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380 Auto Chronograph results, various powders

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by WeeWilly, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    These load test were all to see what max velocity would be for the two 380 carry guns, a Glock 42 and a Kahr P380. A few might have been a tenth of a grain over or under max, as when I got that close on the scale, I called it good. My goal is to get to the so-called +P velcoities Underwood delivers, so far with these results, I am pretty far away. In general, most book velocities are with barrels that are longer, so under book performance doesn't surprise me. Only #2 and Unique, I think, got close to book with their results.

    *******. Warning, the loads in this thread are my workups in my gun. Many are well over book loads and should not be used as a load guide. It is for your amusement and gratification only! Do not use these loads in you gun. You must work up your own loads and you must only do that if you have the required experience. *********************

    AA #2 - 3.8gr, 95gr PD FMJ/FP, .970" OAL, once fired Starline 380 brass. This powder delivered excellent velocity and consistency, maybe the best overall performer so far. Meters super consistent (very fine grain), burns very clean (very fast powder).

    Glock 42

    986 fps
    985 fps
    984 fps
    971 fps
    1005 fps

    Kahr P380

    949 fps
    957 fps
    945 fps
    980 fps
    965 fps

    Bullseye - 3.4gr, 95gr PD FMJ/FP, .970" OAL, once fired Starline 380 brass. This powder delivered decent velocity and excellent consistency. Normal BE as far as clean, metering, etc.

    Glock 42

    915 fps
    913 fps
    932 fps
    913 fps
    926 fps

    Kahr P380

    901 fps
    894 fps
    841 fps
    901 fps
    909 fps

    Win 572 - 4.3gr, 95gr PD FMJ/FP, .970" OAL, once fired Starline 380 brass. This powder delivered below average velocity and average consistency. Normal ball powder as far as metering (good), it burned fairly dirty and scorched the cases pretty badly (perhaps lack of pressure).

    Glock 42

    893 fps
    883 fps
    854 fps
    803 fps
    928 fps

    Kahr P380

    829 fps
    822 fps
    819 fps
    814 fps
    793 fps

    Autocomp - 4.3gr, 95gr PD FMJ/FP, .970" OAL, once fired Starline 380 brass. This powder delivered average velocity and below average consistency. Normal ball powder as far as metering, it burned fairly clean given it likely prefers a higher pressure.

    Glock 42

    861 fps
    902 fps
    932 fps
    937 fps
    881 fps

    Kahr P380

    719 fps
    825 fps
    822 fps
    764 fps
    823 fps

    BE-86 - 4.3gr, 95gr PD FMJ/FP, .970" OAL, once fired Starline 380 brass. This powder delivered average velocity and average consistency. On par with other finer flake powders with decent metering, it burned average in the cleanliness department but will likely do better with a little higher pressure.

    Glock 42

    863 fps
    893 fps
    898 fps
    904 fps
    908 fps

    Kahr P380

    810 fps
    864 fps
    823 fps
    871 fps
    893 fps

    CFE Pistol - 4.3gr, 95gr PD FMJ/FP, .970" OAL, once fired Starline 380 brass. This powder delivered average velocity and average consistency. As a finer ball pwder it meters well, it burned fairly dirty scorching cases badly, it will likely do better with a little higher pressure.

    Glock 42

    883 fps
    889 fps
    819 fps
    801 fps
    908 fps

    Kahr P380

    792 fps
    871 fps
    837 fps
    893 fps
    873 fps

    Unique - 4.6gr, 95gr PD FMJ/FP, .970" OAL, once fired Starline 380 brass. This powder delivered excellent velocity and excellent consistency. As a coarser flake powder it meters below average (I have taken steps like polishing the bowl of my hopper to help in this respect), it burned fairly cleanly (surprising until you see the load density, 4.6 gr is a pretty full case), second overall and likely would be my first choice if I had any room at all in the case for the next level (the +P tests), but excellent results.

