Herter’s Select Grade ammo for .380 ACP  » Other  »
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  • Now, here's where things get stranger still -- my Taurus 738 TCP chewed through this stuff with no problem

    • by HawgWyld


      I picked up a box of this stuff at a Cabela’s store in Rogers, Ark., because it was the cheapest brass-cased ammo available in the .380 ACP caliber and I figured it would make for some good range ammo. Here’s the bottom line on this stuff — it is OK for range ammo, but not much else.

      If you do a little research, you will find that Herter’s Select Grade ammo is merely Wolf ammo made special for Cabela’s. Now, Wolf ammo is steel-cased stuff that is, frankly, awful. It is filthy, it jams frequently and failures to fire (FTF) are common problems with Wolf. Sadly, Herter’s isn’t just a whole lot better, but the brass case does seem to help some with cycling properly and I managed to get through a box of 50 of these with no failures to fire (a rarity when talking about Wolf).

      I first tried about half a box of this stuff in my Bersa Thunder and experienced two jams out of 25 shells.

      That is highly unusual as one of the selling points of the Bersa Thunder is that it will cycle about anything without jamming. My Bersa didn’t like the Herter’s much at all, however.

      Now, here’s where things get stranger still — my Taurus 738 TCP chewed through this stuff with no problem. That is very strange as the Taurus is considerably more finicky than the Bersa when it comes to ammo. I can’t explain that at all.

      My guess is that the Herter’s feeds a bit better than Wolf because of the brass case. It is an established fact that brass is quite a bit “slicker” than steel, so it cycles better. If you want the slickest casings out there, go for nickel coated brass (that’s what police generally use and there is a good reason for that — you don’t want your gun to jam in the middle of a battle). I have no idea, though, why the Taurus likes this Ammo and the Bersa has trouble with it.

      One thing I did notice is that Herter’s is still filthy. The amount of powder residue this stuff left in both of the aforementioned pistols was excessive. Cleaning your gun after using Herter’s in it, then, is a must.

      As for the specs on this ammo, you get a 95-grain, full metal jacket bullet with a rounded tip and a lead core. The muzzle velocity is 955 feet-per-second and this ammo hits with a force of 186-foot-pounds of energy. In other words, the ballistics are decidedly average for this ammo.

      One of the problems with this ammo has to do with the “hollow points vs. full metal jacket” debate for .380 ACP. There is one camp that maintains that hollow point bullets are great for self defense rounds as that is the conventional wisdom for most calibers used in larger caliber handguns. Because hollow point ammunition is so widely used for self defense, the quality control of it is generally higher than that found for a lot of full metal jacket ...

      • Herter's Select Grade ammo for .380 ACP
      rounds that are often regarded as great bullets for practice, but not so great for self defense.

      When it comes to .380 ACP, however, there are a lot of people who warn against using hollow point ammunition. They claim that the velocity and energy of .380 ACP is so low that penetration is a real problem. Hollow points mushroom when they hit and, naturally, that has an impact on penetration. Some argue that hollow points fired from a .380 ACP pistol might not even get through thick clothing. FMJ bullets, however, don’t mushroom and tend to penetrate more deeply than hollow points. Intellectually, a lot of people know there is some truth to that. Using hollow points, for example, could mean misfires get stuck in walls instead of sailing through them and killing innocents (as has happened with FMJ rounds far too often over the years).

      In large calibers, the mushrooming quality of the hollow point is desirable because they still hit with enough force to penetrate clothing, skin and

      muscle. The ability of hollow points in .380 ACP to do this is disputed.

      Add that to the fact that some of the smaller .380 ACP pocket pistols don’t do well with hollow points and you have a legion of people out there who swear by FMJ rounds for their pistols. I’m telling you right now — it could be a horrible mistake to use Herter’s for self defense. They are, quite simply, too unreliable. Two jams out of 25 shells in a Bersa Thunder is alarming. If you want to use FMJ ammunition for self defense, that is great. Get something more reliable (and more expensive) than Herter’s, though.

      Again, if you are looking for some cheap range ammo, you could do a lot worse than Herter’s. You might even get to run some of those “jam drills” to simulate how efficiently you can clear your gun of a spent shell casing in a combat situation when your ammo fails to cycle. There is, perhaps, some value in that.

Seth Burgin says :

My box of Herter’s Select was made by Sellier not Wolf, and it was made in someplace like The Czech Republic, with brass casings, copper washed lead round nose ball projectiles. Powder residue was about average, neither clean, nor filthy. Off hand from 31 yards (weird bench placement), I got a score of 59 out of 80 possible, on a rifle target. Either way someone would get a face full of .380, or 9mm Short/Cort/Corto/Kurz/or 9mm Browning, from a 4.375″ barrel on a Beretta 86FS tip up beautiful mini type 1951 Model Beretta pistol. Cabella’s has a lowest bidder make the Herter’s stuff, and Sellier must have won the contract for my batch. Federal HST hollow points are pretty zippy, and will definitely hit with enough energy to open up a hollow point inside animal tissue, be it two legged or four legged varmints. I clocked, and calculated 229 Ft Lbs muzzle energy, from the 86FS from Federal, and 208 from the Herters ball ammo. Malfunctions: ZERO It’s approaching a $ 1000 pistol with the Beretta 86FS now. Something like a Bersa or a Ruger LCP? Ohhhh boy, we are not quite in the same league, now, are we? Sig P238? No problems there either, nor with the Glock 42. I prefer the Glock 43, and mom can shoot either, she just can no longer rack the slides, hence purchasing the now discontinued Beretta 86 FS tip up barrel. SHE LOVES IT

quick note by anonymous :

Herter’s Select is made by Sellier Bellot, not Wolf.

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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in November, 2015. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 122111651110330/k2311a112/11.2.15
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