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Thread: Green Dot safety ?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Red face Green Dot safety ?

    I have 3 old canisters of Hercules Green Dot. I have had it quite a while, and wonder if it is safe in a 38 special behind a 160 grain cast round nose. At 84 I tend to forget things but I seem to remember some problem with this powder 16 or 20 years back. I plan to start at 3.4 grains with a max of 4..............
    Does any one remember a difficulty with this powder or any opinions about its use?

    As always, thanks for the help. I am still having fun with casting. Several 30 06s, 25-20, 2 45-70s, and some pistols all with cast, just a little slower now................

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    Catch,

    I do not recall GD as a "preferred" powder for .38 Spl. Alliant does not list current data for it.

    Sending an email for Alliant will typically get a response in a day to two.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Jedman's Avatar
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    I have used Green Dot in 38 spl and many other pistol and rifle cartridges with good results. Your charges listed should be fine as it is a slightly slower powder than Red Dot and should be mild , velocity and recoil wise.

    Jed

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    I can remember my Dad using that to reload shotgun shells with but that was in the 80`s. I`m wondering if Hercules and Alliant formula`s are the same on the powder? That would be my first concern. If they are there is a "sweet spot" i am reading with Green Dot around 3.6g with a 155g cast. That is out of a 2005 load book.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Jedman's Avatar
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    I had to go down in my basement to look for older load manuals and also found in the 2005 Alliant edition the load for GD was 3.5 grs. W/ 158 gr. cast SWC.

    Jedman

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Green Dot is my accuracy powder for my .45 Colt revolver. In my load I thought it might leave a bit more powder residue than other powders,but no more than Unique.

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    I have used Green Dot for about everything it has a few short comings The older the dirtier and has a static problem especially in progressive press's and plastic hulls but also in pistol. It likes pressure to burn cleanest with the best results for me at least. light low pressure leaves it pretty dirty. when the load cleans up it's a sign to stop going up. This is what I have found with it. It also can be temp sensitive doesn't like cold and gets finicky when hot. I use it. for 20ga. 45 Colt mostly

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master
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    38 Spl - 160gr bullet using Green Dot ... From 3.3 grains to 3.6 grains
    CCI-550 Primer
    Regards
    John

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Great help!! Thanks so much for your info...........Catch

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy


    Black Powder Bill's Avatar
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    I've used a boat load of GD in 38's. Never any issues.

    Sent from my XT1096 using Tapatalk
    Your're already a criminal, you just haven't been arrested yet!
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    What I write on this forum or any forum is my opinion unless otherwise stated.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master TNsailorman's Avatar
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    I think you might be confusing Green Dot and Blue Dot. There was some issues with Blue Dot at one time because of temperature. Seems there was a "warning" out to not use Blue Dot in cold weather. I have used Green Dot in some 225 and 230 grain lead bullets and got fine accuracy out of them. I mostly use W231(because I caught it on a going out of business sale and bought a boat load of it) in my .45ACP/AR loads for my revolver.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I have a manual from Alliant dated 2001 that lists a charge of 3.5 grains of Green Dot as max for a 158 grain cast boolit.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    Blue dot warnings were in 357mag and a certain bullet weight.

  14. #14
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    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    The Green Dot "problem" stems from too hot loads listed in old Hercules Powder Guides. My copy with the erroneous load data is dated 1968. Other publications that do not test the data they publish have copied that data so beware. I recently conducted aa pressure test of Green Dot in the 357 Magnum and the 44 magnum. A search should turn up that post. I would consider the latest Alliant data (not earlier than the 2001 data tazman mentioned) as correct.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I tried a "search" on pressure testing the .44 magnum and Green Dot and couldn't come up with the test data Larry referred to.
    I have used 8.6g of Green Dot behind a hp'd 429421 for many years now and the velocity from a 4" Mtn Gun with this load is 1023 fps with an Sd of 8. I'd sure like to know what the approximate pressure is. Larry, can you help?
    It's all chicken, even the beak!

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Shuz

    I could find the post through the search engine here either?????

    I have reposted it below. I didn't test the exact load you mention but I think the info is there you need. If not then we'll see about a test?


    357 and 44 Magnum with Green Dot PSI test

    I conducted the pressure tests of new Alliant Green Dot yesterday (March 19, 2019) in the 357 Magnum and the 44 magnum.

    Initially I started with the 357 magnum using the Lee TL358-158-SWC cast of COWWs + 2% tin, sized .358 and lubed with BAC. Cases were Winchester 357 brass and WSP primers were used. The bullets were seated to the top lube groove in the bullet and a roll crimp was applied. Testing was done with a Contender using a strain gauge located over the chamber at the SAAMI prescribed location. The Oehler M43 PBL was used to measure the velocity and pressure. The barrel length of the test barrel is 7.94". Target was at 50 yards for group size.

    I started off with a "reference" test string of 14 gr 2400 under the 358156. The resulting velocity was 1537 fps at 34,900 psi. That is within the test to test variation of that load so all appeared well.

    For the Green Dot test I had loaded increments of 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 7.0 and 7.5 gr in 10 shot test strings with the 7.5 gr load being the load listed in the 1968 Hercules manual.

    During the first test of the 5.5 gr load I began to have technical problems. Some loads would appear normal, some were erratic and some did not record complete data. In selecting out the shots that appeared "good" I found the 5.5 gr load was running at 31,000 psi! Further testing suggested the 6.0 gr load was running at 37,300 psi, the 6.5 gr load at 41.400 psi and the 7.0 gr load at 43,200 psi. I did not test the 7.5 gr load.

