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Old June 12, 2014, 12:48 PM   #1
Mike44
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Loading 380 Auto for Glock 42 with Berrys Bullets

I recently purchased a Glock 42 and started handloading for it. Using Berrys 100gn HBRN bullets with AutoComp, COL .980, I experienced random (usually 2 out of 50) times where the slide would lock back when the magazine had remaining rounds in it .

I have seen numerous reports on the internet where other shooters had similar failures caused by ammunition. I have also read internet reports of Glock modifications to the slide stop lever. My G42 appears to have the latest slide stop lever. (My G42 was test fired by Glock on 3/17/2014). Note that Glock modified the slide stop lever by removing material from it to provide better clearance for rounds coming up from the magazine. Please note that the information about the G42 modifications was not obtained from Glock, but from internet posts.

I was loading to a COL of .980 using load data from my Lee book and the Hodgdon web site. Looking at Atlanta Arms reloads that I had shot in a G42 without problems, I measured the COL at .950. Breaking down one of these rounds, the bullet appears very similar or identical to the Berrys 100gn.

Note that the Berry's 100gn HBRN has a very round shape and comes very close to the slide stop lever with a COL of .980.

Changing to a COL of .950, I worked up a new load with AutoComp, settled on 4.0gn. I have had no problems shooting about 250 rounds since changing the COL.

Please note that I am new to reloading (about 3,000 rounds), and I do not have a Chronograph so please work up your own powder load.
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Old June 12, 2014, 01:49 PM   #2
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This may not mean much, but the only bullet ive loaded in 380 so far is a Sierra, and I have to load it at .928 or shorter or it wont pass the plunk test. Doesnt really help you but dont worry about being to short.(p238)
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Last edited by Potatohead; June 12, 2014 at 03:49 PM.
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Old June 12, 2014, 03:34 PM   #3
Wildbillz
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Thanks for the info. I just picked up a G42 and will be loading for it one day soon.

WB
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Old June 12, 2014, 08:45 PM   #4
eam3clm@att.net
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I have been loading Xtreme's 100 grain FP bullet for my 42. It seems that you are right about the COL is too long. I had a Khar CM9 that I ran into the same problem with. My normal 9mm COL that I use caused the bullet to push the slide stop up as it cycled. I wonder how long the berrys HBRN bullet is. Could you measure the length of one of yours? I can return the favor by giving you the length of my xtreme bullets. I may even be able to find a Berrys RNFB bullet to measure. Thats what I used in my other 380s before I started buying from Xtreme.
My 42 was test fired in February and it appears that it doesnt have the updated parts. It has ran fine so far, but I can easliy make it malfunction. A low limp one handed grip will cause mine to fail to feed/eject. The spent round can be found in the chamber. Thats a good thing because those tiney pieces of 380 brass is hard to find in the grass.
I havent tried Autocomp, but in order to get it to run good, I had to run at almost max charge when I tried tightgroup and bullseye. It really liked unique and Im going to try Accurate #5 on my next 500 batch.
Since you said that you are new to reloading, dont to forget to check your neck tension. It can be a pain when dealing with 380 and more so if you are using mixed headstamp brass.

Last edited by eam3clm@att.net; June 12, 2014 at 09:05 PM.
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Old June 12, 2014, 08:47 PM   #5
horsemen61
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I want a g42 and I am glad you asked op thanks
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Old June 12, 2014, 09:05 PM   #6
rcmodel
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Just so you know.
The .984" length is the SAAMI Max length for Any bullet shape in the .380 ACP.

That does not mean it, or .004" shorter will work in any gun with any bullet design.

rc
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Old June 12, 2014, 09:39 PM   #7
wally
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100gr is on the "heavy" end for a .380. This usually means more diameter up front which can drag on the slide lock tab -- look for brass/copper marks on it where it engages the magazine follower.

If you find them back off the powder a bit and seat the bullet deeper so it doesn't touch the lever, then work up if necessary to get last round lock back.

While I carry 102gr Golden Sabers when I carry a .380, for practice loads I use 90 gr bullets to avoid having to tweak loads for different pistols. I use 3.6gr Unique with the bullet seated so the cylindrical section is just visible above the case mouth. Works in everything from Kel-Tec P3AT to Sig P238 to Beretta 85 and CZ83.
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Old June 13, 2014, 01:09 PM   #8
Mike44
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eam3clm -
Quote:
Could you measure the length of one of yours?
Berrys makes two different profile bullets for 380 Auto. The HBRN (hollow back round nose) which is long and hollow and the FBRN (flat back round nose) which is shorter and solid. The HBRN bullets I am using measure .469 long. Berrys says to load both bullets the same. They say that the HBRN has more bearing surface and is more accurate as a result.

