Some Chrono work at the range

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by Apiarian, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. Apiarian

    Apiarian New Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    I had picked up a new Chrono and took advantage of the nicer weather yesterday. The results were interesting.

    These were all out of a 2nd Gen P3AT temps were 45f.

    I found one Fed Personal Defense 95gr and one Magtech Gold 85gr. The fed ran at 830fps while the Magtech ran 915fps. Not enough data for anything solid, but interesting in light of the following.

    Santa Barbra 95gr
    ave 982fps
    I really expected around 1100fps as snappy as this round feels.

    Finland Lapua 95gr
    ave 687fps
    A nice range round for the P3AT

    CNC new loaded ammo 102gr Golden Saber
    ave 665fps
    This was a real shocker. I have been carrying this round for two years. It shoots very nice and functions perfectly. But at that velocity it is ONLY landing 100ftlbs energy!

    I am now on a mission to develop the lowest flash, softest recoiling, hardest hitting 102gr GS round possible. Essentially this will revolve around the powder used. Different powders have different felt recoils in combination with various bullet weights. Basically this will require as many different low volume powders I can get my hands on from r-1 on the fast end to True Blue on the slow end. I don’t think with the short barrel anything slower is worth trying. If there is of any interest in suppling 1/8lb to 1/4lb of these type powders for this workup, let me know. If there is sufficient interest I’ll start another thread for this purpose.
  2. Cubriver_Kid

    Cubriver_Kid New Member

    Aug 8, 2008
    I have been loading 380 with 3.5 gr HP38 and 90 gr hornady XTP, it has been working flawlessly, easy to shoot.  Now you have me wondering about the feet per second, I've been thinking about 850 -900.  I have a crono, so I will dig it out and give it a try this week end.

    Edited to add

    Back from the range, I ran two sets of ten and as expected with a low of 871ft/sec and a high of 889 ft/sec.  I am happy with this load, but I may try a few tenths of a grain more powder.  The 3at worked perfect today, but my pf9 take down pin broke, I don't know when, the gun worked perfectly also, I found the broken pin still in the gun, minus the head, when I packed up.

  3. bro61

    bro61 New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    That is surprising about the Golden Sabres. I may have to do some research and rethink my carry ammo. Thanks for the info.
  4. Apiarian

    Apiarian New Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    I want to make clear that these were NOT Remington cartridge, as in Remington's retail package. These were produced by a company named CNC using Remington 102gr GS bullets. I do not think CNC is still in business.
  5. Apiarian

    Apiarian New Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    Some interesting information on

    He list the Rem GS factory ammo out of a P3AT at 765fps which is 133ftlbs energy. This is significantly lower than factory ballistic data. Of course we are talking about a very short barrel.

    This is why I want to build a load with a Golden Saber bullet that will produce 200ftlb or better out of a P3AT.
  6. bro61

    bro61 New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Thanks for clearing that up. Still 765 fps and 133 ft lbs is not a lot better. When you read the various manufacturers ballistics for 380 they are all they are all very similar. Here is a few I was comparing for muzzle velocity and energy. Remington Golden Sabres 102gr. 940 and 200. Speer Gold Dot 90 gr. 990 and 196. Hornady Critical Defense Ammo 90gr. 1000 and 200. Of course these are all out of a 4 inch barrel.
  7. obxned

    obxned New Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Try the 90gr Gold Dot loads from DoubleTap. They are HOT!
  8. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    Buffalo Bore sells a 380 w/ a Gold Dot 90g jhp that they claim 1100 fps out of a P3AT. That is 242 ft lbs buy my chart. I think I may try a box of them in my KT and see how they run.

  9. wheelguy

    wheelguy New Member

    May 4, 2007
    Here's what I get out of a chrome barrel P3AT - various ammo and comparisons to other guns as well. All measurements at 15 ft from muzzle...
  10. Apiarian

    Apiarian New Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    how is the felt recoil compared to others?
  11. robbiedaman

    robbiedaman Guest

    May 26, 2008
    You definitely know when you're shooting the buffalo bore. I think its definitely snappier than a regular .380, still very manageable.
  12. wheelguy

    wheelguy New Member

    May 4, 2007
    +1 - except you do have to try it before buying into Buffalo Bore. Just because I can make it work for me in my gun, doesn't mean it will work for you. Especially, see how often you get FTEs. Bigger recoil means it'll be more sensitive to "limp wrist" FTE problems. For me - notice that I have a 357 magnum of the same weight as the P3AT - so, from my point of view - "recoil, what recoil?" ;D
  13. Apiarian

    Apiarian New Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    I wish I knew what powder they were using. For example, an heavier bullet with a faster powder will produce a lighter recoil. Of course this must all be in balance to work properly.
    Right now I have decided to try Solo1000 and a 100gr bullet.

    From a cost standpoint, I cannot afford to buy every possible powder and give it a try. This is why I was asking for interested parties to volunteer an 1/8th of lb of various fast powders.

    Here is my thinking: as long as good factory rounds are available and the govt is not intrusive, this is my primary source. BUT, I must have a backup plan, so I can produce my own if need be.
    Who knows, my own may even have lighter recoil and still deliver over 200ftlbs of energy.
  14. wheelguy

    wheelguy New Member

    May 4, 2007
    Careful not to exceed the rated spec for 380 chamber pressure. Faster powder will increase chamber pressure. Heavier bullet will also increase chamber pressure. So, changing 2 things that each add up chamber pressure creates a red flag. Do you have a stress guage and test bench so that you can judge the impact of your changes?

    Regarding recoil - the physics of the situation requires that recoil is proportional to "momentum". Momentum is, in turn, proportional to bullet mass times velocity. So, to lower recoil means lowering either mass or velocity. Energy, however, is proportional to mass times velocity squared - so to increase energy while also lowering momentum (recoil), you must lower bullet mass while increasing velocity. That's exactly what the Corbon Pow'r ball round does. The bullet is only 70 grains, but it sure feels like you're shooting a 9mm! And it has very light recoil.
  15. Apiarian

    Apiarian New Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    Wheelguy, it is not that sterile. You should go to the BrianEnos forum and read up on competitive reloading. There are combination of heavier bullets and faster powders that produce less felt recoil.
  16. Nakanokalronin

    Nakanokalronin Active Member

    Apr 7, 2007
    If I reloaded I'd probably try for a hotter round. I have HP amm that feeds and functions well in my P3AT but with the velocities out of the small barrel and bullet weight I choose FMJ as a carry round. Considering clothing and everything else I'd go for penetration over everything else for .380 and under.