.380 for SD

Discussion in 'Caliber Zone' started by mr_flintstone, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. mr_flintstone

    mr_flintstone Supporting Member

    I realize that .380 isn't an ideal self defense round; but it does go bang, and it is capable of killing. That being said, I've heard lots of different opinions. Some say HP is the only way to go. Others say .380 HP is crap, and FMJ is best (some say round nose, others flat nose). Others say there is no difference between .380 HP and FMJ. What do you guys think?
  2. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    I'd say whatever your gun feeds well, and keep you in a pie plate at 10 yards....... Everything else is icing on the cake.

  3. HP needs to reach enough velocity to expand. That may be possible at close range with loads pushed to the max SAAMI specs. We use FMJ in our 380. If it boils down to expansion with limited penetration I would prefer the penetration.

    380 has a very good reputation at stopping threats at close range, even though the caliber queens like to put it down. Close range a FMJ to the face of just about anyone will stop the threat. If you carry a 380 just practice with small head size target at close range. If you can hit the head you can hit vital organs, two to the vitals and two to the head should end any threat.
  4. lsi1

    lsi1 Member

    i haven't seen any definitive tests that say hp is crap out of a 380 because those bullets are designed to open at those speeds. that being said when i start wearing a winter jacket if i carry the 380 its loaded with fmj because by the time that round passes through a jacket sweatshirt undershirt and skin it may not have enough velocity left to open.

    i do carry hornady critical defense or dare i say zombie defense in the summer because they have a polymer tip that i think will aid in clothing penetration.

    the amo is significantly more expensive than 9mm so i always make the suggestion to people to spend a little more on the gun you will save money in the long term if you opt for a 9mm. I have an lcp and its been good. It did take some practice to get to where i could make good reliable hits on target at any reasonable distance and that burn't up a bit of that expensive 380.
  5. cicpup

    cicpup Resident PITA Supporting Member

    .380 HP.
    Because collateral damage sucks.
  6. bluharley

    bluharley Member

    Or it will open in the clothing. I think I need to get to the range and see how alternating load in one mag works smoothly, even here in Florida, it's cold and people are bundled up. The bad guys bundle up in the summer too, so it's a good idea anyway.
  7. wganz

    wganz Supporting Member

    cross post warning

    I'll post the same in this thread:

    3 patrol officers with Glock 22 & Speer 180 grain Gold Dot
    3 patrol officers also used M4 with Hornady TAP 75 grain
    SWAT with M4 using Hornady TAP 55 grain

    Assailant: one .45 Auto

    Linkage to pdf of FBI presentation - {CAUTION GRAPHIC IMAGES IN PDF FILE}
    at least 107 rounds fired :eek:
    7 rounds of .40 S&W
    16 5.56 TAP

    My 2¢ is that if you're going to rely on a 9mm Kurz(aka .380 ACP), then practice, practice again, and practice some more.

    BTW. If you count the listed hits in that presentation, it doesn't add up. Guess math in school was their strong point. :rolleyes:

  8. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

    I carry a pocket .380 with hollow points.
    Even though I've shot it at 30 feet in a SD situation it be more likely 3-6 feet.
    I think it's adequate.
  9. Asher1

    Asher1 Member

    My 380 has FMJ and HP staggered (FMJ,HP,FMJ,HP,FMJ,FMJ,FMJ). The first round is a FMJ, the 2nd is a buffalo bore +p 380hp... That round will sting your hand (shoot at your own risk since +p specs don't exist in 380)... What I found in the buffalo bore rounds is that they need to be jarred a little to make full power, if I shoot it as the first round over a chrono it's always low, but the next rounds are right up there at advertised specs. So that is the reason behind the FMJ first.. I think the biggest mistake most make is thinking that pulling the trigger is going to end a fight. I would never rely on that, I look at it this way... I would much rather physically defend myself against a BG with a couple rounds pumped into him, then one that doesn't...

    When it comes to 380 for SD, well I would rather have a 380 in my pocket then a cannon in the safe... My TCP gets dropped into my pocket the minute I get dressed, rides in my swim trunk pockets when I Kayak; it just disappears... Much unlike my larger guns that need belt holsters.

