at least my gun didn't blow up

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by thomc, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. thomc

    thomc New Member

    13
    Apr 23, 2010
    Loaded some Barry's 100gn FMJ round nose.

    Using the reloaders reference software, I loaded either 3.3 or 3.1 grains of bullseye
    and set the oal to .975. I'm pretty sure it was 3.3 because that's whats in rr

    In before, "you're an idiot!"

    The gun recoiled so hard on the first shot, it nearly flew out of my hands.
    I fired 3 of these.

    Sure wish I had a chrony though. They had to have busted 1050fps

    I guess the reason I'm posting this is to say that the p3 is a tough little gun.

    And, to ask the experienced handloaders here, was this indeed a dangerous round?


    Thanks.
     
  2. Ka6otm

    Ka6otm New Member

    441
    Sep 12, 2007
    According to Lyman's 48th Reloading handbook, 3.1 grains is maximum for a 100 grain jacketed bullet.  That's too much for a plated bullet, and Berry's are plated, not FMJ. Berry's says to load them between a minimum jacketed load and a mid-range jacketed load. Lyman's says 2.0 grains to 3.1, so your load should be somewhere between 2.0 and 2.55 grains of Bullseye.

    I think the O.A.L. is what saved you.  Lyman's 48th says .955 and you were at .975.  That lowered the pressure somewhat.  So, you were probably right at or slightly above maximum.
     

  3. joje

    joje New Member

    213
    Nov 1, 2007
    handloads.com lists the exact load you tried as an official alliant load:


    FMJ 3.3 gr Bullseye 985 fps 0.975" WSP Alliant
    Suggested starting load: 3.0 gr
    Pressure: 20,100

    i've been meaning to try it for awhile but was a bit leery since 1) i couldnt confirm the load in alliants own listings and 2) it seemed odd that the alliant bullseye loadings for 90 and 95 grain bullets available on handloads.com suggested less max charge for these ligther bullets.

    now that you confirmed that 3.3 grain did not blow up your pistol, i need to find out what it'll do to mine ;). seriously, will bring out the chrono and carefully work up. from what i understand, bullseye is not the kind of powder that you want to push the limits with as it can spike violently due to e.g. an accidental overcharge, or even a smiley induced setback.
     
  4. joje

    joje New Member

    213
    Nov 1, 2007
    i'm speculating here but i dont think thats quite what they mean. i think they are saying that if you've found an official load for FMJ bullet of weight w, that says start load is e.g. .9*x and max load is x, and you want to try this with a plated bullet of weight w, you should start at .9*x and work your way up to, but NOT exceed, .95*x. i.e. the mid-range load they are referring to is the middle between start and max for an individual load.

    for the load OP tried this would mean - assuming that the listing on handloads.com is indeed endorsed by alliant - that one should start on 3.0 and work up to 3.15. considering limitations in most scales that would for all practical purposes be 3.1 grains.
     
  5. thomc

    thomc New Member

    13
    Apr 23, 2010
    I'll pull one tonight and check the charge.

    They had maybe 50 or 60% more recoil than winchester flat nose.

    Definitely not fun to shoot.
     
  6. Ka6otm

    Ka6otm New Member

    441
    Sep 12, 2007
    Concerning what I said about the load for Berry's bullets, this is copied from their website:

    http://www.berrysmfg.com/faq-q9-c1-How_do_I_load_Berrys_Preferred_Plated_Bullets.aspx

    FAQ: How do I load Berry's Preferred Plated Bullets?
    Plated bullets occupy a position between cast bullets and jacketed bullets. They are soft lead, but have a hard outer shell on them. When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual. You must use data for a bullet that has the same weight and profile as the one you are loading. Do not exceed mid-range loads. Do not use magnum loads.
     
  7. joje

    joje New Member

    213
    Nov 1, 2007
    you know... maybe you're interpretation of their statement is the correct one. im going to shoot them an email and ask for clarification.
     
