Are hollow points effective in .380?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by d1esel, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. d1esel

    d1esel Member

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    Pocket .380s are all the rage these days. And a lot of people are choosing them for EDC. Given its poor ballistics. I've been wondering if hollow points are a bad choice in this caliber. It seems to me The deeper penetration of a FMJ would be more desirable then a HP that is stopped by a heavy winter coat..
  2. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Well-Known Member

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    Modern .380 ammo is pretty potent. A 90gr bullet at 1100 fps has 225 ft lbs of energy. I would buy quality defensive rounds (or reload to their specs using high quality bullets and a chronograph) and believe it would get it done with JHP.
  3. The Quiet Man

    The Quiet Man Active Member

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    My wife has a hp in the pipe and in the top magazine position. After that she alternates fmj and hp in the magazine because she has the same concern and I don't have a good answer either.
  4. TonsOfOregonBrass

    TonsOfOregonBrass Active Member

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    No one needs extra holes in them. Shot its been said a million + 1 times, shot placement not size is more important
  5. wichaka

    wichaka Moderator Staff Member

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    Gold Dots show excellent performance, even going thru media such as heavy denim.
  6. wakejoe

    wakejoe Well-Known Member

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    After research, I ended up choosing gold dots for our defensive magazines. :)
  7. FriendOfEvanWilliams

    FriendOfEvanWilliams Member

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    Are you telling me that my Carhartt's could possibly stop a bullet?
  8. Arkitek

    Arkitek Member

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  9. SavageGerbil

    SavageGerbil Active Member

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    Consider what you'd prefer risk-wise, having to use another shot or two, or over penetration and an unsupervised projectile going where ever it wants.

    Just my opinion, I think Glocks are very pretty, and I choose Abby's pizza over 5 star restaurants so my thoughts may be useless ;)
  10. d1esel

    d1esel Member

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    FriendOfEvanWilliams,

    Haha... I love your handle. I'm his friend too. Although I do prefer the company of Ezra Brooks.
  11. theLEMband

    theLEMband Member

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    I was really liking the looks and ease of carry of the Ruger LCP when I first held it, but my doubts about penetration made me pass it up.
    The recent madman on a cop-killing rampage was still getting around well over 24 hours after being shot in the abdomen. To stop someone quickly you have to hit something vital, but there are potentially several layers of clothing, a layer of fat (mileage varies on this one), a layer of muscle, and ribs and skulls between bullet and vitals, and if they cover with an arm after the first shot, you've got even more to get through.
    IMHO if you are going to carry .380, you need to use something with the highest penetration with the unfortunate sacrifice of expansion.
  12. dstoneburg

    dstoneburg Member

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    I also carry FMJ for the sole reason that I would rather have a deep hole then a big hole. And to be honest with JHP I don't think I would trust them to go through enough layers of clothing ( Or whatever ) and still be able to penetrate enough to hit something vital. I feel much more comfortable knowing that I will/should have enough penetration rather then worrying. Also I feel that FMJ cycles better in the pocket pistols then JHP do.
  13. wichaka

    wichaka Moderator Staff Member

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    I started a thread back in 2006 in which I presented bullets from actual shootings. I have access to the regional ME office where I get contacted when there's been a shooting. I will often attend the autopsy to see first hand the performance of the bullet.

    Here's the link;

    http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.p...ight=ballistics

    HP's are a funny animal, they're actually is an exact science to the performance of them.
    Get the bullet going too fast, and they will open up too soon in their intended target, act like a parachute and won't get the expansion needed. Run them too slow, and they act like hardball and won't expand much if any.

    Each HP bullet is fine tuned to the specific load for which they are loaded. For example...a 230gr HST +P 45 bullet, is not the same bullet as the non +P counterpart. The velocities are different, which means the bullet is designed different to perform at its intended loading.

    Have attended numerous autopsies and ballistic seminars, and have come to find one thing about pistol bullets;

    One can shoot the same bullet into 10 different people, in the exact same spot and get 10 different results. Many factors come into play with bullet performance. The human's size, weight, health, density etc.

    Modern hollow point bullets can be made to expand at a velocity appropriate for the cartridge they are used in. Quality, commercial JHP ammunition will expand reliably over the normally expected range of velocities. And if one bullet doesn't expand, it will still perform like ball.

    But if you can find a quality JHP ammunition that functions reliably in your gun and still carry ball for self defense, you are seriously short changing yourself. There are good reasons why virtually all police agencies now use JHP ammunition as standard issue.

    Yes shot placement is king, but shot placement should vary between ball and JHP ammunition. If you can get good hits with ball, you will be able to get good hits with JHPs. A good hit with a JHP bullet is likely to get you a better result than the same hit with ball.

    With the new designed HP's on the market, the days of clogged HP's not expanding is a thing of the past.
  14. RVTECH

    RVTECH Well-Known Member

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    I recently acquired my first .380 (an "older" all steel Mod 83 Bersa) and not to be considered a serious test but I reloaded my first rounds (2.9 gr of Bullseye behind a 90 gr HP bullet) and these did not completely penetrate a 2 x 6 at about 20 feet - BUT wood will obviously react to a bullet much differently than tissue AND the load is somewhat light. I really like the gun, and it came with a really nice shoulder holster with a two mag pouch and hey, anything would be better than throwing rocks!
  15. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Well-Known Member

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    That's great info. Thanks. :thumbup:

    You just reinforced what I already believed; I don't load my reloads to be faster than factory loads with the same bullet.

    I reload. I never buy cheap (Montana Gold?) defensive bullets.

    What I do is to buy 1,000 or more quality bullets which get good performance reviews online. I just bought 2,000 Speer Gold Dots in 124 gr in 9mm for instance.

    Next I bought a box of actual Speer factory rounds with that bullet. (not +P.)

    Next I chronographed a few of the factory rounds. Then I started loading, testing powder charges until I got the same speed with my reloads. Then I locked it down and started reloading. Of course I kept notes of the components I was using.

    I also buy primers and powder in large lots so I can have the same lot # for future use. I also buy once fired cases in large lots to at least get the same brand and type head stamp.

    I'm willing to believe that my rounds will perform to the Gold Dot factory standards.

    You just helped to justify for me the small cost of my chrony. :thumbup:
  16. el gringo loco

    el gringo loco Member

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    I'll let you in on a little secret: all those gangsters that walk out of Emanuel two weeks after being hit with five rounds were shot with FMJ. The old school way of looking at the effectiveness of ammo was the biggger/deeper the hole, the better. However, total energy deposition and the depth of that energy deposition are really the most important factors. Unless that penetration allows for an artery or major organ to be hit, the deeper hole that an FMJ makes does not correspond to damage done. A hollow point that expands quickly and deposits its energy in a short distance of travel will do the most damage hands down.
  17. wichaka

    wichaka Moderator Staff Member

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