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Old 08-29-2009, 06:06 PM
Florida J Frame Florida J Frame is offline
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Erich,
You just answered a .380 question on another thread and mentioned that you recommend ball ammo in the .380acp. Why not the Rem Golden Sabre which is heavier or the new 90 gr. Critical Defense? I sometimes carry an LCP and would like to hear your thoughts and any others from members with some experience with mouse guns. Thanks
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:10 PM
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Penetration.
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Old 08-29-2009, 06:36 PM
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Second the motion
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Old 08-29-2009, 07:31 PM
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Third the motion.

380 hollowpoints are not reliable expanders anyway.
You need all the penetration that you can get with mouse
guns. Thats why people in the know avoid the 110 gr JHP in the
38 spl even. The 380 is less than a hot 110gr 38, and they are notorious
for insufficient penetration. Ball is more reliable in pocket guns also and
is much cheaper. If I was carrying a 25,32,380, it would have nothing
but the heaviest full metal jacket I could get in it. Shot placement
is key, not wonder bullets. My humble opinion, if you need a mouse
gun, get a 38 snub.

Last edited by BreakerDan; 08-29-2009 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 08-29-2009, 07:41 PM
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Yep, penetration, as stated above.

Far be it from me to speak for Erich, but if you read the second part of his mantra, "penetration is queen", IIRC, you'll get a handle on his thoughts.

Typically, short barreled pocket semi-autos don't generate the velocity necessary to reliably expand hollow point bullets. Ergo, even with a hollow point, the bullet may well NOT expand. So, in essence, you're shooting a FNJ with a sometimes non-functioning hollow point profile.

Additionally, MOST pocket autos are PROBABLY a WEE BIT less likely to malfunction with FMJ rounds. MAYBE....... (I tried to work that last sentence so that 100 guys with pocket autos that have never malfunctioned with hollow point rounds will not feel compelled to inform us of such.)

YMMV.

dan
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Old 08-29-2009, 09:17 PM
flop-shank flop-shank is offline
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I'll be the decenting voice. Several hollowpoint loads will penetrate sufficiently. If a hollow point doesn't expand, it will work every bit as well as ball, perhaps better. If it does expand and penetrates well, it should have more wounding ability.

As far as 110 gr. .38+P goes, DPX penetrates fine.
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Old 08-30-2009, 03:30 PM
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As much as I hate to disagree with my friend flopshank, I just have a different opinion on this one.

So, I've worked in some capacity on a couple dozen killings with .380s, and a few more .380 shootings in which no one was killed. I've seen three instances of .380 JHPs (Hydra-shoks and Golden Sabers, IIRC) failing to adequately penetrate - and this actually represents the majority of the .380 JHP cases I've seen (I think there were a couple others, but I've seen many more shootings with ball in this caliber). Now, in those failures, one guy lived after being shot three times (once in the head, once in the chest and once in the ***), though another guy was killed by the same .380 Hydra-Shok used in that shooting. In the other case, the JHPs (I'm pretty sure they were GSs) failed to penetrate various barriers, but both guys were later killed with execution-style headshots with the same rounds.

Based on what I've seen, it is very common for a bullet to need to penetrate an arm or some similar barrier before it can get to the vitals at which it was aimed. Slow, light bullets (and, yes, 95-grains at under 1k fps is slow and light in my opinion) like those put out by the .380 don't seem to do well when hollowpoint "brakes" are utilized.

Over the course of the 200 handgun killing cases I've worked on (and taking into account my sometimes unique ability to get the detailed afterstory from the shooter himself), I've come to the belief that, to be assured of stopping, one must put hits on vital structures (brain/spinal cord or heart/aorta) of an aggresssor. I don't see how .380 JHPs add to a shooting's effectiveness, but I've seen a high percentage of instances in which they detracted from it. I wouldn't use .380 JHPs - not that they can't work, just that I've seen too many cases (for my comfort level) in which they failed to work. They'd be great for putting down a wounded horse, however (there was just a thread on this, so the thought is fresh in my mind) - or other execution-style or perfectly unimpeded-to-the-vitals shots. The realities of force-on-force combat render the availability of such shots something on which we would be foolish to depend.

