Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Buffalo Bore and the .380 Auto

It seems to me that folks who own a .380 caliber pistol do so for pretty much one reason, concealed carry for self defense.

I mean seriously. The little .380's aren't the most fun to shoot out at the range and are not going to impress anyone with their 25 yard accuracy. The only thing they are good for is that last ditch, up close and personal, effort to defend yourself and your family. Some would argue that they are only marginally effective at that even.

With this in mind, it is nice to see an ammunition manufacturer directly address this issue right from the get-g0.

The folks over at Buffalo Bore are never ones to mince words:
The 380 auto inhabits a valuable and useful place in our society, mostly because of the easily concealable, tiny pistols chambered for it. HOWEVER, because of the very limited size of the cartridge, it is plagued with limited power and therefore most of the existing ammo in 380 auto suffers from not being reliable as a man-stopper. We've studied and played with nearly all of the existing available 380 ammo and find it wanting as a reliable means of self defense, especially against a large, insane, drugged up/pain free, determined attacker.

Here's the problem. The current 380 auto frangible ammo delivers a large amount of surface trauma, but lacks serious penetration. For example, if you shot me or another sane man in the face with modern frangible 380 ammo, it would blow off a big portion of my cheek and send a few teeth down my throat, I would undoubtedly fall to the ground in shock and pain, but I would be very much alive and functional if I could get past the shock and pain as that frangible bullet would have stopped some where inside my face, never making it to my brain. However, if you shot a drugged up maniac in the face with that same frangible 380 ammo and blew half his cheek off, he would keep right on coming because he is insane and is not thinking like you or I. Plus, he is likely pain free and fear free and wont know that half his cheek is missing and if he did know, he would not care. So whatever 380 ammo you shoot him in the face with, had better go through his face and blow his brain stem out the back of his head, because only a CNS (central nervous system) hit with a 380 is going to stop him. Likewise, a torso hit to the sternum needs to penetrate deep enough to blow all the way through his spine in order to shut him down spontaneously. If you fail to shut him down instantly, you and your loved ones are going to have to find a way to survive while you wait for him to bleed out and pass out. The best chance of survival for you and your family is to shut down the attacker instantly. So, we've designed a few 380 auto +P loads to keep you and your loved ones alive under the worst of scenarios...
I like the Buffalo Bore .45-70 cartridges and carry the Low Recoil, Low Flash .357 Magnum ammunition in my SP-101. So who knows, if I were to pick up a new Micro Desert Eagle this week, it might be worth my while to grab a few boxes of the Buffalo Bore .380 Auto +P ammunition to shake it out with.

27 comments:

Crucis said...

Interesting. I carry Buffalo Bore's .38spl +P in my J-Frame. BB has a round specifically designed for use in snubbies. I first heard of it from Matt G and JPG. I've found that it meeths their description. I chron'ed a round out of my M442 @ 986fps with a 158gr LSWCHP bullet.

Reese said...

I've heard a lot about Buffalo Bore, but I've never used any of their products. I've been looking at their website and have a question, what does Buffalo Bore mean by "heavy" ammunition? Is this their way of saying +P+?

Old NFO said...

I use BB in my backup .38, and it DOES pack a punch...

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. I've always considered 9mm as low as I would go, as 380 is (was?) just too light. let's see how well B-B's +P 380 does in the real world.
Hey! I'm still open to being educated!

B Woodman
III-per

dw said...

i started out with an xd .45 thinking that would be my carry. then kahr 9mm. nice size, lots of punch. but i ended up with an lcp .380. i can hide it very well and i figure that in my daily life 6 rounds in the chest should do me proud. i will try the buffalo bore for sure.

Anonymous said...

Autumn, Winter, and Spring, (Jacket weather)My Colt Commander
.45 is the defensive weapon of choice. Our Texas summers "T" shirt weather severely limits the size of firearm I can carry.
My normal attire is jeans, T shirt, and ball cap. Tried the Ruger LCP, good gun, but I am kind of old fashioned and didn't like the look or feel. NAA Guardian rapped my trigger finger knuckle when practicing. 15 rounds and ouch I wanted to stop. I went out and got the new SIG 238 and have fired about 400 rounds thru the gun. LOVE IT!! Accurate, comfortable, points naturally, and so far no malfunctions.
Down side: Pocket holster "cocked and locked" carry makes me uncomfortable, so now I must rack the slide after drawing the gun. This negative is something I can live with and the SAO trigger is great. With the .380 shot placement goes from important to critical and the added accuracy for me is worth the trade off.
Your suggestion of Buffalo Bore ammo is something I had never considered. (Even after getting Buffalo bore .45 colt for my 1873
Uberti. Thanks for reminding me that Buffale bore would be a good choice. Plan to go buy some.
Paul in Arlington

JR said...

