With an expanding bullet that actually expands in this caliber, I'm a little concerned with its getting deep enough from other than a frontal shot, but such would likely be the case in a self-defense situation.
With the .380 as with all defensive pistols, I'd first do some shooting of prospective loads to insure reliability in my particular pistol. Then I'd shoot some groups just to make sure it was accurate and stable, i.e.: no rounds hitting sideways or at an angle.
Federal's .380 ACP 90 gr JHP has a rounded ogive and should feed in most .380s. I've not really done much testing around with .380 bullets to check expansion and such, but this one's been out a good while.
The skived bullet jacket and hollow point seem similar in design to their well-respected std pressure 9mm round; the question is if the bullet performs at 950 - 1000 ft/sec or so.
Federal's 90 gr HydraShok is generally mentioned as a viable choice in this caliber. It groups well as does the round above, but the more truncated cone-shaped bullet can cause feeding in some pistols. My Walther PP is unreliable with it, but works fine with the previous JHP. Some rate it as a top if not the top performer in this caliber; I flat don't know if it is or isn't.
Another .380 load frequently recommended is Corbon's 90 gr JHP +P. Also a truncated cone-shaped bullet, it's probably about the hottest factory .380 round out there. It feeds flawlessly in a CZ-83 I sometimes shoot, but then everything does in that one. I have managed to shoot a critter or two with this load and the bullet did NOT exit a large raccoon shot dead-on in the chest. The effect was an instant "stop" with some kicking and thrashing, but only one shot was required. I have not seen anyone shot with this load nor have I heard any first-hand accounts. If I was using one of the really compact, really short-bbl'd .380s, I'd give this load a hard look and test as the shorter-bbl'd guns do give up some needed velocity, I suspect.
If your pistol turns out NOT to be reliable with JHPs, I've had very good luck with Fiocchi's 95 gr ball in terms of reliability in feeding and accuracy.
If your pistol will feed it, Winchester's 95 gr SXT is a tad heavier and "looks" like it should expand. It is blunt so I'd sure test it for reliability. I've not fired it in anything but a CZ so I cannot say how it does in other pistols.
I do not have a picture of it as I don't own any, but were I looking at a defensive round for a "full-size" .380, I believe I'd check out Remington's Golden Saber in 102 grains. If my pistol was a really small one, I'd go with the Corbon if it was reliable.
Best and good luck.
January 28, 2003, 07:44 AM
Very informative post Mr Camp .:D
January 28, 2003, 12:03 PM
Very informative post. Right on target.
January 28, 2003, 01:47 PM
The only one I'd add to Stephen's excellent post is the Remington 102gr. Golden Sabre. It has a rounded ogive so it feeds well. And the extra weight seems to aid penetration, at least in the informal expasion testing I did. It also groups best in my .380. Worth checking out.
January 28, 2003, 01:55 PM
Remington Golden Sabres 102gr JHPs
Corbon 95gr JHPs
Leave Federal Hydra Shoks alone. Your better off with ball.
January 28, 2003, 05:08 PM
Speer golddot 90gr.gdhp.
January 30, 2003, 02:57 AM
I use RBCD in about every caliber. 380 ACP 45 gr. TFSP 1500 fps / 283 flbs
January 30, 2003, 09:46 AM
I also prefer RBCD and tote it full-time in my Smith and Wesson 340SC .357 mag. Because of the lightweight 60 gr projectile and standard pressure loading, it is a lot more manageable than those honkin' 125 gr and 158 gr punishers in this very lightweight J-frame.
How many rounds do you consider satisfactory in checking your autoloaders for RBCD function? With shipping, I pay about $45 for a box of 20, which gets really $$$ in a hurry. RBCD was also crisp and accurate in my P32.
I sure wish Roscoe Stoker would start distributing his fine ammo locally so I could avoid the shipping charge.
January 30, 2003, 10:18 AM
The one other cartridge I would look at in this caliber is the Triton Quick-Shok .380 +P. Interesting cartridge, another Tom Burczynski design (along with Black Talons, Hydra-Shok, and Federal EFMJ), doesn't sacrifice penetration but gives you multiple wound channels.
ONLY due to the prohibitive cost of RBCD, I'll probably shoot a few of these in my P-3AT when I get it and see if it's a good match.
January 31, 2003, 04:05 AM
22 luvr, I run about a box through an auto. What I am primarily concerned with is feeding and I will alternate ball and RBCD in the mag. Fire the ball, eject RBCD, fire ball, eject RBCD, and so on. It has never been a problem due to the RBCD round nose profile. That was not the case with the old original flat point Glaser and the sharp lipped MagSafe's.
$45 is steep. I pay about $35 out the door from one of the distributors at the Dallas area gun shows. I find it hard to believe that Roscoe doesn't have a distributor in the Atlanta area or that would at least to the two main Atlanta gun shows. Ask Roscoe if there is someone, if not, sounds like there might be an opportunity there.
February 1, 2003, 09:44 PM
Speer Golddot 90gr. JHP is my first choice.
February 2, 2003, 02:32 AM
Another happy Speer Gold Dot fan here. Feeds perfectly in my Bersa.
February 2, 2003, 02:33 PM
I carry Magsafe Defender rounds in my Guardian 380. I intend to switch to RBCD especially for my Guardian 32. When I carry JHP's I tend to prefer Golden Saber or CorBon. I also like Silvertips, but ZI just can't find them locally.
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