best .380 defense ammo


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jae011
March 20, 2011, 10:30 PM
any opinions on the best .380 self defense rounds? maybe winchester ranger?

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Frozen North
March 20, 2011, 10:41 PM
I use the Winchester Ranger T rounds in my .380. They open reliably for me in water jugs and cycle well in my gun.

I think the Corbon DPX is a little hotter and harder hitting, but they are cost prohibitive to practice with.

earlthegoat2
March 20, 2011, 10:42 PM
Corbon or FMJ.

Loosedhorse
March 20, 2011, 11:11 PM
Corbon DPX. He asked for the best rounds, not the best inexpensive rounds.

Chrontius
March 21, 2011, 12:22 AM
Practice what you carry. I'd rather have something I had tested, and was comfortable with, that was a little less than perfect than something that was awesome sauce, but might not cycle and I'd never fired a whole mag of 'em since they made my hand first hurt, then go completely numb after two rounds.

Exaggerated for comedic effect and clarity.

MICHAEL T
March 21, 2011, 01:27 AM
Corbon DPX Looks like double tap is using the Barnes copper bullet (DPX) in their 380 now and showing same FPS as Corbon. Price for box of 50 better than 2, 20 round boxes from Corbon.

NG VI
March 21, 2011, 03:11 AM
Don't own a .380 but if I did the Remington 102 grain Golden Saber would be pretty high on my list, so would anything using the DPX bullet, followed by any JHP with good penetration that didn't act totally like ball. I'm ok with just a little expansion and more shallow penetration out of a .380 than I would be out of a 9mm or .40.

I think it's important to realize that when using a pocket pistol round, you have some trade-offs you need to consider, and they will impact how you apply deadly force should you have to apply deadly force. You should expect to need to be a little more judicious in which shots you take with a Kel-tec or P380 compared to a PCR or Glock 19. Expecting the round to work just as well as a service caliber out of a service pistol or subcompact just isn't realistic.

SoulLessGinger
March 21, 2011, 01:06 PM
Buffalo Bore 100gr hardcast or their or DT's FMJs.

Ala Dan
March 21, 2011, 02:02 PM
My KEL-TEC P3AT .380 eats everything; but prefers Hornady Critical Defense~!

Ben86
March 21, 2011, 02:22 PM
Winchester PDX1 or Speer Gold Dot

I'm not fan of Remington Golden Saber because the recoil from it in my LCP is unnecessary and it is not a bonded bullet.

What are you planning to shoot it out of? Make sure what you choose works in your gun.

Shawn Dodson
March 21, 2011, 05:08 PM
Winchester 95gr FMJ flat point #Q4206:

http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/large/550/743821.jpg

Expanding .380 bullets may not penetrate deeply enough to reach and poke holes in vitals.

.380 JHPs are inconsistent and unreliable performers. They may or may not expand, depending on circumstances.

FMJ provides consistent terminal performance. Winchester flat nose FMJ crushes a larger diameter permanent cavity than round nose FMJ bullets. It also achieves adequate penetration to reliable reach and damage vitals.

Hypnogator
March 21, 2011, 05:11 PM
My carry loads for my LCP are Cor-Bon DPXs. Will have to try the double-tap loads. Thanx, Michael T.

I wouldn't hesitate to carry Ranger-Ts or Gold Dots if that was all I could find, and my LCP is reliable with them. No reason it shouldn't be -- it is with everything else I've fed it! :cool:

I also like the concept of the Hornady Critical Defense rounds, but have heard that there have been issues with defective primers in some lots.

For practice, I shoot WWB, PMC Bronze, or Prvi Partisan FMJs. I also got a couple of hundred rounds of Prvi Partisan JHPs, which were only a dollar or so a box more than their FMJs, so have range loads that would serve in a pinch for carry. (Doubt they would expand anywhere near as well as the premium JHPs, though.)

Loosedhorse
March 21, 2011, 05:24 PM
.380 JHPs are inconsistent and unreliable performers. They may or may not expand, depending on circumstances.
But...if they don't expand, then they'll act just like a FMJ, right? Seems like those recommending FMJs or hardcasts should be pleased when HPs fail to expand...

I'll have to keep an eye on those Critical Defense rounds--been mentioned a couple of times here.

Shawn Dodson
March 21, 2011, 05:30 PM
But...if they don't expand, then they'll act just like a FMJ, right? Seems like those recommending FMJs or hardcasts should be pleased when HPs fail to expand...

The trade off is when they DO expand they MAY NOT penetrate deeply enough to reach and damage vitals.

Ben86
March 21, 2011, 05:54 PM
The trade off is when they DO expand they MAY NOT penetrate deeply enough to reach and damage vitals.

Fair enough, but I think this concern is a little overblown with calibers .380 and above. Although slow, light calibers don't make for great penetration I'm not so sure underpenetration is such a concern for the average joe, who just wants something for up close personal defense and not a tactical shootout, so as to carry fmj only. 2 inches less than the fbi minimum is not enough to make me carry fmj.

Underpenetration can even happen with .44 magnums.

Shawn Dodson
March 21, 2011, 06:11 PM
[the average joe] just wants something for up close personal defense and not a tactical shootout

Trouble finds us. We don't get to choose time, place, circumstance, or mental state of our attacker. What we "want" is usually not what happens.

The human body is the same regardless of circumstance. An arm that just happens to get in the way at the wrong moment - even when the fight is up close and personal - may make a huge difference in the outcome.

NMGonzo
March 21, 2011, 06:18 PM
I carry Fiocchi hollow points.

May not expand, will not shrink, and many Archduke has been put down with .380

earlthegoat2
March 21, 2011, 06:20 PM
...

Loosedhorse
March 21, 2011, 06:38 PM
The trade off is when they DO expand they MAY NOT penetrate deeply enough to reach and damage vitals
Oh, so the problem with .380 HPs isn't that they're "inconsistent and unreliable performers. They may or may not expand"--as stated previously.

The problem with .380 HPs is that they're HPs.

heeler
March 21, 2011, 06:38 PM
Currently I carry a Golden Saber in the chamber and the next six are the Winchester 95 gr. flat nose loads Shawn is talking about.
They work great in my Diamondback.

withdrawn34
March 21, 2011, 06:43 PM
If your weapon can fire that Buffalo Bore hardcast 100gr stuff, that would be a contender (also, if you can swallow the very high price of BB ammo). Corbon is similar with regards to price.

Otherwise, I'd advise FMJ. Expansion is not too useful if the bullet doesn't penetrate enough to begin with. I carry Remington UMC 95 gr FMJ in my DB380.

According to the Box O' Truth, Gold Dots have extremely disappointing performance in a .380 loading. They don't expand at all! In that case, there seems to be little point to wasting money on Gold Dots when you could just buy FMJs for cheaper.

Regardless, what is important is that you find ammo that works in your .380. Lots of .380s can be picky when it comes to ammo. The most whiz-bang bullet and loading is going to be worth squat if it doesn't go bang or jams up your pistol really badly.

NG VI
March 21, 2011, 07:15 PM
Paul I'd hope anyone on here would be responsible enough to load something different if their pistol couldn't help but gag on it like so many non-THR ways I could end this sentence.

