Powder Choice for .380

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by drband, Nov 5, 2014.

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  1. drband

    drband Member

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    Appreciate the info. I use a Lee ProAutoDisk and I have the charge bar available, too. I'll have to experiment a bit and see what works for me.

    Thanks EVERYBODY for the info and suggestions. I've gotten a lot of great recommendations and now have (an even longer) list to sort through. It does help to hear what works for you all and your judgements about which powder characteristics are important for your load choices.
     
  2. Mad Chemist

    Mad Chemist Member

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    Save yourself some time and don't bother trying to use the charge bar with Unique for anything below 5gr. For low charge weights it will fluctuate all over the place and occasionally throw only a couple flakes which gives you a high chance of loading a squib. Just use the disc for Unique and you'll be much happier.
     
  3. drband

    drband Member

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    Thanks! That's a time saver![emoji41]
     
  4. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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    Good info thanks guys
     
  5. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    You may also find that your "new unique" is a lot less dense than the PAD chart says... Mine throws .8 to a full grain lighter :scrutiny: than the chart indicates. I have to step up two or even three orifice sizes higher than the chart indicates (usually for other powders the chart is only slightly optimistic, requiring one orifice size higher than indicated for a particular charge).

    However, once I found the right orifice, my Unique and PAD drops very consistently at 4.0 grains and up.

    So just be sure to weigh a bunch of charges and write down what your PAD actually throws.
     
  6. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    Or do this:

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=757530
     
  7. Candyman87

    Candyman87 Member

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    I use 3.0 gr Titegroup for plinking through my PPK with a 95 gr. FMJ. Dirty, but pretty consistent and I've got a bunch on hand.
     
  8. rskent

    rskent Member

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    W231 is my favorite for 380. I have used AA#2. It was pretty OK. Meters great, for sure.
     
  9. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I find most all powders drop light on the disk chart. I think lee did that with safety in mind for that one in a hundred joker that tried to reload without a scale.
     
  10. Scarpia

    Scarpia Member

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    My go-to loads for 100 grain 380 Auto are IMR PB and IMR SR7625. I also get good results with SR4756. The bad news is that all three powders are on the 'no longer available' list but the good news is that I have a few pounds of each on hand which should last me a long time. I'll be motorcycling to a favorite reloading shop today to pick up three more pounds of SR4756.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014
  11. ulflyer

    ulflyer Member

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    Has anyone used Clays for 380?

    I reload 45acp and have a bunch of Clays powder on hand, that being my choice for soft plinking in a 1911. Wondering if it might be suitable for 380's?

    I do have some 231 and Bullseye but not a lot.
     
  12. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    +1 but I think Im biased-2 of my favorite powders-
     
  13. wlkjr

    wlkjr Member

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    What gun are you loading it for? I like the 231 for my G42 the best but also like the Bullseye.
     
  14. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    SR9 and p238..

    Im really becoming fond of BE too. At first I didnt see what all the fuss was about but it seems to work nicely with any weight bullet I stick on there in either caliber.
     
  15. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    I had mixed luck as far as accuracy goes with titegroup but I am not done working up loads yet.

    I found the chargebar useless under about 4.5 grains of just about any powder. I also bought a knock off micro disk set off of ebay that was worthless.

    I ended up filling the cavities on a spare disk with JB weld. Then I drilled out the holes until they gave me a good spread. I was able to throw as low as 2.3 grains of titegroup every time accurately this way. It also works well with powder pistol and bullseye.

    I have always been surprised that lee doesn't seem to be aware that people routinely need charges of various powders that are under 3 grains.
     
  16. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I'd go with AA#2 for a blow back action 380acp, if you find any W-231/HP-38 or Bullseye that will work as well. As mentioned the metering is a biggy with small charges.
     
  17. drband

    drband Member

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    Bersa Thunder .380
    I'm using Accurate #2, but want to try Red Dot & Unique if I can figure out how to get them to meter small charges in my Lee ProAutoDisc.
     
  18. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    It's pretty hard to beat AA#2 unless you go with AA#5.
     
  19. Uniquedot

    Uniquedot Member

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    I like unique and #5 in the .380 but now I'm using ram shot zip cause I bought a few lbs of it when it was all I could get. Works great in that caliber and several others for that matter.
     
  20. p228alex

    p228alex Member

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    I use 3.0 to 3.2 grains of aa #2 in my 380
     
  21. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Yes... but as noted, other powders are typically within .1-.3 grains of the chart, max. Unique is up to .8 lighter than indicated. This is the only powder that I've found with this issue. My unique is the "new unique" if it matters.
     
  22. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    Check out this easy mod Schwing. Works really really good. If you do loads with large charges also, you may want to purchase another Charge Bar because this will take away a bit of the dropping capacity at the upper end. Check this thread:

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=757530


    Very easy to do also--- (if I can do it, I know you can do it)..
     
  23. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    My experience is that finer powders such as AA pistol powders are closer to the chart than flakes. The bigger the flakes the worse it is. With 700x I had to go three bigger I think to get it. Power pistol is usually two, sometimes three.
     
  24. Toprudder
    • Contributing Member

    Toprudder Contributing Member

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    PB is not going away, it has changed to Hodgdon as the manufacturer:

    http://hodgdon.com/shotpist.html

    My favorite powder for 380 has been Power Pistol, but I have to admit I have not tried a lot of powders in 380 yet. The results I have gotten with PP in 380 have been great, though.
     
  25. drband

    drband Member

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    Shot my first loads with Accurate #2, 95gr FMJ out of my Bersa T380 today. Lower power load was more accurate. Both loads cycled just fine w/ no issues. Got to try with plated bullets next!
     
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