Powder comparison between .380 & .38 Spl


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walker944
December 8, 2008, 02:01 PM
Up front I'll state that I am not a reloader. However, I'm an avid gun owner/shooter and have a reasonable amount of common sense. I have one very simple question, that hopefully can be answered fairly straightforwardly.

How much gunpowder is used for a standard .380 round, and how much is used for a standard .38 special round?

Here's why I'm asking the question....I was at a gun show over the weekend and got into a discusion with an ammo seller. He stated there is actually less gunpowder in the .38 special than in the .380. This makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. Just looking at the size of the casing voids his comment. Since I have never reloaded handgun rounds, I had to shuffle away in total disbelief. Could someone who does reload these two rounds share some facts? Also, I was looking for a website that plainly shows the gunpowder amounts for different calibers, but could not find one. So, if you know of one of those, that would be greatly appreciated as well.

Much thanks, fellow gun nuts!

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rcmodel
December 8, 2008, 02:12 PM
Using a similar burn rate powder, (Bullseye) and normal bullet weights for each, (90 & 158) it is almost exactly the same. (3.5 grains)

Most of the space in a .38 case is full of air.

That may change when you look at light bullet +P .38 loads, where more of a slower burning powder is used in it and not the .380.
In that case, your gun-show guy is still wrong. :D

The .38 Special was at first, a black-powder cartridge, and needed/used all that room.
The .380 ACP was always loaded with smokeless powder, and didn't need to be as big.
It also runs at higher pressure then standard .38 Special.



Some Websites:
http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/Index.htm

http://www.hodgdon.com/

http://www.reloadammo.com/

rcmodel

walker944
December 8, 2008, 02:25 PM
The .38 Special was at first, a black-powder cartridge, and used all that room.

Well that explains a lot, right there...I appreciate that one sentence!!! Now things make sense. I knew that ballistically the rounds are fairly evenly matched.

Thank you very much!

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