.380 vs 9mm?


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chrisnoel27
March 13, 2011, 03:44 PM
OK, I might be slightly ignorant (or more) so I must ask, why are .380's so popular? Wouldn't people rather have the more powerful 9mm round at hand? Or is the .380 not as weak as I'm thinking? I know for carry the .380 is more optional because of the size but aren't their quite a few 9mm's the same size? Please to be educated now.

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Geckgo
March 13, 2011, 03:49 PM
Price. Well, gun price at least, but most people that I know don't shoot their 380s too often. Finding a "pocket 9" is usually more expensive, supposedly because the gun needs to be built better and can't use a blowback design like most 380s. Some of this is speculation, some fact, but there are always exceptions.

beeenbag
March 13, 2011, 03:52 PM
There are no 9mm the same size as the smaller .380s except maybe the rohrbaugh, I haven't held one so Im not for sure.

The lcp sized 380s are possible because of the 380 being a lower pressure round, allowing the manufacturer to use a smaller platform.

Also a 9mm would be totally punishing in that sized pistol.

I have a kel-tec p-11 which hurts my hand alot worse than my glock 27 in .40 S&W. The p-11 is small but not as small as say a p-3AT.

This is just my take on it. Others will have more technical info shortly.

george29
March 13, 2011, 04:05 PM
In the US they are popular because of Kel Tec's P3AT and the knockoff's that followed. In Europe, S.America and certain M.East countries they are popular and have always been so as powerful Military & Police weapons. With the advance of body armor, metallurgic technology and ballistics, Government troops are usually no longer issued the .380. So why do civillians in these countries still like them? Maybe because most Europeans are not ballistic savvy and in Europe the .380 is called 9mm Kurtz so they think it is the same as a 9x19.

JohnBiltz
March 13, 2011, 04:31 PM
.380 is very small and can be easily pocket carried. Its not easy to do that with 9mm.

heeler
March 13, 2011, 06:48 PM
^^... What he said.
I own a Diamondback .380 as well as a Kahr PM9 and at the moment at least I know the Kahr is one of the smallest,lightest 9mm's out there and is quite easy to conceal but with light summer clothing it will never be as concealeable or as light or as thin as my .380.
And that is the reason these little .380's are so popular and is exactly the reason I bought mine.
Put it in a pocket holster,drop them in a pocket, and you will practically forget you have it on you.

Nushif
March 13, 2011, 07:11 PM
There are no 9mm the same size as the smaller .380s except maybe ...

I'll agree here. People can pound on about how there is 9mms that are the size and shootability of a DB but they can hardly ever show me one that isn't well over 800 bucks.

Maybe because most Europeans are not ballistic savvy and in Europe the .380 is called 9mm Kurtz so they think it is the same as a 9x19.

I laugh.

PabloJ
March 13, 2011, 07:44 PM
In America at Walmart pack of .45ACP FMJ being same price as pack of .380ACP...... The 9 Luger ammo is substantially less expensive then both I have mentioned....I don't get it. I don't think European hunting stores are full of subcompact 9x19 pistols and in most countries poor people w/o connections can not legally own a handgun. In most places application process is complex and includes psychological evaluation by medical practitioner. One doesn't simply check "I'm sane box" goes through background check and goes home with a firearm. Ownership and purchase of ammunition is also strictly regulated.

Ala Tom
March 13, 2011, 09:05 PM
I used to own a .380 and I thought a 9mm would be a lot better as a defense weapon. I ran a comparison on genitron.com of the Kel-Tec P3AT and the Kahr PM9. I also looked at the Taurus TCP 380. The Kel-Tec has a heck of a kick. Its energy is about the same as a full size .40 or .45. But its defense rating is only 57%. The Kahr 9mm also has quite a kick. Its defense factor is 74%. The Taurus .380 did better than the Kel-Tec but was still well below the 9mm. It has a low kick but its defense factor is 59%.

cskny
March 14, 2011, 05:18 PM
There are no 9mm the same size as the smaller .380s except maybe the rohrbaugh

- +1 -

KodiakBeer
March 14, 2011, 05:28 PM
In addition to the size/price factor, the 9mm simply doesn't have that great an advantage when shot out of a very short barrel. For example the Rohrbaugh only gets about 950 fps out a 2.9 inch barrel. A number of .380 loads will top that out of the same barrel length.

Of course, you're shooting a lighter slug (90 vs 115 grain) in the .380, but taking everything into account the performance advantage is negligible.

http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/9mmluger.html

gym
March 14, 2011, 05:33 PM
size and weight
A lot of what you read is debatable. The only way to tell is to, shoot a bad guy, put him in a time machine and shoot him again with a different caliber at the same distance time etc. Until that can be accomplished, use what you have and aim.

