Ever since Ruger started selling LCPs by the truckload back around ’08, a question many thought was a settled matter was thrust back into the spotlight; Is .380 ACP just another underpowered “mousegun” round on par with the likes of the diminuitive .25 ACP, or is it a serious caliber for self-defense, worthy of trusting your life to? We could ask this question of any number of “marginal” self-defense calibers. But each caliber has special issues to consider, so rather than trying to establish the One True be-all, end-all, one-size-fits-all “minimum” caliber, we’ll tackle each one individually and present the pros and cons of each.

A Preface to Caliber Debates

Before we venture too far into the dangerous territory of caliber debates, let’s remember a couple of things right up front. First, handguns are pretty crappy at stopping bad guys when compared to rifles and shotguns. Comparing the raw effectiveness of .380 ACP, .45 ACP, and 5.56 NATO is like comparing a cheeseburger from a high school cafeteria, a Big Mac, and a perfectly cooked medium rare Angus Filet. Sure, there’s a big difference between those two burgers, but they are just not in the same league as that steak, even though it’s all beef (in theory, at least).

The “one shot stop” handgun is a myth. In the real world, they do happen on occasion, but no handgun caliber can deliver that kind of power consistently and predictably enough that we should depend on it. Handguns have plenty of other advantages, but it’s always a trade-off of size and accessibility for effectiveness. To stop a determined attacker with any handgun, assume that multiple hits to a vital area will be required. As the cliché goes, “shot placement is king.” The number on the slide of your pistol is not nearly as important as possessing the skill to fire accurately under pressure, and the ability to exercise good judgement on when to pull the trigger.

Now Let’s Hear From You

But this is not a blog about self-defense technique. We’re here to talk about guns and shooting, and that means this is the right place to split hairs over tenths of inches and feet per second. So grab a bag of popcorn and dive head first into the caliber debates with me, starting with the popular, but much maligned .380 ACP cartridge. Check out today’s video and cast your vote in the poll below. And don’t forget to leave a condescending note about how you’ll “keep your 1911, thank you very much” in the comments section below!

 

Would you recommend a .380 ACP handgun to someone for concealed carry?


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93 Responses to “Is .380 ACP Powerful Enough for Self-Defense?”

  1. Brian Cavanaugh

    It was good enough for James Bond.

    Reply
  2. Brian Cavanaugh

    And it can't be "somewhere between" 22LR and 9mm because the .380 ACP cartridge is a 9mm round.

    Reply
  3. Chuck Ford

    It works for me, I would recommend it.

    Reply
  4. Jesse Lambert

    The biggest problem with .380s is that most of them are straight blowback, which tends to give them more recoil than a gun of similar size and weight with a locked breech. So you can have a 9mm that handles about the same as a .380, but packs enough power to push it into what I consider a more acceptable defensive cartridge.

    Reply
  5. Karl Spencer

    I have a .380 in my mix and it'll do the job. Especially with someone who can place their rounds where they aim. I can do that so caliber is not a problem with me.

    Reply
  6. Owain How

    .380= 9.65mm, bigger than a 9mm but less powder. There is your question, know your sizes before commenting.

    Reply
  7. Stan Barnett

    Yes, with laser to aid shot placement.

    Reply
  8. Geoff Jania

    Perfect for summer carry.

    Reply
  9. Kevin Inmon

    My Sig has almost no recoil and is very accurate!!

    Reply
  10. Greg Zimmerman

    I have the Walter PK-380 , very accurate, and if you use Buffalo load very effective.

    Reply
  11. Lee Holley

    I think the fact that the .380 is available at a pretty low cost in a descent gun while still being small and light make's the chance of a person actually having it when they need it a neat little caliber. I don't carry one just because I feel a little under gunned working in a rare coin shop but that's just me. Hey, the best gun I could ever have is the one I have when I need it! I do carry a little North American Arms .22 WMR in my pocket also and often forget it is in there. I always say any gun is better than a rock and faster than a prayer! That's just me though, not science. My .45 is usually left at home because of it's weight, I wear a 9mm because even high capacity it is light, P99 and pretty accurate. Not the most powerful but probably the one I will have do I like it and practice with it.

    Reply
  12. Mark Thieme

    Shot placement is more important than caliber. Much smaller calibers have plenty of fatalities under their belts.

    Reply
  13. Jim Hogan

    I have no problem with my .380 with kick or getting back on target for double tap. The only issue with the .380 and self defense loads they don't have enough power for a self defense load with the expansion of the bullet, BUT if you use regular ball or round loads it is more than adequate.

