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380 vs short barrel 9mm

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by glock39, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. glock39

    glock39

    392
    46
    May 26, 2005
    Tyler, TX
    OK, I know this is probably going to start a caliber war, but it really is a serious question...

    There are several new little 9mm pistols coming out with shorter barrels. The Kimber Solo, for instance, has a 2.7 inch barrel. Now, most 380's have less than 3 inch barrels, and the premium SD 380 loads should be made to work in that barrel length (several of them are chronograph'd at an honest 1000 fps out of those stubby barrels). But most 9mm's have barrels over 3 inches, and any bullet is going to lose velocity coming out of a shorter barrel. So, are we getting into a situation where a modern 380 hollow-point would expand better than a short barreled 9mm?

    And, yes, I know that a 9mm is always going to be more powerful than a 380. But a modern 380 that expands to .50 or .60 caliber could be more effective than a 9mm that doesn't expand at all. A 3 inch barrel seems to be the threshold where many 45 ACP bullets start to have trouble expanding. What is the threshold for 9mm's?
     
  2. dreis454

    dreis454

    1,742
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    Jul 11, 2009
    Enfield,CT
    Its not barrel length but Velocitylook for at least 850fps for a JHP to expand.
    In my 9mm Beretta PX4 (3in.barrel) I use a 124gr +p round.
    In my Glock 36 .45acp (3.8in. barrel) I use mostly 230gr+p Hornady TAP (winter months) OR 230gr +p HSTs.

    230gr non+p Gold Dots for my G21.
     


  3. A bug on my windshield expands to 2" without any damage to the glass.
     
  4. dreis454

    dreis454

    1,742
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    Jul 11, 2009
    Enfield,CT
    So I guess a .380 would do the same?
     
  5. No, I don't think .380 will ever expand to 2".
     
  6. dreis454

    dreis454

    1,742
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    Jul 11, 2009
    Enfield,CT
    your right,I guess I missed the 2" part.:embarassed:
     
  7. glock39

    glock39

    392
    46
    May 26, 2005
    Tyler, TX
    Yes, I've heard that velocity before in regards to 45ACP. Is it true for all calibers?
     
  8. dreis454

    dreis454

    1,742
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    Jul 11, 2009
    Enfield,CT
    yes. all Handgun cals.
     
  9. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    24,277
    2,267
    Sep 15, 2003
    WA
    The Parabellum will still drive a considerably heavier bullet as fast or faster than a .380, even from a 3" barrel. A good designed bullet like the HST, Gold Dot, SXT etc will expand and more importantly, penetrate.
    9mmP can do both, the .380 can do one or the other.
     
  10. fredj338

    fredj338

    21,949
    1,055
    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    No, expansion is more about bullet design today than vel. The old days, you pretty much had to have 900fps+ to get reliable expansion. Many of todays bullet designs will expand some down to 750fps.
    Besides, it's not just about bullet expansion. In the case of the 380, you almost don't want any or very little. The bullets are so light & have a low secden that penetration is going to suffer, even w/ solids. SO bottom line, no, a short bbl 9mm using even std vel ammo is going to beat the 380 by quite a bit. NExt thing people will tell you the 9mm is the same as a 357sig.:upeyes:
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  11. glock20c10mm

    glock20c10mm

    3,919
    7
    Dec 4, 2004
    Out West
    :agree: Yeah, what fredj338 said, 110%!!! Exactly right and 110% true.


    Good Shooting,
    Craig
     
  12. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    5,707
    12
    Jul 26, 2002

    Right on fred.

    If someone just "has to pack a 380," at least use the heaviest bullet possible the gun will handle, and HC would be first choice like BB. At least FMJ. No expasion is your best friend from a 380.


    good word amigo !






    CM
    :horse:
     
  13. fredj338

    fredj338

    21,949
    1,055
    Dec 22, 2004
    so.cal.
    Yeah, if I ver get to the pocket gun stage & it's not a j-frame, then a 380 w/ BB LFP would be my choice. I do like that little S&W BodyGuard, just can't make myself buy a 380 again (had my PPKS stolen years ago). I'ld almost rather fight w/ a good knife!
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  14. glock20c10mm

    glock20c10mm

    3,919
    7
    Dec 4, 2004
    Out West
    I actually like what you've been preaching for some time now. And that's that with the likes of Kahr pistols and such being relatively readily available, that if someone would require a platform that small, that their isn't much reason to go below 9mm anymore in powerlevel. And as you're mentioning above, since Kahr pistols limit round count already, there are enough relatively little revolvers around to fill the bill too without dropping below 9mm power levels. I'm sure some people have found it necessary to carry smaller than the smallest 9mm platforms available. But in terms of actually necessity, I bet it ain't many!

    Good Shooting,
    Craig
     
  15. Alaskapopo

    Alaskapopo NRA ENDOWMENT

    6,545
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    Feb 6, 2000
    Alaska
    No .380 expands to .50 or more and still penetrates the required 12 inches. The .380 is much weaker than the 9mm when fired in short barrels too. Also good 9mm bullets like the HST expand at very low velocities.
    Pat
     
  16. Alaskapopo

    Alaskapopo NRA ENDOWMENT

    6,545
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    Feb 6, 2000
    Alaska
    Dead right. If you must carry a .380 carry ball.
    Pat
     
  17. Alaskapopo

    Alaskapopo NRA ENDOWMENT

    6,545
    2
    Feb 6, 2000
    Alaska
    It depends on bullet design. I have seen the 147 grain 9mm HST fired from a HK MP5SD where the bullet velocity was just 690 expand to .60 caliber in ballistic gelatin. There is no set velocity threshold that all JHP's will expand at. Different designs have different velocity expansion tolerances.
    Pat
     
  18. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    5,707
    12
    Jul 26, 2002


    :thumbsup:

    Amen Pat !



    Stay safe buddy



    CM
    :horse:
     
  19. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    5,707
    12
    Jul 26, 2002

    LOL....

    I hear ya. 9 mm minimum for me. That stolen gun may have been a blessing in disguise ! :supergrin:


    Stay safe my friend !
    Bless ya



    CM
    :horse:
     
  20. Dave.1

    Dave.1

    2,044
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    Dec 12, 2009
    Colorado
    Normally I carry my 26 even in warm weather. When I have carried a .380 I've always gone along with the FMJ idea.

    I don't have as much ballistics experience as most of you but I came across this thread about Cor-Bon DPX .380. I have to say that 4 layers of denim and 2 water jugs impressed me. I think I'll try to test some when it warms up. I'd appreciate your thoughts on this.

    http://www.bersachat.com/forums/showthread.php/935-COR-BON-DPX-380ACP-80gr.

    Dave