Best self defense ammo for an LCP .380?


PDA






Buck1959
June 25, 2013, 08:26 AM
I recieved my CWP last week and have started carrying a Ruger LCP .380.
I was told by a local gun shop that the only thing that works well in that gun is Hornady 380 critical defense. Of course, even online there is none to be found.

So my question to fellow LCP carriers, what ammo works well for you?

If you enjoyed reading about "Best self defense ammo for an LCP .380?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Tomac
June 25, 2013, 08:47 AM
Shot placement and sufficient penetration are paramount, all else is secondary.
Expanding rds for the .380 don't have sufficient penetration so it's FMJ/solids only for the wife's Kahr P380 (Buffalo Bore 100gr hard cast).
If I had to use an expanding rd for the .380 I'd look at the CorBon DPX all-copper or the similar Buffalo Bore loading.
Tomac

Deus Machina
June 25, 2013, 08:57 AM
In Florida, you don't have to worry about heavy clothes being in the way.
I also don't strictly subscribe to the "12 inches or more" FBI penetration guidelines. So while expanding .380 is a little lacking compared to... anything more substantial, really, you'll be just fine with Critical Defense, Gold Dot, or any of the other big names you can find right now.
But I do agree that CorBon DPX is considered sort of the holy grail of .380 loads. Nothing's perfect, but that's as good as it gets.

MedWheeler
June 25, 2013, 09:32 AM
Nobody can tell you what is the "only stuff that works in your gun." What you find to function well in your gun is what works.

When I carried a "pocket .380", which was admittedly rare, it was stoked with what I could find that ran in the gun, a Grendel P10. That was (and still is, though the gun is no longer regularly carried) simple Remington-UMC 95-grain FNEB stuff. It's a semi-jacketed flat-nosed lead solid round. Didn't worry me one bit.

My P32 is loaded with two rounds (first two up) of flat-tipped WWB FMJ stuff, followed by Fiocchi RN-FMJ, the latter being strictly for the prevention of rimlock (which is not a concern for you, as .380 ammo is not subject to rimlock as .32 is.)

You say you've already started carrying it. With what is it currently loaded, and have you proofed that load?

Rock what you got, and worry about the "super-trendy-whizz-bang" stuff when you can find, afford, and proof it.

huntsman
June 25, 2013, 09:51 AM
ball ammo, Remington Express

mljdeckard
June 25, 2013, 10:07 AM
I think Critical Defense is gimmick ammo. I think that it is a solution looking for a problem. And I seriously doubt that any other premium defensive ammo is any more or less likely to fail to expand with clothing than Critical Defense.

It's a free country, and you can do what you want, but I think that very small guns are not good beginner guns. They are harder to aim and shoot accurately.

If I carried a .380, (or more likely, someone I know insisted on carrying one against my advice,) I would steer them towards hot loads like thos available from Double-Tap, to try to bridge the gap between .380 and 9mm.

You do what you want.

OilyPablo
June 25, 2013, 10:15 AM
Buffalo Bore Hard cast flat nose.

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=127

antiquus
June 25, 2013, 01:20 PM
My LCP eats any FMJ ammo I've fed it, and has never seen a JHP. Currently, it's loaded with Silver Bear FMJ, because it is reliable, steel jacketed and penetrates well.

GRIZ22
June 25, 2013, 01:38 PM
I use FMJ in 380 for better feeding and penetration. If you feel you need a +P or +P+ get a 9mm parabellum.

OptimusPrime
June 25, 2013, 01:50 PM
I load the Mrs. with Golden Saber because it's 102 grains and I'm a fan of bigger=better. It feeds flawlessly in her gun and if it expands, great. If it doesn't expand, it's the same as FMJ.
Mostly though, it has to feed 100% that's how you'll choose the right ammo for you.

1KPerDay
June 25, 2013, 02:05 PM
If you try buffalo Bore or Cor-bon hot stuff make sure it works in your pistol. That's the only stuff my LCP doesn't run flawlessly.

