(from Jul 2014)
Thirty-second 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, Beretta Pico, Kel-Tec P3AT or S&W Bodyguard or any other popular 380 micro-pistol using a barrel length of around 2.8").
This ammo was sent to me by Lehigh Defense for testing purposes. In this installment, I am testing the Lehigh Defense Xtreme Penetrator (XP) Ammunition in .380 ACP; mfr part #07380085S. It performed simply superbly through both the denim and bare gel tests, although there was a little bit of overpenetration in 2 of the rounds in the bare test. But the wound channel it created far surpassed the wound channels of conventional .380 ammo. In this test I simultaneously shot flatnose FMJ's and a Precision One hollowpoint so that we could see the results all in the same gel block and determine what differences the XP bullet offers.
Note: I'm not making any claims for these videos other than that these are the results I achieved, in my own testing, from the stated pistol. I have no intention to make a blanket endorsement or indictment of any product, only to review and report what I found in a given instance. Obviously it is incumbent upon each individual to conduct their own research and make up their own mind about which defensive ammunition is best for their own purposes, in their own firearms.
Finally -- note that the purpose of this testing is not to try to establish that a .380 is "just as good" as pistols in the major calibers. Of course it isn't and never will be; those other cartridges all contain much more power than the .380 does. What I'm trying to establish is: are there any rounds out there for the .380 that can reliably deliver the penetration (with expansion) that has been documented and proven necessary in order for the bullet to be able to reach the vital organs of an attacker and deliver an incapacitating hit?