The Mother of all .380 bullet tests

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by gatorhugger, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger Banned

    Jan 19, 2008
    Back from the farm with pics and a report. It's getting hot here in Florida  :(
    First thanks for the KTOG board, you guys are the best, special thanks for all participants, Curt32, Mousegun380, Sangueffusor.

    Now on with the results. I will just put the pics at the end, I had comments under each picture but then computer freezes, start again, Uggh.

    I came away thinking that there isn't much difference in any of the premium rounds. We like to think one is better, but the top 3 or 4 are all darn good stuff and any are fine to carry. They would all put a huge hurting on a badguy.

    All rounds shot through the P3at. No malfunctions as normal. Pictures are labeled for ease of viewing, keep in mind some rounds are labeled as +P, I know there is no such thing but the owners want it known these are hotter rounds so they are labeled as such.

    The setup, pounds of Beef fat, cartiledge, bone, and 2 pounds of noodles, backed by sogged paperbacks. Covered by a hoodie common to all thugs. I wanted all rounds to go through clothing first.
    The cloth didn't effect a single round it seems. All rounds went through 6 inches of meat and were stopped by the wetpak which is what I wanted.
    Like I said, a lot of this is so subjective, because most rounds performed wonderfully, but here are the results from the bottom.

    8- Magtech +p. Nice golden color, they look like DPX but with cuts in the jacket. Penetrated into first 1/2 inch of book, total penetration 6.5 inches. Lot of power, decent wound channel, crap bullet. 2 of the 3 were tumbling and had jacket separation. Probably the one round I would stay away from.

    7- Fiocchi- More pointed than most, small hollowpoint. No real kick to them, small wound track because they did not start opening until the hit the wetpack. Then quickly opened and went through 2.5 more inches of book and stopped on the ground.

    6- Speer Gold dot- Mild recoil, jackets held together, but folds up real real small. Penetrated 2 inches into the wetpak.

    5-Federal Hi shok- Might should have got a lower score, but it's how you look at it. They don't open period. but they are as round as a FMJ for easy feeding, and are the most accurate 380 I have ever tested. No round recovered. They are still traveling to China.

    4-Buffalo Bore Gold dot.- Like I said these last 4 are pretty equal. Nothing wrong with this round, had the best entry wound, second most power, went 3/4 inch into book for 6 3/4 penetration. I guess I just don't like gold dots that much. They fold up real fast, lose petals easily. Some people love them and it hardly failed. I just like others better.

    3- DPX. Ah, the favorite of hundreds of P3at owner. I am ambivalent on this round. I was disappointed in the power of this round. I had heard many stories of how hot it was. Not at all. Small wound channel until it opened which it did by the time it left the meat because it was fully expanded upon hitting the wetpak. There it promptly nicked the top cover. 6 inches of meat was it. That is the negative. The positive is this is a wonderful Barnes Bullet. What's not to like about a bullet that simply won't fold up? It expands HUGE and keeps it that way. Now if only, they would load it hotter...hmmmmm.

    2- Really 1a. The Corbon Personal Protection JHP. (+P). My favorite one to shoot. The one that made me smile because I like recoil. Easily the most powerful.  Kicked more than the Buffalos, neck and neck on the wound channel, perfect expansion. Went 1 inch into the middle of the Books.
    I want more of these.

    1- Golden Sabers. What can I say. They just do everything good. Medium wound channel, better than DPX, medium recoil, goes through everything, opens up fast, and still ends up into a huge 102 grain hunk of lead at the end of it's journey. It's like guy at the Olympics scoring 8's every dive, you can count on it to do everything well and then some.
    First photo is the top 3 finishers. Gold, Silver, Bronze awards

    That's it for now guys. Keep shooting!
  2. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger Banned

    Jan 19, 2008
    I forgot the pictures of the babies, and the setups.

  3. Curt32

    Curt32 New Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Say Gatorhugger so you really liked my Cor-Bon 90 gr. +P's well I'm impressed! and glad cuz you can get these for a fraction of what you have to pay for the DPX's think I'll order some more. Looks like it's the Cor-Bon's and the Remington's 102's for me. GREAT WORK!! That was a well...... MOTHER  :D   :eek:

    Tom j.
  4. finnfur

    finnfur New Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    Great report and thanks for all the work . # 1 GS is what I've been carrying and guess I will continue.
    Thanks again to all.
  5. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger Banned

    Jan 19, 2008
    Tom I think it is safe to say your Corbon JHP's were the suprise of the whole test. I fired one and it went through the Green sweatshirt hoodie with a big hole, and a real nice snap to it.
    It literally made me smile. I loved it!
    If someone could get enough to practice with these enough to overcome the muzzle flip these would be the ticket. I was shocked how much more powerful it was over DPX.
    For now, I am stacking these and Golden Sabers. (soon as I buy a box of the corbon)
    Either one is a terrific round.
    Sorry the Magsafes were a dud.
  6. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger Banned

