.380ACP Carry Ammo Question


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Gunmeister
July 24, 2005, 10:21 AM
When one lives in the southern end of Florida, the uniform of the day is shorts, cotton shirt (or "T" shirt) and sandals. I find that my favorite carry guns, either a G26 or a S&W Model 60, are a little too bulky to conceal satifactorily. When carried IWB they tend to generate sweat and skin irritation.
Having said that, I decided to dust off my NAA Guardian .380 which carries well in my pocket, albiet a tad heavy. I went to the local gunshop for a box of his "most potent .380 ACP SD ammo". I was looking for 70 or 80 gr stuff using the logic that lighter is faster and must hit harder. The shop owner disagreed, saying that in a light caliber cartridge, ie .380ACP, heavier and slower has "better stopping power". He convinced me so I bought a box of Winchester Supreme 95gr JHP Personal Protection ammo and went home.
After thinking about our conversation, it occured to me that the terms "most potent .380ACP" and "better stopping power" are both oxymorons when used in conjuction with .380ACP ammo.
Anyway, who was right? The shop owner or me? JW

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Tomac
July 24, 2005, 10:34 AM
I believe that no handgun is a good "stopper" vs a determined and aggressive attacker, regardless of caliber or bullet used. Shot placement and sufficient penetration are the two most important factors, everything else is secondary. If the bullet will reach the CNS/heart/major arteries then it's "adequate" IMHO. If it can't then shot placement is moot. Remember, only a hit to the CNS will guarantee a "stop" and even a solid hit to the heart can leave 10-15 seconds worth of oxygen in the brain, plenty of time for the BG to return the favor. A hit anywhere else may *eventually* cause incapacitation due to pain, bleeding out, etc but it doesn't do you much good in "here & now". I CCW a Makarov in 9x18 (a little more powerful than the .380) and with the lighter 95gr loads I'd carry FMJ for sufficient penetration. In your case check for penetration tests for the loads you mentioned, better a non-expanding bullet that penetrates enough than an expanding bullet that doesn't. This may be of interest to you:
http://www.firearmstactical.com/hwfe.htm
Tomac

sgt127
July 24, 2005, 10:53 AM
The few times I carry a .32 or .380, its loaded with ball. Reliability and penetration trump any possible expansion as far as I'm concerned. I really don't trust any hollowpoint to open when its coming out of a sub 2" barrel. You should look at a SW 642, weighs less than the NAA and you can reliably shoot HP in it. Since you own a SW 60, I don't have to sell you on the idea of a revolver. (This is coming from somebody that owns a NAA .32 Guardian, a Seecamp, a Kel-tec P3AT and several Walthers) We get pretty toasty down here in Texas too, and I think you will find the little airweight revolver will do everything the baby autos do and hide just as well.

bakert
July 24, 2005, 11:23 AM
Although I carry heavier caliber guns(.45 auto mostly but also 9MM and .38 sp) nothing is a sure stopper. I personally would go with the heavier bullets but have no experience other than reading about the .380. Just being shot or threatened to be shot stops aggression by most bad a----es.

JERRY
July 24, 2005, 11:37 AM
in a small caliber gun like the one you have, FMJ is the only game in town for me.

i cant count on a h.p. that actually expands as advertised to penetrate a big guys arm, striking bone.....and still go through that same big guys chest deep enough to get the vitals.......not with a .380 or less anyway.

if the bad guys in your area are meth heads, scrawny, et cetera....you may get the penetration needed. but if you have some guys who served time in the big house, you'll see they are buffed at the joints alot more than the average in shape guy......that is a lot of dense muscle and bone to go through.

look in the mirror at yourself, and place your upper arm across your chest. you chest muscle tightens and thickens up, and your arm does too somewhat. now double that size cause that what you may have to shoot through. still want a little light h.p.?


chances are you'll never need your gun as you are probably in a habbit of watching whats going on around you.......avoidance is the best defense in most cases, but if you cant..............................

Mulliga
July 24, 2005, 01:32 PM
I vote using the heaviest FMJ you can find. ;)

HighVelocity
July 24, 2005, 01:39 PM
Here's some good data on 380 ammo:

http://www.firearmstactical.com/ammo_data/380acp.htm

Velocity229
July 24, 2005, 02:00 PM
I vote the 90 GR. Federal Hydra-Shock. The Hydra-Shocks expand and penetrate well, especially in smaller calibers like the 380.

In the mag, I would use the combination of:

Hydra-Shock, FMJ, Hydra-Shock, FMJ and so on... :)

mete
July 24, 2005, 03:40 PM
Corbon has a JHP, the Powerball , and is going to have their DPX all copper HP.All good performers.

PCRCCW
July 24, 2005, 04:31 PM
You guys are smoking that stuff again........arent you? :D

Why not carry hollow points? If they dont expand and do their job, which is better than ball anyway, they are essentially FMJ's in theory.

