Does the .380 really have enough stopping power?


PDA






Pages : [1] 2

SniperStraz
December 12, 2006, 01:22 AM
I'm sure this question has been brought up many times, but I can't seem to find any answers that are very straight forward so here we go... I'm thinking about getting a .380 ACP in the form of something like a Kel-Tec P3AT. At that size and weight its like a CC dream come true, but I'm not so confident about the stopping power. What do you guys think? Does it have sufficient power to quickly drop a man?

If you enjoyed reading about "Does the .380 really have enough stopping power?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
tanksoldier
December 12, 2006, 01:31 AM
There are trade-offs:

.380 is better than nothing, and is/ was used along with similar small calibers as a police round in Europe.

There are many small firearms designed for this round, but many of the modern 9mm's are just as small and pack more punch.

Many of the small .380 designs are much less expensive than equivelent-sized 9mm designs.

The general consensus seems to me to be that .380 is acceptable especially if it means that you'll be able to carry more often or at all.

There seem to be some very good SD rounds in this caliber that have come out lately that make it much more effective than it was just a few years ago.

I don't own any .380's myself, but Bersa has come out with a new design in which I'm very interested:

http://static.flickr.com/100/294786187_86ef23edfc_o.jpg

Thunder 380 Concealed Carry

RyanM
December 12, 2006, 01:34 AM
You'd probably be better off with a P11. 9mm is a huge step up from .380. .380 is okay for a backup, but for primary carry, .38 SPL +P and up is better.

No_Brakes23
December 12, 2006, 01:39 AM
Well people have been felled with less, and I certainly wouldn't want to be shot with one. But it wouldn't be my first choice as a defensive caliber. Certainly better than nothing, but they sure look tiny sitting next to .45ACP.

FireArmFan
December 12, 2006, 01:49 AM
A good alternative you might want to look in to is the Kahr PM9. It's a 9mm so it's a pretty big upgrade from the .380 but it's also very small. would make a good pocket pistol. I have never shot one but if i was in the market for a small pocket pistol that's probably what i would look into. Plus since it's a 9mm you could still practice for cheap.

19Turkeys
December 12, 2006, 01:52 AM
My wife & I were on a vacation this summer and the required attire made it rather difficult to take my Para C6.45. I stuck the Kel-Tec P3AT in my back pocket behind a handkerchief. The handkerchief was sufficient to hide the print of the pistol.

While I would have rather had the Para, the P3AT was better than nothing. There are times when having a pistol is better than having nothing, and the Kel-Tec fills that gap nicely.

For the money, the pistol is very accurate at its intended distance and I have yet to experience a failure to feed/fire. Federal's Low Recoil Personal Defense ammunition takes a lot of the bite out of this pistol.

Steve W.

ArfinGreebly
December 12, 2006, 03:22 AM
It is my understanding that the energy and ballistics of the .380 are approximately those of the .38 special.

If that is in fact true, then the punch from a .380 would be very similar to the punch from a J-frame .38 snubby.

Naturally, I've mislaid the chart that helped me draw that conclusion.

If it's true that punch(.38) ~= punch(.380), then I'd say .380 will certainly put the bad guy down.

Trouble is, it may not put him down fast enough.

Shot placement would probably handle that.

kd7nqb
December 12, 2006, 03:30 AM
My father carries his .380 astra as just about the only gun he will carry. He likes his .357 and MY .40 better by the .380 is more comfortable and the only way he will "put up" with carrying.

Waywatcher
December 12, 2006, 03:41 AM
If you really stop to think about it, does even .308 have "enough" stopping power?

I would feel adequately armed carrying a .380

jrfoxx
December 12, 2006, 04:31 AM
As others have stated, a .380 is not my PERSONAL first choice as a carry gun, but, there are many people whose wardrobes/style of dress are dictated by thier jobs, and may not allow a larger gun to be carried.I that instance, a gun you can (and will) carry all the time, is better than one you carry only part of the time.Also, even though I said .380 is not MY FIRST choice, I personally would NOT feel that it cant do the job if needed and I am undergunned.I personally think it would be of sufficiant power/penetration. Its just that my wardrobe (and the laws of Oregon) allow me to carry my 1911 .45acp whenever I want to, and that is what I prefer, as I shoot that gun the best consistantly, and it has proven itself 100% reliable for me, and I PERSONALLY feel that .45acp Gold Dot HPs are the BEST choice, so...
The only time I dont carry the 1911 is when I am going somewhere that I want to be SURE my gun stays WELL concealed, or when I need to carry a lighter gun than the 1911 (ie:wearing shorts or sweats, the 1911 will pull my pants down as there is no belt and it doesnt fit in my pocket), so the I carry my S&W m637 Airweight .38spl.

CWL
December 12, 2006, 04:32 AM
The answer is "no" because no pistol ammo has "sufficient power to quickly drop a man".

You must move into rifle & shotgun loads if you want to cause enough damage. Because of this all pistol calibers are a compromise for self-defense, and it is up to you to decide how much you want to balance between caliber, quantity of bullets and size/weight of pistol for a carry piece.

Since no pistol round is reliable, you must be able to 1) shoot accurately and 2) repeat until target is no longer a threat.

iiibdsiil
December 12, 2006, 04:51 AM
A .380 isn't enough. 9mm isn't enough. .40 isn't enough. 10 mm isn't enough. .50 isn't enough. Only a .45 is enough. :rolleyes:

I think if you do the math on your chances of actually using the thing, and the chances of caliber making a difference, everyone would quit worrying about the caliber war. And let's see how many people jump in and flame me on that one. I bet if the math were done, you'd have a MUCH better chance of winning the lotto. So, my advice, buy a cheap .380, and spend the rest of the money on the lotto.

HGUNHNTR
December 12, 2006, 04:56 AM
Carry the largest caliber weapon you shoot well, and can conceal. Some people don't like the recoil of even a 9mm, in that case shoot a 380.
With the proper ammo the 380 will be more of a benefit than a hindrance.

Nortonics
December 12, 2006, 04:59 AM
One argument I've made for the .380, like the Bersa above, is that gun is so controllable and accurate it's not a matter of whether a 1-shot stop will happen, because you'll easily be able to drop half of your magazine (if not all) into your target at 15 feet within a second or two. I'd definitely say 5+ rounds of .380 will stop a nominal sized man.

Ryder
December 12, 2006, 05:26 AM
I like experimenting with guns but I wouldn't deer hunt with a 380 auto. You can put a 12ga slug clean through a deer and they'll still run a good ways, there is no real practical hope of stopping a deer with a 380. I have shot rabbits with one though and those will get an instant stop when hit.

The average person is significantly larger than a deer. I've seen some gargantuan people walking around. They make the 45acp on my belt feel like a pellet gun. :what: Shooting someone like that with a 380 is just going to make them mad IMO.

1911Tuner
December 12, 2006, 06:39 AM
No. Then again, neither does the .44 magnum.;)

mete
December 12, 2006, 07:47 AM
If you test the various cartridges on live things like 'chucks ,as I have , you will find a distinct difference .I would say that the 9mm is about twice as effective as the 380.Shooting chucks, dogs and even squirrels with the 380 leaves me completely unimpressed !!! It's not without reason that I carry a 40 or 45 !

Double Naught Spy
December 12, 2006, 07:51 AM
General rule: The smaller and/or weaker the caliber (also as delivered from a given platform), the better the shot placement needs to be in order to attain a physical stop.

Sure, you might have less recoil from a 380 than from a similar size and weight 9mm or larger caliber and hence have the potential to make more shots quicker, but that logic would suggest the ideal caliber would be more of a 22 short than a 380. Besides, what makes you think you will get off more than one shot? What makes you think you will be able to contine shooting well and putting a half or whole mag into a bad guy while he is still shooting you? It is going to be hard to count on dumping a whole mag into a target to effect a physical stop when there are 2 or more bad guys and you have to keep reloading.

Since the issue is 380, ask yorself if you would rather go up against it or something larger and/or more powerful. You would rather go against the 380, obviously. So get something larger and/or more powerful. With a bit of practice, you will control it jusy fine.

Erich
December 12, 2006, 07:55 AM
Every handgun caliber requires precise shot-placement to stop someone - at least in the 150+ handgun killings that I've worked on. Several of those were .380 killings. FMJ .380s work fine when they're placed right - when they're not (just as with a .45), they don't.

Study Gray's Anatomy, kids. :)

Michael Courtney
December 12, 2006, 08:15 AM
I'm not a big fan of the .380. It is certainly better than nothing, but I would advise that it's niche be limited to situations where a good citizen honestly cannot find away to dress around a more powerful pistol or where ergonomic considerations honestly so strongly favor a particular .380 in a given citizen's hands that shot placement is much better with the .380 than with more powerful pistols. This really is pretty rare. There are possible exceptions, but I've never seen anyone shoot well with a .380 smaller than a Sig P232.

Michael Courtney

tinygnat219
December 12, 2006, 08:40 AM
The answer to your question is both yes and no. I sometimes carry the Kel-Tec P3AT, with Remington's 102 Grain Golden Saber round. It's a zippy little .380 round coming out of the P3AT with 200 ft lbs of muzzle energy at 986 fps. Not the best round in the world, but about as good as one can get in a pocket pistol. Ballistics aside, it's also about shot placement. A 50 Caliber AE round doesn't do any good unless you can hit what you aim at.

All aside, the Kel-Tec P3AT does what it is designed to do very well: Conceal and offer reasonable firepower when it is needed. I think the P3AT makes a wonderful pocket carrier in times where concealment is limited by wardrobe, or as a Back-Up Gun. Also, for shooters who have small hands, or are somewhat recoil sensitive, the P3AT offers a reasonably powerful cartridge in a concealable package.

I tend to carry this pistol in the summer, or when dressier occasions forbid me from wearing my Taurus 745C.

enfield
December 12, 2006, 09:24 AM
IMO, .380 only makes sense in the smallest-sized pistols as a backup gun or for those situations when you really can't conceal something bigger. The .380's big failure is lack of adequate penetration with any ammo other than FMJ.

Velocity doesn't kill. Expansion doesn't kill. Shot placement and penetration kill.

A .38 Special snubby is superior to ANY .380 I've seen so far.

Ryder
December 12, 2006, 10:04 AM
Shot placement is good but it's not the whole story by a long shot. Power does help. Like in these examples -

Bad shot placement - Ankle shot and 44mag verses 380auto. I think the fight is going to end faster if the badguy's foot is suddenly dangling by a thread compared to having the lesser bullet deflected by the bone or just lodge in it. No guarantee either way in either case but in my opinion it's a huge step in the right direction (some choice of words). It'd take more determination than I've ever imagined to ignore such a horrific result.

Good shot placement - How about a heart shot? Either bullet should do as well as the other? That's only if the lesser bullet doesn't slow down on a rib enough to prevent it from penetrating that deep. That can and does happen. The 44 mag on the other hand doesn't know the meaning of the word rib. It's sailing through that body like it's a ghost (hehe, I did it again).

:)

Davo
December 12, 2006, 12:59 PM
Practice your rapid follow up shots, pick good ammo, and you will be fine.

Alan Fud
December 12, 2006, 01:38 PM
It is my understanding that the energy and ballistics of the .380 are approximately those of the .38 special.

If that is in fact true, then the punch from a .380 would be very similar to the punch from a J-frame .38 snubby.

Naturally, I've mislaid the chart that helped me draw that conclusion.

If it's true that punch(.38) ~= punch(.380), then I'd say .380 will certainly put the bad guy down. According to the 2003 edition of "Stopping Power: A Practical Analysis of the Latest Handgun Ammunition" by Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow, a .380ACP has a 55% stopping cabability with Federal 90 gr FMJ on the low end with 71% stopping cabability with Corbon 90 gr JHP on the high end. Where as, a .38special has a 47% stopping cabability with Federal 158 gr LRN on the low end with 80% stopping cabability with Remington 125 gr GS on the high end. So ...

.380 = 55% - 71%
.38 = 47% - 80%

browningguy
December 12, 2006, 01:48 PM
With good ammo you should be fine. I normally carry a BHP in .40S&W, however on occassion I do carry just my Bersa .380 with the Corbon loads. I believe that similar loads with the Gold Dot or XTP are probably just as good. I like almost any 165 gr. load in my 40's, but with smaller calibers bullet choice becomes even more important.

What's adequate penetration? That's up to each individual to decide, I don't believe personally you have to follow the FBI requirements slavishly. After all, aren't these are the same guys that had a computer program saying the 9mm was a better stopper than the .45?

BoneDigger
December 12, 2006, 03:43 PM
I think the .380 is an adequate round during the summer months, when people are wearing less clothing. I would be concerned during the winter, in case a BG was wearing a thick coat, or a heavy leather coat. The penetration in that instance my not be quite enough and you'd have to go for a head shot or a leg shot to try and incapacitate the person.

Animal analogies are not accurate, since animals have adrenaline that will carry them well past a shot that a human would buckle to. Humans have the disadvantage of "knowing" that they have been shot. Psychologically it makes a difference.

Anyway, I had a Bersa Thunder .380 for a while and wish I still had it. It was a good little gun for $200.

I personally now carry a 5 shot Taurus J frame .357. It has one heck of a punch to it, but it'll get the job done for sure.

Todd

Bobo
December 12, 2006, 03:53 PM
The way I see itů

The .380 is the smallest self-defense round that I would have much confidence in.
Every self-defense scenario will be different, but in general, you may have to expend more ammo to effect a stop than with a larger, more powerful round.

That said, I carry a Kel-Tec P-3AT with two spare mags 24/7. I have confidence that the combination of this gun with good defensive ammo applied liberally will do the job.

The thing is, I carry the P-3AT all the time - if had a larger, heavier gun I would not carry it all the time. I would rather be armed with a .380 all the time than have a bigger gun sitting at home at the time I suddenly needed protection.

kokapelli
December 12, 2006, 04:23 PM
Will a 380 round go completely through a human body?

Absolutely! It's been proven in balistic gelatin tests, over and over.

All you have to do, is put the round in the right place, just like you would have to do with any pistol round.

This is my Bersa 380 and my P-3AT.
The P-3AT is always with me, but due to it's size, the Bersa is not.
-
http://www.wtv-zone.com/jnib/images/ktog/bersa_3at.jpg

MrDig
December 12, 2006, 04:47 PM
The idea that a winter coat would stop a .380 acp round seems fantastic to me. I'm not sure what the coat would have to be made of but most of the coats here in MN wouldn't do it. I think thats why the LEO's wear ballistic vests as well as winter coats.

mosttoyswins
December 12, 2006, 05:06 PM
Yes

BoneDigger
December 12, 2006, 05:09 PM
Good point. I'm not insinuating that the coat would stop the round, not by any means. But, with a marginal round like the .380, a thick coat (lets say a down-filled jacket) could very well reduce penetration by an inch or two. In that case, it could be the difference between a mortal wound and one that is not. Also, the exta layering could effect how the bullet expands and WHEN it expands.

If I am way off here, please let me know. I am not an expert nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Todd

usp9
December 12, 2006, 05:10 PM
Bobo The way I see it…

The .380 is the smallest self-defense round that I would have much confidence in.


Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Robert Kennedy will be glad to hear that. What do they have in common? One shot kills with a .32 and .22 respectively, of course.

If a .22 will do it...
If a .32 will do it...
Why wouldn't a .380?

Mad Magyar
December 12, 2006, 05:20 PM
From my observation, I notice more pistoleros are going small since this caliber still can be found in a nice concealment package...
Since it is going to come up sooner or later, I might as well bring up what E. Marshall has to say...

"380 ACP - The top rounds in this category were the Federal 90 grain Hydra-Shok and the CorBon 90 grain JHP+P which both rated a 70% one shot stop rating. While Federal 90 grain FMJ ammo was used in a whopping 245 shootings, it only achieved 55% one shot stops." :)

.357 magnum
December 12, 2006, 05:23 PM
Hi SniperStraz! As a former LE Dectective my answer is No. The minium for Self-Defense is a 9mm. My minimum is a .40 cal. If the .380 acp is what you are comfortable with, make sure you are shooting Corbon 90gr JHP or Federal 90gr Hydra-shok's they eqaul the stopping power of a .38 special 2inch snubbie-actually a tad bit better. Mad Magyar was very correct on that. You Take Care!

The Best to You and Yours!

PS-By the way usp9 those poor gentlemen were sniped and unarmed. They were not some hyped up Bad guy with a gun intending to end your life, there is a Huge Difference.

mljdeckard
December 12, 2006, 06:11 PM
I'm kind of in a split opinion on this one. If a 230 gr .45 hollow point is placed at about 93%, and a .380 is at 55%, you don't trust EITHER one to save your life with one shot. This is why we practice double-taps and failure drills. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. This is true no matter what round you are using.

But WHY? Ok, I could see 15 years ago, when there were very few compact options. If you wanted a good solid sub-compact pistol, you were looking at a PPK, or a Makarov, or a Colt Mustang, or a saturday night special of some flavor or other. I remember when I had a S&W Sigma 11 years ago, (lousy choice, stay away,) and they made a lot of hoopla when they released the compact .380 version. I was wondering why Glock wasn't scrapmbling to keep up, but the answer was apparent when Glock released their sub-compact line, which has become the standard for the class. These are now available in all the major calibers. All of a sudden, we didn't HAVE to choose a weaker round to have a compact pistol.

If you like them, that's fine, whatever works for you. But if I speak to someone who is wanting a handgun, but they are under the impression that a small framed, small cartridge pistol is easier to handle, I would tell them to skip the Bersas, and try Kahrs and sub-compact Glocks. Why find out if a .380 pistol will work best when there are options in 9mm, .40, .357 Sig, and .45 ACP that work just fine for pretty much everyone?

Erich
December 12, 2006, 08:52 PM
As I've always said, you need precise shot-placement and adequate penetration to stop someone. Everything else is angels dancing on the heads of pins. .380s are capable if placed right - .380 ball has plenty of penetrating power for human targets.

Those percentages bear no relation to the real world, by the way - I've worked on over 150 handgun killings. If the vitals (heart/aorta, brain) are hit, the person stops. If not, he doesn't. Magic bullets or calibers don't seem to exist.

usp9
December 12, 2006, 09:04 PM
Those percentages bear no relation to the real world,

Pardon me, but I think those numbers are based on real world events. That's the point of having them.


PS-By the way usp9 those poor gentlemen were sniped and unarmed. They were not some hyped up Bad guy with a gun intending to end your life, there is a Huge Difference.

Sniped...no, they were killed up-close and personal, like a real life gun fight. The point is ANY caliber works when it hits a vital spot.

Baba Louie
December 12, 2006, 10:24 PM
While a .380 might stop someone, imagine a troubled youth from a broken home coming at you who has just smoked some crack with his friends or snorted some meth/coke/whathaveyou and who isn't feeling anything except doing you some harm while he's feeling so good and amped. Someone who wouldn't even feel a .44 magnum round (but might recognize a large fireball as something interesting and find the noise and blast sorta kewl) or 30 rounds of 9mm but keeps on coming at you until he bleeds out.

Imagine he also has a weapon.

You want to be pretty good with your shot placement (no matter the round). If the 9mm Browning does it for you, go for it.

mikedavis120
December 12, 2006, 10:37 PM
My .380 would sit most things down pretty fast. It destroys a watermelon at fifty yards if shooting Federal Home Defense JHP. Plus it looks good and tends to cause need of new underwear when brandished.


http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k292/mikedavis120/tangfolio380.jpg

Double Naught Spy
December 12, 2006, 11:30 PM
Will a 380 round go completely through a human body?

Absolutely! It's been proven in balistic gelatin tests, over and over.

This is where people think testing equals reality and that certainly may NOT be the case. Ballistic gel tests do NOT prove what will happen in the body and they are not a good 1:1 comparison either. Ballistic gel simply provides a standard unit of measure for performance...kind of like your estimated MPG on your new car. Your results will vary and likely will not meet or exceed the EPA estimate in real life driving.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Robert Kennedy will be glad to hear that. What do they have in common? One shot kills with a .32 and .22 respectively, of course.

