Results of the .380 Up close and personal...


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mcdonl
June 30, 2010, 08:31 PM
Hi folks, I wanted to share an EMS call I responded to this morning and ask if you think this would have the same outcome with ANY caliber other than the .380ACP? I could envision maybe the .25 but that's it... I carry a .380 for SD at times...

Here is the story...

Called to an attempted suicide, Mechanism of Injury was a GSW to the chin with a .380 pistol (vision holding gun to chin....)

Patient shot himself approximately 6 hours before calling 911. Bullet entered chin, went through lower jaw, tongue, broke a bunch of teeth and some damage to soft pallet but no penetration into skull from mouth. The bullet was either swallowed or spit out as there was only minor damage to upper jaw/mouth.

Vitals were stable, some blood was aspirated but breathing was spontaneous, pt was transported without incident to trauma center.

He was either very lucky... or very un-lucky depending on how you look at it.

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Shawn Dodson
June 30, 2010, 09:03 PM
That's a lot of hard tissue (bone, teeth) the bullet encountered, which presented substantial penetration resistance.

We normally don't target maxilliofacial skull structures. A hit in this location is usually either by chance or its the only available target.

ADKWOODSMAN
June 30, 2010, 09:07 PM
Was the boolet a HP or FMJ?

mcdonl
June 30, 2010, 09:15 PM
We normally don't target maxilliofacial skull structures. A hit in this location is usually either by chance or its the only available target.

Good point.

Was the boolet a HP or FMJ?

Not sure about that.

HGUNHNTR
June 30, 2010, 09:15 PM
I think that would be enough to discourage most bad guys.

mcdonl
June 30, 2010, 09:35 PM
I think that would be enough to discourage most bad guys.

Thats a great point, also it is unclear if the patient lost consciousness either. It was several hours from the time the trigger was pulled to the time 911 was called. But, either way... that is enough to slow about anyone down. I just figured point blank like that would have been a sure kill... shows what I know.

wrs840
June 30, 2010, 09:58 PM
Of course a .380 a poor primary defense gun, but have we not all agreed enough times that while far from ideal, a LCP or P3AT pocket-holstered in light Summer slacks or shorts, when a heavier CCW is a no-go, is way better than the alternative of nothing?

Les

nitetrane98
June 30, 2010, 10:36 PM
I answered yes but I really don't know what I answered yes to. Yes I'd continue to carry a .380 or yes I'd opt for something larger?

Sounds to me like the bullet went where it was aimed. You can try this at home. Tilt your head way back and stick your finger right under your jawbone. If you're parallel to your throat you might do well to blow your nose off. Put a little tilt on it and you'll have a ricochet off the lower jaw. Since the bullet went through the tongue it's pretty obvious that the gun was angled enough to hit the upper teeth. A more powerful round might have simply exited out a cheek. More velocity and a bigger bullet with the accompanying trauma notwithstanding, I can see the same result possibly happening. Doesn't sound like the brain pan was ever in serious danger.

Yet again the old maxim is proven, Location, location, location.

il_10
June 30, 2010, 10:43 PM
I'm not sure how .380 specific that is. We had an almost identical case at my school two semesters ago. Guy claimed to have been cleaning it, and it went off (...o.O) straight up through the jaw, destroying a cheek bone, blowing out some teeth, destroying a sinus cavity, only to bounce off of his skull apparently at the forehead. He was air-evaced to a hospital, and then somewhere else for reconstructive surgery. badda bing, four months later he's back on campus like nothing ever happened.
This was with a 1911 .45 acp.

M2 Carbine
June 30, 2010, 10:54 PM
Somewhat the same thing locally last year. Local store manager's father in law was shot in the face with a 9mm at close range and lived.

Strange things happen.

MattTheHat
June 30, 2010, 10:55 PM
I guess for me, the question is not what a single shot to the chin will do. Depending which of my 380s I'm carrying at the time, the results would be 6 to 13 times greater. I've said it before, if 6 shots of 380ACP doesn't dissuade an attacker, I guess I feel pretty confident in my ability to either escape/retreat from the threat or continue resisting by hand.


-Matt

FTSESQ
June 30, 2010, 11:24 PM
Crazy stuff happens. There was a case on America's most wanted where a home invader shot a home owner point blank in the back of the head with a Glock 9mm (they didn't say what model). The home owner called 911 to report the robbery saying that the thief punched him in the head. He didn't even know that he was shot. When the cops got to his house he (the home owner) was walking around like nothing happened. He had a 9mm JHP lodged in his skull. Is this to say that 9mm are not lethal? No. ***** happens. People get lucky... or unlucky. This has nothing to do with caliber.

The gun that you have on you when the S hits the fan is a million times better than the gun in your safe that you don't carry all the time because its too big, too heavy, or whatever.

Edit: The head has A LOT of bone in it. The chin (lower mandible) is actually the densest and hardest bone in the whole of the entire body. Bone is a very good stopper of bullets. I have seen 30-06 bullets lodged in the bones of deer, which are pretty similar to humans, so its not very surprising that if any bone stopped a bullet that it would be the lower jaw. A well placed 380 round will end someone faster than a poorly placed 44 mag.

eatont9999
June 30, 2010, 11:25 PM
Sadly, a member at the club I belonged to in MA decided to take his life with a .45ACP at the range. I can't imagine he suffered much and he did not get a second chance. I will leave it at that to avoid making the fine people on this forum vomit his or her dinner into his or her keyboard.
I know the odds are better for defense if you use a larger caliber but if the circumstances call for it, I would pack a .380. I usually pack a .38SPL so I am not too far off as of now. It is better than the gun you left at home by far.

Weevil
July 1, 2010, 12:25 AM
Well if I was gonna commit suicide it sure wouldn't be with a pistol and for damn sure it wouldn't be a .380.


I've heard of too many "attempts" that didn't work with about every caliber there is.

Yeah sometimes it works, a friend's son ended his life with a single shot from a 9mm, but if it doesn't it's gonna hurt real bad, and if you survive you could be badly maimed or horribly brain damaged.

c919
July 1, 2010, 01:52 AM
Yeah, I'm still cool with .380.

If you don't aim for the brain, the brain doesn't get hit. You do know that half of the head is not considered a vital?

That would've been the result no matter what the caliber. If you shoot the jaw, not matter what caliber, you still miss the brain.

In all honesty, a smaller caliber would be more likely to bounce off of bones in the lower face and deflect towards the brain (as opposed to smashing through in a straight manner).

I used to work in Radiology (taking lots of head x-rays), and in that time it became very apparent to me that one could take a headshot without being put down. Take a close look at this head x-ray...

http://www.swink.k12.co.us/assets/assetsclip_image002_0005.jpg

...There's plenty of non-CNS area there.