    Reply
  14. Kathi Southworth

    I think with hollow points it'll do the job, I carry one, yes, because it's small. My preferred gun is my 45 sig but at 115 lbs I'm hard pressed to conceal it. I feel plenty safe:)

    Reply
  15. Jason Henson

    2 in the chest and 1 in the head and the bad guy will never know the difference between the 380 and a 45…

    Reply
  16. Jesse Lambert

    .380 ACP uses .355" bullets, same as 9mm Parabellum/Luger/x19 NATO.

    The name doesn't reflect reality. It's a vestige of the days when guns were switching from heel based bullets to inside lubricated.

    Originally a ".38" caliber cartridge used a bullet that had the same diameter as the cartridge case and a smaller diameter "heel" that fit inside it. That made it easy to build cartridge conversion for cap and ball guns – the charge holes in the cylinder could be bored straight through.

    Unfortunately, the lube used on those lead bullets was messy and came off, so they began making bullets that were the diameter of the *inside* of the case with the lube grooves protected by the case mouth. For a while they used hollow based bullets that were supposed to expand in the bore to make a good seal, but that didn't work very well. The switch was made to using a barrel that had a bore that matched the smaller bullets. The cartridges that were originally .38s became in reality 0.355-0.357s. The nomenclature carried on even into cartridges that were named well after the black powder ere – including the .380 ACP, .38 ACP (and .38 Super), .44 Special and Magnum (which are really 0.429"), etc.

    Now you know.

    Reply
  17. Jaime Yema

    I am confident with my .380 and it depends on the user to zero in with the target… If you are used to it, It's a good handgun. I call mine mini .45…

    Reply
  18. Jeri Wilson

    As long as I can shoot it accurately, it will do what I need it to do.

    Reply
  19. Lee Holley

    Hollie Brogan what you doing in here lol, your gun is not really what is considered a low cost gun ;)

    Reply
  20. Jim Hamer

    i have the same one, billfold holster. that girl will spit some fire at night.

    Reply
  21. LG Chris

    I'm pretty sure most people will assume that 9mm=9×19, which is what I meant to imply. But thanks for pointing that out.

    Reply
  22. Gerald Matalavage

    Yes, Winchester talon, great round and very consistent but hard to find.

    Reply
  23. Pete Frazier

    if you can't aim, get a shotgun or a pistol that can take shotgun rounds. if you practice and know how to handle a pistol, a .380 round well placed will stop anyone. A poorly placed .45 or even 50 cal round will only wound and piss off your attacker. Even a .22 will make most attackers run away if you hit them center mass, or kill them if you aim and are close enough. You don't need to blow off an arm or leg with a poorly placed round when you can make one small hole and stop their heart.

    Reply
  24. Brian K. Rowley

    James Bond's PPK is a 32 caliber.

    Reply
  25. Brian K. Rowley

    James Bond's PPK is a 32 caliber.

    Reply
  26. LG Chris

    Very good point, though I would emphasize the "most" part of your observation. The Sig P238, for example, tends to be pretty easy to handle for its size (though I think it has other drawbacks that make it a less than ideal option). That said, one should not assume anything about what the felt recoil of a .380 will be until they get a chance to shoot it… the recoil mechanism does make a big difference.

    Reply
  27. LG Chris

    Very good point, though I would emphasize the "most" part of your observation. The Sig P238, for example, tends to be pretty easy to handle for its size (though I think it has other drawbacks that make it a less than ideal option). That said, one should not assume anything about what the felt recoil of a .380 will be until they get a chance to shoot it… the recoil mechanism does make a big difference.

    Reply
  28. LG Chris

    And in the novels, James Bond started with a .25 ACP. I wouldn't exactly look to 007 as a mentor for wisdom in caliber selection.

    Reply
  29. James R Hood

    I would have said no yeas ago, but with modern ammunition like Speer Gold Dot, COrbon DPX, and Hornady Critical defense, I would say yes, the 380 is a worthy caliber for self defense. Besides, any bullet to the head will end a fight quickly. The first round is usually to the chest area to stun the attacker, the second shot is crucial to your own survival. It can either be another chest shot or take the head shot while the attacker is stunned.

    Reply
  30. James R Hood

    if the attacker is wearing bulletproof armor, take that suckers legs out from under him. three rounds to each leg will make him wish for a head shot

    Reply
  31. Jesse Lambert

    I think that with more marginal cartridges like .380, .32 acp, & .25 acp it's better to go with FMJ. Hollow points may sacrifice too much penetration.