If a .22 will do it...
If a .32 will do it...
Why wouldn't a .380?

Nobody said .380 would not kill. The question is whether it is adequate for self defense. In the examples you gave, the deceaseds were not attacking anybody. Kennedy died 26 hours later after being shot twice at very close range, one shot being to his head that was so close to produce powder burns on his ear (a distance of just a couple inches).

Ferdinand didn't die immediately and had he been trying to rob somebody with a gun, after being shot, he could have returned fire for a short period of time. Sure, he would die, but potentially AFTER killing his intended victim. That is definitely a NO WIN situation.

My .380 would sit most things down pretty fast. It destroys a watermelon at fifty yards if shooting Federal Home Defense JHP. Plus it looks good and tends to cause need of new underwear when brandished.

It is good to know you have an adequate defense against watermelons. If you use RCBS ammo, you can stop modeling clay much better than with ammo such as Hydrashoks. So other types are better on wet phonebooks than dry, and those tests tend to mimic wet and dry newspaper tests. However, to date there have been no assaults by any of these materials on humans.

So drawing your gun causes you to soil yourself? That must suck.

Ryder
December 12, 2006, 11:38 PM
Animal analogies are not accurate, since animals have adrenaline that will carry them well past a shot that a human would buckle to.

The fact that animals don't want to stop makes them a better tool for evaluation IMO. They are not comparable to people but the original poster said "Does the .380 really have enough stopping power? ". No mention of humans there. ;)

Human reaction to being shot is random. that makes them useless for deciphering effectiveness. Many people stop at the mere sight of a gun and others will kill you after absorbing a lethal shot. That doesn't say much about caliber or shot placement.

Stopping isn't black and white. It takes more than just bullets and shot placement, it takes serious determination on the part of the shooter. It's a mysterious thing to experience and be familiar with.

It's "stopping POWER". Emphasis is mine.

:)

Erich
December 13, 2006, 12:26 AM
usp9, the extent to which the quoted "stop percentage" numbers are based on real world events is subject to debate - many others have discussed this in the past. But, more importantly, the whole "one-shot-stop" nonsense is just that - one shot where? Just saying "the torso" is pretty absurd. There's vital stuff in the torso, and there's a whole lot of not-so-vital stuff. If a .357 jhp hits someone in the flab-roll and a .32 ball hits another guy in the heart, are you going to draw the conclusion that the .34 fmj is a better stopper than the .357 because that's what happened in that case? :confused:

I've worked on a lot of handgun killings. I've seen people shot in the liver, kidneys or lungs, fatal wounds, who eventually died but were not "stopped." I've seen people who were shot several times, with several wounds that would have been fatal, but who were stopped only when the aorta was nicked. I've worked on cases in which people were killed with .22s, .25s, .32s, .380s, 9mm Maks, 9x19s, .40s, .38 spls, .357s, .44s, and .45s. I've yet to see someone fall over dead who wasn't hit in a vital structure.

Shot placement (and, of course, adequate penetration) are what stop people. Bullet design plays a part in ensuring adequate penetration and in trying to prevent overpenetration. If it makes a bigger permanent wound channel, great - better chance of nicking something vital. But unless you hit "the good stuff," he ain't gonna stop - I don't care what kind of bullet you've got in there.

Since the works (which I believe were undertaken with the best of all possible intentions by the two policemen who gathered and promulgated the data) that were quoted by Mr. Deckard purport to give percentages for the effectiveness of various bullets without reference to what vital structure was hit or how many times the person was hit or which wound/s the pathologist declared to be the fatal one, I feel justified in saying that those works bear no relation to the real world.

If you care to respond, please let me know how many handgun killings you've worked on, and in what capacity, and please be willing to email me your bona fides. :) I'd be happy to email you mine. Me, I've worked on criminal appeals with the appellate divison of my state public defender since March, 1995. My office handles about 95% of the criminal appeals in the state. I've handled many handgun killings myself, and I consult to some extent on virtually every murder appeal that comes through my office. Prior to working for the appellate division, I was a trial prosecutor (only worked on a couple of murders, but got to learn pathology details of several others from colleagues in the office and various police departments), and prior to that I clerked (while in law school) for the trial division of the public defender for a year and a half and worked as a law clerk and private investigator for one of the top trial attorneys in the state (working on handgun killings at both jobs). I've seen a lot of handgun killing cases, talked to pathologists, and read a lot of OMI reports. I don't claim to know everything or be a pathologist, but I've sure seen a lot of handgun killing cases and I've got a real good idea of how bullets stop people in the real world. :)

jlh26oo
December 13, 2006, 01:21 AM
At that size and weight its like a CC dream come true, but I'm not so confident about the stopping power.
^Pretty much how I feel.

Then there is the "All you need is to HAVE a gun, any gun" camp. Whether .22lr, 9mm, 10mm- whatever. THey don't care, because all handgun calibers are "equally ineffective" in their eyes.

To be fair though, it probably depends on the individual. I could understand someone older, or small guys or gals carrying one. Reasoning is twofold:

A) They are that much easier to conceal, which makes a more significant difference with someone say 5'6" and a buck forty than 6'+ 200#+.

B) Someone who needs a pistol that small to conceal might actually have to defend against a threat level for which a sub caliber might work. For instance, the only time I would ever likely have to defend myself would be if my assailant had a GUN. Whereas women, the elderly, and the petite might get might get jacked by someone with a knife (or less). Anyone that is going to try me hand to hand, I am NOT pulling anything less than a 9mm on. And if they do have a GUN (likely), I'd just assume have a .45.

For some, ANY gun is better than nothing. Not so much for others. Whatever works for you.




All of the above is IMO only, and as always- YMMV. :uhoh: :confused: :eek: :mad: :scrutiny: :cuss: :cuss:

hurrakane212
December 13, 2006, 02:47 AM
*sigh*

Choice of weapon is not nearly as important as the will to prevail. If I am in a situation where my life or the life of a loved one is in danger I WILL eliminate the threat regardless of caliber, weapon, or disadvantage.

Even if all 17 rounds of 9mm and 5 shots of 00 buck shot don't stop the threat, I will proceede to gouge his eyes out, kick him in the nuts, rip out his throat with my teeth if I have to...

If you are relying on your caliber to save you then if your caliber fails, so do you.

~Nathan

Cousin Mike
December 13, 2006, 03:07 AM
I struggle with this a lot.

When I was 22, I met a guy who'd been shot in the back with a .380ACP at close range. He had a HUGE scar in his stomach from the exit wound and surgery that went all the way up to his chest, and quite a story to go along with it.

Apparently, someone tried to rob him at gunpoint. He said that he decided to take his chances, throw a punch at the guy and run away. So he throws the punch, and misses. He said he knew right then that he was going to get shot. He turned around to run and heard a pop, and he said at that instant, the lights went out.

He had a very interesting story about what it's like to be in a coma for a week or so. The guy who shot him went to prison and all ended well, I suppose. But he said he never even had a chance to feel pain... Lights went out immediately as soon as he heard the shot. The bullet did exit too, right above the navel - tore up his intestines, but nothing really vital - probably FMJ.

So I KNOW that the .380 works. I know it can kill and I know it can stop a man in his tracks just like any other round. I'd like to get one for concealed carry - I like the look of a lot of the .380's out there, old and new. But for some reason, I just can't make myself comfortable carrying anything smaller than a .357 (Sig or Magnum) - or at the very least a 9mm.

My humble opinion? If you're confident in the .380, then carry it. Just make sure you hit the guy, and keep hitting him until he goes down - same as you'd do with any other caliber.

I expect my check for $0.02 promptly. ;) :D

Double Naught Spy
December 13, 2006, 07:35 AM
Choice of weapon is not nearly as important as the will to prevail. If I am in a situation where my life or the life of a loved one is in danger I WILL eliminate the threat regardless of caliber, weapon, or disadvantage....

If you are relying on your caliber to save you then if your caliber fails, so do you.

One's will to prevail may not mean squat if one's tools and capabilities aren't there to overcome the opposition..

While some people may rely on a given caliber, that is poor preparation, as noted. HOWEVER, it is also poor preparation to knowingly pick weak or ineffective tools and try to operate under the assumption that you will prevail no matter what ineffective tools you brought to the fight.

A lot of good people with the will to prevail die because the will to prevail doesn't keep them from bleeding out, even if they have managed to neutralize the opposition.

usp9
December 13, 2006, 08:31 AM
Erich said:
I've worked on cases in which people were killed with .22s, .25s, .32s, .380s, 9mm Maks, 9x19s, .40s, .38 spls, .357s, .44s, and .45s. I've yet to see someone fall over dead who wasn't hit in a vital structure.



Which proves my point.

wildburp
December 13, 2006, 08:43 AM
What do you want to stop, and from what range?

SuperNaut
December 13, 2006, 11:40 AM
I've been thinking on this a lot lately since my CCW application is now "being processed." IMHO it is all about bone. If your favorite caliber cannot smash through bone consistently, it is useless: The End.

COM hits have to make it through bone first and you cannot count on the bullet sliding between ribs. I have yet to see any ballistics tests where there is a plate of PVC under the first inch of gel. To get to the soft chewy center you have to make it through the hard candy shell. If I consider the primary goal to be smashing bone consistently, I'm afraid that my confidence in .380 is not very high.

XDKingslayer
December 13, 2006, 03:19 PM
I have two pistols I can carry. A Taurus .380 and an XD .45GAP. The .380 holds 25 rounds between two mags, the XD holds 19. The way I look at it, if half a box of .380 can't stop it, then chances are 19 .45 aren't going to either. So what's the difference?

I have complete confidence in my .380. If I didn't I wouldn't carry it. If I was up north where people wear thicker clothes, I would probably consider something else, or a staggered load of ball and JHP. But down here that really isn't an issue.

Dirty Bob
December 13, 2006, 03:37 PM
I'm in the camp of "carry the biggest, baddest caliber that you can shoot well and can conceal everyday."

For me, that's a 9x19mm, in a Kel-Tec P-11. I can shoot it well and can conceal it every day, regardless of attire, provided I can wear a belt.

No caliber will work without good shot placement. Remember Michael Platt, the bad guy "on a mission," who faced a number of FBI agents on April 11, 1986 in the now-infamous Miami Shootout. In Dr. Anderson's excellent book on the subject, we learn that Platt sustained a mortal wound in the first moments of the fight, but he went on to kill two and seriously wound several agents, before being stopped by repeated hits from a .357 Magnum.

If all you can carry and shoot well is a .380, then please practice even more than you would with a larger caliber! You need to be accurate under pressure to be sure of stopping an opponent. Yes, he (or they) might run at the sight of a gun, but what if it's a Michael Platt, or a guy flying on PCP?

The truth is that we need to try to prepare for the worst-case scenario, even if we think it'll never happen to us. I wear my seat belt every time I drive, not because I expect to be in a crash, but because it still could happen. I have life insurance, even though I'm young and healthy, not because I plan to die young, but because it might still happen. I carry a 9mm for much the same reason.

Regards,
Dirty Bob

ugaarguy
December 13, 2006, 04:35 PM
I'm sure this question has been brought up many times, but I can't seem to find any answers that are very straight forward so here we go... I'm thinking about getting a .380 ACP in the form of something like a Kel-Tec P3AT. At that size and weight its like a CC dream come true, but I'm not so confident about the stopping power. What do you guys think? Does it have sufficient power to quickly drop a man?
There are many small firearms designed for this round, but many of the modern 9mm's are just as small and pack more punch.

There are only two* 9mms that even come close to a P3AT in both size and weight. For a gun that can be carried anywhere - front or back pocket holster, under nothing but a t-shirt with a neck holster - you truly can't beat a P3AT.



*KT P3AT weight: empty 8.3 oz. loaded 11 oz; width: .77"; height; 3.5"; length 5.2"

Rohrbaugh R9 weight: empty 14.3 oz loaded 17 oz; width .91"; height 3.7"; length 5.2"

KT PF-9 weight: empty 14.7 oz loaded 18 oz; width .98"; height 4.4"; length 5.9"

The Rohrbaugh R9 comes close in size, but gives up over 1/10" in width, and a critical 6 oz in loaded weight. It does this at over 3x the price of a P3AT. The PF-9 gives up width and length, wins on height, and adds an extra round of capacity for only 1oz extra loaded weight when compared to the R9. I didn't bother with the Kahr PM9 in the measurements above. With a width of 1.1" it gives up 1/3" to the P3AT, and at 20oz loaded is nearly twice the weight of a P3AT. The Skyy CPX-1 is dimensionally similar to the PF-9, but loses out on both empty and loaded weights. http://www.mouseguns.com/PocketAutoComparison.jpg - That's Bobo's pocket auto comparison chart. See the thread stickied at the top of this forum for more info. Thanks for the awesome chart Bobo!

In regards to the Marshall & Sanow numbers quoted earlier in this thread, please do a search here for more info. Their "research" is highly disputed.

As far as the .380 ACP itself, it's not a bad round. Not my first choice, but great in a small gun like a P3AT. Also great in a larger gun for someone who's recoil sensitive for any number of reasons. Heck, the Slovakian and Czech Republic Armies still issue the CZ-82 chambered in 9x18 Russian (almost a ballistic twin to the .380) as their standard sidearm. The Makarov itself has served the Russian military well for many years, and the Walther PP and PPK were always plenty for the German Police. It's not a ballistic wonder cartridge like the .357 SIG, but the .380 has worked just fine for the better part of the last century.

.357 magnum
December 13, 2006, 06:35 PM
usp9- I do apologize for not having my facts straight. But you are missing my point. I do not endorse a .380acp as adequate for self defense. No one in U.S. law enforcement does either. Most uniformed police these day's use the .40 and most SWAT teams and Special Forces use the .45 acp. Some uniformed even use .45's and there are still some departments that use the 9mm. I cannot imagine anyone in LE being issue a .380 acp, so why would you use one to defend yourself? I was in LE and I do not even trust the 9mm, if they made a .70 caliber that shot without a lot of recoil I would use that. I would trust my life to the .40 .45 acp and the 10mm [if I could afford the ammo to practice with this round--10mm] Plus my guns have Hi-Capacity Mags. [16 in the .40's and 14 in the .45's] But if you want to use the .380 acp to defend you and your Loved one's I could never endorse that. I will give you my phone number and you can hire me to guard your house with my .45 acp, you will need it if you are using a .380 acp.

The Best to you and yours!

Frank

Erich
December 13, 2006, 08:22 PM
usp9, no, it proves my point! :D :neener: We agree on that point - I take issue with the "real world" connection of the M&S numbers.

usp9
December 13, 2006, 09:05 PM
357 magnum said:
I do not endorse a .380acp as adequate for self defense. No one in U.S. law enforcement does either.


That simply isn't true. Many LEO agencies endorse the .380 as an off duty weapon. If you really were in LE you would know that. Thanks, but I'll pass on the protection offer, I've got it covered.

ugaarguy
December 13, 2006, 09:13 PM
Folks I think we need to look at the context so to speak. We need to look beyond the caliber to the overall situation. Frank (357 Magnum) I agree that a .380 is a poor choice for a duty weapon. I don't think Straz is looking for that. For a gun that's never too heavy to carry, and always there, a P3AT is quite a bit of gun in a small package. I prefer my 1911 (soon to be either of them) as a primary carry gun, followed by either my BHP or my S&W M66 snubbie. None of this will pocket carry and disappear like a P3AT. None of them will carry in a neck holster when I'm out running or jogging in gym shorts and t-shirt. In those situations I'll take the P3AT over no gun. The P3AT is also a great pocket carry backup to a larger gun. I view the P3AT as a shoot back while you get the heck out of dodge gun.

If I was a peace officer - never knowing if I'd be facing well armed criminal on the next traffic stop, or a unstable person with a long gun on the next domestic disturbance - I'd certainly want the largest caliber, highest capacity weapon I could comfortably shoot and afforbably practice with riding on my duty belt. Therein lies the difference. An armed citizen arms himself in case trouble arises. A law enforcement/peace officer arms himself to deal with the trouble he must go into as part of his job.

For home defence I'll take a shotgun or carbine over any handgun.

In the end though, I'll take any firearm over a sharp stick or my bare hands. The tiny gun I can carry anywhere beats the big gun I can carry sometimes. In that context the P3AT and like guns are great tools to have in the toolbox with the others.

outofbattery
December 13, 2006, 10:34 PM
That simply isn't true. Many LEO agencies endorse the .380 as an off duty weapon. If you really were in LE you would know that. Thanks, but I'll pass on the protection offer, I've got it covered.


A buddy of mine was a Secret Service agent in the late 80's-early 90's and was issued a SIG P230 as an off duty/backup.Another friend of mine is a MA State Trooper who works undercover;for that,he gets a Walther PPK.I'd heard that one state police agency issues the PPK as a back-up,for some reason I'm wanting to say TN or KY but can't recall.While not common,there are .380's in American law enforcement.The Kel Tec is VERY popular for off duty carry.

Erich
December 13, 2006, 11:19 PM
usp9 and outofbattery are correct: here's a link showing, for instance, that US Park Service rangers are authorized to carry P230/232s as back-ups - or at least they were in '04: http://www.anpr.org/news-spg04.htm

MICHAEL T
December 14, 2006, 01:38 AM
My 2 main carry pistols are a PPK/S or a KelTec 380 I carry both with Corbon DPX . This is I belive the best 380 round at present. It a perfect match for the Kel Tec . If I'm carrying my 45's the KT is my Back up. I have full faith in a 380. A SD shooting by a civ is a lot different that most police shoot outs. They need to shoot cars and glass along with people. We need close up and personal and a 380 does that,just fine
At 1 time KKy State Police issued PPK/S for back up and off duty. I had 1 of their PPK/S for a time.

mete
December 14, 2006, 06:08 AM
" animal analogies are not accurate " ??? People have adrenaline too !! We hunters have known for a long time that it's best to shoot an animal that is calm .One filled with adrenaline will run a lot more. We also know that a person will be far less effected by a bullet when high on adrenaline , alcohol, or drugs .Your chances are very good that a criminal today is high and this especially difficult with meth. If you want to think that a 380 is a good stopper ,you're living in a dream world....

Erich
December 14, 2006, 07:41 AM
And how many handgun killings have you worked on, mete? In what capacity? :)

No handgun is a "good stopper." The .380 is perfectly competent, as I've seen again and again. It might not be my first choice, but it works - as we professionals see in the real world, if not in the Walter-Mittylike minds of some readers and writers of the drugstore gun and adventure press. :rolleyes:

jlh26oo
December 14, 2006, 08:22 AM
" animal analogies are not accurate " ??? People have adrenaline too !! We hunters have known for a long time that it's best to shoot an animal that is calm .One filled with adrenaline will run a lot more. We also know that a person will be far less effected by a bullet when high on adrenaline , alcohol, or drugs .Your chances are very good that a criminal today is high and this especially difficult with meth. If you want to think that a 380 is a good stopper ,you're living in a dream world....

Agreed- worst case scenario is human respnds like wild animal, physiologically. An animal is not going to look down at a gunshot wound and break psychologically or anything- while looking at you incredulously "whaa... you... SHOT me.. //!!??". Nor will the meth-head. They both just keep going and going, energizer style.

I'll take my chances with something heartier, but ymmv.

BoneDigger
December 14, 2006, 10:49 AM
My post was not meant to insinuate that the .380 is a poarticularly useful or useless round, just that there are better options out there and in the same or comparable guns.

Regarding the post about animals and humans being different... I will stand by my statement. I am not saying that there are not instances when humans act like a cornered animal, especially if they are hopped up on drugs. However, how many of us who would use the firearm are likely to encounter THAT situation? I guess for folks that live in larger cities it might be more of an issue. However, as a hunter I have seen animals with their heart literally blown in half that have run nearly 100 yards. In processing the animal, the lungs and heart looked like jello. This was with a 7mm Magnum rifle.

