380 Auto Ammo Performance

Ever wonder how the various .380 Auto loads perform.? Which one will penetrate the deepest? Which bullet will expand the most? MY ARTICLE over at Shooting Illustrated looks at 14 different .380 loads that were tested in 10% ordnance gelatin and also provides a bit of background on the .380 Auto cartridge. One thing is for sure; all .380 Auto ammo is not created equally. Choose wisely, your life could depend on it.

Below is a summary of the results:

LOAD                                                             VEL       ENG      PEN       EXP

LeHigh 68 gr. Copper HP                               1200      213        8.00       .68

Hornady 90 gr. Critical Defense                    928        172        9.25       .42

Winchester 95 gr. PDX1                                860        156        9.75       .59

DoubleTap 80 gr. Barnes TAC-XP                1102      215        10.00     .63

Buffalo Bore 90 gr. JHP                                 986        194        10.00     .60

Speer 90 gr. Gold Dot                                    905        163        10.75     .55

Buffalo Bore 90 gr. JHP + P                          1129      254        11.00     .61

Federal 90 gr. Hydra-Shok                            891        158        11.50     .59

Winchester 85 gr. SilverTip                           831        130        11.50     .56

Wilson Combat 90 gr. Hornady XTP             862        148        11.50     .46

DRT 85 gr. Compressed JHP                         1175      260        11.50     NA

Remington 102 gr. Golden Saber                   883        176        13.75     .59

Remington 88 gr. JHP                                    845        139        31+        .36

Buffalo Bore 100 gr. Hardcast LFN +P         1065      251        31+        .36

 

 

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About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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2 Responses to 380 Auto Ammo Performance

  1. rocu says:

    So Richard,

    Which ammo is in that Bodyguard in your pocket?

    Roy

    • gunwriter says:

      Um, well, I don’t carry a Bodyguard. I do carry a Diamondback 380 often. The Bodyguard was used as a test pistol for most of the results in the article though. In the DB 380 I carry Winchester Silvertips. They are comfortable to shoot, 100% reliable out of that gun and deliver about average 380 performance. The Buffalo Bore +P loads were awesome in the gel blocks but no fun to shoot out of the Diamondback. Out of a heavier .380? Sure!

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