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.380 Auto Reccomendations

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by rhoggman, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. rhoggman

    rhoggman Member

    Oct 22, 2008
    I am thinking about getting a .380 ACP pistol for those times when concealing something small is really the only way to go.

    75% of the time I am pretty comfortable with a S&W Model 60 .357, or my XD 40, but is seems there are times when something smaller is the only thing that will work. For instance if I want to tuck in my shirt I need a gun I can throw in my pocket, or strap to my calf.

    What .380's do you all reccomend? I have not shot any .380's because I don't know anyone who owns one (Maybe that is a sign).

    I like the looks of the Barretta, CZ83, Ruger LCP.
  2. Gunner4h1r3

    Gunner4h1r3 Member

    Oct 21, 2007
    Bersas are nice and doggone reliable. I've shot a couple and some friends own the 380CC model and like it. Personally I do not like the Walthers in .380 but to each his/her own.

    Now a Sig P230/232 is a fine weapon. I picked up a used one for 300 and it shoots like a top. For SD/HD I would recommend Golden Sabres. You can still find them from time to time on gunbroker and such other sites.

    Just my .02
  3. MostlyHarmless

    MostlyHarmless New Member

    Dec 13, 2008
    I have been quite happy with my Kel Tec P-3AT. On the other hand, there are reports that their quality is uneven, and there are some people who have tried very hard to like Kel Tecs who have not been successful.

    You might also want consider the NAA Guardian and the Seecamp.
  4. Elbert P . Suggins

    Elbert P . Suggins Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Reubens, Idaho
    I have on occasion carried a CZ83 in a paddle holster which tucks in close nicely. I believe it carries 13 rounds. But I usually carry a SW stainless 642 357 with 5 rounds. I like the fire power better and it profiles actually less in a paddle holster than the CZ with the thick grip carrying all those rounds.
  5. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Senior Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    I guess it depends on how fixed you are for cash. If money is no object, then get the Sig. If money is tight and you would like to save as much as possible AND you want a NEW .380, get the Bersa or Ruger.

    If money is REALLY tight, get the CZ-82 from jgsales.com for $160.00 it is in 9mm makarov.

    My personal pick is somewhere in the middle with the CZ-83, but I am one of those for whom money (for gun purchases anyway) is really tight.
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Senior Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    For your use, I think the Ruger or Keltec.
    A Beretta or CZ .380 is no smaller than your M60 or a compact 9mm P.
  7. orchidhunter

    orchidhunter member

    Jan 20, 2008
    The Barretta .380 is about the best you can get, but it is big for a .380. If you got a lot of money to spend, look for a old Colt Mustang or Pony. The Makarov in .380 is a good choice if funds are low. orchidhunter
  8. rhoggman

    rhoggman Member

    Oct 22, 2008
    I would defnately rule out anything as big as my S&W M60, becasue I would be wasting money for nothing. Thanks for the advice on the CZ82/ Cheetah.

    I like the idea of the LCP because it is not blow-back operated like the Kel-Tec. I hear people claiming that the KEL-Tec has more recoil than you would expect. The LCP takes advantage of the recoil to cycle, and thereby reduces felt recoil.
  9. bannockburn

    bannockburn Elder

    Apr 24, 2007
    I would also have to say Ruger or Keltec for a truly small, easy to conceal .380. A Colt Pony or Mustang would be only slightly larger than either the Ruger and Keltec, but they are out of production, and could easily cost twice as much as either of them. Currently produced guns like the Walther PPK or Bersa, would also be somewhat larger than the Ruger and Keltec as well. If you wanted to go up in caliber, yet keep it on the small side, then something by Kahr would be a very good, albeit more expensive, CCW choice.
  10. Marcus L.

    Marcus L. Member

    Sep 20, 2008
    Sig P232. It has the best DA/SA trigger of any .380 on the market, is probably the most accurate, and is one of the most reliable. It is a little pricey in comparison to most pocket and subcompact .380s, but like all things in life you get what you pay for. If you want a little more recoil management, go with the all stainless model.

