JHP or FMJ .380 ammo for HD

TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior MemberPosts: 6,045 Senior Member
My wife has her P232 now and I need to get her something to keep it loaded with. Considering the penetration capabilities of a .380, should she be loaded with JHP or FMJ for HD. I have read that under penetration could be a concern using JHP.

Any thoughts?

Replies

  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    'Twer it I, it'd be FMJs.

    I'm just not confident in the .380s ability to penetrate deep enough to get the job done. The problem with regular FMJs though is that they're designed to be practice ammo instead of duty or SD ammo.....which leads less stringent QC from the factory. No, it isn't going to be as unreliable as rimfire ammo, but over the years I've had dozens of duds when it comes to standard practice ammo.

    If I were you, I'd pick up a few boxes this stuff from Buffalo Bore, run it through the Sig to insure proper function, and call it good.

    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=128

    They're one of the very few companies (perhaps the only) that load FMJ that's intended for self defense.......and also, BB's owner is awesome (we've had interaction with him here on the forum before........really cool guy).
  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,045 Senior Member
    Thank's Eli, I'll pick some up and see if she can handle the +P stuff.
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,262 Senior Member
    There are a few brands that will exceed the "magical" FBI penetration std of 12 inches using .380 JHP. Buffalo Bore being one of them. Several others, like hornady and federal JHP "only" penetrate 11-11.5 inches. My understanding is the testing for that 12" std has not been updated in many yrs so the "380 won't penetrate" sterotype is less valid now than it used to be.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • Pelagic KayakerPelagic Kayaker Banned Posts: 1,503 Senior Member
    Just buy whatever is cheapest and practice practice practice.
    "The reflection upon my situation and that of this army produces many an uneasy hour when all around me are wrapped in sleep. Few people know the predicament we are in" ~General George Washington, January 14, 1776
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    BAMAAK wrote: »
    There are a few brands that will exceed the "magical" FBI penetration std of 12 inches using .380 JHP. Buffalo Bore being one of them. Several others, like hornady and federal JHP "only" penetrate 11-11.5 inches. My understanding is the testing for that 12" std has not been updated in many yrs so the "380 won't penetrate" sterotype is less valid now than it used to be.

    True.

    I'd also like to "retrofit" response #2 with the preface that I have absolutely ZERO first hand experience with the terminal effects of the .380 cartridge either in HP or FMJ. My response was completely opinion based........and worth exactly what you paid for it. :wink:
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,945 Senior Member
    You want Winchester Q4206, or something like it.

    It's a truncated cone FMJ, so while you'll get something like workable penetration, you've at least got a bit of a flat nose for tearing stuff up.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,045 Senior Member
    Just buy whatever is cheapest and practice practice practice.

    Because shot placement is more important than what bullets are flying?

    We both hit the range 2 to 3 times a month. Today we were running dry fire drills in the house. Just want to make sure the ammo I pick does it's job.
  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,045 Senior Member
    Eli wrote: »
    True.

    I'd also like to "retrofit" response #2 with the preface that I have absolutely ZERO first hand experience with the terminal effects of the .380 cartridge either in HP or FMJ. My response was completely opinion based........and worth exactly what you paid for it. :wink:

    Thanks Eli, I've ready your posts and used your advice in the past. You opinion does have some value in my book.
  • Pelagic KayakerPelagic Kayaker Banned Posts: 1,503 Senior Member
    Because shot placement is more important than what bullets are flying?

    Yes.
    "The reflection upon my situation and that of this army produces many an uneasy hour when all around me are wrapped in sleep. Few people know the predicament we are in" ~General George Washington, January 14, 1776
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,903 Senior Member
    Last time this went around on here, I remember FMJ seemed to be considered the best idea for .380 SD.

    However, whatever shoots best should be used since .380 is such a power house.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,985 Senior Member
    Find two (FMJ and JHPs) that feed/function in that pistol and mix and match in the magazines after you have range tested them to work that way. Depending on you personal circumstances and surrounding you will have to make the call.

    Above all, select ammo that works in her pistol and she can shoot good.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,045 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    Last time this went around on here, I remember FMJ seemed to be considered the best idea for .380 SD.

    However, whatever shoots best should be used since .380 is such a power house.

