The .380 round for SD - Page 2

The .380 round for SD

This is a discussion on The .380 round for SD within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I did extensive research on 380 ammo when I bought my RM380. I was looking for expansion out of a short barrel, and that is ...

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Thread: The .380 round for SD

  1. #16
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    I did extensive research on 380 ammo when I bought my RM380. I was looking for expansion out of a short barrel, and that is hard to find in a 2 to 3 inch barrel 380. I watched the Ammoquest tests. They are thorough. I had watched the final test as posted by @jmf552 in post #14, If you are using or considering 380 you need to watch that video. You might want to watch parts of the series that led to that final wrap up. But that is not the end of the story.

    Sometime after the wrap up video came out and proclaimed Precision on XTP as the best 380 choice a follow up video set that choice aside and declared a new choice. The video below shows the testing and thinking behind the choice of Lehigh Extreme Penetrator as the best 380 for self defense. Both the wrap up and the revision videos are worth watching.


    Last edited by OD*; August 8th, 2019 at 11:03 AM.
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  2. #17
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    I use Underwood Xtreme Defender ammo as well.
    As far as the "Is .380 good enough?" discussion -- been there, done that
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  3. #18
    Distinguished Member Array Shootnlead's Avatar
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    I have done enough actual flesh and bone testing with .380 to be completely comfortable with hollow point penetration. I think the greater issue for most people is being able to effectively use it in these little guns. It certainly can be effective...if used appropriately.
    ďThe everyday man who holsters a handgun for come-what-may eventualities cannot improve on a .44 Special revolver.Ē Skeeter Skelton

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  5. #19
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    It'll get the job done if you do your part. I prefer a 38 snubbie but would go back to my LCP if that was my only option.
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  6. #20
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    My general outlook on JHP ammunition in any caliber is ďit may expand, it may not.Ē Also, itís my opinion, and we all know what that is worth, that most of the so called technological leaps in bullet technology are mostly in marketing.

    I prefer my Airweight J frame, but I find my 380 easier to pocket carry in most my clothes. I also find it easier to carry spare ammo and reload. I carry one or the other when I pocket carry and donít worry about it.


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    Here is something a Bud sent me,



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  8. #22
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    I would have no problem with 380 ACP as my only self defense round, if that was all the government would allow us to use. After all, " it's all about shot placement", and a well placed 380 is just as effective as a well placed 9mm imo.

    I have a Kahr cw 380 that I really like, that is scary accurate and has a butter smooth trigger.

    I use Hornady American Gunner and get plenty of penetration and expansion, based on my own unscientific wet pack ballistic testing.
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  9. #23
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    I am another that is satisfied with 380. I sort of cycle through several 380 pistols, however, I am back to the PK380. Yes, the PK380 could be better. However, it suits me well.

  10. #24
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    Few 380 loads consistently expand and penetrate at least 12'' after heavy clothing.
    Would I prefer a 380 in hand if somebody(s) trying to kill me instead of a 9mm/40/45? No.
    The reason I'm carrying is to hopefully stop somebody(s) ASAP if they trying to kill me, 380 is not my preferred choice.
    I got rid of my 380 pocket guns awhile ago, 9mm minimum for me.


    In before, "Better than nothing" / "Wouldn't want to get shot with it" thats not indicative of quickly incapacitating, nor criteria for ammo selection.
    I'm not inclined to disarm for a concert, game, (entertainment) and I ain't going on a plane or cruise.
    "Wouldn't want to or Nobody volunteer to" get shot by _____ is not indicative of quickly incapacitating.

  11. #25
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    I've carried a 380 in the past and I think with top shelf hollow points, it's an effective caliber.

    But for years I've gone with 38spl+P mainly because it pushes much heavier bullets.

    I like that.
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  12. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by flh View Post
    Bond , James Bond
    Quote Originally Posted by m5215 View Post
    Sean Connery or Roger Moore. Everyone else
    Quote Originally Posted by Risasi View Post
    There can be only one...

    Attachment 299924
    The thread is about the .380 ACP. What's with all the James Bond references??? Bond's PPK was a .32, with a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window!

