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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to reload for a Walther PPK/s .380. I will be casting the Lyman #356242 in 90 gr

I have not slugged the barrel, but wonder if it is really needed with a 3.35" barrel. Wondering if I should size to .355,.356,.357. Anyone reload for this pistol and have good results please chime in.

Thanks
Steve
 

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casting for .380

I'm thinking the walthers are fairly reliable with their machine work and should be pretty close to .355. If you're wanting to be exact then sure slug the bore and find out. Many casters, (myself included) like to shoot .001" larger than bore diameter. I shoot the 356242 and size to .356. I guess gas cutting could occur in a bullet sized too small resulting in leading the barrel. I've only slugged barrels on rifles that were older and some foreign made barrels in which I questioned the bore diameter. I just bought a .355 sizer for a larger bullet, (125gr TC); my feeling was this bullet has a larger surface area, plus it just wasn't shooting that accurate. Consequently, I thought I'd try something different.
For me reloading is experimenting, if what I'm doing isn't working try something different. Personally, I like to size for uniformity, it's not unusual for bullets dropped out of the same mold to vary in size. This may be attributed to the temp of the mold, or how tight one held the handles together, a bit of lead between the two mold halves etc.
Anyway, I like the #356242; it shoots accurately in my LCP and P238.
Shootmup
 

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It never crossed my mind that some one would reload for a 380. Can't say why other then I put the 25, 32, 380 acps in the same catagory as 22RF.
Hows the accuracy with the firearms?

Jim
 

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I have cast and shot hundreds and hundreds of cast bullets through several .380 pistols. I use Lee mold # 356-102-1R that drops an about 100 grain bullet when using wheelweights. I size them to .356 and tumble lube them using Lee liquid Alox. I have never had a leading or feeding problem. For awhile a year or so ago, jacketed .380 bullets were impossible for me to find and that is all I shot. My current .380 is a Ruger LCP and it takes the lead bullets just fine. In fact, I have had less problems with lead bullets than with jacketed ones in the reloading process. Some of those short (90-95 grain) bullets seem to cause neck tension problems with me and end up dropping right down in the case. Never had that problem with the lead bullets. Then again, I have never had it with 100 grain jacketed bullets either. So go for it. You can save a ton of money if you have the lead and do a lot of shooting with a .380.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok I did slug my barrel and it is .355 grove diameter............ Should I size to .356 with this pistol. The barrel length is 3.35"

I know I usually size one thousandths over with my rifles. Is it a good idea to do this with this short of a barrel??

Thanks guys
Steve
 

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.356 would be the appropriate size.
 

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I use .357", 100 grain RNFP boolits in my Colt Mustang.

The trick is to know what your pistol likes. Different gun makers size their barrels differently and you can't make an undersized lead bullet shoot well if it is too small for the barrel.
 

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I've got a Lyman 358242 that I cast for my CZ83 in .380/9mm Browning. Haven't had any trouble with it except that is a single cavity mold. Luckly my youngest son helps as its now his pistol and if he wants free ammo from dad he has to help cast or reload.

CD
 

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If the bullet is too large in OD, it will "swage down" in the bore, but doing so increases your firing pressures. Blowback type actions are not all that strong, so be careful. I have seen more flame (at night) coming out of the ejection port of a PPK than out of the muzzle, using 90 gr jhp reloads (1000 fps). If the OD of the bullet is too great, it will "bulge" the brass casing, too, causing possible chambering problems. Too small an od, the bullet will "upset" in the bore, if the too small situation is not horrendous, and accuracy and velocity will suffer. Also, bullets of too small od will "set back" in the case, at impact with the feed ramp, causing malfunctions and possible increased firing pressures.
 
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