Why .380 instead of small 9mm?


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brashboy
July 26, 2007, 11:53 AM
This thread is directed to those who carry the .380:
With the introduction of small, lightweight, high quality 9mms like the Kahr, why carry a .380? I'd love to hear the reasons out there.

I am struggling to answer this question for myself. I recently started a thread about the .380, a caliber for which I have a long-standing love. They're compact, lovely shooters. Shot placement matters more than anything, and if .380 shots fired are not stopping the BG, I doubt a 9 would make much difference. Still, the .380 is undeniably somewhat underpowered compared to a 9mm, though the ammo is more expensive. And I think to myself, for the same gun weight and bulk, shouldn't I be packing the more potent caliber, even if I'm not crazy about the Kahr or whatever it is? I don't know if I'm just looking for justification to move completely to 9mm or asking for .380 love songs, but your input would be valued.

I'm not really thinking about alternatives in 40SW of .45, just comparing the .380 to the 9.

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Dirty Bob
July 26, 2007, 12:15 PM
Recoil may be one reason.

Some people could the intimidated by the recoil of a small 9mm, while a similar-size .380 will generally be easier to shoot.

There are also some great .380 pistols out there. I've met shooters who just love the Walther PPK series. I believe the Colt Pocket Model was also offered in .380, and where would movie gangsters of the 1940s be without that gun? I admit to affection for the Makarov. It's simple, accurate and extremely pleasant to shoot in .380, although if I carry a Mak it's a 9x18mm Makarov.

I think in most cases it's the pistol -- not the caliber -- that's being chosen.

Regards,
Dirty Bob

ID_shooting
July 26, 2007, 12:19 PM
Size mostly. The KT PF9 is getting close, but still not as small as my P3AT. With clip I can front pocket carry while wearing shorts and tank and still stay concealed.

scurtis_34471
July 26, 2007, 01:17 PM
Size, weight, cost and reliability. Its hard to find a 9mm as accurate and reliable as my Bersa Thunder .380 CC that is not larger, less reliable or more costly. The Kahr PM9 is the same size and weight, but costs twice as much.

fletcher
July 26, 2007, 01:20 PM
I can think of a few reasons: cost, recoil, availability, and size.

For cost, a .380 can be had in the $200 range. A comparably small 9mm will probably run at least $300-400. A 9mm that compares to a P3AT will set you back $800 or more.

.380s are able to be made smaller for some reason - my guess would be they are relatively weak enough to use direct blowback and smaller parts.

I carry a Makarov, which shoots a caliber comparable to .380. For me, the price was right, it's dead reliable, completely metal frame, and just feels right. Also, it's cheap to shoot.

3fgburner
July 26, 2007, 01:28 PM
My all-the-time deep-cover gun is a P3AT. Normal holster carry is a FEG PA63 in 9x18 Mak. It's got one less round than an actual Makarov, and the recoil is somewhere between the Mak and the P3AT. However, both those things are tradeoffs for a gun that's a bit lighter than a Makarov.

I may, however, one of these days Dremel off the damn thumbrest.

tydephan
July 26, 2007, 01:39 PM
I think in most cases it's the pistol -- not the caliber -- that's being chosen.

I was really struggling how to say this. For some reason, I just couldn't complete the thought.

But Dirty Bob is exactly right. I carry my Glock 26 (9mm) because it is a very comfortable gun for me to carry and to shoot. I'm accurate with it. I can conceal it easily.

Would I care if it was .380? Absolutely not.

GunTech
July 26, 2007, 01:49 PM
Size - no question.

http://guntech.com/misc/mustang-1.jpg

Chrome
July 26, 2007, 01:52 PM
Have you seen the new 9mm PPS by Walther? It's the same size as a PPK.

http://www.waltherforums.com/vb/showthread.php?t=5784

There are some pictures there comparing it to a PPK.

Later,
Chrome...

Bobo
July 26, 2007, 01:53 PM
The only reason I can see for .380 over 9 mm is size and weight.

I carry a Kel-Tec P-3AT with ArmaLaser for this very reason. There is no other gun that has the combination of caliber, weight, size, and available laser. If someone made a 9 mm with close to the same combination that was reliable I would jump on it! The only one is Rohrbaugh and it has no laser available (plus a $1000 price tag).

One you get to a slightly bigger and heavier gun such as the Bersa, Kahr, etc. you may as well also go to 9 mm - with no additional size and very little additional weight. As far as handling goes, any of these guns in 9 mm handles better than my P-3AT .380. So just because it’s a .380 doesn’t mean it will handle better than a 9 mm.

First, one must decide what the primary purpose of the guns is, and then find the best compromise for that purpose.

For me the primary purpose was to get the most powerful self-defense weapon that I could carry completely concealed and comfortably 24/7, and apply quickly, reliably and accurately. For these criteria the P-3AT with ArmaLaser is the best compromise for me.

If I could get a larger caliber and still maintain the other criteria would I do it? You bet, in an instant!

