380 ACP for Personal Protection?


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TnShooter83
August 13, 2007, 10:51 PM
I currently own 2 9mm, and a .38 Special.
I recently shot a Bersa Thunder .380
Nice trigger, and worked flawlessly.

But Is the .380 a little on the "weak" side for Personal Protection?

I ask this as I'm going to buy myself an Early Birthday present.
And I'll be picking up a new addition to my collection.

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ArchAngelCD
August 13, 2007, 10:55 PM
This topic has been beaten to death already. You will get opinions that anything less than a .45 is too light or the opinions like mine where a well placed .32 Auto round is better than a big bore spray and pray. If you do your job the .380 Auto will do the job. Don't let anyone tell you differently.

rantingredneck
August 13, 2007, 10:57 PM
I've yet to see someone volunteer to take a .380 in the chest.

That being said, yes this has horse has been beaten beyond death. :)

Picknlittle
August 13, 2007, 10:57 PM
I'd think that with most defensive situations being up close and personal, i.e., under ten yards, the 380 is probably as effective at drawing blood at a 9mm.

I guess we could dig up some .380 victims and ask. :)

Yes, I know I'm a smart a**. :evil:

TnShooter83
August 13, 2007, 11:04 PM
I'd volunteer if I knew it wouldn't hurt so much........Kidding.
I'll still shoot my 9mm, before I shoot the .45
I'm tight with money, and would hesitate to pull the trigger on
the pricey .45 ammo.

Archer1945
August 13, 2007, 11:09 PM
I prefer the .45acp but to be realistic a .380 or 9mm Mak is a much easier gun to carry/conceal. While I haven't compared the specs of a .380 vrs .38 snubbie I'd be willing to bet there isn't much difference and there are plenty of people who think a snubbie Smith or Colt is the best CCW weapon ever.

If truth be told I'd better more .22s or .25s are actually carried than the larger calibers. JMHO

rantingredneck
August 13, 2007, 11:11 PM
Carry what you shoot the best and worry not at the caliber.

TnShooter83
August 13, 2007, 11:17 PM
Carry what you shoot the best and worry not at the caliber.

Honestly, that would be my Taurus 44 Mag.
But it's a beast to fit in my pocket. :D

As my 2 other pistols are 9mm, and don't group the best past 25 yards.

RyanM
August 13, 2007, 11:22 PM
.380 bad. No good for kill saber toothed tigers. Me like .45-70 and .300 Win Mag for that. Ugh.

But anyway, I'd recommend carrying as powerful a pistol as you can shoot quickly and accurately.

TnShooter83
August 13, 2007, 11:27 PM
.380 bad. No good for kill saber toothed tigers. Me like .45-70 and .300 Win Mag for that. Ugh.

Me Say, "Even if Saber Tooth Tiger in cage, and me out side?"

Kidding of course, maybe I should have said, "For protection of other humans?"

jeepmor
August 14, 2007, 12:14 AM
Wait, wait, my popcorn's not done yet.....:neener:

It'll work fine for social encounters, but personally, as a 220lb person over 6" tall, I prefer something with a bit more oommph simply because I can handle and conceal it without issue.

TnShooter83
August 14, 2007, 12:18 AM
It's not the handle part, it's the conceal.
If I could shrink the .44 I'd carry it.

jefnvk
August 14, 2007, 12:27 AM
I've got a PPK that has quickly turned into my favorite handgun. Don't feel at all underarmed.

Novus Collectus
August 14, 2007, 12:29 AM
Simply put, a .380 is way so better than the most potent pepper spray.

tkendrick
August 14, 2007, 01:53 AM
Carrying concealed in Arizona, in the summer, at 115 degrees.

.380's not my first choice, but my 380 is one of the few reliable choices that works with bermuda shorts, golf shirt and black socks with garters.

SAG0282
August 14, 2007, 01:55 AM
Before I gave it to a friend, I felt very comfortable carrying my Bersa Thunder, both from a reliability and a power perspective. It was very accurate and easy to shoot, and with good shot placement would work fine.

h2ojunkie
August 14, 2007, 06:11 AM
I agree with tkendrick. Being from Las Vegas myself. My options for most of the year are a .380 in my shorts pocket, or my .45 sitting at home in the safe.

I tend to think the .380 in my pocket will do a much better job of saving my life than the .45 will do sitting in the safe.

Of course, criminals regularly do prove just how stupid they are so I guess it's possible I could convince the guy trying to mug me in the parking lot to follow me home so I could go in the safe and get more money for him (you know, the same safe where the .45 happens to be sitting). :neener:

shooting time
August 14, 2007, 07:27 AM
I carry a P3AT all the time in the summer because it is small and weighs 11ounces and in the winter usually a S&W 60 or 1911 having a .380 on you is far better than nothing at all.

