colt 380 stops an "intruder"

This is a discussion on colt 380 stops an "intruder" within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Colt mustang pocketlite made its first bad guy stop last night.... so its late night, about 10-10:30 last night. I let turbo the boxer-pit mix ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array freakingstang's Avatar
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    colt 380 stops an "intruder"

    Colt mustang pocketlite made its first bad guy stop last night....


    so its late night, about 10-10:30 last night. I let turbo the boxer-pit mix out to do her business last night before bed. I opened the sliding door and let her out while switching some laundry that is right there in the mud room. I open the washer door and hear one ******* commotion outside. Dog barking like shes going to eat something. She loves chasing squirrels, rabbits and other moving things so first initial thought was nothing spectacular. Then it registered that the barking and hissing I heard wasn't normal and yelled for her to come back in.


    I thru on some shoes and grabbed the colt off the counter (had just loaded some 90 grain federal Hydra shok earlier in the day as I shot a couple mags of fmj at my backyard range) and my stream light flash light as I didn't know what I was getting into. racked the slide on the way out the door and hit the 1911 style thumb safety on.

    I flew out the door and she had the biggest possum I've ever seen pinned against my shed and the corner of the fence. I yelled for her to get out of the way and she was hellbent on getting it. trying to get her off away from the pest was the hard part. once she saw the gun in my hand she took off for the house (she's afraid of the sight of a gun and the sound of gunshots) or when she heard the safety click off.

    First shot was not even aimed with the sites, just raised it, pointed and shot and saw the ground flare up about two inches from it and he took off. Fired a second shot on the move and it landed right behind him. third shot hit him and left him laying.

    I learned a couple things. the federal Hydra shocks that I found in the ground had complete jacket separation. The one that went through the little monster did some serious carnage. blew about 1" hole out of the back side of it and when I dug the bullet out of the ground this morning expansion was about 3/4". I was impressed the "lack of 380 stopping power" had enough snot to go completely through it and about 8" of ground penetration. Expansion was phenomenal in my opinion. when I picked it up to dispose of it, there was nothing left from the ribcage/heart/bone structure.

    second and maybe third thing was that the sights on the colt suck and instead of taking a couple extra milliseconds to line up my sights I just pointed and shot.

    I understand that a 20lb possum isn't a human, but the carnage I saw helped put some worries I had about 380 having enough snot to be a defense caliber. I bought the colt after my long troublesome sig 938 fiasco and kinda had hesitations of carrying it, but I love the size of it for my small frame to carry.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    That possum sounded like it coulda kilt you at anytime,you must of seen your life flash in front of your eyes
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    The inadequate stopping power of the .380 is, in all likelihood, more myth than fact. Any caliber that can be utilized has had its successes and failures.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
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    Member Array oldranger53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    The inadequate stopping power of the .380 is, in all likelihood, more myth than fact. Any caliber that can be utilized has had its successes and failures.
    I had a friend in the early 90's who was an FFL dealer in Bartlesville, OK.
    He was partial to the .25 auto. When I asked him the inevitable "why? ", he replied by showing me ballistics charts and comparrisons.
    He also said, "...it depends on what you compare it to..."

    I never forgot that conversation.

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    Distinguished Member Array skysoldier29's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    The inadequate stopping power of the .380 is, in all likelihood, more myth than fact. Any caliber that can be utilized has had its successes and failures.
    I agree, One just needs to know the limitations of which ever firearm and caliber they choose. With this small .380 autos they need to understand that they are mainly a contact to short distance weapon, and not something that you will make a 25 yard shot with.

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    You must have sissy-fied possums down there because the ones up here don't bother moving quick until they see a .357 mag in your hand! {sarcasm added}

    No, I wouldn't want to be shot by a .380.

    But given the choice between that and a hopped up 9 or bigger,,,,,,,,,,,
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    Distinguished Member Array Arborigine's Avatar
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    The real question is,,, How did you cook it?
    Stevew, Aceoky, Paco23 and 7 others like this.
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    I think the .380 is a wonderful caliber.

    However, I do still think it needs to be used right. In something with lesser energy like the .380, you have to ask yourself if "phenominal" expansion is a good thing. Does a 90 grain bullet expanding to 3/4 of an inch with roughly 200 ft/lbs of energy at its disposal sound like something that's gonna plow through a rib and still get decent penetration to you? I'm unconvinced that that would be the case. I think .380 is a great round...but with ball ammo. I have heard a person that studied real life shootings (as in going through autopsies see what happened in there) say that after seeing many .380 shootings ball seemed to always do its job, whereas there was 2 or 3 occurrences of .380 hollow points penetrating 6 inches or so, stopping just short of hitting something that would have otherwise been fight ending, and instead of the man going down he was able to fight on until bleeding out later. Gelatin tests show most HP .380 going 7"-9" too. So between both gelatin and real life examples being in favor of ball, I have to strongly recommend good ball, or at very least a good flat nose like buffalo bore's +p ammo, if they feed well for you.
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    Member Array freakingstang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grbr View Post
    I think the .380 is a wonderful caliber.

