Best .380 Auto defensive round?


August 20, 2007, 07:01 AM
Just curious as to what people think is the best defensive round for the .380 Auto.

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August 20, 2007, 08:01 AM
It's tough in 380 as some rounds out there won't mushroom no matter what. I use whats most accurate...which is federal low recoil 90 grain PD rounds. I might go to remington or the winchester version as the relatively flat front of the Hp bullet in the federal rounds catches the feed ramp ever once in a while.

This is in my P3AT by the way...your results may vary with your gun

August 20, 2007, 08:10 AM
I should have mentioned that I have a Bersa Thunder .380. Anyway, what do you think of the Corbon JHP rounds that they have out there?

August 20, 2007, 09:11 AM
I used to have a Bersa .380, and it really liked Federal 90gr Hydra-Shok, which it fed flawlessly. I never tried the Cor-Bon with the Bersa, but think very highly of their products (I now have an S&W 9mm, and my chosen carry load is the 115-gr JHP +P.

The only possible downside of the Cor-Bon (assuming the gun feeds OK with it) is that it may accelerate wear, so keep an eye on it.

August 20, 2007, 06:07 PM
For the most part with .380 you're going to find that any round that penetrates to 12"+ doesn't expand. Personally I say fmj rounds that feed well.

August 20, 2007, 06:54 PM
I have a Sig 232 that I currently carry with either Winchester SXT's or Corbon JHP's. Both shoot well in my gun, but I have no idea how they would expand if, God forbid, I ever had to shoot anybody with them.

August 20, 2007, 07:34 PM

After much reading, and owning a great Sig P232 SL 380, I have come to the conclusion, and tested, 100% reliable, that I use a Dutch Load, of the first chambered round with a FMJ 95gr and the next 2, FMJ 95gr, then 2 JHP 95gr, etc.

Most of what I've read about the 380 round really support FMJ over JHP in 95gr.

It gives me the most peace of mind, that, in the event that the first round/s have to go thru layered clothing first, or a big, thick man, the FMJ's gets thru at first (with the least amount of doubt), using 3, if necessary, shots, and the rest to seek cover if necessary.


The Amigo
August 20, 2007, 08:12 PM
In Hollow points the best performing Ammo is Remington's golden sabers in 102g they will expand to .57 and penetrate decently if max penetration is your thing any FMJ will do but the hottest out there are Spanish surplus ammo called Santa Barbara (very hot stuff but hard to come by) hope this helps.

August 20, 2007, 08:23 PM
CorBon DPX. Always.

Tom Servo
August 21, 2007, 01:19 AM
The Corbons are a good choice, and Magtech makes a hollowpoint that apparently goes ~1080fps.

August 21, 2007, 09:54 AM
I don't really use .380 for defense these days, but I would use Golden Saber 102 gr in my Bersa and Beretta 84.

August 21, 2007, 01:35 PM
My vote goes to Corbon.

August 22, 2007, 02:12 AM
Corbon DPX first Corbon 90grHP 2nd choice Bersa or KelTec best choice. also in my PPK/S and Colt Mustang

If you were a member of you might have won free Corbon ammo. I gave away $500 worth of Gift Cetificates to members in drawings.
We have regular drawings for mags, holsters, patches, for Bersa's So join up and you might get free bee for your Bersa.

August 22, 2007, 06:14 PM
I carry a Bersa Thunder 380 every day. I load it with Corbon DPX.

The photos that I've seen show very consistent expansion and a lack of projectile fragmentation. It appears to penetrate steel better than conventional bonded JHPs.

August 22, 2007, 07:42 PM

August 25, 2007, 05:56 PM
But that is really just based on what my local gun shop guy told me. Has anyone done any definitive research on the Golden Sabers v. the Corbons.

We're already dealing with a relatively small round, I would really like to know which is best.

August 25, 2007, 07:06 PM
I would vote for Corbon, but it's gotta feed. And you need to put two boxes down range to make sure it does. Reliability is the most important attribute of any ammo. 380s are known to be be picky eaters. Test it.

August 25, 2007, 10:32 PM
I've had a Bersa 85 for a couple of decades but I've not carried it in a long time. I've fed it all kinds and brands of ammo and it's digested them all quite well. I had settled on a carry round of 85gr Win Silvertips and shot hundreds of them without any feed problems. I'm sure there's better carry ammo these days but I'm not inclined to check them out for this all but retired pistol, and the .380 is one of the few rounds I don't bother loading for.

