Underwood Ammo 380 +P Gold Dot Ballistics Gel Test & Review

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by plouffedaddy, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. [​IMG]

    Like a lot of you, I carry a 380 pocket gun sometimes because it's convient and conceals well in most outfits. And like many of you, I view the 380ACP round as relatively underpowered but still much better than nothing. So, the search for a 380 round with relatively good performance has led me to the 90gr Speer Gold Dot rounds and I've trusted them for many years now.

    Well, theres a new round out from Underwood Ammo that uses the tested bonded Gold Dot bullet but loads it to a higher pressure (22,900 cup) producing a pretty good increase in energy out of my test gun (Bodyguard 380) and that's nothing to sneeze at. In the calibrated ballistics gel (with 4 layers of denim) used in the video below it got 11'' of penetration, expanded to .48 inches, and had a retained weight of 89.5 grains (5.8g=89.5 grains).

    I realize there's no SAMMI spec for "+p" 380ACP but this is certainly a hot round. With that said, be sure you have a firearm that can handle the chamber pressures caused by using this round––-if not, you may damage your firearm (and hand).

    Underwood uses a 3.5'' PPK barrel for their advertised velocity but since most people who carry 380s use a pocket gun, I tested it in a 2.75'' barrel. Here's the chrono numbers:

    Speer Gold Dot 90gr JHPs: 964fps, 186 ft/lbs energy
    Underwood Gold Dot 90gr JHPs: 1086fps, 236 ft/lbs energy

    Test video:

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
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  3. Awfully nice for a 380.... Then again its underwood. What else would we expect :supergrin:

    Thanks for the vid as usual.

  4. The SAAMI for 380 auto is 21,500 psi, previously 18,900 CUP. Would an extra 4,000 CUP put this ammo out-of-bounds for something like a Kel-Tec P-3AT?
  5. I'm not sure that anyone here could say; best bet would be to call Kel-Tec.
  6. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    Very nice .380 loads from UW. The .380 has needed this attention for a long time.
  7. NEOH212

    NEOH212 Diesel Girl


    Almost a 9mm!

    But not quite! :faint:

  8. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    is way out there on the edge of dangerous. :cool:
  9. James Bond carries it, it must be good.lol
    I would take a .380 over a .38 any day.
    #8 AZson, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  10. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    Sean Connery, right?
  11. Thanks I just got my Bodyguard.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ6PgHhNYg0"]Federal .380 ACP 90 gr Hydra-Shok JHP: SIM-TEST* w/denim - YouTube[/ame]

    The above tester is getting 10.25" of penetration out of a 3.5" barrel

    1,000 fps advertised

    978 fps tested

    I decided to go with the Federal Hydrashock

    The Bodyguard had a 2.75" barrel so your results would vary from the tester above.

    Here is more info showing the Federal gets good penetration


    Here it looks like the Federal get 175 ft lbs out out of a 3" barrel.


    I'd be interested to see what you get for the Federal.


    #10 PaulMason, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  12. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    What? is that scale set up for grams? I hope so, for that expanded bullet can't weigh a mere 5.8 grains.
    #11 SCmasterblaster, Nov 18, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
  13. Plouffedaddy,

    I have a Bersa Thunder 380 and I do carry this from time to time in the Summer, but the issue with a short barreled 380 isn't to see how "Hot" of a round we can shove down the barrel. The name of the game here is to be able to control that round.

    The object is to Reacquire the target fast. If after you fire that first round and you send your pistol up over your shoulder... If you need a second shot, you may not get the chance to do so.

    I would much prefer to control each shot and reacquire my target FAST. You'll have a much better chance of coming out of that situation alive.

    Just something to think about when choosing SD ammo.
  14. It is; I put it in the OP I believe.
  15. Indeed. I'm not saying this is the best ammo on the market; rather just putting information out there. With handguns, velocity is certainly less relevant than bullet construction, penetration, ect....
  16. Plouffedaddy... "Indeed. I'm not saying this is the best ammo on the market; rather just putting information out there. With handguns, velocity is certainly less relevant than bullet construction, penetration, ect..."

    I couldn't agree more, information is the key for all of us in making an informed choice especially with SD ammo. Now-a-days their is so many brands/weights/types of rounds to choose from it almost makes you crazy!

    It was postings like this at helped my find a round that gives me all the items you mentioned.

    for my Bersa Thunder 380 I have a 3 1/2" barrel and it really likes the Hornady 90g XTP HP round.

    Hornady "Custom" Factory 380 Auto Ammunition
    90g XTP HP
    Velocity - Box listed at 1,000 fps (my tests: 6 shot average = 893.2 fps @ 80 degrees)
    OAL - .965"

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jexyDDA3TBU"]SLOW MOTION 9mm Police Hornady 90gr XTP impacting ballistic gelatin - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNPbH6I5QxE"]Hornady Custom 380ACP/90gr./XTP Ammo Test - YouTube[/ame]

    For a general carry round I found this cartridge to be stout enough to impact, expand & penetrate deep enough for me but also and more importantly, this is an extremely manageable round, reacquiring the target was very fast out of my Bersa.

    #15 Kentguy, Nov 19, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  17. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    You did, indeed. Dummy me didn't see it!
  18. Cool video, but I'm sticking to my 90 gr Golddots.
  19. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    I hope that you won't have to shoot anyone. :cool:

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