FTSESQ
July 1, 2010, 01:55 AM
Well if I was gonna commit suicide it sure wouldn't be with a pistol and for damn sure it wouldn't be a .380.

... Talk to Hitler and his cronies... The 380 did them well

Ridgerunner665
July 1, 2010, 02:16 AM
If you shoot the jaw, not matter what caliber, you still miss the brain

Thats not exactly true...

IF that bullet had penetrated, it would have severed the brain stem...there is no quicker way to kill than that. (some of you may have heard of "the fatal T"...a hit in the bottom of "the fatal T" is a round through the lower lip, severing the brain stem, and INSTANT death...not even a flinch of nerve reaction after that)

The 380 round is largely ineffective...and that is proof. That is not to say that it won't kill, just that it often does not.

hemiram
July 1, 2010, 02:44 AM
My dad's cousin was always talking about killing himself, since he came back from Europe after WWII ended. He was a cook, never in combat, but his lifelong depression went up a notch during his time in the military. He never even took pills or anything, he just talked about it. It was like, "Good morning Al!" Al:"Good morning, I'm thinking about killing myself!"

He even did it at holiday gatherings in front of his nieces and nephews. After 2 DECADES of this, one day he's at work, at my dad's Army/Navy/hardware store, and he's showing a young couple a gun, a .32 S&W revolver. He loaded one round in it, said, "And that's how you load it!", put the gun to his temple and pulled the trigger! The bullet went completely through his head, and he was killed instantly. Years later, I was working there, and decided to clean up the display area on the other side of the main room, about 40 feet from where he shot himself. This area hadn't been touched for years. Almost as soon as I started, I began finding dried up bits of skin and hair, and several bits of skull. My dad was walking by and I said, "What the hell did AL shoot himself with?", and he said, "Why?" and then I showed him what I had found. Needless to say, I was kind of shocked when he showed me the same model gun he had used. I expected it to be a .357 or something, but a .32? Not a magnum, just a .32.

So I would expect a .380 to do a fair job of killing someone too.

rondog
July 1, 2010, 03:22 AM
Shooting yourself anywhere other than the temple isn't likely to end with the results you want. I used to work with a guy that put a .38 under his chin "to end it all", he only managed to turn himself into a vegetable. And my wife worked with a lady once whose husband decided to off himself too, with fire. He survived too, after burning off most of his features and extremities.

My wife also had a neighbor during her first marriage that did it right, with a .357 to the temple. He succeeded, but he also did this with his wife and kids sitting right in front of him at the breakfast table. My wife got to clean up the mess, and his wife and kids were scarred for life. Needless to say, my wife isn't too interested in guns.

Steve C
July 1, 2010, 05:27 AM
My Uncle killed himself with a .22 lr High Standard pistol. Shot himself though the left eye, suicide or accident, some of the family was convinced it was one way the rest the other. It isn't the gun or the caliber, its where you get shot.

mcdonl
July 1, 2010, 06:35 AM
Thanks guys, I was not looking as much to justify my beloved .380 as I was to see if this was feasible with other larger calibers, which it clearly is. This call bothered me some. What bothered me was that after doing something like this, you probably don't plan on having any thoughts especially "I think I broke some teeth..." poor guy, I am sure this didn't make whatever his issues were better. :(

I like my .380 because of the physical size alone.

easyg
July 1, 2010, 07:07 AM
Of course a .380 a poor primary defense gun, but have we not all agreed enough times that while far from ideal, a LCP or P3AT pocket-holstered in light Summer slacks or shorts, when a heavier CCW is a no-go, is way better than the alternative of nothing?

Les
This is the best answer that I've seen so far.

Yes, the .380 is a lousy caliber for self-defense.
But it beats having no gun at all.


Personally, I would never trust my life to the .380 round.

TexasBill
July 1, 2010, 07:51 AM
Among the handguns in my carry rotation are two .380s, a Walther PK380 and a Beretta 84FS Cheetah. I feel adequately armed with either. Just become someone screws up their own suicide because they can't aim or don't know enough about human anatomy to aim properly doesn't make the .380 an ineffective round. And since even cops armed with .40 S&W pistols are trained to fire multiple times, I see no reason to be concerned because I plan to fire multiple times. And with either nine or fourteen rounds on tap in highly controllable pistols, I likely have more available ammunition than I would need in the vast majority of SD situations.

Shear_stress
July 1, 2010, 08:15 AM
I personally witnessed a white tail shot in the skull with a 62 grain FMJ .223 at about 75 yards. The shot missed the brain pan and exited the rear of the skull. The buck was right pissed off. Had to be put down with a cervical spine dislocation. Does this mean that the .223 is an inadequate round? Hardly.

As the saying goes, the plural of "anecdote" is not "data".

oldfool
July 1, 2010, 08:20 AM
TexasBill
you need to visit Thomasville, and bring your guns to share with a forum friend !
I will show you mine, if you show me yours :D

we don't shoot Jaws with our 380s down here either, we leave that to the offshore fishermen

RatDrall
July 1, 2010, 08:26 AM
There are better choices than the .380, now that Kahr and Walther and others make pocket sized 9mm and .40 and .45 pistols. .380 is too weak to reliably punch through bone, which is what some critters and badguys are made from.

Attempted suicides to the bottom of the jaw fail with lots of rounds, including 12 gauge birdshot that many ignorant forum members argue "acts like a slug at close range".

It isn't the gun or the caliber, its where you get shot.

More poweful cartridges make a hit that would have been an irritation with a lesser caliber into a stopping shot.

MCgunner
July 1, 2010, 09:10 AM
If it was a defensive senario, it'd more'n likely stopped the fight, I bet. If not, the application of a follow up would insure things.

If I ever wanna commit suicide, I'll use my .357 magnum or my .45 Colt with 300 grain hog stompers. I won't mess around with puny .45ACPs and I don't own a 10mm. I can't carry those guns in a pocket, though. Every caliber has its proper self defense uses.

hammerklavier
July 1, 2010, 10:10 AM
Does Yes mean you would carry .380 or that you would opt for something bigger?


I was reading about a case where a police officer shot a perp five times in the chest with a .357 mag, none of the rounds penetrated the rib cage. The perp then killed the officer with a single shot from a .22 LR pistol.

mcdonl
July 1, 2010, 10:52 AM
It means Would you continue to carry the .380....

UPDATE - So, the ER decided to sedate and intubate for further exploration in ICU... turns out the bullet bounced off some bridge work and lodged in the trachea. He was talking and fine on transport, so it may have slid down while they made intubation attempts... they did struggle... He is resting, and hopefuly will get the help he needs.

c919
July 1, 2010, 11:39 AM
IF that bullet had penetrated, it would have severed the brain stem...there is no quicker way to kill than that. (some of you may have heard of "the fatal T"...a hit in the bottom of "the fatal T" is a round through the lower lip, severing the brain stem, and INSTANT death...not even a flinch of nerve reaction after that)

Yeah, of all the places in the body to be hit, the cervical spine area would most likely incapacitate the fastest. However, how many times do you think people have killed themselves by purposefully shooting through the lower facial structures and into the upper spine?

