Good hot .380 ball ammo


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Frozen North
July 7, 2011, 10:53 PM
The more I shoot .380, the more I doubt it's ability to penetrate adequately with expanding ammo. After much thought and many different ammo choices, I have decided to use ball for carry. My dilemma is that most ball ammo I see is loaded pretty light. Most ammo marketed for SD is advertised to approach 1000fps, but the ball is listed in the 600-800 range.

Does anyone offer ball ammo loaded as hot as the self defense JHP?

I really don't care about the brand name or where it comes from as long as it is brass cased and of top quality.

I already own a Glock 26 that I carry 90% of the time, but my .380 comes out to play sometimes too.

Thanks!

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Geckgo
July 7, 2011, 10:57 PM
Buffalo bore offers a +P fmj I think. I just feed mine WWB flatpoint FMJs, they will do the job out of a 380. If I get into casting I might work up some lead "hunting" bullets for it, which I think would be the best, but I don't really pay that much attention to my 380, it's just a backup in the pocket.

CPLofMARINES
July 7, 2011, 11:07 PM
You could try Fiocchi or S&B, they are a little hotter.



Semper Fi

Smaug
July 7, 2011, 11:50 PM
Ah geez. Another guy has convinced himself 380 is suddenly inadequate.

I tell you what. Go out and buy a couple of big, fat chuck roasts. Sit them next to each other, a couple of jugs of water behind them. Blast a self defense 380 through them. Find the bullet in the water jugs and have a good look.

You can thank me later.

Otherwise, why not just sell it and go buy a 44 Magnum snubby. Buy a bunch of pants two sizes too big. Get some Buffalo Bore 300 gr. hard cast. That should do the job.

Marlin 45 carbine
July 7, 2011, 11:56 PM
Wild Bill made good use of his Colt .36 cal revolvers and with a max powder charge it's just opening .380acp's door.

Frozen North
July 7, 2011, 11:59 PM
I ain't gonna waste good meat! That's a sin!

I did my due diligence, and I feel that .380 is better suited with ball ammo in a very cold place like MN. Heavy dress is common here.

I don't want to turn this into a caliber war. I am a 9x19 guy if there has ever been one. I don't have moose gun mentality, but I am trying to be realistic about .380 penetration and performance.

Yahtzee4U
July 8, 2011, 12:00 AM
This may be what your looking for....Buffalo Bore 100gr Hardcast flat nosed. It is standard pressure and is realworld tested at around 950fps for the small lcp, keltec style .380's. BB offers +P ammo as someone mentioned but Ruger says not to use it in my LCP so I don't, probably could but hey, why push it.

Frozen North
July 8, 2011, 12:05 AM
That is exactly what I am looking for!! 100gr at 950fps is about all you should need from a .380. I am shooting a Bersa CC, so I have a bit more barrel than an LCP too.

Archie
July 8, 2011, 12:10 AM
I personally chronographed a newly acquired PPK in .380 ACP. Shooting factory Remington 90 grain FMJ ammo, the five shot average was around 980 fps as I recall.

dtvburns
July 8, 2011, 12:17 AM
I will second the Remington ammo, it was also accurate out of mu PPK/S. The Fiocchi performance was not as good in my gun.

Frozen North
July 8, 2011, 12:20 AM
What flavor of Remington?

mgmorden
July 8, 2011, 12:33 AM
but I am trying to be realistic about .380 penetration and performance.

By relying on gut instincts and feelings rather than on actual tests and data? That's fantasy, not realism ;).

"Heavy dress" is laughable. Unless it's made of kevlar, there ain't no coat gonna stop a self-defense .380 load. You're inventing a problem that doesn't exist before running off in search of a solution.

The self-defense ammo is mostly about extra power anyways - you're not going to see significant expansion at these speeds so HP vs FMJ is really not much of an issue. The quality of the ammo will change though. In my LCP I saw my groups shrink noticeably when switching from WWB to Hornady Critical Defense.

R.W.Dale
July 8, 2011, 12:48 AM
The old Spanish made "Santa Barbara" was the hottest I'd ever chronied IIRC getting well over that 1000fps threshold


Tapatalk post via IPhone.

Effigy
July 8, 2011, 12:51 AM
Look here and you'll see a variety of FMJ loadings and their velocity:
http://ammoseek.com/?gun=handgun&cal=18&type=defense&grains=0&mfg=&keywords=&sortby=cpr

There are several on there rated for ~950 FPS. I'd just pick one from a reputable manufacturer at a reasonable price and see how it runs in my gun.

