Looking for first CCW handgun. .380 vs. .40.


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mgh-pa
December 26, 2012, 01:08 PM
Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm not new to firearms, just to handguns, and after getting my CCW permit this summer, I've put off purchasing a handgun for longer than I would like. I've fired a variety of .45s and 9mms, and one .38, so I have a pretty good feel for the size gun I would like. I'm not able to carry daily since I'm a school teacher, but I would like to have a gun I can keep with me (on or not) in my vehicle when not on the job, as well as carry on me when outside of school.

A lot of people I know really like their .380 Bersa's, and I know one person who just bough a Sig P238 in a .380 and loves it (although he thinks it's a bit on the heavy side compared to other polymer pistols).

I've been eyeing up the XDs in .40 since it's so slim (that's a big one, since I think I want to carry using an IWB), but it is pricey, albeit no more pricey than the aforementioned Sig.

Is there any general recommendations on the .40 vs. .380 from a carry aspect? Thanks in advance.

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Skribs
December 26, 2012, 01:13 PM
The XDs is offered in .45, not .45.

.40 vs. .380 isn't a debate I see very often, they are too widely different calibers. It seems to me that you want a single stack pistol for carry. There are a lot of these on the market nowadays; personally I'd recommend a 9 or a .380 over a .40 in that size. Considering how my .380 LCP beats up my hand, I wouldn't want a small, light .40.

I'd recommend 9 over .380, although there are a few really small options that don't have a comparable 9, if deep concealment is an issue. Something like the S&W M&P Shield, Sig P938, Beretta Nano, or something similar would be my recommendation.

jrdolall
December 26, 2012, 01:15 PM
Lots of difference between a 380 and a 40. I like to carry the biggest gun I can comfortably carry so I often pocket carry a .380 but prefer to ankle carry a .45. I am not really comfortable with IWB or OWB. Bersa Thunder is on the large size for a .380 but is a good gun. For pocket carry, in the sub $500 range, Ruger and KelTec as well as several others, have nice .380s. If I were going to carry OWB or IWB then I would generally not mind the gun size as much and, assuming you are proficient with the larger caliber, I would go with a .40.

jwrowland77
December 26, 2012, 01:16 PM
Go .40 as main CCW and have a .380 as a BUG.

Mp7
December 26, 2012, 01:17 PM
before every1 else jumps in on this:

Do u know a place, where u can rent handguns and shoot them?

From the simplicist 38detective to a Glock, CZ, XD ... whatever make
... it all comes down to:

Does it fit MY hand,
does it point for ME"
... do i feel comfortable walking around with it EDC?


might be an LCP, LCR ... or a fullsize whatever.

100 options. Forum-reading wont solve it.


Just try out the 5-10 most likely,
that are favoured by the web-community.

For some its a LCP, S&W shield, for some a 10mm Glock or a 1911. (..)

Rule1: bring it.
Rule2: know how to use it.

md2lgyk
December 26, 2012, 01:22 PM
Reasonable advice. However, I've lived in about 25 locations in the past 40 years, and have yet to actually see someplace that rents guns.

momano
December 26, 2012, 01:23 PM
Looking at 9mm.s is really good advice. The ammo is much more affordable; more $ to spend on practice ammo. Look at the Glock 26, S&W M&P 9c, the Shield, the Kahrs, and the Nano. Good luck!

jrdolall
December 26, 2012, 01:26 PM
We have a local place called Shooters that rents and sells guns. Their prices for purchase are pretty high but they also sell their rentals on occasion. Lots of rounds through them but generally well maintained.

golden
December 26, 2012, 03:25 PM
MGH,

Those are such different choices, I think they are exclusive.

In .380ACP, I would go with the SIG 232 with blue (aluminum) frame and night sights. It has terrific quality, good sights, excellent trigger and very good reliability. Like all these pocket pistols, clean them on a regular basis.

The SIG is similar in size and trigger action to the BERSA, but is more expensive. I recommend it because I carry it.

In a .40 S&W, I would go for a large gun. I use the BERETTA 96. The recoil is severe enough, that I would not use a smaller gun. I only use the 155 grain high velocity load in the .40 S&W for carry ammo.

I am issued an H&K P-2000 in .40 S&W and can qualify with it, but I do not like it. If it was a 9m.m., I would be much happier.

Again, these calibers are apples and oranges, with little in common.

Jim

J2FLAN
December 26, 2012, 05:50 PM
MGH
golden; makes a goot point, the the sub-compact 40s can be very hard to control and shot placement is everything. I have carried a Sig 232 for 5+ years for that reason, along with others. For a first carry gun, maybe one that fits your hand, is known to be reliable and carries well, over caliber choice.

BTW, my signature is said "tongue in cheek"

Warp
December 26, 2012, 06:32 PM
.380 or .40?

