Dang. We’re starting to become fans of this Buffalo Bore stuff. We were pleasantly surprised with the results of our test with an uber-velocity, light weight 9mm load. Now we’ve been pleasantly surprised with, of all things, a .380 ACP load.
So we persevered on our quest for a fast and reliable expander out of a short barrel .380 ACP. Le Petit Canon’s are all the rage nowadays you know.
The Buffalo Bore load features an 80 grain Barnes TAC-XP Projectile that hums along at 1,275 feet per second from a test-length barrel. Buffalo Bore goes to great efforts to publish expected ‘real world’ velocities for each of their loads. For the this .380 load, Barnes claims the following performance:
1231 — fps – Browning Double Action-3.75 inch barrel
1235 — fps – Walther PPK-3.5 inch barrel – (faster than longer barrel above, no typo)
1130 — fps – Kel Tec P3AT-2.75 inch barrel
1136 — fps – Kahr P380-2.75 inch barrel
Fortunately, we own a Walther PPK/S and a Ruger LCP, which offers an equivalent barrel length to the Kel Tec P3AT with its 2.75 inch barrel, so we’ll be able to compare actual velocities in the swamp to factory claims.
How did it do with our guns? At 15 feet from the muzzle, we clocked the following:
Ruger LCP: 1,107 feet per second
Walther PPK/S: 1,177 feet per second
Given the Shooting Chrony was 15 feet downrange, these loads came in right about on target per the specs.
We did some basic expansion testing that involved shooting through two very heavy layers of leather and several layers of cotton fabric. After all this, our little .380 ACP loads still managed to fully expand 3 out of 4 times.
One interesting ‘heads up’ to note if you purchase this round. The cases have a very slight, but visible bulge. According to Buffalo Bore, this is normal given the high charge and longer length of the Barnes TAC-XP projectile.
“The all copper, long-for-weight, Barnes bullet is so long that when seated to an OAL of .940 to .950 inch, the base of the bullet will make a slight bulge in the case, but this DOES NOT affect feeding or chambering as the bulge is not pronounced enough to cause any problems, but in order to avoid endless emails, I’m mentioning it here.”
We experienced no feeding or chambering problems with either the Walther PPK or Ruger LCP.
Buffalo not included.
You can buy Buffalo Bore Ammo here.