GunTech
July 26, 2007, 02:14 PM
Chrome,

The PPS gets my vote for butt-ugly.
http://www.waltheramerica.com/wcsstore/Walther//upload/images/firearms/WAP10001.jpg

BTW, the Kahr is about PPK size too. The MK is smaller.

http://kahr.com/imgs/mdtl_m9093.jpg

Breakdaddy
July 26, 2007, 02:27 PM
Well, I have a Thunder 380cc and a Kahr PM9. The honest answer to your question from my perspective is that there is little reason to carry a 380 from a size standpoint at this time. The Rohrbaugh R9 is about as big as a Seecamp 380 and my Kahr PM9 is still noticeably smaller than my small 380cc. From a recoil standpoint, the 380cc has slightly less recoil than the PM9, but it's not significant. Price can be a factor, as relatively good quality 380s can be had on the cheap (Bersa, Kel-Tec) while a comparably sized 9mm will generally run you quite a bit more (Kahr, Rohrbaugh). In my estimation however, the cost of practicing with said rounds will overcome the price disparity of the 380 vs 9mm pistols as the 9mm ammo is significantly less expensive than 380 ammo.

camper
July 26, 2007, 02:52 PM
I have a PM9 and think it is great, but right now I have my Colt Mustang Pocketlite in my pocket. I am also a believer in shot placement and not spray and pray.

fletcher
July 26, 2007, 02:54 PM
No thread hijack intended, but what is currently the smallest SA/DA 9mm?

Bobo
July 26, 2007, 05:23 PM
No thread hijack intended, but what is currently the smallest SA/DA 9mm?

Could be the Taurus Millennium Pro
http://www.taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?id=24&category=Pistol

brashboy
July 26, 2007, 05:30 PM
The PPS gets my vote for butt-ugly.

Yeah, it's a Walther, but looks only a Terminator could love.

The only reason I can see for .380 over 9 mm is size and weight.

That's where I'm evolving to. I like the .380, and straight blowback is a very reliable design, but those darn 9s are so small.

I think in most cases it's the pistol -- not the caliber -- that's being chosen.

Agreed, I think that nails it. Everyone seems to really like the piece, or are drawn by the extreme concealability - e.g., the KT.

rdaines
July 26, 2007, 08:25 PM
Because James Bond used .380

brashboy
July 26, 2007, 08:45 PM
right now I have my Colt Mustang Pocketlite in my pocket

Camper, is that Colt a straight blowback model? How reliable is the feeding and ejection?

jim314
July 26, 2007, 09:07 PM
What is the gun Gun Tech is showing in post #8??

Tom Servo
July 26, 2007, 09:16 PM
Because the Beretta Cheetah and Sig P230 aren't chambered in 9mm ;)

enfield
July 26, 2007, 09:48 PM
Why carry a small nine, like the Kahr, when the Kahr .40 is the same size and only an ounce heavier?

I'll be honest -- I haven't yet found a use for 9mm. I own small, easily concealed .40's and very small, very easily concealed .380's.

DirksterG30
July 26, 2007, 10:43 PM
I carry my Keltec P3AT when I can't carry anything bigger. I own a Kahr MK9, and even though on paper it does not seem that much larger, there is enough difference that I cannot carry it with my work attire. The Keltec fits the bill for work carry. It is my "carry anywhere" gun.

DirksterG30
July 26, 2007, 10:46 PM
What is the gun Gun Tech is showing in post #8??

I believe that is a Colt Mustang .380: http://http://www.sightm1911.com/lib/review/mustang.htm

camper
July 26, 2007, 11:32 PM
Brashboy,

The Mustang functions exactly like its big brother, the 1911, minus the grip safety. My pocketlite eats any brass or nickel plated FMJ or HP. Doesn't like the Russian steel cased stuff. 100% reliable to date.

brashboy
July 26, 2007, 11:35 PM
I'll be honest -- I haven't yet found a use for 9mm. I own small, easily concealed .40's and very small, very easily concealed .380's.

I've never considered a 40 SW. I already have 357/9/45 guns, plus the little .380 Mauser. I want fewer different calibers, if anything, not more. The .45 provides plenty of stopping power, though I don't have a really concealable one. The 9 has plenty of firepower in double-stack guns and is cheap to shoot. I'm willing to carry a .380, so the 9 is plenty caliber enough.

I've shot a MillPro in 40 and it was a bear, very unpleasant. In a SD situation, I doubt if the difference would be noticed, but on the range the recoil is a drag and I like to shoot my guns. Even the little 9s are not a recoil problem, and the 45 is not bad in most guns.

I think the Kahr CW9 is a better hide gun than the other Kahrs, at least it seems smaller, though construction is said to be not so durable. Better than the Keltec, though. The little KT .380 is lost in my hand, though the concealability is good. Seems people carry .380 either b/c they love the gun or for extreme concealability, like in a pocket.

jim314
July 26, 2007, 11:38 PM
Yep, I believe your right. Thanks.

Geronimo45
July 27, 2007, 12:08 AM
Because James Bond used .380
In the books, at any rate, he used a .32.

Since looks do matter in a gun, it should be noted that most 9mms in midget packages are plug-ugly. The PPKs, HScs, and such are much prettier than down-sized 9mms. Recoil is, of course, an issue for some.

Also, it goes against the grain to carry a midget gun in a full-size caliber - for me, anyhow.

Fburgtx
July 27, 2007, 12:18 AM
Because a kel-tec 380 is still smaller than a Kahr (and less than half the price) and because a kel-tec 380 is about 1/4 the cost of a Rohrbaugh.

