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Old 12-29-2012, 05:50 AM   #1
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Default Hardcast or hollow points for .380 auto pistols?

I want to start pocket carrying my Ruger LCP more for self-defense and I want to make sure that I'm carrying the most effective ammo possible.

One of my favorite bullet makers is "Buffalo Bore". I'm really impressed with how hot their rounds are. Go look at ballistic comparisons and they pretty much dominate in every single caliber. (If anyone has anything bad to say about them, let me know. Because I buy most of my self-defense ammo from them and want to be aware of any problems that company might have).

I was troubled by some of the information the owner of that company stated under their .380 auto rounds, though.

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=129

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=127

He claimed that "frangible" (hollow points?) .380s simply aren't powerful enough to (about to get graphic here) go through an attackers head. Even in the description for his own hollow point .380 rounds that he sells (which are the hottest I've ever personally seen) he recommends that you only have your first round be one of his hollow points followed up 5+ rounds of the hardcast bullets he sells.

He reasoned that with a weak round like the .380, the bullets basically have to be hardcast in order to take out the spinal cord and achieve immediate incapacitation of the threat.

Is that true? Any ballistic experts out there know if he's pushing nonsense or not? Will .380 hollow points really fail to reliably stop an attacker? Do you really need hardcast bullets when using the .380 for self-defense? Would using hardcast rounds actually be a bad thing in .380 since you still want bullet expansion?

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Old 12-29-2012, 06:52 AM   #2
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I had that thought today personally, I think with smaller calibers, I would keep with hard cast.

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Old 12-29-2012, 08:09 AM   #3
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For a 380 I never liked HP ammo. Not the most powerful and getting slung form short bbl pistol I just don 't see the over penetration issue occurring and I've not seen all that much expansion form HP ammo I've had. I had a box of some FMJ stuff (can't remember the name now)that was form somewhere in that commie dancing bear land that as pretty hot and it didn't over penetrate any thing I shot it into (mostly wet newspapers or phone books). So I didn't think anything else I was going to get would do much more than that. So it appeared as a waste of money on an already kind of pricey round.

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Old 12-30-2012, 06:45 AM   #4
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Buffalo Bore has had the time and equipment to do the needed testing. His experience pretty well parallels mine. I keep something like a BB or Silvertip in the chamber of my pocket autos and fill the magazine with hardball. You can only "shock" the nervous system to a degree with these small rounds since they lack the bullet weight and velocity for deep, thorough tissue damage. After delivering this initial "shock" the nervous system will not notice, to any serious degree, any further shock. Without major trauma, the only action left is to puncture as many vital organs as you can in order to drain a lot of vital fluids. For that, you need penetration and the only way you can hope for that with these small rounds is by using "hardball", either cast or jacketed.

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Old 12-30-2012, 10:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhawk44 View Post
Buffalo Bore has had the time and equipment to do the needed testing. His experience pretty well parallels mine. I keep something like a BB or Silvertip in the chamber of my pocket autos and fill the magazine with hardball. You can only "shock" the nervous system to a degree with these small rounds since they lack the bullet weight and velocity for deep, thorough tissue damage. After delivering this initial "shock" the nervous system will not notice, to any serious degree, any further shock. Without major trauma, the only action left is to puncture as many vital orgrans as you can in order to drain a lot of vital fluids. For that, you need penetration and the only way you can hope for that with these small rounds is by using "hardball", either cast or jacketed.
I agree greatly with this, anything like 380 or the lesser.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:10 AM   #6
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I carry Solids in all of my handguns that are .380 cal or less for CC. Hollow points in these calibers lack the penetration I prefer.

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Old 12-31-2012, 02:05 PM   #7
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I, too, use only FMJ in my .380s.

To the OP: Both links you provided to Buffalo Bore reference +P ammunition. You may or may not be aware that Ruger specifically states not to use +P in the LCP.

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Old 12-31-2012, 08:36 PM   #8
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Eh. I only use those rounds for self-defense. I use cheap, weaker rounds for practice. I don't care if something cracks after hundreds of +P rounds since I'll never shoot that many through it anyway...

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Old 12-31-2012, 08:46 PM   #9
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i use only fmj in my lcp and other 380's. hp rounds in that gun just dont have the energy to get to the vitals with enough energy. my carry round is winchester whitebox. im sure buffalo bore would be even better. bigger than a 380 i use hp ammo.

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