FYI: "metal case" is the same thing as FMJ.

Frozen North
July 8, 2011, 12:56 AM
By relying on gut instincts and feelings rather than on actual tests and data? That's fantasy, not realism .

"Heavy dress" is laughable. Unless it's made of kevlar, there ain't no coat gonna stop a self-defense .380 load. You're inventing a problem that doesn't exist before running off in search of a solution.

The self-defense ammo is mostly about extra power anyways - you're not going to see significant expansion at these speeds so HP vs FMJ is really not much of an issue. The quality of the ammo will change though. In my LCP I saw my groups shrink noticeably when switching from WWB to Hornady Critical Defense.

This gun seems to shoot Mag Tech range ammo better than the speer gold dot, Hornady CD, and Winchester Ranger T. It has trouble feeding the Hornady CD too. Like I said, I did my shooting....

I have no gut feelings that tell me that .380 can penetrate a forearm, pass through a heavy winter parka, and still get the job done.

I shot stuff, lots of stuff. Water jugs, blankets, old parkas, and other junk. My neighbors think I am running a shooting range over here. I shoot allot more than I post, that's for sure. I did my shooting and made my own decisions on what to do. That seems to be behavior encouraged on this forum

.

I DO NOT want a bullet that is going to expand in .380 if the shot has to pass through an arm or is quartering away. 8'' could easily leave the bullet to rest in an arm pit. IMO, expansion does you no good if the bullet does not penetrate.

Bad guys don't just stand there and let you shoot at them.... I think...

Frozen North
July 8, 2011, 12:59 AM
Effigy... Very helpful link. Thank you!

Effigy
July 8, 2011, 01:03 AM
Sure thing. I'd bookmark that site if I were you. It's the best place to go for finding cheap bulk ammo prices in all calibers (if you're willing to order online). I just ordered about $600 worth of assorted ammo last week. :D

dogtown tom
July 8, 2011, 02:57 AM
R.W.Dale The old Spanish made "Santa Barbara" was the hottest I'd ever chronied IIRC getting well over that 1000fps threshold

The Santa Barbara "Semi Blindado" Flat point is some of the best .380 I've ever shot. I kick myself for passing on a crate of 1983 SB priced at $3.25/25 at Military Gun Supply back in 2006.

Lawdawg45
July 8, 2011, 09:25 AM
"Wild Bill made good use of his Colt .36 cal revolvers and with a max powder charge it's just opening .380acp's door. "

Yep, and his first documented kill in Kansas was a heart shot at over 70 yards. Pretty impressive shot with any handgun, especially a cap & ball!:what:

LD45

Lawdawg45
July 8, 2011, 09:27 AM
"Does anyone offer ball ammo loaded as hot as the self defense JHP?

The Speer "Lawman" series has the same powder loads in the FMJ and JHP, and a heck of a lot cheaper than the Buffalo Bore.

LD45

bikerdoc
July 8, 2011, 09:37 AM
That is exactly what I am looking for!! 100gr at 950fps is about all you should need from a .380. I am shooting a Bersa CC, so I have a bit more barrel than an LCP too.


I got the same weapon, BB is good. But I have been using 95 gr Aquila With good results.

huntsman
July 8, 2011, 11:09 AM
What flavor of Remington?
Express, I use the fmj and jhp as carry ammo in my LCP, in guns without the dreaded +P warning I use BB. But Express is my answer to the over priced $1.00 a cartridge SD ammo.

MedWheeler
July 8, 2011, 01:07 PM
When I carried my Bersa Thunder (it has been replaced as an EDC by a Kel-Tec PF9), it was loaded with Remington UMC 88-grain JHP. However, "heavy clothing" is not as common here in southern Florida. My Grendel P-10, with a shorter barrel, is loaded with the same company's 95-grain FNEB, and I really like that round in such a short barrel. If I had a pocket-380, that's what I'd use (the Grendel is never carried; it used to be a truck gun, but now sits in the safe, just never got around to unloading it, or saw a reason.)

Smaug
July 8, 2011, 02:19 PM
It's good to hear you did some shooting research. Would you care to share some results with us? Pix hopefully?

It is not quite as cold here north of Chicago in the winter as where you live, but it isn't too far off either, I bet.

