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Tom on Guntalk said 380 was now comparable to 9

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Droid noob, Jan 22, 2013.

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  1. CLP

    CLP Well-Known Member

    what barrel lengths are the .380's being shot out of? what about the 9mm? just curious.
  2. mgmorden

    mgmorden Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. heeler

    heeler Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. Droid noob

    Droid noob Well-Known Member

    When I get home I'll post tnoutdoors you tube videos. He's very objective.
  5. mastiffhound

    mastiffhound Well-Known Member

    mgmorden said:

    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)
  6. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Well-Known Member

    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.





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

    fastbolt Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. mdauben

    mdauben Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. ScottieG59

    ScottieG59 Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. Hurryin' Hoosier

    Hurryin' Hoosier Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. Hurryin' Hoosier

    Hurryin' Hoosier Well-Known Member

    My personal 9MM preference is the 9X18MM Makarov (as carried in my Pistolet Makarova). ;)
  13. Droid noob

    Droid noob Well-Known Member

    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
  14. MarshallDodge

    MarshallDodge Well-Known Member

    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.
  15. anchorman

    anchorman Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. 2wheels

    2wheels Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. Acera

    Acera Well-Known Member

    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.............

  18. Droid noob

    Droid noob Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    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.
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