Do You Think This .380 Round Is Sufficient For Self-Defense?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by LookAtYou, May 6, 2021.

  1. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

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    Hey everyone. Real quick, I just wanted your opinions on this .380 95 Grain Flat Nose FMJ round for conceal carry/self defense. 6+1 in a stock mag, 8+1 with +2 mag extension. Around 900 FPS average. Flat Nose kind of acts similar to a wadcutter in that it cuts tissue better than a round nose due to a flatter shoulder.

    I don't worry about over penetration too much in .380, even tho I realize it could be a potential risk. Missing shots altogether is much more likely and way worst, but anyways, what do you think of the terminal ballistics and the ability of this specific round in the Glock 42, as far as stopping a threat/self defense? Thanks.

    Edit:
    By the way, the base diameter is 0.356" and the meplat (flat nose) is roughly 0.25". So the actual cut hole size might be 0.25" inches diameter, while the rest of the bullet theoretically just pushes/slides through tissue. I feel that 2-3 rounds to chest and vast majority of people are in bad shape, in my opinion.
     

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    Last edited: May 10, 2021
  2. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

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    I would carry it as long as the gun is reliable and you understand that one-shot stops are the exception and not the rule.
     
  3. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I don't think you'll have to worry about under-penetration with that cartridge. I think a flat point is a good choice for the .380acp, though the Lehigh Xtreme Defenders may be even better.

    As far as stopping a threat goes? Well you see the videos of cops shooting people multiple times and the suspect keeps coming. Whatever cartridge they happen to be using is more powerful than a .380. So if you really want to ensure you prevail in a deadly encounter, you should practice shooting for the central nervous system. Then, if you ever need to stop a threat right this instant, you can do so.
     
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  4. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

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    Thanks. Such a hard target to intentionally hit on a moving body, regardless of caliber. I think .380 makes it a little easier under stress tho.
     
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  5. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

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    Would you agree that it becomes less of an exception as caliber increases? For example, by the time you're at .357 mag with a quality JHP, a one shot stop might not be so uncommon, especially when compared with .380 FMJ.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
  6. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    Very true. No easy answer there unfortunately.
     
  7. Mike J

    Mike J Member

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    While I don't think that round is on there LuckyGunner.com has gel tests with a number of .380 JHP rounds. You might be interested in looking at them. A while back we got a Shield EZ in ,380 for my wife to use. After looking around I chose Hornady Critical Defense. for her to use in it.
     
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  8. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

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    You think that Lehigh gimmick is legit, regarding the extra damage to tissue due to the shape of bullet? Some people think it might only work in gel, which was purposefully done for marketing, but doesn't work in a body. It's basically claiming to cause hydrostatic shock with a handgun round!
     
  9. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

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    I suppose, but I still believe that one-shot-stops in real life scenarios are the vast exception. But I’m not an expert, nor have I been in a gunfight.
     
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  10. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    I don't think it's a gimmick. I do think it's been represented as one by a lot of people.

    Flat point bullets do damage by compressing tissue in front of them, which then has no where to go but directly outwards from the path of the bullet. Like spraying a garden hose directly into a dinner plate.

    The Lehigh Xtreme Defender uses flutes, which channel fluidized tissue to a compression point farther back from the nose. This increases the pressure of that fluidized tissue, and forces it out from the bullet's path. It works in a similar way to how a water jet head cuts metal. The lighter weight the projectile, the fast it travels. The more velocity, the more tissue compression. This is also true of bullets with flat meplats. The faster they go, the more violent the tissue displacement and the wider the wound channel.
     
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  11. DeepSouth
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    DeepSouth Contributing Member

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    Most of the time.

    Or put another way..... yes, until it’s not.
     
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  12. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    I'm going to really stick my neck out and say that IMO .380 ACP is preferable for self defense because while it's sufficient to stop the threat it's also much less likely to cause collateral damage, and for me that's a significant factor in the decision matrix. I have four pistols purposed for self-defense and of those three are calibered .380 ACP and loaded with Hornady Critical Defense hollow points. The fourth is a 9 mm compact loaded with Hornady CD, but only because I have no other .380 good enough to take its place.
     