Just my take on things.......hey, I use dye and glue all day....so what do you want????????

Shoot well.

kokapelli
July 24, 2005, 06:28 PM
I carry the Santa Barbra 95 grain soft point ammo. It is ammo made under contract for the Spanish police and frequently available from the sportsmans guide, SOG and other internet discounters like that.
It is the hottest 380 ammo I have found and don't recommend constant use as a practice ammo, but I think it is just fine for carry. I have put about 300 rounds of it through one of my P-3ATs and have had zero problems with it.

As far as the 380 being ineffective.
I think it was about a week ago that there was a shootout here in the Phoenix area and one of the shooters had a 380. His first shot shattered the other guys leg bone and that pretty much ended the fight, but he continued shooting and put three more in the guy's gut.
The point is, if a 380 will shatter a leg bone, no one can tell me it is an ineffective round.

I know, I know, I have heard about the 380s that bounced off of skulls! Well, so will 45acp rounds if they are not fired at steep angles to the head.

MICHAEL T
July 25, 2005, 12:01 AM
I like the CorBon 90gr HP or the Remington 102gr GS HP .

pocketgun
July 25, 2005, 12:10 AM
.380 Ammo Charts (http://www.ktog.org/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=104;action=display;num=1119578971)

LightningJoe
July 25, 2005, 12:53 AM
The short answer is that nobody knows. All the empirical data is flawed or limited in one way or another. The theory is, well, purely theoretical.

enfield
July 25, 2005, 11:32 AM
The problem is that most authorities recommend at least 12 inches of penetration (in gelatin) for a defensive round. .380 HP's, if they expand, tend to not penetrate to 12 inches. If they don't expand the penetration is OK.

Since penetration is more important than expansion, why take a chance? Carry FMJ.

jc2
July 25, 2005, 11:54 AM
FMJ is the only way to go in the .380. I lean toward the Focchi version, but it doesn't make a lot of difference.

The problem with JHPs in the .380 is they might expand--if they expand, you cannot count on enough penetration to reach the vitals. When it comes to the .380, you have two choices: sufficient penetration or expansion. Sufficient penetration trumps expansion every time.

Bobo
July 25, 2005, 01:09 PM
What about frangibles such as RCBD, Magsafe, or Glaser?
They are supposed to penetrate and "expand".
Do any of them really work?

jc2
July 25, 2005, 01:39 PM
It a word, "no"--overpriced, overrated and underperformers (particularly in terms of penetration).

enfield
July 25, 2005, 02:54 PM
So far, the only data I've seen shows that FMJ's penetrate adequately and reliably and everything else doesn't.

If you ever find any test data showing that somebody's JHP or frangible round penetrates at least 12" in calibrated ballistic gelatin, and compares their round to FMJ and other HP's under the same test conditions, then please post the link here.

CZ-100
July 25, 2005, 05:51 PM
I carry ONLY FMJ in my P3AT.

Elmer
July 26, 2005, 02:07 AM
FMJ is the only way to go in the .380. I lean toward the Focchi version, but it doesn't make a lot of difference.


Exactly right, but those who want their .380 to be a .45 don't want to hear it. Funny thing is, your advice will save them money......

tbeb
July 26, 2005, 02:27 AM
When my friend was in law enforcement, he carried a 13-shot Browning loaded with Federal Hi-Shok 90 gr. JHP. I believe this combo was for used when he was undercover and when off duty. These penetrate pretty good. 95 gr. FMJ isn't a bad choice either because it penetrates pretty good too.

cocojo
July 26, 2005, 03:05 PM
I believe that the only hollow point round to even get close to the 12 inch mark is the Hornaday 380 HP's. The rest come up way short. If I were to carry a 380, I would mix my rounds. I would use Hornadays and ball ammo. Just in case I need that extra penetration, at least I know something is going in deep.

kokapelli
July 26, 2005, 04:56 PM
From some of the gelatin ammo tests I've seen from the P-3AT, I doubt very much that the Hornady round would expand when shot from a P-3AT, just like the hydra Shock and CorBon don't. I don't include the powerball in that statement because I have not seen powerball gelatin test from the P3AT.

Notice that the Gold Dot was the one JHP that expanded well in these tests and still was a little shallow on penetration!

http://forums.stoppingpower.net/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=4225&SearchTerms=p-3at
The following are results from gelatin tests done at Evan Marshall's "stoppingpower.net" group.

Pistol used is Keltec P3AT

Corbon .380 90 gr. +P
Pen 16.50+" Exp N/A (left the block, not recovered)

Speer .380 90 gr. Gold Dot
Pen 10.50" Exp .476

Federal .380 90gr. Hydra Shok
Pen 16.50" Exp .356

IMO you must have 1000 fps for most JHP bullets to expand and that just does not happen with 95+grain bullets from the 2.75" barrel of the P-3AT!

