A poll, which .380 ACP round would you go with?

This is a discussion on A poll, which .380 ACP round would you go with? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi Erichb327; I'm not implying that you are willing to be irresponsible with your defensive carry but am using the comment as a jumping off ...

View Poll Results: Which .380 ACP round would you go with?

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  • Round Nose FMJ

    11 7.10%
  • Flat Nose FMJ

    21 13.55%
  • Remington Golden Saber

    13 8.39%
  • Hornady Critical Defense

    44 28.39%
  • Federal Hydra-Shok

    18 11.61%
  • Speer Gold Dot

    31 20.00%
  • Winchester PDX1

    11 7.10%
  • Winchester Ranger T

    6 3.87%
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Thread: A poll, which .380 ACP round would you go with?

  1. #46
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    Hi Erichb327;

    I'm not implying that you are willing to be irresponsible with your defensive carry but am using the comment as a jumping off point to call attention to an attitude that can undeniably be found on firearms forums. Those to whom it is directed know who they are.

    I'm fine with use of expanding bullets with the ubiquitous hollow point. I think its value is, to some indeterminate extent, presented with enthusiasm that is excessive and in some cases unwarranted.

    "There has to be some function hollow points are good for"

    It would not be amiss to state that a considerable function of the hollow point is to sell ammunition.
    Last edited by bmcgilvray; June 27th, 2012 at 12:10 AM.
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  3. #47
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Two to COM, and one to the noggin will do the trick regardless of bullet type.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." – Luke 22:36

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  4. #48
    Distinguished Member Array ericb327's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yankeejib View Post
    Ripping big holes through vital organs.
    agree, forgot to add my sarcasm.
    For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. (Sun Tzu) The Art of War

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  5. #49
    Distinguished Member Array ericb327's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    Hi Erichb327;

    I'm not implying that you are willing to be irresponsible with your defensive carry but am using the comment as a jumping off point to call attention to an attitude that can undeniably be found on firearms forums. Those to whom it is directed know who they are.

    I'm fine with use of expanding bullets with the ubiquitous hollow point. I think it's value is to some indeterminate extent, is presented with enthusiasm that is excessive and in some cases unwarranted.

    "There has to be some function hollow points are good for"

    It would not be amiss to state that a considerable function of the hollow point is to sell ammunition.
    Thanks for the clarification.
    For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. (Sun Tzu) The Art of War

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  6. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher10 View Post
    In the TNoutdoors9 test using calibrated Sim-test with 4 layers of denim, both types of FMJ bullets completely passed through the 19" Sim-test blocks and penetrated multiple water jugs. If FMJs actually got 16-17" of penetration, it would not be as big of a deal to carry FMJ, but they get far more than that, and that's with mild target loads. I see people talking about carrying very hot FMJ loads or hardcast ball. NO. .380 Full Metal Jacket in Ballistic Gel - YouTube Excessive penetration? YES! Even for your almighty FBI protocol Mr. Agent sir.

    A .380 does not need assistance in creating the smallest wound possible. Use an expanding bullet! 10" of penetration with a hot Gold Dot load is much closer to the goal of 12" penetration than FMJs get with well over 19". FMJs are for shooting paper. Banking on shooting through an assailant's arm to avoid excessive penetration is ridiculous.

    True physical incapacitation comes from severing the CNS or causing enough damage to vital organs bringing blood loss, causing your assailant to collapse. In my opinion, a larger expanded bullet diameter and permanent wound cavity of a quality JHP is more likely to cause either of those than something leaving a nice, clean .355"ish hole through the body.

    In the simplicity of the real world of handgun ammunition more penetration is better than less penetration, larger bullets destroy more tissue than small bullets.
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  7. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher10 View Post
    In the TNoutdoors9 test using calibrated Sim-test with 4 layers of denim, both types of FMJ bullets completely passed through the 19" Sim-test blocks and penetrated multiple water jugs. If FMJs actually got 16-17" of penetration, it would not be as big of a deal to carry FMJ, but they get far more than that, and that's with mild target loads. I see people talking about carrying very hot FMJ loads or hardcast ball. NO. .380 Full Metal Jacket in Ballistic Gel - YouTube Excessive penetration? YES! Even for your almighty FBI protocol Mr. Agent sir.

    A .380 does not need assistance in creating the smallest wound possible. Use an expanding bullet! 10" of penetration with a hot Gold Dot load is much closer to the goal of 12" penetration than FMJs get with well over 19". FMJs are for shooting paper. Banking on shooting through an assailant's arm to avoid excessive penetration is ridiculous.