BushyGuy
March 14, 2011, 05:35 PM
.380 is inferior to the 9mm in every way, 9mm is minimum for optimum protection IMHO. Ruger LC9 is as small as a .380 and with more punch.

i feel the .380 is a waste of money -they are more expensive to shoot and not as effective as the 9mm. Everyone is different to each thier own.

i wouldnt carry less then a 9mm , but thats just me.

Hypnogator
March 14, 2011, 05:39 PM
Ruger LC9 is as small as a .380 and with more punch.

Errr..... No! A Ruger LCP or Kel-Tec P3AT are pocket guns. An LC9 or PF9 will fit in SOME pockets. I carry the PF9 when I can, the LCP when I can't. Whenever I'm dressed for it, I carry my .40 PPS or my PT-145.

Ben86
March 14, 2011, 05:53 PM
Because there is no such thing as a true 9mm pocket gun. Trust me.

KodiakBeer
March 14, 2011, 06:17 PM
380 is inferior to the 9mm in every way, 9mm is minimum for optimum protection IMHO. Ruger LC9 is as small as a .380 and with more punch.

Check out "ballistics by the inch" and see just how much more punch a 9mm has in a 3 inch barrel. You'll be disappointed. A 9mm out of a 3 inch barrel is not the same animal as a 9mm out of a 4 1/2 inch barrel.

Not only are you dealing with a large drop in ballistic effectiveness, but you are also dealing with enormous recoil (slower follow up shots) and muzzle flash (night blindness).

Ballistics by the inch: http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/results.html

JohnBT
March 14, 2011, 06:41 PM
"Because there is no such thing as a true 9mm pocket gun."

I've carried a Rohrbaugh 9mm in my front pants pocket everyday for 4 years.
It's just as easy to carry - in the same types of clothing - as the P-32 I used as a pocket gun for many years prior to buying the R9.



"the 9mm simply doesn't have that great an advantage when shot out of a very short barrel"

Okay, it's only a little better. But better is better. It's still not worse than, it's better than.

The R9 has one big advantage, the entertainment advantage that comes from listening to people proudly state that they'd never spend that much on a little gun.

JT

KodiakBeer
March 14, 2011, 07:37 PM
"the 9mm simply doesn't have that great an advantage when shot out of a very short barrel"

Okay, it's only a little better. But better is better. It's still not worse than, it's better than.

Really? Try shooting your Rohrbaugh against someone with a nice little locked breech .380 like a Sig P238 or a Mustang. How many rounds can you get on target and how quickly? I suspect he's going to get two rounds off for every one you do.
Would you rather get shot twice with a 90 grain .380 or once with a 115 grain 9mm?

There's nothing wrong with a very small nine like the Rohrbaugh, but I just think that in the real world it's not as good as it sounds.

Shadow 7D
March 14, 2011, 08:14 PM
Like Kodiak is pointing out...
There is certain types of firearms that a round excels in
A small pocket gun might be better, and more easily controlled in .380, than 9mm
Or a VERY light weight, very small gun better in .32 than .380.

I find the P32 a nicer gun than similar weight .380s

MICHAEL T
March 14, 2011, 08:32 PM
I like a 380 I see nothing wrong with one. People don't want shot and when shot most tend to leave, if possible in a hurry.. Not all BG are 400lb biker on PCP. My Mustang is easy to carry and soft recoil I trust it and Corbon DPX to do the job Mustang and KelTec are great pocket pistols In a t shirt my Bersa or PPK/S disappears IWB .

NG VI
March 14, 2011, 08:41 PM
Hell of a discrepancy between the velocities of the Para Carry 9 (3") and the Rorbaugh (2.9") on those results. I think it goes to show that every barrel is different, and that Rorbaugh they were shooting really seems to have a slow barrel.


On that table, the only two loads I see that are what I would consider up to date defense loads are the Cor-Bon 115 DPX and the Speer 124 Short Barrel load.

Both of which did very well out of the short barrels, better than anything else on there. I'd be curious to see them add some more typical defense loads like the 147/147+P HST, the 147 Ranger-T, a couple other Gold Dots, some stuff that people are likely to be carrying in 2011 instead of 1995.

Oh yeah, on a lot of those real world results, the Beretta didn't really do any better than the Para-Ordnance.

The Lone Haranguer
March 14, 2011, 08:46 PM
In a case of the tail wagging the dog, the .380 is popular because the little, relatively inexpensive ($300-ish) pocket pistols now on the market chambering it are popular. To go up in cartridge power means a step up in size as well as price.

cskny
March 14, 2011, 09:11 PM
Ruger LC9 is as small as a .380


No, it's not.

