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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:32 pm 
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I bought a new Smith Bodyguard 380 and out of habit bought a bunch of hydra-shok for it. It seems that a lot of people prefer FMJ in these little pistols. There are some pretty sharp folks on this board whose opinion about HP vs FMJ for small .380's I would like to hear. The same question goes for my CZ-82 which will be my truck pistol soon. I'm running silver bear HP's in it.

(And in case your wondering, the BG380 shoots pretty nice. Unfortunately it has a trigger reset problem and S&W is fixing it for me. Apparently a lot of the first run had this problem and has been addressed on the pistols in production now.)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:37 pm 
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I'd make sure to run a few hundred rounds of the HP through the pistol before trusting it for SD. Many pistols seem to only feed well with FMJ ammo, but with a little TLC that can often be fixed.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:43 pm 
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I ran 100 Prvi hollow points thru it without a hitch. (except that pesky trigger reset trouble) and when it gets back I'll do the same with the Federal. I'm really wondering how much the FMJ will overpenetrate in 380 (or mak).


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:43 pm 
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When I ran a .380, (the smallest caliber that can just barely hit the 12" benchmark) I used Corbons DPX. It dosen't get much better than that.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:59 pm 
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teri4lance wrote:
I ran 100 Prvi hollow points thru it without a hitch. (except that pesky trigger reset trouble) and when it gets back I'll do the same with the Federal. I'm really wondering how much the FMJ will overpenetrate in 380 (or mak).


I think, for a while, poorly engineered HP ammo in the slower calibers would basically perform like ball ammo, failing to expand at all. This wouldn't penetrate any more than the FMJ.
Functioning HP ammo will penetrate less, as it's designed to expand, dumping its energy in a shallower wound, which makes for a better/safer SD round.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:12 pm 
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velojym wrote:
teri4lance wrote:
I ran 100 Prvi hollow points thru it without a hitch. (except that pesky trigger reset trouble) and when it gets back I'll do the same with the Federal. I'm really wondering how much the FMJ will overpenetrate in 380 (or mak).


I think, for a while, poorly engineered HP ammo in the slower calibers would basically perform like ball ammo, failing to expand at all. This wouldn't penetrate any more than the FMJ.
Functioning HP ammo will penetrate less, as it's designed to expand, dumping its energy in a shallower wound, which makes for a better/safer SD round.


Yeah, I have my doubts about the Prvi expanding. I looks a lot like they just sawed the tip of their FMJ. It was all they had on the shelf when I bought the gun. It sure did feed well though :D


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:16 pm 
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The reason most people go with FMJ in .380 is penetration. Hollow point .380 loads do not typically meet the FBI's penetration requirement. Essentially, it therefore comes down to the idea that, while expansion is good, penetration beyond the minimum is critical. A lot of people would rather meet that minimum penetration requirement first, then worry about expansion later.

With that said, IIRC, the FBI's penetration requirement was based on a specific case with a very specific set of circumstances. Something about bullets not penetrating to the heart of an assailant through his side, after they were shot through some type of barrier. I don't remember the exact specifics, but when you read it you realize that it wasn't a situation the average self-defense minded person is probably going to encounter.

With this in mind, I would feel perfectly comfortable with a good HP load. Hornady's Critical Defense load seems to show a lot of promise, penetrating to about 10" in gelatin (from a Ruger LCP) with good repeatable expansion. Does it meet the FBI's 12+ minimum? No. But, for me, it's close enough. Other people, of course, would have a different opinion, arguing that it isn't adequate....so you really have to draw your own opinion here.

The other thing that people sometimes do, it stack both FMJ and hollow point loads in their magazines. Of course, the down side to this, is that you don't really get to choose which bullet type comes out of the gun. You just have to hope you had the right bullet in the tube at the right time.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:39 pm 
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teri4lance wrote:
I bought a new Smith Bodyguard 380 and out of habit bought a bunch of hydra-shok for it. It seems that a lot of people prefer FMJ in these little pistols. There are some pretty sharp folks on this board whose opinion about HP vs FMJ for small .380's I would like to hear. The same question goes for my CZ-82 which will be my truck pistol soon. I'm running silver bear HP's in it.

