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Old November 15, 2010, 01:32 PM   #1
kevlq
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.380/9MM Bullets, the same?

First off, this is my first post on this forum and last weekend I loaded and fired my first batch(es) of handloads. I still have all 10 digits and they all went boom when I pulled the trigger. For that I am very happy.

I have what might seem to be a "duh" question regarding 9MM and .380 bullets. Can you use any 9mm bullet to load as a .380? I have found very few bullets specifically labeled .380 in the local shops but they also have some lighter (90/95 gr) 9mm bullets that seem to be something I can use.

Thanks for your help.
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Old November 15, 2010, 02:01 PM   #2
Wag
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This link might help: http://members.shaw.ca/cstein0/revolver.htm

It shows the 9x19 as 0.355" and the 380 auto as 0.356". Some guns say you can interchange the 9x18 Makarov and the 380 auto ammo in the same gun but the 9x18 is 0.363" so I have my doubts about that.

If you have a loading manual, it may give better information or may specify different dimensions.

Personally, I wouldn't try to indiscriminately interchange the two.

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Old November 15, 2010, 02:03 PM   #3
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Yes, it's true thay are both considered 9mm's. The true diameter you are looking for is a bullet that is .355 inches. For .380acp anything in the 80 to 102 grain weight range is appropriate. Not all manufacturers will specify .380, they expect you to know what you are looking for.

By the way Natchez has some 100gr. .380 Berry's Bullets on sale for $17.99 for a box of 250 ea. That's a good price for some plinking bullets. These are .356" dia. because they are copper washed cast bullets.

For better self defense bullets you can't go wrong with Hornady bullets. 90 gr XTP's are HRN# 35500 and they go for about $14.50 per 100.

Good luck and good shooting!
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Old November 15, 2010, 02:05 PM   #4
Archie
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Yes, for all practical intents and purposes.

Both cartridges are in the 9mm family. Manufacturers variations in handguns run barrels from .355" to .360", depending on era (wartime guns run loose) and if it were made on Monday morning.

Bullets made by commercial makers in the U. S. are fairly uniform, and typically run very close to .356"

The only thing to watch is bullet weight. .380 ACP - 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz or several others - does not have the case capacity to push bullets heavier than about 115 grains with much vigor. (Lyman's 47th has loads for jacketed 115 grain JHP bullets.) The standard weight is 90 grains, if I'm recalling correctly.
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Old November 15, 2010, 02:28 PM   #5
kevlq
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Thanks for the replies. Yes I do own a couple reloading manuals (One by Hornady and one by Speer). In the Hornady manual under the .380 description it says something about Hornady making a couple bullets that work great for .380 loading like their 9mm .90gr bullet. Which got me wondering if the lower weight 9mm's are meant for .380 loading as well. I would like to stick to 90-100 grain bullets for the .380.

Snakedriver, thanks for the heads up. I bought a box of the Berry bullets from Cabelas for the same price and they have worked great thus far. I have actually loaded them all up and shot about half of them without fail.

I also bought a bag of 100 Remington 88gr. JHP bullets and had some major problems loading them. I think out of the bag of 100 bullets I ended up with about 75 usable pieces. They seemed to catch the edges of the cartridge and crumple it when seating the bullet. Any similar experiences with that? And being new to reloading any tips on what I need to do to prevent that?

Thanks.
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Old November 15, 2010, 02:41 PM   #6
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Kev, that just means you need to add a little more flare to your case mouth when using Die #2. They'll go in easier and the taper crimp will close it up all nice and tight when you seat the bullets with Die #3.
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Old November 15, 2010, 02:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
By the way Natchez has some 100gr. .380 Berry's Bullets on sale for $17.99 for a box of 250 ea. That's a good price for some plinking bullets. These are .356" dia. because they are copper washed cast bullets.
Berry's bullets are NEITHER copper washed or cast. They are pure copper plated.
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Old November 15, 2010, 02:50 PM   #8
Snakedriver
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Quote:
Demigod: Berry's bullets are NEITHER copper washed or cast. They are pure copper plated.
Technically correct. From the Berry's Website:

"All of our Preferred Plated bullets are swaged from a custom alloyed lead for uniformity, then plated to final weight and put back in a carbide die to be Re-Struck to the preferred dimension."

Good catch!
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Old November 15, 2010, 02:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
I would like to stick to 90-100 grain bullets for the .380
That's a good idea, the .380 is such a small case that it doesn't give much room for error, and the pressures are rather high (and the guns tend to be rather light and small). Best to use the smaller bullet and give yourself a bit more volume for the powder. I use both 95 gr. cast and JHP bullets as well as 100 gr. Berry's copper plated RNHB bullets and have been very happy with all.
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Old November 15, 2010, 03:13 PM   #10
kevlq
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"Kev, that just means you need to add a little more flare to your case mouth when using Die #2. They'll go in easier and the taper crimp will close it up all nice and tight when you seat the bullets with Die #3."

Snakedriver, please elaborate on this. Which function is die #2? (I am sorry if these are very simple questions). Perhaps I do not understand the technical aspects as well as I will one day as I am new to this. I can tell you that I am using the Hornady LNL AP press with a set of Lee dies. I have 3 stations set up on my reloader. The first one de-primes the casing and sizes it. Is this the die that I need to adjust?
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Old November 15, 2010, 03:53 PM   #11
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Die 2 is the belling die. The one with the powder hole. Screw this down a little more to get a wider bell.

Die 1 is the sizing die
Die 3 is the seating die
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Old November 15, 2010, 03:59 PM   #12
Snakedriver
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Kev, I'm assuming you're using a three-die setup for your reloading. First die sizes and decaps the case, second die flares (bells) the case mouth to receive the bullet and the third die seats the bullet & applies a taper crimp. If you don't have enough flare (bell) from die #2, you'll crumple the case neck like you mentioned when trying to seat the bullets. Screw the expander ball down a little more in die #2 and you'll have an easier time seating the bullets.
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Old November 15, 2010, 05:15 PM   #13
kevlq
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Thanks Snake, and to all who replied here. I was hoping this forum would be a good resource for me as I learn this new hobby. You have all been more than helpful and I am very grateful. More stupid questions to come I am sure.

Thanks again.
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Old November 16, 2010, 07:44 AM   #14
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Something to know about berry's plated bullets. do not use jacketed bullet load data! berry's says use cast bullet load data if you don't have specific plated bullet load data. get a manual that's not company specific, like Lyman, or LEE. They tend to have a better selection of data to choose from.
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