I chose 9mm

jrdolall
December 26, 2012, 07:18 PM
How many responses will suggest a caliber other than what the OP was asking about? I know we all have our favorites but why not just answer the actual quesion?
I recommend a 12g pistol for CCW. If that is too bulky then you might want to go with a 44 mag as a pocket carry.
380 and 40 are not manly enough.

Warp
December 26, 2012, 07:46 PM
How many responses will suggest a caliber other than what the OP was asking about? I know we all have our favorites but why not just answer the actual quesion?
I recommend a 12g pistol for CCW. If that is too bulky then you might want to go with a 44 mag as a pocket carry.
380 and 40 are not manly enough.

There seems to be a "missing link" when comparing .380 to .40

Like Skribs said, that isn't really something to debate as they are too far apart.



Or I'll say it this way: If you can get a decent .40 pistol in the size you are looking for, and the only other option is .380...go for the .40 every time. It's a service caliber, and the .380 isn't really

miles1
December 26, 2012, 08:07 PM
I know its not a caliber you listed but I would go 9mm.

If i had to chose between your 2 choices then .380 as Im not fond of the .40's snappy recoil.

1911 guy
December 26, 2012, 08:12 PM
To answer your original question, I'll say that if choosing between .380 and .40, I'd opt for the .40 every time. These are two cartridges that are so widely spaced on the performance scale as to not really be in the same league. The .40 is a solid performer, while the .380 is the minimum I'd consider.

Honestly, I'd think back over the pistols you've shot, held, ogled, whatever. I'd then choose the pistol first, based on what feels best in your hands. Then choose the caliber that meets your needs that is offered in that pistol model.

The XD isn't really all that bad to conceal. While it IS a fullsize pistol, it isn't overly thick, especially for being a double stack magazine. Compared to most other doublestacks, it's downright svelte.

Also consider Newtons Third Law. Touch one off in a tiny little pocket gun and you'll wish you had a larger pistol to soak up some of that recoil. Especially in .40 which isn't really hard recoiling, but is kind of "snappy" in the recoil impulse.

Which brings up the whole .380 argument. Most .380's are blowback actions, which will have as much, sometimes more, felt recoil than the same size and weight pistol chambered in 9mm.

Kahr33556
December 26, 2012, 08:20 PM
Look at the LCP I pocket carry it in my back pocket in a pocket holster.
Look at a single stack in 9 or 40 , I really like the new shield

sean326
December 26, 2012, 08:58 PM
Hi everyone, long time lurker and this is my first post.
I'm pretty lucky i've had a lifetime of shooting and almost 30 years of carrying.
I've got over 100 guns, probably 50ish pistols and a home shooting range i use every few days. As i've grown up with guns i've gone through every phase of carry. '80's cocked and locked 1911, '90's high cap 9's. By the 200's as i got older and less gung ho i found that those guns were too big and bulky. I often left them at home or in my vehicle. I started carrying smaller guns, PPk's, Colt mustangs but honestly they were still steel and a little heavy. I started carrying a small 22lr berretta but i had confidence issues with its power. One day a couple years ago at my LGS i picked up a Ruger LCP, i started carrying that, shaved the mag release (it kept dumping the mag in my pocket) tweaked the front sight with some hi vis-luminous paint. Now that LCP is so small and light that i carry it everyday with no effort or inconvenience, its actually the size of my billfold and at 30' i can easily get all six shots in a dixie plate. I load it with a mixed mag alternating between hollow point and hardcast buffalo big bore ammo. Its got the most important feature of any carry gun.... you'll always carry it, its so small and light its not an issue in anything from summer shorts to daily jeans to a tux you barely know its there.

sean326
December 26, 2012, 09:42 PM
whenever the subject of small carry guns comes up people always get worked up over the effectiveness of the round. Honestly i carry every day and emotionally support the whole idea of personal carry. However i think we can all intellectually admit that most likely we will never be in a firefight in our daily lives. If i am i know i will want my CAR-15, acog sight and 100 rd drum mag with my Glock 21 at my side. But are you going to carry that everyday? No of course not and i've discovered over the years i wont even bother carrying a 1911, sig226 or even PPK. The LCP on the other hand is in my pocket from when i get dressed first thing in the morning till I turn in at night. Additionally I know from first hand experience a .380 is powerful enough to take down a solid muscle 250lb llama with 2 shots (don't ask)

Trad Archer
December 26, 2012, 09:47 PM
Have you looked into the snub revolvers?

obx-shooter
December 26, 2012, 10:08 PM
I have a number of carry-able handguns. The one that gets carried the most is a Kel-tec P32 because of it's small size. If the LCP had been out when I got the P32 I would have probably bought the LCP. Tiny increase in size/weight for a fairly significant increase in power.

I have had a Sig P230 for many years and used to carry it regularly. It has been displace by a Kahr PM9. Smaller size than P230 and more power.

