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Discussion Starter #1
Bought a 380 Auto pistol fir my wife. I've seen very little test data on self defense ammo in this caliber which has a little slower velocity window than many popular calibers.

So who makes ammo that performs well at these lower velocities? Thanks!
 

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i saw a test online showing the expansion and penetration of Hornady Critical Defense FTX .380 and it seemed pretty decent.

if body armor is an issue, i don't see any .380 round being particularly effective, aside from a +P, which i don't think is recommended in the PK380 unless i'm mistaken.

The hornady ftx is what i keep chambered in the gun in my night stand, with a 2nd mag of FMJ.
 

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From 17:00 to 18:20 is about a .40 cal hp wound through a sternum.
(the 40 has more than double the energy of the 380)
And this clip does not account for heavy coats, or glass, or angle, or distance ... .


Buffalo Bore makes a few types of expanding 380 ammo (mostly +p),
but they warn against trusting any expanding 380 ...

From www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=60 :
"When dealing with small and under-powered pistol cartridges such
as 32 ACP, 380 ACP or 9X18 Makarov, it is a possibly fatal mistake
to use expanding bullets for self defense."

Brassfetcher has data on 380, but only the suggestion of choosing fmj over jhp.
However, there is a specific recommendation to choose fmj over jhp for 32acp:
http://www.brassfetcher.com/32ACP/32ACP Recommendations.pdf
.
 

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Snips indicate he's moving to the home of his wife's family in Thailand. (unconfirmed)
The old link is not active.
He posted this at another forum .....

C'mon now. Once something is posted on the internet it is never really gone.
GoldenLoki.com

I am using my web space to host pics of all the stuff I am selling off.

GL
.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I noticed last night that tntoutdoors on YouTube has several videos where he tests several 380 Auto self defense offerings from different mfgs (including full metal jacket).

For the record, FMJ had very deep penetration and a very small wound channel just like you would expect. Not sure FMJ is the right choice for me. The Hornady Critical Defense appears to be a good tradeoff between penetration and expansion at least for this round based on the videos from tntoutdoors.

Here is a link to the video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H9M6cZGd18&feature=youtube_gdata_player
 

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+p .... reloads ....

Some unclear prose regarding +p ammo in 2012 PK380 Manual ….
(The implication seems to be that even though +p has pressures
in
excess of standard, it's apparently allowed since it
"has been subjected
to internal ballistic pressure testing" by SAAMI.)

Page 7:
" Never use non-standard, reloaded, or handloaded ammunition which
has not been subjected to internal ballistic pressure testing. "

Page 8:
"WALTHER WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY PERSONAL INJURY,
DEATH OR PROPERTY DAMAGE THAT RESULTS FROM:
….
(4) NON-STANDARD, DEFECTIVE, IMPROPER OR RELOADED AMMUNITION

Page 12:
“Plus-P” (+P) ammunition generates pressures in excess of the pressure
associated
with standard ammunition. Such pressures may affect the
wear characteristics or
exceed the margin of safety.
Use of (+P) ammunition may require more frequent service.
.

 

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he's expanding on our comments about not wanting to use +P and +p+ ammo in the pk380
 

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Now and then I notice folks mention +p, which could make the
marginal 380 more potent. (and give expanders a better chance)

Even though the PK appears to be cleared for +p,
I'm not sure that I want to go there, partly due
to the cautionary language in the manual.

I guess I might test some +p and have a mag
ready for some situations. .But never +p+.
Certainly the source of the +p would be very
important, since the SAAMI specs are more crucial.
.
 

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this is kind of a noobish question but, on the subject of penetration for self defense i started thinking,

is there something inherently wrong with loading a magazine with, say, some expanding rounds with a few FMJ on top of the magazine?

you get a few FMJ rounds to break through glass/armor or whatever you might need to penetrate (essentially giving you some stopping power by doing damage to an attacker), and then expanding rounds, not necessarily to thread through the same hole you made with the FMJ because that's just silly, but assuming a round or two of FMJ maybe slowed an approaching attacker down, you may have an extra second for a well placed expanding round to a leg or another unprotected area.

i realize there's no way to "plan" a defense situation, and it goes against the whole KISS method (personally, i'd never have more than one type of round in my pistol). i'm simply continuing the conversation with a hypothetical.
 

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That seems like a reasonable hedge against the limitations in each type.

If the right expander is chosen, and it feeds reliably,
maybe alternating expanders with fmj is reasonable.

I see cautions against mixing ammo; jamming risk; rimlock maybe.
But I might mix ammo if I've tested the mix enough.

I always have a round chambered, so that would be an expander,
since the risk of misfeeding is lower with fmj.

.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Back to the original question, for a low power round like the 380 Auto it seems you wouldn't want an expanding bullet that expands to a large diameter limiting penetration. The Hornady CD is a good example of an expanding bullet that doesn't expand too large. Are there other similar limited expansion defense bullets?
 

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The crucial feature for expanding ammo is whether it will cycle reliably.

I keep one Win PDX1 in the chamber, but it does not feed well.
The rounds in the mag are fmj, but if I was to add an expander in the mag,
it would be Hornady FTX because of it's narrow nose and low expansion
usually without disintegration.
As I recall, I had no problems with cycling of FTX.

I have not kept up with expanding bullets for a few years.
There might be others that would work well for me.

Cost of special ammo is also an issue, since proving function
in a gun can cost up to 200usd if there are issues and adjustments.
(They run a buck each, if available. Maybe more now.)
 

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If you go on youtube you can see for yourself that some expand and some don't. It seems once the four layers of denim is applied to the testing, most start to fail.
Gold dots and critical defense seem to work best for this with gold dot being a bonded round which stays together. So do you accept that the expanded rounds only go in 9, 10 and 11 inches at the most? If so and you feel confident go with these rounds. If you feel it's not enough then ball is the only option, or is it? Why not use Remington golden sabers that don't expand with denim, penetrates deep with 102 bullet and the front of the nose at least cuts tissue. Unlike ball ammo with a smooth frontal area. Just a thought!
 

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EDIT: I should have looked for video of tests with denim.
The Federal and Remington all clogged with denim at these low energies,
and failed to expand. The Corbon had small expansion [+p+?].
At least the Hornady FTX has a plug to prevent clogging.
Other than one FTX in the pipe, I will not use a 380 expander.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My original comment entry:
Based on an article by an anonymous source put forth by Chuck Hawks

at 380 ammo For Self-Defense .... (August 2012)
it appears that the two best standard pressure options might be
Federal 90gr Hydrashok and Remington 102gr Golden Saber.
The following is from the article's author:
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:
Federal 90 grain Hydra-shok (the best standard-pressure load)
Cor-Bon 90 grain JHP - the most powerful .380 hollowpoint [+p+ ?]
Another good .380 acp jhp:
Remington 102 grain Golden Saber BJHP
Many like this new Remington round for its deeper penetration.
-----------------------------------------------
.

 

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Check this out on you tube "Hog's head and the 380 gold dot". I was really impressed by the gold dot round. This is the video that really convinced me that a tough bonded bullet is really the only was to go. Something about the sabers that appeals to me. I just wish remington would adjust their bjhp to expand and not clog up when denim is applied.
 
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