.380 loads?


PDA






sniper7369
September 7, 2008, 12:21 PM
I have a Kel Tec P3AT I'm trying to work up some light loads for. (it's not much fun to shoot with the hotter loads) I have a Sierra 90 gr JHP and a Carrol 95gr LRN and I can't find ANY load data for either one.
I'm using W 231 for my .45 and 9mm so I'd like to stick with that if at all possible.
Any help would be much appreciated.

If you enjoyed reading about ".380 loads?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
rcmodel
September 7, 2008, 12:34 PM
You can use generic 90 grain FMJ and 100 lead data for your .380.

Lyman #47 shows 90 Sierra JHP with WW231: (.925" OAL)
Starting load = 2.1 grains.
Max load = 3.2 grains.

100 grain lead bullet:
Starting load = 2.0 grains.
Max load = 3.1 grains.

No info on Carrol bullets, but you need to seat any LRN to a max length of .980" or less so it will fit in the magazine.

The limiting factor on the P3AT is the unsupported chamber.
You can load up until you see case bulging over the feed ramp.
At that point, you are too hot.

rcmodel

sniper7369
September 7, 2008, 12:41 PM
Thank you VERY much. I really need to invest in a few more reloading manuals. When I got my press I didn't realize how much I would get into this.

ants
September 7, 2008, 02:52 PM
Your pistol is a blowback action. Locked breech actions have lugs that lock the slide during discharge, then unlock after the bullet is gone to allow the slide to run freely. Blowback actions simply allow the slide to run freely from the very moment gas pressure is produced.

One of the biggest purposes of locked breech actions involves the rise and decay curve of chamber pressure. The locked breech allows the slide and barrel to travel backward for a short distance before separating. This is to keep the brass case fully enclosed in the chamber until the pressure in the chamber decays to a modest level (usually when the bullet has left the barrel). This is necessary so the pressure doesn't rupture the brass case while it's only half way out of the chamber, and blow hot gases back into the operator's face.

Blowback designs are for modest cartridges with peak chamber pressure below the point that it would rupture the case. So you can let the slide move rearward while the barrel stays still, pulling the case out of the chamber immediately while the bullet is still in the barrel. For that reason, the case is generally fairly weak because it really doesn't sustain elevated pressures. Cases for blowback pistols often have somewhat short lives and you can't load them very hot.

The cautionary note offered by rc model regarding bulged cases is very valid. But even if you don't bulge a case, you don't want a little bit of hot gas in your face from premature case extraction under a very hot load. Find an accurate load for your 380auto without going overboard.

sniper7369
September 7, 2008, 03:49 PM
Your pistol is a blowback action. Locked breech actions have lugs that lock the slide during discharge, then unlock after the bullet is gone to allow the slide to run freely. Blowback actions simply allow the slide to run freely from the very moment gas pressure is produced.

I would have thought so as well, but the P3AT IS a locked breech action. ( as are the P-32 and P-11) The barrel moves back with the slide during recoil and drops down a bit much like the 1911.
Even so, since it's an alloy framed pistol I want to stay right around the minimum load with it for range use. I handles the hot Cor Bon loads with no problem, (90gr JHP @ 1050fps) it's just not very pleasant to shoot with loads that hot since it only weighs 11oz loaded.

rcmodel
September 7, 2008, 05:13 PM
+1

The entire Kel-Tec line, as well as the Ruger LPC copy of the P3AT, use the Browning short recoil locked breach action. (barrel cam instead of a link)
The barrel locks into the slide ala the SIG method of an oversize section of barrel around the chamber which locks into the ejection port.

Few other modern .380's do lock, although there have been several made in the past.

rcmodel

sniper7369
September 7, 2008, 10:21 PM
Well, I loaded up five 90gr JHP and five 95gr LRN with 2.2gr of W231 and tried them out at the range this evening.
They both fed out of the magazine fine, but they were not nearly hot enough to cycle the action. (slide didn't even move) They came right out of the chamber though when I racked the slide. No sign of case bulging either. So,I guess I'll take the charge up to maybe 2.8 or 2.9gr of 231, load up a few more and see if they'll work the slide.
Thanks again for the load info.

ants
September 8, 2008, 01:13 AM
Cool. My Colt uses a cam, too. It has one small lug on top of the barrel (like a mini-1911). It can shoot hefty loads very nicely, especially with the aftermarket Wolff recoil spring.

And it really likes 231/HP38.

ArchAngelCD
September 8, 2008, 03:31 AM
The Hodgdon Load Data Site (http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp) lists a starting charge of 3.2gr W231 and a Max charge of 3.5gr W231 for a 90gr Hornady JHP bullet.

sniper7369
September 8, 2008, 11:12 AM
The Hodgdon Load Data Site lists a starting charge of 3.2gr W231 and a Max charge of 3.5gr W231 for a 90gr Hornady JHP bullet.

