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Old November 18, 2013, 02:13 AM   #1
idek
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.380 load with 92 grain hard cast bullets?

I've loaded for .38 special/.357 for about a year and had no trouble finding reputable websites (I usually use Hodgdon.com) with loading data for many bullet types and weights. But I've stuck with basic cast lead for inexpensive plinking.

I'm just starting to load for .380 acp now. I've got 92 gr. hard cast round nose bullets, and I'm having trouble finding loading data. I'm not sure how much different it makes (if any) that these bullets are hard cast.

Can anyone direct me to some reputable loads for the bullets I have?
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Old November 18, 2013, 07:57 AM   #2
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old lyman manual lists several loads for the 92gr..ex//. Win 231 2.3gr to start and Win 231 3.5 max load///cup16000 max pressure load.
700fps and 1000fps respect.... work up to max slowely... .980 oal

unique goes 3.1gr start to 3.7gr MAX for similar data....

NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR TYPOS...
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Old November 18, 2013, 03:23 PM   #3
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The data that ATPBULLETS provided is also in the Lyman Pistol & Revolver III. The only thing that's changed is that Lyman is now calling that bullet 90 grs. rather than 92 grs. even though their #2 alloy was used in both. The same data should be in the Lyman 49th edition, so if you like shooting cast bullets, it's always a good idea to have a Lyman manual.
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Old November 18, 2013, 07:14 PM   #4
idek
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Thanks. I've avoiding buying a manual since I've only ever used two different loads in the past. It might be something to look into though if I continue to add cartridges or want more than basic plinking ammo.
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Old November 18, 2013, 07:33 PM   #5
1stmar
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.380 load with 92 grain hard cast bullets?

Worthwhile investment but a lot of load data is available at powder manufacturers sites
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Old November 18, 2013, 08:15 PM   #6
idek
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Quote:
several loads for the 92gr..ex//. Win 231 2.3gr to start and Win 231 3.5 max load
I've got some HP38 powder and it looks like HP38 and Win 231 are basically identical. Is that correct?
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Old November 19, 2013, 04:00 PM   #7
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Yep, W231 and HP38 are the same powders with 2 different labels. Some guys report paying less for HP38 than W231. Also, in some data, there will be differences in performance and pressure between the 2 powders, especially in older manuals. But for a good many years now, and especially since Hodgdon purchased Winchester Powders, they're identical and data is interchangeable.

Ramshot ZIP comes from Belgium and is fairly similar to W231/HP38 except that it burns cleaner and gives a little better performance. Just in case it can be found and W2231/HP38 can't.
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Old November 19, 2013, 06:48 PM   #8
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Thanks for the clarification.
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Old November 23, 2013, 09:40 PM   #9
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In the olden days they were 2 different powders.
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Old November 24, 2013, 06:22 PM   #10
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idek...if you've loaded for a year and still don't have a manual...you're a very trusting soul indeed. Get a manual...Lyman's #49 is a good one....and yes, HP38 and Win 231 are identical in current production...how far that goes back is open to question. BUY A MANUAL. Rod
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Old November 24, 2013, 07:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
and yes, HP38 and Win 231 are identical in current production...how far that goes back is open to question.
Quote:
In the olden days they were 2 different powders.
It goes back as far as when they were both introduced. St Marks makes the powder, it is sent to Winchester and Hodgdon for distribution. Now Hodgdon distributes both. Hodgdon never made any powder, it is simply a distributor of powder. In fact, it got it's beginning when Bruce Hodgdon bought surplus military powder by the train car load, began selling it to handloaders.

http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...Powder_Company

Idek, get rid of the term "hard cast". It really means nothing, a better term is alloy cast bullet. That sets it apart from the soft swaged lead bullets offered by Hornady and Speer.

Look for loads in the Lyman loading manuals as said above. Work up as you would any new load.
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Old November 24, 2013, 09:25 PM   #12
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That's kinda nit pickin' isn't it. The term hard cast is used by all of the old hands I know and many of them have more than my 28 years of reloading experience. Swaging and casting are 2 entirely different processes. For most of us, the term hard cast refers to any alloy at Lyman's #2 at 15 BHN or harder.

