380 vs 9mm question


PDA






littlebluevette
August 26, 2013, 03:05 PM
I am looking to get my wife a handgun and am thinking about a small 380 auto because of lower recoil?

I own multiple 9mm but have never shot a 380. My question is... I am hoping a small 380 have a much lower recoil than a small 9mm such as a Kimber Solo, Shield or PDX. Is this true?

If you enjoyed reading about "380 vs 9mm question" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
tarosean
August 26, 2013, 03:08 PM
No.. Generally the small 380's are fixed barrel and can produce a hefty kick

fallout mike
August 26, 2013, 03:12 PM
+1 to what tarosean said.

2wheels
August 26, 2013, 03:19 PM
The Sig P238/Colt Mustang has pretty mild recoil for such a small gun.

huntsman
August 26, 2013, 03:22 PM
Both my wife and daughter shot my LCP and neither enjoyed it, so the question is when you say small how small did you mean?

powder
August 26, 2013, 03:24 PM
Recoil is just one aspect, have her also try racking the slide: many 380s are VERY stiff to cycle...

hardluk1
August 26, 2013, 03:39 PM
Not sure I can go along with that. I have a cm9 kahr and cw9 kahr . My daughter and wife have a couple 380's each. One model they both have is a 10oz Taurus TCP380 and both love that pistol, The other is the Bersa 380 CC model . They both hate shooting my cm9 kahr. The TCP does set with the barrel lower in the hand than the cm9 and that may count for how it feels shooting. There other 380s are a bersa 380CC model. It is a fixed barrel model and both like it better than my cm9 even though weight is with in one oz. My larger shield sized cw9 is shootable be them but not favored ether.

The tcp 380 and bersa both are easy to rack compared to many sub-compact 9mm's .

Fryerpower
August 26, 2013, 03:49 PM
My wife has shot the TCP and had no issues shooting it. It has much less felt recoil than a Radon P64, which is heavier and shoots a slightly larger round. The one she shot has a Pachmayr grip. Very manageable recoil. It is LOUD coming out of that short barrel.

http://www.amazon.com/Pachmayr-Tactical-Glove-Ruger-Taurus/dp/B004NKY6B2

Hornady makes Critical Defense ammo for it. If you cannot find any in stock, get the Hornady Zombie Max ammo. Same round different color plug in the hollow point and different packaging. Ballistically they are identical.

This is what has been put through it so far:
MFG Case Bullet Grain Number shot
Blazer Brass FMJ ? 24
Hornady Brass JHP Z-Max 90 6
Fiocchi Brass JHP 90 29
Tula Steel FMJ 91 6
Winchester Brass Flat FMJ 95 0
Winchester Brass JHP Silver Tip 85 1
Total Shot 66

I've managed to pick up a couple of hundred more rounds of ammo so I will hopefully be shooting it more soon.

Jim

horsemen61
August 26, 2013, 04:04 PM
Let her decide what works for her

ku4hx
August 26, 2013, 04:27 PM
My wife disliked every 380 she fired ... until she shot a Walther PPK/S-1. She bought the next one she found.

She still likes her Ruger SR9c for carry, bedside and just shooting at our club, but she put so many rounds through her PPK I had to buy dies and bullets to keep her satisfied.

Hurryin' Hoosier
August 26, 2013, 05:10 PM
You can't go strictly by caliber. All guns (all designs) are different.

Prince Yamato
August 26, 2013, 05:53 PM
The Sig 238 is a pleasure to shoot. I'd recommend that for a .380.

Hunter991
August 26, 2013, 05:56 PM
Totally disagree. 380 has less recoil. My wife hates recoil and shot my bodyguard with ease. She now carries a bersa thunder 380. Easy to rack and barely any recoil.

HexHead
August 26, 2013, 05:59 PM
The Sig P238/Colt Mustang has pretty mild recoil for such a small gun.
Especially if you get an original Colt Mustang with a steel frame. They're very comfortable to shoot.

Torian
August 26, 2013, 06:01 PM
My SIG 232 had more recoil than my Browning HP in 9mm. Smaller guns are rarely more pleasant to shoot.

HexHead
August 26, 2013, 06:03 PM
I am looking to get my wife a handgun and am thinking about a small 380 auto because of lower recoil?



It never fails, people continually pick absolutely the wrong gun for their wives. Particularly if it's going to be their first.

Gun Geezer
August 26, 2013, 06:07 PM
My wife decided "my" Bodygaurd 380 was just the ticket. She can shoot compact 9mm various pistols just fine, but love the smaller 380.

Looks like in the neighborhood for another Bodyguard!

Paul7
August 26, 2013, 06:30 PM
My Colt Mustang is the only .380 I've enjoyed shooting.

Walt Sherrill
August 26, 2013, 06:39 PM
While the .380 round is slightly less potent than 9x18 and 9x19, the experience of shooting the .380 pistols (most of which are smaller and lighter) is not PLEASANT. Smaller is seldom better, in that respect.

The new Ruger 380 (which is a .380 gun based on the larger LC9 frame) might be an alternative. While I haven't shot one, I have heard that it does a better job with recoil than most of the other .380s.

That said, a HEAVIER STEEL-FRAMED 9mm (full-size) might be a better alternative if recoil is the concern. Some of the polymer framed full-size 9mms can seem relatively gentle, too. (A used Witness 9mm steel-framed gun might be pleasant; ditto a Beretta of the 92(x) variety. Women seem to find the Beretta slides easier to rack, too.

If there's a range that rents guns in your area, you can try some out.

Sergei Mosin
August 26, 2013, 07:10 PM
The SIG P238 seems quite popular among the recoil-sensitive set. My wife likes hers.

MICHAEL T
August 26, 2013, 09:02 PM
Colt Mustang (steel frame ) like shooting a 22

Jim Watson
August 26, 2013, 09:08 PM
My Colt Gov't .380 with locked breech is a lot more fun to shoot than a friend's Colt 1908 blowback.

The Gov't .380 is the redheaded stepchild of the series, overlooked in favor of the chopped off Mustang and Sig clone. But they have still gotten expensive.

Dentite
August 26, 2013, 11:04 PM
I agree with what others have said.

Factors influencing felt recoil:

Weight of the gun
Length and width of the grip
Length of the barrel
Bore axis
Design of the action - a locked breech will have less felt recoil than a blowback
Presence or absence of sharp edges on the frame, design and material of the grips, etc.

My own experience is that the .380 Beretta 84 with it's blowback action and alloy frame has just as much felt recoil as a 9mm BHP with all steel constuction.

Hunter2011
August 26, 2013, 11:54 PM
Will she EDC it or is it just for protection in and around the house? If she will not be carrying it then I suggest a large and heavy 9mmP. It will kick less than a small and light 380 auto and she will be more accurate with it. The last part is very important. Just make sure the ergonomics of the bigger pistol fits her.
I've seen small girls shoot .357 Magnum revolvers with ease. Just because the revolver was big and heavy. The .357 has got a lot of power and would have kicked like a mule if shot out of something like a LCP, but is very manageable in a heavy platform.

M1key
August 27, 2013, 12:10 AM
For self defense, your wife should shoot the most powerful round she can effectively handle.