Delmar
March 14, 2011, 09:24 PM
The best 380 loads in a decent pistol have close to the power of a 38 special, which is not a terrible place to be. but the same technology which brought us better 380s also brought us better 9MMs. As has been repeatedly stated, size does matter. Same argument with the 2 inch snubby 357s...you lose a ton with a short barrel on them as well. I guess the side benefit is the muzzle flash will set them on fire too lol.

Norton Commando
March 14, 2011, 09:50 PM
The 380 was one of the first pocket guns, which is one reason why it was so popular for so long. It doesn't pack the punch of a 9mm, but you can't argue about the small size and ease of concealment.

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg59/jason_curtiss/DSCN0011.jpg

DanTheFarmer
March 14, 2011, 11:53 PM
My $0.02

I think the 380 is popular because people are willing to spend money on something that they think will work when they need it, and therefore brings them peace of mind. In those cases I'd say it is money well spent.

The 380 is certainly less powerful than the 9mm. That doesn't mean that the 380 isn't good enough. If the bad guy is detered or incapacitated the problem is solved. Stopped is stopped. The difference between any two pistol cartridges 32 through 45 is truely marginal (I recognize that in some situations that marginal difference might be critical but the differences are small nonetheless and the situations where the difference in outcome is due solely to differences in cartridge terminal ballistics are exceedingly rare).

380's are popular because many people would rather have a 380 pistol and some ammo than an extra $400.00 in their wallet. We vote with our dollars.

Good Luck to all and may your choices bring you peace of mind.

Dan

cskny
March 15, 2011, 01:01 PM
.380 is inferior to the 9mm in every way


When one of the '.380 isn't strong enough to hurt anything' people finally volunteers to be shot by the .380 on youtube to prove their point, maybe it'll have some more traction.

After all, if you believe what you read here sometimes, they will simply need a band aid and lollipop after anyway, no big deal.

Ballistics
March 15, 2011, 03:06 PM
Makes the same sized hole as a 9mm, just not the same power. However, it has plenty of power to sling ~100 gr of lead well into a bad guy and it can be concealed comfortably in a front pocket.

.380s make for true pocket pistols... S&W BG380, LCP, P3AT, P238, DBs, Seecamps, etc. Once you move up to single stack 9mm like the LC9 and PF9 you must have really big pockets or will need to carry IWB or otherwise.

CZguy
March 15, 2011, 03:24 PM
Ballistics,

Just summed up the whole discussion in a clear concise manner. These are the facts plain and simple. :cool:

IMTHDUKE
March 15, 2011, 04:58 PM
Owning both....I have come to the conclusion that if I can conceal this in my pocket

http://i700.photobucket.com/albums/ww2/imthduke/GUNS/R9_Sig-1.jpg

then I can also conceal the R9.... or

this one as well

http://i700.photobucket.com/albums/ww2/imthduke/GUNS/Kimbersolo.jpg

or this one...

http://i700.photobucket.com/albums/ww2/imthduke/GUNS/BlackRose_best.jpg

Im going with the 9...it's just fine:D

Mayo
March 15, 2011, 05:27 PM
It's all about the money---there is no other arguement now that the R9 is available. The excuse of no 9mm as small is lost forever---so that leaves it about money. If you got it--get the 9mm R9---most don't so they opt for the .380.

KodiakBeer
March 15, 2011, 07:50 PM
Well, I'd still argue that with a locked breech .380, you're going to get a lot more lead on target in a shorter amount of time. You simply aren't going to be able to recover from recoil as fast with a pocket 9.

That's strictly a theoretical argument, because I have not shot a Rohrbaugh.

But... look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZQLo1Zb8ss&feature=fvst

Or this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3F38-wyFgw

I suspect I could get 3 or more shots on target with a .380 as fast at these guys recover from their first shot.

makarovnik
March 15, 2011, 08:39 PM
Ballistics for the .380 is better than it used to be with quality self defense ammo. Also more and more .380 pistols manufactured these days are using a locked breech which means they can be very small, controllable and racking the slide is easier.

Norton Commando
March 15, 2011, 08:44 PM
Indeed, the Rohrbaugh R9 is a small gun, small for a 9 X 19, but not as small as a 1970s OMC 380. Moreover, after some 30 years my bet is that 380s are now even smaller than those old OMCs. And lastly, as KodiakBeer alluded to, the R9 may well be difficult to hold on to after that first round.