    Took a year but she moved up from a .22 and a year from now…who knows.
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,262 Senior Member
    I will say that I have a 9mm with a slightly larger polymer frame, a SCCY CPX2, and it is much softer shooting than the pocket 380s, metal or polymer. As far as how much better that extra 10 or 15% (typical) of bullet weight is I can't really say. Every little bit helps I guess.
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,669 Senior Member
    Looking through my bullet tests,
    Here's the 380 Win Silvertip, and how much wet newsprint it penetrated
    100_0668.jpg


    I'll edit in more if I find any.. I have 10 folders of bullet test photos

    2 pix, same Hornady Critical defense
    380-Bare.jpg

    380profile.jpg

    The stacks of paper used that day, you can see the 380 stack front, right

    Penetrationdepth.jpg

    For the record, I quit carrying my 380 (in the first pic) 4-5 years ago and got rid of it last year.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,903 Senior Member
    Took a year but she moved up from a .22 and a year from now…who knows.
    Not criticizing, I have a .380, just saying not sure the type of ammo matters as much as being reliable in your handgun.



    And of course it must be flawless not blemished. :tooth:
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,045 Senior Member
    Perfectly, flawlessly reliable...and shiny. ;-)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 9,462 Senior Member
    .380's have tiny little feed ramps. I've seen many gun tests with feed failures. The consensus on many articles I read is that the Hornady Critical Defense is the most reliable feeding HP............. so that is what I have.
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • horselipshorselips Senior Member Posts: 3,624 Senior Member
    Buy whichever is most reliable in her gun. The bullet won't matter if the gun jams. Don't worry about penetration or expansion. If, God forbid, Wifey ever has to fire her weapon to save herself or others, she's going to fire, and fire, and keep firing, until the threat is gone. Rare, anecdotal evidence notwithstanding, the cumulative effect of multiple hits, delivered in rapid succession, easily overcomes any deficiencies that might exist in any bullet type.
  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,045 Senior Member
    Thanks for all the advice guys.

    knite's ballistic tests rock! :cool2:
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,788 Senior Member
    Let me just add, last month I was asked to review a shooting for a defense attorney, where the defendant was being shot at and he defended himself with a .380. The State has decided to prosecute him.

    Earlier in the day the defendant had a fight with another man. Fearing for his life the defendant went home and got his .380. The aggressor returned to the park seeking the defendant and began shooting at him with a .40 caliber handgun. They both emptied their guns, and the aggressor with the .40 is dead, from his wounds from the .380.

    Shot placement.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • topguntopgun Member Posts: 128 Member
    BAMAAK wrote: »
    There are a few brands that will exceed the "magical" FBI penetration std of 12 inches using .380 JHP. Buffalo Bore being one of them. Several others, like hornady and federal JHP "only" penetrate 11-11.5 inches. My understanding is the testing for that 12" std has not been updated in many yrs so the "380 won't penetrate" sterotype is less valid now than it used to be.

    I think a home invader won't like the "only" 11 inches of penetration that much. Most modern ammo will do the job. Accuracy is probably way more important than brand of ammo or type of projectile.
  • topguntopgun Member Posts: 128 Member
    knitepoet wrote: »
    Looking through my bullet tests,
    Here's the 380 Win Silvertip, and how much wet newsprint it penetrated
    100_0668.jpg


    I'll edit in more if I find any.. I have 10 folders of bullet test photos

    2 pix, same Hornady Critical defense
    380-Bare.jpg

    380profile.jpg

    The stacks of paper used that day, you can see the 380 stack front, right

    Penetrationdepth.jpg

    For the record, I quit carrying my 380 (in the first pic) 4-5 years ago and got rid of it last year.

    I'm saving all this information and these pictures. Never know when I'll be attacked by wet newspapers. :)
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,669 Senior Member
    topgun wrote: »
    I'm saving all this information and these pictures. Never know when I'll be attacked by wet newspapers. :)
    Had this discussion numerous times since I started my "data base"
    I don't claim wet newsprint is equivalent to calibrated gel, bad guys or anything else. It IS however, a cheap, easily repeatable by anyone, medium where you can compare ammo "a" to ammo "b" and feel confident that if bullet "a" penetrates/expands more/less than bullet "b" in wet newsprint, odds are it will do the same, in relation to "b", in any mostly water based medium. (And people are ~70% water)
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • gaimangaiman Banned Posts: 60 Member
    Post removed as it recommends potentially dangerous reloading practices...
  • BAMAAKBAMAAK Senior Member Posts: 4,262 Senior Member
    Is there no end to vastness of gay knowledge around here?
    "He only earns his freedom and his life Who takes them every day by storm."

    -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and politician
  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,045 Senior Member
    No…I did not know that. Actually I don't even understand what you saying. Sounds like some who loads their own ammo would understand it though. I am worried about nothing? My concern was under penetration using JHP so if what you say is true…my concern is legit, right? Unless I completely misunderstood your point. Which is entirely possible.

    Thanks for the input.
  • TrueTone911TrueTone911 Senior Member Posts: 6,045 Senior Member
    Now THAT I understand.
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