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 By Mike Coviello (Tanner)

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Reloading Recipe For 380 ACP


The following is a reliable reloading recipe for 380 ACP ammunition when shot though a Ruger LCP or Taurus TCP pistol.


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Reloading 380 ACP Cases

My friend and I reload our own ammunition for shooting pistols at the range. I reload only 9mm Luger and he reloads 9mm luger, .380 ACP and .45 ACP. Over the past few years we must have reloaded roughly 18,000 rounds each. 95% of our reloading is for 9mm Luger for use in our Glock 17, Glock 19 and Glock 26 pistols.

Reloading Recipe For 380 ACP

380 ACP reloads over the past two years were made from range pickup cases, Wolf primers and Berry's plated 100 gr round nose bullets. The powder used was Hodgdon Titegroup smokeless powder. All reloads fired without problem. Unfortunately my friend misplaced his 380 reloading recipe and has to come up with a new one. This is the new 380 ACP Reloading Recipe he came up with.

380 ACP Reloading Recipe

Bullet - 100 grains plated round nose from Berry's
Powder – TiteGroup 2.8 grains
O.L. - .967” +/- 0.003”


380 Reload Recipe Determination

The following is the research and correspondence for determining a good 380 ACP reloading recipe.


380 Reloading Parameters

January 23, 2012
I am also reducing the O.L. of the 380’s to .967” +/- 0.003”.

I believe feeding and ejecting are more critical on the 380’s than the others. This will give more margin.



380 Reloading Parameters

Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 10:42 AM
From: CG

Check the following values and tell me if your data 380 reloading information is in agreement. Let me know.

Bullet - 100 grains plated round nose
Powder – TiteGroup 2.8 grains
O.L. - Nominal 0.970 inch



380 Reloading Parameters

From: Tanner
Sent: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 12:40 PM
To: CG

As you know, I have never reloaded 380 auto but the powder weight looks good (see reference load data below).

The O.L. is probably good too but I am a little confused. It appears to conflict with the Min OAL (.980") but I just read somewhere that is for
use with max (hot) loads. Don't know if that is true or not.

Plated bullets? I assume those are Berry's.

New recipe? Did you lose your load data? You could always measure and break apart one of your existing reloads if you have one (as you may have
already done).



I measured the OAL of the following 380 cartridges that I had on hand.
- Speer Hollow point .9430
- Winchester Flat Nose .9380
- Fiocchi Round Nose .9645

OAL per Lee Reloading Handbook = .984 (generic 380)
From the Lee Reloading Handbook
100 Grain Jacketed Bullet
Start grains - 2.6gr
Never exceed grains - 3.0gr
Min OAL - .980"
From the Hodgdon Reloading Data Center (Online)
100 GR. HDY FMJ Bullet
Start grains - 2.6
Never exceed grains - 3.0
COL - .980"
From Berry's website
"Plated bullets occupy a position between cast bullets and jacketed bullets. They are soft lead, but have a hard outer shell on them. When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual. You must use data for a bullet that has the same weight and profile as the one you are loading. Do not exceed mid-range loads. Do not use magnum loads."

Reloading Recipes For 380 ACP from the internet

  1. 100gr FMJ 3.0 gr TiteGroup 912 fps 0.98" CCI 500 Hodgdon
    Suggested starting load: 2.7 gr

  2. Case: Winchester/Remington/CBC(Magtech)
    Primer: Winchester SP(also tested w/ CCI)
    Powder: 2.8gr Hodgdon Titegroup OR 2.9gr Hodgdon HP-38
    Bullet: 100gr RNHB Berry's plated .355dia.
    OAL: .983 (.980 is minimum OAL, .984 is maximum; my pistol handles maximum length fine)


I used the Lee’s Handbook which gives a powder range for TiteGroup of 2.6 to 3.0 grains. The O.L. it gives is 0.984” which I believe is a maximum value. I measured some factory ammo I have and came up with 0.970 +/- 0.003. I will go with that.

I do not have any previous reload 380’s.

The bullets are Berry’s.

I remember going thru this before and wrote down what I ended up with but cannot find it!

I do not like reloading the 380’s, they take almost twice as long to reload than the 9’s. They are more difficult to handle because of the smaller size and some of the cases have a slightly thicker base and do not fit into the press easily.

I just reloaded the first 100.



The figure in my Lee book gives an O.L. of .984” which I agree is the max length for a cartridge so that it will fit properly in the gun.

The table definitely says “Min OAL” of .980” when using Titegroup and 100 gr jacketed bullet. This “Min OAL” changes with the powder type and grain of bullet.

I just remembered and measured 3 (the only three I have left) of the .380 dummies that you made for me. Their OAL’s are as follows.
However, these could have “shrunk” due to repeated chambering. But maybe not. I don’t recall chambering and ejecting too may 380s.

It’s a bummer to lose recipes. It’s like learning reloading all over again (well not exactly).

Do you plan to stop there and test/shoot those on Thursday or roll the dice and keep going?




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Mike Coviello is a former aerospace engineer, now Web Designer/SEO Consultant. Hobbies include shooting zombies & reloading ammunition.






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