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Old 02-11-2013, 11:47   #1
WEATHERBY460
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Best ammo for the 380 pocket guns?

I am looking for recommendations for 380 ammo for the little pocket guns.....thanks
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:03   #2
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I carry Speer Gold Dots.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:17   #3
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WEATHERBY460..."I am looking for recommendations for 380 ammo for the little pocket guns"

I assume you are referring to self protection ammo.

As rednoved pointed out Speer Gold Dots are an excellent choice, I personally like Hornady 90g XTP HP myself.

For practice ammo, Federal "American Eagle" Ammunition 95g FMJ bullets will give you close to the same feel as your self defense ammo.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:25   #4
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Winchester 85-grain Silvertips. Low recoil, low flash, high velocity HP's. But try to find them. I bought 3 boxes/50 2 weeks ago. Now my source is out of them, and they were the only place I found. All they have now is 95 GR. JHP BONDED S380PDB for $21/20


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Old 02-11-2013, 12:29   #5
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I'll second the Gold Dots. Very consistent bullet size.
The Hornady ones I had tried had some feeding issues with certain boxes because the bullets were not seated quite as deep, and with those ultra compact semi-autos the bullet size is really important.
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Old 02-11-2013, 15:04   #6
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In the smaller calibers, I prefer Ball.

I will take adequate penetration over the supposed advantage of expansion every time.

Large superficial surface wounds are not all that effective as opposed to those that get to vital organs.

The same advise goes for .25 and .32 also.

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Old 02-11-2013, 15:39   #7
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In the smaller calibers, I prefer Ball.
Even though I've had but a few bobbles in my LCP or Kahr P380 using HP ammo I feel the same way. When I'm limited to pocket carrying a small auto I want it to work. Period. I know stoking the mouse gun with ball is a trade off, but carrying small autos necessitates confidence in reliability. I roll the dice occassionally.
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Old 02-11-2013, 15:50   #8
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Originally Posted by WEATHERBY460 View Post
I am looking for recommendations for 380 ammo for the little pocket guns.....thanks
Not big on .380 for self defense.
Never carry less than a 9mm or 38.

But if I did?
Believe I read Mas say -
"LAPD uses Hornady Critical Defense in their .380 backup guns".

I like using LE ammo for Self Defense.

Last edited by barth; 02-11-2013 at 15:50..
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Old 02-11-2013, 16:23   #9
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Hornady Critical Duty/Defense for me. TNTOutdoors does a pretty exhaustive review of a few of the common manufacturers ammo on YouTube.
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Old 02-11-2013, 17:09   #10
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Not a big fan of .380 myself. I carried one years ago, a P3AT, and I carried it loaded with FMJ.

If I was going to carry one again it would probably be loaded with XTP. They tend to be good penetrators.
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Old 02-11-2013, 20:09   #11
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This guy tests quite a few different 380 ammo choices.

http://mousegunaddict.blogspot.com/p/ammo-tests.html

I always carried Federal Hydra-Shoks, but have recently seen the light with FMJ so that's what has been loaded all Winter. One of these days I'll run a round nose fmj vs. flat nose fmj test and pick a favorite FMJ ammo.
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Old 02-11-2013, 22:25   #12
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If I still owned a .380ACP I'd likely carry a heavy-for-caliber hardcast round.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:54   #13
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I don't think most 380s open very much to begin with so i doubt penetration suffers much, that said my choice is GD hollowpoint ammo. I'll take a little less penetration and a little bigger hole instead of a ice pick hole a little deeper. I think maybe a flat nose fmj would be a good combination of both.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:55   #14
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I wonder if CorBon makes a .380 round?
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:58   #15
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Fmj......
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:02   #16
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Fmj......
Good choice, for penetration is very important with such weak rounds.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:00   #17
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I wonder if CorBon makes a .380 round?
They make at least 3 that I'm aware of. I tested all 3 last year.

Corbon 90 Grain JHP
Corbon Pow'R Ball 70 Grain Pow'R Ball
Corbon DPX 80 Grain DPX
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:04   #18
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They make at least 3 that I'm aware of. I tested all 3 last year.

Corbon 90 Grain JHP
Corbon Pow'R Ball 70 Grain Pow'R Ball
Corbon DPX 80 Grain DPX
Wow, thanx - I had no idea.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:07   #19
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I don't think most 380s open very much to begin with so i doubt penetration suffers much, that said my choice is GD hollowpoint ammo. I'll take a little less penetration and a little bigger hole instead of a ice pick hole a little deeper. I think maybe a flat nose fmj would be a good combination of both.
You might be surprised by the expansion of some of the 380s. I know I was when I started testing them. Due to mass and velocity, the largest expanding rounds suffered from lesser penetration.

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Old 02-12-2013, 12:24   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljutic View Post
They make at least 3 that I'm aware of. I tested all 3 last year.

Corbon 90 Grain JHP
Corbon Pow'R Ball 70 Grain Pow'R Ball
Corbon DPX 80 Grain DPX
BTW, I'm on the Karhtalk board and first saw your data there. I want to say again that I very much appreciate your time and effort in sharing your work with us.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:32   #21
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You might be surprised by the expansion of some of the 380s. I know I was when I started testing them. Due to mass and velocity, the largest expanding rounds suffered from lesser penetration.

Caliber Corner
Great post - thank you!
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:50   #22
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You might be surprised by the expansion of some of the 380s. I know I was when I started testing them. Due to mass and velocity, the largest expanding rounds suffered from lesser penetration.

Caliber Corner
Expansion for the sake of expansion is worthless. Penetration first, expansion if necessary to dump excess energy second. I have done enough of my own testing on .380 to realize I'd rather have 10" of ball penetration as opposed to an expanding round that actually expands on contact with, and bounces off of ribs.
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Old 02-12-2013, 13:03   #23
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Expansion for the sake of expansion is worthless. Penetration first, expansion if necessary to dump excess energy second. I have done enough of my own testing on .380 to realize I'd rather have 10" of ball penetration as opposed to an expanding round that actually expands on contact with, and bounces off of ribs.
his info was not meant to state a preference but to show what various bullets do in jello. i think he does good work and keeps any personal bias one way or another supressed enough to makes his work objective.

in my LWS32 i carry win sthp, not for expansion but because of ammo length....in fact in my own back yard testing through hard plastic jugs of water the .32acp hollow points dont expand from a LWS32....so the function like FMJ but work in the gun because they are shorter than FMJ.
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Old 02-12-2013, 14:32   #24
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If I still owned a .380ACP I'd likely carry a heavy-for-caliber hardcast round.
That's right - good for max penetration.
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Old 02-12-2013, 15:11   #25
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after seeing the pics I'm good with GD. I use to use Fed Hydro Shoks and it looked like those did well also. both had controlled expansion.
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