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380Auto X-Treme 100 gr RNFP Range Test

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bds, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    After doing countless 9mm/40S&W/45ACP load testing for Herco threads, I decided to change gears and have some fun with 380Auto.

    Tula 91 gr FMJ ammunition and X-Treme 100 gr RNFP plated bullets were used with W231/HP-38 and Taurus TCP 748. Although longer length passed the barrel drop test, 0.945" OAL/COL was used for the test that reliably fed/chambered from the magazine.

    After referencing Hodgdon load data, 2.6/2.8/3.0 charges were dropped from Lee Perfect Powder measure and verified on Ohaus 10-10. Hodgdon lists 3.1 gr as max charge for 100 gr FMJ with 0.980" OAL/COL. Since X-Treme's RNFP plated bullet loaded shorter at 0.945" due to the flat nose, I only used 3.0 as max charge.

    Range Test:

    At 7 yards, Tula 91 gr FMJ factory loads produced snappy recoil typical of 380Auto with short barrels and greater than 2" shot group.


    X-Treme 100 gr RNFP W231/HP-38 loads produces less snappy recoil (I decided to use 10/10 scale for Tula factory load):

    - 2.6 gr under 1" group (4/10 felt recoil)
    - 2.8 gr 1.25" (6/10 felt recoil)
    - 3.0 gr 1.25" (8/10 felt recoil)

    Now that we have a reference baseline, I am planning to test other powders and bullets (I have 95 gr Montana Gold JHP) and perhaps at greater distances as well.


    Attached Files:

  2. 2 Horse

    2 Horse Well-Known Member

    bds, Nice work and right on time too. I'm just starting to pull things together for a run at the 380.
  3. Hullraiser

    Hullraiser Well-Known Member

    I'm surprised you could get the Tula to cycle in the TCP 738? I tested it in one and had 4 FTF out of 6 due to light primer strikes. Other ammo of better quaility worked fine. It would make some nice dimples in the primer, but no bang. That same misfired ammo worked fine in a larger frame 380.
  4. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    I have the stainless steel model with 1000+ of my reloads through it. All the Tula rounds went bang (with nice deep primer indent - BTW, these had brass primers) but had 2 out of several magazines that failed to fully extract/chamber (This was my first box of steel cased Tula and will be my last - I bought it just for the comparison as I could not find any other factory FMJ ammuntion).

    I normally use Winchester PDX1 JHP ammunition as defensive rounds and X-Treme's RNFP bullets I use for reloads have been feeding/chambering reliably.
  5. joneb

    joneb Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing bds, I ordered and have 500 of these bullets but no dies yet :( I have a Bersa Thunder that I would like to load for, your info will come in handy.
    I load for a EG Makarov with 93gr LRN, my load with W321 is 3.8gr with CCI 500 it clocks 1050fps with a 19lbs recoil sping.
  6. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    UPDATE: FTE/FTF issue made me take apart the TCP 738 and found the culprit to be gunked up extractor area. The TCP shot my reloads reliably so I did not give this area much attention.

    After a thorough cleaning with Hoppes #9 and metal contact areas lubed with Breakfree CLP, I went back to the range with the same box of Tula FMJ ammunition and did not experience any FTE/FTF issue.
  7. Vodoun da Vinci

    Vodoun da Vinci Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the write up!! I shot my first .380 loads last weekend using Xtreme 100 gr RNFP's in my Wife's Glock 42. My OAL was pretty much the same as yours but I used Unique for powder and Winchester "Train and Defend" low recoil .380 and Fiocchi 95 gr. hardball as factory comparison loads.

    I do like those Xtreme bullets but would like a wider meplat personally. I loaded another 150 rounds yesterday and today.

    Is that Taurus a blow back pistol or does it fire from a locked breech?

  8. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    TCP 738 is locked breech.
  9. Potatohead

    Potatohead Well-Known Member

    I read where that was a heck of a pistol. Or at least the one at that particular reviewers' LGS. He said it was a rental at his range and the only 380 that hadnt had to go to the gunsmith for repair yet. 2nd was the Sig p238, having only had to go once.

