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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading all the pros and cons regarding BB ammo I tried some this morning at the range. I fired my Beretta PX4 9mm subcompact with both P and +P ammo then fired my Kahr P380 with Speer gold dot interspersed with BB 100gr +P hardcast and BB 95gr +P JHP. I fired a total of 20 BB hardcast and 20 of the BB JHP. Since I began my range practice with the 9mm Beretta I didn't notice much of a difference when I switched to the P380, other than a small trigger finger pinch when firing the BB. I had been anticipating a large kick, however, there was just a SMALL difference between the 380 Speer gold dot and either of the +P BB's. The BB did not make the P380 hard to hold on to or change my recovery between shots.

Likewise, I perceived no difference in pressure on the side plates.
While I wouldn't fire the BB on a regular basis at the range I certainly intend to carry it as a SD round.
Hope this help anyone thinking of BB
 

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I initially chose the 90-grain BB JHP for defense and find it rather "punishing" or hand-jarring compared to other ammo. I fired 120 rounds of that BB since the first part of April this year.
A few months ago I switched to Winchester Ranger T-Series 95-grain, RA380T. I was really surprised... pleasantly, that the recoil seemed possibly lighter than some of the range fodder FMJ I use. This ammo is marked Law Enforcement Ammunition and the ballistics for 3.75" barrel are Muzzle Velocity and Muzzle Energy 211 ft-lbs.
in the Keltec P3AT: 1,100 fps MV and 248.9 ft-lbs. ME for the BB 90-gr.
Wynn:)
 

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There is an easy way to see the Kick on the receiving end of BB Ammo. Acquire a fairly heavy (as in designed for 9mm) double spinner steel target. They are usually large circle on bottom and smaller circle on top. Load 2 rounds ... BB first then any other round you want to compare. 7 - 10 yds. Shoot bottom spinner with first round (any other round) and pay close attention to the behavior of the spinner. How much did it move? Did it flip over? How long did it take to stop swinging? Now shoot the bottom spinner with the BB round and note the same behaviors. I think you will be impressed. I certainly was. My P380 with most ammos will make the spinner move back and forth quite well. Buffalo Bore 100 gr. hard cast rounds make it do 2 or 3 full spins. They are my daily carry rounds. Penetration? Not a problem from where I stand. Everyone I have shown this comparison test to has the same reaction....WOW! :eek: Yes, there is some increased recoil but for the awesome WHACK I get downrange, who cares. Happy testing to you all. I love this forum. I have learned so much from you folks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Crowbuster for such an easy way of visually measuring the results of BB. I think the overall point of selecting BB or ANY other +P ammunition as a carry round in a P380 is the end results on a Bad Guy. I believe that if any of us had to actually rely on BB for our own or someone in our family’s life, the adrenaline in our system would make any perceived “KICK” disappear.
The point in trying it out at a range first is to see if we can handle it. Of course firing hundreds rounds of any +P through a P380 all at once is going to be punishing. However, in real life, we hope it would not take more than two rounds to stop any threat in front of our weapon. Or, as you so simply put it “Yes, there is some increased recoil but for the awesome WHACK I get downrange, who cares.”
Nicely stated!
 
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jpgoyet said:
Thanks Crowbuster for such an easy way of visually measuring the results of BB. I think the overall point of selecting BB or ANY other +P ammunition as a carry round in a P380 is the end results on a Bad Guy. I believe that if any of us had to actually rely on BB for our own or someone in our family’s life, the adrenaline in our system would make any perceived “KICK” disappear.
The point in trying it out at a range first is to see if we can handle it. Of course firing hundreds rounds of any +P through a P380 all at once is going to be punishing. However, in real life, we hope it would not take more than two rounds to stop any threat in front of our weapon. Or, as you so simply put it “Yes, there is some increased recoil but for the awesome WHACK I get downrange, who cares.”
Nicely stated!
I believe when it comes to so-called +P .380 (for which there are no SAAMI standards and fringe manufacturers can and do load to whatever specs they want) there a "false sense of security" that results. A .380 is still a .380. Accept its limitations and capitalize on its strengths - portability and concealability. An extra 75-100 fps in a .380 is a not .a quantum leap ballistically speaking when it involves a 95 grain bullet traveling at give or take 1000 fps or less. And for starters, you need to practice with it to become proficient and +P is hard on the gun (and the shooter).

