I like the little .380 but....


June 26, 2004, 02:53 PM
I was sitting at a Wendy's today when in walked a 6'6" 255 pound, 30 year old man that had an "attitude" against his tag-a-long wife. Nothing much but it got everyone's attention. He settled down and life went on but it started me thinking, if I chose to CCW and this guy came after me would it be wise for me to even pull my Kel-Tec 380? I'm sure I could get 100% hits against this bull of a guy, but nothing short of a .44 or .45 caliber would give me any confidence in bringing this confrontation to a favorable ending. I guess if you feel the need to CCW, then you should also feel the need to CCW enough "caliber". Other than that you might just as well carry pepper spray, that stuff works but like the "sub-calibers" it has its shortcomings as well. I guess my LNIB Star PD .45 just got promoted.

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June 26, 2004, 02:59 PM
I know it sounds horribly un-PC, but aim for the neck/face with a .380

It'll have more impact both mentally and physically to the person being shot.

Still, the ideal solution (IMHO, and I don't CCW so take it with a grain of salt) is to have something that will penetrate at least 10" and expand too.

June 26, 2004, 03:14 PM
I consider my .380 as a back-up gun but do carry it solo on occasions.

Felonious Monk
June 26, 2004, 04:10 PM
Hi telewinz,

I happen to think we overestimate the giant baboons around us, and underestimate our pocket guns.

Everybody's heard the anecdotes of BG's taking multiple hits with a .45 and running away, and the one shot kills with a .22.

ALL firearms are potentially deadly. If the act of drawing an realizing their predicament doesn't bring them to their senses, then shot placement is king.

The 6'6" baboon was apparently an A-hole to his lady, but thankfully didn't require being dropped in his tracks.

If you hit him with a shot or two of .380, it might not have dropped him on the spot.
It's likely it would have tamed his aggression sufficiently that the popo or concerned citizens could contain him until he could be hauled off.

There just aren't that many Superhuman Ultimate Warriors roaming the streets. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Many others will disagree.

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
June 26, 2004, 04:15 PM
A hit with a .380 beats a miss with a .50BMG every time.

If you can make the shot placement time and again, then that's as much a positive factor as 'enough gun'. There are good loads for .380 out there and there are times that the little gun is better than the big one.

Get comfortable with it, get competent with it, and don't listen to naysayers.


June 26, 2004, 04:45 PM
Well, I can't carry in my state, but for the past year now my Bersa .380 has been my "bump in the night" gun. It's 100% reliable and I'm sure the Federal hollowpoints in it will take a man down.

But then I started to think.....what if THREE people were coming into my house? 7+1 rounds just might not be enough.

So I promoted my Ruger P95 9mm with the 15 round mag to the upstairs safe.

If I could carry, I think I'd go back to the Bersa for the comfort factor.

The pros and cons of this issue will never be solved :uhoh:

George Hill
June 26, 2004, 05:41 PM
I had the same feelings about .380 some time ago:
But here is the thing. No matter how big and buff the bad guy is... his heart remains only 2 inches inside from the breast bone. And .380 will penetrate that just fine. Don't worry so much about fancy schmancy hollow points and all that... use a round that gives you nice deep penetration and aim for the vitals.
And then follow up that shot with a few more or until the threat is no longer a threat.
Pro Load has some nice hot .380 loads that will work just fine for you. While I do prefer to carry larger caliber weapons, sometimes the situation calls for smaller ones and when that happens, .380 isn't THAT bad with the right ammo.

June 26, 2004, 07:46 PM
Shot placement. The bigger the are the harder they fall.

In very general terms in my humble experience a lot of physically large adult bully types have not graduated that playground bully mentality. And in many cases are not prepared for someone to stand their ground in front of them. Further shock/dazed/confused when their physcial size is completely negated by a firearm. Any firearm.

June 26, 2004, 08:10 PM

Many thanks for the link.
Hell of a situation you were in, and I'd be very hard pressed to do even half as well as you did.


June 26, 2004, 08:40 PM
A "shoe cobblers" take on "stopping power" and a few absurd ramblings of a madman..

IT is up to the guy you just shot, to decide how effective your bullet design really was...NOT EVAN MARSHALL!!!

Shot placement is the key, also ruthless aggression..Aiming at the eyes and face is one of the best ways to accomplish an "attitude" change...It is also difficult to look someone in the eyes and kill them..."range" ninja's not withstanding...

Remember, if you have shot him in both eyes, he prolly cant see you to harm you or your family...

