LCP: FMJ or HP for Carry?


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TrailWolf
May 11, 2012, 09:52 PM
Just picked up an LCP to carry when I cannot get away with my Glocks or 642 during the AZ summer... Put a box of FMJs and Gold Dots through her and performed flawlessly - 2" groups at 20 feet off hand will do the trick for me, so I am pleased that I can wear board shorts and still carry SOMETHING as opposed to just a Spyderco. Killed my trigger finger however and I think I need to add a hogue or inner tuber to give me a better grip.

Anyway, read and heard more than a few times of guys not trusting a .380 hollow point to either penetrate enough, get hung up on clothes and/or break up and thus carry flat nose FMJs. So was wondering what your alls opinion on the matter was?

In your .380 LCP/P3AT/TCP ccw, do you carry FMJ or Hollow Points?

Thanks!

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needmorecowbell
May 11, 2012, 11:21 PM
I don't trust hollow points in such a small gun so it's fmj for me.

jon_in_wv
May 11, 2012, 11:26 PM
Tough choice. I prefer HPs like the Hydrashok or the Gold dots over the run of the mill FMJs which I feel are underpowered. I would however feel fine with a load like the Buffalo Bore LFPs in my Bodyguard but not in the LCP.

dubya450
May 11, 2012, 11:27 PM
My first three choices would be -
Get rid of that lcp and pick up a sig p238
If you go with what you have, use the 642
If you HAVE to use the lcp, I'd carry some gold dot short barrel ammo

I recently got rid of my lcp and got a p238. I cant stress enough how much better the p238 is. There's not a thing wrong with the LCP, I just like the p238 better in every area except price.

Rail Driver
May 11, 2012, 11:33 PM
If you carry the LCP, load it with the hottest FMJ it can handle safely. In anemic calibers lower than 9mm, penetration>expansion.

TrailWolf
May 11, 2012, 11:36 PM
My first three choices would be -
Get rid of that lcp and pick up a sig p238
If you go with what you have, use the 642
If you HAVE to use the lcp, I'd carry some gold dot short barrel ammo

I recently got rid of my lcp and got a p238. I cant stress enough how much better the p238 is. There's not a thing wrong with the LCP, I just like the p238 better in every area except price.


P238 is much too heavy for my intended purpose - its the heavier than my 642 loaded so it wouldnt make too much sense. Besides, carrying a pocket pistol with exposed hammer cocked and locked is just not a great idea, IMHO. Further, I refuse to spend that amount of money on a .380 - I'd rather buy another Glock :)

The LCP is for those times when "I'm not carrying" or am in board shorts with no belt, plus its light enough that I can carry it as a BUG in my pocket.

.

ssyoumans
May 11, 2012, 11:39 PM
Buffalo bore 90gr JHP. 260 ft lbs out of a LCP. I sure wouldn't want to be on the wrong end of that. I say no to 22+" of FMJ penetration.

ritepath
May 12, 2012, 12:27 AM
HP in the chamber and a mag full of FMJ's here....normally for the past three years....However.com for the past few months I've been carrying all Hydra-shoks. :o

heeler
May 12, 2012, 11:27 AM
I carry a 102 gr. Remington Golden Saber as the chambered round in my LCP followed by six Winchester White Box 95 gr. flat nose fmj's.
As is noted hollow points do not always expand while fired out of a micro barelled 380 so the first round is basically a Hail Mary round followed by reliable penetrating fmj's if fate has it that the pistol has to be used in defense of my life.

jon_in_wv
May 12, 2012, 01:07 PM
If you carry the LCP, load it with the hottest FMJ it can handle safely. In anemic calibers lower than 9mm, penetration>expansion.

Taking into account smileys, and bullet setback, and EXTREMELY thin chamber.........I'll pass on shooting hot ammo in an LCP. If you really have this philosophy I would recommend a Bodyguard 380, or other 380 that is more capable of shooting hotter ammo safely. In most tests I've seen Hydrashoks manage about 10-12 inches if they expand and even more if they don't. Shooting a hotter FMJ isn't going to profit much if anything in the LCP. I would stick to standard ammo in the LCP and get a different gun if you want more.

Rampant_Colt
May 12, 2012, 01:13 PM
Remington 102gr Golden Sabers. Why? Because Federal Hydra-Shok bullets are notorious for clogging with clothing material and not expanding as designed▬especially the lower velocity rounds like .45 ACP, .380 and .38 Special

dogtown tom
May 12, 2012, 01:57 PM
dubya450 My first three choices would be -
Get rid of that lcp and pick up a sig p238
Same round, fatter, heavier gun with exposed hammer.:barf:
There are 9mm's the same size as the 238.

jon_in_wv
May 12, 2012, 06:25 PM
Remington 102gr Golden Sabers. Why? Because Federal Hydra-Shok bullets are notorious for clogging with clothing material and not expanding as designed▬especially the lower velocity rounds like .45 ACP, .380 and .38 Special

The hydrashok 380 tends to have limited expansion meaning that it usually penetrates about 12 inches in gelatin tests when it expands. Heavy clothing tends to inhibit the expansion and increases penetration. The Golden Saber is slightly heavier, lower velocity, and tends to over expand for the caliber. In tests it usually fails to penetrate past 10 inches in bare or clothed gelatin. If I was in a warmer climate where you don't encounter a lot of "heavy clothing" I think the Hydrashok is the best choice in 380 with the Gold Dot being close. Both rounds have limited expansion but they do tend to expand so they give some benefit from the bullet design while still offering better penetration. During the winter months I tend to carry the Gold Dot. The the extra sectional density added by 7grs with the Golden Saber is not enough to offset the amount it expands and chances are it will under penetrate. The 380 just does not generate enough energy for full expansion AND penetration in my opinion but I do think there is a benefit to a JHP if it has some expansion.

kokapelli
May 12, 2012, 06:44 PM
Same round, fatter, heavier gun with exposed hammer.:barf:
There are 9mm's the same size as the 238.
Yes but the micro nines don't shoot like the P238. The P238 is a dream to shoot!

