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  #1  
Old 03-12-2012, 07:49 PM
alejandrino alejandrino is offline
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.380 ammo for defense..




what is the most potent or best to use ?
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2012, 07:57 PM
Dan S. Defense Dan S. Defense is offline
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I'd frame it as what's the most powerful and reliable ammo you can shoot, while hitting what you want to hit--it's first and foremost about bullet placement.

I like the Winchester Ranger most. It feeds reliably and it's consistent from shot to shot. The exact model is: RA380T Winchester Ranger .380 95gr T-Series. It comes in a box of 50.
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2012, 01:27 AM
baccusboy baccusboy is offline
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After reviewing the Winchester Ranger and its limited penetration characteristics (like 8", which is far from the desired 12"), I personally wouldn't recommend it.

Although I'm not a fan in other calibers, the Hornady Critical Defense load, Gold Dot, or the Federal Hydra-shok are about as good as it gets in .380. The Hornady loads don't expand very wide, though.

If you want to save money, many consider flatnosed FMJ to be the best choice in .380 because they penetrate well and are low-recoil. If I had a tiny .380, I'd probably go the flatnose route too. They overpenetrate, but bone would probably cause that not to happen the same.

Critical Defense in .380:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H9M6cZGd18

Federal Hydra-shok in .380:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ6Pg...feature=relmfu


Winchester Ranger-T in .380 (High velocity and widest expansion, but poor penetration - PDX1 is almost identical, btw):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxpHO...feature=relmfu

Speer Gold Dot .380:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTTuX...feature=relmfu

FMJ and flatnosed from Federal and Winchester:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkscB...feature=relmfu

Last edited by baccusboy; 03-13-2012 at 01:38 AM.
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  #4  
Old 03-13-2012, 09:18 AM
1911 MAN 1911 MAN is offline
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I carry Win. Whitebox Flat nose in my LCP. So far, with about 500 rds. down the pipe, it has been 100% reliable and accurate in this gun. I think penetration is what you are looking for in this minimal caliber.
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2012, 09:44 AM
morgan-tec morgan-tec is offline
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I carry the critical defense in my p238 and have had zero issues
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  #6  
Old 03-13-2012, 05:07 PM
iGun iGun is offline
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I use Buffalo Bore .380 +P 100gr lead hard cast. 1150fps.
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  #7  
Old 03-13-2012, 05:43 PM
rrobertson rrobertson is offline
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I have shot Hornady CD thru my LCP and have found that in my firearm and with me the Speer GDHP was the most accurate. As a note I have not had a malfunction in my LCP with either of those rounds or the WWB FMJ I have put thru it.
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  #8  
Old 03-15-2012, 06:29 PM
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173abn 173abn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGun View Post
I use Buffalo Bore .380 +P 100gr lead hard cast. 1150fps.
What gun do you use? I'm thinking of using BB .380 +P 90 gr. Jacketed Hollow Point in my Colt Mustang. Do you think that is wise? Will the Mustang Stand up to the increased workload?
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  #9  
Old 03-29-2012, 01:13 AM
iGun iGun is offline
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Originally Posted by 173abn View Post
What gun do you use? I'm thinking of using BB .380 +P 90 gr. Jacketed Hollow Point in my Colt Mustang. Do you think that is wise? Will the Mustang Stand up to the increased workload?
Sorry for the long delay in responding to this one. My p238 has no problem with the very hot BB +p 100 gr lead hard cast. As Delta Kilo and others have said: hollow points seem to have highly variable effectiveness in .380. That's why I use the solids.
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  #10  
Old 04-02-2012, 03:32 PM
kthom kthom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGun View Post
I use Buffalo Bore .380 +P 100gr lead hard cast. 1150fps.
Me too! Good stuff! If ya don't like the hard cast lead flat point, they make a FMJ that's also got a flat nose in 95 grain. There is some very interesting reading on the Buffalo Bore site about lots of things, and one article specifically about this caliber. My Kahr likes both of these, and I like the 100 grainer best. The flat nose will likely create a bit more havoc as it strikes and penetrates as compared to a regular round nose FMJ. The velocity these rounds are loaded to will allow adequate penetration even through heavy clothing. The only other thing needed is for the shooter to deliver that round to the best location to result in internal havoc. Of course, that applies to any caliber and any size or kind of bullet!!
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Last edited by kthom; 04-02-2012 at 03:38 PM.
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  #11  
Old 11-25-2012, 10:26 PM
tcpip95 tcpip95 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iGun View Post
I use Buffalo Bore .380 +P 100gr lead hard cast. 1150fps.
+1 This ^
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  #12  
Old 11-26-2012, 12:01 PM
Texas Cowboy Texas Cowboy is offline
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In my 380's I load the following:

