.380 sd ammo


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glockkeeper
January 16, 2006, 01:01 PM
Hello all,
I know that this question has probably been asked about 1000000 times, but here goes what kind of ammo do ya'll recomend for a Bersa .380? It''s the only gun my lovely wife will carry. She has it loaded up with full metals now but I think she needs a good or great jhp.


THANK YOU

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WillBrayJr
January 16, 2006, 01:54 PM
Federal Hydra-Shok, Hornady XTP, and Speer Gold Dot are all good loads for a 380acp.

mete
January 16, 2006, 02:02 PM
Corbon has some , now including their DPX load.

Pilot
January 16, 2006, 02:24 PM
I carry Corbon 90 grain JHP +P's in my Beretta 85FS. 1050 FPS, 220 Ft/lbs energy. I will have to look into their DPX load.

M2 Carbine
January 16, 2006, 02:30 PM
The MagTech Guardian Gold Series .380 +P 85gr JHP seems to work well and it's inexpensive.

From my short barrel Kel Tec P3AT it chronographs at 892fps.
In water jug tests it mushrooms well.

In most cases I don't think you can go wrong with Cor Bon.


Personally, I'm so much on the fence about the problems of bullet expansion or penetration in these less powerful calibers, that I'm considering loading every other round FMJ and JHP.

MR.G
January 16, 2006, 02:31 PM
My P3AT likes Federal HS and Corbon +P JHP ammo. Both feed well in the gun.

RyanM
January 16, 2006, 04:51 PM
No such thing as good hollowpoint loads in .380. The 12" minimum is just plain beyond what the cartridge is capable of with expanding ammo. I'd recommend sticking with FMJ. If you absolutely must use a hollowpoint, plug up the hollowpoint with epoxy so it won't expand. :neener: The hollowpoints which come the closest to the 12" mark are Hornady XTPs, at 10.9".

DirksterG30
January 16, 2006, 06:11 PM
Ryan,

Do you have a reference for the 10.9" penetration for the Hornady's?

Mad Magyar
January 16, 2006, 06:19 PM
If you really want a "mushroom" expansion; too bad rabbits can't testify: use the Winchester 85-gr Silvertip.

Trip20
January 16, 2006, 06:20 PM
Who's heart and lungs are 12 inches deep in their chest ;)

I like Corbon for my 380.

DirksterG30
January 16, 2006, 07:20 PM
Who's heart and lungs are 12 inches deep in their chest ;)

I like Corbon for my 380.

You may need to shoot through an arm to get to the vitals; that's why 12" is considered the minimum for penetration.

1 old 0311
January 16, 2006, 07:57 PM
I load the mags with a combo of S&B FMJ, and Hydra Shok's. Best of both worlds.

Kevin

RyanM
January 16, 2006, 09:38 PM
http://www.firearmstactical.com/test_data/380acp/hor380-90xtp-b85.htm

Another reason for the 12" minimum is the spine. Shoot someone in the heart, and they can take up to 1 hour to bleed out, if you used a .25. http://www.plusp.com/classroom/lesson30.php

A bullet that smashes through a vertebrae and severs the spinal cord will cause an instant drop. But the bullet needs to penetrate a minimum of 12", preferrably a lot more, in order to do that.

kokapelli
January 16, 2006, 09:49 PM
If the bullet expands most of the best hollow point 380 ammo will penetrate about 8-1/2" and will leave a fairly large hole in the front of an organ.

A full metal jacket that penetrates 12" or more, will leave a smaller hole, but it leaves two holes. One in the front where it enters an organ and one in the back where it exits.

I allways thought, two holes would be better than one.

Newton
January 17, 2006, 12:41 AM
Hollowpoints are a bad idea out of a P-3AT but from your Bersa you would likely do well with the new Corbon DPX.

If you did decide to play it safe with FMJ, then look no further than Santa Barbara 87gr FMJ open tip.

