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OP....something is better than nothing.

The .380 or 9mm Browning short is OK, but lesser so than the more potent 9mm. . The .25 is a toy, .22 Stinger is better than a .25, just forget all these puny calibers unless it is a last resort. If you do find your life resting on a .25 or .22, they do the best job when placed in an eye or an ear.

If you want great penetration it requires a full metal jacket with low expansion of the bullet. This may cause problems with the bullet exiting the body cleaning doing less damage to the assailant, offering less stopping power and hitting innocent bystanders...

Here are a few penetration tests of stacked newsprint to give you an idea how various ammo performs...
Welcome to DC!

You've obviously done a good bit of web-surfing, but have picked up a lot of Internet Folklore along the way.

If you believe that a .25 ACP is a toy, you really shouldn't be handling firearms at all. If you believe a .22 Stinger is superior to a .25 ACP, you've probably been looking at data comparing a Stinger out of a rifle, with a .25 ACP out of a 2" pistol. From comparable barrel lengths, the .25 has a lower muzzle velocity, but with a much heavier bullet, considerably higher momentum and ME. Both the bullet diameter and sectional density exceed the stinger, and the .25 will outpenetrate the .22 by a wide margin, not to mention the superior reliability of the centerfire round. I would not choose a .22 or a .25 over a larger caliber, but if those were my only options, it would be the .25 hands down.

If you want great penetration it requires a full metal jacket with low expansion of the bullet.
No doubt, there's a trade-off between penetration & expansion, but since the thread is about .380 ACP, consider the 90 gr. XTP. In denim/calibrated gel tests, it reliably penetrates ~14 inches with perfect expansion, even out of a short-barrelled pocket pistol. This meets the FBI protocol for a service round, and if you want an effective bullet but are concerned about overpenetration, it's about as good as it gets. Be more concerned about collateral damage from the rounds that miss, rather than those that might overpenetrate the intended target.

Newspaper, particular if it's dry, is almost worthless for assessing the effectiveness of a bullet. No modern JHP will expand much, if at all, in dry paper, so you're basically just comparing FMJ's no matter what bullet you use. Ballistic gel is not perfect, either, but it at least provides a standard for comparison.

Welcome aboard. You can learn a lot on DC.
 

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I decided to carry a .380 because if I ever have to fire it, where ever that bullet goes, I own it. I am responsible for whatever it hits. If I were shooting a larger caliber gun and the bullet hit the perpetrator and went through them and hit someone else, I am responsible for that. Of if I miss and a larger caliber bullet goes through a wall, I am responsible. I want a round that can injure a person to make them stop, but not so strong it will pass through them or walls. That is my crazy theory anyway.
This is a PDF by Winchester showing barrier testing performance of Ranger ammo including 380
Link: http://winchesterle.com/SiteCollectionDocuments/pdf/Handgun%20Bullet%20Barrier%20Testing%20Protocol_2016.pdf

Surprise!!! A 380 that doesn't expand penetrates further after drywall than a 9mm that does expand.
380 Ranger penetrated 15'' after drywall, didn't expand.
9mm +P and +P+ penetrated about 11.5'' after wallboard, they did expand.

It is desirable for a bullet to penetrate at least 12'' after heavy clothing (4 layer denim) in case bullet has to penetrate a forearm or angled torso shot, upper arm.
380 Ranger expanded after heavy clothing but penetrated less than 8'' - well short of the desired 12'' minimum.
All of the Ranger 9mm loads penetrated at least 12'' after heavy clothing.

The goal of self defense is to hopefully stop an attacker (ASAP incapacitation) before they inflict injury on the defender.
Compared to 9mm/40/45 (calibers carried by LE in the USA) 380 comes up short.
"Better than nothing" is not a criteria I use to select the pistol I'm carrying in case somebody(s) tries to kill me.
 
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A lot of people are pretty confident in what caliber or gun they have, and that’s ok.

However, it’s been my experience that it’s all for not if your skill level is not up to where it should be to effectively use what you have. And most people feel or think they are until you give them skill perimeters, and then they find out they are woefully lacking.

Seen a lot of guys with 2000 dollar guns in 4 plus calibers that weren’t even a $2 shooter.

Forget the gun, forget the caliber. Be the guy or gal who can make anything work. Everything else is subjective musing and posturing.
 

