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Old 06-23-2014, 22:01   #21
njl
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Originally Posted by M24C View Post
Okay this is what I found, on the Universal. The Speer #13 manual has the 95 grain bullet that Kentguy listed and the max on it 4.1 grains to 3.6 grains. When I put that load at 95 grains at 4.1 with OAL .980 I get in Quickloads 21500 psi calculated. Which for the SAMI is right at the max. Now Speer Says they don't exceed the sami spec.

Keeping the same load 4.1 grains and jump to the 100 grain at .980 OAL The pressure jumps to 25500 PSI!

Now 100 grain load at 3.8 grains of Universal powder puts the pressure at 21700 PSI.
It is the same OAL for all these values
3.4 grains gives 17130 PSI,
3.5 grains gives 18210 PSI,
3.6 grains gives 19,344 PSI,
3.7 grains gives 20530 PSI.

I definitely would not exceed the 3.8 grains without caution on the 100 grain bullet. I believe this is what you were looking for.
These are short flat point bullets, so .980 doesn't put much bullet in the case. I've been loading them to .950 or .935, resulting in a seating depth of 0.149" or 0.164".

I'll probably give 3.6gr a try.
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Old 06-24-2014, 05:46   #22
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njl
"I'm not sure comparing velocity to factory ammo really has much meaning. Due to differing burn rates, the powders we use might not be capable of reaching factory velocity without dangerously high pressure...or you might easily exceed factory ammo velocity."

I'll have to disagree with you here.

Factory ammo gives me a base-line of data - real ammo - fired out of my gun, not just numbers on a page. I pick up felt recoil, flash or no flash, feeding, ejection and accuracy.

then compare that to your load manual numbers and/or the numbers given by the powder producer, as well as your own notes on that given powder. Now you are armed with more than just some numbers on a page and then you can make a clearer decision about what kind of round you wish to produce.

I keep detailed notes on how my bullet/powder reacts in every test. After a while you see a pattern with each given powder no matter what the caliber. This is where each powder's burn rate starts to show itself.

Pressure sign should of course ALWAYS be checked at each test charge along the way.

The out come is almost predictable, which is the way it should be.
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Old 06-24-2014, 17:17   #23
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njl
"I'm not sure comparing velocity to factory ammo really has much meaning. Due to differing burn rates, the powders we use might not be capable of reaching factory velocity without dangerously high pressure...or you might easily exceed factory ammo velocity."

I'll have to disagree with you here.

Factory ammo gives me a base-line of data - real ammo - fired out of my gun, not just numbers on a page. I pick up felt recoil, flash or no flash, feeding, ejection and accuracy.
I really just meant that you can't base the decision whether or not to increase your powder charge based solely on your reloads clocking at a lower velocity than factory.

I guess it would be interesting to get some factory .380. I don't think I've ever shot factory loaded .380...just my own not very successful reloads in my recently acquired G42.
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Old 06-25-2014, 13:27   #24
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Absolutely!
Even the Hodgdon site lists 3.0 as a starting load and 3.4gr max for for 100gr bullets. I still use this load, almost 3 years later. The Hornady book lists 2.8gr Universal as a starting load for 100gr bullets. The P232 is a tough little bugger when it comes to cycling the slide, and this load does it. You, might want to check your scale's accuracy...
That, or there is something special about the G42.
I do agree with you though, too light a load w/Universal is a bit messy. You finding some orangish colored flakes/balls of partially burnt powder? I used to get that when I loaded some 45 acp for my S&W 25-2. Light target loads, but they gummed up the cylinder and star/extractor. I no longer use Universal for that revolver.
njl,
Just so you know, I wasn't trying to be a smart ***** when I wrote that. It's just that I am confident in my weighs. I don't use the electronic scales that are all the rage these days. I have an older RCBS 5-0-5 scale, and I rezero it after every 50 rounds. So, it has been very reliable for me and I can be sure of what I'm getting into my cases.

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Old 06-25-2014, 15:56   #25
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I'll throw a different spin on the .380 here . I know not many cast for the .380 but I have a little P238 that likes to be shot a lot LOL So I picked up a Lyman 356242 mould that drops a few grains higher than the listed 90 grains . I load it with 3.4 grains of unique to .980 oal , and while it is not the cleanest round in the world , I can shoot the little buggar as much as I want , any time I want , with decent accuracy at mouse-gun ranges !!
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Old 06-25-2014, 18:53   #26
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njl,
Just so you know, I wasn't trying to be a smart ***** when I wrote that. It's just that I am confident in my weighs. I don't use the electronic scales that are all the rage these days. I have an older RCBS 5-0-5 scale, and I rezero it after every 50 rounds. So, it has been very reliable for me and I can be sure of what I'm getting into my cases.

Ceapea
I didn't figure you were. Scale's can definitely have issues...but I have/use two. My first scale, a digital Lyman XP1000, which I've nicknamed the "digital estimator", I know is not terribly accurate at the low end and tends to drift...so I have to recalibrate it before each loading session. But as soon as I realized its issues (years ago), I bought a Dillon beam scale. These, AFAIK, generally "just work". I suppose I should buy a set of check weights and see if even my Dillon is off. When I'm adjusting the powder measure, I weigh the combination of 5 charges first on the Lyman, and when I'm in the ball park, I move over to the Dillon scale to "make sure" my charge is correct.

I've used a lot of Universal (it's my main powder for 9mm). In 9mm, with a 124/125gr bullet, Hodgdon's starting load (4.3gr) works just fine for me. They say this is just about 27kCUP. I get complete combustion of the powder here. With a 147gr bullet, I have to load at/above Hodgdon's published max to get consistent results and combustion.

