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380 Is A Handful

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by marb4, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. marb4

    marb4 Well-Known Member

    I picked up a Taurus TCP 380 as I've been looking for a very small pocket pistol for times when for whatever reason IWB isn't an option. I had no previous experience with a 380 until I took the little Taurus out this morning. I've read a lot where people choose a 380 because they have recoil issues and want something more manageable. After my range session this morning I don't know that I would say low recoil is a good reason for buying a 380. That little thing was a handful! I've owned small 9mm's (Kahr CM9, Glock 26, KelTec P11) and the little micro Taurus had at least as much if not more felt recoil than my 9's based on my estimation anyway. After 50 rounds or so it was just getting plain uncomfortable to shoot. The pistol performed well so I have no complaints but to those of you choosing 380 because you think it'll be easier/softer to shoot than something larger (such as a 9mm) I would encourage you to get your hands on one and check it out for yourself. You may be surprised.
  2. captbluemoon

    captbluemoon Member


    I have owned a Walther ppk 380 and a Walther PK 380 , I think my personal recovery time is much faster, but to each his own.
  3. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Well-Known Member

    I hear you. Personally, I have no experience with the gun you cited, but many of the little pocket pistols out there are a handful. I have a Cobra derringer in .380 and that is BY FAR the most punishing gun I have in regards to recoil. It isn't unmanageable, but it's weight and ergonomics make me more likely to grab something else.

    Each to his own right?
  4. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Well-Known Member

    Around here people will warn you ahead of time, .380 is rarely more manageable than 9mm in a small gun. The action type for .380 is typically a blowback while 9mm's use a delayed blowback action. This leads the .380 to feel sharper and, yes, unpleasant.

    However, Sigs P238 is a very soft shooting .380.
  5. H.m.B

    H.m.B Well-Known Member

    My Sig P232 is snappy but not unmanageable. Although, it is the stainless steel model and not the alloy version. It's not hard to put a couple of boxes down range. Now slide-bite ... that's another matter!
  6. Skribs

    Skribs Well-Known Member

    I have a .380 LCP and a .40 XDm, and the .380 is what beats up my hand. I'm looking at maybe getting a Keltec P32 to replace the LCP as my running shorts carry piece.
  7. rondog

    rondog Well-Known Member

    Ah, quit yer whinin'.....go shoot a PA-63 in 9x18 Makarov.
  8. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Well-Known Member

    No kidding. I've shot the TCP quite a bit. Rather sharp snap.

    But, it isn't meant to be fun, or even accurate, or pleasant. It's meant to save your life.
  9. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Well-Known Member

    SIG P238 is the answer. My wife, an inexperienced shooter, ran 150 rounds through hers yesterday, and I believe if we'd brought another box to the range, she would have shot that up too.
  10. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Well-Known Member

    I own a Kel Tec P3AT and a PA-63 (9x18). The PA-63 definitely has worse recoil than the P3AT.
  11. LightningMan

    LightningMan Well-Known Member

    My Kahr P380 isn't bad at all compared to my Kel-Tec P3AT or my LCP. Probably why I carry it near all the time as a back-up to my M&Pc. LM
  12. VA27

    VA27 Well-Known Member

    Seecamp .380. Every other is a pussycat.
  13. barneyrw

    barneyrw Well-Known Member

    I've read a lot where people choose a 380 because they have recoil issues

    I don't think people choose a .380 for recoil issues, people choose a .380 pocket pistol for ease of concealed carry, ie. it drops right into your front pocket. It's not meant to be a pistol to take to the range routinely and put a lot of rounds through it.
  14. ID-shooting

    ID-shooting Well-Known Member

    I have to agree. Used to carry a P3AT, "upgraded" to a LCP. Both make my hand hurt. Only use them for CC. Once in a great while I will burn through a mag while shooting other guns at the range.
  15. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Well-Known Member

    I like shooting the lcp. The p230 alloy with warmish loads is not pleasant. The seecamp... That's in an entirely different category of pain. :eek:
  16. savanahsdad

    savanahsdad Well-Known Member

    I have a Braco .380auto ouch !!! lol !!!!! call me mean , but I love letting other shoot it just to watch the shock on there face !! My wife has a Ruger BlackHawk in 44 mag. glock 17 9mm, a makarov 9X18 , Sig Sauer P238 Lady 380auto, , loves to shoot all of them , but when I let her shoot my little Braco it went bang ! she went OUCH !!! for some reason she don't want to shoot it anymore :evil:
  17. JoePfeiffer

    JoePfeiffer Well-Known Member

    It really isn't fair to talk about a round's recoil in isolation from the gun you're shooting it in. Yes, 380 has lower energy (and so theoretically less recoil) than a lot of other rounds, but you're shooting it from a pistol designed to be as small as possible and still be somewhat manageable. Yes, it'll have a lot more felt recoil than something like a full-size 9mm -- but you *really* wouldn't want to shoot a 9mm from something the size of that Taurus.
  18. radar1972

    radar1972 Well-Known Member

    +1 barneyrw
  19. ku4hx

    ku4hx Well-Known Member

    I'm always a bit amused when someone who wants to buy their first center fire handgun thinks "little gun; therefore, little recoil". Of all the guns I own, an AMT Backup in 380 ACP is the most unpleasant to shoot. It's also the smallest and lightest.
  20. jim243

    jim243 Well-Known Member

    Guns that I call holdouts, small concelable pistols or revolvers are designed for short range self defense are very light and small in nature. They are not designed for accuracy or as range guns. That is not their purpose.

    The lighter the gun the more FELT recoil. The 380 round does not produce the same amount of energy that a larger caliber (380 (95 grain) vs 9mm (115 grain)) or gun powder (380 (2.8 grains) vs 9mm (4.6 grains)) would.

    What you are feeling is the snap from a 2 to 3 inch barrel as opposed to a 4 or 5 inch barrel.

    These small handguns are not designed for extended range use. Those of large frames like the Bersa or Walther are more comfortable to shoot.


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