What do you feel is best for a .380 defensive handgun? - Page 4

What do you feel is best for a .380 defensive handgun?

This is a discussion on What do you feel is best for a .380 defensive handgun? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I use Critical Defense as well. Feeds like a hollowpoint but yet expands. I've tested through a bundle of clothes with a heavy jacket and ...

View Poll Results: Please choose one, if you can, and explain why.

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  • FMJ

    28 22.40%
  • JHP

    81 64.80%
  • FMJ - Winter Only

    7 5.60%
  • Other

    9 7.20%
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Thread: What do you feel is best for a .380 defensive handgun?

  1. #46
    Member Array Cdknox's Avatar
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    I use Critical Defense as well. Feeds like a hollowpoint but yet expands. I've tested through a bundle of clothes with a heavy jacket and then into water jugs. All rounds expanded.


  2. #47
    Member Array dbrow6272's Avatar
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    I have 2 380's my favorite is my Sig Sauer P238. Both are loaded with Hornady Critical Defense loads. While not a complete JHP it is close. Only the ball in the tip makes it different. Very good round for the 380.
    "Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready" TR

  3. #48
    Senior Member Array DoctorBob's Avatar
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    I am not an expert by any means but I would suggest a good qulaity JHP in +P or +P+
    The reason is this: You want a high speed round that will dump all its energy in the target. The energy increases as the square of the velocity so relatively small increases in velocity will be reflected as significant increases in energy. A good JHP will expand enough to present a significant cross section which should prevent over penetration.
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  4. #49
    Member Array normAK's Avatar
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    my favorites in order-
    Corbon - DPX
    Hornady - Critical Defense
    Glaser- PowerBall
    Buffalo Bore - 100gr fn hardcast

    Buffalo Bore makes a 380 Auto +P Ammo - 80 gr. Barnes all copper round that looks to be maybe even better than the DPX, but no one around here has it in stock.

  5. #50
    Member Array GunTrooper's Avatar
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    In my Bodyguard, I carry FMJ blunt nose rounds. I think of a .380 as a defensive option only as a last resort, and I consider reliable feeding to be the most important factor of the gun. Placement is on me, but I think these small .380's seem to feed and eject most reliably with something other than hollow-point...

  6. #51
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Here's some testing done with a P3at:

    GoldenLoki.com

    Note that only a few of the tested JHPs reached the FBI minimum of 12 inches of penetration - none reached the desired 15 inches. Many of them failed to expand at all.

    The FMJ rounds tested, OTOH, all had 16-17 inches.

    Given the primacy of penetration over expansion, I use FMJ (preferably a flat point) in my LCPs.
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  7. #52
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    The thread is titled "What do you feel is best for a .380 defensive handgun?". So being literal: I would say use at a range for practice only or dry fire.

  8. #53
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greyeyezz View Post
    380 is .355, same as 9mm.



    380 not being enough is a ridiculous fallacy.
    When people say 9mm comparing it to .380 you know they mean 9mm Luger, not 9mm Kurtz (short) which is .380. Do you equate 22LR same as 22 or are all 7.62 the same. If you like the caliber, fine. Remember, people come here to learn. Don't try to confuse people that are new to handguns that they are the same round with same characteristics.
    And, you can use the word fallacy but again there are new people here. Most reports and studies recommend 9mm Luger over the .380. And you know that. Let the new folks get educated so they can make up their minds.

  9. #54
    Member Array W9HDG's Avatar
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    I have Winchester PDX1's in my gun, they penetrate just fine for me and if 1 doesn't do it I have 13 more ready to follow.

  10. #55
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    I carry a S&W Bodyguard .380 as a BUG, and I load it with the 80 gr. COR-BON DPX load. It's not ideal, but until I find a .380 match load with a flat nose, it's what I'll use. I simply don't trust Winchester White Box.

    However, if I have to use a firearm in self defense, it's going to be a Glock 23 loaded with 180 gr. Federal HST; the chances of having to use my BUG as a civilian are astronomical.

    Quote Originally Posted by W9HDG View Post
    I have Winchester PDX1's in my gun, they penetrate just fine for me and if 1 doesn't do it I have 13 more ready to follow.
    Just an FYI: Out of a 3.5" barrel, the 95 gr. PDX1's only penetrated 8.5" in ballistic gelatin. Basically, if you hit someone in the arm, it may not penetrate into the chest or may be stopped short of anything important. If you're attacker is a really big guy, it may not penetrate through the fatty tissue.
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  11. #56
    New Member Array SERGU's Avatar
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    Hornady Critical Defense in a Sig P238 with 2 spare mags. From all the research I did, this round expanded consistantly, and had penetration in the 10-12" range. The P238 is extremely accurate, easy to shoot and control, and is very easy to conceal. I don't know many people whose vital organs are more than 10" deep within their torso. Maybe Andre the Giant?

  12. #57
    Senior Member Array AZ Hawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SERGU View Post
    Hornady Critical Defense in a Sig P238 with 2 spare mags. From all the research I did, this round expanded consistantly, and had penetration in the 10-12" range. The P238 is extremely accurate, easy to shoot and control, and is very easy to conceal. I don't know many people whose vital organs are more than 10" deep within their torso. Maybe Andre the Giant?
    For what it's worth, you are assuming you get to take a straight on shot with zero obstructions.
    kmagnuss likes this.
    Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine

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  13. #58
    Member Array kmagnuss's Avatar
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    I did some measurements a couple months ago on myself... I'm 5'11" 200 lbs and weightlift regularly. Built like a wrestler. 10" won't come close to getting to my heart on a side shot through my arm. It will get there from a straight on shot though... but probably won't get to my spine at any angle other than from the back.

    There are guys out there WAY bigger than me... fat or muscle doesn't matter. 8-10" of penetration just isn't going to cut it in many circumstances.

    It's like the old saying in golf... never leave a birdie putt short.

  14. #59
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    JHP's ride in my KelTec P-3AT...it's an in your eye gun anyway, might as make a little bigger hole.OMOYMV
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  15. #60
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    102gr Gold Saber In a Kahr p380

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