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Recommended .380 bullet for defence?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by steve454, Mar 21, 2016.

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  1. steve454

    steve454 Member

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    I am getting my CHL and have a .380.
    I've been told that some bullets don't expand reliably.
    What is a good round that I can buy at Academy or Gander Mountain?
    Nothing exotic and I don't reload.
    I am a novice so please don't use terms and abbreviations that I wouldn't understand.
    What should I use?
     
  2. GetmeoutaCT

    GetmeoutaCT Member

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    I recall reading somewhere recently that the Winchester Silvertip in .380 expanded well and reliably. Of course this still leaves the .380 as a marginal self-defense round, but still much better than nothing.
     
  3. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    A good friend and I each own the exact same model semi-auto pistol.

    He carries Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP) commercial ammunition in his gun. He wants a expanding bullet for greater tissue damage.

    I carry Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) in my gun. I want deep penetration to ensure the bullet will reach vital areas inside the body.

    We both think we are equally well armed.

    I am not trying to be a smart aleck. There is no agreement on what type of bullet is best for the .380 (and whether the .380 is enough for self-defense). I frequently suggest watching the videos on youtube by Shootingthebull done by Ammo Quest. They are very well done.
     
  4. ROAshooter

    ROAshooter member

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    380

    Academy will carry Hornady Critical Defense in 380...many have faith in it doing the job....my wife uses it in her Browning 1911-380
     
  5. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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  6. joem1945

    joem1945 Member

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    I load Federals HP in mine.
     
  7. justin22885

    justin22885 member

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    problem with rounds like the 380 is you generally have to choose between expansion or penetration and without penetration self defensive ammo is nothing

    some 380 pistols are able to handle ammunition a bit hotter than others, perhaps even up to 25kpsi like a 9x18 ultra assuming you have a heavy enough slide and spring.. if yours can handle it some of that +P stuff might be what youd want to carry for self defense but id stick to standard pressure for plinking and target shooting
     
  8. Robert101

    Robert101 Member

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    I use the Hornady critical defense as well. You might want to make certain they (or whatever you choose) will function in your gun.
     
  9. CNobbe

    CNobbe Member

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    I keep Hornday Critical Defense 95gr with XTP bullet in my little Kahr 380. I've never had an issue with it.
     
  10. sequins

    sequins Member

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  11. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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  12. Warp

    Warp Member

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    I'd probably stick to FMJ though I am partial to Gold Dot and back when I actually had a .380 the Corbon DPX round was very popular
     
  13. guitararmy

    guitararmy Member

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    Ruger is marketing a new bullet called ARX that has a solid tip that creates some kind of hydrostatic cavity when it hits tissue....or something like that.
     
  14. JohnnyFlake

    JohnnyFlake Member

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    The .380 simply does not generate enough velocity to expand bullets well. I carry a Sig P238 .380 virtually 24/7.

    I have tested many different rounds and IMHO, at least for me, personally, I have decided to carry Hornady Critical Defense .380 Auto 90gr FTX ammo, with the Red Tip. It always expands to some degree. I alternate one of those, with a Buffalo Bore .380 100gr hard cast bullet, for deeper penetration, all the way down my magazines. I am confident, that mix will get the job done!
     
  15. mongoslow

    mongoslow Member

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    anything loaded with a 90 grain XTP will be your best bet
     
  16. Big20

    Big20 Member

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    I carry Buffalo Bore 100 gr. +P truncated cone FMJ in my Bodyguard. The Luger was originally designed to use this type of bullet to circumvent Geneva Convention hollow point/soft point restrictions. It worked so well they got so much bad press it got pulled from duty.
     
  17. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    It's interesting how many people carry Critical Defense since it is one of the rounds that failed in the "Shooting The Bull" gelatin tests.
     
  18. WRGADog

    WRGADog Member

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    Corbon
     
  19. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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  20. edmo01

    edmo01 Member

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    After you settle on a defensive round, make sure you run some through your gun to verify accuracy and function.

    Some of these little guns can be finicky.

    Edmo
     
  21. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

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    I agree with this. All .308 ammo sucks when compared to 9mm, but this particular bullet seems to suck less than the alternatives. I think 3 or 4 manufacturers make loads with it.

    Strangely the 95 grain Hornady bullet in the Critical Defense line is not nearly as good.

    The Speer gold dot offering is also acceptable IMO.
     
  22. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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    It doesn't make sense to use FMJ with the current selection of JHPs in .380 ACP. There are a few rounds, like Precision One's loading of the Hornady XTP, which penetrate, and expand some. There are many other rounds that either penetrate well when they partially expand, or fail to expand, in which case they act like a FMJ.

    If you select a cartridge that has 1 bullet in 6 partially expand and penetrate to 14" while the other 5 fail to expand at all and act like FMJ, that cartridge is still statistically better than FMJ rounds which have no probability of expanding.
     
  23. Luger_carbine

    Luger_carbine Member

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    As originally designed by and loaded for Georg Luger by DWM (Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken) the round was an 8 gram (123.5 gr) lead-core bullet. This is the round the German Army originally used, but due to the lead shortage during the war, they developed two additional loads that utilized iron cores.

    One type was called "PistolenPatrone 08 mit Sintereisenkern" (with sintered (pressed) iron core). Which weighed 5.8 grams (89.5 gr.) and had markings on the box which said: "Pistolenpatronen 08 S.E."

    The other was called "Pistolenpatrone 08 mit Eisenkern" (iron core). That load weighed 6.4 grams (98.7 gr.) and the boxes were marked "Pistolenpatronen 08 m.E.".

    Just a note - it wan't called 9mm Luger or 9mm Parabellum, it was called PistolenPatrone 08.


    The Myth of the "Geneva Convention and hollow point bullets:

    http://www.thegunzone.com/hague.html
     
  24. steve454

    steve454 Member

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  25. DPris

    DPris Member

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    Dunno if it's on their website yet, but Black Hills has a new 60-grain Xtreme Defense load that doesn't depend on expansion at all.

    It has a fully-jacketed cross-tipped bullet, you'd see + if you looked straight on at the nose from the front. Deep quarter-inch flutes behind the nose.
    The cross "vanes" are just under a quarter-inch from end to end.

    With spin, it'd cut or drill quite effectively through tissue.
    Have not had the chance to shoot any yet, two .380 projects coming up that should run it through five different pistols to test for accuracy & reliability.

    Might be worth a look.
    Denis
     
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