KodiakBeer
March 15, 2011, 08:57 PM
Compare the Rohrbaugh shooting above to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0ZC86m-pSY

FruitCake
March 15, 2011, 09:13 PM
Just got the PF9 and love the size. Sold my LCP
Ammo price too much in my opinion. Recoil in my PF9 just as nasty as my old LCP but not that bad.the 9mm they are making these days is just awesome (size) wise.

NG VI
March 15, 2011, 09:21 PM
I guess I'm a little out of my element on the pocket pistol front, I never really encountered a weather where I couldn't carry my Glock 27 at the smallest. Usually I went a little bigger, either the FNP-9M, 23, or PCR.


There are so many decent holsters available I can't really picture not being able to swing something aas small as the Kahr PMs in a thin IWB holster, unless you're at the gym.

NMGonzo
March 15, 2011, 09:27 PM
Mouseguns can be tossed in the jacket pocket, or your suit coat, or your suit pants.

9mm not so easy.

oneounceload
March 15, 2011, 09:58 PM
Maybe because most Europeans are not ballistic savvy and in Europe the .380 is called 9mm Kurtz so they think it is the same as a 9x19.

I've seen more incompetents here in the US at the LGS buying 9X17, 9X18, 9X21 and 9X23 when what they wanted was 9X19. It is also called Corto, Brevet, Kurz and several others and for years was the standard issue of European law enforcement

wow6599
March 15, 2011, 10:02 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again.......I like .380 caliber guns, not the caliber itself...........

KodiakBeer
March 16, 2011, 03:13 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again.......I like .380 caliber guns, not the caliber itself...........

That's the essential point, in my opinion. When you get into larger .380's (BDA sized), then you'd be much better off with a 9mm.

Only hits count. Multiple hits count for more. Multiple fast hits count for even more. So, if you're going with a pocket pistol, you're best served (in my opinion) by a .380.

19-3Ben
March 16, 2011, 03:55 PM
Finding a "pocket 9" is usually more expensive, supposedly because the gun needs to be built better and can't use a blowback design like most 380s.

I can't believe nobody has commented on this statement yet.

How many pocket .380s have come out in the last few years that are blowback operated?
Only one that I can think of (the Magnum Research .380).

ALL of the major competitors for the pocket .380 market such as:
KT P3AT, Ruger LCP, Sig P238, Kahr P380, and Diamondbak

Are all typical delayed blowback/recoil operation pistols.
The fact that a 9mm can't use a blowback operation and still fit in a pocket is irrelevant here.

StrikeFire83
March 16, 2011, 07:03 PM
Um, the only reason I can see to own a .380 is if you are carrying in very light material such as a pair of board shorts, running clothes, etc. You can't beat the P3AT/Ruger clone for thinness and weight.

That said, I just don't see how people have trouble pocket carrying a PM9 sized gun in any pair of jeans or slacks, except maybe the ultra tight wranglers/hipster jeans. I've been pocket carrying a PM9 for quite awhile now and I never feel uncomfortable.

As for those who've said that its easier to get more rounds on target quickly with a .380, I've got to call BS. Firing quickly, faster than one shot per second, this is what I can do with my PM9 at 15 yards after, admittedly, quite a bit of practice:

http://i99.photobucket.com/albums/l315/strikefire83/Range%20Pics/photo.jpg

And one area that nobody's mentioned, COST OF AMMO. I can buy 100 rounds of 9mm 115g WWB for 19.99 all day, every day at Walmart. Most places around here, .380 is between $15-$20 for a box of FIFTY! This is huge in my opinion.

Lord Palmerston
March 16, 2011, 10:25 PM
The price of a 9mm Luger handgun vs. a .380 Auto is quickly made up for the higher cost of .380 Auto ammo. The difference is about 4 bucks per box of 50 Roughly after 2000 rounds, the cost gun+ammo in both calibers is the same. From then on, you start saving when shooting 9mm. That said I enjoy shooting .380 Auto but for PD the choice between 9mm and .380 is a no brainer.

saturno_v
March 16, 2011, 11:59 PM
Because there is no such thing as a true 9mm pocket gun. Trust me.


I have carried my Kel-Tec P11 in my pocket for more than 3 years now...could not be more happy....every kind of attire..formal, business casual, short and T-Shirt....and like me many others with both P-11 and the PF-9.

If you find the KT and the Kahrs 9mm too big for pocket carry you either:

1) Are a 4' individual weighting less than 100 pounds.

2) You walk around in your underwear.


Trust me........

hgmike
March 17, 2011, 12:03 AM
My thought on Kel-Tec P3AT is it was meant to be a BUG. I know a lot of cops used to and still do carry it as a BUG.

