View Full Version : p380 SD ammo reccomendations ?
when considering .380 as a defensive round, do they generate enough velocity for proper expansion ? OR would one be better off just using traditional hardball ammunition for better penetration ? Does the corbon pow-r-ball come in .380 ?
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From reading a bunch of threads on this subject, you'll find a split opinion on 380"s and hardball vs HP's.
I think it's kind of like what the guy said when he kissed the cow. Everybody to their own taste.
Just find one that works reliable in your pistol and does what you think you want it to do and stick with it.
Me personally I just use WWB target loads. I like that nice flat point on the front end of the jacketed 380 bullet. I think it's a good compromise between penetration and possibly doing some tissue damage. It's works pretty well on lots of four legged varmints I've shot with it and penetrates like I want on some already dead beef that I've shot into. YMMV
when considering .380 as a defensive round, do they generate enough velocity for proper expansion ? OR would one be better off just using traditional hardball ammunition for better penetration ?
The answers are NO and NO
If you are forced to use a .380, get the best possible +P ammo, such as
Use Speer gold dot and don't worry about it. You will penetrate deep enough and the bullet will expand. If anyone disagrees ask them to stand in front of you while you squeeze off two upper body mass shots.
I've read a lot about it. The decision I've made is to carry HPs in the summer months and FMJ's in the winter.
It depends on what you may be shooting through, angle, etc.
If you are faced with an anterior shot (front) in any of the defensive distances, you will have no problem reaching most of the vitals in the torso. Most are within few inches below the surface...much closer than you need to worry about with any of the .380 rounds.
If you have to shoot through a barrier and/or strike someone at a very awkward angle, you may not have enough penetration to reach the vitals. You have to weigh the likelihood of that occurring.
From 9mm/.38 up, issues making good shots only occur through very tough barriers and/or only the worst possible angles. Even the lightest loads are fine in these calibers. Personally, with a .380, I'd be inclined to research which JHP rounds have the best penetrating ability; as close to 9mm/.38 as possible.
Most barriers you will encounter* (yes, note the asterisk I put there and see below) in a normal place are going to either stop or significantly slow any pistol bullet, or let it through with enough force to work, regardless of caliber between .380 and .45 (until you reach the hunting rounds, like .41, .44, .454, etc.). It is highly unlikely you will be shooting someone hidden behind a barrier that will let a 9, .40, or .45 through, but stop a .380. In short, don't worry about it too much.
*The one barrier that stands out from this is, in my mind, automobile safety glass, but it is too unpredictable due to angles of shots, etc. anyway. I'd be inclined to think the .380 would be too weak to be effective through a windshield more often than a 9mm or higher, because with any luck, they have a better chance of retaining weight and velocity through the glass. This will allow it to enter the body and still hit something vital. Once again, its up to you whether or not you plan for this event, as I see no resaon you would be in front of a car (standing, or you would have no shot anyway) with no way to get out of the way at all. Maybe in a long tunnel.
Just crap to read and think about...
My conclusion, if I were in this position, would be to get a good bonded JHP that penetrates best. If the non-bonded ones do significantly better, I would use them instead. (I put a tiny bit of weight in jacket separation issues, but not enough to choose a mediocre bonded JHP over a good regular one.)
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