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Old 07-30-2011, 11:35 AM
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Default .380 ball 90/95 grain FMJ

I in the market for a .380 for the wife and it will either be a Ruger LCP or the new Colt Mustang (if they ever get released and I can find one)

I recently got issued a .380 Mustang for a back up at work and looking for ammo to qualify and defensive carry is going to be expensive...which directs me to reload for practice and qualifying.

I have a reloading manual specific for .380 but have never messed with .380 and racking my brain....I dont think I have ever shot this caliber.

I want to load up to or slightly down from a production FMJ round.

Anyone have any throw weights with the following powders that I stock

231
Bullseye
N310
N320
American Select
HS6
AA#2

Just looking for an all around good practice round using FMJ. Should I buy lead slugs, I will just load 10% down.

thanks in advance
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Old 07-30-2011, 11:47 AM
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I load 100gr Berrys Plated RN with 3.1 HP 38. They work in all my 380's (I have a few) Including a Colt lightweight Pony
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Old 07-30-2011, 12:43 PM
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I have no time or research behind the plated bullets like Berrys or similiar.

are those slugs cheaper in price than FMJ slugs like Win/Rem and similiar?
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Old 07-30-2011, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by SW CQB 45 View Post
I have no time or research behind the plated bullets like Berrys or similiar.

are those slugs cheaper in price than FMJ slugs like Win/Rem and similiar?
Yes, unless you buy mass bulk quantities of the Rem or other FMJ as well as where you buy them.

The Berrys are fully plated (the bottom also) and are very good bullets.


For lead bullets I can not say enough good things about Missouri Bullets. Best prices, delivered almost the next day. Their 95 gr RN is excellent.



For 9mm and above I buy FMJ from Precison Delta which come to a few dollars less than the Berrys. But PD does not make the lighter bullet.
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:03 PM
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Yes, unless you buy mass bulk quantities of the Rem or other FMJ as well as where you buy them.

The Berrys are fully plated (the bottom also) and are very good bullets.


For lead bullets I can not say enough good things about Missouri Bullets. Best prices, delivered almost the next day. Their 95 gr RN is excellent.



For 9mm and above I buy FMJ from Precison Delta which come to a few dollars less than the Berrys. But PD does not make the lighter bullet.
What powder, weight and COL are you using with those Missouri Bullets.
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Old 07-30-2011, 03:30 PM
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I use basically the same load as for the plated. As to oal you need to adjust it to your barrel(s) between .960 and .980.

The new Lyman Cast bullet manual has loads for 90 gr lead and 102 gr lead RN

With the small .380 you need to be careful with OAL as a little change makes a big difference. So with the HP 38 start low at 2.5 grs or so and see how it cycles your gun.

Lots of other powders can be used, I just use HP 38 as I have a lot of it and find it works well for must anything.

A blow back like a PPK is going to be different than say a Ruger LCP(locked breech)

Go easy on depriming and resizing as the brass is so thin if it as bit off center and you slam the ram down they crush real easy.
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Old 07-30-2011, 07:59 PM
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Here's some chronograph data from my Sig P232:

Powder Bullet Case Velocity
3.3 / 231 95 gr WW FMJ WW 915 fps
3.0 / Titegroup 95 gr WW FMJ WW 864 fps
3.0 / Bullseye 90 gr Speer JHP WW 804 fps
3.4 / Bullesye 90 gr Speer JHP WW 909 fps

Primers all CCI500.

These loads all cycled the action well and were reasonalby accurate.

For comparison, a WW 95 gr FMJ factory load clocked at 897 fps.

The only thing special I had to do was make a loading block just for the .380. The cases are so short that they drop completely into my regular blocks. I needed tweezers to get them out.
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Old 07-30-2011, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDL View Post
What powder, weight and COL are you using with those Missouri Bullets.
I use 2.8 grains of 231 with the Missouri Bullet 95 grain cast. That is 0.1 grains below recommended starting load for a 95 grain FMJ and is a really economical load to shoot.

My intention was to find a load that functioned the P3AT reliably but also did not send the cases into near earth orbit. (Even so, I am convinced .380 empties can be lost on a tennis court.)

This load fulfills both of those requirements.
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:19 PM
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Thanks guys for the lead data. I'd loaded .380 for the first time using MBs with W231 and Bullseye. Basically, started around where you did. Problem was the COL didn't feel like the bullet was in the case very much. So I seated them up by the end of the shoulder - .952. Stopped shooting right quick cause I was getting split cases with Parvi once fired brass.
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDL View Post
Thanks guys for the lead data. I'd loaded .380 for the first time using MBs with W231 and Bullseye. Basically, started around where you did. Problem was the COL didn't feel like the bullet was in the case very much. So I seated them up by the end of the shoulder - .952. Stopped shooting right quick cause I was getting split cases with Parvi once fired brass.
That's pretty short, how much of the Win 231 or BE was in there??? As I stated, there is not a lot of room to play with.
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Old 07-30-2011, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDL View Post
Thanks guys for the lead data. I'd loaded .380 for the first time using MBs with W231 and Bullseye. Basically, started around where you did. Problem was the COL didn't feel like the bullet was in the case very much. So I seated them up by the end of the shoulder - .952. Stopped shooting right quick cause I was getting split cases with Parvi once fired brass.
I'm away from home right now, so don't have the COL data at hand but it sounds like you might be a little deep. I do recall that some of the bullet shoulder is visible on mine, and I think I basically seated them to equal the length of the Federal 95 grain FMJ loads I have.

