The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 30, 2006, 01:05 AM   #1
cpaspr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 304
Need a load - .380 ACP & Clays

I need help finding a good load for this combination. I have 88, 90, 95 and 100 grain bullets, in both lead and jacketed. I can't seem to find any published loads for Clays in a .380 ACP. Does anyone have one? Please cite your source as well.

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by cpaspr; September 30, 2006 at 12:17 PM.
cpaspr is offline  
Old September 30, 2006, 12:16 PM   #2
cpaspr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 304
Nobody?

I realize that it's a small caliber, and many people don't think it's worth it to reload 9mm and below, but that can't be the opinion of everybody.

Or is it that there are no "published" loads?
cpaspr is offline  
Old September 30, 2006, 12:20 PM   #3
Bud Helms
Staff
 
Join Date: December 31, 1999
Location: Middle Georgia
Posts: 12,993
Most participation here is in the evenings, even on the weekends. Some one will be along.
Bud Helms is offline  
Old September 30, 2006, 01:53 PM   #4
Mal H
Staff
 
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
Posts: 14,481
I've never seen a published load for Clays in .380 ACP. As you know and depending on which list you read, Clays is the fastest or one of the fastest powders there is. It was specifically designed for moderate loads in 12 Ga shotshells, not necessarily for handgun cartridges.

I use Universal Clays in my .380 target loads. Working up from the published min of 3.6 grains (Speer #13 & Hodgdon's website) with a 95 grain FMJ, I arrived at 4.0 grains as a good load without pushing the pressure envelope.

I realize that doesn't help with your quest for a Clays load. Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to work up a few loads of Clays starting with the minimums published by Lyman for Bullseye for the bullet weight of your choice (it'll be around 2.0 gr for 90/95 grain bullets). Be especially mindful of double charging a case; it's easy to do with such small loads.
Mal H is offline  
Old September 30, 2006, 08:58 PM   #5
cpaspr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 304
Actually, I didn't know.

Quote:
As you know and depending on which list you read, Clays is the fastest or one of the fastest powders there is. It was specifically designed for moderate loads in 12 Ga shotshells, not necessarily for handgun cartridges.
One list I have shows Clays as #16 out of 173 different powders, so yes, I knew it was a fairly fast powder (Bullseye is #6, Unique #35, Universal Clays #36). Didn't know that about it being primary a shotgun powder though.

Quote:
I use Universal Clays in my .380 target loads. Working up from the published min of 3.6 grains (Speer #13 & Hodgdon's website) with a 95 grain FMJ, I arrived at 4.0 grains as a good load without pushing the pressure envelope.

I realize that doesn't help with your quest for a Clays load. Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to work up a few loads of Clays starting with the minimums published by Lyman for Bullseye for the bullet weight of your choice (it'll be around 2.0 gr for 90/95 grain bullets). Be especially mindful of double charging a case; it's easy to do with such small loads.
I worked up a hypothetical formula from the max recommended loads for a .32 ACP comparing Titegroup (#12) from the Hodgdon website, and solved for .380 and Clays. Here's the formula:
(3.2 Titegroup [.380 ACP])/(2.2 Titegroup [.32 ACP]) =(? Clays [.380 ACP])/(1.7 Clays [.380 ACP]). Equals out to 2.5 gr of Clays. So I would want to start at say, 2.2 grains to be 10% low.

If anything it (hypothetically) might be a bit light. Using the same formula with info for a .38 special instead of the .380 came out to 3.6 grains, whereas the actual load data is 3.9 grains with a 125 gr bullet.
cpaspr is offline  
Old October 1, 2006, 08:47 AM   #6
arkie2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2006
Posts: 475
The Lee manual lists #5 titegroup, #6 red dot, #7 clays, and #8 v-320 in that order in their powder burning rate chart. There is load data published for Titegroup, red dot and V-320 for jacketed bullets in 95 grain and 100 grain weights for .380 auto but Clays isn't mentioned.

Starting loads for 95 grain jacketed are:

titegroup: 2.7 grains (max 3.2)
red dot : 3.1 grains (max 3.1)
v-N320 : 3.1 grains (max 3.6)

Starting loads for 100 grain jacketed are:

titegroup: 2.6 grains (max 3.0)
red dot : 2.7 grains (max 2.8)
v-n320 : 2.9 grains (max 3.3)

I suppose you could derive some starting loads from this data but you'll be an experimenter. I checked my Hodgdon book and Hodgdon's website and neither list any data for the .380 and Clays.

