380 ACP vs 38 Special?

This is a discussion on 380 ACP vs 38 Special? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; the origional post by Seapro210 talks about stopping power, it states the .380 JHP has better stopping power than ANY 38 sp round fired from ...

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Thread: 380 ACP vs 38 Special?

  1. #16
    Member Array hk boy's Avatar
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    the origional post by Seapro210 talks about stopping power, it states the .380 JHP has better stopping power than ANY 38 sp round fired from 2" barrel
    I want to let everyone know that is not a true statment, knowing the truth may save
    someone's life.

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  3. #17
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    "The three or four best .380 JHP rounds have better stopping power than ANY bullet fired out of 2" barrel .38 Special snub-nose. (Federal 90 gr. Hydra-shok, Cor-Bon 90 gr. JHP, Remington 102 gr. Golden Saber BJHP and CCI-Speer 90 gr. Gold Dot JHP)."

    Nope!

    It's interesting how such a blanket statement can be made on something so subjective. How do they know that these three or four .380 loads offer better stopping power than any .38 Special load? Did they do a controlled shoot of a few hundred people each for all of the rounds they are considering?


    I can't agree that the .38 Special and the .380 perform equally well, even if the .38 Special is restricted to a two-inch barrel.

    I like the most energetic +P 158 grain SWCs. The last time I chronographed any +P 158 grain stuff was in 1996 and it was the Winchester brand. It clocked 920 fps from a 2-inch Chief's Special. Supposedly current batches do less. One can always step up to Buffalo Bore's rendition of this 158 grain load or else use prepared hand loads for really good performance that no .380 is gonna touch.

    No matter, I'll take the heavier weight and the sharp, full caliber shoulder that the lead +P 158 grain semi-wadcutter .38 Special round offers over any hokey, supposed "high performance" .380 load. One is guaranteed the diameter of the bullet as it exits the barrel. Any expansion is gravy and may, or may not occur. I don't choose to depend on expansion to be the trick that "does the job," rather preferring more bullet weight than many.

    I shoot both the .380 ACP and the .38 Special cartridges and have observed their effects on varmints and critters. The .38 Special is more dependable with good hits. The two rounds aren't going to flip-flop and perform oppositely on a human assailant.

    No reasonable handgun cartridge is truly a "stopper" against a human assailant when it comes down to it. One is depending on accurate bullet placement within a relatively small area in order to best achieve a "stop." Living organisms don't behave in a typical fashion when shot either. Similar hits will likely yield different results each time as well.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society

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  4. #18
    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    Buffalo Bore 100gr +p 380=280 FT.LB.
    A Native Floridian = RARE


    IT'S OUR RIGHTS>THEY WANT TO WRONG
    H/D

  5. #19
    Member Array hk boy's Avatar
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    Buffalo Bore 38 SP +P 158 gr LSWCHP = 351 ft/lbs

  6. #20
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    From their site.
    _____________________________________
    Heavy .38 Special +P Ammo - 158 gr. L.S.W.C.H.P. --G.C. (1,000fps/M.E. 351 ft.lbs.) - 20 Round Box


    Check out the below velocities that I fired from my personal revolvers. We believe that real world, stock, "over the counter" guns, give real world results, so we don't advertise velocities that are fired from long test barrels.

    These 38SPL+P loads are generating low-end 357 magnum, ballistics. If you have an older or more fragile 38SPL, or if you are recoil sensitive, consider using our HVY Standard Pressure 38SPL ammunition. It is safe to be fired in any 38SPL revolver and it still packs much more punch than ordinary 38SPL ammo.

    Item 20A: 158gr., very soft cast, semi wad cutter, (Keith) hollow cavity, with a gas check. This bullet will mushroom violently on impact and will penetrate roughly 14 inches in human flesh. Again, this bullet is gas checked and will not lead your barrel.

    S&W mod. 60, 2 inch- 1040 fps (379 ft. lbs.)
    S&W mod. 66, 2.5 inch- 1059 fps (393 ft. lbs.)
    Ruger SP101, 3 inch- 1143 fps (458 ft. lbs.)
    S&W Mt. Gun, 4 inch- 1162 fps (474 ft. lbs.)

    Item 20B: 125gr. Jacketed Hollow Point. This is the Low velocity version designed to expand under 800 fps. It will mushroom violently and penetrate roughly 12 inches in human flesh.

    a. S&W mod 60, 2 inch- 1072 fps (319 ft. lbs.)
    b. S&W mod 66, 2.5 inch- 1108 fps (341 ft. lbs.)
    c. Ruger SP101, 3 inch- 1180 fps (386 ft. lbs.)
    d. S&W Mt. Gun, 4 inch- 1258 fps (439 ft. lbs.)
    _______________________________________

    I have a couple boxes of these but haven't yet chronographed them in my guns. These velocities are likely realistic as they also attainable with judicious hand loading. Best yet, these are accomplished with a bullet of significantly more weight.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  7. #21
    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    The .380 is a tried an true round. It was carried by German officers during World War II, utilized by the German police, and still used by police forces around the world.
    YUP! it must be true then

  8. #22
    New Member Array Seapro210's Avatar
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    Wow, plenty of responses on this topic. I did not belive a 380 could equal a 38, although all of us LCP owners would like to think so.

