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Ammo Quest 380 Finals: Hornady Custom XTP test in denim



(from Oct 2013)

16th in a series of a quest to find the overall best ammunition for modern micro-compact 380 ACP pistols (such as the Taurus TCP 738, the Ruger LCP, Sig P238 or S&W Bodyguard or any other popular 380 micro-pistol using a barrel length of around 2.8").

This is the first in the "Final Round", where I am re-testing ammo that performed well in the first round (through bare ClearBallistics gelatin). In the Final Round, I'm testing in genuine 10% organic ordnance gelatin (aka "ballistic gelatin"), and through four layers of IWBA-specification 16oz heavy denim.

In this installment, I am testing the Hornady Custom .380 ACP rounds that use the Hornady XTP 90-grain jacketed hollow point bullets. In this test, the ammo performed quite well. The average penetration met my desired 12" level, but not every round reached at least 12", which was a little disappointing. The minimum was 10.63", and the overall average was 12.3" for all five shots, all of which successfully expanded and expanded quite larger for a .380.

These Hornady rounds performed well in the bare gelatin test and also through the IWBA 4-layer-denim test too. It's way too early to declare them a "winner", especially because one round came up short of the 12" ideal. But truthfully, these rounds performed so much better than I was expecting when I first started this quest, if I knew that I would find a round that would exceed 12" in bare gel and also 12" in denim and also all expand, I would have been thrilled. I will be testing the remaining rounds to see if anything beats their performance, but it looks like we've already found a round worthy of serious consideration.

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