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Carry ammo

4213 Views 18 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Gibbs
I have heard fmj is better in .380s because of penetration but I have also heard that hollow points are good for home defense. I guess I just want some opinions on which ammo is better for carry.

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Welcome to the forum. I have also heard both arguments about ammo. I usually carry holly points in the medium frame autos like the bersa Thunder. Never had one of the small poly frame .380, but I would probably go with FMJs due to the short barrel. I have had a couple of the tiny .32s in poly frame, KelTec P32s and just got a Taurus TP-732 in .32. Will be using FMJs in that gun. That is just my opinion.
Yeah my wife has a Beretta tomcat and that thing has seen nothing but fmjs. All the ammo reviews ive seen for .380s have been with a kahr p380 which as far as I can tell is considerably smaller than my bersa thunder 380 combat.

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I always use hollow points for EDC & home defense. I just feel better about the blossom. :)

Mike Parker
Couple of choices. Normally I'd use ONLY HP ammo. +P HP ammo at that. But in the smaller 380, I sometimes go back and forth with a good HP like the Remington GoldenSaber or even the Buffalo Bore hard cast lead 100gr +P round. I've seen penetration figures in a magazine for those babies at 24 inches!!! :eek: Even if that is a bit exaggerated, it's pretty darn good.
Is the buffalo bore safe to run regularly thru the bt380? And what if any differences in recoil are there between them and federal hydra-shoks?

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Is the buffalo bore safe to run regularly thru the bt380? And what if any differences in recoil are there between them and federal hydra-shoks?
That's a definite maybe on the regular use of BB in a Bersa. Depends upon who's advice your following. When BB first became available several years ago, the advice on the earlier Bersa forums was use them for SD mags, but not for regular use. Unfortunately, due to the newness or lack of break-in of my Bersa at the time, they did not work well in mine. Haven't tried them since and partly in that I bought up a good supply of Corbon DPX
Look in the weekly flyers and get yerself a big Boston butt when they are on sale.
Take a few FMJ rounds and shoot that butt. Same for your hollow points. Not to many now, cause after you examine and see what you see, we'll be trimming out the "bad" and makin barbecue with the rest.
Not super scientific, but tasty none the less.

I alternate my .380 mags..hp,fmj,hp,fmj, etc.

Years ago(20) I tested a bunch of 380 rnds in wet newspaper. The hp brands that "performed' best, were then shot into "butts". Have not done it since, but what performed best at that time for me were Fed Hydroshocks and I never tested again. Since then, there are more to choose from and test. I am happy with what I have.
I prefer the Hornady Critical Defense ammo due to the reports I have read. The military use FMJ and it seems to kill people just as dead as my preferred ammo. Carry what you believe is reliable and what is going to keep you safe.
I like Hornady ammo. Critical Defense or even their Zombie ammo it's all good and reliable.
Has anyone tried these through their Bresa?

If they shot good I was thinking of buying a few boxes. Let me know please!
I practice with Winchester FMJ but I carry BuffaloBore +P JHP/Hard Cast alternating. There's a noticeable increase in report and kick when I shoot the BB but it's still very manageable. Makes an absolute mess of a cantaloupe.

The +P BB essentially raises the pressure to 9mm levels.
For me, I carry the Bersa 380 loaded with Hornady Critical Defense 95 grain hollow points. Decent penetration within 15-20 yards. I had a S&W 40 cal and loved it with one major drawback. Too large! :D
I like Hornady XTP in all my SD loads regardless of caliber. If I think penetration will be an issue, as it can in the 380, I switch to truncated cone.
Has anyone tried these through their Bresa?

If they shot good I was thinking of buying a few boxes. Let me know please!
To me they don't penetrate enough and the multiple wound channels are too small to effectively stop a determined threat. Might be okay if you are carrying in an environment such as an aircraft or densely populated area where over penetration is a problem.

Many years ago I had to carry a similar round when I had to do some body guard work in a hospital, but it was a much larger caliber.

Now I carry a any good grade hollow point that has a record of tests showing penetration of more than 9 inches. I don't get more specific than that because availability of 380 ammo is so poor.
I have always carried the hornady ftx in my BT380cc. I watched testing results today on you tube for self defense and don't know if I might should change. What do you think? You Tube the guy is SHOOTING THE BULL 410 final results for 380 testing. very interesting but bad news for critical defense in the 380. Think I might change how about you???????
That fell has one video that is a "wrap up" of his findings.
Was sort of glad to see that the "un-scientific" testing I did years ago(25+) and settled on the Hydr-shock might have been better than I thought.
We did "dress up" some of those pork butts in a jean jacket and flannel shirt.
Back then we figured all the Zombies would come from the grunge crowd!
I've always been afraid of FMJs because of the threat of over-penetration. All I want to do is STOP an attacker; death is just a side effect. So, in that case, I prefer to carry Speer Gold Dots, which is HP.
ALL handguns are minimal at best....

I use Remington Golden Saber in both the 9mm SIG and the Bersa Thunder .380. Remember, you are just shooting a low powered 9mm when you shoot .380 caliber... same bullet diameter, just lighter weight.

I have done a LOT of test firing of bullets in years past, and I would seriously consider carrying FMJ for a self defense/duty round. Even out of a 9mm it has shown to not create permanent wound cavity with massive blood loss. It will penetrate more, since the sides don't "wing" out and help to slow it down. I like the bullet to come apart and expand and do what it's was designed to do, create a larger wound cavity, and perhaps release all it's energy where you need it and not over penetrate and exit.

This picture is of a Remington Golden Saber shot out of my 9mm SIG Sauer at a target 21 feet away, and the result of a test shooting for expansion :

It does very similar out of a .380 caliber Bersa Thunder I own.

I practice with FMJ and they do very well for accuracy in practice:

Last picture is of 4 bullets, 2 on left are .45 ACP rounds and 2 on left were shot out of my Bersa Thunder .380. Second from left was Cor-Bon all copper .380 and far right is the Remington Golden Saber that it currently has in it. I would not like to be shot with any of them from my pistols, and neither will any attacker that you may encounter.

Remember, they see you with a gun in hand and assume "they" will get shot and hurt bad or die. Even a single shot from a .22 will often times put their mind in "flight" mode to live.

Lastly, I refer you to my website where there are links (for general interest... I know, it's a lot on Taurus) but down on the list, in BLUE is a link to a PDF file about "Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness" that is a very informative read.

Shooting a variety of pistols since 1972, I read and research a lot, and yet I am not the know-it-all, but I like to pass on what I have come across and what my opinion is. It is all opinion, and what makes you feel good to carry is what, ultimately, you should choose to carry.
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