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So, this past year, me and my beloved upgraded our pocket carry pieces from a .32 ACP to a .380 ACP: mine from a Keltec P32 to a Walther PPK/S and hers from a Beretta 3032 to a Ruger LCP Ⅱ. (Though we kept the two little .32s for now.)

For practice, we have mainly stuck to ball ammunition, but I am looking at options for quality defensive ammunition. If you carry a pistol so chambered, what do you load it with? Thanks. :)
 
I had favored the old Silvertips for years and back then they seemed to work. Recently was doing functional/reliability drills & discovered way too many FTF/hand up on ramp/chamber lip.

Did a few modern 380 range tests & found Federal defense rounds were 100% for the 50+ I shot. Don't have the actual box name at hand, they were the current design featuring smaller opening for the FMJ HP, with a small central lead pedestal. Pleasant, accurate, reliable.
 
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Just wanted to point out. You can get some very small 9mm's these days.
Ammo is cheaper More powerful. And more available.


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Sorry. I'm probably a year too early.;)
 
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So, this past year, me and my beloved upgraded our pocket carry pieces from a .32 ACP to a .380 ACP: mine from a Keltec P32 to a Walther PPK/S and hers from a Beretta 3032 to a Ruger LCP Ⅱ. (Though we kept the two little .32s for now.)

For practice, we have mainly stuck to ball ammunition, but I am looking at options for quality defensive ammunition. If you carry a pistol so chambered, what do you load it with? Thanks. :)
I suggest you look at the Liberty Ammunition brand of .380ACP. It's a Nickel Plated Copper Bullet that has a LARGE HP. That or get a larger caliber.
 
I'll be watching ASAP, thanks for the link.
As far as 'cost' goes, vs "380 MAGnum" aka 9mm, range demonstrates can not be ignored.

Having a clutch of 380s already at hand is a factor that may well be a deciding factor.

The last time I read a terminal ballistic effectiveness report, surprisingly 380 was ranked far higher than I expected....and I remain a 380 fan for a host of reasons.
 
here's one I've tried
Federal Premium Ammunition - Handgun
don't know the product #; it worked perfectly in a PPK/s for 30 rounds;

another Federal product, same description with P380HS1G code on silver 50 round boxes (may be old stock?) looked eyeball test, clones of each other. This too worked perfectly in 3 different 380 pistols. Got them cheap enough to actually practice a bit. Maybe should go gather more while possible.

I didn't have the set up to test penetration of hog flesh & denim trousers (or whatever) yet the milk jug and the full size bowling pin seemed to stop their hostile activities none the less.

I'm not overwhelmed by the 'flying ash tray' gapping HP designs as au currant circa 1979-2001 or so. The striation cuts in the copper jacket seem to allow at least moderate blossom in anything I used as POI. The old Silvertips flailed too often to chamber so I traded them off.
 
Thank you all for the thoughts. Much appreciated.

Thanks for the link @Heyjoe. That looks likes a good resource, so I will have to study their findings.
 

Hawaiian

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Self defense ammo has come a long way in the last ten years. You should be good to go with any of the major name brands. I like Speer Gold Dot and Federal HST.
Shot placement is much more important than gel test reports on a given round. Get in lots of practice with your new guns.
 
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I use Federal Hydra Shok or Hornady Critical Defense in my Taurus TCP with absolutely no failures or misfires. I always carry with one in the chamber.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The world is full of kings and queens who blind your eyes and steal your dreams. It's Heaven and Hell.....
 
Thanks again for the additional details. I've run Hornady's Critical Defense in a 9×19㎜ Parabellum and a .30 Carbine and found it to be good ammo. :)
 

Nick Burkhardt

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Hollow point expansion is hit or miss with a 380 round, and if a bullet type does expand too well then penetration is limited to under 12 inches which may not be enough. The best I have found for both consistent expansion and penetration is the Hornady XTP 90 grain. In gel tests that I have seen, the XTP bullet expands in the first two inches, then the pedles fold back allowing for penetration of over 12 inches. If the XTP hollow point does get clogged and it fails to expand, the bullet tends to tumble do to their steep front angle, which leaves a wide wound track. Gold Dots and Winchester PDX1 or Ranger T expand too wide and stop before reaching 12 inches.

I am partial to the Fiocchi Extrema XTP as they use nickle coated brass.
 
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I have the LCP and it is loaded with Underwoods hardcast lead flatpoints. I have tried a couple ammo types and either was not to par for accuracy or unreliable. Im confident with the lead rounds for a couple reasons the accuracy is outstanding, a hardcast bullet has excellent penetration, and it has functioned reliably. It certainly is not the gold standard for a modern jhp but on the plus side no clogging and lead bullets did the job for many years.
On a side note every LEO that I've talked with that carried a 380 said they use ball ammo for carry. Part #730 100gr at 975fps.
 

Deavis

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I should not even reply to this click bait.

When I think of .380 being carried as an actual defensive round, by CHOICE, to save human life, I suffer from a Tourette’s like episode.

I love the little Walther pistols. Accurate, well made, classy. A few sharp edges and snappish recoil, but.... with some waffen stamps I would own one. Shoot it on Sundays with other Curios.

Please weigh and measure the PPK/S and a G43 or any other pocket nine out there.

Then go grab some of the best .380 ammo ever produced and the equivalent 9mm ammo..... and shoot ...... something..... ANYTHING (ballistics gel/ roadkill/ milk jugs/ pine boards/ whatever) and when you get done.... look at the results and wonder: Why the heck would I choose crappier performance for more $ per round?

Like if you could buy the same light truck in a 4 or 6 cylinder and the 6 cyl gas was cheaper, got better mileage, more tow/haul capacity..... you would CHOOSE the 4 because?!?!?!?

I choose 9mm for the Gun I’m carrying when I’m not carrying a gun. Not because it’s good.... because it sucks so much less than .380. And that suction is A LOT.

/rant
 
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