Save your money and go with a good FMJ until someone comes out with a 95 grain magic bullet that will expand at less than 1000 FPS and penetrate 12+ inches. That would be magic!

Maybe the CorBon DPX in 380 will be that round.

CA2005
August 3, 2005, 03:30 PM
Question here....not to thread hijack but would FMJ still be the best option for a slightly larger 380, say a Beretta 84fs?

Thanks

kokapelli
August 3, 2005, 03:41 PM
CA2005, here is a website with a lot of 380 ammo ballistic gelatin performance statistics from barrels that are 3.5" and up.

http://www.geocities.com/bersa_thunder/cartridges.html


This should give you a pretty good idea of how the longer barrel will help in penetration and expansion.

jc2
August 3, 2005, 07:14 PM
Yes.

enfield
August 3, 2005, 09:05 PM
I still haven't seen any data showing adequate penetration of .380 HP's from any length barrel.

I have 3 pistols in the photo gallery on the Bersa site! :D

DaleJunior
August 4, 2005, 01:52 AM
can fmj be loaded in the seecamp .380, or is it sized only for jhp like its little brother?

lbmii
August 5, 2005, 03:34 AM
I think the best round for my KT3AT is the 95 grain blunt nose White Box Winchester FMJ semi-wadcutter. The velocity averages 847 fps from my Kel Tec.

The Santa Barbara round is hot! My KT3AT trigger mechanicals broke half way into the second magazine. The average velocity was 917 fps but one round was 1008 fps. The kick was very severe. If you have a more solid built pistol than the Kel Tec I think the semi-wadcutter soft point Santa Babara round might be the way to go.

Of the normal American made common 95 grain 380 FMJ rounds the highest velocity was from American Eagle that averaged 867 fps. The Remington UMC brand averaged about the same as the Winchester white box rounds at 846 fps.

Avoid Rusian Sapsan FMJ ammo. The velocity was like 680 fps and would not fully cycle the slide.

Pointblank
August 5, 2005, 07:15 AM
I'd go with either Corbon DPX or Magtech First Defense. Both are all-copper bullets.

enfield
August 5, 2005, 08:24 AM
If velocity or copper bullets is what's important to you, then go for it.

I'll stick with penetration.

louis2dogs
August 5, 2005, 08:00 PM
Anyone else mix the magazine? I alternate FMJ with Hydrashocks. If the occasion should arrise I plan to shoot several if not many times. :)

Lou

kokapelli
August 5, 2005, 08:50 PM
enfield
Senior Member

I still haven't seen any data showing adequate penetration of .380 HP's from any length barrel.
__________________
- enfield

enfield, what do you consider adequate penetration?

enfield
August 5, 2005, 10:42 PM
At least 12 inches, consistently, in calibrated ballistic gelatin. The same requirement the FBI has -- I don't think I'm smarter than them.

Newton
August 7, 2005, 05:12 AM
Santa Barbara truncated cone FMJ if we're talking about using it in a P-3AT.

It's a real stomper for .380, no concerns about penetration and an effective tissue crushing profile (for an FMJ).

Contrary to popular belief, this round is an enclosed base open-tip design, it is NOT a soft point, it will not expand.

enfield
August 7, 2005, 09:58 AM
Please post the penetration data. Thanks!

kokapelli
August 7, 2005, 10:06 AM
The following is from a post at the Ktog message board__________

"Just tested the Santa Barbara 87g. Spanish ammo (yes I weighed the recovered bullets), manufacturing lot March, 1983. Used my usual medium of hypersaturated newsprint, stacked to a depth of 12 inches. The results were quite impressive. I fired four rounds: the first, in the chamber, would be the non-smiley round; the other rounds would show the effects (or non-effects) of smilies.
Here are the results:

Round 1: Penetration of 10.75" (equates to 16.125" in
bare ballistic gelatin, supposedly). No expansion, no
deformation.

Rounds 2 and 3: Penetrated 12" pack completely and
not recovered (yet) in the soft dirt behind my setup.

Round 4: Penetration of 11.25" (16.875" bare gelatin)
No expansion, no deformation.

When you consider that the Speer Gold Dot penetrated a similar wetpack 5.5-6" and the high velocity Corbon JHP was in the 7-8" range, you realize this is no downstream round. The Spanish police picked a good one."

lbmii
August 7, 2005, 11:55 AM
I really need to warn everyone one the use of Santa Barbara ammo in Kel Tec 3AT pistols. I have a big bag of it that I will not use because shooting one and a half magazines of this stuff battered the hell out of my Kel Tec. It even caused a blister on my trigger finger. The trigger stopped functioning after about ten rounds of this stuff. The velocity spread was pretty wide with some rounds being really hot.

