How many of you own a 380?


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viking499
December 27, 2013, 12:44 PM
I hear a lot about people carrying 9, 40, 45 etc. Then I hear about the people carrying a small 380. Then some switch back and forth between both.

Why? Is it due to size of person or pistol, dress, climate, ammo availability or other.

If the 380 does not have the best ballistics or stopping power, why does so many people talk about carrying them?

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decoy562
December 27, 2013, 12:47 PM
Convienence. If I'm dressed where I cannot conceal something bigger, or I'm just running down the street, the 380 fits the bill. I have a Ruger LCP.

Wishoot
December 27, 2013, 01:19 PM
An issue that's been discussed ad nauseam since the beginning of time. There's pros and con's to any caliber. No pistol caliber bullet is ideal.

LAGS
December 27, 2013, 01:34 PM
I have an AMT " Back Up " semi auto with the grip safety.
I bought it back in the 80's and it is reliable enough for consealment when I don't need a larger gun and 5 shots of .380 are better than a Harsh word.
I had a Walther PPK for years, but decided that I could get a compact 9 that isn't much bigger so I sold it.
But the .380 will get the job done up close, and the AMT isn't much bigger than my Jenning's J-22 and has a lot more Boot to the round.

improperlyaged
December 27, 2013, 01:38 PM
If the 380 does not have the best ballistics or stopping power, why does so many people talk about carrying them?

What I find funny is that people some how think that getting shot with a .380 is going to be something like getting hit with water. I carry a .380 due to work, a full size pistol doesn't work well with my uniform. A well placed .380 is far better than a poorly placed anything. If you use .380, get good at it, practice with it till you can't miss.

SharpsDressedMan
December 27, 2013, 01:42 PM
This gives me an opportunity to show off my only .380. I own it mostly for recreation, and to load and shoot cheaper ammo, as I get my .380 brass for free at my outdoor range. ........................................... http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m247/matquig/DSC06296.jpg (http://s106.photobucket.com/user/matquig/media/DSC06296.jpg.html)

Schwing
December 27, 2013, 01:57 PM
I have a Bersa Thunder .380 and a Ruger LCP. I like them both, carry them both from time to time and enjoy shooting them. I also own several other CC appropriate guns in .38, .357, 9MM, and .45. I rotate between them based on a lot of factors.

To me, I follow the philosophy that says the best gun to have when the shtf is the one you are carrying. It is much better to have almost any gun than it is to have the best gun in the world sitting at home in your safe.

gunsablazin
December 27, 2013, 01:58 PM
I have a P3AT, it pretty much stays in my left front pocket. It is a good back up to my 1911, but I take that off when I get to work, the .380 stays. It's always possible to carry a little gun, and it's way better than nothing, I think the .380 is adequate for self defense. I do much prefer my .45 though.

usp9
December 27, 2013, 02:11 PM
Some .380 pistols are among my all time favorites. I own several. I used to carry one but do not currently. There are a few that are classic, world class designs, and these are a joy to own and shoot.

IMHO, the best ever is the Beretta 84/85. Beautiful and reliable as they come.
Sig 9230/232, ditto.
Walther PP series.
Sphinx made the excellent AT-380
CZ used to make a nice CZ83
Bersa has made a gazillion nice .380s.
Daewoo DP380, a clone but among the best ever.

I'd feel safe carrying any of the above. I have carried both Beretta and Sig.

Fleetman
December 27, 2013, 02:11 PM
I have the AMT DAO Back-up, Davis, Ruger LCP, Keltec P3AT, and Sig 238......the Keltec is what gets carried all of the time.

Robert101
December 27, 2013, 02:37 PM
I see nothing wrong with carrying the .380. It does have sufficient penetration capability and light to carry. It is a compromise as most things in life are not perfect. Just like I have more than one hammer, screw driver and automobile; I have more than one gun.

5-SHOTS
December 27, 2013, 02:54 PM
I own a Colt Government 380 stainless and I owned a Beretta 84F. I love my little pretty Colt. My father carried it cocked and locked (mexican style :what:) for many years in the nineties without feeling undergunned one a bit.

GarySTL
December 27, 2013, 03:03 PM
I carried my Ruger LCP when It was inconvenient to carry my Kahr PM40. Now I switch between my Sig P928 and P238 most often. I love the Sigs and shoot them a lot.

jmr40
December 27, 2013, 03:14 PM
My P-3AT can be carried many places where it would be impossible to take a bigger gun. Better than nothing.

2wheels
December 27, 2013, 03:14 PM
They're tiny. Especially guns like the Ruger LCP or KelTec P3AT... They're just ridiculously small yet offer a decent amount of firepower for their size.

Is it the equal of a 9mm or .40 out of a service sized handgun? Nope. But not everybody can or wants to carry one of those all the time, thus you see lots of people with pocket .380s.

mesinge2
December 27, 2013, 03:37 PM
Never had a reason to buy one.

C0untZer0
December 27, 2013, 03:52 PM
The problem that I see with 380 AUTO is the FMJs - even flat nosed, seem to zip right on through 18" blocks of ballistic gelatin, and the most hollow points don't seem to go much deeper than 10"

But this guy on YouTube - ShootingTheBull410 tested a lot of 380 rounds and found a loading of the Hornady XTP by Precision One that did OK:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOwCXXpEP50

If you look at many of the other tests, there were many many rounds that failed to reach 12" through 4 layers of denim.

rockhopper46038
December 27, 2013, 03:56 PM
Sometimes it is just impractical (or impossible) to carry a full size pistol. I have a .380 for those occasions. But quite often I carry both, so perhaps many of the people you are talking about didn't pick a .380 instead of a more powerful caliber, but in addition to a more powerful caliber.

C0untZer0
December 27, 2013, 03:58 PM
The round may also suffer from the fact that it's shot almost exclusively now from small guns with short barrels.

I think it has better terminal ballistics with a longer barrel - like the Tanfoglio FT9 !!!

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=192173&stc=1&d=1386626624

kerreckt
December 27, 2013, 04:29 PM
I carry a KelTec P3AT at all times. It is always in my pocket. There are few other guns you can carry all the time. It is for self defense which I can't imagine would be a running gunfight where I would need more firepower than it offers. It also offers the element of surprise which cannot be overrated. That is why I carry a .380.

GBExpat
December 27, 2013, 04:33 PM
How many of you own a 380?

I have 2, a S/S Walther PPK that I purchased new in the later '80s and a KelTec P-3AT that I bought a year after they came out (~2006?).

Although I usually, now, carry a .45, I often replace it in the right rear pocket of my 501s with the KelTec when I am going somewhere that should be relatively safe, like a friend's house.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y285/Jungesblut/Stuff/P3AT.jpg

It rides very comfortably there, fits all the way into the pocket (so it is much less noticeable) and I can sit on it for extended periods without discomfort. Considering the additional weight of my other back-pocket carry pieces, it is easy to forget that this P-3AT rig is even there.

HexHead
December 27, 2013, 04:43 PM
Cant remember the last time I carried it, but I've got an original steel framed Colt Mustang in the safe.

gamestalker
December 27, 2013, 05:00 PM
I have a couple .380's, and I also carried one pretty regularly for a few years. But it had more to do with comfort, due to the region of the state I lived in at the time. Now days I'm back to carrying a wheel gun most of the time.

GS

Paul7
December 27, 2013, 05:48 PM
Easy to carry, I have a Colt PocketLite Mustang, much better gun that the plastic .380s. Ask me how I know this.

WRGADog
December 27, 2013, 06:39 PM
Kahr P380 when I need exceptionally light weight reliable concealed carry and one of my small 9mm will not work.

Dframe
December 27, 2013, 06:43 PM
I've owned a stainless Walther PP/K for many years now, used as off duty and backup. I've fired thousands of rounds througth it and it has never failed. Is the 380 ideal for self defence? Of course not! But it's flat, easily concealed, and there if you need it. I've also been amused by the folks who seem to think it's like shooting someone with a cap pistol. I even had a local moron tell me that 380s would "bounce off" an assailant.

SleazyRider
December 27, 2013, 06:48 PM
I, too, tote a .380 LCP from time to time, but really enjoy shooting my relatively obscure Sterling .380:
http://i459.photobucket.com/albums/qq315/Magnageek/DSCN2179_zpse151c91d.jpg (http://s459.photobucket.com/user/Magnageek/media/DSCN2179_zpse151c91d.jpg.html)

Valkman
December 27, 2013, 06:50 PM
I have a Russian Makarov in .380 that I bought for $110 way back when, but I've never carried it. I did just loan it to the wife's daughter so she could carry it because the biggest gun she's shot is a 9mm and all I have besides the Mak is .22's and .45's.

dickydalton
December 27, 2013, 06:52 PM
The problem that I see with 380 AUTO is the FMJs - even flat nosed, seem to zip right on through 18" blocks of ballistic gelatin, and the most hollow points don't seem to go much deeper than 10"

But this guy on YouTube - ShootingTheBull410 tested a lot of 380 rounds and found a loading of the Hornady XTP by Precision One that did OK:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOwCXXpEP50

If you look at many of the other tests, there were many many rounds that failed to reach 12" through 4 layers of denim.
12 inches would put the bullet against most people's spine. I'm thinking a few there would do the trick most of the time. if I'm really nervous I'll carry my 44.

dickydalton
December 27, 2013, 06:55 PM
Easy to carry, I have a Colt PocketLite Mustang, much better gun that the plastic .380s. Ask me how I know this.
I had one of them and liked it, but my LCP with the Sweet Pea and Maguts modification beats it, hands down.

