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From my readings, I save my +p and "hot" ammo for my G 19 and reserve the standard stuff for my LC9s and LCPs, acknowledging there are no standard +P ratings for the .380. I would assume that the G 42 would handle the Underwood with less potential for damage, but question the use of any of the "hot stuff" from guns with such short barrels while paying increased cost and associated with more recoil and muzzle flash/blast.
 

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As a citizen with no legal or moral requirement to pursue and attempt to apprehend a criminal, I believe that FMJ will achieve the desired effect of making the bad guy forget about you and your wallet, and start thinking more about not bleeding out, and about not getting arrested... I say this as a LEO with 33 years on the job. Last year my small city (45,000 population) had over 85 persons shot last year. FMJ in .380, .9mm, .40, and .45 were most commonly used. All worked equally well. The only thing that can be reliably predicted in shootings is that the honest victim stays put and waits for help, while the bad guy takes off with however many number of slugs in them... I personally like and carry off duty the .32, .380, and .38 class of cartridges / guns. "Mom & Pop" have been shooting bad guys with them for well over 100 years with great success, no reason to think that they suddenly stopped working...

Stay safe & focus on putting your rounds on target and less on the FMJ vs JHP debate with the smaller calibers.

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Thanks RVR-> That's the best advise I have heard lately! "Stay safe & focus on putting your rounds on target and less on the FMJ vs JHP debate with the smaller calibers." I started over a year ago getting back into shooting and took up getting to know my semi autos(always been a 38 wheel guy) and decided to spend more time training and focusing on my weapon and hitting the target. I try to match my range ammo to what I have in my carry and gotten away from HP for the most part. I still carry Speer LE at times in my 9mm but for the most part just load FMJ. I practice quite a bit with rimfire and love it. To each his own and do what is best for you. One good point is to always test your SD ammo in your firearm and make sure it cycles without fail!
Stay safe and enjoy...
Older new guy/Rick
 
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I know several folks walking around with various calibers of FMJ rounds having passed through their bodies. I've been packing Hollow Points for decades for the limited penetration, spread and shred. So far so good.
 

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Any of the XTP rounds will work. In my opinion the Ammo Quest results where as much chance and random bullet selection as anything. Use whichever brand you can get locally. I use the Hornady American Gunner but Fiocchi with the same bullet works too.

The XTP will usually expand to about 0.45" and penetrate 11.5-14" in Gel. About 25% of the time it fails to expand in heavy clothing but almost invariably will then tumble (increasing tissue damage) and stop within 17.5". The best of the other rounds underpenetrate, overpenetrate or excel depending on which test you read. The XTP seems to be more consistent at ending up between 12-18".

The .380 is a tough nut to crack. A little too much and it stops short, a little less.and it fails to expand. If the buller is stable and unexpanded it overpenetrates. The WWB Flatnose you mention is stable. In a test it penetrated a t-shirt,16" of Gel, a t-shirt, 6' of space, another t-shirt, 16" of gel and another t-shirt. Thats the equivalent of complete penetration of two people and possible endangerment of a third.


The studies I've seen suggest FMJ is not particularly effective. A .45 ACP FMJ with full penetration of a 12" Torso will destroy less tissue than a .380 ACP expanded to 0.45" because of projectile shape. The reality is it's all about the size hole you poke through vitals. With a 380 FMJ that will be about 0.24" (tissue elasticity). Don't let the temporary cavity formed in gel or fruit confuse the issue. Tissue elasticity means little or no effect at handgun velocities. Get it up over 2600 fps and it really adds to incapacitation as the temporary stretch is violent enough to tear tissue.

If you are a hunter you are familiar with the term "eat right up to the bullet hole" with relatively low velocity calibers (Like 44-40) vs the bloodshot meat from a .300 Weatherby. This is an example of what we are talking about.
 

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With .380, trying for expansion with penetration just seems too unpredictable. Barrel length, clothing, bone, muscle, etc. I would never shoot a bad guy with a good guy behind them anyway so I want to error on the side of penetration. I agree with your example.
 

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Personally, I wouldn't carry FMJ ammo, it's just not worth the risk of collateral damage due to overpenetration, and in spite of what some may assert, modern .380 ACP FMJ will overpenetrate with enough energy to injure another (perhaps fatally so depending on where it hits) or cause property damage which opens up the shooter to even more legal trouble than they already have in the wake of a self-defense shooting.

Hornady's XTP bullet design is an excellent performer in .380 ACP, capable of penetrating 12" in Ballasics Gel with full expansion, even out of short-barreled pocket pistols such as the LCP. Take a look at ShootingtheBull410's .380 Ammo Quest series on YouTube if you need proof, he tests a wide variety of JHP loads in FBI Calibrated Ballistics Gel with IWBA Specified 4 lawyers of heavy denim out of a Taurus TCP (similar to the Ruger LCP) and regardless of the brand, XTP bullets always penetrate at least 12" with full expansion.