It seems like maybe the best bet is for you to move up in power level a bit. Maybe a Ruger SP-101 with a heavy 38+P or a compact 9mm, for instance a Walther PPS.

I have a Bersa 380 also, and I quite like it. I can see why you are trying to make it work.

Feeding reliably is a big deal, obviously. I guess you didn't find any HP ammo that feeds reliably for your Bersa? If you did find one, let's say you tried that. In the worst-case, wouldn't the HP just fill up and cause the bullet to not expand? Then, it's just like a FMJ and you haven't lost anything.

Yahtzee4U
July 8, 2011, 02:41 PM
I think what he's saying is that the HP filling up and acting like a FMJ is the best-case-scenario for him. He doesn't want a HP because the petals act like breaks and thus the light 380 won't penetrate to well, especially if it hit's something before hand.

Frozen North, another good round is the Golden Saber HP, it's a whopping (lol) 102gr and from every vid I have seen always get's adequate penetration due to it's slightly slower velocity but higher weight. I don't think the HP itself is anything amazing but it'll do.

kokapelli
July 8, 2011, 03:12 PM
Before you decide to rely on Santa Barbara 380 you should look at this thread........
http://www.thektog.org/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1137003479/15

dogtown tom
July 8, 2011, 03:29 PM
kokapelli Before you decide to rely on Santa Barbara 380 you should look at this thread........
http://www.thektog.org/cgi-bin/yabb2...=1137003479/15

So.........there's variation in ammo?:rolleyes: Whoodathunkit?
I'll take 1983 Santa Barbara over WWB any day of the week.

Out of the 1,000+ rounds of SB that I've run through several .380's I've yet to have a single round fail to feed, fire, extract or eject. NONE showed any of the "problems" reported in that five year old KTOG thread . That's more than I can say for some supposed "premium" brands of ammunition.

I'm happily hoarding my remaining Santa Barbara.

kokapelli
July 8, 2011, 03:47 PM
So.........there's variation in ammo?:rolleyes: Whoodathunkit?
I'll take 1983 Santa Barbara over WWB any day of the week.

Out of the 1,000+ rounds of SB that I've run through several .380's I've yet to have a single round fail to feed, fire, extract or eject. NONE showed any of the "problems" reported in that five year old KTOG thread . That's more than I can say for some supposed "premium" brands of ammunition.

I'm happily hoarding my remaining Santa Barbara.
Well I shot up all of mine year or two ago and good riddance. Who needs to have to inspect and wipe down every round before shooting it.

I had plenty of feeding issues with it unless I cleaned the casings before I used it.

dogtown tom
July 8, 2011, 05:21 PM
kokapelli:...I had plenty of feeding issues with it unless I cleaned the casings before I used it.
No kidding?
Was it still in the little white & tan boxes or loose?
Maybe you got a supply of SB that was stored improperly or a reject lot.
All the Santa Barbara I've ever had was absolutely sparkling clean.

Diggers
July 8, 2011, 06:20 PM
If your going with FMJ for your .380 I doubt it matters much what you get.

I really don't think you need to buy any pricey custom ammo for it, any quality ammo maker sending a bullet 900 + fps will get the same results. The ONLY thing I could think of is to find flat point bullets and not round nose.

I saw a test using clay, shooting a number of different calibers, alas no .380 BUT a little .32 acp flat point was tested and it zipped right though ~ 12 inches of clay and kept going. There was a .32 cal hole right though the clay, just as you would expect.

The HP 9mm, .40 AND a 180 grain .44 mag HP did NOT fully penetrate identical clay blocks. There was, however a big gaping hole in the clay. The .44 almost turned the clay block into a dome with bullet fragments all over the inside.

Interesting to see from a power perspective but of course it really doesn't say much about a combat situation.

kokapelli
July 8, 2011, 06:40 PM
No kidding?
Was it still in the little white & tan boxes or loose?
Maybe you got a supply of SB that was stored improperly or a reject lot.
All the Santa Barbara I've ever had was absolutely sparkling clean.
Yes it was boxed and looked very, very old with corrosion on most rounds. It was ok for the range but I would have never used it for self defense.

Frozen North
July 8, 2011, 06:46 PM
I think what he's saying is that the HP filling up and acting like a FMJ is the best-case-scenario for him. He doesn't want a HP because the petals act like breaks and thus the light 380 won't penetrate to well, especially if it hit's something before hand

Bingo!

