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.380 ball or hollow point

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by psyprofessor, Dec 23, 2008.

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  1. psyprofessor

    psyprofessor Member

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    I realize that a .380 is a marginal round for SD and does not always have the necessary penetration. Would a .380 FMJ be better for SD than a .380 hollowpoint..... so that it can penetrate deeper?

    I also read somewhere where it was said that in a .380 go with the FMJ...because hollowpoints in that caliber will not expand reliably....

    What do you guys think? I am looking for the most effective self-defense round in a .380. (And yes... I do realize that there are more powerful calibers out there.)

    Thanks in advance for your words of wisdom.
     
  2. ByAnyMeans

    ByAnyMeans Member

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    It's really a tough question to answer. Their are a few hollow points many recommend such as Speer Gold-dot, Golden Saber, DPX and Buffalo Bore to name a few. A new Critical Defense round has just been released by Hornady and if independent testing duplicates their results this would be my choice in hp for .380

    They however can't reach 12 in. of penetration and you usually get 8-10 in. from the above mentioned. This with the unknown results with bone have many choosing fmj. I have read that American Eagle has the highest velocity but I use Winchester flat nose because it's what i practice with.

    Then their are others who use hp during summer and fmj during winter due to clothing increase and yet others who stack the magazine hp/fmj/hp/fmj to cover all bases.

    Decide which is most important to you and go from their. You will find positive and negatives to each one, that's why it's a compromise caliber.
     
  3. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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    My father-in-law carries an old llama .380. He loads the mag with fiocchi FMJ and then one buffalobore hardcast FN in the pipe.
     
  4. Jkwas

    Jkwas Member

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    JHP in the tube, and FMJ in the mag.
    That is all.
     
  5. btg3

    btg3 Member

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  6. goon

    goon Member

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    I'd go with FMJ.
     
  7. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    What about JSPs? Are they somewhere in the middle?
     
  8. orchidhunter

    orchidhunter member

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    All the .380s will feed the ball ammo, and that is what counts for SD. orchidhunter
     
  9. Sig 226 .40

    Sig 226 .40 Member

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    mmmm.....my 2 cents worth is to ask if you've tried the PowerBall rounds yet? I've tried them out on several mediums(not psychics) such as wet newspaper...24" thick...a couple of dead deer....and watermelons. I'm impressed with the results. Its a round that is going to get used at close range anyway. I now keep all three P3AT mags stoked with these. I have found the expansion is pretty consistent. Mind you, I'm no scien...sciente...oh heck...ain't no genius here!!! But when I recover rounds that are fully expanded about 12-14 inches into a deer...I'll use my imagination to think of what it will do to some turd merchant trying to put me into a pine box! At point blank range nonetheless!
     
  10. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    As was written, get FMJ, and (imho) the heaviest you can find, and use that. A jam may get you killed.

    LD
     
  11. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    FMJ for body shots and HP for head shots. FMJ penetrates further in soft tissue but in .380 FMJ can bounce off a skull if not a straight on shot. Sharp edges of the HP help cut into bone and less chance of ricochet.

    Alternating loads in the mag if your .380 feeds hollowpoints.
     
  12. MostlyHarmless

    MostlyHarmless Member

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    I use JHPs, currently Hornady Critical Defense. You do want to be sure that whatever round you're using will feed reliably in your pistol. Beyond that, I believe that FMJ can overpenetrate in .380. The JHPs are better with that even if not perfect and as long as they feed properly I see no disadvantage to them.
     
  13. 357sigRog

    357sigRog Member

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    I carry Remington Golden Sabre 102gr hollow pt. They are highly recommended for the .380, good penetration and expansion.
     
  14. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I'd go with FMJs, but with advancements in ammunition I may choose the other someday. I carry a East German made Makarov with FMJ factory ammo and I find most of it is loaded on the mild side to accommodate weaker pistols chambered in 9x18 Mak. I just started loading 9x18 but the weather has kept me from shooting, I don't want to lose that precious brass in the snow :( I have some Hornady 95gr XTs and Sierra 95gr JHP as well as some 100gr Speer JFPs I anxious to Load Up :D
     
  15. Runningman

    Runningman Member

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    I asked Evan Marshall this same question on his board regarding the 380, the answer I got was.......Cor Bon DPX.
     
  16. mattk

    mattk Member

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    I use FMJ in my little Colt.
    I have considered Powr Ball ammo and may switch to it when i get a chance to buy some a test it out.
     
  17. Marcus L.

    Marcus L. Member

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    The ONLY .380acp JHPs that actually have decent penetration in independent testing is the Hornady 90gr XTP. It does this by limiting expansion to around .45". Most .380 JHP designs do not limit expansion and instead approach 9mm levels of around .55-.60 causing the bullet to slow down too much and only penetration to 7-8". Another load that looks promising is Hornady's new 90gr FTX(critical defense load). Depsite what many may think, Hornady is probably one of the best ammunition makers around and they do a good job of specializing each individual caliber.

    I would feel confident in using either of those Hornady loads.
     
  18. moooose102

    moooose102 Member

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    B O T H ! ! ! i load alternating fmj+p and winchester silvetip hollowpoints in my .380. you never know what a person will be wearing, or what the situation will be, or how the bullets will work, so why take chances .
     
  19. woodsoup

    woodsoup Member

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    I roll my own. 105gr CLTC over an appropriate amount of Bullseye and a CCI SP primer. The former concotion stuffed into a little Kel-Tec 3-PAT.
     
  20. Funderb

    Funderb Member

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    if it feeds the HP i'd go with that, unreliable expansion is better than no expansion at all.
     
  21. lanternlad1

    lanternlad1 Member

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    I put Golden Saber HP in mine. At 102gr, they are the heaviest .380 round avail. Heavy=more stopping power IMO.
     
  22. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    RN-FMJ is a notoriously poor stopper in the 9mm Luger.
    It is even worse in the .380.

    For that reason alone, I will continue to use JHP in my .380's.

    Even poor expansion & 12" penetration is far better then a RN-FMJ ice-pick wound that closes up as soon as the bullet goes through.

    I have handgun hunted all my life, and I know for a fact that RN bullets simply don't work worth a damn on living tissue.

    rcmodel
     
  23. Boba Fett

    Boba Fett Member

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    I hadn't considered this before, but now that I think about it, I'd probably go this route as well.

    Somewhat depends on where you live. I'm not really worried about layers of clothing here. Even in the winter most of the time.

    But if you are concerned about penetration, I'd have to go with the alternating loads idea.
     
  24. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Too carry that to it's logical conclusion, you could load one round of Corbon JHP, one Winchester FMJ, one Gold-Dot JHP, one Federal FMJ, one XTP JHP, one Remington FMJ, etc., etc., etc.

    Theres sure to be something in there somewhere that will work better then the others!

    Myself, I want a gun full of JHP that all kick, and sound, and function the same every shot!

    If I want FMJ, they will be in the extra magazine.

    rcmodel
     
  25. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

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    I load up FMJs

    I load my own. Just plain old Rainiers at 100 grains with enough Bullseye behind them to send them out at 950 to a little less than a 1000 fps. My .380s are a Sig 232 and a CZ 83. I also changed out the springs in these all steel guns to accommodate the heavier rounds. I'm comfortable carrying these.
     
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