which .380 round for self defense?

This is a discussion on which .380 round for self defense? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Just curious what you guys with a .380 are carrying. I'm brand new to the .380 world. I like Hornady critical defense and Federal Hydr-shoks ...

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Thread: which .380 round for self defense?

  1. #1
    Member Array HKing's Avatar
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    which .380 round for self defense?

    Just curious what you guys with a .380 are carrying. I'm brand new to the .380 world.

    I like Hornady critical defense and Federal Hydr-shoks in my .45. How are these in .380?

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  3. #2
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    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
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    I just want to be certain of penetration so avoid all expanding bullets. I shoot a hot jacketed load with a flat, even slightly concave nose. The bullet weighs 95 grains and makes 1030 fps from a short-barreled Kel Tec P3AT. It is the Spanish Santa Barbara surplus ammunition that showed up 5 or 6 years ago. I acquired a large supply of the stuff when it was less than $2.50 per box of 25.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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    I also stay with FMJ rounds for SD in .380. With minimal power it's hard enough to get to the vitals with anything but FMJ. I usually carry Sellier & Bellot .380 FMJ, it's a pretty hot .380 round. it was approved by my old agency, so that says something about it.
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    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    A lot of the people I work with carry .380 BUGs and all use Gold Saber 102gr. All the local LEO agencies that issue ammo for the .380 also issue this load. It's heavy enough to penetrate well, has plenty of power to cycle a slode, and is nice and tough and rounded to feed well. I think feed reliability gives it a slight advantage over the Hydra Shok with it's sharp, wide hollow point. I have no personal experience with the Hornady but have heard of malfunction problems related to the rubber tip. Never used it and couldn't say for sure one way or the other.
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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    I load Buffalo Bore .380ACP +P JHP in my Kahr P380 and Speer Gold Dots in my Ruger LCP.

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    Member Array Ivan's Avatar
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    Right now: Winchester PDX1 or Critical Defense, but I want to test Winchester Ranger T and the Buffalo Bore +p. I may switch to the last two depending how they work out of my P380.

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Here's some gel tests done with a P3at:

    GoldenLoki.com

    Given that the FBI calls for a minimum of 12 inches, with 15 preferred...I load FMJ in the .380 caliber.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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    Member Array Sporty79's Avatar
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    I would go with FMJ in the 380 and they feed much better making them more reliable. This comes from experience, I have had many troubles feeding JHP rounds through my 380 and have friends with the same problem in diferent guns, less expansion vs reliabilty wins ever time IMO...

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array High Altitude's Avatar
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    I carry FMJ in my .380 also.

    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Here's some gel tests done with a P3at:

    GoldenLoki.com

    Given that the FBI calls for a minimum of 12 inches, with 15 preferred...I load FMJ in the .380 caliber.

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    Distinguished Member Array orangevol's Avatar
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    Proud NRA member

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    Member Array babyhulk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HKing View Post
    Just curious what you guys with a .380 are carrying. I'm brand new to the .380 world.

    I like Hornady critical defense and Federal Hydr-shoks in my .45. How are these in .380?
    +1 I shoot the Critical Defense in my Bersa .380.
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  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array clarkston_cz's Avatar
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    I like the FTX in .380 as well.

    No human stories but I believe a guy on here shot a pitbull in the skull with the round and killed it with one shot.

    Enough penetration for a big dog's head gives me confidence.

    The FTX runs fine in my MDE, but Double Tap's Barnes load looks promising as well.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    This round is specifically designed for the new compact 380's by Kel-Tec, Ruger, Kahr, DE, and Taurus!
    There is virtually no muzzle flash.
    For those of you who carry a 380ACP, this is an excellent defensive load with excellent penetration
    Standard pressure loading.

    Velocity: 1050fps / Kel-Tec P3AT and Ruger LCP
    3.5" bbl Bersa Thunder - 1145fps
    Bullet: 80gr. BARNES TAC-XP

    Muzzle Energy: 196 ft. lbs. Kel-Tec and LCP
    233 ft. lbs. 3.5" bbl Bersa Thunder

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unlike the 9mm FTX that shoots soft. The FTX in .380 seems to be full power.

    The Barnes load would probably have more recoil than the FTX but enhanced stopping power.

    Even though it's a DT product, the Barnes bullet has street cred from the excellent CB DPX.

    I think you are paying a bit more for this new technology in the FTX and Barnes TAC-XP than
    say a Gold Dot or Golden Saber, but that's true with anything new and good.

    www.czforum.com



    Go RED SOX!

  14. #13
    Member Array Oldfart60's Avatar
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    I carry Corbon DPX in my Bersa 380 PLUS. For what it's worth, just about everyone on BersaChat recommends it.

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    Senior Member Array kb2wji's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sporty79 View Post
    I would go with FMJ in the 380 and they feed much better making them more reliable. This comes from experience, I have had many troubles feeding JHP rounds through my 380 and have friends with the same problem in diferent guns, less expansion vs reliabilty wins ever time IMO...
    Ahhh you must have a PPK

  16. #15
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    Currently I use the Critical Defense round in my LCP.

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