    Glock 42

    972 fps
    1006 fps
    977 fps
    977 fps
    997 fps

    Kahr P380

    948 fps
    925 fps
    931 fps
    936 fps
    931 fps

    My conclusion so far is the slower ball and flake (BE-86) have room to run and they mostly showed signs of under pressure (scorched cases and relatively dirty burn). I will include most in my "+P" Underwood velocity quest. Unique was a real surprise, excellent performer. AA #2 was also excellent, but presents special challenges moving to the next level as it is so fast, it isn't going to take much to take it around the bend, I think. Slow and steady with this one especially, but super sweet burn and velocity at the max book level.

    I apologize ahead of time if I have any typos or input errors, I slapped this together pretty quickly. Got to go now and address an in wall plumbing drain leak, ugh.

    Some fun (the shooting, not the leak).
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2016
  2. rangerhgm

    rangerhgm NRA Member

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    Nice report willy
     
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  3. Timothy Courtney

    Timothy Courtney

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    thanks willy. universal may be a candidate for your +p tests too.
     
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  4. wlkjr

    wlkjr

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    I had no luck with Autocomp in my G42. I was loading at maximum but couldn't get the slide to function correctly. Had a little trouble with several powders. Finally settled on W231, with Titegroup and Bullseye coming in next. I'm not loading for maximum performance but for a lower recoil competition load. Since I have several thousands of rounds through it, it now runs flawlessly. It was never problematic anyway.
    That was a very good test and write up. I need to take time to run mine through the chrono soon.
     
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  5. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    I have some Universal, when I start the +P tests, I will include it and just start at max for one cycle with it. Thanks for the idea, it kind of sits in the corner these days. :(
     
  6. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    Yes, I think Autocomp will have to be loaded well past book to get it to settle down ES/SD wise. Like most mid-range ball powders, I think it needs a little too much pressure to fire well.

    I will include the W231 and Titegroup in the next round. I have both on hand, thanks for the suggestion. I initially didn't include the W231 as I was focusing on a little slower powders, but now that I have found #2 works so well, I will include some of the faster ones as well.
     
  7. rangerhgm

    rangerhgm NRA Member

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    I've been loading 231 at 3.2gr and 965 oal with 100gr rnfp Xtreme. I have about 2k rounds thru my 42. I'm going to try 3.0 and 3.1 again since I have a few k rounds thru it.
     
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  8. robhic

    robhic I'm your huckleberry.... Platinum Member Silver Member

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    If I might inquire, how do you adjust for +P loadings? I've not found any reference in my manuals. Do you use max loads plus 'X'% or something like that? Just curious.
     
  9. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    Given that there is no +P spec for 380 Auto, all you are saying with that nomenclature is that your are over SAAMI max pressure (likely but not even that is certain, as you really don't know without the pressure test equipment), basically all you know is you are in the twilight zone.

    Gun manufacturers build guns to a caliber expecting certain pressures, energy, etc. The SAAMI maximum pressure for the spec the gun is built to provides a solid guarantee of safety. They also go beyond that spec building to a Proof Load spec (normally 130% of the basic SAAMI spec), which again forms a sort of guarantee that if you load below that spec, the gun will return to its design dimensions, time after time. Loading beyond proof becomes a bet the manufacturer built your gun beyond proof (largely a pretty good bet, given modern metallurgy, etc. I guess if you load into this area, you could say, how lucky do you feel?

    We do know that with powders there is a form of S curve related to pressure and load density. What you don't know is where on the curve you are at your starting point and what the curve looks like for that powder. A 10% additional charge weight usually means more than a 10% higher pressure, sometimes not much more, sometimes waaaay more, depends on the powders burn rate and load density sensitivity.

    What all this means is if you know a credible manufacturer can load a given weight and bearing surface projectile to x velocity in your gun, what you are trying to do is get close to that result by finding the right powder for the combination.

    By watching very closely to our primitive signs, case bulge, primer shape, velocity gained for a given charge weight, etc. We can creep up on it. Ideally, you reach your velocity goals and you get to stop before you start breaking case heads, etc.