That said, I've never seen a case in which .380 ball failed to adequately penetrate. I know an experienced pathologist we used as an expert who carries .380 ball . . . and he completely agrees with me on the essentiality of targeting vital structures and not just "center of mass" with handguns. (Gray's Anatomy is online: Gray, Henry. 1918. Anatomy of the Human Body . Study it.)

In fact, I've worked on one shooting in which a .380 ball round (out of a relatively long barrel) overpenetrated and injured an unintended victim (Rule 4, people). Now I've seen a whole lot of .380 ball rounds not overpenetrate, but this shows how Mas is right when he warns us to consider the dangers of overpenetration, even with mousegun rounds. (I have to say that I've wondered a bit whether the .380 might not just be the perfect storm of perhaps-too-penetrative in a ball round and not-sufficiently-penetrative in a JHP. Given the similarity of the ballistics, I wonder the same thing about the 9x19Mak. Those blowback calibers are sure not 9x19 ball, though, which is pretty much guaranteed to overpenetrate.)

Alas, I'm not with friend flopshank on the 110-gr .38s, either. I'd simply never use such unless I were in dire straits and that was all that was available. But I'm glad that we can all be friends nevertheless.
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Old 08-30-2009, 03:45 PM
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Oh, and those Hornady Critical Defense things? Obviously, I've never seen any shootings with them. I was really troubled, though, to read in the new American Rifleman that Hornady had designed them to not penetrate more than 12". FWIW, intervening barriers crop up in these shootings with such frequency (think about it, people will defensively throw up a hand or arm to ward off a blow) that I really think I'd rather go with something that the FBI has approved. I am no wound ballistician, but it sure looks as if their standards gibe very well with what I have seen turn out to be necessary.

A question for our Feebie brothers: what (if anything) has the Bureau approved for use in .380? (Or, do the FBI penetration standards not apply to rounds carried in back-up guns? Because, if the FBI penetrations standards don't apply to these guns, I'm not sure that the answer will be relevant to a person carrying a .380 as primary.)

For all the ribbing that the FBI gets, they took this wound ballistics stuff very seriously and probably have the best conclusions out there when it comes to handgun wound science.

Another thing to bear in mind is that the velocities developed from these teensy LCP/P3AT/MicroEagle/NAA/Seecamp .380 barrels are going to be way under those published by most ammo makers. Chrono your rounds to see what you develop in your gun. Believe me, your 80-grain JHP going 765 fps from your baby Kahr is not going to perform as well as that same round from the 4" pressure barrel in the published manufacturer's stats.
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Old 08-30-2009, 04:52 PM
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Erich,
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and expertise in this area. It's refreshing to get some clear info instead of the usual smoke and mirrors from the gun writers. I usually carry a J Frame but I just reloaded the LCP with FMJ for those times I do pick it up. Looks like it's time to insist that the ammo makers give us real-world numbers out of real guns like Buffalo Bore does ( or chrono our own). While we are on the subject, what loads should a non-handloader be looking at for an Airweight? I tend to like the Speer GD Short Barrel, but I was wrong about the .380 Rem GS . . .
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Old 08-30-2009, 05:42 PM
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As good as any, and better than most.
Too light in weight for my comfort zone, but they do seem to have an excellent reputation. A .38 Special's strongest suit is it's flexibility. And in those cases personally I prefer to go with a bit more inertia from a "heavy" than speed from a "light". YMMV?
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich View Post
In fact, I've worked on one shooting in which a .380 ball round (out of a relatively long barrel) overpenetrated and injured an unintended victim (Rule 4, people). Now I've seen a whole lot of .380 ball rounds not overpenetrate, but this shows how Mas is right when he warns us to consider the dangers of overpenetration, even with mousegun rounds. (I have to say that I've wondered a bit whether the .380 might not just be the perfect storm of perhaps-too-penetrative in a ball round and not-sufficiently-penetrative in a JHP. Given the similarity of the ballistics, I wonder the same thing about the 9x19Mak. Those blowback calibers are sure not 9x19 ball, though, which is pretty much guaranteed to overpenetrate.)