    However, I do still think it needs to be used right. In something with lesser energy like the .380, you have to ask yourself if "phenominal" expansion is a good thing. Does a 90 grain bullet expanding to 3/4 of an inch with roughly 200 ft/lbs of energy at its disposal sound like something that's gonna plow through a rib and still get decent penetration to you? I'm unconvinced that that would be the case. I think .380 is a great round...but with ball ammo. I have heard a person that studied real life shootings (as in going through autopsies see what happened in there) say that after seeing many .380 shootings ball seemed to always do its job, whereas there was 2 or 3 occurrences of .380 hollow points penetrating 6 inches or so, stopping just short of hitting something that would have otherwise been fight ending, and instead of the man going down he was able to fight on until bleeding out later. Gelatin tests show most HP .380 going 7"-9" too. So between both gelatin and real life examples being in favor of ball, I have to strongly recommend good ball, or at very least a good flat nose like buffalo bore's +p ammo, if they feed well for you.
    I had and have been carrying it with 100grain FMJ. That's all I've been shooting through it other than this box of defense ammo that I ran one mag thru it. I loaded up one mag yesterday as I was going to do some water jug tests this afternoon and when all the commotion outside, it was the closest thing in reach. Normally I would have had my xds45 or shield 9mm (or rock island 1911 9mm or springfield 1911 45).

    I know how my dog loves to "play" with other animals. She is super friendly and thinks everyone is her friend and wants to play. I don't have a ton of experience with possums, other than they are pests with diseases and figured they were probably violent along the lines of a ground hog. I didn't want it tearing little turbo up, so I didn't run into the house and grab something else, it was literally three steps away. It was unusual that she barked like she did so I wasnt' sure what to expect, and the mag I had was one of those 10 round USA mags (for target and ammo testing). the loaded fmj mags were on the coffee table in the living room and maybe I got caught up in the moment because she never barks when chasing normal four legged critters.

    Truth is, a 22 probably would have done the job. having no experience with the 380 I had hesitations about carrying it. it wasn't quite 3/4" of an inch, measuring it with a mic showed .602 and the one big side was .630. The ground it went into was gravel/soil mix that was around the edge of the shed, and i'm pretty confident knowing it hit 7-8" of dirt and rocks after passing through the 6" wide animal and taking out all of its major extremities in the process.

    Now, I have been researching all the 380HP data out there lately and I reload. I've picked up some 90gr XTP's to load hot and also picked up some hornady 110gr XTPS/ they are .357 instead of .355. The plated RN I use from berrys are 356. after slugging my bore, I have a .3565 barrel so I'm going to try and play around with some good 110gr XTP loads. I don't have a chrono or any gelatin but I want to do some water jug/denim testing. The profile of these XTPS are the same dimensions as the 102 grains that are commonly available to the 380 and quite a bit shorter than a 115grain projectile that is too long for most 380's. That is all stuff I've had planned but haven't messed with yet. the federal HydraShoks are a low recoil/low flash round and the velocity is not on the package. 380 has been hard to come buy in these parts, although I did pick up two boxes of PDX last week. I'm pretty sure the colt being as solid as it is and being a locked breach design it will handle a +P load.

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    Senior Member Array NickBurkhardt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grbr View Post
    I think the .380 is a wonderful caliber...

    ...Gelatin tests show most HP .380 going 7"-9" too. So between both gelatin and real life examples being in favor of ball, I have to strongly recommend good ball, or at very least a good flat nose like buffalo bore's +p ammo, if they feed well for you.
    Have you seen tests on the 90 Grain XTP bullet? 10"-14"

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    Trivia question what animal has the most teeth?
    Among North American mammals the opossum has the most teeth with 50.
    A snail has between 15000 and50000 teeth

    Already asked above how did you cook it.

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    Distinguished Member Array Arborigine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grbr View Post
    I think the .380 is a wonderful caliber.

    However, I do still think it needs to be used right. In something with lesser energy like the .380, you have to ask yourself if "phenominal" expansion is a good thing. Does a 90 grain bullet expanding to 3/4 of an inch with roughly 200 ft/lbs of energy at its disposal sound like something that's gonna plow through a rib and still get decent penetration to you? I'm unconvinced that that would be the case..
    Good point, but the way I practice, in a self-defense scenario I would hope that most the six rounds going out hit the target. The seventh holds the slide open while the fresh mag goes in. I don't shoot "one shot", so the one-shot stopping power discussion is invalid to me. In a real situation I may stop shooting if it looks like the job is done, but I don't plan on it. I can say from personal experience that one carefully aimed .380 hollowpoint from my LCP to the brain put down a mortally wounded labrador instantly. Apparently it works on possums too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arborigine View Post
    The real question is,,, How did you cook it?
    This will get you started. Possums - The REAL Flavor of the South
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grbr View Post
    I think the .380 is a wonderful caliber.

    However, I do still think it needs to be used right. In something with lesser energy like the .380, you have to ask yourself if "phenominal" expansion is a good thing. Does a 90 grain bullet expanding to 3/4 of an inch with roughly 200 ft/lbs of energy at its disposal sound like something that's gonna plow through a rib and still get decent penetration to you? I'm unconvinced that that would be the case. I think .380 is a great round...but with ball ammo. I have heard a person that studied real life shootings (as in going through autopsies see what happened in there) say that after seeing many .380 shootings ball seemed to always do its job, whereas there was 2 or 3 occurrences of .380 hollow points penetrating 6 inches or so, stopping just short of hitting something that would have otherwise been fight ending, and instead of the man going down he was able to fight on until bleeding out later. Gelatin tests show most HP .380 going 7"-9" too. So between both gelatin and real life examples being in favor of ball, I have to strongly recommend good ball, or at very least a good flat nose like buffalo bore's +p ammo, if they feed well for you.
    Agreed. This video made me ditch the HP rounds in my .380.

    Is .380 powerful enough for defensive carry?
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    Good shooting, freakingstang.

    Seriously, how'd you cook it?

    The first time I ever saw a opossum, it scared the heck outta me. I was a little tike back then, maybe 5. My dad found one in our empty dumpster. Apparently it had crawled in looking for trash, and then got trapped since it was empty. My dad opened the dumpster to show us, and it was playing dead. Suddenly it got up and jumped halfway up the dumpster. Scared me to pieces, man!
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet."
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