Anyone reload with lead bullets?

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by moparrman74, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. moparrman74

    moparrman74 New Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    I reload 45ACP and would like to start reloading 380 especially at the rate I have been shooting.

    I was curious if anyone has experience with reloading ammo for the P3AT using hard cast lead bullets, and if so what weight do you use and what kind of results have you had?

  2. Ohio_Rusty

    Ohio_Rusty New Member

    Aug 4, 2007
    I'm just waiting on my tax return. Then I'll get a Lee .380 carbide reloading die set and a Lee
    Factory Crimp die for the final crimp so it headspaces properly. I currently have 200 Lyman thrown
    95 grain bullets cast from straight wheel weights. I have 2 pounds of Vhitavouri N310 powder
    for the loading. Load data on this powder is 2.2 gr. min and 2.6 gr. max. Excellent powder for
    small cases like .380. I also bought 1000 winchester primers nad have 500 brass empties ready
    to load.
    I'm anxious to get some loading and shooting done so I can test my rounds. I'm also building a
    short range shooting range in my barn so I can shoot my P3AT more often. Hand loaded rounds
    will be much cheaper and give me more practice time. I can also shoot it without having to shoot
    heavy or max loads all the time.
    I'd also like to know what other load data is out there for loaders and shooters of .380's.
    Ohio Rusty ><>

  3. JimBob

    JimBob New Member

    Dec 6, 2007
    I haven't loaded any straight lead bullets yet as I really just started reloading. I've been loading up the Rainier plated bullets in .40 and waiting on some in .45 to show up. For .380 I bought a box of Berry's plated bullets that are basically the same thing as far as I can tell. These are 100gr round nose hollow base. I used CCI #500 small pistol primers and mixed once fired brass. For powder I decided on Hodgdons Titegroup and after shooting my work up loads I've settled on 2.4gr for my charge. It's the most accurate I came up with and percieved recoil rates pretty much the same as the AE JHP ammo.

    This is my 5 shot group from the work up testing. Two hand hold, hands resting on a sandbag, shot at 10'. Corrected for CTC grouping = right at 3/4"!!

  4. BillK

    BillK New Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    I don't do reloads but thankfully my brother does. He keeps well supplied with both .380s and .44 mags. This was posted a few weeks ago in a reply to JimBob ...



    Got a quick reply from my brother ...

    As I recall the first bullet was a 100gr. ( i THINK THAT'S WHAT IT WEIGHED ) Truncated cone from National Bullet supply and when we ran out we (you) elected to go with the 95gr RN bullet from Moyer's Bullet supply.
    In each I used 2.8 Grs of BullsEye powder.

    Both the 95 grain round nose and the 100 grain truncated cone bullets shoot fine out of my P3AT. I can tell you that I was impressed with the TC bullets easily blowing through both sides of a steel water holding tank while .22s out of a Berreta only put a dent in the metal.  

    Hope this helps,
    Bill K.


      For what it is worth, for self defense I would go with a truncated cone bullet. For practice I'd go with any decent hard cast that you find feeds well in your gun.

    Take care ...
  5. DennisD

    DennisD New Member

    Nov 27, 2007
    Wish I could catch enough of my brass to reload but my 3AT sends the brass everywhere. ;D

    I've got a lane cut into the woods facing my backstop that is only about 12 feet wide. Even with my brass catcher right by my gun hand I only catch about 10 out of 50 rounds, the rest end up in the brush.

    I use Rainier for everything I reload (.45 ACP & AR; .40 S&W; .44 Mag & SPL; .38 SPL; .357 Mag; 9MM). These shoot very clean (just don't push them hard) but are priced pretty competitively with lead. I may have to switch over to lead in .44 for my latest acquisition, a Marlin 1894 Cowboy lever gun (haven't reloaded for it yet, I only use factory ammo for break in). The Rainier are .429 and everything I have heard is that you need to use .432 for best accuracy with soft bullets for this rifle.

    Back on topic, I would think lead would work in the 3AT since it has standard rifling.
  6. jimwiggs

    jimwiggs Well-Known Member

    Aug 23, 2006
    Cocoa, FL
    I reload 380 for the p3 and other 380's, using 95gr lead bullets from Space Coast Bullets, no problems.

  7. moparrman74

    moparrman74 New Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    Thanks for the help everyone, I will order up some .380 bullets and small pistol primers.

    I do have one more question though. I am fairly new to reloading, and was wondering if I need to use a crimping die to do a slight shoulder crimp on the .380 case to get it to feed, similar to crimping the shoulder of .45 auto brass.

  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    Any standard .380 ACP die set will do a taper crimp in the seating die if adjusted properly.

    That's all the crimp you need on any caliber straight walled pistol case.

  9. moparrman74

    moparrman74 New Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    Thanks alot for the help!

  10. gvaldeg1

    gvaldeg1 New Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    I agree! You should never "roll crimp" a 380 or 45 acp. They headspace on the case mouth. It's OK to "taper crimp" them a little. In my 1911 clone I taper crimp so that the case mouth is .469. The nominal case mouth dimension is .473 so this is only 4 thousandths of taper. However, it works great in my 1911 which will function great with anything even with the Speer 200 gr flat-nose JHP's which were known as "flying ashtrays". I would expect the same thing out of the 380 ACP.