Trip20
January 17, 2006, 11:07 AM
You may need to shoot through an arm to get to the vitals
I'm not good enough of a shot to hit an arm. :neener:

kokapelli
January 17, 2006, 11:16 AM
I'm not good enough of a shot to hit an arm. :neener:

Sometimes the only way to the body is through an arm!

In this case, the upper and lower arm are covering almost the entire upper body!

http://www.wtv-zone.com/jnib/images/ktog/armobstacles_2.jpg

wally
January 17, 2006, 12:42 PM
When I have to carry my little P3AT I use Remington Golden Saber as its 102gr JHP is the heaviest bullet you can get in .380 unless you reload your own. I do hope it doesn't expand as .380 needs all the help in can get in achieving adaquate penetration, hence my choice of the heaviest bullet I can find.

The "Santa Barbara" 87gr is truely a hot load, but the question is can it gain enough velocity in short barrels to make up for the low sectional density of the 87gr bullet?

+1 to the point of kakapelli's photos. Its instinctive to put a hand or an arm in front of a threat, hence in real shootings bullets end up having to go thru a hand or an arm first far more often than you might think. Its not that you are a good enough shot to hit it, its that the other guy will instinctively be doing his best to get it in the way!

--wally.

ID_shooting
January 17, 2006, 12:50 PM
"Hollowpoints are a bad idea out of a P-3AT but from your Bersa you would likely do well with the new Corbon DPX.

If you did decide to play it safe with FMJ, then look no further than Santa Barbara 87gr FMJ open tip."

HUH? :what:

I carry Gold Dots in my P3AT. Shooting milk jugs full of jello at 15 feet causes 'em to expand out and they blow all the way through with a fairly nasty channel.

RyanM
January 17, 2006, 01:11 PM
http://www.firearmstactical.com/ammo_data/380acp.htm

Actual testing done by the FBI, under FBI protocols, as well as manufacturer data when available. Looks like CCI Blazer 88 gr hollowpoints also penetrate almost adequately, but then they fail to expand through heavy clothing. Unfortunately, Remington Golden Sabers are real stinkers in this caliber. They're great in all the other calibers, but not in .380.

If I still had a .380 backup, I'd be using flatnose FMJ in it.

I carry Gold Dots in my P3AT. Shooting milk jugs full of jello at 15 feet causes 'em to expand out and they blow all the way through with a fairly nasty channel.

Try taking a jello mold without the jug, and punching it. Really nasty wound channel, huh? Why bother with a firearm at all then? The hole size in the gelatin does not correlate to soft tissue damage. This is especially true for uncalibrated gelatin. All you can learn from shooting properly prepared and calibrated gelatin are the expansion and penetration depth.

Trip20
January 17, 2006, 01:52 PM
Sometimes the only way to the body is through an arm!

In this case, the upper and lower arm are covering almost the entire upper body!

Yeah, if your firearms instructor is drawling down on you! :D

This is more likely what you'll encounter!!! Look at that COM!!! :neener:

wally
January 17, 2006, 03:08 PM
http://www.firearmstactical.com/ammo_data/380acp.htm

Actual testing done by the FBI, under FBI protocols, as well as manufacturer data when available. Looks like CCI Blazer 88 gr hollowpoints also penetrate almost adequately, but then they fail to expand through heavy clothing. Unfortunately, Remington Golden Sabers are real stinkers in this caliber. They're great in all the other calibers, but not in .380.


I don't see any data in the page you linked to suggest the 102gr Golden Saber is a "stinker". No "FBI" data for it at all in fact, only an unspecified manufacture's "spec" with no real info as to test conditions. This does suggest it might over expand in longer barrels, but to the uninitiated expansion is what sells over-priced ammo. Few tests in real guns duplicate the manufacture's tests in terms of velocity, penetration, or expansion. But I'd tend to believe the FBI test data if there were any for the Golden Saber .380 round. Lacking this data I'm happy with the heaviest bullet I can find in a short barrel.

