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

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; After compiling a little comparative list from ballistic tests done by a 'Youtuber' that uses a calibrated sim-test media block and four layers of denim ...

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

Voters
155. You may not vote on this poll
  • 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. #1
    Member Array Foo909's Avatar
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    A poll, which .380 ACP round would you go with?

    After compiling a little comparative list from ballistic tests done by a 'Youtuber' that uses a calibrated sim-test media block and four layers of denim as well as the same 3.5" barreled Bersa handgun for comparable results I would like to see what round you all would choose.

    Listed are penetration depths and average expansion:

    Round Nose FMJ: 19"+ Penetration
    Flat Nose FMJ: 19"+ Penetration
    Remington Golden Saber: 19"+ Penetration, (Did not expand)
    Hornady Critical Defense: 11.25" Penetration, .436" Expansion
    Federal Hydra-Shok: 10.25" Penetration, .474" Expansion
    Speer Gold Dot: 10.25" Penetration, .517" Expansion
    Winchester PDX1: 8.25" Penetration, .652" Expansion
    Winchester Ranger T: 8" Penetration, .654" Expansion


    So...which round would you choose and why?


  2. #2
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    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
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    I chose the flat-nose FMJ because, with the .380, I want to insure that the bullet has the very best chance of getting in there, from any angle and through any clothing or interfering obstruction. If it'll bore through to the "good stuff" then .380 stands it's best chance of gaining a stop.

    I'm just not overly enamored of expansion. Expansion is not magic. The .380 has a crying need for penetration. Expansion could even be detremental in some instances.
    OD*, gottabkiddin, sgb and 3 others like this.
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  3. #3
    Member Array BroBud's Avatar
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    I shoot Critical Defense and Golden Saber in my bodyguard 380, no ftf with these, ever.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Civil_Response's Avatar
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    I like Federal ammo in everything I use... although the Winchester PDX1 line is impressive and feeds well in all my guns too.

    I've seen first hand what a gimmick Hornady is, I'll never buy another box of that junk.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array 357and40's Avatar
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    Did not vote. I don't trust 380 to do the job.
    zonker1986 and Yankeejib like this.
    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 357and40 View Post
    Did not vote. I don't trust 380 to do the job.
    ditto. Too many small 9mm's available that have twice the power of the .380.
    Yankeejib likes this.
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  7. #7
    Member Array jrclen's Avatar
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    I bought the Hornady Critical Defense for my Taurus TCP. I experienced two failure to feeds in two boxes. This after hundreds of rounds of other ammunition shot with no issues, I lost confidence in the Hornady. So I plan to try some of the others.
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  8. #8
    Member Array CDRGlock's Avatar
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    I load up with Buffalo Bore +P 90 grains. It serves as my backup pistol, Sig P238, to my P938.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Array Mattmann's Avatar
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    The .45 kind :D
    Just playing. Id go with the buffalo bore
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    Another vote for Buffalo Bore if your gun can take it.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the outcome of the vote." ~ Benjamin Franklin

  11. #11
    Member Array Fisher10's Avatar
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    I was just watching the same videos earlier today to decide which round I am going to carry as I'm getting an LCP next week. I was primarily in the market for a pocket 9mm but I came across a deal on a gently used gun plus ammo and accessories I couldn't refuse. I usually carry HSTs in 9mm +P or .40 so .380 is a real step down from what I'm used to but it's a compromise I'm willing to make. A little .380 in your pocket is much more useful than a 9mm or .40 left in your car.

    While I want to carry Ranger-Ts because they are wicked cool and have nice expansion, Speer Gold Dot had the best combination of reliability, penetration and reasonable expansion. I believe I'll be buying a box of 90gr Gold Dots. Hornady's Critical Defense is a close second and was impressive in the tests but the reports of hard primers and failure to feeds make me unsure.

    I have no interest in carrying FMJs. Very excessive penetration could be a severe liability and the permanent wound cavity in the ballistics gel simulation was pretty pathetic. Sure you're getting penetration, but unless the very high penetration allows you to sever a major artery, vein or the CNS that an expanding 10" penetrating load would not damage, it has no advantages IMO. I'll take okay penetration and a much more damaged wound path.

    Here's TNoutdoors9's Youtube channel if you want to see all of his excellent ballistic tests. tnoutdoors9 - YouTube
    Here's a nice test showing what a 90gr Gold Dot can do to real flesh. Hog's Head Ballistics - Speer Gold Dot 90gr .380 ACP - YouTube

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    I chose the flat-nose FMJ because, with the .380, I want to insure that the bullet has the very best chance of getting in there, from any angle and through any clothing or interfering obstruction. If it'll bore through to the "good stuff" then .380 stands it's best chance of gaining a stop. I'm just not overly enamored of expansion. Expansion is not magic. The .380 has a crying need for penetration. Expansion could even be detremental in some instances.
    . ^^This^^. The Hornady CD stuff would be my other choice. Not on your list but BuffaloBore has some good JHP stuff that would be worth a look in that caliber.
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array 357and40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher10 View Post
    A little .380 in your pocket is much more useful than a 9mm or .40 left in your car.
    A 40 on your hip & a 357 mag on your ankle beats either. I do it in business casual daily. ;)
    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
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  14. #14
    Member Array TTPower's Avatar
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    i went with the 102gr. Golden Saber. if it did not expand then i get a lot of penetration. if it does expand, i'm hoping that the extra weight will help it penetrate more.
    Superhouse 15 likes this.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array crue2009's Avatar
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    very difficult to get both expansion and penetration from a .380...i use Magtech FMJ's in my lcp

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