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The theory that expansion is overrated represented in a picture.
In that theory whether the bullet (in the center) expands is less important than shot placement, amiright.
View attachment 300758

However, there is no way to guarantee shot placement.
With less than optimal shot placement, the increased diameter of one of those expanded bullets might hit something important.
Given the same shot placement, bigger holes are better. IMO.
You don't get those nice and perfect gel flowers in real flesh. Those gel flowers are produced to sell ammo.
 

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glockman Keep telling your self a 45acp has a history of being a fight stopper with non expanding ammo at low velocities while re reading the officers true live close call- ( Why I carry 145 rounds ) The bad guy took 14 hits of 37 fired to bring this alcohol and drug free pissed off bad guy to the ground but still took a while longer to die . HP were used but many did hit glass while shooting threw his windshield .

I like both expansion and penetration with good bullet placement so no 380acp for me . Today round nose full metal jacket do still kill but that does not mean it kills quickly enough when compared to a good HP bullet from a proper sized cartridge to stop a BG from mucking up your life too and most times a the trama care doctors will save the guy with bullet holes from FMJ and send the human target home in a few days more often do to poor shot placement and fmj bullets being used .

The 45acp and fmj worked well in WW1 thanks to poor to no medical care and infection do to battel field conditions of the area !!
 

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Ultimately what ends up being a fight stopper at handgun velocities is penetration coupled with maceration of tissue. Whatever combination results in the greatest blood loss, which drops blood pressure below the level needed to sustain consciousness, is the better option. How much tissue is physically touched and destroyed matters. What type and location of tissue is destroyed, and how much blood loss that causes, matters.

IMO, the .380 is marginal in terms of creating this necessary damage relative to the more common service caliber options, speaking strictly from a ballistics and terminal effects perspective. However, the .380 has significant size/weight/recoil advantages in some situations that can make it a better option for some people.

Maybe I should have started with "it depends."
 

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glockman Keep telling your self a 45acp has a history of being a fight stopper with non expanding ammo at low velocities while re reading the officers true live close call- ( Why I carry 145 rounds ) The bad guy took 14 hits of 37 fired to bring this alcohol and drug free pissed off bad guy to the ground but still took a while longer to die . HP were used but many did hit glass while shooting threw his windshield .

I like both expansion and penetration with good bullet placement so no 380acp for me . Today round nose full metal jacket do still kill but that does not mean it kills quickly enough when compared to a good HP bullet from a proper sized cartridge to stop a BG from mucking up your life too and most times a the trama care doctors will save the guy with bullet holes from FMJ and send the human target home in a few days more often do to poor shot placement and fmj bullets being used .

The 45acp and fmj worked well in WW1 thanks to poor to no medical care and infection do to battel field conditions of the area !!
That incident of the officer was an extreme case, not the rule. I would much rather look at the overall history and track record along with my own experience than to bet the farm on an extreme exception to the rule.

The 45 Auto with ball not only worked in WWI, but WWII , Korea, Vietnam and every where else.

Furthermore, I have never depended on expanding bullet technology because it is dependent on variables that may or may not be present or inhibited in any given situation. The only thing that can be absolutely controlled is penetration.

When I use Hollowpoints ( which I do), I only use XTP’s or Noslers. Even in the 380, the XTP’s deliver the goods.
 

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glockman Keep telling your self a 45acp has a history of being a fight stopper with non expanding ammo at low velocities while re reading the officers true live close call- ( Why I carry 145 rounds ) The bad guy took 14 hits of 37 fired to bring this alcohol and drug free pissed off bad guy to the ground but still took a while longer to die . HP were used but many did hit glass while shooting threw his windshield .

I like both expansion and penetration with good bullet placement so no 380acp for me . Today round nose full metal jacket do still kill but that does not mean it kills quickly enough when compared to a good HP bullet from a proper sized cartridge to stop a BG from mucking up your life too and most times a the trama care doctors will save the guy with bullet holes from FMJ and send the human target home in a few days more often do to poor shot placement and fmj bullets being used .

The 45acp and fmj worked well in WW1 thanks to poor to no medical care and infection do to battel field conditions of the area !!
Anecdotal evidence is just that. Andy Brown launched four 9mm 124 grain FMJs at the mass shooter at Fairchild Airforce Base in 1994. Seventy yards away, two hits, DRT.
 

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I was reading an interesting article in the American Rifleman just yesterday about expansion vs penetration, and how modern high-velocity rounds, being for the military and FMJ i.e. no hollow-points, would produce fairly small, 22 caliber holes in the enemy unless they were travelling fast enough to skid sideways.

Medium velocity: full penetration, through and through, but not much damage, about the same as if someone had fallen on a pencil.

