recommend a .380?


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Nomad_NH
February 22, 2009, 06:58 PM
I am looking to get a .380 as my first pistol. Reason i am choosing this caliber is because i recently bought my girlfriend a .380 Taurus millenium so i figured we could share ammo and invest in a large amount of ammo instead of buying different types of ammo. Anyways i have been doing some research and i am thinking the bersa thunder looks like my best option. My use for the pistol will be target/range shooting and cc. Because i plan on using it at the range quite a bit i would like to have as large a capacity magazine as possible without making it hard to conceal. Anyone know of any other pistols that maybe be a good option?

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shootistpd27
February 22, 2009, 07:07 PM
I cant brag about the lcp enough. It comes with a 6 round mag but it is light, and it fits in any pocket. It is also very accurate. I love mine and would sell all others before it. Within reason that is.

Pistol Toter
February 22, 2009, 07:38 PM
If I were in the market for a .380, it would be a CZ 83. That's the only one that has ever temped me.

searcher451
February 22, 2009, 07:46 PM
A german-made or French-made Walther PPK/S is tough to beat. The U.S.-made Interarms guns aren't bad, either.

Bill B.
February 22, 2009, 07:52 PM
i would like to have as large a capacity magazine as possible without making it hard to conceal. Anyone know of any other pistols that maybe be a good option?


This is going to rule out some of the better .380's. If you need or want Hi-Cap maybe look at a Beretta or Browning BDA - same auto, different name. Personally it's hard to find anything better than a Sig 230 or 232 but they aren't Hi-Cap: 7 round mag. 1 in barrel.

MillerTimeLV
February 22, 2009, 08:01 PM
My first hand gun was a .380 Beretta Cheetah. I loved it and wish I never got rid of it. It is certainly concealable and holds a good amount of rounds (10 or so if I remmeber correctly). It is worth checking out. You could pick up a slightly used one for $500 or so. I believe I purchased mine for about $650 brand new.

shotgunjoel
February 22, 2009, 08:07 PM
yes.

Nomad_NH
February 22, 2009, 08:25 PM
i did like the looks of the cheetah and if i happen to have some extra money before i decide to make the purchase i will certainly consider it.

usp9
February 22, 2009, 08:27 PM
Ahhhh, the .380acp, you're talking my language. I love the guns in that caliber. They are some of the best in the world. IMHO the best of the best is the Beretta 84. Reliable, accurate 13+1 capacity and very high quality. Next is the wonderful Sig P232, a very nice pistol. One of my favorites is the harder to find AT380, a DAO stainless wonder made by Sphinx, or is it Rolex. ;)

The only .380 I ever sold was a Bersa Thunder. I'm not much of a fan, but they are at least cheap. If you go that route get the Bersa Plus.

He's a pic of some of my .380 family...

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i186/ripley16/My380s.jpg

glove
February 22, 2009, 08:27 PM
Hello
Kel-Tec P3AT great gun lifetime warranty.:)
Dave Z

Nomad_NH
February 22, 2009, 08:33 PM
usp 9 that stainless cheetah with the wood grips is just downright sexy! i may have to wait a bit and save up for one of those

19-3Ben
February 22, 2009, 08:38 PM
You are asking for a gun that is primarily a range gun, but that you can carry easily.

You came up with the Bersa. That's a fantastic gun, and you really aren't going to do much better than that at all!!

I have a Sig P232. It is sexy, smooth, and accurate as all get-out. A very good range gun for it's size, which is not all that big (although much bigger than an LCP or P3AT). Very easy to conceal under just a t-shirt, but big enough to be fun at the range. An all around winner.

usp9
February 22, 2009, 08:43 PM
usp 9 that stainless cheetah with the wood grips is just downright sexy! i may have to wait a bit and save up for one of those

FWIW: The Beretta 84 comes nickle plated, not stainless, but yes, I agree, beautiful guns.

David E
February 22, 2009, 09:57 PM
Ok, I'll say what everyone else wants to...

A .380 is a horrible choice for a "first handgun" purchase.

That Bersa weighs more than many 9mm's. Ammo costs more while the power is minimal for defense.

There are but two reasons for getting a .380:

1) Because the gun that chambers it is small, light and concealable.

2) It's the largest caliber you can control. Because many .380's kick more than 9mm's, due to the straight blowback action, (such as the PPK) it would make sense to get a larger .380, such as the Beretta 84.

Me, I'd get a Glock 19, 17 or Springfield XD or Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm. In proper holsters, they conceal just fine.

.

j21blackjack
February 22, 2009, 10:04 PM
I agree with David, my P3at has much more recoil than my Glock 19. Ammo is like $10 more per 100 pack than 9mm. Your talking hundreds of dollars easy a year you would save getting a 9mm. The Glock 19 conceals just as easy as my Bersa Thunder also, which is why the Bersa is for sale.

earlthegoat2
February 22, 2009, 10:06 PM
Micro Desert Eagle, and NAA Guardian. The heavyweights that no pays attention to.

