carry ammo for the 380

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by Kaptin, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. Kaptin

    Kaptin New Member

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    I had always used hollow point ammo in my pistols until recently. For use in my Kel-Tec P3AT, I decided to carry these: 380 Auto +P Ammo - 100 gr. Hardcast F.N. (1150fps/ M.E. 294 ft. lbs.) from Buffalo Bore.

    I actually have one magazine loaded with 6 rounds of the hard cast, and one magazine loaded with every other round being a hollow point. I sometimes switch it out because I’m not sure what is best for personal defense when using a 380.
    I know that using the 380 is not the best choice to begin with, but because of its size, it is the gun that is carried the most. It is mostly carried for personal defense against robbery and such, I am not a LEO or expect to get into a fire fight with it.
    What is the choice for you guys and galls?

    this is from the web site:
    Item 27A/20 is a 100gr. HARD cast bullet with a flat nose. It is traveling over 1,150 fps out of my 3.75 inch BDA (Browning Double Action). We've used a flash suppressed powder for all three of our 380 auto loads so that you wont be blinded by your own gunfire if you have to shoot in the dark and since around 95% of all civilian shootings in America occur in low light, the chances that your own gunfire will blind you while you are trying to save your life, are good - we've eliminated this variable by using flash suppressed powder. We've also chosen a flat nosed solid bullet. The flat on the nose ensures that the bullet will cut/smash its way through flesh and bone and do much more destruction than typical round nose FMJ bullets. Round nosed bullets tend to slip and slide through matter, doing little damage as opposed to a flat nosed bullet. The flat nose not only wounds much more than a round nosed bullet, but it actually keeps the penetration straight and thus deeper. Notice the below velocities recorded from my personal 380 auto pistols. These are real world guns and thus the speeds are realistic and not exaggerated speeds produced from laboratory test barrels. What you see with Buffalo Bore Ammo, is truly what you get in the "real world", where it matters. You can expect 20+ inches of straight-line penetration in flesh and bone with this load. If you are worried about over penetration with this load, DON'T! You chose to carry a tiny under-powered 380 auto pistol and the trade-off is that you are now going to have to stay alive with that pistol and over penetration will be the least of your worries if you end up needing this gun to save yourself or your family.

    1. BDA-3.75 inch barrel--- 1160 fps
    2. Walther PPK-3.5 inch barrel-----1149 fps
    3. Colt Mustang Pocket Lite-2.75 inch barrel---1072 fps
    4. Keltec---1061 fps
     

    Attached Files:

  2. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

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    I keep my .380 back up gun loaded with Hornady Critical Defense loads. It seems to me that you would be handicapping yourself with hardcast bullet loads. Personally I'd want expansion, especially since we're talking about .380 that don't have an over abundance of "power" to begin with.
     

  3. opaww

    opaww New Member

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    I use 95gr winchester FMJ ball ammo, I rely on penatration and shot placement
     
  4. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

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    90 gr ball, mainly because of penetration concerns, but also because it feeds the best. I don't know that I'd run +P in this particular BUG.
     
  5. jackg

    jackg New Member

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    During the summer most of the time I carry my Walther PPK/S in .380.
    My target ammo is the flat nosed type and it leaves a very clean cut hole in targets, but, for PP I first load six Hornady Critical Defense rounds then on top I've got a PowRBall plus another in the chamber.

    That Hornady ammo is really nasty looking and I believe it will solve any problems I might have.
     
  6. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    My PPK (both of them actually) is always loaded with good old fashioned Gold Dots - as I've always liked them...
     
  7. Kaptin

    Kaptin New Member

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    This is the reasoning behind the hardcast flat nose

    The 380 auto inhabits a valuable and useful place in our society, mostly because of the easily concealable, tiny pistols chambered for it. HOWEVER, because of the very limited size of the cartridge, it is plagued with limited power and therefore most of the existing ammo in 380 auto suffers from not being reliable as a man-stopper. We've studied and played with nearly all of the existing available 380 ammo and find it wanting as a reliable means of self defense, especially against a large, insane, drugged up/pain free, determined attacker.

