Best 380 Ammo For Self Defense & Range – 2023

Best 380 Ammo For Self Defense & Range – 2023

With the rising price of ammunition and advances in technology, more and more folks in the United States are returning to the best 380 ACP ammunition.

Just like 9mm, the best 380 ACP ammo has made great strides with jacketed hollow point bullets. The terminal ballistics of 2023 look nothing like the bullets envisaged by John Moses Browning in 1908.

The round’s compact size and sheer ubiquity mean it is still hugely popular for concealed carry pistols. 9mm is generally superior everywhere, but it’s also not legal everywhere, lots of people prefer shooting the best 380 ACP rounds and the reduced recoil that goes with it.

If you just want to bulk buy 380 ACP ammo and you’re looking for the best deals, here are our top tips:

Now, if you want the very best 380 ammo for sale in 2023, here are our top picks for the best 380 ACP rounds on sale.


Hornady Critical Defense 380 ACP Ammo for sale here. Get yours polymer tipped hollow points today.

1. Hornady Critical Defense

  • Price per round: $1.00
  • Pack price: $24.99/25
  • Type: FTX Polymer flex Tip Hollow Point
  • Bullet weight: 90gr
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,000
  • Muzzle Energy: 200lb/ft

This Hornady Critical Defense ammo is a redesign of the traditional hollowpoint.

This 90 grain hollow point comes with a polymer flex tip that helps punch through layers of clothing and even windows without deforming or veering off course.

Then, when its penetration work is done, the polymer tip drives down into the bullet to force maximum expansion and a massive release of energy at the point of entry.

Critical Defense ammo is always one of our favorites in every caliber and you can find the best 9mm ammo here and the best 45 ACP ammo which has all the stopping power for home defense.

This one is right there in all of those handgun ammo calibers and the best 380 ammo is exceptional. If you’re choosing the best rounds for self defense, you should try these in your 380 ACP pistol.


Speer Gold Dot 380 ACP ammo. Approved by Law Enforcement Agencies around the United States.

2. Speer Gold Dot

  • Price per round: $1.00
  • Pack price: $24.99/25
  • Type: Jacketed Hollow Point JHP
  • Bullet weight: 90gr
  • Muzzle Velocity: 990
  • Muzzle Energy: 196lb/ft

Approved for use by pretty much all the law enforcement agencies and specialist military units, the Speer Gold Dot is undoubtedly some of the best 380 ammo and it’s definitely one of the best self-defense ammo on the market.

This 90 grain JHP ammo gets a nickel plated brass case to reduce fouling and build up on your pocket pistol or concealed carry piece. Over time, that means fewer failures, and the bonding process means better weight retention each and every time.

This 90 grain Hollow Point is also optimized for barrier penetration, like doors and windshields. You could certainly argue this is the best 380 ammo across the whole tactical spectrum and that’s more important than ballistic gel.


Best 380 Ammo For Self Defense & Range – 2023

3. Barnes TAC-XP

  • Price per round: $1.40
  • Pack price: $28.00/20
  • Type: Jacketed Hollow Point JHP Bullet
  • Weight: 80gr
  • Muzzle Velocity: 990
  • Muzzle Energy: 174lb/ft

An all copper bullet design means you don’t just get the sense of satisfaction of going lead free, it also basically eliminates separation thanks to a much stronger bond to the jacket. That means total weight retention throughout the wound channel creation.

You get the full flower petal effect and also lose zero mass. That means these self defense rounds consistently deliver the upper echelon of terminal ballistics and you can sleep soundly knowing that you have top tier hollow points in your handgun.

Check the ballistic gel test and more here.


4. Federal Hydra Shok

  • Price per round: $0.84
  • Pack price: $42.00/50
  • Type: JHP bullet
  • Weight: 90gr
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,000
  • Muzzle Energy: 200lb/ft

There are two kinds of Federal Hydra Shok out there, the old style with the smooth rim on the hollowpoint and the new Hydra Shok Deep Penetrating bullets with deep channels that look a bit like the RIP.

With the price drop, the older Federal HST bullets might just be the best 380 ACP ammo in terms of bang for your buck. And try some of the new stuff, too, and see what you think.

