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Old March 24, 2013, 11:06 AM   #54
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Join Date: July 6, 2009
Location: Rocky Mountain West
Posts: 3,387
Is the 380 Still Going Strong?

Originally Posted by roberg View Post
so lack of adequate penetration is not the issue. Lack of power is the issue. Funny how a full sized 9mm is "feeble", and a 380 is "ok" :-) A 5" 9mm has 3x the effectiveness of a 380, cause the 9mm, 5" will reliably expand a jhp, and offers 500 ftlbs. Of course, getting this level of performance requires that you load it correctly (ie, 1500 fps CorBon 100 gr ammo), but it can be done.

When you actually chrono your 380 loads, from a sub 6" long gun, like the pocket 9mm size, you see 90 grs at 850 fps, for a pathetic 150 ft lbs of "power". A CCI stinger, from a rifle barrel, has over 160 ft lbs. Who regards a .22 rifle as humane for taking anything as tough as a groundhog, except with brain hits?

People who don't understand math or the 'law of diminshing returns' can't see that a load that stops men 90% of the time is 3x better than a load that stops men 70% of the time. But a 10% chance of the "hittee" continuing to attack really is 3x better than a 30% chance of such a thing. If you don't believe that, then casinos probably get a lot of your money.
This post isn't very accurate. 9mm is certainly not fully three times as effective as .380. Two millimeters of cartridge space isn't that huge a difference. Quality 380s do about 8-11" in ballistic gel, as opposed to quality 9mms which do about 12-16". That's not three times. 9mm is more effective, but you're exaggerating how much.

Also, "stop percentages" are a statistic that has been proven garbage, and amount of energy in a round is essentially meaningless. A punch from a strong man or a car wreck at 20 MPH put considerably more energy into your body than a shot from even a fast .45, and they are much more survivable events. Penetration to organs and tissue destruction are the only things that can destroy the CNS, and thus the only thing that matters. Proponents of energy in a round are focusing on the wrong aspect of terminal ballistics.

The insinuation that choosing .380 means you're some kind of gullible sucker who doesn't understand math is pretty insulting, I understand it well, and understand dozens of cartridges very well. .380 is a compromise round. No one carrying it thinks it's service-grade, including me, but even the tiniest 9mms aren't quite as concealable as .380s, and the ultra-tiny nines like the Rohrbaugh are expensive and rare, unlike my $299 LCP which I shoot rather well and carry literally 100% of the time I leave my house. Choose the 9mm if you like it better in a small gun - it's undoubtedly a better round - but don't imply that having a different opinion makes you smarter.

Last edited by LockedBreech; March 24, 2013 at 11:13 AM.
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