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I just received a call from my dealer his afternoon that my backordered P3AT will be in next week. Hopefully I will have my PTA and my new Kel-Tec for next weekends trip to the range.

I have been watching and reading this and some other forums for quite a while now. I have seen recomendations for defensive loads and about everything else so far.

I'll be upfront with ya'll, I am primararily one of those hardnosed diehard .45ACP & 1911 types. I have been packing a Kahr PM9 as an easier to conceal, forme at least, summer gun. I have never been a big fan of the 9mm, but this combo is perfectly matched IMO.
I have established my personal favorite defensive loads for these pistols

Anyway, I have recently become enamored with a friends P3AT.
It really is an awesome little pistol. It is Easy to Conceal, Carry and Shoot more than adequately at defensive distances.
I have read about everones favorite defensive loads and gellatin test and yadda, yadda, yadda....

What I want to know is what is the documented, best performing .380 acp factory load from a short barreled pistol.
I am talking about documented real life shootings.

I have already named this pistol "American Express" as in don't leave home without it... :lol:
 

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It seems as if the Winchester Silvertip, Federal Hydra-Shok, and Speer Gold Dot loadings pretty much tie each other for first place, in the one-shot stop rankings.
I prefer the Hydra-Shok... in my experience it's the highest quality.
Flyer
 

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Easiest to find of all we tested is the Federal HydraShok 90gr JHP, available at most WalMarts. The other brands we tested are mostly found at gunshops at higher prices. But note that our tests and tests reported by others shows in the short barrel P3AT the Corbon 90+p does not expand. So best to spend your money on the Federal.
FWIW,
og
 

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The Remington Golden Saber 102gr. looks to be a good performer too.

I second OG's recommendation to stay away from the Cor-bon -- and their Pow'Rball load (although that's what I'm carrying right now - until I get the GS) -- just doesn't expand well from the P-3AT.
 

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I thought I had already responded to this thread, but I don't see it now, perhaps on another forum...

Flyer and I have had a number of spirited disagreements on FMJ vs JHP ammo. Neither of us has convinced the other to change his mind. Personally I like FMJ, particularly in my smaller caliber carry guns. My reasons are 3 fold:

1: reliability - every time I pull the trigger I want the gun to go bang and the next round secured in the firing chamber. In order to gain that level of confidence I feel the need to put lots and lots of rounds down range. Not being a wealthy man, that translates into a round I can afford to purchase in large quantities (e.g. Wal-mart value pack)

2: accuracy - every time I pull the trigger I want confidence that the round is going where I want it to. That means lots of practice. That means lots of rounds down range. See reason number 1 above...

3: penetration - Particularly with the smaller chamberings I want ammuntion that has the best chance of reaching the vitals as possible. Even if my shot opportunity is not optimal; as in, the BG is ducking as I shoot so the round enters either an arm or shoulder on its way to the chest cavity. A super duper JHP that has expanded nicely, but is still lodged on the outside of a rib bone may be quite painful, but, IMHO, is not debilitating (i.e. it may not stop the fight.) In the calibers that begin with 4 that's less of an issue due to the weight of the slug and the amount of powder driving it home. With .40s and .45s I would expect the expanded slug to have enough power to reach the organs, the pelvis, the spine, whatever gets in is way. With a .380 projectile, I don't have that confidence...

FWIW both my P-3AT and my Kimber .45acp have FMJ in the chamber.

Allan
 

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FMJ v.s. JHP

Allan,

byron and I didn't show it on the photo but we fired a few Rem UMC FMJ and Speer Lawman FMJ into the wetpack with full 12+" penetration thru the wet papers and the bullets only stopping when they hit the plywood backing. This equates to around 18" gelatin and would be considered over penetration. Thus dangerous to bystanders if you had to shoot a felon.
Don't know what kind of "FMJ" you plan to carry. But if you noted our test included the Winchester ValuPak 95gr flat nose FMJ which penetrated 10.5" and stopped. This equates to 15+"gelatin and would be considered acceptable for avoiding overpenetration.

So, what I'm saying is, I don't disagree with your desire to carry FMJ instead of JHP in your P3AT. Just consider which FMJ you plan to use. The P3AT is capable of overpenetration with the std. round nose ammo.