    Here's the problem. The current 380 auto frangible ammo delivers a large amount of surface trauma, but lacks serious penetration. For example, if you shot me or another sane man in the face with modern frangible 380 ammo, it would blow off a big portion of my cheek and send a few teeth down my throat, I would undoubtedly fall to the ground in shock and pain, but I would be very much alive and functional if I could get past the shock and pain as that frangible bullet would have stopped some where inside my face, never making it to my brain. However, if you shot a drugged up maniac in the face with that same frangible 380 ammo and blew half his cheek off, he would keep right on coming because he is insane and is not thinking like you or I. Plus, he is likely pain free and fear free and wont know that half his cheek is missing and if he did know, he would not care. So whatever 380 ammo you shoot him in the face with, had better go through his face and blow his brain stem out the back of his head, because only a CNS (central nervous system) hit with a 380 is going to stop him. Likewise, a torso hit to the sternum needs to penetrate deep enough to blow all the way through his spine in order to shut him down spontaneously. If you fail to shut him down instantly, you and your loved ones are going to have to find a way to survive while you wait for him to bleed out and pass out. The best chance of survival for you and your family is to shut down the attacker instantly. So, we've designed a few 380 auto +P loads to keep you and your loved ones alive under the worst of scenarios.
     
  8. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    I agree!!
    Hornady Critical Defense is what I keep in my P380, for the same reasons. Recently, Hornady has expanded the Critical Defense loads to other calibers.
    I'm getting a few boxes of it in .40S&W and .357MAG when I find it.
     
  9. NavArch

    NavArch New Member

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    I understand the logic of the +P hardcast round. Now - what to do about (seemingly) every manufacturer's prohibition against +P .380 auto ammo?

    I do not ask that question to start a war, but rather to clarify the question of carry ammo.
     
  10. Kaptin

    Kaptin New Member

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    Kel-Tec and +p ammo

    I tested the P3AT with this load and it did fine, but I would not give it a steady diet of this hot/heavy load. The specs for this pistol say a max muzzle energy of 250 ft-lbs energy, and this loading is right at the 250 mark.
     
  11. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

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    Which defines the .380. It's a great round because you can hide the pistol in your left nostril, not because you can drop a Grizzly with it at 150 yards. The slightly-built platforms just aren't built to shoot hot loads, they're built for concealment. Hollow points aren't going to get you the penetration you need, particularly if you hit bone. The name of the game is going Downtown, and any .380 round designed to slow down isn't your friend.
    The total volume of the wound cavity is what matters, and in .380, it's my opinion that FMJ owns.
     
  12. gschnarr

    gschnarr New Member

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    I use Corbon DPX.
     
  13. TXblue

    TXblue New Member

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    I'm with Stalkingbear on this one.
    :D
     
  14. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    I've got hydra-shocks in mine.
     
  15. Grunt13

    Grunt13 New Member

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    I also carry hydrashocks. They move the little P3AT around enough. Shooting +P out of there can't be good for follow up shots. Maybe if you practice with it a lot. However, shooting lots of +P through a keltec will probably wear it out quickly. Just my opinion.
     
  16. ta1588

    ta1588 New Member

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    +1 on the speer gold dot ammo!
     
  17. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    Here's some .380 ACP ammo facts you may find interesting...

    Federal has a Law Enforcement proven 90-grain Hydra-Shok delivering 200foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. Corbon's JHP speeds out of the barrel at nearly 1100 feet per second. Hornady's newest critical defense loads ensures uniform expansion with a flex-polymer-filled cavity that resists deforming due to clothing materials worn by an assailant.
     
  18. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

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    I carry the Hornady Critical Defense in my XD9, but with 17 rounds in the gun alone, I can shoot from sunup until sundown. If the first 5 don't get through the vest, it's head-shots, throat-shots, junk-shots, ankle-shots... and then I pull another 16 out of my pocket.
    With the .380 I have to figure on hitting bone, and if that happens a slow-moving hollow-point isn't going to do as much damage as it could otherwise, or as much as an FMJ would. And I just have 6 shots to get the job done.
    In close, my aimpoint is the chin, as my target is the medulla oblongata, but that's during no-pressure practice. If I'm trying to shoot while crawling under my truck with two holes in my gut, I want something that has the best chance of making it to the spine and not splattering on a button or a zipper.
    I'm not well-versed in ballistic data, but from what I've read, ball ammo in the .380 caliber stands the best chance of getting through the average body based on ballistic gel tests.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is that the main shortcoming of the .380 is penetration capability, so I'm willing to trade a larger, shallow crater for one which stands a better chance of hitting the central nervous system.
    Just my opinion, and if I'm wrong I hope you'll let me know.