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The Speer Gold Dot seems to work, but I wish they had tested four
times in consistent simulated bone. The denim videos show good
results through 4 layers of denim.
(not to be confused with "Double Tap Gold Dot".)

Now, do they feed reliably ?
I'll stick with fmj.
Bullet must not jam and must penetrate.
.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
The Speer Gold Dot seems to be a good option. TNOutdoor also tested that load on YouTube. It didn't penetrate as well as the Hornady critical defense but still performed well had the important quality fir this caliber of limited expansion. At the end of the video he mentions the test media was calibrated at the high end of spec so possibly that limited penetration a bit.

Here is a link to the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTTuXpFChsA&feature=youtube_gdata_player
 

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a lot of good options in every other caliber, run into issues with penetration in .380

downfalls of a slower round.
 

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Let me answer based on what I think reasonable 380 terminal
performance might be through barriers.
Testing of direct impacts through denim and gelatin is only for
comparisons and simple situations.
For me, neglecting worst-cases, minimum penetration for a 380 from 5 feet might be:

1. If a bullet hits at a 20 deg slant, it passes through a leather coat,
and a rib, and 9'' of soft tissue.

2. If a bullet hits at a 10 degree slant, it passes through a leather coat,
then a sternum, then 7'' of soft tissue.

3. With a 10 degree slant, it passes through auto door glass,
then a leather coat, and a rib, and 4'' of soft tissue.

These conditions are tweaked since I'm satisfied with an 85 pct chance
of ending perp aggression with one "accurate" bullet, and 95 pct for
two accurate bullets.
Preparing for the worst cases is expensive and troublesome,
and rarely necessary.

Since such test results are not available, I maximize 380 penetration
with fmj (or "hard cast"). My testing in dried poplar is only a rough
indicator for 380 fmj. (2.9" penetration along the grain)

Yes, a bullet could pass through a perp (at a low velocity);
but it could miss with a high velocity. The fewer shots fired, the better.
An expander that penetrates a barrier and 2'' of soft tissue
means more shots, if you have that chance.
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Discussion Starter #26
Interesting take. Our 380 is for my wife to carry for defense situations only. My thought is that she most likely won't be in situations where she needs to shoot through glass etc to defend herself (drive away or run away if the BG is on the other side of a glass pane).

My thought (feel free to comment on its validity) is a threat to her where she might use a pistol will mean a close shot without barriers. For that, I'm more comfortable with a limited expansion bullet in a low power round like the 380 for stopping someone. In the video linked to earlier it shows guys running off after being shot......so I'm guessing high penetration with no expansion isn't much of a stopper. Also, no telling who or what you might hit on the other side of your intended target if you get complete pass-through (likely) so potentially it's less safe and a liability to use FMJ.
 

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"In the video linked to earlier it shows guys running off ...
I'm guessing high penetration with no expansion isn't much of a stopper.
"


But the doctor did not mention the type of bullet; he implied a 9mm
(re: 14:35 to 17:00). His point was to demonstrate that a 9mm does
not have the energy to knock someone down, and that they can be
mobile if critical structures are not damaged.

Then at 17:02 to 18:20 he demonstrates that a powerful .40 hp did not
penetrate much more after penetrating the sternum.


"no telling who you might hit ... if you get complete pass-through"

But the velocity of a bullet that has passed though a torso is relatively low.
And if a bullet passes through an arm or leg, or misses entirely, then
the type of bullet would not matter much.


"will mean a close shot without barriers"

Perps like leather, and winter coats, and carjackers
jack cars with closed windows, and people shot in
the chest have a large sternum and many ribs.


edit: Pg 12 of the PK manual requires ammo to comply with SAAMI specs.
At www.saami.org/specifications_and_information/VelocityPressureData.pdf
all can confirm that SAMMI has not approved a spec for 380 +p.
So I will not fire +p in the PK, despite the indirect wording elsewhere
in that manual
regarding +p. Umarex : +p or not ?
If so, what brands have pressure profiles that are acceptable and reliable ?
And how can we get that information in writing ?
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just aim for (and successfully hit) the face/neck. problem solved ;)
 

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There's little to nothing new under the sun. See post No. 6, again or for the first time.
 

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The goldenloki link is void. The archived link is at
http://web.archive.org/...goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/380acp/gel380acp.htm

These are common tests of nine 380 loads
through 2 layers of denim over gel, fired from 3 feet.
They only reveal what might happen in a belly shot through light clothing.

