Tom on Guntalk said 380 was now comparable to 9


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Droid noob
January 22, 2013, 10:19 AM
Tom mentioned quickly, while interviewing someone, that today's 380 is very comparable to 9mm. He mentioned ballistics gel tests were within inches of each other on penetration.

I mention this because there's so much 380 on the shelf right now that I've been thinking about getting one.

I'm searching for these tests. Just curious if you all have heard similar things.

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mrhill
January 22, 2013, 10:28 AM
I carry a 380. It is a very good round. I have no doubts on its capablities or my own.

hso
January 22, 2013, 10:32 AM
"very comparable" is a pretty subjective term. .380 has gotten much better, but are the terminal ballistics as good as equivalent bullet design 9mm?

I'd like to see "best" .380 and "best" 9mm defensive rounds tested side by side for terminal performance.

And before some wit comes along and says it - yes, it doesn't start with a 4.:rolleyes:

The Lone Haranguer
January 22, 2013, 10:40 AM
There is only so much you can do with it. It has neither the bullet weight nor the speed of even a feeble 9mm Luger. Its "niche" is that it fits better into little pocket guns ... which reduce its speed even further. To say it is "comparable" - as in the sense of being equal - is not correct.

carbine85
January 22, 2013, 10:46 AM
I have to disagree with this. When you consider using a 9mm +P JHP ammo the .380 doesn't come close. Gun makers have 9mm +P rated guns. The .380 doesn't have a +P rating

Steel Horse Rider
January 22, 2013, 10:48 AM
I would say it depends on the ammunition used. Several years ago I bought a Sig in .380. Using standard ammo it would not exit a 5 gallon bucket from about 25 feet. The bullet would penetrate the first layer of bucket bubt would only make a severe dimple in the back side. I reloaded that brass using some accurate #2 near the maximum loading and it made a huge difference in penetration and drop on a 25 yard target. I think a .380 with a good load is plenty lethal.

gym
January 22, 2013, 10:59 AM
I carried a walther for 20 years, they are good rounds, But the 9mm is better. It's that simple, you may want a 380 as either a back up or for concealment, but a 9 is a few hundred feet faster, so why bother anymore? I carry a shield in 40, only because why not carry the hotter load in a walther sized gun that weighs less, and is thinner, same with the xzs, it's smaller and lighter than most 380's exept a seacamp or lcp, and hit's almost twice as hard.
We carried the smallest effective guns we could get 20-30 years ago, now you can get a small higher powered gun, so there is no reason to settle for a 380.

holdencm9
January 22, 2013, 11:09 AM
It's kind of like saying those family cars are very comparable to sports cars in performance.

If you are comparing today's family car to sports cars of 40-50 years ago, it might be true.

Ranger Roberts
January 22, 2013, 11:15 AM
When I was a kid I remember my dad calling his .380 a "9mm short". He and my grandfather are the only 2 people I've ever heard say that, so it may just be something that they came up with. Has anyone else ever heard of a .380 referred to that way?

Arp32
January 22, 2013, 11:18 AM
When I was a kid I remember my dad calling his .380 a "9mm short". He and my grandfather are the only 2 people I've ever heard say that, so it may just be something that they came up with. Has anyone else ever heard of a .380 referred to that way?

Sure, also 9mm Kurz which translates to the same thing. I think I've even seen it on Walther roll marks. Look closely at a PPK next time you run into one

HoosierQ
January 22, 2013, 11:20 AM
When I was a kid I remember my dad calling his .380 a "9mm short". He and my grandfather are the only 2 people I've ever heard say that, so it may just be something that they came up with. Has anyone else ever heard of a .380 referred to that way?
In Europe, at least at one time, .380 was often called 9mm Kurz. Kurz is German for "short. So, yes.

W L Johnson
January 22, 2013, 11:23 AM
From wiki

Synonyms
.380 Auto
9mm Browning
9mm Browning Short
9mm Corto
9mm Court
9mm Kratak
Kratka 9 (Devetka)
9mm Kurz
9mm Scurt
9mm Short
917mm

W L Johnson
January 22, 2013, 11:26 AM
As a side note 380 will fire out of a 9mm, it just won't cycle the gun.

Don't ask how I know this :uhoh:

Droid noob
January 22, 2013, 11:32 AM
I have to disagree with this. When you consider using a 9mm +P JHP ammo the .380 doesn't come close. Gun makers have 9mm +P rated guns. The .380 doesn't have a +P rating

TN outdoors tested a +p 9mm and it only had 11 inches. Cd 380 also went 11 inches. The only difference was diameter of expansion.

shaggy430
January 22, 2013, 11:40 AM
Synonyms
.380 Auto
9mm Browning
9mm Browning Short
9mm Corto
9mm Court
9mm Kratak
Kratka 9 (Devetka)
9mm Kurz
9mm Scurt
9mm Short
917mm

I've bought ammo that said 9mm Browning Court.