Tomcat47
July 27, 2007, 12:34 AM
Because they are tried and true performers. Colts, Barettas, Taurus, Llama....the list goes on. I carry Taurus PT58 HC..the new model of the PT58
which I must say is nice. (19+1 thus HC)

I had a Llama .380 Micromax and really miss it. It was really easy to conceal and shot very well...yes even for a Lamma. I had a Llama .45 and it was not as spectacular, but the .380 never gave a problem and had the grip safety and all..

obxned
July 27, 2007, 02:21 AM
Until somebody makes a reasonably priced 9mm that weighs about 11oz fully loaded and is still controllable in rapid fire, I'll just have to get by with the P3AT.

wnycollector
July 27, 2007, 10:43 AM
my primary CCW is a makarov in 9x18. It was cheap (to buy and shoot) and 100% reliable...plus I shoot it VERY well. I like the feel and durability of the steel frame!

I cant see moving up in price and recoil for an extra ~50-100ft/lbs of energy of a 9mm out of a short barrel.

wnycollector
July 27, 2007, 10:50 AM
hey tomcat47 my father-in-laws CCW is a old Llama .380! He carries it because he shoots it REAL well. I pity the bad guy he aims it at, because he can put an entire clip into a quarter sized hole with that little pistol!

romma
July 27, 2007, 10:56 AM
Ah, to think I held a Colt Mustang in my hands last year. Cost at the time: $425.00

I opted for a Walther PPK/S that currently is non-functioning instead...

Dirty Bob
July 27, 2007, 12:25 PM
Ah, to think I held a Colt Mustang in my hands last year. Cost at the time: $425.00I feel your pain. The Mustangs were sweet. I wish Colt or Springfield or somebody would bring them back. I think they'd sell a lot of them.

I hold to my assertion that a lot of us love the pistols that .380 has been chambered in, rather than feeling lots of affection for the caliber itself.

On the other hand, the .380 ACP was yet another invention of genius John Moses Browning. I'm still experimenting with a semiwadcutter load for it, with the intention of using a compact, accurate .380 Makarov as a trail pistol.

Regards,
Dirty Bob

scurtis_34471
July 27, 2007, 01:58 PM
My Bersa Thunder .380 CC is light enough and small enough for comfortable pocket carry. It has excellent ergonomics and it is both accurate and reliable. I can rapid fire the entire 8-round magazine through a 2" hole in the dead center of a target at 7 yards. The only 9mm guns I've found that are as small or smaller are the Kel-Tec PF-9, the Rohrbaugh and the Kahr PM9/MK9. The Kahr costs double and the Rohrbaugh costs more than triple. The Kel-Tec has yet to prove itself completely reliable, is less accurate and somewhat unpleasant to shoot.

brashboy
July 27, 2007, 03:15 PM
I cant see moving up in price and recoil for an extra ~50-100ft/lbs of energy of a 9mm out of a short barrel.

I would love to see a comparison of ballistics results out of short barrels. Aren't the standard tables for .380 also derived from using 5" barrels or such, as they are with the 9mm? I don't think the ballistics results for .380s were derived with a 2" barrel, but I could be wrong.

If that is true, then the 9 gives up a lot of ME in a 3" or shorter barrel, but so would the .380.

arthurcw
July 27, 2007, 03:31 PM
I have an MK9 and a P3AT. As small as the MK9 is, that P3AT can just flat go places that the MK9 cannot. Pair of cotton slacks, polo shirt, pocket holster and my P3AT can go to church and get hugs all day and no one is the wiser.

I can also carry a spare mag in one of those small REI belt pouches and it just looks like I have a tiny little knife on my belt.

Anna's Dad
July 27, 2007, 04:41 PM
Mostly size--I sold my Kahr because it was just too big and heavy for pocket carry. I carry a Kel-Tec.

Also price--the Rohrbaugh R9 is probably small enough for pocket carry but I could buy 4 Kel-Tecs for the same cash.

denfoote
July 27, 2007, 08:03 PM
The PPS gets my vote for butt-ugly.

The PPS reminds me of a cross between a Glock and a CZ100.
Sort of like a mating of Amy Carter and Mick Jagger.

Fletcher: The smallest production 9mm is the Rohrbaugh R9.

Personally, I carry the MK9. The PPK/S currently sits in the safe.

In these times of terroristic uncertainty, I want the most compact firepower going for me as possible!!

MNBud
July 27, 2007, 11:52 PM
Sorry for the bad picture but I believe it was taken for the holster rather than the Colt mustang +2. I wanted a Mustang when they came out but fortunately could not afford it at the time and then they came out with the +2 that gave you 2 more rounds and longer grip to get a hold on.I now generally carry a little more power but like someone on here stated, it is great for when the attire only permits something this small.
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a270/MNBud/P1010373.jpg

JohnKSa
July 28, 2007, 12:21 AM
Cost, reliability & form.Have you seen the new 9mm PPS by Walther? It's the same size as a PPK.That thing has so many corners and "pokey" edges it's not even funny. Carry that in a belly band for a few hours and going unarmed will sound really great the next time out of the house.

I'm graduating to a small 9mm for the times I can carry IWB, but keeping my .380 for the times that a bellyband is all I can conceal.

DBR
July 28, 2007, 12:50 AM
Certain guns are designed to be the optimum size for certain calibers. Remember, John Moses Browning designed the cartridges and guns together as a matched pair. Luger also designed the 9mm for a particular configuration of gun. To the extent that the pair is bastardized, it is compromised in reliability or performance.

