.380 vs. 9x18 for a Small CCW piece?


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Eightball
February 25, 2008, 08:20 PM
Just curious......which round would you pick for a small, summer-based CCW piece (summer and/or pocket carry), if you wanted something of "okay" quality? Of "good" quality? Of something where it's "cheap"? Trying to stick within the small-ish blowback style pistols (Makarov, PPK, Sig 232 type thing, not micropistols), I reload ammo (so, the ".380 has more loads" argument doesn't mean all that much, nor does the "9x18 only comes in FMJ" type argument), and enjoy picking people's brains. And please don't suggest revolvers or KelTecs, or that I "just get a 9x19mm."

Thoughts?

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MICHAEL T
February 25, 2008, 09:05 PM
Bersa CC, PPK/S or a Kel Tec. Best pocket pistols going in 380 .

jad0110
February 25, 2008, 09:41 PM
Of the two, I would choose the 380 because ammo is more readily available.

Sans Authoritas
February 25, 2008, 09:44 PM
That extra millimeter means that much more powder and lead. : )

-Sans Authoritas

slow944
February 25, 2008, 09:51 PM
I carry a K-TP3AT everyday because it just disappears in my front pocket with a nemesis pocket holster.

M1 Shooter
February 25, 2008, 10:19 PM
The .380 may have more loads available, but the 9X18 has cheaper loads(Wolf, Silver Bear, etc.), and there are factory JHP loads.

I suggest you look at the CZ82's currently on the market from several sources. They are well made, quality pistols, chambered in 9X18, 12+1 capacity, and they are inexpensive right now.

P. Plainsman
February 25, 2008, 10:50 PM
Since the OP reloads, he'll need brass-cased 9x18 ammo, not Wolf -- and these days, that's not really any cheaper than comparable .380 ACP.

There are a lot more quality reloading components available in .380 ACP. In 9x18 you're limited to Hornady XTPs or Speer Gold Dots if you want to handload expanding defense ammo. On the other hand, XTP and Gold Dot are fine choices.

(You can also get factory Cor-Bon Pow'RBall ammo in 9x18 Makarov, as well as Glaser frangibles if that floats your boat. But no fancy Cor-Bon DPX bullets in the 9x18 Makarov -- unlike the .380 ACP.)

cookekdjr
February 25, 2008, 11:31 PM
I'm very partial to the SIG p232 and p230. So I chose .380. Of course the Mak and the cz82 are great guns, but the SIG carries easier and is much lighter (in alloy version).

camper
February 25, 2008, 11:44 PM
I reload 380 so plinking ammo is not a problem and I don't know of any 9x18s as small as the NAA guardian.

mnw42
February 25, 2008, 11:53 PM
The .380 has more SD loadings than the 9mm Mak. Besides you can get the original .380:
http://docstech.com/pertinax/arms/1908-rh-sm.jpg

biscuitninja
February 25, 2008, 11:55 PM
.380, alot more pistols available for that. I'd give a few of them a go round. I'm beginning to like .380 in a 1911 frame....
Anyways good luck
-bix

Texas Colt
February 25, 2008, 11:58 PM
I'm opting for the 9x18 because of the gun I just bought. I had a stainless PPK but sold it in favor of the FEG R61. The FEG has an alloy frame and is lighter for pocket carry.

FieroCDSP
February 26, 2008, 12:48 AM
Interesting question... You can get a smaller 380 gun than you can a 9x18, but the CZ-82 and other Mak chambered guns are nothing to sneeze at.

fletcher
February 26, 2008, 12:50 AM
I'm going to recommend a small .380, as your only real option in 9x18 is a Makarov, which doesn't exactly fit the summer/pocket carry you require.

usp9
February 26, 2008, 09:03 AM
Not enough difference between the two rounds to matter. There may be a huge difference between the pistols that shoot the rounds. I'd pick the best pistol in either round.

kashton
February 26, 2008, 09:07 AM
kahr mk40

woad_yurt
February 26, 2008, 09:10 AM
They do what they're supposed to do without fuss. Here's a recent Makarov thread. See what folks said:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=341434

Aaryq
February 26, 2008, 09:14 AM
Well...I'm not yet qualified to answer this question. My gut says 9x18mm but I think part of that is because I bought an FEG PA-63 a few days ago (can't wait to leave the sand box to shoot it). If you're a reloader, you should be able to cook up a pretty good SD batch.

