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Old 09-21-2005, 08:33 PM   #1
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Corbon .380 ACP 80-gr. DPX: Informal Tests

Hello. I recently received some of this ammunition from Corbon. It is a standard pressure load, something appreciated by many shooters who prefer not loading their handguns with anything +P rated.





The 80-gr. DPX is centered between Federal Classic 90-gr. JHP on the left and Federal 95-gr. FMJ on the right.



It uses a homogeneous copper alloy bullet with a large hollow cavity; there is no jacket and the bullet is designed to perform to the FBI protocol of at least 12" penetration. Not having access to ballistic gelatin nor a constant-temperature laboratory, I do not know how well it will meet such testing, but am extremely hopeful after my own "backyard ballistics" informal testing.





This expanded DPX bullet was fired into water using a Bersa Thunder pistol having a 3.5" barrel. Expansion was remarkably consistent whether fired into water or super-saturated newsprint.



Ten shots were fired approximately ten feet from the chronograph screens and the average velocity from my Bersa Thunder was 1067 ft/sec, slightly higher than Corbon's nominally-listed 1050 ft/sec.



When fired into both water and super-saturated newsprint, expansion was very consistant and uniform. These bullets did not fragment and I could find no loss in bullet weight from recovered bullets.



Accuracy was very good and these cartridges ran smoothly in the Bersa. There was no "hesitation" at all in feeding and ejection was positive. There were zero malfunctions.





Using a rest and a two-hand hold from a seated position, this five-shot group was about average for the DPX and Bersa at 15 yards. Certainly this is farther than most might deem necessary for this type/caliber firearm, but if it is satisfactory at this distance, it should be fine closer in as well. There was no evidence whatsoever of anything other than bullets impacting the target that were stabile in flight; no tipping or out-of-round holes.



Only forty shots were fired and that's not a definitive test for reliability at all, but it does appear that this round should feed in most .380 autoloaders.



If this ammunition might be useful to you, please contact Corbon via their website at www.corbon.com for pricing and availability. If it is not on the market yet, it should be very soon.



For those interested in a more detailed report, follow the link below:



http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/Bersa%20Thunder.htm





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Old 09-22-2005, 10:05 AM   #2
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Corbon .380 ACP 80-gr. DPX: Informal Tests

Thanks Steve! Might be hope for the "pocket rocket" yet :)



Jim
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Old 09-22-2005, 10:26 AM   #3
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Corbon .380 ACP 80-gr. DPX: Informal Tests

Thanks for the post Mr. Camp.



I am impressed with the repeatability of expansion with the DPX bullets. When they become readily available I hope to try some in my Colt Pony LW with its 2.75" barrel.
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Old 09-22-2005, 10:59 AM   #4
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Corbon .380 ACP 80-gr. DPX: Informal Tests

Hello. I think there's the possibility that this load might help in the expansion vs. penetration issue. IF it does, and that's a big "if", it might inspire others to offer similar loads as well. We'll just have to see.



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Old 09-22-2005, 05:16 PM   #5
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Corbon .380 ACP 80-gr. DPX: Informal Tests

Yet another DPX round that seems to be ready to take on all comers.



Is it possible that these "petal-expansion" homogenous copper bullets are the wave of the future?
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Old 09-23-2005, 02:02 AM   #6
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Corbon .380 ACP 80-gr. DPX: Informal Tests

I am one of those folks that loads three JHP's and the rest FMJ in both my Bersa and CZ-83. I'll be keeping an eye on this ammo. If it gets here I'll try some.



What is the cost for a box?



ZM

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Old 09-26-2005, 11:01 AM   #7
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Corbon .380 ACP 80-gr. DPX: Informal Tests

Thanks for posting this review.



Any chance you could compare Cor-bon DPX rounds with some Magtech copper ammo? Reason I ask, the Corbons seem harder to find than the Magtechs.



Magtech doesn't load the Barnes X bullets, but I wonder if they don't deliver similar performance. I think the Magtechs are called First Defense.
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Old 09-26-2005, 11:08 AM   #8
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Corbon .380 ACP 80-gr. DPX: Informal Tests

Hello. If I can, I sure will. Not having a gunstore in town makes it a bit more difficult than before.



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Old 11-03-2005, 11:14 AM   #9
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Corbon .380 ACP 80-gr. DPX: Informal Tests

Hello. I just saw some initial penetration/expansion test results for this load when fired into 10% ballistic gelatin. Expansion was consistently good, but penetration was in the same league as with other JHP designs, 7 1/2 to about 9". For frontal, unobstructed shots, this is probably fine, but I continue to have concerns (as in the past) if the bullet has to pass through a forearm or if a sideways shot through the arm before entering the torso is required. I really like the round's consistent expansion, but am disappointed in penetration. For now, I'd stick with either Hornady XTP or Federal 90-gr. JHP's in this caliber. DPX in 9mm is something else altogether.



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Old 11-03-2005, 02:30 PM   #10
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Corbon .380 ACP 80-gr. DPX: Informal Tests

I guess that's what I get for expecting a .380 to magically become a 9mm: disappointment.



Looking back at bullet design, over the past century, I've noticed a pattern. There's no doubt in my mind that bullets, not to mention cartridges as a whole, have improved, but people have consistently expected too much improvement, it would seem.



Just look back at when Speer announced the new short barrel loadings. People were expecting rounds that would perform like their big brothers out of half as much barrel, and it just didn't happen. My favorite example is their .357 short barrel load. It shoots a 135 gr. gold dot at 990 ft/s. Not bad, by any means, and probably far-and-away more controllable than a full-house magnum from the same barrel, but it's still not going to do the same kind of damage as a 125 gr. bullet at 1400+ ft/s. You're probably always going to have to have a 4" barrel for that, and that's just the way it is.



All that said, taking this round for a .380, (which is what it is, whether we like it, or not) it's a good-looking load. Some .380s have, in the past, tended towards poor expansion, but this one seems right on the money in that department.
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