    Jan 19, 2008
    I meant Magtechs were a dud. I didnt test Magsafe. Like to though.
  7. Sangueffusor

    Sangueffusor New Member

    May 13, 2007
    Thanks for your hard work. I don't feel bad sticking with the Fiocchi until I find some Golden Sabers or Cor-bon.
  8. Curt32

    Curt32 New Member

    Feb 24, 2007

    Humm well I'm glad you were able to test them they looked so good on paper  :D and they were kind of cheap. The pictures of them seem to indicate they held together, what was wrong with them again, penetration?? and I'm really glad to hear about the Cor-Bon's I've been carrying these in my Makarov for the last 5 years seems like it was a good choice, actually read an article on their big brother 9mm in Gun Tests magazine a long time ago in which they said the Cor-bons were the de-facto standard. Guess I made a good choice and will be carrying them and the GS in my little P3AT. Say what's next? :D

    Tom j.
  9. wheelguy

    wheelguy New Member

    May 4, 2007
    +1 Thanks for all the hard work, and letting us know the results. Looks like you really discovered something important here with the Corbon 90gr! They open bigger than the BB Gold Dot, and expand almost immediately on hitting flesh, and dig deep. That's quite a convincing combination IMHO. I'm getting some for sure.

    I think you also confirmed the BrassFetcher ballistic gel result on Corbon DPX. Namely, that they are underpowered, so suffer greatly in the penetration depth department. Here is a link to that test:

    Your basic conclusion - that the top 3-4 are all winners - is something I have seen too. It's easy to pick out the real loosers with a test like this, but more difficult to distinguish between the winners. I'll attempt to do that with the upcoming clothing+ribs+gel test. Hopefully the extra thickness of gel will sniff out the best of the best - like Brass Fetcher's gell test easily spotted the DPX weakness.
  10. Curt32

    Curt32 New Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Yeah that and the Cor-Bon's are a real steal compared to the DPX's I've picked up some for as cheap as 17 bucks for 20!

    Tom j.
  11. gvaldeg1

    gvaldeg1 New Member

    Feb 8, 2008
    Fantastic report gatorgugger!  I was a little surprised to see the Corbons doing as well or better than the BB's.  Anyway, your tests just expand our choices of effective rounds for our KTs.  I have mine stoked with BB's but if I get a good buy on the Corbons I'll definitely pick some up.  Thanks again for the effort that you expended in conducting these great tests!  These are clearly relevant to anyone with a 380.  I'm going to forward a link to these tests to a friend of mine who has a Sig P232.  I'll bet that these would be dynamite in the Sig with its 3.6 inch barrel.  Also, I delighted to see that your P3AT worked fine for all the tests and that you didn't have to resort to your backup Ruger LCP.
  12. Curt32

    Curt32 New Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Say Gatorhugger how many inches did the Remington GS penatrate into the wetpack? Thanks

    Tom j,
  13. torrent

    torrent Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    That was a big freakin' test you did there! Thank you for sharing your results with us.
  14. Boggs51

    Boggs51 New Member

    Jan 6, 2007

    Really good work. Would like to see your test on Magsafe, Glaser Silver/Blue, and Extreme Shock.

    P.S. I assume the "farm" was not the "Farm" (Camp Peary) :)
  15. KS.G36

    KS.G36 Guest

    Very good info gator.. Thanks for the effort!
  16. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger Banned

    Jan 19, 2008
    No problem, it was hotter than haddes for some reason and the deer flies were bad.
    Funny thing the LCP never left the case. Cute gun, but I carry and shoot the nickel p3at. I get a kick out of going to the Ruger forum and listening to how KT sucks, from people who have never shot an LCP or a P3at. Few arguments there. :cool:
    No Tom, the pictures are too big or something, I don't like having to scroll across to see the shots, I tried to compress before I sent them, I guess I didn't enough. Anyway, the magtech pictures are there, the bullets look whole but they are not, Jacket and core separated.
    The Sabers went 1" into the Wetpak.
    If I left off a picture of anything, I probably got it on the computer, I took 31 photos and I know there ain't 31 here so some got left off, like the picture of the Green hoodie, the DPX recovered. A few odds and ends are missing.

    Im out for now. Next test is more ribs from Wheelguy, maybe not as hot there!
  17. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger Banned

    Jan 19, 2008
    One more little twist to the days events. I almost has to shoot someone right after writing this initial report :'(

    I'm pulling out from a taco place and I see a car way off in the distance, no problem, so I pull out slowly and I almost get into the second lane and this guy in a crapola car going probably 85 in a 55 mph dam near runs me over. I jerked back one lane, and she keeps flying, never tapped her brakes. Scared the crap out of me.

    I was mad at myself for pulling out in front of them, mad at them for doubling the speed limit and just wanting to run me down at almost 100mph.
    So we pull up to a double turn lane and she is in the far left, and I am in the right turn, we are stopped side by side. Her and her Dirtbag Boyfriend with no shirt, typical trash, no shirt, tatoos all over, baggie shorts, he is wildly hand gesturing towards me, and I am all of 10 feet away so I said I am sorry but you didn't have to be going 85 either, so he GETS OUT OF THE CAR and says he is going to beat my old *** on the spot.

