.380 ammo that meets FBI protocol




#1
So my mother just loved my Smith and Wesson M&P shield in 9mm which is usually what i carry in the summer months.

She texts me today to tell me she bought one... in .380acp 🤮🤮🤮

While I realize that plenty of people have been killed with a .380, it seems to underperform in most tests done. I follow the FBI protocol pretty tightly. My 9mm guns love Federal HST 124gr standard pressure, and i also like the same load from Speer Gold Dot.

However, when I research the tests performed with .380, they fall quite short of the 12-18 inches of penetration. Usually around 8 and some change inches.

Wish she never bought that caliber but it is what it is now. Does anybody know of a .380 caliber that performs to FBI standards?
 
#3
If the smaller size makes her more likely to carry it, and the lighter recoil makes her more likely to practice/train with it, then its all good.

Modern 380 defense ammo is actually pretty potent. Combine that with the fact that where we live people generally dress in nothing heavier than a T-shirt (not a heavy multiple layer of undershirts, shirts, sweaters, coats and jackets), and it's not the terrible self-defense round that some make it out to be.
 
#4
Thanks for the response, fellas.

The lucky gunner data makes me feel a bit better. As far as her keeping up on her shooting... i am trying to be optimistic. Although between my wife and my mom, its like pulling teeth getting them to practice.

Anyways, I think I'm going to buy her a few hundred rounds of Hornady Critical Defense in 90 grain. It isnt my prefered choice in 9mm but it looks promising on lucky gunner. Plus, Hornady stuck it to the gun grabbers in New York, so they deserve my business. If it cycles 200-300 rounds without issue and she can make consistent hits with it, I'll consider it good to go.
 

Ricci

uber Member
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#5
So my mother just loved my Smith and Wesson M&P shield in 9mm which is usually what i carry in the summer months.

She texts me today to tell me she bought one... in .380acp
🤮🤮🤮

While I realize that plenty of people have been killed with a .380, it seems to underperform in most tests done. I follow the FBI protocol pretty tightly. My 9mm guns love Federal HST 124gr standard pressure, and i also like the same load from Speer Gold Dot.

However, when I research the tests performed with .380, they fall quite short of the 12-18 inches of penetration. Usually around 8 and some change inches.

Wish she never bought that caliber but it is what it is now. Does anybody know of a .380 caliber that performs to FBI standards?
I've been on the hunt for that Shield EZ .380 for a while now. to my knowledge, non of them have been in the marketplace yet here in CA.
 
#6
I've been on the hunt for that Shield EZ .380 for a while now. to my knowledge, non of them have been in the marketplace yet here in CA.
They wont be either. Its virtually impossible to make it or any other new semi auto pistol on the CA handgun roster.
 
#8
Best test results I've seen with .380 ammo was with the Precision One JHP. They load them with the Hornady XTP bullet. If you watch this guys other videos, all the .380 rounds using the Hornady XTP performed pretty well. But the Fiocchi load with the XTP performed a little better than the actual Hornady loading. And the Precision One was even better. Looks pretty impressive for .380.

 

jmano

uber Member
#9
I think right now the Lehigh Defense Xtreme Defense rounds are pretty much the gold standard for not just .380 but all SD rounds. The problem with those tests are that hollow points that require hydraulic pressure to expand have proven to be less than consistent. Even when they put denim in front of the gel block, it's still a 90 degree shot onto a flat surface. That scenario doesn't typically translate well to a real life scenario.
 
#10
I think right now the Lehigh Defense Xtreme Defense rounds are pretty much the gold standard for not just .380 but all SD rounds. The problem with those tests are that hollow points that require hydraulic pressure to expand have proven to be less than consistent. Even when they put denim in front of the gel block, it's still a 90 degree shot onto a flat surface. That scenario doesn't typically translate well to a real life scenario.
This is what I carry. Underwood makes them in 65 grain +p.
 

Felid'Maximus

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#11
Easy... FMJ.

FMJ gets 16-26 inches in gel depending on the load in gel tests I've seen. Most are just over the arbitrary 18 inch mark that the FBI recommends apparently because the chances of overpenetration increase over 18 inches.... personally I like my bullets in the 18-24" penetration range because my ideal bullet is capable of severing the spine on a fatter person rather than merely reaching the heart like the FBI standard assumes to be ideal... I personally don't think an exit wound is necessarily a bad thing.

After Agent Dove's bullet failed to kill the bank robber by means of insufficient expansion, all the gunshots between the FBI and the robber that missed entirely were a much greater threat to the public in my opinion than if Dove's round has gone through and through.

As for .380 ACP underperforming vs 9mm, given identical shot placement, my guess is that a .380 ACP FMJ and 9mm +P+ SuperPlatDottium BondoXTZ Expandomax $2 bullet will have the same result, 99% of the time. If your 9mm bullet expands to 0.75", it lets you miss by a whopping 0.2" in any direction on a vital structure and still score a hit... assuming that the bullet has adequate penetration... and the FBI 12 inch minimum is quite arbitrary.

