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Old March 31, 2012, 06:34 AM   #1
bamiller
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9mm bullets for .380?

Newbie to reloading here so I appoligize ahead of time if this is a dumb question. Since both .380 and 9MM bullets are .355 diameter can the smaller grain 9mm bullets be used for reloading .380s? The only restriction I can think of is if the 9mm bullets are longer consequently making the OAL of the round too long for a .380.
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Old March 31, 2012, 06:36 AM   #2
sourdough44
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I have some 100 grn '380' bullets & I do believe they could be used for 9mm loading. I do see occasional data but don't think I'd want to go heavier than 100 grns in the 380.
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Old March 31, 2012, 07:18 AM   #3
PA-Joe
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380 is a waek round and needs velocity to work correctly. You do use 9mm bullets in the 380 but you should keep them under 95 grains.
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Old April 1, 2012, 09:55 AM   #4
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I'm using 125gr and 130gr in my 380's and they shoot very good for me.
I've had the 130gr FN to 965 average fps and it was still good.

These are cast bullets, maybe jacketed would be different.
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Old April 1, 2012, 10:51 AM   #5
sourdough44
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A 130 grn bullet going 965 fps in a 380 seems a little much to me. I got 974 in my chrony with 90 grn Speer GD factory ammo out of a Sig p238.
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Old April 1, 2012, 03:16 PM   #6
dacaur
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Quote:
These are cast bullets, maybe jacketed would be different.
Yes jacketed is definatly different. lead bullets are a lot easier to push down the bore than jacketed (read: less pressure)
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Old April 2, 2012, 09:21 AM   #7
bamiller
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I already have 115 gr 9mm RNFMJ bullets and really don't want to buy .380 specific bullets unless I need to. Can I use the 115 gr for loading 380s without issue? If so, I can't seem to find any powder loads for that heavy of a bullet and would appreciate input on how much Bullseye or Unique powder to use.
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Old April 2, 2012, 10:05 AM   #8
praetorian97
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380 is the same bullet just a smaller weighted 9mm.

Confused me at first as well. Just make sure you use 100 grain or smaller bullets.

100-95-90 typically.
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Old April 2, 2012, 03:42 PM   #9
sourdough44
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I have seen 380 loading data with a 115 grn bullet only in 1 or 2 manuals, maybe Lee, I forget. I think you would be better off getting some 100 grn bullets to use in both rather than going with the 115 in the 380. There may be a reason why you don't see much data on the 115 grn bullet in the 380?

Not saying you couldn't gin up a load & 'make it work'. If so your fps would be on the low side, with standard pressures.
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Old April 3, 2012, 07:36 AM   #10
reloader28
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I have 2 or 3 books that have data for 115gr jacketed bullets. I also have 2 or 3 books with 125gr as the upper end for lead.

Lee lists 2.7gr HP-38 which is the same as W321 for 115gr jacketed.
According to Sierra and Lyman for 115gr, you can go up to 2.5gr Bullseye or 3.5gr Unique.
If you run heavier cast bullets, go 2gr Bullseye or 3gr Unique. They are both fun, but all our guns prefer Bullseye. If you want to crank up the speeds, you need 5.3gr Blue Dot with 120gr lead for 950fps.

These are book max loads so work with cation.

You should get very good accuracy reloading. All the factory jacketed ammo I've shot was complete junk. If you want really small groups and excellent performance, cast your own bullets. I aint bought bullets in many years.

We have 2 more 380's coming later this week and cant wait to try them out.

Last edited by reloader28; April 3, 2012 at 07:42 AM.
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Old April 3, 2012, 07:53 AM   #11
Jim Watson
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I have loaded .380 with 115 gr bullets and a moderate amount of 231.
No problems.
Lyman has data, Reloader28's information is ok.
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Old April 7, 2012, 09:23 PM   #12
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I have been loading the 115 gr. Hornady XTP since I began reloading and it makes for an accurate load when safely used. I recently added the Speer 125 gr. swaged lead bullet for a cheap plinker load in my P238. It shoots like a dream with a pinch of 231 or Unique and surprisingly shoots to POA.

For what it's worth, don't try to hotrod it. It can't take too much and I've ruptured a few cases trying when I began reloading. You'll also notice that several reloading manuals have large swings in suggested charge weights. Start low and work up.
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Old April 8, 2012, 12:29 AM   #13
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Loaded some with Hornady 115 gr FMJ's & Unique. When I chrono'd them at @690 fps, I tanked that idea. Use mainly Lee 102 gr cast and some commercial 105 (they actually weigh 107 grs.) gr. 38 cal. cowboy SWC's sized to 357. Shoot 'em in an LCP and a Colt 380 Gov't.
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Old April 9, 2012, 09:28 AM   #14
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I typically shoot 90 gr in the lightweight P3AT and LCP, and 158 gr in the larger Colt 1903.

But I have been using 115 gr JHP 9mm bullets and Bullseye for making a 380 pistol comparison chart.
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Old April 11, 2012, 03:58 AM   #15
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Running this through QuickLoad (comapare with your own sources and common sense/experience, and start low and work up slowly):

115 gr RN, COL = .984", max pressure 19,580 psi
Bullseye max: 2.76 gr for 812 fps out of 3" bbl.
Unique max: 3.2 gr for 821 fps
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Old April 11, 2012, 03:13 PM   #16
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CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.


I tried to have a controlled experiment to find the limit of 115 gr JHP Bullseye in different 380s. It was driven by case support, except the Beretta, which was limited by chamber wall thickness.

The first two pistols will be at the threshold of bulging with BuffaloBore 380 +P performance.

380 Win 115 gr JHP Bullseye .970
0) Book load Sierra 2.1 gr = 0% extra powder 0% extra powder
1) Kel-Tec P3AT case support .290" case bulge 3.6 gr = 71% extra powder
2) Ruger LCP case support .270" case bulge 3.6 gr = 71% extra powder
3) Bryco case support .125", case bulge 4.6 gr = 119% extra powder
4) Beretta 1934 case support , chamber bulge 6.5 gr= 210% extra powder
5) Browning 1903 case support, no more powder will fit 6.5 gr = 210% extra powder
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Old April 12, 2012, 01:48 PM   #17
lee n. field
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Quote:
Newbie to reloading here so I appoligize ahead of time if this is a dumb question. Since both .380 and 9MM bullets are .355 diameter can the smaller grain 9mm bullets be used for reloading .380s? The only restriction I can think of is if the 9mm bullets are longer consequently making the OAL of the round too long for a .380.
Yes.

It's been a long, long time since I've loaded .380, but I can recall loading up some with 110 grain 9mm bullets.
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