BamAlmighty
May 12, 2012, 07:34 PM
not that I would carry a .380, but if I had to FMJ.

huntsman
May 12, 2012, 09:00 PM
I switched to FMJ last fall and I don't think I'll go back to JHP

http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/product_info.php/pName/50rds-380-auto-remington-express-95gr-fmj-ammo/cName/380-auto-fmj-lrn

dogtown tom
May 12, 2012, 09:48 PM
kokapelli Quote:
Originally Posted by dogtown tom
Same round, fatter, heavier gun with exposed hammer.
There are 9mm's the same size as the 238.
Yes but the micro nines don't shoot like the P238. The P238 is a dream to shoot!
The Kahr PM9 does.....and does it cheaper too!:D

kokapelli
May 12, 2012, 10:36 PM
The Kahr PM9 does.....and does it cheaper too!:D
I have a PM9 too, but it's a little too big for my pockets so I got a P238 and to my surprise at twenty feet I can easily put seven rounds into center mass much faster with the P238 than I can with the PM9.

M2 Carbine
May 12, 2012, 11:20 PM
In your .380 LCP/P3AT/TCP ccw, do you carry FMJ or Hollow Points?
Good JHP, like Corbon, in the camber.
Top round in the mag is FMJ. Then JHP and FMJ staggered in the mag.

56hawk
May 12, 2012, 11:37 PM
I know a lot of people might not agree with it, but check out the Strasbourg tests http://www.thegunzone.com/strasbourg.html. Even in 380 a FMJ bullet took twice as long to incapacitate compared to a JHP. In fact they found that a JHP 380 was more effective than a FMJ 45. In my personal hunting experience I have found FMJ bullets to be just about worthless.

dogtown tom
May 12, 2012, 11:53 PM
56hawk ... In fact they found that a JHP 380 was more effective than a FMJ 45...
:scrutiny:

Green Lantern
May 13, 2012, 12:04 AM
When I carry my P3AT, it's loaded with...Remington 88gr hollowpoints. Not the hottest thing out there, but not the wimpiest thing either. Plus, I was able to do the 200-round test in the gun without breaking the bank, so that's a plus. That said, I'm not 100% sold on using hollowpoints over FMJ in the gun.

If I hadn't switched primarily to the LCR (Hydra-shock, FWIW) I might give it more thought.

kokapelli
May 13, 2012, 12:04 AM
I know a lot of people might not agree with it, but check out the Strasbourg tests http://www.thegunzone.com/strasbourg.html. Even in 380 a FMJ bullet took twice as long to incapacitate compared to a JHP. In fact they found that a JHP 380 was more effective than a FMJ 45. In my personal hunting experience I have found FMJ bullets to be just about worthless.
After seeing actual ballistic gelatin tests with MagSafe ammo and The fact that MagSafe supposedly swept the Strasbourg tests was enough to convince me it was a total fabrication!

abq87120
May 13, 2012, 12:07 AM
I load HPs in my wife's LCP in the summer when people wear lighter clothing. FMJs in the winter for heavier clothing. FMJs in an LCP is like stabbing the BG with an ice pick. But it's better than nothing.

BemidjiDweller
May 13, 2012, 12:10 AM
I carry Winchester FlatPoints in my LCP, but mainly because I haven't gotten around to getting any Hornady XTP's. or FTX's.

kokapelli
May 13, 2012, 12:22 AM
Here are a couple of 380 ballistic tests done in a real ballistic test medium rather than a bunch of uncelebrated wet news papers.

Keep in mind that the pistol used is a Bersa with a little longer barrel than the LCP.

First is Speer Gold Dot
http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/HTTuXpFChsA

This is with round nose fmj and also with Winchester Truncated fmj.
http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/EkscBbMGp5k

Warp
May 13, 2012, 12:34 AM
I voted 642.

I've never had, or even shot, an LCP but I did have a P3AT. I sold it and bought a 642. That's the route I would go.

or FMJ in the LCP because you can run a bunch of your carry round through it to ensure reliability. If you go JHP, I am a huge fan of Gold Dots. But then the Corbon DPX is really popular for guns in this category

jon_in_wv
May 13, 2012, 01:04 PM
I know the Winchester flat points are poplular but they are loaded pretty mild. If you must go with the solid bullets I would find a LFP like the standard pressure Buffalo Bore round. I would think that would be better.

Pyro
May 13, 2012, 01:16 PM
Order some Prvi Partizan JHP's.
They are cheap and never expand, so you get a Serbian version of Winchester White Box that costs much less.

It's all about shot placement with these little guns anyways (much more so than duty calibers).

Mauser lover
May 13, 2012, 01:22 PM
Dump you LCP and carry your 642 instead you moron!

I wouldn't want to carry a .380, but if I did, I would carry hollow points. If they expand, they underpenetrate, but at least they make a big hole, and if they fail to expand, they will penetrate fine.

Since every shot will not expand as it is advertised, you get a mix of expanded hits, and a mix of penetrating hits. Or you could just carry your 642 and get expansion and penetration in the same package.

EDIT: I found this signature line to be extremely applicable in this question. Thanks to jon_in_wv.

