Just got a P3AT, Does anyone shoot cast?

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by STORMET, Apr 1, 2009.


    STORMET New Member

    Mar 31, 2009
    I just bought a P3AT. I had heard about the recoil and I didn't find it to be too bad but it did tend to try to jump out of my hand. I put 24 rounds through it without a hitch (so far so good). I want to thank the forum for some ideas on the grip. Does anyone shoot cast bullets in theirs. Any good locations to get .380 cast bullets for a decent price? Any suggestions on a good load (I like to use bullseye but I am open to suggestions). Thanks for the help.
  2. frankmako

    frankmako New Member

    Mar 11, 2006
    Chattanooga TN
    i have loaded some cast and some 88 gr jhp with bullseye once. don't remember the load data, got the load data out of one of my 1970 reloading book and i also checked with the web for more data. with the problem of getting ammo i am thinking of reloading the 380 more. just got to find some cast bullets and some more brass. my p3at throws brass everwhere.

  3. Cubriver_Kid

    Cubriver_Kid New Member

    Aug 8, 2008
    I cast 90 gr bullets with a lyman round nose pistol mould. I have been using 3.5gr hp 38, and I have had wonderful luck with this load, its worked 100% for me. Crono at about 880 fps.
  4. Axeman

    Axeman New Member

    Oct 13, 2004
    I have been shooting cast bullet handloads in my 2nd gen P3at due to factory jacketed ammo being almost impossible to find.  After I got the bullet seating depth set correctly I have had no failures of any kind, and they are as accurate as the crude sights on the gun will let me shoot.  I haven't seen any lead streaking in the bore, but I scrub it with a brass brush and bore cleaner after firing the plain lead bullets just to be sure.  .380 bullets of any type are out of stock at most of the ammo and component supplier sites, but I found a commercial bullet caster in AL who has shipped me several orders of 100 grain conical flat point bullets within a week after placing an order.   I wanted round nose lead bullets for more reliable feeding in semiauto pistols, but these have fed and ejected perfectly since I corrected the overall cartridge length that gave me trouble on the first batch I loaded.  His price is $31 for 500. Shipping is $12 for a box of 500, but he will combine as many boxes in one package as the Postal Service weight limit allows for that same $12 cost.  So far I am satisfied with the bullets and the service. He is very busy and his website says he may not be able to ship in less that 4 weeks, but so far my longest wait was 8 days and the others were a day or two less.

    If you're interested the URL is http://magnusbullet.powweb.com/store/page4.html
  5. BillK

    BillK New Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    Congrats on your new P3AT! I've got two myself.

    Yes, I shoot HC bullets which my brother loads for me. He has loaded both 105 (or are they 100 gr?) gr FN and 90 gr RN bullets. Believe both are loaded with, if I remember correctly, 3.4 gr of powder (HP 38?). Both bullets feed without problems. The HC FN bullet is what I carry in my gun during the colder weather when heavy clothing is the norm. I've shot the FN bullets through both sides of a metal water holding tank, the same tank that had several hot rounds from my brothers .22 Berreta (sp) bouncing off leaving just a small dent. Needless to say we stopped shooting the .22 as soon as we realized the bullets were bouncing off the tank.

    Take care...
  6. Axeman

    Axeman New Member

    Oct 13, 2004
    I am still experimenting with propellants and charge weights  for handloading for the KelTek, which due to it's unusually small size and weight seems to be more sensitive to changes in propellants and charge weight than a full size .380 pistol that I also load for. I'm now using 3.2 grains of Winchester 231 with 100 grain cast lead bullets and it seems to be the best combo I have tried so far for plinking and practice ammo.  The same weight of AA#2 also works well.  I only load practice and/or plinking ammo with the lead bullets and save  the few factory loaded HydroShok rounds I have left for carrying, so I don't try for maximum velocity from my reloads. I don't have a chronograph but the loads I am using now penetrate 3/4" pine boards almost as well as the 95 grain FMJ ammo from Yugoslavia that I found right after I bought the KelTek.  I wouldn't use my handloaded ammo for carrying unless it was all I could get, but I believe it would be equally as effective on human targets as factory FMJ if necessary.

    BTW, if you try handloading for your KelTek be very careful to set your seating die for the correct bullet seating depth to get the overall length that SAAMI specifies. I had mucho problems with mine until I got that set up right, even a round .004" too long will bind up the slide of my gun. I don't have that spec handy, but if you use a factory cartridge to set the seating stem you should be OK.  After setting the seating die to give the specified overall length and a tight  taper crimp mine have functioned perfectly so far. (fingers crossed)
  7. joje

    joje New Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    ive only shot some 25 rounds so far but ive had good luck with 2.3 grains of red dot under a 100 grain berry plated bullet and rem primer. oal is 0.975. it a soft target load but still cycles fine. originally found the load at handloads.com but went down in charge quite a bit since the original load calls for true FMJ but plated bullets behave more like cast from what i understand (and thus max load tends to be smaller for some reason)
  8. Axeman

    Axeman New Member

    Oct 13, 2004
    Lead is much softer and has a lower coefficient of kinetic friction than hard jacket metals like copper,  brass, or gilding metal.  The less friction drag on a bullet the less propellant  it takes to get the same velocity, which of course means that an unplated or non-jacketed lead bullet should, in theory at least, reach higher velocity than a jacketed or plated bullet with the same powder charge. Lead also conforms to the lands and grooves in the bore better than copper or brass jackets, therefore it seals the bore against blow-by of the hot gas generated by the burning propellant better than jacket metal. That and the lower kinetic friction coefficient allows lead bullets to attain the same velocity as a jacketed bullet  with less propellant. Using the maximum propellant data for jacketed bullets  to load plain lead bullets could possibly raise pressure to a risky level in a gun that wasn't built to handle +P type ammo. I think the propellant charge data listed in reloading manuals is probably low enough on the safe side that it wouldn't blow up a gun in good condition even if you increased the propellant charge by a small amount, but I'm not brave enough to try it.  Stupid enough? Maybe, but not brave enough.
  9. Moose

    Moose New Member

    Jun 22, 2005
    I got 100 lead rn reloads from a LGS because that's all he had, just to get the brass.
    Most of it did OK, a few miss fed though. Might have been a tad to long to.
    I don't intend in shooting any more, unless O sees to it.

    STORMET New Member

    Mar 31, 2009
    Thanks everyone for the info. I'll let you know how it works out.