The .380 ammo, or also known as the .380 ACP (ACP stands for Automatic Colt Pistol) or .380 Auto is basically a rimless and straight-walled handgun cartridge. Let me briefly walk you down the memory lane of the initial development of this round. First things first, it is developed by John Moses Browning, a firearm designer as well as introduced by Colt.
This ammo is rather unique in design as the cartridge headspaces on the mouth of the case. In other words, it is rimless with the headspace on the case mouth, rather than the rim, to allow for enhanced accuracy. Not only that, they are mainly designed for blowback pistols which doesn’t come with a barrel locking mechanism.
Apart from that, it can be used for semi-automatic guns as well as is considered a rather popular self-defense round. Other than being utilized for self-defense, you can also use them for range training and field practice. Moving on to the number of rounds, the best .380 ammo are available in the usual 20 or 50 rounds per box as well as in bulks (getting in bulk is way cheaper!).
Top 7 Rated .380 Ammo Comparison Table
|Name of Product||Bullet Weight||Bullet Type||Muzzle Velocity||Muzzle Energy||Rounds||Price|
|Blazer Brass Rounds||95 grain||FMJ||945 fps||188 ft lbs||50||$$|
|Federal American Eagle Ammo||95 grain||FMJ||980 fps||205 ft lbs||1000||$$$|
|Armscor .380 Auto Ammunition||95 grain||FMJ||945 fps||188 ft lbs||1000||$$$|
|Winchester White Box Cartridge||95 grain||FMJ||955 fps||190 ft lbs||50||$$|
|PMC Bronze Ammo||95 grain||FMJ||961 fps||185 ft lbs||50||$$|
|Federal Hydra-Shok Ammunition||90 grain||JHP||1000 fps||200 ft lbs||20||$$|
|Magtech Guardian Gold Cartridge||85 grain||JHP+P||1082 fps||221 ft lbs||20||$$|
The most common priming system in these top rated products are the boxer-primed ammo. In other words, the ammunition case is boxer-primed usually with brass construction. The brass construction ensures that it is corrosion-free, especially when in contact with rain and moisture. The boxer-primed style on the other hand ensures that it is easily reloadable.
Speaking about the boxer-primed style, this type of style is popular in the United States meanwhile the berdan primer style is famous outside of the United States. For the boxer style, it comes with a cup and anvil which assists in the removal and replacing of the old primer with a new one, just with a simple pin punch.
Bullet Weight & Type
First and foremost, the bullet weight is measured in the unit grains. If you have noticed, the common bullet weight for the .380 ACP ammo is 95 grains, not exceeding 100 grains. This bullet weight is desirable to provide you with the best shooting performance.
Moving on to the type, there are various bullet types out there. The popular ones are the full metal jacket (FMJ) and the jacketed hollow point (JHP) in which they have their own advantages. In other words, the JHP type has a hollowed out shape that expands upon entering the target. Hence, the expansion will cause lesser penetration (controlled penetration)
For the FMJ type, the penetration is way deeper (not until over-penetration) because the heavy metal coating is jacketed over the core of the bullet. For your information, over-penetration is dangerous as it may cause collateral damage. Also, the FMJ bullet type contributes to an excellent feeding system therefore there are lesser chances of the cartridge getting jammed or misfiring.
Best Range Training Ammo :
1. Blazer Brass Rounds
I’m sure you have heard of the Blazer Brass brand because they are rather popular and well-sought out by shooters due to their affordable price as well as reliable performance. This cartridge is mainly used for range training, which is basically shooting at paper targets. For your information, most people utilize this brand as a range training ammo option, well in my case at least.
Moving on, the ammunition casing is constructed from brass material which comes in handy to prevent corrosion, therefore contributing to the durability of the casing. The priming system on the other hand is boxer-primed (popular priming method in US) hence, it is easily reloadable, for your added convenience.
In other words, the old primer can be easily removed and replaced with the new ones with just a simple pin punch. Apart from that, there are 50 rounds included altogether, upon the purchase of this product. They are neatly packed and arranged in an orderly manner so you are able to access the ammo with maximum ease.
