As promissed I finally had some decent weather and conducted the test. It is lengthy and will require several posts to put it all together.
Hercules Blue Dot VS Alliant Blue Dot; .44 Magnum
Date: 15 April, 2009
Location: Tacoma Rifle and Revolver Range, University Place, Washington
Time: 1300 – 1600
Temperature: 43 – 50 degrees F.
Atmospheric pressure: 29.92
Wind: 2-5 mph from 0530
Test instrument: Oehler M43 Personal Ballistics Laboratory
Test Cartridge: .44 Magnum
Test Case: WW Winchester
Test primer: Federal 150 Large Pistol
Hercules Blue Dot lot #BD152 purchased 10-15+ years ago as the price was $11.89
Alliant Blue Dot lot #289 shift 2, Feb 22, 2008 with a price of $20.89
Powder charge weights: 14.5 to 18.4 gr in .5 grain increments with all charges weighed on a Redding
Test Bullet: RCBS 44-250-K cast of 60-40 WW (new) – linotype alloy, weight 252 gr, sized .430 in
Lyman 450 and lubed with Javelina
Load OAL: 1.705”
Crimp: Case mouth crimped completely under edge of forward driving band
Loading dies used: RCBS with carbide sizer
Shots in test string; 5
Test sequence: a test string was fired with the Hercules powder then the subsequent test string was of the same charge weight of Alliant powder. Thus test strings were concurrent from 14.5 gr up through the 18.4 gr powder charge weight
The M43 PBL provides much information that would result in an overly long report. Pertinent to the question of the difference between the older Hercules Blue Dot and the new Alliant Blue Dot is the comparison of velocity and pressure per a equal charge weight of each powder. Thus I shall report the muzzle velocity (corrected to muzzle by the M43) and the pressure (rounded to nearest 100 psi so 20,500 psi will read 20,5) for each powder charge weight of both Hercules and Alliant Blue Dots. The format will read the powder charge with the initial H or A in front, the muzzle velocity and the pressure in psi(M43).