.380 ACP from Buffalo Bore -- 1200 fps, 288 ft-lbs

This is a discussion on .380 ACP from Buffalo Bore -- 1200 fps, 288 ft-lbs within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; FYI For those of you with .380 ACP pistols (I have a couple, myself), you might be concerned with how tough it can be to ...

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Thread: .380 ACP from Buffalo Bore -- 1200 fps, 288 ft-lbs

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    .380 ACP from Buffalo Bore -- 1200 fps, 288 ft-lbs

    FYI

    For those of you with .380 ACP pistols (I have a couple, myself), you might be concerned with how tough it can be to find a high-energy and reliable .380 ACP cartridge.

    Buffalo Bore has a JHP .380 (27C/20) with these specs: 1200 fps, and 288 ft-lbs energy (@ muzzle).

    Might be an alternative to consider, when you're doing reliability testing of various rounds for possible use in your carry pistol.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    I've always been interested in trying the BB +P rounds, but have never given them at try. Since my Kahr P380 will accept +P rounds, I may have to give them a try.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tokerblue View Post
    Since my Kahr P380 will accept +P rounds, I may have to give them a try.
    Between the two of us, we'll test our P380's and then report back. I'm not looking forward to what nearly 300 ft-lbs of force will do to the palm of my hand. Say "hello" to a polymer backstrap tattoo, I think.


    For my .44 magnums, a couple of lever-action rifles and (at one time) a Ruger Super Redhawk, the Buffalo Bore was the "cat's meow." Nice, hot stuff. Ranks right up there with DoubleTap and a few other, hot and competently loaded handloads I've used. Good stuff. Probably, the .380 +P is much the same.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Buffalo Bore - Extremely high quality ammo.
    It just doesn't get much better than BuffaloBore for .380.

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    Senior Member Array surefire7's Avatar
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    Is it still discouraged to use BB in an LCP?
    "Good decisions come from experience;
    experience comes from bad decisions"

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    Member Array vn6869's Avatar
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    Interesting the praises for BB here.
    Other boards have a rather different view, particularly in LCP, P3AT, etc.
    Just exactly is the SAMMI standard for a 380 +P??

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vn6869 View Post
    Interesting the praises for BB here.
    Other boards have a rather different view, particularly in LCP, P3AT, etc.
    Just exactly is the SAMMI standard for a 380 +P??

    Yeah, well. The LCP and P3AT aren't exactly standard-bearers for high-pressure, high-velocity rounds. These are more for a SIG, HK, Glock or similarly heavily-designed type pistol. Perhaps the Kahr P380, though that one doesn't seem to be built as tough as its larger brethren. (At least, from what I've seen in my P380, PM9, CW9.)

    Doesn't surprise me that folks with LCP's and P3AT's prefer other rounds. I'd imagine the BB's would beat both of these up. (I've got a P3AT myself. While I have done the DoubleTap JHP +P's previously, I doubt I'd do it again.)
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    VIP Member Array Majorlk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vn6869 View Post
    Interesting the praises for BB here.
    Other boards have a rather different view, particularly in LCP, P3AT, etc.
    Just exactly is the SAMMI standard for a 380 +P??
    To my knowledge, there is no SAAMI standard for .380 +P. I would be interesting to know how close to SAAMI proof loads that BB load is.
    An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life. - Robert A. Heinlein

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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surefire7 View Post
    Is it still discouraged to use BB in an LCP?
    - Ruger's manual states not to use +P ammunition in their LCP. Reason enough to stay away from it.

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    Member Array Sub Hunter's Avatar
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    I saw that at Cabellas yesterday. They also had BB 9mm @1400 FPS. Man that's a hot round!!
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Neither here nor there, but a stack of three boxes of Buffalo Bore's .44mag 300gr rounds take up almost the same amount of space as twenty-one boxes of Federal Hydra-Shok Tactical 9mm. Now that's a lotta powah!

    Of course, it's all in the generous use of Styrofoam, but it all adds to the mystique of the Power of these rounds.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Of course, it's all in the generous use of Styrofoam, but it all adds to the mystique of the Power of these rounds.
    - LOL. The first time I saw it, I thought the boxes were 100 count boxes. I'm surprised in this day and age they waste so much material for packaging.