CLP
January 22, 2013, 11:51 AM
Barrel length plays a big role here and is not being mentioned.

Redlg155
January 22, 2013, 11:52 AM
Perhaps even more so if you can only have 7 rounds in the magazine..

mastiffhound
January 22, 2013, 11:56 AM
When in doubt go bigger, faster, or harder. During the first AWB a lot of new 1911 manufacturers were started. If you were only able to have 10 rounds in a mag, many said "then I'll carry a 1911 with 10 of the biggest and hardest hitting .45 acp rounds I can put in my firearm". I don't care for "within a few inches", when your life is on the line seconds and inches count. I want to stop and incapacitate an attacker as fast as possible. Taking any possible doubt out of a deadly serious equation is the best idea.

Here are some energy ratings for reference:

.22 lr- 30 grain fmj or hp (Aguila Supermaximum Hyper Velocity) 1750 fps with 204 ft lbs of energy

.380 acp-90 grain ftx 1000 fps 200 ft lbs of energy (Hornady Critical Defense)
- +P 90 grain jhp 1200 fps 288 ft lbs of energy (Buffalo Bore, the best that I know of)

9x19mm- 115 grain fmj 1145 fps 335 ft lbs of energy (Remington UMC plinking ammo)
- +P 124 grain jhp 1225 fps 413 ft lbs of energy (Buffalo Bore)

The difference in energy isn't a small amount. 9mm has 100 or more ft lbs over the .380, but the .380 is less than 100 ft lbs over the lowly .22lr. All of these will hurt someone, but rapidly incapacitating and the stopping of an attacker is what you want. Will the .380 work, probably. But I would rather be on the safe side.

heeler
January 22, 2013, 11:59 AM
I have watched several youtube ballstic gel tests using both the 380 and 9mm.
Generally with hollowpoints the 380 penetrates 8-11 inches.
For some strange reason it's the old Federal Hydra-Shok that gets out there to 11-11.5 inches and still expands.
I have seen something similiar on the UMC 88 grain Hollow point too.
With fmj the 380 goes clean thru the 19 inch gelatin block.
The 9mm hollowpoints almost always gets to at least the 12 inch mark.

Skribs
January 22, 2013, 12:02 PM
If you take two similar bullets (i.e. both Speer Gold Dot) and have a .380 that failed to expand and a 9mm that expanded...you'll get similar penetration.

CLP
January 22, 2013, 12:08 PM
what barrel lengths are the .380's being shot out of? what about the 9mm? just curious.

mgmorden
January 22, 2013, 12:13 PM
My guess is he's comparing about the hottest +P self-defense .380 rounds with off the shelf 9mm target ammo and then calling it almost as good.

I seriously doubt that at equal tiers they are comparable. Don't get me wrong - I carry a .380 and don't feel undergunned with it, but I still am under no illusions that its as powerful as 9x19.

heeler
January 22, 2013, 12:14 PM
Several tests I have seen with the results I mentioned are 380's such as the LCP,Kel Tec P3AT and the Kahr.
All of these barrels are under 3 inches with the Kahr being the shortest at 2.5 inches.
Several on the 9mm use the Glock 19,Diamondback DB9 and the Kahr PM9.

Droid noob
January 22, 2013, 12:23 PM
When I get home I'll post tnoutdoors you tube videos. He's very objective.

mastiffhound
January 22, 2013, 12:23 PM
mgmorden said:
My guess is he's comparing about the hottest +P self-defense .380 rounds with off the shelf 9mm target ammo and then calling it almost as good.

I seriously doubt that at equal tiers they are comparable.


That is why I put the info up for Two .380 factory loads that are what most would consider the best that they offer.

Even the 9mm plinking ammo has more energy than the best .380 acp.


.380 acp-90 grain ftx 1000 fps 200 ft lbs of energy (Hornady Critical Defense)
- +P 90 grain jhp 1200 fps 288 ft lbs of energy (Buffalo Bore, the best that I know of)

9x19mm- 115 grain fmj 1145 fps 335 ft lbs of energy (Remington UMC plinking ammo)
- +P 124 grain jhp 1225 fps 413 ft lbs of energy (Buffalo Bore)

2zulu1
January 22, 2013, 01:21 PM
Has anyone ever posted a thread trying to achieve 380 velocities shooting a 9mm?

