.380 SD Ammo - FMJ or Hollow Point?

.380 SD Ammo - FMJ or Hollow Point?

This is a discussion on .380 SD Ammo - FMJ or Hollow Point? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm curious for those who carry .380 pistols which type of ammo they use, FMJ or Hollow Point? I'm not concerned about the brand of ...

View Poll Results: Do you prefer FMJ or Hollow Point in .380 SD ammo?

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  • FMJ

    11 16.42%
  • Hollow Point

    56 83.58%
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Thread: .380 SD Ammo - FMJ or Hollow Point?

  1. #1
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    .380 SD Ammo - FMJ or Hollow Point?

    I'm curious for those who carry .380 pistols which type of ammo they use, FMJ or Hollow Point? I'm not concerned about the brand of ammo, but the type.

    Which do you feel is more practical for a .380 round, and why?
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    fjs might as well be a long icepick.
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  3. #3
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    I carry one mag of Hydroshoks (loaded in the pistol) and a spare of FMJ with my .380's
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  4. #4
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    My own penetration test results with soaked telephone books:

    (two rounds from each load from a distance of 6 feet)

    .38 Special 130 Gr Ball Remington UMC 4.5” 4.75”
    .38 Special +P 125 Gr JHP UMC 5.25” 5.25” (expanded nicely)
    .380 Blazer Brass FMJ 95 Gr 4.25" 4.25”
    .380 Cor Bon 90 Gr JHP 4.25” 4.5” (Did not expand)
    .380 Gold Dot 90 Gr JHP 4.5” 4.75” (Did not expand)
    .380 Buffalo Bore Flat Point Lead 100 Gr 6.25” 6.25” (Did not expand)

    I fired the .38 loads from a 2-1/2 Colt Python, and the .380 loads from a Colt Mustang.

    The Cor Bons and Gold Dots did not expand to any significant degree, so I have decided to stick with the best penetration. The Buffalo Bore seems to win that hands down.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    Most tests I've seen show little to no expansion with .380 HP's and as a result, penetration is very similar to FMJ.

    Many tests do seem to indicate some additional soft tissue damage from the HP due to hydrostatic shock caused by the bullet cavity.

    If penetration is the same and there may be some additional wound cavity damage, the HP gets my vote.

  6. #6
    JD
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    Believe it or not, in one of my .380s, the JHPs run better than FMJs, so that's what I run in the gun.


    *On a side note, I favor the Rem. Golden Saber 102gr bonded hollow point.

  7. #7
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    While I have never ran my own penetration tests, I have read enough articles on testing the Corbon DPX to convince me that it is the way to go in a .380. I used those when I carried my Walther PPK/s or my Kel Tec P3AT. While penetration is important, I still believe that the jhps will give you a better chance of stopping someone over fmjs. Now in .32 and below, I believe fmjs are the way to go as the little jhps rarely if ever open up, so you might as well go with the superior penetration of the fmjs. Hence, that is also why I have a slight preference for the .380 over the .32.

  8. #8
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    I regularly carry a P3AT, and have studied all the test data I could find on the internet. I’ve also done my own less formal testing.

    I used to favor flat-pointed FMJs, but now carry good, modern JHPs with 1000fps of MV. Normally, expansion is violent, to .50” or better, and penetration is nearly equal to most .38 JHPs through water jugs. This includes the ‘4 layers of denim’ test. Worst case: the cavity of the hollow-point becomes completely clogged by barrier material or heavy clothing, and my JHPs perform just like an FMJ.
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  9. #9
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    Always a 'hollow point'...ALL SD ammo is HP...
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  10. #10
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    FMJ all the way for me in .380 ACP.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    Speer Gold Dots.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    The way this discussion is going, I wonder if it makes sense to alternate, FMJ, HP, FMJ... etc?
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  13. #13
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    The one situation where a HP will not act like a FMJ is when it hits a hard object. When you miss your target, the FMJ will have a greater tendency to ricochet.

    I load HPs in every gun I carry to reduce the chances of bullets bouncing around.

  14. #14
    Member Array cupsz71's Avatar
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    Use Federal Hydra-Shok 90grn JHP for the wifey's BERSA.

    .380Auto muzzle velocity isn't anything to spectacular......especially with a Semi-Auto (SC frame) 3" barrel, and ANY expansion with a JHP for maximum damage in a defensive situation I feel is better than none at all.

    But one could argue that Hydra-Shok's 'Low Recoil" rounds equals: "Low Velocity" as well.

    Bottom line: keep shooting till the threat is neutralized.....It all comes down to accuracy with shot placement, and eventually amt of blood lost.

    I also use Federal Hydra-Shok 135grn JHP for my XD9sc - my CC.
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    I'm in the FMJ crowd. I believe in shot placement and penetration above permanent and temporary wound cavity. As such, I stick with FMJ's (in .380) to maximize depth.
    Last edited by matiki; May 2nd, 2008 at 12:55 AM.
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