The only reason the 88gr CCI JHP has almost adaquate penetration is because it has the smallest expansion bare and no expansion clothed. Supports the idea than FMJ is probably the best choice for .380 and below. I want the heaviest bullet I can get for the caliber and generally figure below 1000 fps expansion is a very iffy proposition. YMMV.

Actually all these tests/comparrisons are pretty worthless unless they are repeated enough to give a reasonable estimate of standard deviation for the measured parameters (velocity, penetration, expansion, etc.) as small variations in entrance angle or velocity can make an unexpectedly large difference in the results.

--wally.

MICHAEL T
January 17, 2006, 06:39 PM
Any of the Corbon 380 will do you nice . It is the recommend ammo of carry at http://bersatalk

Erich
January 17, 2006, 07:07 PM
I've worked on a pile of handgun killings. Several were with .380s (and involved transversing an upper arm and then the chest sideways). Ryan and Dirkster are right, in my experience. Based on what I've seen, I tell people that I would only carry hot FMJ in a .380 (as does a pathologist who worked for us as an expert once). I would also study Gray's Anatomy (http://www.bartleby.com/107/) to learn where one must precisely place these little penetrators in order to damage the heart/aorta, brain and upper spine.

cookekdjr
January 17, 2006, 08:16 PM
I'm with Erich on this one (having worked hundreds of homicides myself).
I have a pocket .380 and I've ordered a bunch of Santa Barbara fmj ammo. Does about 1100 fps, btw.
-David

kokapelli
January 17, 2006, 08:40 PM
I'm with Erich on this one (having worked hundreds of homicides myself).
I have a pocket .380 and I've ordered a bunch of Santa Barbara fmj ammo. Does about 1100 fps, btw.
-David

Santa Barbara was chronographed by someone at Ktog at 1000fps out of a P-3AT.

kokapelli
January 17, 2006, 08:53 PM
A little more information.

The following are results from gelatin tests done at Evan Marshall's "stoppingpower.net" group.

Pistol used is Keltec .380 3AT

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

Note that only the Gold Dot expanded.

The CorBon round and the Hydra Shok rounds did not expand in these tests.

In a more recent test done by the same group, the CorBon PowerBall in 380 shot from a P-3AT also did not expand in denim covered gelatin.

Marshall
January 17, 2006, 09:04 PM
From Erich
I've worked on a pile of handgun killings. Several were with .380s (and involved transversing an upper arm and then the chest sideways). Ryan and Dirkster are right, in my experience. Based on what I've seen, I tell people that I would only carry hot FMJ in a .380 (as does a pathologist who worked for us as an expert once). I would also study Gray's Anatomy to learn where one must precisely place these little penetrators in order to damage the heart/aorta, brain and upper spine.

How can anyone go against this guy and his real life, or dead life in this case :neener:, examples. Beats any non-human "test" all to heck.

I would go FMJ as suggested.

horge
January 17, 2006, 09:06 PM
The two hottest cartridges out of my BERSA Thunder 380 were


Empresa Nacional Santa Barbara (ENSB)* JSP 95 gr. which averaged 1060 ft/s
Twin Pines Silver Bullet 90 gr SJHP which averaged 1120 ft/s

My rate of fire was slower due to the recoil, and reacquiring a moving target
(or God forbid, several targets) for follow-ups looks to be tricky. The first
shot is good though --dead-on, whereas some cartridges shoot low for me.

I don't pack with either, though.


horge


*ENSB is now known as "Santa Barbara Sistemas S.A", having been acquired by General Dynamics.

glockkeeper
January 17, 2006, 11:31 PM
I have read some good things about corbon 90 gr. jhp and dpx., however I don't know much about these rounds. I was thinking as read this that I may just cocktail the mag. with dpx and win. flat nose fmj. Though I have heard that the dpx round will penetrate 12". Does anyone know if this is indeed true?

kokapelli
January 18, 2006, 10:48 AM
I have read some good things about corbon 90 gr. jhp and dpx., however I don't know much about these rounds. I was thinking as read this that I may just cocktail the mag. with dpx and win. flat nose fmj. Though I have heard that the dpx round will penetrate 12". Does anyone know if this is indeed true?