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  13. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

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    I don't know where hydrostatic shock comes into all of this, and the fact that the limit is at most around 2700 FPS, and even .357 mag JHP barely has much if any hydrostatic shock damage in bodies. Idk if the flutes only works in gel, vs bone, blood, skin tendons/veins/arteries, fat, etc. A lot of which are elastic to a certain point in their own right. Plus a lot of the tests done with the Xtreme bullets were done using Clear Gel, known to cause altered and skewed results than the proper 10% FBI Ordinance Gel.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
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  14. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    It's not hydrostatic shock. Fluidized tissue displacement is a hydraulic thing. The projectiles are made out of solid copper, which is harder than lead. They don't expand, and they don't deform as easily as lead, or jacketed lead, or hardcast. It's why modern mono solids are made of copper or brass. So the XD bullets have a better chance of punching through bone or other barriers without deforming.

    Feel free to get on YouTube and search for testing on meat. They work. They work at least as well as JHP ammo. But in a marginal cartridge like .380, they have the benefit of not under-penetrating like many JHPs tend to do. It's up to you wether you want to research the design or not. I'm just giving you an option. Lehigh got a bad rap with their horrendous R.I.P. fracturing bullets. These are different.
     
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  15. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    I’m not a fan of the .380 but won’t discredit it. I’d prefer something a little stouter when our weather gets cold and multiple layers get put on for warmth.
     
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  16. upptick

    upptick Member

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    The Greg Ellifritz study found that .380 would be adequate, provided that you can reliably put 2-3 rounds on target. Others have pointed out that .380 pistols in general are not as reliable as other autoloaders in the defensive calibers. Hence, personally, I carry a .38 snubbie with plus p ammo.
     
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  17. pairof44sp

    pairof44sp Member

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    The fact that the Lehigh bullets penetrate so much less than jhps, tells me that the gimmick must be doing something good

    the energy had to go somewhere
     
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  18. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

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    Which one?
    The penetrator for sure penetrates more than jhp. Not sure about defender.
     
  19. LookAtYou

    LookAtYou Member

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    I can understand a .38 snubbie for ccw, but for me I lean towards easy shooters, which is why I chose .380 over .38 for deep ccw choice. I have to ask, how is it shooting +P rounds out of a snub nose? I'd prob rather lean towards wadcutters in .38
     
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  20. 1942bull
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    1942bull Contributing Member

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    No, it is not claiming hydrostatic shock effect. It is claiming fluid transfer (FT) cavitation. Gel is a comparative. medium, and it does not indicate actual tissue damage in a human body for FMJ, JHP, or FT. If. The gel test indicates more damage from one type of bullet over another it is likely the same will occur in human tissue. However, Dr. Joseph Di Mail, a forensic pathologist who did over 9,000 gunshot autopsies, write in his book about gunshot wounds that it was impossible to determine what type of bullet penetrated the body by looking at cavitation. He wrote that the only was to find the bullet or segments of it. His greater point was what we all know: accuracy is more important than bullet design in terms of a human target.
     
  21. milsurpguy

    milsurpguy member

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    Fmj or a plated round or flat nose is best. A lot of 380acp hollow points under perform and you're paying extra money for something you can't really use.
    Also it's nice to be able to go to the range and burn up your carry ammo and it's no big deal.
     
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  22. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    I have a .380 that I carry on occasion. I've never felt under gunned with it.
     
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  23. Monac

    Monac Member

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    Look, shooting someone with just about anything in a self-defense situation might be adequate. That is the basis on which some people carry guns in 25 ACP, 22 rimfire, and 32 S&W. But according to authors I respect, the shape of the nose of a non-expanding pistol bullet seems to make no difference for self-defense use, so I don't think this flat-nosed bullet is more adequate than a round-nosed one.

    And I am pretty sure that for any given pistol cartridge, bullets that expand on impact are better for self defense than those that don't. That is why every cop in America who has a choice uses expanding bullets. And it's why hunters use expanding bullets in their rifles.

    So sure, using a flat-nosed 380 FMJ might be adequate. But if you want to increase the chance that a hit from a given pistol will be adequate, use hollow points.

    I apologize if I have misunderstood the question. The fact that there seem to be 3 pictures of the same thing in the OP and I don't understand why makes me suspect I am missing something.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
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  24. el Godfather

    el Godfather Member

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    One shot stop is more to do with placement and hit. You can shoot with and air pistol right in the eye and its one shot stop. Large caliber in non vital area hit might not stop at one shot until pain and bleeding takes over.
     
  25. JONWILL

    JONWILL Member

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    When I carry a 380 i just use Fmj. It gets the best penetration. You need to get to the vitals.
     
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