    None of this is for anyone who is new to reloading and/or not meticulous in their detail orientation. One missed sign can mean a broken gun (and maybe worse).

    On the other hand, it isn't nuclear fission, there is a pretty basic limit to how much damage 5gr of smokeless powder can do. :)
     
  10. rg1

    rg1

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    Good report. I also have found AA#2 to be the best performer with consistent velocity and very good accuracy. I've tested a few powders mostly with Hornady 90 gr. XTP's and slower powders like Unique had wide velocity variations. I too would advise to not push AA#2 past Accurate's maximum loads. AA#2 in my 380's was by far the best and closely matches Hornady factory at near max charges.
     
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  11. njl

    njl

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    Speer #14's max load of Universal under a 95gr JHP (I used TJ Conevera's) will put all those numbers to shame.
     
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  12. Timothy Courtney

    Timothy Courtney

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    for me, 3.6 grs universal under a 90 gr fmj rn runs 1046 fps seated .965".
     
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  13. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    Thanks for the lead guys. I will check out Speers, they usually run pretty hot, maybe short circuit at least one dev cycle.
     
  14. Rellik

    Rellik Kwisatz Haderach in Training

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    Great report Willie. Me thinks WW 572 is HS6 or 7 which is more than a bit slow for these low volume / low pressure cases.
    I will have to add my two cents worth and say Power Pistol for the next batch. Thanks Again
     
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  15. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    One thing that seems to be coming out, either a finer, faster ball or a flake powder. As you say, low pressure round and small case volume, makes the optimal powder a small list.
     
  16. crockett

    crockett

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    Very nice topic, this will be good. I'm still working an a huge case prep batch of .223 and .308 but should be done in a couple days. Would you mind if I join with my own findings in a few days?

    Got some technical questions too:

    1.) Is your max load based on 'max pressure calculated by bullets weight, bore diameter and barrel length' or the more conservative numbers in load manuals?

    2.) Are you using a stock or supported barrel in the 42?

    3.) Did you try X800 yet? Do you have some on hand? I have plenty and could do this part.

    4.) I've got: #2, #5, #7, #9, Bullseye, Power Pistol, Longshot, Titegroup, HS 6, 800X, Lil'Gun, H110. Need help with any other powders?

    5.) What chrony did you use? Indoor or outdoor? Many reading errors? How many samples each batch? (I guess 5)

    6.) How much was extreme spread and standard deviation? (can do the math unless you have more data)

    7.) What crimp and how much?

    8.) Primer brand?
     
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  17. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    Definitely join in, run any you have. Dupes that don't agree are as important as new loads.

    I am just using max book from powder and bullet mfg as starting points. I figured my best shot would be to get the handful of the best performers and then work from there. I don't use QL as I have found it unreliable with pistol loads

    I have to calc the ES/SD as I am just using a basic Prochrono. I have found this chronograph quite reliable in most daytime settings as long as I avoid the long shadow hours, why I had to quit early this last session.

    I crimp to take what minimal belling I am using out and no more. With FMJ, it ain't much belling. ;)

    I am using CCI 500.

    I don't have any 800x. I used what I had doing 10mm loads and when it was gone, I was done. Drop and trickle gets old with handgun ;)

    My G42 and Kahr are stock barrels, I am looking to develop an optimal summer carry load, one that doesn't cost $1.50 a round :0. I like to practice with what I carry in the gun.
     
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  18. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    Those are interesting results. What barrel are you using? Hodgdon lists about 955FPS at 3.6gr. For that bullet, with a 3.75" barrel.
     
  19. Timothy Courtney

    Timothy Courtney

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    the xtp is my bullet of choice for my carry reloads. i was surprised to see the little 90 gr bullet fully expand and penetrate into the third gallon milk jug whereas the critical defense factory load only went through the first and stopped in the second. not a scientific test i know, but what i use to compare my handloads with factory.

    willy, just the factory bbl in my 42.
     
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  20. tic-tok-GLOCK

    tic-tok-GLOCK

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    Thanks for posting the results of your work Willy.
     
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