Since the CorBon 90gr +p does not expand from the short P-3AT barrel, why would you carry it over any other fmj?

As for the DPX shot from the P-3AT, if you don't mind shallow penetration, fine.

Here are some DPX gelatin test results using a P-3AT________


10% Ballistic Gelatin Tests for:
Corbon .380 80 gr DPX

Testing Platform:
Keltec 3AT

Barrier:
Bare Gelatin


TEST RESULTS:

Round # 1:
Penetration: 8.375
Recovered Weight: 80.2 gr.
Expansion*: .714 cal.
Velocity: 914.7 fps

* Expansion measured at widest point.



10% Ballistic Gelatin Tests for:
Corbon .380 80 gr DPX

Testing Platform:
Keltec 3AT

Barrier:
Four Layers of Denim


TEST RESULTS:

Round # 1:
Penetration: 6.75
Recovered Weight: 80.8 gr.
Expansion*: .732 cal.
Velocity: 958.6 fps

* Expansion measured at widest point.



10% Ballistic Gelatin Tests for:
Corbon .380 80 gr DPX

Testing Platform:
North American Arms .380

Barrier:
Four Layers of Denim


TEST RESULTS:

Round # 1:
Penetration: 7.375
Recovered Weight: 80.7 gr.
Expansion*: .716 cal.
Velocity: 988.8 fps

glockkeeper
January 19, 2006, 02:26 PM
I WAS ACTUALLY REFERING TO RESULTS FROM A BERSA .380. I THINK IT HAS A 3.5" BARREL IS'T THAT A BIT LONGER THAN A KEL-TEC? I AM REALLY NOT FAMILLIAR WITH KELTEC,HAVE HEARD GOOD THINGS,BUT NEVER USED ONE PERSONALLY. BUT NONE THE LESS FMJ IS PROBABLY A BETTER CHOICE FOR A .380.
THANK YOU,

kokapelli
January 19, 2006, 05:17 PM
I WAS ACTUALLY REFERING TO RESULTS FROM A BERSA .380. I THINK IT HAS A 3.5" BARREL IS'T THAT A BIT LONGER THAN A KEL-TEC? I AM REALLY NOT FAMILLIAR WITH KELTEC,HAVE HEARD GOOD THINGS,BUT NEVER USED ONE PERSONALLY. BUT NONE THE LESS FMJ IS PROBABLY A BETTER CHOICE FOR A .380.
THANK YOU,

Sorry, I thought you were using a P-3AT.

Here are the 380 DPX gelatin results from a Walther PPK. Close to the same barrel length as the Bersa.

10% Ballistic Gelatin Tests for:
Corbon .380 80 gr DPX

Testing Platform:
Walther PPK

Barrier:
Four Layers of Denim


TEST RESULTS:

Round # 1:
Penetration: 7.50”
Recovered Weight: 81.0 gr.
Expansion*: .725 cal.
Velocity: 1085 fps

* Expansion measured at widest point.


Calibration BB Data:
596.9 fps.
3.625 pen.

It is interesting to note that the DPX performed a little better from the KelTec than it did from the Walther, but than again, the DPX is designed specifically for short barrels.

MICHAEL T
January 19, 2006, 07:51 PM
CORBON IS NOT +P .
THEIR IS NO +P IN 380 IF YOU DON"T BELIVE CALL CORBON AND ASK THEM.

800 626 7266 is their number. :cuss:

kokapelli
January 19, 2006, 08:40 PM
CORBON IS NOT +P .
THEIR IS NO +P IN 380 IF YOU DON"T BELIVE CALL CORBON AND ASK THEM.

800 626 7266 is their number. :cuss:

Yes, you are right and if you look back at the gelatin test statistics in my previous posts, there is no reference to "+P" although I did accidently use the "+P' designation in regard to the old CorBon 90gr jhp.

I belive CorBon used to list their 90gr jhp as a "+P" round.

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