Barrier-water jug-water jug, .380 jhp does fine, but if you do water jug-barrier-water jug, you will the bullet nicely opened and stuck in the barrier with no damage to jug 2. FMJ will zing right through a jug, 3 layers of parka and be found in the bottom of the second jug. If it cant shoot through an arm and still enter center of mass, I don't want it.

For the record, 9mm of just about any flavor will blow right through jug one, the barrier, and usually exit jug 2. This is why my primary is a Glock 26.

Thanks for the help guys.... looks like I have some shootin to do! :)

I am gonna check out lawman and remington express first because they are both available locally.

kokapelli
July 8, 2011, 06:46 PM
The gelatin tests done at Goldenloki did indeed show that most standard 380 fmj will penetrate at least 17" of calibrated ballistic gelatin so I think you are right that it doesn't really make much difference what brand you use as long as it is reliable in your pistol.

The tests results can be seen at……..
http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/380acp/gel380acp.htm

MikeNice
July 9, 2011, 06:06 AM
Just use Winchester USA 95gr flat point. It will penetrate over 17" in most tests. Plus it is a lot cheaper than Buffalo Bore.

legion3
July 9, 2011, 06:14 AM
The old Spanish made "Santa Barbara" was the hottest I'd ever chronied IIRC getting well over that 1000fps threshold


Yes by far this is the hottest 380 I have shot as well, I still see it now and then at gun shows and I have a dozen or so boxes left. It causes trigger slap in my LCP.

That said I do not agree with the OP and have no problems with 380 HP's, I prefer the heavyweights, the Remington GS in 102 grain after seeing some testing that showed it had plenty of penetration and expansion.

legion3
July 9, 2011, 06:20 AM
Well I shot up all of mine year or two ago and good riddance. Who needs to have to inspect and wipe down every round before shooting it.

I had plenty of feeding issues with it unless I cleaned the casings before I used it.

I have shot 1000 rounds of this stuff through many different 380's, there was some variance but nothing unusual and wipe it down :confused: Not in any of the batches I have seen.



All the Santa Barbara I've ever had was absolutely sparkling clean.

This - All of the cases I have seen have been just fine, you must have hit on a poorly stored case or something. Even the SB I bought last year at a gunshow looked like brand new ammo.

71Commander
July 9, 2011, 08:51 AM
I handload but if I didn't, I'd use the Buffalo Bore.

I'm getting 900 fps using 102 GS out of a Kahr P380 or Sig 239.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
July 9, 2011, 09:08 AM
Go to walleyworld and get the Winchester 100-pack of ball ammo. It has a flat nose on front which should help (some).

It seems plenty powerful to me, however, I honestly have never chronied it!

I'm3rd
July 9, 2011, 10:11 AM
IMO, and it's nothing more than opinion, it's more important to find ammo for a miniature semiauto such as the LCP, Keltec, Taurus, etc, that feeds, fires, and ejects as reliably as possible than to find a bullet that expands well in gelatin. A minimum SD caliber like .380 is borderline at best IMO and reliability of 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc, shots is more important than whether it's ball of HP ammo. Having said that, in summer I carry a Keltek P3AT with whatever brand of FMJ ammo I happen to have on hand, and right now it's Federal. That's because I had 2 stovepipes in the first magazine of Hydroshoks I tried but have had no functioning problems at all with several hundred rounds of FMJ of various brands plus some of my RNL handloads I used to break in the little gun. I'm now reasonably confident that it will function reliably if it's ever needed in a SD situation, and I believe my ability, or lack of same, to place shots in vital areas of a BG's anatomy while under severe stress would have more affect on the outcome than whether I fired fmj or hollowpoints.

jon_in_wv
July 9, 2011, 10:33 AM
did my due diligence, and I feel that .380 is better suited with ball ammo in a very cold place like MN. Heavy dress is common here.

Totally backwards thinking in my opinion. Heavy clothing is more likely to plug the HP and make it act like a FMJ or delay expansion and cause greater penetration.
I don't know why people assume the opposite. BUT, if you feel more comfortable with the solid bullets I think the Buffalo Bore LFP non-+ps look like a winner. Personally, I prefer the Federal Hydrashoks. There penetrate well for the caliber and Hydrashoks are know to perform poorly (fail to expand) vs heavy clothing which is a bonus with the 380.

http://www.firearmstactical.com/ammo_data/380acp.htm

In the end I always say, the more you worry about marksmanship the less you will worry about what bullet you carry.