So, either 1) animals are totally different than humans in the way they react, or 2) we are just pissing in the wind shooting ANYONE with anything less than a 7mm Magnum rifle?!?!?!

Todd

SWMAN
December 14, 2006, 01:18 PM
The Winchester Ranger "T" load of 95 grains has a geletain penetration of only 7.65" and a weight retention in the 80-86% range. Can't find a comparable Winchester .38 special round.

Cousin Mike
December 14, 2006, 01:24 PM
I guess for folks that live in larger cities it might be more of an issue.

Pure fallacy.

Drug use is probably one area of many where rural areas are just as bad as urban areas.. And meth is NOT an urban drug, by any means. You rural guys are a lot more likely to face a meth head than us city folk, according to everything I've seen.

As for the .380ACP, I guess the following sentence sums up my reasoning for liking the bigger calibers.. More importantly, it's (more or less) been my personal criteria for a personal defense caliber for as long as I've owned guns.

IMHO it is all about bone. If your favorite caliber cannot smash through bone consistently, it is useless: The End.

Well said.

BoneDigger
December 14, 2006, 02:09 PM
I don't know if there is a statistic that would show that the percentage of drug usage in the city vs the country is any different at all. But consider that in the city you are in closer proxemity to more people on a day to day basis, where in the country I am probably LESS likely to run into as many people. I can count on one hand the number of times that I have actually seen a person that I thought was high on drugs, and in most instances it was when visiting Dallas or Houston. A lot of meth usage is done in secluded areas and I'm unlikely to run into these folks, although I have seen signs of temporary meth labs while hunting and at work.

So, anyway, I won't argue with you on this. But I will say that when I get my CCL, my primary concern will not be drug users, it will be protecting myself from robbery and the such and probably would have a better chance of running into a drunk than a druggie. Although most of these guys are rough and tough types, I don't think most of them will be high at the time of the robbery. Either way, my gun of choice is a .357 magnum snub-nose. From what I've read, the .357 is a very good defensive round.

If a person wants to use a .380, I say let them, it's a personal choice, and I'm sure each person must consider how they "expect" it may be used if ever. If I felt like the likelihood was great that I would be in a situation where I would need 17 rounds of 9mm, then I would get an auto that holds that many rounds.

Hannibal, while I agree with your analogy above, one thing I would add is that even though you may eventually die, would you have time to take me with you? If you could take 3-4 rounds of .380 and eventually die, but in the meantime get one or two shots off at me, well, then I haven't really defended myself very well.

I think the .380 will absolutely kill a person. Will it kill them fast enough so they don't also shoot me? I'm not sure. Maybe and maybe not... But, since there are other guns with more fire power that are the same size, I can't justify taking the chance.

Todd

MachIVshooter
December 14, 2006, 02:50 PM
Time after time in these threads, people will cite how many humans have been killed with small calibers. What I can't understand is why anyone thinks that matters. In a defensive shooting, it is irrelavent if the BG dies or lives. The only thing that matters is that he ceased attacking. We all know that .22 LR can kill a person, but that won't help a victim if the BG dies 2 days later.

Forget about whether "X" round will kill someone. Doesn't matter when defensive use is the application. Your objective is to STOP them. Carry the most effective round you can, not the one that "experts" consider adequate.

Pure fallacy.

Drug use is probably one area of many where rural areas are just as bad as urban areas.. And meth is NOT an urban drug, by any means. You rural guys are a lot more likely to face a meth head than us city folk, according to everything I've seen.

I agree, to a point. I suspect that certain types of narcotics are more prevalant in urban areas, but I will definitely concur on the Meth. Very common in trailer parks and other trashy rural or semi-rural areas.

On the same note, I doubt those of us in rural areas are more likely to encounter them. The very nature of a lower population in a sprawling rural community is that you have less contact with other people. Drugs aside, you are simply less likely to encounter someone who would do you harm. In my area, I could probably go out and walk 10 miles in the middle of the night and not encounter another human, except those driving past in automobiles. Walk 10 miles in Denver (LoDo, 16th/Market street area) at any time and you will probably have come within contact distance of several hundred people.

kokapelli
December 14, 2006, 02:51 PM
A short time back, I read a post over at Evan Marshall's board.

I don't remember for shure, but I think it may have been Mr Marshall that posted it.

As I remember the post, it refered to an insident between two police officers, one being the poster and a perp.

One of the police officers hit the perp with 4, 45acp hp rounds and the perp was still able to returned fire, killing that officer.

The surviving officer finally put the perp down.

The point is that it seems so many people think that going to the larger round is going to do the trick, when really it's all about shot placement, shot placement, shot placement and shot placement.

XDKingslayer
December 14, 2006, 04:43 PM
" animal analogies are not accurate " ??? People have adrenaline too !! We hunters have known for a long time that it's best to shoot an animal that is calm .One filled with adrenaline will run a lot more. We also know that a person will be far less effected by a bullet when high on adrenaline , alcohol, or drugs .Your chances are very good that a criminal today is high and this especially difficult with meth. If you want to think that a 380 is a good stopper ,you're living in a dream world....

I agree that animal analogies are the worst thing you can rely on. Yes, humans have adrenaline, but animals have the capability of dumping more, in some species, thousands of times more adrenaline into their system then humans.

A bull shark of 6 feet and 200 lbs in distress is capable of creating 2500 times more adrenaline than a human of equal size.

Cousin Mike
December 14, 2006, 05:45 PM
I agree, to a point...

On the same note, I doubt those of us in rural areas are more likely to encounter them. The very nature of a lower population in a sprawling rural community is that you have less contact with other people.

I'd have to agree.

animals have the capability of dumping more, in some species, thousands of times more adrenaline into their system then humans.

Now that's pretty damned fascinating. :D

.357 magnum
December 14, 2006, 06:31 PM
It has been over 20 years since I was in LE. I was shot with a .45 my right hip was shattered. I have had two hip replacements since then. The first was emergency surgery, the second a revision [they do wear out] The second has left me in chronic pain. Honestly I am not picking on you. My point is the .380 acp is not issued as a duty weapon for a reason. It is ok they are back-up in some cases nowdays-used to be a .38 snubbie was back-up for a lot of folks. The things you look for in a primary defensive weapon a .380 acp does not have. You want a caliber that can crush bone and get to a main artery to incapaciate your perp as quickly as possible. Something that can cause some rapid blood loss. Real BG move around, they are not paper targets. I am not sure what the current percentage is, but I believe less then 15% of what is fired during a gunfight actually hits it's intended target. Another thing you want your caliber to do is go through common barriers such as windshield glass, wood doors, etc. When you are defending your life and the lives of those around you the quicker the perp is out of action the better. If you only hit em once you are going to want it to be a good one. I really like the high capacity mag's I beleive it is a blessing in a defensive situation. I could not sleep at night if I advised people to use the .380 acp as your primary defensive weapon. You only use it if that is all you have or that is the only caliber you can shoot comfortably.

Take Care-The Best to You and Yours!

Frank

kokapelli
December 14, 2006, 07:03 PM
In an SD siduation, shooting through doors would mean that I am at home, in which case I would not be using my hide out pocket gun, but rather my 12ga shotgun or at least a high cap CZ..

Shooting through a windshield in a SD siduation?? IMO that is more likely a law enforcement sidutaion.

up_onus
December 14, 2006, 07:09 PM
all i have to say is...
My bullets are bigger and better than yours!!!!!

ok ok, maybe not...
but, i do agree with the FIRST POSTS-
need a one shot stop? bring a cannon, and make sure you hit em with it!

kbheiner7
December 14, 2006, 07:14 PM
No.

clt46910
December 14, 2006, 07:23 PM
It is not the size of the gun you carry, it is how you use it. We seem to worry too much about the performance of the bullet or caliber and not about how well we can shoot. Spent more time learning to shoot and less time worrying if your gun is big enough.

kokapelli
December 14, 2006, 07:30 PM
Yea! Well 45 acp are so slow, I can catch them__
-
http://www.artifex.org/~dulles/alaska/pic_133-thumb.jpg

:) :) :) :)

jlh26oo
December 15, 2006, 12:25 AM
Forget about whether "X" round will kill someone. Doesn't matter when defensive use is the application. Your objective is to STOP them. Carry the most effective round you can, not the one that "experts" consider adequate.

Great. Next you'll be telling me that this argument is irrelevant: "I don't see those saying .380acp isn't enough volunteering to get shot in the face with one". :eek:

Tbu61
December 15, 2006, 12:37 AM
I have to say, not every .380 is a cheap Handgun. Walther made TONS the PP (series) and they sell for top dollar.

I worked with a fella that was accidentally belly hit by a .380 and he spent 2 months in the hospital. He said he didn't enjoy any part of that experience, I saw the emergency surgery scars and tend to believe him.

Proper projectile and placement have always been the name of the game.

If you can manage to get a larger gun, do it. .380ACP is Certainly better than a knitting needle.

lighthunter
December 15, 2006, 12:43 AM
Yes the .380 has plenty of power. I was overseas for a number of years.
And carried a Walther pp always worked for me. Never felt underguned.:evil:
If I needed more fire power it was fired from the shoulder not my hand.;)

The Amigo
December 28, 2006, 12:13 AM
No Handgun beats the light weight and counsealability of a Keltec P3 in .380. My .45 remains in my house and now has become the house gun. while my P3 is my always gun. If you go to the Kel tec range you will be able to see all .380 ballistic pictures of all rounds tested by good fellas that have spent time comparing penetration and expansion of several makers. Just review old GP ballistic forum and make your choice. My chice of defense round is Remington golden sabers in 102g, they tend to expand to .57 most of the time and penetrate 8+ inches of wet pack that = 10.5 inches of Gel. If penetration is your chioce then Santa Barbara ammo is the one, but good luck trying to find some. Yes .45 is a great powerfull round but untill the make a 45 that fit in my pocket and weights 8 oz my keltec will remain as my reliable choice of carry with 8 ready rounds and a spare mag. My 2 c.:)

brentwal
December 28, 2006, 12:47 AM
While my main carry gun is .40 S&W, I have 2 .380 pistols and have carried them at different times and never felt under gunned.

KONY
December 28, 2006, 12:55 AM
rounds tested by good fellas

Pesci, De Niro & Liotta do know alot about terminal ballistics! :neener:

TestPilot
December 28, 2006, 01:02 AM
If I would use a 380ACP,it would not be used by choice,but rather by lack of it.

hmp32
December 28, 2006, 02:13 AM
Please also remember where the fear of fireams comes from:

Before the age of antibiotics, a firearm of any caliber carried the risk of infection. And dying of infection is not pleasant. But hand guns were hardly one-stop wonders even in 1911. So, the fear of a handgun was as much that of infection as it was physiolgical disruption. In the era that the 1911 was developed, the .45 cal certainly had stopping power in mind given the lack of stopping power of the .38. But the civilian firearms were an effective deterant of any caliber because of death by infection not instant death. Today, however, we are concerned with stopping power of a physiological, not physcological nature.

wrentree
December 28, 2006, 02:18 AM
The Amigo (post #82) said:
"My chice of defense round is Remington golden sabers in 102g, they tend to expand to .57 most of the time and penetrate 8+ inches of wet pack that = 10.5 inches of Gel."

And I notice that tinygnat219 (post#21) uses this load as well.

I was hoping that someone would bring up this load. I have not been able to find anything on it's stats. It's not included in the Evan Marshall and Ed Sanow analysis. (or I've overlooked it?).

How's this load feed? I've been shooting Rem 95gr FMJ and 88gr JHP's out of my Beretta 84FS with excellent results. I have 2 boxes of CorBon 90gr JHP's but haven't shot them yet. I personally like the Federal 129gr Hydra-Shoks in my 38spc and have been thinking about using a Fed Hyd-Shok load in my 380.

Answers & comments appreciated.

yongxingfreesty
December 28, 2006, 02:28 AM
just purchased a amt back up in .380 with the grip safety. it looks nice, I need to test it out this week. any reviews on the back up .380?

Phil DeGraves
December 28, 2006, 10:03 AM
A locked breech gun will kick less than a blowback. Therefore, a small locked breech 9mm such as a Kahr or S&W M3914 has more power than a blowback operated SIG P232 with the same or less recoil. Now the KelTec 3AT is a locked breech firearm so the recoil would be even less than that. Be that as it may, accuracy always beats "punch" in the stopping power debate. The 9mm is much cheaper to shoot thereby affording one the oppurtunity to become proficient with it more so than the .380.

Phil DeGraves
December 28, 2006, 10:05 AM
..and the 38 spl is a much harder hitter due to the heavier bullet than the
.380, even out of a snubby. Between 9mm, 38 spl, and .380, the .380 would be my last choice. I would even opt for .38 S&W before a .380.

The Amigo
December 28, 2006, 01:09 PM
Here's why i'm impressed with Remington golden sabers in 102g. Make your own conclusions. http://www.ktrange.com/articles/a10/a10-14.html

Flopsy
December 28, 2006, 05:17 PM
I have a Beretta Cheetah in .380, and it's not a cheap gun, on the contrary, those puppies are expensive.

I can put 14 golden sabers into the head of a silhouette target at 15 feet in about 8 seconds...I know it's not a moving target, but this kind of proficiency makes me feel more secure than when I'm packing my Glock 27.

Oh, and the Cheetah doesn't kick much at all, especially when compared to the G27.

wrentree
December 28, 2006, 05:37 PM
Thanks for replying Amigo,
Your site really is informative. The 102gr Golden Saber
does look promising in the 380acp.

I would have no qualms about carrying the 380 as a
defense caliber. I think with the CCW laws, we'll find
this caliber and the 38special make a well disserved
comeback. Both will serve well.

Prince Yamato
December 29, 2006, 01:57 AM
Is it powerful enough?

Would you like to be shot with it? No? Why? Because you fear death... then it's powerful enough. :)

Double Naught Spy
December 29, 2006, 08:57 AM
Is it powerful enough?

Would you like to be shot with it? No? Why? Because you fear death... then it's powerful enough.

Bad logic. It isn't about what you fear. It is about the caliber's ability to do harm and stop the opposition.

The point is that it seems so many people think that going to the larger round is going to do the trick, when really it's all about shot placement, shot placement, shot placement and shot placement.

Shot placement only gets you to the perp's body/person. The trick isn't placement, but damage to vital structures. The problem is, placement is an external location marker for what you hope will result in a good impact on vital structures internally. If the bullet doesn't make it to and damage the vital organs appropriately, then the result is the same as a badly placed shot. Shot placement is a good start, but the shot has to be place in a manner that will have the bullet on trajectory with the necessary vital structures and have the ability to penetrate to those structures. For example, you can shoot a person in the center of the chest, but if it impacts the sternum at an acute angle, then the result is likely a glancing flesh wound, not a shot to the C-P system.

Shot placement is important as generally speaking, you have to be in the ball park to play ball, but being in the ball park doesn't mean you are playing ball very well.

TestPilot
December 29, 2006, 10:26 AM
Ammunition's wounding capability does not substitute shot placement,and shot placement does not substitute ammunition's wounding capability. I'd prefer to have a 4 inch diameter group of 40S&W holes in the opponent's chest rather than 2 inch diameter 380ACP group.

Is it powerful enough?

Would you like to be shot with it? No? Why? Because you fear death... then it's powerful enough. :)

Not so many criminals wants to be shot with a 380ACP,and most of them do fear death. But,that did not stop some of them to shoot it out with the police or other citizens who carried a caliber larger than 380ACP.

1911austin
December 29, 2006, 10:31 AM
Because you fear death... then it's powerful enough.


If you really fear death, carry something a bit more powerful than a .380. :D

The Amigo
December 29, 2006, 10:58 AM
Round speed, expansion and penetration all takes us to the point we want = stop the opponent. The more the better but psychological condition of who your trying to stop plays a big role too. I had a guy in my area that was shot 7 times with a .45 and is still walking around and braking in to houses like nothing happened and I've seen people get shot with only one .25 shot and act like they got shot with a cannon and go to shock and die. Yet the old motto stands a .380 in my pocket is more effective than a AR-15 in the trunk or a 45 left at home cause its 2 heavy or hot to carry. :)

kokapelli
December 29, 2006, 11:06 AM
The reason I carry a P-3AT most of the time is, I believe that in most self defense shootings, psychological incapacitation is usually the main factor in ending a confrontation.

If I did not believe this, I would never carry anything less than 9mm.

Sure, if the bg is high on drugs, the psychological factor does not exist, but that would hold true for any handgun caliber.

If you are trying to stop a bg with a handgun and the psychological factor does not work, regardless of caliber, you better be lucky where the bullet path goes.

Prince Yamato
December 29, 2006, 01:45 PM
A .22 is effective at killing someone, if the bullet is placed right (here come the flames!). Most deadly firearms accidents happen with .22s. "Oh, but it's not good at 25 yards like my .45," They'll say. But seriously, when are you going to DEFEND yourself at 25 yards? I suspect that in the real world, most confrontations will occur at 10 feet or less, and maybe involve a physical struggle. In this scenario, you'd be close enough that even a .22LR would be sufficient to ruin a bad guy's day (let's assume CCI stingers for a 'defense' load). A .22LR will penetrate an animal pelt, so it should have NO trouble with clothing. It might take more than one shot, but, then again, so might a 9mm or .45 depending on where the bullet hits. So with all this said about .22, you can assume that .380 would be sufficient to kill. I love bigger calibers, but honestly, these discussions always turn into a "let's see who can piss farther contest". I know that "bigger is better" is pretty much standard in the gun world, but sometimes bigger isn't always practical (such as when you have to carry in the South during summer time). I'd love a "pocket .45, but guess what? I can't wear it with dress pants. So that rules it out 99% of the time for me. I'm pretty much limited to .22, .25, .32 and .380. I'd easily trust my life to 380.

Shawnee
December 29, 2006, 02:07 PM
Hi Sniper...

"Stopping Power" is one of those topics that has had enough ink spilled about it to fill the Pacific - and some of what has been written was even true.

Fact is - people have been inventing modern cartridges since the late 1800s and everytime a new one comes out part of the obligation of its' promoters is to tell why it is ever so much better than anything that came before it - which includes pointing out the ALLEGED shortcomings of the older cartridges. I have been reading such pap since the 50s.

The .380 - just like the 30/30 and many other cartridges - has been badmouthed by umpteen writers, marketing types, and "experts" - all of whom were promoting something "new" - and all of it is Hooey.
Perhaps the classic example is the .270 Winchester which hit the light of day in 1925. A boatload of rifle cartridges have been developed since then but NONE of them will do anything that needs doing any better than the .270 for hunting in this hemisphere. An Thass a Fac, Jac !

But back to the .380. The cartridge is more than adequete as a self-defense cartridge. The real "effectiveness" crux of any self-defense weapon is, as others have said, how well YOU USE IT.
I once watched someone put five shots from a .22 caliber Browning Buckmark into half a playing card in approx. 3 seconds at 25 feet.
That is what effective self-defense capability is all about.

:D

TestPilot
December 29, 2006, 04:33 PM
If a small size pistol in 380ACP is all what a certain person can carry,that makes a valid argument for that person to select it,because having a gun is certainly better than having none.

But,I don't understand why some people claims as if a larger caliber is less accurate than a 380ACP. Less recoil? Recoil is measurable only when ammunition and the pistol it is fired in is specified. If 380ACP is fired in a pistol as same size and weight as larger caliber pistols,it might have less recoil. But,that would be an exception rather than the norm,because 380ACP pistol in that big of a size would nullify the purpose of using a 380ACP in the first place. So,it usually comes in a mini pistol,which has a stronger recoil compared to larger pistols in same caliber,and in some cases hard to get a good grip on.

I doubt if a 380ACP pistols like Kel-Tec P-3 would be more controllable than a SIG P239 in 9mm,only because the ammunition has less power. Of course,P239 is a larger and heavier pistol,so some may feel the comparison is unfair,but that comparison reflects reality,because 380ACP pistols usually comes in smaller size.