I will say, truth be told, it would be very doable. If you've ever seen anybody take x-rays of the C1-C2 area, all you do is essentially lean their head back and aim the beam through the mouth.

Here's an example...

http://www.ceessentials.net/images/critiqueCTLSpine/image035.jpg

If you look through the mouth, you are looking right at the first and second cervical vertebrae. You can see where the dens (the post-shaped process on the C2 vertebrae) articulates with the socket of the C1 vertebrae. Bear in mind, that in this x-ray, the patient would have had their head leaned back pretty far. Normally, these structures wouldn't be visible through the mouth.

So yeah, there is certainly some bad places to be hit in the lower head. Anyways, I thought that picture/explanation might be interesting to some. I'm sort of a Radiology dork.

I do agree, though. The brain stem is probably the worst place to be shot.

rmfnla
July 1, 2010, 01:07 PM
When I worked the range we had a guy do himself in with a rental gun; shot himself in the temple with a .38 wadcutter reload.

I can't imagine those target loads hit much harder than a .380, but the side of the head is clearly a more effective place to hit than through the mouth.

Tacbandit
July 1, 2010, 02:17 PM
Quotes: by FTSESQ
"The gun that you have on you when the S hits the fan is a million times better than the gun in your safe that you don't carry all the time because its too big, too heavy, or whatever."

"A well placed 380 round will end someone faster than a poorly placed 44 mag."

Yep...+2 Well said...a lot of wisdom in both of those... I don't think that anyone would imply that a .380 is the SD caliber of all calibers. However, now- a-days there enough truly compact carry models for that caliber that make it a desirable choice over no-gun, or a bigger cumbersome gun, in certain situations. And like the man said..."the one you have with you is better than the one you left at home..." :)

Coyote3855
July 1, 2010, 04:30 PM
I carry a Kahr .380 about 90% of the time, because it's convenient. I strive for situational awareness and avoid biker bars at closing time, etc. Had a friend shoot himself under the jaw with a .44 Magnum. Messed him up bad, but he didn't die.

Walter
July 1, 2010, 04:39 PM
Talk to Hitler and his cronies... The 380 did them well

Actually, I believe Hitler's PPK was a .32.

Walter

Rxster
July 1, 2010, 04:48 PM
You may want to rethink posting this kind of info in the future. It is a HIPPA violation technically. Just friendly advise, not flaming you.
Not a fan of 380, but I would rather have it than a pointy stick.

BHP FAN
July 1, 2010, 04:50 PM
I don't want to talk to Hitler and his cronies.I imagine it's a bit warmer than I like, where they are.

earlthegoat2
July 1, 2010, 04:52 PM
Carry what you are comfortable with. I have no beef with the 380. Just the micro pistols they are chambered in. Seems to me to be the worst of both worlds.

Katana8869
July 1, 2010, 04:54 PM
I personally witnessed a white tail shot in the skull with a 62 grain FMJ .223 at about 75 yards. The shot missed the brain pan and exited the rear of the skull. The buck was right pissed off. Had to be put down with a cervical spine dislocation. Does this mean that the .223 is an inadequate round? Hardly.


I agree. I once shot a feral cat in the head with a .223 and the round creased the skull but didn't penetrate it. It did knock the cat pretty loopy though!

481
July 1, 2010, 05:37 PM
Hi folks, I wanted to share an EMS call I responded to this morning and ask if you think this would have the same outcome with ANY caliber other than the .380ACP? I could envision maybe the .25 but that's it... I carry a .380 for SD at times...

Here is the story...

Called to an attempted suicide, Mechanism of Injury was a GSW to the chin with a .380 pistol (vision holding gun to chin....)

Patient shot himself approximately 6 hours before calling 911. Bullet entered chin, went through lower jaw, tongue, broke a bunch of teeth and some damage to soft pallet but no penetration into skull from mouth. The bullet was either swallowed or spit out as there was only minor damage to upper jaw/mouth.

Vitals were stable, some blood was aspirated but breathing was spontaneous, pt was transported without incident to trauma center.

He was either very lucky... or very un-lucky depending on how you look at it.

Interesting story.

Reminds me of an incident that I had in the late 80's with a 17 year old juvenile (probationer) felon under my jurisdiction.

Seems he 'found' :rolleyes: a Glock 17 9mm that had a magazine full of Remington 115 FMJs.

Reportedly, he was twirling the pistol about his finger (through the trigger guard :scrutiny:) in an attempt to demonstrate his gun-handling skills to his 'associates' when it "just went off" :rolleyes: launching a 9mm 115 FMJ through his right cheek taking out several teeth on each side of his jaw (both upper and lower) and then exitting his left cheek. Broke both sides of his lower jaw, too.

He was lucky that he didn't kill himself or someone else and I was rather surprised to see him laughing and joking with the EMTs about getting a new "grill" as they loaded him into the ambulance enroute to the ER.

Moral of the story is that I'm not sure that a round through the upper portion of his cranium would've had any different effect. :evil:


I still carry a 9mm since it would be ridiculous to abandon the round for failing to lighten society's load.

OldMac
July 1, 2010, 06:11 PM
Yes I will still carry my 380 when convenient. I remember a family friend's son remove their face with a 12 ga. in an attempted suicide via chin shot. Unfortunately, for them, they "lived". That only works on TV and doesn't make a 12 gauge inadequate for personal protection. I would carry one all the time if my pockets were bigger.

06
July 1, 2010, 06:33 PM
Would I carry a 380, well I do and just bought a Sig in it. I call them mini 45s. They travel slowly and that is what I want in a SD round. I have several 45s and carry on occasionally but my main is the smaller, lighter, more easily concealed, and just as accurate 380s. 9s and others travel fast and easily exit the body-- the slower traveler hopefully dumps all it's energy in it. A 357 is my sidearm during hunting season but in my pocket is a 380 even then.

mljdeckard
July 1, 2010, 06:47 PM
.380 is still below my cut off line, but this doesn't make any difference. Any bullet can do weird things, there are no guarantees of any kind about any of them.

mljdeckard
July 1, 2010, 06:54 PM
If I were interested in discouraging bad guys, I would tell them my life story. I want to STOP them.

Chinaman
July 1, 2010, 07:46 PM
No information was put out that can readily identify the patient so no violation has occured.

I carry a Bersa Thunder 380 and I feel that as long as you have good shot placement it will stop the encounter.

Manco
July 1, 2010, 09:09 PM
I don't want to talk to Hitler and his cronies.I imagine it's a bit warmer than I like, where they are.