Firepower!
February 26, 2008, 09:19 AM
I would have suggested .380 if you were living somewhere where new Makarovs are not available. Since you live in the US and can get a brand new Mak. Thus, no comparison. 9x18!

Moonclip
February 26, 2008, 09:27 AM
Much more ammo choices and availabilty in .380, also a lot more guns so chambered. I do like the 9x18Mak round though.

lee n. field
February 26, 2008, 09:37 AM
.380 vs. 9x18 for a Small CCW piece?

Pick one, buy it. Not a huge amount of difference between them.

Pretty much everything offered in 9x18 is also available in .380, but not vice versa.

ZeSpectre
February 26, 2008, 10:25 AM
I have experience with the CZ-82 (9x18mak) and a few different .380 based guns. While I want to say go with the 9x18, finding good ammo for it (in my area) has abruptly become quite a challenge. A Bersa or SIG in .380ACP would be a decent choice.

Ed4032
February 26, 2008, 10:31 AM
Makarov people are like a cult. An obsession with a communist round that attempted to copy the PPK. I know because I have one and I attend all our meetings. Oh yeah I have a couple of 380 too.

Capt. Capsize
February 26, 2008, 10:37 AM
I tried carrying a makarov many years ago but found it heavy and uncomfortable. Found a new Colt "Pocketlite" at a gun show and have been carrying it ever since. I have found that a heavy gun was an excuse to leave it home. The little Colt has been with me everyday for the last 10 years. It has saved me from a mugging and beating one time and I didn't even have to pull it out. Long story. I should type it up and send it to NRA Rifleman mag. If I am going into a known bad area at a risky time I will leave the Pocketlite at home and carry a Para Ordnance P-10 alloy in .45acp.

tinygnat219
February 26, 2008, 11:07 AM
I'd go with the .380. Good defensive ammo abounds. While the 9MM Makarov round is slightly better, good ammo for it is limited.

Also, if I need to find the .380 ammo, it's a lot easier to find / make from existing 9MMP supplies (trim brass, use smaller bullet, less powder).

Shooter X
February 26, 2008, 11:08 AM
My CCW is a Colt Mustang .380

Its small, comfortable, affordable and it works for me.

wheelgunslinger
February 26, 2008, 11:11 AM
Stephen A. Camp, despite my own belief in the large slow bullet theory, has convinced me with his writings that the 380 is indeed a worthwhile choice for SD purposes.

With the prohibition of revolvers in the first post, I'd have to say 380. And, I'd defer you to search for Mr. Camp's 380 prose here on this forum for all the good arguments as to why.

Marlin 45 carbine
February 26, 2008, 11:22 AM
I carry a Mak (Russian commercial) that took the place of a BDA that took the place of a Walther (slide kept busting my thumb knuckle- not for large hands) that took the place of a CZ-83 (sorta wish I had kept it).
like my Mak but will admit that awhile back I shot a LEO's new off-duty Bersa Thunder and was favorably impressed.
but then most all guns favorably impress me.
not an easy answer but you won't go wrong w/a Mak and since you load then you can roll some potent H-P's if you wish. I carry one chambered and a mag full of FMJ.

virgil ante
February 26, 2008, 12:56 PM
try a p64 in 9x18 very accurate at defensive distance:eek:

gbelleh
February 26, 2008, 01:18 PM
I vote 9x18 in a Makarov. The Mak is a nice little carry piece and 9 rounds of 115 gr Silver Bear pack a decent punch.

Anna's Dad
February 26, 2008, 01:36 PM
You should get a revolver or a Kel-Tec ;)

OK, I did read your post, so seriouslly: I would be comfortable with either 9x18 or .380. You'll likely find .380 ammo more available but 9x18 isn't too crazy expensive when its in stock.

For 9x18, I would very highly recommend a Makarov. I have several and they are just fantastic. I've never ownd a CZ-82 but I understand they are good choices as well.

For .380, I own a Sig P232 and a Beretta Model 90. The Beretta is old and long out of production so for a carry gun I would recommend the Sig. Great little gun and I presonally prefer it to the Walther. I don't have any experience with Seecamp but folks speak highly of them as well.

Don't forget to check out the new Ruger offering as well (LCP). Looks like a Kel-Tec but maybe Ruger's reputation for reliability will satisfy you where KT's does not.

