Ammo poll 380 ACP

This is a discussion on Ammo poll 380 ACP within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; What do you guys think? And why? Note: I did not include Ranger-T series in .380 ACP. Winchester states the round won't penetrate more than ...

View Poll Results: .380 ammo

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  • Speer Gold Dot 90 gr

    20 36.36%
  • Hornady XTP 90 gr

    12 21.82%
  • Remington Golden Saber 102 gr

    8 14.55%
  • CorBon DPX 80 gr

    7 12.73%
  • Buffalo Bore Barnes TAC-XP 80 gr

    3 5.45%
  • Winchester PDX-1 95 gr

    5 9.09%
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Thread: Ammo poll 380 ACP

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array MP9NewMexico's Avatar
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    Ammo poll 380 ACP

    What do you guys think? And why?

    Note: I did not include Ranger-T series in .380 ACP. Winchester states the round won't penetrate more than 7", which is not acceptable to me!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array crue2009's Avatar
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    i don't use any of those,i use Magtech FMJ's in my lcp

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Take a look at the gel tests done at Goldenloki. They were done with a P3at, so you get a better idea of what the .380 will do from these shorter barrels.

    I generally go with the FBI standard - 12 inches minimum, with 15 preferred. Some JHPs in .380 will just barely make 12, none that I've seen will make 15 (assuming they expand at all).

    Given that penetration is vastly more important than expansion - I just use FMJ in my LCPs. FMJ will do 16-17 inches. Works for me.
    VBVAGUY likes this.
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  5. #4
    Ex Member Array MP9NewMexico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Take a look at the gel tests done at Goldenloki. They were done with a P3at, so you get a better idea of what the .380 will do from these shorter barrels.

    I generally go with the FBI standard - 12 inches minimum, with 15 preferred. Some JHPs in .380 will just barely make 12, none that I've seen will make 15 (assuming they expand at all).

    Given that penetration is vastly more important than expansion - I just use FMJ in my LCPs. FMJ will do 16-17 inches. Works for me.
    Isn't expansion basically required to get a solid .380 hit? Also, why does a bullet need to go 12"? The average human torso is 8 to 10 inches deep, front to back, with the heart lying at about 5 inches, and aorta at 7?

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    I used to carry Speer Gold Dot 90 gr in my LCP. Recently I switched to Winchester PDX1 95 gr.

    No problems with the Gold Dots. I just standardized all my carry ammo from 45, 9mm and 380 to Winchester PDX1
    "Was there no end to the conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his peacemaker?"

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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP9NewMexico View Post
    Isn't expansion basically required to get a solid .380 hit? Also, why does a bullet need to go 12"? The average human torso is 8 to 10 inches deep, front to back, with the heart lying at about 5 inches, and aorta at 7?
    Your answers here:

    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo

    Ammo priorities in a nutshell:

    1. Reliable cycling - if it won't work in your gun, nothing else matters

    2. Shot placement - an expanded bullet will not magically turn a poorly placed shot into a stopping shot (unless the target just quits due to fear and/or pain, which is in fact how most stops with handguns are made, because they are all poor stoppers)

    3. Penetration - most shots will not be straight into the chest, and most will need to go through hands/arms before even getting to the torso - an attacker with a weapon will have his arms outstretched towards you

    4. Expansion - if you get any at all, consider it a bonus...more to limit any risk of over-penetration, than because JHPs have some magical ability to stop an aggressor compared to FMJ. In .380, I would not worry about over-penetration, even with FMJ. The skin on the far side of a human is elastic, and worth a few inches of ballistic gel.

    Hope this is helpful.
    Tzadik likes this.
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  8. #7
    sgb
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    None of the above, only FMJ ball reliably penetrate deep enough to reach the vitals
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammunition

  9. #8
    Member Array Aiko's Avatar
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    I did not vote, the ONLY .380 round I carry is Buffalo Bore 100 gr. +P hardcast.
    bmcgilvray, VBVAGUY and dademoss like this.

  10. #9
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    I carry some of the Spanish Santa Barbara surplus ammo available a few years back, featuring a flat nosed (actually slightly concave) FMJ 95 grain bullet that gens up 1032 fps from the Kel Tec P3AT over my chronograph's screens. It isn't labeled as "+P" but behaves as "+P". I will only carry some sort of FMJ in a .380. I don't prefer a .380 if I can hide anything larger.

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  11. #10
    New Member Array SR40c's Avatar
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    I use the Gold Dots because that's what most of the local LE agencies use. Instructor recommended it.

  12. #11
    Member Array Buckj's Avatar
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    No vote for me...None of the above...i carry the S & B FMJ in my LCP...it works very well for me...

  13. #12
    Member Array gunguy82's Avatar
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    Hornady has always been a good round, I shoot bvac ammo thru all my guns, but I do have hornady for SD/HD.
    And so when man and horse go down beneath a saber keen, or in a roaring charge of fierce melee you stop a bullet clean, and the hostiles come to get your scalp, just empty your canteen, put your pistol to your head and go to Fiddlers green. U.S Army Cavalry

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Cool

    Speer Gold Dot in my Diamondback .380 in the warm months.

    Speer Lawman FMJ in the cooler weather when jackets and heavy clothing are worn.

    P18163004.jpg
    click image to enlarge....

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  15. #14
    Member Array Eaglebeak's Avatar
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    In my humble opinion, you left out the best choices of Buffalo Bore. Their "Barnes" ammo line is non-lead for the "green people" but not nearly as effective as a lead round. I also use Speer Gold Dot in most everything else because it generally has a higher velocity with the same caliber, weight and type of bullet than anything else; however, they don't offer a .380+p for guns strong enough to shoot them safely.

    Quick comparisons:

    Speer Gold Dot .380: 90gr / GDHP / 1040 fps / 216 ft/lbs muzzle energy
    Buffalo Bore .380+p: 90gr / JHP / 1200 fps / 288 ft/lbs muzzle energy
    Buffalo Bore .380+p 100gr / HC (flat nose ball) / 1150 fps / 294 ft/lbs muzzle energy

    Expansion of the Buffalo Bore JHP is excellent and consistent at the high velocity, and penetration depth of the Hard Cast/flat nose ball is equally excellent at the higher velocity. Since you need all the help you can get with a .380, I haven't found anything yet that tops Buffalo Bore.

    I'm only an old combat veteran and by no means an "expert"; so I suppose that's why I continue deviating from most "expert opinion" by keeping my Mustang .380 chambered with a BB/JHP, then the magazine alternating between the BB HC/JHP/HC/JHP etc.... Don't care which one is coming up next, but I can keep pumping alternating expansion and penetration rounds into my target as long as either (1) the threat remains, (2) I'm able to get some running room, or (3) unil I'm out of bullets and have to run.

  16. #15
    481
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    JHPs in .380, when they expand, usually fail to penetrate 12" in soft tissue.

    Given the "super-sizing" of the US population, unless I get a perfect or nearly perfect frontal presentation devoid of any obstructions, twelve inches may not be enough to achieve incapacitation.

    If I have to carry a .380, it is loaded with FMJs ("round nose" or "flat point", the difference is negligible). I want the ability to "reach through" barriers (like cover) and an assailant's anatomy (upraised arms) to destroy critical anatomy. Nothing else matters.
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    QUANTITATIVE AMMUNITION SELECTION

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