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FMJ in .380 for carry, a question...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Wanderling, May 18, 2018.

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  1. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    They are the same rounds.. Front and rear view. The top round in each picture is the same .380. The bottom round in each picture is the same 9mm.
     
  2. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    Thanks. I guess it should have been obvious. Just never saw the back end of a fired round.
     
  3. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    FYI.

    Hornady American Gunner 124 gr. +P XTP completely blows up two milk jugs and stops in the third. In addition the American Gunner is affordable enough to do testing like this and shooting up 2 x 4's, sheetrock and other stuff in the scrap pile. :)

    May not be relevant to g.s. in the human body but it is fun to experiment with.:D:D

    The Lady and my primary self-defense handguns are both 9mm's. However since hers is for indoors use (I can not persuade her to carry when we go shopping) I have it loaded with Hornady 115 gr. Critical Defense whereas I use the American Gunner 124 gr. +P XTP.
     
  4. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Both the .380 and the 9mm blew up the water jugs. The .380 remained in the jug. The 9 mm poked a hole in the second jug and stopped there.
    My wife went from carrying a .38 snubby for close to 40 years to a Kahr 45 to reduce recoil..She has further reduced things to the Kahr .380 to fit her present life style. She's a good enough shot to put rounds in the boiler room if things go bad.
     
  5. Sarge7402

    Sarge7402 Member

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    Sorry. 380's and to a large extent 32's came into their own for police and military use not because of lesser penetration, but because blow back pistols were a lot cheaper to manufacture than locked breach guns like the Mauser, the Luger or the Styer pistols. This happened mostly in the new countries that cropped up after World War I that lacked money - Yugoslavia, Checzkoslavia, and a couple of others.
     
  6. Gary A

    Gary A Member

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    That makes sense and you may well be right but I was not thinking of police and military use but, rather, civilian use. As I said, I am merely speculating and make no claim to expertise.

    I say that partly because if all I had available was full metal jacket ammo, for most uses I believe I would prefer a 95 grain fmj at 950 fps+/- to a 115 grain fmj at 1150 fps+/-. The former might over-penetrate a little. That latter would likely over-penetrate a lot.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  7. stchman

    stchman Member

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    IMO, people that carry FMJ rounds in their SD or CCW handgun are just being cheapskates.
     
  8. RPZ

    RPZ Member

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    On a human target, facing squarely like that silhouette target the the range, 4-8" might well be the case. However, a big bad guy might not be squarely facing you, or have both his arms extended holding a pistol in front of his upper torso as well.

    Heart shots may not always yield an instant stop. A FMJ, or heavily constructed HP that really penetrates has a possibility of striking a solid CNS hit on the spine. Even clipping the spine with a bullet of sufficient velocity might bring on instant incapacitation. While the spine is not a huge target laterally it is not tiny either. Longitudinally it is quite substantial.
     
  9. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Back when .32s and .380s were popular in Europe and here for that matter people were smaller, especially thinner. The human race has gotten bigger in the last 150 years. .38's worked pretty well here in the US until Elmer, Jeff, and Clint came along and created the demand for the Magnums.
    Now days even 9mms and .38s are marginal to some. :cool:
     
  10. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

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    Exactly, according to this study, not much difference between .380 and 9mm for SD in the real world:

    https://www.buckeyefirearms.org/alternate-look-handgun-stopping-power

    Apparently perps don't care about gel tests or chrono readings. I got over magnumitis a long time ago both in CCW and hunting rifles.
     
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  11. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

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    Just like you now need a .338 to kill an elk, right?
     
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  12. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    A FMJ that feeds reliably is always better than a HP that suffers a failure to feed in a gun fight....
     
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  13. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    Beretta 85FS (the slimmer, single stack version) with Hornady Critical Defense.
     
  14. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    IMO 9mm is minimum for family and self protection. .357 magnum is my personal minimum.
     
  15. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    stchman writes:

    I've actually read the threads on the subject, and it seems many of them actually believe in the perceived advantages they espouse on using FMJ ammo in small, small-caliber handguns. Whether or not they're correct on that aside, that's not "just being cheapskates."