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If you believe that a .25 ACP is a toy, you really shouldn't be handling firearms at all. If you believe a .22 Stinger is superior to a .25 ACP, you've probably been looking at data comparing a Stinger out of a rifle, with a .25 ACP out of a 2" pistol. From comparable barrel lengths, the .25 has a lower muzzle velocity, but with a much heavier bullet, considerably higher momentum and ME. Both the bullet diameter and sectional density exceed the stinger, and the .25 will outpenetrate the .22 by a wide margin, not to mention the superior reliability of the centerfire round. I would not choose a .22 or a .25 over a larger caliber, but if those were my only options, it would be the .25 hands down.
John Browning designed the 25 to be more reliable and duplicate 22LR power. When he did he gave it a few extras by adding a true jacketed bullet and a heavier one to boot. I find 25 to be perfectly reliable in a quality weapon such as my beretta JetFire or Baby Browning’s and the like. I also get a 33% increase in capacity over something like a LCP which is an oz heavier and almost identical dimensions plus my beretta has the better trigger. Not that I would pick it to be my primary but I always have found it comical when people talk about how much better a 22 is when they aren’t looking at realistic ballistics. LuckyGunner recently did a whole series on pocket guns and it’s certainly worth checking out. I prefer 32 if I’m being mousy but my JetFire makes a good always gun for around the house or in place of a second knife lol
 

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Few people carry a heavy gun like a .45 or a .357 magnum around all the time for concealed carry. That's why people like Emmett Corrigan died from being shot with a LCP in Idaho in 2011. Robert Hall shot him twice and he died right away on the Walgreens parking lot where he was shot. I started carrying the LCP because I figured that it was as powerful of a gun as I could carry for the amount of weight involved. Nearly all .9mm handguns weigh two and a half to three times as much as the LCP. If you really try you will find that a lot of people have died from being shot with a round or two from a .380. I think a lot of people have hangups about the size of the round when the .380 and the .9mm are the same sized bullet with a different load. I have both and I have to be careful that I don't load the wrong one in which gun I am using.
 

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Just a friendly thought. We don't shoot to kill...we shoot to stop the threat. Reminding ourselves of that truth is excellent practice should, God forbid, we ever have to shoot.

The times I heard someone say "I shot him because I wanted to kill him" or some other such thing, it never went well with the shooter.

On the other hand, a guy who told us he had to shoot to "stop the threat to me and my family...the guy was going to kill us", after an investigation, no charges filed.
Defender: "I shot to stop the threat."

Cops: "What did you shoot him with? A lawn mower?"
 

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Few people carry a heavy gun like a .45 or a .357 magnum around all the time for concealed carry. That's why people like Emmett Corrigan died from being shot with a LCP in Idaho in 2011. Robert Hall shot him twice and he died right away on the Walgreens parking lot where he was shot. I started carrying the LCP because I figured that it was as powerful of a gun as I could carry for the amount of weight involved. Nearly all .9mm handguns weigh two and a half to three times as much as the LCP. If you really try you will find that a lot of people have died form being shot with a round or two from a .380. I think a lot of people have hangups about the size of the round when the .380 and the .9mm are the same sized bullet with a different load. I have both and I have to be careful that I don't load the wrong one in which gun I am using.
While you are correct that both 9mm and .380 use the same diameter bullet...that’s pretty much where their equivalencies end. The 9mm bullet will be faster AND heavier, pretty much across the board...and that makes a world of difference when it comes to terminal performance and affecting a rapid stop...which is a lot more important in a defensive situation than lethality.
 

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By the way a 380 will not penetrate a truck tire. . Wrong again it will not only penetrate but at 50 feet will go through both sidewalls of a fully inflated one and it will also go through the thread of one. Entrance and exit were almost straight across. I had rolled the tire to get a look.
Fired from LCP gen1
Go out back shoot some stuff other than silly orange stuff the blows up . Find out what your rounds will do. test out the M855A1 enhance round wow.
 

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While you are correct that both 9mm and .380 use the same diameter bullet...
Close, but not quite.

...that’s pretty much where their equivalencies end. The 9mm bullet will be faster AND heavier, pretty much across the board...and that makes a world of difference when it comes to terminal performance and affecting a rapid stop...which is a lot more important in a defensive situation than lethality.
There's some difference, to be sure, and it's significant. But I wouldn't call it "a world of difference."

Let's compare two basic FMJ rounds. The first is a 95 gr, 980 fps .380 ACP. The second is a 115, 1,180 fps 9mm Parabellum.

The 9mm has 75.5% more kinetic energy, 45.8% more momentum, and 59.9% more "stopping power," a more realistic factor I created a decade ago simply by multiplying the KE and p and taking their square root.

So, measurable? Yes. However, it's nowhere near even twice that of the .380 ACP.
 

