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Old September 26, 2012, 06:00 PM   #1
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suggestions for some good reliable .380 acp hollow point a

I am thinking about getting a Taurus 380
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Old September 26, 2012, 06:22 PM   #2
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Whatever will cycle reliably in your gun.

All hollow-points are not created equal. There are a couple brands/calibers that 1 gun may love and another does not.

I like Hornady Critical Defense for my Bersa .380. Normal pressure, easy to find, cheap enough to practice with.
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Old September 26, 2012, 07:32 PM   #3
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Good advice to make sure it works before investing heavily.

There's an American Rifleman article from last month with penetration/expansion tests, and while not exhaustive, it looked like most worked reasonably well.

I personally have used the Winchester Silvertip and the Remington Ultimate Defense (aka the Golden Saber in a different box)... the Remington tends to feed just a shade better in my P238.
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Old September 26, 2012, 10:54 PM   #4
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First - Don't do it. Save your money and buy something of higher quality.
My PT-38 was a giant POS that wouldn't feed ANYTHING reliably, until I put quite a bit of work into tuning, polishing, and deburring the internals.
Now, it runs on pretty much anything, but I still consider it to be a low-grade excuse for a handgun.

Secondly - Now that it has had quite a bit of work done to it, the pistol runs perfectly well with Winchester SXT 90 gr JHPs (might be discontinued) and 90 gr Hornady Critical Defense.

If I could do it again... it wouldn't be a Taurus.
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Old September 27, 2012, 01:53 AM   #5
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I cant recommend the firearm, however-

I have tested various .380 bullets in ballistic gel, both bare and through denim. The only bullets that managed to expand reliably, and penetrate 10-12 inches were Federals Hydrashok and Hornadys XTP.

With that said, my pocket gun is a .32, and the only .380 I currently own is a Bersa Thunder. Both are loaded with FMJs.
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Old September 27, 2012, 02:22 AM   #6
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Some that would be good to try would be Hornady Critical defense, Remington Golden Saber, Speer Gold Dot, and Winchester PDX-1
But first you may need to "break-in" your pistol with some less expensive FMJ range ammo. It's not necessarily always needed, but I do like to run about 100 "proof" rounds through any gun I intend to carry for SD just to make sure it is 100% reliable. Then you can choose some HP ammo to try. Again, make sure what you choose is reliable, and accurate. Your gun will let you know if it doesn't like a particular round. I know it gets a little costly buying a lot of test ammo, but the confidence that your gun will perform reliably if required to do so is worth it.
One side note. Many believe that the 380 lacks enough power for adequate penetration with any hollow point ammunition, and so carry the FMJ rounds rather than HP.
My personal choice for my Elsie Pea is the Hornady Critical Defense.
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Old September 27, 2012, 06:22 AM   #7
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I won't comment on your gun choice, but if you do buy it, buy a box of ammo Remington, Speer and Federal mentioned above a head to the range. See what cycles in your gun and you are set.
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Old September 27, 2012, 06:43 AM   #8
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Speer Gold Dot is a good performer for 380s (most major brands perform well also). I'd go Speer since you can buy them in 50 round LE boxes online for the price that you'd pay for 20-25 of the other brands.
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Old September 27, 2012, 05:11 PM   #9
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Log onto Buffalo Bore's website, they have an article there which advises only using FMJ with 380's. This is interesting in that they manufacture both JHP and FMJ for the 380. It changed my approach.

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Old September 27, 2012, 05:45 PM   #10
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If you choose to carry JHP in a .380, I have never seen anything other than consistent, dependable, full expansion from the Cor-Bon DPX (all-copper Barnes X-Bullet).

This is true for every caliber that I have ever seen tested. DPX has a great reputation in every caliber.

Do some research and see if you don't agree.
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Old September 27, 2012, 10:20 PM   #11
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I dont feed hollow points in my 380. I feed it Buffalo bore 100 grain (standard pressure) flat points.

Some people say to shoot hollow points because it is more effective, other people say that with a 380 penetration is needed more than expansion so you should go with a round nose. I decided to split the difference and feed it flat nose for some expansion but greater penetration than hollow points.
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Old September 28, 2012, 02:50 AM   #12
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Just to re-affirm the most important concept here:

No bullet design is better than another, unless it will feed reliably.
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
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