(And in case your wondering, the BG380 shoots pretty nice. Unfortunately it has a trigger reset problem and S&W is fixing it for me. Apparently a lot of the first run had this problem and has been addressed on the pistols in production now.)


Ew.... BG380.... Lemons.... ew.....


Well, in the slight chance that yours is fixed.... I would say Critical Defense .380 :). It feeds like a FMJ but expands like a HP. It's gotten great reviews as well.

http://www.glensoutdoors.com/ProductDet ... oogle_base


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:46 pm 
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Personally I'd go with some hard cast flat nose .380 from Buffalo Bore. They are my favorite ammo company by far.

http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l= ... tail&p=127

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:05 pm 
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DemonLlama wrote:
Personally I'd go with some hard cast flat nose .380 from Buffalo Bore. They are my favorite ammo company by far.

http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l= ... tail&p=127

You haven't shot anything except PMD FMJ's out of your G22. You like BB because they have a cool name and super duper fast velocties out of a rifle.

OP, stock what you can afford to train with. If that is cheap FMJ's then that is better than the latest whiz bang HP's that are out on the market if you can only afford to buy enough for one magazine and then never shoot it.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:17 pm 
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Some people do argue for FMJ because JHP cannot always penetrate far enough. But either way, shot placement is critical. I use Corbon DPX JHP in my LCP.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:42 pm 
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nimdabew wrote:
DemonLlama wrote:
Personally I'd go with some hard cast flat nose .380 from Buffalo Bore. They are my favorite ammo company by far.

http://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l= ... tail&p=127

You haven't shot anything except PMD FMJ's out of your G22. You like BB because they have a cool name and super duper fast velocties out of a rifle.


I like them because they have an awesome selection of powerful and diverse loads of just about every pistol caliber under the sun. True I don't own any yet but my next pistol will probably be a J frame and I will absolutely be loading it with BB .38+p. That .380 load is also among my favorite loads of theirs and it's what I would use if I owned one. The only other company that makes loads like they do is Double Tap and they have a real sketchy reputation. So yeah, Buffalo Bore FTW.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:52 pm 
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Ammo, like caliber in general, is a hornets nest of personal opinion. Some folks will swear up and down that "this" bullet or "that" bullet is the end all be all. At the end of the day very few CCers on the board, myself included, have actually fired on another human being let alone enough of them to try out different ammo in the same gun.
That said, both the wife and myself carry Ruger LCPs. We broke them in with about 500 rounds of FMJ and carry them with daily with HPs. Will the HP work better than a FMJ? I kinda hope I never have to find out.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:41 pm 
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J.C. wrote:
Some people do argue for FMJ because JHP cannot always penetrate far enough. But either way, shot placement is critical. I use Corbon DPX JHP in my LCP.


That's pretty much my what I'm hung on. I got some Federal Hydra-shok on the way cause I got a deal on it. I'm leaning towards Gold Dot and now Cor Bon DPX too. But I'm wondering if maybe Speer FMJ maybe better after reading all in innerwebz vitriole.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:53 pm 
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I have both Silver Bear HP's and Glaser Safety Slugs for my CZ-82, but I think I'll be sticking with regular HP's--I'll probably be upgrading to Hornady HP's in 9x18 Makarov, though, since the Silver Bear ammo has pretty unreliable expansion.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:54 am 
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I shoot 9Mak, not .380, but they are similar enough to offer a good comparison.
When I carry the P-64, it is loaded with Barnaul FMJ. I do possess some HP ammo for the gun, but it's only Silver Bear... not exactly quality defense ammo(not that it has ever failed to bang). I do not have sufficient faith in the HPs to expand.
Generally speaking, a slow, small bullet will not expand as reliably as a faster, larger bullet will. If I could find some sufficiently powerful loadings, I would carry HP, but for just standard velocity I'm sticking with ball.