The more you focus on marksmanship, the less you will worry about the bullet. You can buy the greatest sword from the greatest sword maker on Earth, but a master with a cheap sword will still kill you.

kokapelli
May 13, 2012, 02:08 PM
I know the Winchester flat points are poplular but they are loaded pretty mild. If you must go with the solid bullets I would find a LFP like the standard pressure Buffalo Bore round. I would think that would be better.
Since the Winchester truncated cone rounds will penetrate more than 19" of gelatin, why do you think the the much, much more expensive
"LFP like the standard pressure Buffalo Bore round" would be better?

jon_in_wv
May 13, 2012, 02:50 PM
Dump you LCP and carry your 642 instead you moron!

Sure dump a super small and concealable yet very shootable weapon for a weapon much less shootable, harder to conceal, reload, and the same size as weapons MUCH more capable.(G26, M&P 9C, Kahrs) No Thanks.

As a primary carry, if you could only have one gun, the snubbie is more versatile though. I would still get a small auto though.


Thanks for plugging my Sig line though.

76shuvlinoff
May 13, 2012, 04:48 PM
For SD ammo:
My LCP totes FMJ
MY .40 and .45 have hydra shocks.

For me the lcp points correctly. Regardless of the lack of decent sights I get tight groups at 7 paces and that's a helluva lot more important than expansion.

IMHO of course :rolleyes:

showmebob
May 13, 2012, 04:50 PM
JHP's for me as my test show FMJ overpenetrate.

Warp
May 13, 2012, 05:32 PM
Sure dump a super small and concealable yet very shootable weapon for a weapon much less shootable, harder to conceal, reload, and the same size as weapons MUCH more capable.(G26, M&P 9C, Kahrs) No Thanks.

What you would be picking up would be much more reliable and durable, and with the right ammo more powerful. And, no, a 642 is NOT the same size as a Glock 26. Not. Even. Close.

I have a 642. I have a G26. I had a P3AT. I know very well how big each is and how each carries. If you claim a 642 is the same size as a G26 you either have not owned either/or of those guns or you are fibbing a little bit to try and make a point.

45Fan
May 13, 2012, 06:15 PM
For small carry guns, I have both the LCP and a Smith 442. While I prefer the 442, there are times that the LCP is slightly easier to conceal. As far as the carry load of choice for me, I went with the XTP bullet, as it has a reputation for deeper penetration than many hollowpoints. Something that I have sound helps control-ability with the LCP is the Hogue Hybrid grip. It is usually about the same price as the Handall grip, but adds slightly to the bulk of the grip, making it easier to hold on to.

jon_in_wv
May 13, 2012, 07:27 PM
What you would be picking up would be much more reliable and durable, and with the right ammo more powerful. And, no, a 642 is NOT the same size as a Glock 26. Not. Even. Close.

I have a 642. I have a G26. I had a P3AT. I know very well how big each is and how each carries. If you claim a 642 is the same size as a G26 you either have not owned either/or of those guns or you are fibbing a little bit to try and make a point.

The G26 and the snubbie are MUCH closer size and concealability than either is to the LCP, your insults aside.

jon_in_wv
May 13, 2012, 07:30 PM
I'm lying now?

TrailWolf
May 13, 2012, 07:33 PM
Agree with jon here - the majority of times I looked to carry my 642, it was almost as easy to just grab my 26.. The closeness of the 642 to G26 is the reason I got the LCP in the first place...

With that said, I think its really the SHAPE, as opposed to the size, of the 642 that makes it easier to conceal - since the back by the covered hammer is more rounded unlike the right angle of the glock, it tends to print less under a shirt than the G26 and doesn't scream gun.

Back on topic... Thank you for all the advice - I picked up some Gold Dots for my LCP (have been happy with them in my 26) and am currently carrying those after shooting today and confirming reliable feeding - I think one of the most important points and specific to my decision are that this is for carry during the AZ summer where I do not have to worry about layers of clothing - most people are in tshirts or Hawaiian shorts - so I am not too concerned with clothing hindering expansion.

No my next point of action is to grab a Hogue handall jr or the hybrid or just do an innertube job myself... Then the P3AT clip is next :)

Thanks again.

jon_in_wv
May 13, 2012, 07:36 PM
And yes I've owned snubbies and autos similar in size to the G26 (P11, M&P 9C). The snubby is more in the class of the subcompact nines than the LCP/P3AT/Bodyguard. So I stand by my statement that it is NOT in the same class as the small 380s. You may disagree but a liar I am not. I will admit I should have said "closer in size and concealability" but I stand by the statements none the less.

jon_in_wv
May 13, 2012, 07:44 PM
Trailwolf, the snubbie is a lot easier to pocket carry than a G26 type auto but I always found it heavy and bulky compared to the LCP. The snubby is kind of "in between" the two. It doesn't pocket carry or conceal as good as the LCP and its much less capable than a G26/M&P but it I could only have ONE the snubby would be a good choice. I don't think it fit the same BUG or deep concealment role of the small 380s. ( and YES that is from my personal experience too)

wally
May 13, 2012, 07:47 PM
I voted FMJ, but I use 102gr Golden Saber when I can find them as I'm a big believer in the heaviest bullet for the caliber. I doubt it'll expand much if all out of the little LCP.

TrailWolf
May 13, 2012, 07:47 PM
Trailwolf, the snubbie is a lot easier to pocket carry than a G26 type auto but I always found it heavy and bulky compared to the LCP. The snubby is kind of "in between" the two. It doesn't pocket carry or conceal as good as the LCP and its much less capable than a G26/M&P but it I could only have ONE the snubby would be a good choice. I don't think it fit the same BUG or deep concealment role of the small 380s. ( and YES that is from my personal experience too)
I own a G26 and 642 :)

I am in total agreement with you.

After just owning the LCP for a few days, I cannot believe how easy to carry it is. So much so that I might ditch my extra mag and just carry the LCP in addition to my 26, 17 or 30.