    True physical incapacitation comes from severing the CNS or causing enough damage to vital organs bringing blood loss, causing your assailant to collapse. In my opinion, a larger expanded bullet diameter and permanent wound cavity of a quality JHP is more likely to cause either of those than something leaving a nice, clean .355"ish hole through the body.
    That test was done with a Bersa with a 3.5 inch barrel. The tests I referenced were done with the P3at, with a shoter barrel and thus less velocity imparted to the bullet.

    Bottom line is that the bullet needs enough penetration to reach the vitals, despite obstacles in the way like arms, hands, clothing, etc. Too little penetration is much more "dangerous" than a lack of expansion. Military cemetaries are full of folks killed by FMJ ammo. Bullet diameter does not make up for poor shot placement.
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  8. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    That test was done with a Bersa with a 3.5 inch barrel. The tests I referenced were done with the P3at, with a shoter barrel and thus less velocity imparted to the bullet.

    Bottom line is that the bullet needs enough penetration to reach the vitals, despite obstacles in the way like arms, hands, clothing, etc. Too little penetration is much more "dangerous" than a lack of expansion. Military cemetaries are full of folks killed by FMJ ammo. Bullet diameter does not make up for poor shot placement.
    Yes, the .8" longer barrel of the Bersa might make a difference, but it doesn't affect velocities that much. According to Ballisticsbytheinch, You're only losing less than 50fps going from a 3.5" Bersa to a 2.75" LCP with a Speer GDHP. The type of action (blowback vs recoil operated) likely has a higher affect on velocities than a small difference in barrel length. A hot FMJ or hard cast like many advocate carrying would especially negate any minor difference in barrel length.

    Yes, military cemeteries are filled with people shot with FMJ, but imagine how many more fatalities there might be if expanding rounds were used in combat rifles. The odds of survival with a more serious wound would be lower. It isn't like the military chooses to use FMJ because it offers superior terminal ballistics. The wound from a yawing and fragmenting 5.56 FMJ is much more serious than a 5.56 that goes straight through an enemy.

    "Bullet diameter does not make up for poor shot placement" True statement. No matter what weapon, caliber or magazine capacity but we're not arguing 9mm vs .45 here like what this statement is usually used in. Well... actually we are. Do you want a 9mm (.355") wound through your attacker or a wound from a bullet expanded up to .45 caliber?

  9. #53
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    Poll Omitted CorBon DPX

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  10. #54
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher10 View Post
    Do you want a 9mm (.355") wound through your attacker or a wound from a bullet expanded up to .45 caliber?
    In .380, the choice is this:

    An expanding bullet that might just barely meet (or not) the FBI minimum penetration standard (12"); or,

    A FMJ bullet that will slightly exceed the FBI's desired penetration depth (15"), but that does not exceed the maximum penetration standard (18").

    I choose the latter. Others can do as they feel best.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  11. #55
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    I spent most of this Spring testing .380 in 2.5" - 2.8" barrels. I've not broken out the .380 from my other tests, but they are all here. Terminal Ballistics tests - YouTube tnoutdoors9 was incredibly helpful and supportive when I was just getting started with SIM-test testing. I think he knew I was interested in short barrel tests and wasn't trying to replicate the work he had previously done with mid and service length barrels.

    When the dust settled after testing a dozen different .380's, I can't say I was surprised to see Gold Dot, Hydra-Shok, and Critical Defense come out on top of the list for balanced expansion and penetration. I agree the 380 is marginal, but sometimes only marginal can be managed in what you happen to be wearing. My tests are for me, but I'm happy to share the results. That's one reason I use 2 layers of denim and not 4. My 380 is a Summer gun and when it's in the 90's every day, a T-shirt is more realistic than 4 layers of denim.

    I ended up buying more of this for my personal use after reviewing all my results. It's not optimal performance, but it's better than leaving something larger at home.

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  12. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    In .380, the choice is this:

    An expanding bullet that might just barely meet (or not) the FBI minimum penetration standard (12"); or,

    A FMJ bullet that will slightly exceed the FBI's desired penetration depth (15"), but that does not exceed the maximum penetration standard (18").

    I choose the latter. Others can do as they feel best.
    Now if they only made one that fit in the middle.

  13. #57
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    I'm using Winchester PDX1 for everything now. It feeds reliably and I think it has an attractive box design that looks good stacked on the shelf of my bedroom closet.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

  14. #58
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Here's the testing I referenced, into calibrated gel with 2 layers of denim:

    GoldenLoki.com
    ericb327 likes this.
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  15. #59
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    I voted FNFMJ but you did not list Buffalo Bore 100 grain hard cast flat nose +P that is what I would have liked to vote for. 1061 FPS from the kel tec P3AT.

  16. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene83 View Post
    I'm using Winchester PDX1 for everything now. It feeds reliably and I think it has an attractive box design that looks good stacked on the shelf of my bedroom closet.
    Winchester Ranger t-series bonded is the same thing but half the price for twice the number of rounds.
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