.380 Reloads

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by halfmoonclip, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. halfmoonclip

    halfmoonclip New Member

    Sep 17, 2004
    I was really tired of overpriced/unavailable .380 ammo; still had .380 dies from an unsuccessful attempt to run ammo for a PPK 30 years ago.  Our range officer casts bullets and helped me scrounge up some brass from his endless collection.

    The problems with the Walther years ago, were, IMHO, caused by the blowback action and a slide that moved too fast.  The locked breech of the P3AT/LCP seems less abrupt.

    Now, the usual disclaimers, CHECK ALL DATA AGAINST A KNOWN PUBLISHED SOURCE.  I used Lyman 47; always a valuable source of lead bullet data.

    Here's what I used:  2.3 Bullseye/102 LTC/OAL 0.920"/Av vel 712 fps/st dv 11/ExtSp 27.  The brass was everything that the Range Officer gleaned from the brass barrel.
    The Range Officer used the same data except for only using 1.7 of Bullseye.  Both loads gave 100% feed, shot to point of aim, and allowed about the same level of acccuracy as WWB.
    Subjectively, the load seems a little less 'rappy' than WWB or my Gold Dot carry ammo.
    I realize, like all things .380, dies and other loading materials may be a challenge, but our guns don't seem to be hard to load for.  I did all my shooting with an LCP, but it ought to work in a P3AT.

  2. Bert

    Bert Banned

    Mar 4, 2007
    Sounds like your Range Officer is a Scholar & Gentleman !

    Which brand of primer, and did you crimp ?

    I have been dinking around with some Starfire 95gr JHP's but no production recipe decided on yet.

    I also have a Lyman 47ed in my library, and you are right.  Great source (especially the Thompson data).


  3. Well- the first 97 rounds (I mangled three cases ) of hand loaded 380 went bang today!  All went well!   ;D


    Here are my specs:

    Mixed polished and re-sized brass.
    95 Gr RN FMJ
    Federal Small Pistol Primers
    0.97" OAL
    Light Lee Factory Crimp

    Charged with Bullseye Powder below several published max load.

    I don't want to post my powder charge, but it is fairly easy to find published data on line.

    Here is one source- the Bullseye load for a 95gr FMJ is the second load listed.

  4. Ka6otm

    Ka6otm New Member

    Sep 12, 2007
    I started reloading for .380 a couple of months ago also, as I couldn't find factory ammo for less than $39.95/box of 50 locally.

    My load:
    Mixed brands of brass I'd accumulated over the years (I never toss brass regardless of whether I reload that caliber or not)
    100 Gr RN Berry's plated
    CCI Small Pistol Primers circa 1973 or so
    2.7 grains Unique
    0.955" OAL
    Lee Factory Crimp Die

    These are definitely milder than WWB ammo and kinda makes the P3AT a range gun ;D.  Going to a maximum charge of 4.0 grains of Unique gave me something slightly hotter than factory ammo. Also, using 2.7 grains of Unique and CCI small pistol magnum primers gave me a load that felt like the 4.0 grains of Unique load but exhibited no visible pressure signs.
  5. joje

    joje New Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    ive loaded for the p3at for a few years now. my pet load is 2.0 grain of red dot (burns fairly similar to bulls eye) under a 100 grain plated berry bullet, .98 OAL. this is about as low as i can go and still have reliable cycling. i think bullet velocity is some 600+ fps, it is very mild to shoot and amazingly accurate. requalified with it yesterday and was easily able to outshoot the rest of the group, many of which were shooting ruger mk2s and other target guns.
  6. Picatinny_Pete

    Picatinny_Pete New Member

    Sep 2, 2009

    I have a good SD load for 380 ACP.  The load is hot so work up from 10% under.

    My load:
    CCI/Speer Brass
    102 grain Remington Gold Saber JHP  
    Winchester Small Pistol Primer (Small Rifle is also OK)
    2.8 grains Nitro 100
    0.965" OAL  

    The Nitro 100 gives a 100% loading density with this bullet, and very good expansion.

    Best Regards:
  7. joje

    joje New Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    do you happen to have any chrono-data for that load? i also use 102 gr gs bullets and get about 910 fps out of my p3at when i put it on top of 4.5 grain of power pistol, but its flashy so i'm looking for alternatives