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Saturday
Jan142012

Self Defense Carry Ammo for .380 Caliber Pistols

We’ve received a few emails asking about ammunition.  I’m not an expert and there are plenty of articles  on the internet about ammo. My primary concealed carry self defense pistol is a Model 36 Glock .45 ACP.  I sometimes carry a Sig P238 as a back up pocket pistol.  However, a Sig P238 is the primary CHL self defense pistol for both my wife and daughter. 

Based on the popularity of gun and ammo sales it appears that more CHL holders purchase and carry .380 pistols than any other caliber.  A .380 pistol will provide adequate stopping power 99% of the time, if it’s loaded with “good” ammo.

The best .380 JHP rounds have better stopping power than ANY bullet fired out of 2” barrel .38 Special snub-nose.  Reliability is crucial, and thus you must test the rounds before carrying.

There are many good .380 rounds available. These are the two we carry:

-Cor-Bon 90 gr. JHP - the most powerful .380 hollow point, bar none.

-Federal 90 gr. Hydra-shok (P380HS1H) - the best standard-pressure .380 JHP load, period.

Any quality all-steel construction pistol should stand up to an infinite amount of firing these potent rounds. SIG/Sauer, Beretta, Browning, CZ-83, H&K P7K3, Walther PPK and PPK/s pistols should eat these rounds without any problem.

 -Cor-Bon 90 gr. JHP - the most powerful .380 hollow point, bar none.

-Federal 90 gr. Hydra-shok (P380HS1H) - the best standard-pressure .380 JHP load, period.

However, the most popular CHL handguns today, are the Ruger LCP .380 and the KelTec 3AT.380.  Neither was designed for +P ammo.  If I carried one of these, I would load it with the Federal 90 gr. Hydra-shok (P380HS1H) standard-pressure .380 JHP load.

CCI-Speer 90 gr. Gold Dot JHP is good all-around hollow point for any short barrel .380 pistol. This round has proven to be extremely reliable, feeds well in just about any pistol and is probably the most commonly carried .380 round today.

The Remington 102 gr. Golden Saber BJHP (GS380M) is another good .380 load for short barrel pistols.

I avoid these .380 rounds for self defense carry:

Winchester 85 gr Silvertip (X380ASHP) , which is comparatively weak and in my experience jam-prone.

Federal 90 gr. JHP (380BP) and Hornady 90 gr. XTP-HP (9010).  Both these rounds reportedly have problems expanding upon impact. Their truncated-cone bullet nose profiles resulted in some miss-feeds when I shot them at the range.

If you Google ammo, you will find thousands of different opinions on the best self defense ammunition.  Spend some time doing your own research on the web.  Most importantly, test the ammo in your self defense weapon before you carry it.

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