    Reply
  32. Tom Galloway

    if you it .380 is perfect.goog article

    Reply
  33. Mock Robinson

    LG Chris especially since he is fictional.

    Reply
  34. Eric R Lewis

    I have a Bersa Thunder .380 that I used to carry concealed. I am as accurate with it at the range, one or two handed as I am with my S&W 9mm Shield which I carry now. As many have already said, shot placement counts for so much more than caliber. Two center mass and one to the head with anything is better than one in the arm, and two over the top of the target in large caliber. Carry what is comfortable, what you can carry safely, and practice with it often.

    Reply
  35. Kline Westbrook

    Well, as evidenced by the shooter at the movie theater in Florida, YES. This old retired police officer shot and killed a man using a .380 caliber gun.

    Reply
  36. Susan Donahue Bowman

    i carry a Bersa 380 Thunder CC and love it. small enough to conceal if i want, big enough to open carry if i want.

    Reply
  37. Jeff Vandorn

    Only if it wasn't loaded with the ammo I make in my basement lol

    Reply
  38. Randy Hawk Kenney

    AMT Backup……solid well made gun with good ammo it gives you a nice shot. Have carried mine for years.

    Reply
  39. Robin Rhyne

    The best gun is the one you have with you.

    Reply
  40. Joshua Ashworth

    I own one as well and no one ever knows I have it on me. And for those that are not sure about it or don't think it has enough power….I will ask you this question.Would you want to stand in front of it?

    Reply
  41. Marybeth Wilburn Crawford

    You have to take into consideration the size of the carry gun and it's ability to contain recoil. The ability to get back on target quickly will make a big difference. Miss your second or third shot with a .40 or hit your target with more rounds in the same amount of time with a .380. Also the shooters ability (skills) to get back on target quickly when they can control the firearm vs it jumping all over the place. I have shot .45 with less recoil than some of my 9mm. But it's not a gun that I can carry.

    Reply
  42. Frank F Mohrbutter

    If a 380 is all you can carry than by all means carry it. As for shot placement a 380 can very easily be put spot on to be leathel but if the bullet hits bone ie the sternum ect it may not carry in the direction it had been. This is just the law of physics a larger bullet will hit bone and continue on its trajectory. A bb gun could be leathel if you hit in the right spot but is that what you want to gamble on? shooting at the range is a lot different than in a life or death situation I'd rather have a round that if I'm not spot on will still inflect enough damage to hopefully take the perp out of the game.
    I have included a link that I think every one should read its not scientific but the observation of coroners who have dug bullets out of many dead bodies they have seen what works and what has not. There is no magic bullet but bigger is better IMHO.
    http://www.gunthorp.com/Terminal%20Ballistics%20as%20viewed%20in%20a%20morgue.htm

    Reply
  43. Frank F Mohrbutter

    If I had a choice hell no, but if not I'd rather get hit by a 380 than a 45 or 44 magnum any day

    Reply
  44. Keith Ledet

    The key comment was something like "a .380 on you is better than a larger caliber left at home." I wholeheartedly agree. I sometime carry a .40 concealed when dressed properly and it's comfortable I ALWAYS throw my little Ruger LCP with a LaserMax in my back pocket in a pocket holster. I'd rather have 7 somewhat underpowered rounds in there than lint to throw at a bad guy.

    Reply
  45. George Dominy

    It's not the caliber that is as important as roind placement. I've seen first hand a person killed by one shot from a .22 round and another person struck 5 times with a .357 magnum, but survived. Round placement is the most important part of self defense, so each person must chose which firearm and what caliber they can accurately place the rounds in a stressful aituation.

    Reply
  46. Patrick Bush

    considering how many people hate 9mm, i'm surprised how many people think .380 (or 9mm short) is worth risking their life. 9mm is pretty darn easy to shoot, even in subcompact models…

    Reply
  47. Patrick Bush

    i've seen people shot in the face, who were talking afterwards, and are still alive to this day… HP rounds can do goofy stuff. it's more important to shoot a good caliber, than to count on "what it's supposed to do."

    Reply
  48. James Kurth

    I was reviewing a chart showing first shot "stops" and surprisingly the .380 was right up at the top.

