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I'm not crazy about the .380,however...,

44 Special44 Special New MemberPosts: 9 New Member
I've never been crazy about the ,380 auto as a defensive caliber, however, I do carry one as a BUG on rare occasions.Therefore,took out my Kel Tec P3AT,and Ruger LCP to try out some ammo,for function& performance.I fired both weapons from 15 feet into one gallon water jugs,back to back,covered with old shirts.I must say I was in for a surprise.I used Speer Gold Dot JHP, Corbon JHP, Federal Hydra Shok, Hornady Critical Defense,and Buffalo Bore with the DPX bullet.

As per the attached photos you can see the only rounds that expanded reliably were the Buffalo Bore DPX load. All the other rounds penetrated like FMJ, doing very little damage to the jugs.I know this is not the most scientific test,but I only decided to do it after having shot some small critters (armadillo),and such ,only to have these premium rounds go right through the animal,and the animal running off.So,I started to rethink my choice of ammo in the micro .380 handguns.The Buffalo Bore performed consistently every time in clothed covered water jugs,as well,as on small critters.In the first photo,left to right:Buffalo Bore, 2nd photo (Gold Dot,Corbon,Hydra Shok, Hornady CD ),last photo Hornady CD before & after fired. The Buffalo Bore ,through my chrony clocked over 1100fps,with an average of 1110 from both pistols.The Buffalo Bore penetrated 12-14 inches having been found in the third jug.I fired a box of each brand,and these were always the same results,except most of the Gold Dot,Corbon,Hydra Shok,and especially the Hornady CD going through all the water jugs,and penetrating in phone books behind the 6th water jug .
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So,if you carry a .380,especially the short barreled models,you may want to try Buffalo Bore or Corbon DPX,as a defensive round,if they feed in your pistol.I was not able to get my hands on the Corbon DPX,but,it should perform close to the Buffalo Bore ,even though the velocity is a bit slower. I think most of these loads would obviously do a bit better out of a Walther,Bersa,or several of the longer barrel .380s ? I think I would try it out before carry. The .380 is the bare minimum in my book,but,the ammo is getting better all the time ! I did the same test with my S&W model 60 snub in .357,using popular .38 special+p,& .357 loads,and will post those later.

If I had more ammo,I would have tested more ! I started to try the Corbon PowRball in.380,but the plastic ball jammed going up the feed ramp of my LCP,so,I didn't do any shooting with that load.I hear it works well in some pistols,but,I got a bit turned off when it FTF on the first shot as I had ball for the first round in the chamber .

If anyone knows of any other .380 loads that they have had good function,& performance with,I would be interested. For now though,in my backup .380,I'm overly pleased with the Buffalo Bore even though they are a bit expensive ! Great load for these short barrel pocket pistols .
A successful law suit,is the one worn by a policeman . "Robert Frost"
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Replies

  • Fat BillyFat Billy Senior Member Posts: 1,813 Senior Member
    The Buffalo Bore shells perform like the Hornadys are supposed to. Are the BBs heavier or faster. Those 380s get er done! :punch: Later,
    Fat Billy

