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  1. #1
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is offline Senior Member
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    Buffalo Bore Hard Casts in my LCP

    There's good news and bad news, here. I ordered a couple boxes of .380+P 100 grain hard casts to use in my Ruger LCP. They ain't cheap, but I ordered two boxes so I could test them as much as I wanted. As it turned out, I only had to fire 12 rounds to give them my initial seal of approval, and that was good because they were strong enough that I didn't want to shoot any more of them through the LCP. They were accurate and I had no failures. I loaded three at a time, and kept switching magazines to give them extra opportunities to fail, and they never did. That was the good news.

    Now for the bad news.

    When I was done testing, I reloaded and stuck the gun in my pocket, and went home. When I got home, and finished cleaning my other guns, I pulled the LCP out, to clean it, dropped the magazine, and attempted to eject the round from the barrel. The slide would not budge. I worked with it awhile, and finally got it to move just a little - enough so I could pop out the take-down pin, and removed the slide. I thought, from the bottom side, I might be able to gently pry the ejector out enough to release the barrel from the slide and then tap the cartridge out. But I chickened out after a couple of tries. I was afraid I might damage the ejector or slip and maybe even cause a discharge, so I gave up that idea. I finally got it by using a wooden dowel pin and a small plastic mallet and gently tapping the barrel toward the front of the slide. I don't recommend this for a newbie or anyone who does not have a pretty light touch, with tools. Let a gunsmith do it, if you have any doubt.

    When I shined a light into the bore, and looked into the chamber, there were bits of lead clearly visible in the chamber, right in front of where the rifling begins. Apparently, the soft lead builds up at the transition from chamber to barrel, and causes the lead bullet to wedge itself in. I'm thinking that there would not have been any problem, had I fired the round, rather than unloading it, although it might build up enough over time to prevent a round from chambering properly.

    I cleaned everything, brushed the barrel until all traces of lead were gone, reassembled, and cycled two magfuls of my practice ammo through, by hand, with no problems. So, I believe no harm was done to the gun. but, I will not be firing any more lead bullets through this barrel.

    Anyway, my conclusion is that the Buffalo Bore hardcasts are good, but I just can't use them in my LCP. Your mileage may vary.
    Last edited by Bisley; 10-27-2008 at 11:59 AM. Reason: To correct an error

  2. #2
    ronbo is offline Junior Member
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    lead bullets

    The buffalo bore bullets might be seated too far out in the casing for your Ruger LCP. I bought a LCP in June and it had one of the short throat barrels. Would not chamber Corbon hollowpoints at all, the slide would not close. Ruger sent a new barrel and I returned the original. I think any LCP made after the middle of July has the newer style deeper throat barrel from what I have read. I shoot cast lead bullets in mine from a RCBS 90 grain roundnose bullet mould, similar in shape to the roundnose factory loads. No problem with these and no leading in the bore or chamber.

  3. #3
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is offline Senior Member
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    That is very good information.

    When I send it in for the recall, I'll ask them to address my barrel issue, at the same time. I would really like to be able to use the Buffalo Bore hard cast ammo. I think it gives a good compromise between the poor penetration of hollow points (in .380) and poor expansion of FMJ's.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Teuthis is offline Member
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    I would think that the best tactic with a .380 is to maximize penetration, as opposed to attempting any kind of expansion. I have seen a specialist report to LEO's recommending that if they carry a .380 as backup, to use ball ammo in them to effect penetration. Ball also will not foul the barrel with lead.

    Thanks for recounting your experience. I have considered using hard lead rounds in my LCP but now I shall discard that idea. I think that having something that feeds reliably and penetrates is optimum for this caliber.

  5. #5
    Bisley's Avatar
    Bisley is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teuthis View Post
    I would think that the best tactic with a .380 is to maximize penetration, as opposed to attempting any kind of expansion.
    A lot of fairly knowledgeable 'gun people' disagree on this subject. One argument is that the 'super' expanding JHP's, like Corbon DPX, create a huge wound channel, despite penetrating quite a bit less than the FBI standard (in .380), and are therefore more likely to cause immediate and massive blood loss, if used in a SD situation.

    Personally, I lean slightly in favor of ball ammo, for its ability to penetrate better, and possibly debilitate an attacker by damaging bone. But it's a close call, and I was trying to compromise with the +P 100 grain hard casts.

    Please note that the BB ammo did not fail, and I am not criticizing the ammo, at all. I intend to ask Ruger to check my barrel, when I send it in on the recall, and if they agree that this is a legitimate issue with the barrel, and do something about it, I will try the BB ammo again. I think it is a good solution, if it can be reliable in my gun.

    Thanks for recounting your experience. I have considered using hard lead rounds in my LCP but now I shall discard that idea. I think that having something that feeds reliably and penetrates is optimum for this caliber.
    You're welcome.

    If Ruger resolves this issue for me, and I am eventually able to use the BB ammo, I'll post the details.

  6. #6
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    Well I alternate my LCP mag with 90 gr HP Buffalo Bore and 95 gr FMJ-FN Buffalo Bore.

    Have not had an ejection issue yet. I looked at the hard cast, sent BB an email asking their recommendation. I ordered what the suggested. I really like this little gun.

    If you don't like yours, I'll happily take it off your hands.

  7. #7
    Joeywhat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plentyofpaws View Post
    Well I alternate my LCP mag with 90 gr HP Buffalo Bore and 95 gr FMJ-FN Buffalo Bore.

    Have not had an ejection issue yet. I looked at the hard cast, sent BB an email asking their recommendation. I ordered what the suggested. I really like this little gun.

    If you don't like yours, I'll happily take it off your hands.
    I used the same. I think the JHP was Gold Dot. Both shot just fine, I ended up carrying the Gold Dots. I seriously considered the hard cast, but I felt the expansion of the Gold Dots outweighed the slight penetration gains with the hard cast.

    Also, didn't the lead penetrate the furthest of all three BB offerings? I'm pretty sure it did...

  8. #8
    Bisley's Avatar
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    The issue I had was only with un-jacketed lead bullets. I have had no problems with any jacketed bullet ammo.

    Can you give me a link to the ballistic tests that show only a 'slight' penetration difference between the Gold Dot and the Hard Casts? I have not seen any similar results. Maybe I'm wasting my time, trying to use the un-jacketed lead bullet.

  9. #9
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    Bisley: Bet if you email BB they will give you the straight scoop right from the horses mouth.

    They seem like pretty good guys to me.

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