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I certainly don't intend to start yet another debate about which cartridge/brand/fmj/jhp is the best. I saw something interesting two nights ago on tv and would like some opinions.

The cable tv show is Future Weapons and one of the features was about a prototype assault rifle made by a specialty manufacturer in Murfreesboro TN. The prototype rifle is called the M-468. The rifle is a compromise between the light, fast, and accurate M-16 cartridge and the heavy, slower, and less accurate (beyond about 150 yards or so) AK-47.

The set-up was this: the host fired an M-16 at a steel target at about 100 yards. It wouldn't take the target down. The AK-47 knocked it over at the same range. The host said an enemy combatant hit with an M-16 could still advance and fire back, but with the AK-47 the mass of the bullet would stop the enemy. The trade-off is that the M-16 is more accurate with greater range, while the AK-47 is more powerful.

We've all heard too much debate over which bullet design is optimal for the .380, the JHP or the FMJ. I don't want to start that up but instead ask opinions on a different angle.

What is the best choice for the .380 (whether a FMJ or JHP), a lighter, faster bullet or a slower, heavier one?
 
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I hate getting into these debates, but...
IMHO like everything else, it is a balance and depends on your individual needs and/or application. If I could only have one gun and conditions permited I personally like the .45 ACP round, slow and heavy, but light and fast has its advantages and drawbacks too.
 

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I thought you said you didn't want to start another argument?  ;D

Anyway, in my opinion, it doesn't matter too much with the .380.

It is limited by gun & cartridge design to around, or very close to 200 ft/lb of energy.
You can get it with a light fast bullet, or with a heavy slow bullet, but 200 ft/lb is all you are going to get, one way or the other.

Besides, at pistol velocities, energy has no bearing on anything as far as stopping power goes.

I think the .380 is probably at it's best with the 80 to 95 grain range of bullets it was designed for.


BTW: The Future Weapons rifle was nothing more then a 6.8 SPC Remington AR15/M16/M4 conversion that has been around several years now.

.223 - 62 grain @ 3,100 = 1,323 ft/lb energy - Momentum = 27
7.62 x 39 - 123 grain @ 2,355 = 1,515 ft/lb energy - Momentum = 41
6.8 SPC - 115 grain @ 2,625 = 1,759 ft/lb energy -Momentum = 43

PS: I kind of wish they had shot the plate with our old Army rifle, the 45-70 Trapdoor Springfield.
405 grain @ 1,320 = 1570 ft/lb energy - Momentum = 76

It would not only have knocked it down, but up-rooted it off it's hinges & cleaned all the rust scale off of it at the same time!  ;D


rcmodel
 

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Well, rcmodel pretty much nailed it in his summary. He is right on!

Small/fast vs. Big/slow is really a moot point in .380 simply because there just isn't enough difference between the various offerings. The heaviest is Rem Golden Saber at 102 grains, but it has demonstrated a tendency to shed it's jacket in several tests. There is a bonded version, but I've never been able to confirm it's readily for sale to other than LE. I think Corbon makes an 80 grain bullet for the lightest available. I don't know of anything lighter in .380 and I wouldn't be interested anyway.

In other calibers the argument will never end until we stop shooting projectiles powered by gunpowder. It's essentially pointless anyway because BOTH theories work. Well, most of the time....

Referencing your title I like to think of it this way... Velocity is how fast your projectile gets to it's target, but it's an equal combination of both velocity and mass that influences penetration... i.e. momentum. The damage the projectile does is a function of several additional factors to include caliber, bullet metallurgy and bullet design. The old "energy dump" theory has mostly gone the way of .28 gasoline. Well .28 gasoline will never return, but there are a few who still adhere to the older theories. I certainly hope they don't surface in this thread! ;D
 
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rcmodel said:
I thought you said you didn't want to start another argument?  ;D

Anyway, in my opinion, it doesn't matter too much with the .380.

It is limited by gun & cartridge design to around, or very close to 200 ft/lb of energy.
You can get it with a light fast bullet, or with a heavy slow bullet, but 200 ft/lb is all you are going to get, one way or the other.

Besides, at pistol velocities, energy has no bearing on anything as far as stopping power goes.

I think the .380 is probably at it's best with the 80 to 95 grain range of bullets it was designed for.



rcmodel
This is exactly what I have tried to say in my posts about 32 and 380 JHP vs FMJ rounds.
In those guns P 32 , P3 AT you got what you got!
 

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The 380 ACP is never going to be a 45 ACP - but why not try and find the cartridge that gives you just a little bit better performance?

This kind of topic is one of the things that helps turn the gun (ownership & shooting) into a hobby rather than just another tool. But there could be a hammer.org out there someplace where guys debate which size claw works the best to pull nails - and if a 19 ounce head is heavy enough to drive a 5 inch nail into pine.
 

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z71bill said:
... into a hobby rather than just another  tool.
But there could be a hammer.org out there someplace where guys debate which size claw works the best to pull nails - and if a 19 ounce head is heavy enough to drive a 5 inch nail into pine.

Nails are like FMJ, a real man uses Screws ;D
 
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I'm sure if we were talking about hammers, nails and screws that would be relevant.
However, in talking about 380 KT's one is limited by the 'tool' itself. No it will never be a 45 and isn't meant to be. The 380 and 32 have their place and as long as anyone depending on one is aware of what that place is then go for whatever ammo suits you. If you wish to make your guns and shooting a hobby or a tool, that also is up to you.
I have my guns for protection and the pleasure of shooting. I understand the perimeters of each gun I own. I understand the ammo (ballistics and performance) of each choice I make with that too.
But guns for an individual may be a matter of what they can afford, or shoot well, or conceal, or any number of other factors. And many of those people like to discuss the pros and cons of their particular gun and ammo choice.

When it comes to nails or fmj ........... you go with nails and I'll go with fmj (if they are alike).
One could say too a real man doesn't carry a gun.
 

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MAGIC BULLET? Not even close to what I was trying to say -

Some cartridges are better for SD than others - RIGHT? OR

Do some think that it makes NO DIFFERENCE - what you use in your SD gun?

It seems normal that the - which bullet / brand / type works the best (even though most would agree there is not such thing as the best cartridge for every situation) - keeps coming up - its because it gives us all something to talk about!

I am somewhat of a gun nut - I like shooting them - I like shopping for them - comparing them - I even sort of like cleaning them after I shoot them.

What started out as a way to provide protection (a tool) has turned into a hobby.
 
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