If you decide on a .40 may I suggest the Kahr CW40. It is a bit larger than that companies PM40...but I would want a little more to hold onto if I'm shooting a .40 S&W.

Finally if you are new to handguns can I suggest one of the Ruger auto .22s for practice. Cheap ammo anda very accurate pistol will go along way to making you a decent shot.

05kas05
December 26, 2012, 11:02 PM
i have an lcp 380 and a kahr pm40 they both sit in fist kydex holsters w/cant inside the waistband. i have tried other holsters but the kydex works for me now when i carry i always carry the pm40 because it just really seems to be a better fit and easier to get to than the smaller 380.i have tried 3 different i.w.b holsters for the 380 and two different pocket holsters also but i just cant find a comfortable spot for it of course my fat roll probably dont help much but hey what the hell right.
i used to own a bersa 380 its been awhile but if i remember right it was about as big as my kahr pm40 maybe bigger.

i would suggest you look at some of the smaller kahr pistols and also maybe look into the ruger lc9 i know 9mm wasnt mentioned but it is not much bigger than the lcp 380. im thinking of switching my carry gun and am looking at some 9mm options mostly the lc9 or kahr pm9 as mentioned above.
the main thing is it has to be comfortable in the holster and while shooting because if it aint comfortable you wont carry it.
here is a couple of pics from the net of a pm40 to get an idea of size
http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa480/05kas05/pm40.jpg
http://i1199.photobucket.com/albums/aa480/05kas05/kahr.jpg

Scoob
December 27, 2012, 01:05 AM
180 grain bullet at 1000 fps or 90 grain bullet at 1000 fps. .40 is litterally like firing the .380 twice. Double the power but double the recoil. In a small gun that is obviously a considerable difference. .40 cal guns are beefier in order to handle it but still the recoil is sharp. I love .40 but prefer it in gun of 4" barrel or larger. This is a strange comparison.

FireInCairo
December 27, 2012, 01:08 AM
The .380 will offer many, many options for tiny pocket pistols. There is a trade-off in terms of power, though.

The next logical step up would be 9mm, and there are some small subcompacts that I feel are worth the larger size (compared to the .380) considering you get more power from a 9mm.

I have a subcompact .40 caliber Kahr PM40. I'm comfortable with the recoil and pleased with the increased power of the .40 caliber cartridge.

Since I started with a .40 pistol, I think it made me more inclined to handling the greater recoil. You may want to do the same. There are plenty of threads out there that discuss the difference between 9mm and .40 caliber power.

mgh-pa
December 27, 2012, 09:41 AM
Thanks for the input everyone. I have a lot to think about.

I know the calibers are night and day difference, but I've found I can find quite a few smaller frame guns in the .380 locally than .40s or .45s. I hadn't considered 9mm since it seems the general consensus from a few people I talked to that going "up" to a .40 or .45 is much more worthwhile for CCW. I still subscribe to the theory that a 9mm, at close range, is going to be effective, and WAY more effective than being unarmed.

jrdolall
December 27, 2012, 11:12 AM
The Diamondback DB9 is about as small as you can get but it gets mixed reviews on reliability. I have 2 friends that have them and one shoots everything you feed it while the other is picky about HP ammo. KelTec PF9 is small enough to slide in most pockets as well.
To me it really comes down to what you are comfortable shooting and carrying. If you are not comfortable because the gun is too bulky then you may not carry it all the time and if you are not comfortable shooting it you may as well not carry it. For me I like the fact that a small .380 just disappears in my pocket and I don't even know it is there. Like most people I have never had to use any of my CCWs and I hope I never need to test out the "stopping power" theories.

2wheels
December 27, 2012, 11:18 AM
Thanks for the input everyone. I have a lot to think about.

I know the calibers are night and day difference, but I've found I can find quite a few smaller frame guns in the .380 locally than .40s or .45s. I hadn't considered 9mm since it seems the general consensus from a few people I talked to that going "up" to a .40 or .45 is much more worthwhile for CCW. I still subscribe to the theory that a 9mm, at close range, is going to be effective, and WAY more effective than being unarmed.
Going "up" from 9mm to .40 or .45 sounds nice on paper, but as many here have noted there is a recoil penalty associated with going up in caliber, especially when we're talking about really small guns. Sometimes in these tiny guns, especially with a novice shooter, .40S&W can be a handful. 9mm is easier to control, and no matter what anyone tells you, it's still a very effective self defense round.

There's also the cost factor, 9mm is about as cheap as centerfire pistol rounds get, although to be fair .40S&W isn't that expensive.

If you're thinking IWB, then I don't think you need to look at .380s, most anyone can easily conceal a slim 9mm or .40S&W handgun IWB. When I think .380, I think ankle or pocket carry.

