Saturday, May 26, 2012

This is A Good Approach

A few weeks ago, I posted about a deep concealment and BUG that we picked up.  It is summer here, and the shorts/tee-shirt lifestyle of the Silicon Swamp makes concealment difficult.  The diminutive but deadly Mrs. Graybeard has been using that as her summertime carry.  A friend was telling me he uses a Ruger LCP for his everyday carry this time of year.  It is simply just there, all the time.  It inspired me to look around and find nice deal on this little package.  The Taurus TCP.

I've put a couple of hundred rounds through it from three brands and styles.  One brand of ammo (S&B FMJ) had two FTFs, but when I recycled them into the next magazine, they went bang.  I think the S&B primers must be harder than the other ammo I ran (Fiocchi and Federal).  I put 40 of the 50 JHPs I had through it, the remaining are in the magazine and gun. 

What's different about this guy is that when fully loaded it doesn't even weigh a pound: 12 3/8 ounces.  Because of that, I throw it in a pocket holster and it simply ... disappears.  It's the first time I've had a solution that went in my shorts pocket after work (shorts with no belt), and into my weekend wear with no effort and no thought.  It is the easiest carry I have.  I've worn it to movies, church, restaurants, everywhere I've gone. 

Yes, I know .380 Auto is not a potent round, just on the wimpy side of .38 special, but it's the old story: the .380 in your hand is better than the .45 back at home.


  1. I've been carrying Federal Premium Personal Defense .380 ammo in my Kel-Tec. I used it once about a year ago to put down a Dorset ram with a compound fracture on a friend's sheep ranch. It took two shots into the center of it's skull (from above) to drop it, but it took two more shots before it quit kicking and twitching. I can't say I was impressed. I did not crack the skull to check the effects, being a bit squeamish about that depth of surgery on the poor beast.

    I'm a fan of penetration, especially after such debacles as the Miami FBI shootout with Matix and Platt, where one felon was shot sideways with a 9 mm that stopped short of the heart, enabling him to continue to wound and/or kill a couple of Fibbies. (The reason for all the R&D and production of the new breed of handgun bullets and cartridges, as well as the FBI testing protocols involving clothing, etc.)

    When the video posted by SiG here ends, there are some other videos available for watching involving .380 ammo. The hardball ammo (FMJ) appears to penetrate the best. That being the case, I think I am going to start carrying my Kel-tec with the Winchester flat point FMJ, as a flat meplat is considered superior to round nose when hunting bear and other large game in calibers such as 44 Mag and 45-70, so perhaps it would be superior in this case as well.

    Bottom line for me is that I would rather have a round penetrate deeply enough to reach CNS tissue or major organs than to have a large expanded hollow point which fails to drive deeply enough. In other calibers, there are bullets such as the Gold Dot and Golden Saber which _do_ penetrate deeply, but that doesn't seem to be the case with the low-power .380.

    I don't mind a bullet that makes two holes by exiting a body, either. Another route for blood to flow and leave the body, if it does happen, or create a sucking chest wound. I think I'll switch to the Winchester.

    1. The Brassfetcher guys have a pdf on their website that gives results of a lot of tests. All of them show good penetration and expansion on the JHPs they used. Most of the ones I saw on YouTube last night didn't do as well as the Brassfetcher tests.

      I can't say I'm completely comfortable relying on .380. It's certainly "better than harsh language", but just isn't a very potent round. Still, a lot of people carry it and it seems to be capable of convincing goblins they need to be somewhere else.

      As we all know, the FBI study said "shot placement, shot placement, shot placement" and the Buckeye Firearms study said "most goblins give up once they realized they've been shot". If Ross' retelling of the FBI shootout in "Unintended Consequences" is true, one of those guys was shot in the face with 12 ga. buckshot and was spitting out pellets before he died. There is nothing you can put in a handgun that is going to match 12 ga buck, except - maybe - an explosive round.

  2. My wife used to carry a .38 special but wanted something lighter. I new she wanted that Ruger LCP after picking one up at a gun show and looking at. My wife does not like carrying anything heavy, while I would carry a hand cannon if I could conceal it.

    At the range we have been very impressed inside 20'. We have shot Tul Ammo, and Federal. The Tul Ammo was a bad idea, it is cheap but man is it dirty. You will have to clean the gun after about 30 rounds.


    1. I think the LCP and TCP are almost identical, and both are pretty much "me too" versions of KelTec's P3AT. Hold a P3AT and an LCP side by side...

      I haven't tried Tul ammo. I know I'm old fashioned but I tend to not use the (ex) Comm Block ammo like Tul or Wolf and stick with US/Euro companies (EU = S&B and Fiocchi). Except PMC - I'm fine with that and it's Korean. Man, I have shot me a mess of PMC .223!

  3. The Ruger LCP looks identical to the P3AT - but done _right_, with quality. The fit and finish are far superior. I'm tempted to get one and retire my Kel-Tec.

    My P3AT is strictly backup, but if I use it I want penetration, as with any caliber I use, but especially with a low-power round such as the .380. I must have looked at the wrong Brassfetcher video, because the one I saw showed sub-par penetration with the Speer Gold Dot hollowpoints. It looked to be about eight inches in the ballistic gelatin - without any denim fabric up front. One of the hollow point (Winchester Ranger) videos specifically mentioned insufficient penetration, although the Golden Saber (what I load in my .45) bullet penetrated well, possibly due to clogging with fabric and not expanding.

    1. Look at the paper I linked to, not the videos. They report 10-12 penetration with Hornady XTP, Speer Gold Dots and Federal Hydra Shock. The heavy Remington Golden Saber (102gr) only penetrated 10 inches, but the photo of the gelatin block is impressive.

      FMJ just went through the block as you say. Whether or not that's a bad thing is up to us.

  4. Thanks, I read the .pdf you referred to, and it indicates better performance than was shown in the various videos. Not sure why the difference, although the guns used were different (but the longer beretta barrel might be expected to give slightly better results). Perhaps temperature of the gelatin or some other effect was responsible.

    A note on the Buckeye "study" though - I see it quotes the debunked and discredited Marshal and Sanow "data" that was proven to be manipulated, cherry-picked, and basically worthless. Dr. Martin Fackler and several other wound ballistics experts - as well as folks who state that the statistical modeling was fraudulent - have indicated so in a number of papers published and available.