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Old December 6, 2012, 12:19 AM   #1
XxWoodsHunterxX
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Reloading .380 auto

Looking to reload .380 auto anyone have any preferences on powders and such?
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Old December 6, 2012, 12:20 AM   #2
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W231 or Bullseye.
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Old December 6, 2012, 12:37 AM   #3
XxWoodsHunterxX
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Thanks I plan on getting some this weekend. You have any recommendations on loads for 95gr rn
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Old December 6, 2012, 09:30 AM   #4
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Yep, Bullseye.
I shoot cast flat nose 103gr with 2.9gr and 130gr with 2gr.
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Old December 6, 2012, 09:34 AM   #5
A pause for the COZ
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Light bullet plus short barrel = Bullseye. Its amazing just how much power 3 gr of Bullseye has. I just looked on my empty powder bottle shelf.
I went through 4 pounds of bullseye this year.
Avg 4 gr loads. thats 7000 shots, wow thats not counting Unique, Herco, Blue Dot and 2400 loads.

Last edited by A pause for the COZ; December 6, 2012 at 09:41 AM.
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Old December 6, 2012, 10:56 AM   #6
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I have had pretty good luck with Titegroup and Berry's 100 grain hollow based plated round nose bullets.
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Old December 6, 2012, 11:15 AM   #7
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Berry's 100gr HBRN over N320 is my ideal load. Both my guns (Bersa 83 and Sig P238) favor 3.2gr at .977oal

95gr LRN (hardcast, 18BHN) over 2.9gr N320 at .977 is also very good in both of those guns

I load both of these my the 1000s using range brass, sorted by headstamp. I do love my .380s

N320 is expensive compared to Bullseye or HP38/W231 (which I also use) but considering you get 2300 rounds out of a pound the extra cost is well worth it for the gains in cleanliness and felt recoil. My testing showed slightly better accuracy than HP38/W231 as well.

Depending on your bullet costs, you can expect to reload for around $6 for a box of 50, +/- 50 cents.

Last edited by tkglazie; December 6, 2012 at 11:24 AM.
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Old December 6, 2012, 04:32 PM   #8
sourdough44
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win 231 is my 380 choice, 95 & 100 grn bullets.
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Old December 7, 2012, 02:31 AM   #9
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For .380acp I've been having great success with FMJ 115s and Montana Golds 121 grainers. The bullets are usually less expensive due to economy of scale pricing.
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Old December 7, 2012, 08:14 AM   #10
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115s and 121s are pretty heavy for .380ACP. Most loads use 95 or 100 grain bullets, plus they are less expensive than FMJ if you shoot lead or plated.

I have had good luck with 95 gr. LRN and 100 gr. plated Berry's bullets using Titegroup, AA#2 and Unique. I don't have the exact numbers with me but they are available on the manufacturer web sites, or at a couple of good reloading sites... handloads.com and reloadammo.com
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Old December 7, 2012, 08:19 AM   #11
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I've gotten excellent results using Win 231 and Berry's plated 100 grain bullets
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Old December 8, 2012, 01:10 AM   #12
warningshot
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I agree. 115 & 120s in a .380acp are heavy and outside the 'norm' of most reloaders. But Sierra and Hodgdon has published loadings. PPKs and Beretta 1934 handle them just great. Some 25 years ago I wasn't too impressed with my `90s cast bullets in a .380acp. Then along came Mr. Lee Factory Die. But I still don't use cast for .380.
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Old December 8, 2012, 01:43 AM   #13
FrankenMauser
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Lately, I've only been loading Berry's 100 gr HBRN. ...partly because I have a mutant barrel that goes from .358" x .359" to something in excess of .360" and back to .358" x .359" (and the hollow base seems to keep contact with the larger portion of the bore); partly because they're decent bullets; and partly because I hate my .380 and haven't been shooting it much (so the extra cost of Berry's bullets doesn't matter much).

In general, I would suggest avoiding Titegroup in .380 Auto. It doesn't leave much room for charge weight deviation (some loads have 0.3 grains from start to max, such as 2.4 gr 'start' 2.6 gr 'max'). It works, but the difference between a good load and a hot load can be as little as 0.1 or 0.2 gr.