Ringer
December 27, 2013, 07:01 PM
I had a P3AT years ago and hated it. The trigger was horrible and the gun was just too small for me. I have nothing against the caliber or the gun. That gun just did not work for me. Now my Kahr PM9 is as small as I go.

clutch
December 27, 2013, 07:01 PM
I have a Bersa 95 in .380. I carried it for a long time and shot it a lot. When I shot a 2x4 (1.5x3.5) and didn't make it though the easy side I bought bigger pistol that was too hard to hide.

Now I have a J frame and it is with me most of the time.

One of those .380 Ruger LCP's look interesting for days when I can't conceal my J frame but then a tip up .32 Beretta Tomcat looks interesting also.

Any functional gun beats no gun. I need to lose weight so I can carry my M&P Compact with out printing or having it drag my pants down.

skoro
December 27, 2013, 07:11 PM
In the long hot Texas summers, I carry my KelTec P3AT more than any of the others in my carry rotation, simply because it's small, light and so easy to conceal.

bobinoregon
December 27, 2013, 07:27 PM
I have a few .380's, most of the time one of them is in whatever car we are driving today. If I'm going to carry it's probably going to be something else just out of habit, but I don't feel unarmed with a .380

kcofohio
December 27, 2013, 09:22 PM
We have 2 Bersa 380 Thunders. Nice shooters, but more bulky than my LC9. Plans are to sell them and get at least 1 LCP.

kokapelli
December 27, 2013, 09:29 PM
Easy to carry, I have a Colt PocketLite Mustang, much better gun that the plastic .380s. Ask me how I know this.
Ok how do you know this?

qwert65
December 27, 2013, 09:32 PM
I carry a lcp it's amazing how light and compact it is- I usually carry it in my watch pocket
I will add that my preferred carry is my XDs

tarosean
December 27, 2013, 09:43 PM
My only 380 is a PPK. I carry it when I wear shorts and a T... Judging by my bright white legs it's not very often!

snooperman
December 27, 2013, 09:47 PM
I have an older Walther PPK, a Mauser Hsc, SIG P230, Ruger LCP, and Taurus TCP. I carry the TCP the most in the Summer months, and a Colt 38 special Agent , or Magnum carry, during the colder months.

The_Armed_Therapist
December 27, 2013, 11:17 PM
My philosophy is that I carry the biggest pistol I can as openly as I can. I don't mean "open carry" necessarily, but like a Tagua slide holster rather than one of those large IWB holsters for large guns. Sometimes, only a small pocket gun will do. While more and more pocket guns are being made in 9mm, .40sw, and .45acp, the .380s still have a slight edge in size.

The_Armed_Therapist
December 27, 2013, 11:21 PM
I also want to add that depending on where you live, where you grew up, and your evolution of attitudes about carrying firearms, it can be difficult to understand others' situations. Surely a rancher in Wyoming would find .380s absurd... but until they've had to be completely hidden in a law office in Boston, they may not understand. Likewise, the Boston attorney may not understand the Wyoming Rancher's perspective of settling for nothing short of 4" .357mag or 1911.

herrwalther
December 28, 2013, 04:41 AM
I have an AMT " Back Up " semi auto with the grip safety.

I had one of those. Really hard to find one of those little guns that isn't a lemon. Mine was made in Covina, CA which was also a rariety for that model. Sold it mostly because I got lots of brass ejected in my face, on top of head, and sometimes over my head and behind me. It wasn't a fan of any hollow points either.

Now I don't have any .380s. At one point there were 5 between the wife and myself. All sold off within 6 months for something that we determined were better. Might consider picking up a Sig P238 or something similar just not anytime soon.

Snowdog
December 28, 2013, 04:52 AM
For me, I tend to carry my Sig238HD on the warmer months when I'm out by myself. If my wife and daughter are out with me, I carry my M&P40c.

When I can get by with a jacket, I carry my M&P40c all the time.

In retrospect, I guess I've doing this for a while. Before I had my 238, I carried a P32 or P64 and before I bought the M&P40c, it was a Bersa UC9. I suppose I carry the smallest thing I feel is appropriate.

1911 guy
December 28, 2013, 05:37 AM
I always tell people to carry the largest caliber in the largest handgun you can conceal. It's the last part that makes the little guns attractive. Otherwise, we'd all be carrying S&W .500 magnums.

I carry a 1911 all the time, but it's a pretty thin gun. If the grip angle, trigger reach or myriad other things that go into handgun fit don't put the 1911 on your list, you look at other guns. And some of those guns are smaller. And sometimes you only have so much leeway in your wardrobe. Dressing around the gun is a bit difficult if you are required to wear a uniform or such.

If my choice was to carry a .380 or go unarmed in some places I go, I'd happily stuff the .380 in my pants and go.

ETA: in the interest of full disclosure, my wife carries a Sig P232, which is a .380.

bannockburn
December 28, 2013, 06:49 AM
For me it can be a case of how small can I go in terms of what time of year it is and what I'm wearing. For those times when less is just right I have three .380 pistols to choose from: a Colt Mustang, SIG P238, and a KelTec P3AT.

horsemen61
December 28, 2013, 07:29 AM
I have a sig p238 and I absolutely love it it eats anything I give it from lead reloads to jhp's I can't say enough good things about it.

Peter M. Eick
December 28, 2013, 08:30 AM
The 380 is not a bad little round. Put it in the right spot and it will get the job done. I own and routinely carry several 380's. Mostly it is the 238 now as I am trying to standardize. When I travel I carry a Browning BDA or Beretta 84F is more of a travel gun. I keeps the calibers the same and 14 shots of 380 is nothing to sneeze at.

You can argue calibers all day, but it is incrementalism. If you say a 9mm is good and a 380 is bad, then I say a 357 sig is good and a 9mm is bad. You say a 357 Sig is good then I say a 10mm is good and the 357 Sig is bad. You say a 45 is good and I say as long as it is a 454 Casull over a 45acp. etc. etc. etc.

GBExpat
December 28, 2013, 10:24 AM
viking499, keep in mind that only a fool would plan on shooting an armed attacker only once in an Imminent Great Bodily Harm or Death encounter.

And, no, to be clear, I am not saying that anyone here is suggesting that, and is, therefore, a fool. ;)

In the ~35 years since I was issued my first VA CWP (and one of the pistols that I carried early-on was a .380 PPK/s), I have always planned to keep shooting center-of-mass, reloading as required, until the threat is removed.

With either my PPK or P3AT, that is 7 rounds prior to reload.

Upwards of 7 rounds, center of mass, with a 9x17 (heck, even with a .22LR) is going to have a major, telling effect.

And that will, almost certainly, be from CLOSE range because if I have the chance to scoot, I will.

Yes, one of my .45s would have the same effect with fewer bullets on-target, but sometimes I just cannot carry and/or conceal such a large/heavy handgun.

witchhunter
December 28, 2013, 10:44 AM
My LCP is always on me when I leave the house to go in to town, it is just so light. I have carried a 1911 and still do on occasion, but compared to the LCP, not often. I usually have my mdl 66 .357 or a mdl 63 .22 mag in the truck though.

Redranger
December 28, 2013, 10:46 AM
My normal EDC is OWB Glock 26 or a LWT 1911 commander. When attire doesn't make that practical, I've got an LCP that I carry in a pocket holster. I end up carrying it most of the time in the summer.

huey148
December 28, 2013, 11:02 AM
Convienence. If I'm dressed where I cannot conceal something bigger, or I'm just running down the street, the 380 fits the bill. I have a Ruger LCP.

Same here

Armybrat
December 28, 2013, 03:04 PM
Own three:

Ruger LCP .380
Colt Government .380
Remington Model 51 .380

Esoxchaser
December 28, 2013, 03:21 PM
My wife and I each have a P238. Mine hardly gets out any more since they came out with the 938.

Yelovitz_503
December 28, 2013, 05:29 PM
I have an Interarms PPK (.380) and I NEVER carry it. I'm usually carrying a Glock 19 (summer) or CZ75 (winter), occasionally I'll carry my .40 cal Sig. I like the idea of a .380 but it's not a caliber I'm fond of. I like the feel of shooting a 9mm or something larger and I really don't mind the extra weight at all. I only carry my PPK on the absolute hottest days of the summer, when even that Glock 19 will be hard to conceal, but mostly it's just for plinking and having a bit of fun.

I don't have giant hands, but I have long fingers so a full size pistol always feels the best (hence the CZ) but that Glock 19 is about as small as I feel comfortable betting my life on. My PPK has another drawback: capacity, as illustrated below up against the other guns I carry.

