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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After too long of a delay, I've finally started grinding out the words behind the study I've done of .380 ACP rounds, and posted part one.

Yes, this is a bit of a blog pimping, but as I have no ads or monetization, one can hardly call it self-serving … it's just that there's too many words to make a good forum post.

A short excerpt:
me said:
Our ideal round is not necessarily the same as the officer’s – but there are many similarities. If we’re forced to shoot in self-defense (presuming our threat doesn’t quit, run away, or hide) we very much need our action to stop the threat – maybe more so, as we may not have an armed partner and government behind us. Accordingly, on ammunition sites and YouTube vloggers alike the barrier tests are usually not replicated, and you’ll find tests largely involving bare gel or denim/cloth/fleece “heavy clothing” (and the occasional bag of oranges). This set of articles uses the 12″-18″ FBI standard, not because the .380 ACP is a duty round, but because some objective standard is better than none. When making your own choice, keep in mind this is about personal defense, not duty.

...this study doesn’t “trust” or “distrust” Shooting the Bull 410, Lucky Gunner, or any other author. It pulls together 330+ rounds from 12 different authors, 12 different firearms, and 29 different types of ammunition, all in .380 ACP.
Full article at http://www.wereratgames.com along with a prior bit I'd posted, which has nothing at all to do with arms but is a data science item about simulation racing.

Anyway enjoy, and I'm looking forward to cranking the rest of it out in intervals of less than a week each so this wordy intro doesn't get stale.
 

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Having heavily researched 9mm and 380 ACP ballistics through barriers I clicked on your link. I clicked on it six times. Th last time I waited for to minutes. No commotion. I will try again later.
 

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Link won't load for me.
I actually just started carrying a backup in 380acp.....
 

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The new link works (slow). I began reading and came to an important error in the beginning.

You wrote: “The officer has a duty to protect the public,……”

That is not tru since June of 2005 when “The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm.”
(US Supreme Court June 20015)

Source of the above quotation

Now I will go back to reading your writing.
 

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The ONLY time “The officer has a duty to protect the public,……” applies, is when LEO has a member of "the public" in custody.


If a citizen is NOT informed they're under arrest and handcuffed, the CITIZEN is where the buck stops in regard to their/loved ones safety.
 
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Why bother? Physics will enlighten ya. Same diameter bullet. But the 9x19 is heavier and goes faster. Simple physics tells us it will deliver more energy and penetrate deeper and do more damage to bones and muscles and organs.

I can see no reason to carry a .380 when the 9mm is available, generally at a cheaper price and with better bullet selections, and generally in better guns (blowbacks vs. browning rotating/locking breach).

So, generally same size guns but 9x19 is cheaper, better gun designs, and more effective...
 

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I can see no reason to carry a .380 when the 9mm is available, generally at a cheaper price and with better bullet selections, and generally in better guns (blowbacks vs. browning rotating/locking breach).

So, generally same size guns but 9x19 is cheaper, better gun designs, and more effective...
I have Five 380acp pistols (Okay, I will toss the Makarov in the pile and say six). The Makarov (actually 9x18, but it is really close to 9x17) if the only blowback pistol of the lot.

This idea that 380 pistols are all blowback is way behind the current market.
 

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I have Five 380acp pistols (Okay, I will toss the Makarov in the pile and say six). The Makarov (actually 9x18, but it is really close to 9x17) if the only blowback pistol of the lot.

This idea that 380 pistols are all blowback is way behind the current market.
Okay fine.

But what is GAINED by a smaller and more expensive bullet with less offerings?
 

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Okay fine.

But what is GAINED by a smaller and more expensive bullet with less offerings?
Okay, first off, this reflects a decision that I have made. I am not trying to convert anyone. I am not calling anyone foolish or wrong, I am looking at my choice for staying with 380ap as a carry cartridge.

1. I just happen to prefer it.

I am a bit of a minimalist, I ride my bicycle to work every day, I line dry my clothing when I can, I hitch a utility trailer to my compact instead of getting a truck, and in many other areas of my life. I try for less in my attempt to apply the principles of stoicism. I am not saying that others need to make my choices. However, they are my choices

I started carrying a 380 when I got a Colt 380 Government model (new, so you know it was several decades ago [still have]). I wanted something lighter than my full-frame 45 service pistol (still have).

2. So, from that, I like that 380 pistols are generally lighter than 9x19 pistols (yes, there are always exceptions).

3. It isn't a huge issue, however, in similar pistols, the 9x17 has less recoil. This allows for slightly quicker sets in practice.

4. The 9x17 pistols are generally less loud than 9x19. This is a big issue for me. And yes, I do have good ear-muffs.

5. Reduced barrier penetration. I consider this to be a good thing. I realize that this is a point of much contention; however, I question the right to send bullets flying through my neighbour's house at ungodly o'clock in the morning.

6. To restate the first, I just happen to prefer it.

As far as cost, I reload and I price shop online pretty aggressively. As such, there isn't very much of a price premium.

And yes, I have several 9x19 pistols (Three come to mind, Browning Hi-Power, Remington R51, and an H&K P30). My preference is mine. However, I do not deride the choices of others. (all the same, the new CCP380 does not interest me at all)
 

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Okay fine.

But what is GAINED by a smaller and more expensive bullet with less offerings?
Less recoil is about all that is gained and some 380s are easier to rack. That is important for some folks who have arthritis of or just weak hand strength. I have arthritis in my hands and it got to a point that 9mm recoil was a problem along with racking the gun. I went to a Remington RM380 while I did 7 months of hand therapy to get the strength back in my hands. then I went back to 9mm.
 

