The Best 380 Ammo For Self Defense – 2024

What are the best 380 ACP bullets on sale?

Last Updated February 10th 2024

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Winners at a Glance

Our choice for the best 380 ammo for self defense is Hornady Critical Defense 90 grain ammo. But there are alternatives

ImageProductDetailPrice
Hornady Critical Defense

Hornady Critical Defense

  • Overall Winner
Price
LeHigh Defense Xtreme Defense

LeHigh Defense Xtreme Defense

  • Best FTM Ammo
Price
Speer Gold Dot

Speer Gold Dot

  • Best Tactical Ammo
Price
Sellier & Bellot FMJ

Sellier & Bellot FMJ

  • Best FMJ
Price

Intro

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

Just like 9mm, the best 380 ACP ammo has made great strides with jacketed hollow point rounds. The terminal ballistics of 2024 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 ammo and the reduced recoil that goes with it.

If you just want to bulk buy pistol 380 ACP ammo and you’re looking for the best deals, go here:

Now, if you want the very best 380 ammo for sale in 2024, here are our top picks.


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

1. Hornady Critical Defense

  • Price per round: $0.91
  • Pack price: $23.99/25
  • Bullet Type: 90 grain Jacketed Hollow Point JHP
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,000
  • Muzzle Energy: 200lb/ft

Overall Winner

PriceReliabilityExpansionReputationAccuracy
3/54/55/55/53/5

This 380 Auto ammo is a redesign of the traditional hollowpoint. And Hornady Critical Defense 90 grain has the respect of the entire industry for good reason.

This 380 Auto 90 grain Jacketed Hollow Point JHP comes with a polymer flex tip that helps punch through layers of clothing and 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.

Now this 380 ACP ammunition 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. So it’s fair to say we like Hornady Critical Defense 90 grain ammo in general.

This one is right there in all of those handgun 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. We think it’s the best defensive ammo.


LeHigh Defense 380 ACP ammunition with a difference.

2. LeHigh Defense Xtreme Defense

  • Price per round: $1.45
  • Pack price: $29.00/20
  • Bullet Type: 68 grain FTM
  • Velocity: 1100
  • Muzzle Energy: 183b/ft

Best FTM Bullet

PriceReliabilityExpansionReputationAccuracy
2/54/51/53/53/5

This LeHigh Defense 380 ACP 68 grain Xtreme Defense is a solid copper bullet that does not expand and relies on cutting force and velocity to create a shockwave style wound channel.

Originally there were doubters, and haters, but the world is coming round to this kind of bullet. WIlson Combat now owns LeHigh Defense and these FTM bullets are gaining serious credibility. Could it be the best ammo? Maybe…

They work, is the simple truth, and you should try some in your concealed carry handgun and see for yourself. Soon, we could consider this the best defensive ammo, it’s made that kind of an impression.


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

3. Speer Gold Dot

  • Price per round: $0.84
  • Pack price: $42.00/50
  • Bullet Type:380 Auto 90 grain Jacketed Hollow Point JHP
  • Bullet weight: 90gr
  • Muzzle Velocity: 990
  • Muzzle Energy: 196lb/ft

Best Tactical Ammo

PriceReliabilityExpansionReputationAccuracy
4/54/54/55/54/5

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 ammunition on the market.

This 380 Auto 90 grain JHP ammo is nickel plated/brass cased to reduce fouling and build up on your pocket pistol. Over time, that means fewer failures with this 380 Auto ammunition, and the bonding process means better weight retention each and every time.

This 90 grain 380 ACP ammunition is also optimized for barrier penetration, like doors and windshields. You could certainly argue this nickel plated brass cased ammo works best across the whole tactical spectrum.

Speer Lawman Too

Speer Lawman has the same characteristics, but it comes as 95 grain FMJ ammunition that is slightly cheaper and doesn’t expand. So if you’re using nickel plated, brass cased Gold Dot, then Speer Lawman training ammo can be an excellent range choice.

You can get Total Metal Jacket, Lead free training ammo too.


Barnes X-Tac 380 ammo. The best ammunition for defensive duties? Maybe, but it isn't cheap.

4. Barnes TAC-XP

  • Price per round: $1.40
  • Pack price: $28.00/20
  • Bullet Type: 80 grain JHP Bullet
  • Muzzle Velocity: 990
  • Energy: 174lb/ft

Best for Reliable Expansion and Penetration

PriceReliabilityExpansionReputationAccuracy
2/54/55/54/54/5

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 thanks to the solid copper design.

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 jacketed hollow points in your carry gun.

Also, the lead free thing could become increasingly important as pollution becomes another stick to beat the firearms industry with.

Check the gel test and more here.


Federal Premium 380 Hydra Shok ammunition.

5. Federal Hydra Shok

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

A Great Choice for Defense

PriceReliabilityExpansionReputationAccuracy
4/54/54/53/53.5/5

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.