R127
February 26, 2008, 01:45 PM
With the heavier bullets available to the 9x18 it wins hands down. Those are the loads that put the Makarov round closer to the 9mm than the .380. With the sub-100gr bullets there isn't a huge difference between the .380 and the 9x18. The Makarov pistol itself is still utterly reliable and very accurate which make it a good piece for defensive work if you can find a way to carry it you like. I never found it to be particuarly challenging. You can get smaller .380's but I have not known them to equal the Makarov in reliability, accuracy or handling.

slzy
February 26, 2008, 02:50 PM
only problem i see,is my mak is as big and heavy as my p7. that said,i believe these new 380 "micro guns" should be avaiable in 9x18.

Treo
February 26, 2008, 03:29 PM
My wife's first carry pistol was a Llama mini max .380 ( like all Llamas it was a 1911 style gun) it actually was a fairly accurate dependable little pistol & its still DWs favorite gun ( I HATE Llamas but I'm a firm believer that DW picks her own carry gun.)

Later we picked up a CZ-82 in 9X18 that is her carry gun now its good points are

1. It's a CZ
2. Well made ( see point 1)
3. Its a CZ
4. Very accurate ( see point 1)
5. its a CZ
6. easily concealable
7. Did I mention its a CZ?
8. Affordable we paid 275.00$

Only real draw back is that the ammunition's kinda hard to come by we've only found JHPs online & then only by Hornady.

between the two the CZ has a higher capacity magazine, a much better reputation, & a company that's still in business. The Llama , well Llamas suck , sorry

Also you can carry the CZ conditon one or double action

romma
February 26, 2008, 04:41 PM
I voted the OP has something wrong with him... :neener:

Nothing wrong with .380 IMO...

I am becoming fonder of a little more firepower lateley though.

Nicky Santoro
February 26, 2008, 05:00 PM
.380 vs. 9x18 for a Small CCW piece?

Damned little difference. Get whatever fills the need in terms of form and function.

Eightball
February 26, 2008, 05:17 PM
I voted the OP has something wrong with him... I knew several people would post posts saying that, so I figured I'd go ahead and make it a poll option for that very reason :P

kokapelli
February 26, 2008, 07:32 PM
Since you can get a 9mm in a smaller platform than any 9X18 I know of, why would you eliminate the 9mm?:confused:

wdlsguy
February 26, 2008, 08:17 PM
All else being equal, I'd opt for a 9x18 over a 9x17 (.380 ACP).

wnycollector
February 26, 2008, 08:59 PM
I have a russian mak. the 9x18 is more than adequate at getting the job done with proper bullet placement. on top of that my mak is SUPER reliable (1 ftf in 2500 rounds)!

goon
February 26, 2008, 09:29 PM
For a small gun the .380 will probably be more controllable (in my limited experience).
I'd choose it over 9mm Mak.
Plus .380 is far more available in my area.

Still, nothing wrong with the Mak.

dicky r
February 28, 2008, 08:15 PM
I carry my "worked over" PPK/S wherever I go. Mostly because I believe that it's better to have a little of something than a lot of nothing. It fits in the holster I have for it, and is comfortable and comforting. I try and usually succeed in getting about 100 - 150 rounds a week through it, ( I live in the country with my own range so range time is easy), and I also reload. There are probably better, but mine works for me. I'm a firm believer in finding a combo, (gun & holster), that you can carry - and then carrying it.

joneb
February 29, 2008, 01:33 AM
I voted for the 9x18 mak it is a better performer than the .380 acp. + I have a East German made Makarov, but as others have pointed out there is better ammo selection for the .380 like Buffalo Bore ammo .380 +P with 270 FT/LBS of energy :what: I may need to get a CZ 83 and a Wolff 18.5 lbs recoil spring :)
I plan to reload 9x18 Mak and I have noticed the data is watered down to 20,000 psi, where data derived by using a Makarov PM firearm is up at 24,000 psi. I suspect that new factory 9x18 factory ammo maybe toned down as well to accommodate weaker pistols chambered in 9x18 mak.

Keeterbird
February 29, 2008, 08:07 AM
380 has more varieties then 9x18. However, when talking about defensive round, many million Commies carried the 9x18 for years and we were rather concerned about them. There must be something to the stopping power. I don't believe that the Commies thought they were better shots.

