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What about the .380?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by viking499, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. viking499

    viking499 Well-Known Member

    How is it as far as a SD round? How much power/stopping force does it have? What does it "compare to" power wise?
  2. skoro

    skoro Well-Known Member

    It has a little less power than a 38spl, but enough to be an effective SD round.
  3. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Well-Known Member

  4. JERRY

    JERRY Well-Known Member

    less than a .38, more than a .32.
  5. LightningMan

    LightningMan Well-Known Member

    From what I've read, its a better round today than say 10-20 years ago, mostly due to better ammunition these days spurred on by the increase of states allowing conceal carry permits. With people wanting something small & pocketable, the manufacturers have stepped up with better designed .380 pistols, which allows most average person to simply slip it into a pocket without worry of getting noticed. IMO the .380 is a feasible self defence round. My 2 cents, LM.
  6. HammsBeer

    HammsBeer Well-Known Member

    It's a useful caliber, provided you can hit something vital with it. I carry a .380 knowing full well that a gut shot probably won't stop a determined attacker.
  7. herrwalther

    herrwalther Well-Known Member

    .380 is much better now than it was 10 years ago with better ballistics made into the rounds. However the shortcomings of the round are something to be aware of. Most .380s are blowback design and as such have a little bit more recoil than a 9mm of the same size. Many companies are making 9mm handguns that are the same size or slightly larger than .380 counterparts with little to no loss in capacity. But as always, the .380 is a good round when used effectively with good ammo selection, shot placement etc. More power than a .22 and less than a .40.
  8. snooperman

    snooperman Well-Known Member

    The 380 ACP is an adequate cartridge for a CCW, with proper shot placement and good quality ammo. Of course that could be said of many other calibers as well. For pocket carry , the light weight locked breech guns like KelTec P3at, Ruger LCP, Taurus TCP, etc are hard to beat and seem to out-sell many others.These types of modern locked breech- lightweight guns have given new life to the 380 ACP in pocket carry guns.
  9. kokapelli

    kokapelli Well-Known Member

    Most 380 pocket pistols are NOT blowback, they are mostly locked breach actions that significantly reduces felt recoil.

    The KelTec P3AT, S&W Bodyguard, Sig P238, Ruger LCP, Ruger LC 380, Taurus TCP, Diamondback 380 and some I can't think of right now are all locked Breach actions.
  10. decoy562

    decoy562 Well-Known Member

    Definitely below a .38 but I consider it the bare minimum for SD. My LCP is very easy to carry in the pocket and no one knows.
  11. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Well-Known Member

    It's a considerable defensive round, especially due to the efforts of ammo makers to capitalize on the growing armed-citizen trend. It can be a handful in the pocket-pistols (Ruger LCP, Taurus TCP, Kel-Tec P3-AT, etc.), but it will be there when your .45 cannot be. Do your part to learn it, and you will be suitably armed for situations represented by more than 99 percent of random attacks on the law-abiding.

    I trust it even more in a platform that is easier to shoot, offers a somewhat longer barrel (and sight radius), and a higher capacity. Such platforms include guns like the Bersa Thunder series, the new Ruger LC380, and the Beretta M85. But, there are many guns that size (and a few even smaller) that are chambered in 9x19mm, a round that is not only more potent, but more affordable and readily available.
  12. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

    With the right ammo at close range it's fine, IMHO. I personally don't opt for .380 ACP in favor of 9mm Luger or .45 ACP but that's just me.
  13. shootingthebreeze

    shootingthebreeze Well-Known Member

    The .380 has been maligned many times but I do love my Kahr .380.
    I also love my Kahr .45; very carry friendly but heavy. It's a .45! However, my Kahr .380 is very stealthy when I carry it and that's why I love it.
    Now seeing it is my favorite carry weapon during the summer I practice firing it at the range a LOT. Precise shot groupings and tight patterns have been goals I worked towards last summer. It took a lot of work. But the results have increased my confidence with the .380 and because of this my increased skills can deliver precise shooting if ever needed (hopefully never!).
  14. Hokkmike

    Hokkmike Well-Known Member

    Good enough for Bond, James Bond. Seriously - that's it; it is just good enough.
  15. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Well-Known Member

    I have to take exception with this statement. I have only owned two blowback pistols, a Makarov and a Bersa 380. The Makarov in 9x18 does have recoil compareable to a 9mm but the Bersa was one of the lightest recoiling pistols I've ever had. Also, almost all the current crop of defensive 380s are delayed blowback pistols like their larger cousins. Try shooting a 9mm the same size as an LCP/BG380/etc.......and you will find they kick quite a bit more than the 380s. I've never shot a 380 that kicked MORE than a comparable 9mm. That just isn't true.
  16. AABEN

    AABEN Well-Known Member

    It is better than a 25.
  17. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Well-Known Member

    It's lethal, but so is a .22. I've carried a 380 before and I know the 380 has accounted for many deaths, so with good placement it would work. Don't expect anything spectacular, but it will get the job done. The best thing about 380's is the size of the gun, very small and easy to conceal. But there are small 9's and .40's too, and with standard pressure ammo, a small 9mm like the Kahr PM9/CM9 doesn't recoil much more than a 380 but packs a bigger punch.
  18. Byrd666

    Byrd666 Well-Known Member

    I'm willing to use a .380, a CZ 83, as a daily carry piece. In rotation with my M&P 9c. I feel quite comfortable with this round as a self defense round. And living in a very thin walled domicile, I feel more comfortable knowing there won't be much, if any, over penetration. Assuming my shots are on target. And if my shots are on target, unless the perp. is loaded up on PCP or something, they ought to do a good job of stopping them.

    If you are looking for exact tables on .380 ammo., look up "the box o' truth" on google or youtube. Good info. there. My past experience with a .380 is that it feels like a very softly loaded .38 spcl. in recoil, and twice the "snap" of a 9mm in muzzle rise. But as quick, or quicker to get back on target. And definitely not for a person that is recoil sensitive or has any wrist problems. Something like "carpal tunnel", and it's a one shot only deal.
  19. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Well-Known Member

    I pocket carry a laser equipped Ruger LCP .380 a lot, simply because it's easy to carry.

    I suspect if I ever have to use the gun in a defense situation, the first thing that goes through my mind will be,
    I wish I had something bigger than this .380.

    Realistically, I don't think a shot or two from a short barrel .380 will be much of a instant fight stopper. That's why I use a laser (on all my defense guns), to give me every chance of emptying most of the magazine rapid fire into COM.

    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  20. Hanshi

    Hanshi Well-Known Member

    I'm a .380 fan and usually carry my PPK/S when I do carry. Accuracy is excellent even considering the minimal sights. Of course ranges will be very short so aiming is not especially important.

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