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Thread: Best .380 for defense

  1. #1
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    Before you say anything, I know, I know. I'll be getting a .40 before long, but for now, my Bersa Model 85 is all I have. I have no idea if it will fire +P rounds, so I'll rule those out. I don't wanna buy a box and not be able to use them. So besides +Ps, what are the best .380 rounds to use for self-defense?

  2. #2
    Regular Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    Dr. Fresh wrote:
    Before you say anything, I know, I know. I'll be getting a .40 before long, but for now, my Bersa Model 85 is all I have. I have no idea if it will fire +P rounds, so I'll rule those out. I don't wanna buy a box and not be able to use them. So besides +Ps, what are the best .380 rounds to use for self-defense?
    Whatever your gun fires with accuracy and precision would be my advice to you. If you want a direction to look toward, try these...

    http://www.doubletapammo.com/php/cat...roducts_id=233
    Peace through superior firepower

    Luke 11:21
    "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.

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    Thanks for the link. I'm not the best shot with it yet, and I don't know off hand what I have in it now, but all I've tried are FMJs, and it hasn't malfunctioned yet.

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    I am informed that all modern weapons will fire +P safely, that is the point of the SAMMI ratings.

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    I use Remington Golden Sabres in my PPK/S because the feed ramp/chamber are not flush. The GS's have a flatter nose and load easily in the chamber. FMJ will load too, but definitely require you to drop the slide.

    The GS's are good on expansion and over decent penetration for the caliber. 8-9 inches of penetration against 12-13 for a .40 is acceptable when the alternative is carrying nothing at all.

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    Apart from the question of hollow-point/ramp hangups, I've only ever had problems with Sellier & Bellot (Czech) .380 ammo. The casing for the primer charge was supposedly too thick (the 'official' explanation), and it was necessary for me to double-strike many (40% of one lot, I would estimate) ofthese rounds to set them off. It's an old gun, but my hammer spring is adequate to shoot other ammo without problems, so I'm pretty sure it was the ammo causing this. Not a big deal at the range, but...

    Edit: Sorry, I (mis-)understood the question to be one about .380 ammo in particular.

    -ljp


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    Regular Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    TheApostle wrote:
    I use Remington Golden Sabres in my PPK/S because the feed ramp/chamber are not flush. The GS's have a flatter nose and load easily in the chamber. FMJ will load too, but definitely require you to drop the slide.

    The GS's are good on expansion and over decent penetration for the caliber. 8-9 inches of penetration against 12-13 for a .40 is acceptable when the alternative is carrying nothing at all.
    Am I correct in saying that the Golden Sabre round is 102 grain? If so, it offers 9.7 inches of clothless penetration according to the manufacturers test data.

    Doesn'tmention the velocity, but I also saw that inclothed gelatin, the Sabrehad significantlyless penetration when I searched further. The DT round I mentionedin 90 grain has incredible speed, and I would assume far greater penetration and energy than the Golden Sabre load.
    Peace through superior firepower

    Luke 11:21
    "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.

  8. #8
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    I'm partial to Corbon DPX as it is a consistent, accurate, good penetrator from all I have read and experienced shooting it. There is a big mouth on the snout of the bullet so it may not feed well in all guns, but it feeds fine in the 3 different caliber guns I have used it in.

    It is a solid copper bullet so there is no concern about jacket separation and inconsistent penetration due to this factor as many popular rounds have been found to suffer from. Separation especially concerns me in light rounds like the .380 and 9mm where you don't have a lot of mass to start with. Jacket separation on some rounds can apparently as much as halve their total penetration leaving 2 or more shallow wound tracks instead of the desired single wound track to a vital organ.

    Downside: It is very pricey, especially when you are buying an extra box just to pop off at the range to verify feeding in your pistol. In .380 I can't think of any other downside to it as long as it feeds in your pistol ok.

    http://www.stoppingpower.net/forum/t...TOPIC_ID=10021


    10% Ballistic Gelatin Tests for:
    Corbon .380 80 gr DPX

    Testing Platform:
    Keltec 3AT

    Barrier:
    Bare Gelatin


    TEST RESULTS:

    Round # 1:
    Penetration: 8.375”
    Recovered Weight: 80.2 gr.
    Expansion*: .714 cal.
    Velocity: 914.7 fps

    * Expansion measured at widest point.



    10% Ballistic Gelatin Tests for:
    Corbon .380 80 gr DPX

    Testing Platform:
    Keltec 3AT

    Barrier:
    Four Layers of Denim


    TEST RESULTS:

    Round # 1:
    Penetration: 6.75”
    Recovered Weight: 80.8 gr.
    Expansion*: .732 cal.
    Velocity: 958.6 fps

    * Expansion measured at widest point.



    10% Ballistic Gelatin Tests for:
    Corbon .380 80 gr DPX

    Testing Platform:
    North American Arms .380

    Barrier:
    Four Layers of Denim


    TEST RESULTS:

    Round # 1:
    Penetration: 7.375”
    Recovered Weight: 80.7 gr.
    Expansion*: .716 cal.
    Velocity: 988.8 fps

    * Expansion measured at widest point.



    10% Ballistic Gelatin Tests for:
    Corbon .380 80 gr DPX

    Testing Platform:
    Walther PPK

    Barrier:
    Four Layers of Denim


    TEST RESULTS:

    Round # 1:
    Penetration: 7.50”
    Recovered Weight: 81.0 gr.
    Expansion*: .725 cal.
    Velocity: 1085 fps

    * Expansion measured at widest point.



    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

  9. #9
    Regular Member MetalChris's Avatar
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    I use Corbon DPX in my Bersa-T .380 and they work fine, just fine.

  10. #10
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    Cool, thanks for the replies. Looks like I have to make a trip to the store to buy a couple of boxes of ammo, haha.. I just wish .380 wasn't so much more expensive than 9mm.

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