An interesting note about this is that for many of the powders listed the start load is the same as the max load! (note the data for red dot 95 grain bullet above). I have no idea why that is (case capacity?) but even the Hodgdon manual (the Lee manual agrees) lists tight tolerances for HP-38 (#10 on the list) of .2 grains between min and max for the 100 grain bullet. Since no data is listed for Clays you won't have any way of knowing if your interpolated load is right for this caliber.

My advice: get some powder listed in the load data.
arkie2 is offline  
Old October 1, 2006, 01:28 PM   #7
cpaspr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 304
Quote:
My advice: get some powder listed in the load data.
No sarcasm intended: Well duh. I never thought of that. No, really, I didn't. Sometimes the best answers are so obvious, they aren't so obvious. Just because Hodgdon doesn't list it doesn't mean they can't list it, or that they've never tested it. I'll try to contact them and see what develops.

Thanks for the suggestion, Arkie.
cpaspr is offline  
Old October 1, 2006, 01:37 PM   #8
arkie2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 3, 2006
Posts: 475
Good luck. I would be interested to hear what Hodgdon has to say. Maybe you can post it here? Also, no sarcasm intended here either.
arkie2 is offline  
Old October 10, 2006, 11:28 PM   #9
cpaspr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 304
Well, I have a response.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will copy and paste the entire e-mail history, from the most recent to the earliest, judiciously leaving out the names of the innocent, or nearly so:

Quote:
Mike -

Clays is too fast burning? Titegroup is faster, and you have loads for it for the .380. Seems odd. Almost seems like the load data for the .32 ACP shouldn't exist, since the only other sub .38 Special load I could find was for 9 mm, and then only once the bullet weight reached 115 grains.

Thanks. I'm disappointed, but thanks anyway.

Steve ????


> -------------- Original message ----------------------
> From: "Help Account" <Hpchelp@hodgdon.com>

> Our tests indicate that Clays is too fast burning for use in the 380
> ACP.
>
>
> Mike ????
> Customer Satisfaction Manager
> The Hodgdon Powder Company Family of Propellants:
> Hodgdon Smokeless Powders
> Pyrodex Muzzleloading propellants
> Triple Seven Muzzleloading Propellants
> IMR Smokeless Powders
> Winchester Smokeless Powders
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Steve [mailto:????@????.???]
>> Sent: Wednesday, October 04, 2006 9:38 AM
>> To: Help Account
>> Subject: Second Request - .380 ACP and Clays
>>
>>
>>
>> Have you ever developed or tested loads for this combination? I have
>> 88, 90, 95 and 100 grain bullets in both lead and jacketed, and would
>> really rather use published data than try and work up loads from
>> scratch. Clays is listed for .32 ACP, so I know you've done some
>> testing with it in at least that small caliber, as well as in .38
>> Special, .40 S&W and .45 ACP (my other calibers I intend to use it for).
>>
>> Thanks in advance.
>>
>> Steve ????
>>
>>
>>
__________________

Conclusions ? Suggestions ?

Besides the fact that now I guess I get to build my own load from scratch with assistance from a friend with a chronograph.
cpaspr is offline  
Old October 10, 2006, 11:51 PM   #10
Mal H
Staff
 
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
Posts: 14,481
According to 3 different burn rate charts I have, Clays is faster burning than Titegroup. Perhaps you're confusing "Titewad" with Titegroup? Until Titewad came out, Clays was Hodgdon's fastest powder.
Mal H is offline  
Old October 11, 2006, 03:59 AM   #11
mjrodney
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 5, 2006
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 435
Retracted....just saw the words "Universal" Clays......
__________________
Proud supporter of the NRA

Last edited by mjrodney; October 11, 2006 at 04:02 AM. Reason: Why Johnny can't read...
mjrodney is offline  
Old October 11, 2006, 08:50 AM   #12
Mal H
Staff
 
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
Posts: 14,481
Actually, mjrodney, you bring up a valuable point we've discussed before on these pages about Hodgdon's powder nomenclature (or is that nomenclayture?).

I think they were out to lunch when they came up with the "Clays" series of names. There's Clays, Universal Clays and International Clays. That leaves lots of room for some serious misunderstanding of which powder is which, especially to the novice reloader. There is too much difference in burn rates of the 3 powders to give them such easily confused names.

----------------

Scene in a reloading supply store:

Novice reloader thinking to himself, "Well, my friend told me to pick up some Universal Clays powder. All I see is this bottle of Clays, that must be what he meant."