The FBI seemingly based that 12 inch minimum on the fact that Agent Dove's 9mm Silvertip bullet went about an inch less than that in gel and failed to reach the heart on one specific person. Are you comfortable with a round that only penetrates 1 inch deeper than that bullet? What if the person you are shooting is fatter than the guy Agent Dove was shooting at?

Just my thoughts.
 
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LASCHRIS

Active member
#12
Nothing wrong 380 for self defense. In Europe and a few other places the cops carry and shoot people on a regular basis with one. The Soviet Makarov 9x18 is equal in power to a 380. Millions were killed by it. Only most of them had their hands tied behind there backs. It is all about bullet placement, not caliber.
 

MAC702

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#13
Having a gun she likes and will shoot is far, far more important than any caliber performance debate.

That said, for .380, I'm in the FMJ camp. That also means it's cheaper to practice with the exact same load you'll carry.
 

Teresa

uber Member
#14
In 380 I suggest Hornady XTP or federal HydroShok. FMJ an option too. Big issue with 380 is simply finding ammo and it's a pain-in-the-butt that jams, fails to feed, they can be very ammo finicky, not to mention expensive.

Public Service announcement: over penetration IS a HUGE SAFETY ISSUE, don't just think we'll I'm OK with an exit wound, you are responsible for what you shoot at, including what is behind what you shoot. Do you want your round to go thru some scumbag and hit an innocent kid behind him in the head? If you shoot out a biz's window, they will sue you! Do you want to be portrayed as some Rambo, or a responsible gun owner? Not caring about over penetration means you mid as well give your money to BloomButt and his loonies!
 

Felid'Maximus

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#15
In 380 I suggest Hornady XTP or federal HydroShok. FMJ an option too. Big issue with 380 is simply finding ammo and it's a pain-in-the-butt that jams, fails to feed, they can be very ammo finicky, not to mention expensive.

Public Service announcement: over penetration IS a HUGE SAFETY ISSUE, don't just think we'll I'm OK with an exit wound, you are responsible for what you shoot at, including what is behind what you shoot. Do you want your round to go thru some scumbag and hit an innocent kid behind him in the head? If you shoot out a biz's window, they will sue you! Do you want to be portrayed as some Rambo, or a responsible gun owner? Not caring about over penetration means you mid as well give your money to BloomButt and his loonies!
Let's suppose an exit wound kills the guy you are shooting faster...

What is worse... to have an exit wound and potentially ONE bullet with greatly reduced energy that goes past the target... or for both him and you to exchange a dozen or more shots, some of them complete misses... full energy rounds missing the target entirely... after your first shot failed to penetrate deeply enough?

In the FBI shooting in questions, over a HUNDRED were fired, many missing the intended targets entirely, that likely wouldn't have been fired AT ALL if Dove's bullet penetrated deep enough to reach the heart.... And some of those bullets killed people that might not have otherwise been dead. But, those bullets that killed people were aimed at those people by bank robbers. All of the shots that missed intended targets did not kill anyone.... and if Dove's bullet did a through and through on the robber, the robber would have been dead in seconds... and there was no one standing directly behind him to be shot in the head by that overpenetrating round... even though it could *hypothetically* produce bad results in a hypothetical arrangement of humans *if* the shooters did not move their own bodies to create clear lines of fire.

You know what is a HUGE SAFETY ISSUE? An armed murderer shooting at people with intent to kill them!

I often hear people say we should not shoot back at all during mass shootings because bystanders could be caught in the crossfire. Yes, they COULD be caught in the crossfire. And a bullet barely capable of reaching the spine of a shooter from a sternum hit might fully penetrate the shooter from a direct frontal lung hit and COULD hit a bystander behind him. But if you don't shoot back or you shoot back with ineffective rounds... the shooter WILL kill innocent people.

You will be portrayed as a loon by the anti-gun media no matter what you carry. The only responsible gun owner is the one with an unloaded gun in a safe, and a mag in another safe. If you don't carry rubber bullets as your main defensive load, Bloomberg will portray you as a bloodthirsty NRA nutjob. And that mag better be an Oregon-style 5 round mag unless you are an irresponsible advocate of rambo spray-fire tactics!

If we should resort to ineffective weapons to placate our political opponents, we might as well fly a white flag of surrender right now. There is no point in the right to have something if you are too afraid to use it.

If I had my way, not only would my bullets be capable of penetrating people, but they would also be capable of penetrating body armor. Yes, those are those evil cop-killer rounds according to the Bloomies, but somehow bank robbers and mass shooters never got the memo that body armor is only for cops.
 
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johnthomas

Henderson
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#16
I carry a 380 on my ankle and a nine MM in my conceal holster. My 380 is for backup, not primary. My wife carries a 380 shield, easy. She also has a 38 revolver but like the semi better.