Glock 17 - 17 round magazine (I bring two)
CZ 75 B - 16 round magazine (I bring two)
Glock 19 - 15 round magazine (again two)
Sig SP2022 - 12 round magazine (I bring two)
PPK - 6 round magazine + 1 in chamber (I only own one mag for this)

I know some people say if you can't close the deal with 7 shots, then another ten won't help... and there is some merit to that, but I feel like if it's a choice between having 7 (PPK) rounds and 32 rounds (CZ) that's not a decision I have to ponder over very long. Personally I just like 9mm, it's a good caliber for what I want out of a pistol and of all the pistols I own 9mm is the only caliber I have more than one of. That being said I would rather carry a .380 into a fight than a .32, or heaven forbid a .25, but it's not the caliber I'd happily bet my life on. Still it's a lot of fun to just plink around and whistle the James Bond theme.

another_luser
December 28, 2013, 11:03 PM
Walther PPKs - I don't carry it but the wife occasionally puts it in her bag...

TennJed
December 28, 2013, 11:20 PM
A handgun is a poor choice for stopping humans, so with any caliber shot placement is key. The 380 is fine for a self defense handgun. If I do my job, the 380 will go its job



There are lots of interesting guns in 380. The round is cheap and easy to reload. It is my favorite plinking round.



I have the following 380s

Beretta 84

CZ 83

Makarov

MPA

Bersa Thunder



Walther PPK is next on list

CommanderCrusty
December 29, 2013, 12:43 AM
Hey, Viking! Would YOU let someone shoot you with a .380?

ALSO

The chances are very good that if you are an honest man with a gun, you will NEVER need to fire it. So, do you want to carry around a 46 ounce 1911 with 2 spare mags, or a 16 ounce .380 that is WAY better than nothing?

cdb1
December 29, 2013, 02:42 AM
I have a CZ 83 and a Bersa Thunder that I alternate carrying with my Colt Cobra and DS. My next purchase will be a Sig P232 so I obviously like .380's. I have shot larger caliber pocket pistols and don't care for them. Nothing wrong with them they are just not for me. I have larger caliber full size pistols but they are not comfortable for me to wear concealed. I live on 800 acres and carry a CZ 75 SP-01 Tactical on my property though.

Of the people who state as fact that a .380 is inadequate I wonder how many have shot or been shot by someone. Without having done that how can they know? I can't prove that a .380 is adequate either since I haven't shot or been shot with one. So I keep my opinion to myself.

In 1976 when I was 17 I did shoot a man with a .38 special in the chest. He was stealing some saddles from our barn. I yelled at him, he fired and missed. I fired and hit him. It was a fatal shot with a wadcutter. I was very lucky b/c I don't claim to be an expert shot with a handgun and the dead guy had a very high blood alcohol content. If he would have been sober I imagine I might not be here today. What I take from the incident all these years later is that it IS shot placement that counts not caliber.

As an aside I continued to hunt but did not pick up a handgun again until 2002.

toivo
December 29, 2013, 03:48 AM
.380? Let's see ... I have a Bersa Thunder, a SIG P232SL, and a CZ 83. I carry the first two occasionally, and I also shoot them for fun at the range. The Bersa is pretty light and shoots well. The SIG is a drop-dead gorgeous pistol and a ball to shoot at the range. The CZ is a bit heavy for a carry .380, but shoots very well. I particularly like the CZ 82/83 platform, and I have one of every caliber: .32, .380, and 9x18mm.

I also have several compact 9mm pistols: Kel-Tec PF9, Beretta Nano, Glock 26. If I ever have to (and I hope I never do) use a handgun to defend myself, I would be more confident of hitting my target with any one of the .380s than with any of the nines except the Glock. A larger gun in a smaller caliber just seems more controllable to me.

I'm really itching to get my hands on a SIG P238.

Shagg
December 29, 2013, 07:27 AM
I own a .380 because I wanted it. I used to own two but a buddy of mine wanted one so we made a trade. The one I kept is a Ruger LCP. It may not be very powerful but I would not want to get shot by it and I don't think anyone else does either.

Phantom Captain
December 29, 2013, 09:58 AM
CommanderCrusty said:
The chances are very good that if you are an honest man with a gun, you will NEVER need to fire it. So, do you want to carry around a 46 ounce 1911 with 2 spare mags, or a 16 ounce .380 that is WAY better than nothing?

This!

I don't see why some people have such a dislike for .380 guns or why they waste so much time and effort trying to discount them. If you don't like them, don't carry/shoot/own one. Does it somehow help you qualify your own choice of carry gun by putting another's down? I really don't get it.

I have three guns that I carry at any time depending on dress and circumstance and feel MORE than comfortable and confident with any one of them. The one that gets carried the most, because it is ALWAYS with me for all the reasons stated above is my 1970 German made Walther PPK/s in .380. If it's summer and I'm dressed super light it will be my PPK in .32 (.32! Blasphemy!). Winter dress or people wearing heavy clothes I'll grab my Bulgarian Mak in 9x18mm. I know them all, I shoot them all regularly, and I'm confident in my ability to use them. I load everyone of them with flat nose hard cast bullets.

All this being said I still defer back to the quote I included from CommanderCrusty. I think that's more the truth of the matter than anything and will choose comfort, exactly for those reasons, over anything else. Comfort and confidence.

For simple self defense, and self defense is what I'm carrying for not full on battle, 8 rounds out of any of my choices is more than enough. It's rare I even carry a spare mag.

1John1:9
December 29, 2013, 10:22 AM
I have no argument that there is very little reason to carry a .380 if you can carry a 9mm or a .45acp. Even a snubbie .38 special is superior in ballistics.

Having said that, I really like carrying my Sig P232. I carry it as a back-up gun in my left front pocket. There are smaller .380s that are comfortable to shoot such as the LCP. There are 9mm guns that are just as small as the P232.

BUT, I LIKE my P232. It is very reliable. I think there are still kinks to be worked out in the locked breach 380's and ultra compact 9mm guns.

heeler
December 29, 2013, 10:36 AM
The beauty of my LCP is the fact that it weighs 12 ounces fully loaded and is so slim no one even knows it is in my right front pocket tucked inside my leather RKBA pocket holster.
I can shoot it better than I could my old snub and again it's easier to carry than the snub.
I like mine so much I bought a second LCP for the off chance that if something ever happened to my daily carry 380 I would have a familiar replacement ready to go.

kokapelli
December 29, 2013, 11:14 AM
The beauty of my LCP is the fact that it weighs 12 ounces fully loaded and is so slim no one even knows it is in my right front pocket tucked inside my leather RKBA pocket holster.
I can shoot it better than I could my old snub and again it's easier to carry than the snub.
I like mine so much I bought a second LCP for the off chance that if something ever happened to my daily carry 380 I would have a familiar replacement ready to go.
It also has a higher capacity than your snub.

irl104
December 29, 2013, 11:43 AM
I have a Colt Mustang stainless and a Smith and Wesson 380 Bodyguard. I like them both. The colt is twice the money as the S&W.

greyeyezz
December 29, 2013, 12:17 PM
My P230 is very light and thin, and deadly accurate. I load a mix of Gold Dots and FMJ.

When you live in an extremely liberal area your weapon 'printing' could induce panic and an unwanted encounter with police.

RainDodger
December 29, 2013, 12:44 PM
Here's mine... I own it, I rarely shoot it, and I never carry it. It's basically bigger than my H&K USP Compact 9mm, so why would I ever carry this? And it's a lot bigger than my baby Springfield XDs .45ACP. It's a very pretty gun though and I can't bring myself to get rid of it. It's quite accurate and it functions very well. Although it's a Browning BDA 380, it is of course made by Beretta. All steel, kind of heavy, but it's a joy to shoot.

http://www.hotelling.com/bda.jpg

Edit: my mistake - aluminum receiver, not steel... it's still heavy though!

mattk
December 29, 2013, 12:58 PM
Colt Govt. 380. Its the gun I carry most. I spent years and large amounts of money on carry guns. The little Colt is the gun I'm least likely to leave at home.

GBExpat
December 29, 2013, 01:14 PM
Here's mine... I own it, I rarely shoot it, and I never carry it.
A beautiful combination of wood & blued steel, form & function ... doesn't get much better than that!

Gorgeous pistol, RainDodger, thanks for the pic!

ritepath
December 29, 2013, 01:25 PM
One day a week I carry either a 45 or 9mm....the other 5-6 my LCP.

With the lcp I can pocket carry it in a pocket holster, or just clip on a little fobus holster. Pick it up and out the door I go, no need for a heavy belt or dig out the proper holster. Don't have to worry about what to wear to conceal it.

Phantom Captain
December 29, 2013, 01:46 PM
Well I guess since we are showing off...

Here's mine. Both are highly prized to me.

1970 Walther PPK/s .380 with custom wood grips

1938 Walther PPK .32

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/1024x768q90/801/m8h5.jpg (https://imageshack.com/i/m9m8h5j)

RainDodger
December 29, 2013, 02:17 PM
I've always liked those little Walthers! Pretty pistols. Just like my BDA though, I wouldn't carry them these days. I'd love to own one though, just to be able to touch it once in a while. Very nice.

Nick Burkhardt
December 29, 2013, 10:50 PM
For her first CC, my wife picked out a Bersa Thunder 380 for its abundant safety features and purddy Satin Nickle finish. I then bought a Bersa Thunder 380CC as my EDC so we could share magazines and ammo.

She rarely carries because she says the Bersa is too heavy. So I am thinking of getting her a lighter and smaller Ruger LC9 or LC380 if she cant rack the slide on the 9mm. I am looking into moving up to a Shield 9mm for myself.

