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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Several threads that discuss ammo but do not get right to the point. The P3AT is a defensive-type concealed carry, maybe 2nd gun type of pistol and should have the best ammo consistent with working well in the P3AT and still delivering the best "punch" a 380 can give you. Name your ammo of choice. I intend to use result as my first purchase and with high $$$ am not interested in a lot of experimentation.
 

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Ugh...  a few more than several threads - maybe several hundred.  I'm not sure what "right to the point" means.  Opinions, ya know...  Some favor FMJ in lighter calibers, others JHP, etc.  Most all FMJ will perform in a similar manor.  JHPs in 380 from a short barrel will vary.  Most that penetrate decently expand less and visa-versa.  FWIW, I favor Corbon DPX. I don't think you can do any better in terms of expansion/pentration for the P3AT.
 

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My answer is still the Hornady Critical Defense with the FTX bullet.
They made this ammo pacifically for the Kel Tec P3AT and Ruger LCP.
 

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I like the Federal Hyra shok Law Enforcement JHP. They seem to feed perfect and have a nice kick. Never had a FTF or any other problem. This is my carry ammo of choice. I have never tried the Hornady brand.
 

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Haku said:
My answer is still the Hornady Critical Defense with the FTX bullet.
They made this ammo pacifically for the Kel Tec P3AT and Ruger LCP.
According to Mike from Corbon, they exclusively used a pair of P3ATs to develop the 380 DPX round.  Like I said, you'd be hard pressed to beat it.  Goldenloki is a great, independent resource that bears that out.  At nearly identical penetration, Corbon DPX beats the Hornady Critical Defense hands down.  DPX easily wins in expansion by a huge margin (.645 vs .443).  It handily beats out Hornady in velocity as well (956 vs 874 fps).  DPX also wins the energy contest (162 vs 152.7 FTE). I've seen quite a few ballistic tests on 380acp JHP. I've yet to see anything beat Corbon DPX.

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

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+1 TX
The only round that might be as good or better that the DPX it Buffalo Bore Gold dots. I look forward to GL's tests on that ammo, but I think it will be hard to beat the huge expansion of the DPX (bigger than many 9mm's).
Right now I have the Critical Defense, it's the only jhp I have tested in my P3, it does shoot and feed without fail.

CJ
 

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Like everybody else will say, find what both you and your gun like. After informally testing several different varieties of .380 ammunition, I have been carrying the Critical Defense. It seems to be a good balance between expansion and penetration. Due to scarcity of the DPX, I haven't been able to test that but it seems to be highly recommended. I would like to get some Hydra-Shok but I haven't found any of those to test either. In my testing (both water jug and wet paper) I found that the Golden Sabers did not expand consistently from the short barrel of my Little Clone Pistol. Also, the Magtech First Defense ammunition showed inconsistent expansion and penetration so I'm not carrying those either. I recommend doing your own research/testing. And in the meantime, carry whatever you can find because something always beats nothing.
 
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rosieK said:
...Name your ammo of choice. ... not interested in a lot of experimentation.
After a lot of on line research, and more than a few water jug test with high $$$ flavors of SD 380


                                                 [highlight]CORBON DPX[/highlight]
 

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Personally, I'll stick with full metal jacket. That stuff has always been most reliable through auto-feeding actions. The smooth, rounded nose can't be beat.
 

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I just don't like a all copper bullet that the DPX uses. I guess I am old school and have to have lead in my bullets so I feel all secure an all. Plus for me any ammo that is California non-lead certified, dude I hate California so there you go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey TxCajun: Appreciate your comments from this newbie, who, after using "search" still did not quite the exact answer I was looking for; I apologize for my repetitive thread. To all who responded, which somehow validates my question, thank you. Should be receiving my P3AT shortly and want to line up my source for ammo and purchasing the best "bang for the buck" that my pistol will delight in. Thanks again.
 

