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Underwood Ammo 380+P Gold Dot Ballistic Gel Test & Review

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by plouffedaddy, Nov 11, 2012.

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  1. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy Member

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    Like a lot of you, I carry a 380 pocket gun sometimes because it's convient and conceals well in most outfits. And like many of you, I view the 380ACP round as relatively underpowered but still much better than nothing. So, the search for a 380 round with relatively good performance has led me to the 90gr Speer Gold Dot rounds and I've trusted them for many years now.

    Well, theres a new round out from Underwood Ammo that uses the tested bonded Gold Dot bullet but loads it to a higher pressure (22,900 cup) producing a pretty good increase in energy out of my test gun (Bodyguard 380) and that's nothing to sneeze at. In the calibrated ballistics gel (with 4 layers of denim) used in the video below it got 11'' of penetration, expanded to .48 inches, and had a retained weight of 89.5 grains (5.8g=89.5 grains).

    I realize there's no SAMMI spec for "+p" 380ACP but this is certainly a hot round. With that said, be sure you have a firearm that can handle the chamber pressures caused by using this round––-if not, you may damage your firearm (and hand).

    Underwood uses a 3.5'' PPK barrel for their advertised velocity but since most people who carry 380s use a pocket gun, I tested it in a 2.75'' barrel. Here's the chrono numbers:

    Speer Gold Dot 90gr JHPs: 964fps, 186 ft/lbs energy
    Underwood Gold Dot 90gr JHPs: 1086fps, 236 ft/lbs energy

    Test video:

    Underwood Ballistics Gel Test Video Link
     
  2. 481

    481 Member

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    That's not bad for a .380!

    Sure wish there wasn't need to go to such high pressures though.

    How was the recoil?
     
  3. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Member

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    Wow. In a gun like a Sig P232, that really would be knocking on the door of .38 special 110 gr +P.
     
  4. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Cool vid, thanks.
     
  5. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    In the Goldenloki gel test of the Speer gold dot from a P3AT, the Speer gold dot did just as well and as far as I'm concerned the energy factor in this caliber is irrelevant.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  6. hardluk1

    hardluk1 member

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    The bullet from used in the speer ammo should look the same concedering it is also a speer bullet. Its there "bonded hp" and works the same as the gold dot. Same bullet used buy georgia arms too.
     
  7. kokapelli

    kokapelli Member

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    Yes it does look the same. here it is from the Goldenloki test…
    [​IMG]
     
  8. FitGunner

    FitGunner Member

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    Great test, thanks! I have been watching tnoutdoors9 testing various calibers of Underwood ammo. For the price and performance I am switching.
     
  9. LightningMan

    LightningMan Member

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    I have a box of Buffalo Bore .380 +P 90gr. JHP and it lists the velocity at 1175 fps with ME of 267 LBS, but I don't know what barrel length they use to make their test with. Also I don't know what bullet they use either. LM
     
  10. plouffedaddy

    plouffedaddy Member

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    It's really not much more than a typical 380 load. I find most ammo out of a pocket 380 to be somewhat 'snappy.' This was no different in that respect with roughly a 10% increase in recoil impulse (total guesstimation there).
     
  11. Fastcast

    Fastcast Member

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    Another informative vid, thanks!....After watching yours I clicked on another and the guy was chronographing a bunch of different brands of .380 in a Beretta 84.....The Underwood averaged 1281 fps out of his 3.85" - 84 barrel.....Impressive, maybe I'll have to give some a try in my 84, although I doubt Beretta would approve of running this ammo....lol
     
  12. 481

    481 Member

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    That's cool.

    Many of the really hot .380 loads can be a handful in a really small gun and their recoil approaches painful (or at least annoying) for many which can be a real "turn off" for recoil sensitive folks. My mom (in her 70s) has a mid-size .380 that she keeps for HD and it's loaded with the Winchester 95 gr FMJTC at this time 'cause it is a pretty gentle load.

    A JHP that begins to approach the 12" penetration mark (like the one you've tested) might be a consideration for her if the recoil is within her range of tolerance so stuff like this is of great interest to me.
     
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