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  #1  
Old 03-12-2012, 08:49 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, 08:57 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, 02:27 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 02:38 AM.
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  #4  
Old 03-13-2012, 10:18 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, 10:44 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, 06:07 PM
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I use Buffalo Bore .380 +P 100gr lead hard cast. 1150fps.
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  #7  
Old 03-13-2012, 06:43 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 03-13-2012, 07:59 PM
robertrwalsh robertrwalsh is online now
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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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  #9  
Old 03-13-2012, 08:02 PM
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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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  #10  
Old 03-13-2012, 08:13 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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  #11  
Old 03-15-2012, 07:29 PM
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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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  #12  
Old 03-15-2012, 07:59 PM
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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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  #13  
Old 03-16-2012, 07:27 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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  #14  
Old 03-16-2012, 07:46 AM
richpetrone richpetrone is offline
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.380

Many people trade down in caliber to get a small, pocket size pistol, and the .380 has gained in popularity.

I have a Colt Government .380, which is not a blow back, but a short recoil system (barrel links down like a BHP) and shoots hot loads very well. If I was forced to carry this weapon for SD, I too, would go for penetration and use either a FMJ or a good hard cast bullet.

Even so, if I need to carry in my pocket, I have a pocket holster and my Kel Tec PF-9 is my preferred choice with 125 gr. JHP +P rounds.
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  #15  
Old 03-16-2012, 09:17 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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  #16  
Old 03-23-2012, 12:49 AM
Robert101 Robert101 is offline
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Now I'm old enough to know what a junk yard is. And junk yards contained washers, old cars, sinks, wood, refrigerators, old doors, etc., etc. As a kid we shot every caliber imaginable (of course some like the .40 & 10MM were not placed into commerce yet) at every thing we could find. Can you tell I'm a penetration kind of guy? No controlled laboratory experiments. In the .380 I too prefer the FMJ as this caliber needs a good copper jacket to achieve sufficient penetration.
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  #17  
Old 03-23-2012, 03:06 AM
Bullseye1911 Bullseye1911 is offline
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Originally Posted by DeltaKilo View Post
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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  #18  
Old 03-29-2012, 01:44 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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  #19  
Old 03-29-2012, 02:13 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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  #20  
Old 03-29-2012, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jbar1tex View Post
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?
The FMJ is still the best way to go. The Barnes SCHP and Hornady XTP seem to do well in .380, and, grudgingly, Critical Defense seems to work OK for .380.

For absolute penetration and effectiveness, however, like I said, FMJ is the best choice for .380.
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  #21  
Old 03-29-2012, 10:51 AM
rrobertson rrobertson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaKilo View Post
The FMJ is still the best way to go. The Barnes SCHP and Hornady XTP seem to do well in .380, and, grudgingly, Critical Defense seems to work OK for .380.

For absolute penetration and effectiveness, however, like I said, FMJ is the best choice for .380.
That part about the Critical Defense had to be very painful for you to type DK.
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  #22  
Old 03-29-2012, 11:02 AM
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That part about the Critical Defense had to be very painful for you to type DK.
I deal in facts. Facts are that CD in .380 isn't bad. I try to live by facts alone.








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  #23  
Old 03-29-2012, 11:27 AM
Pistol Fan Pistol Fan is offline
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Originally Posted by DeltaKilo View Post
The FMJ is still the best way to go. The Barnes SCHP and Hornady XTP seem to do well in .380, and, grudgingly, Critical Defense seems to work OK for .380.

For absolute penetration and effectiveness, however, like I said, FMJ is the best choice for .380.
Do you have any info about the Barnes copper hollow point in .380? I saw one video where the penetration through denim and into some ballistic medium seemed pretty good. But bone might make a big difference in that equation. That was with the Buffalo Bore +p load. I recently picked up a Walther PPK, and like others opted against the Barnes hollow point loading for fear of under penetration. I'm going to try the hardcast flat nose in reg and +p to see how each works in the pistol. If the +p is reliable and not too snappy I'll probably go with that... when I need a minimal sidearm or back up.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:43 AM
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A quick search is not coming back with much, but i've seen a couple of tests. The Barnes load hits 8-10" pretty consistently, which is exceptional for .380 with hollowpoints.
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  #25  
Old 03-29-2012, 11:52 AM
Pistol Fan Pistol Fan is offline
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A quick search is not coming back with much, but i've seen a couple of tests. The Barnes load hits 8-10" pretty consistently, which is exceptional for .380 with hollowpoints.
Thanks, that's what I saw. Still not enough for me. When you throw bone into the equation there just isn't enough inertia in an 80 gr bullet, especially when a lot of that kinetic energy is lost during expansion. I have to admit, for a little bullet those hard cast flat nose rounds LOOK pretty capable of deep penetration through tough media. I should have a chance to try them by weeks end.
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