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  #1  
Old 02-04-2011, 08:14 PM
Trekker Trekker is offline
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FMJ flat nose or JHP for SD in .380?

My most frequent CC weapon these days is a Sig P238 in .380. Why? It's an easy pocket carry and I really don't like the bulk and weight of my larger pistols. Florida weather, even in February, is conducive to T shirts and shorts, which makes CC more difficult. I've chosen to sacrifice more lethal firepower for convenience and comfort except for higher risk situations that I identify in advance. My choice, good or bad.

Since the mouse gun is my most frequent defender, I want to carry the most effective .380 SD ammo. What is it? Penetration is necessary to reach vital spots. But, what about expansion? That's important too.

From the BIG thread we've had here (Ammo Can) about FMJ vs. JHP, I'm thinkin' that a FMJ flat nose might be the most effective .380 SD bullet. I'm thinking penetration is king with .380.

Most interest in ballistics focuses on 9mm and larger. Please indulge me and advise what is best in a .380 bullet. My mouse gun and I thank you.

Last edited by Trekker; 02-04-2011 at 08:31 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2011, 08:21 PM
DeltaCommander DeltaCommander is offline
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Between those - just pick what functions the best. I imagine both will do fine.
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2011, 11:04 PM
340six 340six is offline
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The 380 both the WWB Bulk 100packs with FMJ-FP and the Round nose 50 packs as well as the Remington RN plus the 4 kinds of HP's worked fine in both my PPK/S and The Colt Mustang.
Only way to know for sure is buy some and shoot them in your gun.
In fact all the reloaded Round Nose Lead 90's 115 and 128's also worked fine. As did the Plated 95 Rainers
In a smaller gun with a short barrel the .380 is a cannon and sounds like it too.
The cartridge does not start with a .4 but I would sure hate to be on the wrong end of one when it goes bang
Even those WWB FP are peppy
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2011, 11:10 PM
RapidFire101 RapidFire101 is offline
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FMJ seems to be king for .380. HPs offer neither sufficient expansion, nor penetration in that caliber. But, i'm sure either will work in a pinch
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  #5  
Old 02-04-2011, 11:15 PM
Triple888 Triple888 is offline
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I recently purchased a BT 380 and had similar thoughts about SD ammo type. I'm thinking hollow points in warm weather when a thin layer of clothes is the "uniform of the day" and fmj when the cold weather comes to get through more layers. Bigger holes from hollow points is my preference.
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  #6  
Old 02-04-2011, 11:39 PM
NonPCnraRN NonPCnraRN is offline
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Buffalo Bore makes a 100 gr hardcast RNFP at 1072 fps from a 2.75" barrel. Corbon makes a DPX 80 gr at 1050 fps from a 2.5" barrel. I think I would prefer the BB ammo but I would test both in wet newsprint.
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2011, 05:21 AM
WESHOOT2 WESHOOT2 is offline
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The 102g Golden Saber is my recommended first try......



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  #8  
Old 02-05-2011, 09:24 AM
1911 MAN 1911 MAN is offline
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I carry WWB flat nose in my LCP when it's cold out and coats are worn. I switch to Hydra Shoks in the summer.
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  #9  
Old 02-05-2011, 11:21 AM
Brian48 Brian48 is offline
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I use WWB flatnose fmj in my pk380. I do have a supply of 90gr Gold Dots when it's really warm out, but more often than not, I stick with fmj. I tried Bufalo Bore's 100gr hardcast once. Excellent cartridge, but just wasn't 100% reliable my gun.
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  #10  
Old 02-05-2011, 11:40 AM
40dcoe 40dcoe is offline
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I like WWB year round.

One objective for range day with my son this week was to test just how
accurate the P238 can be. He shot the below targets with WWB at 15
and 20 yards, 2-handed grip/Weaver stance.

