Load Data for lead bullets


June 6, 2009, 12:26 AM
Hi all,

With reloading equipment so hard to come by these days, I want to start casting bullets for my wifes 380. I have several reloading manuals and the lyman 49th allows for 120gr lead with appropriate powder data.

My question is has anyone used anything heavier than that? I am specifically wondering if my 125gr 9mm bullet will work? If it will do I drop the powder down and start over at 3.5gr Win231? I have a Lee TL356-125gr 6 cavity that I want to use.

I love the lee tumble lube on my 40 and 308 so I am hoping it will work. Thanks in advance for any help yall can provide.

That was a typo on the load data 2.1gr it was it should have read. I am not looking for stellar performance or crazy knock down power. I reload that thing so my wife can shoot regularly without breaking the piggy bank. I haven't been able to get my hands on a 100gr 356 mold so I wondered to myself if my 125gr 9mm mold would do the trick. Not wanting to scare or hurt my wife I figured I would ask the question before I started stuffing big heavy bullets in that tiny case and pulling the trigger.

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Claude Clay
June 6, 2009, 12:32 AM

June 6, 2009, 02:29 AM
You might find the data here. http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

Where are you getting your data from. My Lyman Pistol and Revolver Handbook show that 3.5 with a 90 gr. bullet is max. With a 120 gr. bullet it shows a max of 3.2 grs.

The Wiry Irishman
June 6, 2009, 02:55 AM
.380s have a lot less bullet sticking out the case than 9mm, I'm not sure you could fit a 9mm bullet in a .380 magazine.

June 6, 2009, 03:42 AM
A 120gr bullet is very heavy for a .380 Auto. even if you could get it to fit in the Mag what performance could you expect? You might end up with a bullet stuck in the barrel.

June 6, 2009, 10:21 AM
The heaviest bullet I have had success with in cast for 380 Auto was 100 gr. Any heavier and you get overwhelmed by the "Law of Diminishing Returns"

June 6, 2009, 11:51 AM
My guess is- your Lee 125gr bullet should work fine in the 380. My old lyman 45 edition list the lyman 121 gr.#358242 bullet, a round nose, with 2 grease grooves. Your Lee shows only 1 grease grove. With 1 less groove, i would think your Lee bullet is shorter in OAL , but not my much, if any. Just a Guess remember. One problem i see is, as with all cast bullet, the alloy used, the as cast bullet will not weight 125gr. I will be much heavyer. Reduce your load accordingly. Linotype would give a less heavy bullet. Starting load of 1.6 gr Bullseye @661 fps should get the bullet out the barrel. Unique looks like a better choice of powders. Starting load of 3.5gr Unique with the 121gr listed gave 939 fps.. I do NOT load 380auto.

June 6, 2009, 12:54 PM
The only problem, if there is one, will be severe case bulge at the base of the longer bullet.
That may or may not cause chambering issues.

The case-wall taper makes the case thicker further down.
In the .380, the taper ends about where the base of a 90 - 100 grain bullet will be when loaded to SAAMI max OAL of .984".


Marlin 45 carbine
June 6, 2009, 01:47 PM
I bought some very good shooting cast .380 slugs from Mike at 'mastercastbullets.com' around 95gr IIRC. shoot as good if not better than the hi$ Speer fmj and Rem hp I was loading.
over Red Dot or BullsEye.

June 6, 2009, 01:57 PM
Why not these: missouribullet (http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=107&category=5&secondary=27&keywords=)?

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