Also Browning BDA and Colt Govt 380.

browningguy
February 22, 2009, 11:10 PM
I particularly like my Browning BDA in .380, a little on the large size for a .380 but very easy to choot. I also have a Bersa which has been a very reliable gun, and it has excellent sights to boot.

Maia007
February 22, 2009, 11:44 PM
Walther PP (German)
Sig 232

Guitargod1985
February 22, 2009, 11:51 PM
+1 on the Sig P232.

It's reliable very accurate, fits (me) like a glove, points more naturally than any other handgun I've encountered. It's small enough to conceal well but large enough for a range gun. Oh, and dead sexy.

Here's a pic of mine.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=73223&d=1203391388

Bravo11
February 23, 2009, 12:06 AM
1st - Sig 232, 2nd CZ 83
3rd Sprgfld XD 9mm
Shoot all day with Win White box 9mm and the XD is a great gun.

MutinousDoug
February 23, 2009, 12:27 AM
I have a Bersa Thunder and carry it as weather permits. It is a "good" introductory gun; reasonably priced, accurate and reliable. Ammo is (relatively) expensive unless you reload; with that in mind, a .38 SPL revolver is a better range practice gun and less intimidating to the novice shooter, as it lacks the need for a "safety" and shows it's firing condition readily. A revolver of similar quality to the Bersa thunder will cost you more to purchase. Factor this into the cost of practice shooting you expect to do to determine value of your options. HTH
Doug

makarovnik
February 23, 2009, 12:37 AM
Bersa Thunder Plus. I think it holds around 15 rounds.

gglass
February 23, 2009, 01:57 AM
If you want the most bang for the buck, you should look at a Bersa Thunder 380 or 380cc.

It fits your criteria:

Target/Range Shooting
Conceal Carry

Ala Dan
February 23, 2009, 05:13 AM
Lots of good ones are out there; but from an economy standpoint
you can't go wrong with a KEL-TEC P3AT or a Bersa DT .380~! ;)

Pilot
February 23, 2009, 05:25 AM
Another vote for the Beretta Cheetah. I have an M85FS and its been great. The Sig 230/232 is nice also. These may not be the smallest but you'll be able to get better accuracy than a mousegun like an LCP, however, if concealement is a problem that is a different story.

MatthewVanitas
February 23, 2009, 05:42 AM
I you like the Beretta Cheetah .380, note that Taurus (Brazil) produced the same model under license as the Taurus PT-58, and with a better (frame-mounted) safety.

No idea where for your area, but in Austin I've seen the PT-58 sell for $250-300 three times in the last year in pawnshops. Not a terribly common gun, but you can find them online occasionally.

Though again the CZ83 goes for around $300, and CZ builds some great stuff.



However, as mentioned above, getting a .380 might be false economy. As David mentioned, many .380s kick more than 9mm due to most .380s using a straight-blowback system. Factor in the lower power, and the fact that .380 is more expensive than 9mm, and you're probably better off just getting a good used 9mm. A used CZ 9mm is usually under $400, and some used 9mm Glocks run around $400.

Really, unless your girlfriend is buying ammo 1000rds at a time, it's not that much more hassle to pick up a 100rd box of 9mm and a 100rd box of .380, especially when it's $23 for the 9mm and $32 for the .380.

Overall, I'd say just get a good 9mm and don't fixate on standardising on one single cartridge. .380 is good for small carry guns, but not really ideal for a range gun or house gun.

usp9
February 23, 2009, 09:03 AM
I you like the Beretta Cheetah .380, note that Taurus (Brazil) produced the same model under license as the Taurus PT-58, and with a better (frame-mounted) safety.

FWIW: The Beretta also has a frame mounted safety. Is there another factor that makes the Taurus safety better?

shooter1
February 23, 2009, 09:28 AM
David E wrote:

Ok, I'll say what everyone else wants to...

A .380 is a horrible choice for a "first handgun" purchase.

That Bersa weighs more than many 9mm's. Ammo costs more while the power is minimal for defense.

There are but two reasons for getting a .380:

1) Because the gun that chambers it is small, light and concealable.

2) It's the largest caliber you can control. Because many .380's kick more than 9mm's, due to the straight blowback action, (such as the PPK) it would make sense to get a larger .380, such as the Beretta 84.

Me, I'd get a Glock 19, 17 or Springfield XD or Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm. In proper holsters, they conceal just fine.


Exactly !!

str1

Redhawk1
February 23, 2009, 09:44 AM
Kel-Tec P3AT, mine shoots every thing I have feed it. Great CCW.