The Lone Haranguer
July 9, 2011, 03:42 PM
Most ammo marketed for SD is advertised to approach 1000fps, but the ball is listed in the 600-800 range.
Are either of those figures from actual guns? The pocket pistols in this caliber that are so popular typically have two inches or less of actual rifled bore. Having said that, the Internet forum scuttlebutt indicates that European-manufactured .380 (e.g., Fiocchi, Sellier & Bellot) is typically loaded hotter than U.S.-made "generic." For about the cost of six boxes of ammo you can get a serviceable chronograph. :)

Frozen North
July 9, 2011, 11:40 PM
Totally backwards thinking in my opinion. Heavy clothing is more likely to plug the HP and make it act like a FMJ or delay expansion and cause greater penetration.

Sounds like a bunch of "what if's" to me. If an FMJ is designed not to expand and offer maximum penetration, why would I select JHP ammo that is designed to expand and "hope" it malfunctions somehow? In my testing of the various JHP ammo, expansion was dismal and unreliable. If results are dismal and unreliable, why even bother with it.

This is some stuff I have shot in the past few months.

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g37/SkipperT/20110709_2.jpg

Left to right (I think, I never labeled them)... Two gold dots, 2 Hornady CD, 2 Winchester Ranger T rounds, and 2 generic ball rounds of some type. The bullet on the bottom is a 9mm Luger Winchester Ranger T 127 +p+ fired through my G26. When I compare the expansion from all .380 rounds to the 9mm round, it makes me wonder why I would even bother with JHP ammo in a .380. I can make those nasty looking mushrooms with 100% reliability in my 9mm all day, half of the .380 stuff didn't even open at all.

I can always count on .380 ball to cycle and penetrate effectively. For me, it is a no brainer.

Now I put the 95 grain Ranger T .380 next to the 127 grain Ranger T 9mm Luger

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g37/SkipperT/20110709_3.jpg

Winchester's own info says that pathetic mushroom will only penetrate 7.65 inches in bare gelatin compared to the impressive mushroom next to it that should penetrate 12.3 inches. Why shoot myself in the foot by using ammo that won't penetrate OR expand reliably? I may not be able to get expansion with .380 FMJ, but I can at least get reliable and adequate penetration.

I just scrunched my arm up in front of my chest and measured it, my bicep is nearly 6'' thick. That would be best case scenario for shooting through an arm. Now I want you to go stand in front of a mirror and posture yourself like you are holding a pistol. How much of your center of mass is covered by arm now? They are nearly ARMor if you are shooting a pistol that will only shoot through less than 8'' of flesh. You have some pretty thick bones in there too by the way....

I always thought it was a very bad idea to count on "winging" or "knee capping" your attacker. FMJ in .380 should reliably get to organs, .380 in JHP is a question mark. It's that simple for me. I feel I need that 12'' to be confident in my weapon.

Yahtzee4U
July 10, 2011, 12:02 AM
Well said. People rag on the info that the so-called youtube warriors post using denim and water jugs, but It seems like a pretty simple, accurate, and reliable test to me. Denim equals clothes, and water is the majority of whats in us, I mean you could throw some liver in the water jugs to emulate organs... (Ha!) but I have yet to see (other than corbons barnes DPX) a 380 JHP expand reliably time after time using these tests. SO I would agree with Frozen North, why spend 25 bucks for 20 rounds, buy ball and practice marksmanship.

jon_in_wv
July 10, 2011, 12:20 AM
Its ALL "what ifs". I mean you have already fired a few bullets into whatever medium you fired them into and you have already formed your opinion. So why ask in the first place? You asked for opinions and you got some. For the most part you are much better served by spending more time on marksmanship and much less time on catching bullets and debating what type of bullet you are going to use. Most guys who worry that much about what bullet they are going to use worry because know they may not be able to put them where thy count so they was some magic bullet that is going to do the job no matter where they put it. I have no fears about whatever load I carry in my 380 because I know I can shoot my Bodyguard 380 very quickly and accurately so whatever bullet I use is likely to do the job. If you think the 380 is so underpowered then perhaps you should work on your shooting or switch to another caliber. But of course then you are right back where you started because you need to gain proficiency with that one too.

BTW, I had missed your earlier post about the water jug/barrier/water theory and I would say that is pretty sound thinking and I agree with it. I may even switch to LFPs in my bodyguard. If I was you I would just pick a FMJ and go practice. The difference from on FMJ to another is going to be no comparison to shot placement. Personally I would still sway much further toward the JHPs or FPs just because the wound created by those bullets is more damaging then regular round FMJs.