I saw that, but didn't know if I could use that data with the Sierra bullets I have. I haven't been reloading very long, so I'm still kinda paranoid about sticking to exactly what the data says.

Woodshark
September 9, 2008, 02:04 AM
First, how do you know your gun will even function with light loads? Don't you have one of the Lyman reloading manuals? Quite a few loads for the Sierra 90 gr. And here's one you won't find published, when I got my first Mustang I wanted the hottest load available. Cor-Bon. They list their load at 1050fps from a 3 1/2" barrel. I took a part samples from a couple different lots.

Rem factory primed brass with 5.1 gr. of Superfield or
Win factory primed brass with 5.0 gr. Superfield chronographed at 1100fpsand Cor-Bons ammo chronographed at 1080fps. Thats a .380 load

ArchAngelCD
September 9, 2008, 03:00 AM
I saw that, but didn't know if I could use that data with the Sierra bullets I have. I haven't been reloading very long, so I'm still kinda paranoid about sticking to exactly what the data says.
sniper7369,
Unlike all the new rifle bullets now available where the profile of the bullet and seating depth can vary widely most handgun bullets of the same general profile and weight are safe to load with the data available as long as you start with the Min load and Work Your Way Up. (like all reloading) No reason to be so paranoid about using the same exact components in the manual since most data available today has a wide error margin built in.

Nothing wrong with playing it safe but your fears in this case are somewhat unfounded.

That Sierra 90gr JHP (http://www.sierrabullets.com/index.cfm?section=bullets&page=bc&stock_num=8100&bullettype=1) bullet you have has a sectional density of .102. When I checked the Hornady site their 90gr JHP .355" bullet (https://www.hornady.com/shop/?ps_session=32d007cd3b8231887eb26cc1322b362b&page=shop%2Fbrowse&category_id=06df69072cb5bf2c046687ec38e84fbb) is listed at the same .102 sectional density. Since the bullets are both 90gr and have the same sectional density I find it hard to believe the loading data will vary much between the two especially if you go with the Min charge to start with.

Good luck finding what you are looking for...

sniper7369
September 9, 2008, 06:59 AM
Nothing wrong with playing it safe but your fears in this case are somewhat unfounded.

That Sierra 90gr JHP bullet you have has a sectional density of .102. When I checked the Hornady site their 90gr JHP .355" bullet is listed at the same .102 sectional density. Since the bullets are both 90gr and have the same sectional density I find it hard to believe the loading data will vary much between the two especially if you go with the Min charge to start with.

Ahh, I see. I've been away from hand loading for quite some time since my Dad moved downstate and just started doing it myself so I suppose I'm being overly cautious just getting back into it on my own. Thanks for that info, saves me a bit of worry.

First, how do you know your gun will even function with light loads? Don't you have one of the Lyman reloading manuals? Quite a few loads for the Sierra 90 gr. And here's one you won't find published, when I got my first Mustang I wanted the hottest load available. Cor-Bon. They list their load at 1050fps from a 3 1/2" barrel. I took a part samples from a couple different lots.

Rem factory primed brass with 5.1 gr. of Superfield or
Win factory primed brass with 5.0 gr. Superfield chronographed at 1100fpsand Cor-Bons ammo chronographed at 1080fps. Thats a .380 load

I actually have NO idea if my P-3AT will function with light loads. I just got a very good deal on 500 95gr cast bullets and wanted to work up a very mild target load for plinking. I'll just keep working up until I get a load that will reliably cycle the action.
I just got the Lyman cast bullet handbook and plan on investing in more reloading manuals as funds allow.
I'm pretty much just looking for a lower recoiling load for poking holes in paper. :) The Cor Bons and other hot loads are just not much fun to shoot in an 11 ounce P-3AT.

sniper7369
September 9, 2008, 03:15 PM
Well, I found a nice, mild load that works the action.
3.4 gr of Unique with the 95gr LRN. Almost no recoil in the little P-3AT and it emptied a six rd mag with no problems. I'll have to load up a few more and bring them to the range this weekend, see how the accuracy is. ( I just fired into a clearing barrel in the garage to make sure they worked the action )

Claude Clay
September 9, 2008, 03:38 PM
p3at and bursar. lead 95 (or 100) grain bullets. bullseye 2.4 gr for light and 2.8 to closely replicates the velocity of a silvertip carry round. my daughter and i shoot 150 a week of these (120-2.4 & 30-2.8). she has chosen this cartrage to start carrying with. she has been at this for awhile so to keep her from getting complacent, i mix the 150 together.

