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.380 OAL: enough bullet inside the case?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by beatledog7, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Mentor

    Jun 18, 2011
    I'm loading bunny sneeze .380 rounds, 100 grain PFN from RMR, and I'm concerned about seating depth, not so much because of OAL itself but because of how little bullet bearing surface is inside the case once they are seated to the "prescribed" depth.

    Here are the numbers:

    OAL 0.980
    .380 case 0.676
    bullet exposed 0.304


    Bullet length 0.427
    Bullet exposed 0.304
    Bullet in case 0.123

    These rounds pass the plunk test. I can clearly see the typical bullet bulge in the cases, and I can't press the bullets in by hand, so I'm not concerned about neck tension per se. The question I have is simply whether there is an issue with having so little of the bullet inside the case.

    The rest of the load data: PMC cases, WSP primers, 2.9 grains W231 under the 100gr plated flat nose bullet.
  2. James2

    James2 Active Member

    Nov 27, 2009
    Northern Utah
    I got 1000 100 gr RN bullets from Berry's. Seated them to .980 OAL and they seem to work just fine. My bullets are a little longer than yours though. .454 so a bit more is in the case when seated.

    I don't know, as always the test is: DO THEY WORK?

    I don't think it would hurt to seat them a bit deeper if you are worried about it. Try seating some to .960 and then see if they feed OK.

    The book says 380 brass is .680. Some of mine is as short as .668. I had never really measured it until you bring this up, yet it has worked OK.
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    Factory loaded .380 RN is not loaded that long.

    S&B RN measures .973 OAL.
    Federal RN measures .963" OAL.

  4. Henry45

    Henry45 Member

    Jan 21, 2012
    I had feed problems in a Beretta 85 with the OAL shorter than .970. They seem to feed well and shoot well with 231 to that length. And that's Berry's 100g RNFB.

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