Argentina? Certainly not in July! ;)

Deltaboy
July 1, 2010, 09:16 PM
Some people are lucky.

Deltaboy
July 1, 2010, 09:20 PM
You may want to rethink posting this kind of info in the future. It is a HIPPA violation technically. Just friendly advise, not flaming you.
Not a fan of 380, but I would rather have it than a pointy stick.
It is a HIPPA violation technically

NOPE

fmfdocglock
July 1, 2010, 09:46 PM
I spent a number of years scrubbing trauma surgery as an OR Tech, including gunshot wounds.

The damage incurred is not only due to caliber or placement, but the number of shots taken.

Think about what it would take, in your imagination, to get 5 or 6 rounds out of someones chest or abdomen, versus a single shot.

Based on my experience as an OR Tech I have no problems carrying a .380 for its concealability and light weight. That is based on the understanding that multiple rounds would go into my assailant at 15 ft or less.

PS: From my experience the messiest wounds are caused by shotguns and .45s.

pt6998
July 2, 2010, 12:32 AM
This reminds me of a story I saw on Youtube of a women that was shot in the face with what is believed to be a .45 or .44cal weapon and survived. It did go through a car windshield and the story didn't say if it was a HP or FMJ. Just goes to say that crazy things happen.
Here's that story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8uOJ4RMW_U

My personal opinion is that in colder weather I wear a .45, right now I have a Ruger LCP in my pocket. More than likely I will wear the LCP more often. It is just too convenient and easy to wear. I feel that displaying any weapon will stop a situation.

Ridgerunner665
July 2, 2010, 12:41 AM
I feel that displaying any weapon will stop a situation.

Famous last words...no offense, but don't bet your life on that.

quatin
July 2, 2010, 12:59 AM
I think we're missing the real cause, methodology. He tried to shoot himself from the bottom of the chin. This is one of the worst ways to shoot yourself. Realize many suicidal patients are high on adrenaline and don't quite want to die.

He probably flinched and the bullet went from the bottom of his chin and out his mouth (hence the broken teeth).

pt6998
July 2, 2010, 01:05 AM
No offence taken Ridgerunner665. If I am out around town I am mainly worried about mugging or car theft. I think, in these situations, a perp wants the least resistance and if I draw a weapon he/they will flee. If not, and I fear for my life, then I will shoot.

Ben86
July 2, 2010, 02:00 AM
I'm more surprised that the guy actually called 911 to save his life after realizing it didn't work, instead of trying to kill himself again, than I am about the ballistic results. It's strange how a failed attempt will make people realize they don't really want to die.

Anyhow, it sounds like the bullet most likely hit a lot of bone, which slowed it down and altered its trajectory. The outcome is not surprising to me and I don't see it as another .380 "failure."

mcdonl
July 2, 2010, 04:53 AM
You may want to rethink posting this kind of info in the future. It is a HIPPA violation technically. Just friendly advise, not flaming you.

I thought long and hard about this, and even vetted the original post through the mods to make sure I was being safe. If I thought anyone would be able to figure out any details of the call I would be more concerned, but other that those in scanner land no one knew this incident happened, and even if they did without any patient identifier there is no violation. I hope. :)

Manco
July 2, 2010, 08:11 AM
This reminds me of a story I saw on Youtube of a women that was shot in the face with what is believed to be a .45 or .44cal weapon and survived. It did go through a car windshield and the story didn't say if it was a HP or FMJ. Just goes to say that crazy things happen.
Here's that story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8uOJ4RMW_U

Windshields are notoriously hard on the physical integrity of typical bullets, and when you combine that with what was probably a somewhat glancing blow off a hard part of her skull (because of its contour at the point of impact and/or the orientation of her head), this is not so hard to believe, actually. I'm not saying she wasn't lucky, though, as a more resilient bullet or different point of impact would very likely have killed her.

regal
July 2, 2010, 09:24 AM
I carry a .32, my other guns are just too big to conceal on my frame. The only time I expect to use it would be within 6 feet or less (I don't want to go to jail) and I feel 7 rounds to the chest will stop anyone. If the guy had an assisted scuicide where the mag would have been emptied we would not be having this discussion.

schnarrgj
July 2, 2010, 10:46 AM
Having worked in trauma 1 hospitals for over 20 years and seen a lot of gsws, I do and will continue carry a 380. Handgun rounds are not rifle rounds. It is not the arrow that kills, it is the Indian.

cottonmouth
July 2, 2010, 05:19 PM
I didn't vote because I never carried a .380 but if I had one this wouldn't keep me from carrying it. People have survived being shot with a lot bigger rounds. My wife took care of a guy who shot the front of his face off with a .410 shotgun and lived. I worked a case one time where a man was shot near the temple with a .380 (fmj) and he droped dead. A .22 short will do the job, "if" you know where to place the bullet.

J.B.

rmfnla
July 2, 2010, 05:33 PM
"A well placed 380 round will end someone faster than a poorly placed 44 mag."

Didn't Jeff Cooper once say he'd rather miss with a .45 than hit with a .380..?

WardenWolf
July 2, 2010, 08:17 PM
Okay, the guy decided to commit suicide in the most inefficient headshot method ever. Instead of just sticking the gun to the side of his head, or sticking it in his mouth, he did THIS? Yes, it's been done before successfully, but still, there's easier methods that work better.

chihuahuatn
July 2, 2010, 11:43 PM
The patient flinched before he/she pulled the trigger causing the gun's barrel to take a more anterior path through the mandible, incisors and ANS and anterior maxillary ridge. Any caliber would have done this! In other words flinching while pulling the trigger causes the gun to take a more parallel position to the head/face rather than the oblique angle which would destroy the soft pallet/ hard pallet junction then enter the brain. This is actually common among attempted suicides, the worst are the shotgun attempts because the patients is usually left blind and facially disfigured but otherwise OK.

MAC USMC
July 3, 2010, 12:16 AM
As a retired cop with years of homicide experience I have seen just about every caliber of weapon used for committing murder or suicide. I remain amazed at the capacity of the human body to absorb damage. However, a 12 guage seems to settle things rather permanently.

Bullets fired into bone react unexpectedly and in weird ways. A .22 long rifle bullet can richochet from the pelvic area up to the clavicle and back down again penetrating vital ogans along the way with fatal results. A .357 through the temple from 20 feet did a perfect frontal lobotomy and exited with killing an armed suspecty. His personality is definitely non-violent and passive at this time.

So, would I carry .380 for self protection? Absolutely! When hot weather arrives I cannot conceal my .45 easily so I rigged an innocent looking camera bag for it and carry extra mags and other gear inside. In my waistband is my .380 Sig for quick access. If I were to use it I would put multiple rounds where they would be most effective.

The handgun ammo currently available is much improved and will do the job.