From a handloader's point of reference, pulled out my well used Sierra #5 manual. For an expanding bullet, their recommendation is a 90gr JHP for the 380, max MV ~900fps, 3.25" barrel.

9mm, same 90gr JHP, 4" barrel; lowest powder load MV ~1100fps, max MV ~1400fps.

I have no idea who this person is who states 380 penetration is within inches of 9mm penetration; main point being that inches is plural and not singular.

In my mind, 500fps is a significant difference when comparing two calibers. From a velocity standpoint, the 9mm 147gr JHP is faster than the 380/90gr JHP and will penetrate "inches" more than the 380. :)

This expanded, handloaded 147gr Gold Dot chronographed 1150fps thru a G17, penetrated a redwood 4"x4" piece of wood, a steel washing machine lid, a cow rib and completely ruptured two 2 liter bottles filled with water.

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/Furniture147GD-4x4-lid-rib005.jpg

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/Furniture147GD-4x4-lid-rib008.jpg

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/Furniture147GD-4x4-lid-rib016.jpg

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/Furniture147GD-4x4-lid-rib017.jpg

The 380 doesn't have the momentum to run with the 9mm.

fastbolt
January 22, 2013, 01:38 PM
People say a lot of things and have a lot of opinions.

If the .380 ACP was so similar to the 9mm in overall performance and ballistic effect capability, we'd see service pistols being used by major US LE agencies and the US military chambered in .380 ACP.

A while ago I bought my first .380 (LCP) in more than 25 years. I didn't get it for its ballistic similarity to any of my compact/subcompact 9mm's (or my 5-shot snubs).

I got it strictly for its diminutive size and reputation for functioning among LE users ... and because I can carry it as a retirement weapon in some circumstances where I can't as easily conceal one of my 5-shot .38 snubs. I don't consider it to be ballistically equivalent to my .38 J-frames, but it serves a role.

Since I didn't want to rely on FMJ loads for my LCP, I tested it with Rem's 102gr BJHP (Golden Sabre), Speer's 90gr GDHP and Win's 95gr T-Series, all of which fed and fired just fine in the gun. I accept some compromise in the way of penetration for potential expansion in the little cartridge for its limited role regarding my intended usage.

mdauben
January 22, 2013, 01:43 PM
TN outdoors tested a +p 9mm and it only had 11 inches. Cd 380 also went 11 inches. The only difference was diameter of expansion.
You should not base a decision on just one test. I've seen several tests of 9mm 124gr +P that showed 13-14 inch penetration and several tests of .380 90gr that showed 10-11 inches. The 9mm +P was consistently better in both penetration and expansion.

Godsgunman
January 22, 2013, 02:00 PM
Ahhh another .380 vs 9mm luger thread. The ballistics just aren't there for me. You may get a buffalo bore .380 filled to max capacity to penetrate gel as far as a lower powered 9 but thats only one aspect. You're using quite a bit heavier bullet with the 9 at higher velocities creating more energy hitting the target. Plus of course the biggest factor for me is price. Why pay more money for .380 when I get better everything in the 9 which is cheaper. No brainer for me.

ScottieG59
January 22, 2013, 02:13 PM
My Kahr PM9 made this whole issue moot for me. I also have a P380 that handles the nonstandardized 380 +P.

Rather than depend on lab experiments, I prefer to go with data collected in actual shootings. This essentially limits the choices to something issued to law enforcement.

Law enforcement data puts the 9mm in the running and the 380 ACP out; there is just not the same real world data.

So there may be alternatives that may work, such as recent developments in the 380 ACP, but I will not be contributing to the data set. We already know what works in real gunfights: the 9mm.

Hurryin' Hoosier
January 22, 2013, 02:47 PM
When I was a kid I remember my dad calling his .380 a "9mm short". He and my grandfather are the only 2 people I've ever heard say that, so it may just be something that they came up with. Has anyone else ever heard of a .380 referred to that way?
Absolutely. The .380ACP (9X17MM) was originally (unless I'm mistaken) called the 9MM Browning. It's also called the 9MM Short, 9MM Corto, 9MM Kurz, and 9MM Scurt, depending on the country.

Hurryin' Hoosier
January 22, 2013, 02:49 PM
My personal 9MM preference is the 9X18MM Makarov (as carried in my Pistolet Makarova). ;)

Droid noob
January 22, 2013, 03:02 PM
Ahhh another .380 vs 9mm luger thread. The ballistics just aren't there for me. You may get a buffalo bore .380 filled to max capacity to penetrate gel as far as a lower powered 9 but thats only one aspect. You're using quite a bit heavier bullet with the 9 at higher velocities creating more energy hitting the target. Plus of course the biggest factor for me is price. Why pay more money for .380 when I get better everything in the 9 which is cheaper. No brainer for me.

