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I just purchased a Taurus 738. The gun is functioning perfectly. Now I need to purchase some Personal Defense Rounds. Is there a particular brand(s) that works best in the 738 TCP?

I look forward to your responses! Thanks in advance!

Jim
 

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I have great reliability and comfortable shooting with Hornady Critical Defense rounds.
As do I.

Also, Speers Gold Dot is a top-notch self-defense ammo, IMHO.
 

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Critical DEFENSE is sometimes called a poor SD choice due to it's inability to pass the FBI protocol for 12" minimum penetration in ballistic gelatin.
Goldenloki shows it going 11.2". Close to the minimum. Oh so close! I only carry rounds that have passed the FBI ballistic test protocol. Just my opinion.

Here's a blurb of the net. Take it for what it's worth.... And always remember that an accurate hit with a marginal round is better than a clean miss with a
superior round!

.380 ACP (9mm Short, 9x17mm, 9mm Kurz)
Now we're getting into some decent stopping power. The three or four best .380 JHP rounds have better stopping power than ANY bullet fired out of 2" barrel .38 Special snub-nose. All of the Big Five make good hollowpoints for this caliber. The Remington 88 grain JHP is the most reliably-feeding hollowpoint but slightly less effective than the Hydra-shok or Cor-Bon. Reliability is crucial, and thus you must test the rounds before carrying.
I recommend the following two cartridges above all others:
-Federal 90 gr. Hydra-shok (P380HS1 H) - the best standard-pressure .380 JHP load, period.
-Cor-Bon 90 gr. JHP - the most powerful .380 hollowpoint, bar none.
These are the two best .380 loads, and I recommend them for these guns:
SIG/Sauer P230, Beretta 84/85, Browning BDA, CZ-83, H&K P7K3, Walther PPK and PPK/s. The Russian, East German, Chinese and Bulgarian Makarov pistols are apparently perfectly reliable with the hot Cor-Bon, and the strong all-steel construction of these guns should stand up to an infinite amount of these potent rounds. I have heard that the Colt does also well with the hot Cor-Bon JHP, which you should definitely look into if you own a Colt .380. You have better stopping power than any .38 snub-nose revolver (the long-time favorite concealment sidearm) when you load your .380 with these two rounds.
Other good .380 ACP jacketed hollowpoints:
- Remington 102 gr. Golden Saber BJHP (GS380M) - Another excellent .380 load (the BJHP stands for "Brass Jacketed Hollow Point"), the heaviest one available. I prefer the Cor-Bon and Hydra-shok, but many (including Sanow) like this new Remington round for its deeper penetration. I'll stick with the Cor-Bon and Hydra-shok, but the choice is yours.
- CCI-Speer 90 gr. Gold Dot JHP A good all-around hollowpoint.
- Remington 88 gr. JHP (R380AI): A good high-velocity hollowpoint that feeds well in: Colt Government Model .380, H&K HK4, Taurus PT-58, older PP and PPK, Bersa .380, Beretta 70s, Makarov and Hungarian FEG. These are all good guns that might choke on other hollowpoints but they will probably feed the Remington fine. This hollowpoint was redesigned in 1993 and gives excellent performance while retaining its rounded shape for positive feeding. If your .380 chokes on other JHP loads, try fifty rounds of the Remington 88 gr. through your gun and see if it improves.
.380 ACP hollowpoints to avoid:
-Winchester 85 gr Silvertip (X380ASHP) I really cannot recommend this weak and jam-prone round. It works reliably in a few modern European guns (e.g. SIG 230, Beretta 84F), but every load named above offers better performance. The Silvertip will likely jam in any American-made .380 automatic. Russian .380 Makarovs and PPK series guns may jam with the Silvertip, as well. The .380 Silvertip was once state-of-the-art, but has since been superceded by superior designs. It is also quite expensive. Look elsewhere.
- PMC-Eldorado Starfire 95 gr. JHP This round is similarly weak and jam-prone.
- Federal 90 gr. JHP (380BP) (see below)
- Hornady 90 gr. XTP-HP (9010) Both the Federal 380BP and the Hornady XTP-HP never expand and may jam many guns due to their truncated-cone bullet nose profiles. Pass by these two.

Ammunition For The Self-Defense Firearm
 

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No such thing as a one shot stop UNLESS it's a hit to the central nervous sytem.Brain or spine.The best self defense rounds are the ones that hit the intended target.
 

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I've read the same thing about Crit. Defense, the experts talking said Crit. Duty was just as effective. I have started carrying the Hydra-Shoks, they are reported to be excellent in .380 ca.
 

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No such thing as a one shot stop UNLESS it's a hit to the central nervous sytem.Brain or spine.The best self defense rounds are the ones that hit the intended target.

That's why 2nd and 3rd hits are desired to quickly stop an attacker. It's hard to do accurately, but provides a dramatically greater chance of stopping an attack quickly. The "weaker" the round used the greater the benefit in making 2 or 3 hits. Train so it's natural to go pow-pow or even pow-pow--pow.
 

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Without getting into a debate I see nothing wrong using fmj.On average they penetrate considerably deeper then hp.Even the new ones.What you lose in width you gain in depth.Also better chance to hit the spine.Over penetration is OVER rated.Just my 2.
 

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Another vote for HydraShoks...but you will also need to make sure that whatever you choose functions perfectly in your TCP...
 

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With the modern design all manufature use, I would concentrate on what functions 100% of the time in your gun. If you find a few different brands that do, then concentrate on penetration.

The Hornady products work 100% of the time in my TCP.
 

