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Old June 13, 2011, 12:25 AM   #1
RMG1234
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WW231 in .380 - Dirty??

Here is my load:
.380 mixed head-stamp brass (mostly WW white box and PMC, once fired in this gun)
100gr Lead round nose bullet
2.9gr WW231
Fiocchi SP primer

Firearm: SIG P232

I based this load on the Hodgden's website. It lists 2.9gr as the starting load for 100gr FMJ bullets. This loads shots good and I see no signs of over-pressure. Brass is tossed about 8'.

However, when I break the gun down to clean it, it is very sooty inside. The barrel has a lot of soot in it. There is a layer of soot on the feed ramp and all of the internal surfaces. There is also a lot of soot on the front of the slide near the muzzle.


I am new to pistol reloading but have reloading shotshells for several years. I know that with several shotgun powders, you need to keep the pressure up to get clean burns. Does this hold true with WW231 also? Should I increase the powder charge a little and see how it burns?

Other powders I have available are Universal Clays, Clays, Longshot and 800X. Would any of these be good powders to try?

Any other suggestions?

Thanks

Rick
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Old June 13, 2011, 01:32 AM   #2
FrankenMauser
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Most handgun powders will show the same thing you've experienced with shotgun powders: Keep the pressures up, or deal with the mess (though the pressure needed can vary from "moderate" to "hot").

If you aren't experiencing any leading, you could probably try bumping the load a few increments (one step at a time, of course).


The cleanest loads I've ever run for .380 Auto were with Titegroup. ....But they were finicky, and had to have perfect powder charges. A 0.1 gr deviation in charge weight had a significant effect on performance (or pressure signs).
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Old June 13, 2011, 11:55 AM   #3
Doodlebugger45
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Yep, like my friend from Utah notes, all powders burn cleanes towards the upper end of the pressure curve whther it's rifle pistol or shotgun. If you're not experiencing any signs of higher pressure, you can go up a bit on the powder charge and it should clean up nicely. I don't know anything about 380 though. I assume the difference between low pressure and high pressure could be an extremely small amount of powder.
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Old June 13, 2011, 02:10 PM   #4
g.willikers
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231 is kind of dirty, anyway it's loaded.
But it's easy to clean off and it also provides consistent velocity, round to round.
Some of the cleaner burning powders are often less consistent and actually harder to get off the gun parts.
There might be less of it to clean, but it requires more elbow grease than 231.
231 is good stuff.
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Old June 13, 2011, 02:11 PM   #5
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
I don't know anything about 380 though. I assume the difference between low pressure and high pressure could be an extremely small amount of powder.
Aye. A few loads I have come across (and tried one) with Titegroup have a total charge weight spread of 0.3 grains. It would be something like 2.6 gr starting, 2.8 gr max. ...Doesn't leave much room for error (and sometimes the starting load won't cycle, while the max load is too hot). Most powders (and most Titegroup loads) are more forgiving in the .380, but some bullets and powders can be frustrating.
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Old June 17, 2011, 06:00 PM   #6
RMG1234
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Thanks everyone. I think I will try .2gr more in my next batch. I may also try some Universal, starting at the beginning charge for a 100gr jacketed bullet.

Thanks
Rick
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Old June 18, 2011, 10:26 AM   #7
CherokeeT
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231 and Bluedot are my two 380 powders. For general use, 231 gets the nod. I load 112 gr cast with 3.1 gr which works fine for several of my 380's. Does not take much so .2 increments is most I would do from your 2.9 gr level.
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Old June 18, 2011, 10:42 AM   #8
buck460XVR
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The sooty cases may be a sign of too low of pressure. Not enough pressure to expand the case and seal it against the chamber. 231 is a great powder for accuracy, but it will be dirty at low pressure.
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Old June 18, 2011, 11:45 AM   #9
golfnutrlv
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I agree with bumping the load a tad. that should be better.

If you need another option though, try a powder with a slightly faster burn rate. Not too fast, as 380 doesn't have much room in the case, so it can overpressurize quickly. Accurate number 2 is slightly faster than 231, right in the ballpark.

Personally though, I use Hp-38 in my 380. have never had an issue. Shoots excellent. tougher to meter, being flake style, but good quality powder.
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