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Old November 15, 2022, 02:51 AM   #1
Mosin44az
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LCP defense ammo?

What defense/ JHP ammo do people use in their LCPs? Any recommendations?

I just got some Norma 85 grain MHP at a great price but didn’t look at the specs first. Concerned that it may be too hot, at 303 ft/lbs and 1285 fps. Anyone shoot this ammo, particularly in their LCP or other.380 pistol?

Thanks for all info
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Old November 15, 2022, 06:37 AM   #2
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For 380, the only rounds i would trust would be the hornady critical defense, or critical duty. It is more likely to expand than a traditional hollow point. But wont under penetrate like a traditional hollow point.
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Old November 15, 2022, 10:52 AM   #3
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Precision One XTP. I wouldn't have bought any .380 before I saw the following video review:
https://youtu.be/wOwCXXpEP50
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Old November 15, 2022, 01:01 PM   #4
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XTP is the talked about "best." I think Fiocchi is better than Precision One based on how Precision One does with other of their loads (ie, they aren't a top brand).

However, I think the new Federal DEEP will be the gold standard in the future. It's not skived but folded over copper with a spire point lead base inside. From what I've seen it does 14" full expansion making it as good as old 9mm, sometimes better. Zero feed issues for me in my gen2 LCP and is what I carry. I have boxes of Gold Dot (too shallow), Lehigh penetrators (I wonder about the real affect of the spin, old Hydra with post (too shallow), Fiocchi fake hollow point Mamba, HST (too shallow) and previous always carried Fiocchi XTP.

This stuff is just different. The copper folds acts as the pedals without the bonded plug for the normal 380 look:

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Old November 15, 2022, 02:01 PM   #5
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I like Remington Golden Sabers, the bullet has a similar shape to a round nose fmj so they feed flawlessly. Golden Sabers also expand as good as you could hope for in a .380
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Old November 15, 2022, 04:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
also expand as good as you could hope for in a .380
And especially as short as the barrel is on a LCP
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Old November 15, 2022, 04:24 PM   #7
Mosin44az
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Thanks for the replies. Curious if the specs for your choices come close to those I cite above for the Norma. Might give a clue as to felt recoil and function in mine.
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Old November 15, 2022, 04:28 PM   #8
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The critical defense ran well in my bersa years back, as well as a friends lcp. They didnt feel overly snappy in either gun. And i feel they have reliable expansion paired with good penetration. Hop on youtube. You will find plenty of gel tests and reviews.
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Old November 15, 2022, 04:38 PM   #9
wild cat mccane
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Norma will always have high FPS because they test at long barrels. Like 6" for a 9mm round. What in the world reason is a 6" barrel used to make 9mm FPS?

Betcha that is where the magic comes from.

When LCP barrel is half the length of a probably 6" test barrel...there you go. Normal powered round.
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Old November 15, 2022, 05:10 PM   #10
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https://underwoodammo.com/380-acp-90...-hollow-point/

Underwood XTP loads are a great choice. I carry this in +P in my G42, but would recommend the standard pressure in the LCP. Underwood always loads a little hot.
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Old November 15, 2022, 06:57 PM   #11
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I tried but didnt see the norma test barrel length on the mono round.

On plus p, it is wrong to make something up and claim to know what you are doing. There is no plus p 380. My lcp is specd to real ratings. Not made up. Nor is glock. Neither proof barrels at made up ratings. It is not a soap box, underwood is being something not good...
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Old November 15, 2022, 07:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubC-Hicks View Post
https://underwoodammo.com/380-acp-90...-hollow-point/

Underwood XTP loads are a great choice. I carry this in +P in my G42, but would recommend the standard pressure in the LCP. Underwood always loads a little hot.
I have shot the underwood 380s, with the lehigh extreme defender bullets, snappy little things even at standard pressure. I would not want to pull the trigger on one in a LCP personally.
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Old November 15, 2022, 10:41 PM   #13
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380acp is where serious compromises start kicking in, hard. Aggressive expansion may mean insufficient penetration. But it still seems to make surprisingly little difference in effectiveness, relative to larger service rounds. If the bullets go through something sufficiently vital, they appear to work.