    Recoil is how you know primer ignition is complete.
  • rallykidrallykid Senior Member Posts: 657 Senior Member
    Good test but the problem is Ruger advises against +p in the LCP and several people have had catastrophic failures using it in that gun. YMMV but Murphy being what he is I wouldn't want to press my luck of having a failure in a defensive situation. Of course if I have gone for my backup gun then I have already put 15-30 rounds of 9mm +p Golden Sabers into the problem so all bets are off. I would be curious to see how the standard pressure golden saber .380 would fare in that test comparing apples to apples as it is my current to to round for .380, 9mm and .45. In the 9 and 45 I carry +p.
    No, I do not have a pink fuzzy bunny fetish but apparently my Facebook hacking wife does.
  • ghostsniper1ghostsniper1 Banned Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    Not asking this on rhetoric, but as a serious question since I carried a .380 as my ccw for quite some time. Is there really that much of a difference between it and the 9mm? From what I can recall, recoil felt very similar in two pistols that were nearly the same platform.
  • rallykidrallykid Senior Member Posts: 657 Senior Member
    Even with modern bullet construction there is a pretty big gap between .380 and 9mm but not as much as there used to be. When you start comparing the heavier grain 147 9mm or the 124 gr especially loaded to +p pressures against the standard pressure 95 grain round of the .380 which is an average round then the difference is quite large. If you compare a hot loaded 110 grain .380 round to a 115gr 9mm round there is less of a difference. The big thing is the 9mm can be pushed harder and there is a lot more options out there for 9mm when compared to .380. The absolute only time I will carry my .380 as a main gun is on those rare Instances when even my Glock 26 is too much to conceal such as an event that requires a shirt and tie but not necessarily a covering garment. Even for those situations I am looking for options for something small enough to pocket carry that packs more punch. Some people are comfortable carrying a .380 as a main carry gun and I can't fault them. For me unless not given an option then 9mm or .38 special is the minimum.
    No, I do not have a pink fuzzy bunny fetish but apparently my Facebook hacking wife does.
  • ghostsniper1ghostsniper1 Banned Posts: 2,645 Senior Member
    Didnt consider the differences in ammo selection, +p and bullet weight. But the best test medium I have ever experienced was a buddy of mine that decided it was smart to handle his pistol (a 380,) while drunk. He effectively shot himself in the stomache at such an angle that it destroyed
    His spleen, part of his liver, ruptured his diaphragm, and the surgeons had to repair his pancreas while leaving the bullet in him because it was very close to blood vessels and his spine. He has gone through an extensive recovery, and after a year now, he is just about back to normal.
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Sad to hear about tragic stupidity.....S happens......however.....James Bond always managed to kill people with a Walther PPK...
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • 44 Special44 Special New Member Posts: 9 New Member
    They are the same diameter,however the 9mm is considerably more powerful.It's when you start cutting down the barrel length on any caliber is where the power problem comes into play.This Buffalo Bore .380 DPX simply puts the .380 in a class closer to a standard pressure micro 9mm with a 3 inch or less barrel .
    A successful law suit,is the one worn by a policeman . "Robert Frost"
  • joseph06joseph06 Member Posts: 133 Member
    Very cool. I use the Buffalo Bore JHP in my PPK, so it's nice to see it work out of an even smaller gun. I think BB makes some of the best ammo out there, but you do pay for it. I love their 38 +p stuff as well. They seem to have solid QC, and I like that they load a lot of rounds you won't easily find from a Big 3 maker.

    As has been said, the 9mm is significantly more potent than a .380. One of the reasons the recoil feels so close is that blowback .380s kick relatively hard, for what they are. I still like my PPK because it points very well for me, and is accurate, despite a heavy DA pull and small sites. I haven't found a 9mm in that size range that I liked the feel of as much.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,813 Senior Member
    I did a lot of 'back and forth' about bullet expansion vs penetration with .380 during the discussions here on the subject, and finally decided on penetration. You can't depend on having both with .380. I load mine with FMJ, now, and leave it in the safe at every opportunity.
  • sarg1csarg1c Senior Member Posts: 1,707 Senior Member
    Sad to hear about tragic stupidity.....S happens......however.....James Bond always managed to kill people with a Walther PPK...
    I carry a Walther PPK with 95gr FMJ. and i'm satisfied...Just loaded another box(100) rounds I normaly don't carry everywhere but on occasion I will.
    IMGP0021.jpg
  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    That's why ammo ads and gun magazines use ballistic gelatin. Ya get such perfectly expanded bullets everytime!.

    With a .380 or even 9mm Mak , I'll take penetration and hitting as many vital organs or major blood vessals as fate will have it instead of counting on the bullets turining into a petty perfect mushroom.

