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Carry Ammo Question

1398 Views 32 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  olemissmike
My gen-1 P3AT was one of the first 200 produced and I've had zero problems, using Santa Barbara ammo for carry.

My son is extolling Hydra-Shoks by Federal.

Your thoughts?
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DPX was designed in the P3AT. It consistently performs in the top 3 no matter whose test is being done. The .380 is such a marginal weapon to begin with that I want every extra little bit so DPX it is for me in this caliber. I'm willing to stretch a little bit to slightly less better performers in higher calibers, but not in .380.

SOME really like to interleave with FMJ as well and American Eagle seems to be a pretty solid performer in the P3AT for that although I don't see as much variation in FMJ tests.

This is a topic that there are lots of strong opinions on. Get ready.

The Hydra Shoks have been around a long time but in my opinion they have been surpassed by better cartridges. I think the Speed Gold Dot, CorBon DPX and Golden Sabre to name a few are superior. The new Federal HST is probably one of the best rounds availabe in various calibers, something to consider in 9mm, 40 and 45, unfortunately its not available in 380. Please remember that this is just my opinion and what I prefer to carry.
In order of personal preference based on my results, my experience and numerous tests performed by others:

1. Cor-Bon DPX (HP) 90gr
2. Remington Golden Sabres (JHP) 102gr
3. Winchester Ranger (JHP) 95gr
4. Speer Gold Dots (JHP) 90gr
5. Federal Federal LE Tactical Hydra-Shok (JHP) 90gr
6. Cor-Bon Personal Protection (JHP) 90gr

I believe someone did testing that showed DPX to be a subpar performer for penetration which I have read is important for a 380.
Gatordave said:
I believe someone did testing that showed DPX to be a subpar performer for penetration which I have read is important for a 380.
That does not jive with most of the tests I have seen. But I guess it could depend on what you mean by subpar? It doesn't perform as well as some FMJs if you only look at penetration but it nearly always performs in the top 3 of all .380HPs that actually open up. There is more to balistics than pentration. You can always choose which of the factors is important to you and which is not and pick the "Best" ammo for that one item, but overall, DPX seems to be one of the best performers in all the tests I have seen.

There is more to ballistics than penetration, very true.
It is also true that in a 380 penetration is job one. Expansion job two.
Let's consider testing with almost no penetration. Bullet resistant material which has been around a long time now, doesn't allow penatration of most common hand gun rounds.
People who have been shot wearing a vest of this type will display bruising or even internal damage while there is no actual penetration of the skin. The transfer of that force is what I want in an actual SD situation.
A bullet which may enter a shallow amount but mushrooms correctly, gives up all its energy in a short path maybe be the best performer. From my limited experience and more limited knowledge, I prefer a heavier bullet, slower
One more time, shot placement is king. "Two shots center of the mass puts them on their a**".
Just my 2 cents.
I carry hollow points except in dead of winter when I sometimes carry American Eagle fmj.

In hollowpoints I prefer:
1. Cor-Bon DPX
2. Remington Golden Sabre
3. Considering Buffalo Bore JHP but want more testing first.
Corbon DPX is my chosen carry ammo in ALL calibers.

DPX is noted for ability penetrate both auto glass and sheet metal, without losing accuracy, and still expanding.

Anyone who subscribes to Stephen Wenger's email list will see this.... It's good stuff.
I usually just carry the FMJ Remington but believe I'm gonna change after reviewing all the test result data posted here, thanks.  :-/
Has anyone tried the MagTech First Defense SCHP? It is also a solid copper bullet like the DPX Barnes bullet.
I am wondering if it performs at all well or if it is a dud. The profile of the bullet is more elongated and seems to feed better in my Bersa.
I haven't tried it yet in y P3AT or LCP but will as soon as I can get to the range with some more of it.
Other than some water filled jugs though, I have no good way of testing things out, I don't own a chronograph.
I am also not likely to be able to afford one soon as I am not all that well off. :( Being disabled blows, this I'll tell you now.

Anyway, I also have one other, non SD ammo question and that is concerning steel and aluminum cases, will they harm my P3AT?
I seem to have a fair amount of the stuff from some unknown source, probably a long ago gun show, that I have rediscovered.
I don't want to screw up a gun with it though so I thought I would ask here, anyone know?
It is actually all Wolf Bi-Metal cased ammo that I have now that I look.
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sorry to bear bad news but kt recommends brass only, and believe the general consensus on this bord is that this is not corporate-liability-mumbo-jumbo but good advice that should be followed.
Personally I would not use steel-cased ammo like Wolf. I would use aluminium-cased ammo like Blazer. More people here have had problems with the former than the latter.
Warty, the magtech was reviewed as well in that homegrown Corbon test that is linked on this thread. It looks like it did not do too well.
My first gen (05) has never choked on anything but Wolf. GS may penetrate but it averages under 800fps out of my p3at. DPX avgs 1021 but it doesn't kick as bad as GS. I chronographed and wetpack tested bunch of 380 jhp and the best 380 didn't look near as good as the worst 9mm. Love my a BUG to PF9. ;)
Gatordave said:
Warty, the magtech was reviewed as well in that homegrown Corbon test that is linked on this thread. It looks like it did not do too well.
That was not the "First Defense" ammo that is solid copper but rather a jacketed lead bullet.
I am wondering if the solid copper bullet from them is any better at all for performance.
Maybe I am wrong though. It looked like the JHP stuff they sell though and not the SCHP stuff they have started making recently.

I figured as much about the bi-metal/steel cases.  That was why I didn't use them in the thing.  I have other guns in the caliber though and they seem to eat it fine.  I was just hoping to use it for some cheap practice.
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