.380 ammo selection [Archive] - Glock Talk

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youngbuck
07-23-2010, 02:35
Was wondering what loads you (or wife/girlfriend) carry in your .380? I plan on picking mine up tomorrow and have been on the search for a good selection. I picked up the Winchester Silvertips and Hornady XTP today at Cabela's. Im trying to get ahold of the Corbon 90gr or the Ranger T-series but its still a work in progress. Thoughts?

datnvan
07-23-2010, 03:10
i carry the hornady critical defense FTX.

ComeAndGetThem
07-23-2010, 05:47
Corbon DPX or Speer Gold Dot.

DonGlock26
07-23-2010, 07:51
Winchester RangerT 95gr. in my P232. I like Golddots, too.

BlutoBlutarsky
07-23-2010, 08:19
My wife has Fed Hydra Shock in hers now, probably switching to the Hornady FTX

mickdundie
07-23-2010, 19:43
Was wondering what loads you (or wife/girlfriend) carry in your .380? I plan on picking mine up tomorrow and have been on the search for a good selection. I picked up the Winchester Silvertips and Hornady XTP today at Cabela's. Im trying to get ahold of the Corbon 90gr or the Ranger T-series but its still a work in progress. Thoughts?

I would be confident with any of the premium ammo you already have, provided they function good in my gun. I had a problem once with the Winchester Silvertips...the bullet was soo soft that when my P232 chambered the round it would mash the side flat that hit the feed ramp. I wouldn't really notice it if I were shooting, but if I chambered a round and then ejected it one side would be mashed. Made me leery of chambering the round again.

I carry Gold Dot because our stores carry them, and because I like 'bonded' bullet design. It doesn't loose the copper jacket if shot through barriers.

Mick:thumbsup:

KiloBravo
07-23-2010, 20:01
I would be confident with any of the premium ammo you already have, provided they function good in my gun. I had a problem once with the Winchester Silvertips...the bullet was soo soft that when my P232 chambered the round it would mash the side flat that hit the feed ramp. I wouldn't really notice it if I were shooting, but if I chambered a round and then ejected it one side would be mashed. Made me leery of chambering the round again.

I carry Gold Dot because our stores carry them, and because I like 'bonded' bullet design. It doesn't loose the copper jacket if shot through barriers.

Mick:thumbsup:

You know...that is really strange you mention that. My Kel-Tec P3AT did the exact same thing to Federal Hydra-Shocks. It mashed both side of the bullet in pretty good and they were obviously deformed. I now carry it loaded with Hornady Critical Defense.

jason.223
07-24-2010, 14:14
In my ruger lcp...I know ruger says no +P but buffalo bore says few are ok...

http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=129

this load out of my little ruger chrono'ed 1129fps!!!

this is my carry load!!

Jason

JIM 1
07-24-2010, 17:32
I use corbon DPX in my LCP. A bit pricey, but that barnes solid copper bullet is a game changer. My carry ammo of choice for my G19 as well.

Ceapea
07-24-2010, 21:56
In the mag in the gun (P232) I have a mixture of Remington GS, Hornady CD, Buffalo Bore JHP and DPX. In the spare Mag, same plus some newly acquired Federal HS.

I have shot the B.Bore JHP, DPX and CD into water jugs. The B.Bore JHP totally fragmented in the first jug. The Hornady CD ended up looking just like their pictures of it, stopping in the 3rd jug. The DPX opened up perfectly! But never made it out of the first jug. The DPX is too light in 380 for how much it expands. I do like it (but have not tested it in water) in 9mm and 38 spl+P.

JIM 1
07-25-2010, 06:27
Check better tests and more reliable stats available out there. What makes the DPX round a game changer is the unprecedented reliable expansion, weight retention, AND penetration. Makes it worth the price of admission. Bullet is lighter because its copper, not lead. Also penetrates barriers. The solid copper Barnes bullet is a winner. And at standard pressures, too.

