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Best .380 Auto defensive round?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by gomakemeasandwich, Aug 20, 2007.

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  1. gomakemeasandwich

    gomakemeasandwich member

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    Just curious as to what people think is the best defensive round for the .380 Auto.
     
  2. 40SW

    40SW Member

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    Corbon 90gr. JHP or 70gr. Powerball.
    Checker and alternate within your magazines by lacing them with 95gr. Winclean Flattop FMJ, (every other round, one corbon, one winclean), this way you get the best of both worlds, penetration and expansion.
     
  3. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Member

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    in .380 or below, I'd only use FMJ. Penetration is the most important thing for "mousegun" calibers, IMO.

    In .38 special and 9mm you have a ton more options because both cartridges can fire vastly heavier slugs at similar if not higher velocities.
     
  4. Glockafella

    Glockafella member

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    corbon DPX
     
  5. LightningJoe

    LightningJoe Member

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    FMJ definitely. Magic bullets don't even enter the equation.

    You've got more margin for error with more power calibers (i.e. Glaser Silver or JHPs will work in 10mm) but for a marginal caliber, you can't fool around with that hypothetical stuff. You've got to put the bullets where you want them to go and penetrate reliably.
     
  6. MudCamper

    MudCamper Member

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    Some interesting info in this article:

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/ammo_by_anonymous.htm

     
  7. 40SW

    40SW Member

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    ""Hornady 90 gr. XTP-HP (9010) Both the Federal 380BP and the Hornady XTP-HP never expand and may jam many guns due to their truncated-cone bullet nose profiles. Pass by these two""

    I would like to see some data backup the above quote, especially with respect to the Hornady 90gr XTP-HP.
     
  8. MudCamper

    MudCamper Member

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    40SW, yeah what I didn't include from that article is that it's just one man's opinion. That said, it struck a chord with me because when I first bought my Walther PPK I bought a bunch of Winchester SHP for it, and it jammed near constantly. I thought the gun was junk. Then I tried different ammo and had no problems. The author of this particular article found the same result, so I then tended to heed his other warnings. I now use Remington 88 grain JHP and have no problems.
     
  9. 40SW

    40SW Member

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    I use Remington 88gr JHPs often as well, in fact, Walmart sells them by the 100 pack, but I also use the Hornady 90 grnrs, with no problem whatsover. Its interesting, because I have never heard a Horandy JHP or HP of any kind be accused of non expansion. Typically, Any Hornady product is A+++ for its intended purpose.
     
  10. cpaspr

    cpaspr Member

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    I carry

    Speer 90 gr. Gold Dots alternated with Federal SD rounds.
     
  11. horge

    horge Member

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    Depends on the pistol ...or the barrel length involved.
    Just 1/2 of an inch difference will affect muzzle velocity,
    and then all the ballistic and terminal performance stats
    provided by manufacturers have to be adjusted.
     
  12. P. Plainsman

    P. Plainsman Member

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    I'd take a gander at the new Cor-Bon DPX rounds.

    Point taken above about "magic bullets," but that design really seems to be making a splash. I've never seen a test where one failed to expand, and penetration tends to be good.
     
  13. Clipper

    Clipper Member

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    Well, Chuck Hawks notwithstanding (never heard of him), I use the 90gr Winchester Silvertip in my KT...In fact, I use silvertips in every centerfire pistol I own. I've been shooting them for 30+ years without E-V-E-R having a failure of any kind. Thousands of rounds. These so-called 'experts' who wish to pontificate to us unwashed peasants about our choices on the strength of a few rounds through a gun I have no opportunity to examine mean less than nothing. You don't want to take advise from them or me about something as important as defense ammo. The only smart thing to do is buy several different types and see which functions well, performs adequately and is accurate and controllable for you.
     
  14. Sylvan-Forge

    Sylvan-Forge Member

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    FMJ, better yet, FMJ-FP.
    Handloaded of course ;)
     
  15. jefnvk

    jefnvk Member

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    My PPK loves the Rem 88gr, never had a malfunction and shoots about the best of any ammo I've tried. Can't comment on its ballistic efficency though.
     
  16. Ridgeway

    Ridgeway Member

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    70 gr?
    Seems rather light. I'd wonder about penetration...
     
  17. gbelleh

    gbelleh Member

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    I like the 102 gr Golden Saber. It feeds well in my guns, and I like having a little extra weight with such a light round.
     
  18. MudCamper

    MudCamper Member

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    Well, like I said, silvertips in my Walther don't feed worth a damn. Also, that article isn't by Chuck Hawks, it's just on his site. It also recommends Winchester Silvertips for other calibers. Agree with it or not, it's an interesting read. No need to bash on Chuck Hawks. He even states in the prologue to the article that he doesn't agree with all it himself.
     
  19. SHOOT1SAM

    SHOOT1SAM Member

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    This is from Double Tap's website, regarding their loading of the 90 gr. Speer Gold Dot:

    <<"This loading makes the 380ACP really perform like it should!
    There is virtually no muzzle flash.
    For those of you who carry a 380ACP, this is an excellent defensive load.
    Standard pressure loading.

    Velocity: 1000fps / Kel-Tec P3AT
    3.5" bbl Bersa Thunder - 1100fps
    Bullet: Speer Gold Dot JHP

    Muzzle Energy: 200 ft. lbs. Kel-Tec
    242 ft. lbs. 3.5" bbl Bersa Thunder">>

    Sam
     
  20. horge

    horge Member

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    Smart, yes.
    Not the "only" smart thing, though.

    Checking a cartridge brand/design for reliability is a must, surely.
    So is verifying how well you shoot with it.

    However, and particularly for expanding or fragmenting bullet designs,
    it is important to know how ammo performs terminally, when it hits the target.
    This is something no amount of range time vs. cardboard will determine.
    In this we are largely dependent on manuifacturers' specs or paid ads.

    It's important to know what test-barrel length was used in obtaining the
    advertised results, because a shorter barrel produces less bullet velocity,
    and this affects how much, or even if, a bullet will penetrate, expand or fragment.

    Take the Brazilian MagTech JHP's...
    They perform acceptably when 4" or longer barrels are used.
    Once you drop down under 3.5" barrel length, the bullets too often fail
    to expand as they are supposed to. Other cartridges behave similarly.

    If a JHP isn't likely going to expand out of your particular pistol,
    then you might as well get its FMJ equivalent: a wee bit more mass
    to help with penetration, since the hollow is replaced with solid lead...
    or find another JHP that is reliable, accurate, shootable
    AND likely performs (terminally) as advertised, out of your particular gun.

    JM2P, YMMV, TANSTAAFL,
    :)
    horge
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2007
  21. CZ-100

    CZ-100 Member

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    I carry only FMJ in my Kel-tec P3AT
     
  22. ID_shooting

    ID_shooting Member

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    Speer GD in mine!
     
  23. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    Besides FMJ, I use the above in my PPK which the author seems to think might jam a PPK. I've alternated many rds and never had a problem...Just goes to show you how subjective these reports are...:rolleyes:
     
  24. Biker

    Biker Member

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    Hydra Shoks in mine. I use 'em in all of my carry guns except in my Taurus 450 (45LC) and that's only because they aren't made in that caliber.

    Biker
     
  25. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    I don't know about that 'chuckhawks' link. I differ with some of his opines. I keep a hot loaded golden saber (load my own) in the chamber and fmj in the mag.
     
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