    Reply
  49. James Hilmers

    ruger lcp with hornady critical defense rounds great combo for a pocket gun

    Reply
  50. Michael Enright

    Caliber not nearly as important as shot placement. I ususally carry something larger but do not hesitate to carry a sig 238 when the mood strikes.

    Reply
  51. Roy Warden

    A gun fighting expert (trains cops how to shoot) told me the vast majority of gun fights happen when opponents are 8 to 12 feet from each other…

    Reply
  52. Steve Holder

    The 380acp is a "baby 9mm" – it is the same diameter bullet, just a little shorter and with a smaller cartridge to hold slightly less powder. With today's new powders and bullets, the 380acp has become a respectable self defense round.

    Reply
  53. Pupito Az

    They shouldn't be eating so close to each other! Sorry Roy, I just couldn't help myself. 3:)

    Reply
  54. Joseph M Trunzo

    How long is your livingroom. A .380 will do well for self defense within that rande. That's the distance to practice with small self defense weapons. We are protecting ourselves…not looking for a gunfight.

    Reply
  55. Roy Warden

    Pupito Az THE "R" IS NEXT TO THE "T!" How you doing, Hombre?

    Reply
  56. Jesse Lambert

    Lethality is *almost* completely irrelevant to self defense. What matters is *stopping the attack*.

    Botulism has killed plenty of people, but I'm not going to save myself by trying to feed an attacker a bulged can of tomatoes.

    Reply
  57. Albert L. McKee

    I THINK IF YOU GOING TO CARRY A C.W. CARRY A WEAPON THATS SMALL AS A 380 BUT WITH MORE STOPING POWER LIKEA SPRINGFIELD XDS45, I OWN ONE AND LOVE IT.

    Reply
  58. Albert L. McKee

    OR A KAHR PM40 I OWN ONE OF THOSE ALSO 40CAL.

    Reply
  59. Mark Thieme

    To me they are one in the same – as a goal. If an attacker forces my hand to that extent, he's going down.

    Reply
  60. Jesse Lambert

    I don't care if an attacker lives or dies, but I want them stopped NOW.

    It doesn't do me any good to shoot an attacker with a .22 and then have him die in the hospital from peritonitis a week after he finished clubbing me to death with a wrench.

    That's why I don't care that more people have been killed by .22s than any other round. It's just not relevant to what I need to accomplish.

    Reply
  61. Tom Larsen

    First off, I don't think anyone will debate that shot placement is the single most important factor in successful personal defense. If you can't hit what you are shooting at, caliber is of little consequence. Having said that, .380 just doesn't make me feel like it's enough. My 'pocket' carry is a .38 Smith and Wesson air weight, with .38+P's in it. When I travel, my carry is a Glock 21. I may consider a single stack 9mm for carry, but I'm comfortable with my choices.

    Reply
  62. James R Hood

    Patrick Bush I have also heard of attackers getting shot more than 15 times with a 9mm and was still a violent threat. The 380 i a decent cartridge for concealed carry. It amounts to about the same power as a 38 special +P. Not quite, but almost. Personally I would prefer a 45 acp or 357 magnum.

    Reply
  63. Patrick Bush

    James R Hood yeah, that' s happened with pretty much every pistol caliber. however, if I recall correctly, complete failures in stopping the threat are pretty low with .40, 45 and 9mm (and especially .357), whereas the smaller calibers have a much higher tendency to not the stop the BG, at all. I will admit shot placement matters, but different calibers simply are unable to do things that slightly larger calibers are able to do. I tend to default to the actual energy of the round, and .380 simply is not comparable to 9mm….. http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/calibers.html

    Reply
  64. Patrick Bush

    Jesse Lambert i tend to default to the whole "energy" of the round argument. IMO, .380 is very under-powered compared to 9mm, which many people tend to mock as a SD round anyway…. http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/calibers.html

    Reply
  65. James R Hood

    Patrick Bush You are correct. The 40 S&W and 45 acp are much better threat stoppers, but they are often bulky and heavy, and hard to conceal if they are of any size. The 380 and 9mm are good for concealed carry and yes you do run the risk of not having an entiely efficient man stopper in 380 and sometimes 9mm. Shot placement is not always available either. If an attack happens suddenly you may only get a shot where you can most of the time hitting the attacker in the arm, leg or stomach. Still, f the attacker has any brains at all, he will try to seek medical attention at some point. A 380 is small, but a 380 hollow point that properly expanded in the gut or even the leg can still be fatal if not treated. 9 times out of 10 when shooting begins, the attacker will flee, but that other time when the attacker if messed up in the head, a 380 may not do much to help you unless you get lucky and nail him through the heart or get a head shot. Let's put it this way, how woudl you feel about being shot with a 380 carryng speer gol dot hollow points? Chances are if hit in the chest cavity 6 times, you will die very soon from loss of blood. Human lungs cannot tolerate this much trauma for long.

