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I've recently reacquainted myself with the Glock 42. The dang thing is just so easy to get shots on target quickly and with rarapidity.

I've messed with small frame revolvers in that role for...well forever...but I find the G42 compelling.

I think I'll start carrying it at least occasionally.

Not having carried a .380 for some time, I'm a little out of the loop on the state of play in regards to .380 defensive ammo.

For you folks carrying a .380, what is the current thinking on .380 defense loads?

Also, I see there are +1 base plates available for the gun that seem to add little or no bulk over the Glock finger rest base plate.

Are these aftermarket +1 base plates (Pierce) generally considered reliable?

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I have a Remington RM380 for when deep concealment is required. Being a stickler about ammo choice I did a great deal of research on 380 ACP for self defense. The two links below connect with the best 380 testing I found. If you are going to carry 380 you need to watch the two videos. Watch the top link first. It reports the final results of a series of tests of the ammo. The entire series in on YT, but the link is the important one to watch. Then watch the other link. The tester finds a better option. That option is now my ammo: Lehigh Extreme Penetrator.


https://youtu.be/GNtPHYwcDts

https://youtu.be/LczfeWK9lHw
 

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The Magtech 85gr Guardian Gold is my choice. As luck would have it, the ballistic tests for the .380 were conducted with a G42.


I selected the Magtech because of the bullet expansion at a 1000+ velocity and righteous penetration when you consider a .380 will not be used for distance shooting but rather up close and personal.
 

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Much more comfortable with Ammo Quest/Shootingthebull410 than with Lucky Gunner. Shootingthebull410 isn't hawking ammo and trying to maximize profits.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. This is just the type of info I was looking for.

The Lehigh looks real good to me. Just not a lot of energy to work with in the 380acp. The Lehigh seems consistent while creating more tissue damage than FMJ.

I think I'll pick some up.

Thanks again guys.
 

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Much more comfortable with Ammo Quest/Shootingthebull410 than with Lucky Gunner. Shootingthebull410 isn't hawking ammo and trying to maximize profits.
So. They are lying about the numbers and using altered photos and vids?
 

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For you folks carrying a .380, what is the current thinking on .380 defense loads?
.380 ammo thinking hasn't changed much in the last 10 years. Some people suggest carrying only FMJ in .380 because they believe JHP will clog and, thus, behave the same as FMJ. I, however, am not one who has bought into that.

Realistically, I'll take potential for expansion while under-penetrating a little bit (i.e. JHP) … over zero expansion and a much higher potential for over-penetration (i.e. FMJ) … every day of the week. Why? Because my fear of an over-penetrating round going through the target and harming an innocent outweighs my fear of not being able to fire follow-up rounds if the first shot under-penetrates. Key to this is that in the latter situation, it's most likely me in harm's way of the attacker … as opposed to an innocent in harm's way because of me (per the former worry).

My BUG is chambered in .380, and when I'm in shorts, flip-flops, etc. while out on the boat or the like, it ends up being my primary carry because I can't readily conceal much more without looking way out of place due to dressing around my EDC. It is loaded out with 6+1 Speer .380 90gr GDHP rounds -- which should be more than enough stopping power against 1-3 attackers provided that I do my part regarding shot placement.

Speer .380 90gr GDHP's are known to be reliable expanders that retain their weight quite well. If you choose to carry them, you should expect several inches less penetration than you'd get from a 9mm 127gr or 147gr Federal HST.

I am in no way affiliated with or supported by Speer, by the way.




I've heard and read good things about Hornady's 90gr .380 Critical Defense round, as well -- specifically that the rounds are also reliable expanders that retain their weight:
 
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Used the Gold Dot .380s for years, and have since switched to the Hornady XTPs. Both remain good choices, and nothing will turn a .380 into a death ray. But then, no handgun round is really a death ray.
As regards the mag extension, I'm a real skeptic. It is a much discussed item over at Glock Talk, with supporters and doubters.
Personally, my 42s have always run 100% with unmodified factory mags, and I hate to mess with that batting average.
For the OP, presume your 42 is current production, which will give it all the good updates. Early guns had really heavy triggers (8-9lbs!) and issues with the slide stop engaging while there were rounds in the mag. Current production avoids these problems.
If you buy additional magazines, make sure they are marked '03'. There are still older mags out there on dealers' shelves, tho' Glock will swap you for 03s if you send them in.
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks guys. My G42 is completely reliable (so far) with a decent Glock trigger. It's not as good a trigger as my G40 10mm has but its shootable.