In terms of the bullet specifications, it weighs 95 grain in total. For your information, most .380 ammunition have bullet weighs around 95 grain or somewhere around that number, to ensure the best bullet performance. The bullet type on the other hand are of the full metal jacket (FMJ) type.
That being said, the front part of the bullet is jacketed by metal hence resulting in deeper penetrations, due to the heavy jacket weight. Not only that, it provides a great feeding system where the probability of the bullet getting jammed or misfiring is close to none as well as contributes to the precision of the shot.
Moreover, the projectile leaves the muzzle and travels at a velocity of 945 feet per second (fps) meanwhile the muzzle energy measures 188 foot pounds (ft lbs). As mentioned above, the FMJ bullet type as well as the high muzzle velocity actually increases the penetration hence it is suitable to be used for larger games.
Suitable for :
- 50 rounds altogether
- 95 grain FMJ bullet type
- Boxer-primed brass
- Reliable and economical
- Non-corrosive and reloadable
2. Federal American Eagle Ammo
The Federal American Eagle brand is rather popular in the ammunition industry. First thing first, it comes with 1000 rounds altogether upon the purchase of the product. So, you may be wondering what is the point of buying ammo in bulk? To answer your query, getting ammunition in bulk is a lot more useful especially if you are using them for tactical training or range shooting.
That being said, you can fire hundreds of rounds continuously at once, without worrying that you’ll be running out of bullets. Compared to buying multiple 20 or 50 rounds per box, it is a whole lot better to get them in bulk because it is rather affordable, in terms of price. In other words, the price per round is cheaper, hence well worth your investment. To accommodate the 1000 rounds, they are divided into 50 rounds per box and 20 boxes per case.
Moving on to the bullet specifications, it weighs 95 grains. The type on the other hand is the full metal jacket type. This type basically contributes to deeper penetration because the metal jacket covers the entire bullet base with only a small amount of lead exposed at the base. Not only that, it is mainly utilized in semi-automatic pistols and has an excellent feeding system.
Besides that, the priming system is boxer-styled which is the most popular priming style in the United States (berdan-style primer are popular outside of the United States). For the boxer-primed ammo casing, it is rather simple and convenient to remove and replace the old primer with the new ones, hence it can be reloaded with maximum ease.
The primer is also made from brass construction, hence ensuring it is corrosion-free in the long run, when in contact with rain or moisture. Hence, it leads to its durability. About the bullet performance, it fires clean and accurate. Also, it travels at a muzzle velocity of 980 fps, with muzzle energy measuring 205 ft lbs.
Suitable for :
- 1000 rounds of ammo altogether
- Full metal jacket (FMJ) type
- Boxer-primed brass
- Easily reloadable
3. Armscor .380 Auto Ammunition
Manufactured by the well-known ammo brand, Armscor, this product is equipped with a total of 1000 rounds. In other words, it is basically available in bulk. The ones that come in bulk comes in handy for range training purposes as you are able to shoot multiple rounds at once, without worrying about finishing all of them up.
That being said, the 1000 rounds are packed neatly and arranged in an orderly manner where they are divide into 50 rounds per box and 20 boxes per case. The neat arrangements allow for easy removal of the ammunition from the box, for your added convenience.
Furthermore, the bullet weighs 95 grain (most .380 ACP ammo do!). The type on the other hand is of the full metal jacket (FMJ). In other words, they are designed in order for deeper penetration by having harder metal to encase the soft core inside (often lead). Not only that, this type of bullet is rather popular as it contributes to the need of having improved feeding characteristics.
The Armscor cartridges are widely used by the cops, military officer and gun enthusiast due to its excellent shooting performance. Speaking about its performance, the projectile leaves the muzzle and travel at a velocity of 945 fps, with a muzzle energy of 188 ft lbs.
The theory is rather straightforward where the heavier the bullet, the higher the kinetic energy and velocity which will further contribute to a more devastating results. Hence, the kinetic energy will contribute to the penetration in which the higher the energy, the deeper the penetration. For your information, deeper penetration is important especially if you’re dealing with larger games.