High velocity: full penetration, but the round would immediately start turning on impact, sliding sideways, and doing far more damage before blowing a big chunk out the backside.

skewing=skidding=expansion

Full penetration -- clean through -- both cases

80% of the damage, however, was done through skewing/skidding/expansion, and more than two thirds of the round's velocity is expended in the first 10-12 inches if it is skidding. If it's not skidding, soft tissue doesn't slow it down much at all, not even 20%.

Expansion caused by hollow-points accomplishes the same for lower-velocity rounds that skidding accomplishes with high-velocity rounds.

So, no, penetration is hardly important at all, not if you want to stop the guy.

Expansion (low velocity hollow-points aka .380 ACP, 9mm, .357) and skidding (high-velocity FMJ) are the only way to go.
We are talking handgun rounds at self-defense distances here, not hi-velocity, poison-pill rifle rounds.
 

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Expansion is seriously over- rated, IMO.
Yep. Penetration is more important.
I was reading an interesting article in the American Rifleman just yesterday about expansion vs penetration, and how modern high-velocity rounds, being for the military and FMJ i.e. no hollow-points, would produce fairly small, 22 caliber holes in the enemy unless they were travelling fast enough to skid sideways.

Medium velocity: full penetration, through and through, but not much damage, about the same as if someone had fallen on a pencil.

High velocity: full penetration, but the round would immediately start turning on impact, sliding sideways, and doing far more damage before blowing a big chunk out the backside.

skewing=skidding=expansion

Full penetration -- clean through -- both cases

80% of the damage, however, was done through skewing/skidding/expansion, and more than two thirds of the round's velocity is expended in the first 10-12 inches if it is skidding. If it's not skidding, soft tissue doesn't slow it down much at all, not even 20%.

Expansion caused by hollow-points accomplishes the same for lower-velocity rounds that skidding accomplishes with high-velocity rounds.

So, no, penetration is hardly important at all, not if you want to stop the guy.

Expansion (low velocity hollow-points aka .380 ACP, 9mm, .357) and skidding (high-velocity FMJ) are the only way to go.



I thought we were talking about 380 ACP. If that's still the case, then penetration is more important than expansion. I want something that is going to reach the CNS and vitals. You know, the important stuff.

If I'm in a fight for my life with a bodybuilder or a 6' 400 pound BG, I don't want something that expands to .85" but comes up 4 inches short of hitting anything important. 😟
 

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You don't get those nice and perfect gel flowers in real flesh. Those gel flowers are produced to sell ammo.
I got those by shooting them through 4 layer denim into water filled gallon jugs, back of 3rd jug/ front of 4th is good for an expanded bullet.
I've tested a bunch of bullets like that ^, HST in 9mm/40/45, Ranger in 40/45, Golden Saber in 9mm/45 - all expanded.
380 however failed to expand when shot from LCP, Gold Dot exited the back of the 4th jug, non expanding bullets penetrate like FMJ.
For perspective, 357 Sig Gold Dot and 10mm 155 XTP expanded and stopped inside the 4th jug.

I shot a broadside deer with a 10mm 155 XTP, bullet went through shoulder, heart, exited; I did not recover it, but 1 1/4'' hole is indicative of expansion.

I have seen pics posted by @glockman10mm of expanded bullets recovered from deer, maybe not a perfect flower, but obvious expansion.
 

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glockman Keep telling your self a 45acp has a history of being a fight stopper with non expanding ammo at low velocities...

The 45acp and fmj worked well in WW1 thanks to poor to no medical care and infection do to battel field conditions of the area !!
Sgt. Alvin York killed six charging German soldiers with six shots of FMJ from his 1911. They died quickly enough that none of the bayonet-wielding Germans reached him.

Just sayin'.
 
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The thread is about .380 pistols, right?
OK, then. Went to the range this morning, practiced with my 9mm, then pulled out the LCPII and worked with it for awhile. If I can put 95% of my rounds in a less than 3" circle varying my distances to target between 10-30 feet and drawing/firing pretty dang quickly ---- I'm not going to walk around sweating, worrying, and feeling like some mythical Terminator is gonna attack me and not flinch at 6 rounds going in his face or heart.
Don't agree or want to tell me how I'm wasting my time carrying a "mouse gun?" Fine.
 

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The thread is about .380 pistols, right?
OK, then. Went to the range this morning, practiced with my 9mm, then pulled out the LCPII and worked with it for awhile. If I can put 95% of my rounds in a less than 3" circle varying my distances to target between 10-30 feet and drawing/firing pretty dang quickly ---- I'm not going to walk around sweating, worrying, and feeling like some mythical Terminator is gonna attack me and not flinch at 6 rounds going in his face or heart.
Don't agree or want to tell me how I'm wasting my time carrying a "mouse gun?" Fine.
Mouse guns are great for what they are for, IMO.
 