TennJed
December 29, 2013, 11:14 PM
Raindodger I love that BDA, I really want to add one to my collection

Hootus
December 29, 2013, 11:40 PM
I carry a .45 CCO sometimes but the LCP is always with me other times; it's so easy to carry. I also reload. Speer's new manual has some pretty authoritative loading data for .380 including a max load of 4.0gr of WW231 pushing a 90gr Gold Dot bullet. I worked up to 3.9gr and chrono'd that load at an avg of 1,008fps out of my LCP.

In an LCP with extended mag that's a .380 throwing 8 Gold Dot hollowpoints with a power factor over 90 each, in a package so small I often forget it's in my pocket holster. I can (and have) worn it in my swimsuit while docking my boat at the marina with total confidence that it stays concealed. Pretty hard to do that with my .45.

That's why I also own a 380.

RainDodger
December 29, 2013, 11:48 PM
TennJed, thanks for the kind words. The BDA 380 is really a nicely made pistol. That's one reason why I keep it - it's just a nice piece of engineering. Believe it or not, this one has never malfunctioned, though I probably have not put 500 rounds through it total. It's just a bit bigger and heavier than I want in a carry pistol. I have too many others that are similarly sized with more capability, shall we say. It shoots well though and a number of my friends say that they want first shot at it if I ever decide to let it go. If you find a nice one, pick it up. I don't think they'll ever be cheap though. I see them locally, once in a while. They've ranged from $400 for a pretty used one, to $700 for a very, very nice one that looked nearly new.

As for carrying a .380... yeah, I wouldn't want to stand in front of one for sure! It's far better than a rock. For me though, I carry either my .38 Super 4" 1911 or my XDs in .45ACP.

TarDevil
December 29, 2013, 11:59 PM
I have a .380, not worth showing off. Fun for plinking and target shooting.

"Would I want to get shot with a .380?" I wouldn't want to get shot with a pellet gun. But a bad guy full of ill intent isn't thinking, "Does my intended victim carry a .380 or a .500 magnum?" And when the shooting starts, he isn't gonna analyze the size or depth holes my gun makes.

If I do my job and place all the bullets perfectly, nearly any gun would do. Wish I lived in a perfect world.

There's not a thing in my wardrobe that prevents me from carrying my compact 9mm, and that's what goes with me... every time. Business or casual... summer or winter. I make that happen.

It's just a personal choice. I don't carry a gun for the way I dress... I dress for the gun I need to carry, and I feel I do my best with my compact 9mm with a spare 17 mag on my belt or in my pocket. It's the gun that lets me put the most holes in the smallest space in the least amount of time.

Again... it's a personal choice. I get that plenty of people feel adequately armed with pocket .380's, and I very well may be in overkill. But overkill might not be so bad when the chips are in play.

I may change my mind some day. But for now... "altitude above you, runway behind you, and a caliber too small" is my mantra.

amd6547
December 30, 2013, 09:29 AM
I pocket carry a P3AT all the time.
Shooting it made me re-evaluate the 380.
Right now, I have a Beretta 84F on order from Coles Distributing. They have quite a few 84's that are Israeli police surplus at bargain prices, on gunbroker.
Beretta has stopped importing the 84F, so I look at this pistol as a shootable investment. Since I am already buying 380 for my KelTec, I'm not adding another caliber to my line up.
I can't wait to get my new Beretta to the range.

hammerklavier
December 30, 2013, 10:50 PM
the 380 does not have the best ballistics or stopping power I can't think of a single gun that has the best ballistics or stopping power that would fit under my shirt. That said, I alternate between a S&W BG380 and a S&W M&P 40C, depending on what clothes I'm wearing.

arizona98tj
December 30, 2013, 11:20 PM
Before anyone gets upset....I'm posting this only because I used it to kid a friend of mine when he got a .380. I had gotten my Springfield XD-S .45ACP (http://www.stu-offroad.com/firearms/xds/xds45-1.htm) shortly before that and so we had a rivalry going on, so to speak. Don't any get all cranked up about it. It's here just for fun. :D

http://www.stu-offroad.com/temp/xds45.jpg

HGUNHNTR
December 30, 2013, 11:23 PM
I have no problems carrying the .380 acp. It's a gun that always leaves the house, no matter the attire. Better than no gun imo.

MICHAEL T
December 30, 2013, 11:36 PM
Kel Tec , PPK/S , Bersa, or old Colt Mustang depending on where Iam going and weather .

skoro
December 31, 2013, 05:48 AM
Don't any get all cranked up about it. It's here just for fun.

I have both a P3AT and an XDs45 in my carry rotation. I prefer the XDs, but carry the P3AT more often. It's just fits my pockets better. I feel well armed with either, though. That said, I sure like having the 45acp as an option. The little Springer is a nice subcompact.

Rexster
December 31, 2013, 08:10 AM
Arthritis is really starting to hurt my right wrist. It just so happens that Walther PP and PPK/s pistols work very well in either hand, with practical accuracy more like service pistols than pocket pistols, and their recoil is presently below the notably-painful threshold when fired right-handed. I do still carry a 9mm Glock most of the time, for left-hand draw; the PPK/s is more of a replacement for snubby revolver secondary guns, as my right hand is my new weaker hand.

I do, indeed, normally pack a second gun, as for nearly three decades, the taxpayers have expected me to do things that make criminals dislike me. Plus, being functionally ambidextrous, it has seemed sensible to have a weapon accessible to each hand. When I retire, perhaps as soon as mid-2014, I may start carrying a pair of Walthers when I do not feel like dressing around a G17. (I would still like to have the Glock handy, perhaps in my camera bag.)

Working big-city police patrol, I have seen the aftermath of quite a few shootings in which the .380 worked well enough, when well-placed. This has caused me to soften my long-held low regard for the .380 ACP.

Ranger Roberts
December 31, 2013, 08:43 AM
Ahh, the ol'9mm short. I have a few .380's. My favorite is my Walther or possibly my Cheetah. I hit really well with both of them. I have a Ruger LCP in .380 as well but it seems to spend most of it's time in my wife's purse. Lately she has had her eye on the Taurus TCP but hasn't made a decision yet. Anyway, back to the point. They're small and easier to conceal if I am dressed nicely. I hit well with them and the recoil is hardly noticeable for a guy my size.

epoletna
December 31, 2013, 10:39 PM
Walther PPK/s was my carry gun for a long time. Every time I looked at the size of those bullets I wondered if they'd stop anyone. Now I carry a Sig in .40 and don't wonder any longer.

browningguy
December 31, 2013, 10:59 PM
Although I normally carry either a 9mm or .40 on occasion I do step out with a .380, and just added another to the stable. In carryable .380's I've got a couple of Bersas, a S&W Bodyguard, and just added a Walther PK 380. The first 3 are very slim and very easy to carry concealed, the PK 380 has a very easy to rack slide and really light recoil which suits my wife very well (she has RA and has hand strength issues). When I'm walking down to the mailbox, or just running up to Lowes to pick something up it's very convenient to just slip one of these little guns in my pocket and head out. I also shoot these a lot better than similar size 9mm's.

A funny thing I just realized when looking in the desk drawer is that all my .380's have lasers. I actually never meant for that to happen but it just seems to have evolved that way.

JohnKSa
December 31, 2013, 11:25 PM
My primary carry caliber is 9mm, but I can not always dress to accommodate.

In formal situations, I have to go with a smaller gun (which is chambered in .380ACP) and a completely different carry mode.

I carry the .380 between 4% and 17% of the time I carry.

Chocolate Bayou
January 1, 2014, 06:03 AM
If you count the one I bought for my wife to carry in her purse, then I own one. Otherwise I would not have one in my collection. I would much prefer single stack 9mm for the same duties that most people use a .380 for.

leprechaun50
January 1, 2014, 10:04 AM
When my wife and I took our carry class, there was a lady that was approximately 70 yrs old that was shooting a .380 to qualify. After she shot her 50 rounds from various distances the instructor went up to her target and placed his hand over the heart area on the target. All the rounds fired had hit the target in the area covered by his hand. I don't know what brand pistol she was shooting, but obviously it would serve her well.

Actually there were several targets placed one on top of the other after each course. By the time he got to the back target there was one hole that fit under his hand.

This obviously wasn't her first rodeo.

lobo9er
January 1, 2014, 10:19 AM
I thought that was a good ad for the xds. Still the xds is bit big for pocket carry compared to a lil 380's. I personally like the 380 alot, but I would enjoy owning a xds too. Carrying anything bigger than a 380 all day isn't possible for me, I think theres plenty others who feel the same.

TUBBY1
January 2, 2014, 01:03 PM
Easy to carry, expensive to shoot, still I need one. Lcp with crimson trace still my best pocket pistol. Bond arms ck2000 fits pocket but weighs too much. 380 wins best pocket pal. The rest are belt or holster. Not my favorite gun but my favorite conceal in light or summer clothing.

jimbo555
January 2, 2014, 01:34 PM
Beretta 84bb is the only 380 I own, it's a pleasure to shoot and easy on the eyes.

Eb1
January 2, 2014, 02:32 PM
I enjoy my Bersa .380. It is accurate, and in 500 rounds hasn't failed once. Great to carry IWB, also.

aarondhgraham
January 2, 2014, 04:37 PM
A Beretta Cheetah Model 85,,,
And a Bersa Thunder 380.