Alas, I'm not with friend flopshank on the 110-gr .38s, either. I'd simply never use such unless I were in dire straits and that was all that was available. But I'm glad that we can all be friends nevertheless.
It truly is more pleasant when we can disagree on friendly terms.

I think the first paragraph really gets to the heart of what .380 is, mediocre in every way. While I'm not a pathologist and have only shot paper and Perma-Gel with .380, I think I have a good handle on what it takes to make hollowpoints perform well (better said would be as well as can be expected) in that caliber. I have only tested bullets made be Speer (Gold Dot) and Hornady (XTP and FTX bullets). Both makers bullets only expand to about .420", or so, in caliber and no more. They put on the brakes, but minimally. Think of them as wadcutters with little petals folded over and lying relatively flat along their sides. In the cases that they don't expand, they will almost always (everytime I've seen actually) tumble and travel backwards like a wadcutter.

I've read Golden sabre tests in which penetration was shallow, so I'm not really hot on that load. I hope to test it in the future, so my mind is still open. I don't remember where I got the idea in my head, but I'm not hot on the Hydra-shok in that caliber at all. Like .32 ACP, I think the .380 is one of those calibers in which FMJ vs. hollow points may be a six of one/half dozen of the other decision. I know I don't like the idea of overpenetration (in the trade I work in, mistakes may cause another person their life, and that truly is one of my worst fears. I'd rather have it be me), or the narrow type wounds round nose bullets are likely to leave.

As far as 110 gr. .38+P goes, at that lower weight, bullet design must really work in conjunction with the light weight or shallow penetration is a real likelyhood. DPX, once expanded, essentially acts like a wadcutter with sharp spider-like fingers sticking out. There is no full mushroom to stop the bullet too soon, but every bit as much expanded diameter as other loads. I fired a single round in Perma-Gel and it penetrated to 12 3/4" IIRC. I'm after 12"-14" penetration, YMMV. Corbon's very hot loaded (think .357 magnumish muzzle blast and recoil) .38+P 110 gr. JHP acts somewhat like a well designed .380 bullet (IIRC and it penetrated ~ 15" in P-G IIRC), so I really don't think that 110 grs. is too light for caliber, but think it's the lower limit. I have tested no other 110 gr. .38+P loads.

Last edited by flop-shank; 08-30-2009 at 06:36 PM.
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:41 PM
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My thought is that the barriers that would be problematic would probably affect the bullets more than that permagel stuff. Certainly that was the case in the two shootings in which the .380 JHPs slowed too much in barriers; in the Hydra-shok shooting, it slowed too much in flesh and rib cage or on the skull. (I don't think the shot in the hip/butt was a real "stopper," all things considered.)

As far as the .38 Special from a snub goes, I think it's really better to open another thread (and there've been many in the past on that subject) instead of moving this one to a completely different subject. We don't want to mess with the head of a hypothetical reader who reads the subject line, skips to the last page, and starts shopping for 135-gr .380s!
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Old 08-30-2009, 09:16 PM
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Erich, have you seen enough relavent shootings to say that hollowpoints act differently than FMJ when they hit a rib, or forearm bone?
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:05 PM
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While your at it...