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I've posted this in another thread, but please check out this very detailed and professional review of different ammo brands, loads, types, an calibers - very informative:

Best Choices for Self Defense Ammo
 
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Without getting into a debate I see nothing wrong using fmj.On average they penetrate considerably deeper then hp.Even the new ones.What you lose in width you gain in depth.Also better chance to hit the spine.Over penetration is OVER rated.Just my 2.
You can use them if you want. But the fmj wound channel is typically 1/3-1/2 the bullet diameter. Sort of like sticking them with an ice pick. Attacks are stopped by causing the attacker to lose interest. Maybe the sound of the gun racking does it. Maybe "just a flesh wound" does it. Maybe. Typically those things don't do it, especially with a determined attacker or one on drugs. Then you must cause enough damage inside the attacker to MAKE THEM lose interest. Yeah, a lucky hit to a nerve center will work. But a wider wound channel with cut flesh will cause dramatically greater bleeding than a pierced wound from a fmj. Bleeding causes the body to shut down and the attack to stop.

Your gun, your call. But if you are choosing FMJ for reliability, you might want to look into eFMJ rounds. (But sadly, I don't think they come in .380.) or you may want to look into copper frangible rounds. They won't penetrate deeply, but do cause a lot of surface disturbance.
 

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Look at - Ballistics 101.com for a listing of most all cartidges.
I talked to one the engineers at BB and was told that the +P used on some ammo is just a advertising ploy to promot a load that is just loaded to a saami max and not down loaded like so many loads out there. Makes sense that they would not build a load that was something to cause them issues over.
 

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Look at - Ballistics 101.com for a listing of most all cartidges.
I talked to one the engineers at BB and was told that the +P used on some ammo is just a advertising ploy to promot a load that is just loaded to a saami max and not down loaded like so many loads out there. Makes sense that they would not build a load that was something to cause them issues over.
Thats exactly the case, with all the so called 380 Plus P rounds!
there is no set SAAMI pressure rating for a plus P ammunition in 380 caliber.
actually very few rounds have a listed plus p rating.
Where the posisble problems MAY come in and is has been reported (not saying its true as i have not witnessed it) but those loading that close to top pressure SAAMI ratings there had better be NOTHING weak in the pistol or cartridge or probelms arise.
anyone that loads the 380 can tell you about the extreme pressure spikes with very minor increases in powder, or decreases in OAL of the cartridge.
The best Plus P 380 round out there is called the 9 MM handgun.
 
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No such thing as a one shot stop UNLESS it's a hit to the central nervous sytem.Brain or spine.The best self defense rounds are the ones that hit the intended target.
I don't know??
I think pretty much a 50 caliber projectile fram a barrett would pretty much stop most any man regardless of a brain or spine hit or not!
If you place enough hydrostatic shock (energy)in the body the brain quits wanting to operate!
so as always it "DEPENDS" on what we are talking about.
 

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Without getting into a debate I see nothing wrong using fmj.On average they penetrate considerably deeper then hp.Even the new ones.What you lose in width you gain in depth.Also better chance to hit the spine.Over penetration is OVER rated.Just my 2.
well over penetration is over rated only "IF" you are not in the line of fire or behind someone that "IS" in the line of fire!
The problem with the FMJ in my opinion is 1) to many people base gunshots on TV and movies-- the human body has the natural ability to seal and reduce blood loss, especially in small penetrating wounds, secondly FMJ do have a penetration problem in most all calibers unless you hit bone or heavy muscle.
now the 380 in a very good self defense round typically is just about 200 ft lbs of energy near the muzzle, if it losses 80% of that energy into the target then it has produced some shock, I doubt that you will find most any 380 FMJ that is going to shed 80% of its energy in the target?
course this is my take on it, I carry what i feel is best in my pistol and everyone should do as they think is best for them.
 
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I don't know??
I think pretty much a 50 caliber projectile fram a barrett would pretty much stop most any man regardless of a brain or spine hit or not!
If you place enough hydrostatic shock (energy)in the body the brain quits wanting to operate!
so as always it "DEPENDS" on what we are talking about.
Theoretically, hydrostatic shock can be effective... if you have enough. Typically something about 110gr traveling at 3000 f/s is the minimum to generate "effective" hydrostatic shock - sometimes! Starts to get more effective at 150 gr and 2700f/s like from a .308 or 30-06. But even with MORE powerful rounds there are always cases where the only issue is blood loss. Just because you shoot a big round, you can't count on the magic bullet. Accurate bullet placement resulting in blood loss, that's the only sure way to stop an attack.

While there are few hard and fast rules about wounding and especially hydrostatic shock there is one thing that is pretty hard and fast. unless you are shooting a hand cannon, a pistol just ain't gonna give effective shock to the target. The other thing is that the whole "hydrostatic shock" deal is more theory than cold hard fact. It may be real with big bullets hitting at high speeds... or not. But if it is real, it's not present with typical SD rounds like 9mm, 40, 45, or even 44 mag!
 

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Today I had the opportunity to run several different rounds through my "A" model TCP after putting the Pierce grip extenders on......First i cranked a mag worth of Hornaday crtical defense....Very nice round. Snappy but not unduly so...Recoil was controllable...Then ran a mag worth of Corbon 90 grain +p JHP at 1050fps.........This round i found to be a bit punishing on the hand...recoil was much snappier than the Hornady CD....

Just an aside, i told my brother afterwards that i hoped the TCP was rated for +P... He jokingly told me "yours is is now." I finished off with a box of magtech 380 95 grain hard ball.........after the corbon, this round seemed liked a pussy cat...Easy on the hand with good control and accuracy.

The TCP performed very well... It ate everything without the hint of any problem......The Pierce grip extender helped a lot as far as control went for my hand. It has not effected the concealability at all in using my same pocket holster......So needless to say, im pleased with the grip extension and the great performance of my little TCP.....
 
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