best .380 defensive ammo

This is a discussion on best .380 defensive ammo within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I just bought a P3AT for carry when the weather is too hot to carry anything else, and was wondering about the best defensive ammo ...

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Thread: best .380 defensive ammo

  1. #1
    Member Array DirksterG30's Avatar
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    best .380 defensive ammo

    I just bought a P3AT for carry when the weather is too hot to carry anything else, and was wondering about the best defensive ammo to use for it. The info I've read gives penetration of 6-9" with hollowpoints, or penetration of at least 11-12" with FMJ rounds. Is this info accurate (I don't want to have to choose between expansion and penetration)?

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    I sold on my P3AT having got the R9 but - I only ever used ball ammo - I think it was S&B last time. I did practice with Wolf fmj but it was not reliable.

    Many folks seem to cope with HP's after ''fluff and buff'' but I was never quite confident enough with mine. I think in this cal ball is well useful as expansion velocities are not IMO really reliably achievable.

    The guy I sold mine to did a conversion to NAA .32 and that seems a very useful round. Not sure tho now if you can get those barrels any more.
    Chris - P95
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    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    6-9" would be OK if it expanded real big at the end of that travel distance. 9" would be better. Now 4or5, 6" deep wounds------- whaz wrong wit dat ??--------- If the figures in your post are correct I'd go with the HP's. Maybe COR-BON's ??--------

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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    FWIW...

    Hypothetically let's say a dear relative of mine just so happened to be armed with a .380 supplied by a concerned family. The pistol in question is the Bersa Thunder 380.

    Theoretically her most likely attacker could possibly be a former spouse who maybe perhaps has had some reconstructive surgery done. Suppose the same son of a ***** has a history of violence and has attacked before. It is possible some concerned party could have possibly researched a load which seemed like it would not penetrate as deep but would carve a bigger wound channel.

    In theory this same person might have considered the locations and depth of areas affected by said surgical procedures and concluded that Speer Gold Dots would give acceptable levels of penetration for such an anemic catridge while providing maximum aggravation to the damaged portions of the anatomy.

    Also it feeds flawlessy.

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Cor-Bon .380 (90 gr) works extremely well on 60-80# dogs.....well enough to be dissuasive to a 240# dog I have not played with Gold Dots, though......

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    Member Array DirksterG30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSSZ
    6-9" would be OK if it expanded real big at the end of that travel distance. 9" would be better. Now 4or5, 6" deep wounds------- whaz wrong wit dat ??--------- If the figures in your post are correct I'd go with the HP's. Maybe COR-BON's ??--------
    The FBI 'standard' is that the round must penetrate a minimum of 12". 6-9" would probably be acceptable if my assailant were facing me head-on, but there is no guarantee of that. The BG's arm may be between me and his COM, and he may be facing me at an angle. Bottom line, 6-9" may not be enough.

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    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirksterG30
    The FBI 'standard' is that the round must penetrate a minimum of 12". 6-9" would probably be acceptable if my assailant were facing me head-on, but there is no guarantee of that. The BG's arm may be between me and his COM, and he may be facing me at an angle. Bottom line, 6-9" may not be enough.
    You chose the P-3AT for its concealability, not its performance. If these were your concerns, then you should not have chosen a .380 without considering its performance envelope. I'm sorry, but that's the bottom line. Whenever you are choosing between JHP and FMJ, you are choosing between expansion and penetration. Your goal is to find the best compromise between penetration and reliable expansion. The P-3AT was designed as a secondary platform, a BUG. It seems unreasonable, to me, to expect service pistol performance from such a platform.

    You've got the P-3AT. I think it will turn out to be a good choice for the situation you said you bought it for - when it is too hot to carry anything else. If I were you, I would get some Corbon +P 90gr JHP, some 90gr Hydra-Shok JHP, and some 88gr Gold Dot JHP, and see which one you shoot best out of your new pistol. If it expands, it makes a bigger hole; if it doesn't, it behaves like ball, anyway.
    - Tom
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    Talking research

    euclidean.. theoretical research can pay dividends in the real world. that guy sounds like my wifes ex-husband.

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    Member Array cls12vg30's Avatar
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    I have a .380 that I used to carry before I got my FEG 9x18. I loaded it with 90 gr. Cor-bon JHP's at the top of the mag, and 102 gr. Remington Golden Sabres at the bottom of the mag. I had more faith in the ability of the Cor-bons to expand, they are loaded very hot and there have been several tests which have shown them to be the most reliable expanders in .380 and even .32. The Golden Sabres I chose because of their high bullet weight for .380. I didn't have much faith in their ability to expand, but even if they don't, they're heavier bullets than most .380 FMJ's. However, the Golden Sabres are steel-cased, and I seem to remember that Kel-Tec recommended only using brass-cased ammo in the P3-AT. I could be wrong though.
    "Terrorists don't seem to be too afraid of stern language. But I do notice, that while the fear of death does not seem to deter these people, the fact of BEING dead does significantly decrease their operational effectiveness. "
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    Whatever Feeds & Functions Flawlessly

    That should be your primary reason to select any particular brand, configuration, or style of ammo for the smaller "format" handguns.
    Just my opinion.

  12. #11
    Member Array michael t's Avatar
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    Do to your short barrel ,you are already down on power So I would get old fashion ball. CorBon numbers on box 1050 and 220 was as I understand from a PPK/S Now the new Corbon DPX round has been designed with the Keltec in mind Should get good numbers with it. Of course you could always go to the 380 mag and get a Kahr or that $900 pocket pistol Starts with a R.
    1990, 1992 Colt Mustang 1941 Colt USGI 1951 Colt Commander 9MM
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    early Detonics come visit http://www.americanclassic1911forum.com or www.bersachat.com

  13. #12
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    that $900 pocket pistol Starts with a R.
    Oh, the Raven?! LOL

    BTW - it is now over a grand!
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array gregarat's Avatar
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    I have a PPk knock off made in Hungery by FEG. Winchester, and Corbon ammo is the only .380"s that will feed relyably.

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