That Norma load looks respectable, based on this youtube vid (but velocity was around 990fps): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvvx9NP8wEE I'd personally still want to research it a bit more before relying on it, but it does seem interesting.

I personally carry non-expanding rounds in 380, to ensure adequate penetration. Usually this means the Underwood xtreme defender +p. Or, for a more conventional, softer-shooting (and much, much cheaper) load, the Sinterfire 75gr NXG solid copper flat nose.
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Old November 15, 2022, 11:57 PM   #14
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Hornady critical duty ammunition is as I understand it, for duty-size pistols with 4” barrels and is designed to penetrate barriers such as auto glass and still expand when it hits a soft target. It will not perform as advertised in short barrels like the LCP, etc. I have shot Buffalo Bore cast lead +p in my LCP and it is definitely a hot round. A noticeable difference in recoil.
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Old November 16, 2022, 12:07 AM   #15
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On plus p, it is wrong to make something up and claim to know what you are doing. There is no plus p 380. My lcp is specd to real ratings. Not made up. Nor is glock. Neither proof barrels at made up ratings. It is not a soap box, underwood is being something not good...
I'm aware there is no SAAMI spec for 380 +P, and I know Ruger does not rate the LCP for +P, hence why I recommended the standard pressure.

As far as Underwood being something "not good", I guess Buffalo Bore, Remington, Federal, and Winchester are all "not good" then too, as Buffalo Bore offers +P 380 and the others have offered 9mm in a +P+ load. But I wouldn't ever claim they don't know what they're doing. All in all, read your user manual, do your research, and make your own decisions.
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Old November 16, 2022, 12:37 AM   #16
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Appreciate all the info. A bit to work through.

Interesting that lower fps for the Norma in that video, corroborates the theory about them using long barrels.

For the record, I have found Aguila JHP and Hornady American Gunner XTP to work in my LCPs, and Ammo Inc. JHP to work in my LCP Max, though it took awhile to break in. This is just for functionality, I have no idea of the effectiveness.

This caliber is relatively expensive and I haven’t found the selection to be great around Phoenix in recent years. Was thrilled at the $8.99 for 20 price of the Norma and jumped without checking as I said above. We’ll see.

I will check back in a couple of days and let everyone know my impressions of the Norma when it arrives. Thanks again for the input.
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Old November 16, 2022, 12:57 AM   #17
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Hey watched that whole video, Metric, thanks for that. Encouraged that I didn’t make a big mistake. He even compared the Norma to the American Gunner XTP.
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Old November 16, 2022, 10:22 AM   #18
wild cat mccane
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Plus p plus in 9mm is still within standard though. Not even close to the same thing. Using the term "P" here means Underwood is trying to be disingenuous by using a real standard while pushing a fake one. The common buyer isn't going to know they made up something let alone know that it's not safe in a LCP. I just think that's unseemly. That said, I do have a box of the Lehigh +P penetrator. Don't know why, and wouldn't buy it again. Meet a niche if you want, but don't lie about making up a standard within a real standard.

When the p3at was the only game, Cor-Bon dpx all copper was the gold standard.

I bet the Norma FPS is advertised from a full size barrel, if not a greater than full sized barrel. Can't find that info out anywhere, makes it even more likely in my mind. I bet it does okay. I bet the new Federal DEEP bests it and the best loaded Hornady.

At 9 bucks that is right now, you probably didn't do bad.

I'd say the DEEP is probably the best round because it appears to be loaded right and the folds appear, in what i've seen, to react better than a failed normal jhp.

Good luck!
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Old November 16, 2022, 10:54 AM   #19
wild cat mccane
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Yep.

Imaginary numbers from Norma again.

MHP is from a 6" barrel.

https://www.norma-ammunition.com/en-...gr---610040020
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Old November 16, 2022, 12:46 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by wild cat mccane View Post
Yep.

Imaginary numbers from Norma again.