Personally, I like the 380 in my PPK or Colt Mustang Pocket Lite. Nether are exactly the spec of the original Colt 1908 but they are close enough. Mini 9MM are too far from the original design to make me feel comfortable. 9MM revolver is a different story.

dstorm1911
July 28, 2007, 01:33 AM
Keltec P3AT, Every body in my wifes family and mine all have one and not a single glitch outa any of em, they'll easily go where the full size guns or even compacts won't onea my step daughters is 4'10" weighs a wopping 75 lbs looks like a 14 year old but is actually 21 her favorite is her Taurus Milpro .40 for target shooting and carrying when concealment isn't an issue but when just running around etc... the P3AT is ALWAYS present on her someplace she can shoot it with some un-believable accuracy while she prefers the Taurus the reality is that the way she dresses....... the P3AT is the only option and so far......... none of the boys have ever spotted the lil gun :)

My Wifes favorite carry gun is a Star BM but what she actually can carry is her P3AT and get this she carries an NAA .22 LR mini revolver as backup to the P3AT!! no joke it cracks me up cause I usually have a 1911 or a SA XD 40 Tactical or XD 45 as my main gun (everyone knows I build guns so I don't even bother concealing but rather go the descrete carry route here in Arizona) and I carry the P3AT as its backup but...... her main gun is the P3AT and the NAA it actually fits inside her Cell phone case WITH her Motorola Razor phone! its ALWAYS in her hand so even if she gets seperated from the P3AT she's still armed....... we got ALOTA handguns to choose from but the reality is we live in a very hot town and the ladies don't wear much so the P3AT is the best option........

3rdpig
July 28, 2007, 03:05 AM
Why? Because people like the convenience of carrying a tiny gun so much that they can convince themselves that a tiny auto of dubious reliability and a reputation for breaking parts, chambered in a woefully underpowered cartridge, is good enough to see them through an armed encounter. I know, I used to do the same thing. After a hard look at just how reliable those little KT's are, and just how ineffective 32 and 380 are, I sold them to force myself to start carrying a gun that can provide expansion, minimum penetration, reliability and a track record of not breaking parts every 500 rounds or so. And I've had 4 KT pistols, the only one that was reliable was the P32 and only with FMJ rounds.

In my own little gel tests, not one 32 round would penetrate into the chest cavity after having to go through a simulated upper arm, and no 380 would make it more than 1 inch into the chest. Anyone who thinks that's enough penetration to stop a fight is dangerously fooling themselves. And those tests were in gel with no simulated bones.

And they might be right, said tiny auto may see them through an armed encounter if they're lucky. And God knows I'd rather be lucky than good, but I've learned in life that if you rely on luck you're going to wind up in trouble, probably sooner than later.

I used to think that any gun is better than no gun. But standing and fighting with a gun that's likely to fail or is so underpowered that it can only end the fight under ideal circumstances is probably not as smart as running like hell.

And before anyone says "you wouldn't want to get shot with a 32 or 380", I wouldn't want to get shot with a BB gun, but that doesn't mean I'll carry one for self defense either.

Euclidean
July 28, 2007, 03:31 AM
Show me a 9mm with the exact dimensions of a P3AT that doesn't cost over $450.

abarth
July 28, 2007, 03:33 AM
Price for me.

ugaarguy
July 28, 2007, 03:37 AM
So what are you carrying now 3rdPig?

The Lone Haranguer
July 28, 2007, 10:32 AM
I'm of the school of thought that sees no use for a .380 except in a little gun used for backup or if I need deeper concealment than can be obtained with a Kahr PM9. (e.g., Kel-Tec, Seecamp)

I do have one .380, a Beretta 86 Cheetah, but that one is a collector/"fun" gun simply because I like its unusual design and had more money than sense at the time. ;) But a Glock 19 is almost exactly the same height and length yet holds 16 full-power 9mm Luger ca'tridges. Which one would I use to protect my hide? Take a wild guess. :D

420Stainless
July 28, 2007, 01:20 PM
Because I bought my PPK/S before the really compact nines were developed. If buying today, I probably would choose a polymer 9. I don't want to spend more money on a niche I believe I have adequately filled.

JohnKSa
July 28, 2007, 02:34 PM
no 380 would make it more than 1 inch into the chestThat's an ammunition issue, not a caliber problem.

.380 has sufficient penetration for SD with the proper ammunition.

KevininPa
July 28, 2007, 05:02 PM
Most of the nines or fortys that are the same size as my Sig 232 or Bersa .380 are DAO only. Some are DA/SA, but without a hammer. I like having a hammer. I don't like polymer frames , so that eliminates other guns. The Springfield EMP has caught my eye, but their price is currently not available to me. My Sig is stainless with night sights and would've ordinarily been out of my reach but I got a real good deal on it, hardly used at $400. Right place at the right time. I've already put rounds thru an 1/8 thick stainless pot and car doors ( my buddy has a VERY strange shooting range! ). So I'm not concerned about penetration. Just left my gunsmith's shop today and he had a Polish FEG cheap. Compared it to a PPK he was working on and I liked the size, might be picking it up soon. Pocket gun. Heard the triggers were crap. I figure I'll run about 400 rounds thru it and then decide about him smoothing it out. The price of the gun and his price for smoothing it all out are a third or maybe less than a PPK new. I also have a CZ83 for cooler weather carry. I'm very competent with my .380s and I feel very comfortable carrying them.

Kevin in Pa

Dirty Bob
July 28, 2007, 07:23 PM
KevininPa:
Congrats on the 232. I think the Sig is the best of the .380s. Smooth, accurate, reliable, and not all that big. I think in your shoes, I would've bought it in a few seconds.

I have the Makarov and a Kel-Tec P-11. I shoot the Mak much better than the P-11, so in a way, the platform makes up for the caliber disparity. That said, I generally carry the lighter, more rust-resistant and more powerful P-11. On the other hand, I never felt undergunned when all I had was the Makarov, primarily because I'm confident in how well it shoots and how reliable it is.

