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Old 05-14-2020, 09:53 PM
oldiegoldie oldiegoldie is online now
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Default powder for .380

am new to reloading [loaded for rifle 60 yrs ago] and need a reliable, fool proof, safe powder. using 100 gr Berry's bullets and Federal small pistol primers. will be range ammo. appreciate any suggestions.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:01 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is offline
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I haven't loaded for .380 in a good while, but tried several powders with cast bullet weights of from around 90 grs. to 120 grains. Powders included Bullseye, 231, Unique, Blue Dot, Herco, and maybe another. Probably the best overall was 231, with Bullseye as a second.

I'd recommend a Lyman manual.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:12 PM
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Titegroup is my favorite 380 powder for 102gn and 105gn range loads. I recently started testing Sport Pistol with the same and so far it is working just as well. For hotrod 90 & 95 grain loads I only use CFE Pistol or Autocomp.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:13 PM
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Best powder I've loaded by far has been Accurate Arms #2. Gives most consistent velocities of all. Need faster burning powders. I even think Unique is too slow. Especially do not use any powders slower than Unique.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:17 PM
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Have loaded and shot close to 1000 in a 380 E Z. 100 grain Hollow base Berry plated bullet over 3 grains of 231. Wifey shoots it well also
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:25 PM
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HP38 (231) is old standby; titegroup is new favorite, especially for standard loads.

Lived on Parkview in Troy ,IL while stationed at Scott. Nice place to live, restful drive to work. Raised fantastic vegetable garden. (note to jkmo)
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:12 PM
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Bullseye and N320 work for us with 100gr-115gr leads and jacketed.
Check Lymans 49th etc etc.
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:13 PM
alwslate alwslate is offline
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I don't load the .380 but from what I see in the loading manuals 231
seems to be ideal.
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Old 05-15-2020, 12:01 AM
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231/HP-38 is what I use, but it’s because that’s what I use for my other cartridges that I reload. It’s worked fine for over 7000 rounds in my .380 Makarov.
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Old 05-15-2020, 12:01 AM
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Green Dot, Int'l Clays.
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Old 05-15-2020, 01:09 AM
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Any of the faster propellants will work OK for the .380, but with the Berry bullets, I always use Unique.
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OKFC05 View Post
HP38 (231) is old standby; titegroup is new favorite, especially for standard loads.

Lived on Parkview in Troy ,IL while stationed at Scott. Nice place to live, restful drive to work. Raised fantastic vegetable garden. (note to jkmo)
HP38 is the only powder I use for handguns. Meters dead on every time. Iíve only been loading for 7 years and I donít pay attention to burn rates or FPS. Just looking to make safe and reasonably accurate loads and HP38 does that for every handgun caliber I own. I donít want to deal with mixing up powders either. I think I use 3.0 grains but Iíd have to check.
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:59 AM
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Titegroup and Bullseye ... both meter well and consistent charges is required for such a small case. 2.8gr TG worked great in my P238
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:32 AM
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I reload the 380 using Berry's 100 gr plated bullets in a Sig P238 . I use Ramshot True Blue powder . They (Ramshot) list the load data . It meters like water . Regards Paul
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Old 05-15-2020, 12:54 PM
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W231 (HP-38) works very well.
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Old 05-15-2020, 07:17 PM
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i've got a good sized list to take to the gunshops....appreciate every suggestion. we seem to have plenty of powder, but i'll know more about the selection tomorrow.

again, thanks...
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:00 PM
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I guess I am the real outlier here since I use Power Pistol with 100-g plated bullets. I picked PP since the Hornady manual I use (9th edition) had a wide range of charges for PP using a 100-g jacketed bullet. I've fired those loads in a SIG P238, Glock 42 and CZ-83 with zero issues. That said, my biggest concern with .380 (and 9mm too) is avoiding bullet setback during feeding. So, I put a strong taper crimp on my .380 loads.
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:32 PM
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I’ve loaded thousands with Titegroup And Xtreme 100 gr.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:10 PM
38SPL HV 38SPL HV is online now
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When I had a 380 ACP (moons ago) I used WW231.
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Old 05-15-2020, 09:13 PM
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Fired thousands of .380 acp with Unique and had great results. Might work well for you as well.