Joe

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P238 15 20.jpg  
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  #11  
Old 02-05-2011, 02:33 PM
DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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A flat nosed projectile will do more terminal damage while retaining penetration. Given it's a .380, go with the flat nosed.
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  #12  
Old 02-06-2011, 08:11 AM
fowler fowler is offline
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Yes reliable pentration and feed is 1st. WW flat tip. 380 is the best choice,but is better than the lesser cals. These guns are handy ,that being said I,ll take a SW pre-lock 642.
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2011, 11:07 AM
340six 340six is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaKilo View Post
A flat nosed projectile will do more terminal damage while retaining penetration. Given it's a .380, go with the flat nosed.
That is true compared to the FMJ as the flat point has a large meplat for it's size.
The HP would depend on how hot the load is, what it has to pass threw, what it hits.
Also untill you shoot them out your gun it is a toss to weather a FP or HP will feed and be reliable.
Same goes for FMJ's I had a new gun that had to be sent back since they did not feed all the time
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  #14  
Old 02-07-2011, 01:59 PM
Robert101 Robert101 is offline
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My 380's carry RN bullet types as I give weight to the feeding and function over the potential for HP expansion. I just do not trust the FN to feed reiably in such a small weapon. It seems my Bersa Thunder feeds more reliably than my 85'ish Browning DBA.
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  #15  
Old 02-07-2011, 02:10 PM
DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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In any caliber sub-9mm, ball is about the best choice you can make. 9mm and over, the internal ballistics are such that they reach substantial enough velocity and energy to reliably expand a hollowpoint and still achieve the minimum required penetration of 13".
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  #16  
Old 02-07-2011, 03:49 PM
Sledzep01 Sledzep01 is offline
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Find some JHP's that work for you and use them. My P238 shoots them all well.
The difference between how well the rounds mentioned penetrate is nothing to worry about. Get the ones designed for self defense.
Besides, like you said, everyone in FLA is walking around in a T shirt and shorts...

If you are truly worried by the hotter +p stuff.

Sled
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  #17  
Old 02-07-2011, 04:01 PM
DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sledzep01 View Post
Find some JHP's that work for you and use them. My P238 shoots them all well.
The difference between how well the rounds mentioned penetrate is nothing to worry about. Get the ones designed for self defense.
Besides, like you said, everyone in FLA is walking around in a T shirt and shorts...

If you are truly worried by the hotter +p stuff.

Sled
Hollowpoints in .380 show penetration, even in the Ranger series stuff, of 6-8". Minimum effective penetration is 12-13". The .380 with ANY intermediate barrier to flesh is going to be inadequate short of using ball, which BARELY makes 12".
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  #18  
Old 02-07-2011, 04:30 PM
Trekker Trekker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaKilo View Post
Hollowpoints in .380 show penetration, even in the Ranger series stuff, of 6-8". Minimum effective penetration is 12-13". The .380 with ANY intermediate barrier to flesh is going to be inadequate short of using ball, which BARELY makes 12".
So, ball is better than flat nose for penetration in .380, and it might feed better? But if flat nose feeds reliably, it's the better overall choice?

I spoke with Sig today about using Buffalo Bore or other choices in +P, and they indicated the P238 will handle it. Does stepping up to the hotter load really make much difference ballistically?
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  #19  
Old 02-07-2011, 06:03 PM
DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekker View Post
So, ball is better than flat nose for penetration in .380, and it might feed better? But if flat nose feeds reliably, it's the better overall choice?

I spoke with Sig today about using Buffalo Bore or other choices in +P, and they indicated the P238 will handle it. Does stepping up to the hotter load really make much difference ballistically?
Think of it this way: Hollowpoints work on hydraulic expansion to damage more tissue. The more tissue they interact with, the more energy gets robbed in terms of forward momentum. It's similar to a parachute effect. High drag, which is what you want, but also quick loss of energy.

A flat nosed bullet will tend to provide you with penetration similar to ball, but will crush tissue rather than simply stretching and piercing it or pushing it aside.

As to +P, if the gun will handle it, it gives you extra energy and deeper penetration, which in a sub-caliber like the .380 is a good thing. With weak calibers like this, the more energy, velocity, and penetration you can get, the better, because it's going to need it to reach vitals.
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  #20  
Old 02-07-2011, 06:50 PM
40dcoe 40dcoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaKilo View Post
Hollowpoints in .380 slow penetration, even in the Ranger series stuff, of 6-8". Minimum effective penetration is 12-13". The .380 with ANY intermediate barrier to flesh is going to be inadequate short of using ball, which BARELY makes 12".
Amen.