    I am loaded up here.
    I got my hand on my P89 loaded with Talons, probably 300 rounds in the car, and this idiot is standing there do rap gansta moves outside my car window telling me to come out. ;D
    Now, I got adrenaline going, I am not scared, but my hand is shaking, and the only thing I am thinking is I am going to jail for murder if he throws a punch in my window.

    LUCKILY for him and me, the light turns green. I pull off, they pull off. Boyfriend is directing Babies Momma to slow to about 10 mph which will force me to go up side by side with them again.
    So it's ridiculous, I don't want to kill the guy, he keep slowing, I keep slowing so I don't have to get up side by side with him again, and finally he calls me a ***** and turns into some public housing.
    True story, swear to god, even the public housing part. I don't live in the best part of town, I have a nice home but the neighborhood has gone to hell.

    I guess what I took away from it was a couple of things. If I keep living here and getting older, someone is gonna die cause I ain't getting punched around and getting a bloodclot in my brain, I am looked upon as prey the more gray hairs i get.
    Second is my hand went instantly to my 9mm stoked with 15 rounds of Talons and that 2 pound gun never felt so good. I never thought about the 380, which was loaded too.

    I a situation like that which just happened hours ago, I wanted the biggest weapon I could find, the heaviest to stop my shaking hand, and I wanted ACCURATE. I know that my ranger talons barely flip the muzzle of that P89 but will make a huge ball of lead in whatever hole it makes.
    If I only had my 380, in hindsight, I would have wanted only the Sabers in it. No stacking. No Corbon or Buffalo bore hotties that I have been doing.
    These tests are fun, and it's nice to find hot loads, but the bottom line is a nice chunk of lead that opens up after good penetration and doesn't flip the muzzle too much with your guaranteed shaking hand. Pretty much what we all have known all along.
    I think the Sabers are the 380 equivalent of my 147 grain Ranger talons, so that is what I am sticking with. In all honesty if I had to shoot Mr. Junior Whitetrash today with a 380, I would have wanted a heavy deep puncher with little kick.
    I don't need to look any further. ( except for a better neighborhood ;)
  18. TxCajun

    TxCajun Administrator Staff Member Supporter

    Sep 7, 2004
    It's good you kept your cool. IMO, you should have gotten the tag number and reported them for wreckless driving and road rage. If nothing else, when/if the police made contact, the dirt bag probably had warrants. ;D
  19. gatorhugger

    gatorhugger Banned

    Jan 19, 2008
    I should have gotten a tag number I had plenty of time. All I kept saying to myself was "I am saving your life today Ahole, just go away"

    I'm just back from the range, and after I get home I analyze the whole thing, it was pretty serious event. I am not over dramatizing, it was as close a call as I think I have ever had to drawing down. And once I drew I was firing, no displays, no threats, no way am I giving him a chance to retaliate more. So I am going through legal definitions of deadly threats in my mind as well. He just thinks I am scared. He Probably got a good laugh hitting the pipe later.

    In reality this guy was a few yards, maybe 12 feet from my car. I really know if I could have hit him, maybe, maybe not, if he would have had a weapon. This is just after shooting for hours, practicing quickdraws, point shooting, ect.
    And without any false modesty I am a pretty fine Pistol shot.

    My hand was twitching that bad. It's amazing what adrenaline can do to you. But the whole thing was a wake up sort of. We see posts about where you gonna aim for, or which bullet is the hottest, blah blah.
    The reality is it's going to be hard to connect on 2 of 7 seven shots. Or to hit even one bullet. This is not a paper target and it's hard to stress that enough. Its someone wanting to kill you. Whole different ballgame.

    Just get a premium bullet that doesn't cause too much muzzle flip cause your hand will be doing enough flipping on it's own!
    And pray for God to guide it right.
  20. Moleman

    Moleman New Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    You handled that exactly perfectly. I've had about 3 occasions where I was glad I was carrying, but only because it gave me enough confidence to keep from peeing my pants or being even more scared and showing it to the potential attacker. Never drawn in anger, but had my hand on it and felt much better. I had an incident in a convenience store where some crack head wanted trouble, I almost aborted my purchase, but the scared clerk rung it up while I had my hand on my P-3AT in my pocket. I stayed completely silent and walked away while being threatened and having the guy all up in my face. Got in the car and drove away.

    I figured I was very wise for not having to explain to the police that it wasn't "brandishing" or to a jury that it wasn't "excessive".

    I think YOU'RE very wise for the same reason. You have a normal life today with no worries about posting bail or what you'll say in court or how much a lawyer will cost... SMART MOVE!

    I'd NEVER advocate letting the guy get the drop on you first, but if he's not reaching for something and you can just leave, just leave. KUDOS on a well-handled situation!