I like medium sized pistols with low recoil,,,
The Beretta Cheetah lives in my briefcase/holster,,,
The Bersa Thunder is just something I wanted to own one of.

I have every caliber from .22 rimfire through .44 Magnum,,,
I feel perfectly safe and well-armed with my 380's.

Aarond

.

Eb1
January 2, 2014, 05:29 PM
I was with some armed forces guys who do special missions at a bond fire on NYE. He asked what I had on me as we shoot together, and he knows I have a few different carry guns.
I told him I had my Bersa 380 on me. He didn't know I had gotten one. The first words out if his mouth was "a good round", and he wasn't being sarcastic.
I was shocked. That he said "a good round" as I thought he was going to be one of the bashers.

Smith357
January 2, 2014, 07:48 PM
The whole point of carrying is to carry, so it's nice to have something to use when the .45 or .357 is just too big. Is the little pocket .380 the best, no, but when you need a gun, it's better than that .45 left at home.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y266/smith357/armory/IMG_9389.jpg

420Stainless
January 2, 2014, 08:19 PM
Bought a PPK/s long before the polymer .380s hit the market, primarily for pocket carry. When the Kel-Tecs first came out I decided to hold out for the small 9s, then messed around long enough that the PM45 came out. I skipped over all those smaller bores. However, an 8oz .380ACP still has a great deal of appeal as far as ease of carry goes.

LT.Diver
January 2, 2014, 08:26 PM
I never understood the appeal of the .380. Just about the same size and weight you can carry a .357 magnum, a 9x19 and just about any othe caliber. I even prefer my .22 wmr J-frame for a pocket gun vs the .380.
Don't get me wrong; I don't think any less of those who like them. Go for it! I just don't get why I'd want a 9mm short when I can have a 9mm-P in the same size package.
I did fire an older PPK/S a while back. Good looking, classic gun and I always wanted to try one. I found it heavy with a very rough trigger and it had more sharp edges than a broken bottle. Pretty gun though.

PRM
January 2, 2014, 08:35 PM
Got a Browning 1910 .380 that is in pristine condition. Rarely carry it. If I'm going for a smaller semi-auto, I'll up my Walther .32 PP any day. It's accurate, flawless in operation, and has a 9 shot (8+1) capability. Just my personal preference.

LT. Diver, agree on the .22WMR. My NAA Black Widow is an always gun regardless of anything else I might have. The magnum frame, two inch heavy barrel, and over size grips make it a really accurate firearm that carries like a pocket knife.

kokapelli
January 2, 2014, 08:49 PM
I never understood the appeal of the .380. Just about the same size and weight you can carry a .357 magnum, a 9x19 and just about any othe caliber. I even prefer my .22 wmr J-frame for a pocket gun vs the .380.
Don't get me wrong; I don't think any less of those who like them. Go for it! I just don't get why I'd want a 9mm short when I can have a 9mm-P in the same size package.
I did fire an older PPK/S a while back. Good looking, classic gun and I always wanted to try one. I found it heavy with a very rough trigger and it had more sharp edges than a broken bottle. Pretty gun though.
Really? Show me a 9mm as small, thin and light as an LCP for example.

LT.Diver
January 2, 2014, 09:16 PM
Within and ounce or two and a centimeter or two there are almost too many to list.

kokapelli
January 2, 2014, 09:23 PM
Within and ounce or two and a centimeter or two there are almost too many to list.
Ok list just one.

LT.Diver
January 2, 2014, 09:28 PM
Ok. Lc9. The length is 6" the lcp is 5.6"
Width of the lc9 is .90" the lcp is .82"
Etc.......

dbp
January 2, 2014, 09:59 PM
But this guy on YouTube - ShootingTheBull410 tested a lot of 380 rounds and found a loading of the Hornady XTP by Precision One that did OK:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOwCXXpEP50

My decision to carry my Kahr P380 is based solely on dress requirements. I carry my 9mm Shield most of the time, but when I do pocket carry the P380 I use the PrecisionOne XTP round.

kokapelli
January 2, 2014, 10:13 PM
Ok. Lc9. The length is 6" the lcp is 5.6"
Width of the lc9 is .90" the lcp is .82"
Etc.......
Ok I have both and if you think the LC9 will slip into your pocket as easily as an LCP your badly mistaken. A picture is worth a thousand words. Here are the two side by side.
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll73/lws380/IMG_1003.jpg

toivo
January 2, 2014, 11:16 PM
I don't really have a dog in this fight, but the LCP weighs in at 9.4 oz. and the LC9 at 17.1.

That said, I'm not a fan of the micro nines. Glock 26 and Beretta Nano are the smallest nines I can comfortably shoot. I've tried the Kahr and the PF9, and found both to be nasty: lots of snap and muzzle flip. Some people are able to shoot them well, but I'm not.

sirgilligan
January 2, 2014, 11:59 PM
I really like how well my .380 ACP shoots and how flat it is so it doesn't "print".

This is 10 yards, free standing... it will do it all day long. The only problem with accuracy is me, if I were better the groups would be more precise.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jOkwyqUGNt8/UsZDPjsykpI/AAAAAAAAD24/DoWClSV2IWA/s1600/ppk_1.png

TarDevil
January 3, 2014, 06:39 AM
I'm heat intolerant, and dress as lightly in the summer as anyone yet I still can carry my 9mm compact wearing shorts and tee shirt.

Same while dressing for business.

Not a criticism for those who prefer the .380, but I've never found it necessary to carry smaller due to dress.

usp9
January 3, 2014, 07:08 AM
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll73/lws380/IMG_1003.jpg

If you want to pocket carry a .380, then a Seecamp is even better. Compared to the .380 above, (sort of... Keltec Vs Ruger)
http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i186/ripley16/Pistols/Seecamp/380380.jpg (http://s72.photobucket.com/user/ripley16/media/Pistols/Seecamp/380380.jpg.html)

Hokkmike
January 3, 2014, 08:44 AM
A gun writer recently penned that the pocket .380's are the current rage. Many, many being sold. I guess he is right. +1 for me.

dbp
January 3, 2014, 10:18 AM
Well, actually there is another reason that I pocket carry my P380 at times. That is the fact that until I lose this "spare tire" I'm carrying around I just can't conceal well with light clothing such as t-shirts and such. My body shape also makes it very uncomfortable for me to carry IWB so it's either pocket or OWB for me.

My New Years resolution is to slim down considerably -- but you know how that goes most times.:o

kokapelli
January 3, 2014, 10:24 AM
http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll73/lws380/IMG_1003.jpg

If you want to pocket carry a .380, then a Seecamp is even better. Compared to the .380 above, (sort of... Keltec Vs Ruger)
http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i186/ripley16/Pistols/Seecamp/380380.jpg (http://s72.photobucket.com/user/ripley16/media/Pistols/Seecamp/380380.jpg.html)
Yes the Seecamp is even smaller than most of the other micro 380s, but the problem I have with the Seecamp is it is a blowback and after firing one and experiencing the felt recoil I decided it was not the gun for me.

JERRY
January 3, 2014, 10:42 AM
did I mention that I am the proud owner of an LWS 380?

jrdolall
January 3, 2014, 10:49 AM
I carry a 380 most of the time in my right pocket. KT P3AT, Bodyguard, and LCP on a fairly regular basis. It comes down to weight more than anything. The pocket 9mms are small enough for most pockets but tend to weigh a lot more.

I also own a P238, Bersa Thunder and a bunch of Makarov pistols but all of them are a bit bigger and heavier than the pocket 380's.

None of the pocket 380s are a "joy" to shoot at the range. I have Hogue grips, pink ones even, and that helps but I don't want to go and shoot 300 rounds in a day with any of the guns. I shoot them enough to be as proficient as I feel I need to be with these guns. I basically want to be able to draw the gun and put most of the rounds in a target at 10 yards or less. The larger 380s are much more enjoyable to shoot.

herkyguy
January 3, 2014, 11:55 AM
P238. I can shoot it all day long.... carries well OWB.

SIGLBER
January 3, 2014, 12:07 PM
For me it has to do with size, dress, and situation. I have owned a P-32, P3AT, and currently own a Ruger LCP. They are usually back up guns to larger carry pieces. But their are times when they are only gun I can carry because they simply disappear in pocket with a good holster.
No the .380 is not the perfect cartridge for CCW. But years ago when I worked in the private security I saw two shootings with .380's. Both with fmj ammo (many years ago I don't even know if their were any JHP rounds in .380 back then). Years apart but both guys hit in the leg. Both shattered the femr bone in the leg. Both guys dropped right there screaming and it was a bloody mess! Bone fragments were thrown all through their legs. Nasty wound!
Both survived. But they were prety much out of the fight. So as always. Place multiple shots from a .380 into the chest, neck, and face and the .380 will do it's job. one thing I would say is make sure you have a round that allows the little bullet to penetrate deep. That's were a lot of the .380 JHP's fall short. Big expansion means nothing if you don't reach vitals So the little .380's are ninche guns to me. The new ones are the same size that the .25's used to be. Not powerhouses but quite a step up from the .25. Modern versions of the "vest pocket guns".

shootingthebreeze
January 3, 2014, 01:39 PM
I have a Kahr .45 and a Kahr .380.
With the .380, the key is range practice. We have a 25 yard range close by and I spent last summer a lot of time focusing on grouping my shots with my .380. The Kahr responded quite well and was consistent as I practiced, practiced and practiced.
The Kahr .45 I love as well and is a good carry firearm but, it's a .45, which means heavy when loaded. The .380 when carried is hardly noticeable.
One is not going to practice artillery with a .380; it is a close range weapon, and for that matter the Kahr .45 is a close range weapon as well. Placement, however, with the .380 is critical thus practice at the range is very important.
I consider the .380 and good defense weapon as long as one is totally familiar with it and has practiced a lot at the range. I am confident that I could deliver 3 or 5 head shots if I needed (hopefully never) in a self defense situation. I have practiced grouping my shots within such a dimension on my target paper. Anyone hit in the head with a .380 will quickly stop their attack.
I like my .380 and anyone who carries one should concentrate on precision firing at the range. It will not be easy but with practice your skills will improve immensely.