    Another test string of the "reference" load revealed the same erratic readings. Thus I'm not betting these were correct though I did get a stuck cast with one of the 7.0 gr loads necessitating removal with pliers the psi was definitely there. Inspection when I got home revealed the scope base had become slightly loose and the ground was lost. I have fixed that problem and may run the 357 magnum test again in the near future.

    At this point of the testing, in the 357 magnum, I would not recommend a load over 5.5 gr with the Lee 158 TL bullet seated as such.

    After the 357 test I switched over to the 44 Magnum. Again the test barrel was Contender at 8.4". The initial test bullet was the Lee TL430-240-SWC cast of COWW + 2% tin, sized .430 and lubed with BAC. It was seated to the 1st lube groove and a roll crimp was applied there. The AOL was 1.600". I loaded 9 shot increments of 7.0, 9.0, 10.0, 11.0, and 11.5 gr (the load listed per the Hercules 1968 manual) of Alliant Green Dot.

    The 7.0 gr load was very pleasant at 1037 fps with a psi of 22,200. No abnormalities were noted. Accuracy for the 8 shots was just under 4" at 50 yards.

    Next I tested the 9 gr load and got a very amazing surprise! the velocity was 1163 and the psi had jumped up to the SAAMI MAP for the 44 magnum at 35,100. That was a whole lot for just a 2 gr increase! Accuracy was very poor with the bullets barely staying on the target paper (NRA 50 yard pistol target).

    I tried the 10 gr load and the 3rd case stuck and had to be pulled out with the pliers. The psi of that 3rd shot was 45,700. The 1st two shots were in the 40,000+ range. I suspended the test at that point with the Lee TL bullet.

    I had also loaded tests of the 7.0 gr load under a 260 gr commercial cast "Keith" type bullet and also under my own cast (COWWs + 2% tin) RCBS 44-250-K which weighed 253 gr.

    The commercial cast bullet ran 994 fps at 20,600 psi with a 3.5" group with nice even time/pressure traces.

    The RCBS 44-250-K ran 1004 fps at 19,700 psi with the best group at 1.525" also having nice smooth time/pressure traces.

    So you ask; "why did the heavier bullets give less psi with the 7 gr load?" That's a good question and I've come to believe the seating depth (that is not the AOL BTW) is the answer. When we look and the 3 bullets and how deeply they were seated in the case we see immediately the Lee 240 gr bullet was the seated the deepest. Then the 260 gr commercial bullet. The RCBS bullet was seated the less leaving more "case capacity". A further comparison of the Lee TL 240 gr bullet with an 8.0 gr load will be conducted comparing different seating depths of the same bullet [crimped in 1st lube groove vs crimped in the 2nd lube groove].

    At this time, in the 44 magnum, I consider the Max load of Green Dot powder under the Lee 240 gr TL bullet seated to the 1st lube groove to be 9 gr. I suggest, if Green Dot is used with this bullet seated such that 7 - 8 gr would be a good "working range" to test in a 44 Magnum revolver.

    I have posted a warning in the previous post containing the old Hercules manual not to use the Green Dot data contained thereon.

    BTW; I also had 10 rounds left of Magtech 240 gr SP which I had used a "reference" ammunition with this barrel. I shot those last yesterday. The barrel was fouled with all the previous cast bullet shooting so I just shot a factory round "on top" of the cast bullet fouling. We often hear dire warnings not to do so as pressures might be extremely high so I thought we just might see. That 1st shot of the factory magnum load ran 1403 fps at 24,700 psi. The next 9 shots ran 1440 fps at 28,100 psi which is within the test to test variation of this box of factory ammunition. Seems that 1st shot through the cast bullet fouled barrel gave less velocity and considerable less psi well outside the psi ES of the other 9 shots. Hmmmmmm.........

    Larry- I have a 2006 Alliant Manual and it lists a max of 6.0/GD with a 158 LSWC at 34000PSI for the .357. For the .38 spl it's 3.5/GD/158 lswc@15600PSI. For the .44 mag they use a 240 gr. Lead GC with a max load of 9.5 grs at 34800 psi. Hope this helps

    PS. Their oal with their 158 LSWC was 1.58" with a Fed 200 primer

    The use of "OAL", I'm learning more and more is a useless term unless you are using the exact same bullet. The psi is more a result of seating depth of the bullet into the case than by OAL or even weight of the bullet. Picture below is a visual demonstrating the variation in seating depth of four 240 - 260 gr cast bullets I am working with. Note in the above test the Lee 240 gr bullet gave the highest psi, higher than the 253 and 260 gr bullets because it was seated deeper. I have 3 of those bullets (out of the commercial cast GC bullet) now loaded over 8 gr (thrown) Green Dot for a side by side comparison.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    As to 9.5 gr being a max load, not knowing the seating depth of whatever 240 gr bullet they used, it could very well be. I hit a max load at 9 gr running 35,100 psi with the deep seated Lee TL SWC. With that 240 gr TL bullet seated out to the 2nd lube groove or with the 240 gr 429360 with it's less seating depth 9.5 gr Green Dot may indeed be a max load. Don't know yet. I do know that the max load is 9gr with the 240 Lee TL bullet seated that deep. So much to test, so much to learn......
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Larry, Thanks for the very very valuable information
    It's all chicken, even the beak!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master LAH's Avatar
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    Thanks Larry for taking time to post that.

    I use GD mostly in my 30-30 but after reading Mr. Kelly's article on the Dots I may try it in my sixgun.
    Joshua 1:9

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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