Rather than push the envelope with the .380, you might be better off with a small 9mm such as a Kahr PM9 or a Walther PPS. I do not load +P in my Kahr P380.

Today you have a wide variety of factory standard pressure .380 designed for close quarters defense that will do the job given what these little pocket guns were designed for.
Know your gun's limitations, accept it, or perhaps choose something else.
 

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I think BB are getting a bad rap, for self defence using a 380 you can't beat it. Would i go to the range and shoot 50 or 100 no, there for , what they are far, the best knock down power you can get out of that little kahr 380 isn't that what you really want, something you can bet your life on in a pickle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I believe when it comes to so-called +P .380 (for which there are no SAAMI standards and fringe manufacturers can and do load to whatever specs they want) there a "false sense of security" that results. A .380 is still a .380. Accept its limitations and capitalize on its strengths - portability and concealability. An extra 75-100 fps in a .380 is a not .a quantum leap ballistically speaking when it involves a 95 grain bullet traveling at give or take 1000 fps or less. And for starters, you need to practice with it to become proficient and +P is hard on the gun (and the shooter).

Rather than push the envelope with the .380, you might be better off with a small 9mm such as a Kahr PM9 or a Walther PPS. I do not load +P in my Kahr P380.

Today you have a wide variety of factory standard pressure .380 designed for close quarters defense that will do the job given what these little pocket guns were designed for.
Know your gun's limitations, accept it, or perhaps choose something else.

Without any intent to offend, I find these conversations regarding higher spec .380 always seem to be attacked by the same generalizations:
1. No SAAMI standards
2. Don’t trust “Fringe manufacturers”
3. “False sense of security”
4. Accept the limitations of “what these little pocket guns were designed for” or;
5. Carry a larger gun
6. An extra 75-100 fps is a not .a quantum leap ballistically

I would like to address the these issues one at a time with my own personal opinions:

1. With all due respect to those making these generalizations, I’ve heard or read these arguments for the past sixty some odd years whenever a new cartage came out, only to have the SAAMI or CIP redefine their standards based upon new manufacturing data. This only makes since given that SAAMI dates back to 1926. In a different form, back to 1913.

2. There’s no relevance in this discussion to whether the ammo was made by an older company or a so called “fringe manufacturer”, they all have the same liability issues. At one point they were all “fringe manufactures.”

3. There is no more a “false sense of security” that results from a “so-called +P .380” than from any of the top brand standard ammo. Whenever a new cartage comes out with something new i.e., different penetration, expansion, recoil or reliability people choose such based upon a perceived “edge” in defense. This subjective "edge" is all we are discussing.

4. The point being discussed is simply understanding the limitations of a "Kahr P380" not ANY other “little pocket gun”. Said weapon is a superb self defense tool and according to Kahr, designed with limitations capable of handling a so called +P load. More importantly, base upon extensive research, there has NEVER been a failure of a Kahr P380 determined to be caused by so called +P ammo. A side plate has popped out, but not determined to be from +P ammo.

5. Many of us have larger weapons but due to circumstances beyond our control there times when we are limited to a pocket gun. In such case we choose the best weapon we can afford to fit the situation and load it with the best ammo we believe suits said situation and limitations of the weapon.

6. +P ammo may not be a “Quantum leap” in my defense, but might be the slight edge that saves my or my families lives. If limited to a pocket gun and knowing that it’s not as good at stopping a BG as a larger caliber weapon I would be a fool not to seek every advantage within the limitations of the weapon at hand.
A simple analogy would be if I were limited to a blade in defending my life I would always choose a 12 foot pole with a blade attached or a lance. As combatants learned hundreds of years ago, keep the enemy as far away as possible. If for some reason the size of the blade is limited then I would next choose a sword with a 40 inch blade. When restricted to a blade I can only carry in my pocket, I’m limited by law to a three inch folding blade. So either I buy the best 3” knife I can and accept the “limitations” of the little knife as it comes from the manufacture, or I can smooth the opening hinge and sharpen it to a razors edge so that if confronted with a life threatening situation I have every advantage I can get. My life depends upon it. Importantly, the knife was probably sharp enough as it came “standard” from the factory, but its my LIFE, why take the chance. And, sure the knife may now be so sharp now that I may cut myself in the fight but that’s why you need to practice with the tool. Anyone who has had to learn to fight or protect a life with a knife remembers the first tools he worked with were dull and progressed in sharpness until they could use the tool properly. Likewise, the P380 is designed for close action (personal protection, NOT tactical use) and while standard factory ammo is sufficient why not take advantage of an edge even Kahr finds within its limitations.