I am using mixed brass. How are you measuring neck tension?
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Old June 13, 2014, 01:17 PM   #9
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What length do they say to load them to?
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Old June 13, 2014, 01:31 PM   #10
Mike44
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Wally -
Quote:
100gr is on the "heavy" end for a .380. This usually means more diameter up front which can drag on the slide lock tab -- look for brass/copper marks on it where it engages the magazine follower.

If you find them back off the powder a bit and seat the bullet deeper so it doesn't touch the lever, then work up if necessary to get last round lock back.
You are correct - these 100gn hollow bullets do have a large diameter up front. When selecting ammunition for self defense, I will look for a more tapered bullet profile.

By removing the slide, loading a round into a magazine, and inserting the magazine into the frame, it is easy to see the clearance. I'm not sure how much things move around during live cycling, but I now know you need a fair amount of clearance.

After reducing the COL I worked up a new load starting at the minimum and stopping when the gun cycled reliably. I ended up with .1gr less than I had been loading for the longer COL.
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Old June 13, 2014, 01:59 PM   #11
Mike44
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Potatohead -
Quote:
What length do they say to load them to?
Unfortunately, Berrys does not provide load information. They say to use load data for lead bullets or mid range data for jacketed bullets. I started with .980" for COL as Hodgdon shows .980 for 100gr FMJ and Lee shows .980 for 100gn jacketed.

Western powders does provide load data for Berrys bullets and they show a COL of .960 for the Berrys 100gn bullet. I would use Western powders if any were available but I have been unable to find any I could use locally or online.
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Old June 13, 2014, 08:18 PM   #12
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I have not been able to get Autocomp to work in my G42 and I'm also using the Berry 100gr HBRN bullet. I loaded it to book max and it would not function, stovepipes.
Only powders that I have been able to get to work good are 3.0 grains of Titegroup and 3.1grains Bullseye both at .966 oal.
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Old June 14, 2014, 11:47 AM   #13
Mike44
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Quote:
I have not been able to get Autocomp to work in my G42 and I'm also using the Berry 100gr HBRN bullet. I loaded it to book max and it would not function, stovepipes.
Here are my results using AutoComp, Berry's 100gr HBRN, COL .950, G42:
3.8gr - cycle OK, some charring, weak eject
3.9gr - cycle OK, little charring, weak eject
4.0gr - cycle OK, litle charring, eject OK
4.1gr - snappy, no charring, eject OK, cycle OK

I am sticking with 4.0gr and have fired 250 in my G42 so far with 100% success. This load also works %100 in a PK380.

I am using the Lee 4die set, light taper crimp.

I am using AutoComp because:
1. It was the only pistol powder I could find that would work for 9mm, 380 Auto
2. AutoComp meters well in my Lee Auto Disk Powder Measure.
3. The volume of the load is such that a double charge results in a almost full case so that a double charge is easily noticed.
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Old June 14, 2014, 12:02 PM   #14
Vodoun da Vinci
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I'm running Xtreme 100 gr. flatpoints behind 3.8 gr. of Unique for our G42...I do not have the OAL in front of me but it is quite short comparatively to what will actually run in the G42.

I had a number of premature lock backs while working the load up from 3.1 gr that I mistook as FTF until I simply racked the slide and she loaded up and took off again. I discovered that some bullet shapes in some OAL's want to trigger the slide lock even when the mag is full.

There is a sweet spot where they catch the slide release just right and lock it back. Seat 'em a little deeper (or a little longer) during load work up and use what works flawlessly...my experience with FP bullets is that shorter and stouter loads work way better than longish, light loads in the G42.

She can be a bit temperamental and glitchy to figure out but the gun is well worth the effort. My Wife loves hers with my reloads....very hard hitting and a uber reliable tack driver with our tweaked hand loads.