With the price drop, the older Federal HST bullets might just be the best 380 ammunition 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. These are malicious 380 ACP rounds, really.

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

Federal Hydra 380 Auto 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.

Federal American Eagle 380 ACP ammunition is the FMJ version of this. So if you want to go target shooting then get some Federal American Eagle indoor range ammo. It is also some of the best value ammunition, 50 rounds and 1000 round ammo cans are available.

This is some of the best ammo for the money.


Sig Sauer Elite V-Crown 380 ACP. Get one of the top brands, at discount prices.

6. Sig Sauer Elite V-Crown

  • Price per round: $1.00
  • Pack price: $19.99/20
  • Bullet Type: 380 Auto grain JHP
  • Muzzle Velocity: 980 fps
  • Energy: 192lb/ft

High Quality Defensive Ammo

PriceReliabilityExpansionReputationAccuracy
3/53.5/54/54/54/5

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, all from the same place with Sig Sauer.

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, including full size handguns, thanks to the Nickel-plated brass cased approach.

There are Sig Elite Performance 90 grain ammo for target practice, range training too, with most of the same characteristics and the same nickel plated finish.



Black Hills Ammunition Honeybadger ammunition

7. Black Hills Ammunition Honeybadger

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

Original FTM Pioneer

PriceReliabilityExpansionReputationAccuracy
2/53.5/51/55/53.5/5c

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 high price FTM bullets as the best concealed carry ammo. Some big names like Wilson Combat are also quietly buying the rights to produce or brand their own solid copper bullets too.

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 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 380 self defense cartridge, 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.

8. Hornady American Gunner

  • Price per round: $0.83
  • Pack price: $19.99/25
  • Bullet Type: 380 Auto 90 grain XTP Extreme Terminal Performance
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1,000
  • Energy: 200lb/ft

Quality Mid-Range Hollowpoints

PriceReliabilityExpansionReputationAccuracy
4.5/54/54/54/54/5

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 in defensive ammo form.

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


Federal Punch ammo. Get yours in 380 ACP today.

9. Federal Premium Personal Defense Punch

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

Solid Defensive Ammo

PriceReliabilityExpansionReputationAccuracy
4/54/54/55/54/5

Federal Personal Premium 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 Premium ammo, self defense and target practise equivalents.

The JHP carry ammo offers good expansion and solid penetration without too many tricks and minimal felt recoil. For defensive ammo, these are all positive traits.


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

10. Sellier & Bellot FMJ Ammo

  • Price per round: $0.48
  • Pack price: $239.99/500
  • Bullet Type: 92 grain FMJ ammunition
  • Velocity: 955
  • Energy: 187lb/ft

Best FMJ Range Ammo

PriceReliabilityExpansionReputationAccuracy
5/54/51/54/54/5

Russian manufacturer Sellier & Bellot consistently features on these lists thanks to the combination of value for money and high quality engineering.

The company doesn’t try and reinvent anything or push the boundaries. This 92 grain FMJ ammunition is a classic brass cased bullet 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 makes high quality ammunition that won’t break the bank. It’s the same story with their 92 grain 380 ammo, and you should bulk buy ammunition while you can.


Winchester White Box ammo, get your JHP 380.

11. Winchester USA 380 ACP Ammo

  • Price per round: $0.94
  • Pack price: $46.99/50
  • Bullet Type: 380 Auto 95 grain Hollow Point rounds
  • Velocity: 955 fps
  • Energy: 190lb/ft

Quality HP Ammo

PriceReliabilityExpansionReputationAccuracy
3.5/53.5/53.5/53/53.5/5

Winchester USA White Box 380 Auto ammunition comes in either 95 grain FMJ ammunition or JHP flavor, depending on if these are for defense, target shooting or other stuff.

Now the Winchester USA 380 ACP ammo is a solid and dependable round in either case, if a little unspectacular. And you can find gun deals.

The Winchester USA 95 grain rounds are great ammo for target practice ammo for pistols with a short barrel length etc, and they’re cheap so you can buy bulk ammo deals. And the JHP are great personal defense ammo, 380 Auto 95 grain ammo or 9mm types.

Winchester USA 380 ACP 95gr FMJ ammunition or Total Metal Jacket are both popular choices.


Remington UMC

12. Remington UMC

  • Price per round: $0.50
  • Pack price: $499.99/1000
  • Bullet Type: 380 Auto 95 grain FMJ ammunition
  • Velocity: 955 fps
  • Energy: 190lb/ft

Iconic, Classic Ammunition

PriceReliabilityExpansionReputationAccuracy
5/54/51/55/53.5/5

Remington UMC is some of the cheapest ammunition you’ll find outside of 22LR ammo these days. This 95 grain FMJ ammunition is basic, and that can be good.

