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Old December 18, 2012, 06:20 PM   #1
Ghost1958
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380 and smaller??

Let me prefix this by saying im not a noob to handguns shooting tactics etc.
However other than 22lr as a kid all my handguns have been 9mm or larger all my life with 357 my favorite though at present i carry a pt945
Im sure there are more knowing folks here than myself ( one never knows everything unless you are my ex wife ). So I ask the good folks here.
I ride motorcycles. A lot. Bikers are predominately who I am around and my bike is my normal means of transportation. This translates into most of the people I am around are 230 lbs or better and at minimum wearing a heavy leather vest, colder weather add a thick tough leather jacket capable of withstanding 100 foot slides down the pavement under that vest.
Im very comfortable with 45 and 357 to deal with anything short of body armor. Fairly comfortable with 9 mil to get thru the cowhide and go deep enough. About all I know about 380, 38, and smaller is that they are weaker and will cut a paper target since I have shot them very little and till now never concerned myself with them.
Does a 380 38 and smaller have enough punch to get thru say a thick full grain leather biker jacket and vest and still have enough left to get in the engine room of a 230 lb plus likely very mad person??? Thanks in advance. Ghost
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Old December 18, 2012, 06:28 PM   #2
Dragline45
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Quote:
Does a 380 38 and smaller have enough punch to get thru say a thick full grain leather biker jacket and vest and still have enough left to get in the engine room of a 230 lb plus likely very mad person??? Thanks in advance. Ghost
Yes and No. Bullets never perform the same from shot to shot. There have been cases where people have taken multiple shots to the chest of .357 and lived and cases where people have gotten hit just right with a .22 short and died on the spot. Instead of focusing on caliber choose a platform you shoot the best and conceal well. I have carried in the past .357, .38 special, 9mm, for a short stint .40, and usually these days I am packing a Sig 232 in .380. I feel perfectly confident in where I can place my shots with the gun I am carrying, therefore I feel perfectly comfortable carrying a .380. Will a 9mm penetrate deeper than a.380 most times, sure, but that doesn't make the .380 obsolete.
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Old December 18, 2012, 06:38 PM   #3
Ghost1958
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Dragline and others thanks for a fast response. I may not have been clear enough. I can place my shots center mass in groups of 2 to 3 inches out to about 15 yrds. Range i practice the most at. And can do it with a revolver or a pistol once im used to it.
That being said point is unless i go for a head shot center mass is likely going to have to punch thru at least one and probably two layers 1.5 mill top grain heavy leather. Likely in cold weather added layers of clothing under that.
Not that I expect to have to shoot anyone Im around but should it happen i would hate find out then that im shooting bbs at an elephant.
Shooting up a 400 dollar leather riding jacket really isnt something I relish doing either to find out the answer to my question
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Old December 18, 2012, 09:02 PM   #4
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A .22lr will have no problem penetrating 13" or more. There's lots of evidence of this on youtube.

You can get hollow points for .22 .32 and .380 but I prefer a flat nosed hard cast bullet for these smaller callibers for maximum penetration.

*here's a video for you.
http://youtu.be/U2PSddmxGtI
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Old December 19, 2012, 01:46 AM   #5
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Local, State, and a few Federal Law Enforcement agencies doing business in my area are experiecing an on-going beef with numerous motorized two wheeled social termite crowds (with only a short reprieve during 9/11). LE's record using .380s, 9mms and 38 Special handguns have shown less than steller results against the above mentioned individuals as well as with their vehicles and dogs.

The .357 Magnum appears to have the proper Rx strength for 250 pound pork chops gone bad.
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Old December 19, 2012, 07:47 AM   #6
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Sounds like your biggest threat is your fellow bikers in their leathers. With friends like that....

You might try hanging out with a friendlier crowd.
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Old December 19, 2012, 08:25 AM   #7
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OK... to partly answer your question... I think it's going to come down more to bullet selection... normally a 380 will have enough penitration... but you aren't talking normal clothing... you add 2 layers of heavy leather, plus the normal fabric layers, & you're going to need more penitration than is normally needed for self defense...

