I use flathead 94 gr winchesters for SD

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by grons, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. grons

    grons New Member

    15
    Aug 12, 2010
    In my P3AT I use flat head FMJ because I was told that the barrel length doesn't generate enough volicity to get a JHP to expand. The reason for the flat head is that it will tumble and create a better wound channel. Does this make sense or should I use some Hydroshock JHP? I once bought some Buffalo Bore +P's and Kel Tec said they would ruin the barrel and gun...
     
  2. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
    Don't believe what self proclaimed "experts" tell you. ;)

    http://www.goldenloki.com/ammo/gel/380acp/gel380acp.htm

    There are good JHP's that will expand and penetrate well from a P3. Some don't meet the FBI's magic 12" mark but I thinks it's a little overrated for the average CCW.

    BB +P is questionable to me, I had some trouble and others have not. If you do a little searching I seem to recall KTOG member Oldgrampa did some nice tests of the BB +P and standard pressure. Also check the "stickied" threads at the top of the P3at page for some other good tests.

    Good luck and Welcome to KTOG.
    CJ
     

  3. grons

    grons New Member

    15
    Aug 12, 2010
    Thanks that was a good link
     
  4. CJP32

    CJP32 Active Member

    Jul 24, 2008
  5. Picatinny_Pete

    Picatinny_Pete New Member

    Sep 2, 2009
    Hi,

    In my experince and testing in water and wetpack the flatpoint bullets just tend to bore straight in with a minimum of tumbling in the target. The advantage to the flatpoint bullets is that they seem to cut a very clean whole like a cookie cutter. I'd still go with the JHP's for self defense at close ranges.

    Best Regards:
     
  6. oldgranpa

    oldgranpa New Member

    628
    Sep 23, 2004
    Whoever told you bullets tumble out of a P3AT had butterflies in his head. Out of hundreds of tests with many, many different brands of ammo, I've never had a shot "keyhole" on the target with a P3AT. (There was a case reported with defective reloads. Not with good ammo.)

    Now, there is a 380 pistol that does produce "keyholing" and that's the SeeCamp LWS 380. The short, 2 inch barrel is not long enough to get the bullet spinning and stabilized. Some people think this is good. But that's why I do not recommend buying a pistol with a barrel shorter than 2.5".

    Also, the P3AT produces good velocity with most JHP ammo, both in gelatin per Goldenloki's work and in wetpack tests. There are exceptions, mostly due to a poor bullet design, like some MagTech stuff. Or with defective ammo from the factory, which can happen rarely.

    Clik on my sig line WWW thing for access to dozens of 380 test results.

    og
     
  7. grons

    grons New Member

    15
    Aug 12, 2010
    They didn't say that it will tumble "before hitting" but what they did say was that a round head FMJ will burrow a nice little channel through the flesh while the flathead will tumble when it hits the flesh. My Keltec doesn't keyhole at all. When I first started shooting I bought some old CZ 82 makarov surplus guns that had worn out polygonal rifled barrels. They keyholed every shot and I dumped them in a matter of weeks. Plus I didn't like the 9x18 round because it was all steel core and crap russian ammo.

    I believe that all bullets will tumble once they hit something whether it be flesh or a reed or glass... So the theory isn't that the kel tec keyholes but rather when the bullet strikes the flesh the flat head will not make as clean a wound channel as the FMJ and cause more damage.

    I suppose this is still a luck of the draw since a bullet hitting a mass at 800+ fps will do what it will do flat head or not...but it sounded good. I don't know if there is any difference at all so after reading some of these posts I have staggered a JHP between my flatheads in my SD mag I'll ask the perp once he's donw on the ground which one hurt the most (chuckles).

    Good info on this thread thanks all!
     
  8. Picatinny_Pete

    Picatinny_Pete New Member

    Sep 2, 2009
    Hi Gron,

    380 Auto bullets are too short to tumble violently the way you describe out of a Kel-Tec P3AT, and tend to travel straight through a target.  The below link is from Brassfetcher's website and pretty much shows this:

    http://www.brassfetcher.com/380ACP ammunition performance in ballistic gelatin.pdf

    Gron, 32 ACP bullets do tumble and display the behavior you mention, and in heavy bullet loads (greater than 73 grs.) even expanded JHP's tend to tumble.   It's part of the reason that I carry a P-32 in 32 ACP more than the P3AT 380 Auto since 20+ inches of gelatin penetration means that the bullet will do a through and through on the bad guy wasting a good portion of its energy with a FMJ.   I hope you find the information useful.

    Best Regards: :)
     
  9. oldgranpa

    oldgranpa New Member

    628
    Sep 23, 2004
    thanks, Pete, for posting that link. I was just going to do it myself. I studied BrassFetchers 380 work and he shows a couple of FMJ paths in the gelatin. One of them is the Winchester flat nose WWB bullet. It went thru the block in a straight line.

    Goldenloki did similar tests but did not show the path in the gelatin. Apparently he saw no tumbling either.

    So if there is evidence that a flat nose FMJ 380 will tumble after it hits the perp, I'd sure like to see it. Really would be remarkable info.

    Just additional data, 22magnum bullets fired from a NAA mini-revolver with a barrel less than 2" also tumble, keyhole, and continue to keyhole when they hit. Several of my wetpack tests showed this.

    But never got any keyholing or tumbling with any 380 ammo.

    Incidently, the nice part of that BrassFetcher link is it's in pdf format (Adobe) so once it fully loads the whole file can be saved to your harddrive easily. This allows looking at it offline and not having to wait for it to load.

    Cheers,
    og
     
  10. gordon11

    gordon11 Active Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    I'm for jhp in .380 myself, but the fmj that impressed me most in GL's test was the Remington UMC. It's heavy but still has decent velocity.