Buffalo Barnes 80 gr. +P Barnes XTP HP
and
Buffalo Bore 95 gr FMJFN

I load the chamber with the HP and then alternate the loading in the magazine between the two. If a bad situation arose, my first shot would be to the head. If that did not work for me I would likely be emptying the magazine into a bad guy until he was incapacitated. In that instance I would hope to get penetration from the FMJFN and expansion from the HP.

Tested velocity in a 3.5 in barrel was 1235 fps with the 80 gr HP and 1120 on the 95 gr FMJFN (per Buffalo Bore's website and their testing). I use these rounds in a Walther PPK/S and Sig P238.

Note: this is the only caliber I would alternate HP and FMJ's in. In any larger caliber I would go strictly with quality JHP for self defense. My choice in 9mm and 45acp is the Federal HST.
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  #13  
Old 11-26-2012, 12:23 PM
Pistol Fan Pistol Fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Cowboy View Post
In my 380's I load the following:

Buffalo Barnes 80 gr. +P Barnes XTP HP
and
Buffalo Bore 95 gr FMJFN

I load the chamber with the HP and then alternate the loading in the magazine between the two. If a bad situation arose, my first shot would be to the head. If that did not work for me I would likely be emptying the magazine into a bad guy until he was incapacitated. In that instance I would hope to get penetration from the FMJFN and expansion from the HP.

Tested velocity in a 3.5 in barrel was 1235 fps with the 80 gr HP and 1120 on the 95 gr FMJFN (per Buffalo Bore's website and their testing). I use these rounds in a Walther PPK/S and Sig P238.

Note: this is the only caliber I would alternate HP and FMJ's in. In any larger caliber I would go strictly with quality JHP for self defense. My choice in 9mm and 45acp is the Federal HST.
I agree with your choices in ammo, but for me your shooting strategy would not work. Relying on a head shot in a defensive scenario, especially with my short barrled Walther PPK would probably result in a wasted round. If the bad guy was standing still, sure no problem, but in that case I would not need to shoot. If he was advancing on me or shooting at me in a dynamic situation I would have to go center mass to ensure that I got a few hits from my six round mag with an extra in the chamber. If you train that way fine, but I think the standard practice is "two to the chest then one to the head", not the other way around. There is a thread floating around about head shots. They are notoriously hard to make and the head often deflects rounds not hitting the "nose-eyes" triangle. As I said, these are just MY thoughts about My OWN strategy, using basically the same tools as you. Not meant as a diss. That being said my old, blue PPK sits loaded with the BB Hardcast, flat nosed rounds, and I would feel safe with it against any two legged predator.
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  #14  
Old 12-01-2012, 01:48 PM
Shadwboxer Shadwboxer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Cowboy View Post
In my 380's I load the following:

Buffalo Barnes 80 gr. +P Barnes XTP HP
.


