So I've been looking for different ammo choices for my .380. There are two theories I'm considering when it comes to .380 defensive ammo selection: heavy, round (or blunt) nose FMJ at say 102gr; or very fast, light bullet. Expansion in hollow point is velocity dependent and a small cartridge and a short barrel does not make for ideal expansion. Thus, a lighter bullet goes faster because there is less mass to accelerate in that short, often 3", distance.
I tried these Hornady Critical Defense FTX 90gr .380 in a Glock 42. They fed well and shot accurately enough for a quick test. Next I need to pattern them and maybe get some ballistic gel when the weather warms again. They did feel powerful in the hand but the recoil was not excessive and was comparable to a standard target 9mm from a Glock 43. Based on feeding and accuracy, I'd feel comfortable carrying these.
Are these or rounds like them the "best" for .380? I'm not sure yet. Next up in the ammo trial is high-velocity non-expanding copper rounds (see the Paul Harrell video below).
Clayton E. Cramer
Gun Free Zone
The War on Guns
The View From Out West