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Best .380 round for self defense?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Blarelli, Dec 16, 2007.

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  1. Blarelli

    Blarelli Member

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    I've heard a lot of people swear by the Corbon rounds, and the hydroshocks, but it seems like there is a lot of people that stick with the FMJ rounds to help with penetration. What brand/weight/bullet type would you consider the best in the average .380 carry gun?
     
  2. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    Remington 88 grain HP handloaded on the hot side. as in 1000 fps. for stout built pistols or derringers that is.
     
  3. P. Plainsman

    P. Plainsman Member

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    Reporting, rather than recommending:

    On the rare occasions when I CCW my Bersa Thunder 380, it's loaded with Black Hills 90 gr JHP featuring the Hornady XTP bullet.

    The XTP emphasizes penetration more than most hollowpoints, so it's sort of a compromise between a conventional JHP and ball ammo.

    The Black Hills load feels hotter than generic ball but not blazingly hot like the old Cor-Bon load. It's accurate. Runs well in my pistol.
     
  4. sgb

    sgb Member

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    .380 acp suffers from lack of penetration, specially in winter months when people are wearing heavy clothing. Your best bet is to stick with full metal jacketed, if the bullet don't reach the vitals expansion don't mean squat.
     
  5. wuchak

    wuchak Member

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    That same Black Hills is what gets carried in m P-3AT. It's accurate, reliable, and very reasonably priced for a premium defensive round in .380. In my area it runs about 1/2 the price of Hornady's own loading of the very same projectile.
     
  6. Blarelli

    Blarelli Member

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    I've never seen anything from Black Hills locally. Where can I get some online?
     
  7. P. Plainsman

    P. Plainsman Member

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    I buy it here:

    http://www.midwayusa.com

    Black Hills is my favorite ammo company. Not for blasting/plinking ammo -- they can't compete on price with the Big Three in that category (economies of scale).

    Their cowboy action ammo is sort of the "premium" alternative to, e.g., Winchester/Ultramax - costs more but excellent quality.

    And for serious defensive/hunting ammo BH is competitively priced and quality is great. They use bullets from other manufacturers, mixing and matching them with appropriate powder charges to produce loads that are often better thought out than the big boys.

    I've shot Black Hills regularly in .32 H&R Magnum, .380 ACP, 9mm+P, .357 Magnum, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, and .223 Rem. No problems with any of them.

    http://www.gunblast.com/RKCampbell_BlackHills.htm
     
  8. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    That's my medicine. Standard white & green box Remington.

    I save the fancy hollowpoints for cartridges that aren't so penetration-challenged. 180 grain Golden Sabres at 1340 FPS from my Witness Compact 10mm.
     
  9. BlazingAngel01

    BlazingAngel01 Member

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    Federal Premium
    90 Gr Hydra-Shok JPH
     
  10. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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  11. P. Plainsman

    P. Plainsman Member

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    Whoa. Buffalo Bore's in the .380 ACP business now! Had no idea.

    Heck, it wasn't that long ago when the smallest cartridge they offered was the .41 Magnum.
     
  12. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    Yeah. And they're getting over 1100FPS out of it too.
     
  13. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    It's certainly doable. My handloads (using a BEretta 84FS) get 1204 FPS for 90 grainers and 1067 FPS for 102 grain. But that's using about 105% case capacity ;).
     
  14. Newton

    Newton Member

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    This used to be debatable, and then Corbon released the 80gr DPX ;)
     
  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Too bad Fiocchi doesn't make their .380 Auto ammo as hot as their .32 Auto ammo. Their .32 Auto is reported @ 1200 fps with 205 ft/lbs of energy. That's .380 ACP range.
     
  16. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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    I'd use whatever fmj round feeds reliably.
     
  17. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

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    I use the Federal 90gr hydra shok. I hear good things about the Remington 102gr golden saber though and want to try them.
     
  18. Alan Fud

    Alan Fud Member

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    Don't forget Winchester Ranger.
     
  19. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    Corbon DPX a little expensive But Iam worth it
     
  20. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    double post
     
  21. sniper350

    sniper350 Member

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    On the question about Golden Sabers .......... I use them, but only when alternated in the magazine with Hornaday .

    Golden Sabers sadly only tested to a penetration depth of a little over 6" in ballistic Gellatin ......... and that is not going through a heavy winter coat or clothing. So it is tremendously weak on the penetration side of the self defense equation.

    Up until I found out on this forum that Buffalo Bore is now making .380 acp +P rounds ................ Hornaday XTP was the only bullet that I trusted in 380 caliber ....... delivering an impressive 11" and half inches of penetration in an FBI type testing. However, the test results reported by Buffalo Bore on their ammo blows that away .......with over 20 " inches of penetration !!!!

    Like the man said "if you are in a fight for your life, over-penetration is probably the least of your worries." I think that statement is a bit over simplified.......because after the attack, you will be held responsible for any accidental injuires [ your weapon may cause ] ...if only in a civil forum & suit.

    I will certainly try some of the Buffalo Bore ammo .......... but I am a bit nervous of shooting such hot ammo from my Bersa Thunder -- being of an alloy frame !. I know it is not recommended to shoot a steady diet of +P ammo ........ but I am wondering if only a few of these "tiny rockets" can cause damage ? Straight Blow Back designs can be hard on weapons, since no energy is absorbed from a process of un locking or locking the breach.

    JF.
     
  22. Clark

    Clark Member

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    I can get 1100 fps 90 gr Gold Dot with a P3AT .380 locked breech that weighs 6 ounces, 10oz loaded.

    I can get 1187 fps 158 gr XTP with an M1903 .380 blowback that weighs 33 ounces

    What does it all mean?
    There are .380s and then there are .380s, and the ones that can deliver weigh as much as a .45.
     
  23. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

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    I'm surprised the Remington GS penetrates so poorly even for me, since I'm not in the extremely deep penetration is everything camp. I guess I will need to stay away from it.
     
  24. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    I've gone with Win. 85gr SilverTips for no other reason than Evan Marshall touting the rd as the best in limited firefights.
    My PPK handles it nicely and no complaints...To be honest, I keep only the top 3 rds topped off with PD and the rest FMJ....:)
     
  25. ShunZu

    ShunZu member

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    +1 -- But in my Colt Pony and P3AT
     
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