Jim

Guser
07-25-2010, 09:08
I used to get caught up in which hollow point was best for self defense until I read a piece by a Texas Ranger, who carried only FMJs in his .380 backup pistol. Seems the department recommended FMJs to get the maximum penetration from that caliber.

I've since read other LEOs' opinions that concur.

If it's good enough for the Rangers, it's good enough for me.

GIockGuy24
07-25-2010, 09:53
Nearly universally, the 95 grain bullets outperform the 90 grain and lighter weight bullets. I believe the FBI recommends FMJ's in 380 but their testing is slanted towards penetration.

G21FAN
07-25-2010, 10:17
S&B or Buffalo Bore ball ammo for penetration and reliability.

unit1069
07-25-2010, 10:34
I used to get caught up in which hollow point was best for self defense until I read a piece by a Texas Ranger, who carried only FMJs in his .380 backup pistol. Seems the department recommended FMJs to get the maximum penetration from that caliber.

I've since read other LEOs' opinions that concur.

If it's good enough for the Rangers, it's good enough for me.

I once owned a small .380ACP and the search for the optimum self-defense round was a never-ending search.

There were a number of backyard ammo testers who conducted their own tests on various rounds. Oldgrandpa probably has more experience with testing .380ACP through different pistols than anyone, and he concluded that FMJ was the best bet as all .380ACP hollowpoints do not reliably achieve adequate penetration.

ABNAK
07-25-2010, 11:56
Posted this here before. Remington 102gr Golden Saber, fired from a Ruger LCP through 4 layers of a towel into my swimming pool. Heaviest .380 load out there AFAIK.

Caveat: I know it ain't gelatin and denim but oughta give a hint of performance.

http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/dd187/ABNAK/im000482.jpg

mickdundie
07-25-2010, 13:15
I once owned a small .380ACP and the search for the optimum self-defense round was a never-ending search.

There were a number of backyard ammo testers who conducted their own tests on various rounds. Oldgrandpa probably has more experience with testing .380ACP through different pistols than anyone, and he concluded that FMJ was the best bet as all .380ACP hollowpoints do not reliably achieve adequate penetration.

Penetration is great. So is shot placement.

But it's like I said in another thread. Most pistols calibers are inherently underpowered one-shot-stoppers.

Some are good, .357 Magnum, 44 Magnum, 10mm, etc... out of a 6"barrel...then you have some serious close quarters power.

With most handgun calibers you had better practice for multiple hits as fast as you can...If you hit an elbow or wallet, practically anything besides COM or between the eyes, your going to need more than one hit.

Just my $.02

Carry what you shoot best. For me it's Gold Dot, but I like the Barnes X copper bullet design. I just can't justify running enough of them through my gun to confirm reliability. A buck and a half a round it ridicules.:faint:

Mick:thumbsup:

JIM 1
07-25-2010, 17:46
:whistling: I almost forgot how stating ammo preference lights up a thread... When all is said and done, we all know shot placement is key. Before DPX, I really liked Rem GS, and always liked the older Corbon round. Used to be in both PPK and G30. These days, in both G19 and the wee LCP. Jim

CanyonMan
07-25-2010, 18:20
Was wondering what loads you (or wife/girlfriend) carry in your .380? I plan on picking mine up tomorrow and have been on the search for a good selection. I picked up the Winchester Silvertips and Hornady XTP today at Cabela's. Im trying to get ahold of the Corbon 90gr or the Ranger T-series but its still a work in progress. Thoughts?


Please, do yourself/girlfriend a very big favor. Do not use JHP's in that mouse gun. Use either FMJ or Hard Cast from Buffalo Bore. It could help keep you alive ! ;)


People say "carry what you shoot the best.." Then carry what penetrates the best which is going to be without question FMJ or Hard Cast from Buffalo Bore, and pratice with it and "shoot it the best." It is NOT enough to see a picture of a pretty, well opened JHP, and say "wow cool I'll take it". That don't work. Your not trying to make a fashion statement, your goal is to stay alive. You have choose to carry a less than minimal caliber for your SD. At least load it with ammo that will penetrate plenty deep enough to get to the vitals. Just very true, and friendly advice. ;)


Good luck !



