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Would love to see a ballistics comparision between the Ruger LC9 MM and the Rugar LC380 ACP. If anybody knows where I can get this information please give me shout out.
 

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Would love to see a ballistics comparision between the Ruger LC9 MM and the Rugar LC380 ACP. If anybody knows where I can get this information please give me shout out.

Ballistics by the inch website will provide your requested information.

Never mind.

It seems like you have your mind made up already so I doubt looking at hard data is gonna change it.

(PS I have both .380 and 9mm micro sized pistols.. the .380 is my last resort--it gets carried only when everything else is too big and the recoil difference is negligible IMO.)


I've watched a lot of ballistic test on 380ACP and believe it's the best self defense pistol round made. Low recoil keeps you on target and you don't want over penetration which might kill the person standing behind your target. We all love high powered rounds but, the 380ACP was built for a specific purpose and John Browning was no dummy.
 

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380 info

Easykill, hope you find the head to head data your looking for.

Absent that, when I had the LC380 I used the Lucky Gunner site to narrow down my 380 acp choices.

Then I did some ballistics gel testing on my own between Hornady American Gunner 90G. XTP and Fiocci 90g. XTP rounds.

I went with the Hornady American Gunner 90g.

BTW here is an interesting post I archived: MBTech posted the info he received here from Hornady and difference between Hornady Custom and Hornady American Gunner.

MBTech (Q): The listed prices are different but nothing states what the difference is between the two. Could you please clarify so I can be sure to purchase the correct ammo I am looking for.

Hornady (A): Thank you for contacting us. The main difference between these two loadings is going to be the packaging used and price point they are offered at. Both feature the same XTP bullet at the same velocity specification. The American-Gunner ammunition is loaded in higher quantities, which allows it to be distributed at a slightly lower price than our Custom offering. Thank you.


Edit: when you see some of my data with split numbers, the lower number is where the bullet came to rest and the longer is the length of the stretch cavity.
When you see 16+ that means it exited the gel block and was caught by the cotton batting behind it.
 

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Keep in mind when you look at gel test results that ballistic gelatin is an absolutely uniform medium. There is nothing in ballistic gelatin that comes close to the toughness of skin, there is no bone, there is not even boundary layers of greater density like muscle fascia.

When using a handgun for self-defense against a human attacker, the projectile first has to penetrate skin to be effective. Then even if it does not strike bone, it has to be able to traverse boundary layers of greater density while maintaining its momentum without being drastically deviated off-course. Light projectiles like .380 Auto have relatively little momentum and loose speed and energy quickly at such boundary layers, and are much more easily knocked off course by denser layers of tissue.

It has been common with .380 Auto JHPs to find either inadequate penetration or inadequate and unreliable expansion. Now it appears that there might be a handful of loads that offer acceptable expansion and penetration in ballistic gelatin, but keep in mind that those projectiles have probably been engineered specifically to produce those results in that very specialized medium, and will likely not come close to doing so in real tissue. I figure to subtract around 4" of penetration from the results seen in ballistic gelatin from what might be expected in human tissue, and possibly more with very low-mass projectiles.
 

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Have both calibers....the 380 micro only comes out on real hot days when there is little to prevent printing in the pocket. I don't carry the 380 too much otherwise as it may not do the best in cold weather when there are layers and layers to keep a bad guy warm.
 

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I hear ya Ranger, generally speaking the heavier clothing even out here in the sweltering heat of the summer, during winter, requires a heavier bullet to provide adequate penetration and expansion. That is why I only carry my .380 using Hornady Critical Defense rounds during the dead heat of the summer, and a 9mm or .45acp during the winter with a heavier projectile, offering better penetration thru heavy clothing and bone.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If anyone knows where I can purchase a precision trigger for my Ruger LC380 I would appreciate a heads up.
 

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These are some of the bullets I had laying around from my own testing in wet pack.

Honestly, they all pretty much penetrated within about 3 inches of each other. The 9mm penetrates the most and 380 ACP the least, the 38 special and 357 magnum in between those two. This is just a very small sample of what I've tested throughout the years.

I do all my testing with 2 layers of denim and 2 layers of a heavy cotton polo type shirt. My wet pack is approximately 12 inches thick and the only round that ever penetrated all the way through was the Ruger ARX 9mm. It also made a pretty impressive "wound channel."

I used a S&W Bodyguard for the 380 ACP, a Ruger LC9S for 9 mm, and a 2.25" Ruger Sp101 for 38 special and 357 magnum. Most everything always expands.
 

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If you like a 380 great, I like my Colt PL. Don't try to convince most people it is more effective than a 9 mm, I like my Glock.
 

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Easykill, Both guns use a 9mm bullet however a pistol chambered for 9mm Luger will have a higher muzzle velocity and a heavier bullet than a 380 Auto. The action responsible for terminal performance is called "momentum" and is simply bullet weight (in pounds) times velocity in fps. A typical 380 Auto develops a momentum of 12~13 lb-f/s whereas a 9mm develops a momentum of 19~21 lb-f/s for a ratio of about 1.6:1. As you know, both types of cartridges are available with FMJ and hollow point ammo so if you compare the two with like bullets, the 9mm will dominate by about the same ratio. Trajectory is very similar for both, recoil is also of 1.6:1 if the guns are the same weight. It's safe to say …. a 9mm pistol will be at least 1 1/2 times more powerful as a 380 Auto in similar platforms.
 