Hi Paul - I am a bit undecided between the Sig and the Micro Eagle. Leaning towards the Micro due to the DAO trigger.

DW - Welcome back, we'll have to get together and talk about your vacation. I would double check and ensure that the LCP can handle the +P before putting any through it.

I've been a fan of BB for a good while now and offerings like this just make me even happier to purchase their products.

theotherryan said...

I don't think frangible ammo is a good idea. However there are a lot of pretty cool bonded or solid copper hollow point defense rounds these days. Corbon makes some really nice defensive ammo.

I had the opportunity to shoot a friends PPK/S in .380 awhile back and it is a darn nice shooting little gun.

In general I think the options on compact and tiny pistols in 9mm and .40cal are enough that most folks can find something in that range. However a little .380 is far better than harsh words and a can of mace.

Fits said...

Been using BB since they opened for business, and the Double-Tap fella as well. Adding a couple inches to a short handguns barrel without doing anything other than loading up some hot ammo is, for me, well worth it.

dw said...

ruger web-site specifically says "no + P ammo". i guess i may be out of luck on this one.

KD5NRH said...

Any independent reviews of the BB short barrel magnums? I've been guarding my last 10 rounds of Gold Dot Short Barrel .357 since they were discontinued, so it would be nice to have a replacement.

Timmeehh said...

Have a look at Hornady Critical Defense. Good penetration for a 380 and reasonable and reliable expansion. This is not +P, so you can use it in any gun chambered for 380, of course it has less recoil than BB too. A lot less expensive than BB as well.

THOR Global Defense Group said...

i'll just be happy to see any 380 ammo on the market period! glad to see someone's looking in the right direction

Crucis said...

THOR, don't know where you're at, but here around KC and western Missouri, .380 is now plentiful. I was at Cabelas yesterday and Cabelas was FULL of ammo. I didn't see any caliber, pistol, rifle or shotgun, that didn't have multiple brands, multiple choices of ammo. Today, I made the rounds of some smaller pawn shops and gun stores and they had ammo of just every common caliber.

The ammo drought may not be over, but it's been raining recently.

Brigid said...

I'm selling my .380 Bersa. It was a Christmas gift from someone special but I'm just not all that impressed by it as a carry piece. Sure, it's small and light if I'm just running to the store wearing a t-shirt and it would be great if I was petite but I'm 5' 9".

Anonymous said...

I was at the range with a friend who was trying BB .380 for the first time in his Kel-Tec. First round recoiled enough to move the slide release pin over *just* far enough to jam the slide.

Love my LCP... but I don't think that I will be putting those rounds through it. My friend with the Kel-Tec fired the remaining rounds, but won't use them in a defense situation for this reason.

phlegmfatale said...

Hey JR - can you call me? I tried texting you this AM. I need to get some feedback on that thing I was going to send to you. The text I sent this morning bounced back, so if you changed your phone number, I don't have it. Call or drop a line at my email address. Hope you and the missus are having splendid and prosperous holidays!

1911Man said...

Buffalo Bore jams on the feed ramp of my Sig P238, probably due to the truncated cone edge at the front of the bullet.

Anonymous said...

JR
Where are you???
To 1911 man BB works great in my 238. Check your feed ramp.
Paul in Arlington

Windy Wilson said...

I have never heard of +P for .380 before, so this may be a solution waiting for the hardware to catch up.

What, if any, .380s currently are safe for +P?

Practical Gun Review said...

Love my .380 for a BUG. Good post.

CTone said...

I've fired some of the BB 100gr hard cast through my Kel-Tec without a problem. The recoil is really fierce as you would expect, but I can still control the gun with my weak hand, so it's not that bad. It chrono'd at 1,033 fps average.

As for the Hornady CD, beware of that ammo; it's had some teething problems in 380 - http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=5&f=20&t=82191

Anonymous said...

I personally think the BB is what it is. Small but powerful. I would have to say, I'm always going to vote for the M134G minigun from Garwood Industries. It's my ultimate gun www.GarwoodIndustries.com

kyle said...

Personaly i'de just get my guns off of Impactguns.com there great!!

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