.380 ammo poll - Ball/FMJ vs. HPs


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Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
February 11, 2010, 11:56 AM
Pick one & discuss.

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Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
February 11, 2010, 12:06 PM
PS. If you favor lead, like the BB hardcast 100, then please refrain from voting, because it doesn't have the feeding characteristics of ball, and doesn't have the expansion / lack of penetration characteristics of HPs, so it's just an anamoly for my poll. But please DO post and tell us that you prefer cast lead round, if that's what you carry.

In fact, my poll is less than ideal - I should have added 3 two options:

3. Ball only, mainly due to the lower cost & availability of practice ammo, coupled with the importance of having congruence between practice ammo with carry ammo.

5. Neither; I carry cast lead rounds in .380

If a moderator could add those two, that'd be great; thanks.

Girodin
February 11, 2010, 12:23 PM
Critical defense--it out penetrates many of the FMJ loads I've shot. Many FMJ loads are range ammo and are downloaded. Thus, anyone who thinks they are getting FMJ for superior penetration needs to make sure they are getting a load that will actually offer it.

The critical defense offers good expansion. It has fed 100% through my LCP and my Mustang.

MICHAEL T
February 11, 2010, 12:30 PM
Bersa Thunder , PPK/S, 2 Colt Mustangs , and a KelTec all loaded with Corbon DPX or Corbon 90gr HP . But I have not really had a problem with any HP I have tried in these pistols .

rswartsell
February 11, 2010, 12:37 PM
FEG PMK-380, Speer Gold Dot 90gr GDHP. A tick under 1,000 fps, also a tick under 200 # at muzzle.

Speer GDHP are always outstanding performers for me.

Bill B.
February 11, 2010, 12:49 PM
Thus, anyone who thinks they are getting FMJ for superior penetration needs to make sure they are getting a load that will actually offer it.

Quite a bit of the .380 loads loaded in Europe / Eastern Block seen hotter than USA ammo for what it's worth .....................

kokapelli
February 11, 2010, 01:52 PM
Critical defense--it out penetrates many of the FMJ loads I've shot. Many FMJ loads are range ammo and are downloaded. Thus, anyone who thinks they are getting FMJ for superior penetration needs to make sure they are getting a load that will actually offer it.

The critical defense offers good expansion. It has fed 100% through my LCP and my Mustang.
In Goldenloki's 380 gelatin tests http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/380acp/gel380acp.htm using a P-3AT pistol as the test platform ALL fmj rounds penetrated much deeper than Critical Defense 380 and Cor Bon JHP 90 grain had significantly deeper penetration and greater expansion than the Critical Defense.

The Cor Bon 80gr DPX round had almost as good penetration as the Critical Defense round but the DPX had way better expansion.

The Speer GDHP also had deeper penetration and slightly better expansion than the Critical Defense round.
http://omploader.org/vM2l0bg/BD%20Hand%20shaded.gif

MedWheeler
February 11, 2010, 02:29 PM
In colder weather (more than usual of that lately here in Florida), FNEBs, which are closer to ball. More penetration than HP, which is more likely to be needed against thugs wearing heavier clothing.
In warmer weather, which is most of the time, JHPs are carried.
These two loads are the only 380 ammo I have, and I have about 200 rounds of each. I'm satisfied with the performance of each. Both feed fine in my Bersa Thunder. Both are Remington UMC loads. The first is 95 grains, I believe, and the second is 88.
Because I carry both, I did not cast a vote.

rcmodel
February 11, 2010, 02:34 PM
1st. Gen Kel-Tec P3AT.

Feeds any JHP load or reload I have tried in it after a couple hundred rounds break-in when it was new.

Currently loaded with Federal HS.

rc

denfoote
February 11, 2010, 02:45 PM
I run Fiocchi hollow points tipped with the Hornady XTP bullet.