Eb1
January 3, 2014, 02:33 PM
I think the argument of the gun size between the .380 ACP and 9mm Luger was based on guns such as the Walther and Bersa Thunder.

Yes, they are the same size, but I can keep my 380 ACP Bersa Thunder in a 4" target as fast as I can pull the trigger. I have shot an LC9, and I could not. With practice I might could, but I don't think so.
I'd like to have a 9mm as I have much ammo for one, and I have to buy ammo for the 380 because I dislike picking up brass from the little gun that throws brass from here to Sunday.

I also like the form factor of the Bersa 380. I have the "Combat" model (enter laughter here), but it has Glock sights, and a really nice fingered rubber grip. The gun has a smooth trigger and very little take up when in single action.

The gun hates PDX, Critical Defense and Zombie Max. You cannot get that to group no matter how close you are shooting.
It loves Winchester Ranger-T and Winchester FMJ flat nose ammo. I am waiting to try some Underwood 380 +P with the Gold Dots, but I am really thinking of settling for the Winchester White Box FMJ flat nose as it is the most accurate I have shot. It has somewhat of a meplat. It feeds good, and is reliable, readily available in my area, and will penetrate at least 18" in gel. Which means to me that it will break bone, and still hit lungs, arteries, and heart matter to stop a threat if needed.
I carry 8+1 with two 8 round mags in a pouch. The gun is IWB on the right side, and is easy to get to. I am also a little round on the hip. So wearing t-shirts and such doesn't allow me to carry an auto pistol on the hip OWB. I am anxious to try a Ranger Belt and Raven Kydex holster for IWB or possibly OWB because it would pull the gun real close to me.

I'd love to have an XDS or a Glock 36, but the Glock 36 hurt my pinky to much, and I was having the same problem when shooting an XDS.

If not carrying the Bersa, I am still carrying a small .32 caliber H&R Magnum J-Frame. Make no ifs, ands, or buts about the .32 H&R Magnum from a stub nose revolver. It hits, and it hits hard. It will penetrate very well with 100 grain XTP bullets, or I am carrying a Rossi M720 .44 Special IWB with a large button up with wool on the inside shirt over a t-shirt. A true winter only shirt.

TennJed
January 3, 2014, 09:29 PM
Edit pics not loading

moojpg2
January 4, 2014, 01:12 AM
I just picked up a P238 Equinox, and a Bodyguard .380 this morning, and put a couple hundred rounds through each. The P238 is going to be my EDC pistol. I work as a loss prevention manager in a multi-floor, high end, retail store, in a busy mall. We apprehend some real dirt bags. Catch is, i'm in MA, and for the sake of professionalism, and the threat of some hippie calling the cops and possibly losing my unrestricted LTC-A that is difficult to get in the first place, nobody I deal with on a day to day basis at work, be it customer, belligerent drug addict shoplifter, or co-worker, can notice I have the pistol. I'm 5'7", 185lbs, about 7-8% body fat, and do rx'd crossfit workouts religiously. I wear somewhat fitted clothes because I'm single and work hard to be in the shape I'm in. This brings me to the need for a tiny pistol that still has some nut. Only thing that fits that bill is a .380. I have, or have had, a lot of the other pistols mentioned here. This includes the m&p 40c, lc9, lcp, 1911's, j frames, compact glocks, etc. I usually carry the M&P 40c when I'm out on my days off, or hiking, etc, but this little p238 just plain disappears IWB and it's still an accurate, well made, pistol with very good sights, that I can shoot well at short to medium range. The lcp is cheaper, was all the rage when it came out, and it's fine for what it is, but let's face it, the sights blow, the trigger is usually poor at best, and it just feels cheap. There are better things out there now in the sub compact .380 class. I will say the bodyguard is definitely a step above the lcp. It is much easier to shoot accurately than an lcp, the built in laser works great, and is nice for those that like lasers, and it at least has real sights. I don't like it as much as the P238 though so I'm probably gonna transfer it to my father because he has been talking about getting a small pocket gun and he's on a fixed income. I know there are many on here that say its stupid to carry anything smaller than 9mm because the "experts" at the FBI say it isn't adequate, and they don't care if someone is offended by their gun, but not all of us can have that mentality or we'd be unemployed or possibly sitting in a court room. Bottom line is .380 will kill someone just as dead, and just as quick, as any other round in skilled hands, and it has done it quite well since John Browning designed it in 1908. It has been used by military, law enforcement, and everyone in between and we still use it today so i'm thinking there has to be some good reason for that. Sure it isn't gonna penetrate all the way through to the spine of a 225lb man and stop him while he's high on adrenaline from a fire fight, in 6 layers of wool military winter gear, but we don't usually face those types of issues in today's world. I'm more worried about the 135lb bony, cracked out, toothless, heroine addict that smells like a dumpster coming at me with a rusty kitchen knife or an HIV filled syringe than anything.

LoneStarTX
January 4, 2014, 01:47 AM
Although .380auto defense ammo has improved so has 9mm. Loaded with Speer Short Barrel 125gr GDHP, the 9mm is far superior and if you need to depend on your EDC there's no reason to be at disadvantage. Having carried many different weapons my current choice is Sig Sauer's P938 in a Remora holster.http://i41.tinypic.com/9a8yvk.jpg

kokapelli
January 4, 2014, 08:08 AM
These caliber wars are ridiculous.

Will a 380 stop a determined attacker if you hit him in the wrong place? The answer is no.

Will a 9mm stop a determined attacker if you hit him in the wrong place? The answer is no.

Will a 45 stop a determined attacker if you hit him in the wrong place? The answer is no.

Will a 380 stop a determined attacker if you hit him in the right place?
The answer is yes.

Will a 9mm stop a determined attacker if you hit him in the right place?
The answer is yes.

Will a 45 stop a determined attacker if you hit him in the right place?
The answer is yes.

It's as simple as that assuming the round your using will penetrate to the right place.

Mastrogiacomo
January 4, 2014, 08:20 AM
I don't own the .380 for self defense. I have the Beretta Cheetah 85 in nickel for my collection. I love Berettas and this one was just too pretty not to get it. If I'm carrying, I'll take one of my other guns that were bought with self defense in mind.

JohnKSa
January 4, 2014, 02:57 PM
The answer is yes.I'd have to say it's a qualified 'yes' in all cases. Sometimes living creatures just don't go down like they 'should' when shot, regardless of what they are shot with. There are even documented cases of survival after being hit in the heart with a .357Magnum.

That said, the .380ACP isn't in the same general performance class as the other 2 cartridges mentioned in that it won't generally achieve 12" of penetration with an expanding round. That is the most commonly accepted minimum penetration figure for self-defense/law enforcement. The other two rounds will meet that requirement with good ammunition.

This may seem like splitting hairs, but it gets back to the "if you hit him in the right place" criteria. With the additional limitation on penetration imposed by expanding ammunition in the .380ACP, one could 'hit him in the right place' and potentially not have the bullet penetrate sufficiently to do the work it's intended to.

The .380ACP is right at the top of the 'pocket pistol performance class', while the other two calibers mentioned are members of the 'service pistol performance class'.

As mentioned elsewhere in the thread, I carry a .380ACP for self-defense some of the time, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to someone who wants a very small concealment gun. But when making such a recommendation, I do try to point out that it is a bit of a compromise in term of terminal performance. Of course, it does offer other advantages, one of them being concealability, another, as mentioned by Eb1, they can be a little more shootable than a heavier caliber.

Everything is a compromise, we just have to understand what we are giving up and what we are getting in return to be able to make an appropriate decision for our individual circumstances.

kokapelli
January 4, 2014, 03:03 PM
Yes exactlty why I carry fmj/fp rounds in my 380 pistols.

fteter
January 4, 2014, 06:20 PM
Love the .380 guns. They feel good in the hand. They point well. And, as I age, I find the .380 a very manageable round - quick and accurate with rapid fire (something I can't do with a .40 or .45 anymore). But I don't carry a .380. Even though the .380 is so much more convenient to carry, it's 9mm for me.

Two things eliminate the .380 for me:

1. .380 rounds have become very expensive. 40 cents per round and up. I can get 9mm for 25 to 28 cents a round. I can afford to practice at the range more with 9mm than I can with .380. And practice is crucial.