Kymasabe
May 13, 2012, 07:48 PM
If your carrying this in the summer, we don't need to worry too much about clothing clogging the Fed HydraShocks, Chances are, the bad guy's wearing shorts and a tee shirt in the summer just like you. You're not shooting thru denim and leather and bulky coats (hopefully).
I say shoot what you're comforatable with. In a .380, you're gonna have to choose between expansion and less penetration, or no expansion and alot of penetration. I'm even more under-gunned than you as I pocket carry a P32 and mines loaded with MagTech Guardian hollow points.

Warp
May 13, 2012, 07:56 PM
Agree with jon here - the majority of times I looked to carry my 642, it was almost as easy to just grab my 26.. The closeness of the 642 to G26 is the reason I got the LCP in the first place...

Were you carrying that G26 in a pocket?? Either way, what holster(s)? The 642 carries much easier than a G26. The Glock is like a brick compared to a 642.

*There are exceptions, but the above is the general rule.

PS: That first picture you showed has a larger aftermarket grip on the 642. The gun gets bigger when you put bigger grips on. ;) It also isn't a 642. Probably the same size...but what is it?

TrailWolf
May 13, 2012, 08:03 PM
Were you carrying that G26 in a pocket?? Either way, what holster(s)? The 642 carries much easier than a G26. The Glock is like a brick compared to a 642.

*There are exceptions, but the above is the general rule.

PS: That first picture you showed has a larger aftermarket grip on the 642. The gun gets bigger when you put bigger grips on. ;) It also isn't a 642. Probably the same size...but what is it?
Yes, I can get away with my 26 in my pocket with some of my pants and a lot of my shorts. But the weight gets to you after a few hours.

I dont carry my 26 this way much - maybe 5% of the time - nor do I really like to. But sometimes its what works.

heeler
May 13, 2012, 08:55 PM
I carry my LCP even more than I do my Kahr PM9 simply because it's just so much easier to conceal and conceal comfortably.
The Kahr pocket carries pretty easily though as long as your not wearing regular fit jeans then it prints noticeably.
But the LCP wearing the same jeans does not.
I tried liking the snubs and even carried a Smith model 37 Airweight for a while.
But dont kid yourself,they are much longer in length and mine had a constant issue of peaking up and out of my work pants(pistol butt) and one day I got outed while standing inline at a small store....Not good!!
Plus that guns recoil was a major pain and I never could shoot it worth a damn.
I shoot my LCP just fine,in fact far better than I ever could the snub 38.

jon_in_wv
May 13, 2012, 11:02 PM
I shoot my LCP just fine,in fact far better than I ever could the snub 38.

That was a huge factor for me too. Regardless of what ammo you choose, shooting the weapon and hitting what you aim at is most important. I shot the LCP much better than a snubbie and I shoot my BG 380 even better than that.

45Fan
May 13, 2012, 11:19 PM
I also own a G26, and a pocket gun it certainly is not. As far as size, its almost identical in profile (length & width) as my officers 1911, and just a slightly bit wider. I can get the barrel in my front pocket, enough to cover the trigger, but anything past that, and I start getting a little unbalanced.
By comparison, the 442 fits entirely in the pocket of most of my jeans, though leaving the butt slightly out makes for easier draw. The LCP on the other hand, fits the coin pocket of my jeans in similar fashion that the Glock fits the main pocket. In a Bianchi leather pocket holster, the LCP is still half the size of the 26, and as wide as the J frame without a holster. The J frame can be made to work in almost any stiuation, where the LCP fits in most situations.

Newton
May 13, 2012, 11:34 PM
Use Speer Gold Dot or Hornady Critical Defence in the LCP, both have been shown to work well in tests, and they work a whole lot better than FMJ.

I would always take a reliably expanding JHP over FMJ in 380. We are afforded the luxury of using bullets that expand and cause excessive bleeding and tissue damage but get paranoid over a couple of inches of penetration and choose to use practice ammo instead. It makes no sense.

kokapelli
May 13, 2012, 11:59 PM
Use Speer Gold Dot or Hornady Critical Defence in the LCP, both have been shown to work well in tests, and they work a whole lot better than FMJ.

I would always take a reliably expanding JHP over FMJ in 380. We are afforded the luxury of using bullets that expand and cause excessive bleeding and tissue damage but get paranoid over a couple of inches of penetration and choose to use practice ammo instead. It makes no sense.
Right and when you may have to shoot through arms, shoulders or other objects to reach vitals you will wish you had the extra penetration of fmj. There are a lot of situations where 10" of penetration just won't cut it.
http://www.firearmstactical.com/tacticalbriefs/volume4/number3/images/armobstacles.jpg

seeker_two
May 14, 2012, 07:14 AM
For anything chambered in .380ACP or smaller, use a quality, European-made FMJ. The bullet shape enhances reliability, & Euro ammo like S&B or Fiocci is loaded hotter than American-made ammo.

jon_in_wv
May 20, 2012, 09:22 AM
That seems to be the thinking but have you seen number so know its true? Also, I would rather have a flat nosed bullet than a round nosed FMJ. You won't find any hunters that will tell you a round nosed bullet works better. Its also more prone to ricocheting off the skull or other bones. I would also prefer lead as the bullet may have some chance of deformation and causing more damage than a FMJ. If I carry a non HP bullet I would prefer something like these from Buffalo Bore.

http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=216

56hawk
May 20, 2012, 11:07 AM
Just wondering how much penetration you want? If you go with the FBI minimum 12", Federal Hydra-Shok will do that:

http://www.brassfetcher.com/380ACP%20ammunition%20performance%20in%20ballistic%20gelatin.pdf

FloriDave
May 20, 2012, 07:54 PM
I voted FMJ, but actually use the Buffalo Bore 100gr Hardcast Lead Flat Point. Their +P version

JEB
May 20, 2012, 10:10 PM
currently i am carrying FMJ. at some point i want to try some various HP ammo, just havent gotten around to it yet.

jon_in_wv
May 20, 2012, 10:13 PM
ust wondering how much penetration you want? If you go with the FBI minimum 12", Federal Hydra-Shok will do that:

Also check out the velocity numbers. The FMJs tend to be really slow and the round profile does very little tissue damage. I'll take a hollowpoint at 12 inches over a FMJ at 16" any day.

kokapelli
May 20, 2012, 11:32 PM
Also check out the velocity numbers. The FMJs tend to be really slow and the round profile does very little tissue damage. I'll take a hollowpoint at 12 inches over a FMJ at 16" any day.
Velocity in 380 is irrelivent. The fact that the fmj penetrates deeper than a hollow point proves it.