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I enjoyed your blog post and look forward to the other parts. If you haven't read it, Greg Ellifritz did a nice comparison on handgun calibers, https://americanhandgunner.com/featured/defensive-carry/

I carry 380 because that's what I want to carry and I have no worries with it.
Granted its cheaper to shoot my 9mm, but then again if I was looking to save money I don't think I would choose shooting as a hobby lol. Bottom line, get a firearm that runs, shoot it until its second nature and train often. Shot placement trumps caliber imho.
Then again the caliber wars have been going on since we had more than one caliber and I don't see them stopping anytime soon lol
 

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Progressed from a .25 thru' .22 derringers to the Kel-tec .32 for an 'all the time'. Then the LCP/P3AT came along, giving semi-serious caliber to a really small, not especially pleasant pistol.
Then came the G42, only a little bigger, and infinitely easier to shoot, a lot.

Now the P365 ups the ante again, scarcely bigger, lots of shots, easy to rack and shoot, and a service caliber.

Would I return to a .380? Were a small, but easier to shoot,durable version to appear, certainly. We mere mortals need a compact defense gun for all the time, not a loitering WartHog on the other end of a radio.
BTW, referencing straight blowback 9mms, there have been some, and currently the HiPoint. That thing is an anvil with a grip, and shows why blowback 9mms are a questionable idea.
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Interesting commentary!

I will admit I didn’t expect caliber wars here on the PP form, but OK.

At least one of the advantages of 9x19 is that you don’t need this study ... just about any JHP round will do (I still like HST in 9 personally).

I like .380 because, as far as I can tell, it’s inside the curve of effective rounds, by which I mean threats are stopped in about the same number of shots as duty calibers. Within that, respect for life and maybe legal restraint requires that I use the least force necessary.

(Words before fists, fists before sticks, sticks before blades, blades before firearms, but survival first.)

Plus for CCW in some circumstances small may be required, although I’d say that line is pretty blurry with the 365 and Hellcat and such.

I really am not writing this to ask “why 380.” I’m writing it for people who have chosen 380 and want the best out of it.
 

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The real caliber war on this forum is .32 versus .380 :p

Don't forget to add 30 Luger (7.65x21) into the discussion, for the Classic collectors who target shoot.


The 1900 DWM Luger and P5 (in 30 Luger) are the flattest trajectory handguns in my collection.
 

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Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, .380s and .38 snubs were the minimum defense rounds; the .380s were usually PPKs.

That parallel isn't totally in the past, and the .380 remains the minimum defensive caliber. It remains a viable choice, especially in really small pistols, or mild kickers like the Smith EZ. It's growing popularity will stimulate better ammo. It would be helpful if SAAMI established a +P standard. A guy (whom I respect) over at Glock Talk is achieving 9mm velocities out of a Glock 42.

For all that, feel better armed with a P365.
Moon
 

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Why bother? Physics will enlighten ya. Same diameter bullet. But the 9x19 is heavier and goes faster. Simple physics tells us it will deliver more energy and penetrate deeper and do more damage to bones and muscles and organs.

I can see no reason to carry a .380 when the 9mm is available, generally at a cheaper price and with better bullet selections, and generally in better guns (blowbacks vs. browning rotating/locking breach).

So, generally same size guns but 9x19 is cheaper, better gun designs, and more effective...
You know, as often as I have seen this argument, I cannot understand it for the life of me.

Based on similar reasoning, there's no reason to own a 9mm.

.380 ACP pistols are generally smaller, lighter, easier to concealed carry, and in some cases are easier to rack the slide on or have less felt recoil.

If more power is deemed necessary, then there are firearms of similar (sometimes equal) size and weight in .40 S&W, which is a bigger, heavier bullet which delivers more energy compared to 9mm Luger. In addition, .40cal pistols are typically much cheaper than their 9mm counterparts ever since the FBI dropped the cartridge, and ammo is only marginally more expensive. Last but not least, modern .40cal pistols which have been designed specifically for the .40 S&W cartridge will hold up to a steady diet of ammo far better than a 9mm pistol will hold up to a steady diet of +P/NATO Spec ammo, and firearms which have been properly modified to handle .40 will hold up just as well as their 9mm counterparts.

They can't make blowback in 9X19. Pressures are too high. Most modern guns use a locked breach.
The Hi-Point C9 is a straight blowback operated 9mm Pistol. Historically, the H&K VP70 was also straight blowback. It's entirely possible to make straight blowback 9mm pistols or even .40s/.45s, it simply isn't done very often because the weight of the slide and recoil spring have to be excessively heavy for it to function reliably.
There have also been many straight blowback operated SMGs, Carbines, and Rifles in the past as well.
 

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If you choose the right ammunition 380 is an effective self defense round even out of a 3 inch barrel. I researched this when I switched from 9mm to 380 while doing hand therapy because of my arthritis. I am back on 9mm now, as I prefer to have the extra power. That is not to say that 380 does not have enough power. The link below is a video of a very informative 380 ammo testing project using FBI organic gel bare and with denim to compare penetration, expansion, and wound channel. The video was made after Precision One JHP was declared the winner. It lost its place to Lehigh Extreme Penetrator. I recommend that anyone shooting 380 out of a short barrel should watch the video. I watched the entire series of tests and it was informative because of the ballistic comparisons. Here is the link.

https://youtu.be/LczfeWK9lHw
 
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