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I have found that there is a fair amount of debate over this caliber being adequate for SD.

At the moment I am on the fence concerning this caliber for SD.

It seems in general FMJ may over penetrate and hollow point may not penetrate enough.
 

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Bond , James Bond
 

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I carried a Ruger 380 for a little while great pocket gun , but I always find my self returning to a j-frame

My wife who carries a Glock 43 or 19 , she did not like the recoil of lil Ruger 380 ...
 
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With the advancements in SD ammo today, IMO the 380 is sufficient to stop an attacker (although, I do carry my P365 - 9mm into WalMart). I certainly would not want to be shot with a Precision One 90 gr XTP JHP. No, it is not as powerful as a 44 magnum, but I'm not Dirty Harry and I have no desire to carry a cannon.
 

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Even though I have not decided yet if I want to use .380 ACP as a formal SD round I still very much like my Beretta 84, Browning BDA-380, and CZ-83 pistols.
 

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I think it’s fine.

The big question is what skill do you bring with your chosen platform/caliber. A lot of people are proud of what they carry, but the ability to use it, is where the power is.
 

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I often carry a LCP w/ a spare magazine during our hot humid Gulf Coast summers. Is it ideal, no but I always have it with me, and it is better than my Glock 30 at the house! With .380's and snub nose .38's accuracy is key for effective use. I use the Browning 95 gr flat nose FMJ for adequate penetration. For my location and SD purposes I am confident in my choices. BTW, I do carry either my Shield or Glock 26 most of the time during cooler months.
 

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I keep mine loaded with two different kinds of SD ammo.
 

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If you look up the Ammoquest YouTube channel, you can see probably the most extensive tests of .380 ammo out of a small auto. It tested a bunch of brands. That study followed the FBI ballistics report protocol. It found three brands of .380 ammo met the FBI criteria. They all used the Hornaday XTP bullet. The best of the bunch was made by a small manufacturer, Precision One. That's what I carry.

 

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I have graduated from reading the drivel of gunwriters. The vast majority are paid by someone to trumpet snake oil. It has been that way for better than 50 years now.

Anyway...I don't understand the question here. Is there some legislation that would limit you to only one gun and that must be a 380?

Beyond any of that, the only issue I see is inside of 10 yards, which eye do you want me to shoot out?

BTW I have started carrying a spare mag loaded with Extreme Penetrators or Defenders here:

https://www.underwoodammo.com/collections/handgun-ammo/cartridge_380-acp
 

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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.


 
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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.
 

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My general outlook on JHP ammunition in any caliber is “it may expand, it may not.” Also, it’s 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 don’t worry about it.


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