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Thread: 115 grain bullets in .380 and 9mm

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    115 grain bullets in .380 and 9mm

    Being a cheap bugger, I am contemplating using one mould to cast for both .380 ACP and 9mm Parabellum. Bullets will be sized to fit specific bores. How does the 15 to 20 grain heavier than normal bullet work in the .380?
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I think you will run into problems with that heavy of a bullet in 380 Auto (9mm Kurz) in terms of case capacity and max pressures.

    Seating a 115 gr bullet deep enough that the round will fit in a magazine and function in the pistol, will leave very little room in the casing. That leaves you with the bad combination of high pressure due to limited case volume and a heavy projectile. Couple that with the blowback operation of most 380 Auto pistols and I think you would be in a bad place.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master
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    AND, if you reduce the charge weight to the point it's safe with that heavy bullet, you will then have a very slow projectile. Not to mention the 380 casing has a lot of internal taper, which is fine when the bullets are 90-100 grains.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    I load the LEE 102gr for my .380 and it also works for light loads in my 9mm. I wouldn't go any heavier in the 380 for sure. Being lead it doesn't seat too deep but 15% heavier...that would likely seat too deep and cause over-pressure or require such low velocity it wouldn't be much good for anything.

    Lee molds aren't very expensive...just get two molds...one for each.

    [EDIT] I see P&P beat me to the pressure/velocity issue.

    redhawk

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  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Accurate 35-116H and 35-120H are designed for dual use in both .380 Auto and 9mm.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I load 2.5 grains of Bullseye in the .380 and use this same load in the Ruger LCP, SIG P230 and Beretta M1934.

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    Thank you for your input. I too had concerns regarding deep seating in the .380. Lee moulds are not an option but Outpost's experience is very interesting and I may go that exact route. If that does not work in my Colts, I will have for sure a mould for the 9mm.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    95 grain bullets will work in both calibers.

    115 is too long for 380.

    Sent from my SM-N950U1 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I experimented with trying to use the same bullets in both 380 and 9 , you can find loads that feed and cycle both but the compromises out weigh the benefits for me.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master dkf's Avatar
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    You will likely get into the web of the case some with a 115gr in .380. You may be able to avoid it with the right bullet (probably with a bevel base) and right seating depth. I have loaded and shot 115gr XTPs in .380 and they did bulge the case some where the bullet gets into the web. They chambered and shot fine. I have a 109gr NEI TC mold that works fine in .380 but that mold is not found around every corner.

  10. #10
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    I have shot the Lee 120gr. TC bullet sized to .356 with great success in both my Diamondback DB380 and my KelTec P3AT. I don't have my data book handy with the exacts, but I have done it and it's fine. Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook (1980s one) has data for the 120gr bullet in .380.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I can't speak to the 380 as I have no experience there. What I have done is use boolits designed for the 380 in my 9mm pistols.
    I have used 95 grain, 100 brain, and 102 grain boolits in my 9mm and they shot accurately and functioned well in every 9mm pistol I own except for the 1911 based pistols. There I ran into feeding issues due to the OAL with the light boolits. They may work there if I use my newly acquired Wilson Combat magazines. I will need to test that.
    In my 92FS, PT92, and my XD pistols, there was no issue at all.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I've used 115's in the wife's 380 without any problems.

  13. #13
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    One time I missed a 380 brass pass my 550 while loading 9mm 124g FMJ.
    It got to thru my 1911, just didn't extract. Must've been retained by the extractor & not headspaced on the casemouth.
    T'was a tad softer than the 9s so I knew something was off.
    Bet that same round wouldn't fit in a 380 chamber.
    ...Speak softly & carry a big stick...

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    After due consideration and your good advice (everyone) I will get out the check book and order two cartridge specific moulds from Accurate. Thanks once again.
    Dan
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    My speer 11 manual lists data for the 380 with 115 gr hp and fmj bullets
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  16. #16
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    The Lyman Cast Bullet handbook has data for the Lyman 358242 in both 92g and 121g. I have used this bullet with their data in both 380 and 9mm with good results. I usually use the 121g for both.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    I shoot the Lee 356-125-2r out of my Glock 42. It isn't a blowback design though.

    Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk

  18. #18
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    I have used the 122 grain version of the 356-242 in both cartridges. The only problems I had were that in the 380 they shot pretty far from point of aim, and the heavy recoil would pull the safety lever on my Walther PPK/s to the on position while firing. It worked OK in my LLama, my Colt and especially well in my Beretta 84f. I'd prefer to have caliber specific molds, but were I to have only one mold, I think that this is the route I would take, given that I shoot more 9mm than 380.
    Last edited by rintinglen; 09-01-2019 at 09:52 PM.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    For a 1971 Browning .380 I used the Lee 105g SWC at .358. Very accurate.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by MostlyLeverGuns View Post
    For a 1971 Browning .380 I used the Lee 105g SWC at .358. Very accurate.
    I have used that bullet in a couple of 380s that it worked well in .

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