It looks like a cutting saw attached to a bullet. This looks like a malicious 380 ACP cartridge, really.

See if you agree with a lot of online gun reviews that say Federal HST Deep is the best modern 380 ACP ammunition and easily the best defense rounds. See what they do to ballistic gel in terms of inches of penetration and expansion here.

Federal Hydra 90 grain JHP bullet is always a frontrunner in the online gun reviews, and there’s a good reason for that. It’s a massively competent 380 ACP self defense, target and just about every other kind of ammo.

At this price point, you could afford to stock up and bulk buy online too.


Best 380 Ammo For Self Defense & Range – 2023

5. Sig Sauer Elite V-Crown

  • Price per round: $1.00
  • Pack price: $19.99/20
  • Type: JHP
  • Weight: 90gr
  • Muzzle Velocity: 980 fps
  • Muzzle Energy: 192lb/ft

Sig Sauer V-Crown JHP is one of the best sellers on the market thanks to the company’s increasingly complete service for LEOs.

Police departments can buy pistols, patrol rifles and ammunition for duty and range training, all from the same place. And that means gun deals for the cops, and a well developed, reliable and clean burning personal protection round for you at home.

Of course this ammo is optimized for the 3 inch barrel of the micro compact Sig P365 380, but you’ll be impressed how smooth it cycles through almost anything thanks to the Nickel-plated brass cases.

There are Sig Elite Performance Full Metal Jacket FMJ rounds, ammo for target practice, range training too, with most of the same characteristics as the hollow points.



Black Hills Ammunition Honeybadger ammunition

6. Black Hills Ammunition Honeybadger

  • Price per round: $1.75
  • Pack price: $34.99/20
  • Type: Fluid Transfer Monolithic FTM
  • Weight: 60gr
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,150
  • Muzzle Energy: 180lb/ft

Black Hills Ammunition broke the mold with a new kind of bullet that does not rely on controlled expansion and instead relies on more inches of penetration depth, velocity and that Philips screwdriver head design to create a fluid hydrostatic shock wave.

Nobody believed it at first, but the hardcore press is slowly coming round to these FTM bullets. Some big names like Wilson Combat are also quietly buying the rights to produce or brand their own so you can buy ammo from them.

The gel tests work, the field tests work and we’re slowly beginning to accept that the Black Hills Ammunition Honeybadger just, well, works. Old school penetration and expansion just isn’t the same anymore…

Essentially it gives your 380 ACP ammo similar terminal ballistics to most 9mm pistols and ammunition. Is it worth the money? If it saves your life, yes it’s a good choice…

If you’re choosing the best rounds for self defense, try some of Black Hills Ammunition’s best 380 ACP ammo.


Hornady American Gunner 380 ACP is a jacketed hollow point that focuses on maximum expansion. Get yours here.

7. Hornady American Gunner

  • Price per round: $0.80
  • Pack price: $19.99/25
  • Type: 90 grain XTP Extreme Terminal Performance
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,000
  • Muzzle Energy: 200lb/ft

The Hornady American Gunner eXtreme Terminal Performance is all about the expansion.

A polymer tip designed to help it reach 1.5 times the original diameter with a collection of razor sharp edges to turn this into a macabre, horrible kind of flower petal. This is pure penetration and expansion.

Loaded into a pocket pistol, this 90 grain XTP is a personal defense cartridge you can trust your life to. And don’t worry too much about the fancy names when you buy ammo online. This is really just fancy 90 grain JHP ammo.


Federal Punch ammo. Get yours in 380 ACP today.

7. Federal Personal Defense Punch

  • Price per round: $0.90
  • Pack price: $19.99/25
  • Type: 85 grain JHP
  • Velocity: 1,000
  • Energy: 189lb/ft

Federal Personal Defense Punch is aimed at pocket pistols, backup guns and deep concealment pistols that hide away until you really need them.

Honestly the new Hydra is probably better, but there’s a range of Federal Personal Defense and Federal Premium ammo, self defense and target shooting equivalents.

The JHP offers good expansion and solid penetration without too many tricks and minimal felt recoil.


Sellier & Bellot 92 grain FMJ bullets. Some of the best for the range and practice drills.