The trick with these is to seat them far enough out to feed from the mag smoothly without having the shoulder hit the rifling and prevent the slide going into battery. Keeping the pressure down in safe territory is a good by-product of this as well.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
That's pretty short, how much of the Win 231 or BE was in there??? As I stated, there is not a lot of room to play with.
The test bullets I'd loaded went from 2.4 to 3.2 going up by .2grs for both W231 and BE. They all should have been reasonable loads, except for the short OAL.

None of them felt hot or seemed to have problems. That is till I got home and checked the cases with magnifiers. The lowest few felt very light and showed no signs of problems at all. All of them seemed to have less recoil and snap compared to factory FMJs.

I use Missouri Bullets for a number of calibers and have found them to be a great product. The only problem I've got with them is they won't provide 'any' load data due to liability reasons. But I don't think they'd be liable if they just provided OAL data.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDL View Post
The test bullets I'd loaded went from 2.4 to 3.2 going up by .2grs for both W231 and BE. They all should have been reasonable loads, except for the short OAL.

None of them felt hot or seemed to have problems. That is till I got home and checked the cases with magnifiers. The lowest few felt very light and showed no signs of problems at all. All of them seemed to have less recoil and snap compared to factory FMJs.

I use Missouri Bullets for a number of calibers and have found them to be a great product. The only problem I've got with them is they won't provide 'any' load data due to liability reasons. But I don't think they'd be liable if they just provided OAL data.
No they can not provide data as they are not in the business of testing loads.

As I mentioned there is very little room in a .380 case plus they are thin walls. So by changing your OAL to shorter means a big increase in pressure.

Try 2.5gr HP 38 at the OAL I gave you.

What gun are you using? Can you take the barrel out?

If so, load some at the longest OAL and lightly taper crimp. Drop one in the barrel, it will probably be too long. Adjust the OAL until it just "plops" in and comes out when you turn the barrel upside down. Measure that and see what it is.
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Old 07-31-2011, 01:19 PM
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Thanks,
I figured the OAL had to be the culprit. I wasn't happy with what I started with, but there didn't seem to be enough bullet in the case with a longer OAL. Since it was the first time for .380s I figured I'dstarted low enough. I also put them away till I could get more data.

That HP-38 should be the same as the W231 from what I understand.

In any case I'll setup some test rounds, after working out the OAL.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-31-2011, 02:42 PM
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Yes, HP 38 and W 231 are exactly the same powder.
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Old 07-31-2011, 03:50 PM
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EDIT:

Well you got me curious as I had not loaded .380 for a while. I just made some dummy rounds and sure enough, the MBC 95 gr LRN will come to a OAL of right at .950 if seated to the edge of the driving band. I pulled one of my Berry plated to compare and the Berry bullet is .463 in length. The MBC is .458 so it's a stubby little sucker.

I could get the round to drop in and out of my LCP barrel at a longer length but did not like that much of the driving band showing and can not remember if there was feeding problems at the longer length. I am afraid I have not kept good notes.

I will check with some other sources.
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Old 07-31-2011, 10:10 PM
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Yeah, as I said, I didn't like the short OAL, but it felt like that's where it should be. Did you try to move it out to .960 or .980?
I also use a Lee FCD. I don't recall how heavy a crimp though.

I wasn't trying to Hijack the OP's thread. I figure this might be giving him some usefull info on lead target loads too.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDL View Post
Yeah, as I said, I didn't like the short OAL, but it felt like that's where it should be. Did you try to move it out to .960 or .980?
I also use a Lee FCD. I don't recall how heavy a crimp though.

I wasn't trying to Hijack the OP's thread. I figure this might be giving him some usefull info on lead target loads too.
You can't over crimp with the LFCD on a taper crimp. I usually give it a 1/2 to 3/4 turn after it contacts the case mouth.

I am going to go a little longer to .960 based on the post below.
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:23 AM
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Missouri Bullet says they load them at .964 with 3.0 grs of HP 38.

So based on that they should be a little longer, back to the original between .960 and .980
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Old 08-01-2011, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
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Missouri Bullet says they load them at .964 with 3.0 grs of HP 38.

So based on that they should be a little longer, back to the original between .960 and .980
That's interesting. I thought MB wouldn't give load data, so I never asked them.

I usually set my LFC's about the same as you.

I've got a bunch to reload. So it sounds like I should have better results this time. I'll update after I get a chance to get to the range with test rounds.

Thanks.
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Old 08-01-2011, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
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That's interesting. I thought MB wouldn't give load data, so I never asked them.

I usually set my LFC's about the same as you.

I've got a bunch to reload. So it sounds like I should have better results this time. I'll update after I get a chance to get to the range with test rounds.

Thanks.
I asked Brad (the owner) directly on another forum.

Sorry for the confusion, I will also try and find my past load data and load some at .964 and see how the fly.
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