MAC USMC
July 3, 2010, 12:19 AM
CORRECTION: The suspect shot through the temple with the 357 was NOT KILLED. He lived and was never involved in crime afterwards.

Weevil
July 3, 2010, 12:25 AM
... Talk to Hitler and his cronies... The 380 did them well





It was a .32 and he also bit down on a cyanide capsule.


Apparently he wasn't as confident of the lethality of small caliber pistols as you are.


And which "cronies" would that be???

sgt127
July 3, 2010, 02:33 PM
Based on 25 years of street experience in a major metro area, the one thing I can assure you is that bullets act weird when they hit people. There are absolutely no absolutes. I've been to a lot of shootings.

I have seen a .25 bounce off the side of a guys head in a suicide attempt. (couple of times now that I think about it)

Guy buys .25 auto from pawnshop, walks up to (former) girlfriend, points gun at his head, one shot, drops dead. (interesting sidebar, ballistics matched the gun to an unsolved murder about two years prior to the suicide)

Two gangbangers playing with a stolen .25. One round in the forehead, DRT.

Gang banger A was driving down the street and leaned across the passenger side and fired one round of .22LR out the passenger window of his bouncing car at gang banger B and hit him square in the aorta. Must have been 25 yards. Dropped him like a sack of potatoes. (I could have stood there with a case of .22's and he would never had made that shot again)

Another guy was running from a shooting, got hit in the butt with a 9mm. Told us what was happening and seemed fine, loaded him in an ambulance, he died before he got to the hospital. (took awhile to figure out what happened on that one, picture running, bent over, from someone shooting at you, the round hit him in the butt, and basically traveled straight horizontally into his torso)

Through and through neck shot, side to side with a .45. Several mile car chase, foot chase and finally barricaded in an apartment until he decided his head hurt and, the bleeding wouldn't stop. Arraigned in court the next morning with a big wad of gauze on each side of his neck.

Suspect trying to run over Officers. Through the windshield, shot in the face with a .40. Had to be fought into handcuffs, spit the bullet out on the way to the hospital.

Two guys fighting, hear a "pop" one guy drops. Dead before anyone can do anything, .25 auto in the femoral artery.

Guy pulls a knife on an Officer, Officer shoots him once in the lower abdomen with a Speer Gold Dot 18o GR. Falls on the knife. Almost died. Doctors said the GSW was trivial, the stab would almost killed him.



On and on.....

Placement is king. Penetration is queen. Everything else is angels dancing on the head of a pin. (Don't know who I stole that from, but, that just sums it up)

My other favorite quote from one of my very good friends: Poke a hole, poke the biggest hole you can, poke it all the way through.

JoeSlomo
July 3, 2010, 05:24 PM
Meh...

Many threats are stopped by the mere presentation of ANY firearm, others are stopped as soon as they get SHOT by any firearm, others continue to pose a threat DESPITE being shot by any firearm. Pick your poison...

I wouldn't carry a .380 for defense....unless it was all I had, or could control. It's not, so I don't.

I anticipate the need to deliver multiple rounds on target to stop a threat with pretty much any hand gun, as they are ALL pretty weak when you get right down to it.

jim2100
July 4, 2010, 02:44 AM
Ok my two cents worth.
I have a new Ruger LCP that I have carried now for some months. The first gun that I have had in my hands since Vietnam. ( Was not in combat, was an adviser before the big troop build up three months after I left.). So far I like everything about the gun. It does have the Crimson Trace laser sights. It is very comfortable to carry in any situation. Stuck in my pants at four o'clock with just a SuperFly, or a comfortable NRA slide holster. I have the same for my new LCR also. LCR with XS sights.
My thinking is that with the laser sights I should be able to place some very effective shots, which notwithstanding any short comings of the smaller .380 caliper. And with the ballistics of the Corbon Saftey Slug, I feel even more prepared. Here are some of the Ballistics of several common rounds.

Given these ballistics, doesn't the .380 fare well?

380 Ammunition Ballistics Chart
http://tinyurl.com/29el67y

** Glaser Saftey Slug **
380 SS 70 244 1200

** Glaser Saftey Slug **
http://tinyurl.com/2djofup

.38+P PB 100 294 (1.75"bbl SN) 1150
.38+P PB 100 516 (5"bbl) 1525


Some favorite rounds



Speer Ammunition Ballistics
http://tinyurl.com/247my3l

Round Type Weight Muzzle Energy (ftlbs.) Muzzle Velocity (fps)
** Gold Dots **
40 SW GDHP 155 496 1200
40 SW GDHP 165 484 1150
40 SW GDHP 180 420 1025



Speer Ammunition Ballistics
http://tinyurl.com/2beabjp

Round Type Weight Muzzle Energy (ftlbs.) Muzzle Velocity (fps)
45 ACP GDHP 185 453 1050
45 ACP GDHP 230 404 890
45 ACP TMJ FN 185 453 1050
45 ACP TMJ FN 200 422 975
45 ACP TMJ FN 230 352 830
45 ACP TMJ RN 230 352 830
45 ACP TMJ RN 230 365 845
** Short Barrel Round **
45 ACP GDHP-SB 230 343 820

Again, I am new to this. I bought the guns mainly because of the new administration's antipathy of hand guns and the second amendment. And in the event that there is a shooting in a public place such as a shopping center or church.

dogngun
July 4, 2010, 07:03 AM
a 12 gauge held under his chin. At the last second, he flinched, succeeding in removing about half his face permanently and making his life even more miserable than it seemed before. He lived more than 20 years after that incident, eventually died of cancer.

So, is the shotgun too small to carry for defense?


mark

papa_bear
July 5, 2010, 12:57 AM
excerpt from a magazine article.....

The popular excuse for carrying an inadequate weapon is represented by the line: "The .380 I carry is better for me than the .44 I leave at home on the night stand." OK, maybe, and maybe not! I personally know (or knew) four people who used a .380 in a close range gunfight. Even though all shot really well (hitting the high chest multiple times in every case) none were successful in winning the fight. All the .380 users received grievous wounds.

better to have a knife than a 380 IMHO

NMGonzo
July 5, 2010, 01:28 PM
Sometimes all I can carry is a .380

I'll try to not to shoot them in the chin.

tango2echo
July 5, 2010, 06:47 PM
There was a case near here where two brothers owned an auto parts store. One caught the other messing with his wife. Next morning they shoot it out in the store. Both had head wounds. Both had .40's. Range was a couple feet. Both lived. Just saying....sometimes caliber is unimportant.

t2e

huntsman
July 5, 2010, 07:55 PM
better to have a knife than a 380 IMHO

how about carrying a .380 as a back up to the knife? ;)

Weevil
July 5, 2010, 09:15 PM
excerpt from a magazine article.....

