First 380 load- comments


January 30, 2013, 12:59 PM
Finally I got a chance to start reloading. I am using a Redding T7 press with the Redding 88170 die set.
Using Winchester 231 powder and Sierra 90 gr. JHP bullets set to .925 OAL. All this to Lymans 49th edition book. I started with their 2.1 grain spec. Loaded and fired 1 round in the wife's new Colt Mustang. It felt weak and would not eject. So I loaded 1 more at 3 gr., fired and ejected fine with almost the same recoil as my Hornady factory rounds. BTW the HornadyOAL was .964
Any comments before I load a bunch?

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January 30, 2013, 01:09 PM
You should be alright, but one shot isn't a function test.

I would load enough to run a couple three magazines through the gun to check functioning from the magazine before I loaded "a bunch".

Better safe then sorry.


January 30, 2013, 01:32 PM
Sounds good. Thanks

January 30, 2013, 01:41 PM
going from 2.1 grains to three grains is quite a jump, you should always work them up in .2gr increments. Also as RC stated, make enough to fire off a few mags. starting off at minimum charge, finding it doesnt cycle and then just jumping up to the max charge is a very, very bad idea. that being said, I load 90gr plated, and 95 and 100 grain lead boolits all with 3.0 grains each. They give you that "factory feel" that is best to practice with for use in a carry firearm.

January 30, 2013, 02:50 PM
I will keep that in mind. I think the max load was 3.2. How can you tell when you are near max? By the book specs, and or with a Chronograph?

January 30, 2013, 02:56 PM
I'd compare empty case ejection distance to factory loads.

If it's throwing empties about the same, it probably is about the same.

There are no "pressure signs" as such on a low pressure round like that.

You might start getting guppy belly case bulge at the feed ramp cut in the barrel.
But by that time, you are already skating on pretty thin ice.


February 1, 2013, 07:10 AM
When I tried w231 in my pocketLite Mustang 3.1 was hottttt! But 3.0 worked perfectly. Err to the lower side!

jim in Anchorage
February 1, 2013, 07:25 AM
Last cartridge I reloaded was a .300 Weatherby. 3.1 grains of powder?:D In a cook book would that not be called a " pinch? "

February 1, 2013, 07:38 AM
That's why .1gr. Can make a lot of difference in the .380.

February 1, 2013, 10:14 AM
I also just started loading 380 for my smith bodyguard. With the lee smallest charge die .30 disk (A) it drops 3.1 of hp38 witch is a tad hottt. I am using 95grn RN lead bullet. I would love to locate a micro disk, but not having any luck I guess I am going to try the adjustable bar. If anyone knows were I can order a micro disk please let me know. I will try the adjustable bar today with hp38 and will post results.

February 1, 2013, 11:00 AM
You put 143% more in the case and still have all of your fingers? (2.1 --> 3.0)

You are braver then I.

In a rifle round I'll jump a grain or two at a time where that only amounts to 5% of the case charge.

February 1, 2013, 11:23 AM
.937-.945 stovepipes in both my Beretta 85 and Sig 238. I had to get my OAL to .970 to stop that from happening. Agree, one shot is NOT enough. I got a bunch from Georgia Arms before I started reloading my own. Wondered why it stovepipes with those but shot factory fine. Too short OAL on some of the loads. Now that I do my own with Win 231 I don't have any more trouble.

February 1, 2013, 02:00 PM
Well just a update I did some playing around with the adjustable charging bar and hp-38 powder I can get the 2.9 I really want to try. Looks like I will try some out here shortly and see how they fire.

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