Marlin 45 carbine
August 14, 2007, 07:37 AM
I carry a Mak and spare mag when wearing jacket/heavy shirt. and Berreta .32 and spare mag when lightly dressed. beats pepper spray, which I carry also. and a folding tanto.

Ala Dan
August 14, 2007, 08:42 AM
Yep, I would carry it~! Any firearm is a whole lot better than a stick~! :uhoh:

Gustav
August 14, 2007, 08:53 AM
Yes I would and have carried a .380 it was an AMT Backup and as I saw it beat throwing rocks or praying.
Some good .380s are out there and with a well designed bullet and a well placed shot (or shots) it will due in a pinch.
I would go with a Beretta or Browning DA high capacity or a Colt .380 either and old one or the newer Mustang or Pocketlites or a Walther PPK.
Its still a .35/.36 caliber hole even if on the light powered side so practice allot and hope you never NEED to use it.

Joshua M. Smith
August 14, 2007, 09:12 AM
A friend of mine "volunteered" to take a ball round of 380 ACP in the chest oh, maybe 10, 12 years ago from arms length distance.

He is not with us any longer. He said "help me" and fell forward. His last words were to a friend of mine who was performing CPR. He began breathing again, begged her not to let him die, then expired a few minutes later. He was shot just above the heart in the aorta.

The criminal who shot him was high on several different things and ended up doing about nine(!) years.

The gun was a Loricin. The criminal wanted to see what it felt like to shoot another human.

I carry a 380 as an alternative to my snub revolver when I feel that a couple more shots may be needed. Regardless, they are both backup to a service-sized 9mm that I've not felt the need to stop packing in ten years.

For a backup, yes, I'll carry one. For a primary, well, I'd have to be dressed up with no way to conceal my service-sized pistol.

Regardless, pour more lead into the target during practice. There's a large gap between the 380's "stopping power" and the 9mm, 40, 45, etc. A 380 will not penetrate to optimum depth - the ball round did not exit my friend from near-contact distance. When I do carry a 380, I carry a heavy-for-caliber flatnose round. I will grant I've not tested the 102gr Golden Saber, so that may be an option. I simply do not know.

Same with 38 Spl - it gets a 158gr round. I don't trust these lighter rounds, even the 135gr Speer short barrel offering.

I voted that I would, but it's very conditional.

Josh <><

Walkalong
August 14, 2007, 09:31 AM
I carry a .22 Mag a bunch, as I do a .32 as well. Yea, a .380 will do.

Of course, if we know we are going to a gun fight, we would bring a tank or something, but normally we are just trying to have something with us.

The Lone Haranguer
August 14, 2007, 01:00 PM
With subcompact autoloaders like the Kahr PM9 around, I see no reason to carry a .380 as primary armament. It does make sense and fill a niche for a very small backup or "hideout" (when anything else is too big) gun.

mbt2001
August 14, 2007, 01:34 PM
Nothing wrong with a .380, the cops in Europe have been carrying .380's and .32's for years and I don't hear them complaining. It has a reasonable history as a man stopper and is a proven cartridge the same way a .38 special is.

People can decry the lack of stopping power, but big calibers don't stop people, effective shooting does.

There's a large gap between the 380's "stopping power" and the 9mm, 40, 45, etc. A 380 will not penetrate to optimum depth...


On paper, there is this OBVIOUS and GLARING difference... Roughly 350ft lbs for a 115grain 9mm and 180ft lbs for a 85 grain .380.

But on paper the 30 carbine generates 800ft lbs and no one would recommend that for game over deer, even though it out performs the .357 (by a wide margin) on paper. Paper projections can't be trusted, stopping power is more than just energy as converted above... It is a complex bit of experience, math, shot placement and the human body (being the big variable). Bullets sometimes do really weird things when they hit people. Anyone with hunting experience can verify that.

As I said above, the .380 has a long history of working. The police have used it in Europe for some time, the same way our police used the .38 special. It is a good round with a good history and I would feel well armed if while out at a movie, the SHTF so to speak. Obviously this is a CHL gun, not a primary service gun for real SHTF or hunting or whatever. There is a difference between what CHL considerations dictate you carry and what you would carry as a cop, while at war or while surviving an apocalyptic event.

Tom Servo
August 14, 2007, 01:52 PM
If you can, I'd say stick with the 9mm. .380 ammo is pricier, and it may be harder to find. The jury's still out on whether or not to pack it with hollowpoints, though. It appears that, with that weight at that velocity, you get expansion or penetration, but not both.

