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Favorite .380 defensive round?

This is a discussion on Favorite .380 defensive round? within the The Ammo Can forums, part of the Armory Talk category; So I recently got myself a Bersa Thunder.. I am currently carrying FMJ. I have heard/read that numerous defensive rounds will either not expand reliably ...


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Old 05-23-2008, 11:42 AM   #1
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Favorite .380 defensive round?

So I recently got myself a Bersa Thunder..

I am currently carrying FMJ.

I have heard/read that numerous defensive rounds will either not expand reliably or expand but not penetrate effectively.

Thoughts?


/searched.
//not very good at searching.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:46 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lobster_roboto View Post
So I recently got myself a Bersa Thunder..

I am currently carrying FMJ.

I have heard/read that numerous defensive rounds will either not expand reliably or expand but not penetrate effectively.

Thoughts?


/searched.
//not very good at searching.
I use Black Hills JHP for the Bersa CC. I'm not too worried about the expansion/penetration issue and never have been. I think a lot of people get way, way too hung up on stopping power and wound channels, etc. 2-3 shots placed well from a .380 HP round will turn anyone's day in to a bad one IMO.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:51 AM   #3
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I don't have my LCP yet, but have planned on using Corbon DPX. Even though it did not expand well (in one test I read it did not meet the 12" "standard"), it is designed to have repeatable expansion. I bullet inside of you is a bullet inside of you. For such a small gun, I would rather have the ability to get a bullet inside of someone rather than not have had the gun at all since it was too large.


This is from Chuck Hawks:
Quote:
380 ACP (9mm Short, 9x17mm, 9mm Kurz)

Now we're getting into some decent stopping power. The three or four best .380 JHP rounds have better stopping power than ANY bullet fired out of 2" barrel .38 Special snub-nose. All of the Big Five make good hollowpoints for this caliber. The Remington 88 grain JHP is the most reliably-feeding hollowpoint but slightly less effective than the Hydra-shok or Cor-Bon. Reliability is crucial, and thus you must test the rounds before carrying.

I recommend the following two cartridges above all others:

-Federal 90 gr. Hydra-shok (P380HS1) - the best standard-pressure .380 JHP load, period.
-Cor-Bon 90 gr. JHP - the most powerful .380 hollowpoint, bar none.

These are the two best .380 loads, and I recommend them for these guns:
SIG/Sauer P230, Beretta 84/85, Browning BDA, CZ-83, H&K P7K3, Walther PPK and PPK/s. The Russian, East German, Chinese and Bulgarian Makarov pistols are apparently perfectly reliable with the hot Cor-Bon, and the strong all-steel construction of these guns should stand up to an infinite amount of these potent rounds. I have heard that the Colt does also well with the hot Cor-Bon JHP, which you should definitely look into if you own a Colt .380. You have better stopping power than any .38 snub-nose revolver (the long-time favorite concealment sidearm) when you load your .380 with these two rounds.

Other good .380 ACP jacketed hollowpoints:

- Remington 102 gr. Golden Saber BJHP (GS380M) - Another excellent .380 load (the BJHP stands for "Brass Jacketed Hollow Point"), the heaviest one available. I prefer the Cor-Bon and Hydra-shok, but many (including Sanow) like this new Remington round for its deeper penetration. I'll stick with the Cor-Bon and Hydra-shok, but the choice is yours.
- CCI-Speer 90 gr. Gold Dot JHP A good all-around hollowpoint.
- Remington 88 gr. JHP (R380AI): A good high-velocity hollowpoint that feeds well in: Colt Government Model .380, H&K HK4, Taurus PT-58, older PP and PPK, Bersa .380, Beretta 70s, Makarov and Hungarian FEG. These are all good guns that might choke on other hollowpoints but they will probably feed the Remington fine. This hollowpoint was redesigned in 1993 and gives excellent performance while retaining its rounded shape for positive feeding. If your .380 chokes on other JHP loads, try fifty rounds of the Remington 88 gr. through your gun and see if it improves.