1st observation... 380 may or may not be enough ( it would definatly be on the too light side for me ) but if used with full jacket bullets, rather than "normal" expanding self defense bullets, it may be enough, with well placed multiple shots... of couse the non expanding bullets limit the effectiveness, so it inceases the need for shot placement, & or the need for multiple shots

I'm not a huge fan of 357 for personal defense ( because of the loudness ), but IMO, with hunting ( rather than self defense ) bullets, I think you'd be at best... a compact 9mm might be fine ( because of the higher capacity ) with FMJ bullets again, rather than hollow points...

I think with your croud, & the multple layer leathers, you need to look at something you'd use deer or bear hunting, rather than "normally" used for self defense...

funny... I was just talking to my "biker buddy" about this thread, & he's correct, in that if you hang with bikers long enough, you'll learn when the croud looks like it could turn ugly... better to walk to your bike ( run if needed ) & live to ride another day, than get involved in a "fire fight" ( you can bet you won't be the only one packing, & even if you shot somebody that needed it ( you feared for your life ) that guy probably has a buddy there, who is now going to try to shoot you, for killing his buddy )... leave & live to ride another day

one of those S&W Mountain Lite revolvers in 44 Mag comes to mind, as easy to carry, & enough muscle to do the job... won't be pleasant to shoot, but may be the easiest carry tool that will get the job done
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Old December 19, 2012, 12:49 PM   #8
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A biker on drugs is different than a biker that's not.

This might be a use for that "zombie" ammo you can find at you local gun store.
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Old December 19, 2012, 09:52 PM   #9
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Thanks guys. Thats about what I thought. But double checking never hurts.

Before it sounds like being around bikers MCs or otherwise is more dangerous than the general public, its not. Ive been around them all my life rode all my life, am currently president of a group of bikers. Actually the general public makes me a bit more itchy. With bikers 1% or otherwise as long as you dont ask for a problem you wont get one.
My group is a charity based group. We are patched etc. But not an MC as you would picture it though we are in constant contact with all sorts of biker clubs etc. My question was more because we host several annual events and do our own security to raise money for sick kids. One a multiday rally camping on site etc. We do security for some other groups as well at their events. The security aspect where leaving isnt an option was the basis for my question.
Thanks guys Merry Christmas
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Old December 19, 2012, 11:51 PM   #10
JC57
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When I was a cop we wore leather uniform jackets in the winter. We also wore body armor under them, because unless cows have been genetically engineered since the 80s, leather isn't bulletproof.

If you are concerned about penetration, use a flat-point bullet rather than a hollowpoint.

Buffalo Bore sells a 100gr hard-cast flat-nosed lead bullet for the .380 that should penetrate just fine, leather jacket or not. The hole won't be any bigger than that left by a 9mm, .38, or .357 that doesn't expand, nor will it be any smaller.
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Old December 20, 2012, 03:22 AM   #11
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Bigger isn't always better, but neither is quantity more important than quality. I'm sure many of you have seen the video of Trooper Mark Coates of the SCHP. He was killed by a .22 round. His attacker was shot five times in the chest at close range with a .357. Round size is not nearly as important as critical shot placement. Now I'm not saying that larger rounds don't transfer more kinetic energy, but if you can't place those rounds in the correct spot it doesn't really matter if what you're firing.

If you're worried about penetration with smaller caliber rounds, I would use ball ammo. The problem with that then would be that you don't get any expansion of the round like you would with a JHP. There are rounds out there, like Hornady's Critical Defense, that allegedly address that problem by using an insert in the tip to help with the clogging issue that JHPs face with thicker clothing.

You could always go out and buy a nice 3lb chuck roast, and layer it up with some old clothes.
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Old December 20, 2012, 11:02 AM   #12
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I carry a NAA Pug when riding. It's small enough to always have it on me and I am rather good with it. It's loaded with PDX1 22mag.
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Old December 20, 2012, 11:49 AM   #13
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Take the test!

Whenever anybody questions the capability of my .380 for self defense, I offer to perform the be all, end all test to resolve the question once and for all.

I tell them they can wear as many layers of clothing of their choosing and stand 50' downrange. I'll empty all 7 rounds in their direction and then we'll see if indeed, the .380 is not a good self defense caliber.