The popular excuse for carrying an inadequate weapon is represented by the line: "The .380 I carry is better for me than the .44 I leave at home on the night stand." OK, maybe, and maybe not! I personally know (or knew) four people who used a .380 in a close range gunfight. Even though all shot really well (hitting the high chest multiple times in every case) none were successful in winning the fight. All the .380 users received grievous wounds.

better to have a knife than a 380 IMHO





Cute ancedote but like most magazine articles it really doesn't tell us anything, and is so completely lacking in details that it's useless.


They all received "grievous wounds" and "lost the fight".

What kind of wounds and inflicted by what kind of weapons???



He "personally" knows four people who used .380s and lost?

He must know a lot of people or live in a really bad neighborhood.

Does he have some examples of some of his acquaintances who won fights with larger calibers, or do all his cronies carry .380s???


What exactly is it from this article that leads you to conclude that these four people would have won the fight or faired better had they been armed with a knife instead???

JohnKSa
July 5, 2010, 10:02 PM
Bullet entered chin, went through lower jaw, tongue, broke a bunch of teeth...Teeth are very hard and can soak up a lot of energy in the process of breaking. I believe there was an incident where a U.S. soldier was shot in the face with a 9mm. It punctured his upper lip and knocked out an upper incisor but he was otherwise uninjured.

Here's the story.

http://www.snopes.com/photos/military/teeth.asp

dc.fireman
July 5, 2010, 10:03 PM
I've seen plenty of people shot on the streets of DC to have come to my own conclusions:

1. Put enough holes in anyone before a surgeon can fill them up, and they're dead.
2. The best gun for me, is the one with which I am the most familiar, and accurate.
3. The only substitute for muscle memory, is pure luck; and I never seem to have enough of either.
4. When in doubt, see rule No. 1.

Like MAC, and the Sgt., I've seen peoples lives ruined by some of the craziest things - a pellet gun at point blank range? 14 year old young man, DOA, and his friend is truly sorry for it. Someone beat to death with a kitchen corn broom - I can't tell you how many corn brooms my mother wore out across my backside, only to realize that "Hey! I coulda been killed!"... the short of it is, I'll take .380 and my chances, but I prefer my 9mm daily carry piece, if for no other reason than it's 'what I know.'

-tc

papa_bear
July 5, 2010, 10:48 PM
Cute ancedote but like most magazine articles it really doesn't tell us anything, and is so completely lacking in details that it's useless.


They all received "grievous wounds" and "lost the fight".

What kind of wounds and inflicted by what kind of weapons???



He "personally" knows four people who used .380s and lost?

He must know a lot of people or live in a really bad neighborhood.

Does he have some examples of some of his acquaintances who won fights with larger calibers, or do all his cronies carry .380s???


What exactly is it from this article that leads you to conclude that these four people would have won the fight or faired better had they been armed with a knife instead???

Weevil.... Thanks for being the typical internet forum poster.

I just copied an excerpt from a magazine. What difference does it make whether he knows people who used bigger calibers? He said they used a .380 round. enough said. I'm sure no one's packing a concealed 8" revolver in .380 ( I know there is no such gun). As far as what kind of wounds.... let me take a wild stab at a bullet wound..... Nothing leads me to believe they would have "faired better" with a knife. It was a mellow-sarcastic statement. I personally think using a .380 in a sd situation is a poor choice. many experts agree.

These victims may have lived, had they not been packin a .380 and played the hostage/co-operative role instead. I don't know the circumstance. Just speculation (don't bother flaming me on the speculation). Next time I will post the entire 10 page article (deleted -- Sam)

Weevil
July 6, 2010, 12:22 AM
Well papa I once heard the saying, "don't believe everything you read".



Sorry to offend you but I'm just naturally a skeptic and I have a hard time believing somebody who says they "personally" knew four people who came out on the bad end of a fight because all they had was a measly .380.

If you have some actual evidence of some sort that provides a bit more detail and that perhaps can be verified in some way then fine. Or even a reference to the article so I can read it for myself would be nice.


.......but all you're doing is providing a blurb from a somewhat dubious source, that simply fits with your own opinion of the .380 and it's abilities.


I mean come on, don't be such a cry-baby just because I point out some of the holes in your most favorite magazine article.


If your response is just to get butt-hurt and walk away fine, but I was trying to have a discussion and pointing out the flaws in your post.


Isn't that why we're here???

papa_bear
July 6, 2010, 02:01 AM
(deleted -- Sam)

If you have some actual evidence of some sort that provides a bit more detail and that perhaps can be verified in some way then fine. Or even a reference to the article so I can read it for myself would be nice.

This question would have been appropriate the first time around, don't you think?

Now, (deleted -- Sam), the article was written by Jim Higginbotham. (deleted -- Sam)

1911Tuner
July 6, 2010, 12:17 PM
Let's step back and take a breath...shall we?

I don't think anybody is arguing that the .380 ACP is a man stomper, nor is nobody arguing that there aren't better cartridges available. The plain, ugly truth is that any handgun that is practical for carry is pretty anemic when your life is at stake, and the reason that we carry handguns is because we can't carry rifles or shotguns with us as we go about our daily routines.

It's also arguably true that the smaller and lighter the handgun, the more portable it is...and the more likely we are to have it with us all the time. There are dedicated souls who pack Model 29s all day, every day, but they are the exception. Homo Sapien is basically lazy, preferring to take the path of least resistance whenever possible. The 12-ounce .380 caliber pistol or .38 caliber revolver offers us the means to carry a gun without working too hard at it...and nobody can dispute the fact that when the wolf comes knockin' at your door, any gun is better than no gun.

Carrying a defensive sidearm isn't about guarantees. There are no guarantees, regardless of caliber or capacity...or even placement. It's about stacking the deck a little higher in our favor when the game suddenly turns informal.

The mini-gun's role is a last-ditch means to get out of a bad situation. It's not a gun that you make a stand with. As our esteemed Moderator Emiterus Pax wrote: Fight like a cornered cat. The cat doesn't want to fight, and prefers not to unless no other option is available. Even when a fight is inevitible, all the cat wants to do is hurt its attacker and gain time and opportunity to get away. The .380 will provide that exit strategy, but...as with any of the lesser calibers...you have to be cold and you have to be ruthless. Shoot early and shoot often. Shoot for the softest spot that you can...and run like hell at the first opening.

Be well. Be careful. Be safe.

Ben86
July 6, 2010, 07:53 PM
Although the lack of power of the .380 cartridge out of my LCP is a little sub par in my opinion, I still feel well armed because of the accuracy and speed I know I am capable of with that gun. That to me is the secret to feeling confident with so-so powered calibers, get good with the gun, really good, so good you amaze yourself. I feel that the skill I have obtained trumps the lack of power and so I am still well armed for anything short of a barricaded active shooter, or large group of zombies. :D

FLAvalanche
July 6, 2010, 08:32 PM
Another .380 post that will go for 10 pages because the same people that say .380 isn't a good round will yet again fail to volunteer to be shot with it.