My 9mm kurz launching platform is this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v22/denfoote/NewPPKGrips002small.jpg

zxcvbob
February 11, 2010, 02:56 PM
I have a P3AT at home loaded with 95 grain cast bullets and 4.2 grains of Unique as a backup HD gun. (primary is a S&W 15 with LSWCHP's.) I have some 102 grain Remington Golden Something hollow points but I haven't tried them yet (bullets, not ammo.) They look like they should feed well but who knows.

The P3AT may get promoted to a carry gun soon -- in which case I'll load it with whatever brand of factory 95 grain FMJ's is handy. It feeds the Winchester flat-nosed just fine, so probably those. If the Remingtom bullets are a winner, I might seek out some ammo loaded with them.

rswartsell
February 11, 2010, 02:59 PM
I'll have to give those Cor Bon 90 gr JHP a try. Used some Cor Bon hunting loads and liked 'em. Never thought these would outperform the Speer GDHP though.

The Goldenloki test doesn't cover weight retention but the pic looks good for the Cor Bon 90 JHP. The DPX looks like it might have lost some though.

Just One Shot
February 11, 2010, 03:35 PM
LCP w/ Hornady's Critical Defense.

NMGonzo
February 11, 2010, 03:37 PM
Fiocci hollow points on my Bersa Thunder .380 with factory mags.

Phantom Captain
February 11, 2010, 03:38 PM
Walther PPK/s with the heavy Remington Golden Sabers

OldCavSoldier
February 11, 2010, 03:43 PM
Walther PPK and Colt Gov't Model .380 with Handloaded Hornady 90gr XTPs. Both the Walther and the Colt just LOVE 'em.

R.W.Dale
February 11, 2010, 03:45 PM
after seeing how cor-bon 90grn 380 +p failed to perform on multiple armadillo test subjects (unwilling) I'm firmly in the FMJ only camp for pocket pistols



I would only carry FMJ were I do buy another keltec, preferably the really really HOT Spanish Santa Barbra stuff
http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulletin/defensive-ammunition-ballistics/31950-whats-380-acp-ammo.html

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
February 11, 2010, 03:48 PM
on multiple armadillo test subjects (unwilling)

Now that's just wrong.... :evil:

R.W.Dale
February 11, 2010, 03:53 PM
Now that's just wrong.... :evil:
as fun as it was it had to have been.

That year they were thick on the ground for some reason and I was charged with offing every one I saw by the landowner

Seriously though I burnt up a whole box though a bersa thunder and not once did a shot keep a armadillo from running to it's burrow. And many shots did not exit even on a critter as small as a "texas speed bump"

TheDawgfather
February 11, 2010, 03:56 PM
Haven't had any problems in my PPK/S shooting Federal Hydra Shok.

kokapelli
February 11, 2010, 04:08 PM
after seeing how cor-bon 90grn 380 +p failed to perform on multiple armadillo test subjects (unwilling) I'm firmly in the FMJ only camp for pocket pistols



I would only carry FMJ were I do buy another keltec, preferably the really really HOT Spanish Santa Barbra stuff
http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulletin/defensive-ammunition-ballistics/31950-whats-380-acp-ammo.html
I purchased a thousand rounds of Santa Barbara ammo when it was readily available and it was ok for range work, but it was very inconsistent and frequently jammed IN MY BERSA, P-3AT and NAA Guardian.

I can't remember where, but some time back someone did some very thorough testing of it and found that the bullet weight was all over the place as was the powder content and in the chrono test it was very inconsistent too.

Velocities were nowhere near what people thought they were either.

Doesn't really make any difference though since it's not available anymore.

http://omploader.org/vM2l1bA/DB%20side%20right.gif

Marlin 45 carbine
February 11, 2010, 04:16 PM
I have a Makarov which is a bit stouter than the .380acp of which I have a BDA. both have a hot handload JHP in the chamber and hot handload FMJ in the mag. both feed and fire the HP's just fine - XTP in the Mak and Rem GS for the BDA but I figure the FMJ in the mag is gonna do the job for sure.

skoro
February 11, 2010, 05:31 PM
I alternate ball and HP in the magazines of my P3AT. I figure I have both bases covered.

sidheshooter
February 11, 2010, 06:03 PM
Of late, I am +1 on the fiocchi extrema with the hornady XTP pill. Fairly warm, and a jhp that is designed to expand more slowly. Probably as good as anything when you get right down to it.