  8. thomc

    thomc New Member

    13
    Apr 23, 2010
    just pulled one.

    3.3 grains.

    that puts the pressure around 20100 psi :eek:

    don't think i'm gonna press my luck with those.
    they are getting pulled.

    unless, that is, someone convinces me otherwise ;)
     
  9. joje

    joje New Member

    213
    Nov 1, 2007
    20k would be a regular pressure load, but if the berry instructions say to stay away from the more powerful loads FMJ with plated bullets, well why push the envelope? you are hardly loading for carry with plated bullets, and for range fodder its pretty nice to have a mild load that recoils less than the store bought stuff, not more. i load the same bullets over 2 grains of red dot - similar to bullseye - and its a pleasure to shoot.
     
  10. billjohnso20

    billjohnso20 Active Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    I use Berry plated bullets. The company is on record stating cast lead bullet data is the best to use on their plated bullets. They also state that when using jacketed bullet data to stay in the midrange and go no higher.

    You can do as you wish on your handloads as long as you are the only one that is going to pull the trigger on your loads. That way your hand is the only one that gets blown off. ::)
     
  11. Bert

    Bert Banned

    Mar 4, 2007
    Was this your initial load on these ??

    This is not directed at you ThomC, but this can be used as a teachable moment

    Several Comments in General -

    1. *Never* trust a single data source.

    2. *always* !!! start low ! then work up.  If unsure, contact the powder & projectile mfg 1st!, not after the fact.

    3. If you are *suprised by anything* (noise, recoil, action, etc)...quit shooting ! Fall back & re-group!


    BTW - MODS... I am beginning to think that if the site is going to allow reloading info at all, it needs it's own moderated area, if for nothing else to set safety, policy and disclaimer standards.

    B.
     
  12. Picatinny_Pete

    Picatinny_Pete New Member

    Sep 2, 2009
    Hi,

    About your load being dangerous, it's right at the maximum, but the 380 Auto is a particular cartridge.  My loads that are similar to yours using the 102 Gr. Remington Gold Saber bullets did great out a Walther PK-380, had a small guppy belly out a LCP, and small swell in the area of the feed ramp cut in the P3AT.  

    [​IMG]

    The cartridge support is critical on the 380 Auto, generally it's less tolerant of high pressures than the 32 ACP in my experience. The 380 Auto case needs to be supported or it will blow out in in that area like a 45 ACP with an overload. :eek:  The above photo shows the amount of chamber support on a Ruger LCP, I have observed that the P3AT offers more support than that shown in this photo.

    [​IMG]

    The above photo shows what can happen with a 380 Auto load/chamber mis-match, shows both a case rupture, and very large "guppy belly.  You always need to recover your brass and look for pressure signs such as cratered primers, breech face markings, swelled bases, guppy bellies, etc.   This topic has come up before on other BB's, here's a link with more photos including the ones above.
    http://65.172.200.34/ruger/ruger.htm  I hope the info is useful.

    Good Luck ;)
     
  13. Ka6otm

    Ka6otm New Member

    441
    Sep 12, 2007
    Wow. I just compared the loads for Unique in this article with the loads in my Lyman 48th Edition Reloading book and they're a LOT higher than mine.

    STARTING LOADS WITH UNIQUE:
    95 grain jacketed: His book 3.9 GRAINS MINE: 2.3 GRAINS
    92 grain cast : His book 3.9 GRAINS MINE: 3.1
    121 GRAIN case: His book 3.5 GRAINS MINE: 2.2

    While this doesn't seem like a lot, it is a HUGE difference with a fast powder like Unique.
     
  14. Picatinny_Pete

    Picatinny_Pete New Member

    Sep 2, 2009
    Hi,

    You'll find that difference in about every reloading manual published in the last 20 years. Accurate Arms started backing off of their loads for 40 S&W in the early 90's. Glock 22's were going Kaboom with loads that had gone through 1911A1's without any problems. The problem is that with many pistols such as the LCP and G-22 to get reliable feeding with all bullet types have much less chamber support.

