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LCP: FMJ or HP for Carry?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by TrailWolf, May 11, 2012.


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

Poll closed Jun 10, 2012.
  1. Full Metal Jacket

    63 vote(s)
  2. Hollow Points

    80 vote(s)
  3. Dump your LCP and carry your 642 instead, you moron

    28 vote(s)
  1. TrailWolf

    TrailWolf Well-Known Member

    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?

    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  2. needmorecowbell

    needmorecowbell Well-Known Member

    I don't trust hollow points in such a small gun so it's fmj for me.
  3. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. dubya450

    dubya450 Well-Known Member

    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.
  5. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Well-Known Member

    If you carry the LCP, load it with the hottest FMJ it can handle safely. In anemic calibers lower than 9mm, penetration>expansion.
  6. TrailWolf

    TrailWolf Well-Known Member

    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.

  7. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. ritepath

    ritepath Well-Known Member

    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. :eek:
  9. heeler

    heeler Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  11. Rampant_Colt

    Rampant_Colt Well-Known Member

    Remington 102gr Golden Sabers. Why? Because Federal Hydra-Shok bullets are notorious for clogging with clothing material and not expanding as designedâ–¬especially the lower velocity rounds like .45 ACP, .380 and .38 Special
  12. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Well-Known Member

    Same round, fatter, heavier gun with exposed hammer.:barf:
    There are 9mm's the same size as the 238.
  13. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. kokapelli

    kokapelli Well-Known Member

    Yes but the micro nines don't shoot like the P238. The P238 is a dream to shoot!
  15. BamAlmighty

    BamAlmighty Well-Known Member

    not that I would carry a .380, but if I had to FMJ.
  16. huntsman

    huntsman Well-Known Member

    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  17. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Well-Known Member

    The Kahr PM9 does.....and does it cheaper too!:D
  18. kokapelli

    kokapelli Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Well-Known Member

    Good JHP, like Corbon, in the camber.
    Top round in the mag is FMJ. Then JHP and FMJ staggered in the mag.
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  20. 56hawk

    56hawk Well-Known Member

    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.

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