    BTW , ya forgot Glaser Safety Slugs!
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,073 Senior Member
    Were I to carry a .380 - or anything less than a 9mm, for that matter - it would be loaded with FMJ, preferably truncated flat points. Hollow points convert energy into expansion at the cost of lower penetration. Larger rounds have enough juice to allow for the having and eating of cake. The pocket rounds, not so much.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,064 Senior Member
    44 Special:
    Your results with the .380 mirror the results I have gotten.

    There is a place for the .380 and or the .22 lr; just depends on
    the situation and the user and their recoil sensitivity.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,064 Senior Member
    Not asking this on rhetoric, but as a serious question since I carried a .380 as my ccw for quite some time. Is there really that much of a difference between it and the 9mm? From what I can recall, recoil felt very similar in two pistols that were nearly the same platform.
    Yes there is a big difference between the 9mm and the .380: however, my
    expierence is with a short barreled revolver not a pistol, so the results should
    probably be worse than with a pistol.

    In any case the damage to things is considerably worse than what I get with a .380.
  • kcraigkcraig New Member Posts: 2 New Member
    For years the debate has gone on about the best carry weapon. The best caliber, etc. etc. I've carried many. Started out with bulky, heavy, large calibers. There are few who will do this everyday, for a lifetime. There is only one caliber I carry everyday and night, everywhere. The 380. I often carry 2, one in each coat pocket. Yet even today, the most important factors are unchanged in our quest to survive a deadly encounter. First, you must have your weapon with you. Then accuracy of the shooter... Then the mind of the shooter... We've all seen the videos where police exchange gunfire with the bad guy, beginning at 5 feet or less. 30 rounds were fired and neither person was hit.
    Tell me you can empty your 380 as fast as you can pull the trigger in to a dinner plate (or smaller) at 5 feet or less, and I'll tell you, you are highly likely to survive and win, if faced with a life or death gun battle. Can you shoot in an instant, accurately? Is your mind trained? Have you told your family what to do as danger is approaching, or just pulled a gun?
    Carry the gun you'll carry everywhere. It's far more important than caliber. Then accuracy, it's vital, regardless of caliber. Then make sure your mind, and your family know what you're going to do, (in advance of) and in the event of, your encounter with evil.......
  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    5ft or less is more in line with most anti-social encounters between average citizen and thug. Some punk walking up close with a shank or gun. Recently the trend has been 2-3 youths walking up and just stabbing a person with screwdrivers (can't get arrested carrying a screwdriver, right?) and taking the victims wallets out of their pocket while they cringe and bleed. Thus the pocket pistol. I'm thinking contact wound distances complete with powderburns , like sticking it under their chin or at their groin with my right hand while my left deflects their action/weapon. The IPSC 'fantasy' gunfight of double-tapping multiple well armed , well trained perps at 7-15yds is best left to TV.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    kcraig wrote: »
    Carry the gun you'll carry everywhere. It's far more important than caliber. Then accuracy, it's vital, regardless of caliber. Then make sure your mind, and your family know what you're going to do, (in advance of) and in the event of, your encounter with evil.......

    So, after all that long-winded pontificating, how many gunfights or other attacks have you survived with your two-fisted gunplay? Just wondering- - - - - -
    Jerry
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,506 Senior Member
    Sad to hear about tragic stupidity.....S happens......however.....James Bond always managed to kill people with a Walther PPK...

    His was in .32 ACP. Before that, he killed people with a .25 Beretta.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • kcraigkcraig New Member Posts: 2 New Member
    Teach wrote: »
    So, after all that long-winded pontificating, how many gunfights or other attacks have you survived with your two-fisted gunplay? Just wondering- - - - - -
    Jerry
    sts.

