Best .380 for Conceal Carry


April 6, 2008, 12:34 PM
If you had to carry a .380 for SD which of these models would it be. If you would never carry a .380 for the sake of this poll pretend that you would. Vote and tell us what the ultimate handgun in .380 is and tell us why. Take anything into consideration that you normally would when buying a handgun.

I am only doing this to settle an argument with a friend. Just want some honest opinions and insight from you guys and since I already have a nice .380 strapped to my side you can rest assured that I am not asking you to tell me which .380 I should buy.

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April 6, 2008, 12:49 PM
The Beretta 84 is one beautiful pistol, and the only reason why I don't carry one is because my Sig P228 is only a bit larger and chambers a superior round. If only .380 was available, I wouldn't hesitate to opt for the Beretta 84.

April 6, 2008, 01:01 PM
The Sig P232 is my primary carry gun during the summer.

It weighs in at 22 ounces loaded, so it won't fatigue you to carry it all day but it also has a 3.6" barrel, which is almost double what a KelTec has, and allows for better velocity from the wee .380 ACP.

It has a single column magazine and is only 4.7" high with a good sized grip frame, which helps tremendously with concealment.

I've never found another pistol that points as naturally as this one. It is easy to point shoot and put all rounds into COM at 7 yards.

Disassembly is easy and tool-free.

My only complaint is that the decocker requires a bit more thumb length than I have so I have to shift my grip to operate it.

All of this in a sexy, classic looking pistol.

PS: It doesn't have a slide lock, but once you get used to operation and clearance drills that's no biggy.

April 6, 2008, 01:01 PM
For my purposes, the NAA Guardian fills the bill.

Solid construction, small enough for reasonable pocket carry, large enough to be controllable and actually pleasant to shoot (thus you'll shoot it more).

Too much smaller/lighter seems painful. Too much larger and you can get 9mm guns about the same size.

That all being said I'm interested in seeing how the LCP's do. I briefly owned a keltec and wasn't a fan of it. Hopefully the Ruger is an improvement.

April 6, 2008, 02:24 PM
If I had to carry a .380 for my primary concealed piece, I'd go with the Beretta 84. 14 rounds in a solid, reliable, accurate gun with decent barrel length and it's small enough to easily conceal.

April 6, 2008, 02:28 PM
p3at because it is SO small. if i am going to carry a .380 it is because i am unable to carry something larger, so the keltec wins for me

April 6, 2008, 02:33 PM
Well since the thread title is asking for "best concealable" and not "best .380" the the answer can only be the Seecamp 380. Its the smallest 380 semiauto that i know. I own it and that puppy packs a punch. It is so tiny that it can hide anywhere.

As far as the best 380 period, i think the Sig P230/232 takes the cake. Its pretty much a full size weapon and a tack driver. Low recoil, points well and accurate as hell. Its just that i was going to go with something that big, then i might as well own a bigger caliber. A Walther PPS 9mm is same size or smaller and lighter than a P232 and carries same # of rounds, so there is no reason i would carry the Sig P232. However, I do carry the Seecamp 380 when i am wearing such light clothing and nothing else will go.

Here is a comparison of the Seecamp .32 which is the identical size of the 380 BTW to other guns and objects.

Sato Ord
April 6, 2008, 02:42 PM
Since I just bought a Bersa I had to vote that way.

As for it being the best? I don't see a whole lot of difference between it and the PPK. It's going to be my wife's carry gun, I'm going with something with a bit more punch. I was thinking about a colt Defender, but I fired my friend's Taurus PT1911 yesterday and liked it a lot. Like the price better too.

April 6, 2008, 03:11 PM
Alpha- I think you misunderstood the question. I asked what the best .380 for you would be provided that you were going to carry one concealed and not which gun conceals the best. I carry a P232 because it fits in my hand better than smaller .380s, although it is not the most concealable.

Ol` Joe
April 6, 2008, 03:41 PM
Since I carry a 380 Seecamp I guess thats my vote. If I need more then the 380 offers or have the means of concealing a larger gun, a 1911 is the prefered choice.
I`m not saying the Seecamp is the "best gun" (although I do believe it) only that it is small enough it can always be carried and will be there when needed. Mine fits almost fully in the watch pocket of my jeans with only the butt end of the grip & backstrap exposed. You can actually hide one behind a Kel-Tek P380at.

I normally do use a pocket holster though. The pic just stresses the ease of carry.