VooDoo
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Old June 14, 2014, 09:02 PM   #15
eam3clm@att.net
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Mike44 My xtreme bullets measured at .435. The berrys flat base were .455 inches. MBC 95 grain cast were .455.
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Old June 15, 2014, 09:38 AM   #16
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I got mine in January when the 42's were first relaesed.I was using Atlanta arms and had a few slide lock backs. I began to reload using Remington 95 gr RN.I adjusted the seating die using a factory Remington 95 grain RN. I also fired Hornady Critical defense and a few other brands. I am not having slide lock backs on my reloads or other factory 380's but had one the other day using Atlanta Arms. They rate their 95 grain RN at 900 FPS.
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Old June 16, 2014, 03:56 PM   #17
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.945 to .948 oal W/Extreme RNFP 100gr. is what I've been using w/B.E.3.2grs. Works well in Both Bersa and G42. W213 I have a work up ready to go but wife is on third shift! One more day!
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Old Yesterday, 08:56 PM   #18
tjnitehawk
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The only firearm that I have that is chambered in .380 ACP is a Glock 42. After using some of the information that was recommended from this forum and load data from Hodgdon/Winchester, I tried the following loads using Berry's HBRN 100gr (plated) bullets with varying amounts of Winchester AutoComp powder, CCI 500 primers, and a variety of range brass. All ammo was loaded with a slight taper crimp.

Hodgdon/Winchester recommends a Hornady 100gr FMJ projectile to be loaded with 3.8 to 4.2 grains of Winchester AutoComp with a OAL of 0.980". Berry's recommends that low-to-medium charges when using FMJ data. That put me at 3.8 to 4.0 as my test charges.

I loaded 12 rounds of each recipe (3.8 to 4.0 grains of powder with OAL of .94" to .97") and fired them offhand at targets at 15 yards and measured the results. Here are the results fired from the Glock 42:

----KEY----
BATCH: Charge and OAL
GROUP: Measurement apart of two farthest shots in inches
OFF CENTER: Average distance from center of target that all rounds hit
NOTES:

----RESULTS----

BATCH: Control Batch 1 (Winchester "White Box" 95gr FMJ)
GROUP: 2.62"
OFF CENTER: 0.89"
NOTES: None

BATCH: Control Batch 2 (Federal Premium Hyrdrashok 90gr JHP)
GROUP: 1.49"
OFF CENTER: 0.37"
NOTES: Love 'Em

BATCH: A - 3.8gr w/ OAL 0.94"
GROUP: 6.14" with 2 flyers (1.27" without the flyers)
OFF CENTER: 0.61"
NOTES: Very snappy, 1 FTF

BATCH: B - 3.8gr w/ OAL 0.95"
GROUP: 1.99" with 2 flyers (0.80" without flyers)
OFF CENTER: 0.15"
NOTES: Mild recoil, daughter's favorite load.

BATCH: C - 3.8gr w/ OAL 0.96"
GROUP: 2.30"
OFF CENTER: 0.59"
NOTES: Mild recoil

BATCH: D - 3.8gr w/ OAL 0.97"
GROUP: 2.09" with 3 flyers (1.06" without flyers)
OFF CENTER: 0.34"
NOTES: Soft recoil, but very weak eject. Surprised there were no FTEs or FTFs.

BATCH: E - 3.9gr w/ OAL 0.95"
GROUP: 2.43"
OFF CENTER: 0.39"
NOTES: Noticeably more recoil than A through D. Comparable to factory loads.

BATCH: F - 3.9gr w/ OAL 0.96"
GROUP: 2.56" with 1 flyer (1.30" without flyer)
OFF CENTER: 0.61"
NOTES: Factory-like recoil.

BATCH: G - 3.9gr w/ OAL 0.97"
GROUP: 1.42" (Cluster of 11 rounds was 0.88")
OFF CENTER: 0.29"
NOTES: Factory-like recoil (MOST ACCURATE LOAD AND MY FAVORITE)

BATCH: H - 4.0gr w/ OAL 0.95"
GROUP: 1.93"
OFF CENTER: 0.76"
NOTES: Very snappy recoil

BATCH: I - 4.0gr w/ OAL 0.96"
GROUP: 2.61" (Cluster of 10 was 0.93")
OFF CENTER: 0.36"
NOTES: Snappy recoil, pretty accurate load but there was unburnt powder on my hand

BATCH: J - 4.0gr w/ OAL 0.97"
GROUP: 1.41"
OFF CENTER: 0.39"
NOTES: Snappy with unburnt powder on my hand.

----END RESULTS----

From my testing and subsequent loading, B was my daughter's favorite and G was my favorite. I don't notice a huge reduction in recoil with the B load, but the reduction is there. My daughters say it is a lot lighter recoil than the Winchester White Box.

Last edited by tjnitehawk; Yesterday at 10:14 PM.
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