Also, "denim" is highly variable, so its not a reliable factor.
Its weight per square foot can vary by 150 percent.
It can be cotton, or a mix with other threads.
Its weave structure can be complex, or relatively simple.

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Discussion Starter #31
For my wife, I would rather her give up a car than get in a shootout. I certainly wouldn't advise shooting at a car jacker driving away.

I guess for her I would want a defense as a last resort against bodily harm. So I still lean toward a limited expansion bullet in a 380 over a FMJ for stopping someone.......even if wearing a coat etc.

I've seen the difference between FMJ and an expanding bullet in huntinng situations and I just can't warm up to FMJ.

Right now Speer Gold Dot and Hormandy Critical Defense top my list. Can't find SGD and did find the HCD so ordered some to try.
 

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Snip on 380 lack of penetration for live hogs.
If you get a bunch of thumbnail pics, then just pick on the second thumbnail.

From that Gun Digest Book of Beretta Pistols, Massad Ayoob, 2005 pg219-220

" I stopped using 380s in slaughterhouse testing for a long time after
six cases in a row where I shot a hog in the head in exactly the right spot,
and it looked at me and squealed. "
" Half the time, the 380 slug had stopped in the frontal wall of the
skull and never reached the brain. The other half of the time, it had
skidded off the front plate of the skull and along the side, usually
winding up in soft tissue near the ear. "
" When the 102gr Remington Golden Saber came along, promising
greater penetration than other 380 jhp rounds, I took it to the
slaughterhouse. It did not fully penetrate the hog's skull. "

My note:
It appears that 380 expanders are effective if the don't hit obstructions,
and their statistics are better for quick stops. But when they fail by hitting
obstructions, they do minimal damage. When one fmj to the chest fails to
put down a perp, it still does substantial damage by penetrating soft tissue.
And putting down a perp with one or two shots is not required if
their health, function, and priorities have suddenly changed.


Also, the reputation of expanders jamming pistols indicates
that a second shot might not be available in good time.
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worked for me. its an article snippet.
 

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I've carried concealed since 1981. As a working cop, my off duty weapon was a .45 ACP. After I retired in 2007, I continued to carry the .45, but now I acquiesce to lighter gun weight and carry a Colt Agent .38 Special revolver, loaded with 158 gr. LSWC's.
I wouldn't carry anything smaller or more anemic than .38 Special.
JMHO.

It's YOUR hide on the line ........... do as you wish. Better to have even a .22 than nothing.



(Just remember ------- a 9mm or .38 MIGHT expand, but a .45 will NEVER shrink.)
:)
 

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some images from an article i found online:














and here's the article for anyone interested.

"Over a 10-year period, I kept track of stopping power results from every shooting I could find. I talked to the participants of gunfights, read police reports, attended autopsies, and scoured the newspapers, magazines, and Internet for any reliable accounts of what happened to the human body when it was shot.

I documented all of the data I could; tracking caliber, type of bullet (if known), where the bullet hit and whether or not the person was incapacitated. I also tracked fatalities, noting which bullets were more likely to kill and which were not. It was an exhaustive project, but I'm glad I did it and I'm happy to report the results of my study here.

Before I get to the details, I must give a warning. I don't have any dog in this fight! I don't sell ammo. I'm not being paid by any firearm or ammunition manufacturer. I carry a lot of different pistols for self defense. Within the last 2 weeks, I've carried a .22 magnum, a .380 auto, a .38 spl revolver, 3 different 9mm autos and a .45 auto. I don't have an axe to grind. If you are happy with your 9mm, I'm happy for you. If you think that everyone should be carrying a .45 (because they don't make a .46), I'm cool with that too. I'm just reporting the data. If you don't like it, take Mr. Ayoob's advice...do a study of your own."

An Alternate Look at Handgun Stopping Power
 

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The author Ellifritz has some doubts about the unexpected 9mm results.
It might be that a huge source of data was military operations,
where the fire volume tends to be very high, and the zealot targets are
highly motivated by their mission and/or the promised rewards for death.

The data in general is surprising, and needs consideration of elusive factors.

LEO faces perps who sometimes have numbed pain responses,
and little to lose; so better too much lethality than a bit too little.
For me during Summer, the question is to carry or not to carry.
The smaller and lighter gun normally wins that contest.
.
 
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Sorry but I'm a sceptic. I suspect that much of what I see or read is greatly exagerated. Even if it's from a main stream news outlet.
 
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