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Discussion Starter #1
Now that My PPK/S is working properly, I have begun to reload in earnest. I cannot find 95 gr. round nose bullets locally as Rainier Ballistics discontinued the 95 and now supply only the 100 grain round nose plated. Perusing the manuals, I have come up with this load:

2.8 grains Bullseye, above-mentioned 100 gr RN plated bullet, OAL: 0.965

The 25 rounds that I tested this week felt about the same as the commercial 95 gr ammo. No FTE's, no FTF's, a little snappy.

Are there any criticisms, suggestions, caveats, or observations from the board?

Thanks,
Tom
 

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Tom, I've been running 2.5 Bullseye with a 102gr LTC that is clocking 774 fps. It makes a pleasant plinker in the LCP. It's our range officer's load originally, and he runs it in a Beretta as well. I've tried it in other blowbacks but not a PPK specifically.
The proof's in the pudding; if your load runs well and shoots accurately, you're GTG. The data seems well within reasonable limits. From past experience, loading for a .380 PP series can be, ahem, challenging. If you current load works, don't try to fix it.
Who made your Walther?
Moon
 

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I've been using 2.8gr Bullseye, 95gr Rainier RN over a WSP primer and .980 COL.

I fire it out of a different pistol, your mileage may vary.
 

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My troubles reloading the .380 for a PPK/s were mostly centered on doing 'carry' ammo, something I no longer do. Happy to hear that others here have been having success reloading somewhat milder practice ammo.
Moon
 

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This is good information folks. I was just getting around to ordering a set of dies for both my 380 and 32. I have Lee and RCBS dies for my other loading needs and I prefer the RCBS. While we are on the subject of loads....can anyone offer-up an opinion on dies?

I do not like the Lee because of that "bump" it has in the expander/powder-through die on the end of the stroke. I want to be able to control my mouth-expansion and not be bothered with that bump.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Who made your Walther?
Moon
Smith & Wesson. And thanks for the feedback. Anything less than 2.8 of Bullseye becomes a "technical problem" in the Lee Powder Dropper.

I'm pretty much committed to Rainier 100gr plated, for several reasons, including availability without shipping expense. They no longer make the 95 grain.
 

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auto', what kind of press are you using? For your .32 work at least, consider a Lee undersize sizing die (not aware of anyone else who makes it). It appears that the brass makers have thinned out the wall thickness of .32 cases, and unless you use the undersize die, bullets will often be too loose a fit or simply drop into the case. Been using cast bullets of 0.310", which seems to work fine for seating and shooting. I hold Lee dies in high regard (their presses not so much), but I don't use their neck expander die in my Dillon press.

moss', where are you getting your Rainer projectiles, what diameter are they, and how hard are they beating you as regards price? Our range officer casts bullets for most of us, but always looking for a good alternative.
Thnx,
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
moss', where are you getting your Rainer projectiles, what diameter are they, and how hard are they beating you as regards price? Our range officer casts bullets for most of us, but always looking for a good alternative.
Thnx,
Moon
I get my Rainier plated bullets From the Bullseye in beautiful downtown Tacoma. The Rainier plant is a few blocks away, so my guy picks them up on his way into the shop. $73.14/1000. I don't know the diameter, but I will measure a few when I go out to my shop in the morning.
 

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halfmoon...I will admit right-up-front that I am no "production-run" re-loader. Meaning that I only load for a couple of calibers for my and a few friends use. Usually 200-300 at a time every now and then and all these have been the straight-wall stuff...38-special, 357 MAG and the 32-long, H&R, FED MAG. I have never loaded any rimless ammo, so this will be a first for me. We cast our own wheel-weight slugs and a couple of the guys load 9MM with these slugs tossed from a Lee mold without issue.

I do have a .311 Lee bullet sizer which throws something closer to a .310 on my caliper. I also realize the 32 brass is awful thin and may not take-to, or even be worth reloading. Maybe I should stick to the .380 for reloading.

I have a Lee hand-press and also a Lee single-stage table-mounted press.
 

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I do have a .311 Lee bullet sizer which throws something closer to a .310 on my caliper. I also realize the 32 brass is awful thin and may not take-to, or even be worth reloading. Maybe I should stick to the .380 for reloading.