    The loads may be safe in a fully supported chamber, but the resizing of a bulged case back to back to spec after several firings through a poorly supported chamber will work harden the brass and eventually cause it to fatigue at 20,000 PSI and then Kaboom. Factory loads many times will push the SAAMI limit and get away with it in poorly because the brass only needs to work once. Magtech Guardian +P 380 Auto brass fired out of my shows a small bulge after being fired through a Taurus TCP but not a P3AT, or Walther PK-380.

    Best Regards:
     
  15. Bert

    Bert Banned

    Mar 4, 2007
    Hi,

    You'll find that difference in about every reloading manual published in the last 20 years.  Accurate Arms started backing off of their loads for 40 S&W in the early 90's.  Glock 22's were going Kaboom with loads that had gone through 1911A1's without any problems. The problem is that with many pistols such as the LCP and G-22 to get reliable feeding with all bullet types have much less chamber support.  

    The loads may be safe in a fully supported chamber, but the resizing of a bulged case back to back to spec after several firings through a poorly supported chamber will work harden the brass and eventually cause it to fatigue at 20,000 PSI and then Kaboom.  Factory loads many times will push the SAAMI limit and get away with it in poorly because the brass only needs to work once.    Magtech Guardian +P 380 Auto brass fired out of my shows a small bulge after being fired through a Taurus TCP but not a P3AT, or Walther PK-380.  

    Best Regards:
    [/quote]

    Yep.  Pistol loads can be overcharged in a heartbeat, in this case ~35% or so. not counting the unsupported case in the LCP & similar designs.  Our new buddy is fortunate that he still has eyes & fingers intact.

    B
     
  16. thomc

    thomc New Member

    13
    Apr 23, 2010
    what a rookie i am.

    those are the first batch of reloads i have ever loaded.
    just about messed up real good, didn't i?

    well, for what it's worth,

    i am getting ready to load a bunch of 40 s&w to shoot in my g22 and 27
    and have been researching on every forum and data site i can find for the last
    2 weeks.
    without posting all of my findings, i have decided to go with a slow powder and a medium charge
    over a 180gn plated bullet.

    i'll do similar research when i get ready to load more .380 too.

    not gonna press my luck again, thats for sure!
     
  17. joje

    joje New Member

    213
    Nov 1, 2007
    dont beat yourself up too bad. you happened to pick a less than ideal load to get into this with and, worse, you started out with a max loads. always reduce by a minimum of 10% and work your way up in .1 grain increments. find the shell and inspect them for signs of pressure (although a low pressure round like the 380 may give you very little headsup if any before catastrophic failure). when something seems wrong, stop. dont fire another two rounds (like you said you did :) ).

    reloading is a great hobby and perfectly safe if done right. contrary to the impression you might get from some postings, there are safety marigins in current official load data, as long as you stay within the boundaries and do things right you'll be fine.

    oh, and may i suggest you put your 180 grain bullet over your medium charge and not the other way around. else you'll end up with a messy pistol and a bullet lodged half way down the barrel - imo a more common source of blown up handguns than overcharges ;)
     
  18. Bert

    Bert Banned

    Mar 4, 2007

    ThomC, Welcome to KTOG. We prefer our buddies to remain intact, so don't take it hard.

    Keep in mind, I think the G22 & G27 has the same case support (or lack of) issues as the LCP, so keep them mild to start.


    I also use internet data, but only as part of my info, when working up a load. IIt is very nice to have several manuals laid out on a table in addition to a computer. I will usually chart all the potential recipes in a spreadsheet, & see how they trend.

    As Joje said, there is safe data out there, but the only impression I want to make is when you figure out you are over the line, it is usually too late.

    Welcome to the gang. We have had a lot of lively threads on handloading lately, and you are in good company.

    B.