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  13. #27
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    @CDW4ME -- Hey! I have an idea! Why don't you show us some pics of you carrying all your big guns all concealed and everything?
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  14. #28
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    We seem to have an "Is .380 adequate?" thread come up every few months, and I usually repost this, from an original post 3 or 4 (?) years ago:

    The .380 is obviously not the 'top of the heap' for a defensive handgun, but all the talk about it being "inadequate" or "insufficient" for SD are downright laughable.

    The .380 is ballistically equal or superior to the sidearms carried by the vast majority of police and military in most of the world for the better part of a century. It's as powerful as the .36 Colt Navy favored by Bill Hickok, Doc Holliday, Robert E. Lee, and the Texas Rangers, to name a few, and with today's ammo, the .380 is inarguably superior. It's basically identical to the 9mm Makarov carried by untold hundreds of thousands of Comm-block troops and police. It compares favorably to the .38 S&W and its variants that were standard issue by the British Empire for half a century. European police & military relied almost exclusively upon the .380 and it's 7.65mm little brother for decades. There have been literally tens of millions of them made.

    Modern .380 ammo can meet the FBI standard for penetration & expansion, as if that matters for SD.

    Is it the 'optimal' SD round? Of course not, unless circumstances dictate the need for a tiny, very concealable pistol. The new breed of subcompact 9mm's have definitely changed the landscape for CC, so the .380 has lost a lot of its advantage in that respect. I wouldn't choose a .380 as a service sidearm, either, if I had the luxury (or necessity) of OC. That would be a 9mm, or more likely a .40 or a .45.

    The .380 definitely has its place, though, and to suggest that it will just piss someone off shows that some people don't really understand or appreciate just how much damage the round can do. If I were forced to defend myself with 13+1 .380's from my M84, I would not likely be "undergunned". The most likely SD scenario for most of us involves something like a mugger in the Walmart parking lot, and 5 or 6 rounds of .380 will resolve that situation just about as well as any other caliber will.

    Besides, there have been a lot of really cool guns made in .380!
    It hasn't gotten any less true over time.

    My preferred SD round is .45 ACP, but the 9mm has taken over as my CCW of choice, due to the size, weight, concealability, shootability, and capacity now available. But, I still respect the .380, and for "deep concealment" I've yet to find any handgun that beats the CW380.
    Regards,
    Jim
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  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornhusker95 View Post
    What are your opinions on the .380 as your only round for self defense?
    Meaning all by itself....Not as a back up to a larger caliber.

    Rather than typing this all out i have found a article that is close to my feelings on it.
    Not spot on but generally close....What says you?

    https://www.activeresponsetraining.n...-defensive-use
    The article seems pretty close to my opinion too.

    Most 380 ACP HP loads seem inconsistent in performance. When they expand they penetrate on the shallow end, quite possibly not deep enough for odd angle shots. FMJ loads penetrate sufficiently but round nose donít crush tissue well, and flat points which do may not function well.

    Thus Iíve gone to the Xtreme Defender bullets in Underwood loads to get what I think is the best blend of penetration and tissue crushing available in the round presently.

    Reliability of penetration and tissue damage for quick incapacitation seem better for 9mm and up, but there are times a small 380 is the only viable carry option. For those times I take my BG380. Otherwise I generally carry 9mm or bigger.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wavygravy View Post
    @CDW4ME -- Hey! I have an idea! Why don't you show us some pics of you carrying all your big guns all concealed and everything?
    Címon, sir, no need to get snarky.
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  16. #30
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    I carry a Pico when I have to not because I want to. My particular NPE is not a place to get "made". I carry heavy hardcast flatnosed just like I do in my 642 and my GP100 which is my woods gun. Obviously I have little faith in expansion in the lower calibers and the ones that make that FBI test just barely do so which doesn't give me the warm fuzzies. The 357 is for maximum Grizzly bear penetration. I don't worry about overpenetration as much as under penetration from the 380 and the snub 38.
    When the barrel gets to 4" I use a semi wadcutter hollow core instead in 38 special. The other reason for flatnosed lead is it stays on the straightest track after it hits something vs JHP so less deflection from bone and other barriers.
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