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Dump this .380 load or keep it?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by sublimaze41, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. sublimaze41

    sublimaze41 Well-Known Member

    I just got done loading some .380 rounds with 88gr Remington HP behind 3.8gr Unique with an OAL of 0.975. These were fired from a Sig P230 and Chronographed with a temperature of 33. The shot data was from 20 shots within 2 minutes.

    Ave-------918 FPS
    ES---------289 :barf:

    My question is this.... Should I keep this load or refine it? The gun cycles with no problems and this will be for basic target practice/plinking. I have a Dillon 550b and Unique does not meter through it as well as I like, I think this may have caused the SD elevation. According to the Second Edition of Lee, the load starting and never exceeding is 4.0 with Unique. The book FPS is 920

    .380 is kind of a PIA to load so I would GREATLY appreciate any suggestions.

    These are the powders I have on hand if anybody has loaded a similiar load with Remington 88HP.

    AA# 5
    AA# 7
    Blue Dot

  2. putteral

    putteral Well-Known Member

    I think you will do better with bullseye. Meters very well and I find more accruate than unique in my Walther PPK/S using 90 gr XTP
  3. Barr

    Barr Well-Known Member

    I would reshoot that load just to make sure it is not a fluke. If the data is consistant then I would try a load using HP38. I use Power Pistol behind a 95 grain FMJ that gives me a little more velocity. If I am not mistaken, (check on Alliant's website) you can use American Select powder with an 88 or 90 grain bullet. Am Sel is the most consistant handgun powder I have seen. I do not use it in my 95 grain loads only because I want more velocity in such a small caliber and I have not seen a load with a 95 gr bullet listed.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I haven't tried the 88 grain Remington bullet, but:

    3.8 Unique and a 100 grain Berry is a good load in a Kel-Tec P3AT.

    Also, 3.3 Red Dot, or Green Dot & a 90 grain XTP seems to work well.

    I would think your 3.8 Unique / 88 grain bullet might be just a scooch light.

    I tried 4.0 Unique / 100 in the K-T and it showed no case bulging or other pressure signs, but was a little stiff in the recoil department in the P3AT.

  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I think you will be happier with the results you get with W231/HP-38. For a really nice .380 load give Universal a try. I think you will like it better than Unique.
  6. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    The numbers tell you nothing except that your charges are not consistent or it could be your chrono wasn't giving good readings. I'd look at refining the consistency of the charge weights and try them on paper. The resulting groups on paper will tell you if you should not use the load. I've found my Hornady powder measure with the pistol insert to be very consistent from throw to throw after the powder has been given some time to settle.
  7. sublimaze41

    sublimaze41 Well-Known Member

    Any thoughts about 3.3 gr Universal or HP-38? One powder better than the other as far as metering is concerned?

  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    W-231, HP-38, or Bullseye would be your best choices of the powders you have, I think. AA #5 will work as well.

    I shot 3.7 Grs of AA #2 with the Rem 88 JHP way back when. No chrono, but they shot pretty well. I would start at 3.5 and work up, for anyone who may try it with AA #2.
  9. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Well-Known Member

    send 'em to me so's I can test 'em for U. I'll recommend BullsEye for further loads. 88 gr. Rem HP is good shooting slug.
  10. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    HP-38 and W231 are the same exact powders so you can use either in place of the other.

    As for charge, I would go to the recommended Max charge for both powders in a .380 Auto. Since the Max on both is reported to be under 1000 fps you won't be pushing the real limits of the round or your pistol. A charge of 3.5gr of HP-38 would work a little better than 3.3gr. I would also charge 3.6gr Universal for the best results. Both loads are reported well under 16,000 CUP which isn't even close to the SAAMI Max. Unlike a revolver you don't get good results when you use a round which is too light in a pistol, especially in a full size pistol like your Sig.
  11. sublimaze41

    sublimaze41 Well-Known Member

    Thank You for all the suggestions, I really don't have any resources for reloading where I live. This forum is a great help!

    I have some of the original loads of 3.8 Unique, I will Re-Chrono them. I will also load some test loads with 231/HP-38, both of these meter well through my Dillon.
  12. jeepmor

    jeepmor Well-Known Member

    Another Bullseye vote here. Meters great and gives good velocities out short barrels. Beware, it may be possible to double charge Bullseye in most cartridges.
  13. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Well-Known Member

    My experience with Unique and Universal Clays is that they require higher presssures in order to burn cleanly with low es and sd numbers, on the order of 25,000 psi or higher. This obviously won't work with the .380 ACP, which is limited to 21,500 psi by SAAMI.

    As a suggestion, you might try seating the bullets a little deeper on the rounds you've already loaded. QuickLOAD predicts a little less than 13,000 psi for your load (at 919 fps, remarkably close to your 918 fps average). Shortening the overall length to .950" raises the computed pressure to a little over 14,000 psi, which might help your numbers.

    If you do reseat the bullets deeper, I suggest taper crimping them again as well. You also might want to make sure the first couple of "adjusted" rounds feed ok in your P230.

    Personally, I'm with Walkalong concerning AA #2 in the .380 ACP. It loads up or down with ease, and flows through my powder measures like water. If I'm not mistaken, Speer #13 lists it as giving top velocities with their 90gr GDHP bullet.
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    That is definitely true with Universal Clays.
  15. sublimaze41

    sublimaze41 Well-Known Member

    I hope to load some .380s and chrono them in the next day or two. I will go with 231 and see how that goes. Great suggestions.

    Amazing how just a small decrease in OAL jacks the pressure up!

    Funny thing happened yesterday. I was Loading some Hornady 200gr XTP in .44 (from blemished bullet sale ealier this year) with 22.1 gr of AA#9. I was 8 FPS off the book. Low SD made me smile too.

    I think I will get an improvement regarding my .380 issues after applying some of these posted suggestions. Thanks again all!
  16. sublimaze41

    sublimaze41 Well-Known Member

    .380 Follow-up

    I Rechronographed some of the data as suggested. The load was Unique 3.8 under a 88gr Remngton JHP wih an OAL of 0.975. My shot strings were 13 and 14 in number, I will list both.

    Ave------950 & 938
    SD-------43 & 43
    Hi--------1024 & 993
    Lo--------876 & 868
    ES--------147 & 125

    The average is not far off the first data I posted. Here is the rub though. I noticed an increase in error readings and also noticed unburnt powder on the chrono. The chrono was about 10 feet away. When I omitted the error readings my ES and SD came back down to Okay levels. Does Unique indeed burn dirty, or just incompletely:confused:

    New reloads using 3.4r Win 231 in .380 with an 88gr Remington JHP @ OAL of 0.970.

    HI------ 920

    This seems like a balanced load, very consistent. There were no error readings when chronographing this load. Does the Win 231 burn more completely or is it just cleaner?
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2008
  17. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    W231/HP-38 meter VERY well. I'm sure you will have no problems with it.
  18. sublimaze41

    sublimaze41 Well-Known Member

    You are correct about the 231! I love the way it meters in my Dillon. I think I have my load as written above.

    I have 500 102gr GS in .380, I will push the FPS with those.
  19. FM12

    FM12 Well-Known Member

    FWIW, I use 2.5 gr of Bullseye in all my .380 loads, from 88 to 115 grains.

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