All my best,
Dirty Bob

orionengnr
July 28, 2007, 09:33 PM
Quote:
Ah, to think I held a Colt Mustang in my hands last year. Cost at the time: $425.00

I feel your pain. The Mustangs were sweet. I wish Colt or Springfield or somebody would bring them back. I think they'd sell a lot of them.

I hold to my assertion that a lot of us love the pistols that .380 has been chambered in, rather than feeling lots of affection for the caliber itself.

Yup, at $425 I would probably own one blued and one stainless. Problem is, I can't find one under $650 or so.

For that price, I'll stick with my PM9. ;)

sig228
July 29, 2007, 05:19 PM
Show me a 9mm with the exact dimensions of a P3AT that doesn't cost over $450.

Exactly. The closest, in my opinion is a Rohrbaugh. The only dealer in South Florida that sells these new (at least that I know of) wants $1,300 for a MSRP $895 gun. No way. I'll stick to my $250.00 P3AT. (Although that Pocket Mustang looks pretty cool.....)

romma
September 26, 2007, 01:36 PM
Yup, at $425 I would probably own one blued and one stainless. Problem is, I can't find one under $650 or so.

For that price, I'll stick with my PM9.

Thought of a revival for this thread: I too have a PM9, sometimes a nice piece like the Mustang is nice to have for the collection. I now know where one is for $500... Waiting to find out the current condition of it.

DAdams
September 26, 2007, 02:18 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/dmadams/P2140017-1.jpg
PM 9 147 gr GoldDot or 115gr CORON DPX +P
Took awhile to get the kinks out, including a trip back to the Mothership but I really like the PM form factor. It's
now in good performance and shoots most anything reliably. It has been worth the tribulation.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/dmadams/P9110037.jpg
Seecamp 380 102gr Golden Saber or SGD 90. New with 24 rounds through it.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/dmadams/P5210023.jpg
S&W M&P 340 with CT 405. SGD 135gr Short Barrel or 158 gr BB low flash soft lead SWC-HC model 20C.
or .357 but I haven't had the call yet beyond +P. Next time at the range.
This has to be the ultimate 38/357 snub IMO.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/dmadams/P5150002.jpg
My wife's 642 with CT 405. Standard Pressure BB 158 gr for short barrel.
Mika Roundcut Holster for the Pocket.

DAdams
September 26, 2007, 02:25 PM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/dmadams/2002920534915283141_fs.jpg

What happened with the DPX in the Seecamp?

I have successfully used the Golden Sabres in my LWS 380, but they are a heavy bullet & kick pretty good.

I have tested the dpx and in the secamp IMO they do not work....they feed fine etc...but never expand with a clothes test and only expand a hair in bare water and then only sometimes.

Nowif ya want penetration use the dpx..they really go deep.

The dpx is much harsher as far as recoil compared to the GS.IMO

Here is a dpx gold dot test with the seecamp .380

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/dmadams/2001122274379366954_fs.jpg


Testing by JoJohns of the Seecamp site.



Here is a "shootout" with the LWS 380 and a Rohrbaugh 9mm.
http://www.seecamp.com/cgi-bin...08864

Good photo/commentary.

More .380 testing from a Seecamp.
This time with CORBON DPX
http://www.seecamp.com/cgi-bin...12398


Some good ammunition tests.
http://www.hipowersandhandguns...s.htm
380 vs 38
380 vs 9
Etc. I have them all but there are times when a deeply concealed .380 is likely going to cover me. Social and business events where even my 14 ounce snubbie might show and be out of place.

More reports this one with some velocity data for the LWS 380.
http://www.thegunzone.com/lws380.html#nb8
Pre Speer Goldot apparently. I'm sticking with the Speer at 90gr and the Golden Sabres at 102 gr. for now.

SevenMichael
September 26, 2007, 03:01 PM
Since looks do matter in a gun, it should be noted that most 9mms in midget packages are plug-ugly. :what:

In an SD situation, I could care less what my gun looks like..... That said, my Springfield EMP 9mm is AWESOME LOOKING !!! :D

I can't say enough about my EMP. Very small, great balance and outstanding accuracy ! Also, despite the experience of some others, I've had absolutely no problems straight out of the box ! I feel very comfortable carrying it; both for accuracy and concealment. :D

I looked at the SIG P232 ( .380) very hard, and it's really nice; would nicely compliment my P229 - 9 mm ! It may be picky, but I didn't care for the mag release.

But, my real decision was based on cost. As others have said, I like to shoot my guns frequently, and the price difference between .380 and 9mm can be a large chunk of change ! :eek:

DAdams
September 26, 2007, 03:20 PM
In an SD situation, I could care less what my gun looks like..... That said, my Springfield EMP 9mm is AWESOME LOOKING !!!


True, true. But not a "small 9". At 26 ounces empty it's a bit heavy and much to large for pocket carry. W/o suspenders or going phat. :D Virtually all of the above weigh 16 ounces or less, loaded. All will fit in your trouser or shorts pocket with a pocket holster.
The Sig 232 at 17.6 ounces (lightest of the three Sig 232 forms) with mag and no ammo is bordering on almost too large and too heavy, but ok for jacket or cargos.

At that weight 26+ounces and compact size vs subcompact or pocket form factor I would opt for an ugly Sig and 15-20 rounds of 9 (but you already have that). But that's another thread.

But, again the EMP sure is purdy.