April 6, 2008, 03:45 PM
Walther PPK. It's a classic, gentleman; and the German-made guns are precision-made works of art that work every time, time after time.

April 6, 2008, 03:47 PM
I did carry .380 for years, first in an Astra then a Beretta 84, which is without doubt the best .380 on the market. If a slimmer single stack is needed the Beretta 85 fits the bill. The Beretta offers light weight, accuracy, rugged reliability, ease of care and there are many holsters available. It is the only .380 with a chrome lined chamber and barrel.

The Sig is also very good, but lacks the magazine capacity of both the Beretta 84 or 85. It has proven to be somewhat eratic in reliability.

The Bersa works but offers nothing over the Beretta. The Bersa is not a duty quality firearm.

The PPK is also a fine pistol, but it's as heavy as a Bersa and has a lower mag capacity.

The Seecamp .380 is a great gun but you're not going to want to shoot it a whole lot. It's certainly the most concealable.

The CZ83 is a good gun but is the heaviest of the bunch.

I don't trust Keltec. The Ruger is a Keltec.

The only other one I have personal experience with is the Sphinx but they're pretty hard to find and out of production. They are a DAO CZ83 made by jewelers.

If you want a gun that will last your lifetime get the Beretta. It's the best.

I like .380s. Here's a pic of some I've had.

April 6, 2008, 03:48 PM
T-380, 'cause I already got one. :) Fits my hand nicely and is heavy enough to absorb some of the recoil (yeah, go ahead and laugh ...) better than something like the Ruger LCP. The Ruger is on my "want" list for a summer carry gun, though.

April 6, 2008, 03:49 PM
Monkeybear-I understand that the P232 fits very well. I think its probably the best shooting .380 out there. My thing is that if you are going for such weight and size why not step up to a 9mm? Lets compare:

Sig P232
weight=22.4oz stainless steel
length= 6.6"
Height= 4.7"

Walther PPS 9mm
Weight= 21oz

To me the only reason to choose a .380 over a 9mm is size and concealability of the weapon. So there is no reason i would pick a Sig 232 as a carry weapon when I can have a Walther PPS when the PPS is just as reliable, smaller in every dimension but still retains a 3.2" barrel and can deliver almost twice the power of a .380 with appropriate rounds.

April 6, 2008, 03:57 PM
The PPK would be my choice. While it is heavier than several, that also makes it much more comfortable to shoot. Since most people agree that the .380 is minimal for SD, it requires that YOU do a good job in shooting it. As such, a gun that is fun to shoot is a significant advantage in that learning process.

April 6, 2008, 04:10 PM
I have a Makarov in 9x18 that I carry when not carrying a 1911.

Maks come in 380, so I guess I would p/u a Mak 380 if I HAD to have a 380.:)

April 6, 2008, 04:25 PM
You forgot the Browning BDA .380

Still pretty available and the best I think.

Ala Dan
April 6, 2008, 04:36 PM
Seecamp for durability, KEL-TEC P3AT for the weight factor~! :uhoh: ;)

Don Carter
April 6, 2008, 05:10 PM
My vote is the Kel-Tec P3AT. Coupled with a pocket holster I have carried it virtually with out detection I every situation. Of course I'd rather have my Kimber Pro CDP II but until I get my tuckable Milt Sparks holster I have to wait.

April 6, 2008, 09:48 PM
The P232 is the only one I know of with DA/SA which is just how I roll. Its also just what I happen to own. I wasn't trying to disagree with you I actually just wanted to make sure you knew what I meant.

I am currently in the market for a nice Kahr so I know what you mean about the size thing.

The reason for this thread is a conversation I was having with a friend. He basically disagreed with a statement I made about the P232 generally being considered one of the best CC .380s on the market. He did not dissagree that it was a fine pistol, just that I may have exagerated its reputation. Just a friendly dissagreement.

April 7, 2008, 01:01 AM
Well Bersa is a fine pistol you have 3 choices The regular Thunder 8 rounds the newer CC model 9 rounds or now the Thunder Plus 15 rounds. So the older Beretta's and Brownings have noting on the Bersa now for carry.