Personally I just think you should expect erratic terminal performance at best out of a pocket pistol, and the .380s I think you need to definitely be aware of their tendency to underpenetrate with a JHP load, it's just a part of using a somewhat underpowered caliber. The JHPs might deform slightly even if they don't expand truly, which gives them a better wounding profile than a round ball or even one of those flat point FMJs. Maybe you'll get a blood vessel clipped instead of pushed around the slug, and maybe that will help drive the point home to the opponent that they should try to break off the engagement.

I dunno. When I had a .22 pocket pistol I usually carried the Aguila 60 grain bullets in it to get the most penetration and impact weight I could out of it, but it was always a second gun at best.

Hypnogator
March 21, 2011, 08:16 PM
May not expand, will not shrink, and many Archduke has been put down with .380

Actually, it did shrink! Archduke Francis Ferdinand was killed with a .32 ACP! :evil::evil::evil:

Winchester flat nose FMJ crushes a larger diameter permanent cavity than round nose FMJ bullets. It also achieves adequate penetration to reliable reach and damage vitals.

Agree 100% with your assessment of the Winchester FMJs, but not necessarily that they're better than Cor-Bon DPXs. The DPXs obviously don't penetrate as deeply, but still plenty deeply enough to reach vitals in most instances. They do expand reliably, causing more tissue damage. Six of one or half-dozen of the other whether deep penetration without expansion or less penetration with larger wound channel will cause incapacitation faster. :scrutiny:

At least nobody's repeating the idiocy that two holes (entrance & exit) will cause quicker blood loss! (Ever hear of internal bleeding?) :rolleyes: :banghead::banghead::banghead:

skoro
March 21, 2011, 08:46 PM
any opinions on the best .380 self defense rounds?

In no particular order:

Hornady Critical Defense
Buffalo Bore 100gr hardcast
Remington Golden Saber

jbrown50
March 21, 2011, 08:51 PM
I have to second Shawn Dodson's recommendation.

If I carried a 380 it would be loaded with full metal jacket Flat points (truncated cone). They perform the best in all the tests I've seen.

The Buffalo Bore 100 gr. hard cast flat point is also a good one.

The 380, with JHPs, just doesn't have enough momentum to reliably penetrate through arms, hands, clothing, sternum, bones, skin and muscle and then hit vitals.

If you insist on carrying a JHP though, the Federal Hydrashok is the only one that even comes close.

gofastman
March 21, 2011, 08:52 PM
According to the Box O' Truth, Gold Dots have extremely disappointing performance in a .380 loading. They don't expand at all! In that case, there seems to be little point to wasting money on Gold Dots when you could just buy FMJs for cheaper.
funny:
http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/380acp/gel380acp.htm

earlthegoat2
March 21, 2011, 09:04 PM
Everyone loves trying to convince themselves of how adequate the 380 is for defense.

heeler
March 21, 2011, 10:00 PM
Lol Earl...Care to be the target of the day against the weak kneed .380??
I didn't think so.

earlthegoat2
March 21, 2011, 10:06 PM
You know what I mean.

I never said I needed the convincing.

Frozen North
March 21, 2011, 10:13 PM
I don't buy into the "tests" done by youtube commandos. It seems like there is such a slant on the opinions, they are not worth listening too. One guy says that gold dots don't open, the next guy says they are the best ever. I was researching my ammo choice (win ranger T) and found several reports of them not opening and several more swearing that they were the top dog.

Gold dots always opened for me, despite the negative rap.

Hornady in any form was a poor performer.

Corbon was too expensive to put 150 rounds down range so I didn't bother with it.

Ranger T ammo had extremely low muzzle flash (this is a big thing to me), it expanded every time, those 'talon' hooks look gnarly, and the water jugs popped instead of just sitting there.

You gotta shoot the stuff to make an educated decision.

Hypnogator
March 21, 2011, 10:14 PM
If you insist on carrying a JHP though, the Federal Hydrashok is the only one that even comes close.

Usetawas. No longer state of the art due to it being easily clogged with clothing. DPXs penetrate better than most JHPs, don't clog.

heeler
March 21, 2011, 10:17 PM
Earl,people carry these lightweight and slim little pistols because they are SO easy to conceal in practically any mode of dress and can be quite lethal when the chips are down.
Sure we should all lug around a big old honking 45 ACP but from my experience that would not be so practical on a daily basis.

earlthegoat2
March 21, 2011, 10:30 PM
I know why people have them and it is good they do. Im not volunteering to be shot by any of these rounds.

jbrown50
March 22, 2011, 07:05 AM
Usetawas. No longer state of the art due to it being easily clogged with clothing. DPXs penetrate better than most JHPs, don't clog.
Hypnogator,

Here's one of the better tests that I've seen regarding the 380. Granted it's gelatin but it's the closest that you're going to get without actually shooting people.

Summary of .380ACP ammunition effectiveness against bare and clothed gelatin from Brassfetcher.com:
http://www.brassfetcher.com/380ACP%20ammunition%20performance%20in%20ballistic%20gelatin.pdf

As you can see, the Hydrashok is the only HP that reaches the FBI minimum at 12 inches, and that's in the summer clothing test.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
March 22, 2011, 08:12 AM
I have found that this argument can go either way. There are pros and cons for all bullets. Since, in my mind, it doesn't matter, I just use whatever factory loads I happen to have in the gun, as long as the loads all shoot well, there really isn't any difference -- what one bullet lacks, the other makes up for and vice-versa!

For that reason, sometimes I will rotate bullets in a defense gun (HP, FMJ, HP, FMJ, etc).

Loosedhorse
March 22, 2011, 09:21 AM
As you can see, the Hydrashok is the only HP that reaches the FBI minimum at 12 inches, and that's in the summer clothing test.
That's true--but brings up the question of whether private citizens should adopt the FBI minimums, especially in calibers that the FBI does not issue.

Perhaps I missed it but no one has yet mentioned that ability to run in your pistol is far more important than terminal ballistics, especially in a small caliber where multiple shots are even more likely than usual. Whatever my "preferred" load, if it didn't cycle my pistol reliably, I'd go on to either another ammo or another pistol. (And that pistol just might be in a larger caliber! :D)

Buckeye
March 22, 2011, 10:14 AM
I understand they have used .380 for years in Europe. Do we have any idea what they have used there. Were HP's available to them?

smartshot
March 22, 2011, 10:24 AM
corbon DPX for penetration and Remington Golden Saber 102 gr for "knockdown." For a 380, I generally want as much weight as possible ripping through the threat and the 102's seem to be the most popular heavy rounds available.

Drew78
March 22, 2011, 05:26 PM
I have seen some pretty good results from Winchesters PDX1 in the .380. Seems to get between 8"-10" and opens reliably into the .60" + range. For hotter than hell out, cant stand the idea of carrying IWB in summer clothes, it seems like a good choice. My LCP loves them and my local dealer stocks them.

Anyone have any info on the PDX1 line in .380?

-Drew

Manco
March 22, 2011, 05:50 PM
Ranger T ammo had extremely low muzzle flash (this is a big thing to me), it expanded every time, those 'talon' hooks look gnarly, and the water jugs popped instead of just sitting there.

The Ranger-T load only gets somewhat less than 8" of penetration in tests, however. If you're comfortable with that, then fine, but from everything I've been able to glean from reading about real shootings, bullets tend to penetrate less in real life than in lab tests (even when using calibrated ballistic gelatin).

You gotta shoot the stuff to make an educated decision.

How various loads perform when shooting bad guys specifically is what most of us are interested in, though, and conditions vary widely in the relatively few samples we have to work with.

