Small .380 autos - P3AT, et al: Which has the best trigger?


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Monster Zero
January 5, 2011, 07:33 PM
Thinking of a small .380 for someone to carry. Someone with small hands and who might not handle a real long, heavy DAO trigger pull as well as I do.

I know SIG has a new one that's single action, but aside from that, which DAO piece has the friendliest trigger? Which one comes in second place in case the best one is prohibitively expensive?

Which one's worst in your opinion?

TIA

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Jotobo
January 5, 2011, 07:36 PM
I have the LCP. Less then impressed with it. Ive had 2 failures, one apiece for FTF and FTE in the same magazine using FMJs. Trigger is fine. There just is no excitement in the gun. I dont "love" it like you should when you buy a gun.

mongo4567
January 5, 2011, 07:51 PM
The trigger on the Kahr PM9 and PM40 are great, I'm sure their 380's are as well. The KT P3AT trigger is pretty rough, but I can still shoot pretty well with it. I accept the tradeoff for weight and size. The Seecamp has a better trigger, but it is a lot heavier.

I have big hands and think it would be easier for someone with small hands to shoot one of these small guns well...I have a hard time getting a good grip on them.

Spammy_H
January 5, 2011, 08:00 PM
My Taurus TCP has a surprisingly good trigger. Not gritty or heavy. Obviously it has a pretty long pull, but I find it fairly smooth.

Insofar as price, last time I checked it's right between a P3-AT and an LCP.

roachcore
January 5, 2011, 08:10 PM
I think the Taurus trigger is great I like it much better than the ruger. To be honest I pretty much like every thing about the TCP better than the lcp

sidheshooter
January 5, 2011, 08:27 PM
Between LCP, Kahr P380 and Sig 238 (sorry, had to throw that one back in, since it's the one I chose) i'd say the sig trig is best-but not because it is light, just short-the Kahr is right in there (lighter by weight than my sig) and the LCP is just below those. But so much of that is subjective: grip, hand size, recoil, the bottom of your finger getting rapped by the guard... it all effects how someone feels about 'the trigger'. Based on your criteria, I'd say have a long look at the Kahr. I've only shot one, and only a few magazines, but it struck me as astoundingly docile for a 10 oz piece. It was owned by a Woman in her late 50s, and she could work the trigger no problem.

thralldad
January 5, 2011, 09:14 PM
Got the wife a Wather PK380. Very easy for her to chamber and trigger is nice.

harmon rabb
January 6, 2011, 07:23 AM
If you care about trigger in a pocket 380, honestly, the only thing you should be deciding is which model of the Sig 238 you're going to buy. It's that much better, and the gun is that much easier to shoot.

I have a LCP and a 238. The LCP is pretty much a <10ft gun. The trigger is long and heavy, the sights are nonexistent, and I shoot it much, much worse than I shoot a full size handgun of any make or caliber. The 238, on the other hand, I can shoot pretty much as well as anything. The short SA trigger pull really works for me, as do the real sights and the way the thing actually soaks up recoil. No offense to my LCP which has served me well and always functions flawlessly, but it's not even in the same league as the 238.

Fyi, although the 238 trigger is SAO and has a very short pull, it's actually pretty heavy (any 1911 that had a pull that heavy would be sent right off to the smith), which is I guess a good thing for a pocket gun. If, somehow, the safety was flipped off while in the pocket (which I don't think could happen, as it engages and disengages VERY positively), as long as the holster covers the trigger, there's no way it's going off.

W L Johnson
January 6, 2011, 09:39 AM
Of all the pocket 380s I've tried/owned I would have to say the Taurus TCP.

kokapelli
January 6, 2011, 09:53 AM
The P238 with it's single action trigger is clearly the winner.
I have owned and shot the Diamondback, NAA, P-3AT, Micro Desert Eagle and Barretta 380 pistols and have shot my son's LCP and none of them come even close to the P238 in over all shooting and when it comes to pocket 380 triggers the P238 is in a league of it's own.

I have not yet shot the Kahr 380 so I can't comment on it.

harmon rabb
January 6, 2011, 11:08 AM
The P238 with it's single action trigger is clearly the winner.
I have owned and shot the Diamondback, NAA, P-3AT, Micro Desert Eagle and Barretta 380 pistols and have shot my son's LCP and none of them come even close to the P238 in over all shooting and when it comes to pocket 380 triggers the P238 is in a league of it's own.

My 238 redefined my thoughts on what a pocket pistol can do. That's how good they are. It's a damn shame that the initial batches had some issues and that sig did a very poor job of taking care of those issues, leaving the 238 with a bit of a stigma.

Even if buying one is a crapshoot (and think that's no longer the case), it's still worth the risk, just for how much better it shoots than the others.

And yes, I know the Colt Mustang was around for years and that Sig just copied it. Colt's loss there. They canceled it right when CCW was exploding in popularity.

SpaceFrank
January 6, 2011, 06:17 PM
I've shot the LCP and was less than impressed with the trigger, but it's not terrible for a pocket DAO. After reading on this thread about how good the Taurus TCP (738) trigger is, I'd like to shoot one. I would presume that the P-3AT trigger is very similar to the LCP.

And for people saying the LCP and others like it are only good for <10 feet, you really need to shoot them more. The sights are not bad aside from needing a little white paint on the front blade (or front nub). The gun in and of itself is not that inaccurate for COM, if you practice point shooting.

But in the end I have to ditto what's been said about the P238. If you're that concerned about trigger pull, don't buy a DAO. Just carry the Sig in condition 1 and practice drawing with snap caps so you have no doubts about flipping the safety before you fire. You don't lose any "second-strike" capability, because the other guns' actions aren't (what I would call) true DA anyway.

Of course, the P238 is at least $100 more than the LCP...

Top_Gunn
January 6, 2011, 06:58 PM
There isn't a best trigger, there's just one that's best for you. A lot of people complain about the LCP trigger pull because it's long. It is long, but for me it's great because pressing it doesn't tend to pull the gun off target. I suppose that's because of the size and shape of my hands and how I hold it. Your mileage may differ. Gotta try 'em and see what works for you.

KBintheSLC
January 6, 2011, 07:49 PM
The LCP and the P3AT are a close tie for "just good enough". The Taurus is quite a bit better trigger-wise in the DAO lineup. The Sig SAO trigger is the winner of the best .380 trigger contest.

bannockburn
January 6, 2011, 08:36 PM
Pretty much what KBintheSLC said: the DAO P3AT and LCP are at the bottom of the class when it comes to refinement with their heavy DAO trigger pulls. The Taurus 738 is definitely a cut above the Kel-Tec/Ruger products. And if money is no object, the Kahr P380 has the smoothest DAO of them all. But for me the "best" trigger is a SAO, as in a Colt Mustang, but since it's more of a collectors piece rather than an EDC, I would opt instead for a SIG P238 as best in class.

RidgwayCO
January 7, 2011, 12:01 PM
Had a P3AT, loved the size, hated the trigger, got rid of it.

Got a Kahr P380, love the size and the trigger (and the accuracy, and the reliability), won't ever get rid of it. Might even get a Crimson Trace laser for it.

Joel Lehman
January 8, 2011, 12:38 AM
I have the Kahr P380 with the Crimson Trace laser sight. It is a great little pistol.

usp9
January 8, 2011, 10:28 AM
My vote goes to the Kahr P380.
The Sig is well made but is single action with a safety... a no go for pocket carry for me personally.
The Seecamp trigger is very smooth but the gun costs a bunch. Same with the Rohrbaugh.

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