    I've never, nor have I met anyone that has experienced a deadly firearm confrontation that was not a police officer. I hope I never do. But I have spent 25 years experimenting, shooting, reading strategies from the best self defense experts in the business, and have come up with my recipe for my survival, in the event I find myself in a deadly situation. My point is, there are many things more important than caliber. My intent was to share "my" strategy to survive a deadly encounter. And "my" belief that caliber is very low on the importance of surviving a deadly encounter. A 22LR in the hands of an expert marksman is all you need.

    I was not aware that posting opinions and strategies in this forum were contingent on personally experiencing a gun battle.

    So this forum needs a certification program just for those who have experienced (and can prove) they personally were in a gun fight, so you can only view "survivor posts".

    Please don't read any more of my posts. They cannot help you!
  • 44 Special44 Special New Member Posts: 9 New Member
    Didn't forget the Glaser.Tried them years back,and don't like them.Too shallow on penetration. Great if you have a weapon that only feed FMJ,& you want to stagger them with FMJ ?If I were gong to use frangible,I would use the Mag safe over the Glaser,but I'm not overly impressed with Mag Safe compared to the Buffalo Bore . The Buffalo Bore works consistently on expansion,& penetration every time !
    A successful law suit,is the one worn by a policeman . "Robert Frost"
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    I survived a gunfight or two.....this one time, after band-camp.....there was this Iraqi BMP just sitting out in the desert ruining the beautiful night-time view.....then one of those belligerent hooligans had the audacity to to start swinging RPGs our way......well I'm here and he's not.....I might have been over-gunned with a 120mm HEAT round.....but go big AND get to go home!

    Then there was this mad-cow elk....well we all know or have heard how fast an elk can move....I wasn't taking any chances as she was giving me that "crazy look".....again, I seem to like being "over-gunned".....so this time I was carrying a .300 winmag......an M256 120mm is kinda awkward to carry by hand.....well she rushed me, and I had to put her down. You're right......caliber's not as important as shot placement......like Dodgeball.....only a hit counts.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Given the option of taking advice about getting up close and personal in a survival situation from members like Dan C., Hawken, Gene L., BPS, Make My Day, or about a dozen others I can think of off the top of my head who have "seen the elephant", or some unknown, and admittedly inexperienced newbie, guess which way I'll jump? There's probably half a dozen people on the top row of the stands at Talladega who can tell Dale Jr. just exactly how to drive his car because they've read a bunch of NASCAR history books, also!
    Jerry
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    Jerry, Please! Take a deep breath and hold off a little. This man is new. Brand new, so wait before you form opinions that strong! Quite frankly he brought up a couple of points that I've always had in the back of my mind about being confronted with a life threatening situation where a conceiled weapon MAY come into play.

    What you say about Mausers I will take as "Gospel", just as I would what Dan or Gene say about a potentially deadly situation involving conceiled weapons, but this man also has raised a good point that should be given consideration before being rejected as worthless. Just my opinion.
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,721 Senior Member
    Would you go under your house into the crawl space looking for a water moccasin with a .380?
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Good point, Rich. Recently, we've had so many keyboard Rambos show up that it's easy to jump to conclusions. Coming on like some sort of an authority on close quarters combat made me wonder if maybe we had a latter-day Jeff Cooper in our midst.
    Jerry
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,463 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    Would you go under your house into the crawl space looking for a water moccasin with a .380?

    No, wouldn't do it with a 45 ether!
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Good point....better take a .44 mag.....those water-mocs can get testy!
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    No, not with my Sig-Sauer .380. Only with my little JP Sauer SXS Hammergun.....AND EAR PLUGS :rotflmao:
  • JLDickmonJLDickmon Senior Member Posts: 1,726 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    Would you go under your house into the crawl space looking for a water moccasin with a .380?

    If I had to.. I take it the neighbor's mongoose and honey badger are out on loan?
    Never laugh at your wife's choices.
    You are one of them.
  • sarg1csarg1c Senior Member Posts: 1,707 Senior Member
    Buford wrote: »
    Would you go under your house into the crawl space looking for a water moccasin with a .380?

    NO, I hate snakes...
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