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.380 ammo poll - Ball/FMJ vs. HPs

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow, Feb 11, 2010.


In a defensive .380, which and why?

  1. Ball only, mainly due to feeding concerns

    4 vote(s)
  2. Ball only, mainly due to penetration concerns

    29 vote(s)
  3. HPs penetrate & feed fine in my .380 (post which gun & which ammo please)

    44 vote(s)
  4. I don't and wouldn't carry a .380

    11 vote(s)
  1. Pick one & discuss.
  2. PS. If you favor lead, like the BB hardcast 100, then please refrain from voting, because it doesn't have the feeding characteristics of ball, and doesn't have the expansion / lack of penetration characteristics of HPs, so it's just an anamoly for my poll. But please DO post and tell us that you prefer cast lead round, if that's what you carry.

    In fact, my poll is less than ideal - I should have added 3 two options:

    3. Ball only, mainly due to the lower cost & availability of practice ammo, coupled with the importance of having congruence between practice ammo with carry ammo.

    5. Neither; I carry cast lead rounds in .380

    If a moderator could add those two, that'd be great; thanks.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  3. Girodin

    Girodin Well-Known Member

    Critical defense--it out penetrates many of the FMJ loads I've shot. Many FMJ loads are range ammo and are downloaded. Thus, anyone who thinks they are getting FMJ for superior penetration needs to make sure they are getting a load that will actually offer it.

    The critical defense offers good expansion. It has fed 100% through my LCP and my Mustang.

    MICHAEL T Well-Known Member

    Bersa Thunder , PPK/S, 2 Colt Mustangs , and a KelTec all loaded with Corbon DPX or Corbon 90gr HP . But I have not really had a problem with any HP I have tried in these pistols .
  5. rswartsell

    rswartsell Well-Known Member

    FEG PMK-380, Speer Gold Dot 90gr GDHP. A tick under 1,000 fps, also a tick under 200 # at muzzle.

    Speer GDHP are always outstanding performers for me.
  6. Bill B.

    Bill B. Well-Known Member

    Quite a bit of the .380 loads loaded in Europe / Eastern Block seen hotter than USA ammo for what it's worth .....................
  7. kokapelli

    kokapelli Well-Known Member

    In Goldenloki's 380 gelatin tests http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/380acp/gel380acp.htm using a P-3AT pistol as the test platform ALL fmj rounds penetrated much deeper than Critical Defense 380 and Cor Bon JHP 90 grain had significantly deeper penetration and greater expansion than the Critical Defense.

    The Cor Bon 80gr DPX round had almost as good penetration as the Critical Defense round but the DPX had way better expansion.

    The Speer GDHP also had deeper penetration and slightly better expansion than the Critical Defense round.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2010
  8. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    In colder weather (more than usual of that lately here in Florida), FNEBs, which are closer to ball. More penetration than HP, which is more likely to be needed against thugs wearing heavier clothing.
    In warmer weather, which is most of the time, JHPs are carried.
    These two loads are the only 380 ammo I have, and I have about 200 rounds of each. I'm satisfied with the performance of each. Both feed fine in my Bersa Thunder. Both are Remington UMC loads. The first is 95 grains, I believe, and the second is 88.
    Because I carry both, I did not cast a vote.
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    1st. Gen Kel-Tec P3AT.

    Feeds any JHP load or reload I have tried in it after a couple hundred rounds break-in when it was new.

    Currently loaded with Federal HS.

  10. denfoote

    denfoote Well-Known Member

    HPs penetrate & feed fine in my .380 (post which gun & which ammo please)

    I run Fiocchi hollow points tipped with the Hornady XTP bullet.

    My 9mm kurz launching platform is this:

  11. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Well-Known Member

    I have a P3AT at home loaded with 95 grain cast bullets and 4.2 grains of Unique as a backup HD gun. (primary is a S&W 15 with LSWCHP's.) I have some 102 grain Remington Golden Something hollow points but I haven't tried them yet (bullets, not ammo.) They look like they should feed well but who knows.

    The P3AT may get promoted to a carry gun soon -- in which case I'll load it with whatever brand of factory 95 grain FMJ's is handy. It feeds the Winchester flat-nosed just fine, so probably those. If the Remingtom bullets are a winner, I might seek out some ammo loaded with them.
  12. rswartsell

    rswartsell Well-Known Member

    I'll have to give those Cor Bon 90 gr JHP a try. Used some Cor Bon hunting loads and liked 'em. Never thought these would outperform the Speer GDHP though.

    The Goldenloki test doesn't cover weight retention but the pic looks good for the Cor Bon 90 JHP. The DPX looks like it might have lost some though.
  13. Just One Shot

    Just One Shot Well-Known Member

    LCP w/ Hornady's Critical Defense.
  14. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Well-Known Member

    Fiocci hollow points on my Bersa Thunder .380 with factory mags.
  15. Phantom Captain

    Phantom Captain Well-Known Member

    Walther PPK/s with the heavy Remington Golden Sabers
  16. OldCavSoldier

    OldCavSoldier Well-Known Member

    Walther PPK and Colt Gov't Model .380 with Handloaded Hornady 90gr XTPs. Both the Walther and the Colt just LOVE 'em.
  17. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

  18. Now that's just wrong.... :evil:
  19. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member

    as fun as it was it had to have been.

    That year they were thick on the ground for some reason and I was charged with offing every one I saw by the landowner

    Seriously though I burnt up a whole box though a bersa thunder and not once did a shot keep a armadillo from running to it's burrow. And many shots did not exit even on a critter as small as a "texas speed bump"
  20. TheDawgfather

    TheDawgfather New Member

    Haven't had any problems in my PPK/S shooting Federal Hydra Shok.

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