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Thread: 380 ACP

  1. #1
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    380 ACP

    I carry one of two pistols, a Glock 19 and a Ruger LCP.

    I feel I have a handle on 9mm and carry 124 gr GDHP.

    I am less comfortable with ammo selection in the LCP. I am reluctant to buy enough JHP to have confidence the LCP will run them when my understanding is the JHP rounds don't really expand reliably. I have simply been carrying ball, which the LCP feeds and fires without issue.

    Am I really that far off base using FMJ in the 380?

    Andy

    P.S. I am a civilian living in a low crime area without any interesting habits that would cause me to frequent dangerous establishments. I primarily carry to/at/from the range and when I travel. I only carry the LCP when concealing the G19 is impractical but shoot it quite a bit. Home defense is not a use case for the LCP.

  2. #2
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    Our only Dept authorized .380 carry ammo is Speer 90g TMJ due to reliability and ability to (barely) reach minimum penetration depth. This is after extensive testing in the LCP, Bodyguard, and G42 with all major loads.

    While a useless accomplishment, I can make consistent hits at 50Y on 10" steel with my LCP and Speer TMJ.
    I guess my point being it's all about good hits or I guess really any hits with a .380.

    Dennis.

    PS. I only carry the LCP as a backup to my G19 off duty or as a tertiary gun on duty ;-)

  3. #3
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    Definitely FMJ. It seems 380 HP expand well but penetration is minimal at best. I run Lehigh Defense 90g Xtreme Penetrator in my three 380's. IMO, they give the needed penetration & also the terminal performance desired. The caveat (as always) is to make sure your firearm will function reliably with them. They have a unique nose profile some guns may not like.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    Our only Dept authorized .380 carry ammo is Speer 90g TMJ due to reliability and ability to (barely) reach minimum penetration depth. This is after extensive testing in the LCP, Bodyguard, and G42 with all major loads.

    While a useless accomplishment, I can make consistent hits at 50Y on 10" steel with my LCP and Speer TMJ.
    I guess my point being it's all about good hits or I guess really any hits with a .380.

    Dennis.

    PS. I only carry the LCP as a backup to my G19 off duty or as a tertiary gun on duty ;-)
    I had to look up tertiary

    Andy

  5. #5
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    I carry the Hornady 90gr Critical defense in my Bodyguard 380. It has cycled 100% and I've seen some good results on bowling pins as well as youtube.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H9M6cZGd18
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
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  6. #6
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    Friends don't let friends CCW .380

    But seriously, considering how small some 9mm pistols are today, 9mm being a known/vetted entity terminal ballistics wise, the fact .380 has been notoriously inconsistent in testing, etc, why bother? I gather .380 JHPs continue to improve, does not seem to me wort it. FMJ has been recommended over the years. I have not seen third party testing of new JHPs that would change my mind, but I have not looked recently either.
    - Will

    General Performance/Fitness Advice for all

    www.BrinkZone.com


    “Those who do not view armed self defense as a basic human right, ignore the mass graves of those who died on their knees at the hands of tyrants.”

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillBrink View Post
    Friends don't let friends CCW .380
    I don't disagree with the sentiment, but to me, the LCP and similar sized 380s take the place of the .25 ACP "vest pocket" pistols.

    Andy

  8. #8
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    FMJ.

    I'd only consider something like the XTP in a 3.5 in or longer barrel. Even though I carry a Beretta M81FS I still use .32 FMJ. Less recoil for fast follow-ups, unlikely over-penetration.

    IMO the threshold of using JHP's is .38 Special with a 3 inch barrel or longer and 9x19 and up.

  9. #9
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    I stopped carrying my PPQ in favor of a S&W Bodyguard 380 for a few reasons, with the former now being relegated to home defense.

    My primary carry load are Hornady Custom 90-grain XTPs. All of the XTPs save the Underwood +P seem to be able to consistently reach 12" and expand modestly. I also have some Hydra-Shoks that came with the gun when I bought it from the previous owner, but those are getting shot during my next range visit.

    I've seriously considered the standard-pressure Xtreme Penetrator lately. What I'm really looking forward to is the Hydra-Shok DEEP that Federal is releasing a .380 version of sometime this year. If the 9mm performance is anything to go by, it should be just about perfect.

    Shootingthebull410 has done the most comprehensive work-up of .380 ACP ammo testing I've seen. And while Doc Roberts is still no fan of the .380, he has endorsed STB's test protocol and conclusions.

    http://shootingthebull.net/blog/fina...cp-ammo-quest/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNtPHYwcDts

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by matemike View Post
    I carry the Hornady 90gr Critical defense in my Bodyguard 380.
    While the testing was many years ago and things have likely upgraded since then, I understand this is the exact combo that nixed that round from approval. I am sure they ran hundreds if not thousands of rounds through multiple Bodyguards at the time. Just an FYI. If you have run hundreds through yours successfully then enjoy!

    Dennis.
    Last edited by Dennis; 04-10-20 at 13:12.

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