So if I were you I'd focus my search on slim 9mms (of which there is a long list), though there's nothing wrong with going with a .40 either.

Skribs
December 27, 2012, 12:14 PM
md2lgyk, most of the indoor ranges I've seen have range rentals, and from most other posts it seems to be pretty common.

jrdolall, the reason we're suggesting another caliber is because it is between the .380 and the .40. It would be like someone asking about rifles ".22 LR or .30-06 for HD?" Okay maybe not that big of a dichotomy, but the majority of caliber war threads that I see involving the .380 or the .40 are ".380 vs 9" or "9 vs. 40", not the comparison here.

I agree with 2wheels: .380 shines in pocket pistols, as IWB/OWB you can go up a bit to get a 9 or .40. Although there are some 9s that would be decent for pocket carry. There are many guns that come in the form of slim 9s that the OP can get that will be a good balance between the other two options mentioned.

Just to clarify - were you looking at a XDs single stack, or was that a pluralization of XD? Two completely different guns, and I wish they would have chosen a different letter. Maybe XDt for Thin or something.

Warp
December 27, 2012, 02:29 PM
Thanks for the input everyone. I have a lot to think about.

I know the calibers are night and day difference, but I've found I can find quite a few smaller frame guns in the .380 locally than .40s or .45s. I hadn't considered 9mm since it seems the general consensus from a few people I talked to that going "up" to a .40 or .45 is much more worthwhile for CCW. I still subscribe to the theory that a 9mm, at close range, is going to be effective, and WAY more effective than being unarmed.

The 9x19 is an excellent defensive handgun cartridge

Robert101
December 27, 2012, 08:02 PM
I guess I'm the only other one that thinks the 380 to 40 comparison is valid. I don't have a 9MM and don't plan on buying one. So, on those days when light is right I carry the 380. It is my minimal caliber for CCW. Now, on most days, I suggest the Glock 27 (.40 cal) and find it much more appropriate for CCW. I don't believe it is too snappy or difficult to shoot. Just shoot and practice with it and you will see the advantages over the 380.

AFDavis11
December 27, 2012, 09:14 PM
The gun, your proficiency, your preferences, and your experience are priorities before you get to caliber. Blindly, the .40 is better, unless the .380 gun is more likely to get carried, be handled safely, or be more accurate; then all bets are off.

I think it's best to start with a small gun, that you have lots of experience with, and then move up to bigger, badder guns.

Initially, carrying a gun can make you nervous, concerned about its size, make you feel self conscious, worry about printing, stress about accidentally discharging a round through your car seat, and generally be nerve-racking.

Review your experience, purchase, practice carrying (unloaded) and then work your way to an answer.

Then after a year or so, check and take note of the caliber of the gun. Consider whatever your choice as the only rational caliber for self-defense for the sane man and belittle anyone who disagrees. Unless you chose a .22, then don't tell anyone!

breakingcontact
December 27, 2012, 09:39 PM
Normally I'd say 9mm for the win, but with it being wiped off of the shelves. Suppose if you don't want to wait...I'd say 40 cal.

mgh-pa
December 28, 2012, 02:31 PM
Alright, went around and held a few and talked to a really knowledgeable guy at the one local shop. LCP is out. Too small, and I hate the relatively smooth slide and low lying sights. The guy at the shop (also went to Gander, but didn't talk tech to the guys there since I like the smaller shop atmosphere) doesn't like the heavy pull of the trigger on the LCP, and I sort of agreed. I also handled a Kel Tec P3AT, which was basically the same. Heavier trigger, but that certainly could be advantageous in a carry situation.

The PF9 was a bit better. Again, the guy there said he's not a fan of their trigger pull.

Held a Bersa Thunder, and LOVED the feel. Perfect weight (heavier than the Kel Tec and Ruger, but for obvious reasons). The frame size still looks to be ok for IWB or OWB carry without printing. The price at the local shop is VERY competitive. So much that I considered buying right then, but I hate "impulse" buying.

I also handled a Taurus PT140, which was nice, but doesn't get glowing reviews online.

The stores were pretty well picked over on some other models (wanted to handle the XDs), so that's all that fit the bill for now.

Still not sure.

golden
December 28, 2012, 04:23 PM
MGH

My brother bought an LC9 and I found recoil very severe. I have the same problem with the NAA Guardian which fires the weak recoiling .32ACP. I also got rid of a KAHR CW9 for the same reason.

The SIG 232 with the aluminum frame works very well for me because the overall grip area is large enough to distribute the recoil over a fair size area of my hand.

The micro pistols like the LCP will put out the same amount of recoil over a small area, which will feel like a lot of recoil, even though it will be far less than a .40 caliber.

I strongly urge you to try one before you buy one. If the kick is no problem, then good. You have your gun. If the kick makes you want to put it away after 25 rounds and not shoot it again, how much practice will you get.

