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Discussion Starter #1
I have been using e3 powder for about 3 years and the last time I ordered I decided to try some Red Dot since they are now saying it's cleaner than it was. Well it isn't, there is a big difference when I clean up my XT after shooting. I'm going back to e3 does anybody know of anything cleaner?

warren
 

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Never tried e3, but have used Red Dot and Clays for years. For awhile the supply of Clays dried up so went back to Red Dot. I like both and if handed shells with either one could not tell the difference. Will keep using Red Dot as it is American made and their support staff for information is very helpful. Fred
 

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For fast powders, Red Dot burn rate and faster, the only thing cleaner than e3 is Extra-Lite. However, that is only usable for 7/8oz loads and slow 1oz loads.

Intermediate burn rate clean powders: American Select and Solo 1000

Slow, clean powders: PB
 

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Pat Ireland let me know on here several years ago that both e3 and Red dot were made in the USA in fact near him, that's one of the big reasons I like to use them.

warren
 

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I love E3 for my 7/8oz. loads. It's a little cleaner than Clays, which is already pretty clean. It also works for my standard velocity 1oz. loads, but the recoil with Clays feels a little lighter. E3 with 1oz. feels much sharper, although the stats on both are very good.
 

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Some folks believe because in print there exists a tested load with who knows what components that this would be a proper load. While all this can be assembled and still be safe doesn't mean it should be for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons being that it contributes to "dirty burning" amongst other possibilities.

Also some of the aftermarket wads seem to accelerate/enhance the dirty burning issues along with the foreign primers.
 

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All powders leave something behind. Some combinations of components can make any powder look "dirty". Poor crimps, poor primers, garbage wads, worn hulls, poor load selection, etc can contribute to poor combustion of any powder. I use a LOT of Promo and I have no trouble with it being "dirty". I use quality components in carefully selected loads. Like Pheasantmaster said, just because the load is in print does not mean it will work well and burn clean, especially in cold temperatures. Personally I like e3 and American Select, but I also like getting 1 1/2 times the amount of Promo for the same money. I shoot a gaspipe and have NO problem with powder residue with properly selected and assembled loads using Promo. I've used Clays, e3, American Select, and a host of other powders and have seen no real difference in cleanliness. They ALL leave residue. Some looks different than others, but it's there. When they come out with a powder that leaves NO residue and eliminates cleaning, then I'll be impressed.
 

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Red Dot used to be very, very dirty. Now it's "New! 50% Cleaner!", which means it's only very dirty. I had 2, potentially dangerous, trigger malfunctions while using Red Dot. One occurred near the end of the first keg (about 3500 rounds), another near the end of the second. I don't care about residue in the barrel....one swipe and it's all gone. But there were burned and unburned powder flakes in my action that interfered with the trigger reset.

I switched to E3 and the problem went away. As a bonus I found it to be at least 0.5 grain more efficient than Red Dot and the most consistent low-temperature powder I've ever used.
 

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I've enjoyed many years of shooting and reloading with old Red Dot, the new Red Dot, Clays and Green Dot. I don't see a reloading change anytime in the near future.
 

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Hull: Rem GC

Wad: W12L (gray)

Shot: 7/8 ounce

Powder: 16.7 grains Red Dot (my MEC #30)

Primer: CCI209 reg

AVG Vel 8 rounds: 1283 fps

ES: 39 fps

SD: 14


Primer: CCI20M

AVG Vel 8 rounds: 1298 fps

ES: 25 fps

SD: 9


Primer: R209

AVG Vel 8 rounds: 1277 fps

ES: 15 fps

SD: 5


When I tried E3, Alliant suggested 17 grains for 1250 fps. My MEC #30 dropped 16.5 so I tried that...

Hull: Rem GC

Wad: W12L (gray)

Shot: 7/8 ounce

Powder: 16.5 grains E3 (my MEC #30)

Primer: R209

AVG Vel 8 rounds: 1326 fps

ES: 29 fps

SD: 11

Quite a bit snappier than what they suggested and more than I wanted.
So I dropped to my MEC #29, for 15.9 grains and 1260 fps.

I've burned several kegs of E3 and found it consistently matches Red Dot velocities with .5-.7 grains less powder and is extremely clean. I tested a snappy 1 ounce @ 1340 fps (70 degrees F) load and found I lost only 20fps, and NO consistency, when I chronoed some of those that had been held a couple days at 15 degrees F. I love the stuff.
 

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warren

Alliant Powder makes Promo. Only one thing to remember. It can vary from lot to lot and even jug to jug, so be sure to weigh your drops, especially when opening a new jug. It's basically the equivalent of Red Dot. I shoot an 1100 and I use Promo and Green Dot for most of my shooting. The residue "looks" dirty, but it's really not any worse than the "clean" powders. It's cleans up real easy too. You just need to select a load that develops enough pressure for it to burn properly. 9000 - 9500 PSI works fine for me. Be sure your crimps are good too and Use a decent wad. Promo takes care of my 7/8 to light 1 1/8oz lods. Green Dot for Caps. 1 1/8 at 1250 or higher gets Unique. Clay Dot is also a good powder for 7/8 or 1oz loads, but pressures seem to go a bit higher than I like for many 1 1/8oz loads. Promo also costs a lot less.

I test my loads for cold weather performance before loading a lot of them. Some primers were problematic with Promo and other powders. The Federal 209A, Winchester W209, and CCI209M seemed to work well in most loads. The few loads I tried with Cheddite Primers worked fine. Fiocchi 616 primers were dismal in more than a few loads at cold temps. They worked ok in several others. I put a half box in the freezer for a day or more and kept the other half at room temp. I fired them over a chronograph to see how they performed. There weren't too many surprises. I've also tested some factory shells and found a few that were worse than anything I assembled myself. They were some bargain priced shells that are quite popular. Not Winchester, Remington, or Winchester. I don't think most or any WalMarts carry them and they were not Remington green or red.

I once did an experiment and tried three popular powders. One was Promo. I used once fired hulls, OEM wads, and quality primers. All loads were 1 1/8oz and chronographed as close to 1150 fps as I could get them, since one powder exceeded my comfort level for pressure at 1200. I thoroughly cleaned my 1100 and did not clean or lube it until after the third malfunction with each powder. I started with a new recoil/action spring and replaced the "O" ring after each cleaning. I counted the shells fired until the first malfunction and then to the third. Usually a failure to extract/eject or feed properly, and the third malfunction usually occurred within the next box or two. I then throughly cleaned the gun and then fired the next series of loads until the same circumstances occured. The last powder I tried was Promo and it went over 1250 rounds without one malfunction. That was about 500 more shells than the other two powders before the first malfunction with them, so I gave up and tore it down. It was rather dirty, but it cleaned up easily enough. The powder residue was actually easier to clean out of the barrel hanger than the other two powders, altghough the barrel took a little more effort to remove than usual. Maybe one day I will repeat the test with both of my Classics and another 1100 to see if it's repeatable. I know it isn't too scientific, but the results were not what I expected. I now sometimes commonly go 750 to 1000 shots before cleaning, using mostly Promo and Green Dot. I used to go no more than 500. The 1100 I use for doubles gets WAY more attention and cleaning, although it's probably unwarranted.
 
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