What about a 90gr XTP at over 1100fps. Still light, but movin a little better. Would something like this do the job?
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:02 PM
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I haven't shot anything with a .380 except paper and reactive targets but I carry ball precisely because of concern about sufficient penetration in this caliber. I have chronographed a few ball rounds from the Keltec P3at. Surprisingly velocities are higher than one might expect from the stubby little barrel. I haven't laid hands on any Buffalo Bore-Arguably their hardcast flat point may be best in the .380 if it feeds well......I carry plain old Remington UMC. It chronos 900-1000+ fps out of my P3at...most rounds cross the chrony in the upper 900s. Independence(Federal) averages about 100fps slower.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:06 PM
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While I'm not Erich and have neither the criminal experience nor deadly force use experience I wouldn't use the 38spl with 110gr bullets either as a self defense bullet.

I have read a bit and I get my information from some FBI information when they tried that weight bullet in the 357Mag. It seemed to be the answer to their problem of more firepower until the auto glass started being reinforced with plastic, commonly known as safety glass.

It seemed that these "super bullets" would to one of two things when encountering either barrier. They either glanced off and went careening off to point unknown, something none of us can afford in a shooting, or splattered uselessly in the glass without penetrating it.

It would seem to me that that wasn't a very good tool to use to defend oneself. No, give me a heavy bullet going at moderate speeds, over 800fps at least.

IMO, the 40S&W with a 180gr bullet going just over 1000fps is the ticket. That's just me though!

YMMV
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:16 PM
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Treeman, keep your P3AT away from Buffalo Bore .380 +P loads. They are too hot for the little plastic fantastics to handle.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:30 PM
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Some guys like the .380 hp's, some prefer FMJ. No one ever talks about using both. When I carry my Colt Mustang, I load the magazines fmj-hp-fmj-hp-fmj-hp, and load a hp in the chamber (carried C&L). I have a friend who carries her Walther PP loaded the same way.

So what do you guys think?
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelwrench View Post
While your at it...
What about a 90gr XTP at over 1100fps. Still light, but movin a little better. Would something like this do the job?
Penetration requires bullet integrity, sectional density and velocity. Sectional density is the relationship between bullet diameter and weight. Assuming bullet integrity, the higher sectional density (heavier bullet for diameter), the deeper the penetration. The higher the velocity, the deeper the penetration.

You're showing about a 10% velocity increase and a 10% loss of sectional density. Penetration would be wash. I've got no experience with the XTP in .380, impressive expansion doesn't seem to be part of the design.

FWIW, I was looking at SD in the Sierra manual a couple of days ago. A 115 gr 9mm and 185 gr .45 have virtually identical sectional densities.

Last edited by WR Moore; 08-31-2009 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 08-30-2009, 11:57 PM
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Okay,

flopshank, I've seen several shootings in which .380 ball penetrated all kinds of things. I've never seen it fail to adequately penetrate, as noted. As noted, I've seen cases in which the JHPs did so fail. I certainly don't think that I have enough shootings to support such a blanket statement as you propose, but that would be what I would suspect.

shovelwrench, beats the hell out of me. I've never seen a shooting with such a .380 load. I know that I feel good about the performance of 115-gr 9x19 JHPs travelling somewhat faster than that.

Sven, it's not infrequent that someone asks something like that. Personally, I would never do such a thing. I don't want any of my thoughts on the subject to be taken the wrong way, so I'll leave it at that.

Treeman, wow - that's surprising. I've chrono'd a few rounds from two different P3ATs and never seen that sort of velocity in that model with anything other than the Double Tap 95-gr ball (923.4 fps) . . . which wasn't reliable in the gun. (The Remington 95-gr FMJs were next fastest and did 818.9 fps.) I've never heard of anyone getting velocities like you're reporting out of a P3AT with 95-grain ball.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:22 AM
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Hi Erich;

Bo and I chronographed some Santa Barbara ammunition which clocked 1032 fps from the P3AT. This ammunition was imported in quantity a few years back. It gave every impression of being loaded very hot.

I bought up a bunch of it for practice use because it was cheap ($2.25 per 25 rnd. box) but didn't shoot all that much of it due to its vigorous nature.