I once watched someone put five shots from a .22 caliber Browning Buckmark into half a playing card in approx. 3 seconds at 25 feet.
Is it even a reasonable analogy to compare controllability and accuracy of a combat caliber pistol in small to compact size to controllability and accuracy of a 22LR pistol in full size that weighs around 2 lb?

Shawnee
December 29, 2006, 05:35 PM
Hi Testpilot...

Wasn't comparing guns/cartridges, Testpilot. It just happens that the event I saw involved that gun and that caliber.
My point was, and is, the shooter's performance is THE critical element.
Do you disagree?

TestPilot
December 29, 2006, 07:00 PM
Hi,
I see.
I would agree.

Geronimo45
December 29, 2006, 08:20 PM
According to this thread, no:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=244121

Car Knocker
December 30, 2006, 01:35 AM
Geronimo45,
I don't think that setting off a .380 (or any other cartridge) in a vice is an adequate test of stopping power or efficacy. But then, since they say he found a bullet, put it in a vice and hit the primer end of the bullet to set it off, at that level of inaccuracy of reporting, I'm not at all certain just what it was that he had in the vice.

Oohrah
December 30, 2006, 03:39 AM
Yep, It does ! Sounds like a lot of math and arm chair theroy.
A friend in the auto repair business was at his office desk when a
bad guy with a wheel gun entered to hold him up. Bob reached
into his boot top where his .380 was sleeping. One round with an
entry under the chin, put a stop to the action with an instant kill.
I have a choice of several wheel and a modified 1911, but find
on a bad back day sometimes carry a B West Makarov with adj.
sights in the .380 caliber. Bullets are the personal protection type.
I don't consider any hit in the vitals is going to be inadequate with
energy to distroy tissue.

silverbullet1976
January 15, 2009, 12:38 AM
My mother had to operate on many a perp that was stopped cold with a .380 and smaller. She also did the same for a nice fella who shot a cop that returned fire (all 16 9mm 115+P+ hollow points hitting the mark). Of course dope helped him live long enough to get to the ER. Point is, there is no way to know what will and won't work. Trust your weapon, believe in your ability, and DON'T MISS. Every person shot is only guaranteed to do one thing. Bleed. Granted, the bigger, heavier bullet runs a greater chance of having more effect, but it is not guaranteed. One .380 in the brain pan and it's lights out. Since you are likely to use your weapon inside ten feet (more likely 3-5), a contact shot or darn near is likely. And at that range, a good .380 round is more than enough. I carry a Kel-Tec P3AT with 102 gr Golden Sabres. Lets face it, hollow points work about 60% of the time, and short barrels decrease that %, so penetration is needed. Now it's up to you young jedi

357sigRog
January 15, 2009, 01:26 AM
I believe it does, I like the 102gr Golden Sabres in my Bersa Thunder 380.

CPshooter
January 15, 2009, 03:13 AM
I think the right ammo will do the job just fine. When my LCP comes back from Ruger (I sent mine in to Ruger even though it worked perfectly), I will be trying both the 102gr Golden Sabres, and the Hornady Critical Defense ammo. I think both of these loads provide rather impressive ballistic performance..from the tests I've seen online anyways. However, I like the idea of the heavier 102gr GS vs. a lighter bullet. I would feel totally confident with either of these loads in my LCP though.

makarovnik
January 15, 2009, 03:54 AM
Yes. It's capable of doing some nasty damage. Penetration is respectable with FMJ into soft tissue.

It also seems to just be an accurate round. My .380's tend to be a little more accurate than my 9x19's. Even though my .380's tend to kick more than my 9x19's they are still good for follow up shots.

Most of my .380's are fixed barrel and straight blowback. I think that helps with accuracy.

Go for the stomach and probably the head last. FMJ .380's have been known to bounce off skulls. This is one of the areas of the body where a hollowpoint might work better. The sharp edges help cut into the skull rather than ricochet off or around.

PhillyGlocker
January 17, 2009, 11:04 PM
I still believe that any caliber is a good caliber. No bad guy is going to wait and see what you're shooting him with. No person wants to get shot, so when bullets start flying, they're outta there. You can bank on that.

Newton
January 17, 2009, 11:38 PM
People who carry the .380 usually feel absolutely fine about carrying right up to the point they have to use it.

Problem is, I carry a .380 :uhoh:

DawgFvr
January 18, 2009, 02:20 AM
A .380 can be lethal...but can it stop the fight? I'd hate to chance it...and would certainly be prepared for a fist fight in the aftermath. One could emty a couple of mags of .380 into an advesary...and they just might die an hour or two after killing you.

40jjb
January 18, 2009, 08:14 AM
I stock mine with power ball 380, Let me use you as a target then let me now.By the way I one time read that a cop got shot thruogh a metal door and died instantly by a wanted fellon.

ultradoc
January 18, 2009, 09:10 AM
A 380 is better than nothing. I have the P3AT and I just drop it in my front pocket and go. It's small and light. It does have a kick though. After about 10 rounds my hand starts to hurt. And my pinky finger doesn't fit on the grip and my finger next to my pinky, only part of that fits on the grip. I am happy with it though.

Double Naught Spy
January 18, 2009, 10:50 AM
A 380 is better than nothing.

"better than nothing" is the absolute lowest positive criterion. Bad breath is better than nothing. A hard stare is better than nothing.

"Better than nothing" is not really a vote of confidence.

PhillyGlocker
January 18, 2009, 12:32 PM
"better than nothing" is the absolute lowest positive criterion. Bad breath is better than nothing. A hard stare is better than nothing.

"Better than nothing" is not really a vote of confidence.
Bad breath and a hard stare aren't physical tools. A .380 is one. I'll take a .380 over nothing any day.

amazon shooter
January 18, 2009, 03:49 PM
I have read hundreds of threads about one shot stopping power. Commentors seem to be wringing their hands about the effectiveness of a particular caliber as if they have only O-N-E shot!

Geeeez, just empty the clip (6 to 7 shots) into the bad guy, it takes a couple seconds. And if that doesn't stop him give him another clip worth.

amazon shooter
January 18, 2009, 03:58 PM
I have read dozens of comments about " Does the .380 really have enough stopping power?"

If you have a one-shot pistol in 380 ACP, I think the concern is real. But that is not the case with most of the small pistols available today.

Geeeeeez, just empty the clip into the guy. It only takes a couple of seconds. And, if you are still alive and the perp is still kicking, slap in another clip and send him back to his creator.

kokapelli
January 18, 2009, 04:10 PM
I don't know of any 380 autoloader that uses "clips".

amazon shooter
January 18, 2009, 05:16 PM
Dear kokapelli , Senior Member

"I don't know of any 380 autoloader that uses "clips".

Some people refer to it as a clip.

Please read below.

Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/clip

clip, noun

1. a metal frame or container holding cartridges; can be inserted into an automatic gun [syn: cartridge holder]

Perhaps you refer to it as a magazine.

Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/magazine

magazine, noun
1. a metal receptacle for a number of cartridges, inserted into certain types of automatic weapons and when empty removed and replaced by a full receptacle in order to continue firing.

Aren't we talking about the same thing?

kokapelli
January 18, 2009, 06:41 PM
I refer you to this thread from The Highroad http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=270656

Dirty Bob
January 18, 2009, 07:00 PM
If you have a one-shot pistol in 380 ACP, I think the concern is real. But that is not the case with most of the small pistols available today.
If Murphy comes to visit, that worst-case scenario could become reality. For example, most PPKs run fine, but some of us have seen some of the "bad" ones that don't. Add to that the fact that some backup guns are carried in dirty and/or sweaty environments (like pockets in summer, or in ankle holsters). In some of these situations, the chambered round may be the only one you get to fire.

Yes, guns have gotten better. Yes, we all maintain our guns perfectly. But even if both of those are true, Murphy's Law might turn a great gun into a jam-o-matic at an ugly time. I'd never seen a Remington 870 fail, until the firing pin in mine broke during a match.

Best wishes,
Dirty Bob

amazon shooter
January 18, 2009, 07:00 PM
Dear kokapelli , Senior Member

The expertise and knowledge about firearms I have learned from this forum continues to be absolutely amazing.

Fortunately, you and other experts have and will continue to teach us who wish to learn more about the finer points of handguns.

Thank you for your information ..... and it was free!

Sinecrely,

Amazon Shooter

mr.trooper
January 18, 2009, 07:04 PM
The FACT of the matter is that even a .22LR can achieve the FBI standard of 12" from a 3.5" barrel with modern high velocity ammunition.

It is also FACT that many .32acp loads will penetrate completely through a 16" gelatin block.

Even mouse guns have the potential to penetrate clean through you. With this FACT out in the open, it is apparent that SHOT PLACEMENT is all that matters.

Mello
January 20, 2009, 11:36 AM
SniperStraz,

I'm glad you used the words "stopping power" rather than knock down power. In my opinion/view no defensive pistol has knock down power. If it did it would also knock down the shooter.

The 380 acp is weaker than the 9mm, the 40S&W , 45acp, and 10mm.

Jeff Cooper was going to be an expert witness in a case where the DA was prosecuting the shooter in a case where the shooter shot the deceased 8 times with a 380. The DA's view of the case was that the shooter wanted to kill the victim. That the shooter put 8 bullets into the victim proved to the DA that the shooter wanted to kill him; that putting 8 bullets in the guy was excessive force.

Cooper reviewed the autopsy and heard the shooter's story and concluded that it was necessary to hit the guy 8 times to stop him. All 8 bullets entered the bad guy while he was standing up and entered the front of the target. The weapon was a Beretta that held 14 rounds. The shooter ended up having to endure the stress and expense of two trials before being found not guilty.

While a 380 is better than nothing it is not much smaller than a 9mm (which I would not personally chose to bet my life on either).

I was on patrol as a sheriff's deputy once when I came upon the aftermath of a shooting. The victim was face down with a bunch of little holes in his sides and back. He was about 6'9", 280 pounds, 23 year old male. He had tried to run from the shooter. The shooter put eight or nine 25 acp bullets into the victim as they ran all around a parking lot. As they lifted the victim onto the stretcher one of the bullets fell out of his t-shirt. Good penetration.
(Somehow the jury found the shooter not guilty by reason of self-defense!!)

The 25acp was enough to kill the guy. Would you choose to carry a 25acp?

SniperStraz
Does it have sufficient power to quickly drop a man?
No. Not reliably.

Billy Shears
January 20, 2009, 01:13 PM
Even mouse guns have the potential to penetrate clean through you. With this FACT out in the open, it is apparent that SHOT PLACEMENT is all that matters.

I wouldn't say that it is all that matters, though I would say that it is what matters most. A larger, heavier bullet, especially if it expands, will produce both a larger permanent wound channel, as well as a temporary wound cavity. What that means is that while you still have to place your shots accurately, you have a slightly greater margin of error with a larger caliber, firing heavier and/or higher velocity projectiles. If this were not so, we'd all carry .22s.

regal
January 21, 2009, 12:50 PM
If this were not so, we'd all carry .22s.

If you don't want to spend your life in jail any SD shooting is going to be up close. The reason people don't carry .22's is because compacts jam on rimfire. I'd gladly carry a 10 oz hi-cap reliable hi-cap pistol if they made one.

Billy Shears
January 21, 2009, 12:54 PM
If you don't want to spend your life in jail any SD shooting is going to be up close. The reason people don't carry .22's is because compacts jam on rimfire. I'd gladly carry a 10 oz hi-cap reliable hi-cap pistol if they made one.
Then explain why we don't carry .25s in that case. Stopping power out of a pistol is pretty close to the same between a .22LR and a .25ACP, as close as makes no practical difference anyway, and the .25 isn't a rimfire. No, I'm afraid lack of stopping power does have something to do with it as well.

JR47
January 21, 2009, 04:19 PM
There are also multiple stories of people being shot dozens of times with a 9mm P handgun. Yet, we don't hear about it's lack of power. How many times one is shot is often dependent more on the capacity of the gun, than on the lethality of the bullet. It's a proven fact that a minimally trained shooter can empty a high-capacity semi-auto in a couple of seconds. It's empty often before the perp hits the ground.

We had to physically restrain a man who had been shot five times, COM, with 9mm +P+ JHP, from Beretta Model 92s. He lived to stand trial. That's 124 gr. +P+, at a range of less than 15 yards, from a full-size pistol. That doesn't make the 9mm, even a +P+, sound like a good self-defense caliber, now does it?

We don't all carry .25 ACP pistols because we've been told that they don't work. Even though they were commonly thought of as sufficient by entire generations of people 75 years ago. The same goes for the .32 ACP and .380 ACP for personal protection.

It's not like a reasonable person is going to face an entire Chapter of Hell's Angels, or MS13. Yet, we hear about bullet performance on sheet-metal and auto-glass, and how carrying spare guns and magazines might be necessary. If I believed half-of the reasoning espoused here, I'd be a civilian American walking the streets of Somalia, not in America.

I don't see why we're all not lugging MP5Ks under trench-coats 24/7, if the "scenarios" envisioned here were in the least bit realistic.

kilo729
January 21, 2009, 04:41 PM
Sure, just make sure you have good shot placement.

rellascout
January 21, 2009, 04:44 PM
What is stopping power in a handgun mean???? I am confused....... :neener:

Billy Shears
January 22, 2009, 10:45 AM
I don't carry a .25 because it really is a pipsqueak cartridge with no stopping power. I have personal knowledge of a case where a husband shot his wife's lover with one, in the face, and the guy lived. The .25 bullet broke his front tooth and lodged in the upper palate, but penetrated no deeper. Needless to say, the guy lived.

Sure you can kill someone with a .25. Even that tiny bullet, if it hits a major artery, or some other vital part of the body, will kill. A .32 or .380 can do the same thing. And it's also true that ALL handguns are underpowered. One of the training videos they show in my department is of a state trooper (I beleive from SC, but I can't remember the state for certain) who got in a shootout at the scene of a traffic stop. He emptied his .357 at the bad guy, and put five out six shots into the torso. The bad guy lived. The bad guy, armed with one of those tiny North American Arms single action .22 revolvers, shot the trooper twice, and killed the trooper. One of the bullets missed the trooper's ballistic vest (it went through the arm opening after it passed through the trooper's arm) and hit the aorta. The trooper bled out internally within two minutes and died at the scene. Two hits with a .22 LR vs. five with a .357 magnum, and the .22 proved more deadly in this case, because even those five torso hits from the .357 failed to hit anything truly vital. That sort of thing happens.

But having said that, a .22, or any really small, underpowered cartridge is still less than optimal. Because while you can find incidents like this, it's still only one incident. When you look at a large number of shootings, you can see a pattern of larger, more powerful calibers tending to be more effective. Put simply, across a large sample of cases, more people will fall to a .45 ACP or .357 magnum than to a .32 or a .25.

This is because a bullet must to two things to incapacitate a human target: it must 1) penetrate deeply enough into the body to hit something vital to the body's ability to continue functioning, and 2) it must do enough damage to that vital something to impair the body's ability to continue functioning, and do it quickly (it doesn't help you if your assailant is mortally wounded but isn't incapacitated before he is able to complete his attack and kill you).

Now bearing all this in mind, and acknowledging that even small, non-expanding bullets can accomplish both these tasks (at least some of the time), and further acknowledging that even larger, heavier, expanding bullets can and do fail to accomplish these two essential tasks some of the time, the fact is that larger, heavier, expanding bullets do the job more consistently, and there are mountains of evidence out there to indicate that this is so.

Now another practical consideration arises: controllability. If bigger is better, why aren't we carrying handguns loaded for the .50BMG? Well obviously, with handguns, there comes a point when the power of the cartridge becomes so great that it impairs the shooter's ability to control the gun, especially for rapid follow up shots if the first misses or fails to incapacitate, and this is why, Dirty Harry notwithstanding, the .44 magnum is not optimal for self defense use.

A couple of centuries' accumulated experience has given us enough evidence that the best balance of power and controllability is achieved with calibers, bullet weights, and velocities within a certain range. Tiny calibers like the .22 LR and .25 ACP fall below that range. Large, powerful cartridges like the .44 magnum and .454 casull exceed it. So while you possibly can (and some people have) successfully defend your life with a tiny little cartridge like the .25 or .22, you'll increase your odds with something a little bigger and more powerful. And when you consider that your one and only life is on the line should you find yourself involved in a gunfight, it really only makes sense to use something more powerful, and stack the odds in your favor as much as you possibly can. The .380 ACP is at the lower end of this optimal range, which is why many call it the minimum acceptable caliber. Perhaps drawing the line here is somewhat arbitrary, and it's certainly true that determining stopping power is at best a very inexact science, which is why debate about it rages to this day. But I think there is enough evidence to support the conclusion that you are best advised to stay within the optimal power/controllability range, in order to increase your odds of prevailing as much as possible.

JR47
January 22, 2009, 11:34 AM
And when you consider that your one and only life is on the line should you find yourself involved in a gunfight, it really only makes sense to use something more powerful, and stack the odds in your favor as much as you possibly can.

This, and the line about more expensive guns and what's your life worth are both red herrings.

The simple fact is that a pistol must be concealable for the majority of the carriers. Caliber takes a back seat to availability, period.

Consider, some of the micro guns that were nominally sized years ago in .380 or .32 are now available in 9mm, .40S&W, or .45 ACP. Small revolvers, once the home of the .32 S&W are now available in .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum, or small .44 Magnums. Many of these little guns are capable of recoil approaching the Magnums in full-size guns, only using less powerful cartridges. That would bring up the issue that was mentioned of follow-up shots.

The first rule of gun-fighting is to have a gun. The second is to have the largest gun that you can conceal, and control. Denigrating choices requires that we ignore the dress, physical stature, and health of the individual. That just doesn't make good sense.

Billy Shears
January 22, 2009, 12:06 PM
This, and the line about more expensive guns and what's your life worth are both red herrings.
Absolutely wrong. A red herring is an attempt to divert the argument with an irrelevant argument. How is a discussion of what is at stake in a gunfight (your life) irrelevant to the question of whether or not the caliber selected is sufficient to the task at hand? It's directly relevant.

The simple fact is that a pistol must be concealable for the majority of the carriers. Caliber takes a back seat to availability, period.
And pistols concealable for the majority of users ARE available in decent calibers and at suitable prices for almost ANY user. A Kel Tec P3AT or a Ruger LCP in .380ACP is so small, that no .25 will really conceal any better, whatever the method of carry used, and the Kel Tec is furthermore so inexpensive that there is nothing else that will accomodate a limited budget any better, so what reason is there left to carry a .25 or .22? And if something a bit larger can be carried, Glock, Kahr, Smith & Wesson (J frame .38), and other companies produce very concealable, very lightweight handguns, which are as convenient to carry (and thus are as likely to be carried) as anything available is, and which chamber calibers within the "ideal" stopping power/controllability range. Finally, none of these guns I have mentioned is at all uncontrollable for the vast majority of shooters. In short, the argument that you should carry a peashooter because you can't get anything better really doesn't hold up. Better guns are out there, and they are both concealable and affordable, nor are they hard-kicking blasters that cannot be controlled.

Ben86
January 22, 2009, 12:19 PM
"Does the .380 have enough stopping power?"

That's sort of a general question. Enough stopping power to stop what? A charging bear? A person hiped up on uppers or adrenaline with much physical strength and size? Against the average jerk trying to rob you or otherwise make you a victim?

According to results the .380 is enough to stop most potential attackers who are average willed, skilled and built. I consider it the lowest baseline of handgun power for serious defensive use.

However if against a really determined, strong attacker, or if a charging animal of considerable size was after me in the back of my mind I feel it might not be enough to stop them before I got hurt. I might consider running away shooting, if given the opportunity.

CoRoMo
January 22, 2009, 12:32 PM
Aged thread that had to get a new answer?

SuperNaut
January 22, 2009, 12:40 PM
Aged thread that had to get a new answer?

No kidding, but it is nice to know that I haven't gotten any more stupid over the past two years. :)

Mello
January 22, 2009, 02:48 PM
I do not understand why someone would chose a weaker round in the same size package. There are guns available in 9mm and 40S&W that are the same size as a 380acp.