Cheers, hope we never have to find out, but we're ready!
og
 

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right on!!

midi, I stopped the 'sermon' short 'cause the thread is about .380 ammo. But in .45acp, all FMJ rounds I've tried go thru a 12"wetpack, thru the 1/2"plywood backing and keep on going. Even with the shorter barrel Bersa Thunder 45. It takes a 16"wetpack with plywood backing to 'catch' a .45 FMJ bullet. Even then, some make it thru the plywood. That converts to 32" gelatin. Most gelatin test blocks are 16.5". If a bullet makes it thru that it didn't expand and/or overpenetrates.

Now, midi, if you want to start a thread on why NATO, etc. permitted only FMJ, that would be a good discussion. I've heard 'cause FMJ would be more 'humane', if war is humane at all.

Anyway, my posts are just opinions, nothing more. An Indiana Jones case can be made for FMJ, shooting 2 with one shot in the "Last Crusade" movie. Got to line those felons up and tell them to stand still. :lol: :D :shock:

og :roll:
 

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Re:

oldgranpa said:
Easiest to find of all we tested is the Federal HydraShok 90gr JHP, available at most WalMarts. The other brands we tested are mostly found at gunshops at higher prices. But note that our tests and tests reported by others shows in the short barrel P3AT the Corbon 90+p does not expand. So best to spend your money on the Federal.
FWIW,
og
I would like to point out that in the stoppingpower.net P-3AT gelatin tests, the HydraShok left the gelatin block (16.5") and was not recovered! That means it performed like a fmj round that you pointed out, may be "dangerous to bystanders"
 

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good point.

kokapelli,
good point you've made, but! see my comment below!! no round is 100 percent perfect and some are not going to expand sometimes. Read all of our wetpack tests here in the Articles Section up front on the Home page and I did show (item 09) that Fed HS did fail to expand 2 times with over 9" penetration in wetpaper. Marshall only listed 1 round in his test that you refer to, with denim cover that could have plugged the cavity. The bullet stopped with .356" measured, essentially zero expansion.

You have incorrectly identified the wrong bullet. The bullet that left the gelatin and was not recovered was the CorBon 90+p. You have to do a search on his site to find it, it was in Feb, 2004 with a P3AT.

In his third book he shows 2 examples for the Fed HS, on page 126, .50"exp/11"penet and on p300, .56"exp/9.4"penet. His third book is a valuable reference to own.

Other examples for the Fed HS exist on the Internet, firearmstactical shows .66"exp/6.7"penet. And Ricciardelli in his waterjug tests ... http://stevespages.com/page8f.htm .... shows 3 tests, .665/14; .635/23; .572/13. I don't like waterjug tests 'cause penetration is hard to measure and will usually be much greater than gelatin. But Ricciardelli has done a magnificent work, I envy his effort and the financial support behind it. Ammo for a good series of tests ain't cheap.

So, sir, welcome to KTR and for bringing up the Marshall test. He does good work. Right now his site is down. And he is mad at me anyway (told me so in an e-mail and comment on his site) for an earlier implication that I have since deleted. I may still be banned. But my point is, always double check your work, as I have done here.

Hope this clears up the issue, and Flyer, don't throw away your Fed HS.

Cheers,
og
 

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oldgranpa,
Did I read that right?
Evan Marshall banned you at his site?
I don't like the sound of that.
Flyer
 

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Not banned!! Hooray!

Correction,
Just checked and Marshall's site is back up. And I'm not banned! Hope he forgave me for my earlier slip of tongue. His site is well worth reading but you've got to register to log in to read the posts.
He's a good Sunday School teacher and hope he forgives. None of us are perfect!

Marshall is not the bad guy some Internet site fights are about. Any pioneer who has guts to publish his data is fine with me.

I'll list some of my other favorite site posters, but no time right now!

Cheers again,

og........if interested check his site under Test Bed for the Feb 2004 tests.
 

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Not trying to start a flame war or anything, just curiousity...

Although I understand the over-penetration "problem" mentioned by OG & others, I've never read of it actually happening... though I agree in theory that it can and should happen on occasion.

Has any LEO or EMT or MD or RN or LPN or anyone else actually read a newspaper report or anything regarding a bystander being wounded by an over-penetrating round in a self-defense shooting?

Not looking for gory details, just yes or no....

Thanks,

Allan
 

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Yep, I've heard of several cases over the years, both of overpenetration and complete misses causing damage.
If you're found to have been justified in the shoot, the missed round/overpenetrations are considered justifiable, also.
Flyer
 
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