Handguns and Ammunition Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Before my first post I would like to thank everyone for the wealth of info that is shared here.

I have a small problem here. I recently purchased a Walther PPK/S and would like to carry cor bon jhp's. My local range only allows FMJ to be shot. My common sense tells my to carry the FMJ because I know it will feed reliably. Maybe FMJ is better in .380 anyways. ??? Any advice is welcome and appreciated. Thank you in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
sherpa,
depending on where you live, you should try to find another range somewhere that will allow shooting JHP. That way you can at least test some JHP ammo in your pistol. Sure, you can just carry FMJ but in .380 you want a hollowpoint that will expand.
Let us know how you make out on this.
og
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I forgot to add that the range is indoors. That is the reason for FMJ. Hopefully I can find an outdoor range in the area for atleast one test session.
 
G

·
Sherpa: Many people, including yours truly, have succumbed to the mystique of the PPK. Most fall out of love with the little pistol fairly quickly if they shoot it much. The chief advantage of the PPK is that it is small, hence it conceals easily. However, it is a straight blowback action which means it recoils very sharply in the hand. Worse, the barrel/feedramp are stationary, which makes malfunctions of feeding much more likely than in a tilt-barrel action such as most modern autopistols have.

The .380 ACP cartridge is not an adequate caliber for LEA off-duty use according to numerous testing protocols. As Dr. Gary Roberts writes, based on much research:

"The terminal performance of .380 ACP jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullets is often erratic, with inadequate penetration and inconsistent expansion being common problems, while .380 ACP full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets offer adequate penetration, but no expansion. All of the .380 ACP JHP loads we have tested, including CorBon, Hornady, Federal, Remington, Speer, and Winchester exhibited inconsistent, unacceptable terminal performance for law enforcement back-up and off duty self-defense use due to inadequate penetration or inadequate expansion. The use of .380 ACP and smaller caliber weapons is not acceptable for law enforcement use and most knowledgable agencies prohibit their use--based on past experience, to my knowledge none of the agencies you mention currently use .380's."

I don't want to burst your balloon, but my reading of the literature leads me to agree with Dr. Roberts. I found my PPK to be unreliable with most JHP ammo when I had it. Even when I found JHP ammo that WOULD work, there was no guarantee the next lot of ammo of the same brand would work.

For a similar price to the PPK, you can pick up a Kahr MK9, which is the same size as the PPK, fires a much more powerful and reliable cartridge (9mm), and is much, much easier to shoot.

If you wish to keep your PPK, I would stick with ball ammunition for carry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,442 Posts
I had a stainless PPK/s for several years and finally found someone who wanted it as much as I wanted to sell it. It was reliable for the first three mags I put through it, but then it was hit or miss with just about any ammunition I fed it. It fed most consistently with Federal Hydra Shocks and jammed the most with all brands of ball. I only used it once on a moving critter, an armadillo I shot at around 12 feet with one of the Federals; I'm glad I missed him as he walked away from me into the bushes, because the gun stovepiped a loaded round and locked up tight.

I replaced the Walther with a Smith & Wesson M638 which has failed exactly ZERO times in many hundreds of rounds of factory +P and hot reloads.
 
G

·
As to carrying untested ammo, NEVER DO IT!!! I like to test at least 100 rounds before I carry it, with more being better. A gun that will not work will get you killed. And this applies to whatever caliber you carry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for the advice. OG that was a great link. my ppk has been flawless through it's first 500 rounds with FMJ. I am going to switch out the cor bons for the time being. Right now I have some S & B that feeds great. Maybe one of these days I will stumble upon some power ball. In the mean time I am searching for a new range. Most in the area a private sportsman's clubs and have an initiation process. It might be some time until i can become a member. So far I am very pleased with the performance of this firearm, and will continue the practice with FMJ.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
sherpa,
glad you enjoy your little ppk. many internet sites have reports of people that have good luck with their ppk. like any manufactured product there can be problems at times and some ppk's have had problems.
be sure to read all of "hipowersandhandguns" 380 reports by Stephen Camp. Also, here is a link to a site that lists the vast array of 380 ammo available...
http://www.geocities.com/bersa_thunder/cartridges.html

Just for the record, I'm in no way endorsing any handgun or caliber as what anybody should carry or depend on for self defense. Because there have been reports of failures to stop a BG
with all handgun calibers available. There are a lot more factors than caliber or gun brand.
Training and practice are required besides a reliable weapon.

Each of us is responsible for our choice in what we depend on for CCW and SD. Our own environment may dicate what is needed and our own ability in what we can shoot with confidence.

Just my opinion. Your opinion may differ.

Cheers,
og
 
G

·
Just for the record, I'm in no way endorsing any handgun or caliber as what anybody should carry or depend on for self defense. Because there have been reports of failures to stop a BG
with all handgun calibers available. There are a lot more factors than caliber or gun brand.
Training and practice are required besides a reliable weapon.

Each of us is responsible for our choice in what we depend on for CCW and SD. Our own environment may dicate what is needed and our own ability in what we can shoot with confidence.

Just my opinion. Your opinion may differ.