Only my opinion but the locked breach design of the P3AT probably handles this type ammunition better than would a blow-back design.




If I tote a .380 I avoid all expanding type ammunition. The round is what it is and seems best employed to maximize penetration to the vitals.

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:57 AM
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Yeah, buddy! That would be a standout, wouldn't it? Those were some hot Spanish rounds - pity they're hard to find nowadays. I agree with your thinking on the probable durability of the P3AT/LCP with the locked-breech design.

Some great chrono data linked here, BTW, but you have to dig around through some bad links for it:

Ammunition and Ballistics at mouseguns.com
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:00 PM
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Aw! another confirmation as to why I gave up my .380s for the second time. They carry so nice but I am not sure they can do the job.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:13 PM
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It appears that I have a 'fast' P3at. Anyone who does a lot of chronographing has probably noted nontypical for caliber firearms-and it isn't just revolvers with varying barrel/cylinder gaps. Chamber dimensions, bore dimensions and finishand firing pin shape and strike energy can all combine to slightly enhance or degrade performance from "normal".........So even more than before I think "ball" is the way to go in tiny .380s
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:20 PM
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Gotta love that - I have a "fast" Sigma, myself!
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Old 08-31-2009, 01:33 PM
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Erich,

I was reading this thread and others a but I unfortunately do not know your area of experience or profession . Would you shed some light on that for those of us who do not know??
Just curious and if it is not something you want to post, I understand .
Thanks
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:39 PM
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I've worked on these cases briefly (a couple of years) as a private investigator for a criminal defense lawyer when I was in law school and as a prosecutor (a bit over a year), and since then as appellate defense counsel (since '95). For several years there I also worked closely with the trial capital defense unit (a centralized unit that handled the majority of the potential first-degree murder cases in the state). Because my office handles almost all of them, I wind up working in some capacity (consulting or as assigned counsel) on most of my state's appeals of killing convictions.
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:11 PM
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Thanks, sounds interesting. At first I thought you were in the Medical field.
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:20 PM
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No, but I get to read a lot of after-action reports by docs.
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:59 PM
flop-shank flop-shank is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelwrench View Post
While your at it...

What about a 90gr XTP at over 1100fps. Still light, but movin a little better. Would something like this do the job?
I don't know about 1100 fps., but XTPs as loaded by Fiocci, in their Extrema line of ammo (.380 Extrema test results are in the Perma-Gel threadpost #6) penetrate well. Sometimes pushing a bullet faster will make it penetrate deeper, sometimes it will penetrate less. A lot depends on the velocities involved and the design of the bullet.

Erich, thank you for your response at the end of page two.

Sven, I don't dutch load my weapons. I pick a load that I like and just run with it. YMMV.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:27 PM
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Erich,
I am not with the Bureau but my unit works closely with them, including several of their firearms instructors. It is my understanding they do not authorize the .380 (I don't believe they ever have) and no longer authorize revolvers. The smallest caliber currently authorized is the 9mm.
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:40 PM
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Thanks. Wow. Interesting.

Yeah, that sort of says something to me. I'm back thinking about that "perfect storm" of "too penetrative in ball" and "not penetrative enough in hollowpoint." Since I can buy a 9x19 that's the size of a .380 . . .
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:18 PM
flop-shank flop-shank is offline
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Yeah, Erich. The thought of a Rohrbaugh enters my mind at times.
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:27 PM
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Had one once:



Kahr is another alternative (used to have one of them, too):



This one, I've actually kept:

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:35 PM
flop-shank flop-shank is offline
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Why did you get rid of the Rohrbaugh, bro?
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:40 PM
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You know, since we're here, I'll stick to talking about S&W firearms. It just wasn't for me; same with the Kahr.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flop-shank View Post
I don't know about 1100 fps., but XTPs as loaded by Fiocci, in their Extrema line of ammo (.380 Extrema test results are in the Perma-Gel threadpost #6) penetrate well. Sometimes pushing a bullet faster will make it penetrate deeper, sometimes it will penetrate less. A lot depends on the velocities involved and the design of the bullet.