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Close, but not quite.



There's some difference, to be sure, and it's significant. But I wouldn't call it "a world of difference."

Let's compare two basic FMJ rounds. The first is a 95 gr, 980 fps .380 ACP. The second is a 115, 1,180 fps 9mm Parabellum.

The 9mm has 75.5% more kinetic energy, 45.8% more momentum, and 59.9% more "stopping power," a more realistic factor I created a decade ago simply by multiplying the KE and p and taking their square root.

So, measurable? Yes. However, it's nowhere near even twice that of the .380 ACP.
Bullet diameters for both are, normally, .355. Some manufacturers vary, but, Hornady, for instance lists a 90gr bullet at .355, same for a 124gr. Berry’s .380 are listed at .356...but so are their 9mm.

I’ve found basing “stopping power” based on mainly on on KE to be...misguided. But you do you.

What a 9mm can do that a .380 cannot is RELIABLY have a bullet–many bullets, for that matter–that will both expand AND penetrate deeply...something a .380 can barely do, with only one or two bullets (Hornady XTP, in various loading).

This has more to do in getting a rapid stop than anything else–given equal placement.
 
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Bullet diameters for both are, normally, .355. Some manufacturers vary, but, Hornady, for instance lists a 90gr bullet at .355, same for a 124gr. Berry’s .380 are listed at .356...but so are their 9mm.
You're right! However, the 9mm won't fit in .380 barrel and the .380 is dangerously loose in a 9mm barrel because one has a .392 and the other a .374 rim diameter.

I didn't know the dimensions, but I did know the case exterior diameters were different. I'd wrongly assumed the bullets have different diameters.

My bad.

I’ve found basing “stopping power” based on mainly on on KE to be...misguided. But you do you.
It's a component. So's momentum, hence my simple approach: multiply KE and momentum then take the square root.

What a 9mm can do that a .380 cannot is RELIABLY have a bullet—many bullets, for that matter—that will both expand AND penetrate deeply...something a .380 can barely do, with only one or two bullets (Hornady XTP, in various loading).

This has more to do in getting a rapid stop than anything else—given equal placement.
Even so, you're still looking at roughly 60% more stopping power, not double.
 

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Few people carry a heavy gun like a .45 or a .357 magnum around all the time for concealed carry. That's why people like Emmett Corrigan died g.

What makes you say that GPTom? Our family carries those, I carry the .357 and my husband the .45 with no problem. We both believe those calibers are sufficient as in only one bullet is needed :yup:

Not sure who Emmett is but I’m sorry he died. The guns area a bit heavy, did he get in the pond with them and he couldn’t swim? That would do it, sink like rock.
 

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Few people carry a heavy gun like a .45 or a .357 magnum around all the time for concealed carry.
Maybe not a 45 or 357 but according to responses to "What handgun have you carried most in the last 30 days" it is something bigger than a 380.
I'll count through the additional responses sometime today, but after 100 replies about 70 reported carrying at least a compact size pistol or bigger.
I don't think its inaccurate to say that most people are carrying at least 9mm for concealed carry.
https://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/defensive-carry-guns/459252-what-handgun-have-you-carried-most-last-30-days-update-page-12-a-12.html
Pocket size (642, LCP, G43) = 32
Compact (Glock 26/33/30, Shield) = 31
Duty (Glock 19, Sig 229, 1911) = 42
 

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You're right! However, the 9mm won't fit in .380 barrel and the .380 is dangerously loose in a 9mm barrel because one has a .392 and the other a .374 rim diameter.

I didn't know the dimensions, but I did know the case exterior diameters were different. I'd wrongly assumed the bullets have different diameters.

My bad.



It's a component. So's momentum, hence my simple approach: multiply KE and momentum then take the square root.



Even so, you're still looking at roughly 60% more stopping power, not double.

And that 60% makes a world of difference.

“Double” are your words, not mine.
 

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While I certainly do believe the evidence that the .380 can be a viable defensive weapon, I am still working to accept going from .45 to 9mm a few months ago. One can believe and understand facts, but one's heart makes its own decisions. I will carry the largest and most powerful caliber I am capable of operating at the time.
 

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....It's a component. So's momentum, hence my simple approach: multiply KE and momentum then take the square root.

Even so, you're still looking at roughly 60% more stopping power, not double.
Aahaaa....and now we know who is responsible for the "stopping power myth." :embarassed:

Brother...you need to do some ride alongs with CSPD or EL Paso Co. SO. You'll get a far, far better education about "stopping power" than any formula you've ever imagined.
 
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