Wife wants sig P238. I'm unfamiliar with .380 ACP, any suggestions for a good SD load

This is a discussion on Wife wants sig P238. I'm unfamiliar with .380 ACP, any suggestions for a good SD load within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey guys, As the title says, wife is now interested in carrying a weapon. After shooting various 380's, 9mm's, 40's, and 45's, she is sold ...

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Thread: Wife wants sig P238. I'm unfamiliar with .380 ACP, any suggestions for a good SD load

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array MP9NewMexico's Avatar
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    Wife wants sig P238. I'm unfamiliar with .380 ACP, any suggestions for a good SD load

    Hey guys,

    As the title says, wife is now interested in carrying a weapon. After shooting various 380's, 9mm's, 40's, and 45's, she is sold on the .380. I know it's not as desirable as the other calibers for SD, but I'd at least feel more comfortable with her carrying a 380 instead of just OC spray as she carries now.

    She is set on the Sig P238 in black with night sights. She tried the LCP and didn't like it.

    That being the case, what can anyone recommend in .380 for self-defense loads? I carry Gold Dot and Critical Defense in my XD40 (.40 SW), was thinking of getting the same for .380 unless anyone recommends otherwise?

    THanks guys, Happy Holidays!

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Thunder71's Avatar
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    Good ball ammo.

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    Senior Member Array VBVAGUY's Avatar
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    I recommend Buffalo Bore +P 100gr hardcast ammo, with this ammo you are approaching 9mm energy levels. God Bless

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    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    I carry the 80 gr. COR-BON DPX in my S&W Bodyguard .380.
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

    “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” ― Thomas Paine

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    Member Array Eaglebeak's Avatar
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    Self defense is generally going to be at very close range; so check the ballastics on different brands of ammo and try finding the best marriage between heavier bullet weight at the highest velocity that delivers the greatest amount of muzzle energy - then alternate ball ammo and HJHP ammo in the magazine to cover all the bases for deeper penetration and fast expansion.

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    Member Array R.W.Dale's Avatar
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    In my mind having poured over this subject multiple times 380 and 32 acp are FMJ only propositions

    Even the most modern jhp loads are erratic at best and these smaller pistols can be picky enough about feeding to add to the problem seeking margional performance increses from hp's

    posted via tapatalk using android.
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    Ex Member Array MP9NewMexico's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input guys. Greatly appreciated.

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    Senior Member Array dripster's Avatar
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    The Gold Dot 90 grain load has some very good reviews and videos on youtube. From watching these videos I selected the Gold Dots
    One more step and it's on!

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    Member Array kukla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eaglebeak View Post
    - then alternate ball ammo and HJHP ammo in the magazine to cover all the bases for deeper penetration and fast expansion.
    i would think that alternating different types of ammo in the same magazine would result in an inconsistent recoil situation, which may make it difficult for follow up shots..........
    "I plan ahead. That way, I don't have to do anything right now!"

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    Member Array kukla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP9NewMexico View Post
    what can anyone recommend in .380 for self-defense loads?
    reasearch and experiment to find the best combination of performance and feed reliability in her particular gun
    "I plan ahead. That way, I don't have to do anything right now!"

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    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kukla View Post
    i would think that alternating different types of ammo in the same magazine would result in an inconsistent recoil situation, which may make it difficult for follow up shots..........
    Not if they are both the same weight and pressure.
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

    “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” ― Thomas Paine

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    New Member Array workep's Avatar
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    I looked at this issue a lot when I got my Sig P238. I watched some YouTube video and read some other articles and decided on the Hornaday Critical Defense. The 238 loves it, and IMHO it has excellent all-season penetration (read: good performance and expansion through winter clothing, where some hollow points will jam). Good luck!
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    Member Array cmycek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by workep View Post
    I looked at this issue a lot when I got my Sig P238. I watched some YouTube video and read some other articles and decided on the Hornaday Critical Defense. The 238 loves it, and IMHO it has excellent all-season penetration (read: good performance and expansion through winter clothing, where some hollow points will jam). Good luck!
    I agree
    Exercise your 2nd amendment rights....not doing so jeopardizes that right for everyone.

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    Member Array BSMART's Avatar
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    +1 on the Gold Dots. Works well in Bersa .380. Not sure about Sig.

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    Some things to consider other than a particular caliber is first you must get a pistol the wife is willing to carry. If it's not with her all the time, it's worthless. And it's foolhardy to think you'll know in advance when you may need it, and only carry it on a part-time basis.

    Often times, women want something small and dainty. Something which weighs next to nothing and something with very tiny physical dimensions so they have the impression they aren't carrying anything. Certainly nothing which is going to stick out anywhere on their body. The last thing any woman wants is another bulge anywhere on their body.

    Now comes the dilemma. Most tiny lightweight guns are notoriously harder to shoot and have a notoriously sharper recoil. Tiny sized .380's often have a tendency to want to climb out of the hand has you are shooting it because there is very little grip to hold on to and bottom line, there's a explosion of energy going off inside that gun. Get a gun that is painful to shoot or uncomfortable and they won't want to carry it either.

    Women, or anyone else for that matter, are going to have to understand these truths and be willing to make some sort of compromise, if they are serious about carrying a gun for their protection.

    From what I've heard, the SIG P238 is a fine pistol, and usually fits the size requirements of most women's discriminating taste in small diminutive weapons. But you may want to make sure it's a weapon she can shoot accurately and is not too violent (painful) in the recoil department for her taste before you buy one. If that's the case, she won't want to carry it or shoot it.

    If something that tiny is too painful for her to manage, she may need to compromise on size restrictions and move up to something with a little larger frame like a Bersa Thunder .380, Walther PPK, or Walther P380. Something with a little more size in the grip for her to hang onto better and a little extra weight to absorb some of the felt recoil.

    My wife has no problem carrying and shooting both the Ruger SP-101 shooting standard or +P .38 special or the Ruger LCP shooting 90 gr. Gold Dots.

    Good luck.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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