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I am thinking of loading FMJ ammo in my LCP for maximum penetration. I recall reading an FBI study that said that 12 inches of penetration was the absolute MINIMUM for effective stopping power required by FBI.

Has anyone else reached a similar conclusion? What FMJ ammo is the preferred choice ?
 

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This question has produced an enormous amount of comment with passionate beliefs on all sides of the issue. My position has wavered over time and I'm an analyst by profession. The best I can do is tell you where I stand at the moment.

Viability of a given round requires considering quite a few parameters, only one of which is the distance of penetration in ballistic gel. In general, I choose HP (hollow point) not for it's ability to do damage in the environment it is meant to, but to minimize the damage that the 80% of missed shots will do after first hitting walls, furniture, etc. For the 380, I could be persuaded to go FMJ or HP depending on the day and the last discussion I had with others.

The new Hornady Critical Defense round (see other thread on this) may just swing me more consistently into the HP choice. It's technology is meant to overcome the problems associated with filling the hollow with clothing and preventing expansion. There have been other HP rounds filled with stuff which have provided marginal but unreliable improvement in consistency of expansion. Hornady's design attempts to carefully balance the chemistry of the filler and the architecture of the bullet to provide a combination that is aimed at the reliability of expansion. The compromise of total penetration inherent in the 380 is not really addressed. There are lots of arguments about depth of penetration vs. a sever wound channel from reliable expansion as which is more effective at stopping a threat. The FBI's standard still reigns supreme in many peoples eyes. But we know how hard it is for a bureaucracy to change. Hornady has invested a lot in research, development and marketing of this new round so I conclude there is a good case to be made. I've bought some of this new round and await the return of my LCP to make sure it runs flawlessly. If it does, I will begin carrying it and hope to never have to test it's effectiveness at threat stopping as I monitor reviews and more professional testing.
 

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SugarmillMan said:
I am thinking of loading FMJ ammo in my LCP for maximum penetration. I recall reading an FBI study that said that 12 inches of penetration was the absolute MINIMUM for effective stopping power required by FBI.

Has anyone else reached a similar conclusion? What FMJ ammo is the preferred choice ?
I would seriously consider the Buffalo Bore .380 FMJ. Be warned though it's hot and a steady dose will contribute to accelerated wear.

http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#380
 

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kraigster414 said:
SugarmillMan said:
I am thinking of loading FMJ ammo in my LCP for maximum penetration. I recall reading an FBI study that said that 12 inches of penetration was the absolute MINIMUM for effective stopping power required by FBI.

Has anyone else reached a similar conclusion? What FMJ ammo is the preferred choice ?
I would seriously consider the Buffalo Bore .380 FMJ. Be warned though it's hot and a steady dose will contribute to accelerated wear.

http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#380
I have reached similar conclusions. If this is equivalent to a .38 Special, then it's probably good enough for me.

But has anyone tried the 100gr. HARD cast??? I use Hard Cast for BackCountry protection, anyone with experience in an LCP? Does it load, fire & eject?
 

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kraigster414 said:
SugarmillMan said:
I am thinking of loading FMJ ammo in my LCP for maximum penetration. I recall reading an FBI study that said that 12 inches of penetration was the absolute MINIMUM for effective stopping power required by FBI.

Has anyone else reached a similar conclusion? What FMJ ammo is the preferred choice ?
I would seriously consider the Buffalo Bore .380 FMJ. Be warned though it's hot and a steady dose will contribute to accelerated wear.

http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#380
not a cheap round to be plinking with anyway, probably no more than most hp's are but again most who own the lcp test out a good defense round and after that is it more than likely not shot that much with such an expensive round. I know in my lcp I shot about 2 boxes of golden sabres 40 rounds and they were flawless, after that I went back to the cheapest paper punching fmj I could buy. No different with my 9mm either. I can't justify shooing an expensive round hp, into paper, all the time or even alot..
 

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SugarmillMan said:
I am thinking of loading FMJ ammo in my LCP for maximum penetration. I recall reading an FBI study that said that 12 inches of penetration was the absolute MINIMUM for effective stopping power required by FBI.

Has anyone else reached a similar conclusion? What FMJ ammo is the preferred choice ?
not really, as I bet the 380 is not even tested by the FBI as a carry rouond/gun. If you want penetration only a fmj can't be beat, It sure won't tear up tissue like a good working hp will though, which willgive less penetration on the average, but there is a trade off for each. Me I will take a bigger more ragged hole than a small round hole that seals upon impact.
Lots of people like the fmj round, so if it floats your boat go with it..
 

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MountainGator said:
kraigster414 said:
SugarmillMan said:
I am thinking of loading FMJ ammo in my LCP for maximum penetration. I recall reading an FBI study that said that 12 inches of penetration was the absolute MINIMUM for effective stopping power required by FBI.

Has anyone else reached a similar conclusion? What FMJ ammo is the preferred choice ?
I would seriously consider the Buffalo Bore .380 FMJ. Be warned though it's hot and a steady dose will contribute to accelerated wear.

http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#380
I have reached similar conclusions. If this is equivalent to a .38 Special, then it's probably good enough for me.

But has anyone tried the 100gr. HARD cast??? I use Hard Cast for BackCountry protection, anyone with experience in an LCP? Does it load, fire & eject?
The BB rounds have the equivalent energy of a .38 Special +P. Not too shabby out of a tiny little LCP - smaller, lighter and flatter than a 5-round 'Smith J Frame and with a 7 round capacity.

I have tried the BB 100 gr hard cast. It feeds, it fires, it ejects, and as you would expect, it is a robust round.
 

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kraigster414 said:
The BB rounds have the equivalent energy of a .38 Special +P. Not too shabby out of a tiny little LCP - smaller, lighter and flatter than a 5-round 'Smith J Frame and with a 7 round capacity.

I have tried the BB 100 gr hard cast. It feeds, it fires, it ejects, and as you would expect, it is a robust round.
The BB site says this....
"This 380 Auto+P ammo will better all American made 380 Auto ammo by 150 fps to 200 fps in all bullet weights we make. This is a serious improvement in this typically anemic cartridge. This 380 auto+P ammo is more powerful than the typical 38SPL ammo made by most American ammo makers and you’ll get 7 shots of it in a small/flat/light weight 380 versus 5 shots out of a bulkier 38 SPL J frame revolver. Additionally, with the 380 you’ll get much faster reloads and the little magazines are flatter than a speed-loader used for a J frame."

so Less Actually is More. ( I guess I made the right decision). Thanks for the info on the hardcast.
 

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I think all these published tests are interesting but you can reach a point where you start going on information overload. I now basically go by my own informal testing and word of mouth from fellow shooters I trust realizing that no matter what vitamins you feed the .380, it is still going to be a .380 not a .45 ACP. The Buffalo Bore is basically a .380 on steroids and what I have seen from my own backroom tests shows it to be a significant improvement over traditional .380 ballistics but it's still a .380. Nevertheless, I think you would be well served to have at least one in your magazine perferably as a last round in the event the BG is literally right on top of you and you need maximum penetration to walk/crawl away. I too am impressed with the Hornady Critical Defense .380 and rely on it for along with one BB FMJ or BB hard cast FN for carry. Having said that, I am still more comfortable carrying a larger caliber handgun but am more secure with the pocket .380's since the introduction of the BB, Hornady CD, Corbon DPX, and the sometimes forgotten but still excellent, Golden Saber.
 
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