I've yet to find anybody willing to disprove that theory.
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Old December 20, 2012, 07:33 PM   #14
Ghost1958
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Hummm. Ok I didnt start this thread to step on any toes or calibers as the case may be I have little to no expierence with 380 or pretty much anything less than a 9 mm figured a lot here would so asked the question. No offence to the small caliber crowd intended

Its really not a huge deal. As far as standing 50 down range, if I were forced to do that and could choose what was being shot at me, even with limited expierence with smaller calibers Im pretty sure id pick a 380 rather than a 357


That being said I wouldnt AGREE to stand down range and let someone shoot at me with a bb gun
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Old December 21, 2012, 12:51 AM   #15
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Ah, the old, "who would let me shoot them with it?" arguement. I'll do you one better. I have a newly sharpened pencil, who will let me stick it in their eye? I'm guessing not many takers but I'll still restrain myself from carrying a pocket full of pencils for self defense.
I've no doubt that a .380 could push it's way thru my leather, but it's gonna burn up alot of juice to do it. I'd stick with the 357 or get really good at CNS hits.
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Old December 21, 2012, 01:00 AM   #16
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cc
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Old December 21, 2012, 08:01 AM   #17
lapetrarca53
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Okie......

Don't forget.....if it gets down and dirty, a couple of well placed, sharpened pencils would make a pretty effective weapon....
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Old December 21, 2012, 08:58 AM   #18
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I thought you might want to give these a look see:

https://www.google.com/search?q=.380...&client=safari
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Old December 21, 2012, 09:58 AM   #19
qwiksdraw
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You're all just a bunch of wannabe's, this is the ultimate in firepower:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1sS1TmXF38

However, I will concede it is difficult to conceal.
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Old December 21, 2012, 11:22 AM   #20
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Keep carrying your PT945 and stick that 380 in your boot.

You seem to be asking if the lighter caliber will suffice for the worst case situation (heavy leathers, mayby several layers, probably PO'd bikers).

The answer is, mayby, and if it doesn't the results will probably be bad news for you.
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Old December 21, 2012, 07:14 PM   #21
Ghost1958
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Yep Remington you hit it on the head. I dont own a 380 but was considering getting one in a day or so possibly downsizing my carry. With the answers Ive gotten here and little shooting of a borrowed one into various things Ive decided to shoulder the the 45 and back it up with either a SP101 or a Ruger SR9c iwb that ill get instead of a 380. Thanks much for all the reponses
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Old December 22, 2012, 02:28 PM   #22
Mystro
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Here is PDX1 in a 22 Mag. I am carrying it in my Pug.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alos8NMWZug
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Old December 23, 2012, 03:07 PM   #23
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As others have said bullet selection is your primary concern. More specifically you need to consider that you do not want bullets to deform before they enter the body of the threat. Large frontal area due to early deformation will use up the available energy and give shallow penetration.

You mentioned leather jackets and vests. They are somewhat resistant to penetration and are likely to reduce penetration. What might be a marginally effective round on someone who is only wearing a cotton T-shirt, might become totally ineffective on someone wearing two layers of tough leather.

Either hard cast bullets, full metal jacket (non-deforming design), or maybe an relatively heavy (for caliber) XTP hollow point would be worth considering. You might want to set up some sort of test.

As always, just because you deliver 2 or 3 shoots to center of mass; a determined threat may take 30 seconds of more to become incapacitated. So plan on moving and seeking cover or other ways to save your life.
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Old December 23, 2012, 04:14 PM   #24
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A .22 Magnum is a bad dude! I read an article where they talked about the hardest calibers and weapons in general to stop with a bullet proof vest, the .22 Magnum was one of them! I help butcher cattle and hogs now and then and all I have ever used is a .22 Magnum, when you see a 1500 pound beef drop like a sack of potatoes from one little 40 grain .22 bullet it gives you a whole new level of respect for it
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Old December 23, 2012, 04:18 PM   #25
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Quote:
Whenever anybody questions the capability of my .380 for self defense, I offer to perform the be all, end all test to resolve the question once and for all.

I tell them they can wear as many layers of clothing of their choosing and stand 50' downrange. I'll empty all 7 rounds in their direction and then we'll see if indeed, the .380 is not a good self defense caliber.

I've yet to find anybody willing to disprove that theory.
So, the take away from this then is that the bad guy will stand perfectly still for you while you empty a full magazine of .380 into him. I guess the idea of moving never entered their mind. About all your comment proves is that people do not like to be shot, regardless of caliber size.
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