  9. #23
    Distinguished Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    On the rare occasion when I carry a .38sp it is filled with SOFT cast 158gr Keith style HPs. And very healthy dose of my favorite powder (Unique). Blue Dot has a slight velocity advantage, but the muzzel flash is blinding. NO way any .380 is going to compare to that.

  10. #24
    Member Array rednecksport's Avatar
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    If you shoot the bad guy in the head I feel pretty sure my 380 with just about any ammo will do the trick.( or even a 22 for that matter)Just hit where you aim and all this stopping power bull_ _ _ _ dont really matter much, my 380 is light, accurate ,and reliable, and if I do my job ,I am as safe as in my mama's arms.
    Well You Boys Gonna Pull Them Pistols, Or Whistle Dixie.

  11. #25
    Senior Member Array CR2008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rednecksport View Post
    If you shoot the bad guy in the head I feel pretty sure my 380 with just about any ammo will do the trick..
    Huh... so this explains why the .25ACP has a nasty reputation of the opposite?! They are to many cases of people being shot in the face with a .25ACP and it's penetration was so horrendous that many rounds were deflected under the skin of the skull etc depending on angle, but many don't penetrate. One time a taxi man was shot execution style with a junk made .25acp and he actually said it felt like a sting with a bad head ach, he left the hospital the same night.
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  12. #26
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Seems like the claims of .380 > .38SPL are only looking at velocity figures and ignoring the bullet weight and bullet construction part of the equation. The HP 38 loads are penetrating 12" or so. The 380 loads that penetrate more are FMJ at 16"; however, the hardcast 38's penetrate 23". Since that much penetration seems to be too much (according to the FBI), I'll agree with the "revolver or semi-auto" comment.

  13. #27
    Member Array rednecksport's Avatar
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    a 380 and a 25 aint even in the same category, i wouldnt shoot a piss ant with a 25, I would rather have a 22lr.Im fairly confident that a 380 to the head is not something anyone wants to test out , im not saying that on a rare instance that u might survive the shot but , im also willing to bet that the odds are against it, and even if u do, u wont be so eager to continue in your quest to, rob , Rape , or pilage me. After all we are carriyng for Self Defense , we aint going into battle, Thats what most people tend to forget. We are not the Police, or the Military, Our objective is to stop the threat of violence toward us or our family, and I feel that I can do that job with either of my 380's. I also own bigger guns, 9mm, 38spl.,357 mag, 357 sig, 40SW, and 45Acp, but I dont feel under gunned when i carry my 380, which is everyday.
    Well You Boys Gonna Pull Them Pistols, Or Whistle Dixie.

  14. #28
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rednecksport View Post
    We are not the Police, or the Military, Our objective is to stop the threat of violence toward us or our family, and I feel that I can do that job with either of my 380's. I also own bigger guns, 9mm, 38spl.,357 mag, 357 sig, 40SW, and 45Acp, but I dont feel under gunned when i carry my 380, which is everyday.
    Yup, we can't call for backup or air support and generally don't have as many tools/training as they do.

    If you're fine with it, that's all that matters, right?

  15. #29
    Distinguished Member Array tcox4freedom's Avatar
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    Whether or NOT I'm carrying my Rossi 38sp stubnose OR my Bersa 380acp. If your a BG, you WILL be stopped and most likely you WILL be dead!
    (I love them BOTH and completely trust them to save my life OR yours should I ever need to.)

    This is just like arguments on what make and model of handgun is better. (XD's; Glocks; Taurus; Rossi or ANY other handgun is GOOD to have in a "defensive" situation!)

    If I ever get into "another" gunfight and I need a gun, GIVE me a GUN!!! ANY GUN!!! ANY CALIBER!!!

    IMO; it's stupid and counter-productive to engage in such arguments.
    (Can someone explain to me how this helps in our fight for 2nd ammendment rights against anti-gunners?)

    Believe me the A.G's love us engaging in such "TRIVIAL" pursuits.

    Divide and conquer is a tried and true battle tactic! We WILL LOSE THE BATTLE; if we let ourselves be divided!!!

  16. #30
    Member Array rednecksport's Avatar
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    Im not trying to divide anyone, I just want us to remember why we carry,Not to take out the Taliban,Personal protection, thats our reason how much firepower do u actually think u need in that situation. To each his own but I feel pretty sure my Bersa with 7+1 or my P3AT with 6+1 will do the job 99.999999% of the .00001% of the time I am likely to need it.
    Well You Boys Gonna Pull Them Pistols, Or Whistle Dixie.

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