    The Ruger LCP has been plagued with all kinds of problems. At this point, I wouldn't trust my life with one.
  11. X-Rap

    X-Rap Mentor

    Sep 23, 2006
    The KelTec is light and reliable, I also have a North American Arms in 32NAA that is well made but a little on the heavy side but it is the one I carry the most. If I were doing it again I would just get the Guardian in 380.
  12. Keoni

    Keoni New Member

    Sep 10, 2003
    NE Ohio
    "I like the idea of the LCP because it is not blow-back operated like the Kel-Tec. I hear people claiming that the KEL-Tec has more recoil than you would expect. "

    Both use locked breech.
  13. makarovnik

    makarovnik Participating Member

    Jul 8, 2006
    For the budget conscience the Kel-Tec or the Bersa. If you can afford more I like the Sig 232 or maybe a S&W made PPK/S but they are a bit bigger and heavier.

    I love my .380's. Next to my .45acp my .380's are the most accurate. Not the most powerful round but fun to shoot and adequate for defense especially if you can alternate HP and FMJ in your mag and they all feed nicely.
  14. moph759fl

    moph759fl New Member

    Dec 6, 2005
    SW Florida
    If you consider the 3 Cs, Cost, Caliber, Concealment you would pick the Kel-Tec P3AT.
  15. mongo4567

    mongo4567 Active Member

    Oct 3, 2008
    I like the Keltec P3AT for cost, weight, and size; and it is very dependable.
  16. 1814rob

    1814rob New Member

    Nov 10, 2006
    Colt 380

    If you can find one the Colt Pocketlite 380 is a fine weapon. 7+1 HP or Corbon Powerball works well. Alum frame steel slide. I suspect they are going to be a bit pricey these days, but a dependable bug.
  17. PRM

    PRM Senior Member

    Apr 14, 2008
    CZ 83, Double Stack 12+1

    I have had 2 Walthers in .380 - both were great. I currently carry a Walther PP in .32 and all things weighed out, I like the .32 better in that gun. Flawless in operation - super mild recoil for follow up shots. A big plus for me is that I have nine shots out of that size package.

    I just recently (last 3 weeks) bought a CZ 83 in .380 from Cole Distributers for $230.00 plus $30.00 shipping. The gun was a hand-picked (European police trade in) in like new condition. I picked up 3 more magazines from Midway for $35.00 each. This gun is a pure gem. Tops everything I have read about them. It ran through FMJ and Hollow Points flawlessly. The double action/single action trigger pull is one of the best I have ever seen. It carries extremely well for a double stack medium size semi-auto. This is the first CZ I have owned - its easy to see how they got their reputation. A very well made high quality all steel gun. Great thing about Cole is that they sent me pics for my approval before I sent them a money order. My FFL had the gun the next day after they had my money.


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  18. BillH

    BillH New Member

    Nov 17, 2008
    which >380???

    We can toss in the Sig P232 and the Browning BDA 380. Both are about the same size and shoot well.
  19. jimk66

    jimk66 New Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    Florida, USA
    380 for CCW

    Hi, I don't know about the LCP being plagued with issues because everyone I know who owns one (and that's several) have had no problems and if I'm not mistaken you still have to wait forever to get one. The Ruger LCP drop issue recall is a CYA expense that is being corrected expeditiously to the benefit of the companies reputation and customers.
    I personally own a many of the 380 pistols mentioned in the above posts and can vouch for most of them. However, putting the fantastic little Colts aside because of their cost and availability, I agree that most are too heavy for pocket carry and would recommend based on the criteria you set forth either the Ruger LCP or KT.
    You can drop either in your pocket or pickup a little pocket holster and forget it's there (the same goes for the ladies...drop in a purse or slack pocket). Myself and the fellows I know and shoot with regularly count on the LCP for our ccw/PD.
    Hope this helps,
  20. timberwolf204

    timberwolf204 New Member

    Dec 14, 2008
    North east Pennsylvania
    i have a walther ppk/s i bought for my wife she loves it and it shoots nice. It is a bit heavy but she loves the gun, and and can shoot good with it.

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