8. Sellier & Bellot FMJ

  • Price per round: $0.48
  • Pack price: $239.99/500
  • Type: 92 grain Full Metal Jacket FMJ bullet
  • Velocity: 955
  • Energy: 187lb/ft

Russian manufacturer Sellier & Bellot consistently features on these lists thanks to the combination of value for money and high quality engineering. So it is with this 92 grain FMJ bullet.

Sellier & Bellot don’t try and reinvent anything or push the boundaries. These are classic Full metal jacket FMJ brass cased bullets that won’t expand.

They are ideal for the range and this is clean burning ammunition with Boxer primer that means it’s easy for reloaders too and the gun deals are great.

Sellier & Bellot make high quality ammunition that won’t break the bank. It’s the same story with their 380 ACP ammo, and you should bulk buy ammunition while you can.


Best 380 Ammo For Self Defense & Range – 2023

9. Winchester White Box

  • Price per round: $0.94
  • Pack price: $46.99/50
  • Type: 95 grain JHP
  • Velocity: 955 fps
  • Energy: 190lb/ft

White Box comes in either 95 grain FMJ or JHP flavor, depending on if these are for defence, target shooting or other stuff.

Now the White Box is a solid and dependable round in either case, if a little unspectacular. And you can find gun deals.

The FMJ rounds are great ammo for target practice, range training ammo for pistols with short barrels etc, and they’re cheap.


Best 380 Ammo For Self Defense & Range – 2023

10. Remington UMC

  • Price per round: $0.50
  • Pack price: $499.99/1000
  • Type: 95 grain FMJ Rounds
  • Velocity: 955 fps
  • Energy: 190lb/ft

Remington UMC is some of the cheapest ammunition you’ll find outside of 22LR ammo these days. This 95gr FMJ ammo is basic.

The basic metal case, lead core 95 grain Full Metal Jacket offers a relatively consistent range shooting experience.

These aren’t defense rounds and shouldn’t be treated as such. But as ammo for target practice, not personal protection, these 95gr FMJ rounds are ideal.

Remembering Remington Golden Saber 102 Grain

In its day this was one of the finest 380 ACP Cartridges on the market for pocket pistols. But that day is long gone.

Despite being discontinued around 2016, people still search for Remington Golden Saber 380 ACP ammo to this day.

Remington Golden Saber 102 grain is that highly regarded with totally stable behavior and minimal felt recoil. So if you see some when you buy ammo online, buy it.


The 380 ACP ammo from G2 is an urban legend. Can you still buy them?

11. G2 Research RIP

  • Price per round: $2
  • Pack price: $39.99/20
  • Type: 62 grain JHP
  • Velocity: 1,250
  • Energy: 225lb/ft

G2 Research RIP bullets are pretty much an urban legend at this point. The internet still seems divided on whether the Radically Invasive Projectile is a killer that should be included in The Geneva Convention, or a novelty bullet designed to separate fools from their money.

The truth seems to be somewhere inbetween. Yes these bullets works, but by their very nature they are kind of fickle and inconsistent thanks to those open channels in the hollow points. Selecting them as your personal defense round of choice, then, is a tough call.

Up close, at defensive distances, in their absolute optimal window, the stopping power is devastating though. Check out what it does to ballistic gel here and maybe try some through a 380 ACP concealed carry pistol.


Ruger LCP 380 is it the best 380 Auto pistol for sale? Find out here
What’s the Best Gun for 380 ACP Ammo?

380 ACP is largely optimized for a sub compact or micro pistol with a barrel length that is 3 inches or less. It is meant for a semi-automatic pistol, too, as 38 Special is there for the revolvers.

The Ruger LCP, Sig P365 and S&W M&P Shield are some of the best options right now.

We have a whole post on the best gun for 380 ACP ammunition here.

What About other Calibers

We’ve done similar posts for plenty of other calibers and you should check them out:

Hows About Red Dot Sights, Optics, Scopes Etc

If you want a micro red dot for your high capacity handgun then we got some beauties for you. Optics, scopes, grip modules and extended magazines too.

But if you’re looking for a red dot sight for your handgun, then we can definitely help. And a range bag fior your semi-auto pistol and red dot combo.

We know the best places top buy a range bag, defensive ammo, cleaning kits and more.


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