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.380 ammo selection

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by youngbuck, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. youngbuck

    youngbuck He's Tyrone!

    Jan 4, 2010
    Was wondering what loads you (or wife/girlfriend) carry in your .380? I plan on picking mine up tomorrow and have been on the search for a good selection. I picked up the Winchester Silvertips and Hornady XTP today at Cabela's. Im trying to get ahold of the Corbon 90gr or the Ranger T-series but its still a work in progress. Thoughts?
  2. datnvan


    Apr 30, 2008
    i carry the hornady critical defense FTX.

  3. ComeAndGetThem


    Mar 31, 2007
    Corbon DPX or Speer Gold Dot.
  4. DonGlock26


    Jan 18, 2001
    Winchester RangerT 95gr. in my P232. I like Golddots, too.
  5. My wife has Fed Hydra Shock in hers now, probably switching to the Hornady FTX
  6. mickdundie


    Apr 9, 2007
    I would be confident with any of the premium ammo you already have, provided they function good in my gun. I had a problem once with the Winchester Silvertips...the bullet was soo soft that when my P232 chambered the round it would mash the side flat that hit the feed ramp. I wouldn't really notice it if I were shooting, but if I chambered a round and then ejected it one side would be mashed. Made me leery of chambering the round again.

    I carry Gold Dot because our stores carry them, and because I like 'bonded' bullet design. It doesn't loose the copper jacket if shot through barriers.

  7. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

    You know...that is really strange you mention that. My Kel-Tec P3AT did the exact same thing to Federal Hydra-Shocks. It mashed both side of the bullet in pretty good and they were obviously deformed. I now carry it loaded with Hornady Critical Defense.
  8. jason.223


    Feb 2, 2007
  9. JIM 1

    JIM 1 JIM 1

    Oct 8, 2000
    I use corbon DPX in my LCP. A bit pricey, but that barnes solid copper bullet is a game changer. My carry ammo of choice for my G19 as well.
  10. Ceapea


    Apr 12, 2010
    In the mag in the gun (P232) I have a mixture of Remington GS, Hornady CD, Buffalo Bore JHP and DPX. In the spare Mag, same plus some newly acquired Federal HS.

    I have shot the B.Bore JHP, DPX and CD into water jugs. The B.Bore JHP totally fragmented in the first jug. The Hornady CD ended up looking just like their pictures of it, stopping in the 3rd jug. The DPX opened up perfectly! But never made it out of the first jug. The DPX is too light in 380 for how much it expands. I do like it (but have not tested it in water) in 9mm and 38 spl+P.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  11. JIM 1

    JIM 1 JIM 1

    Oct 8, 2000
    Check better tests and more reliable stats available out there. What makes the DPX round a game changer is the unprecedented reliable expansion, weight retention, AND penetration. Makes it worth the price of admission. Bullet is lighter because its copper, not lead. Also penetrates barriers. The solid copper Barnes bullet is a winner. And at standard pressures, too.

  12. Guser


    May 28, 2008
    Frisco, Texas
    I used to get caught up in which hollow point was best for self defense until I read a piece by a Texas Ranger, who carried only FMJs in his .380 backup pistol. Seems the department recommended FMJs to get the maximum penetration from that caliber.

    I've since read other LEOs' opinions that concur.

    If it's good enough for the Rangers, it's good enough for me.
  13. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    Nearly universally, the 95 grain bullets outperform the 90 grain and lighter weight bullets. I believe the FBI recommends FMJ's in 380 but their testing is slanted towards penetration.
  14. G21FAN

    G21FAN Useless loser Millennium Member

    Apr 23, 1999
    Pell City, Alabama
    S&B or Buffalo Bore ball ammo for penetration and reliability.
  15. unit1069


    Oct 10, 2007
    So. Central US
    I once owned a small .380ACP and the search for the optimum self-defense round was a never-ending search.

    There were a number of backyard ammo testers who conducted their own tests on various rounds. Oldgrandpa probably has more experience with testing .380ACP through different pistols than anyone, and he concluded that FMJ was the best bet as all .380ACP hollowpoints do not reliably achieve adequate penetration.
  16. ABNAK


    Apr 22, 2005
    Posted this here before. Remington 102gr Golden Saber, fired from a Ruger LCP through 4 layers of a towel into my swimming pool. Heaviest .380 load out there AFAIK.

    Caveat: I know it ain't gelatin and denim but oughta give a hint of performance.

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  17. mickdundie


    Apr 9, 2007
    Penetration is great. So is shot placement.

    But it's like I said in another thread. Most pistols calibers are inherently underpowered one-shot-stoppers.

    Some are good, .357 Magnum, 44 Magnum, 10mm, etc... out of a 6"barrel...then you have some serious close quarters power.

    With most handgun calibers you had better practice for multiple hits as fast as you can...If you hit an elbow or wallet, practically anything besides COM or between the eyes, your going to need more than one hit.

    Just my $.02

    Carry what you shoot best. For me it's Gold Dot, but I like the Barnes X copper bullet design. I just can't justify running enough of them through my gun to confirm reliability. A buck and a half a round it ridicules.:faint:

  18. JIM 1

    JIM 1 JIM 1

    Oct 8, 2000
    :whistling: I almost forgot how stating ammo preference lights up a thread... When all is said and done, we all know shot placement is key. Before DPX, I really liked Rem GS, and always liked the older Corbon round. Used to be in both PPK and G30. These days, in both G19 and the wee LCP. Jim
  19. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Jul 26, 2002

    Please, do yourself/girlfriend a very big favor. Do not use JHP's in that mouse gun. Use either FMJ or Hard Cast from Buffalo Bore. It could help keep you alive ! ;)

    People say "carry what you shoot the best.." Then carry what penetrates the best which is going to be without question FMJ or Hard Cast from Buffalo Bore, and pratice with it and "shoot it the best." It is NOT enough to see a picture of a pretty, well opened JHP, and say "wow cool I'll take it". That don't work. Your not trying to make a fashion statement, your goal is to stay alive. You have choose to carry a less than minimal caliber for your SD. At least load it with ammo that will penetrate plenty deep enough to get to the vitals. Just very true, and friendly advice. ;)

    Good luck !


    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
  20. mickdundie


    Apr 9, 2007
    :eagle: Good Post
    I use Gold Dots because they probably won't open up anyway. And they're bonded so they won't break apart either. My second choice would definitely be BB Hard Cast. Those ballistics look really good!