Just bought my first Handgun - What Grain Ammo can I use? Can I use FMJ Rounds?

I just bought this little guy -


it's a .380 auto and I normally see 95 Grain Ammo, and some are 100 grain and more, what is the difference? I don't want to break my new gun, also some .380 rounds say FMJ, will that be compatible?


Update 2:

The stupid link won't work - it's a new Smith and Wesson .380 Bodyguard

4 Answers

  • 6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have a Browning BDA, a Kel Tec p3AT and a Bersa Thunder all in .380ACP. For defensive loading, I either use 90 grain Hornady XTP https://www.hornady.com/store/380-Auto-90-gr-XTP/ or 90 grain Speer Gold Dot http://www.midwayusa.com/product/638305/speer-gold...

    I've also played around with Magtech Gurdian Gold http://www.luckygunner.com/ammo-manufacturer/magte... in lower-quality .380 pistols that don't like to eat anything but FMJ and had pretty good results due to the shape of the bullet. With your S&W, feeding problems like this shouldn't be an issue, however.

    For target use and practice, I usually buy either FMJ S&B http://www.a1ammo.com/ammo/sb380/ or FMJ Magtech http://www.a1ammo.com/ammo/380a/ new and then reload them with 95 grain FMJ bullets from Ranier. Both cases reload nicely.

    Either bullet weight will work just fine. Generally, lighter means more velocity, but 5 grains bullet weight isn't going to make that much difference. Neither will cause any problems with your S&W Bodyguard.

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  • 6 years ago

    You manual should have covered this.

    380 ammo - is 380 ammo. If the box is labeled 380 auto or 380 automatic it can be used in your gun. Imported ammo will be shown as '9mm Cuto" which means 9mm short.

    FMJ means full metal jacket - and it is usually a round nose bullet. Round nose bullets generally cycle best and give the least amount of jams in a semi-auto gun. FMJ and RN (round nose) will be the most reliable.

    HP (hollow point) and JHP (jacketed hollow point) ammo does not have a round nose and this means it can sometimes hang up. You very, very, very much need to test a few boxes of HP or JHP ammo in your gun at the local range to verify it functions well. And if Federal 90gr JHP works great - do not expect Remington, Winchester or any other 90gr JHP to work great also - you need to test them - even if they look identical to you. HP and JHP hit with more stopping power - but - can be a bit finiky in some guns. You will pay more for them, but, paying more $$ does not guarantee they will not jam. You still need to fire several boxes of this expensive ammo in your gun before relying on it.

    Some 380's will love 90gr - some will jam on it. Some will love 100gr and others the recoil will feel kinda strong. Some do not care. You never know.

    For a 380 you are not going to fire very often or test much - stick with round nose FMJ. Because it is much better to have 7 rounds that are not the most powerful and work - than to have a jammed gun with the most expensive and powerful ammo!

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  • 6 years ago

    Really any name brand 380 will be fine- 80-100.

    If you can get ammo at a Walmart- they usually have Federal, Winchester, Remington, and a few others.

    Some have trouble with Tula, S&B, and cheap gunshow reloads- don't buy that.

    I use Remington 88 jhp UMC loads. I get them at Walmart for about $35/100. They will open well after 2 layers of denim, and penetrate 12". 4 layers of denim the usually do not open, and penetrate about 18".

    Winchester PDX1 is great for a defense load, so it Corbon DPX, and Hornady CD. But they all run near $1 per round. Fiocchi makes an excellent round in fmj and jhp if you can find it.

    What ever you try- be sure to run a couple boxes through to make sure it will cycle in your gun before you carry it.

    Be damn sure you shoot that thing a few times before you carry it.

    I carry a 380 every day. I settled on the Bersa Thunder Plus. I have 3.

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  • 6 years ago

    To add to those answers, I bought some defense loads for my .380 and they were too long to function in my old gun (could single load). Don't think that would be a problem on a new gun though.

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