I have a Lee hand-press and also a Lee single-stage table-mounted press.
The .32 is not hard to reload, and I only mentioned the case-thickness issue because I ran into the problem a couple months ago and was pretty well stymied until I found the undersize Lee dies. The cases aren't the least hard to work with; the entire issue was resizing them enough so that they tightly grasp their new bullet.
Have to believe that .32 won't be the only caliber that will experience the thinner case issue; price of copper being what it is, the brass makers will cut a corner when they can.

Moss', appreciate the comeback. Our range officer casts us bullets; 500 @ $30. He reclaims the lead from the watertank backstop and recasts it. For the price difference, I'll keep shooting his lead loads.
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #14
We took the PPK/S and the P230 to the range last evening and shot about 50 rounds apiece of the load mentioned in the first post. (100 gr, 2.8 gr Bullseye) and they were a little snappier than I had hoped for. The Walther with its new and proper ejector functioned flawlessly. I think I'll get the micro-disk for my loading machine, and drop the charge to about 2.5 and give that a try. I may also look for some 95 gr bullets as well.

Thanks to all for all the help!

Best,
Tom
 

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Moss', did you notice any significant difference between the Walther and the Sig? While I've never shot them back to back, it's my impression that the larger size and heavier slide of the P230 tends to calm it down a little. Other posters here have claimed that the PP in .380 is more pleasant to shoot as well.
Passed up a couple .380 Walthers at the Monroeville gunshow; a cashflow issue, but I'd like to try another .380 sometime.
Let us know how the lighter load runs in your Walther; it works fine in a Sig.
Moon
 

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Subscribed. I used to reload many moons ago, still have some .44 magnum reloads from 1987. Would love to get back into it for the PPK & my S&W 4006.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
New Load: Yesterday I tested my newest .380 load:

2.3-2.5 gr Bullseye
Federal Primers
100 gr Rainier Plated Round Nose Bullet
Assorted used brass casses and New Doouble-Tap Nickel plated Cases

I alternated shooting them through a S&W PPK/S and a Colt Mustang Plus II,
and loaded randomly one factory Blazer Cartridge in each magazine. So, as far as I can tell, each pistol got to shoot all combinations.

The new load felt less snappy than my previous load (see Post #1). The Colt had the least perceived recoil, and the PPK is becoming more acceptable (to me). It was very obvious when the factory load was fired!

There was no difference between the old brass and new nickel cases, as I had expected. I use nickel cases often, because I like the way they look.

There were only two Fail-to-Feeds with the PPK/S with two loads @ 2.5 gr. I don't think the load had anything to do with it.

This week I am going to load another 50 rounds with 0.2 gr less (2.1 gr.) and see how it goes. I'm looking for a soft target load that will be easy on my hand, and perhaps my wife will join me in shooting the PPK. :) Now she prefers her Ruger Single Six in .22lr or her Smith M66-2 in .38 sp.

I will use a very large target for testing, so I can be sure that the bullet actually left the barrel and pierced the paper. :D
 

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moss', be interested in seeing how light a load will reliably function your PPK. As has been discussed here at some length, the recoil thing with the PP series in .380 seems to be more a matter of the slide coming to an abrupt stop when it strikes the frame, rather than the overwhelming power of the .380 cartridge. You may be able to strike a balance that will function but allow the slide to just give the frame a love tap.

Or you could find a .32...

Without a doubt, locked breech guns are milder kickers. I'd rather fire 100 rounds thru' an LCP than a PPK (trigger pull is worse than the recoil), and the little Colt/Sig miniature 1911 is just a pussycat in .380.

Real heresy here, but it always seemed that a Colt/Browning lockup could be grafted onto the PP series, retaining the outward appearance and great ergonomics.
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Moon,
From the recipes in the load manual, it looks like i can go down a few more tenths and still be within the recommended range. I don't mind getting a slug stuck in the barrel as long as it is not followed immediately by another. I'm guessing that I will have a favorite load for the PPK and a different favorite load for the Mustang. At this point I prefer shooting the Colt and am hoping that my reloading efforts will result in the same feel with the PPK.

I am looking for a .32, but the ones that I see on Gunbroker are in the $1500 to $2000 range, which is out of my range.

I had an LCP and had to wear a padded glove to shoot it. That and the trigger pull that you could time with a calendar, made it a non-contender for a spot in my "collection". I traded it in as a partial payment for the PPK/S.

I enjoy the challenge of load development, so I am sure that I will come up with something that I like.

Best,
Tom
 
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