That said, if you are dead set on carrying non-expanding bullets (perhaps because you live in a State or area which prohibits the usage of expanding bullets) then I would recommend looking into some of the new bullet designs such as the Lehigh Defense Xtreme Penetrator or Polycase ARX Inceptor, which not only apparently achieve greater wound channels without the bullet itself expanding, but more importantly won't overpenetrate because it lands within the 12-18" of penetration specified by the FBI/IWBA.
 
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L.C. Peterson said:
That said, if you are dead set on carrying non-expanding bullets (perhaps because you live in a State or area which prohibits the usage of expanding bullets) then I would recommend looking into some of the new bullet designs such as the Lehigh Defense Xtreme Penetrator or Polycase ARX Inceptor, which not only apparently achieve greater wound channels without the bullet itself expanding, but more importantly won't overpenetrate because it lands within the 12-18" of penetration specified by the FBI/IWBA.
I have been carrying the ARX in .380 and 9mm since they have been available. I prefer the lighter weight, reduced recoil, easy feeding, and more importantly, they don’t have to change shape to be effective. They just spin up to 50,000 or 60,000 RPM and start eating!
What’s not to like? I know they are expensive, but what self-defense ammo isn’t these days.
 

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I favor penetration that exceeds FBI recs., which were established >20yrs ago. (Have you looked around Golden Corral, lately?). A few inches of overpenetration are a whole lot less dangerous than a shot that misses the target, which is a lot more likely. That is why I carry Lehigh XP in the .380 caliber in my LCP, LCPII and LCP Customs.
 

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I wanted to thank all who contributed to this discussion. I’m carrying the Federal 90 grain HP in my LCP b/c I can get them in a 50 round box at a local gun show, and they’re pretty effective in the tests I’ve researched. They also feed reliably in the LCP and LCPII.
 

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For FMJ carry in the 380, I really like the SigSauer Elite Performance.

My carry fave ammo is Lehigh Defense's Xtreme Defense. That's the one that looks like a sawed off Philips screwdriver tip in solid copper. Seems to run well in my LCPII.

Whoops, old thread....

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Yes it is a old thread but very good data. For those of us considering getting into the 380 caliber. You hear many things about the LCP series online and I can rely on real world users for their experience but do not trust the reviews sometimes. My neighbors have the 10th anniversary model all 3 use Lehigh Defense's Xtreme Defense with good reports. It is nice when you find ammo that cycles your firearm reliably. Still deciding on getting a LCP in 380 here. Just bought the LCPII 22LR and have had great results so far.
I miss ETS and his input.
PEACE FAVOR YOUR SWORD!
 

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In talking to Pete at Lehigh Defense, he says they have an Xtreme Cavitator similar to the one in .32acp in the works for .22lr. It would be crazy expensive compared to other .22lr ammo but it would make a .22lr carry a possibility with the penetration of a velocitor but the wound channel of hollow point.

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That would be a interesting round for the .22LR and others have been talking about some of these rounds this past year. After the Glock 22LR, Ruger LCPII22LR and others. There are many manufacturers offering 22lr platforms for carry so you would think that the ammo makers would come up with a reliable SD round. I find this very interesting. I went from my 1911's and 38's to 9mm for carry because of aging and cost factors so any other round has peaked my interest these past x2 years. Still trust my 38/357 and 9mm auto's but will be interested in any other caliber if reliable.
*Lehigh Defense is worth looking into.
 

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I have tried a lot of different types of HD ammo's but I keep coming back to Federal Hydra Shok. They consistently have been more accurate in my G1 LCP. Blazer Brass Ball practice ammo takes a close second.
 

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My carry fave ammo is Lehigh Defense's Xtreme Defense. That's the one that looks like a sawed off Philips screwdriver tip in solid copper. Seems to run well in my LCPII.
Great round! I like Underwood's ammo running the same bullet, as the muzzle velocity is 150 fps higher, and that is not even considering they also make a +P version. They also took the 65grain Xtreme Defense bullet and put it in a full sized 9mm Luger round, with 1,700 fps muzzle velocity! (1,800 in their +P)
65gr-355-xtreme-defender-lehigh-defense-sku-09355065SP-300x300.jpg
 

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From my readings, I save my +p and "hot" ammo for my G 19 and reserve the standard stuff for my LC9s and LCPs, acknowledging there are no standard +P ratings for the .380. I would assume that the G 42 would handle the Underwood with less potential for damage, but question the use of any of the "hot stuff" from guns with such short barrels while paying increased cost and associated with more recoil and muzzle flash/blast.
First things first if you are shooting the RUGER LCP OR LCP II in .380 . I strongly recommend the Hogue handall Grip Sleeve it will help tame that stout recoil and eliminate finger pinch .




 
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