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A Underwood .380 Extreme Penetrator is a 90gr bullet at 1100 fps, which generates a momentum of 14 …. no where near as powerful as a 9mm Para. BTW, the experts say a handgun needs a momentum of 20 to 30 to be effective for self defense. A 9mm Para barely squeaks in …. a 380 doesn't come close. That said, I still wouldn't want to get shot by a 380 Auto.

BTW, there's no such thing as a +P in 380 Auto …. the max SAMMI pressure limit is 19,500 psi. Ammo manufactures that claim their ammo is +P rated are either exaggerating or pressure is over established standards.
 

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A Underwood .380 Extreme Penetrator is a 90gr bullet at 1100 fps, which generates a momentum of 14 …. no where near as powerful as a 9mm Para. BTW, the experts say a handgun needs a momentum of 20 to 30 to be effective for self defense. A 9mm Para barely squeaks in …. a 380 doesn't come close. That said, I still wouldn't want to get shot by a 380 Auto.

BTW, there's no such thing as a +P in 380 Auto …. the max SAMMI pressure limit is 19,500 psi. Ammo manufactures that claim their ammo is +P rated are either exaggerating or pressure is over established standards.
Do you believe that the change in the design of the Lehigh defense bullets such as the extreme penetrator or extememe defender would change there effectiveness?

I keep hearing on forums and videos that bullet technology today has changed the way we select bullets and it is the reason why the fbi is going back to the 9mm.

I agree I would not want to get shot by anything even a pellet gun lol
 

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xiholdtruex, To a point, yes, however like gravity, some things are just not negotiable.

For any bullet to be effective for self defense, it must penetrate deep enough to create damage while expanding enough to create a large diameter wound channel. When it comes to lighter and smaller diameter bullets, achieving both conditions at the same time is not easy, in fact often not even possible at handgun velocities.

Controlled expansion has improved in leaps and bounds with new bullet designs however it is not the total answer to the problem. Some so called experts will try to impress you with statistics like how far a bullet penetrates in ballistic gel or how much the bullet expanded …. but rarely do you see both conditions at the same time unless you have a larger diameter and heavier bullet. Further, ballistic gel and wet telephone books don't shoot back nor do they have bones, muscle, fat, internal organs or clothing and nothing says a bullet will enter a body directly …. it may pass through an arm first. It is not unusual for hollow points to not expand. Point being, in real life, smaller and lighter bullets usually aren't predictably effective.

The shooting industry uses "momentum" as a measure of a bullet's effectiveness for self defense. Take a look at the chart in this reference and look for momentum ratings between 20 and 30 for the optimum self defense cartridges. https://rugerforum.net/reloading/7566-ammo-momentum-energy-chart.html Momentum is the same with hollow points or FMJs where FMJs tend to penetrate deeper but hollow points tend to create a larger diameter wound. When both happen at the same time (ie 45 ACP or 357 Mag) the results are excellent for self defense.

The FBI went back to 9mm handguns for a couple reasons. Special Agents are not always the Mr Macho you see on TV, rather many are people with a smaller stature. As such, 40 S&Ws were a bit too snappy (recoil) for some agents. Capacity is another reason where most 40 S&Ws only hold 10 rounds whereas 9mm pistols hold considerably more. Finally, the intent of a gun for law enforcement is to "stop the attack" not to kill or permanently disable the bad guy. 9mms are a great for wounding the bad guy, which is the exact reason why the US military and NATO adopted the 9mm Para.
 

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.380

The FBI went back to 9mm handguns for a couple reasons. Special Agents are not always the Mr Macho you see on TV, rather many are people with a smaller stature. As such, 40 S&Ws were a bit too snappy (recoil) for some agents. Capacity is another reason where most 40 S&Ws only hold 10 rounds whereas 9mm pistols hold considerably more. Finally, the intent of a gun for law enforcement is to "stop the attack" not to kill or permanently disable the bad guy. 9mms are a great for wounding the bad guy, which is the exact reason why the US military and NATO adopted the 9mm Para.
I had also heard a 3rd reason - That since 9mm's and 40's generally share same frame sizes, the lesser kick of a 9mm reduces the battering, thus enabling 9's to hold up better over time (less $$). And btw - I'm aware of the .380 +P thing (no standard), so I use non +P in my LCPII but use the +P version in my old stainless steel AMT Backup. I don't shoot +P all the time, but it's what I carry. The small pocket guns are not generally shot a lot, as they are bought for one reason - defense.
 

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I went to 9mm for concealed carry because of the recoil. When I shoot guns I would consider small and light enough to conceal, the recoil makes it hard for me to stay on target with .40 or .45, but that is mainly due to the arthritis in my hands. In a SHTF scenario, if I could have only one sidearm, it would be the full size SR1911 in .45ACP. That is the gun I can check off the days of the week on a desk calendar at 10 yards.
 
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