.380 ACP hollowpoints to avoid:

-Winchester 85 gr Silvertip (X380ASHP) I really cannot recommend this weak and jam-prone round. It works reliably in a few modern European guns (e.g. SIG 230, Beretta 84F), but every load named above offers better performance. The Silvertip will likely jam in any American-made .380 automatic. Russian .380 Makarovs and PPK series guns may jam with the Silvertip, as well. The .380 Silvertip was once state-of-the-art, but has since been superceded by superior designs. It is also quite expensive. Look elsewhere.
- PMC-Eldorado Starfire 95 gr. JHP This round is similarly weak and jam-prone.
- Federal 90 gr. JHP (380BP) (see below)
- Hornady 90 gr. XTP-HP (9010) Both the Federal 380BP and the Hornady XTP-HP never expand and may jam many guns due to their truncated-cone bullet nose profiles. Pass by these two.

95 gr ball:

Davis P-380, Accu-Tek, EAA .380, Tanarmi, AMT/OMC/TDE "Back-Up," Heritage, FIE, Jennings, Bryco, Lorcin, Llama, or "other." Hollowpoints should never be used in these low-priced guns.
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Last edited by JBHorne; 05-23-2008 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:58 AM   #4
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From what I've read at tacticalforums and fireamstactical the best performing .380 hp is the Hornady 90 grain XTP JHP.
My "car gun" is a bersa 380 and right now I would rather shoot fmj than some of the other HPs. Firearms tactical tested several brand name HPs and they preformed very badly with some penetrating only inches 7 inches.

.380 ACP Winchester 95gr Supreme SXT JHP (Beretta 85)

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Old 05-23-2008, 12:12 PM   #5
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I wouldn't trust what Chuck Hawks writes. There's no data to backup what he's writing and by the way isn't he he one that wrote .45 fmj are better for SD that hollowpoints. A thread I read a few days back.
Stick with data and recommendations from independent unbiased terminal ballistics experts.
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:24 PM   #6
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My Bersa had trouble feeding Gold Dots but no trouble with the UMC. I decided to have 1 GD in the pipe and the mag full of UMCs.
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Old 05-23-2008, 01:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XDConvert9mm View Post
I use Black Hills JHP for the Bersa CC. I'm not too worried about the expansion/penetration issue and never have been. I think a lot of people get way, way too hung up on stopping power and wound channels, etc. 2-3 shots placed well from a .380 HP round will turn anyone's day in to a bad one IMO.

Yeah I hear what you're saying... My point of view is more along the lines that if the round doesn't do what it's supposed to do why spend the money on premium defense cartridges.

If lets say round X at 25 dollars for 20 rounds is supposed to expand and consistently fails to do so... why spend 25 dollars on 20 when I can spend 17 for 50.

It's more of a functionality thing than a ballistics thing for me.

If a particular bullet expands to a .40 caliber but only penetrates 2'' consistently I would rather be shot with that 10 times than something that doesn't expand at all but only penetrates 3''

I'm curious if I am making any sense at all.. I've been working a lot lately so I'm kind of tired.
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:16 PM   #8
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I don't necessairly have a favorite .380 round. I am a Gold Dot fan boy just cause for my other weapons. I recently ordered some Speer 90 Gold Dots and shot one of them into some water jugs. Before the Gold Dot all I carried in the little .380 was Win. Silvertips. Never had a feed problem with them.





Not sure why that one petal didn't fold out. I assume it had something to do with the way it skittered down the first jug.
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinbanditrider View Post
I don't necessairly have a favorite .380 round. I am a Gold Dot fan boy just cause for my other weapons. I recently ordered some Speer 90 Gold Dots and shot one of them into some water jugs. Before the Gold Dot all I carried in the little .380 was Win. Silvertips. Never had a feed problem with them.




Not sure why that one petal didn't fold out. I assume it had something to do with the way it skittered down the first jug.
Thanks for the pics, I'll have to try those too, the Win. Silvertips tended to jam up my Colt .380
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:45 PM   #10
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I like the Gold Dot. I have also used the Cor Bon . Both feed well in my guns (colt Gov. and Makarov). I have also used Triton +p quik shoks. Any of the three will end most hostilities if well placed. The QS may not penetrate as deep but it is no more that 4 or five inches to all but an NFL lineman's heart and even less to the Brain.
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