Anybody reload for the P3AT?

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by Scott7161, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Scott7161

    Scott7161 Guest

    Dec 20, 2008
    I was thinking about loading up some rounds since ammo is getting expensive, especially the self defense rounds like Cor-Bon, etc. I have a single stage RCBS rock chucker press so it will be slow. What dies do you guys recommend? I've heard good things about Redding dies but I don't have much experience reloading for pistol - mostly just for the long guns.

    Thanks for your opinions about good quality dies.

  2. 1943

    1943 Guest

    Jan 28, 2009
    I use the Lee 1000 progressive loader, but I use it like a single stage press. I have loaded many thousands of rounds all the way up to the .458 Winchester Mag. I have always used the Lee dies and have never had a problem with them. Although I have not loaded the .380 cartridge, it is a straight wall case therefore if they are available use a carbide sizing die to eleminate lubing the cases. I tumble my cases first to clean them and then they are good to go for loading. I size and deprime the cases first. I then use a hand priming tool from Lee to prime the cases. This works for me especially when I have a large number of cases to load. 1943

  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    I have reloaded the .380 off & on since about 1970.

    Anybodies .380 ACP carbide dies will work fine.

    I use mostly RCBS, but have also had good luck with Lee in handgun calibers.

    For my P3AT, I am using the 90 grain Hornady XTP over either 3.3 grains of Red Dot, or 3.8 grains of Unique.

    For the 100 grain Berry plated bullet I use 3.3 of Green-Dot.

    These loads are over maximum in some recent loading manuals, but they give no pressure signs in my gun.

    With the P3AT, the first & only sign you will see that you are too hot is case swelling at the feed ramp cut location where the case is not supported.
    If you start to see that, back off!

    BTW: I still use the same RCBS Rock-Chucker I have had for about 40 years to load everything. My last big project was 1,200 rounds of .223.

    Maybe it is slower, but if you proceed one step at a time in 50 or 100 round batches, and inspect every powder charge, etc. as you should anyway, you can't make any better ammo on anything else.

  4. ptk

    ptk Member

    Sep 7, 2004
    If you have 9mm luger dies, you may only need size and crimp dies, since the external dimensions of .380 are different than 9mm, while the bullet diameter is the same. A 9mm crimp (or crimp/seat) die may work, but I have not tried that.

    My P-3AT really chews up the brass. Expect lots of extractor gouges on the rim. I test with a case gage after sizing, and reject anything that does not go in and out easily.

    I segregate by number of firings, discarding after four. Only new cases get max published loads; all others get reduced loads.

    Starline cases in .380 are very good quality.

    Power Pistol works well for velocity without pressure signs. Winchester 231 and Bullseye are my next choices. N310 is good in lighter loads (very consistent metering for small amounts from my RCBS powder measure). Blue Dot works, but gives spectacular flash and concerns about consistency of its dispensing.

    Hornady XTP bullets have worked well for me, but I now prefer 102 grain Remington Golden Sabers, to duplicate my carry load for practice (with Power Pistol, OAL from the commercial loads).
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    And you could use a .223 die for a sizing die too.

    If you are going to reload .380, buy a complete .380 die set and do it right!

  6. Apiarian

    Apiarian New Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    I geared up for it but waiting for the weather to break. Lee 380acp 3 die set, Lee Pro1000.
    100gr Berry's and WST. I cannot wait to go out and Chrono some loads. :D
    I use WST in my 40S&W and 9MM, so that is why I'm trying it in the 380ACP.
    I also waiting on delivery of some 102gr Rem GS bullets.
  7. Apiarian

    Apiarian New Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    So, remodel,
    Have you ran these over a chrono? Is there any precieved flash from the greendot? I would think you are pushing it close in the 900-1000fps range.
  8. marv

    marv New Member

    Jun 3, 2007
    I use a Lee turret press, an old 3 holer, and Lee dies. I make ****ant loads for practice: 2gr Bullseye over 95gr FMJ. Shoots about like a .22. My arthritis appreciates that.
  9. sig232

    sig232 New Member

    Feb 4, 2009
    I have a Dillon set of dies set up for 380 but have not attempted to load that caliber as yet.

    Most of my range shooting is with 9mm, 45 acp and other larger calibers. But if ammo pricing keeps going up I will have to give it a shot.
  10. frankmako

    frankmako Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2006
    Chattanooga TN
    rcbs carbide dies will work well. i loaded up a bunch of spear 88gr hp for my 3pat. ran them a little hot and they worked well. don't remember off hand what powder i used, it in my loading data book. i think i got the load from a 1975 layman reloading book. check out the older reloading books they got some of hte best data around.
  11. billjohnso20

    billjohnso20 Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    I use an RCBS Rock Chucker with RCBS dies for the .380. I load toward the end of the reload data. These range loads allow me to shoot for extended periods without any fatigue. I've never had any issues with my loads cycling even though I load to the light end. I use Titegroup powder and Berry Manufacturing Bullets
  12. MoonDoggy

    MoonDoggy Guest

    Jun 19, 2008
    Without re-posting my whole shebang that I just posted over on the P-11 page about 9mm do you guys collect your brass? I tend to lose at least 50% of mine. If you have to buy brass, reloading isn't so cheap anymore.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.....

  13. BackYardShooter

    BackYardShooter Guest

    Feb 14, 2009
    As my name implies, I shoot in back yards (my own and at several friends homes).. We usually lay out a tarp or a large shhet of construction plastic and set up the firing line in the middle of the tarp. AFter the session, just pick up the sheet at the corners and most of the brass will funnel to the middle. Then we sort and divide... YMMV
  14. MoonDoggy

    MoonDoggy Guest

    Jun 19, 2008
    The range that I shoot at is usually pretty busy so I don't have the luxury of using bedsheets or tarps....
  15. redintex

    redintex Guest

    May 15, 2008
    I shoot 95g LRN with 2.9g of W231 using my Dillon press/dies. It is not a hot load at all, and functions just fine. I started at 2.8, which cycled a friend's Walther fine, but not the P3AT. 2.9 did the trick and is great for plinking rounds...

    My .02,