P238 Sig and 115 grain loads.


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sandust
September 18, 2011, 09:47 PM
Been messing around reloading for my SIG P238 pistol. I wanted to get some more weight than the available 102 grain max factory loads on the marked.
Found loads in the Lyman 29th manual and these are the results. Thought I would pass it on in case anyone is interested in these loads.
Before I get jumped on about the 380 and its lack of power. I own, use and load for much larger guns/calibers all the way up to 454 casull. We are talking about a 15 ounce pocket gun. I happen to like the P238.

BEFORE ANYTHING - DISCLAIMER - THESE LOADS ARE SAFE IN "MY" P238 ONLY. THESE LOADS ARE FOR REFERENCE ONLY AND FOR EXPERIENCED HANDLOADERS. I ASSUME NO RESPONSIBLITY FOR THE USE OF THESE LOADS.
YOU NEED TO WORK UP LOADS AT LEAST 15% LOWER THAN MY POSTED LOADS.
THE SIG P238 IS A LOCKED BREECH DESIGN THAT IS VERY STRONG. THESE LOADS WOULD NOT BE ADEQUATE FOR BLOWBACK DESIGNS OR ULTRALIGHTS LIKE THE RUGER LCP.


RELOADING THE 380 ACP P238 SIG
For Reference factory ammo .
Winchester White Box Ammo 95 grain FMJ flat point OAL.
Fired well. Mild Chronographed as follows for test.
50 degree firing
800.5 861.9 831.5 802.7 766 813.1 Average 816 861.9 High
75 degree firing
851 845 891 836.4 841.9 858.5 Average 885.7 891 High

Fired Aprox 150 of the above. Worked perfectly. No malfunctions.

Winchester once fired cases. 115 grain Hornady JHP XTP .355 #35540 LYMAN MANUAL #49 lists 3.1 grain of W231 as max. This load is less than ****** psi. SPEER #11 lists 3.6 grain of 231 as a starting load and 3.8 grains of 231 as max. They claim these loadings are less than 18,900 cup which is the industry maximum for 380 ACP. Loaded W231 New stuff Lot # 1071309 Loaded 20 rounds with 3 grains W231 Winchester case Winchester WSP primer OAL .962 - .964 (there seem to be slight variation in the bulletís nose) using Lee Carbide dies and Factory Crimp die. The Lee factory crimp die is what makes these loads function flawlessly.
No signs of pressure. Seem accurate.

Reloaded 40 rounds same as above using 3.1 grains W231 including the cases above. Saturday, July 10, 2011 Outside temp 60 degrees Chronographed 5 rounds as follows:
790.5 830.2 832.7 832.1 828.7 822.8 Average 832.7 High

Outside temp 75 degrees Chronographed 5 rounds as follows:
839.9 847.6 843.6 822.5 833.2 837.4 Average 847.6 High


Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Reloaded 8 rounds same as above using 3.3 grains W231 including the cases above (twice fired and no signs of wear) Chronographed 8 rounds as follows: On the new chronograph Chrony Alpha master 80 F -- Monday, July 19, 2011
877.9 868.5 853.1 828.8 865.3- 854.4 Average 845.8 862.9 833.1 828.8 LOW 49.1 SPREAD 877.9 HIGH

56.33 spread per chronograph 18.76 sd per chronograph

No signs of pressure. But definetly hotter than 3.1 grains 231. Good defensive load. Seem accurate. Only shot over chronograph Reloaded 12 more rounds as above using once fired cases this time all else the same. Using as defensive load. Will load more rounds asap. Black sharpie tipped bullets.


Tuesday, August 15, 2011
Reloaded 78 rounds same as above using 3.4 grains W231 including the cases above (once fired polished and no signs of wear) All cases double weighed with RCBS electronic scale followed by mechanical scale verification right on at 3.4 grains. To be chronographed later. Should shield about 875-900 fps.

Chronographed 5 rounds as follows: On the new chronograph Chrony Alpha master 86 F -- Saturday 10th, 2011
890.9, 900.3, 911.1, 924.6, 915.5 - 908.5 average


Slight signs of pressure. Not bad. No flattened primers etc. Definetly hotter than 3.3 grains 231.
Great 380 defensive load. I set up a penetration test. 4 one gallon jugs of water (distilled type) backed up by wood. Round exploded the first jug, then penetrated the second and third jugs. Then penetrated thru the fourth jug and hit the back of the jug starting to penetrate but was up against the wood. Pierced the jug and made a dent in the wood. Slug was found inside the fourth jug. It expanded to .52 inches and weighs 113.7 grains. Pictures below

I have fired 50 of the above loads with no problems. Very accurate. I can hit a 10x12 steel plate everytime with ease at 30 yards. Ragged multiple hit holes about 2 inches at 7 yards. P238 is amazingly accurate.
Loaded 100 more rounds.
Settle on this load as my backup gun load.
I have not had a failure to feed/fire on my P238 since I bought it. It is a late model 27A****** series.
















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Para Cassatt
September 18, 2011, 11:09 PM
Great info sandust. I started experimenting with 115 gr. Hornady HP's in the 380 in 2001. It does shoot very well and I have recently started working up loads with the Speer 125 gr. swaged lead bullet for plinking and it too works well in the 238.

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