    IMO, your post is intended to be inflammatory, not helpful (of course, the acronym "IMO" here means "in my opinion", and we all know what they say about opinions...)
     
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  16. Wanderling

    Wanderling Member

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    Thank you !

    Wow. This is quite some reading. Copying some of the data and highlighting what stood out to me:

    .380 ACP

    # of people shot - 85
    # of hits - 150
    % of hits that were fatal - 29%
    Average number of rounds until incapacitation - 1.76
    % of people who were not incapacitated - 16%
    One-shot-stop % - 44%
    Accuracy (head and torso hits) - 76%
    % actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) - 62%

    9mm Luger

    # of people shot - 456
    # of hits - 1121
    % of hits that were fatal - 24%
    Average number of rounds until incapacitation - 2.45
    % of people who were not incapacitated - 13%
    One-shot-stop % - 34%
    Accuracy (head and torso hits) - 74%
    % actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) - 47%

    .45 ACP

    # of people shot - 209
    # of hits - 436
    % of hits that were fatal - 29%
    Average number of rounds until incapacitation - 2.08
    % of people who were not incapacitated - 14%
    One-shot-stop % - 39%
    Accuracy (head and torso hits) - 85%
    % actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) - 51%

    So, to me, the most important stat is highlighted in red, as it represents unsuccessful defense. Unsurprisingly, the .380 has higher percentage than .45 or 9mm. Surprisingly, it's actually a very small difference - about 13% in relative terms, or 2% in absolute terms vs .45. (16% vs 14%)


    The most surprising stat is in green - out of three calibers, .380 has the highest % of one stop shots. Not sure why, but it's interesting to know.

    This makes me feel much better about carrying .380.
     
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  17. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    A possible explanation:

    .380 pistols have less recoil, so owners practice more.

    The magic "one-shot-drop" bullet only works if it hits the target....
     
  18. RPZ

    RPZ Member

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    Perhaps not just more practice, but also more accurate placement due to shootability. The more modern subcompacts probably do not fit this explanation so well having tiny grip profiles and very light weight, but some old classic European and American locked breech .380s certainly might.
     
  19. rpenmanparker

    rpenmanparker Member

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    Notnincspacitatedndoes not necessarily mean unsuccessful defense. The assailant may have stopped the attack without being incapacitated which is not reported here. That is more likely for someone injured by a .380 than a larger caliber. And it is another form of good result.
     
  20. Wanderling

    Wanderling Member

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    I think the bottom line that I got out of this data is that .380 is just as effective as most other 9mm-ish rounds in stopping an attack, which is what it is supposed to do.

    It seems that all but .22/25 rounds are almost equally effective, all falling within a surprisingly narrow range.
     
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  21. Hasaf

    Hasaf Member

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    I really question the:
    It may be true; but I doubt it. As seen in the online forums, most enthusiasts , and budding enthusiasts, are steered toward 9x19.

    You do see a lot of people admit to being regular 9x17 carriers here; but even here those are the exception. Then one has to consider that anyone who is redulary on a firearms forum is also a small segment of the entire firearms owning community.

    Where am I going with this?

    I suspect that the average 9x17 user (I started to type carrier; then I thought about the large percentage who just have the pistol at home) shoots very little. I suspect that the typical 9x17 owner puts less than a single box through in the initial practice. I say less than a box because the last rounds are likely saved to load into the magazine. After that initial practice the pistol is tucked away.

    In this last school year (since September) I have fired a bit over 1,400 rounds of 9x17 and I suspect that I am on the extreme end of the curve, nowhere near the mean (yes, I reload). Should I still practice more? Of course. Do I practice more than the typical handgun owner? I suspect that it is so.

    I really don't think that many pistol owners shoot that much. Non-enthusiast calibers probably see even less use. While typing this I tries to do a quick google search on typical handgun owner annual practice. I didn't find any useful numbers to use here. I will probably keep looking.
     
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  22. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    There are too many unaccounted for variables in that data.

    First off, there is no mention of range of the shootings, and the victim (more accurately, the person shot) is not described or characterized. Were the .380 victims all 100 lb, 85 year old women? Were many of those shot with 9mm, 230 lb, former football players, amped up on some kind of drug?