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    Though I have one, I'm not a huge fan of the Kel Tec P3AT. It is however, a locked-breech design which is generally considered to be superior to the blow-back design commonly encountered with many .380 pistols. Kel Tec apparently claims that it is suitable for limited use with +P ammunition. At least the Kel Tec forum claims the company says so.

    Then there's the debate on what constitutes a "+P" .380 load since such isn't defined or recognized by SAAMI. No matter, any warm load that kicks harder, ejects with more violence, and generates enhanced performance should be considered as more stressful on the handgun.

    I've fired some "+P" .380 ACP ammunition through my P3AT and it appears to be none the worse for wear. About 5 years ago a quantity of surplus Spanish Santa Barbara .380 ammo was imported an sold for cheap (less than $3.00 per 25 rd. box). I bought a quantity and shot a good bit. It yielded "enhanced" velocities when compared with standard fare. The P3AT would smartly eject the cases a full 15 yards to the rear. Prior to using this ammo my P3AT was a little stinker and wouldn't run reliably. It straightened up after that first box of that Santa Barbara ammo. When I tote the P3AT I load it with the Santa Barbara ammo.

    I've also tested the pistol with some hot handloaded ammunition fueled with Unique and it gave good function. It would also stabilize the bullet to 165 yards and, and that distance, penetrate a couple of old galvanized steel trash cans stacked one within the other. That's four layers of steel trash can. The bullets remained point-on after penetrating the cans. It was easy to walk the bullets onto the cans with the first magazine of six rounds and then keep four of six on the cans with a second magazine despite the most wretched sights provided on the P3AT.

    I've not tried the Buffalo Bore .380 but imagine that it would give similar performance. I'd have no problems with shooting a limited amout of Buffalo Bore in the P3AT.

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    Member Array stoprilshoot's Avatar
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    will somebody please crony these loads.

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    Buffalo Bore 380 Specs

    I spent about half an hour on the phone with Tim Sundles (The owner of Buffalo Bore). Although not wishing to disclose their powder recipe for these 380 hotloads, I did manage to garnish the following information:

    1) All of his 380 "+P" loads use new, unfired Starline brass

    2) All of these loads have been tested extensively in the Kel-Tec P3AT (Tim indicated he carries one personally with hundreds of these rounds through it), and work flawlessly. The only thing he has seen is some case bulging at the rear occassionally due to the Kel-Tec chambering gap at the base of the cartridge above the feed ramp, but NO RUPTURES! There are also quite a few testimonials on their website from both hunters as well as AJs (average joes) regarding the performance and functionality of different Buffalo Bore loads.

    3) All 3 of the 380 loads (hardcast, HP, and FMJ) have velocities rated for a full-size model (such as the Browning, PPK/S, Colt, Bersa, etc.) and velocities are somewhat lower (1100+fps) in barrels less than 3 inches (1100 for the Kel-Tec on the HP +P load).

    Although there is no +P SAAMI spec for the 380, with consistent and reliable function such as this (even in a Kel-Tec), there should be. Also, at these velocities and bullet weights, Tim may have re-ignited the 380vs9 debate as 100gr@1150fps and 90gr@1200fps are comparable to some lighter standard factory 9mm loads. Until now, I or any other ballistics tech would tell you there is no comparison between the two, the 9 always wins in all areas of performance. Conceal Carrying a 11oz P3AT with this kind of performance is a lot more comfortable (and now comforting as well!) than a 2lb. 9mm while wearing shorts and a T.

    I am working hard on the recipe for these loads, but so far nothing within Quickload or other software allows for velocities such as these without exceeding max chamber pressures (19580psi SAAMI).

    My only explanation for the apparent load characteristics he is achieving is due to extensive testing, experimentation, and communication with individual pistol manufacturers as to their absolute rated top-end chamber pressure capabilities during factory testing (something quickload and other tools will not show as they work within safety margins of between 10-20%). This was the same type of testing the U.S. Military utilized when creating rounds such as the SS109 (that's why it's tough to create a perfect duplicate of the Lake City load without putting a free hand over your privates before pulling the trigger on a test round).

    I've worked up a few possibilities. Does anyone have 20 feet of string?

    I'll provide more information as it becomes available.

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