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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to try out some self defense .380 ammunition just out of curiosity. I stacked up a couple wet phone books and loaded up my Walther PPK/s. I shot the phone book dead center at a 90° angle. The round bounced off. Let me say that again in case it didn't sink in. IT BOUNCED THE HECK OFF....the phone book. Now, I realize that a wet phone book does not compare to flesh, but this just seems silly. Hardly confidence inspiring. Has anybody had this happen? Did I do something wrong?
 

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Yes, you did do something wrong...you used a .380!

Seriously though, wet phone books, water jugs, pine boards, they are all interesting to shoot, but results really don't mean a whole lot. At a minimum, go buy a really big ham with the bone still in, put some old clothes on it, and shoot that. Not perfect by any means, but easy to do, and a little better approximation of a round's SD potential.
 

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I suppose one could "de-bullet" the ham and eat it afterwards:biglaugh:

I saw a few posts somewhere regarding 380's not penetrating winter clothing. Seems hard to believe.. Possibly a few tests are in order.. Ron

PS: I do know that a 38 or 9MM will only penetrate about 1/2" in a pine stump and won't punch through a dry (~2" 2/12") phone book. We used phone books (stacked) for rifle backstops years ago..
 

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I wanted to try out some self defense .380 ammunition just out of curiosity. I stacked up a couple wet phone books and loaded up my Walther PPK/s. I shot the phone book dead center at a 90° angle. The round bounced off. Let me say that again in case it didn't sink in. IT BOUNCED THE HECK OFF....the phone book. Now, I realize that a wet phone book does not compare to flesh, but this just seems silly. Hardly confidence inspiring. Has anybody had this happen? Did I do something wrong?
To quote Ed McMahon, "How wet were they?"

Soaking and dripping wet, or just damp?

But what load was it, a +P 380 or justb a HP 380? [brand, etc]
 

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Makes me glad I got a .40 short and weak. Did you try this with any other calibers? Anybody know where I can get a bunch of old phonebooks?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Jim,

These phone books were submerged in a bucket of water for hours, pulled out, stacked and shot. They were WET with a capital "T!"

Now, I knew full well going into this that paper ≠ skin but the result just seemed ridiculous. The .45 hollow points penetrated just over an inch. 9mm +p was just under an inch. Both the 9mm and 45 expanded nicely.

Edit: the .380 was +p.
 

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I suppose one could "de-bullet" the ham and eat it afterwards:biglaugh:
Now you're thinking!

I know of a shooting incident where a police officer took a 9mm round...Chicago suburb, dead winter, wearing a uniform leather jacket...bullet hit a crease (basically jacket folded over) and only went through ½ of the jacket. Recovered a nice shiny 9mm FMJ. Gunman did not fare so well as a .357 magnum penetrated his coat nicely.
 

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I don't think it is really a relevent test. There are some much better ballistic tests to reference. However, you may want to shoot a hard cast bullet in +P to see what it does. Buffalo Bore makes a nice one.

I have seen 1500 lb animals drop with a .22 cal to the forehead............maybe God should have made their head out of a wet phone book. :scratch: Oh well, I like a good steak.

Out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't think it is really a relevent test. There are some much better ballistic tests to reference. However, you may want to shoot a hard cast bullet in +P to see what it does. Buffalo Bore makes a nice one.

I have seen 1500 lb animals drop with a .22 cal to the forehead............maybe God should have made their head out of a wet phone book. :scratch: Oh well, I like a good steak.

Out!
That's what I'm thinking. Those phone books are tougher than I thought. It reminds me of the MythBusters episode where it takes two tanks to rip two interleaved phone books apart. :eek:
 

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Jim,

These phone books were submerged in a bucket of water for hours, pulled out, stacked and shot. They were WET with a capital "T!"

Now, I knew full well going into this that paper ≠ skin but the result just seemed ridiculous. The .45 hollow points penetrated just over an inch. 9mm +p was just under an inch. Both the 9mm and 45 expanded nicely.

Edit: the .380 was +p.
My favorite test medium was the yellow clay pile behind the barn. It was wet. strangest thing I even did was shoot a bunch of wet newspapers with a .38 Special loaded with a [kids are stupid] Speer Redjet composite wax/plastic bullet with a Hornady gas check and about 6 grains of Bullseye if I remember. Penetration, the gas check went in about 4 inches, the red 15 grain bullet about 1/2" but made a 6" diameter cavity.
 

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the lack of penetration with .380(9mm short) was the reason i got rid of my Barreta 380 pistol. One of those bullets ricocheted and landed 3 feet right next to me once.
 

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I don't think it is really a relevent test. There are some much better ballistic tests to reference. However, you may want to shoot a hard cast bullet in +P to see what it does. Buffalo Bore makes a nice one.

I have seen 1500 lb animals drop with a .22 cal to the forehead............maybe God should have made their head out of a wet phone book. :scratch: Oh well, I like a good steak.

Out!
.22 penetrates better than a .380?
 

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.22 penetrates better than a .380?
much better. especially high-velocity ammo.

Penetrates better almost definately but in terms of damage done/caused the 22 has very little expansion and leaves small holes. It takes a long time for a BG to bleed out of a pin sized hole vs. one the size of a nickel/quarter depending on the caliber of comparison.
 

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Penetrates better almost definately but in terms of damage done/caused the 22 has very little expansion and leaves small holes. It takes a long time for a BG to bleed out of a pin sized hole vs. one the size of a nickel/quarter depending on the caliber of comparison.
It didn't take Bobby Kennedy very long.
 

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.380 self defense load

The minimum self defense carry weapon I use is a 9mm with +P+ load. My 9mm has a 3 inch barrel, so it needs a fast bullet to make up for the velocity loss from the short barrel. My current load uses a 115gr JHP which chrono's right at 1250 fps from this short barreled gun, which still gives a respectable 400 ft. lbs. of energy at the muzzle. This load is also very accurate which makes a nice confidence booster.
 
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