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Practically Shooting

.380ACP +P?


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Is there no SAAMI .380ACP +P?

Seems none of the gun (.380 Semiauto) companies (Ruger, Kahr, S&W) will stand behind +P usage. Not surprising I suppose, but S&W told me this today:

"Because there is no industry specification for .380 +p, we cannot recommend that you use it in our firearms."


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I can understand why they don't. With no set standard, an ammo maker can call their ammo "+P" and load to any pressure above standard. That might be 10% over like 9mm +P or it might be more.

With most .380s being blowbacks until a fee years ago, it's even riskier in them. A blown case could happen easier.

9mm +P+ is used that way. It's not a SAAMI spec either, so anything over +P's 37,500 psi can be called +P+ whether it's a little over it a lot (although from what I've been able to gather, it's not much over in most cases).

I also suspect the term is used as a gimmick sometimes, marking ammo that's standard pressure at most with a +P+ mark so it sounds "more better".

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I think it would be nice if this was done in several calibers, and different levels were sold like when there were HV (Hi-Velocity) or rifle-only loadings in the "dash cartridges" like .32-20, .38-40, etc. I'd like to see a true SAAMI-spec'd +P on the .38 Super, .45 Colt, and lots more, but they won't because of the old guns. And manufacturers might not load it if they did. Too much chance of a 1930s Guatemalen .380 with no name going boom.

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  • 1 month later...

That Corbon stuff is good defensive ammo. What's the bullet weight and velocity listed on the box?

I'm using the Hornady Critical defense which has a bullet weight of 90gr. and a velocity of 1000 fps.

Generally speaking for personal defense HP ammo, you want a high velocity and lower bullet weight to provide good expansion.

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