I have shot a number of compact .380ACP pistols and find they are controllable and capable of good accuracy as long as they do not get too small or light.
I have not shot the BERSA Thunder, but its size and weight should make it a comfortable and accurate gun. It is about the same size as my SIG 232, but alot heavier, at 23 ounces versus 17 ounces for the SIG.

Remember a small, slow bullet hitting the target beats a .50 caliber going over the shoulder anytime.

Jim

nathan
December 28, 2012, 05:13 PM
lll take any of them any day. Practice makes for improved skills to hit your targets . No matter what caliber, know its pluses and minuses.

Baba Louie
December 28, 2012, 05:29 PM
mgh, welcome to THR.

Good on ya for doing the research and asking questions, getting a feel, etc.

If you're going to CCW you're going to need to practice until you are proficient with weapon and ammunition of choice. For that reason a 9mm makes more sense than either the .380 (aka 9mmKurz or 9mmBrowning, 9x17) or a .40 S&W due to ammo prices. :scrutiny:

Just an FYI.

Most .380s will be a blowback design as opposed to locked breech or recoil operating systems and as such a bit more felt recoil will be transmitted through your hands. Not a deal killer, just another FYI thing and something to read up on.

I think the Colt .380 and maybe the new Sig copy 238 are recoil locked breech and should have less felt recoil than the Sig 232 or others. Few .380s are of this type however. Blowbacks typically use heavy springs and slide mass to deal with the "action" ala most .22's. Can be kinda "snappy" for the size of the round in question.

A world of difference in the 2 choice power levels as I'm sure you are aware. If not, some more research there might be in order.

If those two rounds are your choices, plenty of handguns available to fit the bill. .40 S&W's are also kind of "snappy" with quick impulse back into your mitts, so smaller handgun is not always good unless you are a pretty experienced shooter as more mass and barrel length can help dampen energy. (but thats just an IMO sorta thing mind you)

Having said all that, Rugers new LC9, SR9C and SR40 might be worth looking up. Their LCP is in .380 and as the sights are vestigal at best maybe a laser might be useful, or else a heck of a lot of practice. http://www.ruger.com/index.html

Good luck on your quest. Hunting one down is half the fun. Maybe 1/3 of the fun. Still have ammo to buy and carry gear to get. Don't overlook a good belt and holster. Don't scrimp on your gun or your ammo for serious use. For plinking and practice you can buy cheap ammo, but for protection of self and family buy the best you can afford and practice with it. Get a GOOD belt! A gun belt.

May I also suggest a training class or two from a good trainer or two as well, just because it is the wise thing to do once you do decide on a platform and round? ;)

Oh... at the risk of repeating myself... typically 9mm ammo will be cheaper than .380 or .40, but in todays "oh my goodness the sky is falling" environment, I don't think there is such a thing as cheap ammo anymore. :banghead:

MICHAEL T
December 28, 2012, 10:57 PM
I perfer a Colt Defender in 45 over the snap recoil of a 40. But I find a KelTec PF-9 on my side more and more . I have several 380's but again size and weight says KelTec P3AT in pocket.

breakingcontact
December 28, 2012, 10:59 PM
Could get a 40cal then a 9mm barrel for those guns where its an option.

mgh-pa
December 29, 2012, 10:32 AM
Another friend suggested I actually go handle the P238 (saw a Rosewood at GM yesterday). I just don't think I like the idea of a SA in my pocket, and the price...wow!

Is this price justifiable in comparison to what you get with the lower price point guns (Kel Tec, Ruger Bersa, etc,.)?

2wheels
December 29, 2012, 10:59 AM
Another friend suggested I actually go handle the P238 (saw a Rosewood at GM yesterday). I just don't think I like the idea of a SA in my pocket, and the price...wow!

Is this price justifiable in comparison to what you get with the lower price point guns (Kel Tec, Ruger Bersa, etc,.)?
The P238 will easily shoot circles around other pocket .380s like the Ruger, KelTec, S&W Bodyguard. It has less felt recoil, better sights, and a decent trigger. I don't care how cheap the competition is, I wouldn't go back and change my decision to buy a P238.

I've never thought twice about carrying a SAO gun in my pocket. The safety is not likely to disengage accidentally, and even if it does, that's why God made holsters to protect the trigger!

I haven't shot the Bersa, so I can't compare it to my P238. But it is a larger and heavier handgun, so I'm assuming that it's at least an OK shooter. The Sig can easily fit in most pockets, the Bersa I'm not so sure.

Soldiernurse
December 29, 2012, 11:33 AM
LOL, guess you ain't lived in God's country... God Bless Texas. Plenty of Shooting Ranges that rent.

