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Thread: Red Dot in 45acp

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Red Dot in 45acp

    Thought I would contribute a little here in case anyone is curious. I wanted to load some really light loads for my boy to shoot out of my BH 45acp cylinder. I had a bottle of Red Dot sitting there and thought why not.

    I looked for some loads, but I really wanted a low load. Most of my searching came up with 4 - 4.5 grains. I have a powder thrower, but I wanted to see what my lee scoops threw also. I came up with .5 cc, which was 3.5 grains.

    I loaded a lee 230 grain TC boolit, regular lube groove. Tumbled with LLA/JPW, do not know the portions off hand, but do plan on making some recluse lube and trying again.

    So the OAL was 1.18", I believe. Seeing how there is no data, I had settled on something between 1.17" and 1.20". 1.18" is where I ended up.

    Over the chrony at 5' I was getting a consistent 684 fps. I did not do much more testing than that because these are really and truly just for plinking. My 9 year old boy handled them just fine hitting 3 balloons with 7 shots at 10 yards. Not too bad for a first time kid shooting a 45!

    Crazy when the most expensive part of reloading is the primer. Fun shooting.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Oh, my barrel is a 4 5/8" too.

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub saintdel's Avatar
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    I like Red Dot in a lot of things. Not surprised this worked well. Not clear what firearm you were using, 4 5/8 sounds like a single action. Oh, I see it now, BH = Blackhawk. But balloons! Why haven't I thought of that?

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I use Red Dot in he 45ACP with 225-230 grain round nose. 4.0-4.1 grains. It feeds well and the recoil is moderate. Its a little bit slower than Bullseye. The red colored flakes are actual powder; I once fished a bunch out and loaded them with the same charge and they worked the same as the non-colored ones. RD also works well with semi-wads and WC's. LLS

  5. #5
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    My old IPSC (back in the day) load for the 45ACP was 5.2 RD behind a 200gr RCBS SWC. It came right out of the Hornady Manual and used to make major power factor.

    I love that powder and have used "tons" of it in 12ga too.
    If God didn't want man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT!

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  6. #6
    "A General PITA"


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    Thanks for the info!
    GSSF RSO
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    DU

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  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use RD on .45acp,target .38s and works well in 9mm as well.

  8. #8
    PAPERPATCH MASTER


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    Back in the days when I couldn`t afford a great deal of "fooling around" powders, etc. I used Red Dot in all my different caliber handguns as well as my 12 and 20 Gauge shotguns.Robert

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Rangefinder's Avatar
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    RD is probably my all-time favorite powder. It may not be the "best" for many things, but I have a load for everything using it. As long as I have RD on the shelf, shooting is possible.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaineJim View Post
    I use RD on .45acp,target .38s and works well in 9mm as well.
    I picked up the Red Dot to use mainly in 38 special and 9mm. But after I started looking most say it is hard to make it work in 9mm.

  11. #11
    I'm A Honcho! Rattlesnake Charlie's Avatar
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    Red Dot - My favorite since I started reloading in 1968. Great for many 12 ga loads. I use it in my practice loads in .380 ACP, 9mm, .38 S&W, .38 Special, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and .45 Colt. Gets you in the middle of the velocity range for those cartridges easily, burns clean, and a little goes a long way. It is nice an bulky, so in big cases like .45 Colt, .30-30, .303 British, it doesn't seem to be position sensitive.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I've ended up using Red Dot as my standard .45acp load for Bullseye. With a 200 gr SWC, 4.2 gr is my 50 yard slow fire load, and 3.7 gr is my 25 yard timed and rapid fire load. Both function perfectly with the green spring in my Gold Cup Trophy or the 12# spring in my Les Baer. The LB will shoot 2" with that 50 yard load from sandbags. Good enough for me!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I started using it last season for .45, it works great. Tried it with .38 spl, good there too.

  14. #14

    Red Dot in 9MM

    Quote Originally Posted by Rattlesnake Charlie View Post
    Red Dot - My favorite since I started reloading in 1968. Great for many 12 ga loads. I use it in my practice loads in .380 ACP, 9mm, .38 S&W, .38 Special, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and .45 Colt. Gets you in the middle of the velocity range for those cartridges easily, burns clean, and a little goes a long way. It is nice an bulky, so in big cases like .45 Colt, .30-30, .303 British, it doesn't seem to be position sensitive.
    Just curious on what powder charge you are using with Red Dot inyour 9mm & what kind of bullet? I shoot a lot of Red Dot in 45 ACP but have been unable to find reloading data for 9mm. I usually shoot eith 115 grn JHP, 125 Grn FMJ, 105 grn cast or 125 grn cast in my 9mm. Would appreciate the info.

