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Old 10-18-2010, 07:01 PM
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Default Good 380 SD ammo recommendations please...

Picked up a Ruger LCP on a great deal ,but I don't know much about 380 ammo...Any good SD ammo out there for 380?
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:12 PM
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Here ya go!

.380 load (Calling Erich)

There's another good thread.. but I didn't see it.. search for it if you want.
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Old 10-18-2010, 07:20 PM
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Thank you...
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:42 PM
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I do not have the personal, real-life experience base from which my good friend Erich writes, but he and I correspond often on the subject. I have done a fair amount of water testing for penetration of various self-defense loads, including several .380s. My personal backup .380s presently all carry Remington 102gr. Golden Saber. My testing shows that that particular load expands well most of the time, and penetrates well, but not great. My second choice would be any of the reliable ball loads. I've tested Pow'rBall, Gold Dot, Hydra-Shok and Silvertip .380s from my P3ATs, a PPK and my Colt Mustangs. All of those feed well in all my pistols, and all expand, with the Pow'rBall expanding the best, to the biggest diameter. However, all of these bullets have what I consider to be inadequate penetration. Pow'rBall hardly penetrates at all, but expands like crazy.

Just last weekend, I decided to again test the Remington GS load from a P3AT, and to test a round of Double Tap .380 ball, both from my newest P3AT. The GS expanded beautifully, with full penetration of two 1/2 gallon milk jugs full of water, the jacket getting shed in a third, 1-gallon jug, and the core barely penetrating into the next gallon jug. I'd have liked to see the jacket stay with the core, and both to have gotten into that next jug easily. That would be consistent with known "stoppers," like .357/125gr. SJHP and my beloved 125gr. Silvertip 9x23.

When I shot a round of the Double Tap ball, it zipped right through two half-gallon jugs, two gallon jugs, and kept on truckin' cross country. I would say that there is some danger of overpenetration with this round. The greatest concern for me came from the fact that the case from the round of DT ball failed to completely extract, evidently due to its staying obturated too hard and too long, such that the extractor slipped off the rim. Not good. Just because your little blaster feeds one kind of ball doesn't mean it will feed all ball. In fairness, the chamber was a little dirty, but not really dirty enough to have induced the malf.
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:08 AM
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Corbon DPX or Powrball
Winchester Ranger T
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:12 AM
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Keep in mind that Wild Bill Hickock killed 7 men (or was it 5?) in two years using an 1851 Colt Navy cap and ball revolver that launched a .36" piece of lead weighing about 90 gr. at a velocity near 900 fps. Now if you've checked your reloading manual you'll know that pretty much defines the ballistics of the .380 ACP. Having said that, I'll stick with my 125 gr. JHP's launched from my S&W Model 66 snubby, thank you.
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:42 AM
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Hi Okc-Zee,

There is a recent (and interesting) thread on the topic of 380 ACP defense rounds here:

Reviving a question: 380 FMJ or 380 JHP?

In addition, if you need target rounds, or if you choose to carry FMJ as defense rounds (as I and many others do), I have a case of 380 ammo for sale on this forum at the link below:

http://smith-wessonforum.com/accesso...e-reduced.html
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 38-44HD45 View Post
I do not have the personal, real-life experience base from which my good friend Erich writes, but he and I correspond often on the subject. I have done a fair amount of water testing for penetration of various self-defense loads, including several .380s. My personal backup .380s presently all carry Remington 102gr. Golden Saber. My testing shows that that particular load expands well most of the time, and penetrates well, but not great. My second choice would be any of the reliable ball loads. I've tested Pow'rBall, Gold Dot, Hydra-Shok and Silvertip .380s from my P3ATs, a PPK and my Colt Mustangs. All of those feed well in all my pistols, and all expand, with the Pow'rBall expanding the best, to the biggest diameter. However, all of these bullets have what I consider to be inadequate penetration. Pow'rBall hardly penetrates at all, but expands like crazy.

Just last weekend, I decided to again test the Remington GS load from a P3AT, and to test a round of Double Tap .380 ball, both from my newest P3AT. The GS expanded beautifully, with full penetration of two 1/2 gallon milk jugs full of water, the jacket getting shed in a third, 1-gallon jug, and the core barely penetrating into the next gallon jug. I'd have liked to see the jacket stay with the core, and both to have gotten into that next jug easily. That would be consistent with known "stoppers," like .357/125gr. SJHP and my beloved 125gr. Silvertip 9x23.

When I shot a round of the Double Tap ball, it zipped right through two half-gallon jugs, two gallon jugs, and kept on truckin' cross country. I would say that there is some danger of overpenetration with this round. The greatest concern for me came from the fact that the case from the round of DT ball failed to completely extract, evidently due to its staying obturated too hard and too long, such that the extractor slipped off the rim. Not good. Just because your little blaster feeds one kind of ball doesn't mean it will feed all ball. In fairness, the chamber was a little dirty, but not really dirty enough to have induced the malf.
I can't say for certain, but I've heard Double Tap is loaded to a dangerous PSI to the user. I'd second your opinion on Golden Saber being a top notch choice. I also really prefer Gold Dot and Hornady TAP or Critical Defense. But currently my wifes .380 is loaded with MagTech after noticing really good penetration from it.
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:10 AM
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With any semi-auto handgun the first consideration must be reliability in feeding, firing, extraction, and ejection. With any fixed-sight handgun the ammunition selected must provide point-of-impact at point-of-aim within the expected range of engagement.

With the relatively limited ballistic performance of the .380 cartridge I would concentrate more on absolute reliability and relative accuracy and less on expansion characteristics or terminal performance.

In my pistols I will not carry any ammunition that has not proven to be 100% reliable, and that includes testing with every magazine to be used. Any ammunition, and any magazine, that won't run through at least 100 rounds without a problem just won't make the grade for defensive use.

Best regards.
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