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45 vs 380, Not what you might expect

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by Caver 60, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    I normally shoot and carry nothing but the flat nose WWB FMJ 380 target loads in my P3AT. Over the years I have dispatched numerous four legged varmints with this load, especially armadillos from around the farm. I have always been impressed with the decent size of the exit wounds from such a small caliber.

    Today I had been out target shooting one of my 45 ACP's using round nose FMJ target loads. I spotted an armadillo, so I decided to use the RN 45 FMJ's on it. Of course the animal died quickly, but the surprise came when I rolled it over to check the size of the exit wounds. They were smaller than what I normally get using the flat nose 380 WWB target loads.

    Of course I always use the best HP's I can get for defensive carry in my 45's, 40's, and 9mm's. And I'm NOT in any way saying that 380 beats a 45.

    But I think this further validates my choice of the flat nose WWB FMJ target ammo for the small 380 BUG. That flat nose FMJ, I believe is very effective, while allowing good penetration.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  2. craig_o

    craig_o CLM

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    You're right. I didn't expect armadillos.
     

  3. Jay S.

    Jay S.

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    Not to get off topic but, is an armadillo a shoot on sight pest?:dunno: I'm from Maine - the only time I see them is when I travel to Texas on business. They are usually flattened on the side of the highway.:supergrin:
     
  4. craig_o

    craig_o CLM

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    Honestly couldn't say. They can carry rabies, but about anything can I suppose. I think they're just a nuisance animal like moles if they're in your garden.

    Technically the state mammal... I dunno if it's a felony to hit one :supergrin:
     
  5. Beware Owner

    Beware Owner NOT a victim.

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    Try shooting them with flat nose .45s.
     
  6. Batesmotel

    Batesmotel

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    Rats on the half shell.
     
  7. J_Rico

    J_Rico

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    :rofl:

    OP,
    That is interesting. I have Ranger 380's in my LCP right now and have been considering changing to an FMJ for greater penetration.
     
  8. MO's Dink

    MO's Dink Giant Member

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    :rofl::rofl:
     
  9. GreyEclipse

    GreyEclipse TheGreyEclipse

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    Maybe because the .380 is going slow enough that the projectile flattens out while the .45ACP just passes through?

    A .380 is a nice little package however I would stick with .45 when my life depended on it. :tongueout: The .380 however is a great BUG.
     
  10. Deaf Smith

    Deaf Smith

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    The question is not how big a hole in the dillo,it's how fast it dies (or is stopped.)

    Now try shooting another dillo with a .380, in the same place, and see how far they travel.

    And while you are at it, go find some wild hogs. Now they are big critters here in Texas. I bet the .45 does better than the .380 on them but with FMJ, it won't be all that great.

    Deaf
     
  11. Beware Owner

    Beware Owner NOT a victim.

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    What gives the .380 big holes here isn't as much the caliber as it is the bullet it is shooting, FP's are made to punch nice neat holes in stuff, FMJ's are made to go right through. I bet you that if you shoot an armadillo with a FP .45, the results would be "impressive" too.
     
  12. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    I've shot quite a few dillo's with the 380 WWB target load and they all go down just as fast, or faster. On one occasion last year I got three dillo's (all were running at night under my yard lights as I shot) in the space of about 2 minutes with my P3AT. I had to run to chase each one down, before they got away. They all went down fast.

    I wouldn't try a hog even with a 45 ACP HP, unless I had no other choice. As someone else pointed out it's the flat nose that does the trick and a hollow point in a large caliber would probably do better.

    You're correct the RN FMJ in 45 ACP doesn't do much damage, but it will penetrate like crazy as I've proved by shooting into some dead steer carcass around the farm

    My whole theory is, I don't use hollow points for carry in 380 because I want something that will penetrate, yet do some damage for a BUG. I think that flat point bullet is the best compromise for such a small pistol. For any larger caliber, it's hollow points all the way for me.

    Although a flat point in any larger caliber would probably do pretty fine also.
     
  13. IBreakStuff

    IBreakStuff

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    45 & 380 are both poor choices for dillos. Use a centerfire rifle next time, think red mist.
     
  14. 1-2man

    1-2man Part Time

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    I would think to get an accurate assessment you'd have to shoot both armadillos in the exact same spot. :dunno:
     
  15. dakrat

    dakrat

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