Erich, thank you for your response at the end of page two.

Sven, I don't dutch load my weapons. I pick a load that I like and just run with it. YMMV.
Beleive me, 1100 is doable.... I've been using Power Pistol. I have a load somewhere that is a much heavier charge then what Alliant shows now, I have to look some more.

I can't seem to find the info you refer to?
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:40 PM
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Erich:

Thank you for your very good information and advice on the .380 ACP. I had been carrying the Golden Saber in my P3AT, but upon reading your advice, I just now switched it out for the WWB flat point FMJ's, which it has shot reliably with in the past. My P3AT had problems with the AE FMJ, so I won't carry it. I have some Prvi Partisan FMJ but I haven't tested it yet. So, I'm now loading with the WWB. Hopefully it will get the job done, should I ever need it. It is a tertiary weapon, so the odds are against needing it, thankfully!

Oh, and to drift the thread a little, I also carry the 135 gr. Speer SB load in my 442-2. That's my secondary/weak side gun, with a Kel-Tec PF-9 loaded with 147 gr. standard pressure HST as my primary. Someday I hope to replace it with a Glock 26 or 27.

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Old 09-01-2009, 10:18 AM
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Man, I hope that you never need to draw your third gun, too! Yikes!

Glad my thoughts were of interest. I suspect that overpenetration is probably not going to be much of a concern (given proper shot-placement) with the Winchester flat-point ball out of your P3AT. Always remember Rule Four, though - just in case!
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  #40  
Old 09-01-2009, 11:19 AM
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Erich I took you advise and was ordering the 38 wadcutters from Buffalo Bore and I saw these loads for a 380. I have never shot any +P loads in my Kel Tec 3pat but these loads seem to penetrate very well I was just wondering if you were familiar with these and which do you think would be the best load for the Kel Tec?

1.Item 27A/20 is a 100gr. HARD cast bullet with a flat nose. It is traveling over 1,150 fps out of my 3.75 inch BDA (Browning Double Action).
2.Item 27B/20 is the very same load as 27A above, but it uses a 95 gr. FMJ-FN (Full metal jacket-flat nose) bullet. We designed it for folks who simply don't like hard cast bullets
3.Item 27C/20 is a 90gr. Jacketed Hollow Point bullet and is the only hollow nosed expanding bullet we trust to expand reliably, yet penetrate deep enough to be lethal on a drugged up, pain free attacker. It is traveling over 1,200 fps out of my BDA (Browning Double Action) with its 3.75 inch barrel.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:22 PM
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I'm sorry, M41: I just don't know. I suppose it would depend on how fast they traveled out of your gun (and, as we've seen on this thread, there can be quite a spread in how fast a given round will travel out of even the same model of autopistol). The concerns, of course, are that you want something that will function flawlessly in your gun and that will give accurate placement, and you don't want something that will overpenetrate or that won't penetrate sufficiently.

You know, the only time I've ever messed with greater-than-average-powered .380s were the Double Tap rounds that I mentioned up-thread. I can tell you that they did not function reliably in my SIG-Sauer P232 (not a real surprise: blowback guns are designed to function with rounds of a certain range of oomph, and these rounds were likely outside that range) or my friend's Kel-Tec P3AT (which surprised me, since it was a locked-breech gun). (This was a disappointment, as I'd spent a decent little chunk of cash on obtaining 100 rounds of the DT loading as soon as it was released.)

So, my first concern would be whether the various Buffalo Bore loads (definitely outside the mundane envelope of .380 performance) would function reliably in your gun. The second concern that would have to be addressed before I'd carry them is whether they would they be likely to overpenetrate out of your gun. Only if I were satisfied on the first two points would I worry about underpenetration.