2. The idea with a defensive round, as I understand it, is shooter accuracy with adequate penetration and expansion. I can get accuracy with a .380 but have to choose between penetration or expansion. Don't have to make the choice with 9mm.

The upshot here is that I love the .380, but practicality compels me to carry a 9mm.

kokapelli
January 4, 2014, 06:37 PM
1. .380 rounds have become very expensive. 40 cents per round and up. I can get 9mm for 25 to 28 cents a round. I can afford to practice at the range more with 9mm than I can with .380. And practice is crucial.

2. The idea with a defensive round, as I understand it, is shooter accuracy with adequate penetration and expansion. I can get accuracy with a .380 but have to choose between penetration or expansion. Don't have to make the choice with 9mm.

The upshot here is that I love the .380, but practicality compels me to carry a 9mm.
I buy 380 fmj/FP all the time for 30 cents a round from Freedom Munitions and jhp with Hornady XTP bullet for 41 cents a round.

Armor Snail
January 4, 2014, 07:15 PM
Have a TCP while at work as it disappears in pocket and as a daily back up to my 9mm.

Wife carries a CZ83 with solid copper HP in summer. Hard cast in winter. With the longer barrel and 13+1 capacity it's my opinion that she's not under gunned.

Weevil
January 4, 2014, 07:31 PM
Makarov in .380


http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n200/srebough/mak380x.jpg (http://s112.photobucket.com/user/srebough/media/mak380x.jpg.html)

kokapelli
January 4, 2014, 07:42 PM
Makarov in .380


http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n200/srebough/mak380x.jpg (http://s112.photobucket.com/user/srebough/media/mak380x.jpg.html)
I had one and am really sorry I sold it, it was a really good shooter in every respect but I wanted something lighter and am now sorry I didn't keep, it.

Eb1
January 4, 2014, 07:50 PM
Why isn't there a soft point load in .380 ACP? It seems to me that a jacketed soft point in the shape of the Winchester White box .380 ACP FMJ would be the go to round for .380 ACP.

You'd have controlled expansion with a flat nose lead, but have the penetration due to the solid medium. It would open slower, but dump more energy, and cause a better would track than a true FMJ.
I don't know why someone like Winchseter doesn't do this.

Phantom Captain
January 4, 2014, 08:14 PM
Seriously, look at the Buffalo Bore .380 FNHC (flat nose hard cast) loadings. They are all I carry now. I have the FNHC in my .380 PPK/s, .32 PPK and also carry the same in my 9mm Mak Bulgarian Makarov.

Completely sold on them and have full confidence in them. They cycle perfectly in all my carry guns.

Torian
January 4, 2014, 08:16 PM
I had a Sig 232 for some time...great gun....but I could find similarly sized platforms in the 9mm. Target ammo, let alone qualify defensive loads were hard to come by...and kind of pointless considering what I could find in a 9mm.

Weevil
January 4, 2014, 08:27 PM
I had one and am really sorry I sold it, it was a really good shooter in every respect but I wanted something lighter and am now sorry I didn't keep, it.

Yes it is a very nice shooter, one of my favorites at the range. Much more pleasant to shoot than the Bulgy I had in 9mm MAK.

Not the smallest or lightest pistol but a nice shooter that's easy to control and has very good accuracy.

StrikeFire83
January 4, 2014, 08:39 PM
I'm a member of the .380 club once again. Check out my Kahr CW380 review and range report!!!

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=739694

cougarman
January 4, 2014, 11:17 PM
I carry a Bersa 380cc. Good shooting gun. Easy to carry.

C0untZer0
January 4, 2014, 11:34 PM
Here is a story about retired police Lt. West Taylor who used a .380 AUTO to fend off an attack and illegal entry / home invasion from Kevin Wayne Chapman. Chapman retreated a few steps after being shot fell to the ground and subsequently died.

http://www.somdnews.com/article/20130405/NEWS/130409434/1103/MISC/Police-continue-investigation-into-self-defense-shooting&template=southernMaryland

It was made into an NRA Special News Report:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/w8Sbf_piIQQ?feature=player_detailpage

C0untZer0
January 4, 2014, 11:35 PM
Also I just wanted to repost the Ammoquest tests

Again - - There are some tests out there showing Precision One's loading of the Hornady XTP with penetration - on average 13.5" through the 4 denim IWBA protocol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOwCXXpEP50

guyfromohio
January 5, 2014, 12:06 AM
I enjoy .380s. Some area favorite guns like my Beretta 84, Walther PPK and some of my ghosts of guns gone by.....colt mustang, beretta 34.

marv
January 5, 2014, 12:39 AM
I sold one of my .380's but I still have two, and a ton of loaded ammo. And brass. And boolits.

Manny
January 5, 2014, 06:12 AM
Way back when I was tempted by a Sig 232 because of it's wonderful trim size. But the .380 cartridge universally got bad reviews so I went with a .38 snubby instead.


I did handle an LCP out of curiosity, but it's far too small for effective control IMHO.I've never been tempted again until very recently when I saw pics of Glock's new G42. The G42 looks like it just may hit the size range of big enough to shoot well, small enough to be discrete. I look forward to seeing one in person.

jimsouth
January 5, 2014, 08:18 AM
I have a Sterling D/A .380. Works well - fairly accurate. Thing is, my Firestar .45 isn't much bigger ( it is heavier ). So I carry the Firestar. I did have a P 38 brown handle - 9mm I got in trade for a case of WW2 surplus A Piercing .30. Problem was, every shot, the slide locked up and had to be released manually. Just needed some work. Probably should have kept it. I heard ( I HEARD ) the P 38 would fire .380. I never took the time to research it & it may be a total crock. If true, I would think there may be feeding problems. Just something I heard. As far as the ammo I traded, the collector - dealer just wanted the brass. Had hot primers that were very corrosive - I believe fulminated mercury; so ya had to really give the 03 a good scrubbing if you fired that old ammo. I think ( and I could be dead wrong ) WW2, and it was critical that the round fired at all costs, and hot primers were used. Like I said - I'm just guessing.

mrdeltoid
January 5, 2014, 02:48 PM
The .380acp is a fun round and I've owned a few of those pistols. But I've never been able to justify keeping one in my collection indefinitely. I have always found another more powerful caliber that does the concealed carry job just as well.

palmetto99
January 5, 2014, 04:56 PM
I came to the Ruger LCP in .380 via a Beretta 930 in .25 ACP. I came into possession of the little Beretta and started carrying it around one summer. Up until then, I usually carried a J-frame S&W or a Glock 19. I kind of liked the lil' auto. Thinner than the J-frame and a little smaller too. BUT, It's a .25 ACP. A co-worker had purchased a LCP and filled me in on it. So, for Christmas a couple of years ago, I gave myself an LCP. The .380 ain't no barn burner, but the LCP is something that I can drop in a pocket and go with very quickly. That's my story.

fteter
January 5, 2014, 06:30 PM
Kokapelli,

Thanks for the tip on Freedom Munitions! I'll check 'em out.

dmr47
January 5, 2014, 10:08 PM
I have three .380s. A cute purple Ruger LCP bought for my wife. Keltec P3AT as my pocket pistol and a Walther stainless PPK/S.

dbp
January 5, 2014, 10:58 PM
Kokapelli,

Thanks for the tip on Freedom Munitions! I'll check 'em out.
I have a Kahr P380 and the Freedom Munitions will not feed in my gun. Precision One works well in the P380.

DSAPT9
January 6, 2014, 01:18 AM
I carry my LCP with every thing I have on

tahunua001
January 6, 2014, 01:32 AM
because there are not a lot of 9mms and bigger that are capable of fitting in your pocket or on your ankle and still keep it concealed.

that is 380s major niche.

jimsouth
January 6, 2014, 07:02 AM
Same Model Sterling ( the 400 ? ) I own. I believe Sterling also manufactured a DA .45; and maybe the old Grease gun???

jimsouth
January 6, 2014, 07:12 AM
North American Arms Guardian .380 I was giving this model some thought. So far - good reviews. Small - easily fits pretty much anywhere you like.


http://www.thegunman.com/catalog/naaguardian380.htm

North American Arms Guardian .380

kokapelli
January 6, 2014, 08:42 AM
North American Arms Guardian .380 I was giving this model some thought. So far - good reviews. Small - easily fits pretty much anywhere you like.
North American Arms Guardian .380

We must be reading different reviews.:scrutiny:

Mastodon
January 6, 2014, 10:05 AM
Nope. I just haven't a need. Now, if someone were to have a good deal on a CZ-83 I would entertain the idea.

jimsouth
January 7, 2014, 05:50 PM
FIL brought a .380 Beretta home after WW2. Small - feels good in your ( my ) hand. I think a 1928 or a 1932. Pretty little gun.

280shooter
January 8, 2014, 12:52 AM
I carry my 380 all the time,

trigga
January 9, 2014, 11:43 PM
i carry a glock 27 and at times it is too big to be carrying around so i don't carry it at all. the reason i would opt for a .380 sure is for the size but having a gun, even a .22lr is better than none.

trigga
January 9, 2014, 11:46 PM
my first time with the .380 was my dad's colt mustang government. I was surprised at how well it handled for such a small gun. very soft and accurate, the trigger very crisp unlike my cousin's ruger .380 which is snappy and long trigger pull. i might buy my dad a new gun so he can give me his mustang.