Apart from that, the ammo casing is made of brass construction therefore ensuring that it is corrosion-free in the long run, which further contributes to its durability. It features the boxer-style primer which comes in handy for convenient reloading because the older primer can be easily removed and replaced to the new one, with just a simple pin punch.
Suitable for :
- Brass casing with boxer-style primer
- 95 grain FMJ type
- 1000 rounds altogether
- Non-corrosive and reloadable
- Great feeding system
4. Winchester White Box Cartridge
The Winchester ‘USA White Box’ cartridge is widely used by many shooters due to its consistent performance and great value, which offers high-quality ammo to accommodate all hunter’s and shooter’s needs, to provide the best shooting experience. In terms of pricing on the other hand, they are a little pricey (above average), however they do deliver great performance.
Moreover, this .380 ACP cartridge comes with a total of 50 rounds altogether. The 50 rounds on the other hand are packed in a box with a neat and orderly arrangement, thus making it easier for you to remove them out of the box, for your added convenience. Also, these 50 rounds are utilized for plinking and target training purposes.
Weighing 95 grains, they are of the full metal jacket (FMJ) type. If you have noticed, the first three product reviewed above are also of the similar FMJ type, hence it is safe to say that the FMJ type is rather popular among the top rated .380 ammunition. So, what is so special about this particular cartridge type?
First things first, the harder metal encases the soft lead core, in terms of design. The full metal jacketing design comes in handy to fulfill the need for a positive and improved feeding system. Also, it improves penetration due to its heavy jacket. The projectile travels with a muzzle velocity of 955 fps and muzzle energy measuring 190 ft lbs. Just so you know, the higher the velocity and energy, the deeper the penetration.
In addition to that, the .380 automatic colt pistol ammunition has a boxer primed ammo casing. In other words, it is easily reloadable as you can remove and replace the old primer with maximum convenience. The alloy construction on the other hand prevents corrosion of the casing, in the long run.
Suitable for :
- Used for plinking/target practice
- 95 grains FMJ type
- 50 rounds per box
- Consistent and reliable performance
Best Self-Defense Ammo :
1. PMC Bronze Ammo
This PMC (Precision Made Cartridges) bronze cartridges are manufactured by the one and only, PMC brand. They are rather popular for their affordable price and great performance. That being said, all PMC cartridges are checked and inspected thoroughly in which the propellant charge is measured accurately to ensure the best shooting performance.
Moreover, it is equipped with 50 rounds altogether. They are packed neatly and in an orderly manner to allow for easy removal of the bullets. Back to its history, this ammo is initially manufactured by the Poongsan Corporation for the South Korea military. Hence, it comes with a solid reputation for hunting, self-defense and competition shooting.
Weighing 95 grains in total, it is of the FMJ bullet type. In other words, the FMJ bullet type is rather a popular choice among top rated products as they contribute to deeper penetration. This is because the soft lead core of the bullet is encased with a harder alloy metal which results in a heavy jacket, thus contributing to deeper penetration.
It also provides an excellent and positive feeding system where there is very little probability of your .380 Auto projectile from malfunctioning or getting jammed, for your added convenience. In addition to that, the projectile leaves the muzzle and travels at a speed of 961 fps, together with a muzzle energy of 185 ft lbs.
That being said, the theory is rather simple. The higher the speed and energy, the deeper the penetration and voila, the more devastating the results upon entering the target. Moving on to the ammo casing, it consists of a boxer-primed brass case. The brass construction ensures that it is corrosion-free meanwhile the boxer primer style contributes to easy and convenient reloading.
In other words, the old primer can be removed and replaced with the new one, with maximum ease, just by a simple pin punch. For your information, the boxer-style priming system is popular in the United States whereas the berdan-style priming system in famous outside of the US.