You could always pick up some 95gr +P hollowpoints. A friend has an LCP and it hurts like a mother to shoot this through it. Might be better in your CZ, and I don't imagine you'll shoot the Bodyguard often.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:10 am 
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For years and years .380 owners were told to use FMJ's due to the risk of jamming with HP's in older, particularly milsurp pistols. I've had three .380 pistols though and none have had issues with the HP's that I fed them. As far as reliable expansion and penetration, that's a different story. Reports I've read have supported Federal Hydra-shok's as reliable expanders in .380 (not fantastic but they expanded). So that is all I use for my daughter's .380's. In 9x18mm I've had bad luck with feeding Silver Bear HP's in the FEG PA-63 I used to own. So much so that I got rid of the pistol (that and the horrible trigger pull).


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:32 am 
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There ain't no magic bullets, period. Use what functions and shoots to point of aim in your gun, I am partial to CorBon DPX in everything I carry. I do prefer a good HP design over ball if it is a bullet that will perform.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:25 am 
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My wife has a .380 and she uses HP's (Cor-Bon).

.380's are small enough where you don't really want to lessen your chances of stopping a threat by going with FMJ. That's not to say that FMJ isn't capable of being lethal (it is), but it might not stop the threat soon enough to save you from getting stabbed or shot before the aggressor goes down.

Just make sure you run some of your chosen HP ammo through your gun to make sure it works.

Maybe this will help you in your ammo selection.

Defensive Ammo Selection (*Click*)

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 H) - 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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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:30 am 
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Keep an eye on the Silver Bear JHP's in the CZ-82.

What you want to watch out for is the smooth silver zinc plating turning white and flaky.

Once that happens the cartridge is wider than spec and will jam frequently.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:41 am 
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I'm not sharp, but once in awhile I let my guard down and listen to someone who is. This advice might be on the Buffalo Bore website, I'm not sure. FWIW I've been advised to use solid bullets in .380 and anything smaller, for self defense. The theory is that while expansion is good, it's only good if the expanded round also penetrates sufficiently. Hollowpoints that expand as designed won't penetrate as deeply as FMJ rounds, and in an underpowered cartridge that might make the difference between sufficient and insufficient penetration.

Here's the Buffalo Bore spiel:
Quote:
Here's the problem. The current 380 auto frangible ammo delivers a large amount of surface trauma, but lacks serious penetration. For example, if you shot me or another sane man in the face with modern frangible 380 ammo, it would blow off a big portion of my cheek and send a few teeth down my throat, I would undoubtedly fall to the ground in shock and pain, but I would be very much alive and functional if I could get past the shock and pain as that frangible bullet would have stopped some where inside my face, never making it to my brain. However, if you shot a drugged up maniac in the face with that same frangible 380 ammo and blew half his cheek off, he would keep right on coming because he is insane and is not thinking like you or I. Plus, he is likely pain free and fear free and wont know that half his cheek is missing and if he did know, he would not care. So whatever 380 ammo you shoot him in the face with, had better go through his face and blow his brain stem out the back of his head, because only a CNS (central nervous system) hit with a 380 is going to stop him. Likewise, a torso hit to the sternum needs to penetrate deep enough to blow all the way through his spine in order to shut him down spontaneously. If you fail to shut him down instantly, you and your loved ones are going to have to find a way to survive while you wait for him to bleed out and pass out. The best chance of survival for you and your family is to shut down the attacker instantly.


Their solution is to buy their +p .380, but it's just as good an argument for using FMJ. I know that my Bersa didn't like +p ammo at all, wouldn't function reliably with it and that shooting +p voided my warranty (I'm a genius :cry: ) and made the tiny gun harder to shoot. Don't know about your Smith.

