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Loading the .380

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by schmeky, Jul 29, 2009.

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  1. schmeky

    schmeky Member

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    Have a .380 on the way, called my local gunstore; $38.00 for a box of 50 factory rounds, YIKES!! So I'm bidding on some once fired cases. I have 2 questions:

    Can my 9mm loading dies be adjusted to reload the .380, if not, can I just buy a crimping die?

    Can I use 115 FMJ bullets? I have a bunch of these on hand. I would obviously reduce the powder charge for the heavier bullet.
     
  2. Nate1778

    Nate1778 Member

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    First question is I think you can, but can not guarantee.

    Second question is 115 is fine, just find load data for the bullet. It is in the upper limit of the .380 weights.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No, 9mm Luger reloading dies cannot be used to load .380 ACP.

    There is a .020" differance in case diameter.

    The 9mm case is tapered .020" from mouth to base.
    The .380 case is very nearly straight.

    They also use different shell holders

    rc
     
  4. schmeky

    schmeky Member

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    Thanx RC, that's precisely what I needed to know.
     
  5. AMBASSADOR

    AMBASSADOR Member

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    I reload .380ACP and would recommend buying LEE'S carbide die set,and buy the Factory Crimp Die to go along with the die purchase.Pictures of reloaded brass using FCD.I am using Magtech 95grn FMJ pushed dy either 4.1grn Unique or 3.1 grn Red Dot in my Walther PPK/S.Feeds and ejects without any hitches,groups well also.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  6. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    The bullet diameter is different as well......IIRC, 90 or 95 is about the heaviest 380 bullet
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No, it actually isn't.

    Both .380 ACP and 9mm use the same .355" - .356" jacketed & lead bullet diameter.

    You might be thinking of the 9mm MAK, which uses a .365" bullet.

    rc
     
  8. ants

    ants Member

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    Congrats on the 380 purchase.

    Get a load manual (I have Lyman Pistol & Revolver #3) that has load data for 115g bullets.
     
  9. Seedtick

    Seedtick Member

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    There is a set of Lee 380 dies w/factory crimp die up for trade in the trading post reloading stuff forum. The guy trying to trade them is a good guy to deal with too. :rolleyes:

    ST
     
  10. Deavis

    Deavis Member

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    MGB has a pretty decent price on 95gr bullets, give them a look.
     
  11. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    Red Dot moderate charges do great under a 90gr cast slug from my BDA.
     
  12. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    I usually load lead 90-95 gr bullets for practice. Same point of impact as carry load and makes practice even less expensive.
     
  13. MikeS.

    MikeS. Member

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  14. Geezer59

    Geezer59 Member

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    In my experience, that isn't quite 100% true: I use my 9mm dies to expand, seat, and crimp my .380 reloads. You DO have to use a .380 sizer die along with a .380 shell holder to get the job done. You can't use just a 9mm die set, as the sizer and shell holder need to be specific to the .380.

    What with die sets being discounted over individual dies, and what with stand-alone carbide sizer dies being quite pricey, the OP is probably best off just buying a .380 die set. When I bought my .380 sizer die and shell holder many decades ago, it seemed I saved a bit getting only what I needed. Nowadays, I'm not so sure that's the case.

    Cheers! :)
     
  15. Seedtick

    Seedtick Member

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    Hey Mike, Longdayjake (Rocky Mountain Reloading) also sells his bullets here in the 'Trading Post' reloading stuff forum. I have some of his 380 hp's but haven't had a chance to try them yet. They sure look good.

    ST
     
  16. MikeS.

    MikeS. Member

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    ST, good to know. Thanks for the 411.
     
  17. nelson133

    nelson133 Member

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    I've loaded 124 grain lead bullets in .380 with about 2.0 grains of Bullseye. I think the max is 2.2. If I drop the load to 1.7, the 124 grain bullet load is very light recoiling, but functions well in my P3-AT, and my girlfriends Bersa.
     
  18. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    I have loaded 2gr. Bullseye under a 120gr. Lee TC handcast bullet. I have RCBS Carbide dies, but before I got them I used a different set of dies.......Very different! I used my .223 dies with the decapping pin removed and the cases lubed with case lube. They sized just fine! I read this on another site and was told it would work in a pinch. It did. I used my 9MM RCBS flare die to flare, and my seater to seat and crimp. Worked perfect and they fed, fired, and functioned fine! (lots of Fs) It works, but as RCModel said, you can't use 9MM dies and the 9MM and .380 use the same diameter bullet. Although most offerings for the .380 are quite a bit lighter.........Disclaimer- My experiences are mine and you may have different results. My load data is mine, so get your own....And be safe out there!
     
  19. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    When I started loading for the 380 I purchased a set of used lyman dies and had a bit of trouble with them as far as chambering finished rounds. After some frustration I bought a lee factory crimp die and like magic the problems went away. Also the advice about carbide dies is good. No need to lube cases or clean lube off after. A real time saver on all straight wall cases.
     
  20. tactikel

    tactikel Member

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    I loaded the .380 for years, with RCBS dies. Favorite load was speer 88 gr JHP over a pinch of Bullseye (cant remember the weight). Was accurate and fed very well.
     
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