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Old February 19, 2011, 10:16 AM   #1
Shootest
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44Mag 240gr SWC

While going through my ammo stock and cleaning it up I noticed this. About 15 years ago I loaded 4 boxes of 44 Mag. 240gr cast SWC with 17gr Blue Dot. At the time my data said 18.5 was max, now Lyman list 15.5 as max.
Did they make the powder hotter or the data more conservative or was the 18.5 a typo? My question is what do I do with it ?
I hate to have to pull all 200 rds. Any comment, other than don’t load more than you shoot, would be appreciated.
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Old February 19, 2011, 10:27 AM   #2
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I've loaded 16.5 grains with 255 grain bullets in .45 Colt and it was a great load. [for a Ruger Blackhawk] That's how I used up the rest of my Blue Dot that I didn't like in .357 Magnum.

I'd shoot 17 grains in a .44 Mag 240, no problem. Quickload says it's only 33000 psi. SAAMI maximum is 36000, so your getting close, but CIP maximum is 40600 and that's a safe load too.
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Old February 19, 2011, 10:55 AM   #3
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Maybe the lawyers got more conservative.
Test shoot some. Betcha they are just fine.
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Old February 20, 2011, 11:32 PM   #4
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The published loads have been lawyered down over time.

I wouldn't bat an eye before I shot them.
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Old February 20, 2011, 11:39 PM   #5
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If the data and powder are from the same time frame, shoot them up. Both change over time, as in don't use current data with old powder, or vise versa.
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Old February 21, 2011, 10:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
While going through my ammo stock and cleaning it up I noticed this. About 15 years ago I loaded 4 boxes of 44 Mag. 240gr cast SWC with 17gr Blue Dot. At the time my data said 18.5 was max, now Lyman list 15.5 as max.
Did they make the powder hotter or the data more conservative or was the 18.5 a typo? My question is what do I do with it ?
I hate to have to pull all 200 rds. Any comment, other than don’t load more than you shoot, would be appreciated.
First, if you shot some and they were o.k. 15 years ago, they should be all right to shoot now.
Second, within the last couple of years, there has been correct load revisions issued by the maker of Blue Dot. Those revisions, besides changing the max charges downward, include NO safe load of Blue Dot for the .41 Remington Magnum (which used to be my powder of choice for warm .41 hunting loads). Therefore, I have drawn the inference that Blue Dot has been changed. So, it would be prudent to observe newer load data for it when loading current Blue Dot powder.

See warning here: http://shootersforum.com/showthread.htm?t=49357
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Old February 21, 2011, 10:29 AM   #7
chiefr
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For many years, I used BlueDot exclusively in 41 & 357 mag. I got superior groups in the 41Mag. When the warings and changes came out several years ago, I quit using BlueDot alltogether. You can find plenty of info on BlueDot and the changes on the web.
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Old February 21, 2011, 10:34 AM   #8
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It is really not clear to me

whether the real problem with Blue Dot is a change in the powder or a change in the instrumentation of the pressure-testing equipment that revealed some previously unseen problems with Blue Dot.

I am betting on the latter, because Alliant has not been very forthcoming about why the powder is not supposed to be used in several cartridges for which it was previously promoted.

As for shooting those old loads, I agree that they are probably OK, especially in a strong .44 Magnum. SAAMI reduced the actual max pressure in the .44 Magnum when they went from the CUP to the PSI standard, so that will account for some of the max charge reduction in newer manuals. But, I would take a look at the primers and cases of the first few fired, and would probably not want to shoot them in extremely hot or cold conditions, just to be cautious.

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Old February 21, 2011, 12:29 PM   #9
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I've been told, by some that seem credible/knowledgeable to me, that substantial improvements/advancements have been made in pressure testing. While crushing copper gave an overall number (generally) it didn't show the dangerous spikes that can occur throughout the complete range of the "burn". That said, I shot hundreds of rounds of 16.5 gr. Blue Dot/240 gr. XTPs and I will shoot the hundreds of rounds I still have in that same loading. I loaded them back when that was considered a safe mid range load for 44 mag. in several reloading manuals. "My personal" past experience is the only reason why I will shoot the remainder of what I have. I would not have loaded them if I knew then what I know now (hindsight being 20/20).
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