I run Speer Gold Dots primarily... or whatever federal premium JHP is available.

Or Fiocchi FMJ...

Certaindeaf
June 25, 2013, 02:34 PM
.Expanding rds for the .380 don't have sufficient penetration so it's FMJ/solids only for the wife's Kahr P380 (Buffalo Bore 100gr hard cast)..
Those BB loads have over thirty inches of penetration. Nothing wrong with that, perhaps.
Oh, and a FMJ is not a "hard cast".. they are FMJ.

History.Doc
June 25, 2013, 06:46 PM
Federal works fine in mine also.

tuj
June 25, 2013, 07:06 PM
Barnes Tac-XP bullet from ASYM Precision.

http://store.chencustom.com/category_s/117.htm

orionengnr
June 25, 2013, 08:44 PM
When I had an LCP, it was stoked with CorBon DPX.

Shawn Dodson
June 25, 2013, 09:06 PM
Winchester Q4206 FMJ flat nose. The flat nose crushes more tissue than a round nose FMJ.

http://www.huntingsuppliesoutfitter.com/shop/media/images/product_detail/wincpicq4206.jpg

wnycollector
June 25, 2013, 11:57 PM
Winchester Q4206 FMJ flat nose.

+1 on that. This is what I carry in my LCP.

CougarRed
June 26, 2013, 09:36 AM
Wilson Combat XTP. Low flash and low recoil. Penetrates 12" and expands some, certainly more than a flat nose.

mes228
June 26, 2013, 10:40 AM
No one thinks a second about carrying hollow points in a .38 special. Why then would they not carry HP's in a .380? There seems to be little difference between the two as far as "numbers" go. I prefer penetration over expansion IF YOU MUST CHOOSE ONLY ONE. Is that the case with the .380? Seems the greater likely hood is that a HP may not expand at .380 velocities.

If that occurs, you still have the penetration of ball ammo. If the round does expand, I suspect you would still get several inches of penetration. My position on this is "if your mouse gun will reliably run HP's there is no reason not to carry them". In the .380's I've fired (Sig, Ruger, Keltec, North American) I've had almost no problems feeding HP's. Perhaps I'm wrong but I'd carry Remington Golden Saber in the first mag. If the pistol would run it.

huntsman
June 26, 2013, 10:56 AM
If the round does expand, I suspect you would still get several inches of penetration.

and what if that's not enough? maybe several inches on a thin human is enough but according to .gov we're becoming an obese nation, 3" of fat first could make your several inches of penetration worthless

CougarRed
June 26, 2013, 10:56 AM
No one thinks a second about carrying hollow points in a .38 special. Why then would they not carry HP's in a .380?

Actually, it took the ammo industry decades to come up with 38 special load that would penetrate and expand reliably per FBI testing protocols out of a snubnose.

JHPs out of 380 mousegun barrels usually don't penetrate anywhere close to the 12" minimum if they expand. I've noted the exceptions to the rule elsewhere (XTP, HydraShok). And the reason they are exceptions is because they expand less than average.

huntsman
June 26, 2013, 11:05 AM
Winchester Q4206 FMJ flat nose. The flat nose crushes more tissue than a round nose FMJ.

http://www.huntingsuppliesoutfitter.com/shop/media/images/product_detail/wincpicq4206.jpg
I've used that ammo for plinking but for carry ammo I have doubts about their QC, it's still just ammo made to a price point.

I've settled on Remington Express not because it's a magic bullet but because it was the accepted standard target ammo and carried the brand quality that shooters used to demand.

mes228
June 26, 2013, 12:46 PM
There are videos I've seen with the Rem. Gld. Saber in .380 penetrating ballistic gelatin as far as ball ammo does. The point was clogged with the denim they covered the gelatin with. There was no expansion, but plenty of penetration. However, I must admit to not really knowing anything "for sure". I'm just a shooter and a reader. The main point I was making is the perception difference between .38 special and .380 auto. Essentially the same in performance numbers yet I think most would use HP's in a .38 special.