It would be your luck that your Kel Tec will fail with this Santa Barbara ammo at the worst time.

If you have a stronger made 380 then you might consider Santa Barbara ammo.

On a side note: Santa Barbara 38 special ammo is the hottest 38 ammo I have ever fired out of my 2 inch 357 revolver.

Elmer
August 7, 2005, 12:39 PM
Used my usual medium of hypersaturated newsprint, stacked to a depth of 12 inches.



I've been using stale marshmallows, toasted to a light golden brown, and soaked in cranberry juice, packed into empty #10 cans of Spam. By my calculations, this should exactly reproduce 10% ballistic gelatin.

enfield
August 7, 2005, 02:16 PM
Spam (TM) doesn't come in #10 cans. :rolleyes:

kokapelli
August 7, 2005, 02:53 PM
From lbmii:
I really need to warn everyone one the use of Santa Barbara ammo in Kel Tec 3AT pistols. I have a big bag of it that I will not use because shooting one and a half magazines of this stuff battered the hell out of my Kel Tec. It even caused a blister on my trigger finger. The trigger stopped functioning after about ten rounds of this stuff. The velocity spread was pretty wide with some rounds being really hot.

It would be your luck that your Kel Tec will fail with this Santa Barbara ammo at the worst time.

If you have a stronger made 380 then you might consider Santa Barbara ammo.

On a side note: Santa Barbara 38 special ammo is the hottest 38 ammo I have ever fired out of my 2 inch 357 revolver.
Sounds like you had a little bit of bad luck with your pistol.

I have put about 300 rounds of Santa Barbra 380 through one of my three P-3ATs without a hitch and have shot at least 150 rounds through another of my P-3ATs without any problems of any kind.

I have also shot 20 round of Santa Barbara through my new 2nd generation P-3AT and no problems there either.

I do think you should have a recoil spring in the pistol that is reasonably fresh so that it will absorb a lot of the recoil when shooting Santa Barbara ammo.

Recoil with Santa Barbara ammo in the P-3AT for me is a non issue. Yes it is noticable, but nowhere near the recoil of a magnum revolver or even a light weight 38 special revolver for that matter.

By the way, what was it that happened to your trigger?

Elmer
August 7, 2005, 05:08 PM
Spam (TM) doesn't come in #10 cans.

Okay... you got me. It was an empty #10 can of peaches. Does this mean my results won't be as accurate?

jc2
August 7, 2005, 06:29 PM
Your results will be head and shoulders above anything Marshall & Sanow ever did (unless you can find a 10# of goat meat).

Mark F
August 7, 2008, 09:47 AM
I carry a P3AT in my pocket, and I use FMJ's virtually all the time. I do have some of those 380 PowR' Balls and I suppose they are OK. But the bottom line is, I'm looking to stop a situation...

benzuncle
August 7, 2008, 01:48 PM
I also live in Florida and carry a NAA Guardian 380 whenver I can't carry my Taurus PT-145. The weight of the Guardian is not an issue for me. It helps when shooting more than a couple rounds, like when going to the range as small 380's have quite a bit of snap. I load the Guardian with 102gr Remington Golden Sabers JHP's. I saw 2 articles that helped me make this determination. One was on the NAA website. Oldgrandpa did a wet pack test and photographed the results. The other was shared by someone on a Kel-Tec forum. That person shot at meat, then the wet pack. Both confirmed the Golden Sabers were the choice for me.

Sylvan-Forge
August 7, 2008, 02:32 PM
IMO ..
For .380, any quality FMJ that is reliable and accurate in your weapon.
If you can find something with a flat point, all the better.

.

rcmodel
August 7, 2008, 02:40 PM
Decided to buy a box and see what’s up with the very wide velocity variations reported.

Paid $3.25 for a 25 round box. The box is marked March 1983, and the cartridge head-stamps are SB-T 9C 82. Primers are sealed with Green lacquer. Cases show light corrosion beginning to form.

I weighed all 25 rounds and found the average weight to be 140.3 grains, with a low of 138.6, and a high of 141.5.

Cartridge overall length averaged .9556”, with a low of .944”, and a high of .966”. This is a huge difference (.020”) in OAL, and it appears reports of bullet set-back may be coming out of the box that way!

Next up, I selected the 3 lightest, 3 heaviest, and 4 mid-way in total weight, and pulled the bullets. Here are the results:
OAL Total weight Case Bullet Powder
.957” 138.6 gr. 45.4 gr. 87.7 gr. 5.4 gr.
.960” 139.3 gr. 45.8 gr. 88.0 gr. 5.4 gr.
.946” 139.8 gr. 46.2 gr. 88.2 gr. 5.5 gr.
.949” 140.0 gr. 47.5 gr. 87.1 gr. 5.3 gr.
.961” 140.1 gr. 47.3 gr. 87.5 gr. 5.4 gr.
.954” 140.4 gr. 47.1 gr. 87.8 gr. 5.3 gr.
.964” 140.4 gr. 46.3 gr. 88.6 gr. 5.4 gr.
.961” 140.7 gr. 47.6 gr. 87.7 gr. 5.5 gr.
.944” 141.2 gr. 48.1 gr. 87.6 gr. 5.3 gr.
.952” 141.6 gr. 48.0 gr. 88.1 gr. 5.3 gr.