My handguns; barrel lengths 3-4" & calibers 9mm / .40S&W...
Surprised your choice is between .380 & .40. A drastic difference in weight between the two. I bought & later sold S&W .380 Bodyguard. Fine little handgun but the heavy trigger, etc. was not my preference. My easy to conceal is Bersa BP9cc. This particular Bersa is not as easy to find at most LGS compared to the Thunder, etc. BP9cc is very thin & light trigger pull. BTW, last time fired my PF-9 I had all kind of malfunctions, which is why my BP9cc is Summer CCW or BUG.

460Kodiak
December 31, 2012, 12:17 AM
XDs in .45. Way more gun than a .380 and small too.

Glockedout17
December 31, 2012, 12:22 AM
The .40 is a bit snappy because of the pressure curve. I would say stick to 9mm and .45 for your primary ccw and a nice .38 S&W airweight or Ruger LCR for BUG.

Hunter125
December 31, 2012, 02:04 AM
I find my XDsc .40 very controllable. The only handgun I shoot more accurately than it is my GP100.

Sauer Grapes
December 31, 2012, 03:36 PM
Another friend suggested I actually go handle the P238 (saw a Rosewood at GM yesterday). I just don't think I like the idea of a SA in my pocket, and the price...wow!

Is this price justifiable in comparison to what you get with the lower price point guns (Kel Tec, Ruger Bersa, etc,.)?
I carry a single action 9mm all the time. Albeit more expensive, the 238 stands above the lower priced competitors IMHO.
Concealed carry isn't suppose to be comfortable, it's objective is to save your bacon in an emergency situation. Find a gun that suits your style of carry and dress and then worry about what caliber it comes in.

momano
January 1, 2013, 08:09 AM
Ruger has built a great reputation for guns that are affordable and guaranteed for life with a service department that will take care of you. If you can; rent and handle the Ruger LC9, the SR9c, and the LCP in .380- remember the 9 ammo is much more affordable. Good luck!

Johnny Lightning
January 1, 2013, 10:04 AM
Due to not being able to carry at work i would suggest a pocket sized. 380. Once you are not at work you can slip a. 380 into your pocket and you are ready to go. A larger handgun that you would want to carry owb or iwb can be a pain to attach to your belt in a car where you cant stand up...just my experience. I have both a g26 and an lcp and the lcp sees alot more time being carried. Think how you will want to carry before you buy...size DOES matter :D

ku4hx
January 1, 2013, 03:12 PM
I guess I'm the only other one that thinks the 380 to 40 comparison is valid.
The comparison is noteworthy, certainly not invalid, it's just that generally when cartridges are compared they're all in the same "class". "Class" is pretty hard to define, but for this old scrounger the .380 ACP is simply far outclassed by the .40 Cal. in a number of areas. And in some areas, the .380 ACP may be the better choice. But each fills a specific niche.

I watch BBC America's "Top Gear" ever so often and ever so often they stage a race between some ultra low end beater and a super high end sports car. But they do it for comedic value, not for any real world comparative results.

There's nothing inherently wrong with either the .380 ACP or the 40 cal. I just don't think comparing them will yield any meaningful comparative "quantitative" results. Qualitative results such as "I like so-and-so better" maybe so.

dw2169
January 1, 2013, 04:45 PM
I carry a Glock 27 in a fanny pak holster which works really well. No one suspects the fanny pak and I carry my cell phone and wallet in it also. I am in a wheelchair and sometimes the fanny pak is not practical and I was looking at a Taurus TCP 380. It has an easy trigger pul and the slide locks back after the last shot is fired. It is also totally made in the USA. It worries me a little when I see no mention of it here at all. Why??

HKGuns
January 1, 2013, 09:30 PM
Nice to see a teacher who is interested in personal protection.

There is a world of difference between those two rounds. I would pick the one you can afford and control with practice. Being new to pistols I would say start with the .380 and a Sig would be a fine choice in a .380.....I am not of the mind to recommend the Bersa however.

mgh-pa
January 2, 2013, 07:44 PM
.I am not of the mind to recommend the Bersa however.

Can I ask why? Again, that's me truly wanting to know why, not trying to come off condescending .

I went to GM the other day to handle some more that weren't available at the local shop. I held a PM9 (liked that a lot) and P238. The P238 is very light, and felt good in the hands. Still very undecided. :cuss:

Thanks for all of the helpful input, everyone. It's been very beneficial.

exavid
January 2, 2013, 07:55 PM
The Ruger LC9 is to me a fine CCW. It's accurate out to 25yds, at least I can hit pop cans out that far which is plenty good for a carry gun. Small and light, not all that much larger than the LCP which I also like as a carry gun in summer when wearing shorts and T shirts. Being DAO both guns are safe to carry with one in the chamber ready to go. The trigger pull is much like DA on a revolver, long but reaonably smooth so there's no chance of a ND. I've fired over 800 rounds through both guns since I got them a couple years ago and haven't had a problem. Both eat any brand of ammo I've tried and the various powder and bullet configurations of my handloads as well. Best of all you can buy both of these American made pistols for the price of some of the big name imported guns. One thing about Ruger too is that they do stand behind their products, excellent customer support if you do have a problem. Some of the others not so much.