Kahr makes some.

Kahr .380 ACP (Polymer Frame Model)
Model P380
Caliber .380 ACP
Capacity 6+1
Operation Trigger cocking DAO; lock breech; "Browning - type" recoil lug; passive striker block; no magazine disconnect
Barrel 2.5", Premium Lothar Walther Match Grade Barrel
Length O/A 4.9"
Height 3.9"
Slide Width .75"
Weight Pistol 9.97 ounces (w/o magazine)

Kahr (9mm Polymer Frame Model)
Model PM9
Caliber: 9mm
Capacity: 7+1 (magazine with grip extension)
Operation: Trigger cocking DAO; lock breech; "Browning - type" recoil lug; passive striker block; no magazine disconnect
Barrel: polygonal rifling; 3.0", polygonal rifling; 1 - 10 right-hand twist
Length O/A: 5.3"
Height: 4.0"
Slide Width: .90"
Weight: Pistol 14 ounces


Kahr (.40 S&W Polymer Frame Models)
Model PM40
Caliber: .40 S&W
Capacity: 5+1, 6+1 (magazine with grip extension)
Operation: Trigger cocking DAO; lock breech; "Browning - type" recoil lug; passive striker block; no magazine disconnect
Barrel: 3.0", polygonal rifling; 1 - 16 right-hand twist
Length O/A: 5.35"
Height: 4.0"
Slide Width: .94"
Weight: Pistol 15.8 ounces

You have a 10oz, a 14,oz and a 16 oz gun.
You have a 380acp, 9mm para, 40S&W.
All of them are about the same length, height and width.
Is weight more of a concern than bringing enough gun to a gunfight?

Niles Coyote
January 23, 2009, 04:21 AM
"Does it have sufficient power to quickly drop a man?"

This 380 had enough power to punch through the deer's lower rib cage bone and pass through the heart and off side rib cage bone to be recovered under the skin

http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k38/jpedzinski/PICT0001a.jpg

outerlimit
January 23, 2009, 05:40 AM
Looks like a lucky shot that hit no bone. Am I correct?

A bullet with more mass will not be affected as much by hitting a rib bone or breast cage and will crunch through more easily. A less massive bullet is more likely to bounce off or divert its path and cause less damage than a larger, heavier bullet traveling at the same speed. The weaker .380 perhaps allowing the perp time to give you a fatal stab to the heart or a fatal shot to a vital organ.

Handguns are weak by the laws of physics and when given the choice I will carry the largest, most powerful caliber possible to do my best at countering this, futile as it may be. A 230gr. .45acp at its typical speed will do a lot better job at stopping a man than a typical 95gr. .380acp. But both are less than ideal.

Niles Coyote
January 23, 2009, 06:28 AM
It may not look as damaged as some but it did hit a rib going in and knicked a rib on the exit side. Range was about 2 yards. total travel in the deer was about 7 to 8 inches.

Niles Coyote
January 23, 2009, 06:34 AM
The handgun was a Walther ppks and the deer had to be put down due to a less than ideal spine shot

kitsapcharly
January 23, 2009, 10:45 PM
There was an article in the XD forum yesterday by an ex-cop who now works in the Atlanta morgue and takes part in hundreds of autopsies every year. This is a long, major entry on the effectiveness of various calibers and bullet designs by someone who digs out bullets, records the wounds, gathers evidence, etc. from real dead humans. This is where the rubber really hits the road and far exceeds the theories, opinions and wild guesses so often seen in net forums.
Very, very strongly recommended!! Look for 40 S&W versus 45 ACP. It was in the 45 forum but may have been moved to another forum. You will find this is the real stuff. :what: Many sacred cows slaughtered.

JR47
January 23, 2009, 11:00 PM
Absolutely wrong. A red herring is an attempt to divert the argument with an irrelevant argument. How is a discussion of what is at stake in a gunfight (your life) irrelevant to the question of whether or not the caliber selected is sufficient to the task at hand? It's directly relevant.

Because it all proposes that you are the arbiter of "what's enough".

And pistols concealable for the majority of users ARE available in decent calibers and at suitable prices for almost ANY user.

That, on the other hand is simply the result of not reading what is posted.

Consider, some of the micro guns that were nominally sized years ago in .380 or .32 are now available in 9mm, .40S&W, or .45 ACP. Small revolvers, once the home of the .32 S&W are now available in .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum, or small .44 Magnums. Many of these little guns are capable of recoil approaching the Magnums in full-size guns, only using less powerful cartridges. That would bring up the issue that was mentioned of follow-up shots.

I'm guessing that this was ignored because it posed a more difficult question. The sad fact is that these little blasters recoil as much as larger guns in Magnum calibers do, or worse. This causes problems in practicing with the gun, and in follow-up shots. They, in semi-auto form, are also less reliable than larger versions of these guns.

The world is not always occupied by he-men, capable of handling J-frame .357 Mags, of mini 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP guns. Instead, it's mostly occupied by people who just want protection in that once in a life-time occasion. The super-guns aren't for them, but they are looking for something that will work, and will always be with them. Yes, to answer the question, weight CAN be a consideration. Especially when the weights can nearly DOUBLE when loaded (always a good idea if you would use it).

Again, these rounds under discussion also lose quite a bit of velocity, and power, when shot out of sub-3" barrels. However, we never seem to get around to that. Some will not expand at velocities much under 800-900 fps, and even then expand less than designed.

The real answers here are that you pick your caliber, weapon, and ammunition. You need to practice with it, and have the weapon WITH you. If some of us feel that we're going to ask a gang of MS-13 to "take it outside", then they'll NEED all of the power, ammo, and spare guns that they carry. The average citizen, on the other hand, isn't going to find themselves in that situation. They will, instead, find themselves involved in a couple of shots, at less than 7 yards, front on to the unarmored perp, normally in low-light conditions. They'll NEED to HIT, because you can't miss fast enough with your snub .500 S&W to win.

Guitargod1985
January 24, 2009, 12:03 AM
I do not understand why someone would chose a weaker round in the same size package. There are guns available in 9mm and 40S&W that are the same size as a 380acp.


I can't speak for anyone but myself, so I'll just give my reason for carrying a .380 in a fairly large (Sig P232) package.

I own three concealed carry guns: a HK P2000SK (9mm), Sig P232 (.380), and a Beretta Tomcat (.32). Each of these guns has it's place and I bought each for a specific purpose.

The P2000SK obviously has the greatest firepower of the three. I originally had a USP compact in .40 S&W but found the grip frame too be too large for my liking. I always felt as if it would print when I would move a certain way, and in Florida a firearm carried on your person MUST be concealed. So i opted for the P2000SK and stepped down to 9mm so practice ammo would be cheaper. While I like the gun, and it conceals acceptably, I can barely get a full grip even with the magazine finger extension, so it is a bit less controllable for me than my former USPc.

Because of the fixed barrel / blowback design of the Sig P232, I have a pistol that measures only 4.7" high and I can still get a full grip on it. However, the reason I carry this the most is because f all the pistols I have ever shot, I find the Sig P232 to be the most naturally pointing and controllable of all (for me). I can get better groups at 20 yards with this gun than I can at 10 with any compact pistol (or full size for that matter). THAT is the answer to your question. Yeah, it's "only a .380," but it's all about shot placement, right? How many times have we heard that one? I can get 3" offhand with this one at 15 yards. I'm lucky if I manage 5" groups with anything else.

As a side note, the Tomcat is what I carry when, for whatever reason I cannot carry one of the other two. For example, I carry the Tomcat at work in a pocket holster because concealment is an absolute must. I will lose my job if I am ever "made" at work, so I will not carry IWB where the potential for printing is there.

gglass
January 24, 2009, 01:22 AM
The fact of the matter is that the .22 caliber round kills more Americans than any other caliber... Look it up kids.

That just makes this entire thread akin to mental masturbation. The point you make here might make you feel good, but it does no one else any good.

Guitargod1985
January 24, 2009, 02:28 AM
The fact of the matter is that the .22 caliber round kills more Americans than any other caliber... Look it up kids.


Nice try.

The space shuttles have traveled more miles safely than any car. That must make them the safest mode of transportation, huh? Uh, no. We've had what, 120 missions? Two of which ended catastrophically. That's almost a 2% chance that any given trip will be disastrous.

The bottom line is that we're looking at percentages here. What is the likelihood of a one shot stop for a .22? a .380? The total numbers don't mean ****. The very best load for a .22LR has a one shot stop percentage of 27%, whereas the best defensive load for a .380 has a 71% one shot stop percentage.

Billy Shears
January 24, 2009, 04:37 AM
Because it all proposes that you are the arbiter of "what's enough".
In what way does stating a self evident fact (i.e. that your very life is at stake in a gunfight) propose that I am the "arbiter of 'what's enough'?"

Reminding people that the stakes in a gunfight are as high as they get is simply food for thought, and since this is the case, serious thought ought to be given to selecting the best available tool for the job. And when you look at it in that light, certain considerations stand out as more clearly important than others. This is just common sense.

That, on the other hand is simply the result of not reading what is posted.
On the contrary, I read every word.

I'm guessing that this was ignored because it posed a more difficult question. The sad fact is that these little blasters recoil as much as larger guns in Magnum calibers do, or worse.
It was ignored because I have not anywhere advocated carrying guns of that level of power. On the contrary, I paid due consideration to the issue of controllability. It looks like you are the one not reading carefully. None of the guns I mentioned (Kel Tec P3At, Ruger LCP, S&W J frame 38, Kahr 9mm, etc.) falls into that uncontrollable category.

This causes problems in practicing with the gun, and in follow-up shots. They, in semi-auto form, are also less reliable than larger versions of these guns.

The world is not always occupied by he-men, capable of handling J-frame .357 Mags, of mini 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP guns.
When I specifically mention the J frame .38 as a wholly viable self defense choice, why are you talking about the J frame .357? Where have I advocated carrying the most powerful caliber available in a given size? I wish you could tell me, because I seem to remember acknowledging that there were some guns that had too much recoil to be optimum for self defense, and I seem to recall that none of the ones I specifically mentioned fall into this category.

Instead, it's mostly occupied by people who just want protection in that once in a life-time occasion. The super-guns aren't for them, but they are looking for something that will work, and will always be with them. Yes, to answer the question, weight CAN be a consideration. Especially when the weights can nearly DOUBLE when loaded (always a good idea if you would use it).

Again, these rounds under discussion also lose quite a bit of velocity, and power, when shot out of sub-3" barrels. However, we never seem to get around to that. Some will not expand at velocities much under 800-900 fps, and even then expand less than designed.

The real answers here are that you pick your caliber, weapon, and ammunition. You need to practice with it, and have the weapon WITH you. If some of us feel that we're going to ask a gang of MS-13 to "take it outside", then they'll NEED all of the power, ammo, and spare guns that they carry. The average citizen, on the other hand, isn't going to find themselves in that situation. They will, instead, find themselves involved in a couple of shots, at less than 7 yards, front on to the unarmored perp, normally in low-light conditions. They'll NEED to HIT, because you can't miss fast enough with your snub .500 S&W to win.
Now here are red herrings. I never mentioned taking on large number of criminal street gang members or other such fantasy scenarios, so this sort of thing is indeed irrelevant (not to mention the fact that you are certainly being unnecessarily contentious). I'm talking strictly about real world scenarios likely to be faced by an ordinary armed citizen. And in such situations, the so called "typical" armed confrontation, if there is such a thing (e.g. occurring in low light, at a distance of less than seven yards, facing one opponent, etc.), I stand by my assertion that there ARE calibers that are simply poor choices. Yes I will concede that even a .25 is better than no gun at all. What I will not concede is that the .25 is something you ought to settle for since there are guns out there that are just as concealable, just as controllable, and just as affordable, yet offer greater power, and thus the greater likelihood of achieving quick incapacitation of the threat. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, when you can pick up a Kel Tec P3AT, for example, for a price as low as or lower than that of ANY decent quality handgun, when this gun is, for all practical intents and purposes, every bit as small and concealable as any .25 or .22 handgun is, and when the recoil from this gun is entirely within reasonable limits, and the gun can indeed be effectively controlled during rapid fire by a competent user, then it is manifestly true that you are unnecessarily taking on extra risks by using a less effective gun. And given that your very life is at stake in a gunfight, why would you ever want to do this? And if the occasion or your attire permits stepping up to something a bit bigger (but still entirely controllable and affordable) such as, say, a Kahr Mk9, a Glock 26, or a Smith & Wesson Model 40 in .38 special, why would you not want to avail yourself of the opportunity to carry something with an even greater likelihood of quickly neutralizing the threat?

Help me to understand this, because I really am having a hard time grasping this thought process.

bikerdoc
January 24, 2009, 07:40 AM
5 pages and still no agreement on an old thread. how boring. Solution, volunteers need to go down range and take a hit from a 380, now that would be the difinative answer( Yes Sarcasm is intended)

76shuvlinoff
January 24, 2009, 07:53 AM
...so at this point is this thread actually about justifying carrying the mouse guns or justifying carrying the hand cannons?

:scrutiny:

punkndisorderly
January 24, 2009, 08:50 AM
My generic answer to the what caliber is big enough dicussion:

The "what caliber" question is so devisive because there is no real generic answer that fits. There are simply too many variables, none of which can ever be completely defined or forseen, to really definitively answer the question.

Some of these variables relate to the person being defended from. How big are they, do they trun tail and run when faced with armed response, are they under the influence of drugs/alcohol, how far away are they, which way they are facing (direct vs quartering shots), what are they wearing (heavy clothes/ leather vs t-shirt an shorts), how determined an attacker are they, what are hey armed with, etc.

Some of the variables relate to the firing platform itself. Are the sights usable under stress by the person shooting it? hat ammo is loaded in it? How intimidating does it look? How is it carried and how quickly it can be presented? How quickly can followup shots be fired? Where do the fired rounds hit?

Then there are the variables with the person carrying it. How much gun are they willing to tote around. How much are they willing to alter their wardrobe to carry? How proficient are they with a particular firearm and firearms in general? How good are their eyes? How big/small/strong/weak are their hands? Etc.

What environmental situations also come into play. How near/far is the threat? What temperature is it (how much clothing is between the bullet and vitals)? Are there obstructions between the defender and threat (auto glass, brush, doors)? What are the lighting conditions?

There are situations where a BB gun may be enough caliber. For example if the sight of a gun deters the threat to go somewhere else quickly. There are situations where a .45 may be not enough gun. For example a heavily clothed and determined attacker high on PCP. There are also situations where a gun can be too much gun. For example a Beretta 96 or H&K USP .45 left at home when needed because it was too big or heavy for the person to want to carry, or in the hands of an elderly/disabled person with a weak grip/arthritis/etc. A .380 or .38 snubbie may even be enough caliber, but if the shooter can't hit with it, or the trigger guard is too small to fire with the gloves being worn, or any of a number of variables; it's all for nothing.

There is no generic gunfight, generic threat, or generic gun owner so there really can't be a generic answer. Each person who carries must decide how best to maximize their defense.

To me, this means carrying the biggest caliber and gun that you can shoot well and are willing to carry. Stoke it with the best defensive ammo you can find and that will function 100% in your carry gun. Keep your carry gun(s) well maintained and shoot them often. Then hope if it ever comes time to present and fire, hope you chose well.

Dirty Bob
January 24, 2009, 10:00 AM
Wow, it's amazing to read through this thread!

I think that punkndisorderly summed things up very well (italics are mine):
There is no generic gunfight, generic threat, or generic gun owner so there really can't be a generic answer. Each person who carries must decide how best to maximize their defense.

Perhaps we can agree on a few points:


The .380 has worked effectively to stop aggression in some cases, but not in others.
The round still appeals to some individuals due to its modest recoil, greater level of power than some calibers, and some popular guns (like the PPK, P-3AT, SIG P-232, some Makarovs, etc.) that fire it.
No matter what we say, each of us must make our own choice(s), and if put to the test on some dark night, we only have ourselves to blame for those choices.

Best wishes,
Dirty Bob

bmorgil
June 19, 2009, 07:44 PM
This conversation ,though interesting has no end. Everyone who has responded is correct in some form. The point is clear. Learn to shoot. Practice. Carry. A .380 works best with FMJ IN MY OPINION. As stated by many, a poorly placed shot does nothing. A .380 lacks the ability to penetrate heavy clothing and still expand. It will do fine however in FMJ. The main objective cannot be forgotten. A weapon is better than no weapon. Aim well, fire and remove yourself from danger. The .380 PPK is the best carry gun I have ever had. Loaded with FMJ it penetrates deep and causes pain. This is called distraction. Again, aim well fire repeatedly and find good cover. Only a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with #4 or larger :)(with a well placed torso or head shot) will immediately stop most trouble. The .380's are very easy to conceal (therefore you will probably carry them) and are light and will kill. Stop worrying about what is going to work if you can't shoot and use what you will carry.
Bob

KingMedicine
June 20, 2009, 02:20 AM
Ya know, i think i would rather not get shot by any said calibers. If you wanna carry a .380, then carry it.

This is a whole "Chicken or egg" arguement. People either like it, or they dont. Its a pretty good read tho at work when your bored.

searcher451
June 20, 2009, 03:16 PM
Sung to the Star Wars theme: "Caliber Wars ... nothing but Caliber Wars ... those ol' darn Caliber Wars ... da da da daaaaah"

The .22 is plenty enough caliber, with plenty of examples through recent history. What makes you think that a well-placed .380 is not?

thomc
February 15, 2010, 03:32 PM
This was a great read with a lot of excellent insight and information which is the reason I am replying to this thread instead of starting a new one.
I carefully read 90% of the previous 7 pages and skimmed the remaining 10%.
In most of the situations I exercise in my head, where I would need to protect myself using force/ deadly force, there is a 15' or less personal space radius.
I know there are lots of exceptions to this, but for my sake lets just assume 15'.

While shot placement was discussed, I am still uncertain about something.

Maybe this is a question that belongs in the "oh, we do not talk about that" category. I am not privy to the ethics of such things.

With that said, why has no one suggested to shoot at the bad guy's head?
Is that a no no? Are we not supposed to shoot there?

Wouldn't a .380 90 grain FMJ placed in the center of the bad guy's upper nasal bridge/ lower forehead be a one stop shot? That is a pretty easy shot at 15' or less. How about 5 shots to the head?

Please keep in mind that I am not requesting advice on a one stop shot.
My question concerns head shot placement ethics (if any) and its effectiveness using the .380

rcmodel
February 15, 2010, 03:42 PM
Yes it would.
But it is not recommended you try it for a couple of reasons.

First, the frontal skull plate is one of the hardest & thickest bones in the human body, and it is often presented to you at an angle that promotes a bullet glancing off. Aim at the eye sockets and miss by an inch or two?
You got a very PO'd BG with a headache & a bloody forehead.

Second, the head is the hardest target there is to hit, because it is always moving during a high-stress confrontation.

Nobody is just going to stand there and let you shoot at their head until you get lucky and hit it.

COM shots are recommended because it is mostly relatively soft tissue, and even if you miss 6" or 8" one way or the other, you are still going to hit something very important.

rc

thomc
February 15, 2010, 03:52 PM
Thanks rcmodel,
that easily answered my question.

KevinR
February 15, 2010, 05:21 PM
Some people just hate the number 380. The fact of the matter is, stopping power is a mith. It is all about bleeding and no mater what you are shot with the human body has about 15 to 20 seconds of run time because of excess oxygen in the blood after the heart stops. So no matter what you shoot the bad guy with, if he wants you bad enough you will have to deal with him for at least 15 seconds, unless shot in the head or spine.

As stated by other members the 380 is so close to many other cartridges, same diameter as .38, .38 special, 357 magnum .002 smaller than a 9MM but all of those are great bad guy stoppers. :what:

I love my .380

kokapelli
February 15, 2010, 07:13 PM
This argument comes up often and I always think of the Miami FBI shootout when it does.