Which round really does more tissue damage? The fmj damages tissue along a much longer track than the jhp. The jhp may make a slightly wider path, but it's over a shorter distance.

Ballistic gelatin tests show that the truncated cone bullet produces more tissue damage than a round nose round and still penetrates much deeper than an expanded jhp.

In 380 I'll take the deeper pentraring, truncated round and feel confident it will reach vitals.

Warp
May 20, 2012, 11:33 PM
Velocity in 380 is irrelivent. The fact that the fmj penetrates deeper than a hollow point proves it.

How do you figure?

kokapelli
May 20, 2012, 11:45 PM
How do you figure?
The way I see it if the fmj penetrates 19+ inches, how would a little more velocity help?

jhp rounds need the velocity to expand the bullet.

Warp
May 20, 2012, 11:52 PM
The way I see it if the fmj penetrates 19+ inches, how would a little more velocity help?

jhp rounds need the velocity to expand the bullet.

19+ inchest of penetration? In a .380 auto FMJ? Yeah, I don't see how more velocity would do much, if anything at all.

kokapelli
May 21, 2012, 12:11 AM
I would also like to print out that in this test the Gold Dot fired from a longer barreled Bersa only achieved bout 10-1/2" of penetration which is less than the FBI's 12" bare minimum for penetration.

http://youtube.googleapis.com/v/HTTuXpFChsA

YJake
May 21, 2012, 01:01 AM
How does less than 12" of penetration in GEL of all things instill confidence in somebody? :eek:

You folks are aware that there is a rib cage protecting most of our vitals correct? That rib cage is also really good at soaking up ft/lbs. of energy from an already anemic cartridge.

Depending on stance, anywhere from 40-80% of an attacker's vitals are going to be shielded by a single or multiple bones (Reference Post #51 for a picture), now how do you think your Gold Dot stands a chance of making it into vitals when it doesn't even penetrate 12" in plain ballistic gel? That flat-point Winchester load would be lucky to punch through a sternum and continue into the rib cage to damage vitals even after exhibiting 16+" of penetration in gel.

Sorry for the rant, but I feel as if this "over-penetration" thing is a bit "over-exaggerated" when it comes to the .380 cartridge.

-Jake

Warp
May 21, 2012, 01:03 AM
This is why I won't use .380 for defense. Just too weak.

JERRY
May 21, 2012, 01:18 AM
kokapelli's pix show something many seem to forget.

now, imagine that pix but of a stockier guy.

for a hollow point to work it must punch through skin, bone, and muscle of a large arm, maybe deflect off a bic lighter in a shirt poket, then go through more skin, muscle and bone of the chest before it reaches a "vital".

ive seen .22lr from a mini auto take people out DRT as well as .25acp......all were close range, frontal, unobstructed shots on slim people and there was no exit wound.

in sub-minor calibers id take the fastest fmj i could find.

M1key
May 21, 2012, 01:30 AM
My Bersa 380 is loaded with Hornady Critical Defense JHP because that ammo shoots three rounds POA into an eyeball at ten yards. I think accuracy and the ability to hit where you aim are more important factors in a small SD pistol than expansion or penetration.

M

seeker_two
May 21, 2012, 08:35 AM
M1key: I'd agree.....except for one thing. In the Miami FBI Shootout, one of the BG's would have been stopped except the 9mm Silvertip round he took didn't penetrate deep enough to hit his heart. It stopped less than 1" away. Even 9mm ball ammo would have performed better.

All the expansion in the world doesn't matter if your bullet can't reach vital organs.

M1key
May 21, 2012, 10:57 AM
I'd be more inclined to shoot for the head from 0-10 yards away. Any further? Well...

M

jon_in_wv
May 21, 2012, 07:35 PM
A low velocity FMJ is not going to be more capable of penetrating barriers or bone than a higher velocity JHP or higher velocity LFP. Penetration in bare gelatin doesn't reflect that factor it only reflects the fact that FMJs cause very little resistance and disruption so they penetrate more deeply in the homogenous medium. While on my in-laws farm in Alabama I shot a three inch wooden fence post 3 times with my LCP loaded with WWB FMJs. NONE of the bullets were able to penetrate the post. The Federal Hydrashoks at 100+ FPS faster blasted right through it. I think common sense can extrapolate from that if you were to strike bone or some other barrier with your low velocity FMJs you are going to lose a lot of your velocity and all that penetration will probably not materialize where a more powerful round could penetrate the barrier and still maintain more energy to penetrate. I think LFPs (not round FMJs) make a lot of sense in the small 380s but more velocity is definitely going to be better in more situations and a detriment in very few if any. Do any of you thing the 380 is too powerful if its going 800-900FPS? I don't see the sense in advocating less powerful ammo in a caliber that is considered marginal in the first place.

kokapelli
May 21, 2012, 09:20 PM
I just looked at Brass Fetcher's site....
http://www.brassfetcher.com/380ACP%20ammunition%20performance%20in%20ballistic%20gelatin.pdf

and was surprised to see that only one of the premium 380 jhp rounds was able to even attain the FBI's minimum required 12" of penetration and no more.