Manco
March 22, 2011, 06:14 PM
That's true--but brings up the question of whether private citizens should adopt the FBI minimums,

The FBI standard for penetration depth is based on maximizing the effectiveness of handgun calibers, so I think that it applies equally to civilians and LEOs. It does NOT take into account the various barriers tested by the FBI test protocols whatsoever, if that's what anybody is thinking. In other words, they're not saying that a bullet needs to penetrate at least 12" so that it can penetrate certain barriers and still be effective--they're saying that whether there is a barrier of any kind or not a bullet must penetrate at least 12" into flesh to be considered sufficiently effective for defensive use. Furthermore, they say that up to 18" is preferred over 12"--the latter is really a bare minimum as opposed to the ideal penetration depth.

especially in calibers that the FBI does not issue.

This has nothing to do with the minimum penetration standard, which applies to any bullet of any caliber that does not have sufficient energy to cause significant wounding through kinetic energy (and may well apply to more powerful calibers to some degree as well). It's all about what bullets do to people, not what the FBI happens to issue, although obviously they will follow their own standards and guidelines when choosing their duty load.

NG VI
March 22, 2011, 06:14 PM
So Manco? Go get some bad guys and get to testin'!

Frozen North
March 22, 2011, 06:30 PM
How various loads perform when shooting bad guys specifically is what most of us are interested in, though, and conditions vary widely in the relatively few samples we have to work with.

I think that reliable cycling is much more important than what it does to Jell-O in someones tests.... You gotta shoot the stuff.

380 is barely adequate, no whiz bang ammo is gonna change that. Reliable cycling, excessive recoil and crazy muzzle flash in micro compact pistols are the main issue IMHO. If you only worry about what bullet is gonna blast the biggest hole, you are missing the big picture.

You gotta shoot the stuff to make an educated decision. .380 pistols can be very unforgiving of a poor ammo choice.

Deepwoods
March 22, 2011, 06:37 PM
Tom Nash did some testing on the Federal Personal Denfense Hydra-shok 90 gr. It clocked at 582 fps and he states he got penetration of 12" in balistic gel. (go to FIRING LINE search Tom Nash for the whole test results). I tried them in my LCP and never got a hiccup. I carry the little 380 as a front pocket piece with a in pocket holster. In the truck and when getting out in the woods I pack my Taurus 357 seven shot titanium, kicks like hell, but I can keep it on a 8" pie plate at 25 yrds (off a rest).:)

jae011
March 22, 2011, 07:51 PM
I understand the thought behind using fmj due to better penetration and that jhp in .380 may or may not expand.It seems it would be better though if there is a chance of some expansion versus having to hit vital organs for fmj to be effective. Im not saying being hit with fmj is not effective but some expansion is better than none.

bayhawk2
March 22, 2011, 08:08 PM
May try these.I just use Remington Express JHP's.
Several good ones out there.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ5IkL7f2gs

unobrownsfan
March 22, 2011, 10:18 PM
Another vote for Buffalo Bore FMJ flat nose.

Loosedhorse
March 23, 2011, 12:15 AM
especially in calibers that the FBI does not issue. This has nothing to do with the minimum penetration standard
You miss the point.

Folks carrying a .380 have (by that selection alone) already told us that they are not bound by the FBI standards on what weapon to carry---why should we assume that they will then reverse themselves and be bound by the FBI standards on ammo selection?

Private citizens are probably correct to assume (although nothing's certain) their fight will look different than an FBI fight, as their gun represents a last-ditch defense toward an attacker who is likely closing distance. They are also right to assume that any over-penetrative pass-through causing injury of an innocent will involve more liability for them personally than for an FBI agent, and is more likely to involve a member of their family; so a bias toward lower penetration is understandable.

In other words, one can demand a 12 inch (or 18 inch, to avoid the "bare minimum") depth penetration for a carry load, just like one can demand that 9 or .38 is the bare minumum for a defensive caliber. But not everyone will follow that, and some will have considered reasons for making that compromise.

And +1, Frozen North.

Manco
March 23, 2011, 02:15 AM
So Manco? Go get some bad guys and get to testin'!

Woo-hoo! Free pass to dish out preemptive vigilante justice in the name of science! :evil:

Or not. ;)

I think that reliable cycling is much more important than what it does to Jell-O in someones tests.... You gotta shoot the stuff.

Well, yes, of course! :) But after reliability in importance comes terminal ballistics, and while "Jell-O" can only tell us so much, it's one of the few limited tools we have that can tell us anything at all.

380 is barely adequate, no whiz bang ammo is gonna change that. Reliable cycling, excessive recoil and crazy muzzle flash in micro compact pistols are the main issue IMHO. If you only worry about what bullet is gonna blast the biggest hole, you are missing the big picture.

Myself, I'm more concerned about getting adequate penetration with .380 ACP, given good reliability. Fortunately, the best penetrating rounds tend to be the most reliable as well--if I used .380 ACP I'd probably go with FMJ rounds. The few fancy JHPs that barely reach the minimum standard for penetration do so by barely expanding, so in my view what's the point? We might as well go with really good penetration and excellent reliability instead.

You gotta shoot the stuff to make an educated decision. .380 pistols can be very unforgiving of a poor ammo choice.

Verifying the reliability of a specific defensive load is a necessity with any caliber, in my opinion. Perhaps more so for .380 ACP, but I'd treat all calibers the same in this regard anyway. I guess that's why I took it for granted in this discussion.

I understand the thought behind using fmj due to better penetration and that jhp in .380 may or may not expand.It seems it would be better though if there is a chance of some expansion versus having to hit vital organs for fmj to be effective. Im not saying being hit with fmj is not effective but some expansion is better than none.

On the other hand, "some" expansion may not help a lot and could hurt more if it compromises penetration too much. With non-expanding bullets, at least we could be reasonably assured of adequate--even excellent--penetration.

You miss the point.

I guess I must have, and I think that you may be missing my point, too. :scrutiny:

Folks carrying a .380 have (by that selection alone) already told us that they are not bound by the FBI standards on what weapon to carry---why should we assume that they will then reverse themselves and be bound by the FBI standards on ammo selection?

Well, if the FBI's penetration standards are valid ones (I think so) and .380 ACP can meet those standards despite its limitations (I think so), then why not use them as guidelines to help maximize the effectiveness of one's personal defense weapon? I think the latter is what many if not most people would like to do regardless of their choice of caliber.

I think that you're assuming a lot by suggesting or implying that those who choose .380 ACP disagree with the FBI's standard. Some may disagree, and they can do whatever they want because nobody is "bound" to follow any standard. But there are many valid and unrelated reasons to choose a .380 ACP weapon, and this does not in any way imply that the FBI standard does not apply the way it would to any caliber, nor that users of .380 ACP weapons do not wish to meet the standard if possible--an individual may or may not, regardless of caliber.

Private citizens are probably correct to assume (although nothing's certain) their fight will look different than an FBI fight, as their gun represents a last-ditch defense toward an attacker who is likely closing distance. They are also right to assume that any over-penetrative pass-through causing injury of an innocent will involve more liability for them personally than for an FBI agent, and is more likely to involve a member of their family; so a bias toward lower penetration is understandable.