Lol. The second time this has been posted. I just watched 380 hp penetrate as far as +p 9mm on tnoutdoors channel. The 9mm was quality ammo.

I don't even own a 380. Just was curious about ballistics. As far as actual gunfight data... Idk

MarshallDodge
January 22, 2013, 03:07 PM
As always, shot placement is key. It really doesn't matter what handgun bullet you are using for defense if you miss the vitals.

I like Tom's show and think he is a good guy but he is not an expert on everything, and at times like this it is apparent.

anchorman
January 22, 2013, 03:10 PM
Lol. The second time this has been posted. I just watched 380 hp penetrate as far as +p 9mm on tnoutdoors channel. The 9mm was quality ammo.

I don't even own a 380. Just was curious about ballistics. As far as actual gunfight data... Idk
penetration isn't everything. wound channel diameter makes a difference. it's simple math. for a given amount of muzzle energy you can have penetration or expansion. if you have enough energy in the projectile you get both.

2wheels
January 22, 2013, 03:35 PM
Lol. The second time this has been posted. I just watched 380 hp penetrate as far as +p 9mm on tnoutdoors channel. The 9mm was quality ammo.

I don't even own a 380. Just was curious about ballistics. As far as actual gunfight data... Idk
You just watched one .380 JHP equal one 9mm JHP on someones youtube channel, hardly proof that .380 is the overall equal to 9mm.

12-18 inches is the commonly accepted minimum penetration depth needed from a JHP. If a .380 fails to make at least 12 inches when a 9mm does, then being "within inches" ain't good enough! Depending on the JHP in question, .380 is much less likely to make that minimum depth.

Acera
January 22, 2013, 04:00 PM
Guys remember that round has been around for a long time, and has a solid reputation, even before modern loads and bullets were produced.

This little .380, used by Gavrilo Princip, took care of business, two shots, two dead, millions more soon followed.............

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00998/Ferdinand-Pistol_998344c.jpg

Droid noob
January 22, 2013, 04:11 PM
You just watched one .380 JHP equal one 9mm JHP on someones youtube channel, hardly proof that .380 is the overall equal to 9mm.

12-18 inches is the commonly accepted minimum penetration depth needed from a JHP. If a .380 fails to make at least 12 inches when a 9mm does, then being "within inches" ain't good enough! Depending on the JHP in question, .380 is much less likely to make that minimum depth.

I know what your saying. With seeing so much 380 on the shelves lately, I've been contemplating one. Couple that with seeing some 380 ballistics to 9mm and it's even more enticing. To be clear though, the +p 9mm didn't even make it 12 inches.

Madcap_Magician
January 22, 2013, 04:18 PM
today's 380 is very comparable to 9mm. He mentioned ballistics gel tests were within inches of each other on penetration.


This may be a true statement, but it's still not very helpful. Yes, you can compare .380 ACP to 9mm, but the .380 ACP comes up short. Ballistics gel tests are usually within inches of each other on penetration, but on a ballistics gel test, the 2-4" that a .380 ACP falls short compared to a 9mm is pretty significant.

Of course, a lot of that depends on how much stock you put on the FBI gel test standards. Most quality 9mm defensive ammunition will pass the test with at least 12" of penetration and expand to at least .45", as will some .38 Special +P. Virtually all .40 S&W and .45 ACP ammo will pass easily. But .380 ACP just doesn't have the oomph to do it and still expand. Most I've seen run from 8" to 10" of gel penetration, and good luck getting to the 14" of penetration that a good 147-gr. 9mm bullet will do.

jmr40
January 22, 2013, 05:59 PM
He mentioned ballistics gel tests were within inches of each other on penetration.



Read carefully. I have no doubt that this is an accurate statement, but penetration is only 1 way to determine effectiveness. No mention of expansion or energy numbers. Also "within inches" is pretty subjective.

That said, I think we all tend to split an awful lot of hairs in our discussions of different rounds. Myself included sometimes. I'd bet a good 380 round placed in the right spot will work almost as well as anything else.

2zulu1
January 22, 2013, 06:12 PM
I know what your saying. With seeing so much 380 on the shelves lately, I've been contemplating one. Couple that with seeing some 380 ballistics to 9mm and it's even more enticing. To be clear though, the +p 9mm didn't even make it 12 inches.
There are tests in which the 357mag 125gr SJHPs don't make 12". Do you believe the 380 runs with the 357mag?

we are not amused
January 22, 2013, 06:13 PM
What Tom was referring to was effectiveness, and the modern self-defense bullets in the .380 round are much better than they used to be.