M

horsemen61
August 27, 2013, 12:21 AM
Also she might want to go to the www.corneredcat.com some good info there

wmtrp
August 27, 2013, 12:42 AM
I would suggest going to a range that rents guns and try shooting a 380 and a 9mm. Your wife can decide for her self which one she likes. After all she is the one that has to carry it.

labhound
August 27, 2013, 01:54 AM
My wife has a Beretta Cheetah model 85FS .380 which fits her hand perfectly. She says to her the recoil of her Cheetah is less than my Beretta 92FS 9mm. A lot of things contribute to felt recoil other than caliber of the round.

Tomac
August 27, 2013, 05:18 AM
My wife has a Kahr P380 for CCW. The slide is stiff (as is recoil) but she can manage.
However, her nightstand/range gun is a SIG P250sc .380. The trigger is DAO (like the Kahr, the slide is very easy to rack and the recoil is downright mild.
Tomac

ku4hx
August 27, 2013, 07:07 AM
I would suggest going to a range that rents guns and try shooting a 380 and a 9mm. Your wife can decide for her self which one she likes. After all she is the one that has to carry it.
+1 ... Shoot many; buy one. Make her part of the process and let it be her decision.

smkummer
August 27, 2013, 09:20 AM
While the Colt govt. feels really good to me, I don't own one right now but would prefer the alloy frame for carry. How about a 38 special revolver? 2 in Colt detective special steel for shooting pleasure or alloy Cobra/Agent for carry. If your a reloader, then you decide what to load for comfort. If not a reloader, the mid-range wadcutters are lower recoil. A 5 shot S&W also works. And yes, 380 kicks less than 9mm in similar weight guns.

C0untZer0
August 27, 2013, 11:32 AM
Beretta 86 is a mild shooting 380 ACP with a tip-up-barrel option for loading:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=188201&stc=1&d=1377617541

oneounceload
August 27, 2013, 12:01 PM
Let her decide what works for her

Yep, surprised it took to post number 29 for TheCorneredCat.com to get mentioned.

OP, both you AND your wife need to read Pax's site and then SHE needs to decide what will work best for her - not you, not me, nor anyone else on the internet

She'll need to rent, borrow, whatever, as many as she can to make her determination

snooperman
August 27, 2013, 01:03 PM
" She will need to rent, borrow, whatever, as many as she can to make her determination". Best advice I have read yet. Snoop

littlebluevette
August 27, 2013, 01:11 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. I appreciate all the input. My wife isn't keen on the idea of her carrying. But she goes on daily walks with the dog and even though we live in the country things aren't the way they used to be.

I am intent on getting her to get carry along with professional instruction and know she will want a smaller cc weapon because she isn't one to walk around thinking look at me I'm a big stuff because I got a weapon.

javjacob
August 27, 2013, 01:38 PM
the 380 is wimpy imo. the 9mm is still rather wimpy but is a great gun and has cheap ammo (once the ammo shortage ends) ...even the 9mm has very very mild recoil, I honestly cant imagine someone thinking a 380 or 9mm has too much recoil. maybe those people just need a taser/mace/baseball bat ...ect. most these people are the ones who never want to touch a gun until they need it. your best bet is to make her get out and shoot the gun occasionally. Its all in practice and technique. there are techniques on how to reduce felt recoil and to keep yourself from flinching ect. flinching is something only inexperienced shooters do. get past all that and she will be saying the 9mm is nothing

bdickens
August 27, 2013, 01:44 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions and advice. I appreciate all the input. My wife isn't keen on the idea of her carrying. But she goes on daily walks with the dog and even though we live in the country things aren't the way they used to be.

I am intent on getting her to get carry along with professional instruction and know she will want a smaller cc weapon because she isn't one to walk around thinking look at me I'm a big stuff because I got a weapon.
No, what you're keen on is pushing her into something she doesn't want to do. What's going to happen is that a whole lot of resentment will be built up that will ultimately damage your relationship.

She needs to make the decision on her own, without being coerced and pushed into it against her will by someone who supposedly loves her.

If she ever makes that decision, then she needs to decide for herself what she's going to carry. How would you feel if someone put a gun in your hand that you weren't comfortable shooting and that you hated and pressured you into carrying it?

For that matter, how would you feel if someone tried to pressure your into oh, I don't know, knitting or square dancing?

littlebluevette
August 27, 2013, 01:53 PM
No, what you're keen on is pushing her into something she doesn't want to do. What's going to happen is that a whole lot of resentment will be built up that will ultimately damage your relationship.

She needs to make the decision on her own, without being coerced and pushed into it against her will by someone who supposedly loves her.

If she ever makes that decision, then she needs to decide for herself what she's going to carry. How would you feel if someone put a gun in your hand that you weren't comfortable shooting and that you hated and pressured you into carrying it?

For that matter, how would you feel if someone tried to pressure your into oh, I don't know, knitting or square dancing?
I asked for advice between a 380 and 9m for my wife to carry...We've been married for 42 years. I am pushing her to carry for her own safety. If I needed marital advice advise I would have called Dr. Phil. :)

Torian
August 27, 2013, 02:52 PM
42 years? I think you've got this under control buddy. I would do the same thing.

littlebluevette
August 27, 2013, 02:55 PM
42 years? I think you've got this under control buddy. I would do the same thing.
Yep. She's my best friend. Married 42 years. 3 Kids, 6 grand children and 1 great great grandchild a dog and a few hand guns later. :)

weblance
August 27, 2013, 04:11 PM
LittleBlueVette...consider Rugers new LC380. My wife has limited strength in her hands, and cant tolerate heavy recoil, or rack a stiff slide. I bought her an LC9, and she hated it. I recently bought her the LC380 and she can rack, and handle that pistol. I also have a Sig P238 and while it is a very soft shooter, she didnt like the Single Action 1911 style operation. She has a lot of experience shooting 22 revolvers, and feels comfortable with the DAO style of the LC380.

http://i204.photobucket.com/albums/bb97/weblance/PictureSmall_zpsf361993a.jpg

Walt Sherrill
August 27, 2013, 04:14 PM
I asked for advice between a 380 and 9m for my wife to carry...We've been married for 42 years. I am pushing her to carry for her own safety. If I needed marital advice advise I would have called Dr. Phil.

I'm not sure he was giving you MARITAL advice, as observing that an awful lot of men buys guns for their wives or girl friends, with the best of intentions, but often have limited success. They are often quite experienced themselves, and ask for the advice of others -- but unless the OTHERS have been through the process, it becomes a crap shoot. The whole process often seems to go better when the woman involved plays an active part in the selection process; it can get expensive, otherwise. Ranges with rental guns can speed the process; while rentals can be costly, it's not as bad as trying to sell a gun you wish you hadn't bought.

I've been going through this with my wife -- we've been married 43 years -- and just finding a semi-auto that she can rack and use comfortably (and, yes, I've tried teaching her OTHER ways of racking the slide) has been a challenge. We've even tried revolvers.

We're still looking and trying. I'm to the point that I suspect I'm going to end up with a Kel-Tec PMR-30, if I can ever find one that doesn't require me to mortgage my home...