I have had better luck with Cor-Bon DPX, with the all copper HP bullets, but if I were to use that gun, or any "mouse" gun for self defense I'd load FMJ.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:48 am 
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[quote="Browning 35"]
Maybe this will help you in your ammo selection.

Defensive Ammo Selection (*Click*)

[quote]

I read through this and was amazed at the way the author constantly contradicts himself and the misinformation that is being disseminated in the article. In one sentence he states "no foreign stuff is anywhere near as good as domestic ammunition when it comes to vanquishing hostile attackers. Buy American." . Then later he states "GECO "Blitz Action Trauma" or BAT 9mm rounds from Germany are a proven design. Called the "GECO Action Safety" in Europe, this is a high velocity (1400 feet per second) lightweight (86 grain) hollow bullet that has proven itself to be very reliable and successful on the street. I recommend them", and this is just one example of his contradicting himself.

And the claim that "The three or four best .380 JHP rounds have better stopping power than ANY bullet fired out of 2" barrel .38 Special snub-nose." is almost laughable. The ballistics found here show just what a good round out of a snubbie can do, the best .380 would be very hard put to even try to duplicate some of them like the CorBon or the Golden Saber.

I am not saying the .380 isn't suitable for self-defense. It isn't my choice and never will be as I can shoot a 9mm in a package just about as small. But the .380 is very viable especially for those who can't handle a harder recoiling round. Simply load it with the best quality ammo it will function reliably with, hopefully a good hollowpoint.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:13 pm 
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If I have to carry a .380 it's buff bore.


internet.......
Buffalo Bore Ammunition 380 ACP +P 100 Grain Flat Nose Box of 20
Muzzle Velocity: 1125 fps
Muzzle Energy: 280 ft. lbs
.....

make sure your gun is solid enough.


actually I carry those in my .45 sometimes too.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 4:03 pm 
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Absintheur wrote:
I read through this and was amazed at the way the author constantly contradicts himself and the misinformation that is being disseminated in the article. In one sentence he states "no foreign stuff is anywhere near as good as domestic ammunition when it comes to vanquishing hostile attackers. Buy American." . Then later he states "GECO "Blitz Action Trauma" or BAT 9mm rounds from Germany are a proven design. Called the "GECO Action Safety" in Europe, this is a high velocity (1400 feet per second) lightweight (86 grain) hollow bullet that has proven itself to be very reliable and successful on the street. I recommend them", and this is just one example of his contradicting himself.

And the claim that "The three or four best .380 JHP rounds have better stopping power than ANY bullet fired out of 2" barrel .38 Special snub-nose." is almost laughable. The ballistics found here show just what a good round out of a snubbie can do, the best .380 would be very hard put to even try to duplicate some of them like the CorBon or the Golden Saber.

Well......I know what you mean, kinda why I only quoted part of the article.

Somewhat rare examples of European ammo or expensive types of domestic ammunition where most people aren't going to have the funds available to run a whole bunch of it through their pistol to determine if it's reliable or not probably aren't going to be good solid choices anyway. Cor-Bon, Federal HS and some of the others listed are about as good as it's going to get for the .380 acp.

I've personally never even seen a Geco BAT round of any kind in person, much less seen them offered for sale in bulk at an affordable price. With that kinda ammo I think the author just tried to include ammo where he had no personal experience and so he came off sounding somewhat stupid in those parts.

Quote:
I am not saying the .380 isn't suitable for self-defense. It isn't my choice and never will be as I can shoot a 9mm in a package just about as small. But the .380 is very viable especially for those who can't handle a harder recoiling round. Simply load it with the best quality ammo it will function reliably with, hopefully a good hollowpoint.

Honestly it's more of a case of these kinds of pistols being small and concealable enough where people actually carry them day in and day out. If most of us HAD TO get into a gunfight either we just wouldn't go at all or we'd bring a rifle.

In many cases a .380 pistol is better than the alternatives (a .25 acp or nothing at all).

I know that's the case with my wife.

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