They probably are about as effective as a 9mm in stopping most attacks.

Another important consideration is what are you more likely to carry more often.

The full size 9mm, or .45 acp or 10mm isn't going to do you much good, if you aren't carrying it because of it's weight or size.

Any handgun cartridge is far less effective than any rifle cartridge, but is much easier to carry and conceal, so we already accept a limitation on practical grounds. The question is, is a .380 capable of doing the job you need it to? An awful amount of people say yes.

Skribs
January 22, 2013, 07:32 PM
In all fairness, you're comparing a small .380 to a full-size 9. There are a lot of 9s that are similar in size to most .380s...the Sig P238 and P938 is a good example. Yes, some .380s are smaller than that, I'm just saying the choice isn't just between a Glock 17L and a LCP.

My issue with the .380 is it's around the threshold where the JHP vs. FMJ debate gets interesting. 9mm or above, JHP is pretty much the way to go for SD. .32 ACP or below, FMJ definitely wins out. .38 spl and .380 acp...well, it's a toss-up (I prefer FMJ).

AFDavis11
January 22, 2013, 08:43 PM
They are very comparable. I've never been impressed with either one! Comparison over; they both come out equal. Now, that wasn't so hard. ;)

rgwalt
January 23, 2013, 04:33 AM
A .380 that you carry regularly is much better protection than the .40 or .45 that you decide to leave at home because it is too big, or to heavy, or otherwise a hassle to carry. I really love my P238 because it is small and fairly light while also being solidly built. I know myself and know my habits and if I can't stick the gun in my pocket on my way out the door to grab some groceries or run to the ATM, then I'm not going to carry it.

A buddy of mine had a subcompact .40 glock that is a great gun to carry but is painful (literally) to shoot. Maybe I'm just a <deleted>, but I will be far more likely to practice with a gun that is easy and enjoyable to shoot. I am very accurate with my P238, which makes me hope I could place 2 out of 6 shots in a life or death situation. If I thought I had to carry a 40 to do the job, but I rarely practiced with it because I was afraid to pull the trigger, that gun does me little good.

So .380 may be a weak round, but it is still my round of choice for carrying.

iblong
January 23, 2013, 08:35 AM
While I do think a good 380 rnd is creeping up on 38spl std. loads from similar lenght barrels,I do not believe it is in anyway a true competiter to the 9mm.
Jmho.

Double Naught Spy
January 23, 2013, 09:32 AM
What Tom was referring to was effectiveness, and the modern self-defense bullets in the .380 round are much better than they used to be.

So a new 380 is like 9mm from the 1960s? 9mm has improved as well with time as have many calibers.

Better than it used to be doesn't mean it is comparable to something better that has also improved.

Droid noob
January 23, 2013, 10:03 AM
To expound on my OP. I carry 9 or 40 all the time. The main reason I started the thread was because I'm seeing 380 on the shelves most everywhere. It got me thinking about a 380 pistol. I'm not sure I would carry it, but found it interesting that Tom and company were making it sound like a comparable cartridge to 9mm. In toms defense it was a fleeting comment. The conversation wasn't centered on him saying 380 was as good as 9mm. Nevertheless, I started looking at ballistic tests, they didn't look to be significantly different. I see it's a good conversation piece though lol.

fastbolt
January 23, 2013, 02:32 PM
Better than it used to be doesn't mean it is comparable to something better that has also improved.

Nicely said. ;)

In toms defense it was a fleeting comment. The conversation wasn't centered on him saying 380 was as good as 9mm.

A fair comment to inject to help ground the thread topic.

ATLDave
January 23, 2013, 04:04 PM
I guess they are comparable in the sense that you can compare them. They're both cartridges designed to do essentially the same thing, so it is possible to analyze them side-by-side. (By way of contrast, a comparison of an elephant versus an aircraft lease agreement would be meaningless.)

That said, the comparisson will reveal material differences. They may be comparable, but they are by no means equivalent, nor necessarily even substitutable.

Girodin
January 23, 2013, 04:26 PM
He mentioned ballistics gel tests were within inches of each other on penetration.

One thing to make sure you are accounting for with such tests is whether it is an apples to apples comparison. Factors that can make it apples to oranges include: barrel lengths, bullet construction, bullet weights and velocities of the loads vis-a-vis the full potential in the cartridge. Its also important to make sure the gel is calibrated. If not a comparison doesn't mean much at all.