All of this being said, I have no intention of starting a fight or offending anyone. I’m just providing an honest opinion based upon actual facts and the reality of the purpose of the weapon, a Kahr P380.
 
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"All of this being said, I have no intention of starting a fight or offending anyone. I’m just providing an honest opinion based upon actual facts and the reality of the purpose of the weapon, a Kahr P380."

I have no problem with divergent viewpoints and I think most of us have skin thick enough to keep our sensibilities in check :). I do believe you are presenting an honest opinion, I respect that, however your "actual facts" remain more in line with opinion/speculation rather than fact so let's be clear on that (you do not know whether SAAMI will modify their specs or whether a single Kahr P380 has ever sustained "serious injury" because of higher pressure ammo - only a fraction of gun owners actually participate at online gun forums and Kahr is not going to tell you, plus not a single mainstream ammo maker has as yet introduced a hyper velocity .380 - not sure I would call Magtech mainstream (and for what it's worth their Guardian Gold +P .380 was connected to a catastrophic failure in an LCP if the internet gun blogs are to be believed, granted a different gun). But that's fine - no different than my post.

Who knows. I might even re-think my position on carrying .380 ammo that exceeds 21,500 psi during the winter months when the P380 is the only weapon I can carry. For the most part however, my P380 is assigned back-up duty - subordinate to a Walther, Glock, or S&W larger caliber weapon.

This is a subject that has been knocked around for a long time. And since Kahr has said that shooting .380 in excess of 21,500 psi will not harm the P380, it's the owners call. Of course no one can tell you currently how far in excess of 21,500 psi you can go and still be safe. And there lies the issue. Bottom line do what you feel is best for you and not for someone else. Happy holidays to all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I do believe you are presenting an honest opinion, I respect that, however your "actual facts" remain more in line with opinion/speculation rather than fact so let's be clear on that (you do not know whether SAAMI will modify their specs or whether a Kahr P380 has sustained serious injury because of higher pressure ammo - only a fraction of gun owners actually participate at online gun forums and Kahr is not going to tell you).
Thanks for your response and you are correct my opinion regarding whether SAMMI will in fact modify their specs in the future. However, the research I did on the any serious injury caused by +P or higher than SAMMI spec ammo on a Kahr P380 was done as legal research and included any Federal, State or local lawsuits or claims NECESSARILY required to be filed in ALL fifty United States and US protectorates as well as the internet, blogs and forums. Whether Kahr is willing to tell or not, it's public record.
 
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jpgoyet said:
I do believe you are presenting an honest opinion, I respect that, however your "actual facts" remain more in line with opinion/speculation rather than fact so let's be clear on that (you do not know whether SAAMI will modify their specs or whether a Kahr P380 has sustained serious injury because of higher pressure ammo - only a fraction of gun owners actually participate at online gun forums and Kahr is not going to tell you).
Thanks for your response and you are correct my opinion regarding whether SAMMI will in fact modify their specs in the future. However, the research I did on the any serious injury caused by +P or higher than SAMMI spec ammo on a Kahr P380 was done as legal research and included any Federal, State or local lawsuits or claims NECESSARILY required to be filed in ALL fifty United States and US protectorates as well as the internet, blogs and forums. Whether Kahr is willing to tell or not, it's public record.
Having done similar research in the past, I defer to your findings with respect to any association between the P380 and a documented case of catastrophic failure when firing ammo that exceeds the 21,500 psi industry threshold - assuming of course that such data has been reported. As for me, until there are industry standards for .380 that exceed the 21,500 threshold set by SAAMI, I will continue to rely on standard pressure ammo (I think it will get the job done) however, it is somewhat of a moot point since I typically carry a small 9mm such as the Walther PPS where are clear cut industry guidelines.

It's the P380 owner's call certainly and I realize that I may be more risk averse than others. And for now, .380 +P ammo is whatever the manufacturer wants it to be (true too that in SHTF scenario, your choice of ammo is not going to be your immediate concern and I understand the need for maximum power).

In closing, I am not so much worried about BB but others whose quality control and standards may not be thorough. End of story for me. Enjoy and thanks again. And whatever ammo you use, be careful. :) Rich

(Good discussion, I appreciate the input.)
 
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