    Reply
  66. Patrick Bush

    James R Hood, I wanna say this out front- I think you and I agree for the most part, and are debating minor things. But I personally don't see much advantage of .380 over 9mm. Magazine capacity is the same, but the energy of the .380 is about half of that of 9mm. And, 9mm is not really hard to shoot, by any stretch of the imagination….. If I'm carrying a gun for self-defense, then I want something that will improve my chances of survival as much as possible. Mag capacity, ease of shooting and penetration/energy are the 3 primary things I'm looking at in a bullet. .380 doesn't beat 9mm in any of these, really. And .380 is a trade off with .40 and .45…..

    Reply
  67. Mark Hatchett

    I also carry a 380 smith an Wesson w/ laser,,,very small an lite,,,,,however at the movies one nite I had it out to adjust it in my pocket, laser was on and all over the big screen,, lot of people got nervous..!!

    Reply
  68. James R Hood

    Patrick Bush I understand. The 9mm is more powerful by about 100 foot lbs of energy. Many firearms in 9mm are almost as small as their 380 counterparts, so 9mm does make better sense. There is no advantage at all of the 380 over the 9mm. no advantage whatsover. For the most part it is personal preference. The 380 is generally what I consider what someone would start out with. a beginner gun to be used as practice and if need be self defense, but you and I agree, it would not be my primary choice, but would be ok for potential backup.

    Reply
  69. Patrick Bush

    James R Hood, I agree 100% about it's usefulness as a backup gun. Or, like you said, personal preference… some folks don't have very large hands.

    Reply
  70. Jon Register

    I carry a LCP when I just want to go to the store or somewhere quick. At 3-10 yards it is very accurate for me. I suggest as with any CC firearm to PRACTICE! I believe shot placement is the biggest factor in a self defense situation. Most attackers will not want to continue once shot with ANY gun. Being attacked is unlikely.. being attacked by a crazed drugged up nut who takes multiple shots to take down is even more unlikely. So to sum up.. yes, .380 can be effective and I do feel comfortable when I carry it.

    Reply
  71. Wayne Brown

    I love my 380..matter of fact I have 3..my sig shoots straight and true…

    Reply
  72. Mike Scooter Mathis

    I love my .380, I went from carrying a SR40 to the LCP. I have the confidence in what I'm doing to make the switch. I could go on about why I did but it's not important.

    Reply
  73. Ron Newkirk

    Shot placement is King, and always will be.

    Reply
  74. Jack Makinson

    I believe the .380 is an adequate caliber when using either Speer Gold Dot, Hornaday Critical Defense, or Federal Hydra Shok with maximum grain load. However, placement is king!

    Reply
  75. Bill Lutman

    Concerning the .25ACP for defense – I get so tired of people who regurgitate the tired, old "it'll just piss the bad guy off" line. Consider this: a .25ACP FMJ bullet will penetrate 13 inches into the human body. That's like stabbing a man up to the handle with the longest screwdriver in your tool box. Anyone who says that's an inconsequential wound doesn't know what he's talking about.