It's understandable, but I disagree with the choice for a variety of reasons, which I probably won't go deeply into here because it's a whole rather involved topic unto itself. All I'll say is that I think the purpose of the FBI's penetration standard is to stop a fight as quickly as possible by making each hit count as much as possible, thereby limiting the amount of damage done by both sides. The main difference between civilians and LEOs is that the latter are more likely to be involved in shootouts, while the former will usually be able to repel bad guys even with totally ineffective bullets (or blanks, for that matter...sometimes even an unloaded gun will work). That said, those who wish to be able to stop a determined attacker (it happens--civilians are murdered out of rage or hatred all the time) would be better served, in my opinion, by ammunition that meets the FBI's penetration standard for LEO use (or comes as close to it as possible, given a caliber's limitations); those who don't care about that can use anything they want.

NG VI
March 23, 2011, 03:28 AM
Maine is full of skinners.

You could shoot at pretty much anybody who doesn't clearly (clearly, if they just slightly resemble it you're probably in the clear) suffer from Down's Syndrome and is wearing thickish glasses or anyone 20 and older who looks truly suspect and be just about guaranteed to be doing a favor to the children of the area.

BushyGuy
March 23, 2011, 03:41 AM
Corbon 90 gr +P JHP

Lord Palmerston
March 23, 2011, 03:54 AM
If you use .380 for personal defense, bullet placement should be your primary concern, rather than reliable expansion, over or underpenetration and so on. That said, almost any factory ammo manufactured in the USA (COR BON, Speer, Federal, Remington, Hornady, Winchester, etc,) and some made in Europe (Fiocchi, GECO, Nobel...) will do the job. Bear in mind that there is always a certain risk of ricocheting if you load FMJ rounds though.

Manco
March 23, 2011, 03:55 PM
If you use .380 for personal defense, bullet placement should be your primary concern, rather than reliable expansion, over or underpenetration and so on.

But this is true of any handgun caliber, and the topic of this thread is ammo. Where .380 ACP comes into play is in deciding what type of ammo to use in order to maximize its effectiveness, but even then the same criteria for wounding factors apply, regardless of caliber.

That said, almost any factory ammo manufactured in the USA (COR BON, Speer, Federal, Remington, Hornady, Winchester, etc,) and some made in Europe (Fiocchi, GECO, Nobel...) will do the job.

They'll do the job slightly differently, though, which is the topic of this thread.

Bear in mind that there is always a certain risk of ricocheting if you load FMJ rounds though.

Well, most JHPs I've seen behave pretty much like FMJs unless they encounter something soft and wet.

jae011
March 23, 2011, 04:37 PM
it seems like ones who are advocates of fmj for defense rounds in .380 dont give the round much credit to start with

Loosedhorse
March 23, 2011, 04:48 PM
They'll do the job slightly differently, though, which is the topic of this thread.
If "the job" is stopping the attack, it's binary: they'll do the job or they won't. If the attack continues, do we care that the load failed slightly differently?
Well, if the FBI's penetration standards are valid ones
Big if. Again, valid for whom? The FBI designed its recommendations for a specific (and captive) audience.

What we know for sure is that the standards are arbitrary. 12 in is "acceptable," even though 18 is "preferred"? 11 3/4 is unacceptably below minimum? Hey, I get that if you're making a recommendation, you have to pick some value--I'm just not sure why their opinon should inspire a "Word of G-d" reverence.
I think the latter is what many if not most people would like to do regardless of their choice of caliber.
So, the FBI recommendation for 25 ACP is...? ;)
It's understandable, but I disagree with the choice for a variety of reasons...those who wish to be able to stop a determined attacker (it happens--civilians are murdered out of rage or hatred all the time) would be better served, in my opinion, by ammunition that meets the FBI's penetration standard
Fair enough. But most carrying a .380 are probably choosing it for concealment, contemplating use against an attacker who will likely begin a 180 as soon as he sees any firearm.

If a .380 carrier told me he was concerned about determined attackers, perhaps I'd do him a bigger favor by suggesting .40 rather than that he switch from a 90 to a 95 grain .380?

5-SHOTS
March 23, 2011, 05:06 PM
Try Fiocchi Black Mamba

schnarrgj
March 23, 2011, 05:22 PM
http://www.brassfetcher.com/380ACP%20ammunition%20performance%20in%20ballistic%20gelatin.pdfhttp://

This is a very interesting article. I use the CorBon DPX. I understand the FBI requirements, I understand what a handgun is capable of doing. Having seen many GSWs the 380 is what both my wife and I carry the most.

Manco
March 23, 2011, 11:18 PM
it seems like ones who are advocates of fmj for defense rounds in .380 dont give the round much credit to start with

Either that or we like to have some penetration margin, and honestly that's a tall order for .380 ACP with expanding rounds. Others prefer more limited penetration, so JHPs work fine for them.

If "the job" is stopping the attack, it's binary: they'll do the job or they won't. If the attack continues, do we care that the load failed slightly differently?

That's not how probability works, though. Loads that perform differently may very well have different probabilities of success. With a marginal caliber such as .380 ACP, some of us believe that deeper penetration makes its probability of success greater than using expanding bullets, while others believe that the opposite is true (or prefer to limit penetration for other reasons entirely, such as safety for bystanders).

What these probabilities actually are is extremely difficult to quantify, which is why they're being debated in relative terms (i.e. which is the higher of the two, or in other words more effective?), but regardless you can't just say that it's "binary" and thereby imply that both probabilities are 50%! That's what you're doing whether you realize it or not. It's like rolling a six-sided die and saying that it will either come up as 3 or not, so it's "binary," when the actual probabilities of these two outcomes are 17% for 3 and 83% for not 3, which is quite a difference.

Big if. Again, valid for whom? The FBI designed its recommendations for a specific (and captive) audience.

Nobody is captive and nobody has to agree with their findings. My point was simply that their penetration standard is independent of caliber--not entirely independent of purpose, though, and I've addressed this issue already in previous posts. Whether you agree with them or not, the FBI says that a bullet needs to penetrate at least 12" and preferably up to 18" in order to maximize its wounding potential. This is based solely on the size of the human body while at the same time taking into account things such as odd angles and the possibility of needing to penetrate an arm (not uncommon when the bad guy is shooting back) or leg in order to reach vital organs. Caliber is only a factor when we're choosing which load to use--some calibers need FMJ rounds to meet the FBI standard, while others can use JHP rounds. If you don't care for this standard, then use your own standard and choose a load based on that.

What we know for sure is that the standards are arbitrary.

At some level they have to be, that's true, but they're not entirely arbitrary because they are based on human physiology, as described above. It wasn't my intention to debate the FBI standard, however, just to point out that it's a widely accepted standard that is as applicable to .380 ACP as it is to any other pistol caliber.

12 in is "acceptable," even though 18 is "preferred"?

I would surmise that 18" covers virtually every strange angle at which a bullet may strike a typical human body and still reach the vital organs, including limbs that may get in the way. 12" is more arbitrary and probably covers the vast majority of cases while reducing the hazard of overpenetration. I bet that it's just enough to penetrate an arm and still reach the heart from the side, which is what infamously failed to happen in one instance during the Miami shootout. In my opinion, that is a reasonable minimum to aim for, although like the FBI, I prefer 18" to cover all the bases.

11 3/4 is unacceptably below minimum? Hey, I get that if you're making a recommendation, you have to pick some value--I'm just not sure why their opinon should inspire a "Word of G-d" reverence.