rcmodel
September 9, 2008, 05:14 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=4869291&postcount=5

rcmodel

Marlin 45 carbine
September 9, 2008, 10:16 PM
BullsEye seems to be best choice for cast slugs, something a little slower for jacketed. that's my experience. Power Pistol does good.

benzuncle
September 9, 2008, 11:13 PM
I shoot a NAA Guardian 380. I load 95gr Rainier copper coated bullets and 95gr cast lead bullets for my range ammo. Using Hogdgon's HP-38, which is basically the same as Win 231, I charge the rounds with 2.9gr with no problems cycling the action. I'm about to try my hand at 102gr Remington Golden Saber bullets. I use Rem Golden Sabers as my SD round when I carry the 380 and want to try using the same thing at the range. I can't afford to shoot the 102gr Sabers at the price per box of 25. I use the same powder, HP-38, for my 45ACP rounds. BTW: the Rainier copper coated 45ACP's were a real nuisance for me to load. After 1500 rounds I moved on to something else and have eliminated the problem of the bullets not wanting to seat properly. The 95gr Rainiers have never been a problem though.

sniper7369
September 10, 2008, 12:10 AM
rcmodel, how's the recoil with the 100gr bullet over 3.8 of Unique?

I may just pick up some Bullseye and HP-38 and try some different loads, be nice to ba able to load the 102gr Sabres for range practice.

ants
September 10, 2008, 03:10 AM
benzuncle, if you come across a box of Hornady XTP in 115 grain, try an HP-38/W231 load for self defense. Lyman manual has loads for it: 2.0 to 3.1 grains, oal 0.956". You exceed 900 fps before getting to max load, and it cycles nicely. You will be very pleased.

I got two boxes of 115 grain XTP at Bass Pro Shop for $13 each, then they went up to $15 or so. Still a good price for prime HD bullets, especially since they load so easily and shoot so nicely.

ArchAngelCD
September 10, 2008, 03:24 AM
sniper7369,
I think that load you came up with will serve you well. Besides, HP-38 is a very clean powder and it also produces very accurate ammo in everything I've used it for. (I actually use the same powder but in a W231 can!! LOL)

moooose102
September 10, 2008, 09:11 AM
well, i have been using 3.1 grains of hp38 with 95 grain raineer plated fmp bullets (full metal plated round nose). they function great in my kel tec and ruger lcp. hope this helps.

rcmodel
September 10, 2008, 12:49 PM
rcmodel, how's the recoil with the 100gr bullet over 3.8 of Unique?It is definately more then I cared to subject my hand too over a long string of fire.

I was not sure whether it was the extra bullet weight, or power level, but they certainly feel like a bigger "bump" then my 90 grain loads using Red Dot or Green Dot, or 90 grain factory loads.

Anyway, I used up the 250 100 grain Berry bullets, and haven't felt a pressing need to buy any more!

rcmodel

Galil5.56
September 10, 2008, 01:09 PM
Here are some scans I made from my 1986 Handloader magazine concerning the 380 auto, with some nice data on the second picture.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v146/Abucaster/HL3801.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v146/Abucaster/HL380.jpg

ForneyRider
September 10, 2008, 01:34 PM
How do you sand bag rest a P3AT?

:)

RidgwayCO
September 10, 2008, 06:59 PM
I just recently purchased and installed some grip extensions for my Kel-Tec P3AT. The difference in control, especially with more robust loads, was noticeable. Also, they don't materially affect the way the little semiauto carries. It still just disappears in my pocket.

I'd do this modification again in a heartbeat.

http://www.kel-tec-cnc.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_13&products_id=72&zenid=bb1661c080283ef732321f0d752e74a0

benzuncle
September 10, 2008, 10:49 PM
...if you come across a box of Hornady XTP in 115 grain, try an HP-38/W231 load for self defense. Lyman manual has loads for it: 2.0 to 3.1 grains, oal 0.956". You exceed 900 fps before getting to max load, and it cycles nicely. You will be very pleased.

I got two boxes of 115 grain XTP at Bass Pro Shop for $13 each, then they went up to $15 or so. Still a good price for prime HD bullets, especially since they load so easily and shoot so nicely.

Ants, thanks for that heads up on the 115gr Hornadys. I was at Bass Pro recently but didn't know they carried anything but rifle bullets. I'll keep my eyes peeled.

Galil5.56
September 11, 2008, 12:21 PM
If you wanna go REALLY heavy, here is some data for 124 and 130 grain bullets!

http://gunsandammomag.com/cs/Satellite/IMO_GA/Story_C/The+.380+Auto

Talk about outside design parameters.

If you enjoyed reading about ".380 loads?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!