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; Originally Posted by QKShooter Read this from Buffalobore. This is no B.S. I agree with it completely. - They do manufacture the most effective .380 ...

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Thread: Will a .380 penetration question

  1. #46
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    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.
    +100....

    IMO, the BB stuff is the GOLD standard for the .380 round. It's one of the only .380 rounds that I feel comfortable loading in my Sigs and feeling like I'm comparably armed to one of my .38 Specials. I would not want to be shot with any .380, but that 100gr Hard Cast thing just looks like it will put the hurt on anyone, drugged up or not. Being that a lot of folks like the 115gr 9mm round, IMO, you're not giving up a whole lot, and gaining a good measure of concealability. Both my Sig P238's eat um up like candy, very accurate too.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

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  3. #47
    Member Array JEAM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    When I lived in the country and had the processor come out to do my hogs, he used a .22. He said it just knocked them out. He wanted the heart still beating when he hung them and cut them so they would bleed out good.
    We've done both Pigs and Cattle with .22s to the forehead here and it drops them dead every time, no knock out. Not saying that isn't how it was for them, maybe they use shorts.

  4. #48
    Distinguished Member Array Spec's Avatar
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    I will be posting a series of videos on my youtube channel this summer regarding balistics. I will be doing more than just the typical "shoot into water jugs" testing.
    I will be testing in the following situations:

    shooting JHP through car doors and into balstic media
    shooting JHP through Pylwood and into balstic media
    shooting JHP through Drywall and into balstic media
    shooting JHP through car windows and into balstic media


    If you want your round tested feel free to post message me and we can work something out. I don't have the means to buy all the common hand gun rounds on the market to test them. I have the means to test every round except the .357sig.

    I would love to test some Gold Dots, Hornady Critical Duty/Critical Defense, Federal, Winchester, Etc. Post message me. for more details or sugestions.
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    If you find yourself in a fair fight your tactics stink.

  5. #49
    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    angle and distance are factors

  6. #50
    Member Array asin9ne's Avatar
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    test by DocTacDad of a 90 gr 380acp Speer Gold Dot out of a Ruger LCP through 4 layers of denim, a HOG'S HEAD, and water jugs.
    Pretty impressive results.

    Hog's Head Ballistics - Speer Gold Dot 90gr .380 ACP - YouTube
    Last edited by asin9ne; April 29th, 2012 at 03:25 PM.

  7. #51
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    While it's up, people should take a look at that Handgun ballistics table LkWd_Don posted and pay attention to the 100 yd trajectory of various handgun rounds.

  8. #52
    Member Array LkWd_Don's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nedrgr21 View Post
    While it's up, people should take a look at that Handgun ballistics table LkWd_Don posted and pay attention to the 100 yd trajectory of various handgun rounds.
    Not just the trajectory, but look at the velocity and the energy. As the topic in question is .380 it is interesting to see how a 85 gr Jacketed hollow point or 95 gr Full Metal Jacket .380 gets better in energy at 100 yards than a 38 spec 158 gr lead-round nose unless you go +P.
    Handgun Ballistics Table
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  9. #53
    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    OK, how about someone try it and get back to us......
    smolck likes this.
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  10. #54
    Distinguished Member Array Burns's Avatar
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    Another .380 post?.. To the OP: I wouldn't own a .380 if I wasn't totally confident of its stopping power. 90 grain hollow point .380s compared to 115 grain 9 mils? Not a big difference.. anyone who says otherwise doesn't know much about handguns. BTW, you don't aim for the head so the original question is irrelevant.
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable- JFK

  11. #55
    Member Array Eichorn's Avatar
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    BTW, you don't aim for the head so the original question is irrelevant.
    With all due respect, this is quite a blanket statement. There are instances where one might aim for the head. The OP's questions is clearly relevant to him or he wouldn't have asked it.

    This simple answer is clearly "yes".
    "Hell is truth seen too late."

  12. #56
    Member Array John123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asin9ne View Post
    test by DocTacDad of a 90 gr 380acp Speer Gold Dot out of a Ruger LCP through 4 layers of denim, a HOG'S HEAD, and water jugs.
    Pretty impressive results.

    Hog's Head Ballistics - Speer Gold Dot 90gr .380 ACP - YouTube
    As asin9ne posted, watch the video, debate over, yes it will penetrate.

  13. #57
    Distinguished Member Array Burns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eichorn View Post
    With all due respect, this is quite a blanket statement. There are instances where one might aim for the head. The OP's questions is clearly relevant to him or he wouldn't have asked it.

    This simple answer is clearly "yes".
    That's odd, I've never heard of anyone planning to aim for the head in self defense, I'm pretty sure 90% of the people here were specifically taught not to.
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable- JFK

  14. #58
    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burns View Post
    That's odd, I've never heard of anyone planning to aim for the head in self defense, I'm pretty sure 90% of the people here were specifically taught not to.
    I have seen many posts on this forum that speak of head and body mass shots, just saying.

    As to the question and the many answers for this post they are not unlike many, many, many others on this forum that swing both ways. It all comes down to personal choices on what handgun to carry, what ammo to use and most of the posts are based on just that.

    I carry a S&W 642 .38 special and there are those that will say I will also need to carry a back up gun.
    "One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation."
    --Thomas B. Reed, American Attorney

    Second Amendment -- Established December 15, 1791 and slowly eroded ever since What happened to "..... shall not be infringed."

  15. #59
    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crowman View Post
    I carry a S&W 642 .38 special and there are those that will say I will also need to carry a back up gun.
    I thought a 642 WAS a backup gun!

    In all seriousness I agree with you 100%. And I think a 5 shot revolver is more than enough for most civilian encounters. Not sure about you, but in 34 years of life, I have never encountered a 300lb LSD infused maniac who thinks killing me is his only role in the world.

    Do I carry a .380? No. But I don't think you are massively "undergunned" if you choose to do so.

    My favorite are the guys who carry glock 17's with 4 spare mags "just in case". To them I ask "in case what? In case you decide to invade Cuba?"
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  16. #60
    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smolck View Post
    I thought a 642 WAS a backup gun!

    In all seriousness I agree with you 100%. And I think a 5 shot revolver is more than enough for most civilian encounters. Not sure about you, but in 34 years of life, I have never encountered a 300lb LSD infused maniac who thinks killing me is his only role in the world.

    Do I carry a .380? No. But I don't think you are massively "undergunned" if you choose to do so.

    My favorite are the guys who carry glock 17's with 4 spare mags "just in case". To them I ask "in case what? In case you decide to invade Cuba?"
    I carry a Glock 19 with two spare mags with a Keltec PF-9 9mm as a BUG. Should be good to invade at least Miami.....Cuba is on its own. I don't like to swim.
    Kimbers are the guns you show your friends....Glocks are the ones you show your enemies.

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