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I got those by shooting them through 4 layer denim into water filled gallon jugs, back of 3rd jug/ front of 4th is good for an expanded bullet.
I've tested a bunch of bullets like that ^, HST in 9mm/40/45, Ranger in 40/45, Golden Saber in 9mm/45 - all expanded.
380 however failed to expand when shot from LCP, Gold Dot exited the back of the 4th jug, non expanding bullets penetrate like FMJ.
For perspective, 357 Sig Gold Dot and 10mm 155 XTP expanded and stopped inside the 4th jug.

I shot a broadside deer with a 10mm 155 XTP, bullet went through shoulder, heart, exited; I did not recover it, but 1 1/4'' hole is indicative of expansion.

I have seen pics posted by @glockman10mm of expanded bullets recovered from deer, maybe not a perfect flower, but obvious expansion.
Well, first thing, I hunt but I don't use hollow points as I hunt for meat not just to see how big a hole I can blast through my dinner. That is what soft points were designed for "controlled expansion at rifle velocities". When I arm myself for self defense I don't care about preserving meat so most all my guns carry flat nosed heavy lead, not all, but most because you have to hit something important when it comes to bears,moose,etc. and the only way to do that is deep and straight and hollow points do neither very well. So, I carry solid heavy lead in 38 special and 380 for 2 legged and the same in my 357 and 45 acp when called on for 4 legged woods work so maybe I just carry all that over to people defense as well. Its easier than changing up bullets all the time I suppose. I have always carried JHP in 9mm because it has more velocity than the 38 or 380 so I do use both but, I still don't put much stock at all in expansion. I would rather a through and through than a too shallow wound because it tried to go through an arm bone and a rib on the way.
 

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I'm late to the party, but I'll put in my two cents. The only time I would carry a .380 would be in a highly non-permissive environment where it would be the only thing I could conceivably carry. And then with as tiny a gun as possible (think Seecamp.) Other than that, it would be at least 9mm, and if possible, .40. Given the advent of really small subcompact 9mm, the need for .380 as greatly diminished.
 

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Can't believe grown men would use a fmj bullet over an expanding design . Even if the expanded bullet does not expand much it does more damage than a fmj but give todays bullet designs like hst and range t series bullets .

forester58 Sound like you might be one of those shoot quick and hope kind of guys when it comes to Hunting !! Most trail a lot of deer ? A quality expanding bullet when placed properly does not damage meat that your going to eat at handgun velocitys . I've used 170gr sp in a 357mag at 1400fps on deer , well hit too with a high on the heart and both lugs but that deer did not drop like when a 240gr 44mag hp at slightly higher velocity when shoot in the same area. . No eatable meat lost and I watched the deer hit the ground . Still a 180gr 21bn swc worked well on hogs but bullets hit the shoulder or head will bring down a large hog .

Any how when talking about a 380acp , not really any great options here . Just keep pulling the trigger to there is not more threat or your no more threat !!

I've used my personal defense 40sw loads 155gr gd at 1300fps and my EDC on a couple deer that show up under me over the years while sitting in a tree stand when they show up under me . Both deer fall ether in place or with in 50 or 60 feet . Both shots paced thru 17+ of tissue expending well but lung and or heart damage along with some bone .

Not going to debate the 380 as its a 380 after all special when carried in some micro sized pistol . I find no reason to carry a 380acp when I already carry a 40 or 45 with todays find bullet choices I use those fmj on the range only .

BUt since this sorry tread was about the 380acp and to keep whiny wavygravy happy !! If a 380 was my only choice for a handgun do to other choices being illegal make it a bersa thunder plus with 15+1 and bullets ??? No idea . But until that happens I'll carry a 9mm or a 40sw or a 45 acp for personal defense . HA
 

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12 pages and 179 posts and there still hasn't been hardly anything offered that I couldn't have gotten in a local gun shop brag session in 5 minutes.
 

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Can't believe grown men would use a fmj bullet over an expanding design . Even if the expanded bullet does not expand much it does more damage than a fmj but give todays bullet designs like hst and range t series bullets .
My concern with HP bullets in .380 is they may not penetrate deep enough to be effective. The most important part is penetration through the vitals, from any angle not just upright frontal facing. Then, whichever bullet can damage the most tissue while penetrating deep enough.

With current bullet designs I've settled on either .380 FMJ FP or the Xtreme Defender bullets for my carry mags as meeting the always penetrating requirement while maximizing damage.
 
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