Best.380 Round for Self Defense

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by LandMonster, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. LandMonster

    LandMonster New Member

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    First off, please don't say" buy a 9mm Luger." What I would like to discuss is what is the best self defense round given the capabilities of the 9mm Short.

    So its a two part discussion, in my opinion. First, what is better, the penetration of a fmj round or potential expansion of a JHP round. The round has limitations, and its hard to achieve both with limited energy.

    Second, specific rounds. What is going to be the most reliable, most damaging cartridge out there? Corbon, Critical Defense?

    Lets assume its for a <3" barrel since .380 is most often found in micro carry pistols.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  2. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    Answer is simple. Stagger your rounds. I'm not going to suggest specific brands because I don't know what your gun likes.
     

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  3. SRK97

    SRK97 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Buffalo bore makes a hard cast +p.380
     
  4. mountainman13

    mountainman13 New Member

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    +P could be a terrible idea depending on the gun. Make sure your gun is rated for it before you buy.
     
  5. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    A generic answer is one that works with your handgun and you are fairly accurate with.

    I have a PPK/s and Kel-Tec P3AT. Both are great at arms length, but I tend to be more accurate with the PPK/s if there is any distance (out to 25 yrds).

    If you are not fairly accurate, then any type of ammo will work for misses.
     
  6. mdauben

    mdauben New Member

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    I don't currently have a .380 but I think I would lean towards something like the Winchester flat-nosed FMJ load for SD in a .380, assuming your gun will feed them reliably.

    This seems kind of pointless. Non-expanding bullets in standard pressure .380 loads will already easily exceed FBI penetration criteria. They don't need extra velocity to penetrate even more. It would be different if this was a JHP where the extra velocity might give it better penetration along with the expansion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  7. eatmydust

    eatmydust New Member

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  8. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

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    Have no Hornady Critical Def. in .380 but i hear it's a nice round...
     
  9. LandMonster

    LandMonster New Member

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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  10. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

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    There is,..I said i didn't have any...
     
  11. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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  12. 1911love

    1911love New Member

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    +1 Robo! Speer Gold Dot Short Barrel hollow points. All my LEO buddies recommend this ammo for almost all concealed carry handguns. After the report about the Gold Dot exceeding all of the FBIs extensive tests, it made even more sense.
     
  13. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

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    Going to be testing them in both 9 & 45 for a future review article. I have 60 rds. of the 9 and i got 40 of the 45 for my Bud who's helping us with this...prob. tuen out to be a 4 hr. range trip...
     
  14. LandMonster

    LandMonster New Member

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    Sounds like fun to me!
     
  15. mdauben

    mdauben New Member

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    Have you got a link to this testing? While Gold Dots are outstanding performers in larger calibers, the only gel tests of the .380 Gold Dots I have seen show them to expand reliably but consistently fail to achieve minimum penetration depths of 12" specified by the FBI.
     
  16. JimRau

    JimRau Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The primary problem with this class of handgun is lack of adequate penetration on a human target. Light projectile weight plus low velocity equal an inability to penetrate to the vital organs in MOST SD situations.
    If you have no other choice but to carry a 380 carry only the highest velocity FMJ rounds you can find.
    Just common sense and reality.;)
     
  17. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The .380 is going to have trouble expanding AND penetrating 12+". Just not enough mass. The Gold Dot has an excellent reputation for feeding like ball, expanding consistently (but not explosively), penetrating respectably, and maintaining 100% weight. You can get more penetration or more exxpansion, but it is unlikely you will get a better balance.

    When we made the switch from Winchester Silvertips to Gold Dots we were (and continue to be) very satisfied. One of our guys had to put a 2000# bull. .45 ACP 230 gr GD fully penetrated the HUGE head, bored about 6" into the mud, expanded to about .70" and actually gained a couple of grains in weight (pieces of bone imbedded in the core). Performance has been nothing but outstanding in all calibers. I just wish Speer would make a run of 10mm Gold Dot 180 gr @1200-1300 fps. I would buy a couple of cases of it.
     
  18. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

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    I'd like to see the tables between the God Dot & their "lawman" series, just to see the difference...

    Back in the day when I was "still in uniform" we did lots of testing on Melons, and dressed up "Dummies" with 5.56 rounds......
     
  19. 1911love

    1911love New Member

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    I don't have a link the FBI report unfortunately, IIRC they didn't test .380, but the other rounds using the same technology thoroughly impressed me. Also, from what I remember I've only seen and used Lawman that was TMJ. I'm not aware of any Lawman SD rounds. I try and shoot Lawman 124 grain 9mm TMJ to practice with since I carry Gold Dot 124 grain +p in my G19.

    I agree with Robo, they need to make 10mm, it might make me finally buy that G20. At least Speer is making Gold Dot rifle rounds now!
     
  20. danolator

    danolator New Member

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    This is not an accurate statement. "Some" situations...true. "Most" situations....false.