  15. #15
    I'm A Honcho! Rattlesnake Charlie's Avatar
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    Re: Red Dot in 9mm

    The bullet is Lee's 120 gn TC. Mine casts a little fat, and I lube and size at .358, barely touching the bullets.

    The load is 4.5 gns of Red Dot.

    My Lyman Reloading Handbook, 46th edition, shows the following:
    3.9 - 4.9 gns for Lyman #358345, a 115 gn SWC
    3.8 - 4.5 gns for Lyman #356402, a 121 gn TC (real long nose)
    These are listed start and max.
    The Lee 120 gn TC does not need to be seated deeply. I barely cover the grease groove, and taper crimp in a separate step.
    My load has been fired in my Kel-Tek P-11, a Glock, and S&W M&P. No signs of high pressure, including no Glock smiley.
    An initial attempt to use 4.0 gns would not cycle the Kel-Tek at all, and the S&W M&P maybe 25% of the time. it was not tried in the Glock.

  16. #16
    Thanks for the info. I have Lyman's 47th RL edition & the same data is in there for the 115 grain bullet. I primarily shoot 105 grn SWC or 125 grn RN, in the 9mm, although the 125 grn bullet comes out to 130 grains using wheel weights. Lyman 4th edition Cast Bullet handbook has charges listed for 120 grn cast using red dot, showing 3.9 grains as a max, which seems a bit conservative, especially since 47th edition RL handbook shows 4.5 grains of red dot max with a 121 grain bullet. Now, I am using 4.8 grains of unique with both cast bullets above & work great.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master




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    5gr of RD for both my 230gr TC Lee Mold as well as my 200 SWC Lee Mold in my ARMSCOR 1911. Both work just fine to deliver 750fps and 800fps respectively.

    Bruce
    I Cast my Boolits, Therefore I am Happy.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by newton View Post
    I picked up the Red Dot to use mainly in 38 special and 9mm. But after I started looking most say it is hard to make it work in 9mm.
    Hi,i use 4 grains RD with the RCBS 124 CN in my models 17 and 26 Glocks and they shoot very accurately and no leading.
    Hard alloy is needed,at least 15-16 bhn,i use heat treated wheel weights.
    With J words 4.5 grains works great with standard 115 grain ball.
    I tried 4.5 grains with the RCBS boolit but i believe its over the +p range,they weigh 130 grains with my alloy.
    Last edited by MaineJim; 02-19-2013 at 06:10 AM. Reason: spelling

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Red Dot is actually a bit faster than Bullseye, and I never chronographed a load in 45 ACP wherein an equivalent amount of Bullseye outran an equivalent amount of Red Dot. This is generally true in most metallics.

    A load of 5 grains of Red Dot that chronographs only 750 fps with a 230 grain lead bullet from a five inch 1911 means you have a slooooow barrel. Typical ballistics from a lead 230 TC in my own 1911's with such a charge is more on the order of 870 fps or so. Never, ever have I seen a load of Red Dot of that charge weight go that slow with a 230, so hearing of such slow velocity is news to me. My 4.2" Ruger P97 barrel gets about 840 with such a charge, so it ain't me and my guns that are atypical.

    With a 200 grain HG 68 type bullet velocities are over 900 fps; I get 800 fps with 4.2 grain charges.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
    Red Dot is actually a bit faster than Bullseye, and I never chronographed a load in 45 ACP wherein an equivalent amount of Bullseye outran an equivalent amount of Red Dot. This is generally true in most metallics.

    A load of 5 grains of Red Dot that chronographs only 750 fps with a 230 grain lead bullet from a five inch 1911 means you have a slooooow barrel. Typical ballistics from a lead 230 TC in my own 1911's with such a charge is more on the order of 870 fps or so. Never, ever have I seen a load of Red Dot of that charge weight go that slow with a 230, so hearing of such slow velocity is news to me. My 4.2" Ruger P97 barrel gets about 840 with such a charge, so it ain't me and my guns that are atypical.

    With a 200 grain HG 68 type bullet velocities are over 900 fps; I get 800 fps with 4.2 grain charges.
    I know for a fact that OAL can play a significant role in pressure/speed. I was working up a 9mm load and just by seating the boolit .075 deeper it spiked the fps up 100 in a 2" barrel.

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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