Is it possible...loading 380s using 9mm dies.

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by jdon72, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. jdon72

    jdon72 New Member

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    Soooo....with the exception of the sizing die and obvious loads, can you use the 9mm seating and crimp dies for the 380. It is the same diameter bullet.

    I believe it should be possible, but any input is appreciated.

    J
  2. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Active Member

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  3. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    nope 9mm has a slight taper to it and .380 is as straight wall as they come. not to mention the .380 is 2 full MM shorter in length
  4. jdon72

    jdon72 New Member

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    Woolley, thanks for the post, but I actually read that before I posted.

    JLA, why not. You would just adjust the dies deeper to make up for the shorter case. Not using a sizing die on new brass, the bullet is the same size as 9mm... .355. To seat and crimp, the 380 will fit in he die, but will it seat straight? Crimping, it should not matter....the die just goes over the head and crimps, not the whole case.....right.
  5. X Ring

    X Ring Member

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    You can't get a 380 case deep enough into the die to get a crimp. Dies don't cost all that much.
  6. jdon72

    jdon72 New Member

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    X-ring,

    The crimp is at the bottom of the die. It just goes over the head and it is done. Similar to lee full length die.
    My dies are costly and am on a waiting list. If they were only a hundred or two, it would be no big deal. But they are considerably more.

    J
  7. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    The diameter of the bullet is about all that's shared.

    380 ACP.jpg
    9mm Lugar.jpg

    As you can see from these drawings, the "9mm Short" is not simply a shortened 9mm. Those few thousandths are very significant.

    Where are you buying dies? I buy sets for under $40 all day.
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
  8. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    Your dies crimp at the bottom :confused: ? What brand dies are these?

    You can run the seating die all the way through your press and it won't drive the brass any deeper than the top of the shell holder.
  9. jdon72

    jdon72 New Member

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    I bought an old auto load machine for 38 and 9mm conversion. It is over 40 years old and puts out alot of ammo. I got a good deal. The dies have to come from ammo load load and they are expensive.
  10. X Ring

    X Ring Member

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    That is the way my dies work.
  11. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    Which way is that? I install the proper shell holder in the ram and then a piece of sized brass. Start my seater die into the press and fully raise the ram. I screw the die in until it just touches the case mouth. I back the seating stem way out.I lower the ram and set a bullet on the case and raise the ram then screw seater stem in until I achieve proper length. I back the stem out a half turn and then agjust the die body to set the crimp. Lock the die body ring down and then adjust the seating stem to just touch the bullet. That makes all the processes done in the upper section of the die body.
  12. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    Got it! Yeah, proprietary dies make a big difference.

    If you're going to be loading many calibers, you should really consider moving to a modern progressive press (Dillon or Hornady). You'll have all your money back within 4 die sets, and that's if you keep the Auto Load.

    You may also be able to get a local machine shop to make you some adapter fittings that would let you use standard dies in your machine. I'm not sure it's possible, but it's at least worth looking into. A set of three custom adapters shouldn't be more than $150 at the most, and you could use them for every caliber.
    Again, not sure if it's possible, but it's worth looking into.
  13. jdon72

    jdon72 New Member

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    Camping josh,

    Yes your right, but then I need different shell slides and holders, bullet drops, etc....well, you all know I will try it, and I will get back in a week or so and let you know the results.

    J
  14. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I see that IT WONT WORK is not something youre wanting to read.. So in that case.. Keep us posted on hoe your ammo turns out.
  15. jdon72

    jdon72 New Member

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    JLA,

    Well...your right. I have not had any credible evidence to tell me it will not work. In theory, the dies should work....

    I was hoping that someone had tried it and we're going to give me an actual reason why it can not be done.

    I will be back in touch.

    J
  16. Appliancedude

    Appliancedude Active Member

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    Um from what I've seen of that monster you bought, no one here is gonna be able to tell you one way or the other. I've never even heard of it, and havn't seen any posts on one here either. Your just gonna have to try it and see. Like others have said, it can't be done with regular dies.

    Good luck
  17. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Post #7.. CJ posted above. Shows the dimensions of the 2 cartridges in question.. 9mm luger dies are ground to produce sized brass that will be shot in a 9mm luger. .380 ACP brass is not only shorter, it is thinner. it will not size in a 9mm die. your fired .380 cases will still be fired .380 cases from 9mm dies. you will be wasting your time.

    Im certain that is the definitive proof that it WONT work that you say has not been provided.. Need more difinitive proof.. Ive tried it. I reload both and just for S**** and giggles i ran some .380into a 9mm die. they wont size. they are already too small.

    Im 110% sure you will figure all of this out on your own shortly so im wasting my fingers posting this..
  18. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    Did you look at the drawings I posted? The exterior dimensions don't match up. Those are the parts that the dies touch.

    Go ahead and try it if you want, but just load up a few and try them out. I don't expect you to have success, but please report back what you find. Maybe you'll surprise us.
  19. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

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    Contact the guys at http://howellmachine.com/contact_us.htm .
    They will have the answer for ya jdon.

    The folks at CCI should be able to tell ya too since Howell makes the presses that they use on their manufacturing lines.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  20. jdon72

    jdon72 New Member

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    Thanks again everyone.

    Jla and camping, refer to the first post...besides the sizing die...I know the sizing die will not work because it is different. Using new brass I think the other dies should work.

    Will report back.

    Binder, I have talked to Howell machine and that is why I am trying to keep costs down.