Extreme Shock .380


December 20, 2008, 08:06 AM
We all know that Extreme Shcoks marketing ploys are pretty much a joke. The ammo is overpriced and does not work as advertised. That being said I picked up a P232 the other day and went in search of a good defensive load. While doing my research here on THR, many reasonable people claim that a FMJ with good penetration is a wise choice for .380. Last night I was checking out the Extreme Shock .380 ( I was bored) and their .380 ammo lists as:

Caliber: 380
Grain: 90
Velocity: 1130 fps
Energy: 255 ft. lbs.

Even if you get zero expansion and the round becomes essentially a FMJ, this is fairly impressive numbers for a .380. What do you guys think? I am far from an expert on the topic.

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December 20, 2008, 08:48 AM
You can duplicate those ballistics from several other manufacturers and you won't have to pay mall ninja prices. The promising load I've seen lately for the 380 seems like the Hornady Critical Defense ammo.

December 20, 2008, 08:58 AM
Hi Jon,

Thanks for the heads up on Hornady. I had not considered it. That being said the Extreme Shock (please do not think I am an advocate or defending them) has a 130fps and a 55 ft lbs advantage over the Hornady. Is that significant or basically a wash?

December 20, 2008, 09:24 AM
I think bullet design of the Hornady is going to be superior and more reliable overall. The Hornady is going to have lees muzzle blast, and will probably let you have faster follow up shots. Multiple hits are probably more important with a 380 than a few more fps in my opinion. Of course you don't have as much of an issue with recoil with your 232 than I do with my LCP but its still a consideration. Check Brassfetcher.com, he has done some gelatin tests with the 380 or check Mouseguns.com. There is a lot of info there. Everything I've ever read about Extreme Shock has been that you should give the a pass. They offer a lot of hype and not a lot of performance. If you really like the extra velocity look at Corbon. I think thier 90 jhp will match or beat the Extreme Shock.

December 20, 2008, 09:29 AM
Golden sabers or hornady critical defense
Ammo test


New hornady ammo I just got

Marlin 45 carbine
December 20, 2008, 09:32 AM
I haven't tryed the Extreme slugs but have shot Golden Sabres and XTP's out of my BDA and other .380acp pistols. the GS seem to do more damage to wet phone books.
one thing I tryed is useing a jeweler's saw to make an 'X' in cast slugs, sawing them down nearly to the brass neck. you need to try this on wet phone books it's impressive, sometimes a 'petal' will break off.

The Lone Haranguer
December 20, 2008, 09:33 AM
Nothing to see here, folks.

Al Thompson
December 20, 2008, 09:35 AM
has a 130fps and a 55 ft lbs advantage over the Hornady

On paper, yes. I'd want to see actual results from a real handgun. :)

December 20, 2008, 09:44 AM
I would suspect the P232 has a long enough barrel to get the most out of whatever ammo he shoots. I just think we can all write off the Extreme Shock ammo at this point. It doesn't seem to ofer us anything of value over any quality ammo and it costs a lot more.

December 20, 2008, 09:53 AM
Even if you get zero expansion and the round becomes essentially a FMJ, this is fairly impressive numbers for a .380.

Zero expansion ain't gonna happen. The rounds are designed to completely disintegrate on impact. That results in pretty impressive holes in jello, but you're going to get maybe 5" penetration, best case scenario. Completely insufficient for anything larger than a fox. I guess it might be a good choice for shooting racoons and things without worrying about overpenetration, but it'd probably make a real mess out of something that small.

If you absolutely must have the best velocity and energy, get Cor-Bon. Their standard JHP is 90 gr at 1050 fps from a 2.5" barrel. Most ammo is 90 gr at 980 fps from a 4" barrel, so the Cor-Bon stuff is pretty hot.

But keep in mind it will only penetrate about 9" to 10". That's a lot better than 5", but it's not up to FBI specifications. If you're extremely lucky and can place a shot right in the cardiac triangle, on a guy that's facing you squarely, 9" is plenty. But if he's angled away from you, or facing to the side attacking someone else, or an arm is blocking his chest, or if you're on the ground with a guy standing over you and you have to shoot through his beer gut to reach vital organs, etc., you'll wish you had a deeper penetrating bullet.

That's why people tend to recommend FMJs for .380. It's very difficult to find one which expands and penetrates much more than 10" to 11". Federal Hydra-Shoks will do it, but only in guns with less than 3" barrels, and only if the guy isn't wearing much more than a T-shirt. More velocity makes them open up too much, and they penetrate less; heavy clothing plugs them up, and they act like an FMJ. New Hornady XTPs penetrate about 10"-11" out of longer barrels, and it seems like they perform on par with Hydra-Shoks from short ones.

If you want a hot non-expanding flatnose, Buffalo Bore makes two loads. 100 gr flatnose hardcast lead at 1149 fps through a PPK, or 95 gr flatnose FMJ at 1120 fps through a PPK. And if you absolutely must have a JHP, they also have 90 gr Gold Dots at 1200 fps through the PPK, but keep in mind you're only going to get 10" to 11" penetration. All three of those loads are actually hotter than the horrible, junk, crap, awful, widowmaker ammo that Xtreme Farts sells (plus, they probably used a 4" test barrel for their velocity figures, while Buffalo Bore used a 3.5" actual gun).


I'd get a box of the 100 gr hardcast from Buffalo Bore and see if it keyholed from my gun, if I had a .380. If it's fine, I'd use that. If it keyholes, I'd use their 95 gr FMJ load instead.

December 20, 2008, 10:00 AM
Thats why Im gona test the hornady critical defense load because the golden saber expands so good and may not penitrait too much.
I currentlly have the golden sabers and hornady stagered in my magizine of my LCP

December 20, 2008, 11:30 AM
I used Hornady Critical Defense ammo in my LCP, good ammo, but the weapon was a POS and has since been dumped

XD-40 Shooter
December 20, 2008, 11:32 AM
I'm waiting for Hornady to bring out the critical defense in 40 S&W, they bring it out in 9mm and 38 spl, but no 40 S&W?:confused: Whats up with that?

December 20, 2008, 11:43 AM
Actually, the Bufflao Bore ammo was tested in a number of real guns, including the Ket-Tec P3AT. That has a barrel well shorter, at 2.76", than the 3" barrels used by other ammo manufacturers.


Why people who don't wish to participate in a thread have to feel that their opinions needs to be expressed defies logic.

December 20, 2008, 11:56 AM
Grain: 90
Velocity: 1130 fps
Energy: 255 ft. lbs.
The .380 ACP is by design, about a 200 ft/lb cartridge.

I would be simply amazed if they could get anywhere near that velocity out of a 90 grain bullet in any blow-back operated .380 ACP pistol.

I call Shenanigans on them!


December 21, 2008, 12:12 AM
I'm guessing they shot it from a 6" test barrel or something.

December 21, 2008, 01:05 PM
Corbon 90grHP or the DPX. I saw a test other day the new Hornaday only went 847 FPS out of new 380 Kahr I want more FPS than that
Winchester SXT was 777fps. Corbon DPX better than either
Every Govt Police type agency has the own MIN requiments Not Just FBI. Some are less I am a civ with a 380 . No Miami shoot outs out for me. If so I will use a 25 auto The 25 ball meets and exceeds the 12" FBI requirements in Jello Yet no ne wants to carry a 25 auto. So much for 12"

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