But frankly, part of choosing that load is because I can get it regularly and it is cheaper than the US name brand designer bullets...

After last year, I am of the opinion that any .380 load beats an empty gun.

:rolleyes:

TexasBill
February 11, 2010, 06:42 PM
Our .380 collection includes a Browning BDA (wife's gun), a Beretta 84FS Cheetah and a Walther PK380. I use cheap FMJ at the range and use Remington Golden Sabers or Speer Gold Dot for carry. Would like to try some other rounds, but variety is still hard to come by.

I have thought about alternating JHP and FMJ rounds; may try that.

Erik M
February 11, 2010, 06:56 PM
2 digit serial number first edition Walther PK380 - Speer Gold Dots.

greyeyezz
February 11, 2010, 07:38 PM
I keep a Corbon in the spout and six Gold Dots in the mag of my Bersa 383A. If the GD's don't expand they'll be FMJ anyway. The longer the barrel the better on a .380.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v190/greyeyezz/P1010494rs.jpg

huntsman
February 11, 2010, 11:57 PM
BB 95gr FMJ FN + BDA

frisbee2421
February 12, 2010, 12:05 AM
ruger LCP topped off with speer gold dots

billdeserthills
February 12, 2010, 12:10 AM
I find that Aguila Ball & HP work fine in my Kel-Tec.
However I prefer to make it more of a lottery, so I like to mix ball, Cor-Bon DPX, Glaser, Cor-Bon Powerball, Black Talons and whatever else I might find in my ammo pile. I just think it will be a bit more exciting for Mr. Bad Guy

GLOOB
February 12, 2010, 12:27 AM
In 9x18, right now I use cheap hollowpoints for blasting full soda cans. I carry ball. But that changes pretty regularly. Both types being Silver Bear.

I don't have a 9x17, so I didn't vote.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
February 12, 2010, 02:12 AM
kokapelli, thank you for the most informative link - in all honesty, the Speer Gold Dot is not a half bad little balance of penetration and expansion is it? With noted *consistent* expansion by the author/testor.

I just think it will be a bit more exciting for Mr. Bad Guy

That made me laugh - very kind of you. I'm quite sure that on the way to the hospital, Mr. Bad Guy will heap generous accolades upon you for your contribution to diversity and keeping his (possibly shortened) life (and the surgeon's job) full of dynamic spice and variety. :)

hammerklavier
February 12, 2010, 12:48 PM
.380 Makarov with Remington Golden Saber (since I've polished the feed ramp it will feed anything else reliably as well).

searcher451
February 12, 2010, 06:23 PM
Speer Gold Dot, Hornaday Critical Defense, Federal Premium Personal Defense -- all work readily and reliably in my Walther PPK/S.

CapnMac
February 12, 2010, 06:32 PM
Ancient Colt 380 Government Model, which digests Win Silvertips without hesitation, and almost exactly on POA, unlike ball (S&B is 2R2U; Win FMJ is 2R1U).

Oscar 14
February 12, 2010, 10:51 PM
When I carry a .380 it's a PPKs and Hornady CDs. Never had a hiccup. Ever.

davezander
February 13, 2010, 12:15 AM
P238 with Federal Hydrashok

mec
February 13, 2010, 09:31 AM
Corbon jhp and speer gold dots expanded very well out of my ppk. I haven't tried them in the new micro pistols but some of the published date suggests that the gold dot may break 1000 fps from the sIG 238. that would probably provide useful expansion under ideal conditions.
A agree that any load at all beats an empty pistol and would not get obsessive about load performance from these little bitty pistols.

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