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.380 acp- What's a good load?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by JohnnyB, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. JohnnyB

    JohnnyB Well-Known Member

    I recently bought a Colt Pony .380 (all steel-not Pocketlite) I just got dies to reload for it. I currently have Titegroup, Hodgdon Universal, & and W231. I think one of these should make a decent powder for either Roger's Hard cast lead 95 gr, or FMJ 95 gr. Anyone have any suggestions for a good load/powder combo? I'm looking for the best velocity and accuracy.
    thanks, John
  2. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    I don't use those powders, but I get good results with 4.4 gr of Accurate #5 in my Pony. Hopefully someone else can chime in with something useful to you. :p
  3. RandyP

    RandyP Well-Known Member

    I reload my .380 using Win 231/HP-38 and Berry plated RN bullets with a load I got from the Hodgdon website or one of my reloading manuals, don't remember which. I load plated at the high end of bare lead, low end of FMJ.

    I choose not to give out specific load data, it will benefit user's education by doing the homework themselves. Plus I can't type fer shyte and don't want to post a kaboom in the making - LOL
  4. heydawg

    heydawg Active Member

    Well, which do you want: velocity or accuracy? You can have one.

    If you want velocity, look at a 9 mm. Seriously. Most 380 loads are in the 850-950 fps range. Certain powder and bullet combinations can reach about 1100 fps. Starting loads for most powders put the bullet out around 700-750 fps.

    Few paper targets know the difference between a bullet that arrives in .0025 seconds and one that arrives in .0021 seconds.

    Lyman manual 8th ed suggests W231 in most weights for accuracy and it delivers velocity in the top 10% of the listed powders.

    Lee 2nd ed shows better performance with Power Pistol. There is no mention of accuracy, just a collection of load data.

    Any of your three powders will work. If you want velocity, go with W231. I have had good luck with low to mid for Titegroup using plated 100 grain bullets.

    Just reference the Hodgon website for load data. They will not have cast bullets listed, however. Just use FMJ data dialed down a touch until you find the sweet spot.

    I found that I much prefer the Berry plated 100 grain bullets to cast. I loaded up 100 cast 95 grain bullets today and found the process needlessly difficult vs loading the plated bullets. The cost difference between cast and plated is narrow enough that I would rather spend the one half of a cent more for plated. 1000 plated bullets shipped to home are $80.50. 1000 cast bullets purchased locally after tax is 74.50.

    In any case, people say you can't use Titegroup with cast. That's rubbish. It worked just fine.
  5. redbullitt

    redbullitt Well-Known Member

    I loaded my first 500 with 95 grain fmj and 3.6 grains w231. Didnt chrono, but ran fine in the gun and was plenty accurate enough. Ran well through the gun.
  6. Cherokee

    Cherokee Well-Known Member

    I use 231 (HP38) for 380 loading, from 800 to 1000 fps. I load 95 gr FMJ and 109 gr TC cast bullets. Check the manuals for load suggestions.
  7. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Well-Known Member

    Shooting 95 gr MBC bullets, I have tried: Unique, Bullseye, Red Dot, 231, 700-X, SR-7625 and Acc #2. I tried loading Titegroup, but couldn't get consistent metering in my Uniflow.

    Best results were: Acc #2 2.7 gr., Red Dot 2.2 gr.

    W 231 is the only powder you have that I have tried. Best accuracy from it was from 3.0 gr.
  8. Para Cassatt

    Para Cassatt Well-Known Member

    I don't know about speed but Unique and 231 are hard to beat. They're in every manual and Sierra list UNQ as their accuracy load in every bullet weight in their now very old No. 5 manual.
  9. JDGray

    JDGray Well-Known Member

    Power Pistol shot very well for me. 4.2gr with a 95gr Missouri LRN, gave great accuracy & 900+fps:)
  10. mahansm

    mahansm Well-Known Member

    I've been using 3.0 grains AA #2 with 95 grain jacketed (various) in my
    Sig P230 with good results.
  11. heydawg

    heydawg Active Member

    Did you by chance chrono the AA #2 loads? I'm curious how they match up to published data. I have heard good things about it, but the chrono speeds aren't readily available.

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