+1 for this load. Runs great in my P238, very controllable recoil.
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  #15  
Old 03-13-2012, 06:59 PM
robertrwalsh robertrwalsh is offline
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With any bullet type and load the .380 is a minimal defensive round. Were I to be carrying one I would go for penetration and functional reliability, but that's just me.
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  #16  
Old 03-13-2012, 07:02 PM
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Tim Burke Tim Burke is offline
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Were I to be carrying one I would go for penetration and functional reliability, but that's just me.
Concur. FMJ.
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  #17  
Old 03-13-2012, 07:13 PM
WhyteP38 WhyteP38 is offline
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Concur. FMJ.
After reading about and messing around with .380 for the past six years, I have to say, "Me three." FN FMJ.
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  #18  
Old 03-15-2012, 06:59 PM
MAG-63 MAG-63 is offline
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After reading about and messing around with .380 for the past six years, I have to say, "Me three." FN FMJ.
Make that four!
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  #19  
Old 03-16-2012, 06:27 AM
bm51 bm51 is offline
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Cor Bon 90gr JHP(1050fps/220ftlb) and Buffalo Bore 95gr (1125fps/267ftlbs) are both good SD rounds for a .380. but as above a .380 is minimal for SD. Most of the little .380's barrels are short and may not give you the speed advertizes. As will they hold up to the higher power rounds, I would say yes, as long as you are not runnning 1000's of rounds of it thur you gun.
I think the .380 has a place in SD and own one but it is not my primary carry weapon. Remember hand guns are not the best choice to stop a bad guy. With that in mind carry the biggest you can safely shoot and control IMHO
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  #20  
Old 11-20-2012, 09:54 PM
bmorgil bmorgil is offline
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Concur. FMJ.
I use FMJ also. The 380 is of sufficient diameter to cause a lot of blood loss. Its main drawback is power. The light fast "defense bullets" with modified hollow points really need some velocity and weight to work on large living dangerous targets. I would always wonder until I had to use it, if the Defense loads would work. I know what the companies making them say. I am of the belief it is a gimmick. A plugged projectile will not open in several instances. It doesn't matter if it was plugged on purpose with soft plastic or, by penetrating clothing and other mediums. It doesn't seem to make since to pre plug the hollow point unless the bullet is heavy and fast. With FMJ in a 380 penetration is not an issue. It works fine. As far as a one stop shot learn to aim under pressure and place the shot in a vital. It will be a one stop shot. As everyone knows, shot placement beats expansion any day. I love my PPK with XS sight system. It is the easiest concealable high quality accurate 380 I have ever owned. FMJ in a 380 is serious, feeds well and is foolproof in this low power caliber. About the same energy as a 38 special. Shot placement or blood trail. The same idea for hunting large varmints. A 9mm hole through and through is going to bleed if you miss a vital. It will hurt and be loud and gush blood. This is the best medicine for stopping danger with a 380.
If you use an AR the little 22 will almost certainly expand to about the size of a 380. I donít see the difference just to different ways to get the job done. One clarification, we are discussing CQB.
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  #21  
Old 11-20-2012, 11:02 PM
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Good points. For the "service calibers" (9mm to .45ACP) it's JHPs, below that threshhold (.380, .32, .25, etc) FMJs make the most sense.
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  #22  
Old 11-20-2012, 11:38 PM
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If one must carry a .380, which I would never recommend personally as there are a plethora of mico 9mm's today, then use the Corbon DPX. It falls a little short on penetration (hey's it's a .380 after all ) but expansion is incredible in controlled & objective testing:


http://www.stoppingpower.net/forum/t...TOPIC_ID=10021


I'd still recommend a micro 9mm or a small .38 Spcl. with proven SD loads such as the Speer 135 gr. +p.
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  #23  
Old 03-16-2012, 08:17 AM
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if you have to go with a .380, go with FMJ. None of the expanding loads show sufficient performance to warrant trust.
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  #24  
Old 03-23-2012, 02:06 AM
Bullseye1911 Bullseye1911 is offline
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if you have to go with a .380, go with FMJ. None of the expanding loads show sufficient performance to warrant trust.
..........^ ^ ^ ^ ^ what he said ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ .........
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  #25  
Old 03-29-2012, 12:44 AM
jbar1tex jbar1tex is offline
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Am rethinking my .380 ammo choice due to this thread. My wife carries a P238 and we've found the Golden Saber in 102gr a nice load. Reliable and accurate. Any thoughts on this load or is FMJ still the way to go?
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