Cheers,
og
OG: excellent point. I am aware of several successfully concluded gunfights where the officer/armed citizen was armed with a .380.

I did not mean to be dogmatic in my previous post, but did want to point out that most dept's I am aware of do not allow an autopistol chambered in any caliber lighter than 9x19mm for off-duty or backup carry.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
Hi Sherpa,

Congrats on your recently acquired PPK - it is a classic and if reliable as you say should serve you well. Just remember the immortal words of Clint Eastwood - "a man has got to know his limitations" - and with the .380 there certainly are some. OG and Doc are coming at the issue from different perspectives...if you are not an LEO and are careful with your environment, and can hit with the Walther better than with a larger, less concealable weapon, it could be the right gun for you. OG has done a lot of great work on various expanding .380 loads (test them in your example before carrying!) ...maybe he will post a link or two. His results have influenced what I carry in my Sig 232 when I carry that gun.

To Doc's point, most advise that the .380 is about the lower end of what you want to stake your life on these days if you are not an LEO, but nevertheless it has and will continue to serve in this role. The Cor Bon load is hot, but the PPK should be able to take it. Just be sure to check it out in your gun before carrying.

PGM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
hi, PGM, the best link to find most of my .380 tests is .....

http://www.mouseguns.com/ clik on the Ammunition section and scroll to 380 caliber.

Just remember, these are just tests and in no way are they guaranteed to work in your pistol or provide for sure self defense. Like you just said and Doc and my opinions, there's more to it than just the caliber. (The pistol barrel length makes a big difference in expansion/penetration too.)

og......who tests ammo for fun and not to prove what's best for anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Sherpa,

I am very much in the ANTI .380 crowd and the same on the PPK. Over 25 years of policing and more than that in firearms training I never saw one run reliably. I know there have to be good ones out there, but I was never blessed with the experience! I've also seen a couple of incidents documented of the guns being what I've heard called "one shot wonders" in actual fights (both off duty cops vs. armed robbers) due to poor ammo selection and maintenence.

If you're going to hang in there with that pistol, test the snot out of it and find a good FMJ load that works 100%. Keep the gun clean and properly lubed and remember if you ever need to shoot some "slow learner" with it that life is precious, ammo is cheap, so be generous...

Wayne
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
Hey OG,

Thanks for the link. There is a wealth of useful and interesting information there in addition to the current discussion! Bravo.

PGM
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
I can appreciate wdobbs being anti .380 stationed in Iraq. If I was there I wouldn't want anything less than a S&W .50magnum

Here in ******* hollow there's "seldom heard a discouraging word, and the sky's are not cloudy all day". Under these conditions .380 is usually enough.

Even many of our police carry .380 backup here, strange as that may seem.
og..but read my post at Sockman's poll, .45 is still my favorite.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,064 Posts
I don't possess much real world info on the effectiveness of the .380 for self defense. I do know at one point in time my agency allowed it to be carried strictly as a back-up weapon, like our J-frame Smiths. Neither could be carried as our primary firearm.

The day my agency outlawed the .380, was the result of a DEA shooting. A DEA agent armed only with a .380 loaded with hollow points (sorry do not recall the brand or load) was involved in a shooting with a bad guy. He did hit the bad guy several times, but was shot and killed by the wounded bad guy.

DEA killed the .380 as a result of that situation. We followed suit, as did many other federal, state and local agencies. Personally I agreed with that decision, as I saw too many agents on the range having too many malfunctions with their .380s.

I agree with the view there is no magic bullet. To be effective in a gunfight the round must hit some vital area, and hopefully hit it more than once. To me the key is finding a caliber you can become comfortable with, a round that functions with total reliability in your weapon, and then shooting both until you can hit where you are aiming consistently.

I think it is very helpful to share effective loads, but think it is important that folks understand a round that functions 110% in mine, may not work well at all in yours. Again there is only one way to see if it does - shoot it alot in your weapon.

When I worked homicides we had a state law requiring hospitals to report all gunshot victims. I was about 5 minutes (even if at home) from the Emergency Room. Every victim shot with a .25 or .32 ( based on their words to medical personnel) had walked out of the hospital when they learned the police had been notified prior to my arrival. I should point out this was back in the 70's and 80's, and small caliber ammo had not progressed to the levels seen today.

The only round smaller than a 9mm projectile I watched being removed during autospies were 22lr. Maybe some of those 9mm bullets were .380s, but I tend to have my personal doubts that they were.

But at the risk or sounding like a stuck record, find a caliber you can control, find a bullet (preferably a good hollow point) your particular weapon handles with total reliability, and shoot them both often.

Whenever I have purchased a weapon to carry either on or off duty, my personal rule of thumb is I shoot a minimum of 1000 rounds of the bullet I will carry (or its equivalent reload with the same projectile) before I trust my life to it. Our agency armorers believe if a weapon is likely to malfunction the odds favor it will do so within the first 800 rounds. So that is a good test for me. I add the other 200 to increase my personal confidence. I know it is not a cheap test, but I figure I am worth it.

Just my opinions for what they are worth.

twoguns
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top