An extreme example of all of this would be an 80 grain 9x19 glasser safety slug with a light charge fired from a Rohrbaugh R9 compared to a 100 grain hard cast buffalo bore +P .380 round fired from a Glock 25.

I don't think what they are comparing is as extreme as the above, in fact I have long argued that guns like the R9 with very short barrels have little if any real advantage over some of the 380 options when comparing terminal ballistics and the accompanying trade offs to get such a small 9x19. That said, I want to see the test in question before I believe the are too meaningful.

Skribs
January 23, 2013, 04:45 PM
Girodin, it could also be similar bullets with different factors. I saw in another thread here (don't remember which, but it was one of the .380 threads) four different .380 vs. 9 tests. In 3 of the tests, they expanded about the same, but the 9 penetrated twice as deep. In the 4th test, the .380 failed to expand (but the 9 expanded), so it penetrated just about as deep. So yes, the penetration is the same (and it was a good side-by-side, both were the same brand and product line), but that doesn't mean it's as effective.

Honestly, I'm starting to consider a .32 to replace my .380, if I'm going to use FMJs anyway.

Girodin
January 23, 2013, 04:55 PM
Exactly, Skribs. I should have perhaps said bullet construction/performance, as similar bullet construction can perform differently under different conditions, i.e. not expand if clogged with clothing, not expand at lower velocities, etc. You point than an unexpanded .380 is less effective than a fully expanded 9x19 even if they penetrate the same is something some might miss. How much of a difference that expansion will or wont make in a particular case is another question.

Deer_Freak
January 23, 2013, 06:08 PM
I don't know how Tom is doing his math. Even +P 380 rounds only make around 225 FT LBs of energy. Any 9mm target load makes over 300 ft lb of energy. If you make an apples to apples comparison no 380 load can match a 9mm load in any fashion. 9mm WWB ammo will blow right through a 24" block of ballistic gelatin. There might be hollow point 380 rounds that will penetrate as deeply as a 9mm in ballistic gelatin but they don't have the same energy dump. Ballistic gelatin doesn't wear leather coats that will knock the steam off a 380 round before it even hits the attacker.

I would have to say Tom is misinformed.

Skribs
January 23, 2013, 06:16 PM
The important thing to take away from that, Girodin, is that if you want sufficient penetration, you are comparing a .36" hole to a 0.6" (give or take) hole. Most shots it won't make or break anything, but it can lead to faster incapacitation (especially when .380 would have near-missed).

Bovice
January 23, 2013, 11:36 PM
Wow. A lot of you guys seem to have an inflated opinion of 9mm. I thought we were all in agreement that ammo technology has come a long way, that 9s could be just as good as the .45 and other larger intermediate calibers. So why, then, does it seem so impossible that a .380 could match 9mm? It doesn't mean match +p+ 9mm, because that's an unfair comparison.

Certaindeaf
January 23, 2013, 11:47 PM
^
I think it's because the street/empirical data shows that to be true. "Inflated"?, har

Bovice
January 23, 2013, 11:57 PM
If 9 can rise up several levels, there's no reason why a .380 could not. Data can be manipulated to show different things. Given the right circumstances, a .380 could pull it off. If we started comparing "results" to barrel lengths in common pistol calibers, I think we'd start seeing the deficiencies of 9mm to the larger calibers, just as you claim .380 is a lesser round.

Certaindeaf
January 23, 2013, 11:59 PM
Clark can Clark? anyways. What are you talking about?

Bovice
January 24, 2013, 12:03 AM
Most of the "street" data is from pocket 380s. Comparing that to your Glock 17 with +p 9mm isn't a straight comparison. A fair comparison would be standard 9mm and modern 380 in similar length barrels. I think you could say it's "pretty much the same" just like we would for 9 vs. .40/.45/357 SIG.

2wheels
January 24, 2013, 10:39 AM
Most of the "street" data is from pocket 380s. Comparing that to your Glock 17 with +p 9mm isn't a straight comparison. A fair comparison would be standard 9mm and modern 380 in similar length barrels. I think you could say it's "pretty much the same" just like we would for 9 vs. .40/.45/357 SIG.
I'm looking at the ballistics by the inch website right now, seems that even with identical length barrels a 9mm can toss a heavier bullet as fast or faster than .380, without needing to go +P.

.380 will always lag behind 9mm, there's really no way around it. It's only advantage as far as I'm concerned is that it is better suited for smaller platforms.

carbine85
January 24, 2013, 11:28 AM
TN outdoors tested a +p 9mm and it only had 11 inches. Cd 380 also went 11 inches. The only difference was diameter of expansio
Exactly. That extra power of the +P and expansion = more damage and stopping power.
The FBI also did some testing. The Remington Golden Saber 125 gr+P and 145 gr are extremly damaging.

