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Thread: .32 vs .380 FMJ Is there much of a difference?

  1. #21
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    The .380 XTP load seems to do okay as far as penetration. Given that, I'd probably carry a .380 over .32, if those were the only choices. If it's down to FMJ between the two of them, then .380 has a bigger circumference than .32, which should answer that easily enough. I would think a "tumbling" .32 would be worse if it doesn't penetrate very deeply.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance435 View Post
    The .380 XTP load seems to do okay as far as penetration. Given that, I'd probably carry a .380 over .32, if those were the only choices. If it's down to FMJ between the two of them, then .380 has a bigger circumference than .32, which should answer that easily enough. I would think a "tumbling" .32 would be worse if it doesn't penetrate very deeply.
    Yea. I guess it comes down to .32 is more fun to shoot, .380 minimally more effective. I went with .32 because I had cases of it and no .380 stocked.

    My new full size px4 9mm has been reliable after a couple hundred ball and generic jhp rounds as well as 150 124 gr +p golden sabers so it's ready to carry. I'll carry it as much as I can. (well see what happens when summer comes)

    Thanks for the disscussion.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance435 View Post
    The .380 XTP load seems to do okay as far as penetration. Given that, I'd probably carry a .380 over .32, if those were the only choices. If it's down to FMJ between the two of them, then .380 has a bigger circumference than .32, which should answer that easily enough. I would think a "tumbling" .32 would be worse if it doesn't penetrate very deeply.
    And reliable expansion? I'd expect most recent .380 has improved, but I recall the batch modern testing found all .380 JHPs did not show reliable penetration and expansion and for that reason, FMJ recommended. Friends don't let friends CCW .380
    - Will

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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillBrink View Post
    And reliable expansion? I'd expect most recent .380 has improved, but I recall the batch modern testing found all .380 JHPs did not show reliable penetration and expansion and for that reason, FMJ recommended. Friends don't let friends CCW .380
    The XTP does expand fairly reliably, though not to the point that it's even a middle-of-the-pack 9mm JHP. Still, not a bad round for .380, if you have to carry it for some reason.

    Ron3 - I agree that .32 is fun to shoot - I had a Tomcat that I wish I hadn't sold - practical for nothing, but fun to shoot.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance435 View Post
    The XTP does expand fairly reliably, though not to the point that it's even a middle-of-the-pack 9mm JHP. Still, not a bad round for .380, if you have to carry it for some reason.

    Ron3 - I agree that .32 is fun to shoot - I had a Tomcat that I wish I hadn't sold - practical for nothing, but fun to shoot.
    With the large selection of quality sub compact 9mm handguns that are at worst, just slightly larger than .380 offerings, no reason I can think of why anyone has to carry a the .380. 32 for plinker fun, sure. SD/CCW? Nope.
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillBrink View Post
    With the large selection of quality sub compact 9mm handguns that are at worst, just slightly larger than .380 offerings, no reason I can think of why anyone has to carry a the .380. 32 for plinker fun, sure. SD/CCW? Nope.
    In most instances, I agree, but it's hard to beat an LCP for concealability in the summer when running quick errands (especially in gym shorts). I'll carry an LCP in very limited circumstances, otherwise it's a 9 - one mag of XTPs and one with flat-nose FMJ.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillBrink View Post
    With the large selection of quality sub compact 9mm handguns that are at worst, just slightly larger than .380 offerings, no reason I can think of why anyone has to carry a the .380. 32 for plinker fun, sure. SD/CCW? Nope.
    I couldn't find comparable gun in 9mm. The Cheetah is my compact carry gun. My full size is now a px4. (Full size).

    Even the Cheetah is a little heavier than I'd like for a compact. But it checks a lot of boxes for me.

    My subcompact is a Ruger LCR .357.

    For backups I use the LCR or Beretta Jetfire .25.
    Last edited by Ron3; 11-18-17 at 09:48.

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    Update.

    I got a .380 barrel for the Cheetah. I had to know what it's like from this gun vs. .32.

    If I shoot it as well as with the .32 I'll carry it with .380 fmj. Although it means I'll have to stock another caliber and buy more mags I'll at the very least gain another round. (.32 mags are 12 rd,. 380 mags are 13 rd.) In addition, the .380 mags cost half as much.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron3 View Post
    Update.

    I got a .380 barrel for the Cheetah. I had to know what it's like from this gun vs. .32.

    If I shoot it as well as with the .32 I'll carry it with .380 fmj. Although it means I'll have to stock another caliber and buy more mags I'll at the very least gain another round. (.32 mags are 12 rd,. 380 mags are 13 rd.) In addition, the .380 mags cost half as much.
    PM me if you decide to get rid of that .32 barrel.
    RLTW

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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1168 View Post
    I've had the opportunity to examine a few humans who had been shot with (probably, per witnesses or shootee) pocket guns. Some exited, none appear to have expanded, most were found as lumps just under the skin on the far side of the wound. I feel that slow moving, round nosed bullets have a tendency to veer off in flesh when encountering a junction between different types of tissue, such as bone and connective tissue, while flat noses or hollowpoints tend to drive straighter. This is anecdotal, though. There are many types of tissue between your skin and vital organs; some are tougher or stretchier than you might expect.

    The ammo quest guy got decent penetration results from some of the XTP .380 loadings he tried, and your results could be better than his. Faster loads were better, IIRC, and Cheetah barrels are longer than the one he used. You might also consider Underwood/Lehigh solid copper loads because they are not roundnose. Its the first load I would test for function if I carried a .32.

    A lot of people have been killed by pocket pistols, but you need to manage your expectations for terminal performance. I've been looking at Cheetahs also, because I am switching to DA/SA in my go-to pistols. I need something to fill the single stack position in my lineup and will probably buy an 85 or .32 equivalent. The triggers on the Cheetahs I have tried seem very good, stock.
    This. Based on a very small sample of homicides whose forensics I've seen, neither round exhibits much expansion in hollow points, and even FMJ does not typically exit.

    I'd bet on the .380 over the .32, just because the bullet is a bit heavier. Both exhibit penetration problems that .38 / 9mm and larger do not have. On the rare occasions I can carry nothing but a tiny pistol, I run .380 with 95 grain FMJ.

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