CZ223
February 23, 2009, 12:24 PM
The first,which I wish I had never sold, was a Colt Mustang. Now that I am again the proud owner of a 1911, aTaurus PT1911, the mustang would be just about the perfect pocket pistol/BUG. All the controls are the same, just on a smaller scale.

The second, which I just recently purchased, is the Ruger LCP. If maximum concealment is your first priority this is definitely the way to go. It did have a break in period for sure but it is 100% reliable for the past 200-300 rounds that I have put through it. The trigger is pretty darn good for DAO and it is more accurate than it ought to be. I originally bought this thinking that I would give it to my daughter once she turns eighteen but I like it so much I am just going to have to buy another.:evil:

MICHAEL T
February 23, 2009, 12:56 PM
Bersa Thunder or the Thunder + its the hicap model

http://bersatalk.com
over 5800 members and growing dailey

dogspit
February 23, 2009, 01:16 PM
You won't be sorry with the Keltec 380

Heck some big guy's even copied the Keltec trying to steal some .380 business!That ought to tell you something.

Good luck on your decision

benderx4
February 23, 2009, 01:25 PM
God forbid, but someday your life, or the life of a loved one, may depend on this gun.

Spend the money and purchase a Seecamp LWS380. Finest 380 on the market. This is one of those FEW purchases in life where you really want to have the best.

Fastcast
February 23, 2009, 01:28 PM
You can't go wrong with the Beretta....13+1, accurate, reliability 2nd to none, larger than some but still very concealable and something to be proud of and hand down to your children as an heirloom!.....They're not cheap though but you get what you pay for!

For the record the 84 Beretta safety is on the frame.....Not the slide.....See pic below.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/fastcast/FS-84.jpg?t=1233959570

Dollar An Hour
February 23, 2009, 02:02 PM
CZ-83's are very nice. Great trigger, accurate and nice ergonomics.

Pilot
February 23, 2009, 02:08 PM
Ok, I'll say what everyone else wants to...

A .380 is a horrible choice for a "first handgun" purchase.



I don't want to say that. If he's going to carry it due to size, slimness and weight of the firearm. Why not? Yes there are micro 9MM's that are smaller, but they are difficult to shoot accurately and terrible for practice. I'd rather have a .380 that I like to shoot and can hit somehting with than a 9MM that I hate to shoot and may not hit where I aim.

HexHead
February 23, 2009, 02:32 PM
For the record the 84 Beretta safety is on the frame.....Not the slide.....

The safety is on the slide on it's near twin the Browning BDA-380. That might be causing some confusion. The BDA was built by Beretta to Browning specs. Closed slide and the safety are the two differences. And the nicer finish. ;)

gregj
February 23, 2009, 02:38 PM
I love my Sig 230SL. Great to carry, extremely accurate, and easy to carry. My 14 yr old son loves it too, and I'll probably loose it to him one of these days.

EAJ
February 23, 2009, 03:09 PM
+1 for the CZ 83. Very controllable, reliable and 12-rounds. :)

http://fishkind.com/collection/images/cz83_01.jpg

Fastcast
February 23, 2009, 03:17 PM
And the nicer finish. ;)

Splitting hairs now aren't we? :scrutiny: ;)

jlg
February 23, 2009, 03:42 PM
P3AT if you're looking for something very small and easy to conceal...I carry mine in my front pocket. However, I also carry a 1911 45acp strong side IWB. I bought the 380 mainly as a "Sunday Morning Gun"...anytime I'm dressed up too nice (shirt tucked in) making it more difficult to conceal my 1911. I don't think I'd want it as my only everyday carry gun.

If you're going for a larger 380 than the P3AT I'd recommend stepping up to a 9mm. Recoil should actually be a little less and it's much more effective (both in stopping power and ammo costs).

BTW, if you get the P3AT put a laser on it. It's darn near impossible to aim the thing without one...unless the BG is within spitting distance.

Just One Shot
February 23, 2009, 04:21 PM
Dependable, concealable, and it won't break the bank (under $300.00). Works as well as those that cost 3 x as much.

I'm carrying one as I type and with the mags alternately loaded with ball ammo and hollow points I'm not worried about the lack of penetration unless the BG is wearing body armor.

There are more powerful pistols, and I have larger ones, but they aren't as easy to conceal when wearing certain clothing.

Pilot
February 23, 2009, 04:38 PM
The safety is on the slide on it's near twin the Browning BDA-380. That might be causing some confusion. The BDA was built by Beretta to Browning specs.

However, the statement was accurate and relevant to the discussion. The Beretta M84/85 has the safety mounted on the frame where it belongs. The BDA is chunkier and IMHO less desirable than its Beretta siblings, plus the safety is in the wrong place. Still a nice pistol though.