It's nothing like that at all--I'm just saying that whatever its validity, it is not based on caliber. In addition, I would have come up with similar numbers based on my own explanations above, but while nobody cares about what I say, they may (and often do) listen when the FBI speaks from their own experience. Their approach to the issue appears to match mine, which is convenient for me most of the time. ;)

So, the FBI recommendation for 25 ACP is...? ;)

Oh-ho, you're a barrel of laughs today! :D;)

Fair enough. But most carrying a .380 are probably choosing it for concealment, contemplating use against an attacker who will likely begin a 180 as soon as he sees any firearm.

So what do they need ammo for? ;)

If a .380 carrier told me he was concerned about determined attackers, perhaps I'd do him a bigger favor by suggesting .40 rather than that he switch from a 90 to a 95 grain .380?

Ah, so here is another area in which our perspectives differ--given adequate penetration, I don't think there is a big difference in effectiveness between any of the common pistol calibers. :eek: Shot placement and penetration reign supreme for all of them. I'm not saying that there is no difference, but their probabilities differ by only a few percentage points because all pistol bullets are small in comparison to the human body.

Loosedhorse
March 24, 2011, 08:08 AM
That's not how probability works, though.
Actually, in an attack, that's exactly now it'll work: success or failure. I grant you trial-by-armchair is different...;)
thereby imply that both probabilities are 50%!
No, I didn't imply that, although it could be (dopeyly) inferred. And spare us all the implication that we need a pedantic primer on the probability of dice, huh? In the overall determinants of gunfight outcome (from awareness, use of cover, accuracy, number of shots fired, caliber choice, etc.) how much influence do you think a 95 gr FMJ vs a 90 gr HP has?
Nobody is captive and nobody has to agree with their findings
So, FBI agents are free to choose whatever they want, no matter FBI regs?
It wasn't my intention to debate the FBI standard
It was my intention to debate whether we do well to generalize them to private, defensive users. I understand the stance of "the FBI says so," but I also understand the stance of those who wish to decide for themselves.This is based solely on the size of the human bodybased on human physiologyTo an extent, sure. Also based on assumptions--that may not apply as often to us--about angle of entry, intermediate barriers--and then a lot of arbitrary decisions (like 12 inch min, instead of 10, instead of 18).
the Miami shootoutTo the extent that we conclude that the penetration of one of Agent Dove's bullets was the key factor in that disaster--or even a major factor--IMHO we do a disservice to those agents injured and killed that day. But, sure, if you're planning on doing felony car stops against .223-armed bank robbers, go for penetrative handgun rounds. :uhoh:
So, the FBI recommendation for 25 ACP is...?
Oh-ho, you're a barrel of laughs today!
Interesting that, when a counter-example reveals the invalidity of you're "the recs cover all calibers" approach, you decide to be dismissive.
Ah, so here is another area in which our perspectives differ--given adequate penetration, I don't think there is a big difference in effectiveness between any of the common pistol calibers... all pistol bullets are small in comparison to the human body.
.223s are even smaller!

You are correct, we differ. But I appreciate the careful discussion. Thanks.

Manco
March 24, 2011, 03:44 PM
Actually, in an attack, that's exactly now it'll work: success or failure. I grant you trial-by-armchair is different...;)

No, I didn't imply that, although it could be (dopeyly) inferred.

There was nothing else to infer. So what were you trying to say? Please spell it out for dopey people like me.

You also said that it doesn't matter why a round fails, just that it failed. I think that such a statement pretty much speaks for itself....

And spare us all the implication that we need a pedantic primer on the probability of dice, huh?

The arguments that you made indicated a need. If you didn't need it, then why did you say what you did? Note that this probably seems ruder than I actually intend, but I'm not sure how else to say it.

In the overall determinants of gunfight outcome (from awareness, use of cover, accuracy, number of shots fired, caliber choice, etc.) how much influence do you think a 95 gr FMJ vs a 90 gr HP has?

In the big picture, it is but one consideration of many. That said, in a shooting incident, if the deeper-penetrating round actually reaches and damages vital tissues that another round would not have reached, given identical shot placement, then the choice of ammo can have a profound influence.

Although it varies from case to case, on a relative scale I would say that load selection is more important overall than caliber selection. Even so, naturally load selection is especially critical in less powerful calibers since there is less momentum and energy to work with. FMJ rounds penetrate significantly deeper, but trade off expansion. Since they behave differently from JHP rounds, it is likely that they differ in overall effectiveness, as well. This is perhaps more true for .380 ACP than more powerful calibers in the big picture because most JHP loads in this caliber only achieve around 8" of penetration, which is starting to get pretty shallow (which is subjective, I realize) for the typical size of the intended target.

So, FBI agents are free to choose whatever they want, no matter FBI regs?

With the odd exception, I think it's a safe bet that most of us here are not FBI agents, although even they can choose whatever they want for their personal firearms.

Regarding the intended audience of the FBI report that recommended 12-18 inches of penetration, it was all of law enforcement, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it has no applicability for civilian use. The goal of the penetration standard specifically is to maximize terminal effectiveness of pistol shots, regardless of the audience they had in mind. For civilians who wish to do the same, here is what the FBI thinks, take it or leave it. And for civilians who wish to maximize bystander safety instead, do whatever you think is best.

It was my intention to debate whether we do well to generalize them to private, defensive users. I understand the stance of "the FBI says so," but I also understand the stance of those who wish to decide for themselves.

So do I, but meaning no offense, the way you presented your case opened the door for all kinds of confusing and distracting arguments from both sides.

To an extent, sure. Also based on assumptions--that may not apply as often to us--

All of which I have already gladly acknowledged.

about angle of entry,

None of us can predict how the target will move in a real shooting, so I think that this is broadly applicable.

intermediate barriers

If I haven't stated this before (I thought I did), then I'll state it now--the well-known FBI penetration standard has nothing to do with penetrating barriers. It only concerns how far they think a bullet needs to penetrate through a human body in order to maximize its wounding potential (and this implies through-penetration--just barely). Regardless of whether barriers must be penetrated along the way or not, they're saying that 12-18 inches of penetration into flesh is required--these numbers are NOT influenced by barriers whatsoever.

Barriers don't enter the picture at all until we consider the FBI test protocols for ammunition, which is a separate matter. What they do is place each of a specified set of barriers (which includes simulated clothing and no barrier at all) in front of a block of calibrated ballistic gelatin, shoot through each barrier separately, and record the resulting penetration depth that corresponds to each barrier. What they look for in a duty load for their own agents is 12-18 inches--the same numbers as always--of penetration into gelatin for every single barrier that was penetrated during the test.

Those who do not care about barrier penetration can completely ignore most of the data, and focus their attention on the results for bare gelatin and/or simulated clothing alone, for which the penetration standard is still the very same 12-18 inches. Maybe you didn't mean the following, but in general I keep seeing the notion that the 12-18 inches figure somehow takes barriers into account, but that is simply not the case at all. Nor does it have anything to do with the FBI's choice of caliber, which was done by different people within the FBI for whatever reasons you can imagine.

To the extent that we conclude that the penetration of one of Agent Dove's bullets was the key factor in that disaster--or even a major factor--IMHO we do a disservice to those agents injured and killed that day. But, sure, if you're planning on doing felony car stops against .223-armed bank robbers, go for penetrative handgun rounds. :uhoh:

The Miami shootout made the FBI realize that they weren't getting all they could out of their handguns. The penetration standard they recommended as a result is only one narrowly-focused aspect of the huge fallout resulting from this incident, but it is perhaps the one aspect that has the broadest applicability. All the other crap that surrounds the shootout such as the blame game and the change of caliber are irrelevant to this discussion, as we're talking about pistol ammo as opposed to tactics.