First time I tried loading .45acp, I used 230gr FMJ and Hodgdon's Universal powder/data. They claim 4.5gr will give 703fps and 11.4kCUP. Coincidentally, the same pressure as 3.0gr Universal with a 100gr FMJ in .380. When I did those .45 loads, I also got lots of unburned powder at the starting load, and high 500 - low 600 fps. At least for me, Universal just "doesn't work" at low pressure.
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Old 07-02-2014, 19:46   #27
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Well, I just found some titegroup online and should have 2lbs of it in about a week. Never used it before, but it sounds like it should be a more suitable powder for .380 (there's actual data!) than the WST and Clays loads I've been experimenting with.

With hazmat, it's $37/lb. Ouch...but it's better than nothing.
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Old 07-02-2014, 20:47   #28
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I lost interest in loading 380 as I sold the Sig to my son. Then the boy bought a G42 and I fell in love with it. I bought one of my own. Now I'm reloading for my G42 cause I'm shooting it a ton. I am constantly amused when I load 380 as it is just so small.

It's worth it to reload as the retail cost of 380 is stupid high and it's so cheap to reload.

Enjoy. I've been using TiteGroup and Bullseye mostly.
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Old 07-02-2014, 22:36   #29
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Yeah...I was tempted to buy a box or two of factory .380 when I recently picked up my G41. The shop had .380 priced at $25 per box of 50. I just couldn't do it. I can load it (even with my overpriced titegroup) for under $6 per box.
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Old 07-03-2014, 05:46   #30
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G36_Me "...Then the boy bought a G42 and I fell in love with it. I bought one of my own. Now I'm reloading for my G42 cause I'm shooting it a ton..."

Almost the identical thing happened to us. My son (than latter myself) bought Bersa Thunder 380's, that started my interest and shortly after my reloading of the 380.

njl "...The shop had .380 priced at $25 per box of 50. I just couldn't do it. I can load it (even with my overpriced titegroup) for under $6 per box."

I hear ya on that one. average price for a box of target round 380 ammo on line is $20 + shipping! At the shops around us they are not my cheater $18-25... and it you want self defense type ammo... Reloading is most definitely the way to go.
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Old 07-03-2014, 05:55   #31
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Cabela's is out of stock on Titegroup again. I hope they really had what I ordered last night. If so, I guess I just got lucky...I couldn't believe it when gunbot said there was pistol powder in stock somewhere and immediately ordered some.
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Old 07-03-2014, 19:27   #32
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Looks like I'll be trying Promo too. Just scored some from Wideners. It's not sold out yet.
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Old 07-13-2014, 22:27   #33
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I'm not sure I ever shared my .380 experiment results.

A couple weeks ago, when I was trying WST and Clays, I got the following:

Xtreme 100gr flat point plated, 0.950" OAL
2.2gr Clays 782fps
2.3gr Clays 814fps
2.4gr Clays 853fps

With Universal, I'd loaded to 0.935" and 3.4gr (Max load according to Hodgdon), I got 755fps.

Today, with Titegroup and Promo, I did 0.935" OAL and
2.65gr Titegroup 762fps
2.95gr Titegroup 857fps

2.55gr Promo 752fps
2.7gr Promo 815fps

I had one cycling failure from an unusually low FPS shot from the 2.55gr Promo batch.

With any of the Titegroup/Promo loads, the brass really wasn't going far. The 2.55gr Promo load, it was practially just falling out of the gun. I'll probably try more Promo at 2.8gr.

This was my first time using either of these powders. Promo looks like dark Clays...big fluffy powder, pretty much fills the case. Titegroup looks more like fine sand and it barely occupies any of the case capacity.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:20   #34
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Gentleman (and I used the term loosely ), thank you all for this information. I am just starting out reloading .380 and 9mm and I find the discussion VERY informative.
Keep it coming please...
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:52   #35
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I am just getting started in reloading, and I have noticed some loads from various sources for loading 115 grain bullets in .380ACP. I was surprised, but thought it must not be a spectacularly bad idea since several sources gave recipes. Is a 115 grain bullet out of a .380 good, so-so, or a last resort? (ETA: Considering practice loads as opposed to SD rounds.)

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Old 07-16-2014, 20:00   #36
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I am just getting started in reloading, and I have noticed some loads from various sources for loading 115 grain bullets in .380ACP. I was surprised, but thought it must not be a spectacularly bad idea since several sources gave recipes. Is a 115 grain bullet out of a .380 good, so-so, or a last resort? (ETA: Considering practice loads as opposed to SD rounds.)
People do it, but it seems the bullets I have (100gr) are on the heavy end for .380 and any heavier, you're going to have a hard time finding published data.
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Old 07-16-2014, 20:20   #37
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I think Speer said in one of their manuals, that many .380 loaded cases will get bulged by a 115 gr bullet, because the bullet sets so far down into the case. And I can't see the .380 being able to drive any normal 115 gr JHP, fast enough to get expansion.

Of course, if all you have is a big bucket of 115 gr...
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Old 07-16-2014, 20:23   #38
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Yes you can do 115's out of a .380 , but the laws of diminishing returns applies . Terminal performance will be limited to pretty short distance, even punching paper . I have a 115g mould , but since I have a lil'feller just right for the .380 I won't be loading them unless I'm dead out of ammo , the zombies are coming, and I have to load up something quick or be eaten !!! Then i'll do it :-)
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:03   #39
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PhantomF4E "Yes you can do 115's out of a .380 , but the laws of diminishing returns applies..."



Leave the 115g bullets for your 9mm reloads, you will obtain much better results with 90g and/or 95g bullets for your 380.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:33   #40
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3.4 grains W231 under a 95 grain rn cast lead bullet is what I used to run in my 380 autos.
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