bigger expansion or deeper penetration in .380?

This is a discussion on bigger expansion or deeper penetration in .380? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I wanna get some defensive ammo for my p380, but I'm not sure if I want the pdx1 which expands to .63 or so with ...

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Thread: bigger expansion or deeper penetration in .380?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array taseal's Avatar
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    bigger expansion or deeper penetration in .380?

    I wanna get some defensive ammo for my p380, but I'm not sure if I want the pdx1 which expands to .63 or so with about 7-8 penetration vs say buffalo bore or hornady which expands about .45 with 10 inch penetration...

    I know this is on the low end of energy table of incacipitation which is why I want to make a good choice.

    The expansion on pdx is impresive with some petals, but the buffalo bore has one hell of a terminal cavity. Just trying to decide

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    In a perfect world you want both. However, shooting bullets into jelly in controlled enviroments gives a picture of what a bullet is capable of under perfect conditions. Real life isn't always perfect. Real bone, sinew , clothing, and muscle can get in the way. A rule of thumb to go by is , pretty bullet pics don't always kill, but penetration to vital organs is a must for this to happen. Don't get hung up on designer bullets meant to woe you with fully expanded bullets. Go with penetration first, especially in a light caliber, and if it works as advertised, it is just icieing on the cake.

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    Especially for .380 I agree with Glockman 10mm 100%. For that reason, non expanding (0.36) FMJ may be the way to go. Fiocchi 95 gr. seems to preform well and penetrates 14" in water.
    Speer 90 gr Gold Dot JHP penetrates almost as well at 13.5" and expanded to 0.52. These figures are from a recent review of .380 defensive rounds conducted by Gun tests Magazine
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    Plus 1 for both the above. The low velocity and power of the .380 isn't going to guarentee expansion (nor does any handgun caliber) so go for penetration. Even if the .380 bullet expands as advertised, you're still talking a small fraction of an inch worth of increase. In a perfect world you'd get both, but this world isn't. Go deep, break something.
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    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGP250 View Post
    Especially for .380 I agree with Glockman 10mm 100%. For that reason, non expanding (0.36) FMJ may be the way to go. Fiocchi 95 gr. seems to preform well and penetrates 14" in water.
    Speer 90 gr Gold Dot JHP penetrates almost as well at 13.5" and expanded to 0.52. These figures are from a recent review of .380 defensive rounds conducted by Gun tests Magazine
    14" of water is about 7" of gel, and does not meet FBI protocols (12" gel minimum).

    I don't carry a .380; but if I did, it's be a flat-nosed solid to ensure proper penetration and the widest wound channel possible.
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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuda66 View Post
    14" of water is about 7" of gel, and does not meet FBI protocols (12" gel minimum).

    I don't carry a .380; but if I did, it's be a flat-nosed solid to ensure proper penetration and the widest wound channel possible.
    Yup.....

    OP,

    The Buffalo Bore 100gr +p stuff is the best of both worlds in .380. It IMO, steps the .380 easily into the standard pressure .38 category and will do it's job if you can hit where you aim. Like the others have said, the big bores are the best carry weapons, but not practical in every carry scenario and for every individual, that's where a good .380 loaded like you mean business comes in handy.

    I'm carrying a five round .357 revolver as my primary and backing it up with my Sig P238 loaded with the afore mentioned round. Not a whole lot rounds out there better than the .357 Magnum, but on the down side, it's not worth all the hype if you can't put the rounds on target. My advice, always go for penetration over expansion if you want the best chance of survival. The hole may be smaller, but at least it'll reach the vitals and has a better chance to put the BG down. Oh and, don't be afraid to use plenty of um.

    GBK
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    Senior Member Array taseal's Avatar
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    I'm in secuirty biz going into le. Most places (and fl laws) don't allow you to use fmj for security or dept sop so I actually would need hp ammo...

    Maybe ill go with buffalo hp then. 90 gr should have bit more penetration than 95 since its lighter

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    While I doubt that five grains would make much difference in like projectiles, lighter does not necessarily indicate more penetration, often the contrary.

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    Distinguished Member Array Dragman's Avatar
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    with that small of a cal. penetration is all that you should worry about! When a big 350+ dude is coming after you If he has a leather jacket on and thick clothing unless you can penetrate your shot placement doesn't matter.
    To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women

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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    While I doubt that five grains would make much difference in like projectiles, lighter does not necessarily indicate more penetration, often the contrary.
    the heavier the round the better penetration....

    If HP is a must. I'd go with the 95gr +p and call it a day...
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

    "If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so." Thomas Jefferson

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    Senior Member Array taseal's Avatar
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    Luckyly I live in fl so havey clothing isn't an issue (altough its getting cooler now)

    Thing with the bb +p is that the heavier kick might cause more fte, ftrb in my p380 since we can't get along and I'm limp wristing the thing. It will take at least 100 rounds to feel comf and those things aren't cheap

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    If you are going to be in LE, the compatibility/reliability of your BUG, ammo and your self, along with the comfort that that compatibility provides, should be worth considerably more than 100 rds of ammo. My holster cost close to a hundred bucks in the 60's.

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    Senior Member Array taseal's Avatar
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    Thats true... I wish all pistols shot loke my mp9. Hasnt jammed once and ot has over 1000 rounds

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    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    With a .380, depth is more important to get at vital organs.
    "First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand."
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    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    When I had my Ruger LCP, I ended up alternating between Corbon DPX hps and Remington fmjs in the magazines and a DPX in the chamber.

    That way I had both expansion and penetration covered.
    God bless our troops!

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