So, the FBI recommendation for 25 ACP is...?

Oh-ho, you're a barrel of laughs today!

Interesting that, when a counter-example reveals the invalidity of you're "the recs cover all calibers" approach, you decide to be dismissive.

Wow...I was NOT being dismissive at all--I honestly believed that you were joking around with that question, and I thought it was funny, that's all. :eek: So you seriously wanted me to answer that question (even though it was originally followed by a ;) smiley)?

Alright, the simple answer is that the FBI does not have different penetration standards for different calibers, just like I've been saying all along. Penetration is more important than bullet diameter anyway, so why would they? See for yourself (page 11):

http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf

.223s are even smaller!

They're all small, although centerfire rifle rounds shot out of rifles are generally far more energetic and may wound in additional ways. While the FBI still tends to apply the same penetration standard to rifle rounds, the standard was really created with pistol rounds (that do virtually all of their damage via direct contact) in mind.

ohwell
March 24, 2011, 05:21 PM
Hornady CD and Winchester PDX1 both shoot accurately out of my little LCP. The Corbon DPX were the slowest and lightest round I tried I've had good luck with Gold Dots in other calibers but havent tried them in 380.

Loosedhorse
March 24, 2011, 05:43 PM
meaning no offense, the way you presented your case opened the door for all kinds of confusing and distracting arguments from both sides.

I don't think I presented it that way, but perception is sometimes more important than intention. I apologize.

Yes, to the defender engaged in a fight for his life, I think the round's effect will seem binary--stopped the fight or didn't--and the reason for the failure (e.g., wrong caliber vs wrong load) won't matter much to the defender (or his family) if he dies as a result. Clearer?
The penetration standard they recommended as a result is only one narrowly-focused aspect of the huge fallout resulting from this incident, but it is perhaps the one aspect that has the broadest applicability.
I would respectfully disagree. To me, an emphasis on better tactics has the broadest applicability, and upgrading from handguns to long guns when the situation requires is next.Barriers don't enter the picture at all
Enter what picture? They are a potential part of any encounter; even a forearm is a pretty important barrier for a bullet headed COM--or doesn't that count?
The arguments that you made indicated a need [for a primer on probability]. If you didn't need it, then why did you say what you did?
Again, nothing I said implied such a need, although you inferred it. I certainly could infer whatever remedial education needs for you that I please, but I'd rather assume that you know what you're talking about--even when you express it imperfectly--and that we just have different opinions based on what data we emphasize and how we interpert that data.

Isn't that the High Road thing to do?

fasttheo
March 24, 2011, 06:15 PM
I currently carry Remington Golden Saber, but I really like the Hornady XTP round, I found it to be accurate and a flawless feeder in my PPK/S. I would recommend either round based on my own shooting experience, I can't speak for the many expansion/penetration tests out there, as many of them seem contradictory, especially in regard to the GS. Personally, I would feel comfortable with either the Golden Saber or the Hornady XTP as a carry round. Good luck.

trickyasafox
March 24, 2011, 06:30 PM
For the money I'd take magtech. I tried a few out of a ruger LCP in an expansion test I did on my blog.
if anyone cares, replace the ** with it
http://gunzandsh**.blogspot.com/2011/02/380-ruger-lcp-shootout.html

Ala Dan
March 25, 2011, 06:32 AM
Remington's 102 grain "Golden Sabre" JHP's~! :scrutiny: :cool: ;)

jrenscore
March 25, 2011, 10:00 AM
Check this out.

http://www.citybillys.com/380%20data

griff383
March 25, 2011, 10:12 AM
The winchester PDX-1s shoot just fine outta my LCP and at 7 yards they are all on the paper, with most in 6 inch circle. Its no howitzer but Ill take the 380 over a stick and whistle and the hope that someone responds to my girl like screams.

Manco
March 25, 2011, 04:20 PM
Yes, to the defender engaged in a fight for his life, I think the round's effect will seem binary--stopped the fight or didn't--and the reason for the failure (e.g., wrong caliber vs wrong load) won't matter much to the defender (or his family) if he dies as a result. Clearer?

This aspect has always been clear, but the natural implication that the effectiveness of the rounds that one uses doesn't matter is rather questionable. You can't say one without implying the other, and in this case the implication happens to be far more relevant to the topic of this thread.

I would respectfully disagree. To me, an emphasis on better tactics has the broadest applicability, and upgrading from handguns to long guns when the situation requires is next.

I had civilians in mind, who are less likely to get into shootouts.

Enter what picture? They are a potential part of any encounter;

The context is the FBI penetration standard, which only takes into account the human body and the various parts thereof (no external barriers). My point was that the standard is still applicable even when people don't care about penetrating barriers. We don't have to abide by it, of course, but if we do then it does not assume any barriers outside of the body.

even a forearm is a pretty important barrier for a bullet headed COM--or doesn't that count?

It is part of the human body, so it does count as far as the FBI penetration standard is concerned. External barriers (i.e. not part of the body), however, are a separate matter entirely.

Again, nothing I said implied such a need, although you inferred it. I certainly could infer whatever remedial education needs for you that I please, but I'd rather assume that you know what you're talking about--even when you express it imperfectly--and that we just have different opinions based on what data we emphasize and how we interpert that data.

Isn't that the High Road thing to do?

I fully assumed that you (or anybody here) are aware of basic probability, and I'm sorry if you felt offended (i.e. inferred a deliberate insult where there was none) by my use of an analogy to illustrate a point I was trying to make. Then again, what you said made so little sense in the context of this thread that in hindsight what I should have done was let it speak for itself (even at the risk of appearing to agree with it).

NG VI
March 25, 2011, 04:41 PM
I can't believe my post didn't get mod'ed

Joker19
March 25, 2011, 07:16 PM
I have been in the bullet business over 50 years and the best I have ever come across is the NEW Hornady Critical Defense.

Joker19
March 25, 2011, 07:20 PM
Do not get lost in the hum drum of the "I know best", all it will do it put you at the lower end of adequate! For hells sake the FBI vs whatever is enough to give you a "STUPID" episode. WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dr_B
March 25, 2011, 07:30 PM
For most situations when I need to switch to a small .380 pistol, I just go with FMJ. If its serving as a BUG for a larger gun, I use the critical defense ammo. It won't cycle well in all my .380's though.

Joker19
March 25, 2011, 08:16 PM
In my Kel Tec P3At and Sig Sauer P238

Casefull
March 25, 2011, 08:35 PM
How about...none.

Manco
March 26, 2011, 03:31 PM
Do not get lost in the hum drum of the "I know best", all it will do it put you at the lower end of adequate! For hells sake the FBI vs whatever is enough to give you a "STUPID" episode. WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don't you place certain expectations on the terminal effects of the loads you use?

skimbell
March 26, 2011, 06:40 PM
http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQfZLjQTep6c_n0hH0t5zmcz_LKolB8GpnTxaSwXq3qzV15kgRo&t=1

azwizard
March 27, 2011, 01:08 AM
I'm using buffalo bore 100 gr out of my Makarov, and they are potent. I wouldn't ant to be hit with one.