OHHH yea...If ya get the eyes, and dont see any grey matter, you didnt get the brain, prolly just the sinus cavity...

ALSO..I dont remember where I read this, but some seal (the "tactical" guys, not the cute ones that actually serve a function..lol j/k! ) guy once said that "You can only be assured that someone is dead, if his head is seperated from his body by at least 6ft!" <~~~same rule for venomous snakes as well..

I while back I watched a movie called "The Usual Suspects"...great movie, however one of the things that stayed with me is, when the main "badguy" was confronted by a rival, he shows them that he can go farther than they can...By showing that he had the "will" to go even farther than they were, he survived...

Hate, anger, rage are all tools that we can use...Granted it is NOT a good idea to stay this way...If ya do, then you are no better than the animals that prey on people... But going to that level to survive is ok..

Here is a tip from one of the worst bouncers ( I sucked at that job..lol)to ever have that occupation on his resume'....If ya ever get a guy that is larger than you on the ground...DONT LET HIM BACK UP!!!


June 27, 2004, 02:25 AM
If he's real close - Groin, knee, shin, or foot will stop him. If you want further damage then head (below brow level) or neck.

My buddy shot a BG in the jaw with his 32 back-up. The guy still had the bullet sticking out of the side of his face when the cuffs were place on him.

This was a BIG man and you have a small caliber so you want to take away his size advantage. You go for the "normal size" stopping areas - not the center of mass. - Just my opinion.


June 27, 2004, 02:45 AM
I know this sounds really un CCW like but remember, the doors to outside are as accessable as the BG. Sometimes finding a way to remove yourself is as harder than pulling a gun but it should always be your first move, if possible.

Anyway, yea, I have no problem with a .380 for CCW. At worst, even if you hit him in the leg or groin, he ain't gonna outrun ya! LOL :D

June 27, 2004, 01:00 PM
The 380 will work if you do your part. Your a team and its up to you to make sure rest of team performs :)

June 27, 2004, 10:01 PM
A hit with a .380 beats a miss with a .50BMG every time.Rabbit, you obviously haven't heard about the decapitating effects of a .50BMG miss! :p

I am considering getting a Bersa Thunder for a small CCW gun, because my 10mm Witness isn't all that reliable yet. Its got some bugs to be worked out, and I dont think I want to carry it because of its weight. Its like carrying a T-34 around...:eek:

June 27, 2004, 10:32 PM
... remember, the doors to outside are as accessable as the BG. Sometimes finding a way to remove yourself is as harder than pulling a gun but it should always be your first move, if possible.
This is the best advice in the thread. However, there are times when an aggressor will not allow you the option of a way out. I've been there and was unarmed except for what I was born with. It's not a fun place to be, no matter how it ends up.

June 27, 2004, 10:41 PM
i'm 6'5" and 250 if you pull a 380 on me i'd get real friendly. saddlebum

June 27, 2004, 10:45 PM
I think aiming anywhere but COM is a mistake, no matter what caliber you are carrying.

The head and neck are very small compared to the torso. If you miss the head by 3 inches, you have a total miss. If you miss the heart by 3 inches, you still at least have a hit.

June 28, 2004, 01:34 AM
My Kel Tec 380 has much better stopping power than my Glock 35 in 40 caliber because my Glock 35 is at home in my safe.

That is the thing to understand about small caliber weapons. They go where the big ones don't.

June 28, 2004, 08:26 AM
When I relocate to Arizona, the Kel-Tec P-3AT will be my permanent carry piece, probably loaded with corbon's new 70 grain PowRBall. It would still be my choice if I lived in Alaska.

I fully understand people saying that FMJ is better, especially in .380, but I have yet to see any published proof that an FMJ outperforms hollow points in any caliber, even .22LR.

Your P-3AT would have done just fine against your burger ape.


June 28, 2004, 09:03 AM
Might be that up here in ND, I can get away with carrying the heavier artillery with our cooler weather but I still think of the sub-.40 calibers sort of like an M-1 carbine compared to an M-1 Garand. The smaller, lighter calibers are easy to carry and a pleasure to shoot...until you need to stop the bad guy then you wish you had a larger handgun (or Garand) than the lighter gun you have now! :what: Now I don't have any problems packing my Kel-Tec .32 or Colt Mustang around and it does beat a pointy stick 99.9% of the time. However, I only carry them as a backup piece to either a .40 or .45 instead of relying on them as main carry pieces.

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