380 Auto FMJ Gel testing

380 Auto FMJ Gel Testing

This is a discussion on 380 Auto FMJ Gel Testing within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Very heavy clothing barrier testing in clear gel. 5 different varieties were tested. A ton of work, but I learned quite a bit from these ...

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Thread: 380 Auto FMJ Gel testing

  1. #1
    Member Array Ljutic's Avatar
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    380 Auto FMJ Gel testing

    Very heavy clothing barrier testing in clear gel. 5 different varieties were tested. A ton of work, but I learned quite a bit from these tests.

    Blog Article:
    Pocket Guns and Gear: 380 Auto FMJ Heavy Clothing Terminal testing in Clear Gel


    Teaser picture of what was tested.
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    Author of the Pocket Guns and Gear blog. Stop by for a peek at http://mousegunaddict.blogspot.com


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    Thanks for doing these. Been looking forward to seeing the results.
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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Been waiting for something like this for a long time! Thanks.

    I'm firmly in the FMJ FN camp when it comes to the .380. Your results come very close to tests I have seen on GoldenLoki.

    I may have to give that Remington load a try - if I can find any. For now, WWB will do.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    Distinguished Member Array Arborigine's Avatar
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    Did you have to mortgage the house to buy that much .380?
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    Member Array Ljutic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arborigine View Post
    Did you have to mortgage the house to buy that much .380?
    Not for this test, but this earlier one put a crimp in the old discretionary spending for a few months. Seems wasteful now, but this was before I got into terminal testing. The goal was still the same. Trying to plug gaps in the data available at the time. Pocket Guns and Gear: The Great .380 FMJ & JHP Ammo test - The Results
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    Member Array Jwalk's Avatar
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    Nice job, as usual, and valuable. It's interesting to see just how much penetration you get with FMJ, and how much penetration is lost to any expansion at all. Before the test, I would have thought the flat points would drop the penetration more than it actually did, and I also would have thought the broader flat point would slow the most, but it didn't happen that way. Thanks.

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    Ljutic:

    First off, thanks for your testing. I've learned a great deal from your blog, and your tests are particularly valuable to me as we have similar tastes in firearms (P380 and XDs).

    Wrt the 380 testing - I'm torn between 380 fmj and a less expanding hp (such as hydrashoks) in this caliber. I'm leaning toward sticking with hydrashoks as I live in a warmer climate (less chance of needing to penetrate heavy clothing), but thought I'd solicit your thoughts / recommendations.


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    Senior Member Array rugergunner's Avatar
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    Wow, that was pretty in depth. Nice work.
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    Member Array Keith44's Avatar
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    Wow thank you for all the work you put into this. Interesting to see just how deeply the 380 will penetrate even after passing through leather and denim

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    Member Array Ljutic's Avatar
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    I don't recommend, because I would hate for someone to have a feed failure or some other hiccup with my recommendation at the worst possible moment because they didn't invest the time and money to make sure it worked reliably with their specific pistol. I will say that I like the way you think and also that I own several boxes of 380 Hydra-Shoks.



    Quote Originally Posted by cbthedookie View Post
    Ljutic:

    First off, thanks for your testing. I've learned a great deal from your blog, and your tests are particularly valuable to me as we have similar tastes in firearms (P380 and XDs).

    Wrt the 380 testing - I'm torn between 380 fmj and a less expanding hp (such as hydrashoks) in this caliber. I'm leaning toward sticking with hydrashoks as I live in a warmer climate (less chance of needing to penetrate heavy clothing), but thought I'd solicit your thoughts / recommendations.


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    Member Array tsp_2177's Avatar
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    Makes me feel better about carrying my lcp :-)

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    The FBI calls for 12 inches minimum, with 15 inches penetration desired. It has more to do with angled shots still reaching the vitals, than the need to get through clothes.

    I have never seen a JHP in .380 that will get to 15. Most don't get to 12, though some barely do.


    Shot placement and penetration to the vitals are the top priorities. Expansion is nice, but not at the expense of penetration. IMHO, asking for both expansion AND penetration from a .380 is asking too much.


    The most interesting thing I noted from the OP's tests were the propensity for the slower FMJ to tumble. That is interesting (and somewhat comforting) to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ljutic View Post
    I don't recommend ...
    Thanks - I didn't mean to put you so much "on the spot" as it seemed when I re-read my post! I appreciate your response - and always run any ammo I consider for sd at the range until I get a comfort level with reliability in function.

    Again, really appreciate your work and feedback.



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    Member Array cbthedookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    The FBI calls for 12 inches minimum, with 15 inches penetration desired. It has more to do with angled shots still reaching the vitals, than the need to get through clothes.
    Great point; however I feel relatively comfortable at the lower end of that range, given FBI test basis includes shooting through barriers, such as windshields. Those scenarios are far less likely for me in sd situation.


    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    The most interesting thing I noted from the OP's tests were the propensity for the slower FMJ to tumble. That is interesting (and somewhat comforting) to me.
    Agree, which is why I'm conflicted on hydrashok (which penetrated to 12.5 and13" in OP's testing) vs one of the available fmj rounds.

    At least it is nice to have a a better comfort level with a few more options in .380, which I've always considered a borderline caliber...


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