August 25, 2007, 11:38 PM
You will have to try them in your Bersa of course, I like either Fiocchi 90 gr JHP or Winchester 85 gr Silvertip HP.

August 26, 2007, 05:07 PM
Corbon DPX, second place is distant but probably occupied by Double Tap's Gold Dot loading.

August 26, 2007, 07:51 PM
For performance in an expanding bullet I believe Cor-Bon DPX, Remington Golden Saber, Double Tap Gold Dot, and Winchester Ranger RA380T are about equal.

For performance in a non-expanding bullet its Federal American Eagle first, then Fiocchi.

Just my 2 cents for .380 only, my choices for other calibers may differ...

August 27, 2007, 03:09 AM
If a 380 Hollow Point can go through 12-16 inches in tests, why get ball ammo? Think you might run into the 600 pound man?
A good quality HP that feeds in your gun, and gives good groups, is all you need.....

August 27, 2007, 03:16 PM
If a 380 Hollow Point can go through 12-16 inches in tests, why get ball ammo?
I've never seen a .380 jhp that does 12+ inches out of the p3at if it expands.

August 27, 2007, 06:35 PM
Here's a fairly comprehensive list of links to .380 Caliber Ammunition Tests. Have Fun!!!
(Some links may require user registration.)

Many .380 and other caliber tests. Very good info! ***You must register***

OG & Friend's Ballistic Test Results

2d Gen P-3AT Analysis Part 2 (includes wet pack test)

The Last Crusade - .380 Wet Pack Test - Ammunition and Ballistics
Scroll down to the .380 section.

The Box O' Truth #26 - Little Guns vs. The Box O' Truth

Ballistic gelatin testing results : .32NAA 90 grain Sierra JHC

DPX/Gold Dot Raccoon test.;action=display;num=1148245402;start=

Head-to-head test: DPX vs. Ranger-T;action=display;num=1149377730;start=

MONSTER WET NEWS MULTI-GUN-TEST;action=display;num=1148670025;start=

P3AT CHEAP JHP WETPACK TEST;action=display;num=1166124717;start=

Smilies and Wet Newspaper Test;action=display;num=1116435642;start=

Wet Newspaper Test: Corbon DPX .380 HP;action=display;num=1147392682;start=

Wet Newspaper Test: Santa Barbara 87g.;action=display;num=1123002383;start=

Wetpack Test: DPX, GD, GS, Ranger-T, etc.;action=display;num=1158344941;start=

WINTER/SUMMER WETPACK TEST DONE;action=display;num=1158537757;start=

Fly&Og Revisit DPX with GS, GD, and more!!

More Smiley Tests with a 1G P3AT

Smileys Revisited


Cor-Bon .380 DPX "Wet Pack" test with LWS380

Cartridge Performance: .380 ACP

Selecting a .380 Cartridge

Bersa Thunder .380 with Cor-Bon 80-gr. DPX Ammunition

Brassfetcher .380 ACP Tests

Cor-Bon .380 70 gr PowRBall

Cor-Bon .380 80 gr DPX

.380 ACP at StevesPages

Preliminary .380 wet pack report for your amusement

Gel test today!;action=display;num=1167146283;start=

.380 Ammunition & Barrel Lengths at

UMC JHP/ AE FMJ ACCURACY SHOOT OFF;action=display;num=1169330024;start=0

.380ACP Federal Hydrashok in gelatin

Corbon DPX .380 into newsprint;action=display;num=1174574610

Cor-Bon DPX .380 in Ham;action=display;num=1176045806
See reply #4

Ballistics data - 7 hollow point velocities;action=display;num=1178377727

9mm Versus .380 ACP For Self-Defense

Test Results: The effect of moisture on .380 ammo;action=display;num=1179005761;start=0#

Dan334ís .380 ACP and 9 mm Para DPX water jug test;action=display;num=1184294414
See reply #9

.380 ACP Hornady 90gr XTP JHP (Beretta 85)

.380 ACP Winchester 95gr Supreme SXT JHP (Beretta 85)

Double-Tap .380acp GDHP wetpack test

Sweet! Double Tap .380!

another wetpack test: .380acp hollowpoints

.380 Gelatin Tests by John Farnam and Cor-Bonís Mike Shovel

Wetpack test: Fiocchi XTP JHP, etc. (DT_Willy)

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