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Hi thinking of picking up a Ruger LCP .380 today. Anytips on defense rounds that have worked well in this little guy?
Thanks all in advance
 

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The standard 95 gr flat nose. The 380 is a fine Defense round for CC but it is no power house it is just not meant for all those fancy hollow point magic bullets and 100 pages of gel test data swayed by personal bias
Steel house door 21 feet and it went through the 7/16 plywood behind that the black spot was a nose painted on a face that was the aim point. If that don't stop the BG no round will.


 

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I always like Hornady FTX Critical Defense. Rounded bullet helps ensure good feeding and it is designed to work well in small guns with less recoil than other ammo. Also more readily available in local stores and cheaper too. Take a look at the various ballistic gel tests on YouTube. Here is typical results and better than other often mentioned ammo.

9MM-FTX-Gelatin.jpg
 

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If it works don't fix it!!:blink:
 
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I always like Hornady FTX Critical Defense. Rounded bullet helps ensure good feeding and it is designed to work well in small guns with less recoil than other ammo. Also more readily available in local stores and cheaper too. Take a look at the various ballistic gel tests on YouTube. Here is typical results and better than other often mentioned ammo.

View attachment 72327
I'm normally not a fan of throwing good money away on fancy boutique rounds, but this is an instance where I like Hornady as well. Not so much for the wiz-bang-jello-killing, but because of its extremely conical shaped round, that makes it a no-brainer for the LCP to feed it properly. It's just not likely to jam up with those expensive little wonder-pills in there.
 

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In the modern climate you use what's available. That would be Hornady 90 gr XTP for me, runs fine. Probably the Hornady CD if it ever becomes available around here again or just about any "premium" ammo that I can find. I'm not too picky as long as it runs.
 

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I am not a ballistics expert but I have always wondered about JHP bullets expansion in a .380, due to its rather anemic perormance. If it were me, I would prob just carry FMJ to make sure I get penetration. IMO, I would rather have penetration over expansion in such a small round, simply because good expansion means nothing if it cant penetrate, and since it takes power to achieve both, which the .380 does not have lots of, I would pick the most important factor to me, and that is penetration.
 
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I have loaded my LCP up with Speer Gold Dots, Winchester PDX1 and WWB during colder months. I still have the WWB flat points in the LCP today. I am considering sticking with the 95gr flat point WWB because of penetration.
 

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Hornady Critical Defense for me, haven't had any issues with it. I haven't seen any at the store in months but if you can find it, it does well in the lcp.
 

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I am not a ballistics expert but I have always wondered about JHP bullets expansion in a .380, due to its rather anemic perormance. If it were me, I would prob just carry FMJ to make sure I get penetration. IMO, I would rather have penetration over expansion in such a small round, simply because good expansion means nothing if it cant penetrate, and since it takes power to achieve both, which the .380 does not have lots of, I would pick the most important factor to me, and that is penetration.
This is the same thing we hear over and over again: 380 acp is just too anemic for a proper defense round. I disagree: I measure 13 inches from front to back center mass. Any of these rounds would leave me feeling very penetrated. The expansion is good so I wonder why there is still so much prejudice against this round in this era of modern ammunition. Is it just echos from yesterday?

I want my defense rounds to penetrate to vital organs and impart every single ounce of energy into a "punch" to the point I hit. Say what you want but any of the rounds in the linked video would do more damage than FMJ that would likely over penetrate and likely carry a percentage of its energy out the back with it.

There is also the issue that it will not expand properly... Hmmmm.... well does FMJ expand at all ? What would be the difference if a round of gold dot didn't properly expand... would it not just imitate FMJ rounds and give you that all important penetration?

380ACP Slow Motion Video
 

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The fact of the matter is that the .380 Auto is a reasonable "get off me" defensive gun, particularly if it is the only gun you can carry. If you can find them, Winchester Ranger 95 gr. Type T has reasonable numbers; I can assure you, in this type of scenario it will "penetrate". For use inside 3-5 yards, it can be highly effective, but as with all guns, shot placement counts. Just last week I saw a 28 year old attempting to rob a store; clerk shot him in the lower left chest (trajectory missed the heart) with a .40 S&W. He ran from the scene, got in his car and drove home. His girlfriend called EMS and he was taken to the ER---he walked out of the hospital (to jail) 2 days later. Moral is: Don't let caliber alone make you believe you can put down the bad guy. Shot placement is key whether it's a .22 LR or a .44 Mag.
 

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I have Golden Sabre 102 grain HPs in my LCP.
 

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Speer Gold Dots. IMO. Used by many LEO and battle tested on duty.
saa.
 

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I laid in a lifetime supply of the hot Santa Barbara surplus .380 about 8 years ago when it was commonly available. A 95 grain bullet at 1033 fps from the short-barreled Kel Tec P3AT. This bullet's nose is slightly convex. If I have to carry the .380 I want positive function and penetration. I don't really buy into all this expansion business in .380. I don't entirely buy into the .380 itself as a worthy defensive cartridge but it's better than a .25 and the pistol's easy to hide when nothing else bigger can tag along. Thankfully, that's not very often.

 
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This is the same thing we hear over and over again: 380 acp is just too anemic for a proper defense round. I disagree: I measure 13 inches from front to back center mass. Any of these rounds would leave me feeling very penetrated. The expansion is good so I wonder why there is still so much prejudice against this round in this era of modern ammunition. Is it just echos from yesterday?

I want my defense rounds to penetrate to vital organs and impart every single ounce of energy into a "punch" to the point I hit. Say what you want but any of the rounds in the linked video would do more damage than FMJ that would likely over penetrate and likely carry a percentage of its energy out the back with it.

There is also the issue that it will not expand properly... Hmmmm.... well does FMJ expand at all ? What would be the difference if a round of gold dot didn't properly expand... would it not just imitate FMJ rounds and give you that all important penetration?

380ACP Slow Motion Video
I never said it was an improper defense round. It has its place and serves well. I merely stated by my personal assesment. Sorry if my thoughts dont fall in line with yours.
 

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I have no prob with the .380 . That said there are lots of 9 mm , 38 plus p guns out there the same size. I have a S&W bodyguard that rarely if ever gets into the rotation because if I am not going to carry my SP or mod 60 I throw my 642 in my pocket. Because I practice reloading from tuff strips at the range I feel more comfortable with these rounds without sacrificing comfort. Just my thoughts.
 
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