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380 defensive ammo? FMJ?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Elkins45, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Hollow points for me in my lcp.
    I keep going back to my experiences when I first started casting my own bullets.
    I was so proud of my cast bullets and my accurate handloads that I wanted to deer hunt with them in my. 357s.
    For about three years straight, I punched pencil sized holes in 140lb does(antlerless only handgun season). Right through the boiler room.
    They all died, but left long blood trails.
    That changed my thinking about bullets.
    Hollow points for me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
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  2. Kendahl

    Kendahl Member

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    Good choice. Penetrates a little deeper than XTP but gets the job done.
     
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  3. tactikel

    tactikel Member

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    Please consider Hornady Critical Defense and Ruger ARX ammo for .380. Both are superior to FMJ for SD. They function flawlessly in my LCP and are very accurate.
     
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  4. Pat Riot

    Pat Riot Member

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    I tried many different cartridges in my .380. All of the ones mentioned in this thread and then some. My first goal was accuracy and reliability. As mentioned before I like the Remington Ultimate Defense and the Hornady American Gunner. Hydra Shok was okay in my gun for accuracy. I know it gets high marks from many.
    The rounds that surprised me were the Underwood offerings. Most inaccurate ammo I have tried in my RM380. I am really not sure why. At first I thought my gun broke. It was definitely not consistent in my gun.
    Anyway, regardless of a bullets performance after it hits it’s target it needs to go where it’s aimed to do the most good.
     
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  5. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    That is good to hear.

    I ordered 500 of the 90gr V-Crown pulls a couple of days ago just because of the look of them. :)

    The sale email in which they appeared (which didn't even mention Sig Sauer) was the first that I had ever heard of the V-Crowns.

    If they feed reliably with that open maw, once I tweak an accurate load for them, they may replace my GoldDot handloads.
     
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  6. IdaD

    IdaD Member

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    I tried a box of the v-crown and they ran fine in my LCP but the bullets seemed to set back in the case really easily after being loaded in the chamber just a few times. I haven't had that problem to that degree with any other combination of round, caliber or gun. It's probably a combination of the wide design of the bullet and a steep feed ramp in the pistol but I haven't ever tried v-crown in any other calibers so I'm guessing.
     
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  7. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Thank for sharing that.

    I will be testing them in Kel-Tec P3AT, Glock 42, Bersa Thunder Plus and Walther PPK.

    <fingers crossed> :)
     
  8. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I think all this overthinking about the .380 bullet and performance is pretty silly. When the Moment of Truth arrives there are so many variables that all that bench and ballistic testing goes right out the window with a bullet that slow and light... delivering a bullet, any bullet, to the vitals becomes paramount.

    Personally, I think I have HydraShoks in my .380 right now, but I've decided to just carry FMJ in the .380 once those are burnt up. I also have 250 Golden Sabres as component bullets, but I don't carry reloads for SD ammos.
     
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  9. beeenbag
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    beeenbag Contributing Member

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    This is the equivalent of saying "all that medical school jargon you spent so much time learning doesn't mean squat when it comes time to perform a bypass, once you get in there, you just have to do it"

    I have to disagree, when the stakes are as high as saving your life or the life of a loved one, there is no such thing as "overthinking" or being too prepared. If one is limited to carrying a 380 based on whatever factors those may be, then one should take the time to utilize that platform and the capabilities of the round to its full potential.
     
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  10. 481

    481 Member

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    For me, it's FMJs in the .380 as the cartridge simply lacks the ability to drive a fully expanded JHP past 12 inches. Premium JHPs for calibers 9mm and up.
     
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  11. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    PrecisionONE Plus P XTP in my Pico and Kahr. standard velocity in my LCP. Also buy RN for training. Not only like the ballistics, but for every small gun I have ever shot, it gives the best accuracy, and mild to shoot as well. Combine it with a Mild shooting Pico and Kahr, makes for a fine round.

    7JlXBW2.jpg
     

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  12. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I sympathize with all the fmj arguments.
    I cannot lie, my spare mag is loaded with fmj right now. When I decide to pop off a few rounds around the farm, or dispatch a varmint, I will swap mags and shoot the cheaper FMJ.
    My +1 carry mag is loaded with Hornady custom xtp.
    I feel that I have already made a compromise by carrying the .380 over a .45acp or .357mag, so I had better use premium ammo.
     
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  13. golden

    golden Member

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    Elkins,

    I am opposed to using fmj if their is something better and in the .380ACP there is. I used to carry the HORNADY FTX rounds, but switched to the WINCHESTER Defend round. LUCKY GUNNER has some nice testing which shows this round WILL EXPAND at .380 velocities. I do not worry about the FBI'S need for at least 12 inches penetration. My agency found 9 inches was all that we needed and we had more gunfights than the FBI did under our belt.