Later on at the range after loading up some .40 S&W rounds for his new Glock using 6 grains of Clays - - Kaboom!

----------------

Fortunately most reloading manuals are now dropping the "Clays" part of the name when they list Universal or International.
Mal H is offline  
Old October 11, 2006, 09:09 AM   #13
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,843
Quote:
I think they were out to lunch when they came up with the "Clays" series of names. There's Clays, Universal Clays and International Clays. That leaves lots of room for some serious misunderstanding of which powder is which,
This seems to be a common complaint. But I wonder why you never hear it about the "Dots", red, green, blue, and now "clay dot."

I don't think I want to dream up a load for an uncharted powder for a light blowback pistol.

Quote:
An interesting note about this is that for many of the powders listed the start load is the same as the max load! (note the data for red dot 95 grain bullet above). I have no idea why that is
I think it is because Lee's starting load is the load at or below maximum that they make a measure disk cavity for. No relation to the usual -10% starting point recommendation. Their never exceed load is the powder maker's maximum.
Jim Watson is offline  
Old October 11, 2006, 09:47 AM   #14
Mal H
Staff
 
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
Posts: 14,481
Jim, I don't think the "Dot" situation is the same thing as the "Clays". You wouldn't ask for a container of "Dot", but you might ask for a container of Clays. Perhaps if the fastest Clays powder was called "Fast Clays" or "Lightening Clays", anything other than just plain "Clays", I wouldn't have the same complaint. It needs something to prevent confusion.

Also, as you know, the Dot powders actually have little blue, red, green dots intermixed in the powder so they can be identified away from their labeled can, not true with the Clays family, to my eye they look similar.
Mal H is offline  
Old October 11, 2006, 09:54 AM   #15
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,843
Maybe so. I have some (plain) Clays for clean burn in .45 ACP revolver ammo and that is all I have used out of the series, so perhaps I am not qualified to comment.

Those four digit numbers on IMRs and wannabes can be kind of confusing to the semi-literate, too.
Jim Watson is offline  
Old October 11, 2006, 10:42 AM   #16
cpaspr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 304
Nope - wasn't confused. However . . .

Quote:
Mal H -

According to 3 different burn rate charts I have, Clays is faster burning than Titegroup. Perhaps you're confusing "Titewad" with Titegroup? Until Titewad came out, Clays was Hodgdon's fastest powder.
According to the burn rate chart at http://reloadbench.com/burn.html, Titewad is #3, Titegroup is #12, and Clays is #16.

However, since you mentioned it, I just checked Hodgdon's site, and found their burn rate chart at http://www.hodgdon.com/data/general/burnratechart.php. So you're right, and my original comparative source at reloadbench.com is out of sync with Hodgdon. I'll try to send them an e-mail to inform them of their error. And I'll follow up with Hodgdon as well.

Although, it does seem odd that there are published loads for the .380 ACP using Bullseye (an Alliant product) which is known to be one of the very fastest commercially available powders, faster than both Clays and Titegroup.

_____________________

Sent e-mails to both. Let the website war begin!
cpaspr is offline  
Old October 11, 2006, 11:07 AM   #17
Mal H
Staff
 
Join Date: March 20, 1999
Location: Somewhere in the woods of Northern Virginia
Posts: 14,481
Ah ha! That burn rate chart explains why you thought Clays was a viable .380 candidate. Please do send them the email.

Clays is usually listed as being faster than Bullseye in most charts, but they are close. I still think you can find a good .380 load with Clays as long as you start out with a min load of powder and work up in small increments.
Mal H is offline  
Old October 11, 2006, 11:50 AM   #18
Mike Irwin
Staff
 
Join Date: April 13, 2000
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 35,643
Actually, I'm not sure why Clays wouldn't be a viable candidate for the .380 Auto.

Hodgdon shows reloading data for 9mm, .38 Special, .44 Special, and .45 ACP, among others, all of which are in the same general pressure range as the .380. The exception to that, of course, is the 9mm, which operates at significantly higher pressure.
__________________
"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind" -Theodorus Gaza

Baby Jesus cries when the fat redneck doesn't have military-grade firepower.
Mike Irwin is offline  
Old October 11, 2006, 08:40 PM   #19
cpaspr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 304
Mal -

I sent the e-mails to both sites this morning.
________________

Mike -

That was my thought. It kicks a bit, but that's a function of the lightweight gun I have (Sig P232) rather than the power of the round.
cpaspr is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.12069 seconds with 7 queries