I run Unique, W231/HP-38, and Blue Dot (dirty, but predictable).
One of these days, I'll try loading some True Blue; but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
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Old December 8, 2012, 04:04 AM   #14
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Power Pistol and 90 gr Gold Dot for small 380s
Power Pistol and 115 gr Win JHP for medium 380s.
Power Pistol and 158 gr XTP JHP for large 380s.
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Old December 8, 2012, 06:13 PM   #15
spacecoast
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Some of the loads I shoot in my .380s:

3.0 gr. of AA#2 or 2.7 gr. of Titegroup under a 95 gr. LRN (mild, good for my old Colt .380 Hammerless)

Those same loads under a Berry's 100 gr. plated RN bullet are a little warmer

3.7 gr. of Unique under those same bullets or a 95 gr. JHP are a little warmer still.
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Old December 8, 2012, 09:34 PM   #16
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The RCBS 90 LRN boolit is shooting fine for us. We would like to find a little heavier projo, but the LYMAN pattern is also a 90 grainer. I don't care for the smooth sided LEE pattern, would prefer the wider driving bands, there the ogive doesn't get smeared by the luber/sizer. I bought the 6 holer 9mm 120gr of the same pattern, smoothe sided, one single grease groove, and cast up a bunch, and when lubing them, threw them all back in the pot. The projo is flat almost halfway up the side of the bullet, and the smeared edges show badly after loading. It's aesthetics, I know.

Does anone have a clue where there are slightly heavier mold patterns for the .380, maybe 100 or even 105?
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Old December 9, 2012, 12:23 AM   #17
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I use 4gr of power pistol with berrys 100gr RN.
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Old December 9, 2012, 10:07 AM   #18
reloader28
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The Ranch Dog 100gr FN is an awesome little bullet. Its a tumble lube design, but I lube and size on the 450 Lyman. Nice big meplat, but feeds flawless in everything we've tried it in. He's shutting his doors and I couldnt even get on the site this morning, so good luck with this one.

The Lee 125 RF is a very sweet bullet too. Drops at 130gr from mine and shoots very good in 380, 9mm, 38spl. I'm out of bullets now and gave the 2 cavity mold to a friend. I'm gonna have to order a 6 cavity mold shortly.
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Old December 9, 2012, 06:26 PM   #19
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
The Ranch Dog 100gr FN is an awesome little bullet. Its a tumble lube design, but I lube and size on the 450 Lyman. Nice big meplat, but feeds flawless in everything we've tried it in. He's shutting his doors and I couldnt even get on the site this morning, so good luck with this one.
The site showed that he was sold out of the .35-100-FN about 2 months ago.
The only way to get one, now, is to find a used mold (or new/second-hand). In the future, the design may be offered by Lee - but not right now.
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Old December 13, 2012, 04:34 PM   #20
XxWoodsHunterxX
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Well I went with some 95gr Montana gold jhp with unique. Hopefully this little bodyguard 380 holds up.
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Old December 13, 2012, 05:12 PM   #21
5R milspec
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tell us how it goes to i might try that same bullet in my P238
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Old December 13, 2012, 06:11 PM   #22
tkglazie
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5R milspec, my P238 loves the 100gr Berry's HBRN load I listed above. I have shot well over 1500 of them through it in temps ranging from 20F-90F with zero malfunctions and what seems like ridiculous accuracy from a 2.75" barrel. Have to love the locked-breech design. Man I love that gun...

The MG 95gr JHP does sound interesting though. I will say I am curious about the choice of Unique in a .380 cartridge. Is this a compressed load? Unique seems so fluffy, and I know with HP38/N320 I am almost at the bullet as it is.

Also, do you have to charge them by hand, or can you keep the powder in the case on a progressive? (I use an LCT)
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Old December 13, 2012, 06:50 PM   #23
FrankenMauser
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Quote:
The MG 95gr JHP does sound interesting though. I will say I am curious about the choice of Unique in a .380 cartridge. Is this a compressed load? Unique seems so fluffy, and I know with HP38/N320 I am almost at the bullet as it is.

Also, do you have to charge them by hand, or can you keep the powder in the case on a progressive? (I use an LCT)
My loads with Unique are not compressed, but the powder definitely fills the case. The Blue Dot loads are compressed.

I develop new loads on a single-stage press (or manual turret press), using hand-trickled powder charges.
But, once a new load is established, I crank the load out on my Dillon 550B in lots of 300-500 rounds. The Dillon slide-bar measures deal with flake powders quite well, with minimal charge weight deviation (generally less than +/-0.1 gr). Other measures (such as the RCBS Uniflow) don't get along with flake powders quite so well, but might be good enough for the job.

As long as you aren't slamming things around, I don't think you should have a problem with powder flying out of the cases on a progressive press or turret.
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Old December 13, 2012, 06:52 PM   #24
tkglazie
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Excellent info, thanks FM
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Old December 14, 2012, 11:24 AM   #25
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good deal and thanks.As of right now I have been reloading the 88gn Remington bullet over 3.4gn Hp38/231.I can all so put .3gn more in the case for a SD bullet,and I 'll say its pretty when shot into water the bullet I mean.The 88gn bullet does better than a 90gn XTP.( the xtp just holds up to well for me.)rather use them for papper shooting.
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