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Thread: Blue Dot and the 30-30...

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy ElCheapo's Avatar
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    Blue Dot and the 30-30...

    Want the 300 BLK in a lever action? These loads will get you close, but with a more effective flat point bullet. I recently began testing Blue Dot in my 1972 Marlin 336 in 30-30. I have to say I'm impressed. Using Remington brass, Remington 9 1/2 LR primers and PC'd Lyman 311008's I'm getting some very consistent velocities. My last three shot string over my Chrony showed 2211, 2225 and 2227 fps. This from a load of 17.5 grains of Alliant Blue Dot. I throw a charge with my powder measure and then trickle it up exactly. Accuracy was good but I still need to experiment and find the best seating depth. If I can get consistent groups of an inch or less at 50 yards I'll use it on deer. I was using AA#9 for this application, but if the Blue Dot works out I'll save that powder for the 300 BLK.

    This velocity matches what I'm getting from my 311041's and both bullets shoot to the same POI, so I don't need to change the sights. This gives me both a light recoil load and a standard load suitable for anything I'd want to hunt with the rifle. Pretty handy, IMHO.
    Last edited by ElCheapo; 08-06-2022 at 05:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy ElCheapo's Avatar
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    Got to the range yesterday and tested 4 different seating depths. One yielded a group of .570 inches at 50 yards so I'll stick with that. Should be ready for deer!

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    What is the bullet weight?
    Good shooting, sounds like you're on to something there.

    Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy ElCheapo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    What is the bullet weight?
    Good shooting, sounds like you're on to something there.

    Sent from my SM-A716U using Tapatalk
    I'll have to check. Should be 115-120 grains after powdercoating.

  5. #5
    Are you gas checking them or leaving them plain based?

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy ElCheapo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockrat78 View Post
    Are you gas checking them or leaving them plain based?
    Plain base. I found that with my gun plain based bullets shoot fine up to about 2300 fps or so. Above that accuracy goes to pot.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy ElCheapo's Avatar
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    Powdercoated 311008's weigh 116.5 to 117.2 grains with my alloy. I don't cull any unless they have obvious defects and they shoot just fine.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I usually point people to the GMDR site for reduced loads, but, I think the site is gone (at least I can't get to it).

    Blue Dot at 8.0gn is pretty accurate in the .308, right around 1190fps in a 26" barrel.

    I have had some experiences with Blue Dot that leads me to stay away from low load density and higher pressures. It can be a little unpredictable, especially in regard to powder position in the case.

    The Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook has quite a few loads that will get you from 1100 to 2200fps with 170gn cast (eg 31141). Blue Dot is not listed in any of their loads. You could also use the recommended reduced loads from Hodgdon using 4895.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy ElCheapo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlie b View Post
    I usually point people to the GMDR site for reduced loads, but, I think the site is gone (at least I can't get to it).

    Blue Dot at 8.0gn is pretty accurate in the .308, right around 1190fps in a 26" barrel.

    I have had some experiences with Blue Dot that leads me to stay away from low load density and higher pressures. It can be a little unpredictable, especially in regard to powder position in the case.

    The Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook has quite a few loads that will get you from 1100 to 2200fps with 170gn cast (eg 31141). Blue Dot is not listed in any of their loads. You could also use the recommended reduced loads from Hodgdon using 4895.
    Not sure what your point is other that you don't like using Blue Dot yourself, which is your choice. Anybody who chooses to handload has the responsibility to be their own quality control technician and use good, safe reloading practices to avoid double charging a case. I charge a case with powder and immediately seat a bullet. This is the safest way I'm aware of.

    17.5 grains of Blue Dot seems to fill a 30-30 case to about 2/3 capacity, and the 117 ish grain 311008 bullet produces very consistent velocities and excellent accuracy with no signs of excessive pressures in my rifle. Obviously it behooves everyone to start at a lower charge weight and work up to the desired velocity while keeping a sharp eye out for flattened primers, sticky extraction or other pressure signs.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Just the point that Blue Dot has some interesting characteristics at mid-level load densities. It seems to go from OK to not good at all. If you are at 2/3 density and the charge is against the base then I suspect you'll have no problem at all. But, if you tip the barrel down first, exposing the primer, then you might get a surprise.

    Just something to be aware of with that powder.

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold

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    Yep, I agree with charlie b, sudden pressure spikes with powder position, of course using a heavier bullet than 117gr.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy



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    I've burned a lot of Blue Dot over the years in a lot of different rifle calibers from .223 up to .45/70. Also have used BD in .357, .41, .44, and .454 and .475L. I don't use it for mouse fart loads or for pumping out maximum velocity. There always seems to be a sweet spot where it really shines and I've haven't experienced any "surprises" in the 30+ years of using it. I won't say it couldn't happen but maybe I'm just lucky.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have run many pounds of bluedot through various rifles. My most used load is 11.5grs (1.0cc lee dipper) in both .223 with jacket bullets, and 7.62x39 with wide range of cast bullets along with the .312 100gr Hornady XTP's. A bolt action 7.62x39 loaded a 311440 & 11.5gr of blue dot is about my favorite woods walking load, extremely accurate and will do anything i need it to do. My daughter actually shot a buck last fall with that load, the 311440 was hollow-pointed, but a solid would of worked just as well. Blue Dot is versatile powder and well suited to the 30-30.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy 405grain's Avatar
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    I've used blue dot loads with jacketed bullets in 223. These are reduced velocity & noise rounds for varminting in settled areas. They are not low pressure loads. The issue when using blue dot is that pressure and performance are good so long as you don't get near maximum loads. When you start approaching maximum loads the pressure rises exponentially, and can quickly enter into a dangerous level. It's best to avoid these situations by using good judgment and using moderate loads. I only loaded to 11.0 grains (using 45 grain bullets). This is an accurate and safe load that's on par with a 218 Bee. If you desire higher power loads, use published data on commonly used powders. Blue dot can be safe - but you have to keep it away from top end loads.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Don't know if it is still true or not. Past years all the reloading guides eliminated .357 125gn JHP Blue Dot loads. The story I gathered from numerous sources is there was some published data that was way over pressure even though the amount of powder and velocity seemed reasonable.

    Alliant still lists only the 110, 140, 158 and 170gn bullets for use with Blue Dot.

    Even though I use it in the .357 I mostly use 140gn SWC bullets.

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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