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#07380085S

Ammo Quest .380 ACP: Lehigh XP Xtreme Penetrator test in ballistic gel

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Published on Jul 23, 2014

Thirty-second in a series of a quest to find the overall best ammunition for modern micro-compact 380 ACP pistols (such as the Taurus TCP 738, the Ruger LCP, Sig P238, Beretta Pico, Kel-Tec P3AT or S&W Bodyguard or any other popular 380 micro-pistol using a barrel length of around 2.8").

This is a "bonus" episode. While I have already published the "Final" video summary of the quest, there are new rounds (or rounds I've finally been able to get my hands on) that make it worth re-opening the quest.

This ammo was sent to me by Lehigh Defense for testing purposes.

In this installment, I am testing the Lehigh Defense Xtreme Penetrator (XP) Ammunition in .380 ACP; mfr part #07380085S. It performed simply superbly through both the denim and bare gel tests, although there was a little bit of overpenetration in 2 of the rounds in the bare test. But the wound channel it created far surpassed the wound channels of conventional .380 ammo. In this test I simultaneously shot flatnose FMJ's and a Precision One hollowpoint so that we could see the results all in the same gel block and determine what differences the XP bullet offers.

I am chronographing the rounds as well as firing at least five rounds per block so that we get a more statistically relevant result, rather than the typical ammo test where only one round is fired. Ammo can behave a bit unpredictably, and the results of any one bullet are not necessarily representative of how the ammunition performs overall.

Note: I'm not making any claims for these videos other than that these are the results I achieved, in my own testing, from the stated pistol. I have no intention to make a blanket endorsement or indictment of any product, only to review and report what I found in a given instance. Obviously it is incumbent upon each individual to conduct their own research and make up their own mind about which defensive ammunition is best for their own purposes, in their own firearms. Also keep in mind that individual firearms can be persnickety; my TCP may feed a particular round consistently whereas your TCP might jam on those rounds, so -- please conduct your own testing before trusting any particular ammo.




Finally -- note that the purpose of this testing is not to try to establish that a .380 is "just as good" as pistols in the major calibers (9mm, 10mm, 357 Mag, 357 Sig, .40, .45, etc). Of course it isn't and never will be; those other cartridges all contain much more power than the .380 does. What I'm trying to establish is: are there any rounds out there for the .380 that can reliably deliver the penetration (with expansion) that has been documented and proven necessary in order for the bullet to be able to reach the vital organs of an attacker and deliver an incapacitating hit? That's all. You would always be better armed with a bigger caliber. But the question I'm exploring here is: if you've already chosen to carry a .380 micro-pistol (for whatever your personal reasons), what ammo will make it most effective?

**** NEW ****
For those who don't understand why the 12" penetration distance is so important, please see my blog entries on the subject:
http://shootingthebull.net/blog/bulle...

http://shootingthebull.net/blog/bulle...

http://shootingthebull.net/blog/more-...

http://shootingthebull.net/blog/what-...

Subscribe to the channel here to see the rest of the episodes in this series, as well as other ammo tests and equipment reviews. And check out the blog at www.shootingthebull.net.

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