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.380 ACP or 9mm Makarov?


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The problem with either one is that velocities are limited and expanding bullets tend not to have enough velocity to expand, but then when they DO expand, that limits penetration. The one 9mm Mak load that is any improvement over what are supposedly the best 380 loads is the Underwood hardcast 115  flatnose that develops 1000 fps Muzzle Velocity and 255 ft lbs of Muzzle Energy. 

I've tried this ammo in my P64 Radom which is similar in size but larger than a Walther PPK. But neither of those guns are I deal carry guns because there are guns chambered in 9mm that are smaller and have better triggers than a DA/SA crunchenticker.

But because of the problem with depending on expansion from a short-barreled 380. I still think FMJ's are better and the best 380 ammo is probably the Underwood 380 ACP 90 Grain Xtreme Penetrator with the all copper Phillips-head bullet. Unlike most of these "Extreme Penetrator" loads, where they trade off projectile mass for an increase in velocity, the underwood load uses a full 90 weight bullet and just boosts the velocity to 1100 fps by loading it to Plus+P pressures. The fluted bullets are supposed to somehow create greater damage in flesh, but regardless of whether or not it works it's magic, the bullet WILL penetrate because it's essentially an FMJ. But with this load,, the only gun strong enough to handle the Plus+P pressures would be the Glock 42 and not any of the smaller 380's.

The only other Underwood "Penetrator load" I like is the 44 special Penetrator load that has a 220 grain Phillip's head bullet loaded to 1050 fps/539 ft/lbs. I think a bonded speer Gold dot would be a better defensive projectile loaded to the same velocity, but unfortunately Underwood only loads the 200 grain bonded Gold dot to 950 fps.

A much better choice than either a 380 or a 9mm mak is one of the smaller 9mm's like the Kimber Micro9, the Sig P938, or the Kahr PM9. All 3 of those guns are not much larger than a Glock 42. The Sig P365 might  also be a good choice some day aafter Sig choses to deal with reliability issues.


Edited by Borg warner
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