CM




CanyonMan

mickdundie
07-25-2010, 20:06
Please, do yourself/girlfriend a very big favor. Do not use JHP's in that mouse gun. Use either FMJ or Hard Cast from Buffalo Bore. It could help keep you alive ! ;)


People say "carry what you shoot the best.." Then carry what penetrates the best which is going to be without question FMJ or Hard Cast from Buffalo Bore, and pratice with it and "shoot it the best." It is NOT enough to see a picture of a pretty, well opened JHP, and say "wow cool I'll take it". That don't work. Your not trying to make a fashion statement, your goal is to stay alive. You have choose to carry a less than minimal caliber for your SD. At least load it with ammo that will penetrate plenty deep enough to get to the vitals. Just very true, and friendly advice. ;)


Good luck !



CM




CanyonMan

:eagle: Good Post
I use Gold Dots because they probably won't open up anyway. And they're bonded so they won't break apart either. My second choice would definitely be BB Hard Cast. Those ballistics look really good!

Mick:thumbsup:

JIM 1
07-26-2010, 03:42
Do yourself a bigger favor. Do more research; plenty of info, real life stats, and reputable, well repected professionals published on the subject. Recent advances in design of moden defense ammunition are one of the reasons the 380 is more popular than ever. Don't ask a dinosaur who carries ball ammo in his .45 cuz 'thats what worked for grandaddy'. Choose a modern defense round (hollowpoint) that both expands consistently and penetrates better than most, that is recommended by true professionals whose opinions are not only influenced by these test results, but also by law enforcement, and medical professionals. Choose a round that functions flawlessly in your weapon; a round that you handle well, able to deliver quickly on target. Granted, emtying a magazine full of almost anything should discourage most bad guys; but the 380 is marginal at best. Use and practice with the best you can. Jim

CanyonMan
07-26-2010, 06:49
Do yourself a bigger favor. Do more research; plenty of info, real life stats, and reputable, well repected professionals published on the subject. Recent advances in design of moden defense ammunition are one of the reasons the 380 is more popular than ever. Don't ask a dinosaur who carries ball ammo in his .45 cuz 'thats what worked for grandaddy'. Choose a modern defense round (hollowpoint) that both expands consistently and penetrates better than most, that is recommended by true professionals whose opinions are not only influenced by these test results, but also by law enforcement, and medical professionals. Choose a round that functions flawlessly in your weapon; a round that you handle well, able to deliver quickly on target. Granted, emtying a magazine full of almost anything should discourage most bad guys; but the 380 is marginal at best. Use and practice with the best you can. Jim



Hey jim, how much combat experience you got ace ? How much time have YOU spent personally testing ammo ? How much hands on time and experience do you have testing in different media various calibers and in JHP VS. FMJ in each caliber ?

Me thinks not much if any to write with such malice towards age and experience, and to feed such misinformation !

I'll leave me out of this for the moment, and paste here "below" from a "true Professional," what he has to say about the ammo HE manufactures. I have plenty more, OP, from very well respected Professionals in the field if you need more correct information. Most will not even reccomend the .380 in the first place. But, those who do, (usually as a back up gun) will steer you towards the FMJ, or a HC bullet fro the sake of penetration.

NOT some light weight new wiz bang on the market that looks nice in jello. It's enough for the 9mm/40cal/45acp to have to strike say an arm , hit bone, make it on through and travel maybe another 14/18 inches before hitting the torso, and still make it through all the clothes and the muscle and bone and hollow and solid organs, and still get to some vitals that will stop the threat. It is enough for these.