Average:
.9548” 140.2 gr. 46.93 gr. 87.83 gr. 5.38 gr.

Difference, low - high:
.020” 2.9 gr. 2.7 gr. 1.5 gr. .02 gr.

Percent difference:
2% 2% 6% 2% 4%

Now none of this may seem too extreme, however it’s a lot more variation then you would ever find in most any other .380 ammo you care to check. For example, I weighed and measured 25 rounds of S&B ammo, and came up with a loaded cartridge weight variation of only 1.6 grains, and an OAL variation of only .004”.

Now, the odd part. While pulling the SB-T bullets with an inertia bullet pullet, I noticed some of them popped out with a light tap, and others required several hard blows. Bullets are sealed in the case with an asphalt sealer, however it appeared to be uniformly applied, and could not account for that much difference in neck tension.

Next, I measured all 10 pulled bullets and found they all measured .3535”, or 1 ½ thousandths Smaller then the established .380/9mm .355” bore size!

My observations:
1. SB-T is loaded with an average of 5.38 grains of powder. This is a very large charge, and would have be considered a relatively slow burning powder for the .380 cartridge in order to use that much. It would probably fall somewhere in the range of Alliant Herco or Blue Dot in burning rate.

2. Very doubtful you could expect to always get a complete burn in a very short barrel with powder this slow.

3. Powder appears to be changing color from gray to yellow, and may be in the early stages of decomposition. This is likely caused from improper storage at high temperature, and not from age. (Properly stored, 24 year old ammo should be as perfect as the day it was made.)

4. Case neck tension is very low, and even after resizing the cases, still was not as tight as it should have been. It is mostly dependent on the asphalt sealer to hold the bullet in place.
It could be the cause of the ammo being declared “surplus”!

5. Whether or not the under-size bullets were intentional, (to lower pressure) or by accident, is open to speculation. If it was intentional, you would assume they would have used under-sized loading dies to maintain proper case neck tension. But they didn’t!
This could also have caused it to be declared “surplus”!

6. Quality control of OAL, and weights of all components is perhaps the worst I have ever seen in over 40 years of reloading.

7. The wide velocity swings reported are probably caused by the under-size bullets allowing gas to leak past them in the bore. I feel confident some of the bullets bump up to fill the bore and get a good gas seal, and resulting high pressure & velocity, while others do not. And that results in gas leaking past the bullet, less pressure, and lower velocity on some of them.

rcmodel

crew590
August 7, 2008, 02:43 PM
I have Federal Hydra Shok 90gr in my Keltec P3AT. It seems to work for me.

BTW, this thread was started in 2005. ;)

Jay

kokapelli
August 7, 2008, 02:54 PM
I have Federal Hydra Shok 90gr in my Keltec P3AT. It seems to work for me.
Does that mean you stopped a bg with it or just that it goes bang?

I always wondered what "it works for me" means!

jocko
August 7, 2008, 03:05 PM
#1 Priority: It must go bang with what ever defense round you shoot. #2 99.9999% will never shoot a BG with his lcp or defense round anyway. So IMO they as long as they are totally reliable,,, are all good defense rounds

kokapelli
August 7, 2008, 03:20 PM
#1 Priority: It must go bang with what ever defense round you shoot. #2 99.9999% will never shoot a BG with his lcp or defense round anyway. So IMO they as long as they are totally reliable,,, are all good defense rounds

Agreed and makes you wonder why so many people spend so much on exotic ammo that will probably not do any better than American Eagle fmj, winchester, or any other reputable brand of much less expensive fmj ammo that may be even better than the exotic ammo in 380.

crew590
August 7, 2008, 06:13 PM
Does that mean you stopped a bg with it or just that it goes bang?

I always wondered what "it works for me" means!

Jocko nailed it. Priority 1 is it goes bang. I hope I never have to find out about stopping/shooting a bad guy (as we all should IMO).

Jay

dmxx9900
August 7, 2008, 06:39 PM
Where in the internet can you get this Santa Barbara ammunition you all speak of?

Bobo
August 7, 2008, 07:38 PM
dmxx9900 said, Where in the internet can you get this Santa Barbara ammunition you all speak of?Santa Barbara is a very hot Spanish surplus .380 non-expanding round that was readily available starting about two years ago. It was very inexpensive because it was surplus. Since that time it has all but sold out and is very hard to find.