April 7, 2008, 01:35 AM
I voted Kel-Tec P3-AT because that's what I carry when I need something small. Otherwise I carry a Kahr PM9 9mm. The Kel-Tec is far from perfect, and mine gave me fits until I broke it in (300+ rounds). It's hard to beat the Kel-Tec's size and weight. These days, with firearms like the Kahr and the Walther PPS, you can get a 9mm that's the same size and weight as most of the other .380s listed, but of course with a big gain in power. Also, most .380s are blowback designs that have the roughly the same recoil as a short-action 9mm. My Walther PPK is a historic gun that I'll never sell, but it recoils worse than my Kahr 9mm, and I'll never carry the PPK - it's a "PSQ" [permanent safe queen].

April 7, 2008, 01:39 AM
there are a lot of good choices on that list. it would really depend on the price range and the size that the buyer would want. also, the bersa and firestorm are pretty much the exact same gun in all facets. i own the bersa thunder and i have had nothing but positive experiences with it.

April 7, 2008, 02:18 AM


April 7, 2008, 12:27 PM
I chose the Bersa. While the Kel-Tec is a good gun and much more concealable, it's just not a fun gun to shoot. Everyone says to be proficient with your concealed weapon and you'll never be proficient or trust a gun that is just uncomfortable for you to shoot. That's why I chose the Bersa over the Kel-Tec.

April 7, 2008, 11:19 PM

April 8, 2008, 10:10 AM

Seecamp. :D


April 8, 2008, 05:41 PM
i have been hearing alot of good things about bersa

April 8, 2008, 05:52 PM
I'll throw a vote out for the Beretta 85 Cheeta. Single stack so it's a bit slimmer than the 84. As I posted in some other thread, shoots well, very reliable and is easy to conceal.

April 8, 2008, 06:45 PM
I like the P3AT, but I'd carry the Grendel P12 (no longer made) if needed and I had a bigger pocket. It's slightly smaller than my P11, carries 12 rounds which would be important in a weak caliber. Actually, I've yet to wear anything I couldn't hide that gun in, why I never bought a P3AT, yet. It's 100 percent reliable, but not terribly accurate and a crummy DA trigger. But, I can keep 'em on a torso at 20 yards, so I guess it's accurate enough. No, it's not perfection in firearms, LOL! But, I like the firepower and I also like the heal magazine release better than a button in a pocket gun. The Grendel's mag release is one of the better design features. I wish they'd put as much thought into take down/field stripping for cleaning. That requires a hammer, punch, and four hands. :rolleyes:

Steve H
April 8, 2008, 06:50 PM
I'm for the PPK on this. reason: mine goes bang every time I pull the trigger.

April 8, 2008, 06:59 PM
I'll throw a vote out for the Beretta 85 Cheetah. Single stack so it's a bit slimmer than the 84. As I posted in some other thread, shoots well, very reliable and is easy to conceal.

X2. And probably the classiest too.

April 8, 2008, 09:07 PM
I love a Seecamp, sent my vote its way for my choice of 380 !:D

April 8, 2008, 11:16 PM
Wow. Every now and again I convince myself that Kel-tec, Ruger, & NAA have unseated the Seecamp. Then I see pictures like these.

I cheated... voted for the Sig and the Bersa. I've owned and carried the NAA and the Kel-tec. Still do. But as a primary, I'd prefer something with more barrel to get as much velocity as possible.

April 9, 2008, 06:55 AM
I'll throw in a vote for the Colt Mustang. I've been using it both as a primary and back up for years.

April 9, 2008, 09:13 AM
I'd have to go with the Bersa since that's what I just bought for concealed carry. I haven't got a chance to shoot it yet, but I love how it fits my hand. I have small hands and it fits me like a glove.

April 24, 2012, 07:22 AM
Carry a Bersa Thunder .380 loaded with either Corbon Pwrball ammo or Hornady Critical Defense ammo. I luv the Bersa for carry inside the waistband. My Bersa has had no problems in shooting 400 rounds.

April 24, 2012, 11:11 AM
it also has a 3.6" barrel, which is almost double what a KelTec has


2.7" to 3.6" is not almost double; That is exactly a 1/3 increase.

April 24, 2012, 11:12 AM
LCP hands down. 3 years without a mishap of any kind, never fell out never slid out, and always fired, even after 6 months of sitting there. I traded my seacamp plus got cash for a new one 3 yrs ago, and just traded again plus cash for a lc9.

April 24, 2012, 11:23 AM
Sig P238

Art Eatman
April 24, 2012, 11:27 AM
Folks really need to look at the date when they post to a thread.

The OP's poll and questions were pertinent, four years ago. :D

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