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My P3at has tried and liked about everything talked about here, over 700 rds, and because I still have 2 boxes of Hornady CD's left, that is my favorite. shot up all the rest. Jim <><
 

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rosieK said:
Hey TxCajun: Appreciate your comments from this newbie, who, after using "search" still did not quite the exact answer I was looking for; I apologize for my repetitive thread.  
The occasional replay doesn't hurt much. ;)


Haku said:
I just don't like a all copper bullet that the DPX uses.  I guess I am old school and have to have lead in my bullets so I feel all secure an all.  Plus for me any ammo that is California non-lead certified, dude I hate California so there you go.
Of course the composition of the DPX round was not chosen for it's pro-environmental qualities and it has zero to do with California.  The bullet makeup is designed to penetrate and expand.  That's the bottom line.  If it does that, who cares what it's made of? I'm not counting on lead poisoning to do the job.  But, to each his own. Variety is the spice of life.


SD Ammo Selection Criteria - A Prioritized Primer:

1.  Function - It must feed and fire reliably.
2.  Accuracy - It must go where you point it.
3.  Penetration - It must penetrate sufficiently to reach vital areas.  The FBI likes 12" as a minimum, but remember, they are far more likely to encounter a variety of conditions against well-armed and prepared violent criminals under varying circumstances.  They must be prepared to shoot through barriers and such in extended shootouts.  The average civilian SD shooting is at bad breath range with very few shots fired.  Of course a FMJ round will routinely achieve FBI standards but it makes essentially an "ice pick" wound that lessens the chance of hitting something vital.  In an expanding 380 acp round, 12" is very difficult to achieve but several rounds are very close.
4.  Expansion - Good expansion does far more damage and can double the chances of hitting something vital.

SHOT PLACEMENT TRUMPS ALL OF THE ABOVE!  
If you miss, it doesn't matter what you missed with.  :)

Clean, lube, shoot repeat.   :cool:
 

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According to the FBI only 15% of shots fired by trained police hit the Target. 85% misses and that doesn't mean civilians. Maybe we would be better off with a rock? : ::)
 

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kitsap_charly said:
According to the FBI only 15% of shots fired by trained police hit the Target. 85% misses and that doesn't mean civilians. Maybe we would be better off with a rock? : ::)
No magic rocks either. :D
 
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I often wonder if the cops miss so often because they might be firing from greater distances, at least on some occasions, than a private citizen should for SD.  Then, again, I think of how many shots the cops fired at the car Sean Bell was in - many of which missed the entire car from what sounded like near point-blank range.

As far as ammo, I have only six Hydrashoks left.  I carry with one of those in the chamber and the other five of them in the mag.  The sixth round in the carry mag is a Remington UMC JHP - yep, from the value pack.  My backup mag (when I carry one for the P3AT) is chock full of the same Remington ammo.  See, in my situation, I am more worried about it going BANG than anything else.  The hypothetical 500 pound male silverback gorilla on crack aside, I figure that most people don't want to get shot, period, and even fewer are going to keep coming after taking a couple of any type of .380 round in the chest.  I like the way the nose on the UMC JHP is fairly rounded because I think it helps it feed better.  Using something that is JHP at least gives me the chance it will expand but if it doesn't then it will be like shooting the assailant with a FMJ.  One good thing is that, when you can find it, this JHP is just about as cheap as most FMJ so you can function test/practice with it a good bit without breaking the bank (again, when it is more readily available.)  The biggest plus for me, though, is that I was able to find some back when the ammo shortage started so that is what I have on-hand.  Of course, I guess if I get down to the sixth round in the carry mag or have to use the backup mag, things would be going really badly.  FWIW, the Remington UMC 115 grain JHP is all I have for carry in the P11, right now.

That said, I do want to function test some DPX and Critical Defense when the ammo fiasco ends.  I think I would like to carry one of those (instead of buying more Hydrashoks) if they feed reliably.
 

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They have a good reputation, especially for rifle ammo.  I have never seen nor heard of them making 380.  I'm sure it is fine - Maybe not the best but certainly not the worst thing out there.


ETA:
Hmm... Found a link (out of stock).  It looks to be pretty potent.  Probably good stuff.  Hornady XTP bullet and is rated at 1000 FPS, 200 Ft. Lbs.  Also a decent price for premium SD ammo.  
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=835127
 
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