The Winchester truncated fmj round exceeded 21" of penetration and even with heavy winter clothing in front of the gelatin the truncated cone round reached a very respectable 16" of penetration.

Don't know why, but he did not test the jhp rounds against winter clothed gelatin. Maybe since the performance of the jhp with summer clothing was so mediocre he decided not to bother with heavy clothing.

seeker_two
May 22, 2012, 01:00 AM
jon_in_wv: That's why you go for velocity AND penetration....hence, the hotter-loaded Euro ammo....

ddc
May 22, 2012, 10:27 AM
In brassfetchers data I didn't see any numbers (did I miss them?) for summer or winter clothing for the first 4 JHP's: Hornaday,Speer,Corbon,Remington.

I was under the impression that clogged up JHP's performed more like FMJ's.

Does anybody have any such data?

Thanks!

kokapelli
May 22, 2012, 10:31 AM
In brassfetchers data I didn't see any numbers (did I miss them?) for summer or winter clothing for the first 4 JHP's: Hornaday,Speer,Corbon,Remington.

I was under the impression that clogged up JHP's performed more like FMJ's.

Does anybody have any such data?

Thanks!
None of the bhp on you list made it to the FBI's minimum 12" depth with summer clothing barrier so I guess there was not much point in testing them with winter clothing barrier.

Old John
May 22, 2012, 10:51 AM
I carry an LCR. I have two, one in .357 and one in .38 spcial.
My DSW will not carry a .380. So, she carries an LC9.
She has a couple Keltec pistols, too. Both of them are 9mm, a PF9 and a P11.

carbuncle
May 22, 2012, 12:09 PM
When I had my BG 380 I carried whatever range FMJ ammo I had shot last in it, just too many factors that would have to work right for that tiny 380 HP to work effectively for me to feel comfortable with.

Sent from my T-Mobile G2 using Tapatalk 2

jon_in_wv
May 22, 2012, 07:14 PM
jon_in_wv: That's why you go for velocity AND penetration....hence, the hotter-loaded Euro ammo....

Thats my point. I prefer a flat point bullet like a LFP over FMJ and I think in most cases the hydrashok is going to behave just like that and its got pretty good velocity. I just don't see the wisdom in advocating SLOW fmjs just because they penetrate well in gel. I'll take a hotter round with either limited or no expansion. I'm not a fan of round FMJs for defense in any caliber. I would like the WWB if Winchester wouldn't load it to such a low velocity.

kokapelli
May 22, 2012, 08:40 PM
Thats my point. I prefer a flat point bullet like a LFP over FMJ and I think in most cases the hydrashok is going to behave just like that and its got pretty good velocity. I just don't see the wisdom in advocating SLOW fmjs just because they penetrate well in gel. I'll take a hotter round with either limited or no expansion. I'm not a fan of round FMJs for defense in any caliber. I would like the WWB if Winchester wouldn't load it to such a low velocity.
I can't seem to understand your logic!

The Winchester fmj FP penetrates 16" of gelatin even through heavy winter clothing and you seem to want more power/velocity for even deeper penetration?

Despite thelr higher velocity all but one premium jhp can not even reach the minimum 12" pf penetration the FBI recommends!

I think it was you that said the higher velocity of the jhp rounds would probably be able to break bones, but these rounds can't even reach minimum depth without hitting bone, so I can image that after hitting bone the round will penetrate even less.

These jhp rounds are not magic bullets. I'm satisfied with a round that will potentially go through and through and leave a wound channel 16" to 21" or more deep and if properly placed leave an entrance and an exit hole in a critical organ.

M7
May 23, 2012, 02:40 AM
As for the effects of JHPs and FMJs being discussed here, are the penetration depths being offered for the sake of this discussion located in some sort of chart or table, or is there some way to (mathematically?) determine (before the fact) to what depth a specific bullet will penetrate?

I find this topic (and thread) to be very interesting and apologize if this question constitutes a thread hijack- this just seemed to be the most opportune place and time to ask.

NMPOPS
May 23, 2012, 02:48 AM
My choice was #3, so not much else needs to be said.

kokapelli
May 23, 2012, 09:44 AM
As for the effects of JHPs and FMJs being discussed here, are the penetration depths being offered for the sake of this discussion located in some sort of chart or table, or is there some way to (mathematically?) determine (before the fact) to what depth a specific bullet will penetrate?

I find this topic (and thread) to be very interesting and apologize if this question constitutes a thread hijack- this just seemed to be the most opportune place and time to ask.
There have been a number of links provided in posts to this thread with actual gelatin tests with the best one at
http://www.brassfetcher.com/380ACP%20ammunition%20performance%20in%20ballistic%20gelatin.pdf

TimboKhan
May 23, 2012, 10:01 AM
These jhp rounds are not magic bullets. I'm satisfied with a round that will potentially go through and through and leave a wound channel 16" to 21" or more deep and if properly placed leave an entrance and an exit hole in a critical organ.

I refuse to carry fmj in my 9mm for self defense because this exact thing happened to me. The bullet zipped right through me and while it did tear up my kidney, I was combat effective for several minutes afterwards.

I believe that a hollow point would have expanded, done more damage, and delivered more "shock" to my system. Possibly an expanded bullet would have even hit my spine (the exit wound was pretty close), and possibly that would have immediately knocked me down. Given that I am typing this now and am thus not dead, I am glad it was an fmj bullet that went through me.

I will shoot fmj on the range, but every single self defense pistol in my house is combat loaded with hydra-shoks regardless of caliber.

kokapelli
May 23, 2012, 11:15 AM
There have been many, many incidents where people have been shot with 9mm, 40 cal, 357 magnum and 45 cal jhp and continued to fight and then there is the incident where a cop was shot with an NAA 22 cal pistol and died on the spot.

