380 and 357sig ammo results

This is a discussion on 380 and 357sig ammo results within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Not trying to make any scientific claims or say that these tests were performed in any sort of controlled setting. However, I do think the ...

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Thread: 380 and 357sig ammo results

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    Member Array Jbabbler's Avatar
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    380 and 357sig ammo results

    Not trying to make any scientific claims or say that these tests were performed in any sort of controlled setting. However, I do think the final displacement of each bullet tells a story and I am adjusting my carry ammo accordingly.

    We went shooting last week and tried a variety of SD ammo in my Glock 33, Glock 19, Makaorv PM, P64 and Keltec P3AT. My teenaged son really enjoyed shooting the P3AT and Makarov. He was shooting our P3AT at some wet phone books with the SD ammo we have been carrying around. It fed and shot 100% but we were a little surprised when we pulled a few out of the backstop. We had two of the metro-ATL phone books leaning on a bucket of water. All rounds from the P3AT passed through the two phone books and hit the water bucket. Several were recovered in the bucket or backstop.

    The shots below shows two of many recovered Magtech 380 +P SD rounds.





    The next shot shows a 357sig Speer Gold Dot LE round fired into the same setup as the 380 above. We fired over 25 rounds of this ammo and all that I recovered had expanded.




    Winchester White Box target ammo on right for comparison.
    Last edited by Jbabbler; July 13th, 2010 at 01:37 PM.

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    Enough said - what's that expression - a picture's worth yadda yadda
    That expansion has got to cause substantial damage
    The 1st ammo was so unaltered
    Your little test shows the importance of ammo choice
    It makes me realize the importance of test firing to get the best choice ammo the firearm shoots flawlessly

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    Yes, when you're attacked by wet phonebooks, you'll have a pretty good idea how your ammo will perform...

    Seriously, I applaud anyone trying to learn as much as they can about their ammo options. That said, we must always realize the limitations of such tests, especially the "back yard specials" that we like to do ourselves (and I like doing them as much as the next guy).

    And THAT said, is anyone surprised that .357Sig performed better than .380ACP?
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Distinguished Member Array orangevol's Avatar
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    All I see are .380 results...don't see any of the .357 Sig info???
    Proud NRA member

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    Quote Originally Posted by orangevol View Post
    All I see are .380 results...don't see any of the .357 Sig info???
    That's strange. I see them on mine. Can you see these?
    Last edited by Jbabbler; July 13th, 2010 at 02:20 PM. Reason: reposted pics

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    Distinguished Member Array orangevol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jbabbler View Post
    That's strange. I see them on mine. Can you see these?


    OK...I can see the pictures, but read the caption above them, The next shot shows a Speer Gold Dot LE round fired into the same setup as the 380 above. We fired over 25 rounds of this ammo and all that I recovered had expanded.

    I thought these were more .380's.
    Proud NRA member

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    Member Array Jbabbler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    Yes, when you're attacked by wet phonebooks, you'll have a pretty good idea how your ammo will perform...
    It could happen... you don't know!

    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    Seriously, I applaud anyone trying to learn as much as they can about their ammo options. That said, we must always realize the limitations of such tests, especially the "back yard specials" that we like to do ourselves (and I like doing them as much as the next guy).

    And THAT said, is anyone surprised that .357Sig performed better than .380ACP?
    I think these tests can be quite valuable. If a round won't expand in water jugs, wet phone books or oil filled jugs (we shot in to all of the above) then I would be very suspect about it's ability to expand in an SD situation. While the mediums are not the same I believe that every opportunity was given for these to expand and they never did, not once. Conversely, the 357 sig and 9mm rounds expanded every time. On this same trip I tried several 9x18 loads and the Silver Bear failed to expand on every shot while the Hornady XTP and CorBon PowRBall expanded every time. They didn't always have full expansion but they did expand SOME on every round. Most expanded fully.

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    Senior Member Array Texag's Avatar
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    That's cool and all, but I'll continue to rely on repeatable testing done in a controlled environment that has been shown to be analogous to real world results.

    There's more to bullet performance than expansion. I'm much more interested in penetration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by orangevol View Post
    OK...I can see the pictures, but read the caption above them, The next shot shows a Speer Gold Dot LE round fired into the same setup as the 380 above. We fired over 25 rounds of this ammo and all that I recovered had expanded.

    I thought these were more .380's.
    I corrected the wording for ya. Sorry for the confusion.

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    Even better - the more info, the more informed the opinion. I think everyone knows that reliable expansion is a combination of many factors (velocity, bullet design, target medium, etc), and it appears that some .380 JHPs don't have the right combo to achieve that standard. Thanks, sincerely, for the info!

    On the other hand, there's a school of thought that prefers JHPs in .380 to aid in penetration, so now we'll have to go argue that one again!
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    Even better - the more info, the more informed the opinion. I think everyone knows that reliable expansion is a combination of many factors (velocity, bullet design, target medium, etc), and it appears that some .360 JHPs don't have the right combo to achieve that standard. Thanks, sincerely, for the info!

    On the other hand, there's a school of thought that prefers JHPs in .380 to aid in penetration, so now we'll have to go argue that one again!
    My 9x18 pistols love the PowRball round and these always seem to expand. I'd love to hear from someone that has shot the 380 version of this round. The ball helps feeding and should aid in expansion.

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    And THAT said, is anyone surprised that .357Sig performed better than .380ACP?
    This may have been a case of the manufactures bullets not being matched effectively to the guns caliber. I've shot CorBon 380's thru a p3at into a jacket/shirt/water jug set up. Penetration was 2/3 of what my 9mm with XTP's and 357 mag 125 grain UMC hollow points was but expansion was perfect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by showmebob View Post
    And THAT said, is anyone surprised that .357Sig performed better than .380ACP?
    This may have been a case of the manufactures bullets not being matched effectively to the guns caliber. I've shot CorBon 380's thru a p3at into a jacket/shirt/water jug set up. Penetration was 2/3 of what my 9mm with XTP's and 357 mag 125 grain UMC hollow points was but expansion was perfect.[/QUOTE]

    I would tend to agree with you here. I would also like to add that the Magtech +P rounds didn't kick any harder than the various 380 target ammo we were shooting. I guess we got sucked in by the "+P" advertising and "assumed" it would be higher performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jbabbler View Post
    My 9x18 pistols love the PowRball round and these always seem to expand. I'd love to hear from someone that has shot the 380 version of this round. The ball helps feeding and should aid in expansion.
    ...but what about penetration? I don't care if a round reliably expands if it can't penetrate to reliably reach vitals with at angles that aren't ideal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Texag View Post
    That's cool and all, but I'll continue to rely on repeatable testing done in a controlled environment that has been shown to be analogous to real world results.

    There's more to bullet performance than expansion. I'm much more interested in penetration.
    Quote Originally Posted by Texag View Post
    ...but what about penetration? I don't care if a round reliably expands if it can't penetrate to reliably reach vitals with at angles that aren't ideal.
    Good for you. Maybe you could post some of your findings on penetration with 380. I'm not here to convince you one way or the other. Frankly, I don't care what you shoot in your gun. I went shooting. I recovered some rounds. I listed what the rounds penetrated before being recovered. I showed some pictures of those rounds. If that isn't what you want to read then I can't control that. All I have is what I have.

    Ironically, the best penetrator in liquid was the 35gr 22lr Stinger. The same round would penetrate both phone books and be found sitting in the bucket. Here's one I recovered behind 3 1 gallon oil jugs (filled with used motor oil).


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