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+P Load Data - 380 ACP?
 Moderated by: Slingshot, OldStuffer, klallen
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 Posted: Tue Nov 23rd, 2010 10:04 PM
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BeaverJack
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I'm interested in developing my own +P loads for the tiny 380 cartridge.  Trouble is, with so many low end firearms out there, there is a dearth of load data available at the at the high end of the pressure range.  Viht doesn't even show the 380 in it's latest manual (you have to go back to the 2002 manual).  Do any of you have a reliable, tested source for +P load data?  I've done a few experiments with various bullets and powders, but I'd like to get some validation from somewhere.



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 Posted: Wed Nov 24th, 2010 12:00 AM
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OldStuffer
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Not every cartrige has a +P specification. In fact, only 4 do that I find.
9mmP
.38 Special
.38 Super
.45 Auto

.45 Colt Rugers and Contenders is not a +P cartrige, it's darned near a double-pressure (25,000psi vs. 14,000) (+P++++++

For those that do, it's typically about 10% over standard maximum, and that is hard on guns not designed for that extra pressure level. Revolver frames stretch, autopistol slides slam very hard.

Having just checked, .380acp is one of those cartriges that does not have a +P spec, 21,500psi is the limit.

I won't advise you to work arround 23,600psi.

Do as you see fit.

Good luck to ya.

Last edited on Wed Nov 24th, 2010 09:49 AM by OldStuffer



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 Posted: Wed Nov 24th, 2010 01:30 AM
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wheezengeezer
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There is a reason for no +P data.Many of the 380's are blowback and have a narrow window of power that makes them work properly.+P will beat them to pieces.



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 Posted: Wed Nov 24th, 2010 02:30 AM
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BeaverJack
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Buffalo Bore loads 380 +p.  Cor-Bons also.
Buffalo Bore +P 380 acp
Cor-Bon +P 380 acp

Would not an xp recoil spring suffice to cushion the frame?  This is a Sig P232 pistol, stronger than your Bersas, etc.  I think it can handle the juice for a carry round that will seldom be shot.

Last edited on Wed Nov 24th, 2010 02:40 AM by BeaverJack



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 Posted: Wed Nov 24th, 2010 10:06 AM
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OldStuffer
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As noted, those +P 's are unofficial, and are whatever the maker decided to make them to.
Some ammo makers are doing this with .40S&W as well, advertizing +P ammo, where it really does not exist.

If I were trying this, I'd have heavier recoil spring in it, and I do not know if you can make or modify the Shock-Buffs I keep in my 1911's I shoot IDPA with to help cushion the slide slamming into the frame.

Lastly, on "carried in it and seldom shot" so as to not beat the pistol up.....
The "general wisdom", and, for once on the internet, a "g-w" that I actually agree with, is that ANY ammunition/firearm combination that you would dare to trust your life on, needs to be reliability tested by firing at least 150 rounds of that combination. If you do not do this, you may find out, at an ... ummmmm.... "inopportune time" that you have a jam-o-matic that dislikes what you are trying to feed it.
A magazine or 2 is not nearly enough.

Thus, if it were me, I would be advising feeding between 100 and 200 rounds of that overpressure ammo thru said .380, and I am just not going to advise that.

I'm also not going to advise carrying ammo in it to bet your life on that you haven't shot a goodly number of thru it and can have confidence in it. I certainly wouldn't.

Eventually I see myself buying a .380, and I see myself loading for it, possibly to include S.D. ammo for it. I don't see myself rolling up +P's for it.



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 Posted: Wed Nov 24th, 2010 12:51 PM
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Bill_inBouse
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My Ruger LCP is not designed for +P ammo.  The owners manual states that no ammo manufactured in accordance with NATO, U.S. SAAMI or CIP standards will harm the little pistol, and further states in two places NOT to use so called +"P" ammo, so why take the chance on destroying the firearm and maybe causing injury to you or a bystander? 
I plan on reloading for my LCP but you can bet the rounds will be below standards for shooting at paper and plinking.
When carried, SD loads are Winchester PDX1

Shoot safe and shoot often:wink:



 Posted: Wed Nov 24th, 2010 01:27 PM
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Charley
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Every firearm/ammo combination is designed and constructed to function with an agreed on pressure level...even SIG. You want more proformance? Go to a bigger cartridge that functions at a higher pressure level. Easier and cheaper in the long run.



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 Posted: Wed Nov 24th, 2010 05:54 PM
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BeaverJack
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Ok, points taken.  I've carried a Baer 1911 for years, stuffed with Wilson's +P 200 XTP load.  In adopting a small (puny) cartridge for backup and lite carry purposes, I naturally want it to have the capacity to do the job.  I've seen some things that get one critically thinking about such issues.  Last thing I want is to hesitate in pulling my piece when a 300 lb. dirtbag in a wool coat is setting the mood.  For now, I've settled on a max load using the powder mfg.'s 2002 data and an extra power spring.  I guess I'll keep wondering if I've tapped the potential until I find someone with a credible tested alternative.  Thanks.



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 Posted: Wed Dec 1st, 2010 03:23 PM
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CTI1USNRET
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There are some very small 9mm Luger pistols out there. If your comfort requires more power use a pistol that's built for it. After all, a 380 ACP is just a 9mm Short.



 Posted: Sun Dec 12th, 2010 03:36 PM
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BeaverJack
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Well, after testing some loads on phone books, I'm not real sure I want to carry only the 380. Maybe in "low risk" excursions. American criminals are too hefty these days. I bought an alloy frame 1911 in 9mm. That should make more sense for a lightweight carry piece. I'll keep the P232 as a BUG.  Thanks for the kick in the ass.:thumbs:

Last edited on Sun Dec 12th, 2010 03:37 PM by BeaverJack



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