SDGlock23
January 3, 2013, 01:37 PM
Well I carried an LCP for a while, and it wins in terms of size and pocketability, but personally I don't care too much for the .380.

Now I currently have, and really like, the Kahr CM40. It's a 3" barreled .40 with 5+1 capacity. It's very accurate and packs a much bigger punch and it's still small enough to pocket. It's really a great shooter, and yes it recoils more, but it's not unmanageable. Even with 180gr bullets at 1100 fps or 200gr JHP's at 1000 fps, the recoil isn't terrible. More stout than factory loads for sure, but not bad. You don't lose a lot of velocity with the 3" bbl either, some obviously, but not a whole lot. Factory 165's hover around 1100 fps.

HKGuns
January 5, 2013, 11:28 AM
Can I ask why? Again, that's me truly wanting to know why, not trying to come off condescending.

Because you specifically mentioned it is for concealed carry.

I don't consider them nearly as reliable as your other brand choices. They are bargain basement and your life is worth more than a bargain basement pistol. They also have a mixed reputation for reliability. They are also way larger than they need to be for concealed carry. There are a lot of better, smaller .380's on the market. You can get a compact 9mm that is smaller and more reliable. Don't cut corners when you're going to trust your life to a tool. By the same token, don't take out a second mortgage on your home for one either...:)

I am sure there are plenty of Bersa owners who will argue otherwise, that is just my opinion. YMMV IMBFOS

I would pick the Khar or the Sig over the Bersa every day of the week.

Edit: For the record, since the OP didn't mention a model of Bersa I was referring to the larger framed Bersa .380 not the newer CC model.

exavid
January 5, 2013, 05:55 PM
The Sig is a better and much higher priced pistol but the Bersa isn't unreliable from the experiences of a couple guys in my club they are satisfied with it's reliability and performance. That said it's a rather large and heavy pistol for concealed carry compared to what's available now that polymer guns are available. The Bersa is larger and heavier than a Ruger LC9 which offers more firepower in a compact package. It's also contoured better for a concealed carry with no sharp edges or hammer to hang up on clothing. Prices are very similar. Both are good pistols but in my opinion for the use the OP wants the gun I think the LC9 is better for the money.

Soldiernurse
January 5, 2013, 08:09 PM
The Sig is a better and much higher priced pistol but the Bersa isn't unreliable from the experiences of a couple guys in my club they are satisfied with it's reliability and performance. That said it's a rather large and heavy pistol for concealed carry compared to what's available now that polymer guns are available. The Bersa is larger and heavier than a Ruger LC9 which offers more firepower in a compact package. It's also contoured better for a concealed carry with no sharp edges or hammer to hang up on clothing. Prices are very similar. Both are good pistols but in my opinion for the use the OP wants the gun I think the LC9 is better for the money.
Must not be referring to Bersa BP9CC?
Barrel Length: 3.2"
Overall Length: 6.35"
Width: 0.94"
Height: 4.8"
Weight: 21.5oz
Capacity: 8+1
-----
Ruger LC9
Barrel Length: 3.12"
Length: 6.00"
Width: 0.90"
Ht: 4.50"
Wt: 17.10 oz
Cap: 7+1
-------------
Looks close to me :neener:

exavid
January 5, 2013, 10:06 PM
Put 'em side by side and heft both like I have and then tell me. Not to mention I prefer a US made pistol to an Argentine one. Plus Ruger has excellent customer service.

Soldiernurse
January 5, 2013, 10:17 PM
Put 'em side by side and heft both like I have and then tell me. Not to mention I prefer a US made pistol to an Argentine one. Plus Ruger has excellent customer service.
LOL, guess you think Glocks are no good, too.

exavid
January 5, 2013, 11:01 PM
Nope, you're wrong. I didn't say anything other than I prefer US made firearms. I own a Walther P1, which is a delightful 9mm to shoot. I've had a three or four Taurii (plural of Taurus) three pistols and one revolver. I currently own a very nice Italian made Beretta 92FS. I've handled the Bursa in .380 and 9mm versions, I've shot the .380. They are nice shooting guns and very reliable as I'm told by the owner of the one I shot. I have no reason to doubt him.
In fact I don't much care for Glocks. Not because of where they were made but because I don't much like their looks. They are fine handguns but they don't appeal to me. Add that I've been a Ruger owner for over 55 years.
The whole point of my OP was that I believe the LCP was a better concealed carry than the Bursa. It's my opinion and I'll stand by it.

