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spawr
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Posted: January 03 2010 at 12:15pm | IP Logged Quote spawr

My progressive press will not, reliably, throw a small enough charge of Titegroup for my .380 ACP loads (2.7 to 3.2 grn)so I need to use a slower powder that will require a larger charge. That way I can get an accurate meter. I have a pound of Longshot and I find loads for .40, .45 and 9mm, though, on the Hodgdon site there is no load listed for Longshot. I did find a load for 800-X, just slightly faster burning than Longshot and I am thinking it should be useable as a guide if for nothing else. What I am discussing below shows that my idea falls roughly along with the 800-X charges.

In looking over the load data for other calibers mentioned above I noted that on average the charge weights run roughly 125% of Titegroup weights on the minimum charge to 135% on the maximum charge for Longshot in 9mm. Can I assume that I could use those numbers as a basis for a charge in the .380?

In working that through, it seems to me that the minimum charge should be about 10% less than the maximum and work up from there. So that leaves me with these ideas:

Titegroup, 95 grn 2.7 grn to 3.2 grn. 125% of the min and max show the Longshot charges should be:
95 grn lrn over 3.4 min to 4.0 max Longshot

Is this thinking sound? It would be good to have an idea before I blow up a gun, I think.

This also leads to two other questions. I am thinking that 3.6 to 4.0 grn may well lead to a compressed charge in the .380 case. Is that a problem in your estimation?

Further, would you please refresh my memory about signs of over pressure? First and foremost, I want this to be safe using what I have.

I appreciate any help you can throw my way.

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dwhite53
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Posted: January 03 2010 at 2:09pm | IP Logged Quote dwhite53

Running Longshot in this round will probably not work as well as you'd like. Since it's a slow burning powder along the lines of Blue-Dot and AA-7 you may find it doesn't generate enough recoil impulse to cycle the action of your pistol. You'd be much better served finding some Hodgdon Universal, AA-5, SR4756.

I can drop Universal from my Lee Perfect Powder Measure within +/- 0.1 grain on a 5 grain charge. I haven't tried lighter charges, yet.

Light bullets in small calibers with short barrels just about require faster burning powders.

While Longshot may prove an interesting experiment, you'll be ahead by a longshot (pun intended) using a faster burning powder


All the Best,
D. White

Edited by dwhite53 on January 03 2010 at 2:36pm
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Paul5388
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Posted: January 03 2010 at 3:25pm | IP Logged Quote Paul5388

It might be good to note how terrible 800X meters! It's an outstanding powder, but meters like crushed rocks.

Assuming a 90 gr jacketed HP bullet, you can go as high as 4.5 gr of Unique for 1000 fps or 4.2 gives you 930 fps. That's out of a 3 7/16" Browning barrel(those are Speer #8 loads). I don't have it in here right now, but the Lee 2nd Edition would probably give a lot of data too.

I also noticed many loads with the faster Dot powders, 700X and even Bullseye and they are only producing slightly slower velocities than Herco and etc.

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spawr
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Posted: January 03 2010 at 3:25pm | IP Logged Quote spawr

Thanks, Mr. White. The powder measure I am using is in fact a Lee on a pro 1000 press. As long as I can use the normal discs, it is just great in terms of powder measurement. However, below .3cc, I have to use the universal attachement and crank it down to the minimum. That will yeild the correct charge, but it is intermittent when it drops. Sometimes I get a perfect charge and then for no reason, no charge at all. That yields squib loads at the range and that is why I am looking for a little more charge so that the drop will be accurate. The minimum weight of Titegroup weighs, on the scale, 3.3 grains from a normal disc (.3cc, I belioeve, is the smallest opening) and that is WAY TOO HEAVY for Titegroup.

Thanks for the recommendations and I will keep them in my load book for future reference (like when I go to the gun show to buy different powder!).

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lovesrugers
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Posted: January 03 2010 at 5:22pm | IP Logged Quote lovesrugers

I just checked through my Hodgdon 2010 manual for Longshot loads. One thing I noticed is that it appears to be a powder that likes to operate at higher pressures than what the .380 operates at. Most loads that used Longshot showed pressures in excess of 25,000 psi or more for the start load. The only exceptions I found were for the .38 Special +P and 45 Auto loads. They did show a couple of loads using Longshot at pressures similar to the 380 auto. Keep in mind both of these cartridges are burning nearly double the amount of Longshot that you would be using. From this it appears Longshot may have a limited or preferred pressure operating range like H110 does. Using it outside of this range may give erratic results that may include squibs, failures to cycle the gun properly etc.