At the time that Santa Barbara came out there wasn’t a readily available round that was as hot in .380. Now, DoubleTap and Buffalo Bore make .380 rounds just as hot and of better quality, but more expensive.

http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#380
http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/catalog/index.php?cPath=21_62

Bobo

dmxx9900
August 7, 2008, 09:03 PM
Would it be safe to shoot the .380 +p ammo through a Bersa Thunder .380 pistol?

jocko
August 7, 2008, 09:41 PM
It was cheap ammo, it was also very inconsistet velocity ammo to. I think RC Model did a chrono of the 380 santa barbara ammo and found alot of variation in the ammo. It is indeed very old ammo and today probably all gone to. It was very popular a few years ago due to cheap in price but certainly not good for much other than paper punching IMO>

jeepmor
August 8, 2008, 02:03 AM
I'd carry Buffalo Bore hardcast. Wouldn't plink it a whole lot beyond reliability testing, if good, then the carry rounds.

dharmaeye
October 18, 2008, 04:46 PM
Just the facts

http://www.handloads.com/misc/stoppingpower.asp?Caliber=10&Weight=All

kokapelli
October 18, 2008, 05:05 PM
Just the facts
http://www.handloads.com/misc/stoppi...=10&Weight=All

I have a problem with the one shot stop from Marshall and Sanow's books. There is a lot of controversy about how they came to the conclusions they did.

Another thing is in Marshall and Sanow's results they don't mention what type of guns were used and how long the barrels of those guns were.

I'd bet all the ballistics and statistics on 380 stopping results were from barrels much longer than the ones we are discussing here.

The ballistics chart in that website probably has no relevance for the short barreled LCP, P-3AT, NAA etc.

JR47
October 18, 2008, 06:06 PM
Just curious, but exactly what "long-barreled" .380 guns are in common use? There just aren't very many that you see on the streets of America. The Beretta Model 84 uses a 3.8" barre;, while the old Browning Model of 1922/1955 used a barrel length of 4.4", but I doubt that many, if any, were used, as they are more holster sized guns. Same with the Beretta Model 84, and it's ilk.

kokapelli
October 18, 2008, 06:55 PM
Just curious, but exactly what "long-barreled" .380 guns are in common use? There just aren't very many that you see on the streets of America. The Beretta Model 84 uses a 3.8" barre;, while the old Browning Model of 1922/1955 used a barrel length of 4.4", but I doubt that many, if any, were used, as they are more holster sized guns. Same with the Beretta Model 84, and it's ilk.

I shouldn't have used the term "long barreled" guns, but rather longer barrels than the pocket pistols being discussed here.

Here are some 380 pistols with longer barrels than the LCP/P-3AT sized guns.

Hi-Point CF-380 features a 3 1/2 inch barrel

Bersa thunder 3.5 inch barrel

Llama (not sure of the barrel length)

Taurus 3.25 barrel

Baretta Cheetah 3.8" barrel

Walther 3.35" barrel

CZ83

Jennings

S&W Sigma 3.85"

Makarov 380

Colt government model 380

Sig Arms P232 380

Browning BDA 380

Some of the above pistols are no longer being made, but there are still plenty of them around.

And here is Horge's website with a bunch of 380 ballistics, but none of the pistols have barrels as short as the pocket pistols we are discussing....
Horge's site (http://www.geocities.com/bersa_thunder/cartridges.html)

moooose102
October 18, 2008, 10:53 PM
in my 380's (p3at & lcp), i carry a mix of ammo. i load alternating rounds of winchester silvertips, and fmj bullets. some of the people on this board believe that there is not enough power to make the jhp's open up consistently. i am no expert, so, since i have never been in a gunfight (and hope to never be in one) i have decided that for me, this is the best of both worlds. if the silvertips do open up effectively, they will transfer more energy than a fmj. but in either case, a round nosed full metal jacketed bullet will penetrate deeper. which may be important, considering the limited power of these litte guns.

Newton
October 19, 2008, 01:23 AM
The Santa Barbara .380 is now gone in all but the occasional gun broker sale where people sometimes ask up to a buck a round for small batches, such is its reputation.

I laid in my own sizeable stash and shoot maybe one box every 2 months, it should last me years that way.

Funnily enough I ran a magazine through my Ruger LCP out in the desert just this morning and both gun and ammunition performed flawlessly as always.

I'll really miss this ammunition when it's gone, it shoots so well and has serious punch for .380. My last 7 rounds will be my last precious carry load, hopefully not for years to come.

All in all I have shot over a thousand rounds through various P-3ATs and my LCP, and it has always been a perfect performer.

It really shows me how light loaded most of our domestic .380 ammunition is.

kokapelli
October 19, 2008, 11:30 AM
if the silvertips do open up effectively, they will transfer more energy than a fmj. but in either case, a round nosed full metal jacketed bullet will penetrate deeper.


