Reloading .380 auto


December 6, 2012, 12:21 AM
Looking to reload .380 anyone have any preferences on powders and such?

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December 6, 2012, 12:32 AM
Any fast burning pistol powder will work just fine. I happen to prefer Bullseye, but I don't think it makes that much of a difference. As far as bullets go, stay under 100 grains. Heavier bullets can bulge the case and not chamber in some pistols.

December 6, 2012, 12:36 AM
Thanks someone else said that also about staying under 100gr bullets. I just bought 95gr rn for a cheap price so I plan on getting some powder this weekend. I have some power pistol but wanted to see what wimple have been using or what works better than another.

December 6, 2012, 12:43 AM
I size any cast boolits -commercial or my own. After loading a few, drop them into your chamber to insure everything is right. My Sig 232 is finicky with my loads but it is still new. The Colt gub style 380 chews them up fine. Used a bunch of Unique but have gone to ball powders lately. Unique clogs (bridges) sometimes and I have to really keep an eye on the powder levels. I weigh every 5th round's powder if there is any problem at all. Normally every 10th will do.

December 6, 2012, 12:49 AM
I just bought 95gr rn for a cheap price
Soo what are they?
Hawks recommendation of Bullseye is a good one, as is W231 and Accurate #2,
Power Pistol will likely give the most velocity, but it is a bit hot for cast bullets.

December 6, 2012, 02:44 AM
I like 3.0gr 231/hp38 under a 102 gr cast boolit. gives you that factory feel with handloads out of a tiny plastic gun. sucker tries to jump straight up out of your hand, but its still accurate to boot.

December 6, 2012, 08:14 AM
I have loaded some 110 JHP in 380 ACP. Worked fine in my Beretta M84 but velocity probably would not be fast enough to expand.

I regularly used cast Lee 105 SWC when I was casting bullets. These were great. (I need to break out my casting equipment and try these in my micro 380s)

Currently, I am loading 700-X in the 380 ACP because I have it on hand for 45 ACP. I have used a number of other powders over the years.

Currently, I load 90-100 grain FMJ bullets depending on what I find for a good price.

December 6, 2012, 08:23 AM
I've had very good results using Accurate Arms AA#2 powder in .380. Gives me more consistent velocity than any other powder I've tested. Haven't tried Bullseye though.

December 6, 2012, 08:27 AM
Just started loading .380 auto and so far only with W231. Good results, but Lyman 49 starting charges for W231 seem very light. I'll notch up my next batch.

December 6, 2012, 09:38 AM
I like the Berry's 100 grain HBRN and 3.0 grains of Bullseye. I have also had successful loads using Power Pistol. I'd like to try Titegroup but that requires so little powder that I don't have a disk small enough for my powder measure.

95 grain fmj's also work well with 3.0 of Bullseye for me.

Good Luck.


December 6, 2012, 09:53 AM
I've been using 2.8gr of Bullseye with anything from 88gr JHP, 90gr JHP, or 95gr FMJ or 100gr Berrys RNFB or MBC 95gr LRN. It just works well in LCP, P238, and Colt Mustang. W231 works well too with around 3.2gr.

December 6, 2012, 11:47 AM
2gn & under of bullseye doesn't meter will through my disk so I switched to Red Dot.

December 6, 2012, 12:56 PM
I like 3.3 gr of 231 with 90gr Gold Dots or 95gr cast. It's a hair over the 3.2 Lyman charge but it works well in my PA63.

December 6, 2012, 01:28 PM
I have used Bullseye and Powerpistol in the past but the best load I have so far is 3.0grains VV-N310 and 95gr.FMJ. Velocity is about 1000fps. Clean, accurate and consistent.

December 6, 2012, 04:14 PM
Another vote for 100 gr lead with 3.2 of W231. My Bersa .380 eats them up and the recoil is nice and easy. Plenty accurate too.

December 6, 2012, 08:33 PM
I use 2.8-3.0 gr of 231 under a 95gr bullet. Same charge for lead or FMJ. It's pretty light, but that's why my wife likes to shoot in the LCP.

December 6, 2012, 09:50 PM
a) Small 380 pistols with light weight slides, thin chamber wall, .257" poor case support, short 2.75" barrel, and wimpy springs, I am lucky to get 1100 fps 90gr Gold Dot.

b) A big 380 with heavy slide, thick chamber wall, that will feed a 1.09" cartridge, case support to the web, long 5" barrel, and big recoil spring space, I can get 1187 fps 158 gr XTP.

c) Then I have some 380 pistols with medium weight slide, medium case support, that I get performance with Win 115 gr JHP I get power some where in between.

But in all cases, I use Power Pistol.

December 6, 2012, 10:06 PM
AA #2 is really good, but I've also used AA #5 with good results. As mentioned by several folks, keep the bullet weight at 90 - 95 gr and they should perform very well. I've had good results with Berry's and Montana.

December 6, 2012, 10:11 PM
Put me in with the guys using 231. I use a cast 95gr RNL and 3.2 gr of 231 in mixed brass. Works really well in all three of my autos, a Bersa, and two Taurus: a PT638 and TCP738. Accurate and reliable in all three.

December 7, 2012, 01:43 AM
AutoComp is an easy powder to work with for .380. It will operate at significantly lower pressures while delivering higher velocities if desired. Even at max charges it operates about 1,000 cup below the other powders with a 95 gr. jacketed bullet. It's also not going to be as charge sensitive as the faster burner's are, because it has a larger pressure spread, about 2,000 cup from minimum to maximum, and a larger charge range to work with too. This makes it less sensitive to work up increments.


December 7, 2012, 02:52 PM
Soo what are they?
Hawks recommendation of Bullseye is a good one, as is W231 and Accurate #2,
Power Pistol will likely give the most velocity, but it is a bit hot for cast bullets.

I bought a bag of 250 for 12.00 but there Winchester 95gr fmj

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