SevenMichael
September 26, 2007, 03:55 PM
But not a "small 9". At 26 ounces empty it's a bit heavy

If "small 9" means weight, you're right; however, when compared to the SIG P232 the form factor is very close:




Overall Length Overall Height

SIG P-232:6.60 " 4.70 "

EMP :6.50 " 5.00 "


I must admit, pocket carry is not my style; usually I carry OWB/belt.

DAdams
September 26, 2007, 04:26 PM
I wouldn't have thought dimensionally the EMP and 232 that close in size. I'd rather the EMP given the choice.

OWB opens up all sorts of possibilities and forms. :D
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/dmadams/holstersm2.jpg
Well, almost all.

Here in the SE with the exception of winter and extreme island time shirt out wear OWB for many is out. It would be my preference, but for most occassions I go pocket.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/dmadams/P7260009.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/dmadams/P5150005.jpg

mindwip
September 26, 2007, 04:49 PM
Bersa .380 are DAO only. Some are DA/SA, but without a hammer. I like having a hammer. I don't like polymer frames , so that eliminates other guns



If i am reading what you said right. You are wrong. Bersa does make a .380 with DA/SA with a hammer thats not a polymer frame. In fact i believe there whole line of pistols have a hammer and are DA/SA.

DAdams
September 26, 2007, 05:05 PM
Here's my BT 380 with a 9+1 mag.

It has a hammer, safety/decock and is SA/DA.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/dmadams/P1290032.jpg

One of my favorites with over 750 rounds through it. Eats everything I have put through it w/o a glitch or hitch.

It's my "truck gun".

I also use it for introducing new shooters to autos.

mindwip
September 26, 2007, 05:17 PM
I forgot to mention my Bersa has been 100% reliable. And even with the shorter barrel i still shoot as good with it as my Hi-power. To me the 380 is a nice house gun, i an always worried about over penetration and the 380 round has enough energy to stop a bad guy, and wont go through as many walls as a 9mm or 45. Not to mention 380 guns tend to be small and still well built and controllable.

I feel safe with a 380. There are some nice hot 380 loads meant for self defense that work good just fine.


Edit the only bad thing about the gun is after i took of the grips off for a good cleaning one of the grip screws ran away from me. I mean he ran for freedom never to be seen again. I called Bersa and complained about there misbehaving screws and how they run away from owners. They told me that there screws are well trained and never run away. I smell something fishy.

PX15
September 26, 2007, 05:46 PM
JMOFO:

Because you have to use the next best thing until Larry Seecamp gets his fine little pistol bored out to 9mm..:what::what:

Imagine: LWS9.. Sweet.


JP

JP from Phoenix
September 27, 2007, 12:49 AM
One thing i dont understand is why 380 ammo is more expensive than 9mm, i guess bc 9 is readily available? I would still love to get myself a Beretta Cheetah, thats a sweet little piece

Clipper
September 27, 2007, 01:25 AM
My new PF-9 has retired my P3AT, and yes, I pocket carry.

sm
September 27, 2007, 02:35 AM
Post number 2 -
Dirty Bob wrote:

I think in most cases it's the pistol -- not the caliber -- that's being chosen.

I have been watching this thread, and some really great input and replies.

Dirty Bob nailed if for me, and some others that have been watching this thread, and in contact with me.

Many of us choose the platform as I call it where Dirty Bob used the term pistol.
Gun fit is that important.

Physically limited persons are included in some that are watching this thread.
Tip up Beretta's for instance are popular with these persons, in .380, 32ACP , 25ACP, and .22lr.

Those persons whole, appreciate the Colt Mustang and Pocket-Lite.
No tool is any better than user of said tool and if the tool Fits, one can better use a tool.

Enjoying the thread, thanks!

Pilot
September 27, 2007, 07:21 AM
I often carry a Beretta 95FS in .380. I just like the gun and how it shoots. Yes, I could carry a smaller, lighter 9MM, but I feel OK with the little Beretta. When I go bigger its a CZ-75D PCR, compact 9MM.

DAdams
September 27, 2007, 07:28 AM
Here is some somehwat real world testing done by Old Grandpa and Scuba/Fly from the Seecamp Forum about a year ago.

hi Doug,
the 12" penetration is a FBI protocol using gelatin. In his third book on Stopping Power, E.Marshall has a chapter by the Border Patrol in which they use 9" to 10" in gelatin as adequate penetration. Most of us are not able to use gelatin so wet newspaper ("wetpack"), water tanks, and water jugs are used. Based on several years of testing we find the wetpack gives penetration of about 2/3 that of gelatin so a comparison can be made. So 8" in wetpack equals close to 12" gelatin.

In 2006 flyandscuba and I did a wetpack test with the LWS 380 using several brands of ammo and compared it to several other pistols we had available. This was also reported in the Ammunition section here back in 2006 along with the benefits of keyholing that occurs. Reposted here is the picture of the wetpack results where you can see the best combination of expansion/penetration was with the Remington GoldenSaber 102gr JHP round. The thing you will note is that when JHP rounds do not fully expand, penetration goes up, exceeding the equivalent 12" gelatin number.

So our opinion is the LWS 380 with recommended ammo does achieve adquate penetration for very reliable self defense use. Maybe not the greatest expansion, but then penetration is excellent.

og

More tests planned later this year.