KBintheSLC
February 23, 2009, 05:35 PM
If you like the feel of the Bersa, I'd go with it. I don't own one, but I have shot one, and I have read/heard countless boastings online and at the local range. They are good guns. A lot of folks are quick to say why a 380 when you can get a 9mm... yada yada. To me, the best gun is the one you shoot well with. If its a Bersa 380, then so be it.
I personally would prefer the Ruger LCP or the KelTec P3AT... both of which will be easier to carry than the Bersa. After all, stealth is where the 380 cartridge excels.
I have 2 KelTec P32's (the P3AT's little brother) and they have performed flawlessly so far. I can't tell you how many times I have heard "why the 32 when you can have 380 or 9mm or 45... etc". All I can say is I have bigger guns too, but in this tiny package, I have my reasons.


My worst .380 was a late model Walther PPK/S made by S&W. I tried many things for many months to make it reliable with no avail.

CTPistol
February 23, 2009, 05:42 PM
get a colt!

P3AT is great for pocket carry, but a complete dog to shoot, uncomfortable junk...but it works...

heres a real shooter! -

http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r146/briansmithjr/DSC_0051.jpg

Hikingman
February 23, 2009, 06:13 PM
Sig!

moph759fl
February 23, 2009, 06:33 PM
When nothing else conceals well I go to my 380 Auto. Micro Desert Eagle.

woad_yurt
February 23, 2009, 06:51 PM
A .380 is a horrible choice for a "first handgun" purchase.

It really isn't. Run of the mill .380 seems like it would thump one something similar to regular ol' .38 SPL. Buffalo Bore sells stuff that's 276 ft lbs.

Also, he wants to share ammo with his girlfriend, guys. They're in love and spring is right around the corner....

groundhog34
February 23, 2009, 07:34 PM
get a 9mm glock 26 or 19 or XD or even a S&W ammo is cheaper they kick less and are more reliable. IMO 380 is a useless caliber

Peter M. Eick
February 23, 2009, 08:09 PM
Beretta 84F if you want a bigger gun.

Gov 380 if you want a smaller one.

http://pages.sbcglobal.net/eickpm/380s.jpg

Gov 380 on top, 84F on the bottom.

gglass
February 24, 2009, 02:18 AM
I know what you're thinking punk. You're thinking 'did he fire six shots or only five?'. Well, to tell you the truth, I forgot myself in all this excitement. But being as this is a .380 ACP, the most powerful handgun in the world, and can blow your head clean off, you'd better ask yourself a question. Do I feel lucky? Well? Do ya? Punk!

http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/4168/harrycallahan.jpg

stevereno1
February 24, 2009, 10:29 AM
I would go with the browning bda. They're a good solid high capacity .380

Oldgundog
February 24, 2009, 12:59 PM
My first CCW pistol was and still is a little Bersa Thunder .380. It's small, can hold up to 9 rounds with the right mag. it comes with 7. I can tuck this thing in my coat pocket or pants and you can't tell it's there. Got me one of those Smart Carry holsters for my .45 and it works really will with the .380. Any of them are good, I looked for price and function, can't afford those $400 guns.

glockman19
February 24, 2009, 01:26 PM
Ok, I'll say what everyone else wants to...

A .380 is a horrible choice for a "first handgun" purchase.

That Bersa weighs more than many 9mm's. Ammo costs more while the power is minimal for defense.

There are but two reasons for getting a .380:

1) Because the gun that chambers it is small, light and concealable.

2) It's the largest caliber you can control. Because many .380's kick more than 9mm's, due to the straight blowback action, (such as the PPK) it would make sense to get a larger .380, such as the Beretta 84.

Me, I'd get a Glock 19, 17 or Springfield XD or Smith and Wesson M&P 9mm. In proper holsters, they conceal just fine.


I agree. I only have a Bersa .380 because it was cheap and my wife didn't like the recoil of other firearms I have.

For a first gun I'd go with a Glock 19 or a S&W 686.

Bavarian_Motorist
February 24, 2009, 02:08 PM
I owned a Beretta 85bb up until recently. Its alot like the 84fs but is a single stack mag (8+1) so it is considerably thinner than its cousin. Great little shooter, very solid. But for some reason currently I cant seem to find them, only the 84s'

PRM
February 24, 2009, 02:29 PM
I've owned four different .380s and all have been super guns.

1. Walther PP and PPKs - in a class all their own. Mine were 100% reliable and met what I was looking for in cc.

2. CZ83 - great gun - 100% reliable with all types of ammo, hi-cap, great accuracy, smooth trigger pull and ergonomics.

3. Colt Government .380 - again, classy little gun and was 100% reliable.

I know their is a lot of pros/cons and personal preference in calibre, but the gun I carry the most is a Walther PP in .32. It carries easy, has never malfunctioned, and the 8+1 (9 shot) capability makes it a nice package.

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