I thought as described in THIS ARTICLE (http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs3.htm) the value of energy transfer had been shown to not be a factor at handgun velocities.

JR47
October 19, 2008, 11:55 AM
The comparison of the bullet energy absorbed by the mechanism of the soft armor is specious. The armor works by spreading the impact energy along the lines of the structure of the vest. This allows the vest to absorb the energy over an area much wider than the actual impact zone. That basic science is totally ignored in the hopes of dazzling the reader with words versus fact.

Nichole Brown Simpson was killed by the transfer of energy at the point of impact of the tip of the knife. That's what allowed the knife to breach the skin, and penetrate.

Has anyone reading this actually considered the fact that knives are rarely 12-18" in blade length? The one used to kill Ms. Simpson certainly wasn't. Why, then, are bullets required to penetrate that distance before they are considered "adequate"? The bullets actual surface area, the part making the incision is actually much larger than the tip, and in many cases, the width and height of a knife. Unlike a bullet, the knife is usually withdrawn, and doesn't fullt penetrate the body, either.

It would seem that there's a striking dichotomy in the facts and the theory here.

kokapelli
October 19, 2008, 01:37 PM
I think your way off the mark here and I disagree completely with your interpretations of the article. For example

The comparison of the bullet energy absorbed by the mechanism of the soft armor is specious. The armor works by spreading the impact energy along the lines of the structure of the vest. This allows the vest to absorb the energy over an area much wider than the actual impact zone. That basic science is totally ignored in the hopes of dazzling the reader with words versus fact.

First I want to tell you that I'm not dazzled by the words in the article or your post and that some of us might take that as an insult!

The article states, "When a projectile impacts soft armor, its energy is transmitted directly through the flexible fabric to the officer's body. There's not one documented incident in which an officer was knocked unconscious or physically incapacitated or in any way rendered unable to perform willful activity after his soft armor stopped such a projectile. These officers absorbed nearly 100 percent kinetic energy transfer, yet none were incapacitated by the blunt trauma "shock" of projectile impact or temporary displacement of underlying soft tissues."

No dazzling there, energy transfer is energy transfer!
That seems to me to be clear and simple logic. If energy absorption were a factor and your body absorbs 100% if the projectiles energy through the vest or from the bullet, it's still energy transfer and does it cause incapacitation?

Nichole Brown Simpson was killed by the transfer of energy at the point of impact of the tip of the knife. That's what allowed the knife to breach the skin, and penetrate.

That's just wrong! The article did not in any way imply that the knife's energy caused death. As a matter of fact the point about the knife was that energy was not even a factor in incapacitation and death. Bleeding out was what caused death.

Has anyone reading this actually considered the fact that knives are rarely 12-18" in blade length? The one used to kill Ms. Simpson certainly wasn't. Why, then, are bullets required to penetrate that distance before they are considered "adequate"?

Bullets are not required to penetrate 12" any more than a knife is, but the more body it passes through the more chance it has to sever an artery or other organ that will cause bleed out.

If a bullet nicks and severs the carotid artery like the knife did in Simpson's case, it would have had the same effect as the knife without deep penetration and the result would be the same, to bleed out and die with a minimum of energy transfer.

JR47
October 19, 2008, 03:10 PM
No dazzling there, energy transfer is energy transfer!

Not at all. The objective of the vest is to dissipate that energy over a large enough area to prevent penetration. That's how soft armor works. So, in this case, energy transfer isn't energy transfer in the same manner.

That's just wrong! The article did not in any way imply that the knife's energy caused death. As a matter of fact the point about the knife was that energy was not even a factor in incapacitation and death. Bleeding out was what caused death.

Really? Then I suppose the fact that energy was required to force the knife through the flesh, cartilage, organs and bony structure was somehow unimportant? Or isn't that energy?

Bullets are not required to penetrate 12" any more than a knife is, but the more body it passes through the more chance it has to sever an artery or other organ that will cause bleed out.

How much penetration is adequate? According to the nation's most prominent wound ballistics experts, your bullets should penetrate at least 12 inches of soft tissue. Penetration beyond 18 inches is considered too much, and a less penetrating design should be considered to optimize the cartridge's wounding potential.

Odd, that's not what the article says. Now, on most people, the organs are located within about SIX inches of the surface of the front and rear of the body, and within EIGHT inches of either side. Major blood vessels are positioned under less than one inch of the inner surface of the arms, and may be encountered within six inches in the leg. The neck's major vessels are located within an inch, as well.

Energy is measured in ft/lbs, a measure of work. It requires a minimum of 55 ft/lbs for a bullet to inflict a casualty, according to the DoD. If the energy of a bullet isn't converted to the penetration, and stretching and cutting, of the body it's fired into, where does it go? If there was no energy transfer, the bullet would penetrate fully, and never stop until it hit something it couldn't penetrate.