Most people here are aware of the FBI Miami shootout with Platt and Matix. If you are not familiar with this you can read the account here...http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs7.htm


Despite receiving what has been described as an unsurvivable wound from a 9mm pistol Michael Platt was still able to kill two FBI agents and wound five others. Platt had 223 rifle.

The 9mm Silvertip bullet fired by an FBI agent that hit Platt expanded, penetrated completely through his upper arm, entered his chest cavity and severed a major artery and than penetrated his lung and despite receiving this unsurvivable wound along with other wounds, Platt was able to continue shooting for 1-1/2 minutes.

In this case 9mm didn't make the difference.

It's all about being lucky enough to hit the right spot or having a rifle.

WardenWolf
March 10, 2010, 05:00 AM
I personally chose to compromise, and got a Makarov in 9x18. A little more powerful than a .380, and some loadings approach .38 Special in power. Some commercial Makarovs do exist in .380, but the original military loading is better and more convenient (ammo is much cheaper and easier to find). The way I look at it, the .380 is the bare minimum you should consider carrying. If you can do better, you should, but the .380 will do the job if it's what you have. I'd personally take a compact 9mm or .40 over a .380, or the 9x18 Makarov as I did.

easyg
March 10, 2010, 09:53 AM
As stated by other members the 380 is so close to many other cartridges, same diameter as .38, .38 special, 357 magnum .002 smaller than a 9MM but all of those are great bad guy stoppers.
If bullet diameter was the determining factor then a .38 Special would have the same effect as a .357 Magnum, which is certainly does not!

Guns and more
March 10, 2010, 10:02 AM
I think NOBODY should carry a .380.



Maybe then I can find ammo for mine.

gmh1013
March 10, 2010, 10:25 AM
Unless its a through the head or heart shot shot any caliber may take 2-3-4 shots to stop some BG

saturno_v
March 10, 2010, 12:26 PM
I did not read the entire thread so I don't know if someone made this point already.

Comparing the 380 and 38 Special can be misleading.....even if you have very similar energy level (~200 ft/lb) the typical 38 Special slug is 158 gr. vs. 90 gr. for the 380 (same caliber) so the SD of the 38 Special bullet is much higher (.177 vs. .102) and that usually means much better penetration capabilities.

NMGonzo
March 10, 2010, 12:35 PM
I think NOBODY should carry a .380.



Maybe then I can find ammo for mine.

Cabelas is your friend.

stinger 327
March 10, 2010, 12:52 PM
Has anyone here seen that Desert Eagle Micro with a teflon finish? It's a .380 DAO but it is a real beauty.

kokapelli
March 10, 2010, 01:47 PM
Has anyone here seen that Desert Eagle Micro with a teflon finish? It's a .380 DAO but it is a real beauty.
Yes I have one and its 100% reliable and accurate at close range, but for me the Diamondback is more comfortable to shoot and more accurate at all distances.

http://omploader.org/vM2h5MQ/Micro.jpg

stinger 327
March 10, 2010, 02:09 PM
Wow now that is beautiful. What is a Diamondback?

dogtown tom
March 10, 2010, 05:22 PM
It is scientific fact that the .380 is sadly lacking as a self defense round.:barf:

That's why I prefer the 9mm Browning Short instead.;)





.

stinger 327
March 10, 2010, 05:37 PM
It is scientific fact that the .380 is sadly lacking as a self defense round.:barf:

That's why I prefer the 9mm Browning Short instead.;)





.
Of course I agree but it is another piece of eye candy. I got NAA mini rev. .22LR, .22 MAG, Baretta 21 .25 ACP, Baretta Tomcat .32 ACP, up to .45 which I like the best as far as accuracy goes.

stinger 327
March 10, 2010, 11:34 PM
For the .380 which load is the best load for stopping?
I have been told that since mouseguns are just that they usually don't have enough velocity to expand so they maybe useless in hollow point.

Use full metal jacket then you get the full benefit of the penetration so there a better chance of penetrating a vital organ and feeding in auto action.
Shooting into a 2 x 4 piece of wood I found the Magsafe the most devistating looking in damage. These type of fragible rounds have been criticized as not having enough penetration but only produce large surface wounds.:eek:

CZF
March 11, 2010, 08:30 AM
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb26/czrami/GUNS2/MDE/MDE%20High%20Noon%20Pocket/HNN2.jpg
For a Summer gun, my little MDE will give me an 'always' gun in pocket holster or
belt holster and spare mag.
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb26/czrami/GUNS2/MDE/Marschal%20Grips/kev-grips-2.jpg
I carried it and my RAMI tonight.
http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb26/czrami/High%20Noon%20RAMI/HighNoon357-5.jpg
And felt well armed indeed.

stinger 327
March 12, 2010, 12:18 AM
SniperStraz,

I'm glad you used the words "stopping power" rather than knock down power. In my opinion/view no defensive pistol has knock down power. If it did it would also knock down the shooter.

The 380 acp is weaker than the 9mm, the 40S&W , 45acp, and 10mm.

Jeff Cooper was going to be an expert witness in a case where the DA was prosecuting the shooter in a case where the shooter shot the deceased 8 times with a 380. The DA's view of the case was that the shooter wanted to kill the victim. That the shooter put 8 bullets into the victim proved to the DA that the shooter wanted to kill him; that putting 8 bullets in the guy was excessive force.

Cooper reviewed the autopsy and heard the shooter's story and concluded that it was necessary to hit the guy 8 times to stop him. All 8 bullets entered the bad guy while he was standing up and entered the front of the target. The weapon was a Beretta that held 14 rounds. The shooter ended up having to endure the stress and expense of two trials before being found not guilty.

While a 380 is better than nothing it is not much smaller than a 9mm (which I would not personally chose to bet my life on either).

I was on patrol as a sheriff's deputy once when I came upon the aftermath of a shooting. The victim was face down with a bunch of little holes in his sides and back. He was about 6'9", 280 pounds, 23 year old male. He had tried to run from the shooter. The shooter put eight or nine 25 acp bullets into the victim as they ran all around a parking lot. As they lifted the victim onto the stretcher one of the bullets fell out of his t-shirt. Good penetration.
(Somehow the jury found the shooter not guilty by reason of self-defense!!)

The 25acp was enough to kill the guy. Would you choose to carry a 25acp?


No. Not reliably.
An SFPD motorcyle officer was killed in 1983 in San Francisco on a busy street (Van Ness Ave.) while conducting a traffic stop. The guy he stopped got into a wrestling match and managed to pull out a .25 Raven and shot the officer once in the head which proved fatal.

stinger 327
March 12, 2010, 12:21 AM
I'm sure this question has been brought up many times, but I can't seem to find any answers that are very straight forward so here we go... I'm thinking about getting a .380 ACP in the form of something like a Kel-Tec P3AT. At that size and weight its like a CC dream come true, but I'm not so confident about the stopping power. What do you guys think? Does it have sufficient power to quickly drop a man?
You can get MagSafe ammo in .380 which is light a very fast round and when it hit target it empties shot in all different directions creating wound cavities which might make it difficult for the surgeon to save target.

stinger 327
March 12, 2010, 12:22 AM
Well people have been felled with less, and I certainly wouldn't want to be shot with one. But it wouldn't be my first choice as a defensive caliber. Certainly better than nothing, but they sure look tiny sitting next to .45ACP.
But a .357 snubbie can do much more damage that the .45ACP.

dacavasi
March 12, 2010, 12:26 AM
NO...

stinger 327
March 12, 2010, 12:27 AM
A .380 isn't enough. 9mm isn't enough. .40 isn't enough. 10 mm isn't enough. .50 isn't enough. Only a .45 is enough. :rolleyes:

I think if you do the math on your chances of actually using the thing, and the chances of caliber making a difference, everyone would quit worrying about the caliber war. And let's see how many people jump in and flame me on that one. I bet if the math were done, you'd have a MUCH better chance of winning the lotto. So, my advice, buy a cheap .380, and spend the rest of the money on the lotto.
But the .357 Magnum?

stinger 327
March 12, 2010, 12:29 AM
Folks I think we need to look at the context so to speak. We need to look beyond the caliber to the overall situation. Frank (357 Magnum) I agree that a .380 is a poor choice for a duty weapon. I don't think Straz is looking for that. For a gun that's never too heavy to carry, and always there, a P3AT is quite a bit of gun in a small package. I prefer my 1911 (soon to be either of them) as a primary carry gun, followed by either my BHP or my S&W M66 snubbie. None of this will pocket carry and disappear like a P3AT. None of them will carry in a neck holster when I'm out running or jogging in gym shorts and t-shirt. In those situations I'll take the P3AT over no gun. The P3AT is also a great pocket carry backup to a larger gun. I view the P3AT as a shoot back while you get the heck out of dodge gun.

If I was a peace officer - never knowing if I'd be facing well armed criminal on the next traffic stop, or a unstable person with a long gun on the next domestic disturbance - I'd certainly want the largest caliber, highest capacity weapon I could comfortably shoot and afforbably practice with riding on my duty belt. Therein lies the difference. An armed citizen arms himself in case trouble arises. A law enforcement/peace officer arms himself to deal with the trouble he must go into as part of his job.

For home defence I'll take a shotgun or carbine over any handgun.

In the end though, I'll take any firearm over a sharp stick or my bare hands. The tiny gun I can carry anywhere beats the big gun I can carry sometimes. In that context the P3AT and like guns are great tools to have in the toolbox with the others.
If you want the best concealment and the lightest in weight and smallest in size get one of those NAA .22 LR or .22 Magnum Mini Revolvers. Those are some high quality made pieces.

stinger 327
March 12, 2010, 12:31 AM
Round speed, expansion and penetration all takes us to the point we want = stop the opponent. The more the better but psychological condition of who your trying to stop plays a big role too. I had a guy in my area that was shot 7 times with a .45 and is still walking around and braking in to houses like nothing happened and I've seen people get shot with only one .25 shot and act like they got shot with a cannon and go to shock and die. Yet the old motto stands a .380 in my pocket is more effective than a AR-15 in the trunk or a 45 left at home cause its 2 heavy or hot to carry. :)
You are a good candidate for the NAA Mini Revolvers. :)

stinger 327
March 12, 2010, 12:33 AM
If you don't want to spend your life in jail any SD shooting is going to be up close. The reason people don't carry .22's is because compacts jam on rimfire. I'd gladly carry a 10 oz hi-cap reliable hi-cap pistol if they made one.
You must mean about the misfires are common in rimfires making them very unreliable. A .25 ACP would be better at least more chance if ignition and no misfire.

stinger 327
March 12, 2010, 12:35 AM
There are also multiple stories of people being shot dozens of times with a 9mm P handgun. Yet, we don't hear about it's lack of power. How many times one is shot is often dependent more on the capacity of the gun, than on the lethality of the bullet. It's a proven fact that a minimally trained shooter can empty a high-capacity semi-auto in a couple of seconds. It's empty often before the perp hits the ground.

We had to physically restrain a man who had been shot five times, COM, with 9mm +P+ JHP, from Beretta Model 92s. He lived to stand trial. That's 124 gr. +P+, at a range of less than 15 yards, from a full-size pistol. That doesn't make the 9mm, even a +P+, sound like a good self-defense caliber, now does it?

We don't all carry .25 ACP pistols because we've been told that they don't work. Even though they were commonly thought of as sufficient by entire generations of people 75 years ago. The same goes for the .32 ACP and .380 ACP for personal protection.

It's not like a reasonable person is going to face an entire Chapter of Hell's Angels, or MS13. Yet, we hear about bullet performance on sheet-metal and auto-glass, and how carrying spare guns and magazines might be necessary. If I believed half-of the reasoning espoused here, I'd be a civilian American walking the streets of Somalia, not in America.

I don't see why we're all not lugging MP5Ks under trench-coats 24/7, if the "scenarios" envisioned here were in the least bit realistic.
I guess it depends on the type of situation and how close you are to your target to be able to utilize the second necessity placement of the bullet.

stinger 327
March 12, 2010, 12:39 AM
I don't carry a .25 because it really is a pipsqueak cartridge with no stopping power. I have personal knowledge of a case where a husband shot his wife's lover with one, in the face, and the guy lived. The .25 bullet broke his front tooth and lodged in the upper palate, but penetrated no deeper. Needless to say, the guy lived.

Sure you can kill someone with a .25. Even that tiny bullet, if it hits a major artery, or some other vital part of the body, will kill. A .32 or .380 can do the same thing. And it's also true that ALL handguns are underpowered. One of the training videos they show in my department is of a state trooper (I beleive from SC, but I can't remember the state for certain) who got in a shootout at the scene of a traffic stop. He emptied his .357 at the bad guy, and put five out six shots into the torso. The bad guy lived. The bad guy, armed with one of those tiny North American Arms single action .22 revolvers, shot the trooper twice, and killed the trooper. One of the bullets missed the trooper's ballistic vest (it went through the arm opening after it passed through the trooper's arm) and hit the aorta. The trooper bled out internally within two minutes and died at the scene. Two hits with a .22 LR vs. five with a .357 magnum, and the .22 proved more deadly in this case, because even those five torso hits from the .357 failed to hit anything truly vital. That sort of thing happens.

But having said that, a .22, or any really small, underpowered cartridge is still less than optimal. Because while you can find incidents like this, it's still only one incident. When you look at a large number of shootings, you can see a pattern of larger, more powerful calibers tending to be more effective. Put simply, across a large sample of cases, more people will fall to a .45 ACP or .357 magnum than to a .32 or a .25.

This is because a bullet must to two things to incapacitate a human target: it must 1) penetrate deeply enough into the body to hit something vital to the body's ability to continue functioning, and 2) it must do enough damage to that vital something to impair the body's ability to continue functioning, and do it quickly (it doesn't help you if your assailant is mortally wounded but isn't incapacitated before he is able to complete his attack and kill you).

Now bearing all this in mind, and acknowledging that even small, non-expanding bullets can accomplish both these tasks (at least some of the time), and further acknowledging that even larger, heavier, expanding bullets can and do fail to accomplish these two essential tasks some of the time, the fact is that larger, heavier, expanding bullets do the job more consistently, and there are mountains of evidence out there to indicate that this is so.

Now another practical consideration arises: controllability. If bigger is better, why aren't we carrying handguns loaded for the .50BMG? Well obviously, with handguns, there comes a point when the power of the cartridge becomes so great that it impairs the shooter's ability to control the gun, especially for rapid follow up shots if the first misses or fails to incapacitate, and this is why, Dirty Harry notwithstanding, the .44 magnum is not optimal for self defense use.

A couple of centuries' accumulated experience has given us enough evidence that the best balance of power and controllability is achieved with calibers, bullet weights, and velocities within a certain range. Tiny calibers like the .22 LR and .25 ACP fall below that range. Large, powerful cartridges like the .44 magnum and .454 casull exceed it. So while you possibly can (and some people have) successfully defend your life with a tiny little cartridge like the .25 or .22, you'll increase your odds with something a little bigger and more powerful. And when you consider that your one and only life is on the line should you find yourself involved in a gunfight, it really only makes sense to use something more powerful, and stack the odds in your favor as much as you possibly can. The .380 ACP is at the lower end of this optimal range, which is why many call it the minimum acceptable caliber. Perhaps drawing the line here is somewhat arbitrary, and it's certainly true that determining stopping power is at best a very inexact science, which is why debate about it rages to this day. But I think there is enough evidence to support the conclusion that you are best advised to stay within the optimal power/controllability range, in order to increase your odds of prevailing as much as possible.
Just think the officer had a vest on and the guy with the .22 didn't. If the guy with the .22 had a vest he would be less hurt.

mbt2001
March 12, 2010, 12:47 AM
What do you guys think? Does it have sufficient power to quickly drop a man?

Yes, it does. There are a lot of qualifications that can go in front of that statement, but the answer is YES. .380's have a very proven track record, as the round is just about as old as any of the auto rounds. It has been used extensively by police in Europe as well as here in the USA.

Federal hydrashocks are the way to go with this round. Fire 200 or so rounds to wear the gun in, then fire 100 or so hydrashocks(or whatever your carry round is it MUST BE HP) and those rounds MUST feed with virtually NO stoppages.

Good luck.

EDIT:

Also, quit raging on the .25 NO ONE HAS EVER REPRESENTED THE .25 / .32 / .380 as the ULTRA MAN STOPPER. It is a gun, however, that you can get cheap, in a reasonably reliable package and wear it all the time. It isn't an Home Defense gun, but it beats nothing. I carry one when I walk my dog during the summer. A LORCIN L25 .25 ACP for all the haters / clones. Yes, seriously, that is what I carry. Flame me. It works, it is reliable, it was what I could afford, it conceals easy in not much clothing. I use Hornady controlled expansion rounds in it and FMJ's.

Carry what you can. Leave the rest to God.

stinger 327
March 12, 2010, 12:47 AM
This conversation ,though interesting has no end. Everyone who has responded is correct in some form. The point is clear. Learn to shoot. Practice. Carry. A .380 works best with FMJ IN MY OPINION. As stated by many, a poorly placed shot does nothing. A .380 lacks the ability to penetrate heavy clothing and still expand. It will do fine however in FMJ. The main objective cannot be forgotten. A weapon is better than no weapon. Aim well, fire and remove yourself from danger. The .380 PPK is the best carry gun I have ever had. Loaded with FMJ it penetrates deep and causes pain. This is called distraction. Again, aim well fire repeatedly and find good cover. Only a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with #4 or larger :)(with a well placed torso or head shot) will immediately stop most trouble. The .380's are very easy to conceal (therefore you will probably carry them) and are light and will kill. Stop worrying about what is going to work if you can't shoot and use what you will carry.
Bob
I have heard of this before on the topic of mouse guns is that you are better off with FMJ because they feed well and the extra penetration you get in hopes of hitting a vital organ is crucial. This all depends on how close you are and again placement. But as I have said before from what I have seen of MagSafe loads those are devistating and would definitely soup up and supercharge whatever round you are using with the exception of the .22 LR as they don't make this in that caliber.

easyg
March 12, 2010, 01:03 PM
.380's have a very proven track record, as the round is just about as old as any of the auto rounds. It has been used extensively by police in Europe as well as here in the USA.
I don't think that any police agency use the .380 these days.
Even in Europe the 9mm Para seems to be the police caliber of choice.

And I've never heard of any police agency abandoning the 9mm Para, or the .40S&W, or the .45ACP, or the .357Sig in order to go back to the .380.
I think that most cops would call you nuts if you told them to start carrying a .380 as their service pistol.




Also, quit raging on the .25
Sorry, but the .25 just sucks.
I would never recommend a .25 to anyone...ever.
I would carry a .22 magnum before I carried a .25 pistol.

kokapelli
March 12, 2010, 01:17 PM
.380's have a very proven track record, as the round is just about as old as any of the auto rounds. It has been used extensively by police in Europe as well as here in the USA.
---End Quote---
I don't think that any police agency use the .380 these days.
Even in Europe the 9mm Para seems to be the police caliber of choice.

And I've never heard of any police agency abandoning the 9mm Para, or the .40S&W, or the .45ACP, or the .357Sig in order to go back to the .380.
I think that most cops would call you nuts if you told them to start carrying a .380 as their service pistol.
Police have gone to more powerful rounds because they need a round that will penetrate barriers like windshields and car doors.

Yes police want a round that will penetrate barriers like windshields and car doors.

For self defense I don't think we need to be able to shoot through windshields.

easyg
March 12, 2010, 01:29 PM
Yes police want a round that will penetrate barriers like windshields and car doors.
Yes, but most of all police want a round that will quickly stop a human aggressor.
The .380 does not have a good reputation for doing so.

For self defense I don't think we need to be able to shoot through windshields.
Maybe not, but I too want a round that will quickly stop a human aggressor.
Which why I carry a .40 instead of a .380.

kokapelli
March 12, 2010, 01:39 PM
Yes, but most of all police want a round that will quickly stop a human aggressor.
The .380 does not have a good reputation for doing so.