mgh-pa
January 6, 2013, 10:17 AM
Thanks, guys. Gun stores around here are STILL picked through with no immediate ideas on when new inventory will arrive. Only went back yesterday to handle a the PF9 and the Bersa again. The PF9 they had was camo, and looked horrendous. The Bersa, while it fits and balances well, truly is just too big for a 4 season carry weapon. I can't find an LC9 to save my life, but I'm considering just ordering one sight unseen. The more I think about it, the more I like the 9mm option for a variety of reasons (cost, power, and ammo availability). The only P238 I found in stock is priced about $120 too high.:rolleyes:

vito
January 6, 2013, 11:09 AM
No one has mentioned the Ruger sr40c (and sr9c) as a possibility. Its not the smallest or lightest gun, but the 40c carries 9+1 in the shorter mag that comes with the gun, which is a fair amount of firepower in a small package. I've only had mine for a relatively short time, and so far it is extremely reliable and fires everything that I have tried. There is a degree of snappiness to this caliber, which makes it less than a true pleasure at the range, but we are talking about self defense. I also own a Ruger LCP which is really easy to carry concealed, including pocket carry in shorts in the hot weather. I just have a bit more confidence in the stopping power of a 40 over the 9 mm and that's why I bought the 40c rather than the 9c. Plus, like most Ruger guns, the price is reasonable. I paid $439 NIB with two mags just a few months ago. A final consideration: the new Rugers are very easy to take down for cleaning and then to reassemble. Much simpler, in my opinion than many of the competitor guns.

rogn
January 6, 2013, 03:08 PM
Id love to have a WAlther PPs in 40, small thin and easy to shoot. A tad heavy at 19 oz, but good and small. Also a bit pricey.

exavid
January 6, 2013, 03:16 PM
I have the SR40c and do like it's compact size for a .40S&W but it is a bit much for a summer carry. I carry mine when I'll have a coat on to cover it sometimes in the winter but overall I prefer the LC9 for most of the time. I do like to shoot the .40, some don't like the recoil which is a bit snappier than in my full sized P345 .45, but it's not all that bad. To me it's similar to firing a medium framed .357 revolver. I'd still recommend the LCP and LC9 for someone who hasn't carried much, they are much easier to conceal, are reliable and hold their value. It takes a while before some of us settle on a particular weapon so it's disheartening if you choose a pistol you're not satisfied with and have a lot of money tied up in. In the end it's up to what a person likes, go for what pleases you and expect that it won't be your last pistol buy.

Hunter991
January 6, 2013, 03:19 PM
The bersa is a great gun for the price. I have had one for years and I don't think I ever had a failure. There is a bersa forum with many happy customers trust me. I carry mine and yes trust it for protection. They are known for reliability and they don't flinch on any kind of ammo. I buy the cheapest stuff I can find and it cycles great.

radar1972
January 8, 2013, 01:45 AM
No matter how much advice you get, it will still boil down to what will you carry every day? Any gun, regardless of caliber, won't do you any good if it's left at home or left in your car. Handle and fire as many variations as you can until you find what feels right for you.
I personally rotate between a S&W Bodyguard .380, Sig P290 9mm and S&W 360J revolver. That's because I can't stand a heavy a$$ gun hanging on my belt. I carry guns that I KNOW I will carry comfortably (for me) day in and day out.

exavid
January 8, 2013, 03:33 AM
Exactly, comfortable carry is very important if you really carry every day like I do. That's why I carry my LCP and LC9. I have other guns I could and do carry once in awhile but the two Ruger LCs are pretty much my only carry guns unless something unusual causes me to take along something with a larger capacity magazine. This time of year I wear jeans and polo shirts mostly with IWB in appendix position. I can take my coat off without exposing the pistol which is nicely covered by the untucked polo shirt. The gun is hidden well with no printing, no one has ever noticed it. But best of all I hardly ever notice it myself. That's good on a couple of points, one that it's nice not to be poked by your gun or holster and second that it prevents you from touching or adjusting the gun which might bring attention to it. It's surprising how a gun that feels okay when you first wear it can be come a burden before the day is over. Comfort to me is the most critical thing even over firepower because if it isn't comfortable eventually you won't be carrying it. Concealed carry is worthless if the gun is in the car and not on you. The safest place for a loaded gun is on your person or in the safe.

SouthernYankee
January 8, 2013, 11:29 AM
I just got one of these for Christmas after looking at the P238 for about a year. My D-In Law CC a 238 and told me I should get the 938. I waited and got it! Now after 400+ rds since Christmas I can say it has performed like a champ. No FTF or FTE. This will probably become my EDCC due to its size, weight, conceal-ability etc. It is also very accurate at <15yds (not just <7yds), which is incredible given its size. As soon as my new holster shows up from Leather and Stuff and my new metal trigger (sig why plastic?), this baby should be ready to go:D.

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