The problem is that I just can't predict any of these things - sorry.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:57 PM
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Great thread. My meager contribution is that the FBI has never (at least in the last 40 years or so) issued .380s to regular street agents.

There were .380s in the inventory for issue to guys working undercover who want a "non-cop" type gun. I knew a guy who carried a PPK, and the ammo issued with it was Silvertip hollowpoint. That was years ago - with so many bad guys carrying Glocks there's no real "cop guns" these days, anyway.
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  #43  
Old 09-01-2009, 01:10 PM
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Thanks, Brad - that's good info.
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Old 09-01-2009, 04:28 PM
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M41, FWIW, I tested Buffalo Bore's .380+P 90 gr. Gold Dot load in my P3AT. They are too hot and will destroy the gun quickly IMO. Ballistically they were as bad to the bone as a .380 is ever likely to get. It's too bad they didn't work out.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:13 PM
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Yoiks! Good info, flop-shank. The locked-breech might make the gun's action strong, but it's still a really light little .380 and having the thing come apart when you needed it would be most unfortunate.
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich View Post
Yoiks! Good info, flop-shank. The locked-breech might make the gun's action strong, but it's still a really light little .380 and having the thing come apart when you needed it would be most unfortunate.
So very true, especially with the availability of itty-bitty 9mms that are pretty much the same size as the .380s.

Waaaay back when, I went through a period of hot rodding .357s. Fortunately, my model 28 was/is a robust beast and allowed me to see the error of my ways without damaging either it or me. If you need to hit harder, get a bigger hammer.
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:44 PM
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I don't know if this is true, and I don't have the facts to correlate it. But I have heard that the Ruger LCP can handle +p .380 loads whereas an P-3AT cannot. Anyone know this for certain? Just curious, not that I can find any +p .380 loads to even test. I have several Hydrashok and Golden Saber rounds. Right now I keep Hydrashoks in my LCP. When I carry it. I mostly rely on the M&P340 stoked with Corbon .357 mags in my pocket and I carry the LCP when I feel like a change. But I feel inadequate when I have the LCP.

It seems I have found the answer to my own question. Here is a quote direct from Ruger posted by an LCP owner on another forum. I will post it as he has.

Thank you for using the Ruger On-Line Customer Support Request Form.

This e-mail is in response to your question or comment of 08/07/2009
Request No: 37758

Comment / question:

I am an LCP owner. I would like to know Ruger's official position on the use of +P 380 ammunition in the LCP. I fully understand that there is no SAAMI +P rating for the 380 but at least two manufacturers are selling 380 ammo with a +P rating, some with listed velocities as high as 1175 fps with a 90 grain bullet. Does Ruger consider these safe in the LCP?

Thanks,
XXXXXXXXXXX

Response:
No. The Ruger LCP was not designed for use with +P ammunition. Given the LCP’s lightweight and compact design, the use of +P ammunition in this particular model may result damage to the firearm or personal injury.

If you need further information, please visit our website at Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. or contact us at:

Revolvers, shotguns, rifles, 10/22 Charger Pistol: (603) 865-2442
Pistols: (928) 778-6555
Serial Number History Information: (603) 865-2424

Please note: This e-mail is sent from a notification-only address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.

Sincerely,
Ruger Firearms

Last edited by Firehouse; 09-01-2009 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:57 PM
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According to the manual and the people at Ruger tech support the LCP can NOT handle any +P rounds.
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:57 PM
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I got a email back from Buffalo Bore and he said that he carried a Kel Tec most of the time and he used the 100 gr hard cast flat nose at 1061 fps out of his Tel Kel. He said they hadn't had any problem with any of the 3 loads. I thought I would get a box and fire a clip and see how it does and what kind of recoil it has and if everhthing is ok, I may use them to carry.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:36 PM
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Wow, you've got to love that sort of responsiveness from a company. I'll be waiting to hear your report on them!
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