As for Dr. Phil -- I wouldn't seek his advice about much of anything except how to make money by exploiting unhappy people and their problems on TV. I think he has THAT figured out pretty well.

zeke4351
August 27, 2013, 04:41 PM
Take her someplace and find a Sig P250 sub compact in .380. I don't know of anything that would be softer shooting in a modern .380. It's about the size of a Glock 27.

Deer_Freak
August 27, 2013, 04:50 PM
Gentlemen, for the sake of clarity, please don't confuse the measurable recoil with the perceived recoil; and the (cheaper) round nose 380 FMJ with the defensive, much harder kicking hollowpoints.
If the bullet is the same weight and the velocity is the same the perceived recoil will be the same fired from the same gun. Most 380 FMJ are loaded at the same velocity as boutique ammo. The only difference might be 5 grains of bullet weight.

In fact, the majority of 380 owners shoot FMJ ammo for SD. Most 380 pistols function better with FMJ ammo and the 9mm kurtz is a rather anemic cartridge.

Deer_Freak
August 27, 2013, 05:05 PM
I tried to buy a gun for my wife. We went to several gun shops and I borrowed every pistol in the county for her to try, none of them pleased her. One day she came home with a Ruger SP101 chambered in 357. She went out into the field and shot the best part of a box of 357 ammo. She chose the SP101 because it fit her hand and she really likes shooting my Ruger Blackhawk chambered in 357.

A few years later she learned to focus her strength so she could pull the slide back on a semi auto. She took my Kel Tec P11 after that epiphany. She got a flashbang holster, so I bought a 9mm derringer for it. After a few months she ditched the derringer and started carrying my Kel Tec P-3AT in the flashbang holster.

Gun ownership for women is the same as men. We want different guns for different reasons.

TarDevil
August 27, 2013, 05:06 PM
I honestly cant imagine someone thinking a 380 or 9mm has too much recoil. maybe those people just need a taser/mace/baseball bat ...ect.
There are quite a few .380 & 9mm pistols that are a handful. The laws of physics cannot be denied.

flinching is something only inexperienced shooters do. get past all that and she will be saying the 9mm is nothing

See above. There are many very experienced shooters who develop a flinch from shooting high powered guns.

Deer_Freak
August 27, 2013, 05:34 PM
No Kidding! I need 22 LR therapy after shooting a big bore a little too much. I just as well bring the 22 LR out when I check the scope on my slug gun. The Mossberg is very accurate with slugs. Sometimes I get carried away trying to shoot golf balls and shotgun hulls with a 12 ga slug.

oneounceload
August 27, 2013, 05:37 PM
flinching is something only inexperienced shooters do.
Complete and utter BS!

Go to your local trap club and watch the guys who have been competition for decades and all of those release triggers because of flinching. Flinching is caused by exposure to too much recoil over a period of time. Too many wannabe macho folks who think THEY know what their wife wants without asking her because they think they can handle it - no different than the idiots who buy their wives scandium J frame 357s with a box of full power loads................

golden
August 27, 2013, 06:42 PM
I have been shooting a number of different 9m.m. and .380ACP pistols over the years and the most important thing is usually the grip.

I carry a SIG 232 which has an aluminum frame, but a relatively large surface area on the grip. It is easy to control and I can shoot 150 rounds at a time without feeling like I was beaten.

I also shoot a BERETTA model 84. This gun is larger and a little heavier, but is very easy on recoil. The magazine holds 13 rounds, so you have a wide grip area, making the recoil pretty mild.

Try a range rental with these guns and see if you wife is comfortable with it. I ended up giving my wife, who had a problem with recoil, my SIG 225 which is a 9m.m., because the excellent grip on this pistol fit her hand as well as it fit mine. Recoil became controlable for her, where she had difficulty with smaller guns.

I sold a KAHR CW9 because the recoil of the 9m.m. in this small gun was more than I wanted to deal with. I could shoot it, but I did not like to shoot it, so I would not practice enough. I have found that you have to balance the recoil with the size of the gun you want to use.
If it is not comfortable to shoot, then nothing else matters because you will be using it under the worst possible conditions with little preparation.
If you can shoot the gun comfortablely, you can practice and get used to the gun and shooting the way you may have to in a crisis.

Good luck,
Jim

Robert101
August 27, 2013, 07:10 PM
As stated above, let her shoot a range gun for comparision. I personally have a Browning DBA and my daughters have Bersa 380s. These guns shoot extremely well and recoil is minimal. Most people just don't shoot enough to understand how to manage the recoil. Carrying a gun is no substitue for shooting one.

Walt Sherrill
August 27, 2013, 07:17 PM
In fact, the majority of 380 owners shoot FMJ ammo for SD.
Where did you get this information? The majority of 380 owners don't shoot in self defense.

As I read Deer_Freak's comment, he seemed to be saying that those with .380s who carry their weapons in a SD role use FMJ as their carry ammo. Maybe he should have written "carry .380" rather than "shoot .380" for maximum clarity , but I think most reasonable folks understood his point.

As for your claim? Probably correct, but how can we EVER know for sure?

I've not found any convincing tests or evaluations that show whether FMJ or HP is more effective for that caliber in a SD role.

I found the Kel-Tec P3AT and Ruger LCP, both small, light .380s, to be almost brutal to shoot.

mountain_man
August 27, 2013, 10:15 PM
First let them pick out their own gun, but I understand putting together a list of reliable and good quality guns for them to pick from. Second if they do want something really small then have them try the Smith and Wesson Bodyguard 380. I did this for a lady who was wanting to find a carry gun, and she picked out the BG 380 and loves it. I even took her to a gun show so she could see options other than 380's, but she handled the BG 380 and fell in love with it. Also the recoil is mild with it. However, it does have a long da trigger pull that takes some getting used to but doesn't bother her or me for that matter. The slide is fairly easy to rack, the little lady who got it was able to rack it with no problems, and it is a little heavier than the lcp. She did let me shoot it a little and I was able to put the whole first mag onto a 6x8 steel plate from 7 yards in a decent amount of time. I will also be the first to tell you that I am not that great of a shot.

Walt Sherrill
August 27, 2013, 10:30 PM
Man you should see the hollowpoint wound channel. The HP rounds are also loaded to higher pressures. That makes them less than fun to practice with. But they are the ones to make your pocket pistol much more effective. For trusted sources, Massad Ayoob (who is a member here) is highly recommended.

You may be right about hollowpoint wound channels in the larger (.40, .45) calibers, and I've found some interesting analyses of .38 special and .45 hollowpoint performance on other forums. None of that addresses .380 round performance, however. (And are you saying that Mas Ayoob addressed .380 HP performance?)

Comparative data on .380 performance is not easily found on the internet -- and I've looked. You will find a lot of folks praising their choice of loads, explaining their rationale for their choices, and offering citations from the ammo makers about round performance -- but little in the way of test results or post-mortem analysis.

The issue is made worse by the fact that most of the .380s being purchased nowadays for SD use have very short barrels, which reduces the performance potential of the round.