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/dmadams/FlyOg_Revisit_DPX_with_GSGDmore_001.jpg


Back to the original question? Look at the results for the PM9 (3.14 inch barrel). Penetration and good expansion.
The Rohrbaugh might be a bit pricey but small size (pocket carry) and being a 9, it too is a compelling product. KelTec PF9 perhaps as well.


Last Saturdays PM9 drill. It ran all three brands w/o a hitch, plus some 115 gr Independence ball. Which it always likes.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v237/dmadams/P9240010.jpg

DAdams
September 27, 2007, 09:00 AM
George H. from the Seecamp website said this and it follows the right tool for the right job axiom.

What tool do you need?

I own a R9s, 4 Seecamps, 2 Guardians, and 4 NAA mini revolvers (plus a bunch of other handguns--about 30 or so).

My current "always" gun is the Seecamp 380. Previously, for 5 years or so, it was the NAA 380 Guardian.

When I carry my Rohrbaugh it is in an ankle holster as a BUG to a Glock 36.

My Guardian 380 is now a "coat gun."

Figure out your need, and then the right tool will become self-evident.

KevininPa
September 27, 2007, 10:38 AM
Quote:
Bersa .380 are DAO only. Some are DA/SA, but without a hammer. I like having a hammer. I don't like polymer frames , so that eliminates other guns



If i am reading what you said right. You are wrong. Bersa does make a .380 with DA/SA with a hammer thats not a polymer frame. In fact i believe there whole line of pistols have a hammer and are DA/SA.
__________________


This is the whole first sentence Mindwip:

"Most of the nines or fortys that are the same size as my Sig 232 or Bersa .380 are DAO only."

You can go back and double check that. Though I will correct myself on the FEG. They're not Polish but Hungarian. Picked it up for $139 and shoots sweet in SA, though the DA is rather stiff. Groups well, at ten yards I kept all shots within 6" of bullseye first time I ever picked it up to shoot it! Hopefully more shooting will iron out the DA some. I have seen these on Gunbroker from time to time for more. Doesn't happen often but every now and then I just walk into these deals.

Kevin in Pa

mnw42
September 27, 2007, 11:39 AM
I have one .380 that is mostly a range queen:

http://images.filecloud.com/596150/1908-rh-med.jpg

If I could afford anything right now it would be a Glock 36 .45 ACP or one of the small Colts. My Cobra is a little big for pocket carry.

Lonestar49
September 27, 2007, 02:06 PM
...

Based on first hand experience, comparing my Sig P232 380 vs my Springfield EMP 9mm, I'd go 9mm for the following reasons:

EMP 9 rounds
Sig 7 rounds

EMP shoots either 115gr or 124gr JHP's more punch

Sig shoots only 95gr JHP's less punch


EMP, a purer recoil, kinda like a 45 cals, IMHO

Sig, snappier recoil, and more torque effect at the same time

EMP far more accurate at all distance's, and far better 2nd, 3rd shot performance with 2 hand grip or one hand grip

Sig, less accurate on following up shots, and is not nearly as accurate shooting one handed.

EMP shoots pure and long, to date, 450 rounds at 100% reliability, with light cleaning, not needing a total disassembly.

Sig, thru 1750 rounds, because of the blow-back action gets dirty quick, powder residue, and it must be completely cleaned, including magazines interior, after 200 rounds, with complete disassembly, or expect jams, most every magazine load thereafter. (this is with my gun).

Read thoughts and facts:

Sig 232 using 95gr JHP's is questionable, in penetration, and expansion, especially in winter time going thru heavy clothing. Therefore, I use only 95gr FMJ for best penetration, summer or winter.

EMP 9mm gives great penetration with expansion using JHP, year round.


EMP, has a side release mag button, pops mag straight out fast, and goes back in fast..

Sig P232 has a bottom "thumb release" that is time comsuming, and mag does not pop out, rather, you must pull it out, and it does not go straight up and in fast, rather, you have to angle it at first, then it will go straight up and in, again, time consuming.

IF in a Jam situation, you will find that IF you have to release the magazine "pressure" to unjam the gun, on its side, it will be eat up ALOT of time and not be pleasant nor easy to do, vs a side release button, and the ease of getting that kind of magazine pressure load off the jam, and correct it much faster.


One type of gun and magazine release and insert operation is forgiving and fast. The other is non-forgiving, slow, and time can be your friend, or it can be the BG's friend.


LS

mavracer
September 27, 2007, 02:14 PM
because some people,myself included feal that accuracy is more important than power.I have more confidence that I could on demand make a head shot out to 15 yards with my walther pp 32 acp.where as my amt backup .45 is delagated to COM only.I realize this was .380 vs 9mm but the analagy would hold even more true if they were so chambered.that said I usually don't carry either opting for my HK P7 which is as accurate a the walther and only a little bigger.and the AMT only sees pocket duty in wet climates when I am keeping my S&W 442 dry.

Glockafella
September 27, 2007, 03:10 PM
This thread has really made me feel good about carrying the Corbon DPX ive had in my PF9...thanks

Hokkmike
September 27, 2007, 03:25 PM
Size mostly!

KevininPa
September 27, 2007, 04:35 PM
There's some nice area there around Williamsport Hokkmike.


Kevin in Pa

Dirty Bob
September 27, 2007, 05:53 PM
What I get from threads like this is:

If it works for you, it's a good choice. So what if the writer for Mall Ninja Magazine said the XK-150S in .457 Devastator will stop an elephant in its tracks with one shot and is the weapon of choice of "real operators," if the pistol kicks like a mule, isn't accurate in your hands, has "issues" with reliability, and feels like a brick on your hip. You'd be better off with a light, handy Bersa .380 that you can shoot fast and accurately and is 100% reliable.

