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Herco and Blue Dot

11029 Views 22 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Thewelshm
Any of you fellas use either of these? My primary loading is 38/357, 44mag, and 45acp and have never used either but I can get my hands on some for reasonable.
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Herco is a great powder for .45acp - a bit dirty, though. It's also good for mid-range loads for .357 and .44Mag - almost as good as Unique.

BlueDot is a great powder for magnum loads in .357 and .44. but there has been a recent warning about its use in straight-sided magnum cases. I've shot quite a few pounds of it is straight-sided magnum cases with no problem, though. It is a a bit slow burning for much versatility in the .45acp.

The only warning I'm aware of concerning blue dot is this one
I've never used blue dot or herco but wouldn't hesitate to grab either if I happened across them. I have load data for both of them in the calibers listed.
I've used both of these, and have one application that is really pleasing for each. Herco makes a great 125 gr. jhp load for 38 S&W and Blue Dot makes an 85 grain hollow point load for the 32-20 that I really like. These both come out of the Ken Waters series and are not to be considered for arms of questionable strength. I'm sure they have other applications, these are just my favorites. Ken
I have some blue dot experience with 357. As stated, it is dirty, has considerable residue. But I have not tried it as a target load and can only vouch for it through a 4" tube and magnum pressures. It performs great.
I found that 10 gr. of HERCO bhind a 200 to 220gr bullet makes a grear .41 M&P loading. I tried numerous loadings but found that the Herco loading the best. I am not sure that Herco is even made anymore.
I picked up a # of blue dot. It wasn't on my list of powders to try ...... but was available. Anyone had any luck with 38 spl. loads and blue dot? I'm currently loading 158 gr. lrnfp bullets over unique. I have load data I can use, but am wanting to hear from those that have actually tried blue dot in 38 loads. I also load 9mm and 40 s&w and may try it in those cartridges as well.
I've had good luck with BlueDot in .38 Special +P+ loads (160gr. SWCs at ~1000fps) for heavy-framed revolvers. I really like BlueDot for that type of load - even as much as I do 2400.

If you back off the charge of BlueDot too much, pressures will drop and you get incomplete combustion with lots of unburned powder and erratic velocities, so I like it best for +P and +P+ loads in .38Special.

I can't help you with .40S&W, but BlueDot is an excellent powder for 9mm as long as it is loaded at standard velocities or higher. I tried some slightly reduced loads with it one time and it wouldn't cycle the actions on my 9mms reliably.

Thanks xtm, I'll try working up a few 38 loads from the data I have and see what happens ....... according to the data, the loads are below 1000 fps by a bit so I may not like the results. If nothing else, I'll use it in 9mm loads.
DougE said:
Thanks xtm, I'll try working up a few 38 loads from the data I have and see what happens ....... according to the data, the loads are below 1000 fps by a bit so I may not like the results. If nothing else, I'll use it in 9mm loads.
What revolver are you shooting your .38 Special +P and heavier loads in? I have some safe and proven data published strictly for heavy-framed .38 and .357 revolvers that I will talk to you about via PM. I don't want to tempt the handloading tyros with airweight J-frames. :)

I only have 1 revolver in 38. It's an old rossi m851 that I've had for many years. I've fed it plenty of factory +p over the years, but I wouldn't even think about feeding it any hot handloads. Same revolver I posted about in another thread about having flyers with .......... I still haven't been back to the range to figure out what's up with that ...... maybe in the morning if it's not raining.
OK. BlueDot is a true magnum handgun and magnum shotgun powder, so I'd be wanting to use it in something else. :)

9mm Luger operates at rather high pressures, so BlueDot is a good choice for that cartridge - whether normal or +P. I was loading 8.0-8.4gr. BlueDot ahead of 124gr. FMJs at 1.160" OAL for 1110-1150fps in my G-26. Haven't tried BlueDot with 115gr. FMJs.

I'll likely end up using it in 9mm and maybe 40 s&w, but will load up a few mid-range ( something around 5.9 to 6.6 gr.) 38 loads just for the hell of it. I'm sure SR-4756 ( which I'm out of at the moment ) and unique are better suited for my 38 loads though.
I don't really have much use for Blue Dot, but I use a lot of Herco.
Herco is a bit slower than Unique but useful in similar applications.Bluedot is slower than Herco and better suited for higher pressure loads in the magnum revolvers but there is a reputation for being sensitive in cold weather and giving erratic pressure spikes.Alliant says this is only when temps are below 0 but many have claimed problems when as mild as in the lower 20's.
For what its worth Blue Dot for 38 spl

For what its worth ...I have had pretty good luck with Alliant Blue Dot in 38 spl loads. I have loaded .38 spl using 125 gr JHP bullets from Montana Gold in Federal nickel once fired brass. Using Winchester small pistol MAGNUM primers and 8.4 grs Blue Dot with a heavy crimp and OAL 1.433. Shot out of a Ruger 357 mag LCR with a average FPS of 832 . They kicked a little but were good loads that shot to point of aim and no un-burned power when using the Mag. primers. Like I said for what its worth...If anybody wanted to know about using Blue Dot with 125 gr JHP bullets. It will work!
I LOVE Blue Dot!!! 147's in 9mm, 41 mag, 10mm.... nothing sounds better. The deep thunderous boom of Blue Dot is music to my ears.
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My shooting bud and I tried Blue-Dot a while back when we were having trouble finding 2400. We tried it in a four-inch 28 I had, his six-inch Colt King-Cobra and my DW 44magnum. No matter what load-weight we used, no matter what primer, standard or magnum, all with heavy crimps, it smoked like a freight-train. A half pound of it still sits idle on our powder shelf.
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I tried Blue Dot when it first came out, we where shooting LOTS of magnum revolvers
and Automags in .357 automag and .44 automag. Blue Dot will go over pressure REAL
quick, when you get close to max loads. I quit using it, in fact, I think I still have a can
that I musta bought 20 years ago. I never could find a use for it that wasnt already
covered by other propellants.
I'm a fan of Herco. When Unique is not available, Herco is one of the powders I look for.
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