Certaindeaf
June 26, 2013, 02:28 PM
If you handload and cast, the Lee 105 grain SWC works pretty good. It makes a hole much bigger than itself in/through meat and bone.. from the get go.

http://www.titanreloading.com/image/cache/data/Products/90315-250x250.jpg

Shawn Dodson
June 26, 2013, 03:28 PM
Why then would they not carry HP's in a .380? There seems to be little difference between the two as far as "numbers" go.

The most important "number" is sectional density. A 90gr .380 JHP bullet has a sectional density of 0.102. Whereas 110gr .38 Special has a sectional density of 0.123; 125gr has a sectional density of 0.140; and 135gr has a sectional density of 0.153.

.380 ACP cannot propel a JHP bullet that possesses sufficient sectional density to reliably achieve adequate penetration after the bullet expands.

If a bullet has to first pass through an arm to penetrate the chest then the bullet can lose as much as 30% of its TOTAL penetration potential. Thus a bullet that normally penetrates 10" may, in this situation, penetrate only 7" TOTAL. If you subtract 3-4 inches just for passing through an arm then you have 3-4 inches penetration potential remaining to reach and damage vitals in the torso.

ShortFatHokie
June 26, 2013, 04:41 PM
http://www.underwoodammo.com/380acp95grainjacketedhollowpointboxof50-1.aspx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3h1Ml5h2ECY

oneounceload
June 26, 2013, 08:51 PM
The ammo to shoot in your gun is the ammo that works in your gun every time and is also able to be readily and accurately shot by you. Shooting super hot loads out of really tiny and light guns is painful and difficult to get a follow up shot, so be prepared for some discomfort

CougarRed
June 26, 2013, 11:27 PM
Here are my complete thoughts (http://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php?3499-380-JHP-vs-Ball&p=142070&viewfull=1#post142070) on the matter.

CSG
June 27, 2013, 01:55 AM
Anything you can put where it counts, whether hardball or super duper HP self defense ammo. I carry Speer Gold Dots in my LCP because local law enforcement uses the same ammo in their weapons.

But something to keep in mind, hardball rarely jams compared to hollow points all else being equal.

"Well, your honor, he didn't use anything different than the police use." This as an answer to the prosecution's charge of using mushrooming killer rounds.

Gary A
June 27, 2013, 02:33 AM
But something to keep in mind, hardball rarely jams compared to hollow points all else being equal.
And that counts for a whole big bunch!

Tomac
June 27, 2013, 08:28 AM
Oh, and a FMJ is not a "hard cast".. they are FMJ.

Please show me where I stated that "hard cast" = FMJ.
Tomac

Steve C
June 27, 2013, 02:41 PM
I carry Federal Hydrashoks in my P3AT. While they are an older technology they have stood the test of time being still in use and they feed reliably in my gun. In the gel tests on Youtube they show good performance and penetration.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ6PgHhNYg0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-h8L0HanK4

Torian
June 27, 2013, 03:21 PM
I used to be a big fan of buffalo bore until I discovered underwood ammo. Check out their 90 grain bonded +P JHP load:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3h1Ml5h2ECY

EDIT:

Looks like someone already beat me to it :)

CougarRed
June 27, 2013, 03:47 PM
I carry Federal Hydrashoks in my P3AT. While they are an older technology they have stood the test of time being still in use and they feed reliably in my gun. In the gel tests on Youtube they show good performance and penetration.


That's a good choice. They expand a little better than the XTP, but don't penetrate quite as well. Usually over 10" though.

Since I care more about penetration, it would be my second choice if I ran out of XTP. The Gold Dot is the other nice 380 JHP.

If you enjoyed reading about "Best self defense ammo for an LCP .380?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!