Still, if you do your job, it should be OK. Not great, but not bad. The big thing is practice. You really need to be able to place shots under stress with the smaller calibers.

That's not to say that a .45 to the pinky is going to stop a coked-up 350kb man-rhino, but with a smaller caliber, I'd like to be as precise as possible.

Joshua M. Smith
August 14, 2007, 06:55 PM
Nothing wrong with a .380, the cops in Europe have been carrying .380's and .32's for years and I don't hear them complaining. It has a reasonable history as a man stopper and is a proven cartridge the same way a .38 special is.

People can decry the lack of stopping power, but big calibers don't stop people, effective shooting does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua M. Smith
There's a large gap between the 380's "stopping power" and the 9mm, 40, 45, etc. A 380 will not penetrate to optimum depth...

On paper, there is this OBVIOUS and GLARING difference... Roughly 350ft lbs for a 115grain 9mm and 180ft lbs for a 85 grain .380.

But on paper the 30 carbine generates 800ft lbs and no one would recommend that for game over deer, even though it out performs the .357 (by a wide margin) on paper. Paper projections can't be trusted, stopping power is more than just energy as converted above... It is a complex bit of experience, math, shot placement and the human body (being the big variable). Bullets sometimes do really weird things when they hit people. Anyone with hunting experience can verify that.

As I said above, the .380 has a long history of working. The police have used it in Europe for some time, the same way our police used the .38 special. It is a good round with a good history and I would feel well armed if while out at a movie, the SHTF so to speak. Obviously this is a CHL gun, not a primary service gun for real SHTF or hunting or whatever. There is a difference between what CHL considerations dictate you carry and what you would carry as a cop, while at war or while surviving an apocalyptic event.

I should have said "lack of penetration with hollowpoints."

A big part of "stopping power" is psychological, as in, "OH S***, I've been SHOT!" While bleedout and whatnot are recognized, it can take 10-15 seconds for this to occur, and a LOT can happen in that time frame.

If you don't realize you've been shot, the psychological factor cannot come into play.

I do not think the temporary stretch cavity of any common pistol round achieves anything more than to let the aggressor know he's been shot. In that case, the bigger the better. Permanent cavity will take care of the rest, and for it to be effective, it has to reach the vitals. That usually means ball ammo in this caliber since the bullet cannot be much heavier than 100 grains.

A 380 is not a 38 Spl. The 38 Spl will make a deeper hole loaded with most rounds.

Josh <><

fletcher
August 14, 2007, 07:16 PM
.380 is just fine for personal protection. 9x18 is comparable, and I wouldn't think twice about trusting my life with it.

denfoote
August 14, 2007, 07:31 PM
I carry a KT P3AT as my "micro mouse".
While I'm not enamoured with the obvious design flaw of NOT including a slide stop on the pistol, there are times where it is not practicle to carry anything bigger. Hence, it gets carried more times than I care to admit!!! ;)

ExtremeDooty
August 15, 2007, 01:49 AM
I'd rather carry one of my XDs, but I have also carried a Bersa 380. It's reliable and accurate and beats the heck out of a pointed stick.

wuchak
August 15, 2007, 02:19 AM
Here in KC a box of JHP practice .380 only runs $1 - $2 a box more than the comparable 9mm. Hardly enough of a difference to make cost of ammo a consideration. Black Hills 90gr JHP runs 850fps out of the Kel-tec and was about $18 for a box of 50. DoubleTap 90gr JHP will do 1000fps out of the Kel-tec and costs $25 for 50.

For me the deciding factor was the size of the P-3AT. I can have it on me everyplace it's legal to carry in either a Smartcarry or a Desantis Nemesis. I carry with the +1 mag in place and an extra regular mag under the handle in the modified pouch on the Nemesis. The whole package:P-3AT, 14 rounds, and holster weighs in at 15 ounces and is so flat it just disappears.

40SW
August 15, 2007, 11:16 AM
I don't feel undergunned carrying a pistol chambered in .380ACP.
Examples that I rotate often.
1. Walther PPK
2. Bersa Thunder
3. CZ83
4. Beretta 84

The .380ACP is the minimum I would carry as a primary CCW. The .380ACP is effective with the proper shot placement.

mjrodney
August 15, 2007, 11:48 AM
Most lawful self-defense encounters are going to occur at in your face distances.

At that distance, I feel very confident that my P3AT and the .380 round will have a positive and deterent effect on a BG's intent.

MCgunner
August 15, 2007, 12:20 PM
I ain't real up on the .380, but I carry it when concealment necessitates.

slow944
August 15, 2007, 03:54 PM
I carried several BT380's. Sorry I sold them. Now I keep a KT P3AT in my front pocket all the time. Bersa IMHO is one of the best guns made.

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