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.380 Ammo

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by azwizard, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. azwizard

    azwizard New Member

    Feb 25, 2008
    Formerly AZ, Now Northern MI
    Hey Guys,

    I mostly carry .357 mag or larger guns as my ccw but Right now I've set up my .357 for hunting and My 1911 is currently temporarilly under review for reliability so I'm loking for someting I can use in the interim.

    I recently picked up a Russian Mak in .380 ACP. I've shot some Blazer and Remington UMC thru it which as far as accuracy went it shot pretty good. I bought and loaded up my mags witht the 102 Gr. Rem GS and shot one mag and was dissapointed in the accuracy. A good bullet isn't any good if you can't hit the target. I do reload so I could pick up some bullets if anyone has a good, documented recipe for the .380....

    Given my choice I'd choose a SCW bullet. They are accurate and Hit hard. I'll be caring this for a few months and while it is a carry piece I also live in a remote area and it may serve double duty as a rabbit gun if the opportunity presents. So far I can't find a heavy for caliber SWC type bullet or recipe for the .380, anyone what to chime in please do. I understand I'll have to do research on the load and then work it up in my gun.

    Also I see that speer gold dots are kind of highly reguarded in the .380 world so if anyone can offer up an opinion please speak up as well. Thanks....
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    I have had really excellent results with Hornady XTP's in all calibers.

    I shoot the 90 grain XTP in my .380 Kel-Tec, and will be shooting them in my new SIG P-232 when the heat index gets somewhere below 115 again.

    They feed like corn through a goose BTW.

    You won't find too many heavy for caliber SWC for .380.
    First, they won't feed in a lot of guns, and second, the .380 case is too small to get a heavy bullet and the powder in there at the same time.

    A 90 - 100 grain is about all that will fit without the base of the bullet bulging the case web taper to the point they wouldn't chamber.

  3. LightningMan

    LightningMan Participating Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    If you reload, I like to use the Hornady 90 gr. XTP's & 4.8 grs. of PowerPistol (this is published data) This data lists the velocity at 1105 fps. but it doesn't tell what gun or barrel length was used. I'm guessing a PPKS or something with a slightly longer barrel than a LCP. So the fps could be a bit less than that in those micro .380's.
  4. Clark

    Clark Senior Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    Where I5 meets the rain forest
    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.

    My LOAD FOR CARRY kel-tec P3AT:
    90 gr GD, 6.1 gr Power Pistol, .968", OAL, no crimp

    This load is right on the edge.
    .960" makes a case bulge.
    6.2 gr makes a case bulge.
    Quickload thinks it is 25.9 kpsi, 1115 fps

    My only chrono data:
    My Kel-Tec P3AT .380
    2.76" barrel, 90 gr. Speer Gold Dot bullet, 6.2 gr. Power Pistol, .970",
    some cases get guppy belly bulge, mixed used brass,
    1095, 1115, 1098, 1054, 1093 fps

    A 380 with better case support, thicker chamber walls, more slide mass, longer OAL accommodating magazine, and a longer barrel can make much more power even if it is 100 years older and blow back instead of locked breech:

    M1903 [Husqvarna 1907 9mm Browning bushed to .380]
    1) Winchester factory ammo 95 gr. chrono data 805 fps
    2) WSP, 8.5 gr. Power Pistol, 158 gr. XTP, seated to 1.090", chrono data 1158, 1187 fps


    What does it all mean?
    Some big heavy 380s can make more power than a 357 mag, while some tiny 380s can not even make 9x19mm level power, but it is the tiny 380s that get carried.
  5. Glock20

    Glock20 New Member

    Feb 9, 2010
    Eugene, Oregon
    I've used in my .380 LCP -

    Berry's 100gr plated with HP-38 & TiteGroup -- A little off max as per Lee's Manual.
    Hornady 90gr XTP with HP-38 -- Right at max as per Hornady's manual.

    Both loads shot very well (fed & ejected without failures) and more accurate for this little pistol than the PMC factory stuff at 1/2 the cost.

    I have some 95gr Montana Gold JHP coming soon that I'll try. I've been satisfied with MG for other calibers, these should shoot fine as well.

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