But the .380 in a JHP is risky at best. You can find a host of folks to endorse them (JHP's) cause they do that for a living. But look at this from a real world perspective amigo. That bullet has a lot of work to do out of any size gun, and the 380 starts out weak. I am NOT cutting down your choice in SD guns OP, I am however saying there are better choices for a "primary carry gun." I am saying that if you choose to carry the .380 as your primary, fine, but at least use the hardest hitting deepest penetrating ammunition you possibly can.

If nothing else this boils doww to just common sense. Hope you stay safe OP, and find what will serve you best, and not listen to those who look down their nose at age and experience. ;)




From: Tim Sundles. Owner of Buffalo Bore ammunition Co.

380 Auto +P Ammo - 100 gr. Hardcast F.N. (1150fps/ M.E. 294 ft. lbs.) - 20 Round Box

The 380 auto inhabits a valuable and useful place in our society, mostly because of the easily concealable, tiny pistols chambered for it. HOWEVER, because of the very limited size of the cartridge, it is plagued with limited power and therefore most of the existing ammo in 380 auto suffers from not being reliable as a man-stopper. We've studied and played with nearly all of the existing available 380 ammo and find it wanting as a reliable means of self defense, especially against a large, insane, drugged up/pain free, determined attacker.

Here's the problem. The current 380 auto frangible ammo delivers a large amount of surface trauma, but lacks serious penetration. For example, if you shot me or another sane man in the face with modern frangible 380 ammo, it would blow off a big portion of my cheek and send a few teeth down my throat, I would undoubtedly fall to the ground in shock and pain, but I would be very much alive and functional if I could get past the shock and pain as that frangible bullet would have stopped some where inside my face, never making it to my brain. However, if you shot a drugged up maniac in the face with that same frangible 380 ammo and blew half his cheek off, he would keep right on coming because he is insane and is not thinking like you or I. Plus, he is likely pain free and fear free and wont know that half his cheek is missing and if he did know, he would not care. So whatever 380 ammo you shoot him in the face with, had better go through his face and blow his brain stem out the back of his head, because only a CNS (central nervous system) hit with a 380 is going to stop him. Likewise, a torso hit to the sternum needs to penetrate deep enough to blow all the way through his spine in order to shut him down spontaneously. If you fail to shut him down instantly, you and your loved ones are going to have to find a way to survive while you wait for him to bleed out and pass out. The best chance of survival for you and your family is to shut down the attacker instantly. So, we've designed a few 380 auto +P loads to keep you and your loved ones alive under the worst of scenarios.

This 380 Auto+P ammo will better all American made 380 Auto ammo by 150 fps to 200 fps in all bullet weights we make. This is a serious improvement in this typically anemic cartridge. This 380 auto+P ammo is more powerful than the typical 38SPL ammo made by most American ammo makers and you'll get 7 shots of it in a small/flat/light weight 380 versus 5 shots out of a bulkier 38 SPL J frame revolver. Additionally, with the 380 you'll get much faster reloads and the little magazines are flatter than a speed-loader used for a J frame.

Item 27A/20 is a 100gr. HARD cast bullet with a flat nose. It is traveling over 1,150 fps out of my 3.75 inch BDA (Browning Double Action). We've used a flash suppressed powder for all three of our 380 auto loads so that you wont be blinded by your own gunfire if you have to shoot in the dark and since around 95% of all civilian shootings in America occur in low light, the chances that your own gunfire will blind you while you are trying to save your life, are good - we've eliminated this variable by using flash suppressed powder. We've also chosen a flat nosed solid bullet. The flat on the nose ensures that the bullet will cut/smash its way through flesh and bone and do much more destruction than typical round nose FMJ bullets. Round nosed bullets tend to slip and slide through matter, doing little damage as opposed to a flat nosed bullet. The flat nose not only wounds much more than a round nosed bullet, but it actually keeps the penetration straight and thus deeper. Notice the below velocities recorded from my personal 380 auto pistols. These are real world guns and thus the speeds are realistic and not exaggerated speeds produced from laboratory test barrels. What you see with Buffalo Bore Ammo, is truly what you get in the "real world", where it matters. You can expect 20+ inches of straight-line penetration in flesh and bone with this load. If you are worried about over penetration with this load, DON'T! You chose to carry a tiny under-powered 380 auto pistol and the trade-off is that you are now going to have to stay alive with that pistol and over penetration will be the least of your worries if you end up needing this gun to save yourself or your family.