If I remember correctly, the guns used by the FBI (S&W .38 special revolvers and 9mm S&W semi-autos) in the infamous 1986 Miami shootout against used Silvertips (in 115 gr rounds?). Those guns had longer barrels and fired more potent rounds, with heavier bullets than the .380 -- and there were some real issues with round performance. Those issues led to the FBI using 10mm semi-autos and, after that experiment didn't work for them, to the development of the .40 S&W round for FBI use. While rounds have IMPROVED since 1986, I would be suprrized if the .380s being offered today outperform the Silvertips used in the Miami shootout.

If you (or anyone else reading, here) have access to good data about FMJ and HP .380 performance, please share it with us, perhaps via some links...

stressed
August 27, 2013, 11:51 PM
Do you have a link where he mentions the FMJ round deflecting? You also have to remember, a pig head is much more robust and thicker then a human's head. Still, that's pretty nuts. I have culled various animals with a .380, and even a JHP penetrated into the brain cavity.

Even deer are tougher in general then a human. Could have something to do with them living and sleeping outside, having to forage/work for their own food, evade predators, etc. I believe a deer of 150lbs being shot isn't going down as easy as a person of 150 lbs.

cheesebigot
August 28, 2013, 12:34 AM
.380 is going to do the job just fine, especially out of a gun that is easily managed by the shooter. I'm surprised there has been no mention of the CZ 83 in this thread.

javjacob
August 28, 2013, 01:54 AM
There are quite a few .380 & 9mm pistols that are a handful. The laws of physics cannot be denied.
See above. There are many very experienced shooters who develop a flinch from shooting high powered guns

there are ways to stop yourself from flinching. A 9mm isn't a hard recoiling gun and with some training anyone can handle one just fine. Its not like we are talking about a 44mag or a 500 S&W mag. the flinch is all in your head and you have to train yourself not to do it. I used to box for many years and when I first started I had to be trained not to flinch or close my eyes when getting hit like a lot a beginners. Now that was years ago but I believe that boxing helped me mentally with high powered guns. flinching is a habit that can be broken with training.
So all I am saying is don't buy the wife a gun she will outgrow unless she isn't at all serious about it. I make my wife shoot my guns on occasions... she really didn't like my 12 gauge at first but after she shot a few clays she was enjoying it. just got to learn the techniques and the do's and don'ts.

javjacob
August 28, 2013, 02:00 AM
Go to your local trap club and watch the guys who have been competition for decades and all of those release triggers because of flinching. Flinching is caused by exposure to too much recoil over a period of time. Too many wannabe macho folks who think THEY know what their wife wants without asking her because they think they can handle it - no different than the idiots who buy their wives scandium J frame 357s with a box of full power loads................

big difference in a 9mm and a 357mag! I would never buy my wife a 357mag. 357mag is PLENTY of gun for self/home defense

onthehunt
August 28, 2013, 07:08 AM
Have you considered the Ruger LCR in .22 mag?

TarDevil
August 28, 2013, 09:17 AM
javjacob, it's not just about caliber. A 9mm in a 30 oz gun is a soft shooter. In some of the pocket pistols under 15 ozs, it is more than a handful. A .357 in a Ruger Blackhawk is manageable, but in a scandium J frame is punishing. Yes, technique can help with those light guns, but it still can be painful for even seasoned gun users. If this kind of math doesn't make sense to you, I question how much experience you've had shooting them.

Torian
August 28, 2013, 09:25 AM
I carried hot FMJ or HP in my SIG 232 depending on the weather. If I was looking to shoot through multiple layers of clothing, I tended to lean towards a FMJ round. In warmer weather, always a HP.

The right .380 load can definitely do the job. If I still had my 232, I would be shooting this load from Underwood as my HP load:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgkyazkngus

Fryerpower
August 28, 2013, 10:15 AM
I carried hot FMJ...]

Where do can you find data on the amount of powder in a round? The weight of the bullet is easy to find. How about how much powder they stuck in there, how "hot" it is?

FWIW, I did not notice a difference in felt recoil between the defensive JHPs I shot and the FMJs I shot. All out of a TCP.

Jim

2A Apparel 757
August 28, 2013, 11:06 AM
9mm all the way, not much bigger in size, if it's a sub, I prefer 9mm everytime.

funnelcake
August 28, 2013, 11:18 AM
While the .380 round is slightly less potent than 9x18 and 9x19

The .380 & 9x19 are not even in the same ballpark in terms of ultimate capability. The above is like equating .38 Special and .357 - wrong.

Funnel

Walt Sherrill
August 28, 2013, 11:35 AM
While the .380 round is slightly less potent than 9x18 and 9x19

The .380 & 9x19 are not even in the same ballpark in terms of ultimate capability. The above is like equating .38 Special and .357 - wrong.
You're right, and I agree. I should have inserted "and even less potent than the 9x19..."

My intent, however, wasn't to equate the rounds, but to point out that the less potent .380 round can very unpleasant to shoot if the gun isn't large, heavy, or doesn't fit the hand well.

bdickens
August 28, 2013, 11:35 AM
I'm not sure he was giving you MARITAL advice, as observing that an awful lot of men buys guns for their wives or girl friends, with the best of intentions, but often have limited success.... The whole process often seems to go better when the woman involved plays an active part in the selection process; it can get expensive, otherwise...

Bingo.

...My wife isn't keen on the idea of her carrying....

...I am intent on getting her to get carry...

Yeah. 42 years or not, it doesn't take a PhD in Psychology to see trouble lurking. I've only been at this married thing for 10 and I know better.

javjacob
August 28, 2013, 11:43 AM
javjacob, it's not just about caliber. A 9mm in a 30 oz gun is a soft shooter. In some of the pocket pistols under 15 ozs, it is more than a handful. A .357 in a Ruger Blackhawk is manageable, but in a scandium J frame is punishing. Yes, technique can help with those light guns, but it still can be painful for even seasoned gun users. If this kind of math doesn't make sense to you, I question how much experience you've had shooting them.

Wait? Why does the story keep getting twisted? This thread is about 380 vs 9mm. I picked the 9mm over the 380. The debate wasn't over a full sized heavy 380 vs a mini frame feather weight 9mm? Why would you compare apples to oranges? Why not compare apples to apples? Both the 380 and 9mm are about the same size but the 9mm is better performing and the ammo is cheaper. Neither are hard to shoot in the right gun. I don't like lightweight guns and would never own one so I don't see how that would make me inexperienced?

Fryerpower
August 28, 2013, 11:50 AM
Fryepower
Your observation was correct but it depends on the manufacturer. Some JHP are for expansion only, others for expansion and penetration. The latter is supposed to penetrate heavy clothing, especially leather, before expanding. The FMJ vs JHP discourse is nothing new. It is anyone's personal decision. Just better when it is an informed decision. I have no dog in this, um, discussion. When get home will try to find the quotes.

Back in post 10 I listed what I have put through it:
This is what has been put through it so far:
MFG Case Bullet Grain Number shot
Blazer Brass FMJ ? 24
Hornady Brass JHP Z-Max 90 6
Fiocchi Brass JHP 90 29
Tula Steel FMJ 91 6
Winchester Brass Flat FMJ 95 0
Winchester Brass JHP Silver Tip 85 1
Total Shot 66

Yanking numbers out of ... the air, I would expect the Hornady and the Winchester Siler tips to have the most punch. I just picked up a box of Remington Golden Saber and would expect it to be up there also. Agreed I only shot 6 rounds of the Hornady and one of the Silver tip, but I did not notice any difference in felt recoil. Maybe the gun just fits me. Maybe the Pachmeyr grip makes all of the difference in the world. Maybe I need to blow through two boxes of the good stuff and see if my hand starts to hurt. But honestly, I did not feel much of a difference, if any.