All my best,
Dirty Bob

cookekdjr
October 1, 2007, 11:21 PM
Why 380 over 9mm?
Reliability.
Most of the the small 380 designs are very reliable. Simple blowback action. No problems. SIG p232 is a good example, as is the Bersa Thunder.
Both are similar in size to the Kahr P9 and CW9, and even a little larger than the PM9. The problem is that many of these small Kahrs (and guns like them) have had a number of reliability issues. Many have not, but there are enough lemons out there to scare many people off.
Which would you rather have: a 9mm that might fire, or a 380 that will fire?

obxned
October 2, 2007, 12:12 AM
If anyone made a 9mm as small and light as the smallest and lightest .380, you would complain abou the recoil.

Tom Servo
October 2, 2007, 02:23 PM
If anyone made a 9mm as small and light as the smallest and lightest .380, you would complain abou the recoil.
They do. It's called the Kel-Tec PF9. And, yes, I'll complain about the recoil. :eek:

A customer was having feeding problems on a new one, and I shot a magazine through to diagnose. I enjoy Magnum calibers, but the lightness and angular shape of the grip on this thing make recoil all but unbearable.

antsi
October 3, 2007, 12:04 AM
My SIG 232 is sleek and rounded and slim. Although it is not that much smaller than compact 9mms by the measuring tape, it carries smaller than it acutally is because it is formed of smooth, curved, body-friendly shapes. The small 9mms by comparison tend to be blocky, chunky, and covered with sharp edges and protrusions.

Also, I think there is something to be said for a good match between the size of the gun and the power of the caliber. When I shoot my 232, it shoots like it is the appropriate gun for that cartridge. When I shoot other folks' "micro-9s", I find them unpleasant to grip, point, and shoot.

I wouldn't want a 16" .50 BMG carbine. It would certainly give me more power than my 5.56, but I don't think the trade-offs would be worth it.

StrikeEagle
October 3, 2007, 12:52 AM
Since looks do matter in a gun, it should be noted that most 9mms in midget packages are plug-ugly. The PPKs, HScs, and such are much prettier than down-sized 9mms. Recoil is, of course, an issue for some.

Also, it goes against the grain to carry a midget gun in a full-size caliber - for me, anyhow.

Very well said. Guns that are very small for the caliber make me uneasy... I just wouldn't trust one. The 'compact' and 'ultra compact' .45's just don't sit well with me, as much as I love the 1911. Smaller than a Commander is pretty much 'too small' IMO.

As I'm typing this, I'm thinking it might not be totally rational, but it would erode my confidence in the piece if it just seemed 'too small'.

BTW, I have a 45 year old PPK in .380 that's never let me down. Small enough, powerful enough, accurate enough.

Dirty Bob
October 3, 2007, 10:25 AM
I don't know if I'd be so harsh on the small 9mm pistols. I've never had a hiccup from my P-11, though I grip it *HARD* with a stiff wrist. It's not that bad to shoot. In fact, I can honestly say that I enjoy shooting it. I "shoot it" with snap caps as much as I do with live ammo, however, which really helps me deal with the LOOOOOOOONG trigger pull on the Kel-Tec.

That said, I don't hand novice shooters a P-11 to try. On the other hand, a Makarov -- especially a commercial .380 Makarov with the larger, adjustable sights -- is an easy gun for a beginner.

An all-steel .380 like the Makarov is a "friendly" pistol to shoot. If arthritis or shoulder problems or whatever should ever partially disable me, I think I would switch to an all-steel .380 without many regrets.

Regards,
Dirty Bob

xsquidgator
October 3, 2007, 01:51 PM
Does anyone have experience with the Kahr P45 (I think that's what it is, the poly frame 45)? I have a CW9 (holds 7+1) that I like a lot and was wondering about the 45 which I've heard holds 5+1 of 45. If the 45 was the same size and about the same weight as the 9mm, hmmm? I've never seen one for rent so I have no idea how bad the recoil might be on one of those.

shooter429
October 3, 2007, 04:49 PM
Small, inexpensive .380s are the rule. Yes, you will give up some stopping power, but these guns are meant as BUGs anyway.

Consider the KT P-3AT
Calibers : .380 AUTO
Weight unloaded lbs. : 8.3 oz.
Loaded magazine : 2.8 oz.
Length : 5.2"
Height : 3.5"
Width : .77"
Sight radius : 3.8"
Muzzle Energy Max : 250 ft lbs
Capacity : 6 + 1 rounds
Trigger Pull : 5lbs
Price: ~ $240 USD

Or the Bersa 380 CC
CALIBER: .380 ACP
OPERATION: Semi-Automatic
OVERALL LENGTH: 6"
HEIGHT: 4.54"
WIDTH: 1.05"
BARREL LENGTH: 3.2"
WEIGHT: 16.4 oz without magazine
MAGAZINE CAPACITY: 8 Rounds
TRIGGER PULL: 8 to 13 lbs. Double Action / 5 to 7 lbs. Single
Cost: ~$220 USD

Compare those to similar nines

Glock 26
WEIGHT 19.75 oz.
LENGTH 6.29 in.
HEIGHT 4.17 in.
Standard: 10
WIDTH 1.18 in.
TRIGGER PULL 5.5 lbs.
Cost ~$500 USD

Kahr PM9093 (3" Barrel)
Black polymer frame, matte stainless slide
~ $550

Shooter429

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