Suitable for :
- Reloadable brass case
- 50 rounds per box
- 95 grain FMJ bullet
- Used for hunting and self-defense
2. Federal Hydra-Shok Ammunition
First and foremost, like most of the .380 ACP ammo, this product weighs 95 grains altogether. In terms of bullet type, it is of the Hydra Shok jacketed hollow point (JHP). I’m sure you’re familiar with JHP but what is the significance of the Hydra Shok feature?
To answer the doubts lingering at the back of your mind, it is equipped with a unique center-post design which contributes to controlled expansion. In addition to that, the notched jacket point allows effective energy transfer to penetrate barriers while retaining the excellent stopping power.
The JHP bullet type contributes to the durability of the ammunition overall, because it is jacketed with harder metal coating, hence increasing it bullet strength as well as prevents fouling in the barrel of your weapon. The controlled expansion (as mentioned above) on the other hand allows for deeper penetration but not too much until over-penetration.
Apart from that, the deep penetration fulfills the FBI testing requirements therefore making it an ideal round for self-defense. And since it penetrates deep, it can be used for larger games.
For your information, over-penetration is dangerous as it may cause collateral damage. The muzzle velocity measures 1000 fps meanwhile the muzzle energy measures 200 ft lbs.
Not only that, this .380 Auto ammo is equipped with 20 rounds altogether in which they are arranged and packed neatly into a box for easy handling. The 20 rounds is good enough for self-defense either for your home defense or personal outdoor carry defense.
Moving on to the casing, it is made from nickel-plated, brass construction which comes in handy to ensure that it is non-corrosive when in contact with rain of moisture, which in return contribute to its durability in the long run. The case is also boxer-primed thus, you are able to reload it with maximum ease. In other words, you get to replace the old primer conveniently with new ones, simply by a pin push.
Suitable for :
- Nickel-plated brass ammo casing
- Boxer-primed (reloadable)
- Unique center-post design
- Controlled expansion
- Hydra-Shok JHP bullet
- 20 rounds per box
3. Magtech Guardian Gold Cartridge
This product is manufactured by Magtech Guardian Gold. Moving on to the ammo specifications, it weighs 85 grains in total and is equipped with the +P jacketed hollow point (JHP). That being said, the +P feature basically refers to overpressure ammunition.
In other words, the +P ammunition has been loaded to a higher internal pressure that is standard for the cartridge of its caliber, hence resulting in rounds with higher muzzle velocity and stopping power. Due to this, it is totally ideal for self-defense purposes. The JHP bullet on the other hand includes a harder metal coating jacketed over core, thereby increasing the bullet strength and preventing fouling in the barrel.
In addition to that, they come with a hollowed out shape which expands when in contact with the target, therefore contributing to controlled penetration. All in all, it offers great personal protection that packs a solid punch! The performance is excellent as after passing initial inspection, the cartridge is primed with ignition primers, assembled, as well as loaded with the finest and clean burning propellants.
Moreover, the .380 Auto projectile leaves the muzzle and travels at a speed of 1082 fps, together with a muzzle energy of 221 ft lbs. It includes 20 rounds per box altogether. These 20 rounds are suitable for personal protection or home defense as you don’t have to fire multiple rounds at once (like target training). They are packed and arranged properly in the box hence allowing for easy removal of the ammo.
In terms of the casing, it is boxer-primed brass. In other words, it is made of brass construction which is essential to prevent the case from rusting when in contact with moisture, thereby contributing to its durability in the long run. The boxer-style priming system on the other hand allows the old primer to be easily removed and replaced with the new one, hence resulting in easy reloading.
Suitable for :
- Great stopping power
- JHP +P bullet
- 85 grains
- 20 rounds altogether
- Boxer-primed brass
All in all, there are plenty ammunition to choose from, in the market. If you notice, the .380 ACP ammo is in tough competition between the 9mm, 10mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP ammo as well as many others. That being said, it all comes down to your personal preference.
You need to take into consideration factors such as priming style, number of rounds, bullet weight and type and finally the price before making purchase. Therefore, I hope my review assists you in making the right decision. If you’re confused on how to get ammo online, you can check out our informative guide here.