Even in the 1980's, and before, there was a quantifiable, but not repeatably measurable, phenomenon that indicated that bullets creating a large temporary cavity were more effective than those that didn't. That was referred to, mistakenly, as energy-dump. Who coined that term, I don't know.

With better instrumentation, and more advanced computer modeling, the phenomena is being explored today. Only those locked into the 1980's definitions, and testing methods, are closed to the concept that there is more involved in wounding than was discovered nearly 25 years ago.

[QUOTE]First I want to tell you that I'm not dazzled by the words in the article or your post and that some of us might take that as an insult!/QUOTE]

The fact that the article reflects the stratified thinking that resulted in the IWBA's demise due to fratricide makes it ancient history. Taking insult is neither here nor there.

kokapelli
October 19, 2008, 05:37 PM
JR47, I read your post carefully and the facts in the article are more logical and make more sense to me than the assumptions you use to discredit them.

Maybe I am just more dazzled by the words in the article than by yours.:)

JR47
October 19, 2008, 07:59 PM
I'm sorry, but I'm pretty sure that the basic physics are correct. It is impossible for any object to penetrate another without a certain amount of energy being transferred to the penetrated object. If it didn't, knives would cut without pressure on them, and bullets would carry their energy literally forever. Nor would bowling pins react as they do.

I would suggest that you look at a soft armor manufacturers web-site, and see how they explain the action of the vest in stopping the penetration of the round.

I can understand how such thinking would fly in the face of the Facklerites dogma, but I think that even they would disagree with with the explanation you're attempting to give.

By the way, you DID notice that the article contradicted your own claims in the penetration minimums, right?

kokapelli
October 19, 2008, 08:28 PM
OK JR47
Here's Proof (http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot16.htm)
that energy from a bullet is transfered through the vest to the person that is wearing the vest. You can't refute this without explaining where the large dent in the clay behind the vest came from.

kokapelli
October 20, 2008, 01:04 PM
JR47, no comment on the evidence?

JR47
October 20, 2008, 01:07 PM
If you'll read my original post, I said that the energy of the bullet striking the vest was absorbed by the vest to prevent penetration. I agree that a small percentage of that energy is going to be transmitted to the body behind the vest, but only a small percentage, and over a much wider area than the actual impact zone.

The idea that a soft armor vest absorbs none of the energy is belied by the size of the impact in the clay. So, the statement that nobody was rendered unconscious is simply poor science.

kokapelli
October 20, 2008, 01:18 PM
OK, but I think you're wrong!:)

JR47
October 20, 2008, 04:33 PM
You must have posted that second inquiry while I was answering you. No problem, we'll just agree to disagree. :)

moooose102
October 21, 2008, 10:10 AM
i am going to have to read this article later and get back to you on it. because right now, i have to go fix my truck. but from reading your posts i have to say to things. 1) who cares about a vest? if i am shooting someone with a vest on it had better be with my 300 win mag, not my .380. and 2) a knife, and a bullet kill in two different ways ( at least that is the knowledge i have now). a knife slices through flesh severing arteries and veins, so you hemmorage to death. a bullet, while this can happen, from my unserstanding, kills through hydraulic shock. ruptering membranes and all kinds of neat stuff (basicly turning flesh to mush) and transfering the hydraulic shock to the nervous system. maybe this article will teach me a thing or two i didn't know.

JR47
October 21, 2008, 10:24 AM
Bullets actually cut, just like a knife, in many cases. There is a growing body of evidence that even pistol caliber bullets are capable of creating a neurological component in the subject, as well. Hydro-static shock, sort of like when you belly-flop, is also a widely known phenomena, but usually occurs only beyond a certain velocity/energy level.

The point of the discussion with the knife is that it requires work to plunge a knife into a body. It's not like it passes effortlessly into the flesh, bone, and cartilage of the subject. Many people aren't capable of mustering the force necessary to completely push the entire blade into a subject. The energy required to do so is absorbed by the body, through the knife.

Energy cannot be destroyed, it may be transferred. The idea that a bullet that enters the body, slowing dramatically, or even stopping in the body, somehow doesn't transfer it's energy into that body is hard to find in science.

cottonmouth
October 21, 2008, 10:44 AM
I'm guessing that no matter what grain bullet you shoot, the bad guy will not know the diffrence. He will eigther fall or run like hell.

J.B.

rsilvers
March 14, 2010, 03:18 AM
http://www.brassfetcher.com/90%20grain%20Federal%20Personal%20Defense%20Hydra-Shok.html

These seemed to go 12 inches.

rsilvers
March 14, 2010, 03:21 AM
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=175606

These seemed to go 12 inches.

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