Frozen North
July 10, 2011, 12:37 AM
Its ALL "what ifs". I mean you have already fired a few bullets into whatever medium you fired them into and you have already formed your opinion. So why ask in the first place? You asked for opinions and you got some.

I made it very clear in my original post that I was looking for recommendations on good hot ball ammo. I am just defending my position at this point.

For the most part you are much better served by spending more time on marksmanship and much less time on catching bullets and debating what type of bullet you are going to use.

I can hit an 18'' target reliably at 50 yards with this pistol and I shoot about 100 rounds a week at "Ballistic Bob" in my back yard. Proficiency with the pistol is covered.

If you think the 380 is so underpowered then perhaps you should work on your shooting or switch to another caliber. But of course then you are right back where you started because you need to gain proficiency with that one too.

I also said in the OP that my primary carry is a Glock 26. I shoot this one allot and am very proficient with it also.

It seems that .25, .32, and .380 autos get allot of hate from allot of shooters. I am not one of them. The "lesser" calibers have their place in the grand scheme too. I was just looking for some hot ball ammo for one.

Thanks for all the help everyone. I got all the answers I was looking for.

481
July 10, 2011, 01:13 AM
Well said. People rag on the info that the so-called youtube warriors post using denim and water jugs, but It seems like a pretty simple, accurate, and reliable test to me. Denim equals clothes, and water is the majority of whats in us, I mean you could throw some liver in the water jugs to emulate organs... (Ha!) but I have yet to see (other than corbons barnes DPX) a 380 JHP expand reliably time after time using these tests. SO I would agree with Frozen North, why spend 25 bucks for 20 rounds, buy ball and practice marksmanship.

I agree.

Water testing is actually a pretty decent test method (the method is described in detail in Duncan MacPherson's book, Bullet Penetration) if you don't have the time and money to invest in calibrated ordnance gelatin testing. It offers an "apples to apples" comparison (terminal behavior in the same medium) of one or more bullets and although water testing can produce a slight "overstatement" of terminal expansion of a round the effect is similar across the board for all rounds tested.

If a .380 (or any other caliber) JHP won't expand under the optimal conditions produced in water testing, then it is unrealistic to expect that it will expand when it encounters human tissues.

For the .380, FMJ is likely the best choice for the most likely scenarios.

Lawdawg45
July 10, 2011, 06:53 AM
"It seems that .25, .32, and .380 autos get allot of hate from allot of shooters. I am not one of them. The "lesser" calibers have their place in the grand scheme too."

I'll share this story to show that nothing is etched in stone. 2 years ago my son (a LEO) had to defend himself against a murderous attacker and he fired 5 times at almost point blank range with his Glock .40 (using Federal JHP's) and the suspect was still fighting for several minutes after being shot. Several weeks before that incident he had been dispatched to a homicide where a neighborhood dispute became deadly, the man shot his neighbor 2 times with a .25 auto at 15 yards and dropped him like a sack of hammers.:eek:

To me, the lesson is practice with what you're going to carry and use the most effective ammo you can afford.;)

LD45

Frozen North
July 10, 2011, 11:19 AM
To me, the lesson is practice with what you're going to carry and use the most effective ammo you can afford.

I would say that this is the best advice for anyone.... But I would like to add... Don't listen to the internet tactical mall operator ninjas! :barf:

jon_in_wv
July 12, 2011, 01:13 AM
I get it now. I don't mean to come off as argumentative especially to a fellow Minnesotan but that is the way I learn I guess. Also, my comment was not meant to imply you don't know how to shoot but rather I believe the more faith a person has in their ability with the weapon the less they depend on what type of bullet they fire. Typically these types of threads are started by people whose time could be spent much better practicing shooting than debating ballistics. In your case I think you are just being prudent about your choices. I know a lot of people choose the WWB FMJ 380 because of its flat point but to me it is pretty underpowered in what is already a marginal caliber. I do like the flat points over the rounded FMJs for a variety of reasons. My suggestions for JHPs wasn't aimed at the idea they are better because the expand but the fact that many DON'T. A JHP that doesn't expand will act for all purposes like a flat point FMJ except it will have a sharper edge that may reduce deflection off bone like the skull. If you tested and found a good velocity JHP that didn't expand you may have just the round you are looking for. Personally, I like the Hydrashoks as my favorite 380 load. Under ideal conditions, expanding in bare gelatin, they still penetrate 12 inches in tests. Due to their post in the JHP and the rather small opening they tend to get plugged up and will likely not expand and penetrate even better. So with the HS you still get the benefit of a flat point FMJ that will likely be more damaging than a FMJ, will likely penetrate better than other JHPs, and still has the velocity of premium defensive ammo in the 380. If I can't buy the HS I may settle for the Gold Dots as my second choice but I do believe the Buffalo Bore 100gr LFP would probably be the best of the caliber.