Randy
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Old 05-16-2020, 11:08 PM
oldiegoldie oldiegoldie is online now
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was able to find 2 of recommended powders, Titegroup and 231. so bought 1# of each. thanks again for the help.......had no idea where to start.
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Old 05-17-2020, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldiegoldie View Post
was able to find 2 of recommended powders, Titegroup and 231. so bought 1# of each. thanks again for the help.......had no idea where to start.
Please keep us updated. I'm curious to know how well you like W231. With that 100gr bullet I think you will like a 3.0gr W231 charge.
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldiegoldie View Post
am new to reloading [loaded for rifle 60 yrs ago] and need a reliable, fool proof, safe powder. using 100 gr Berry's bullets and Federal small pistol primers. will be range ammo. appreciate any suggestions.
All the safety, and "fool proof" is from the nut behind the press handle. Some of the powders I use have a "range" from minimum to maximum of less than 1 grain, so the safety is up to me. Some powders can be double charged quite easily, but the safety aspect is me, as I look in every case that is charged with powder and I make sure there are no double charged nor any empty cases. I've been reloading for quite a while and haven't run across any unreliable modern smokeless powder...

But for my 380 ACP I have tried;
Bullseye
W231
Unique
Universal
CFE Pistol

and in my manual;
700x
PB
Red Dot
Green Dot
SR-4756
Blue Dot

Last edited by mikld; 05-17-2020 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 05-17-2020, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldiegoldie View Post
was able to find 2 of recommended powders, Titegroup and 231. so bought 1# of each. thanks again for the help.......had no idea where to start.

Speaking from experience, I think you'll like TG much better than 231. I was at the range this morning with my new SA 911 testing several bullets and powders, as I always do with any new gun, and did a head to head between those two powders just for grins. I compared the 90gn XTP, and also some heavier 102gn, and 105gn castings. Loads ranged from start, mid and max charge for each bullet. Not only was TG more accurate with every bullet and powder charge, it also produced the lowest ES and SD. HP-38 was at its best with the max charge, but still not as accurate as any of the TG loads. I even managed to find a new favorite 90gn XTP load by doing the test. 3.4gn TG made 1006fps average with a 1-1/2" group at 10 yards. About as good as it gets from a 2.7" barrel.
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:28 PM
kbm6893 kbm6893 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchAngelCD View Post
Please keep us updated. I'm curious to know how well you like W231. With that 100gr bullet I think you will like a 3.0gr W231 charge.
I use HP38, same as 231, and I load 3.0 grains over a 100 grain bullet. Works for me.
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:01 PM
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I've used lots of powders but honestly my favorite/most accurate/softest shooting has been 3.5 grains of CFE pistol with 100 grain Berry's. I save my Titegroup for 9mm. I've found W231 to be good for several loads but for me it's a jack of all trades master of none.
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Old 05-17-2020, 08:04 PM
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I have a Sig P290 in 380, the pistol with the weakest ejection of all pistols ever made. In an effort to try and get enough oomf in the ejection to get thru just one magazine without an ejection jam I've loaded Berry's 100 gn bullets over a full case of CFE Pistol. Which is about 10% over the listed maximum so it's really a +P load. Good news is that there was no harm at all to the pistol or case. Bad news is that the P290 still couldn't throw a case clear of the ejection port. IMO the only way to get reliability with this pistol is to shoot it left handed with the ejection port pointing towards the ground. Yeah, you have to shoot it Gansta Style.

Anyhow, I would suggest using CFE Pistol. It meters very well and there is no need to be concerned about a double charge because there isn't enough room in the case to do that.
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Old 05-17-2020, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikld View Post
All the safety, and "fool proof" is from the nut behind the press handle. Some of the powders I use have a "range" from minimum to maximum of less than 1 grain, so the safety is up to me. Some powders can be double charged quite easily, but the safety aspect is me, as I look in every case that is charged with powder and I make sure there are no double charged nor any empty cases. I've been reloading for quite a while and haven't run across any unreliable modern smokeless powder...

But for my 380 ACP I have tried;
Bullseye
W231
Unique
Universal
CFE Pistol

and in my manual;
700x
PB
Red Dot
Green Dot
SR-4756
Blue Dot
yeah, i'm worried about the nut tugging on the press handle. that's why i'm seeking advise. at close to 82 yrs of age, a person has to know his mind isn't as keen as he used to think it was. i'll try to post something every once in awhile so you'll know i haven't nuked myself.

i did order the Lyman manual....a little disappointed in the Lee manual's light coverage of the .380. thanks again for the recommendations.
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Old 05-18-2020, 01:27 AM
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700X and Unique.
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  #30  
Old 05-18-2020, 09:22 AM
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Several good powders for 380 Auto : from fast to slower
Bullseye
700X
Red Dot
Accurate #2
Titegroup
W231
HP38
Unique

They are all suitable , get some now , I hear there is going to be another shortage .

Keep on keeping on...us older guys need to stick together !
Gary
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  #31  
Old 05-20-2020, 05:09 PM
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I use Red Dot and HP38 for .380
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