MHP is from a 6" barrel.

https://www.norma-ammunition.com/en-...gr---610040020

Imaginary numbers would suggest the numbers are made up. I’m with you if you want to call it misleading, but what you’re saying goes beyond that.
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Old November 16, 2022, 01:03 PM   #21
wild cat mccane
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So very true that it is real

Just that a US marketed ammo tested with an nonexistent 6" barrel is a bit "imagined" as they do market it with a number that isn't clearly stated as 6".
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Old November 16, 2022, 01:44 PM   #22
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LCP defense ammo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wild cat mccane View Post
So very true that it is real

Just that a US marketed ammo tested with an nonexistent 6" barrel is a bit "imagined" as they do market it with a number that isn't clearly stated as 6".

For the Norma ammunition boxes I’ve seen the barrel length corresponding to the velocity is generally on the package, at least the red box stuff. You were able to find it out on the website. The information is there, they just don’t portray it prominently. At some level there is some onus on the user to know what barrel length was used for the corresponding velocity. I have Federal ammunition in 9mm with advertised velocities corresponding to barrel lengths longer than I am using, I just keep that in my mind. I do agree though that a 6” barrel on a 380 ACP is silly and/or misleading.

When it comes to 380 ACP what barrel lengths do other manufacturers use? I don’t know as I don’t carry a 380.

https://le.vistaoutdoor.com/ammuniti...ls.aspx?id=558
https://le.vistaoutdoor.com/ammuniti....aspx?id=53606

At least for these two loads looks like a 3.75" test barrel, certainly far more reasonable.

Last edited by TunnelRat; November 16, 2022 at 08:03 PM.
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Old November 16, 2022, 05:22 PM   #23
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I understand the FBI standard is not the end all be all. And that gel is not an actual simulation for the human body. but it is a good way to compare and measure the performance between rounds. And I personally feel their standard of 12 to 18 in of penetration in gel after going through 4 layers of denim to get adequate penetration on vitals is applicable for real world use.

Heres a test of both the Norma MHP and a barnes Tac-x. Keep in mind the test was not done with denim or fabric but on bare gel. Both under penetrated imho. at about 8.5in for the barnes and 9.5 in for the norma. However the MHP failed to fully expand.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iKxSfykdR0

The Hornady critical defense, through denim made it 11.25 in, with denim. So it also under penetrate. Guess I remembered wrong, though it did better. but it did reliably expand.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H9M6cZGd18

Here is a comparison of the lehigh extreme defenders to the federal HST. The lehighs came in over the 12in goal. whereas the HST came in at about 9in.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H9M6cZGd18

Federal Punch 380 out of a LCP looks lackluster. Failed to expand going through denhim. met the penetration standards though while acting as a FMJ.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxyCpwJs_h4

Federal hydra shock deep may be a good option if you can find some. although i will say I was unable to find testing with denim the bare gel testing looks promising. but it could clog on clothing too. hard to say.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ec-wJhj64UY

I have found with 380 you run into 1 of 2 issues with hollow points no matter which way you turn. you run into issues of failures to expand. in which case it acts like fmj and penetrates properly. Or you run into issues where it expands as designed, and under penetrates. This is one reason many people consider the 380 to be inadequate for self defense. I personally think it is adequate given proper bullet selection and understanding of its capabilities.


When I had a 380, I ran critical defense. It was the only round I trusted to reliably expand and penetrate as close to 12in as possible, even though it does come in 3/4in short. And it is reasonably priced as far as defensive ammo goes.

I have since gone to 9mm as there are lots of options that perform well and meet the fbi standards without difficulty.

In the end its not a decision myself or anyone else can make for you. But I would urge you to do some research and find the best option, not just grab something off the shelf.
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Old November 16, 2022, 06:10 PM   #24
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LCP defense ammo?

I have seen tests of the MHP in 9mm and I wasn’t overly impressed. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 380 ACP performance of the same design wasn’t perhaps the best.
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Old November 16, 2022, 08:24 PM   #25
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An "underpenetrating" round that only goes in 8" into the body cavity is entirely sufficient if it does what it's supposed to do.

Most people stop what they are doing if someone points a gun at them. If not, most of the rest stop when they get shot-no one wants to get shot again.

Even if you shoot someone with FMJ, as long as the round hits a vital spot, they will go down. If the hit is not in a vital spot and they actually don't mind being shot again, I doubt if a hollow point would make any difference.

That said, I try to carry expanding ammunition when I can.
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