22-rimfire
January 24, 2013, 01:57 PM
GunTalk Tom has been known to be wrong before.

Girodin
January 24, 2013, 02:25 PM
Most of the "street" data is from pocket 380s. Comparing that to your Glock 17 with +p 9mm isn't a straight comparison. A fair comparison would be standard 9mm and modern 380 in similar length barrels.

The useful comparison to make is to compare guns and loads one is actually choosing between carrying. It is perfectly sensible for me to talk about how a .380 out of an LCP compares to a +p+ 9x19 out of a G19 or 17 if that is what is being carried. What matters to me is what I'm actually going to have. If the choice is between a P238 and a PM9 then I ought to compare loads suited for those guns and fired from those guns. At that point comparing what 9x19 does out of a 5" barrel is silly, because that is not what 9x19 will do out of one's PM9. This is why when one gets to the very smallest 9x19s I think there is much less difference than many of those boasting of having a 9x19 seem to think. With the new LC380 it would make sense to compare it to the LC9.

With the small guns I think it is only half the story to compare terminal ballistics. An R9 for example is a pretty small gun. It has a ballistic edge on say a Sig P238 or a Mustang. However, IMHO, the Sig/Mustang is about 10x the shooter that the R9 is. The R9 has an absurdly high bore axis, a very small grip, and garbage sights (if it is a model that is even equipped with sights). The mustang and to a lesser degree the sig have much better triggers. They are much easier to shoot well and tend to allow for faster follow ups. I would put my money one the sig/Colt in a Balance Speed Accuracy (BSA) drill. Those guns also have handy features like mag release one can hit with their thumb as opposed to a heal release, they have a LRBHO, the have slide lock/release lever (which is handi in conjunction with the LRBHO for speed reloads but is also a good feature for clearing double feeds). The Sig/Colt are guns that are much more conducive to putting in more time training. So while the R9 fires a round that offers more energy there are two important considerations beyond the energy numbers, at least IMHO. First, what practical difference is that energy likely to make in terms of affect on target, in essence looking at terminal ballistics not just the energy numbers. Second, look at the guns and ones ability to shoot them well, make quick follow ups, and run the guns well. A sig P238 is a better choice than a Pm40 (they are real close in size) if I can shoot and run the sig better.

Skribs
January 24, 2013, 02:38 PM
Wow. A lot of you guys seem to have an inflated opinion of 9mm. I thought we were all in agreement that ammo technology has come a long way, that 9s could be just as good as the .45 and other larger intermediate calibers. So why, then, does it seem so impossible that a .380 could match 9mm? It doesn't mean match +p+ 9mm, because that's an unfair comparison.

I look at the empirical evidence. There are a lot of variables in street shootings, ballistics gel gives us more stable results.

9mm vs. .45, similar construction (i.e. 147 gr vs. 230 gr, both Speer Gold Dot) you'll find the 9mm will penetrate maybe 13" and the .45 14" (both are above the recommended 12"), and the 9mm will expand to maybe 0.65" and the .45 to 0.77" (not quite the same ratio as .45 to .36). Therefore, the .45 is better, but only by a little bit, and thus it is worth considering the other factors (capacity, recoil, cost) associate with the round.

.380 vs. 9mm, you'll probably looking at 8" vs. 13", both expanded to 0.65", or 13" vs. 13", with the .380 unexpanded. So with rounds that penetrate "enough", you have from the .45 to the .380 holes that are 0.77" wide, 0.65" wide, and 0.36" wide. The .380 doesn't have many advantages over the 9 in a similar platform.

The .380 is only worthwhile if the platform is made significantly smaller than the 9. IMO, it is not worth it in something similar to a 9.

ETA: Girodin, you like the P238, but not the R9. What about the P938? It's basically the same gun, just slightly bigger.

Certaindeaf
January 24, 2013, 05:03 PM
I've popped a pile of animals with the 9mm. I've reloaded for well over three decades for that caliber.. heavy and light, bullet weight and psi (before super-vel fast or FBI with the 147 thingajig). It'll do some work. The .380 is, at best, a rabbit or coyote gun if you can hit it.

Deer_Freak
January 24, 2013, 07:11 PM
Double tap does a great job of giving honest ballistics. Here is their data.

380 ACP 95gr. FMJ
Muzzle Energy: 201 ft. lbs. Kel-Tec
248 ft. lbs. 3.5" bbl Bersa Thunder

9mm+P 147gr FMJ Flat Point
Ballistics : 147gr @ 1135fps / 421ft. lbs. from a G17.
Glock 19 velocity - 1120fps.