    So if your talking about a HiPoint .380, I don't know I would be interested; instead just get the C9 since they are the same size. But if you talking about a 380 micro, then go for it and you'll be glad you did...
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  10. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    An often overlooked bullet is the truncated cone. TC's act kind of like a plow while still giving good penetration.

    A FMJ in the 380 will give more penetration than most realize. As far as expansion, in my experience the lighter weight 90 and 95 grain bullets do well if the cavities do not plug. I have had good experience with the Hornady XTP. The heavier 100 plus grain bullets not so much.
  11. Johnny_B_Goode

    Johnny_B_Goode Member

    I carry a 380 with FMJ ammo. I am not concerned with over penetration. Most 380 semi auto pistols are ammo sensitive. Almost any 380 pistol will eat Speer Lawman RN or Fiocchi RN. Speer Lawman is a little slower than other brands of 380 ammo but it is far and away the most accurate 380 ammo I have ever shot. Hitting you target is the best way to avoid hitting innocent bystanders. Those of you who know you are going to be shooting into a loved ones bedroom need to take a hunters safety course and pay attention while you are in class.

    The Yankee Marshall can explain why I do not care about over penetration much better than I can.

  12. beaglenc

    beaglenc Member

    As I may have mentioned before on this subject, some years ago I did some "extensive" backyard testing with .380.
    My test media was Boston Butts. Some of them got to wear jeans.
    Of the ammo available at that time Fed Hydro's worked best. And when I say best, I mean I have all the confidence in the world in that round at SD ranges to do what I want it to do. I have never looked at anything else. there is most likely, better rounds now that have been designed. I do not have the time nor inclination to do any further testing.
    I sometimes alternate with FMJ, but that 1st round will always be the Fed HS in my little gun.
    So, go buy some butts when they are on sale and do some of your own testing and you will find a round that you will have confidence in AND have a great picnic because you can still eat those butts when yer done. just clean em up a bit and make some barb-q.
    I can personally tell you that it makes you feel really good to have a round in yer gun that you personally have the feeling that it is gonna work and you have seen, smelled and tasted the results.
    Not some data you read, not some video on the web...yer own testing.
    I have done it for all my carry guns and rounds.
  13. harcdaddy

    harcdaddy Member

    Federal Hydrashok in my TCP at all times, no worries......

    Sent from my iPhone using Hi-Point Forum
  14. cicpup

    cicpup Resident PITA Supporting Member

    I would be.

    PPU .380 FMJ 6.1g/94gr

    Path traveled:
    Desktop support = 3/4" press board
    Wall = two 1/2" knotty pine boards with 4" dead space
    Washing Machine = some sort of steel

    I assume flesh, muscle, and organs will put up less of a fight..

    Attached Files:

  15. Johnny_B_Goode

    Johnny_B_Goode Member

    What did you shoot before you wrecked the house? I am assuming nothing. I want at least 2 pieces of 3/4 plywood barrier penetration from my ammo. Thanks, you just proved that a 380 fmj will penetrate 2 pieces of plywood and have enough energy left to poke a hole in someone trying to kick my door down. We can also safely assume 380 fmj will penetrate the thinnest parts of a car body or a windshield and still have enough energy to make a carjacker look for a softer target or medical attention.
  16. cicpup

    cicpup Resident PITA Supporting Member

    I prefer to poke a hole in someone first. To me you're in favor of over penetration. I'm not.
  17. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

  18. cicpup

    cicpup Resident PITA Supporting Member


  19. Everybody has to make their own choice on ammo as well as guns and calibers. They also have to live or die with their decision, it is on them.

    That said the over penetration is largely a myth. There just have not been substantial cases of over penetration. Most innocent injuries come from flat out missing the threat.

    The myth was created by ammo manufacturers to sell more expensive ammo. In a 380 I want enough punch to penetrate a skull, not travel around the skull under the skin. Pything requires driving a round object through the brain stem, a flattened out bullet after hitting bone may not make it there on a 380.
  20. Actually you can as long as they are a threat. That old drag them in the house myth, is just that a myth. It has happened in NC and no charges filed. Before castle doctrine it was taught in classes that if in fear when someone was breaking in lethal force was reasonable, but once in the house if they did not pose a threat lethal force was not reasonable.

    If somebody is kicking my door in I will be damned if I will wait for them to get in.