Now we're getting into some decent stopping power. The three or four best .380 JHP rounds have better stopping power than ANY bullet fired out of 2" barrel .38 Special snub-nose. All of the Big Five make good hollowpoints for this caliber. 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 above all others:
-Federal 90 gr. Hydra-shok (P380HS1 H) - the best standard-pressure .380 JHP load, period.
-Cor-Bon 90 gr. JHP - the most powerful .380 hollowpoint, bar none.
These are the two best .380 loads, and I recommend them for these guns:
SIG/Sauer P230, Beretta 84/85, Browning BDA, CZ-83, H&K P7K3, Walther PPK and PPK/s. The Russian, East German, Chinese and Bulgarian Makarov pistols are apparently perfectly reliable with the hot Cor-Bon, and the strong all-steel construction of these guns should stand up to an infinite amount of these potent rounds. I have heard that the Colt does also well with the hot Cor-Bon JHP, which you should definitely look into if you own a Colt .380. You have better stopping power than any .38 snub-nose revolver (the long-time favorite concealment sidearm) when you load your .380 with these two rounds.
Other good .380 ACP jacketed hollowpoints:
- Remington 102 gr. Golden Saber BJHP (GS380M) - Another excellent .380 load (the BJHP stands for "Brass Jacketed Hollow Point"), the heaviest one available. I prefer the Cor-Bon and Hydra-shok, but many (including Sanow) like this new Remington round for its deeper penetration. I'll stick with the Cor-Bon and Hydra-shok, but the choice is yours.
- CCI-Speer 90 gr. Gold Dot JHP A good all-around hollowpoint.
- Remington 88 gr. JHP (R380AI): A good high-velocity hollowpoint that feeds well in: Colt Government Model .380, H&K HK4, Taurus PT-58, older PP and PPK, Bersa .380, Beretta 70s, Makarov and Hungarian FEG. These are all good guns that might choke on other hollowpoints but they will probably feed the Remington fine. This hollowpoint was redesigned in 1993 and gives excellent performance while retaining its rounded shape for positive feeding. If your .380 chokes on other JHP loads, try fifty rounds of the Remington 88 gr. through your gun and see if it improves.
.380 ACP hollowpoints to avoid:
-Winchester 85 gr Silvertip (X380ASHP) I really cannot recommend this weak and jam-prone round. It works reliably in a few modern European guns (e.g. SIG 230, Beretta 84F), but every load named above offers better performance. The Silvertip will likely jam in any American-made .380 automatic. Russian .380 Makarovs and PPK series guns may jam with the Silvertip, as well. The .380 Silvertip was once state-of-the-art, but has since been superceded by superior designs. It is also quite expensive. Look elsewhere.
- PMC-Eldorado Starfire 95 gr. JHP This round is similarly weak and jam-prone.
- Federal 90 gr. JHP (380BP) (see below)
- Hornady 90 gr. XTP-HP (9010) Both the Federal 380BP and the Hornady XTP-HP never expand and may jam many guns due to their truncated-cone bullet nose profiles. Pass by these two.
Anything distinctly smaller—such as the .380 Auto pistol caliber, which is literally a "9mm Short"—too often fails to make the cut. I've run across shooting after shooting where the defender shot a violent aggressor with a .380 and did little to immediately stop his depredations. A good hollow point load in 9mm or .38 Special will, historically, end lethal assaults more quickly.
The baby .380s are here to stay. Yes, they are marginal in power. Yes, I'm the guy who said "friends don't let friends carry mouseguns" But the fact is, something is better than nothing, and for a lot of people, 10-ounce .380s will make the difference in whether they can carry a gun or not, at least sometimes. There is a reason they've become so popular.
Originally posted by Freq Of Nature
reply to post by Prof. Skrewloose
There is always another way that doesn't have to lead to death!
After your response though I'm not going to waste typing any more on this thread!
I do have neither the money nor the temperature-controlled setting to use 10% ballistic gelatin. For that reason, I used two other mediums. These were water and "wet pack". The latter was plain newsprint that was soaked for 24 hours until super-saturated and allowed to drain for 30 minutes before firing. Both of these will stop bullets more rapidly than the gold standard gelatin, but some inferences can be made, I think...
Of the ammunition fired in my informal tests, the most consistent was the Corbon 80-gr. DPX and Remington's 102-gr. Golden Saber. The lighter DPX did penetrate deeper. In ballistic gelatin, the heavier Golden Saber usually penetrates between 9 and 10 inches. The 1" deeper penetration in the same medium by the DPX probably means it will get another couple of inches in the gelatin tissue simulant.
Originally posted by Asktheanimals
my Ruger LCP, having a low-profile front sight needs some spicing up. In fact, I just ordered night sight paint and was going to paint the back of the front sight and add two dots to the rear. I will have to drill holes in my gun (EEK!) but I'm good with metalwork and can make a clean job of it. That should give me the sight picture visiblilty I'm looking for in low-light situations.
[edit on 10-3-2010 by Asktheanimals]
His study found that the most effective .380 was about 2% more effective than the most effective .38spl in 2 or 3 inch configurations.
I am not claiming that Ayoob is wrong. I just want to point out that the subject is more complicated than people think
Originally posted by murfdog
Shoot for the leg? Hell do you know how hard it is just to hit the target at the range, let alone a stress filled fire fight were everything is moving all around you.
Don’t believe the s**t you see on TV.