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Some .380 ACP "Test" Results...

1986 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Stephen A. Camp
Hello. I took a CZ-83 in .380 ACP to the range today and chronographed several rounds, most of which fall into the realm of defensive ammunition.
Average velocities listed are based on 10-shot strings and were fired about 10' from the chronograph screens. Expanded slugs were retrieved from milk jugs filled with water. I'm aware that the plastic is not considered conducive to accurate expansion tests, but don't have the capabilities at the range to do the Fackler box arrangement. Anyway, some folks find it interesting.

The CZ-83 has a 3.8" barrel.


Two ball rounds were fired for folks preferring solids in this caliber. I did not shoot the Federal 90-gr JHP into water as I've done it before from different .380 pistols. I did fire the rounds that I've received some questions on into water. They were: Magtech 85-gr Guardian Gold JHP, Hornady 90-gr XTP, and Remington's 102-gr Golden Saber.

All rounds were chronographed:

Magtech 95-gr FMJ: 964 ft/sec
ES: 29, SD: 10

Remington UMC 95-gr FMJ: 970 ft/sec
ES: 32, SD: 9

These were the only FMJ rounds tried. The following are either JHP or pre-fragmented:

Glaser 70-gr Safety Slug (Silver): 1299 ft/sec
ES: 116, SD: 44

Magtech 85-gr Guardian Gold JHP +P: 1075 ft/sec
ES: 33, SD: 10

Corbon 90-gr JHP +P: 1083 ft/sec
ES: 45, SD: 17

Federal 90-gr JHP: 1017 ft/sec
ES: 48, SD: 17

Federal 90-gr Hydrashok: 1036 ft/sec
ES: 80, SD: 23

Hornady 90-gr XTP: 933 ft/sec
ES: 42, SD: 14

Remington 102-gr Golden Saber: 928 ft/sec
ES: 70, SD: 22

Groups: I fired 5-shots @ 10 yds with several loads. All group quite well. I did pull a shot or two. No other groups were done as I've previously done a "Range Report" on the CZ-83 and more detailed information is there should one be interested.

I was surprised to see the Glasers hitting high. Usually, it's been my experience that faster, lighter bullets hit lower than heavier, slower ones, but with THIS gun and THIS ammo, such was not the case.

The Magtech did not perform for me. It did not expand. The recovered bullet appeared to have been "trying to," but even at an average velocity of 1075 ft/sec, did not. It is at the bottom of the picture along with a loaded cartridge. At the left is the expanded Remington Golden Saber. The recovered bullet weighed 102.1 grains and was 0.56 x 0.48 x 0.42" tall. The 90-grain XTP (right) weighed 89.6 grains and was 0.49 x 0.43 x 0.36" tall.

Hopefully, this will be of use to folks using the .380 ACP.

For what it's worth, my CZ-83 had previously balked on one round of Federal Hydrashok, but none since. Today, it failed to feed this round two more times. Be sure to test any defensive ammunition in the pistol you intend to use it with. There were no other malfunctions.

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Thanks for the report, Stephen. Somehow I missed this in May. Some friends have asked about the .380. Now I have SOME basis for a discussion.
Hello. You are most welcome.

Best and have fine holidays.
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