You might also look at…..1968 Miami FBI shootout (http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs7.htm)

Gary A
May 23, 2012, 12:00 PM
In reference to Timbokhan's rather close call, I have wondered if the over-penetrative qualities of FMJ are not a major reason for the long-time popularity of .380 acp in Europe and other locations. In an era when most ammunition was FMJ and most autos were designed for FMJ, a round like .380 FMJ had plenty of oomph to penetrate adequately but was less likely to over-penetrate and, if it did, had less remaining energy and was less likely to provide a danger down range. 9mm Parabellum FMJ, on the other hand, was and is a notorious over-penetrator, which posed far less a problem on the battlefield than it did in a city. My conclusion might be, if I can use good HPs, 9mm might be the way to go. If I am limited to FMJ, .380 looks considerably more viable as a choice.

M7
May 23, 2012, 12:43 PM
There have been a number of links provided in posts to this thread with actual gelatin tests with the best one at
http://www.brassfetcher.com/380ACP%20ammunition%20performance%20in%20ballistic%20gelatin.pdf

Thanks.

Definitely one of the more informative sources in this thread, it really shows how far different types of bullets can penetrate. I've been attempting to educate myself about this topic, but it seems that little exists in the way of books and research articles that address the actual process of how this happens. :banghead:

kokapelli
May 23, 2012, 12:44 PM
In reference to Timbokhan's rather close call, I have wondered if the over-penetrative qualities of FMJ are not a major reason for the long-time popularity of .380 acp in Europe and other locations. In an era when most ammunition was FMJ and most autos were designed for FMJ, a round like .380 FMJ had plenty of oomph to penetrate adequately but was less likely to over-penetrate and, if it did, had less remaining energy and was less likely to provide a danger down range. 9mm Parabellum FMJ, on the other hand, was and is a notorious over-penetrator, which posed far less a problem on the battlefield than it did in a city. My conclusion might be, if I can use good HPs, 9mm might be the way to go. If I am limited to FMJ, .380 looks considerably more viable as a choice.
IMO those are valid points.

The_Armed_Therapist
May 23, 2012, 03:05 PM
4 pages... Probably long away from the topic, but hollow points for .380 are OK... The .380s popularity has resulted in some decent HP products. .32, however, is a different story. Stick with FMJ with anything smaller than .380.

kokapelli
May 23, 2012, 03:35 PM
4 pages... Probably long away from the topic, but hollow points for .380 are OK... The .380s popularity has resulted in some decent HP products. .32, however, is a different story. Stick with FMJ with anything smaller than .380.
Well I guess if your satisfied with (in most cases) less than 12" of penetration Jhp are ok.

56hawk
May 23, 2012, 03:52 PM
Well I guess if your satisfied with (in most cases) less than 12" of penetration Jhp are ok.

And I guess you are satisfied with minimal tissue damage. :D

YJake
May 23, 2012, 03:57 PM
My choice was #3, so not much else needs to be said.

Agreed.

-Jake

kokapelli
May 23, 2012, 04:29 PM
And I guess you are satisfied with minimal tissue damage. :D
Yes since I know the damage will deep enough to incapacitate.

Warp
May 24, 2012, 01:05 PM
And I guess you are satisfied with minimal tissue damage. :D

Without adequate penetration, expansion is all but meaningless.

Shot placement is king, penetration is queen.

heeler
May 24, 2012, 01:18 PM
I know a lot of people get hung up on this 12 inch penetration mantra,which most of us know was criteria for police type duty which most civilians wont be involved in.
Not saying it's a bad thing but the reality is even if a hollow point bullet that has expanded only gets 8 inches of penetration on a frontal shot that bullet is going to reach the vital organs if the shot placement is correct.
And yes I know the other argument that was presented by the pictures.

Warp
May 24, 2012, 01:27 PM
I know a lot of people get hung up on this 12 inch penetration mantra,which most of us know was criteria for police type duty which most civilians wont be involved in.
Not saying it's a bad thing but the reality is even if a hollow point bullet that has expanded only gets 8 inches of penetration on a frontal shot that bullet is going to reach the vital organs if the shot placement is correct.
And yes I know the other argument that was presented by the pictures.
For the purposes of penetration there is no legitimate difference between private citizens firing in defense and police officers firing in defense. If you believe otherwise would you mind explaining how "police duty type" varies from private citizens in this regard (penetration in gel/flesh)?

I, and many others, generally believe that it is wise to plan for a scenario that is something other than a by the book, best case affair. Some people are rather large. You may be firing from an awkward angle that requires the bullet to go through more tissue to get to vitals. There may be an arm or shoulder in the way, etc.

M7
May 24, 2012, 01:36 PM
Without adequate penetration, expansion is all but meaningless.


As someone who is learning about this and trying to sort this whole JHP v FMJ thing out, this makes a lot of sense to me. While I don't believe that a JHP would expand and not penetrate at all, I can see where (from the information presented so far) a JHP may not go deep enough to hit what it needs to hit.

Of course, this assumes that I have not missed something important in this line of thought.

Warp
May 24, 2012, 01:36 PM
As someone who is learning about this and trying to sort this whole JHP v FMJ thing out, this makes a lot of sense to me. While I don't believe that a JHP would expand and not penetrate at all, I can see where (from the information presented so far) a JHP may not go deep enough to hit what it needs to hit.

Of course, this assumes that I have not missed something important in this line of thought.
Sounds on the money to me.

heeler
May 24, 2012, 02:35 PM
Warp,what I am referring to is penetration of car windshields,barriers such as sheetrock etc.
Surely you knew this.