I would like to know how the 380 is equal to the 9mm. Tom needs to sell that stuff he has been smoking. I used a FMJ for the comparison because most people shoot FMJ ammo in a 380. They don't believe a hollow point will expand in a 380. plus a lot of mouse guns won't function with hollow point ammo.

Skribs
January 25, 2013, 12:18 PM
FMJ and JHP at the same weight and velocity will have the same energy.

The problem isn't that JHP won't expand in .380...the problem is it will expand, and the penetration suffers.

Deer_Freak
January 25, 2013, 06:03 PM
FMJ and JHP at the same weight and velocity will have the same energy.

The problem isn't that JHP won't expand in .380...the problem is it will expand, and the penetration suffers.

Whatever dude! I don't put much weight on the information that comes out of a forum. I tend to put more weight on what experienced shooters tell me. Right or wrong you get the popular answer from a forum. I don't know if a forum user has even fired a 380. They are just repeating what the lead dog said in his answer.

Skribs
January 25, 2013, 06:33 PM
Would you care to comment on my points instead of hinting that because I'm typing on a forum I'm a liar with no experience? You are typing on a forum, too, so why should we trust you?

My knowledge on terminal ballistics comes from professional ballistics gel tests using similar rounds, and my knowledge on what is needed for terminal ballistics comes from the FBI reports following the Miami shootout. I did not contradict your data, I merely pointed out that FMJ vs. JHP is still a valid comparison if looking only at muzzle energy.

I'd also like to point out that if the JHP failed to expand, it would function like a FMJ, so if the belief is that .380 JHP fails to expand, therefore FMJ is better, it would actually be equal to FMJ. The only thing that separates JHP from FMJ, in terms of performance (well, and cost) is the expansion. If FMJ is preferred, it's because it penetrates deeper.

Rexster
January 25, 2013, 07:21 PM
.380 has stopped plenty of folks in their tracks; I have seen crimes scenes where it as happened, but I think 9mm is usually going to smash through a lot more intervening cover than .380, which may be irrelevant in a face-to-face 'jacking, but very relevant if among vehicles, walls, fences, doors, and such. I am not opposed to the .380, but if that is what I have in my hands at a given moment in time, I must be aware if its limitations.

I am no ballistics expert, but do work police patrol in a big, mean city. I have observed many bullet paths through various materials, and in this age of autoloader popularity, the cartridge case makes for a nice calling card, for the bullet that made the hole. 9mm, .40, and .45 can smash through substantial cover that will stop a .380 bullet.

If I am walking in my neighborhod, and a car full of, uh, Utes, yes, Utes, stops nearby, and one steps out with a weapon to rob me, in a common gang-initiation robbery scenario, I may be able to inflict great harm upon the dismounted 'jacker, but the ones within the car will have substantial cover. This will not be so bad if the whole team is sharing one pistol, but if the whole team is armed, life could get really interesting, as they might as well be inside a tank if all I have is a .380 pistol.

Please do not misunderstand; I happen to like the .380, and am actually considering certain larger .380 pistols for a purchase in the near future. I am not a fan of tiny plastic .380 pistols, but there are hand-filling metal pistols such as Walthers and Berettas I do like.

k_dawg
January 25, 2013, 10:51 PM
It's kind of like saying those family cars are very comparable to sports cars in performance.

If you are comparing today's family car to sports cars of 40-50 years ago, it might be true.


E60 S85 Any Questions? lol

I once ran the Dragon with a ton of 'baby on board' stickers on it. Too funny.

I suppose one may argue that a modern .380acp is comparable in effectiveness to FMJ for self defense purposes. And yes, one could compare the ballistics of a .380acp in the same barrel as a 9mm. But why? The only major reason to chose a .380 is if the 9mm is simply too large.

CZguy
January 26, 2013, 12:00 AM
Whatever dude! I don't put much weight on the information that comes out of a forum. I tend to put more weight on what experienced shooters tell me. Right or wrong you get the popular answer from a forum. I don't know if a forum user has even fired a 380. They are just repeating what the lead dog said in his answer.

You do know that you typed that don't you? You didn't just think it. :scrutiny:

As an aside, for those who don't live in the country and have their own range, with cars to shoot up. The 9mm penetrates really well, and while the .380 in FMJ doesn't penetrate as well, but it will penetrate a car door just fine.

Sam1911
January 26, 2013, 11:30 AM
<Posts Deleted>

Wow, this is completely unprecedented! A caliber war thread got heated and people started to toss insults? Holy cow, I'd never have guessed!

:scrutiny:

Do better in the future, folks.

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