Anybody reload .380acp?


Dave R
December 21, 2003, 10:11 PM
Just picked up the dies. I like my .380 except for the ammo cost. This should solve that problem.

Any tips on reloading this caliber? I assume I need to be careful on precisely measuring powder and OAL. Anything else?

If you enjoyed reading about "Anybody reload .380acp?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
December 21, 2003, 10:43 PM
CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

Go to any powder manufacturer web site, and you will find loads for the .380.

Myself, I handload real hot rods for the my 380's.
I am getting more power from a 100 year old .380 than any 357 mag factory ammo gives.

A society that teaches evolution as fact will breed a generation of atheists that will destroy the society. It is Darwinian.

Peter M. Eick
December 22, 2003, 07:33 AM
380 is one of the easier rounds to load for in my opinion.

First, it is almost impossible to double charge the round. Nearly every powder would spill out!

2nd, there is a widely available components.

3rd, it is an easy one to hot rod, but not to far!

My favorite load is nearly engraved in my head. .984 COL, 4.0 grns of Unique, CCI500 primers, Starline brass, Seirra 90 grn JHP or Remington 88 grn JHP.

Great load, depending on the gun it does between 900 and 950 FPS and is reasonably accurate.

December 22, 2003, 02:31 PM
A fun round to load and to shoot. One problem I ran into reminded me that we need to check all of our reloads closely. In one bad lot of R-P brass (new cases) the Hornady XLT bullet was not held snuggly enough and could be sunk deeply into the case with light pressure. This , of course , would be disasterous even in such a light cartridge as the pressure would go through the roof.

Dave R
December 22, 2003, 02:58 PM
Kimbernut, sounds like a crimp problem....

I plan to use Laser-Cast bullets from Oregon Trails for plinking ammo. They don't have any load data on their site, unfortunately. And I know that pressures can change significantly going from one bullet to the next, even at the same weight, because of differences in "bearing surface" and coefficient of friction.

Does anyone know of load data for the Laser-Cast bullets? Anybody use 'em?

December 22, 2003, 05:29 PM
Dave R. --That was my first asumption too,but crimp adjustments didn't help. All the brass that I had the problem with was out of the same batch of R-P. My Starline,F-C, and Win. didn't have the problem.
For your Lazor-cast loads contact Lazorcast by phone or e-mail they have their own reloading manuel. Thanks.

December 22, 2003, 09:41 PM
I use a Lee taper crimp die. I use 95 gr. jacketed round nose or 88 gr. lead round nose bullets. I use the same charge of Winchester 231 powder for 95 and 88 gr. bullet. I use 231 because it's what I use for .38 special and .45 ACP.

I want the overall cartridge length to stay the same. I don't want pistol feed ramp, or recoil, or anything else, lessening the overall cartridge length. I know I have the right crimp when: I load a dummy round and put it on a bathroom scale, bullet side up. I take a small block of wood and put it on top of bullet. I press down until scale registers about 35 pounds. I measure overall cartridge length. It it is same as before test then I'm good to go.

December 22, 2003, 09:56 PM
Despite having quite a bit of factory ammo - I plan to reload .... picked up 1,000 bullets (hard cast) at gun show yesterday ... need to get dies next and build up some brass to reload with. All info is most useful from those who already do reload.

Peter M. Eick
December 23, 2003, 09:50 PM
Dave R.

I tried the lasercasts and used lyman reloading data. I could never get them to work well. Did not feed well into the chamber and were not that accurate. They also leaded the barrels up a bit, which I believe is due to not enough pressure from later readings.

I finally found a combination that would get them to feed and fire in my 84F, but I would not buy them again. They would not feed well into my Gov 380, or PPK/S and marginally into the 84F.

December 24, 2003, 04:47 PM
I reload .380 ACP for my Bersa Thunder. Started out doing it single stage but then began shooting enough of them that I bought the conversion gear for my 550. I've had good luck with Titegroup and 95 gr. LRN. I've had to mail order the bullets, but other than that there's nothing particularly difficult about reloading .380s.

Dave R
December 24, 2003, 06:00 PM
Well, my one e-mail to Laser-Cast regarding their load data has not been answered yet, probably die to Holidays. From their website, it looks like the only load data they provide is their $18 book?

Thanks for the links posted here. I have also checked a couple of other sources, and load data for 95gr FMJ is pretty consistent. I'll probably start off with just under 4gr. of Unique, and work up to just over 4gr. See how things go.

December 24, 2003, 09:30 PM
For what it's worth, I talked to Hodgdon about using 95 gr. LRN (all the data in their manual is for FMJ) and they said using their FMJ data for LRN is fine in .380s.

Dave R
December 24, 2003, 10:14 PM
Thanks, Cortland.

December 30, 2003, 02:40 PM
Dave R.-Are you using the new Unique that is supposed to be cleaner? If so is it really cleaner burning?I have used the older Unique in my revolvers but found it too dirty for semi-autos.
I've used 3.0 Bullseye on most all the different types of ".380" bullets with good success. If you should try W-231 do not use Speer#12 numbers to start.Check some other manuels and work accordingly.

Dave R
December 31, 2003, 02:46 PM
Yes, I am using the "new" cleaner Unique. I never used the old one, so can't compare...

But it seems no dirtier than the commercial ammo I've been using. Win White Box, etc. I ran 100 rounds (each) through 2 pistols yesterday, all various loads of Unique, and no jams. Cleanup did not seem worse than normal.

The only thing I don't like about Unique is the flash at max loads. Decent fireball in the shorty pistol.

December 31, 2003, 05:34 PM
What load Titegroup have you settled on? I've done some 95gr RNL Bonus Bullets over 3 gr Titegroup that chrono'ed at 875fps out of my CZ83. Seems to be ok.


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