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Best self defense ammo for an LCP .380?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Buck1959, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. Buck1959

    Buck1959 Member

    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?
  2. Tomac

    Tomac Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  5. huntsman

    huntsman Well-Known Member

    ball ammo, Remington Express
  6. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Well-Known Member

  8. antiquus

    antiquus Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Well-Known Member

    I use FMJ in 380 for better feeding and penetration. If you feel you need a +P or +P+ get a 9mm parabellum.
  10. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    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...
  12. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    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.
  13. History.Doc

    History.Doc Well-Known Member

    Federal works fine in mine also.
  14. tuj

    tuj Well-Known Member

  15. orionengnr

    orionengnr Well-Known Member

    When I had an LCP, it was stoked with CorBon DPX.
  16. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Well-Known Member

    Winchester Q4206 FMJ flat nose. The flat nose crushes more tissue than a round nose FMJ.

  17. wnycollector

    wnycollector Well-Known Member

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

    CougarRed Well-Known Member

    Wilson Combat XTP. Low flash and low recoil. Penetrates 12" and expands some, certainly more than a flat nose.
  19. mes228

    mes228 Well-Known Member


    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.
  20. huntsman

    huntsman Well-Known Member

    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

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