Will a .380 penetration question

This is a discussion on Will a .380 penetration question within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A .380 is certainly capable of penetrating a human skull, the real question is can you while under the duress of a gunfight hit your ...

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  1. #31
    sgb
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    A .380 is certainly capable of penetrating a human skull, the real question is can you while under the duress of a gunfight hit your antagonists head in a moving shooting gunfight with that .380?
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  3. #32
    Member Array WillyNilly's Avatar
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    Why try to penetrate the skull when you can shoot in the eye or the nose?

  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillyNilly View Post
    Why try to penetrate the skull when you can shoot in the eye or the nose?

    How often have your tried hitting a 2+/-" or smaller, oddly shaped target while both you and the target are moving, with your typical .380 handgun?

  5. #34
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    As long as they aren't forum members a 380 should be able to get through their skull.
    bmcgilvray, dev_null, ctr and 2 others like this.

  6. #35
    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Yes and a 380 will also kill someone with center mass shots for get the head shot. That is movie and big boy talk.
    Center mass stop the threat.

  7. #36
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    I also say yes. look at the alligator skulls on Swamp people....a 22 to the bean. and Ive use a 22 on meat goats and they have a think skull..and only need a 22 for the job. granted all close range but I gotta think a 380 would sure do it. my nickels worth.
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  8. #37
    VIP Member Array Smitty901's Avatar
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    Ok so it is not a real head but it is a standard House steel insulated door. This is 21 feet LCP 380 95gr flat nose. Picture 1 front picture 2 where it came out and it went clean through a 7/16 play wood sheet behind it. My money is on the 380 head loses. Yes after reading this post I walked out side and killed the door.


  9. #38
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    Also not a head so not really applicable but since the law takes a dim view of ballistic testing in actual heads this will have to serve as an illustration that the .380 can penetrate.

    A 1992 Dodge D150 pickup fender was completely penetrated along with the inner fender by a .380 ACP flat nosed FMJ bullet fired from a Kel Tec P3AT. Just don't be hiding in the engine compartment of a 1992 Dodge full-sized pick up when someone with a .380 is gunning for you.



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  10. #39
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    I chuckled at least four times while reading this thread... Thanks guys!
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  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by defensive007 View Post
    I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion/ I however have 110% confidence on my .380 to depend my life on it. I will not even think a 22 will do better in any wag whatsoever it's night and day to me
    If that was truly the case,then why are you asking if it will penetrate a human skull,and after numerous varying answers you now state you have 110% faith in your 380.
    Would I carry a 380 ? Yes,but I'm gonna stoke it with the hottest FMJ I can get so that I get as much penetration as possible.
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  12. #41
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    Read this from Buffalobore. This is no B.S. I agree with it completely. - They do manufacture the most effective .380 ammunition.
    Seriously consider their .380 ammunition if you intend to carry the .380 as your primary.
    Buffalobore chronographs all of their ammunition in actual firearms and not "test" barrels.
    Visit their website and check out all of their cartridge offerings. It's incredible ammo and worth the extra $$ for carry ammunition.



    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.
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  13. #42
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    It would appear that at least a few of us have some faith in a 380. I know if the BG was behind that steel door he would not do to well. Hiding behind that Dodge would not help either.
    Over the years just to see what would happen I have shot up a lot of thing ,amazing what some rounds will do.

  14. #43
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    I watched a guy bounce 3 .22 lr rounds off a crippled deer's head - until I told him where to shoot ... and stand; knucklehead. 4th rnd did the trick. Yeah, a 380 will penetrate depending on shot placement/angle. Aim for the thoracic cavity.

  15. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by nedrgr21 View Post
    I watched a guy bounce 3 .22 lr rounds off a crippled deer's head - until I told him where to shoot ... and stand; knucklehead. 4th rnd did the trick. Yeah, a 380 will penetrate depending on shot placement/angle. Aim for the thoracic cavity.
    Over the years Grandpa and I shot a lot of pigs and cattle we butchered for personal use, we shot a hand full for other reasons . We had an old Marlyn 22 short we used. I have never ever seen a bullet bounce off one . Most of the time one shot and down, once in a while a steer would move and shot would miss the head then a second would be needed.

  16. #45
    Member Array LkWd_Don's Avatar
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    Here are some ballistic comparisons for folks to look at.

    Check out how the .380 and 38 spec are fairly similar and lots of folks (including LEOs) have trusted the 38spec for years.
    Handgun Ballistics Table

    For fairness use the 95 to 110 gr slug without + P
    Last edited by LkWd_Don; April 25th, 2012 at 09:59 PM. Reason: added fairness statement
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