380 pocket gun comparison


March 25, 2010, 12:23 PM
Which one of the following would be the easiest to rack-the-slide when loading the chamber with a round? KelTec P3AT, Ruger LCR, Taurus TCP, Kahr P380, SIG P238, Diamondback DB 380 ?? I am sure most of you have not shot them all, but perhaps you have tried more than one. Any responses would be appreciated. I am interested in only those that are listed.

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M2 Carbine
March 25, 2010, 03:35 PM
I have the Micro Desert Eagle, SIG P238 and Kel Tec .32/.380 in front of me.

None of the slides are hard to pull.
I'd say the MDE is the hardest, then the Kel Tecs, then the SIG.

Since the SIG is SA the hammer can be cocked first making the slide very easy to operate.

Also, of the three guns I like the SIG the best. The SIG is a small 1911 and I am a long time fan of the 1911.

The SIG P238 is also on the expensive side, costing about $600 OTD.

dogtown tom
March 25, 2010, 04:09 PM
.380's that are blowback operated will always have the strongest recoil spring to overcome.

I would bet among locked breech operated pistols the hammer fired would be slightly more difficult to rack than striker fired pistols.
I've racked the slide on all the guns on your list plus the MDE and would agree that the Micro is the more difficult. Note that Kahr recommends loading from slide lock rather than manuall racking and slingshoting the slide.

Flint Ridge
March 25, 2010, 09:50 PM
I have the Kahr P380 and the Sig P238.

The Kahr is a dual recoil spring - it is stout - very reliable.
The Sig is easy - but mine has yet to be reliable, just back from trip #3.

With training of technique the slide issue can be overcome. If it is loaded and all rounds are fired, drop the mag, insert mag, drop slide stop and go with the Kahr. So the Kahr's issue is the initial racking to load or clearing.

Again, I love the Kahr, but beware and try the racking - not a problem for me, but could be for my Bride.

March 25, 2010, 11:17 PM
My tcp is a PITA to rack most of the time with its tiny slide and dual recoil spring set up. It seems to be getting better with break in, but still.

March 26, 2010, 01:23 AM
I got a TCP at the gunshow back in early Feb. I would say fairly easy once you get used the fact the you have to hold on the to thing. I don't think it take more effort than large guns its just you have very little leverage. I will say when I first got home with it and was familiarizing myself with everything I got my sausage fingers pinched between the slide and barrel. It was a "don't hold it like that anymore stupid" moment.

March 26, 2010, 08:12 AM
My Diamondback was pretty stiff when new but after putting about a hundred rounds through it the spring was noticeably lighter and racking the slide a lot easier.
But you still need to be deliberate while racking the slide or you will get a fail to feed.

Taurus 617 CCW
March 26, 2010, 09:12 AM
I own a Kel Tec .380 and .32. I have manipulated the slides of most guns on the market. I don't find the spring tension a problem, rather the size of the slide is a challenge for me. I have gotten used to 1911 and Glock slides. The Kel Tec is smaller than any gun I have owned. My mom isn't able to manipulate the slide on the Kel Tecs but she can on the new Walther PK380.

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