The felt recoil SHOULD be higher with higher powder loads and similar bullet weights. I would love to have a FMJ with the powder load of a Golden Saber JHP to use in the winter. I need to start digging and find out how much powder each one of these has in it.

Jim

TarDevil
August 28, 2013, 11:53 AM
My wife isn't keen on the idea of her carrying....

I am pushing her to carry for her own safety.

This is just my personal belief: If an individual isn't interested in carrying or shooting, it is unwise to force guns on them. Too easy for them or someone else to get hurt by someone who isn't passionate enough to read, learn, practice and be proficient with both handling and shooting guns. My best friend ASKED me to teach her to shoot the shotgun and she did excellent. She practices with it. It is her bedside companion. If the time comes she asks me to help her be proficient with one of my handguns, then we'll start shopping.

I would not venture advice to the OP about pushing his wife to carry. I do worry about the consequences of pushing a gun into the hands of an unwilling individual.

javjacob
August 28, 2013, 12:00 PM
Lets not forget the most important part. Make sure you do plenty of research on the specific gun you are interested in buying. I remember my wife wanted a pink lady, the charter arms small lightweight snub nose 357mag revolver... in pink. I told her that she would shoot it once and it would hurt so bad that she would never want to shoot it again and she wouldn't even be able to hit her target. She insisted that was the gun she wanted because she didn't want a big and heavy gun so I had her try out a few different guns and had her watch a few videos of people shooting the pink lady and she quickly changed her mind about it. She now knows that smaller light weight guns aren't easier to handle.

jrdolall
August 28, 2013, 12:10 PM
There is no right answer to this question. As it has been pointed out there are plenty of 9mms that have less recoil than some of the .380s. 9mms generally weigh more which is a concern when carrying. Pocket 380s, at least the ones I have shot, have a pretty snappy recoil.

All I can say is that it is far better to get a lot of guns in her hands and let her "feel" them. If you have a friend with a lot of guns then let her shoot several. I am not opposed to some of the small 22lr pistols if that is what it takes to get someone comfortable with a gun. If she really enjoys shooting then I seriously doubt this will be the only gun she ever owns.

Fryerpower
August 28, 2013, 12:27 PM
I am not opposed to some of the small 22lr pistols if that is what it takes to get someone comfortable with a gun.

We have a winner!

I was trying to get my wife familiar with our house gun. The service sized 9mm feels great in my hands, but she kept flinching! After half a box of ammo (at 25 cents a shot) and nothing hitting the target we stopped. I researched and bought a .22 with the same form factor. A bit smaller, but all of the controls are in the same spot. She hit paper on the first shot and was very comfortable shooting it. We did that for 50 rounds and then switched back over to the 9mm. No flinching, on target on every shot.

The next step is to start slipping some snap caps into the magazine mix to work on failure drills.

herrwalther
August 28, 2013, 02:05 PM
The first thing to realize when you are helping your wife shop for a gun is you WILL be wrong. About nearly everything. My wife went through 4 handguns before she settled on a firearm she liked enough to carry: a Bersa Thunder. She had a S&W Bodyguard .380, Kel-tec P3-AT, Taurus M327, and an AMT Backup .380 that became mine. She hated all of them. My next recommendation was a Walther PPK/S. She handled one at a gun show and immediately didn't like it. The safety was too far, trigger too far, heavy trigger etc etc. But the Bersa Thunder is almost a direct clone of the PPK/S but like I said, wrong. She didn't want any pink anywhere near her firearm, but she bought a pink handled Bersa with the pink sights. The sights are cute but the grips had to go.

Rentals will be your friend during this stage of picking out a gun for her. Even better if you have friends with guns for her to try.

Walt Sherrill
August 28, 2013, 02:57 PM
Yanking numbers out of ... the air, I would expect the Hornady and the Winchester Siler tips to have the most punch.

A heavier bullet doesn't necessarily mean heavier recoil, if the powder pushing it isn't a lot greater, too.

That's the problem with trying to evaluate stuff like this on paper. As you say, you didn't notice a lot of differences between many of the loads.

I'll continue to look for some comparative data for various .380 rounds -- but don't expect to find much, at least as it applies to the smaller .380 guns.

rtrwv
August 28, 2013, 03:01 PM
Got myself a 238 had to buy a 2nd for the wife cause she likes to she it so much. She said it was so easy on her using corbon 90gr jhp.
Forgot to add bought a third for my brother after he jonesed for mine.

Fryerpower
August 28, 2013, 03:09 PM
A heavier bullet doesn't necessarily mean heavier recoil, if the powder pushing it isn't a lot greater, too.


I wasn't trying to imply that it has and effect one way or another. It was more of a "minimize variables" kind of statement. :)

Jim

HighExpert
August 28, 2013, 11:52 PM
My wife has arthritis in both hands and is recoil sensitive because of it. Her favorite gun is an older Beretta 84. She fired in excess of 1500 rds through it in her two day S&W pistol course and had no problems. She also owns a Pocketlite, a Sig 230 and a Ruger LCP. The Beretta is her go to gun. I have heard the tales of .380s being ammo sensitive and I just haven't seen it. There are some hollowpoints that some guns don't like but that is why you test. The Critical Defense ammo feeds and fires every .380 I have tried them in and we own 9 different .380s. Let her shoot the gun and then decide. You cannot buy her a gun that will be the "best" for her. One other point, I have seen several comments about the "wimpy" ammo. My wife has trained to get off multiple rounds very quickly. At 20yds she will hit a half size silhouette 13 times in less than 5 seconds. Each bullet may be wimpy, but how do you feel about 13 of them?

Dave P.
August 29, 2013, 10:52 AM
I'm going to wander off here and suggest she try a Ruger LCR in .38
These are lightweight, soft shooting with a very nice stock trigger.
No slide to screw with and no feed issues.
For someone who is not a "shooter" they are a pretty good choice.
Lots of different loads avail. to tailor the recoil to the shooter/task.
Dave

bdickens
August 29, 2013, 10:55 AM
There is no right answer to this question. As it has been pointed out there are plenty of 9mms that have less recoil than some of the .380s. 9mms generally weigh more which is a concern when carrying. Pocket 380s, at least the ones I have shot, have a pretty snappy recoil.

All I can say is that it is far better to get a lot of guns in her hands and let her "feel" them. If you have a friend with a lot of guns then let her shoot several. I am not opposed to some of the small 22lr pistols if that is what it takes to get someone comfortable with a gun. If she really enjoys shooting then I seriously doubt this will be the only gun she ever owns.
And some women can easily handle and even prefer a .45!

jrdolall
August 29, 2013, 02:22 PM
And some women can easily handle and even prefer a .45!

True and I know quite a few of them but none that carry a .45 though I am sure plenty do. I have never met anyone that started out learning to shoot with a .45 though, once again, I have no doubt that plenty of people do.