I must have got lucky and got a Gen 2 gun.

I am thinking of buying another G42. Guns that I shoot a lot and carry I like to have two of.

In buying a new G42 gun, how can I be sure I'm getting a gun manufactured post updates? Is their a serial number range I should be looking for?





Good tip on the mags. I just bought a few mags...I need to check them for 03....

As far as the mag extensions go...I think I'll pass. Any whiff of reduced reliability makes them not worth it to me.
I'll just work on my mag changes with the little guy.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I like the idea of a little science behind the choice. Though I suspect if the tests were run again, there would be slight differences in performance from the first run.

For me...I'm looking for something with the mix of adequate penetration with the potential for better tissue damage than ball.

In the 380, it looks like choices must be made as it is hard to get consistent penetration and expansion from the round.

For me personally, I'll error on the side of penetration over expansion.

This leads me to the Lehigh defence extreme penetrator. Good penetration but with less chance of over penetration than ball. Better tissue damage potential than ball. More likely to penetrate deeply than many hollerpoints. The round will be my choice if it feeds reliably in the G42. I suspect it will.

No, I do not have illusions any 380 bullet will turn the gun into a death ray. Still...I want the odds going in my favor to the extent I can control them.

Yes, I practice regularly with my carry gun. I understand the importance of placing your shots. That is a big reason I like the G42. It just so dam easy to hit with. Way easier than the small revolvers i shot and carried as a BUG for years. This is especially true when we are talking about revolvers weighing anywhere near what a G42 weighs.

Thanks again to everyone who commented. Much appreciated.
 

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Jimmo, unless you encounter a G42 that's been gathering dust on a dealer's shelf, you won't run into the older models. Two easy checks; trigger pull should be in the 5-5.5 lb range, and magazines should be 03s.
The 42 is the finest small defense pistol extant, IMHO.
And don't feel bad about a spare...I have three. :eek:
Moon
 

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Hands down Lehigh Defense. I’ve conducted some very unscientific testing of my own. “generally speaking” hollow points tent to clog and not expand, the red tipped Hornady don’t always expand... the Lehigh do a lot of damage. I make no claims that your results will or will not mirror my own. I carry a Colt Mustang XSP and always Lehigh Defense. I bet my life on it...in the summer. Otherwise it’s a Walther PPQ M2 45, with Lehigh Defense.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I really like the 42, but I love my Colt Pocketlite Mustang. Hornady XTP 95-100gr ammo works great.
I had one of the original Colt Mustangs and sold it like a fool. It wasn't the most accurate gun but it was accurate enough and very reliable. A nice little gun for sure.

The general quality and accuracy of the gun were maybe not quite up to the Sig P230 or HK P7K3s I had at the time but...it was more reliable and concealable than either of them.

I went ahead and ordered some of that Lehigh defense 380 and will see if it feeds ok in my Glock 42.

I'd be comfortable as well with the Hornady XTP load. It also seems like a great choice.
 

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Precision One 90 gr XTP. Ammo Quest test darn near everything on the market in .380.

Also, Lehigh Extreme Penetrator if I'm not worried about over penetration.

 

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This topic is beaten like a rented mule on Glock Talk and some other forums. I've given up chasing the latest-greatest. Pick one of the viable suggestions, shoot enough of it to make sure your 42 likes it. It should. They're not picky.
Moon
 
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Hi
Not bad to remember that the short nine is not the best choice for self-defense. ESPECIALLY with EXPANSIVE bullets.
Yes, with an accurate hit, the 9х17(18) FMJ bullet will do its job no worse than 9x19, but there is not much energy in it from the outset.
Expansive bullets too often show unpredictable behavior when injured. Even new 9x19 army round.
I think that the best choice would be such a cartridge, which ABSOLUTELY RELIABLY WORKS in your own gun.
First of all, the gun must shoot and the bullet hit the right place. This is achieved only by preparing the shooter and weapons.

Everything else is advertising. And no one shooting at the marmalade will show the truth of the picture.
 
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