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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It looks like my wife has settled on a .380 since she has her CCW class behind her. What recommendations can be made for powder & bullet?

I'm tempted to start with 3.2 gr Bullseye behind the Remington .88 gr JHP or 3.0 gr Bullseye behind the 102 gr Golden Saber JHP
 

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I shoot Unique in the .380. 3.6 grains behind a 102 grain bullet is a maximum load. I shoot 4.0 grains behind a Hornady 90 grain XTP and get 100 percent function and good performance and accuracy from my Grendel. It shoots a bit over 900 fps which is not a real hot load, but should get the job done. Honestly, I don't carry the gun much, though, and don't shoot it much anymore. Been a while since I cranked out a box.

A load I'm tending toward on the theory that expansion inhibits penetration too much in this caliber is a cast 105 grain SWC sized to .357. I cast this from a Lee mold and it's intended for the .38 and shoots well in light .38 loads, but it's pretty awesome for the .380, perfect function due to the longish OAL and decent bullet nose shape. 3.6 grains of Unique behind this bullet gives 920 fps/197 ft lbs out of my tiny Grendel, pretty hot, accurate, and 100 percent functional. My thinking is that the SWC and heavier bullet will give better penetration and te flat nose will do a decent job (better than round nose, anyway) of tissue damage. I'm really not warm and fuzzy about the caliber due to the problems getting adequate penetration. I have some of these loads set back, had carried the hollowpoint load, but I'm beginning to swing to the idea that the SWC might be a better bullet in this caliber for defense. It's all speculation, though, not based on any personal penetration tests, just reading about the caliber. I reckon put the rounds in the boiler room and the JHP will do the job. If it don't, just put another in there until it does. :D On the up side, the little Grendel is awefully easy to hide and carries 12 rounds at the ready with another magazine if needed. I carry the gun if the dress situation demands it.
 

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i echo native texan : 4.0 gr. unique under a 90 gr. jhp. i have been using gold dots. this gives a good velocity round with consistent accuracy. i would guess bullseye would be a good powder but have not tried it. just happy with the unique recipe. btw - got the recipe straight out of the speer manual.
 

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Back when I used to load for the .380 ACP, the plinking/target load I developed, used a 95 grn cast RNL on top of 3.0 grns of WST for an average velocity of 840 fps from the barrel of my Walther PPK/S. That same powder charge will also work with Berry's plated 95 grn RN's. (Max charge is 3.5 grns)

Tried using Alliant Red Dot and Green Dot but had quite a lot of trouble metering small 3.0 grn charges with them. Another of my winning loads used 5.9 grns of Blue Dot under a 90 grn Sierra JHP for 980 fps from the Walther PPK/S.

Today, I would probably develop a loading using WST if my interest in the gun and cartridge were given a reason for renewal. These days I tend to prefer small 9mm's such as my Taurus PT908 for a really compact pistol. Occasionally, I still get the itch to go out and shoot my PPK/S. Had a Browning BDA .380 for awhile and it was a very nice handgun.

Best of Luck with your loading!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I came across the load data on 115 gr JHP in the Lee Load data for the .380. This is a 9mm bullet, but they list the 115 gr over 2.7 gr Bullseye. I loaded some up. I hope to get my son out to chorno the velocity, however... I was concerned about the recoil of the heavier bullet, how it didn't seem to matter much between the 95 gr/ 3 gr Bullseye... and the 115 gr / 2.7 gr Bullseye... both were accurate at the 10-15 Yrd range for putting all round in the 10x ring.

I would presume that the heavier bullet would aid in penetration. Would be interested in seeing some work with wetpack?
 

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Yeah, I wouldn't hold my breath on getting any expansion at all from a 115 grain bullet intended for the 9x19 in a .380 load at .380 velocites. Penetration should be good, though. I suppose you were able to get it to max OAL without intruding on the thickened part of the case? That would be my other concern.
 

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For Expansion and higher Weight, I recommend the CCI/Speer 100 grn JHP in the .380.
 

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The new Hornady Critical Defense load looks VERY promising for 380 - should expand very reliably, every time.
 

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Yeah I'm really intrested in those new Hornady loads as I carry .380 at times when I want a slimmer weapon. Usually when I'm going to a formal event that requires me to boogie like its the end of time without beating my dance partners thigh to death like I'm tenderizing a steak.
 

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Umm, is that a gun in your pocket or.........

Talk about bringing a thread back! LOL! Yeah, the new Hornady defense bullets look like the XTP bullet with a plug in it far as ogive shape goes. Should feed fantastic in .380 and 9x19 in my guns. I don't carry that .380 much at all, but I'm thinkin' about trying the 9x19 stuff in my Kel Tec P11.
 

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I carry the Federal EFMJ in my Keltec PF9, same principal.
 
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