Best .380 ammo for Ruger LCP or S&W Bodyguard?

Best .380 ammo for Ruger LCP or S&W Bodyguard?

This is a discussion on Best .380 ammo for Ruger LCP or S&W Bodyguard? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I am fairly new to shooting a .380 as aside from the M&P .22 that I own for training and target practice all of my ...

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Thread: Best .380 ammo for Ruger LCP or S&W Bodyguard?

  1. #1
    Member Array elfman's Avatar
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    Best .380 ammo for Ruger LCP or S&W Bodyguard?

    I am fairly new to shooting a .380 as aside from the M&P .22 that I own for training and target practice all of my other handguns have been at least 9mm. I am soliciting opinions as to what would be the best choices for self-defense ammo in .380 for either the Ruger LCP or the S& W Bodyguard. I have, in a general Internets search, seen recommendations for FMJ to be sure of adequate penetration, and other recommendations for JHP for bullet expansion. Please no +P type loads as neither pistol is build for that according to manufactures. I prefer to practice with rounds that are near the same in recoil as what I will carry. It does not make sense to introduce a new variation in an already tense situation should actual use become necessary for self-defense.


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    Member Array theheater905's Avatar
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    There will be differing opinions about whether its best to use a FMJ of JHP in the 380. When I had my 380 I carried Speer Gold Dot JHP, the reason being that it still gave decent penetration and from the research I have done usually expanded pretty well. If it fails to expand my guess is that you will have a bullet that will react like a FMJ. The other round that I found to work well was Hornady Critical defense, if it will feed reliably in your gun. I found both of these rounds to penetrate about 10 inches. I did try Winchester PDX1 and found this round to have outstanding expansion but poor penetration, only about 7 inches. This is only my opinion based on my research and from my unscientific tests. Check out Tnoutdoors9, he has some great videos of tests he has done in various calibers, hopefully this will help you with your choices.

  3. #3
    Member Array Ransom's Avatar
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    I use Speer Gold Dot in my BG 380. It shoots fine and I trust it for self defense. I don't notice any difference in recoil from the FMJ target ammo I shoot. Speer Gold Dot .380 Auto is not +P rated.

  4. #4
    Member Array sparkykb's Avatar
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    I'd stick with FMJ. A well known ballistics expert has done tests on many .380 hollow point rounds and NONE of them provided adequate penetration. He went as far as to recommend a different caliber instead of a pocket .380 and stated that one should use FMJ if they absolutely had to carry a .380 for self defense.

    Makes sense to me. Pistols do their damage by poking holes in organs and if the bullet has trouble penetrating it can't poke through vitals as well. The small amount of expansion gained from a hollow point isn't gonna do much good if the bullet can't make it through to vital organs reliably. FMJ usually runs better in small .380s anyways so you end up with a more reliable carry package and better penetration.

  5. #5
    Member Array JohnHancock's Avatar
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    If you're carrying a .380 for self defense, Buffalo Bore +P 100gr. hardened (they make one w/o +P too) is the only way to go! It's the hottest round on the market and you get ultimate penetration. As for HPs, I carry Remington Ultimate Home Defense BJHP 102gr. I keep the HP chambered and alternate with the Buffalo Bore for my daily carry.

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    Member Array elfman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses so far. I am leaning toward Speer Gold Dot for actual defensive carry, that is when some becomes available. At the moment my option, given that I only recently purchased at .380 and hence made my first purchase of .380 ammo, is the Blazer Brass 95 gr FMJ I was able to find. Enough for me to practice with as well as carry for now. I am also thinking about loading the magazine with a mix of the Speer Gold Dot and and FMJ.

    One thing about keeping such a mix in the magazine, and I don't mean to push this thread off into another direction, but I just completed reading the book The Gun Digest® Book Of Concealed Carry by Massad Ayoob (great book BTW and available as an ebook). Anyway he discuses instances where a shooter that was perfectly justified in self-defense being put on a spit and roasted over the coals for carrying ammunition that revealed an intent to inflict as much damage as possible. Sounds crazy, but I would hate to have purposely carrying a mixed ammo load held against me.

  7. #7
    Member Array AR15VSCoyote's Avatar
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    I have an LCP- I like Hornady and Speer= Good luck finding them.......

  8. #8
    New Member Array Spearchuck380's Avatar
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    Cool Check out the ammo review on Youtube

    spclopr8tr likes this.

  9. #9
    Member Array TheRevolverGuy's Avatar
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    When I carried a LCP I kept it stoked with a quality FMJ. In .380, especially the pocket .380's I opt for fmj for pennetration.
    Good gun control is hitting your target every time

  10. #10
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    This video was made by shootingthebull after the Ammo Quest "final" wrap up.

    "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." Alexander Hamilton

    Distinguished Life Member NRA
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    Maryland Shall Issue
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Array NickBurkhardt's Avatar
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    I am not a big fan of FMJ in a 380

  12. #12
    Member Array pete950's Avatar
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    I carry my prefrence load Winchester white box flat point FMJ functions flawless and accurate in my Body Guard.
    About 700 rounds fired!
    TheRevolverGuy likes this.

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