Ben86
March 17, 2011, 12:04 PM
I have carried my Kel-Tec P11 in my pocket for more than 3 years now...could not be more happy....every kind of attire..formal, business casual, short and T-Shirt....and like me many others with both P-11 and the PF-9.

If you find the KT and the Kahrs 9mm too big for pocket carry you either:

1) Are a 4' individual weighting less than 100 pounds.

2) You walk around in your underwear.


Trust me........

We all have varying levels of tolerance for weight and size in our front pockets. For me the PM9 feels like a rather heavy lead weight and looks like a bulbous tumor in the front pocket of all of my relaxed fit jeans and khakis. It's doable, but not ideal. My LCP on the other hand disappears and is so light I sometimes have to check to make sure it's still there. .380 is the way to go for pocket carry IMO. Now I just have to get my hands on a Kahr p380, one of the loveliest of pocket .380s.

I'm 5' 8" by the way and a stocky but not fat 170 pounds. ;) And nobody sees me in my undies except my wife.

Smaug
March 17, 2011, 12:59 PM
... if you don't hand load.

If you hand load, 380 doesn't cost any more than 9mm, and 45 ACP is only marginally more expensive.

See my signature for more on that topic.

The ammo manufacturers are just gouging because they can.

Ben86
March 17, 2011, 04:25 PM
The ammo manufacturers are just gouging because they can.

Yes, much like the oil and gasoline companies.

CZguy
March 17, 2011, 11:23 PM
Now I just have to get my hands on a Kahr p380, one of the loveliest of pocket .380s.


I've been thinking the same thing.

dec41971
March 18, 2011, 02:53 AM
In the US they are popular because of Kel Tec's P3AT and the knockoff's that followed. In Europe, S.America and certain M.East countries they are popular and have always been so as powerful Military & Police weapons. With the advance of body armor, metallurgic technology and ballistics, Government troops are usually no longer issued the .380. So why do civillians in these countries still like them? Maybe because most Europeans are not ballistic savvy and in Europe the .380 is called 9mm Kurtz so they think it is the same as a 9x19.
Maybe because your typical BG is not a gov troop wearing armor? Just wondering.

oldfool
March 18, 2011, 08:19 PM
derringer demographic

a lot of guns can be concealed, but sensible 9s are not derringers
7 shot 380s are

380 in a Keltec or LCP is harsh enough to take the fun out of high round counts
derringers in 9mm or larger make better novelties than shooters

I don't much believe in derringers for "primary", but a 7 shot LCP derringer is just too light and small to NOT carry "just because"... which is really why so many of us often do
9 out of 10 will never shoot real well with a KelTec or LCP size/weight 380
but 99 out of 100 will never have to shoot at all
(real shootouts across the poker table just are not all that common, if ever they really were)
carry something larger you can IWB if/when real worried about yourself

Mayo
March 21, 2011, 10:19 AM
Mouseguns can be tossed in the jacket pocket, or your suit coat, or your suit pants.

9mm not so easy.


Because there is no such thing as a true 9mm pocket gun

Uh---again---ever heard of a Rohrbaugh R9? Wrong on both counts.:banghead:

welldoya
March 21, 2011, 11:20 AM
Funny thing about these threads - people are going to try to justify whatever it is that they carry.
I carry an LCP because it fits in my pocket. I'm not going to be uncomfortable or buy my pants 2 sizes too big so I can stick a Glock 9mm in my waist band. If I was in an actual shootout, I would much rather have a 1911 than the LCP but chances are very small that will happen.
As for the comment that 9 out of 10 people will never shoot an LCP well, I guess I'm 1 out of 10. I'm very happy with it. That's 5 shots in that target.
I hear the Rohrbaugh's are nice but I'm not going to spend $1100 on a pocket pistol, especially when there are alternatives.

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u289/welldoya/LCPTarget.jpg

Mayo
March 21, 2011, 11:24 AM
hear the Rohrbaugh's are nice but I'm not going to spend $1100 on a pocket pistol, especially when there are alternatives.



And there it is in a nutshell----if you can't afford an R9 then by all means get the .380----but don't say there isn't a 9mm that is the same size as a .380 so that's why I carry a .380. BTW, a .380 is not an = alternative to a 9mm regardless of price.

IMTHDUKE
March 21, 2011, 11:42 AM
Because there is no such thing as a true 9mm pocket gun

You might need to get out more....just saying...

http://i700.photobucket.com/albums/ww2/imthduke/GUNS/Robar.jpg

And there it is in a nutshell----if you can't afford an R9 then by all means get the .380----but don't say there isn't a 9mm that is the same size as a .380 so that's why I carry a .380. BTW, a .380 is not an = alternative to a 9mm regardless of price.

Your right as rain.

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