The basic metal case, lead core 95 grain FMJ ammunition offers a relatively consistent range shooting experience.

These Remington UMC aren’t defense rounds and shouldn’t be treated as such. But as ammo for target practice, not personal protection, this 95 grain 380 ACP ammunition is ideal.

Remembering Remington Golden Saber 102 Grain

In its day this was one of the finest 95 grain FMJ 380 ACP Cartridges on the market for pocket pistols.

Despite being discontinued around 2016, people still search for Remington Golden Saber 380 ammo for sale to this day. It is hard to find, but it’s still out there.

Remington Golden Saber 102 grain FMJ 380 ACP ammo is that highly regarded with totally stable behavior and minimal felt recoil. So if you see some of this 95 grain FMJ ammunition, 380 ACP ammo or otherwise, buy it.


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

13. G2 Research RIP

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

A Meme of a Bullet, But it Works

PriceReliabilityExpansionReputationAccuracy
1/52/55/55/52.5/5

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 with this ammo. Yes these bullets work, but by their very nature they are kind of fickle and inconsistent thanks to those open channels in the hollow points. Selecting this 380 Auto ammunition as your defensive round of choice, then, is a tough call, aside from the high price per round.

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


CCI Blazer FMJ.

14. CCI Blazer Brass

  • Price per round: $0.45
  • Pack price: $22.79/50
  • Type: 380 Auto 95 grain FMJ
  • Velocity: 1,250
  • Energy: 225lb/ft

Basic Range 380

PriceReliabilityExpansionReputationAccuracy
5/54/51/53/53.5/5

CCI Blazer Brass cased ammo is a basic 95 grain Full Metal Jacket 380 auto ammo that won’t win any bullet design awards, but won’t break the bank either.

That’s about it, solid 380 Auto ammunition for sale with a lead core.

CCI Blazer Ammo, 380 ACP, 9mm, 45 ACP ammo and more, comes in a variety of flavors. So if you’re bored of 95 grain FMJ, we got more options for you here.


Buy bulk PMC FMJ ammo.

14. PMC Bronze

  • Price per round: $0.36
  • Pack price: $18.79/50
  • Type: 90 grain FMJ
  • Velocity: 1,250

Cheap Ammo for Practice

PriceReliabilityExpansionReputationAccuracy
5/53/51/53/53/5

PMC Bronze is affordable ammo that won’t give you any big surprises, but will always deliver value for money.

So yeah, buy PMC bronze in bulk if you just need plinking brass cased ammo with a lead core.


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. Both types of handgun ammo are optimized differently.

The Ruger LCP Max, Sig P365 and S&W M&P Shield are some of the best options right now for deep concealment or a pocket pistol. We prefer the Sig, but lots of you like the Ruger LCP Max for sentimental reasons.

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 besides 380 Auto ammo for handgun ammo for sale, rifle ammo, shotgun ammo for sale and more. For now enjoy rimfire ammo, 9mm ammo, pistol ammo, handgun ammo, 12 gauge ammo, rifle ammo and later shotgun ammo cans.

Let’s start with handgun ammunition, and there a lot of handgun ammunition to discuss. From simple 380 ACP 95gr FMJ ammo, 9mm ammo, 45 ACP ammo, 40 S&W ammo and lots more, you can choose from a lot of calibers.

  • 9mm – self defense, target practice and more handgun ammo..
  • Best 45 ACP. Top ammo self defense, target practice and home defense handgun ammo. Bulk ammo deals too.
  • Best 308 Win Mag ammo – Self defense, target practice and big game hunting. Serious stopping power from this rifle ammo.
  • AR-15 Ammo. Get the best 2.23 and 5.56 NATO for your Best AR-15s.
  • 22LR ammo – Rimfire ammo you need for hunting, defense, target practice ammo.

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 for your semi-auto pistol and red dot combo.

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

Best Places to Buy Ammo

Our favorite ammo suppliers can change on a monthly basis, but right now we’re really impressed with Lucky Gunner and Sportsman’s Guide in this smaller caliber.

Lucky Gunner is a fairly well known brand, but it’s one of those that you might have seen and skipped back. But if you look through the deals on Lucky Gunner, you might just become a loyal customer.

Palmetto State Armory is another safe bet for general ammo, self defense, target practise ammo and more. Now Palmetto State Armory has done wonders for the industry with cheap, reliable guns.

It also sells ammo at the right price. So have a look at Palmetto State Armory too.

Author

  • Nick Hall

    Nick is a lifelong gun enthusiast who has a simple mission. He wants to find the best deals for guns online and help you make the best choices with weapons your life may depend on one day.Nick won a minor league shooting competition at the age of 11 and it all went from there. Now he runs one of the biggest firearms websites on the net and his work has featured in Playboy US, Tatler Asia, Forbes and a whole host of national magazines and websites.

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