Oyeboten
July 6, 2010, 08:41 PM
Story in the news a few years back here...some big muscle guy, carrying a Baseball Bat, harassing a young teenager, saying he will beat him up and so on, for stealing a bike the kid had not stolen, guy swings a few hard ones at the kid, kid ducks and weaves and retreats somewhat, kid was on foot muscle guy has a girlfriend with him, she sprays the kid with mace or pepper spray or something, and is screaming at him...teenager kid says "Stop it or I will shoot you".

Big muscle guy continues the hassle, winds up to swing the Bat again cursing at the kid... kid draws an older .32 Automatic, shoots big muscle guy right through the Aorta...one shot...big guy ( 6'3", 260, 30-something ) takes a few staggered steps, falls forward, dies right there.

Lots of wittnesses.

Moral of the story?

Weevil
July 6, 2010, 10:58 PM
Well let's not forget that two shots from a .380 lead to the death of millions.


"The royal couple insisted on seeing all those injured at the hospital. After travelling there, Franz and Sophie decided to go to the palace, but their driver took a wrong turn onto a side street, where Princip spotted them. As the car was backing up, Princip approached and shot Sophie in the abdomen and Franz Ferdinand in the jugular. He was still alive when witnesses arrived to render aid. His dying words to Sophie were, 'Don't die darling, live for our children.' Princip had used the Browning .380 ACP cartridge, a relatively low-power round, and a pocket-sized FN model 1910 pistol. The archduke's aides attempted to undo his coat but realized they needed scissors to cut it open. It was too late; he died within minutes. Sophie also died en route to the hospital."


And thus began World War I with two deadly shots from a .380.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archduke_Franz_Ferdinand_of_Austria

RevolvingGarbage
July 7, 2010, 12:16 AM
And thus began World War I with two deadly shots from a .380.

I'm almost 100% sure that the gun Ferdinand was killed with was a .32 auto. The bullet that killed his wife Sophie went through the side of their car first as well.

SIGLBER
July 7, 2010, 01:50 AM
.380 is right on the edge of being able to both expand and penetrate deep. And their is a difference in performance between .380 out of a big gun vs. a tiny gun. Since placement and penetration are vital a real arguement can be made for fmj ammo. In fact when I was much younger I saw two guys shot with .380 ball. On was a drive by. The other a gang fight. Many years apart.
Both bullets broke the femur (been awhile since I've had any anatomy classes
so I hope I'm getting it right. The large bone it the upper leg). Both guys dropped like someone had kicked their feet out form under them.
Lots of blood and screaming. I don't know if they had guns if they could have returned fire or not. But they were in alot of pain with no mobility. So .380 fmj ball can work if your shots are well placed. If you want to use JHP's I would suggest Hornady XTP's. In ballistic gel tests they go 8-10 inches deep and usually expand to about .45 caliber. Plus the are very accurate rounds.
.380 would not be my first choice for defending myself. But it beats the calibers under it for performance. To me the best thing about the .380's is they now come in sizes that were once only .22 or .25 size. My Kel Tec P3AT is my summer BUG and goes everywhere I do. I'm pretty sure a rapid fire "burst" into a bad guys chest, neck, and head would do the job. So can a .380 save your life? Sure even a .22 can. Contrary to all the myths .22 long rifle can do alot of damage in the right spot. But personally I would want a small 9mm over the .380. And theirs a ton of them out there right now.

jim2100
July 7, 2010, 10:51 AM
I would suggest Hornady XTP's.

Here are some ballistics for the two rounds, both Corbon.

380 SS 70 244 1200
9mm XTP 115 341 1155
Not a great deal of difference?

Does this somewhat minimize the difference? I would think so. But I am new to all this. I do have an LCP and carry Corbon Safety Slugs, Blue.

The first gun that I have had in my hands since Vietnam.
My first purchase was a Ruger .327 revolver. When I put it in the nice new IWB-tuckable holster, I found that it was much to heavy and large to ever be something I would want to carry daily, which was the intended purpose. Thank goodness it is a defective piece and the factory gladly refunded my money. Then I bought The LCP weighing only 11.8 ounces loaded. I put it in my front pocket and went to show my open carry neighbor my new gun, I thought how foolish, I forgot to bring the gun, then realized it was in my front pocket. I was now sure that I made the right decision with the LCP. I have never left the house without it , not once. Isn't that what we say about concealed carry? To Carry! I saw a signature on a post one day and have adopted the idea myself. "Always carry-Never Tell." and as Nutnfancy says, "Deep Concealment." So I think the .380 Can fit the bill in this regard.

Again, just my thoughts.

Jim

jim2100
July 7, 2010, 11:07 AM
http://tinyurl.com/2b8bqfj

Weevil
July 7, 2010, 12:47 PM
I'm almost 100% sure that the gun Ferdinand was killed with was a .32 auto. The bullet that killed his wife Sophie went through the side of their car first as well.


"Princip's .380 ACP caliber Browning 1910, serial number 19074, was found and recovered in June 2004 from a Jesuit monastery in Vienna. It is now on display at the Museum of Military History, Vienna, Austria. The second bullet fired by Princip, killing Franz Ferdinand, is stored as a museum exhibit in Konopiště Castle near the town of Benešov, Czech Republic."

http://www.reference.com/browse/Abuzz

alpha6164
July 7, 2010, 02:24 PM
I have a better one for you. Bullets to crazy things when they hit hard objects. Forget hand gun calibers. Hell people are shot all the time with ARs, Aks and still survive. A case where someone didnt die is not an argument against any caliber.

But this story takes the cake. This woman was shot in the forehead from a few yards away during a road rage with a .44 caliber and survived :)



http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/23914454/

Ben86
July 7, 2010, 03:19 PM
That is an amazing story. Although I think it might have been a light or squib load, possibly a frangible. Maybe she just has an abnormally hard forehead.

trickyasafox
July 7, 2010, 04:17 PM
I still have faith in the 380- I think we focus an awful lot of energy in the gun community on the 1 shot stop. However, if this were an attack scenario with an aggressive person choking me on the ground(the only scenario I can see that would give this shot presentation) I don't think any of us would fire one and wait for the outcome. It would more likely be 2 or 3 rounds, or maybe even the whole magazine.

1 380 round under the skull might be survivable occasionally- 5 rounds to the same spot, I'm guessing far less so.

Weevil
July 7, 2010, 08:31 PM
It just goes to show how totally unpredictable a gun shot can be regardless of the caliber.


This all started because a self-inflicted .380 shot to the head failed to kill the shooter, but here's a guy that killed himself with a .380 shot to the groin.

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/5212576/detail.html


A guy survives a shot to the head and a guy dies from a shot to the groin.