The_Armed_Therapist
August 29, 2013, 08:09 PM
The .380 is less powerful, but in smaller frames than the 9mms. In general, I'd say the felt recoil is similar for this reason. Exceptions exist--such as the Diamondback DB9. In other words, the Ruger LC9 and the Ruger LCP are comparable in recoil. It then becomes a matter of concealability (.380) vs. controllability (9mm), in my opinion.

rick melear
August 29, 2013, 08:42 PM
If you can find her one a Beretta 84 is perfection

javjacob
August 30, 2013, 02:58 AM
why do so many people act like the 45acp is such a bad @$$? sure its a big caliber bullet but its only around 400 ft lbs of muzzle energy and around 900 fps. rather pathetic really for what it is. compare that to a 9mm which is around 350 ft lbs of muzzle energy and 1200 fps. the 9mm is no slouch for what it is.

the 380 is only around 200 ft lbs of muzzle energy and around 950 fps... that's barely half of what a 9mm is.

the 357mag is around 600 ft lbs of muzzle energy and around 1500 fps
the 44mag is around 800 ft lbs of muzzle energy and around 1400 fps

Deer_Freak
August 30, 2013, 09:11 AM
Where did you get this information? The majority of 380 owners don't shoot in self defense.



They do, and it may be. What is your point?
My point is you are misinformed.

http://www.ballistics101.com/380_acp.php

Pilot
August 30, 2013, 09:18 AM
If you can find her one a Beretta 84 is perfection
I think the Beretta 84/85 series is the best .380 pistol out there. I own, and sometimes carry an 85FS. It is still a blowback with a bit of snappiness to the felt recoil. If I were recoil sensitive, I'd prefer a locked breech action to reduce felt recoil.

Walt Sherrill
August 30, 2013, 09:46 AM
The CYNIC in me keeps wanting to speak out in these types of discussions.

First, I appreciate the link to the Ballistics Comparison for the various .380 rounds, above. That's the best comparison I've seen.

I was surprised to see, however that many of the rounds cited showed only modest improvements in ballistic performance over the standard FMJ round unless you went to +P loads. And I find from other sources, that just looking at the ballistic performance stats isn't necessarily meaningful.

What I haven't seen is actual analysis of the PERFORMANCE of these or other rounds in real-world tests. Does a hollowpoint round really perform differently (is it more effective) than a FMJ, when it encounters something other than ballistic gelatin? Is a HP round as competent in crossing several layers of clothing as a FMJ round, etc.

Muzzle energy is a topic that gets discussed on the forums, as does velocity. But we're talking about a .380, here, and I'm beginning to think that while I don't want to be shot with ANYTHING (be it .22 or .380, or 9mm), some of these comparisons are a bit like arguing about whether a pointed stick that is sharper is better than one that's not so sharp.

If ballistic performance -- as applied to the proposed target -- is so darned important, why are we talking about .380s? It seems that everyone is looking for excuses to use a smaller caliber weapon when they really know that a larger caliber weapon is what's called for!!

Deer_Freak
August 30, 2013, 10:27 AM
Gentlemen, for the sake of clarity, please don't confuse the measurable recoil with the perceived recoil; and the (cheaper) round nose 380 FMJ with the defensive, much harder kicking hollowpoints.

Here is where you were misinformed. This is the statement that started the entire exchange. The chart at ballistics 101 shows that very few hollow points are loaded to a higher velocity than FMJ.

Most shooters do shoot FMJ ammo in a 380 because it lacks the velocity to make a hollow point expand. The only thing a 380 has going for it is penetration. I doesn't make very much energy. For comparison, a 22 wmr shot from a rifle makes around 320 ft lb of energy at the muzzle. A 380 makes around 200 ft lb of energy at the muzzle.

Walt Sherrill
August 30, 2013, 10:52 AM
Most shooters do shoot FMJ ammo in a 380 because it lacks the velocity to make a hollow point expand. The only thing a 380 has going for it is penetration.

When I once carried .380, I did use HP ammo -- but only because it SEEMED the best thing to do. It was difficult to find .380 HP ammo, and quite expensive. To further complicate matters, I never found evidence that it would expand AND penetrate sufficiently to do what was needed. Neither did I find that FMJ would perform as it should. There just isn't much information available that addresses the PERFORMANCE of the .380 round, other than ballistic summaries, as linked above.

Ballistic summaries are arguably better than nothing, but they aren't exactly predictive of real-world performance. How do we get the info needed to make better choices?

I quit carrying .380 because of this question mark.

I now have two small 9mms (a Kel-Tec PF9 and a Kahr CM9). I prefer the PF9, but when I shoot it, I find it more difficult to shoot well than other guns -- probably because I use other guns more often. I had the same problem with the Kel-Tec P11: after the first few rounds I was zinging them where they needed to go, but the first couple were not on target. For a carry weapon that isn't shot regularly, that's a problem. (Not a gun problem -- a shooter problem.) I seem to do better with the CM9, and will be using it more regularly at the range, as I grow accustomed to it. It may then be promoted to my carry gun (if I don't "upgrade" to a PM9, or return to the P9 I once had.)

huntsman
August 30, 2013, 10:52 AM
If ballistic performance -- as applied to the proposed target -- is so darned important, why are we talking about .380s? It seems that everyone is looking for excuses to use a smaller caliber weapon when they really know that a larger caliber weapon is what's called for!!

Because the wonderful world of plastic has made it possible to actually carry a small lightweight gun and for the vast majority of CCW owners carry is all we're ever going to do. So is a large caliber really necessary? Strip away the macho gunfighter mentality and factor in the fact that 6 out of 7 people survive GSW with medical treatment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tku8YI68-JA&list=FLXrSwuTJsKa6YUlPWP95QRQ one can conclude that the odds of using your CC are infinitesimal and the odds of killing someone with a handgun are only slightly better regardless of big vs small caliber.

Deer_Freak
August 30, 2013, 11:11 AM
@Walt Sherrill, I usually carry a 9mm or a 357. But my wife doesn't wear uniform pants or jeans that will support a larger pistol. Her clothes are quite sheer. She uses a flashbang holster a lot because her blouse is to short/sheer for a belly band holster. A Kel Tec P-3AT is the only gun we have that will work with a flashbang holster. She would much rather have a larger caliber but a 380 beats a rock every time.

Mouse guns have been around forever. Mouse guns are used by everyone from women in skimpy clothing to FBI agents. No one is making an excuse to carry a mouse gun. A mouse gun in a persons pocket is 100% better than a 27 oz gun sitting in a safe.

SEDurbin
August 30, 2013, 11:27 AM
+1 to this.-----> "A mouse gun in a persons pocket is 100% better than a 27 oz gun sitting in a safe." End of Story.

Walt Sherrill
August 30, 2013, 11:54 AM
Mouse guns have been around forever. Mouse guns are used by everyone from women in skimpy clothing to FBI agents. No one is making an excuse to carry a mouse gun. A mouse gun in a persons pocket is 100% better than a 27 oz gun sitting in a safe.

Mouse guns have been around forever, but for many decades they fell out of favor. You might ask why that is -- why did they fall out of favor? It is only recently, when smaller, lighter .380s were developed, that they regained an audience.