Maybe not, but I too want a round that will quickly stop a human aggressor.
Which why I carry a .40 instead of a .380.
There are all kinds of instances where BGs have been hit by more powerful rounds than a 380 and continued to fight long enough to harm or kill police officers. If you want to have a round that has proven instant stopping power you will need 00 buckshot and not a pistol.

easyg
March 12, 2010, 01:45 PM
There are all kinds of instances where BGs have been hit by more powerful rounds than a 380 and continued to fight long enough to harm or kill police officers.
True, but the odds are much greater of stopping someone with a .40 slug than a .380 slug, all other things being equal.

hammerklavier
March 12, 2010, 02:45 PM
Let's hurry up and put this "Does .380 ACP have enough stopping power?" argument to rest so we can start arguing over whether 9mm Luger has enough stopping power.

stinger 327
March 12, 2010, 03:24 PM
I don't think that any police agency use the .380 these days.
Even in Europe the 9mm Para seems to be the police caliber of choice.

And I've never heard of any police agency abandoning the 9mm Para, or the .40S&W, or the .45ACP, or the .357Sig in order to go back to the .380.
I think that most cops would call you nuts if you told them to start carrying a .380 as their service pistol.





Sorry, but the .25 just sucks.
I would never recommend a .25 to anyone...ever.
I would carry a .22 magnum before I carried a .25 pistol.
Does .22 Mag have lots of misfires like .22LR?

stinger 327
March 12, 2010, 03:25 PM
Let's hurry up and put this "Does .380 ACP have enough stopping power?" argument to rest so we can start arguing over whether 9mm Luger has enough stopping power.
Don't forget the great 80's debate 9mm vs. .45

kokapelli
March 12, 2010, 03:40 PM
Does .22 Mag have lots of misfires like .22LR?
I used only CCI and have never had a failure with a 22 mag.

almtiba
March 12, 2010, 04:00 PM
Hi, guys...

I live in Brazil, and the .380 is the biggest auto pistol caliber allowed for civilians.
I am a criminal lawyer, and I have a CCW permit, wich is very difficult, not to say almost impossible to obtain nowadays...
I carry a Beretta 84F, with 90gr. Hydra Shock bullets, loaded to 1160~1180 fps.
Since there are lots of .380s in the streets, there are lots of statistics and reports about .380 wounds.

The general consensus is that, like everybody already knows, the .380 is a great killer, but a poor stopper.
I know there are different cases and uses for the gun in a self defense situation, but a common use around here, just for example, is to use the gun to shoot a BG thru your car window. (Yes - the most typical form of robbery in large cities around here happens when you stop - by day or by night - at a stoplight, and the BG aproches by the driver's window, asking for money, wallet, wristwatch, purse or bag... whatever you have in sight)

So, there are lots of reports of citizens shooting the bad guys thru the window, and the .380 is well known by it's bad performance thru glass. That said, there is a general "order" that when you soot the BG thru the window, you should shoot a lot. The first round break the glass (hitting the BG, of course) but with a reduced velocity and the following shots can do the job.

Since we use the .380 in big plataforms (the most common pistols here are the Glock 25, CZ83, Taurus PT58 and the IMBEL - a 1911 clone in .380 with a 19 shot capacity) everybory who carry, trains rapid fire, double taps and quick follow ups... Just because knowing the limitations of power, you know that if you need to shoot, you shoot till the threat is down.

back to the reports, there are lots of shootouts where a druged BG received lots of shots without stoping and again, lots and lots of one shot stops too...

Wich confirm the general wisdom, that it's shot placement that counts...

But since in a self defence, a stressfull situation, you cannot relly on the same abilities you have at a training range, the better rule, in my humble opinion, is to use the biggest, strongest caliber available, since your shot, as I said can be less than perfect...

Excuse my English...

Regards,

Andre Tiba - Brazil

easyg
March 12, 2010, 04:03 PM
Does .22 Mag have lots of misfires like .22LR?
I have a Ruger and it has never had a misfire with .22LR.
And neither of my .22LR rifles (a Remington and a Savage) have ever had misfires.

Maybe it's your gun?

Nicky Santoro
March 12, 2010, 04:27 PM
Does the .380 really have enough stopping power?

Two in the upper thorax and one in the face is the drill I use. <...>

xXxplosive
March 12, 2010, 04:29 PM
Ever see that video where the guy in the vest takes a shot from a .22cal. revolver from an associate.....that little bullet dropped him off his feet and hurt like heck and that was with the vest on.

All these calibers discussed here will do you in. Even the .17cal will eventually end a career.....but will it stop a threat immediately..........not likely.

That's why the larger more powerful calibers are required.....to stop the threat now.....not stop your clock 5 minutes from now.

stinger 327
March 12, 2010, 06:23 PM
I have a Ruger and it has never had a misfire with .22LR.
And neither of my .22LR rifles (a Remington and a Savage) have ever had misfires.

Maybe it's your gun?
I have had them in a Browning Buckmark, Ruger 10/22 and NAA mini revolver. All are Long rifle.22. Nothing ever with the .22 MAG but I don't use that as much.

Steve 48
March 12, 2010, 06:29 PM
I have a P3AT and feel protected as long as it is a close encounter. My M60 in 357 is much more assuring!!!

gmh1013
March 12, 2010, 11:04 PM
I was shooting my Bersa Today....and yes with Gold dot 90 grain H-P or a 95 grain slug.
Its not a .357 125 grain full power mag but I never feel out-gunned with one clip of 95gr
round nose slug and one of 90 H-P's.
I would NOT want to be hit with either.

stinger 327
March 12, 2010, 11:07 PM
I have a P3AT and feel protected as long as it is a close encounter. My M60 in 357 is much more assuring!!!
.357 will get the job done well.

nathan
March 12, 2010, 11:54 PM
I go for the 9 mm Makarov. AMmo is much cheaper and more available.

stinger 327
March 12, 2010, 11:59 PM
I go for the 9 mm Makarov. AMmo is much cheaper and more available.
Cheaper and more available than what?

kokapelli
March 13, 2010, 08:36 AM
I go for the 9 mm Makarov. AMmo is much cheaper and more available.
Yes but not the selection of quality self defense ammo available in 380.

amd6547
March 13, 2010, 10:07 AM
I agree with prefering 9mm mak. Since I use FMJ in 380acp, the selection of overpriced magic bullets is not an issue when comparing 9mm mak to 380. I can buy all the 9mm mak ammo I want for $10/box.

Fastcast
March 13, 2010, 12:41 PM
I also just run FMJ in my CZ-82 and don't think twice about. It's a little bigger diameter than .380 or 9x19 and at 1050+ FPS times 13 rounds, hopefully it will be enough to allow me to back my way out of trouble.

Now I do run .380 102gr. HP Golden Sabers in the Beretta M84.....Since it has a 3.85" barrel but if I was carrying a little pocket rocket like an LCP it would probably just be FMJ....Maybe would run 1 HP in the tube and FMJ in the mag.

I'm not so sold on the HP in these calibers, from the gel/penetration tests I've seen. :scrutiny:..........There's always a compromise when carrying.

snooperman
March 13, 2010, 04:46 PM
today with the better variety of modern ammo that is available, like Corbon, and Speer gold dot, and others, the 380ACP will deliver adequate velocity and , penetration and expansion. I carry the 38 special +P but would feel fine with a 380 with Gold dots.

stinger 327
March 13, 2010, 10:12 PM
today with the better variety of modern ammo that is available, like Corbon, and Speer gold dot, and others, the 380ACP will deliver adequate velocity and , penetration and expansion. I carry the 38 special +P but would feel fine with a 380 with Gold dots.
Corbon is great ammo. Is MagSafe and Corbon related somehow or made by same Company?

kokapelli
March 14, 2010, 10:30 AM
This website has interesting information on different brands of 380 ammo performance from a short barrel.

One thing I noticed is that Herter 380 fmj is actually a little hotter than most other 380 fmj.

http://www.citybillys.com/380%20data

The_Shootist
March 14, 2010, 01:45 PM
Another vote for the Mak. Dunno about SD ammo not being available. Hornady makes a good round....and this is coming soon:

2.9X18 Makarov+P----Velocities derived from 4 inch Mak pistols
◦95gr. JHP@ 1125 fps
◦115gr. Hard cast-FN@1000 fps


Courtesy of Buffalo Bore of course!

christcorp
March 14, 2010, 02:34 PM
The 9x18 Makarov caliber is definitely one of the best self defense calibers. Not too big for people to handle; and not too light to be a problem. (Even though, I don't believe in that TOO LIGHT crap). Currently, I have used Hornady, PowRball, and SilverBear HP for Self defense. All shoot fantastic through my CZ82. Then again, the CZ-82 is also one of the best pistols out there, and will shoot anything you feed it. So there is definitely good defensive ammo out there. And yes, Buffalo-Bore is definitely setting up for a couple of good rounds. I've had discussions with them for the last year, and they indeed are getting up on it.

As to the question of "What is 9mm mak cheaper and more available than", that is a very obvious answer. It's cheaper and more available (On-Line), than any other ammo. The ammo for plinking is about $9-$10 a box if you look around. What other ammo is that cheap? Yes, if you don't know how to shop, it can cost you around $12. The cost of good defensive ammo is about the same as any other. In the $18-$24 range.

As for the 380 not being powerful enough; that is also pure B.S. I even carry my 32acp walther, because I trust it too. If you are the type that in a defensive situation and is probably going to close their eyes when they pull the trigger at another "Human Being", then you probably need a much bigger caliber and a 15 round magazine. But shot placement is everything. If you can maintain composure, and take aim, then a 32 or 380 will also work fine.

And for those that tell you a 32 or 380 isn't enough for self defense, respectfully mention to them that you really do want to know the truth. And that you'd like to do some honest experiments. Ask them if they'll stand about 10-20 feet away from you, wearing all the clothes/coats that they want, and let you shoot them with a 32acp or 380acp. I really doubt that you'll get ANY volunteers. And when they back peddle and tell you, "well..... yea it's fine for normal people...... but..... against the crazed drugged up criminal........ well, it just won't work......". Think seriously and digest what they just said. You'll realize that you're not a police officer breaking down doors and doing a drug bust, or infiltrating a gang. That you're walking down the street and simply needing to protect yourself. And the bad guy is betting 100% that you aren't armed. If s/he knew for a fact that you were armed, they guaranteed WOULD NOT try to mug or rob you. They would go after an easier target. That is a fact. And if/when you pull out your 32 or 380, or whatever you have, that is going to totally change their attitude. Now me, personally, I wouldn't really choose a 380. Not because of the caliber, but because the ammo is just too difficult to find and when you do, it's too expensive to practice with. I have a small 380, and I keep it for the rarest occasions when I am dressed such that no other gun will work, but I prefer my 9mm makarov caliber CZ-82, or my walther PPK 32acp, or if possible, my Sig P220 45acp. The main reason I LOVE the P220, is that after 7 shots at a target 20 feet away, I actually have to get REAL CLOSE to look at the holes, because 7 shots look like 4 shots. It's that accurate. But other than that, you will be fine with a 380. But as others have said, the 9x18 makarov caliber is cheaper and easier to get, there are at least 3 really effective self defense rounds with more coming. And for self defense, it's probably one of the best all around calibers. Not to big and not too small of a gun or caliber.

Myles
March 14, 2010, 03:05 PM
I've always had a special place for the .380. I don't consider it ideal, by any means; however, a small handgun with you is better than a large one at home.

Now, with the raging popularity of the new generation of pocket autos, you will get a different answer than if you had asked this same question 1-2 years ago. Just that short time ago, most forum posters would have scoffed and belittled your choice of caliber.

Spencer_OKC
March 14, 2010, 03:49 PM
Does the .380 really have enough stopping power?

the simple answer is NO.

But neither does the .357 Magnum, or the .45 ACP. I would carry a .380ACP for self defense because of the portability, but I do not consider any handgun round to have "enough" stopping power, or to be a completely reliable manstopper.

Skillet
March 14, 2010, 04:17 PM
does a .380 ACP have enough stopping power?

what's enough?


All I know is that if someone shot me with a .22, I would run away.

easyg
March 15, 2010, 12:00 AM
As for the 380 not being powerful enough; that is also pure B.S. I even carry my 32acp walther, because I trust it too.
If the .380 or the .32 were really powerful enough then they would be the caliber of choice for cops and soldiers.

Other than a physical disability that limits one's ability to control a larger caliber handgun, I can see no reason to carry a .380 or a .32.


Ask them if they'll stand about 10-20 feet away from you, wearing all the clothes/coats that they want, and let you shoot them with a 32acp or 380acp. I really doubt that you'll get ANY volunteers.All that would prove is that folks don't like pain and expensive trips to the emergency room to get some stitches and antibiotics.
No matter how badly some folks want the .380 to be a good self-defense caliber, it's just not.
I doubt that anyone would volunteer to let me stick a fishing hook in to their chest, but that doesn't make a fishing hook a great self defense weapon.



Easy

Dirty Bob
March 15, 2010, 12:18 AM
I also like the 9x18mm Mak, but I have to admit that this is largely the platform. The standard Pistolet Makarova is a pretty darn' good gun. I used one to renew my CHL not long ago with a perfect score and definitely had the best group in the class. All but one (with a Sig .380) were using full-sized 9x19mm pistols, mostly shooting mild WWB ball, so their pistols were not harder to shoot than my Mak. The DA pull on my pistol is not great, but the SA trigger is crisp enough to do some serious shooting.

I've carried 9x18mm on many occasions without feeling undergunned. YMMV.

Regards,
Dirty Bob

christcorp
March 15, 2010, 02:08 AM
Well easyg; considering the FBI report of 2004 showing police officers feloniously killed; http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/killed/2004/table34.htm only 4 other calibers caused more police deaths than the 380. So I'd say that the 380 is quite capable of defending a person. Then again, more police were killed by a 22lr than a 357 magnum, so that must not be deadly either. So you can mention the inconvenience of getting stitches and antibiotics all you want. It simply shows that you don't know what you're talking about.

You don't have to have a reason to carry a 380 or a 32. You can carry a 460 for all anyone cares. And before you try and find stats that show some obscure situation where a person was shot with a 32 or 380 and didn't die; let me tell you that there are just as many stats out there with people surviving shots from a 44 magnum.

But to the original poster: if you practice and are proficient with your 380acp, then you will be doing better than 90% of the country who has a gun and rarely if ever go out and practice with it. So when you're hitting your mark 7 for 7 with the 380, and the person with their 9mm, 40sw, or 45acp are missing, you can feel good to know that you'll be able to protect yourself.

And even though easyg doesn't admit it, the 32acp in fact happened to be one of the most popular civilian and military calibers in Europe. And I don't think people in Europe are easier to shoot than in the United States.

stinger 327
March 15, 2010, 02:08 AM
If the .380 or the .32 were really powerful enough then they would be the caliber of choice for cops and soldiers.

Other than a physical disability that limits one's ability to control a larger caliber handgun, I can see no reason to carry a .380 or a .32.


All that would prove is that folks don't like pain and expensive trips to the emergency room to get some stitches and antibiotics.
No matter how badly some folks want the .380 to be a good self-defense caliber, it's just not.
I doubt that anyone would volunteer to let me stick a fishing hook in to their chest, but that doesn't make a fishing hook a great self defense weapon.



Easy
.32 has been the choice for many european countries in the past.
Also the famous Zebra Killers used this caliber to kill and terrorize SF back in 1974.

Full Metal Jacket
March 15, 2010, 02:14 AM
Does the .380 really have enough stopping power?

380 doesn't give me enough confidence in it's ability to stop an attacker if vital organs are missed. especially if the attacker is on high on drugs.

the smallest i would carry is +P+ 9mm jhp's.

stinger 327
March 15, 2010, 02:19 AM
380 doesn't give me enough confidence in it's ability to stop an attacker if vital organs are missed. especially if the attacker is on high on drugs.

the smallest i would carry is +P+ 9mm jhp's.
There are many doubts about 9mm not stopping adversaries which is why police now use the .40 cal.

Full Metal Jacket
March 15, 2010, 02:24 AM
There are many doubts about 9mm not stopping adversaries which is why police now use the .40 cal.

many still issue 9mm.

most police that still issue 9mm's do so in the form of +P+. ;)

christcorp
March 15, 2010, 09:55 AM
There is a big difference between self defense and home defense. Self defense is generally categorized as a person being in a neutral location when an attack on them occurs. Home defense is what it sounds like; you are in your house when the attack occurs. The greatest difference is that the gun you use for "self defense" has the purpose of either stopping the threat and making them leave, or providing you the opportunity to get away from the threat. Home defense, you aren't leaving generally. So the purpose is to either make the threat leave or make the threat no longer a threat, which could include many possibilities in the imagination.

The mind of a criminal is different between a home break in and an aggravated assault in public. A home break in requires a lot more planning. Time of day, is anyone home, noise, etc... An assault in public, the attacker plans on physical assault if necessary. A home break in, the attacker is planning on a simple robbery. Point is, in neither crime is the assailant planning on you being armed. If they knew you were armed, or knew you were at home, they most likely wouldn't be attacking you. They'd be going after an easier target. Of course, if it's "personal" where the attacker know the victim, that's a different situation.

So pulling a gun out on an assailant in public will reduce the threat. And if you can keep your composure and are willing to shoot the attacker if necessary, you will eliminate the threat. Either they leave, they go down, or you are able to run away. All 3 options are acceptable.

When people say that a drugged up and crazed attacked isn't going to be affected by a 32 or 380, they aren't realistic. These scenarios when the drugged up and crazed person didn't go down with a particular caliber, is usually related to police officers in the line of duty. But it doesn't matter. Some people will believe until the grave that a 32acp or 380acp is incapable of protecting anyone. Many also believe that if you have revolver, you're also in trouble. And if you don't have at least 15 rounds in a magazine, with a backup magazine, you're also doomed. So there's really no sense on debating it.

easyg
March 15, 2010, 10:55 AM
Well easyg; considering the FBI report of 2004 showing police officers feloniously killed; http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/killed/2004/table34.htm only 4 other calibers caused more police deaths than the 380. So I'd say that the 380 is quite capable of defending a person. Then again, more police were killed by a 22lr than a 357 magnum, so that must not be deadly either. So you can mention the inconvenience of getting stitches and antibiotics all you want. It simply shows that you don't know what you're talking about.
Here's the problem with this "data":
The fact that the .380 eventually killed someone does not tell us how quickly it killed them nor how quickly they were STOPPED at the time of the shooting.
Some folks get shot and die many hours later.
It does me no good to shoot someone (who is attacking me) and have them continue the attack, kill me, and then die 6 hours later.

And the 4 calibers that fared better from that data were....
.38 Special, 9mm, .40, and .45ACP, which is about EVERY other common self defense caliber!
And if every other common self defense caliber fared better than the .380, then why would anyone choose it as their primary self defense caliber?


And even though easyg doesn't admit it, the 32acp in fact happened to be one of the most popular civilian and military calibers in Europe.
Where did you get this notion?
Can you link some site that backs up the claim?
What European military is using the .32ACP as their handgun caliber of choice?


And if you can keep your composure and are willing to shoot the attacker if necessary, you will eliminate the threat. Either they leave, they go down, or you are able to run away. All 3 options are acceptable.
Or option #4:
They continue the attack and kill you because the .380 was not powerful enough to quickly stop them.


Easy

HOWARD J
March 15, 2010, 11:10 AM
I saw on TV a cop show where the cops have a fight when they pull a guy over.
This guy attacked the cop with a knife-cop shot him with a 45--it didn't even slow the guy down.
Go figure ????????????
He did not appear to be on drugs.............