Got lots more "professionals" lined up for ya jim, Like DR, Roberts, Dr Fackler and some others.

Maybe you'll learn that some times the old dinosaur geesers have learned a thing or two through life. Hope you make it long enough to do the same Hoss ! ;)







CanyonMan,
an old dinosaur geeser who is still alive and well ! :supergrin:

Guser
07-26-2010, 08:36
Thanks for the post, CanyonMan. Happy trails ...

CanyonMan
07-26-2010, 08:57
Thanks for the post, CanyonMan. Happy trails ...


Most welcome amigo ! ;)

Speaking of trails, I'm about to hit one right now. Gotta go for a while.

Adios till later.
Stay safe out there !




CM

smoke
07-26-2010, 10:33
i carry the hornady critical defense FTX.


I second that!

JIM 1
07-26-2010, 18:19
Hey, Guys...
Sorry for the tone of my last post. (posting before coffee never a good idea) Didn't mean to offend anyone. (I'm getting up there too, by the way) The experience and wisdom of many, many contributors on this board, and others like it, has been an education, and has also helped form strong opinions. And CanyonMan, trust me, if the worst ever happens, I most definitely would prefer reaching for something that begins with at least 9, and a 4 would be even better. I see further advances in bullet design coming. Solid copper really is a huge improvement; who knows what alloys are next. And you are absolutely right on- the crappiest round placed well will always be better than a $1.50 round high and away. Will feel better when 380 ammo prices drop a bit.....

Jim

CanyonMan
07-26-2010, 19:49
Hey, Guys...
Sorry for the tone of my last post. (posting before coffee never a good idea) Didn't mean to offend anyone. (I'm getting up there too, by the way) The experience and wisdom of many, many contributors on this board, and others like it, has been an education, and has also helped form strong opinions. And CanyonMan, trust me, if the worst ever happens, I most definitely would prefer reaching for something that begins with at least 9, and a 4 would be even better. I see further advances in bullet design coming. Solid copper really is a huge improvement; who knows what alloys are next. And you are absolutely right on- the crappiest round placed well will always be better than a $1.50 round high and away. Will feel better when 380 ammo prices drop a bit.....

Jim



Jim,

No worries here. I am just a laid back old dinosaur dude who has seen and done one or two things and still claims to know nothing.

You may want to think your all copper stratagey over a bit though. Along with some of the others. The barnes all copper bullet is not a very good performer in real world test. Not in handguns. It lacks penetration even in the 9mm and the 45acp and others as well. Ideal penetration for the SD round is really in the 14-18" range to help assure getting to the vitals under some less than good situations that can happen in a SD senerio. The all copper bullet has failed to (usually) get much more than 10-11" in even wet pack and jello test. See the test on the Barnes bullets on the "Furniture Penetration Thread," here on CC. Bob has ran a number of test with the all copper Barnes, and they are not impressive from a hand gun even at high velocity.

He (Bob) and I had a very long conversation about these bullets a few weeks ago, looking at some numbers, after "my" VERY good friend (former barnes ballistician, and helped design for barnes and helped write the reloading manual for barnes) and I went over and over a good deal of figures and test results for a long time, and the bullet although very good in hunting applications in rifles, just lacks in the handgun department for most 'service calibers'. Sounds good, and looks good in pics, but in real world SD situations, just does not perform as well as people think because of a couple of things. One being very important. Penetration !