    Reply
  76. Harry A. Schork

    Excellent video – THANK YOU!
    I believe there are a few more important elements that could be added to this conversation. Of course as was eluded to, the most important rule of a gunfight is to have a gun! Secondly, in warmer weather, shorts and t-shirts, with my S&W Bodyguard and my wallet type holster, it is light, easy to conceal and very accessible. In the colder months, especially in the North East where I live, most of year it is very easy to conceal my Glock 19, or 7-shot .357 mag. But if I go out to place where I do not have much cover, I will stuff my .380 in my pocket.
    Another valid argument for the .380's moderate penetration is, most people I know carry it during the summer when heavy clothing is not worn. I wouldn't really want to use .380 HP's if someone is wearing a winter coat. In those situations, I believe one would be better served with solids or something like Buffalo Bores 100 grain FP solids which would give excellent penetration through almost anything.
    Lastly, if you read much on CCW's encounters, 90% of the confrontations end with the mere pulling of the weapon. Let's face it, the body is not meant to punctured and people just don't like to get shot. Sure if you happen to run into that legendary 300 lb meth addict, which is an oxymoron as meth addicts that eventually become desperate are usually emaciated and not beefy, you will have quite the challenge to stop him with a 380, 9mm or anything short of a .357 or .45 acp.
    Secondly, if you do become part of that 10% that must fire, statics show that almost half encounters are what is called a "psychological stop." In other words, when many people get shot even in the foot, they just stop because it suddenly dawns of them, "Oh crap, I've just been shot!" and the battle often ends.
    I do not remember what book I read it in and would appreciate someone informing me, but there was man that worked in an auto shop in a gang type of city in the southern part of the country. He effectively won two gun fights against a .357, a .45 acp and a 12 gauge and another serious caliber which at the moment I do not recall with a cheap, "wimpy" Davis .380. Both times his opponents came in gun blazing. He saw it coming, remained calm and carefully aimed both times. The second battle he killed the two men with the .45 and 12ga. .
    I have a .380 but rarely carry it. One thing more important than anything is, whatever one carries is to know their gun. Shoot it as often as time and economics allow. I have read over 10 books on defensive encounters and marvel at how often and how effective the .22lr has been in defending and saving the life of the innocents.
    Is the .380 effective? Well, the answer to that question depends more on you than the gun itself.

    Reply
  77. Rusty Kuntz

    The 9mm round is cheaper and more powerful, PERIOD. You literally get more bang for your buck. When you ask plp to describe the gun they in-vision themselves getting robbed or assaulted with.. most say it is big scary looking gun. Why in the world would you bring a pea-shooter to a GUN fight. And most plp who own pocket pistols never shot them because of the recoil and aren't very accurate or efficient at the range. Now when are in fight or flight mode the seconds count and if you fumble this pea-shooter, u will get yourself or an innocent by-stander killed.

    Reply
  78. Rainman Detroit

    Mark Hatchett An ND waiting to happen.

    Reply
  79. David Scott Crew

    For a gunfight at the OK Corral, a 380 pistol is a poor choice.

    As a pocket pistol that is easily hidden (I can hide a Ruger 380 with my hand) and will be shoved in someone's face when it's used, it's probably good.

    Reply
  80. Point Shooting - It's Not a Shortcut or a Way Around Training

    […] because it confirms what you already think or practice. Consider the guy who just bought a tiny polymer pocket .380 for self defense only to discover that he can’t see the itty-bitty black sights and the recoil is too […]

    Reply
  81. Tim Shogren

    Shot placement is the most important factor. The small .380 ACP in your waistband is orders of magnitude more powerful than a .45 ACP in the safe at home.

    Reply
  82. Scott Selby

    Here was a shocker for me. I just checked in that the Ruger LC9 is the same weight as my SR22. At 17 ounces, just how rough is the LC to shoot as compared to a LC380?

    Reply
  83. Mark Loly

    Jesse Lambert So…I am not alone !

    Reply
  84. Mark Loly

    Jesse Lambert Alright, I frequently agonize between the 38 special..and the 357 magnum, but is the magnum really that much more powerful? I would be interested to hear your opinion.

    Reply
  85. Jesse Lambert

    Mark Loly
    The .357 Magnum is significantly more powerful than .38 Special. Roughly 3X.

    That power comes at the price of increased recoil, noise, and flash. That can make it significantly harder to shoot, especially in the sort of small and lightweight guns people choose for concealed carry.

    Reply
  86. Mark Loly

    Jesse Lambert Thank you, you've made a decision for me.

    Reply
  87. Mark Loly

    One more question..sorry! have been told that using full metal jacket is better than jacketed hollow point…but is this right?

    Reply
  88. Jesse Lambert

    Mark Loly
    For defensive shooting a quality jacketed hollow point is almost universally preferred over full metal jacket. An expanding bullet maximizes the wound channel and reduces over penetration. That means a faster stop of the threat and reduced danger to bystanders.

    The only time I'd choose a full metal jacketed bullet for defensive shooting would be if I were carrying a gun in a caliber that I didn't think would achieve adequate penetration to reach an attacker's vital with an expanding bullet, such as .22 long rifle, .25 ACP, or .32 ACP.

    Reply
  89. Mark Loly

    Jesse Lambert Again sorry for my ignorance, and many thanks for the advice.

    Reply
  90. Jesse Lambert

    Mark Loly
    No problem. If you have more questions, come sign up at WeTheArmed.com – I'm one of the moderators over there and we have lots of knowledgeable folks who are happy to answer questions.

    Reply

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