BushyGuy
March 15, 2010, 11:27 AM
I wouldnt waste my money on a .380 for many reasons-they are too expensive to plink and very hard to obtain,another thing they are under powered like a .32 acp , i wouldnt put my life on the line for a measly .380, i dont wanna hear a .380 is better then no gun at all, if you can afford a .380 you can afford a 9mm. Get a 9mm or larger caliber for self defense i would even only carry 9mm minimum for back up too. I have a SR9 9mm i would like the SR9C if it came out before i bought the SR9.

lysol
March 15, 2010, 11:34 AM
well, i'll beg to differ. i'm 5'11" with a 30" waist and 155 lbs. I can't conceal a fullsize or a compact such as the S&W M&P compact, glock 26(7), etc... as easily as some of you bigger guys. The LCP can conceal very well on me. I don't really want a pistol wider than 1" if i'm concealing. and then weight comes into play. i hate feeling like i have a lot of bulk on me. really the only things i want are my cell phone, keys, wallet, and gun. that's my .02 cents.

i'm not trying to start a fight here, but i think some of you bigger guys forget about us smaller guys sometimes when talking about how much you can and prefer to carry.

HOWARD J
March 15, 2010, 11:36 AM
http://img715.imageshack.us/img715/5592/380bulllets.th.jpg (http://img715.imageshack.us/i/380bulllets.jpg/)

I just fired these 380's into a phone book---they went in 3"
These are 100 gr copper dipped lead bullets--pushed with a light load 2.8 gr
of Unique.
Your opinion is that they will just make some guy mad.--
Everyone has a right to their opinion.....................................:)

lysol
March 15, 2010, 11:54 AM
how much would a 9mm or .40 penetrate in teh same scenario?

easyg
March 15, 2010, 11:56 AM
Your opinion is that they will just make some guy mad.--
No, my opinion is that they will not QUICKLY STOP a human aggressor.

HOWARD J
March 15, 2010, 11:59 AM
I know a 9 will go thru the book & half way into another---but I will not try it in my basement to see will happen to the bullet.........................
Next summer in the garage .
I carry a glock 26 9MM in winter
kel-tek 380 in summer ( easy to conceal )

HOWARD J
March 15, 2010, 12:02 PM
@ easyg

YEA------ you could shoot him 7 times---- make him real mad........

You know---we all talk about the best weapon & its power to carry.
When a guy pulls a gun on us when we are walking down the street--
I always wonder how many of us will survive when we pull our own weapon to fight back or how many will not pull a weapon at all..:eek::eek::eek::eek:

EVER THING ABOUT IT???????????????????

Fastcast
March 15, 2010, 12:28 PM
I was having a discussion with my neighbor (Iraqi war vet) over the weekend, who's been in a few fire fights. :eek:

He laughed at the idea that a .380 isn't enough (caliber) to get a civilian out of an impending confrontation with a BG.

He says "let me tell you something, when the lead starts whizzing past their head or into any part of their body it's enough to make 99% of people change direction pretty damn quickly and the 1% that's determined enough to still continue the fight, nothing short of a rifle or shotgun is really gonna be adequate. It's in God's hands then."

With that said it reminds me of reading Sargeant York's son saying when his father came back from the war he carried a .32 CZ as his self defense pistol, not the 1911 .45......I imagine he would've been pretty deadly with either caliber!

christcorp
March 15, 2010, 02:48 PM
easyg; the report was about police officers being shot by bad guys with those calibers. And more police were killed by 380 than 357 magnum. The numbers themselves is not important. What is, is that the 380 does a lot more than require stitches and antibiotics if you get shot by one. And if you don't know that the 32acp (aka 7.65) was one of the most proficient and well used calibers by police and such in europe, then you need to go do some of your own history research. That is so well known, that to even argue it means you truly haven't researched much of what you're spouting. You're simply adopting opinions made by others without any proof or facts.

And fastcast (his neighbor) is quite correct. If a bad guy is so crazed, drugged up, etc... that a 32 or 380 won't stop them, then not even a 45acp is going to stop them. If you have the shot placement, then any of the calibers work. If you don't have the shot placement, then none of them will work. The main stopping power of a gun ISN'T the caliber. It's HAVING the gun in the first place. The advantage to larger calibers, or calibers that can expand and simulate being larger calibers, it that they create more blood loss and they improve your odds of hitting a vital spot because the projectile is larger and covers more area. But there's a lot of times where the 50 cal isn't practical. And there's times where the 45acp, 40, or 357 diameters such as the 357 mag, 38spl, or 9mm might not be practical for carrying.

But hey, these are the same arguments people have about: Don't dry fire your gun, you'll break it. Don't buy "XYZ" gun, because it's cheap and your life is worth more than that. You need to have a gun with a magazine that hold 15-18 round. None of these type claims, including the 380 and 32 bashers have ANY proof or facts. These are simply opinions that have perpetuated among ignorant gun owners by others who sounded like they knew what they were talking about.

Rifles and Shotguns are the only truly effective weapons in the self defense world. Unfortunately, it's really difficult to carry a rifle or a shotgun with you. Especially concealed. As such, we compromise by having pistols. And having any pistol will stop the threat 95% of the time, without firing a shot. And any caliber that is actually shot, will stop the threat of probably 95% of the remaining 5%. And the other less than 1% of situations where the pistol in your hand didn't stop the threat, would most likely not have been stopped no matter what caliber you used.

easyg
March 15, 2010, 04:43 PM
And if you don't know that the 32acp (aka 7.65) was one of the most proficient and well used calibers by police and such in europe, then you need to go do some of your own history research. That is so well known, that to even argue it means you truly haven't researched much of what you're spouting. You're simply adopting opinions made by others without any proof or facts.
Which European police agencies and/or armies are using the .32 today?

You can live in the past if you like, but I live in the present.
And right now, no police agency nor military unit that I'm aware of is using the .32ACP in handguns.
Why?
Because it's just not that effective as a self-defense or combat handgun caliber.

Clearly you like the caliber.
Great, good for you.
But trying to convince others that it's actually a GOOD self defense round because some European police used it 100 years ago is kinda silly IMO.

Tell us, exactly which police agencies have a .32ACP handgun as their primary weapon today, right now?

I'm betting the answer is: none.

Full Metal Jacket
March 15, 2010, 05:32 PM
And the 4 calibers that fared better from that data were....
.38 Special, 9mm, .40, and .45ACP, which is about EVERY other common self defense caliber!
And if every other common self defense caliber fared better than the .380, then why would anyone choose it as their primary self defense caliber?

good post, easyg.

i'm not sure why the 380 is suddenly trendy now. it sure wasn't a few years back when it was cheap. now it costs more than 45acp ammo in a lot of places. NO thanks.

HOWARD J
March 15, 2010, 05:44 PM
It's trendy b/cause Co's make money selling weapons & people love to carry a weapon that is only 8 + oz. like the Kel-Tek P3AT.
Also: Some people just like to have a new cal. weapon...............:)

montess85
March 15, 2010, 05:51 PM
Like it was stated before....Most people aren't going to want to get shot by any gun...No matter the caliber.....I for one don't even want to get shot by a .22 .....If a 380 is all you have and its what you shoot best then I say its better than nothing....

christcorp
March 15, 2010, 06:05 PM
Why?
Because it's just not that effective as a self-defense or combat handgun caliber.

I forgot, it's harder to shoot people today than it was 10,20, 30 years ago. People don't die as fast. There is nothing to say that for police and military use, that there aren't better calibers out there today. Of course there are. And for all those who want to pretend that they are the police, there's nothing wrong with that. But there's nothing that says that a 32acp or 380acp isn't a good self defense caliber. Is a 9mm better ballistically than a 380? Yes. Is a 40 better than the 9mm? Yes. Is the 357 magnum better than the 40? Yes. Is the 45acp larger than all the previous and will make a larger hole? All things equal, yes? But that's not what this is about.

Is a modern day car faster and more efficient than my 1966 Mustang? Yes. Even a modern small 4 cylinder. That's not to say that my 66 mustang can't be used as a means of transportation. Reliably, dependably, and efficiently. Maybe not "AS GOOD", but so what. The distance between 2 given points is the exact same with my 66 mustang, an 95 corvette, an 03 cadillac, or an 08 focus. The distance doesn't change. At 55 MPH all 4 cars will get you there in EXACTLY the same amount of time. Well, when you're talking about handguns and self defense, the 32 and 380 will defend you from and deter a threat just as well as a 9mm, 40, or 45acp. The objective is to deter and/or stop the threat. That doesn't mean to kill someone. If they die, so be it. But that's not the main objective. The objective if for the threat to stop, leave, or allow you to leave. It's that simple. And a 32, 380, 9mm, etc... will all do that. The whole needing at least "X" caliber, or need at least "Y" Rounds in the magazine is just plain ignorance..

montess85
March 15, 2010, 06:09 PM
christcorp I agree with you 100% ....Try telling all the people who have been killed by the 380 over the past 102 years that its not effective.....

easyg
March 15, 2010, 06:29 PM
The objective is to deter and/or stop the threat. That doesn't mean to kill someone. If they die, so be it. But that's not the main objective. The objective if for the threat to stop, leave, or allow you to leave. It's that simple. And a 32, 380, 9mm, etc... will all do that. The whole needing at least "X" caliber, or need at least "Y" Rounds in the magazine is just plain ignorance..

Yes, the objective is to deter or STOP the threat....and to do so as fast as possible.
Unfortunately, the .32 and the .380 (and the .22 and .25) are not very good at quickly stopping human aggressors.

I like all kinds of calibers for all kinds of reasons.
But for self-defense there's no way that I could, in good conscious, recommend a .32 or a .380 to anyone I cared about.

The original post:
I'm sure this question has been brought up many times, but I can't seem to find any answers that are very straight forward so here we go... I'm thinking about getting a .380 ACP in the form of something like a Kel-Tec P3AT. At that size and weight its like a CC dream come true, but I'm not so confident about the stopping power. What do you guys think? Does it have sufficient power to quickly drop a man?

amd6547
March 15, 2010, 06:58 PM
Placement is everything, thus the 380 DOES have enough power to quickly drop a man.

stinger 327
March 15, 2010, 10:44 PM
I agree

stinger 327
March 15, 2010, 10:48 PM
I forgot, it's harder to shoot people today than it was 10,20, 30 years ago. People don't die as fast. There is nothing to say that for police and military use, that there aren't better calibers out there today. Of course there are. And for all those who want to pretend that they are the police, there's nothing wrong with that. But there's nothing that says that a 32acp or 380acp isn't a good self defense caliber. Is a 9mm better ballistically than a 380? Yes. Is a 40 better than the 9mm? Yes. Is the 357 magnum better than the 40? Yes. Is the 45acp larger than all the previous and will make a larger hole? All things equal, yes? But that's not what this is about.

Is a modern day car faster and more efficient than my 1966 Mustang? Yes. Even a modern small 4 cylinder. That's not to say that my 66 mustang can't be used as a means of transportation. Reliably, dependably, and efficiently. Maybe not "AS GOOD", but so what. The distance between 2 given points is the exact same with my 66 mustang, an 95 corvette, an 03 cadillac, or an 08 focus. The distance doesn't change. At 55 MPH all 4 cars will get you there in EXACTLY the same amount of time. Well, when you're talking about handguns and self defense, the 32 and 380 will defend you from and deter a threat just as well as a 9mm, 40, or 45acp. The objective is to deter and/or stop the threat. That doesn't mean to kill someone. If they die, so be it. But that's not the main objective. The objective if for the threat to stop, leave, or allow you to leave. It's that simple. And a 32, 380, 9mm, etc... will all do that. The whole needing at least "X" caliber, or need at least "Y" Rounds in the magazine is just plain ignorance..
A 66 stang?

christcorp
March 15, 2010, 10:48 PM
Unfortunately, the .32 and the .380 (and the .22 and .25) are not very good at quickly stopping human aggressors.

easyg; that is strictly your opinion. You have no facts to base it on. Just like the mega-mag crowd (Those who say you really need 15-18 round magazines as well as a couple of extra magazines), also don't have any facts to base their opinion on. You keep saying that the 380 and 32 aren't good and stopping threats. How do you know? Is it because you took some velocity/kinetic energy formula and figured out some means by which a certain number was required in order to stop a person? There is no magic formula.

Now I know what the traditional argument is. If I say a 32 or 380 is good enough, why not the 25acp? Why not the 22LR (Which can actually be more powerful than the 25acp). Well, even among experts, the 32acp is considered the lowest acceptable self defense caliber. I wouldn't go with the 22lr because it's a rimfire and doesn't have a primer. Chances of a misfire go up to much. I wouldn't choose the 25acp, because the 22LR can be better with the right ammo.

The reason the 32 and 380 are totally acceptable for "Self Defense", not to be confused with "Home Defense", is because in the self defense range, both the 32 and 380 can penetrate approximately 8-10 inches. Now of course, there's those who have to spit out the FBI 12" mantra. Well guess what? You're not the FBI. The 12" requirement has to do with if needed, being able to go through a person's side or through an arm and then the torso, etc... If you are using a gun for "Self Defense", you are within the 10-20 foot range. That is perfectly fine for a 32 or 380. You're not going to get into a "SHOOT-OUT" with the bad guy. Leave that to those who think that Lethal Weapon and Die-Hard are real life and not just movies. Remember, as far as the bad guy goes, you DO NOT HAVE A GUN. If he even thought you did have a gun, he wouldn't be after you. He'd choose an easier target. So if you produce a gun, you have the element of surprise. If you have to pull the trigger, the 8-10" of penetration at 10-20 feet is definitely enough to stop the threat.

Bottom line is, easy and some others don't feel comfortable with a 32 or a 380. And because of that, they shouldn't carry one. There's also some people that don't feel comfortable carrying a 45acp with a 7 round magazine. They need a 40sw with 15 rounds in the magazine and another 15 round magazine on their belt. So be it, do what you are comfortable with. I shoot a lot. Definitely a lot more than any bad guy is spending at the range. For me, a gun is simply a tool. The gun is not my first tool that I use when ensuring my safety. Matter of fact, a gun is my very last tool that I will use. IF, I pull a gun out, it is NOT to scare someone. It is NOT to give the bad guy a choice. IF I point the gun at a person, I AM PULLING THE TRIGGER. There is no 2nd chance here. If I point it, I AM PULLING THE TRIGGER. Now, the reality of life is that there is a fraction of a second that you'll have as you are bringing the pistol up to point of aim. In that fraction of a second, the bad guy is either turning his back towards me and proceeding in another direction, or he's not. If he's turned his back, I will pause. If I still see his face, I pull the trigger. It's really that simple. I don't tell him to drop it, back off, leave me alone, etc... And if I pull out my 32acp, (Which I like much better than my 380), then I know exactly where the first 3 rounds are going. That is what I practice every time I go to the range. That is what I practiced when I shot guns in the military for 20 years. That is what I know. Any gun I have will have 3 rounds immediately fired. And I trust the 32 and the 380.

I am not kidding myself to think that the 32 or 380 is equal to my 45acp. But that's like saying that my ford focus isn't equal to my porsche. No it's not. But at 75mph on our roads, will both cars get me where I'm going in exactly the same amount of time, and with the same level of reliability? Most definitely yes. But if you believe that a person can be "MORE DEAD" or that the threat can be "LESS THREATENING" because you have a larger caliber, then by all means have the bigger gun.

P.S. Stinger, yes, I love my 66 stang with the V8 289cui. I even like the C-4 tranny. But it is definitely fun.

Philo_Beddoe
March 16, 2010, 02:04 AM
Shot placement shot placement, shot placement.

Years of deer hunting have taught me that is all that really matters.

I have gut shot deer with 3 inch magnum slugs 12 guage and seen them run off to never be found and die god knows where.

I have dropped them where the stood with reduce recoil loads with a clean hit to the vitals.

Shot placement, adequate penatration to hit the vitals, and then diameter (bigger hole).

In that order.

380 is really the ideal pocket pistol, biggest hole with adequate penetration in FMJ form.

Full Metal Jacket
March 16, 2010, 02:23 AM
I forgot, it's harder to shoot people today than it was 10,20, 30 years ago. People don't die as fast.

380 was just as ineffective years ago. that's why it dropped off the map for years until the sudden resurgence in tiny pocket pistols....

there are very few 380 jhp's, including the new critical defense from hornady, that will expand with any sort of consistency.


the new 380 trend will die down, as all trends do.

lysol
March 16, 2010, 02:28 AM
i agree with shot placement. i mean, i killed a 4-point with a 20 guage mossberg (some type of buckshot). i had 3 shots and hit it 3 times. twice around the heart and the third in the ass. the thing is i missed the organ that would have dropped him fast and he managed to run about 100 yards before he fell. I don't feel underpowered with a .380. and all these comments about how my LCP would just piss someone off, where's the data to back it up? i mean, i don't want the "ONE" story about how a cop ran up on a crackhead and shot him with a 9mm 10 times before he stopped attacking. that's one story in a million and you only know about it because of the extreme circumstances. I need hard evidence about a .380 not being up to par. there are just so many variables in stopping an attacker. i'm sorry, if you can put a few shots to COM on the attacker with a .45..... a .40..... a 9mm..... you should be able to with a .380.... right? so how can you sit there and say a 100GR bullet would not stop an attacker? i just find it hard to believe.... UNLESS YOU ARE STUCK ON A SINGLE STORY WHERE THE .380 WASN'T SUFFICIENT AND YOU KEEP PLAYING THAT OVER AND OVER TO THE POINT WHERE THAT DETERS YOU AWAY FROM THE ROUND. I don't know, i'm a firm believer in evidence.

RANT OVER. LOL.

easyg
March 16, 2010, 02:33 AM
You keep saying that the 380 and 32 aren't good and stopping threats. How do you know?
Think about it....
If the .380 and the .32 were very good at quickly stopping human aggressors, then the police and the military would be using them today.
The soldiers could carry more ammo for the same amount of weight being carried.

Well, even among experts, the 32acp is considered the lowest acceptable self defense caliber.
Which "experts"?
Post some links to back up your claim.
I have never heard anyone (other than you) actually consider the .32ACP as "the lowest acceptable self defense caliber".
The .38 Special seems to be the lowest self-defense caliber recommended by many so called "experts".
But nearly as many will tell you that the 9mm is the lowest acceptable self-defense caliber.

The reason the 32 and 380 are totally acceptable for "Self Defense", not to be confused with "Home Defense", is because in the self defense range, both the 32 and 380 can penetrate approximately 8-10 inches.
Not reliably.
One can always hope that the .32 will penetrate 8-10 inches, but one certainly cannot bank on it.
BTW, "self defense" and "home defense" do not require different calibers when it comes to handguns...that's just a silly notion altogether.

Now of course, there's those who have to spit out the FBI 12" mantra. Well guess what? You're not the FBI. The 12" requirement has to do with if needed, being able to go through a person's side or through an arm and then the torso, etc...
The notion that the average civilian is well served with an anemic self-defense caliber while FBI agents require a more powerful caliber is utter nonsense.
FBI agents don't face any criminal threat that civilians don't routinely face (unless they are currently in Iraq or Afghanistan).

If you are using a gun for "Self Defense", you are within the 10-20 foot range. That is perfectly fine for a 32 or 380. You're not going to get into a "SHOOT-OUT" with the bad guy.
You talk a lot about "facts", but then you make statements like this, which are totally based upon you opinions with no facts whatsoever.

Remember, as far as the bad guy goes, you DO NOT HAVE A GUN. If he even thought you did have a gun, he wouldn't be after you. He'd choose an easier target.
You can't be serious!
Criminals routinely break in to homes, which they know are occupied, and which they also know that the owner might have a firearm.
Criminals routinely rob stores where there is a great likelihood that there is a firearm behind the counter.
Criminal gangs routinely attack other criminal gangs who they KNOW to be heavily armed.
Even in the "old west", where open carry was quite common, criminals still attacked those who they knew to be armed.

If you have to pull the trigger, the 8-10" of penetration at 10-20 feet is definitely enough to stop the threat.
Hopefully?
Yes.
Possibly?
Yes.
But definitely?
No.

You can try to justify your chosen caliber as much as you like, but it will not change the truth.
The .380 is just not that great of a self-defense caliber.
And the .32 is even worse.

And since there are 9mm pistols readily available that are very compact, easy to conceal, and easy to shoot, I just can't see why anyone would place their life in the capabilities of the .32ACP or the .380.

If you enjoyed reading about "Does the .380 really have enough stopping power?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!