RinkRat
March 27, 2011, 02:12 AM
Quote this ... Quote that ... Quote something else :rolleyes:

From what I've read around and heard from others the Winchester T-Series are suppose to be a devastating round out of an LCP out to about 20 ft. if you can find them.

Stagger those with a FN round of some sort and that should do about as good as you can expect for any SD situation.

Not to clog your thought pattern but I've heard tell that even a BG being hit several times with anything from a 9mm up to a 45acp hasn't deterred them < sometimes :uhoh: > from continuing to attack even a LEO.

So like we always hear ... placement-placement-placement ... :p

Ben86
March 28, 2011, 02:59 PM
Quote this ... Quote that ... Quote something else


There has been some incredible quoting going on in this thread. I truly admire their work ethic, such diligence.

If more people had experience hunting and paid more attention to actual shooting stats, as opposed to opinions, there wouldn't be nearly as many stopping power/ammo choice related arguments.

Manco
March 28, 2011, 09:17 PM
There has been some incredible quoting going on in this thread. I truly admire their work ethic, such diligence.

If more people had experience hunting and paid more attention to actual shooting stats, as opposed to opinions, there wouldn't be nearly as many stopping power/ammo choice related arguments.

I find the subject fascinating (no sarcasm implied).

Loosedhorse
March 30, 2011, 09:34 PM
I would respectfully disagree. To me, an emphasis on better tactics has the broadest applicability, and upgrading from handguns to long guns when the situation requires is next.I had civilians in mind, who are less likely to get into shootouts.
Your response is non sequitur. If you had said that civilians have less need for tactics or for long guns, that would make at least be relevant to my comment--but I would still disagree.

Your comment that "civilians" are less likely to get into shootouts argues, if anything, that all preparation for shootouts (tactics, caliber selection, or even going armed at all) are equally unneeded; it does not suggest we should favor any preparation over another.

And by the way, police (other than MPs and SP) are civilians; that includes the FBI.

Manco
March 31, 2011, 03:20 PM
Your response is non sequitur. If you had said that civilians have less need for tactics or for long guns, that would make at least be relevant to my comment--but I would still disagree.

I didn't mean tactics in general, but the sort of tactics that the FBI or other law enforcement agencies would use when attempting to apprehend criminals, which civilians generally would not attempt.

In contrast, the FBI's penetration standard specifically is relevant to everybody who wishes to maximize the effectiveness of their handguns, which in my opinion makes it the most broadly applicable thing that they've said in response to the Miami shootout.

Your comment that "civilians" are less likely to get into shootouts argues, if anything, that all preparation for shootouts (tactics, caliber selection, or even going armed at all) are equally unneeded; it does not suggest we should favor any preparation over another.

Not at all--it just means that fewer people would choose to prepare for less likely events, which is evident just about every day here on this forum (e.g. the thread in the Revolvers section regarding whether one feels undergunned with a revolver (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=582811)). Relatively less public interest in preparing for relatively unlikely extended shootouts with heavily armed and highly determined criminals implies narrower applicability to civilians, that's all. The only major assumption that I made is that most people who own handguns for defensive purposes are interested in maximizing the lethality of their handguns.

And by the way, police (other than MPs and SP) are civilians; that includes the FBI.

Wrong again:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/civilian
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/civilian

Loosedhorse
March 31, 2011, 04:48 PM
I didn't mean tactics in general, but the sort of tactics that the FBI...
So, I say "tactics", you "interpret" it to mean something I didn't say, and then delcare I'm wrong? Seems to be your tactic throughout this entire thread, doesn't it?
Not at all
Yes, at all. Tactics are always important, even if you assess your risk as low. Good weapons plus bad tactics leads to getting shot, as the FBI showed in Miami (G-D bless them for their sacrifice.)
Wrong again
No, right again. Civilian means governed by civil law, not military law. I understand that some people (like you) use the term incorrectly, and therefore some dictionaries--not all--decide to include that incorrect meaning. But police and FBI are governed by civil law, not the UCMJ.

Manco
March 31, 2011, 10:17 PM
So, I say "tactics", you "interpret" it to mean something I didn't say, and then delcare I'm wrong? Seems to be your tactic throughout this entire thread, doesn't it?

And from my point of view, that's exactly what you've done at every turn.

Yes, at all. Tactics are always important, even if you assess your risk as low. Good weapons plus bad tactics leads to getting shot, as the FBI showed in Miami (G-D bless them for their sacrifice.)

I was speaking about any specific tactics that the FBI would recommend as part of their analysis of the Miami shootout, which is analogous to their specific recommendation for bullet penetration, saying that the latter is more broadly applicable to civilians (common definition) while the former is far more applicable to law enforcement. You apparently misunderstood, I clarified, and now you're twisting what I said around to mean that I dismissed the value of tactics in general, which is bogus.

No, right again. Civilian means governed by civil law, not military law. I understand that some people (like you) use the term incorrectly, and therefore some dictionaries--not all--decide to include that incorrect meaning. But police and FBI are governed by civil law, not the UCMJ.

Arguing semantics for things that have nothing to do with the subject at hand (as well as making a huge deal out of a parenthetical trifle above) shows that you're merely flailing to save face before an audience, namely the rest of this forum, that frankly does not care.

Loosedhorse
March 31, 2011, 10:28 PM
you're merely flailing to save face before an audience, namely the rest of this forum, that frankly does not care.
Psychologists call that projection (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection)! :D

So, now you're not only presuming to know what I meant better than I do, but also to know my motivations and what the rest of the forum members think.

Well, to sum up: you're wrong about everything you've said about me--you shoulda stuck to calibers. And since you've made this discussion (as was your goal?) no longer about ammo and recommendations, the game is not worth the candle.

The last word is yours--or can you perhaps resist?

Manco
March 31, 2011, 10:37 PM
Psychologists call that projection (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection)! :D

So, now you're not only presuming to know what I meant better than I do,

That's what you just did in your last post--insist that I was saying something other than what I was saying, and that you knew better. :)

but also to know my motivations and what the rest of the forum members think.

There must be some reason you're still posting since you made none of your points regarding caliber--seems like a personal vendetta to me. :scrutiny: As for what others think of our debate, several of them made that pretty clear a few posts up, and in no positive terms.

Well, to sum up: you're wrong about everything you've said about me--you shoulda stuck to calibers.

I tried but you kept making it personal.

And since you've made this discussion (as was your goal?)

Projecting now, are we? :)

no longer about ammo and recommendations, the game is not worth the candle.

The last word is yours.

Thanks, I'll take it, as it is well-deserved. Actually, it was you who sidetracked the discussion by focusing on inferences that I supposedly made about you that I did not, doing so before offering clarification, and rejecting every attempt I've made at clarification. It's hard enough to explain oneself even when others are not trying to make things more confusing than they are.

m2steven
April 1, 2011, 11:09 AM
The absolute best 380 ammo i've used is Buffalo Bore. They have a few different weights of the non hollow point ammo. Any of their 380 ammo will
slap the smile off nearly anyone's face. I feel perfectly comfortable carrying
my p238 loaded with Buffalo Bore. I also like Corbon ammo. They seem to know what they are doing as well as Buffalo Bore. If you have never felt comfortable with a 380 cal pistol - shoot some Buffalo Bore. You will feel comfortable.

gofastman
April 1, 2011, 05:49 PM
My new load of choice is the swampfox XTP load.
Its an XTP; so if it does expand it does so in a controlled fashion to still maintain penetration, If it doesn't expand, oh well...its essentially an FMJ which are still deadly and many will argue are actually better for a mousegun.

jae011
April 12, 2011, 11:47 AM
Not trying to defend the 380 or discredit it but does anyone know of an actual situation where someone was armed with the 380 and it failed to stop the threat?