    Interested in your 380 test BDS. I just mixed some up with imr 7625 that seemed very accurate when I function tested. Havent had a chance to really test the accuracy yet though.

    If you can find a mixture that will give me less than a 4" group i'll be more than thrilled! I cant hit the broad side of a barn with my p 238.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  10. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    I started out shooting Sig 226/1911 and was never a fan of DAO trigger or Taurus pistols. After I switched to Glocks for match shooting (only because I got faster stage times over 226), I noticed nobody used Taurus for match shooting and I always got smaller/faster double taps with Glocks over Taurus pistols when we did comparison tests on "bring your other pistols to match practice" days.

    When I was looking for a compact 45 because my wife complained about G30 grip being too bulky, range staff suggested we try PT145 Mil Pro with SA/DA trigger. Not only did it have smallest double-stack 45 grip I tried, it also had a very smooth SA trigger that allowed for tight shot groups.

    When my wife wanted a pocketable back up to the G27, we tried various 380 pistols and found the TCP 738 trigger very smooth, even though it was DAO. One of my criteria for pistol selection is where the front sight doesn't move/jump when the hammer/striker is released as I consider this a significant factor for producing consistent accuracy (for my last 2 Glock purchases, I had to go through 5-7 pistols until I found one that did it out of the box). With the TCP 738, this was doable mainly due to the smooth DAO trigger.

    Most 380 "pocket" pistols I have shot have distinct snappy recoil that I find quite unpleasant. TCP 738 has dual recoil spring set up similar to PT145 and with lighter W231/HP-38 loads, it is a joy to shoot so you can better focus on shooting drills instead of fearing the snappy recoil.

    Many posted they had feeding issues with early models of TCP 738. I think Taurus has resolved this issue with a model change and a different magazine. We have the stainless slide model (made in USA) and haven't experienced feeding issue. After 1000+ rounds, when I experienced failure to extract spent cases, it turned out to be gunk build up around the extractor. After the gunk was cleaned out, no more failure to extract issues.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2014
  11. Potatohead

    Potatohead Well-Known Member

  12. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the review link.

    10,000+ rounds without failure on range rental TCP 738 when all other 380 rentals experienced failures? I say not bad. The article mentioned Sig P238 with one in-house repair and Ruger LCP with a warranty trip. I guess that's as real life "abuse test" as we could get.

    Maybe the pistol being made in the USA finally fixed the Taurus reliability issue? :neener:
  13. Potatohead

    Potatohead Well-Known Member

    At least for this model it appears. I bet those rentals get beat to heck too.
  14. GaryL

    GaryL Well-Known Member

    As long as you're at it, I'd like to see some tests done with Bullseye. I'd even donate half a lb to the cause if we were within 100 miles of each other.
  15. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    I have Bullseye powder on hand. I can do some more range test once the heatwave of 105 F settles down a bit.
  16. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Temperature finally dropped below 100F after four straight months of heat wave!

    I have BE-86 on order so I will resume range tests with Bullseye, N320 and perhaps Titegroup.
  17. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member

    In sure 231 would provide some great loads in 380. My recent experience with AA#5 and 380 leads me to believe that it's an excellent choice also.
  18. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Yes, I really do like W231/HP-38 for 380. My initial work up was done with 100 gr RNFP plated bullet and W231/HP-38. I plan to further test W231/HP-38 with 95 gr Montana Gold JHP and 100 gr RMR thick plated RN.
  19. Beanie-Bean

    Beanie-Bean Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the test info! I loaded my first .380 rounds, and will post results soon. I used Speer 95 GT. FMJ. And X-Treme 100 gr. RNFP, both over Titegroup.

    I will be trying out N320, 231, and AA #2 on the next run.
  20. Artofgolf

    Artofgolf Well-Known Member

    I liked the 380 with N-320 & Titegroup. We were fortunate to find some BE-86; I added 1# of LilGun to give it a run, also.
    Looking forward to your BE-86 results, bds.

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