Again, on the 380 auto. It truly is at best, weak. It does need a bullet with a good Sectional density, and one that is either FMJ or Hard Cast, in order to have any hope of reaching through a variety of various media and still get to the vitals deep enough to hopefully stop the threat. Never know what you'll have to shoot through, just never know. Not even my beloved 45acp can boast that it is the cure all to a SD gun. Hand guns are poor man stoppers, but they are all we got to pack on the hip, so we better really look hard at things. That is why some of us have spent a life time testing all kinds of bullets in all types of media, and are almost still not satisfied yet.

The Buffalo Bore ammo is the "only ammo" (other than my own reloads) i would even consider to the person seriouly desiring to carry a 380 auto or less. FTX is one of the worst choices out there, (and there are many) for the 380 auto, or even the 9mil or 40. The palstic incert sounds good to the consumer, and looks great in adds and such, and does prevent clogging the nose cavity.

BUT, the material at the nose is less dense that the open cavity XTP, and must be thinner in order to allow the "Hydraulic action," of the plastic nose piece to shove open the pedals. This lack of strength in the cooper/lead around the Synthetic Hydraulic allows for a more "rapid expansion' and like the HST and other rapid expanding bullets, it falls real short of the desired 14" to 18" penetration needed to be considered acceptable for a SD round.

On the other hand. The open cavity XTP has a more dense and stronger nose lead/copper content and thus works as a 'natural Hydraulic', and uses the body skin and fluids et. to open it up and thus, it does have greater and much needed penetration.


I am just not a fan of light for caliber, or designer bullets, and in all my years and all the testing, and all the whatever I have been involved in, I have never seen anything 'for me' to get excited about in these offerings.

People make the very dangerous assumption that what they see in an ad, or read about that billy bob did, was and is, the greatest thing since sliced bread. Pictures of wide open pedals and perfect mushroom rounds fill their head with the idea sometimes that the round will look like this "after passing through a leather jacket and a few shirts underneath, and tons of fat an blubber on a drugged up BG coming at them like a freight train, and then put up his arm or twist to the side about the time you pull the trigger, and now your 11-12" in jello Penetrator with the pretty flower pedal you saw in jello, is at best a spit in the river trying to bust through to the vitals".

But hey, it looks cool and has a great box, and cost alot of money so it must be great, hey everyone wants them ! The bad guy never read what they did, so he did not know to fall down and play dead ! ;)

Well, there ya go. This is a forum, and this is my opinion mixed with my experience in a couple things at least. When I become an expert, or know everything, Then I'll post in all caps ! hahaha ! Never happen. ;)


Adios and stay safe !

Sleep is needed for this old boy ! :fred:





CanyonMan

JIM 1
07-26-2010, 21:11
Yea, the milk jug furniture thing. Hey, thats what makes forums like this so interesting. We should probably be glad the major ammunition manufacturers are working at making these marginal rounds perform better. Time will tell.

ithaca_deerslayer
07-27-2010, 08:52
I used to get caught up in which hollow point was best for self defense until I read a piece by a Texas Ranger, who carried only FMJs in his .380 backup pistol. Seems the department recommended FMJs to get the maximum penetration from that caliber.

I've since read other LEOs' opinions that concur.

If it's good enough for the Rangers, it's good enough for me.

I like that thinking. Especially since FMJ feeds reliable in my LCP, but I've had occasional problems with HP.

I carry .380 FMJ. But with my Glock 26, HP feed fine, so I carry 9mm HP.

I once shot a rabid raccoon with .380 HP (different gun). I wasn't very impressed. They were all body shots, and it took the coon a long time to die. In fact, I went back to get my .22 rifle to finish the job more quickly.

JIM 1
07-27-2010, 16:10
Youngbuck..
If you haven't been already, checkout out www.elsiepeaforum.com. It's a forum for and by people who own and carry the Ruger LCP 380. Good forum, good people, lots of info. You'll find most of your questions about 380 handguns and ammo have already been asked and answered. Plenty of ammo test results, and, as always, plenty of opinions. :) I highly recommend. Jim

rome2240sw
07-27-2010, 18:46
hornady critical defense or speer gold dot LE ammo... Nothing else compares when refering to the 380 auto.