The .380 ammo "ones designed for self defense" are designed to make more
money. The ammo companies don't love you; they are not bothered by
selling inadequate ammo for your defense. People want hollowpoints, so they
make them and sell them.

Except for Buffalo Bore. Their hardcast and FMJ-FP offerings are excellent.

Joe
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  #21  
Old 02-07-2011, 07:03 PM
DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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Originally Posted by 40dcoe View Post
Amen.

The .380 ammo "ones designed for self defense" are designed to make more
money. The ammo companies don't love you; they are not bothered by
selling inadequate ammo for your defense. People want hollowpoints, so they
make them and sell them.

Except for Buffalo Bore. Their hardcast and FMJ-FP offerings are excellent.

Joe
Well, the details and engineering involved in the design of Hollowpoints are not necessarily a bad thing. in major calibers, 9mm and up, they work and work very well at increasing terminal performance.

In the .380 and smaller, with slow velocities and little weight, they are more a hinderance than they are a help.

As to buffalo bore, they do certainly offer a decent option, and for sub-calibers like the .380, I would go that route all things being equal. I would advocate the use of a quality hollowpoint over their offerings in major calibers, however. Penetration without great amounts of lateral tissue damage is useless. Wadcutters work, but the bigger hole you can make, the better.

Oh, and i said "SHOW" penetration, not "SLOW" penetration.
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  #22  
Old 02-07-2011, 07:16 PM
BurntEyes BurntEyes is offline
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Trekker:

Question for you have you looked at any of the small 9s like Kal Tec, Ruger or G26. I am just curious as I am looking for a bug, and these are all smaller guns in 9mm which, frankly I am just more comfortable with than .380. The G26 might be too big for pocket carry but I am intrested in the LC9 which might fit the bill for a Pocket gun, yet provide 9mm performance. (Sorry if this is derailing the thread, please feel free to delete admins.)

If they are too big, I might go with the LCP, because well, a .380 packs a lot more punch than my fist will.

(Edit - I am will also take a serious look at the colt mustang .380)
(Double Edit - Just noticed that Sig came out with a DA P290 will be taking a look at that)

Last edited by BurntEyes; 02-07-2011 at 07:20 PM.
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  #23  
Old 02-07-2011, 07:23 PM
DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurntEyes View Post
Trekker:

Question for you have you looked at any of the small 9s like Kal Tec, Ruger or G26. I am just curious as I am looking for a bug, and these are all smaller guns in 9mm which, frankly I am just more comfortable with than .380. The G26 might be too big for pocket carry but I am intrested in the LC9 which might fit the bill for a Pocket gun, yet provide 9mm performance. (Sorry if this is derailing the thread, please feel free to delete admins.)

If they are too big, I might go with the LCP, because well, a .380 packs a lot more punch than my fist will.

(Edit - I am will also take a serious look at the colt mustang .380)
(Double Edit - Just noticed that Sig came out with a DA P290 will be taking a look at that)
I'm not a fan of Kimbers, but I'm seriously looking at that Solo.
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  #24  
Old 02-07-2011, 07:30 PM
BurntEyes BurntEyes is offline
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Originally Posted by DeltaKilo View Post
I'm not a fan of Kimbers, but I'm seriously looking at that Solo.
Hmm, that is pretty nice. Hadn't seen that yet., thanks for bringing it to my attention. I like that the frame is aluminum and not plastic. $725, its spendy.
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  #25  
Old 02-07-2011, 07:38 PM
40dcoe 40dcoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaKilo View Post
Well, the details and engineering involved in the design of Hollowpoints are not necessarily a bad thing. in major calibers, 9mm and up, they work and work very well at increasing terminal performance.
The efficacy of hollowpoint ammunition in pistol calibers has never been
demonstrated.

Joe
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