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Would you trust your life to a .380?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Orion8472, May 27, 2008.

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  1. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Well-Known Member

    The question is, would you trust your life to the .380 caliber?

    Interestingly, I have an F.I. Industries Model D in .380, my brother has a FEG 63 in Makarov, and we put each of those up next to a 9mm luger, and it is fun to see the millimeter difference in shell height for each one. Yet, is 2mm less room and a slightly lighter projectile all that less "potent" than a a 9X19?
  2. Uncle Alvah

    Uncle Alvah Well-Known Member

    I pondered buying a .380, but the availability of very compact 9mm's disuaded me.......
  3. MaterDei

    MaterDei Well-Known Member

    Would I trust my life to a .380. Heck yes. I'd trust it to a steak knife if I didn't have something better. Would I prefer to trust it to something that starts with a 4? Sure.
  4. conw

    conw Well-Known Member

    Well, if you look at really "old school" ballistic thinking on rounds, no one was worried about "one shot stops." It was, and still is, all about shot placement and common sense (and practice). In that sense, a .380 is pretty decent - as long as you can hit the target. When even the .32 was introduced, it was thought of as powerful.

    That, and the .22, and other "marginal" rounds have been used for a lot of self-defense over the years. In one sense someone who practices with a .380 to hit multiple times accurately and fast IS more deadly than someone who expects a super-duper one-shot knockdown stopperoo from their bigger caliber.

    Me, I don't necessarily see the point of using the caliber when it's so much more expensive than 9mm and my 9mm is smaller than most .380s, and does offer better ballistics...but again, if you have it and had to use it, don't worry about the numbers.
  5. Spenser

    Spenser Well-Known Member

    .380's OK By me

    I've had the pleasure of working a couple of righteous self-defense shootings lately. One bad guy was one shot with a .45, the other with a .380. The wound tracks were about the same, as were the results. The aggressors rapidly assumed room temperature.

    They'll do the job, as long as you hit what you're aiming at.
  6. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Well-Known Member

    Yup, I would and do trust my life to a .380. I don't know about hollowpoints; I use FMJ to be sure of sufficient penetration. I carry a P3AT 24/7.

    BTW, isn't (or wasn't) .380 a fairly common police caliber in lots of places?
  7. XDKingslayer

    XDKingslayer member

    Yes I would. I already do.
  8. EShell

    EShell Well-Known Member

    I carry one myself.

    It's as much about having anything at all (even a steak knife) vs not being able to carry anything big in hot weather. A .22 short in the pocket beats a .45 sitting home in the safe.

    Would I rather have a 6" Model 29 with 180 JHPs? Yes. Could I conceal it in T-shirt weather? No.
  9. Anna's Dad

    Anna's Dad Well-Known Member

    Every day!
  10. Ltlabner

    Ltlabner Well-Known Member

    As I've answered on a litney of "is .380 ok?" threads...


    It's the minimum I'd carry (my normal cary is a Glock 23), but I do carry a Beretta 85 from time to time and don't think about it for a second.
  11. jocko

    jocko Well-Known Member

    beats a rock

    beats a rock all to hell. Carried one for over 3 years with confidence, but now my 24/7 is my kahr pm9. It can go 99% of the places my 380 went. I do think the 380 caliber is at the very low end of the power pole but proper placement has to be #1 with any caliber. a 50 caliber flying right by a person is not near as effective as a 380 in COM..
  12. Lashlarue

    Lashlarue member

    My AMT backup was the original jammomatic with anything but ball ammo, so when it was my primary it was loaded with ball ammo. Took me forever to use up two boxes of jhp's at the range.
  13. DougDubya

    DougDubya Well-Known Member

    If it doesn't jam, and it fits my hand, yes.
  14. RX-178

    RX-178 Well-Known Member


    I often trust my life to a NAA mini-revolver in .22lr in El Paso's oppressive summer temperatures.
  15. jdc1244

    jdc1244 Well-Known Member

    A .380 works for me just fine.
  16. presspuller

    presspuller Well-Known Member

    A .22 vent hole in a bad guy is gonna take a lot of the fight out of him.
    Is it what I would want if I needed to vent said bad guy? Not really but its better than nothing.
    The .380 is even better. I carry a 9mm but if I ever have to use it I am gonna wish it was a .44 mag.
  17. legion3

    legion3 Well-Known Member

    Yes and not just a cop round it was also a very common military round.
  18. conw

    conw Well-Known Member

    Jocko wrote:


    That depends on whether the .50 ricochets...
  19. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Well-Known Member

    I carry one as a BUG, in addition to my S&W 3913 9MM pistol. Would I carry one as my sole gun? Well, I did for a bit, but discovered that compact 9MM pistols are more fun to shoot.
  20. fletcher

    fletcher Well-Known Member

    I carry .32 more than anything else, so I'd certainly trust .380. I'll only use FMJ, though.
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