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Thread: .380acp fmj or .380 acp jhp for defense??

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    Regular Member newbie's Avatar
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    .380acp fmj or .380 acp jhp for defense??

    like the tittle, im not sure whats better to carry i hear that alot of people with .380 acp carry fmj because of penetration. but for everyone who says fmj theres someone who says jhp.

    so for defense whats better?

    personally i keep one mag fmj and my spare jhp


    just to add i do have a 9mm also but i like to carry my .380 more because its small light and i forget that its there 90% of the time.
    Last edited by newbie; 05-30-2012 at 01:29 AM.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    FMJ for winter~~Hollow point for summer. If firearm has alloy frame do not use +p, and if the ramp is also alloy stay with FMJ, hollow points may chew up a alloy ramp.

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    For .380/.32/ 9mm Mak, etc. FMJ, hands-down, if you want reliable, effective shots.
    Most .380 (despite marketing hype, and "gel" tests) fail to expand at the velocities they are fired at from compacts- those that do expand, usually do so TOO well, and dont penetrate deeply enough to do more than hurt a guy.

    .380 isnt something you need to worry about OVER-penetrating with FMJ. Save yourself the $$ and the reliability issues (sometimes) and just go with FMJ for small-caliber/low-power rounds. Hell, I mostly use TMJ for .45 acp, even.
    Last edited by j4l; 05-30-2012 at 01:37 PM.

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j4l View Post
    For .380/.32/ 9mm Mak, etc. FMJ, hands-down, if you want reliable, effective shots.
    Most .380 (despite marketing hype, and "gel" tests) fail to expand at the velocities they are fired at from compacts- those that do expand, usually do so TOO well, and dont penetrate deeply enough to do more than hurt a guy.

    .380 isnt something you need to worry about OVER-penetrating with FMJ. Save yourself the $$ and the reliability issues (sometimes) and just go with FMJ for small-caliber/low-power rounds. Hell, I mostly use TMJ for .45 acp, even.
    I use FMJ for my 1911, and usually my Mak, close range the hollow points do work, well they did on a pit bull. But I would only trust them for close range and during summer months. I think most civilian self defense shootings tend to be close range. For my hot 9mm loads it strictly hollow points.

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    my gun is rated for +p rounds witch i keep the buffalo bore +p in my spare clip. i just was never to sure on what is better for stopping power. i have shot at one of my friends old cars with fmj and each of the 7 rounds went into the car door and into the seat at about 20 feet. i didnt have any of the +P rounds with me that day but iv always wondered witch will be better for me.

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    It's a light weight bullet at a slow speed. Penetration could easily be an issue.

    If you're going to carry JHP's, my suggestion would be Buffalo Bore +P JHP's. I am unaware of any .380 JHP which hits harder. At least that way you'll know you've given yourself the best possible odds of good penetration and expansion.
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    What is the barrel length on the .380?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    What is the barrel length on the .380?
    its 3.5

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    More barrel the better, 3.5 I believe is what the PP barrel leangth is. I usually like a heavy bullet over a light bullet, especially with a FMJ. I carry a Mak and use 109gr FMJ sub machine gun rounds, but I don't shoot them from my gun for practice. I did put down a charging pit bull with 95 grain hollow points though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    More barrel the better, 3.5 I believe is what the PP barrel leangth is. I usually like a heavy bullet over a light bullet, especially with a FMJ. I carry a Mak and use 109gr FMJ sub machine gun rounds, but I don't shoot them from my gun for practice. I did put down a charging pit bull with 95 grain hollow points though.
    i could only think of how scared i would be with a charging pit after me. what did you go threw with the owners after that?

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbie View Post
    i could only think of how scared i would be with a charging pit after me. what did you go threw with the owners after that?
    Nothing Shoot Shovel Shut-up~~is the southern formula for peace in the neighborhood. While they were in the wrong to let him run loose it would cause nothing but a feud to say anything.

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    In my LCP, I keep Hornady Critical Defense, polymer tipped hollow points. Penetrates like a FMJ, perfect expansion every time, even through layered denim.

    I also carry it in my 9mm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flb_78 View Post
    In my LCP, I keep Hornady Critical Defense, polymer tipped hollow points. Penetrates like a FMJ, perfect expansion every time, even through layered denim.

    I also carry it in my 9mm.
    i was considering buying the hornady zombie ammo, but i have never had hands on with it, also i dont know alot of people with .380 acp. have you ever had hands on with that ammo?

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    The Zombie Max is the same as the Critical Defense. The differences are that the ZMax has a green polymer tip instead of red and that it's standard brass cased instead of nickel plated.

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    Regular Member Ashtonian18's Avatar
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    Don't trust the ball

    I would have to guide you towards an Expanding Hollow Point of some type, preferably a +P if your gun can handle it. I have a lot of trouble trusting ball ammo (FMJ) to stop an objective based assailant. I have personally witnessed the shortcomings of 9mm ball ammo against a human target and i definitely wouldn't rely on a .380 ball.

  16. #16
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtonian18 View Post
    I would have to guide you towards an Expanding Hollow Point of some type, preferably a +P if your gun can handle it. I have a lot of trouble trusting ball ammo (FMJ) to stop an objective based assailant. I have personally witnessed the shortcomings of 9mm ball ammo against a human target and i definitely wouldn't rely on a .380 ball.
    A .380 is a close quarters weapon, put the ball in the right socket and it will do the job. Hollow points work better with the 9mm at more typical range. Remember the idea is to stop the attack, once the threat has been slowed or stopped then one can be put in the eye socket to end the threat completely. And the Walther has the accuracy to do that. I would not care much for 9mm ball for military applications though, but what other choice is there.

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    Regular Member Mas49.56's Avatar
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    My .380 BUG is loaded HP(chamber)-FMJ-HP-FMJ-HP-FMJ-HP. I saw a .380ACP HP GSW one time that went into the right temple, blew the patients right eyeball out and deflated the left eyeball. The patient was still awake and talking. Penetrated pretty good, but poor shot placement.

  18. #18
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mas49.56 View Post
    My .380 BUG is loaded HP(chamber)-FMJ-HP-FMJ-HP-FMJ-HP. I saw a .380ACP HP GSW one time that went into the right temple, blew the patients right eyeball out and deflated the left eyeball. The patient was still awake and talking. Penetrated pretty good, but poor shot placement.
    Sounds like the bullet followed the path of the sinus cavity. The goal to stop a attacker permanently should be to use the bullet to pith the brain. Which will leave a person still breathing but make them brain dead. Honestly there should be a how to book on checking out, I assume that it was a self inflicted wound above. When pithing an animal a thin blade is inserted into the mouth and shoved into the brain, and then twisted. The lights go instantly out, this is where you want your bullet to go. Even with a .22 it is all over. Warning though that with small calibers it may leave the attacker a vegetable.

  19. #19
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    I used to have a Grendal P-12 as a BUG. It was one of the first polymer pocket pistols, and would feed just about anything I put through it, but it kicked like a mule. In fact, it had more perceived recoil than my Colt Delta Elite 10mm...

    Anyway, I carried Federal HydraShoks in it. It seemed to feed them reliably, and was pretty accurate at close distances.

    I never carried FMJ's for self-defense.

    But YMMV. Carry what you want, what you can afford, and what you believe in...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggression—and this is hogwash."
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