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Best .380 ACP Self Defense Ammo for Pocket Carry

" Does it go 12 inches of penetration , NO. " The XTP Hornady round does go 12 inches.

I much prefer to have at least 12 inches of penetration vs a big expanding bullet. To each their own.
I respect your personal opinion. What I would ask LicensedToPill is: What reason is there a must for 12" of penetration in a "non combat" bullet like the .380? The massive wound channel of the HST outperforms all other ammo on the market in consistent expansion. If you are sticking to the FBI's standard in which a minimum of 12" of penetration is needed, that is for their duty carry weapons that are clearly never fired out of a .380 or a 3" pocket pistol. If one's true belief is nothing more than penetration, then why buy the expensive XTP ammo? Or any hollow point for that matter including the HST. Just buy a fmj ball round in the 380. It's a whole lot cheaper and will always penetrate further than the XTP hollow point and any other hollow point. For that matter why not buy the Lehigh Defense ammo, or the Underwood ammo that is designed for penetration? I have included a link to both of these rounds being tested. They both are great at penetration. You just need to decide if decent penetration and massive expansion is important to you, or strictly penetration.
 
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I respect your personal opinion. What I would ask LicensedToPill is: What reason is there a must for 12" of penetration in a "non combat" bullet like the .380? The massive wound channel of the HST outperforms all other ammo on the market in consistent expansion. If you are sticking to the FBI's standard in which a minimum of 12" of penetration is needed, that is for their duty carry weapons that are clearly never fired out of a .380 or a 3" pocket pistol. If one's true belief is nothing more than penetration, then why buy the expensive XTP ammo? Or any hollow point for that matter including the HST. Just buy a fmj ball round in the 380. It's a whole lot cheaper and will always penetrate further than the XTP hollow point and any other hollow point. For that matter why not buy the Lehigh Defense ammo, or the Underwood ammo that is designed for penetration? I have included a link to both of these rounds being tested. They both are great at penetration. You just need to decide if decent penetration and massive expansion is important to you, or strictly penetration.
Great way to look at it! Thank you!
 
I own a S&W M&P Bodyguard 380. As others have said it is not a joy to shoot. However, it is the most comfortable concealed carry pistol I own. I carry it in a kydex holster IWB. It is currently loaded with sig sauer elite. I haven’t been bitten yet. I would say with the size of new 9mm like the hellcat and the p365 or the Glock g43 may be worth a look. Definitely try to rent before you buy if you can....
 
Although my wife shoots anything I lug to the range she LOVES her 380 EZ and is extremely confident with it.

About 1000 rounds through the EZ .380 I bought my dad now with none of the issues commonly cited. Stovepiping, ejecting live rounds, FTF, etc.. I put a Laserguard on it for him a couple weeks ago. He loves it. He's 80 years old and was having a hell of a time racking his 1911s.
 
I carry the LCP ll in a superfly holster with Hornady Critical defense.
Have 800 rounds various practice ammo and 100 rds of the hornady. No problems with any. Only issue I’ve had was with a tandemkross pin, Wouldn’t stay in my pistol.
 

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I respect your personal opinion. What I would ask LicensedToPill is: What reason is there a must for 12" of penetration in a "non combat" bullet like the .380? The massive wound channel of the HST outperforms all other ammo on the market in consistent expansion. If you are sticking to the FBI's standard in which a minimum of 12" of penetration is needed, that is for their duty carry weapons that are clearly never fired out of a .380 or a 3" pocket pistol. If one's true belief is nothing more than penetration, then why buy the expensive XTP ammo? Or any hollow point for that matter including the HST. Just buy a fmj ball round in the 380. It's a whole lot cheaper and will always penetrate further than the XTP hollow point and any other hollow point. For that matter why not buy the Lehigh Defense ammo, or the Underwood ammo that is designed for penetration? I have included a link to both of these rounds being tested. They both are great at penetration. You just need to decide if decent penetration and massive expansion is important to you, or strictly penetration.

Because the Lehigh ammo is 3x more expensive than FMJ and doesn’t do anything better.

My Sig 238 has FN-FMJ loaded.

And the reason for 12”minimum of penetration is because real life isn’t a silhouette target, with a clear shot to the center chest. There will likely be arms in, or an oblique shot, or both.

Try this sometime—measure from the outside of your right bicep to your left nipple; bet it’s 12” or more. It’s not hard to picture a scenario where such a shot would be necessary.
 
I don’t want this to be a discussion about caliber. I carry IWB every day, but there are some occasions where that is not an option. I’m looking to get a pocket gun for concealed carry for the times I may need to conceal in my pants pocket or blazer. I am 5’6” and 150 lbs. In order to pocket carry, I need a gun that is less than 6 inches in length and 4 inches or less in height. This essentially leaves me with a .380 ACP, and I am looking to get the Springfield 911 or S&W Bodyguard. I am undecided between the self-defense ammo. Personally, I have been looking at either Federal LE 99 Grain HST JHP, or Hornady Critical Defense 90 Grain Flex Tip. I also understand with the barrel length of the pocket gun, expansion may be an issue. What are your opinions/recommendations on .380 ACP self-defense ammo?
If carried a .380 caliber I would use the 90 grain Lehigh Defense. video
 
I don’t want this to be a discussion about caliber. I carry IWB everyday, but there are some occasions where that is not an option. I’m looking to get a pocket gun for concealed carry for the times I may need to conceal in my pants pocket or blazer. I am 5’6” and 150 lbs. In order to pocket carry, I need a gun that is less than 6 inches in length and 4 inches or less in height. This essentially leaves me with a .380 ACP, and I am looking to get the Springfield 911 or S&W Bodyguard. I am undecided between the self defense ammo. Personally, I have been looking at either Federal LE 99 Grain HST JHP, or Hornady Critical Defense 90 Grain Flex Tip. I also understand with the barrel length of the pocket gun, expansion may be an issue. What are your opinions/recommendations on .380 ACP self defense ammo?
https://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/liberty-380-acp-hp-50-grain-20-rounds?a=1716249
 
Late to reply but try Ft. Scott Munitions .380ACP TUI ammo. It's some nasty stuff and I mean nasty as in the damage it does.
 
Extremely late to reply also, but ... here's an interesting article addressing ammo for sub-compacts:
My EDC has been an SCCY CPX-3 ... 2.9" barrel and 10+1 capacity. I wanted concealability without sacrificing capacity.
And when training for self-defense, it's about shot placement rather than bullet weight. A miss with a Desert Eagle is still a miss, but a hit in the 'magic triangle' with a .22 will kill before an assailant hits the floor.
 
I don’t want this to be a discussion about caliber. I carry IWB everyday, but there are some occasions where that is not an option. I’m looking to get a pocket gun for concealed carry for the times I may need to conceal in my pants pocket or blazer. I am 5’6” and 150 lbs. In order to pocket carry, I need a gun that is less than 6 inches in length and 4 inches or less in height. This essentially leaves me with a .380 ACP, and I am looking to get the Springfield 911 or S&W Bodyguard. I am undecided between the self defense ammo. Personally, I have been looking at either Federal LE 99 Grain HST JHP, or Hornady Critical Defense 90 Grain Flex Tip. I also understand with the barrel length of the pocket gun, expansion may be an issue. What are your opinions/recommendations on .380 ACP self defense ammo?
The Hornady xtp bullet has the best results in 380. Many ammo manufacturers load xtp bullets in their own factory loads. I carry hornady custom xtp 90 gr.
 
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