And before it was St. Marks it was Primex. While it's now safe to say that W231 and HP38 are the same, that doesn't necessarily mean that they always have been. In older manuals like my Lyman 46th, there is a good bit of difference in charge weights and the pressures produced.
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Old November 24, 2013, 11:01 PM   #13
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I can't even FATHOM reloading without a good manual from a trusted manufacturer.

YES I use data available online from powder manufacturers from time to time, but I guess I'm old enough to have started reloading BEFORE there was an internet (trust me, there was such a time) so I bought my first manual (Lyman) when I was 15 years old. I bought that manual BEFORE I ever loaded a single round of ammunition. Call me old fashioned, but I like having a hard copy of my data, in case (GASP) the internet is down for whatever reason, and just because I like owning books (I have a large library). I haven't counted lately, but I probably have 20-30 reloading manuals, from many different companies, dating back 25+ years before I was even born. There's no such thing as TOO much information when it comes to reloading.

(stepping off my old man soapbox now)

Hard cast bullets make no difference as far as loading data, just use lead bullet data.

Yes Win 231 and HP38 are the same powder as currently produced (and they have been for years), although you will some times find lot to lot variances in them as you would with any powder. I've chronographed loads with the same load of each powder enough to have found such variances, but nothing that makes data for either powder unsafe with the other.

FWIW, I've loaded a LOT of lead bullets in the 380ACP for a Bersa Thunder. A very fun cartridge to load and shoot, and the Thunder is very accurate. In fact, I have some video of me shooting (and hitting) clay pigeons (sitting on the ground, of course) at 50 yards off hand with that gun. Not every shot of course, but 3 or 4 out of every 5 shots. Pretty damn accurate for a pocket pistol.

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Old November 25, 2013, 01:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
That's kinda nit pickin' isn't it. The term hard cast is used by all of the old hands I know and many of them have more than my 28 years of reloading experience. Swaging and casting are 2 entirely different processes. For most of us, the term hard cast refers to any alloy at Lyman's #2 at 15 BHN or harder.
Are they not both lead bullets? I just get tired of the term hard cast used to somehow signify they're better that other cast lead bullets. Are wheel weight bullets hard cast? That term is tossed around so much no one really knows what it means.

As far as my experience, I started when I was 15, I'm 67 now. Time enough to see some trends come and go. I started casting 44 mag 240 Lyman SWC for sillywet practice. Wheel weights were plentiful and often free. They made great bullets, and were not "hard cast!"
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Old November 25, 2013, 07:32 PM   #15
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Well Senor Snuffy, wheel weights certainly are "hard cast" when you water quench them directly as they drop from the mold, or later on when you heat treat them in an oven. Check their brinnel ratings for confirmation.

And as to the HP38 vs. Win 231 question; I refer you to some of the older loading manuals...data in them was not the same for both powders, nor were the pressure readings. At some time in the not to distant past, their formulation was duplicated....got that bit of information from a very large Hodgen distributor. And in my own loading notes, gleaned from chronographed 5 shot strings, I find that current production 231 is somewhat slower than that available 15-20 years ago.

Like you, I'm 67, and have loaded since the early 1960's....and I trust virtually no one when it comes to data...cross checking load information between sources is a sound safety practice as is using the starting load, then working up...taking anyone's opinion and the sky, reloading is safe for careful practitioners, but can be terribly intolerant of mistakes, and inattention.

Idek: I've had good luck with HP38 and Win 231 in my Smith Bodyguard .380. Using either, starting at 2.7 grains, and working up, I found a sweet spot, just below max that puts 95 gr FMJ's and 95 gr JHP's into nice tight 1" clusters from the 7 yd line and using a Weaver stance too. Check a good manual, and work up....ether is a good powder (and they're identical in my tests). That "sweet-spot" load chrono's right at 800 fps from my Bodyguard Smith.


Best Regards, Rod
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Last edited by rodfac; November 25, 2013 at 07:59 PM.
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