    Next, it is unknown which was the fatal shot. For instance lets say five rounds are expended in a shooting to stop a threat. Was it the first shot that would have been fatal, but the others were expended before the death actually occurred, or was it the last shot, or one in between? The data doesn't say, and it is almost impossible to know which shot, in order, was the fatal shot.

    As part of the above point, the typical training for defensive shooting is to shoot until the threat stops. That generally doesn't mean shoot once and wait to see what happens, if that doesn't work shoot one more, then observe, then shoot one more, etc. It usually means start shooting, and keep shooting until the threat goes down.

    This is the type of training the typical law enforcement and military personnel will go through, so these are two of the better trained (not necessarily best shooters, but better trained) groups of shooters. These are also groups that are likely to carry a 9mm, .40S&W, or .45ACP pistol. In addition, these are also the rounds often used by "run and gun" competition shooters like those in IDPA or IPSC who are usually very good at rapid fire and would probably be expected to rapidly fire rounds in a defensive situation. It is likely these groups of people, LE, military, and competition shooters are not only capable, but probably more likely to fire multiple shots in a defensive situation.

    Conversely, who is the likely carrier of a .380? Is it perhaps less trained shooter, or a dedicated shooter that uses the .380 as a back up gun? In either case, is it possible each would expect to shoot fewer rounds, just by nature, in a defensive shooting? The lesser trained shooter may use the shoot once, evaluate, shoot again, evaluate, etc. concept. The shooter using the .380 as a backup may only use the gun in an extremely close/contact encounter where the extremely close range may only necessitate a single shot.

    My explanations could all be bunk, but there is not enough data in the tables to determine if they are.
     
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  23. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    I think you may have a point. I shoot at one of the ranges I am a member at least once a week. I see one or 2 people that shoot regularly when I go. I often hear people who are leaving the range after a short session say to the RO " thanks , see you next month" and I suspect they mean next year be cause I never see them again. I'll admit I'm not always there to see who else might be there from time to time, but some of the RO's that I talk to tell me they probably won't see them for a long time.
     
  24. somethingbenign

    somethingbenign Member

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    What I'm taking from Wanderling's data is that the .380 isn't a cartridge so weak I couldn't even put down a cat as many seem to claim. I am really surprised by how close the numbers are between the three calibers presented. With that being said the sample size used for the .380 is much smaller when looking at number of people shot. Interestingly enough the ratio of people shot to number of hits is about the same for .380 and .45. I don't think many would make the same assumption about the training and technique of .45 ACP wielders as they would .380 though.
     
  25. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    Hey, hey, hey! I resemble that remark. Actually I prefer the term frugal.

    It is clear from your remark that you did not read all of the comments on this topic. This discussion is about getting enough penetration to reach the vitals especially when the bullet is traveling at a angle or having to defeat other barriers first such as bone in the arm, clothing, glass, etc.

    We have citied why the Winchester Silvertip 9mm in the FBI shootout stopped just short of Platt's heart. It was not a failure of the bullet like the FBI tried to blame. The bullet performed exactly as it was designed to do. Hitting Platt's arm slowed it down just enough to limit it's penetration in his chest. In fact the FBI overreacted by adopting the 10mm after the shooting. (Talk about overpenetration).

    I personally choose penetration over expansion in the 380 class (mine are 9mm Maks. Close enough to 380). Over penetration is the least of my worries when somebody is trying to kill me.

    My primary edc is the 9x19. My current carry cartridge is American Gunner 124 gr. +P XTP. I am evaluating the Hornady Critical Duty cartridge as vehicles are becoming common for attacks and some attackers are using cover. The gay nightclub and other shootings and the (often very) slow police response (not to mention the coward in Florida) have convinced me that there is a need for suppressive fire by citizens. Deeper penetrating bullets may allow me to inflict wounds / injury if the attacker is using a barrier for cover.

    Shooting stuff like plywood, 2x4's, sheetrock, milk jugs is not just fun. It also gives you some insight to real world bullet performance.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
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