. I will post a link to that if I run across it again.
    "We the people are the rightful masters of both
    Congress & the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution,
    but overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."

    Abraham Lincoln

  9. #9
    Boolit Man
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    Thanks, guys, for the responses.

    Why did I want to try Green Dot for the rounds I mentioned above, when W231/HP-38 can accomplish the same? Well, first I wanted a powder that would better fill the case of a 38 Spl and maintain ease of metering. Second, I wanted something close to HP-38 in burn rate. Third, like most of us, I wanted to see what's out there in terms of loading possibilities.

    Since I'm a prolific plinker and paper puncher, HP-38 can suit all my needs. However, it's always interesting to try something new. I've got an 8-lb jug of Green Dot on the way right now.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master BossHoss's Avatar
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    9mm 124gn LRN 4.0gns Green Dot 1260fps avg. small rifle primer 4.5gns for +p

    38spl 158gn LSWC 3.6gns Green Dot 8-3/8 smith mod 27 750fps avg 4.0gns 800fps

    45acp Speer (old soft) 200gn LSWC 5.4gns GReen Dot 1911 Colt 740fps avg


    Just a few entries from the log .. Chrony Beta.

    My 44 entries were done on postits, and never entered in the log......

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I love Green dot. I really like powders that allow me to load many different cartridges, as I prefer to keep fewer powders in larger quantities, rather than a pound of this and a pound of that.

    Green Dot is one of my most used powders. I originally started using it back in the 80s because you could load both 20 and 12 gauge shotshells with Green Dot, while Red Dot was considered pretty much a 12 gauge only powder. I have subsequently used it to load all my shotshell gauges except for .410. Even though it is no longer considered the optimal choice for the smaller gauges and they no longer list data, I have the old data and continue to use it in my 12, 16, 20, and 28 gauge target loads.

    In addition, it is an AWESOME powder for cast boolits in the .30-30. I still don't believe the groups I get at 100 yards with an iron sighted carbine with a 31141, our 31141 group buy clone, and our group buy 31141 plainbase boolit. I also tried it in the .30-06, but it didn't work out nearly as well, I believe due to the size of the case. 2400 was much better.

    I don't use it in a lot of handgun loads anymore, but I used to. Back in my bowling pin shooting and IPSC days, I did use it as my top choice for full power .45 ACP loads. I tend to use Bullseye for my light loads, but have found that Green dot works just about as well in .45 ACP and .44 Special. I don't recall ever trying it in .38 Special or 9mm, but I assume it would be good. I also never bothered trying it in .357 or .44 magnum since it didn't really seem to fit into that niche.
    Last edited by Patrick L; 05-01-2012 at 08:32 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Have any of you used Green Dot in .303 or 30-06 for cast bullet shooting?

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Junkbug,

    Yes, I mentioned in my post it didn't work out too well in the .30-06, at least at 100 yds. Maybe for a gallery type load.

    I think the case is too large for such a fast powder. I got much better results when I switched to 4227 or 2400.

    In the .30-30 it rocks, and I assume it would do well in cases of similar capacity.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Years ago I contacted the Hercules Co. about the suitability of Green Dot for the .44 magnum with cast boolits. A ballistic techie told me that it was a great powder for the .44magnum and is a "well kept secret". I use from 7 to 9 grains, depending on the boolit weight. I have found it to be an excellent powder for the .44 mag with cast boolits. I have often thought about the "well kept secret" comment, and came to the conclusion that pehaps it is because you need less of it to get the same performance as Unique, and after all, they are in business to sell powder! In the .44 mag, I have found that as a general "rule of thumb" I can use one grain less of Green Dot to get the same performance as a given charge of Unique. That equates to about a 10% savings in powder cost per round.
    It's all chicken, even the beak!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    I really like running it in my .45ACP rounds with cast 230gr TC boolits.
    Forgot to say I use 5.3 of GDot back of the 230gr cast.
    Last edited by sparky45; 05-26-2012 at 11:12 AM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you Patrick. Somehow I missed that.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    4.3 grains of Green Dot behind the RCBS 115 FNGC actually gives me better accuracy in a Marlin 1894Cl 32-20 than the ubiquitous 4 to 5 grain charges of Unique.

  18. #18
    Boolit Man
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    I used to spot shoot with a small group of guys and we would put a paster on a target some 35 yards or so away and everybody antied up a nickel a shot and take turns trying to cut the paster. I still have the stainless Security Six that I used in these shoots and it was an outstanding shooter with Green Dot and I won a lot of nickels with it. It shot everything else ok and I tried a lot odf different load combos but when fed Green Dot it really shined. Go figure.

  19. #19
    Boolit Man
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    Update on my original post above. Note that all were fired standing, two-hand grip, offhand. Forgive me for only using plated bullets for these. Haven't had time to cast in quite awhile.

    I loaded and shot the below.

    Cal: 9mm
    Gun: Browning Hi Power
    Bullet: Berry's 124-gr RN plated
    Powder: Green Dot 4.3 gr (.57 disk w/Lee Pro Auto Disk)
    OAL: 1.125"
    Accuracy: At 13 yards, excellent accuracy shooting standing, offhand, two-hand grip. Averaged 1.5" per 5-shot group (some better, some worse).
    Comments: No need to experiment further for me. Will use this interchangeably with my HP-38 load of 4.3 gr. Will confirm by shooting from bench at 25 yds when time allows.

    Cal: .380 ACP
    Gun: Beretta 85FS
    Bullet: Berry's 100-gr RN plated
    Powder: Green Dot 2.9 gr (.40 disk w/Lee Pro Auto Disk)
    OAL: 0.978"
    Accuracy: At 13 yards, combat accuracy shooting standing, offhand, two-hand grip. Averaged 2.5" per 5-shot group (some better, some worse). Need some trigger time on this gun. Should be able to shrink the groups with some practice.
    Comments: The load left the nickel plated brass very dirty. Will up charge to 3.1 gr and try.

    Cal: .40 S&W
    Gun: Sig Sauer P239 (my dad's gun)
    Bullet: Berry's 165-gr RNFP plated
    Powder: Green Dot ~5.35 gr (.71 disk w/Lee Pro Auto Disk)
    OAL: 1.128"
    Accuracy: This was my 1st time shooting this gun, and I didn't do well. No matter what ammo I shot, my shots all hit low, whereas my dad's shots were spot on. At 13 yards, combat accuracy shooting standing, offhand, two-hand grip. My dad averaged 2.5" per 5-shot group (some better, some worse).
    Comments: This load had the same felt recoil as the factory Federal ammo my dad had on hand. This load was second in accuracy behind some rounds loaded with 7.1 gr Power Pistol.
    Last edited by UnderDawgAl; 08-06-2012 at 08:49 PM.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    I'm considering Green Dot myself. Anyone ever use it in the .32 Auto or any .32 revolver cartridge? Green Dot is a slow seller around here so its always available. It usually costs about $5.00 less per pound than other powders.
    Currently loading: .32 Long/Magnum/Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check