As mentioned there are no guarantees with any caliber of handgun, never have been, never will be.

wrs840
July 7, 2010, 08:51 PM
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news...76/detail.html

"...Police said there were no other people in Cunningham's car at the time of the shooting and that the handgun was stolen..."

I know better than to posit social-policy editorial on THR, so my comments regarding the effects of karma and/or Divine intervention when evaluating specific handgun calibers are therefore withheld...

Les

Oyeboten
July 8, 2010, 02:33 AM
The gal who was shot in 'right between the eyes'...I like how there is blood running out of the entry wound while she is being interviewed. That really has a lot of dignity and class.

I guess news people no longer carry a Handkercheif to moisten a corner of it in some spit or soda pop, to 'blot not rub' if a need arises.

I guess also, we can be glad she was not shot in the Caboose, or we would have had the pleasure of seeing that, also.

Oye...

Anyway, looked like for having perforated the windshield, the Bullet struck her at a fair and compound angle of her having tilted her face downward at the last moment, and had not struck at a tangent to her skull...hence, it or it's fragments, deflected on her skull, and slid along under the superficial tissues to the side and down, instead of penetrating.

This does suggest either a light loading, or, that the Bullet lost a lot of momentum in perforating the Windshield...or both.

huntsman
July 8, 2010, 08:29 AM
A guy survives a shot to the head and a guy dies from a shot to the groin.

first guy was aiming at the wrong head

As mentioned there are no guarantees with any caliber of handgun, never have been, never will be.

All about shot placement

Houser52
July 8, 2010, 01:35 PM
I've enjoyed reading all the posts and especially the opinions on the 380 and it's effectiveness or lack thereof.:scrutiny:
After having my CCW for the past 14 years I finally have handguns that I can conceal in any climate without having to wear any kind of outer garment,
a Kel Tec 3AT 380acp and/or a Kel Tec 32acp. I have other guns of all sizes in 9mm, 45acp, 10mm but none of them are as effective as the 32 or 380 if they're at home in the safe.
I've carried one of them continuously since buying them and don't feel undergunned in the least. Before the Kel Tec all I had was a Benchmade and strong language.:what:

KBintheSLC
July 8, 2010, 01:45 PM
I once read about a guy who during the course of a suicide attempt shot himself in the bottom of the chin with a 12ga shotgun. His angle was off and he basically removed his entire face but failed to die from the wound.

I have no doubt that even a .22 Short, let alone a .380 could do the deed if the shot is properly placed.

jon_in_wv
July 8, 2010, 02:22 PM
For those that maintain that the bigger calibers would have been a sure thing, search the internet and you you will find the story of a guy who put a 12 gauge under his chin and pulled the trigger. It removed his jaw ans a large portion of his face but he did survive. Shot placement matters no matter the caliber, it matters MORE with smaller calibers.

winchester '97
July 8, 2010, 09:42 PM
if you can bring it into action quickly and put multiple rounds on target until the threat stops being a threat andyhting .32 or above is fine for SD in my book, Would i carry my hi power clone instead of my makarov if i knew i was going to shoot somebody? yes.
is the makarov a whole lot easier to carry than the Hi power? yes again.

2 or 3 rounds to the torso should take most people out of commisssion reliably, 1 probably would but i wouldnt bet my life on it. If somebody brings out the meth head/crack fiend/PCP attack thing, hollowpoint .45s and 40s have failed to stop PCP users with several chest hits, they died later, but later doesnt matter to the person being attacked, my point is for most SD situations you really dont need the largest round you can get with buffalo bore magnum rounds.

That the round went through that much bone and tissue proves that with a quick double tap to the torso most threats would be taken out of action, maybe not immedietly killed, but no longer a threat none the less. I would rather trust 2 or 3 well placed shots from a smaller caliber than one poorly placed round from a .45 auto or .357 mag.

Ben86
July 9, 2010, 10:21 AM
I would rather trust 2 or 3 well placed shots from a smaller caliber than one poorly placed round from a .45 auto or .357 mag.

While I believe that to be true, I never understand why people use that argument to justify carrying a less powerful caliber. It just doesn't make sense, small calibers are usually in small pistols, which are harder to shoot than the large pistols that the larger calibers are in. My accuracy with a .45 or .357 is much better than with my .380. There are many valid justifications for carrying sub 9mm calibers, but that I don't think is one of them.

1911Tuner
July 9, 2010, 12:02 PM
While I believe that to be true, I never understand why people use that argument to justify carrying a less powerful caliber.

FWIW...and this is my observation...I don't think that anybody is trying to justify it as much as they are trying to determine if the .380 is adequate for a sudden close quarters emergency. The simple answer is while there are no guarantees...even with a .44 magnum...the odds are much greater with the .380 or even a .22 than with nothing. In most instances, I feel that the .380 will serve that purpose well enough to carry it.


If Mongo, the Master of Mayhem has you by the throat...and you pump 5 or 6 90-grain slugs into the region of his groin from a distance of one inch or less...he'll turn loose. He may not be down and completely out sand, but his attention will very likely be diverted long enough for you make a hasty exit, and the gun has filled its primary role. In such a situation, there is also less chance of punching through Mongo and striking some kid playing in his front yard a block away.

After all, the purpose of a defensive sidearm is to get you home alive...not to engage in running gunfights across a parking lot with an MS13 goon platoon.

From listening to many conversations on the subject, I've gleaned that everybody who goes armed feels that their moment of truth will be such a scenario...where everybody is shooting the area to Helen Gone, with the lone good guy returning fire...maneuvering and changing magazines...and emerging the victor against seemingly insurmountable odds. The chances are much greater that it will be only one or possibly two assailants...and that it will start as a hand-to-hand struggle.

trex1310
July 9, 2010, 07:23 PM
I read a story in American Handgunner last month where a cop was
shot in the chin at close range with a .45acp (I think) and the damage was minimal.

1911Tuner
July 9, 2010, 08:08 PM
trex...Several years ago, I read of a knife-wielding cretin who was shot in the chin with a .45 pistol at about 10 feet. The bullet went through his jaw lengthwise, took out some teeth, and exited out the back of his neck. Though his bell was pretty well rung, he stayed on his feet after dropping the knife...walked up to the guy who shot him...and asked him if that was a real gun just before he collapsed. He survived his wound.

In the mid-80s, there was an incident at a local watering hole on the outskirts of Winston-Salem which a friend of mine witnessed. Two guys got into an argument over a pool game. One of them decided that it wasn't worth getting bloody over, and left. The other one followed him to the parking lot. The one who was leaving made it to his truck...produced a Raven .25 auto...and shot his pursuer once high in the chest at about one truck length away. Victim looked down at the blood trickle...asked "What did I ever do to you?" and died on his feet.

If you enjoyed reading about "Results of the .380 Up close and personal..." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!