I think the 9x18 must be a good self defense round especially in the hollow point, Silver Bear.

Besides that, I love the CZ82 and the Makarov. Never a misfire from either. they are heavy, but they shoot well and feel right to me. That said, I go with 9x18.

MCgunner
February 29, 2008, 11:00 AM
The P3AT makes .380 a logical choice. If I'm going to carry a Makarov, I'll stick my 13 round 9mm +P loaded P11 in a pocket. Lighter, pocketable, 100 percent reliable 9mm accurate firepower. I don't own a Mak, no real need. There are better choices in 9x19 and smaller, much more carryable choices in 9x17.

Pilot
February 29, 2008, 12:38 PM
The P3AT makes .380 a logical choice. If I'm going to carry a Makarov, I'll stick my 13 round 9mm +P loaded P11 in a pocket. Lighter, pocketable, 100 percent reliable 9mm accurate firepower. I don't own a Mak, no real need. There are better choices in 9x19 and smaller, much more carryable choices in 9x17.

All good points but for me there are other factors in the "what to carry" equation. I'd rather trust a battle proven, simple, all metal design that I know I can hit the target with. For me, that is a Makarov or a full size .380 like a Beretta M84/85 series over a smaller 9MM Keltec.

For me there is not any difference between a 9x18 or 9x17 with modern +p ammo.

Rex B
February 29, 2008, 03:26 PM
I have 5 .380s, and no longer own any 9x18s.
I will probably add more .380s, just because the guns that come in that caliber really appeal to me.

kokapelli
February 29, 2008, 03:33 PM
Many years ago before 9X18 ammo was available in JHP, I had a Mak in 9X18 and I also purchased a Mak in 380, just for the much better variety of ammo available for it.

The 380 Mak was a much nicer gun to shoot than the 9X18.

RyanM
February 29, 2008, 04:08 PM
If I can't suggest a 9x19mm, I have to ask, why not? A bunch of companies make 9mms that're the same size and weight as a PPK-esque .380, and the compact 9s typically have much more comfortable recoil.

Really, the only reason I see to move down to .380 would be to get a very tiny gun, like a P3AT, Guardian, or Seecamp. There's also price, but you can find used Kahrs pretty darn cheap if you look. My local gun store has had a used Kahr K9 for awhile, for... I think $350 or so. That's not a whole heckuvalot more than a new Bersa Thunder or something.

antsi
February 29, 2008, 04:37 PM
Since you can get a 9mm in a smaller platform than any 9X18 I know of, why would you eliminate the 9mm?

Some people find guns more shootable when there is an optimal fit between the size of the gun and the power of the cartridge.

Not me, though. I'm looking for a gunsmith to design my dream CCW piece: The .50 BMG Ultra-Micro Carry. If it's all about getting the most powerful cartridge crammed into the smallest possible gun, I'm not messing around.

As for the original question, I don't think it makes any practical difference. Find the gun you like better, then look on the side to see what it's chambered in.

antsi
February 29, 2008, 04:39 PM
Since you can get a 9mm in a smaller platform than any 9X18 I know of, why would you eliminate the 9mm?

Some people find guns more shootable when there is an optimal fit between the size of the gun and the power of the cartridge.

Not me, though. I'm looking for a gunsmith to design my dream CCW piece: The .50 BMG Ultra-Micro Carry. If it's all about getting the most powerful cartridge crammed into the smallest possible gun, I'm not messing around.

As for the original question, I don't think it makes any practical difference. Find the gun you like better, then look on the side to see what it's chambered in.

Oppy
February 29, 2008, 08:22 PM
Such a close call. Pick the one that you like (and that likes you the best - fits hand well etc) and get to know it. I have a CZ82 and really like it. Bersa makes a very nice 380. Take some time and enjoy comparing them all.

Glockorama
February 29, 2008, 10:00 PM
9x18 Hornandy! :D

http://a312.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/119/l_986347165d949368be74ae0759c95097.jpg

http://a898.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/128/l_513215c3b4ffd5e26e41d8d84e5beea9.jpg

stevereno1
February 29, 2008, 11:19 PM
Six of one, Half dozen of the other. Same round for the most part. Makarov is a bad ass pistol, but the browning bda is a cool little .380 as well. Either is good as far as low-powered 9mm's go.

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