9 fingers
January 11, 2014, 02:38 PM
CZ 83, Masuer HSc (3 of them), Beretta 70s and a Makarov .380 waiting at my FFL. Here are 3 of my favorites.
9 fingers
http://i45.tinypic.com/15gcnqv.jpg

Eb1
January 11, 2014, 04:38 PM
Awesome looking pistols, 9 fingers.

gym
January 13, 2014, 11:58 AM
I sold all of my low caliber guns, and stick with 9mm, and 45. It was getting silly buying ammo for 7 different calibers. It's not like most people use all the guns they end up collecting. I don't have 1 from 45 yrs ago when I started carrying every day. When something better comes out I trade up, always have. The oldes one I have is 20 yrs. old. A glock 30. I still keep ammo for several calibers I don't have, just in case I run into a 15 shot Beretta, or something else that someone decided to relinquish, maybe a 1903 Colt.

golden
January 14, 2014, 08:32 PM
Jimsouth,

I accidentally loaded some .380ACP into my BERETTA 92 and the round fired, but it did not cycle the slide. I believe this will happen in most cases, as the .380ACP can be chambered in a 9m.m. barrel and the round would be held in place by the extractor.
It just will not have enough recoil to operate the gun.

Jim

Byrd666
January 14, 2014, 09:17 PM
I own two. A CZ 83 and Kel-Tec P3AT. The CZ fits my hand like it was made for it, and I am decently accurate with it out to 50+- yards. At 7-10 yards, I'm dead on for all 12+1 rounds. It is also easier to carry than some of my others. My Kel-Tec is new and I haven't been able to find any decent ammo at a good price to try her out. But after I do, I think she'll be a BUG. I still prefer my M&P 9c as a daily carry but, that CZ has never once failed me in any way, shape, or form. And in all environments. Even with my more than often accidental torture tests she has gone through. And I feel comfortable enough with my abilities and accuracy TO carry it.

ApacheCoTodd
January 14, 2014, 10:41 PM
A couple-few but my favorites are my CZ-83 and Sig 230SL.

DAdams
January 15, 2014, 09:55 PM
http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m22/dadams111/Handguns/P1010010_zpsa474eee6.jpg (http://s100.photobucket.com/user/dadams111/media/Handguns/P1010010_zpsa474eee6.jpg.html)

http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m22/dadams111/Handguns/P1010004-1-1.jpg (http://s100.photobucket.com/user/dadams111/media/Handguns/P1010004-1-1.jpg.html)

Just another caliber.

el Godfather
January 16, 2014, 07:52 AM
Not me. At least not yet. May be down the road. Right now too many other things to worry about than a mouse gun.

km101
January 17, 2014, 05:33 PM
I have a Beretta that my FIL brought home from WWII (sentimental value, not for carry) and a Bersa Thunder .380 that I pocket carry when my mode of dress wont allow anything bigger. Good little pistol, always goes bang, but not my first choice. I prefer something of larger caliber, but that's just me. YMMV

Eb1
January 17, 2014, 05:40 PM
There is an article on ccw caliber deaths, and I will try to locate it to reference, but it says it is by a coroner. He talks about how the .45 is the end all, and how he sees nines and .380 with multiple wounds,etc
But later in the article he says you don't have to make organs look like a blender. You just have to hit them, and this was n reference to FMJ and HP.
So that sounds real contradictory to me. If a .380 hits the heart or lungs then what is the big difference?

Hometeached1
January 17, 2014, 06:20 PM
Not yet, but plan on getting one at some point down the road.

KeithR
January 17, 2014, 06:38 PM
I've got a pair of Beretta 84F's that I won't part with. I also picked up a pair of Browning BDA's this fall that I have yet to fire, but may have put them on the market. Don't want to but have no choice at this time.:(

Gonzo10mm
January 24, 2014, 08:51 PM
I have a Colt Gov't Pocketlite 380. The 3 1/4" barrel gives it just enough velocity that the Buffalo Bore 90gr +P rounds can average about 1150fps. at 265 ft-lbs it's just under the average target loading for 9mm. It carries very flat and light, and if I do my part I have confidence it will do it's part.

TennJed
January 24, 2014, 11:00 PM
There is an article on ccw caliber deaths, and I will try to locate it to reference, but it says it is by a coroner. He talks about how the .45 is the end all, and how he sees nines and .380 with multiple wounds,etc
But later in the article he says you don't have to make organs look like a blender. You just have to hit them, and this was n reference to FMJ and HP.
So that sounds real contradictory to me. If a .380 hits the heart or lungs then what is the big difference?



any caliber to the heart will kill quickly

gym
January 24, 2014, 11:17 PM
This is an excellent comprehensive summary of the 20+ most common handgun calibers, this article will help you choose the best loads for use in self defense situations.If you are new to shooting and self defense this will become one of the most important articles you ever read. If you've been around awhile this will still shed some light on a few things we are sure. The article is based off original work from Evan Marshall, Massad Ayood, and Ed Sanow. It has been rewritten and updated as needed. These guys are the best in the world at cartridge and round analysis. This page will also tell you which loads to carry and which loads to avoid at all cost due to their ineffectiveness. These facts are the real deal and not some forum ranting. Bookmark this page by hitting Ctrl + D. Be sure to share with your friends and love ones, help keep them informed and safe. If you want more information on a specific round click on the "Learn more about" link at the bottom of that cartridges summary. Thanks for reading. - See more at: http://gundata.org/blog/post/best-handgun-caliber-and-round-for-self-defense/#40smithandwesson

Eb1
January 25, 2014, 04:43 AM
That article seems out of date, but has some good info.

JohnKSa
January 25, 2014, 05:19 PM
any caliber to the heart will kill quicklyNot always. It may not even kill at all. Officer Stacy Lim was shot with a .357Mag. The bullet hit the lower part of her heart (not a direct hit) but she survived.

Here's a kid who took a 3" nail from a nailgun through the heart and lived.
http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=6186868

Here's someone who was shot "through the heart and both lungs" and lived.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trace_Adkins

JR24
January 25, 2014, 06:10 PM
I no longer own one. I got rid of mine when I realized that I don't really care for those little pocket mouse guns. If I want something small like that a J-Frame seems to fit me better.

Personal preference.

huntsman
January 25, 2014, 06:44 PM
I own 2, a little one(LCP) and a big one(BDA) I like this caliber for shooting but the price of ammo is stupid.

M1key
January 25, 2014, 09:22 PM
The new Glock 42 will make an owner out of everyone..

I have bought and sold several 380s over the years. This Glock is a keeper. Accurate, reliable, concealable...and hey, it's a Glock.

Handles hot handloads like nothing (90 XTPs@1035fps). The XTPs penetrate 18" water and expand to nearly .50". Not bad for the little Corto. FMJ feels like a 22.

Same size as the Walther PPK/S. You planned it this way, right Gaston?

M

TennJed
January 25, 2014, 11:12 PM
Not always. It may not even kill at all. Officer Stacy Lim was shot with a .357Mag. The bullet hit the lower part of her heart (not a direct hit) but she survived.





Here's a kid who took a 3" nail from a nailgun through the heart and lived.


http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/Global/story.asp?S=6186868





Here's someone who was shot "through the heart and both lungs" and lived.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trace_Adkins



Interesting. I never would have guessed anyone would survive a hit to a heart. I stand corrected

M1key
January 25, 2014, 11:27 PM
head or base of the neck. finito

M

stressed
January 25, 2014, 11:46 PM
I do. bodyguard .380. For sale w 5 mags.

TestPilot
January 26, 2014, 12:57 AM
I own and carry a 380ACP pistol.

My parimary pistol caliber is 40S&W. However, the 380ACP pistol can be concealed where no other pistols of other calibers I have can be.

Also note that it is a back-up gun. I do have a M&P40 with me most of the time.

Vodoun da Vinci
January 26, 2014, 07:59 AM
I have owned several .380's thru the years and sold all of them. Now I have several pistols in .32 ACP and just bought a Glock 42 in .380. I feel that we should carry the biggest caliber we can manage (and conceal) and still get accurate rapid follow ups at 21'. I have managed to train sufficiently enough to do that with 9mm pistols and a .38 Special Ruger LCR.

My Wife can only do it with our .32's and I believe she will as well with out new Glock 42 when it gets here. .380 is not an ideal caliber for SD but will do the job if used by a determined person with skill.

Having a gun when it comes to that is very important.

VooDoo

Erik M
January 26, 2014, 02:36 PM
I have owned 2 Bersa thunder .380's. both were the 2 tone model. good quality for the price and they conceal well.

Susanna
January 26, 2014, 04:15 PM
My ppk/s is a veritable tackdriver... but with the new G42, I may have to rethink this a bit. I used to proudly eschew Gaston's polymer pistols, but the 30SF changed me. If the 42 is all people say it is, wellll..... just the thing for a night out, as long as it fits my holsters. Little black gun for those little black dress moments... ;-) And yes, while I am not a fan of a 380 for primary defense/ccw, it has its place when your "usual" carry firearm is too big to conceal.

Ankeny
January 26, 2014, 04:26 PM
I am a 1911 guy and I shoot a lot. A couple of weeks ago I bought a Sig P238. I did some trigger work on the gun and had to drift the sights. The more I shoot this little gun, the more I like it. Seems like a keeper.

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