FMJ or HP for .380 ACP??

This is a discussion on FMJ or HP for .380 ACP?? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My wife now wants an ultra compact .380 for EDC (she doesn't like the recoil of subcompact, lightweight 9mm's) so I'm wondering if she should ...

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Thread: FMJ or HP for .380 ACP??

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    Member Array indykid's Avatar
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    FMJ or HP for .380 ACP??

    My wife now wants an ultra compact .380 for EDC (she doesn't like the recoil of subcompact, lightweight 9mm's) so I'm wondering if she should carry FMJ's or HP's in her carry piece. I know that 9mm is superior to .380 and that there are plenty of 9mm carry guns that don't recoil that much but she is a 110lb woman with wrists the size of my big toe so she really doesn't like the recoil and if she's uncomfortable with it than she won't want to shoot and even if she does she's going to have a flinch so lets strike out all of those discussions from this thread. What I would like to hear is what people who actually carry their .380's to respond and tell me if they use ball ammo or hollowpoints. Please leave out any second hand discussion about what you heard on the Outdoor Channel or what your cousin told you about .380's. I'd like first hand experience only please and thank you.

    God Bless

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    Member Array W9HDG's Avatar
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    My wife has a Beretta 84BB .380 and she carries the Winchester Supreme Elite PDX-1 90 grain bonded hollow points. We may try these Buffalo Barnes 380 +P rounds and see how the gun likes them for a little bit more punch next time.

    BUFFALO-BARNES 380 Auto +P Pistol and Handgun Ammo
    Last edited by W9HDG; August 1st, 2012 at 09:35 AM. Reason: Oopsie...I made a spelling error

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    Member Array GeezerSquid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indykid View Post
    My wife now wants an ultra compact .380 for EDC (she doesn't like the recoil of subcompact, lightweight 9mm's) so I'm wondering if she should carry FMJ's or HP's in her carry piece. I know that 9mm is superior to .380 and that there are plenty of 9mm carry guns that don't recoil that much but she is a 110lb woman with wrists the size of my big toe so she really doesn't like the recoil and if she's uncomfortable with it than she won't want to shoot and even if she does she's going to have a flinch so lets strike out all of those discussions from this thread. What I would like to hear is what people who actually carry their .380's to respond and tell me if they use ball ammo or hollowpoints. Please leave out any second hand discussion about what you heard on the Outdoor Channel or what your cousin told you about .380's. I'd like first hand experience only please and thank you.

    God Bless
    Based on recent history with my wife's effort to find a carry weapon, I'm going to say that if your wife doesn't like the recoil of a compact 9mm she is going to hate the recoil of most "ultra compact" .380's. My wife found that the only .380 she liked, in terms of recoil, was the Sig P238 HD. It is one of the, if not "the", heaviest mouse guns available. That helps reduce the recoil. It's not a blow back operated gun. That helps reduce the recoil. My wife practices with WWB and carries Buffalo Bore JHP. She's shot enough of the BB JHP +p's to know she can handle it, but she does not enjoy shooting those rounds. YMMV.

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    Senior Member Array IAm_Not_Lost's Avatar
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    Well...there are going to be some trade offs either way you go. A .380 HP that expands properly upon impact WILL NOT penetrate as deeply as a FMJ, nor will it generally meet FBI criteria for proper penetration. That said, I would use a heavy - for - caliber HP, or a plain jane FMJ/FNMJ. No one likes to get shot anyways, but I would err on the side of penetration.
    "Brilliant. So now we got a huge guy theory, and a serial crusher theory. Top notch. What's your name?" - Paul Smecker

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    Senior Member Array BkCo1's Avatar
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    I have BB +P in my wife's .380. They may be too hot for your wife. Check out the loadings in hollow points. The lighter the bullet the lighter the recoil. Normally.
    Semper Fi
    "Marines don't surrender-they win or die." from Brute

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    Most .380 auto pistols operate on the straight blow back design and felt recoil is as harsh and sometimes harsher than shooting a 9mm. My Mrs is a petite 5'0" and has had carpal tunnel release surgery on both wrists which has made her recoil sensitive. As a result she switched from a J frame .38 to a M&P 9c which she finds to be manageable. The 147gr standard velocity Gold Dot, Ranger & HST loads shoot soft and give excellent terminal performance.

    If a .380 is the route you go the 95gr FMJFN is the round to carry.
    "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)

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    Member Array JerryMac's Avatar
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    My wife prefers a 5 shot lady smith, with hollowpoints, and i prefer her to carry that myself, afraid if she has a jam issue, ftf, fte or whatever in a time of need, things could go bad, so we keep it simple on her edc.....although she loves shooting semi autos, this is just how we do it.....
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    VIP Member Array tns0038's Avatar
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    Well I try to most of the time carry my G26 off duty, but there are times, when a pocket 380 Kel-Tek loaded with Winchester Ranger tís 95 gr. really comes handy. Especially like this morning, when I was warring shots and flip flops, and just headed on the island to store.

    Let face it.. 9,999 times out of 10,000 when we leave the house each day nothing is going to happen to us.

    And when I walked out the door, If I thought I was headed in to trouble that day, I would do one of two things.

    First of all if Iím off duty, Iíd turn around and go back home.

    If Iím on duty and have to go, Iíll be bringing my M4.

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    sgb
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    VIP Member Array sgb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tns0038 View Post
    Let face it.. 9,999 times out of 10,000 when we leave the house each day nothing is going to happen to us.
    If you believe that why bother carrying at all?
    "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

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    In the warmer months I load my Sig P238 up with 7+1 of Speer Gold Dots.
    In the colder months (heavy jackets, carharts, etc) I load the first two rounds with Gold Dots and the next 6 are FMJ
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    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Cool

    Lots of thoughts on the subject but the bottom line is to make sure whichever round you decide on make sure it's function is flawless and your wife can place rounds on target.

    My wife carries a S&W 649 with Standard Velocity .38 spl. HP's and it goes bang every time and she hits quite well with it.

    She has carpal tunnel and has a set of Pachmayr grips on it to help absorb recoil.

    photo.jpg
    click image to enlarge....

    I will sometimes carry a Diamondback .380 as a BUG loaded with Speer Gold Dots but it is a BUG not a primary.

    If I was to carry a .380 as a primary then the Buffalo Bore solids would be my choice but that is going to be a tad on the expensive side ammo wise to make sure they function flawlessly in your flavor of .380.

    OS
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    Distinguished Member Array Arborigine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgb View Post
    If you believe that why bother carrying at all?
    If I thought that today was the day i would need to defend myself from the Yellow Horde, I would stay home. I was a boy scout, be prepared and enjoy the day.
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    SIG P-238 or the new Colt Mustang 380 are quite possibly the best in ultra compact 380 pistols. They have excellent handling, and can easily handle a heavier or hotter 380 load and still not beat you up. My wife has the SIG P-238, and I have the COLT Mustang.
    I keep a BERSA 380 Thunder in both of our vehicles just for more backup if we feel we need it.
    We shoot Speer Gold Dot JHP as the ammo of choice in all 4 of these pea shooters.
    Better to carry anything than nothing at all.

    Regards,
    Gearchecker

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    Member Array tcfiero's Avatar
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    I had Golden Sabres in my 238 when I was carrying that. My sister is trying it out to see if that is the gun for her. I now carry a Shield 40.

    Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2

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    VIP Member Array multistage's Avatar
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    I run the 102 Golden Sabers as well.

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