    Jim
     
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  14. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    Adequate penetration, more disruption than FMJ and barrier blind. I use this in all my carry .380acp handguns.
    120032.jpg
     
  15. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

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    i wonder what agencies could have more gunfights than the FBI. The FBI has been armed at least since the 1930's. The US Marshals have been around a long time and agencies derived from what belonged to the treasury have been around. The border patrol and Coast guard too. The texas rangers have been around for a long time and they had a lot of gun fights.
     
  16. Meeks36

    Meeks36 Member

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    Just ordered some today. From what I've read and saw on YouTube it's good stuff.
     
  17. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

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    102gr. Lead hard cast with a wide MP. As fast as safely possible.
     
  18. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

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    I carry a Remington RM380 as a BUG. This is what I carry.

    My concern is the .380 HP’s are marginal in gel tests. If that round has to go through a rib or humerus, it’s going to run out of gas very quickly.

    Poke a hole. Poke the biggest hole you can. Poke it all the way through, Beats not getting to the important stuff.



    BA2F3C8D-EC4D-47FD-9BA4-260039BDCE11.jpeg
     
  19. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    Recently talked to a friend of mine that say's he has been shooting his Pico very well with the Underwood. I am going to order about 3 boxes of the Plus P to try out in mine.
     
  20. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    Ive got a glock 42 i use hornady critical defense in , like another member mentioned if it doesnt expand its still just an fmj. Been interested in doing my own testing of the 380 xtreme penetrators, i like the idea of more disruption with no expansion. I dont blindly trust claims by makers, youtubers or friends, i test them myself. Im not looking for fantastic performance but i do prefer penetration to expansion in 380. Over penetration is hyped as a failure, i dont agree .there are 500# crazy people too not to mention barriers like glass, sheet metal and heavy clothes . Over penetration can happen with ANY caliber, any projectile at any velocity - know your target and whats beyond it if youre depending on a bad guy to soak up all the energy from your 9mm jhp youre living in a fantasy world, it can and will come out and hit whatever is beyond your target - count on it.
     
  21. 481

    481 Member

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    More disruption than FMJ in what?
     
  22. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    No, that's not what I said at all. Bullet testing is done under controlled conditions, a firefight is not. There are literally a thousand different variables that could come into play... everything from clothing to body position, movement or cover, wind, rain, snow, a pack of cigarettes in his pocket... the list goes on. The important thing is to get the bullet into the vitals... any bullet. Now, if you switch to something different... like the .357MAG where you have half-again more bullet weight, and far more energy... things are different. Firing bullets into Jello is cool and all, and they can show what a bullet might do under similar circumstances... but it is by no means a definitive display of what could happen in reality. The .380, even with modern bullet technology, is still a very light bullet traveling at moderate velocity.
     
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  23. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

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    Well Said.
     
  24. film495

    film495 Member

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    I've started thinking about just using ball for all calibers and not having any hollow point. since I practice most with regular ball ammo, that's what I know how to shoot - so, hitting the target is most important and figure I should just carry what I practice with. They all put holes through whatever you shoot them at … if you hit it ..
     
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  25. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    .380 Hornady XTP overexpands and its petals shear off which is what allows it to reliably penetrate deeper than other .380 JHP bullets. .380 XTP, propelled at 1000fps, performs very well.

    For FMJ, I suggest Winchester flat nose FMJ. The shoulder of the bullet is sharp which allows it to crush a nice clean hole in soft tissue. I've shot hundreds of rounds of this load thru two Glock 42s with zero issues.

    Bullet tests need to include bare gelatin test results because this represents best case condition for bullet expansion and worst case conditions for penetration.

    Terminal ballistics testing using gelatin covered with four layers of heavy denim cloth reveals bullets that are not well designed for reliable expansion. Well designed bullets penetrate nearly the same in both bare gelatin and gelatin covered by four layers of heavy denim cloth, with slightly deeper penetration after passing through denim.

    Properly prepared and calibrated Type 250A ordnance gelatin has been verified and validated to reasonably represent bullet terminal performance in typical human soft tissues. There is no other soft tissue simulant that's as accurate.

    12-inches of penetration is widely accepted as the minimum amount of penetration needed to reliably reach and pass through vital structures in the human body from any angular aspect as well as if the bullet has to first pass though an outstretched arm.

    For performance through bone, the FBI's windshield glass test provides a reasonable analogy.
     
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