I know a number of LEO, and a few of them have mouseguns -- as a backup, final resort, not as their primary self-defense weapon. I'm sure that's the case with the FBI, where a Glock .40 is the issue weapon.

My son is a State Trooper, and I gave him a P3AT -- which a number of his peers used; he later sold it and got a PF9. He used it some and tried shooting it at the greater distances required in our state when using a personal weapon on the job. Have you tried shooting a .380 at 20 yards? That's clearly a stupid requirement for a BUG, but the requirement is what it is.

One participant (looking back, I see it was YOU) said his wife simply can't find a better weapon, given the constraints of her size and the clothing she must wear. Good point, and I don't have a problem with that rationale. But a lot of the folks arguing FOR .380 here aren't small-framed women who wear clothes that make concealing a handgun a concern. Apparently, for them, it's just more convenient. That participant said he carried a 9mm or .45. If you have no other choice, use a 380. But, I think many have other, better choices.

Another responder made the point that the actual likelihood of being in an armed fight is almost infinitesimally small. I think he's right. But, what are the odds of one of those very rare confrontations coming out successfully on your part, if you use a .380 rather than something larger?

Nobody has an answer to that question -- or, if they do, they've not shared it where I can find it. A .380 may be an effective self-defense weapon. I simply don't know. But I think until I know more than I do now, I'm going to rely on something a bit more potent. The arguments about caliber continue, but a lot of the rationales used in the debate seem based on emotion, a conspicuous lack of facts or evidence, or arguably faulty logic.

jimbo555
August 30, 2013, 12:57 PM
For many decades mouseguns fell out of favor? Which decades? I've been around since the 50's. Walther ppks in 32acp and 380 always have been popular. Browning 25's and 380's were around throughout the 50's and 60's and 70's. The mauser hsc,beretta 70 and 80 series,still popular. I'm sure there is many more I forgot.

TarDevil
August 30, 2013, 01:11 PM
Her clothes are quite sheer. She uses a flashbang holster a lot because her blouse is to short/sheer for a belly band holster.

I picked my carry gun for different criteria that what I wore. Then I changed my style of dress for the gun.

Walt Sherrill
August 30, 2013, 01:23 PM
For many decades mouseguns fell out of favor? Which decades? I've been around since the 50's. Walther ppks in 32acp and 380 always have been popular. Browning 25's and 380's were around throughout the 50's and 60's and 70's. The mauser hsc,beretta 70 and 80 series,still popular. I'm sure there is many more I forgot.

I guess your definition of "popular" and mine are quite different.

Want to compare the number of 9mm or .40 semi-auto solds in the past 40 years to the number of .32 or .380 semi-autos sold? The FJstadt Blue Book probably has SOME production figures for these various guns.

For a number of years, priot to the middle of the last century, small semi-autos were popular, a sort of "gentleman's gun." I don't think that has been the case for quite some time.

huntsman
August 30, 2013, 02:33 PM
For many decades mouseguns fell out of favor? Which decades? I've been around since the 50's.

Colt quit making their small caliber pistols after WWII I don't know when they started up again but in a Gun digest from the 60's I have there's an interview with the president of Colt who said they (Colt) had no plans to make man killer guns, so a lot of post war .380 and .32 were imports till 68.

ku4hx
August 30, 2013, 02:47 PM
I don't think mouse guns so much fell out of favor but rather got overshadowed. With the advent of the "Wonder Nines", it just became all the rage (fad?) to have a "smallish" pistol with a magazine that carried a heretofore unheard of number of rounds. Enter the proverbial wagon and people jumping on it.

Knowledgeable gun persons (best not say "gun men" any longer) continued to own, use and carry mouse guns. Mouse guns may have fallen out of favor with makers since it's only natural to meet market demand. But that's a whole 'nother story.

Then along came the infamous 10 round magazine limit. Out of that came the idea if you have to have only 10 rounds you may as well have a gun downsized to meet the criteria. The rest is history and small guns once again became all the rage. Not that the rage ever really disappeared.

Walt Sherrill
August 30, 2013, 05:55 PM
Mouse guns may have fallen out of favor with makers since it's only natural to meet market demand.

Would they have fallen out of favor with the makers if they were still being demanded by the buying public?

I think the new build materials, tough polymers among them, allow that mouse to have a bigger bite.

I don't think there's any question that the new, smaller guns are more concealable, but that doesn't make them have a bigger bite. If you were to use modern ammo used in an older .380, that ammo would likely perform as well in THAT gun as it does in the newer guns (possibly better because of a longer barrel...) One possible improvement is in ammo -- as there are certainly more options for a .380 owner today than was the case in the past.

But, as I've said already, I've not been able to find any meaningful evidence that the old or new ammo really does what it needs to do to be an effective self-defense round.

I'll continue to look for test results and comparisons, but as I've already noted, comparing ballistic performance charts, as in the link provided earlier, only gives you part of the needed information -- evaluating those charts is a lot like the reading the horsepower and torque ratings for a car: interesting, but the real proof is found where the rubber hits the road.

jimbo555
August 30, 2013, 06:44 PM
Walt, have you found any evidence of the 380 not working in a defense situation? I can't find any. Many cops that work the streets say the 380 gets the job done when placed right. Because 9mm and 38spl. are more common police service rounds it's easy to find examples of failures to stop with those calibers.

Walt Sherrill
August 30, 2013, 06:54 PM
Walt, have you found any evidence of the 380 not working in a defense situation? I can't find any. Many cops that work the streets say the 380 gets the job done when placed right. Because 9mm and 38spl. are more common police service rounds it's easy to find examples of failures to stop with those calibers.

People who work in the emergency room also say that .22s get the job done, when placed right. Placing them right is the challenge.

The lack of evidence, for either argument (pro or con), however, is not evidence.

Do you have non-anecdotal evidence that the .380 round -- in either FMJ or HP, in any of a variety of loads -- is (or is likely to be) effective? That's what I'm looking for.

I don't claim that .380 ISN'T effective. I just say that I've seen no evidence, either way -- and until I do, I'm avoiding .380 as a SD weapon. (Been there, done that.)


.

Snowdog
August 30, 2013, 08:19 PM
I'm late to the party, but in case it hasn't been said yet... a Sig P238 has some mild recoil, especially the HD model that is all stainless. My P238HD is one of my most often carried pistols. It's heavy for such a small pistol, but recoil is about as mild as can be had in a .380acp.

Walt Sherrill
August 30, 2013, 08:51 PM
I don't think any older 380s ranked as mouse guns. Those were the Brownings and the Colts in 25ACP, maybe on a rare occasion a 32.

I didn't think I called the older .380s mouseguns. But, that said, some of the older .380 aren't particularly big guns. Star made the Firestar, which was reasonably small, and then there's the Colt Mustang, either in it's original form or the newer version. (SIG seems to like that design, as the 238 is clearly based on the Colt Mustang design.) Others here have mentioned larger .380 pistols, like the Beretta 84 and there's also the Bersa.

I simply said that some of the older .380s -- and the Beretta immediately comes to mind -- will outperform the newer mouse guns. The big attraction of the new guns is their smaller size, weight, and the ease with which they can be concealed. (One guy I met wore his Kel-Tec P3AT on a chain around his neck...)

