.22 vs. .380 ballistic comparison

This is a discussion on .22 vs. .380 ballistic comparison within the Ammo Cache forums, part of the General Category category; TRUE STORY: I was a paramedic in the Portland, Oregon Fire Bureau for over 30 years. One night we responded to a possible shooting. When ...

Thread: .22 vs. .380 ballistic comparison

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  1. #1 .22 vs. .380 ballistic comparison 
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    TRUE STORY:

    I was a paramedic in the Portland, Oregon Fire Bureau for over 30 years.

    One night we responded to a possible shooting.

    When we got there we found a man sitting in a chair with the phone in his lap.

    His eyes were black and blue and there was blood on his face. I thought at first that he had been assaulted by someone.

    Upon further examination, I discovered a large bumpy swelling at the base of his skull at the hairline. It looked very much like there was a small hive of bees or something just under the skin -the little bumps stood out so much.

    He then began to answer questions and this is what I determined:

    He had decided to commit suicide. He had shot himself in the head with his .22 revolver. He shot himself 18 times after reloading twice.

    What was later determined was that the .22 would not penetrate his skull. The bullets simply followed the path of his skull just under the hairline, up and over the top, and all of them had finally lodged at the base of his skull.

    He told us that the .22 had not been doing the job - so he decided to go for something more potent.

    He got his .380 automatic and shot himself again in the head. (I never did hear whether the .380 managed to penetrate his skull.)

    He told me that the .380 hurt so much that he decided to call 911.

    This not the customary soaked phone book penetration test. But I thought it provided some real life street data for our consideration.

    Real life proof that the LCP is more than adequate to stop an assault dead in it's tracks.
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  2. #2 Re: .22 vs. .380 ballistic comparison 
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    Incredible what some people will do for 15 minutes of "fame". Hope the guy got some help!
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  3. #3 Re: .22 vs. .380 ballistic comparison 
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    Ive done the phone book deal, dry however, and a .22 LR will penetrate far more than a .380, then also did it on magazines various thickness and again the .22 LR, appears to be
    far more potent

    .380 is a marginal round at best

    I still like the LCP however and own one, carry in car, but it has it limitations

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  4. #4 Re: .22 vs. .380 ballistic comparison 
    Hero Member deadhead1971's Avatar
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    It sounds like he was shooting at an angle and not perpendicular.

    I hear a lot about the 380 being "marginal" here and in gun magazine articles. The fact of the matter is a 380 will kill you as well as a .22.

    It's not a mouse gun, although a friend told me that a LCP with a CT laser is accurate enough to shoot squirrels out of trees.
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  5. #5 Re: .22 vs. .380 ballistic comparison 
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    Initially I was hoping to carry the LCP while trail walking in the "north woods" where occasionally animals (feral dogs, coyote, wolf, black bear, puma) or BGs can threaten. After looking at the available data, I have concluded that the LCP effectiveness would be limited to BGs who might be reluctant to risk an additional bodily orifice. The other critters aren't much for intimidation. I plan to find a light weight .40 for this role.

    Does anyone have a better idea?
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  6. #6 Re: .22 vs. .380 ballistic comparison 
    Full Member mpd563's Avatar
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    A .40 cal is a much better caliber than the .380 can ever hope to be for sure. But I will tell you about and experience I had once while I was caring a KelTec P3AT. I was attacked by 2 pit bulls while I was walking. They came from the front porch of a house with the intent of bringing blood! I had just enough time to draw the .380 from its holster and shoot the first one, which was a large red colored probably weighing around 70+ pounds, straight through the chest from right side to the left. He was approx 3 yds away from me when I fired. The way he was positioned the bullet went in at the right shoulder and came out near his left side hip. The round I was using was the Gold Dot 90g hollow point. He let out a yelp, turned and ran approx 30yds before he ran out of hydrolic pressue and fell over. The second dog, seeing his mate shot, turned and ran off. I would guess the bullet traveled approx 13 - 15 inches of dog before it exited. Really was impressive I thought.
    To "Serve & Protect"
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  7. #7 Re: .22 vs. .380 ballistic comparison 
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstall
    Ive done the phone book deal, dry however, and a .22 LR will penetrate far more than a .380, then also did it on magazines various thickness and again the .22 LR, appears to be
    far more potent

    .380 is a marginal round at best

    I still like the LCP however and own one, carry in car, but it has it limitations

    I agree with the term "marginal" for most .380 rounds. But I would wholeheartedly disagree with the idea that seems to be conveyed in the first part of this post.

    Adequate though marginal as the .380 may be as a self defense round, a 22 LR is more marginal still - by far IMO. I know that certain .22 bullets can be driven deeper into wet pack than certain .380 bullets - and I know that more than one BG has been done in by the Israli secret service with a sub sonic .22 to the temple.

    But two rounds of such drastic differences in diameter that are driven to an adequate depth into center mass as these two can be under good conditions - will alway have the wider round come out the winner (assuming, of course, normal modern bullets at the terminal end of things).

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