Bigfoot
July 2, 2011, 01:38 AM
Word is CorBon now uses a different all copper bullet in their 380 DPX load and it doesn't open up like the Barnes bullet. Double Tap still loads the Barnes Tac-XP bullet.

hammerclaw56
July 2, 2011, 06:49 AM
My wife and I both have BG 380's and they are loaded with cor-bon 90 grn JHP, at 1050 fps coming out of a bodyguard it might not take out an elephant but I for one don't want to be on the receiving end.:

Nicky Santoro
July 2, 2011, 07:34 AM
I agree on the Corbon 90s. The first three are Corbons followed by three Buffalo Bore hard cast.

ssyoumans
July 2, 2011, 10:04 AM
In a small caliber, I want as much energy departed into the subject as possible. Granted, shot placement, bullet design and penetration are key...

I was at the range yesterday to see what the various 380's will do out of a Sig P238 (short barrel, data would apply to Kel-Tec P3AT & Ruger LCP)... so much data is always from longer barreled 380s (Bersa Thunder, etc).

Anyhow, from my Sig P238, 90 degrees temp, 10 feet from the muzzle..
Buffalo Bore 90gr +P JHP: 1172 fps, 275 ft-lbs
Corbon 90gr +P JHP: 1044 fps, 218 ft-lbs
Speer Gold dot 90gr JHP: 1002 fps, 200 ft-lbs
Hornady 90gr Critical Defense: 916fps, 168 ft-lbs

I meant to test some PDX, but I forgot them somehow. :(

Anyhow, my take in this caliber, give me the most velocity and energy, for more reliable expansion and assoicated effects. For me, the Buffalo Bore 90gr +P is the clear winner. FYI, the recoil is noticably sharper than the rest. 26% more energy to dump.

FYI: Buffalo Bore 158gr LSWCHP +P out of my 2" Taurus 38 85 was zipping along at 979 fps, for 337 ft-lbs. Tough to beat that.. It uses a super soft 8bhn lead bullet.

Dogguy
July 2, 2011, 11:14 AM
Ever wonder why the results vary so much from one ammo test to another? Ever wonder why people trust a federal agency's assessment on one subject and distrust the same federal agency in other respects? Me too.

I'm no expert on much of anything but I have read enough to know that bullets react in ways that cannot be predicted with any high degree of accuracy. There is no point in dwelling on what might happen because anything can happen. The best you can do is pick an ammunition that functions well in your gun, practice shooting accurately and pray you never have to perform a real world test of the ammo or yourself.

Robert101
July 2, 2011, 10:23 PM
My choice is rn Fmj. They function fine and I feel comfortable with the stopping power of the caliber. Yep I do have 44 mag, 10MM, and 40 as well. The light little 380 has a place in my arsenal.

Yahtzee4U
July 3, 2011, 02:48 PM
Check this out.

http://www.citybillys.com/380%20data

Sorry to quote some more but I just wanted to bring something to everyone's attention. I was reading this thread (what a heated debate!), and noticed this interesting link. I appreciate the effort that this man put into real world testing with pork slabs to mimic human chests, but if anyone looked at the results you'll notice that many of these so-called great HP's did not expand at all. There is a reason for that. His test was against meat that was bled already, and not against a body that is like a water sac. A JHP is designed to expand after it "slaps" into a real body that has liquid surrounding our organs, not after hitting spongy meat.

Back to the topic at hand....This may be a dumb question, but does anyone make a jacketed soft point for .380? That seems like it would be a good compromise for penetration, and yet more expansion that just a full metal jacket. I am new to the .380 arena after just purchasing an LCP, and I am not sure which ammo to go with. I am generally a Corbon fan, expensive though.

Obsidian
July 4, 2011, 12:04 AM
I also like the concept of the Hornady Critical Defense rounds, but have heard that there have been issues with defective primers in some lots.


I have had first hand problems with these. About a year and some change ago I tried some 40 S&Ws though my Glock 27. Two hard primer strikes on two rounds out of eight and they did not touch off. Not good odds. I fired the two boxes off including those two rounds though my XD. I had my first failures to return fully to battery with those rounds as well.

As far as ammunition, folks have their favorites but much of the testing I have seen is that FMJ seems to offer the best total penetration. I think Gun Tests did some on the more professional level?

Still the penetration was not great. This could be one of those more ambiguous rounds however where it may not matter. From what it appears you would not have to worry about OVER penetration as much as under penetration.

Is this going to be your general always carry item or a summer carry item? Summers may not be a huge issue as there are not a lot of clothing worn in those months to penetrate though properly, and a good solid hollow point would work fine. Winter months with thick jackets and the sort you may want to opt for a FMJ if that is your year round carry item.

Though I do hear a lot of great things about the pistol itself. I would go in that caliber with what shoots the best for you.

Bigfoot
July 4, 2011, 06:24 PM
Back to the topic at hand....This may be a dumb question, but does anyone make a jacketed soft point for .380? That seems like it would be a good compromise for penetration, and yet more expansion that just a full metal jacket. I am new to the .380 arena after just purchasing an LCP, and I am not sure which ammo to go with. I am generally a Corbon fan, expensive though.

Critical Defense works like a SP, the rubber inside of the HP makes sure that it doesn't clog no matter what. It only expands to .45 - .5 and penetrates well. It won't make a big pretty mushroom like the PDX1 but due to the limits of a short barrel 380 it might make the best four season choice.

918v
July 4, 2011, 06:28 PM
The best 380 ammo is the one that feeds 100% in your gun, then penetrates deep enough to hit the heart from any angle. Do the math.

Bigfoot
July 4, 2011, 06:50 PM
Whoa, Buffalo Bore loads the Barnes 80 gr at 1275 fps (longer barrel).

http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=29

slowbutsure
July 6, 2011, 01:06 PM
I carry a BDA. 14rds/13 in mag and one in the chamber. I train to start my shooting at 20ft./center mass. I also train at 8-10ft. with point of aim beginning at just under the chin and working up from there. I stack the rounds so that I get a start rd of FMJ followed by a HP. At the ranges I have mentioned I don't feel I need the ft#s of a .45. Placement, placement. Never forget PLACEMENT!

Remember you are supposed to be trying to extract yourself from a dangerous situation. Not getting into a gunfight. As you are pointing/shooting you should be retreating not advancing or even standing your ground. I think that 14rds should be enough to accomplish extraction. sbs

Citizen_soldier22
July 6, 2011, 01:34 PM
I just use 95gr. Winchester FMJ in my LCP because of all the disputedness of using .380 jhp ammunition. It feeds well, and most of the time I have another pistol in my truck or nearby that I could get to if needed.

usmarine0352_2005
September 1, 2011, 05:43 PM
.


Interesting about the FMJ Shawn Dodson.
.

Apocalypse-Now
September 1, 2011, 06:15 PM
the heaviest weight .380 fmj you can find is your best bet. most .380 jhp's don't expand consistently, and if they do, penetration is sacrificed.

stchman
September 1, 2011, 07:06 PM
I use Remington Golden Saber ammo in my LCP.

Remington uses a 102gr BJHP.

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