You wrote that the new technology and materials give the new mouse guns a BIGGER BITE but, in fact, I'd argue they DON'T have a bigger bite. The new technology and materials simply helps make them smaller and lighter. The same round fired in the older guns will perform as well or better than in the new mouse guns.

jimbo555
August 30, 2013, 09:08 PM
Walt, I found one news report in the Washington post.I don't know how to post the link,but in 2003 a Indiana state trooper Scott Patrick was killed with 1 shot from a feg 380 that went in the officers shoulder and pierced his heart. The killer was shot twice by the officer and lived. He was convicted and sent to prison for life. The report doesn't state the caliber of the officers gun.

jimbo555
August 30, 2013, 09:10 PM
I own a Beretta 84bb and it is one of the best 380's ever made in my opinion!

Walt Sherrill
August 30, 2013, 10:58 PM
Walt, I found one news report in the Washington post.I don't know how to post the link,but in 2003 a Indiana state trooper Scott Patrick was killed with 1 shot from a feg 380 that went in the officers shoulder and pierced his heart. The killer was shot twice by the officer and lived. He was convicted and sent to prison for life. The report doesn't state the caliber of the officers gun.

Probably up close and personal, just like most SD guns will be used. Likely a PA-63.

Thanks for that.

Gary A
August 31, 2013, 03:30 PM
I read about every thread and every post I come across regarding .380 vs 9mm and the pros and cons of each. Partly because I like some of the guns in .380 very much, also like 9mm, and am wondering about a possible future of shortages, ammo-scarcity, having to make do with what one can find, etc and thinking .380 ball might actually be a better choice than 9mm ball in most situations, should it come to that, because it penetrates enough and over-penetrates less than 9mm ball.

My point here, though, is merely to observe with a chuckle and a shake of the head, how these threads almost always result in most posts advising people to go for the most powerful round and, yet, it is easy to find other threads going on simultaneously where people suggest all kinds of things for their wives, mothers, aging fathers, etc., etc. and seem quite comfortable suggesting these people carry .32 acp, .380, .38 special target wadcutters, and so on.

I realize something is better than nothing and the idea of carrying the most powerful round possible makes a lot of sense, but if the smaller rounds are simply not enough, I wonder why so many people are comfortable with their wives, mothers and aging fathers carrying them?

BLB68
August 31, 2013, 04:19 PM
Ruger has a YouTube channel. On said channel, there is a series called Ruger Tactical Pocket Pistol Tips. In the video on Open Hand Fighting (close in, warding off with your weak hand, contact/near contact distance shooting), the instructor makes a very salient point around 2:22:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqqQky0SmYo

Video's short so after skipping the intro, no real need to fast forward if you want to hear the whole "tip" presented.

jimbo555
August 31, 2013, 07:50 PM
Good video BLB.

Walt Sherrill
August 31, 2013, 10:15 PM
My point here, though, is merely to observe with a chuckle and a shake of the head, how these threads almost always result in most posts advising people to go for the most powerful round and, yet, it is easy to find other threads going on simultaneously where people suggest all kinds of things for their wives, mothers, aging fathers, etc., etc. and seem quite comfortable suggesting these people carry .32 acp, .380, .38 special target wadcutters, and so on.

These "caliber" discussions are a lot like discussions about religion or politics -- lots of opinions, some strongly held, but most of the opinions offered with little supporting facts or evidence, one way or another. It's clear as a bell and any fool can see that X is right....

There's quite a bit of data available about the effectiveness of the larger calibers, but we've not been able to find evidence about the smaller calibers. Some folks seem to feel, for example, that a hollowpoint is a hollowpoint, regardless of caliber -- i.e., it will open up as expected, and do more damage than a FMJ. Others claim, with equal assurance, that FMJ in the smaller calibers are the only way to go, because HPs won't open up from those small, underpowered rounds.

When I picked up my first "pocket gun," a Kel-Tec P3AT, I believed that a HP was a HP. Since that time, I've been looking and looking for facts to support that belief that these smaller calibers will do the job, and simply haven't found it. Haven't found evidence that they WON'T do the job, either. Unhappily, the lack of evidence is not evidence, and there's remarkably little available for either side of the argument about these small calibers.

Why do people suggest these unverified/unproven things for their friends, family, etc.? It's because people often do dumb things, believing they're smart things, and there's not a lot of data around to make it clear that those things are dumb -- or smart.

As for the assertion that one should use the biggest caliber you can handle -- there is a fairly large body of data available about "results" when using the larger calibers, and little available for the smaller calibers. So, for some folks erring on the side of the calibers with "better than no information" seems to be a pretty sensible rationale.

I remember when I bought my first big gun safe, the guy I bought it from told me, "buy the biggest safe you can afford; you'll regret it if you don't."

I didn't, and I don't really regret it -- but I could sure use a larger gun safe, and they cost a lot more, now. Some advice is just common sense, but my pocketbook didn't recognize it for what it was.

BLB68
August 31, 2013, 10:21 PM
The instructor said that the caliber was not making a difference at the contact range. His comment did not extend to 5 or 7 yards, which is still inside the self defense radius, BLB68.

Your thinking is inductive. You begin with a preferred conclusion and work your way back to find supporting evidence. In this case, it is incomplete.

Seems to me you're the one having the thinking problem.

The point is if you put a .380 in someone's head at close range, it's likely to do the job. If you think a few yards is going to sap the energy out of the bullet to the point where that shot would fail, you need to start rethinking.

Try to follow along better before resorting to condescension next time, OK?

RetiredUSNChief
August 31, 2013, 10:23 PM
Go with your wife to a gun range that rents guns and have her try both out.

I've a sister-in-law who got rid of her 9mm in favor of a .380 because of issues related to her hands. She's had several problems with her hands with included some surgeries over the years, and she can no longer handle her old 9mm as well as she used to because of that.

I don't remember what she's got for a 380...I THINK it's a PPK/S, but I'll have to check with her or my brother on that. The recoil is much easier on her hands than her old pistol.

jrdolall
September 3, 2013, 09:49 AM
I am a case in point here. I am not a small person at 6'1" and 225(give or take) but where I live I normally wear short sleeve shirts and shorts at least 9-10 months per year on my normal outings. I have virtually every caliber out there in a sidearm but I continually find myself preferring to carry a pistol in my pocket rather than IWB or OWB because it is just more comfortable for me. For this purpose I prefer the small .380s or maybe the pocket 9's but it comes down to weight more than dimensions for me. The pocket .380s, no need to really list a brand as there are several that are similar, fit easily into my cargo shorts pocket using a pocket holster and the weight of the loaded gun is really not noticeable to me. That is why I carry the .380 most of the time.

I practice with the .380 at ranges out to 10 yards. Draw from the pocket and shoot at a paper target. My accuracy is acceptable at that range.

Is the .380 as effective as a 9mm or the larger calibers? I can't answer that question. I just know that I prefer to carry a gun that I feel comfortable carrying.

tommy.duncan
September 4, 2013, 02:41 PM
My wife shot my PPK and a friends Kahr. She likes her EAA Witness better. I sometimes pocket my PPK. I like the smallie sometimes.

If you enjoyed reading about "380 vs 9mm question" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!