jon_in_wv
July 12, 2011, 01:38 AM
I agree.

Water testing is actually a pretty decent test method (the method is described in detail in Duncan MacPherson's book, Bullet Penetration) if you don't have the time and money to invest in calibrated ordnance gelatin testing. It offers an "apples to apples" comparison (terminal behavior in the same medium) of one or more bullets and although water testing can produce a slight "overstatement" of terminal expansion of a round the effect is similar across the board for all rounds tested.

If a .380 (or any other caliber) JHP won't expand under the optimal conditions produced in water testing, then it is unrealistic to expect that it will expand when it encounters human tissues.

.

Bingo! I might add that water is also a constant. If you do a test using water someone else can make a direct correlation to their own water tests. On the "backyard ballistic" test I've done I prefer wet pack. While water kind of represents ideal conditions the wetpack does plug up some HPs. Wetpack varies in preparation though so I only use the comparison of bullets shot into that same wetpack because other results might no be analagous due to differences in preparation of the wetpack.

kokapelli
July 12, 2011, 09:51 AM
Some years back someone did gelatin vs water tests and found that a number of different brands of hollow point bullets consistently expanded in a water medium but never expanded in ballistic gelatin.

Shooting into jugs of water is interesting and fun but as far as I'm concerned not a satisfactory test method for bullet performance for real world situations, if it were why do law enforcement and military not just use water jugs instead of ballistic gelatin and save a lot of time and money?

shootingthebreeze
July 12, 2011, 10:41 AM
I'm getting a Kahr P380 after a ton of research. It's a good quality weapon and most important, concealeable.
I have looked into .380 ammo as well and have concluded that ball will be both range ammo and carry for this handgun. I want to maximize its penetration power. Engagement woud be less than 10 feet (hopefully that will never happen). So I have come with the same conclusion for such a light round.

w2fnt
July 12, 2011, 07:37 PM
Don't be afraid to shoot Tula also. The Bi Metal copper over steel over lead bullet has some real good penetration characteristics.

481
July 12, 2011, 10:23 PM
Bingo! I might add that water is also a constant. If you do a test using water someone else can make a direct correlation to their own water tests. On the "backyard ballistic" test I've done I prefer wet pack. While water kind of represents ideal conditions the wetpack does plug up some HPs. Wetpack varies in preparation though so I only use the comparison of bullets shot into that same wetpack because other results might no be analagous due to differences in preparation of the wetpack.

jon,

Water is definitely about as "invariable" a test medium as we'll ever be able to avail ourselves of (without going to significant expense) and the reason why I use a Fackler box.

Kind of hard to screw up water, although I do know of a few who could. :rolleyes:

Here is the MacPherson analysis of my latest test:

Hornady .45ACP 230 gr. XTP +P JHP (#9096) v. four layers of denim

Test Platform: HK USP45
Caliber: .45 ACP

Test Media: Water
Barrier: 4 layers of 8 ounce denim

Muzzle Velocity: 921.75 feet per second (est.)
Impact Velocity: 916.75 feet per second (F-1 Chronograph @ 21 feet)
Kinetic Energy @ impact = 581.832 Joules

Test Distance: 21 feet
Temperature: 70° F

Recovered Projectile Data:

Average Expanded Diameter: 0.595 inch
Retained Weight: 229.6 grains (99.83%)
Total Length: 0.495 inch

Predicted performance:

Cavitation Boundary (Vc) = 402.83 feet per second

Permanent Wound Cavity Mass (Mw) = 63.39 grams (2.24 ounces)

Penetration Depth (Xcm) = 46.43 cm (18.28 inches)


http://i1024.photobucket.com/albums/y301/CharlesSchwartz/100_3375.jpg


http://i1024.photobucket.com/albums/y301/CharlesSchwartz/100_3374.jpg



Hope you like it.

:)

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