As far as pressure signs I wouldn't count on seeing any in a low pressure round such as the .380. This is based on the fact that pressure signs are signs of failure of the brass or signs of gun failure left on the brass.

Since we know brass doesn't begin to actually show signs of failure till pressures hit above 70,000 psi or so you would have a problem awaiting to see them. Your gun is designed around a round that operates at 21,000 psi. Most likely your gun would blow up long before you ever saw a sign of over pressure on the brass.

Keep in mind the brass can also show signs of the gun starting to fail. The problem with this is method is that by the time you notice the problem you may have already done damage to your gun. One simple sign that you may be at the guns limit is hard extraction, ie your shells don't easily come out of the chamber. In a revolver it is easy to notice this sign. In a semi auto pistol you may not notice this sign at all unless you start to see your rims getting bent or ripped off during extraction. Also keep in mind your gun is most likely a direct blow back type. This type of action is tuned to a certain pressure range and recoil forces. Altering these forces or pressure curve could easily cause many problems for the gun.

Jerry
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adirondakjack
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Posted: January 03 2010 at 5:36pm | IP Logged Quote adirondakjack

Perhaps the best powder for .380 in terms of yield and in terms of metering is Power Pistol. Meters like water, gives nice velocity at acceptable pressures. A lot to like in .380.
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CUForester
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Posted: January 05 2010 at 10:34am | IP Logged Quote CUForester

I have found Accurate No. 2 to be the best powder for .380 ACP. It is a ball powder that meters very consistently and burns clean. In Lee's Modern Reloading Second Edition the following loads are listed:

Bullet Weight Powder Start Charge Volume CC Auto Disk
90 XTP            AA No. 2     3.3gr       .27     .27
95 Jacketed     AA No. 2     3.3    .2 8     .27
100 Jacketed     AA No. 2     3.1    &n bsp;  .26     .24
100 Lead     AA No. 2     3.2    .2 7     .27
FPS     Max       FPS     Pressure Units      Min OAL Inches
830     3.7       930     17000 CUP     .960
841     3.7       934     14600 CUP     .945
736     3.4       793     16300 CUP     .975
841     3.6       943     17000 CUP     .950


Edited by CUForester on January 05 2010 at 10:35am


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CUForester
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Posted: January 05 2010 at 10:37am | IP Logged Quote CUForester

Sorry about the wierd spacing, this system won't let you load a chart.

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spawr
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Posted: January 05 2010 at 11:48am | IP Logged Quote spawr

Thanks, fellas, you have really helped me out here. I come to this forum for exactly what I have found - no BS answers to questions that I find from time to time. Thanks for taking the time to help me out here.

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WiskyT
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Posted: January 05 2010 at 1:14pm | IP Logged Quote WiskyT

That adjustable charge bar for the Lee Disk measure is not reliable when at it's lowest settings. I tried to load some light 38spl loads with Bullseye with it cranked all the way closed and it gave me all kinds of squibs and normal shots. I just ordered the micro disk and I'll see how that does.

Make yourself a dipper from a 22LR case and see how that does. It doesn't cost anything and it is cheaper than buying a pound of powder that isn't appropriate for your application. I made a dipper to throw 1.5 Bullseye and it works great. It is slow, but I use it for 32ACP which is only a box here and there. I got the micro disk hoping it will be more convenient, will see how it does.

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dwhite53
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Posted: January 05 2010 at 3:38pm | IP Logged Quote dwhite53

WiskyT,

22 LR case. What a GREAT idea. Thanks for sharing.

All the Best,
D. White
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WiskyT
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Posted: January 05 2010 at 4:18pm | IP Logged Quote WiskyT

Yeah, you can even use a 22 short case if you find one lying around. I just fill it and weigh and then file as needed. I use a bamboo skewer superglued to the head of the case for a handle. I can right the load data on the "handle" with a fine tip sharpie (flair pen for use older guys!).

A 32ACP case works well for 4.x of Unique when filed a bit. Pick a case that's close and you have less filing to do. They are suprisingly consistent if you are using a starting load. They aren't good enough to trust for a max load without weighing each charge.

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