And the arm or angle penetration scenario I mentioned was also covered when I referenced the pictures.
Too much pentration in a crowded city might kill off the bad guy and Judy Jones 60 feet away walking through the parking lot.
Just saying.

huntsman
May 24, 2012, 03:25 PM
Too much pentration in a crowded city might kill off the bad guy and Judy Jones 60 feet away walking through the parking lot.
Just saying.

If that factors into your cartridge choosing I think maybe you shouldn't be carrying a gun.

Warp
May 24, 2012, 04:55 PM
Warp,what I am referring to is penetration of car windshields,barriers such as sheetrock etc.
Surely you knew this.

And the arm or angle penetration scenario I mentioned was also covered when I referenced the pictures.
Too much pentration in a crowded city might kill off the bad guy and Judy Jones 60 feet away walking through the parking lot.
Just saying.
But that's NOT what we are talking about here. 8" of penetration in ballistics gel (/tissue) had nothing whatsoever to do with windshields and barriers. Also, generally when car windshields are considered one of the best answer is a bonded hollow point. If we were talking about barrier penetration, I missed it. Can you reference the posts I need to go back and check?

And the arm or angle penetration scenario I mentioned was also covered when I referenced the pictures.
Too much pentration in a crowded city might kill off the bad guy and Judy Jones 60 feet away walking through the parking lot.
Just saying.

Of course. But that doesn't mean we carry .22 lr hollow points, or whatever else we think has the least penetration. A reasonable balance must be achieved. Surely you knew this.

kokapelli
May 24, 2012, 05:04 PM
Over penetration is much less of problem than the shots that miss your target.

If your really that concerned than I suggest you get rid of the pistol and just carry pepper spray.

jbbatok
May 24, 2012, 05:05 PM
My 2 cents. FMJ for anything under 9mm para.

Warp
May 24, 2012, 05:13 PM
My 2 cents. FMJ for anything under 9mm para.

That's how I do it.

Well, kind of. I go anything less than .38spl, which ends up as anything less than 9x19 for semi autos.

heeler
May 24, 2012, 05:42 PM
Well I have zero intentions of giving up carrying anymore than most of you.
I believe we have some reading comprehension issues here.

jon_in_wv
May 24, 2012, 10:22 PM
I think the key in a round like 380 is MINIMAL expansion. A round like the DPX expands too much and the 380 just doesn't have enough ooomph for good penetration with that much expansion. I like the Hydrashok because when it does expand perfectly it still penetrates pretty well, when it encounters any type of barrier it tends to plug up a little and expand less and penetrate even better. Its the closest thing to a smart bullet you are going to find and a pretty good compromise. Even if it doesn't expand at all the sharper leading edges of the hp are bound to do more tissue damage than a smooth round bullet like a FMJ and the edges of the HP will help it dig into bone instead of glancing off it. I was involved in a case years ago where a guy was shot in the face with a 380 FMJ. The bullet glanced off his cheek bone and travelled under his skin and came to a rest under the skin (outside the skull) behind his head. If the bullet had been a HP, and the bullet had penetrated the cheek bone, I think the result may have been different.
I know I seem like I'm harping on the Hydrashok but really my preference leads this way.
1. Minimal expanding JHP
2. non expanding JHP or LFP
3. FP-FMJ
4. FMJ if its the only thing your weapon will feed reliably, which to me normally means you need a different weapon.

At the end of the day the bullet if much less important than your capability with the weapon. The more capable you are as a shooter, the less important the bullet is. I know a guy who carries a FN 32acp with FMJs and I wouldn't want to face him no matter what I had.

CZguy
May 25, 2012, 12:43 AM
At the end of the day the bullet if much less important than your capability with the weapon. The more capable you are as a shooter, the less important the bullet is. I know a guy who carries a FN 32acp with FMJs and I wouldn't want to face him no matter what I had.

I think that's what it really comes down too.

I know that everyone here is an excellent shot, but week after week I see lots of people at my range shoot terribly. Then I hear them in the clubhouse discussing what caliber is best. To me what ever I can carry each and every day, and hit center mass rapidly with is the right gun and ammo.

Warp
May 25, 2012, 12:45 AM
I think that's what it really comes down too.

I know that everyone here is an excellent shot, but week after week I see lots of people at my range shoot terribly. Then I hear them in the clubhouse discussing what caliber is best. To me what ever I can carry each and every day, and hit center mass rapidly with is the right gun and ammo.

Yes, there is an awful lot of that.

So much money on equipment and gear, so much time talking and typing, so little time/money on quality practice, let alone training, and thus so little (or marginally mediocre) actual ability. :( Seems pretty common.

jon_in_wv
May 25, 2012, 10:29 PM
Everyone THINKS they are a great shot but for some reason I see a whole lot of people that can't hit squat on the range. There should be ten threads about marksmanship for every one about bullets.

Warp
May 25, 2012, 10:32 PM
Everyone THINKS they are a great shot but for some reason I see a whole lot of people that can't hit squat on the range. There should be ten threads about marksmanship for every one about bullets.

I cannot disagree with this.

The smiling swordsman
May 25, 2012, 11:11 PM
People are funny. You here the same type of talk in a clubhouse at the golf course. Guy shot a 120 and is convinced he has the worlds best golf clubs.

jon_in_wv
May 26, 2012, 09:11 AM
Thats a good analogy. Guys will obsess about which golf clubs are the best but their game still sucks.

ponchsox
May 26, 2012, 09:14 AM
Even a cheap set of Wilson clubs are more accurate then average Joe weekend golfer.

M7
May 27, 2012, 04:35 PM
That's how I do it.

Well, kind of. I go anything less than .38spl, which ends up as anything less than 9x19 for semi autos.
I am left at this point thinking the same thing- looks like it'll be FMJs in the .380 for me from here on out.

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