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380 ACP for Personal Protection?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by TnShooter83, Aug 13, 2007.

?

Is the .380 worthy of use for Personal Protection?

Poll closed Aug 17, 2007.
  1. Yes, I'd carry it.

    121 vote(s)
    66.9%
  2. Yes, but only if I had nothing else too carry.

    53 vote(s)
    29.3%
  3. No, it lacks the stopping power I need.

    7 vote(s)
    3.9%
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. TnShooter83

    TnShooter83 Member

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    I currently own 2 9mm, and a .38 Special.
    I recently shot a Bersa Thunder .380
    Nice trigger, and worked flawlessly.

    But Is the .380 a little on the "weak" side for Personal Protection?

    I ask this as I'm going to buy myself an Early Birthday present.
    And I'll be picking up a new addition to my collection.
     
  2. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    This topic has been beaten to death already. You will get opinions that anything less than a .45 is too light or the opinions like mine where a well placed .32 Auto round is better than a big bore spray and pray. If you do your job the .380 Auto will do the job. Don't let anyone tell you differently.
     
  3. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck Member

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    I've yet to see someone volunteer to take a .380 in the chest.

    That being said, yes this has horse has been beaten beyond death. :)
     
  4. Picknlittle

    Picknlittle Member

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    I'd think that with most defensive situations being up close and personal, i.e., under ten yards, the 380 is probably as effective at drawing blood at a 9mm.

    I guess we could dig up some .380 victims and ask. :)

    Yes, I know I'm a smart a**. :evil:
     
  5. TnShooter83

    TnShooter83 Member

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    I'd volunteer if I knew it wouldn't hurt so much........Kidding.
    I'll still shoot my 9mm, before I shoot the .45
    I'm tight with money, and would hesitate to pull the trigger on
    the pricey .45 ammo.
     
  6. Archer1945

    Archer1945 Member

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    I prefer the .45acp but to be realistic a .380 or 9mm Mak is a much easier gun to carry/conceal. While I haven't compared the specs of a .380 vrs .38 snubbie I'd be willing to bet there isn't much difference and there are plenty of people who think a snubbie Smith or Colt is the best CCW weapon ever.

    If truth be told I'd better more .22s or .25s are actually carried than the larger calibers. JMHO
     
  7. rantingredneck

    rantingredneck Member

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    Carry what you shoot the best and worry not at the caliber.
     
  8. TnShooter83

    TnShooter83 Member

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    Honestly, that would be my Taurus 44 Mag.
    But it's a beast to fit in my pocket. :D

    As my 2 other pistols are 9mm, and don't group the best past 25 yards.
     
  9. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    .380 bad. No good for kill saber toothed tigers. Me like .45-70 and .300 Win Mag for that. Ugh.

    But anyway, I'd recommend carrying as powerful a pistol as you can shoot quickly and accurately.
     
  10. TnShooter83

    TnShooter83 Member

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    Me Say, "Even if Saber Tooth Tiger in cage, and me out side?"

    Kidding of course, maybe I should have said, "For protection of other humans?"
     
  11. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

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    Wait, wait, my popcorn's not done yet.....:neener:

    It'll work fine for social encounters, but personally, as a 220lb person over 6" tall, I prefer something with a bit more oommph simply because I can handle and conceal it without issue.
     
  12. TnShooter83

    TnShooter83 Member

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    It's not the handle part, it's the conceal.
    If I could shrink the .44 I'd carry it.
     
  13. jefnvk

    jefnvk Member

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    I've got a PPK that has quickly turned into my favorite handgun. Don't feel at all underarmed.
     
  14. Novus Collectus

    Novus Collectus Member

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    Simply put, a .380 is way so better than the most potent pepper spray.
     
  15. tkendrick

    tkendrick Member

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    Carrying concealed in Arizona, in the summer, at 115 degrees.

    .380's not my first choice, but my 380 is one of the few reliable choices that works with bermuda shorts, golf shirt and black socks with garters.
     
  16. SAG0282

    SAG0282 Member

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    Before I gave it to a friend, I felt very comfortable carrying my Bersa Thunder, both from a reliability and a power perspective. It was very accurate and easy to shoot, and with good shot placement would work fine.
     
  17. h2ojunkie

    h2ojunkie Administrator

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    I agree with tkendrick. Being from Las Vegas myself. My options for most of the year are a .380 in my shorts pocket, or my .45 sitting at home in the safe.

    I tend to think the .380 in my pocket will do a much better job of saving my life than the .45 will do sitting in the safe.

    Of course, criminals regularly do prove just how stupid they are so I guess it's possible I could convince the guy trying to mug me in the parking lot to follow me home so I could go in the safe and get more money for him (you know, the same safe where the .45 happens to be sitting). :neener:
     
  18. shooting time

    shooting time Member

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    I carry a P3AT all the time in the summer because it is small and weighs 11ounces and in the winter usually a S&W 60 or 1911 having a .380 on you is far better than nothing at all.
     
  19. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    I carry a Mak and spare mag when wearing jacket/heavy shirt. and Berreta .32 and spare mag when lightly dressed. beats pepper spray, which I carry also. and a folding tanto.
     
  20. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Yep, I would carry it~! Any firearm is a whole lot better than a stick~! :uhoh:
     
  21. Gustav

    Gustav Member

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    Yes I would and have carried a .380 it was an AMT Backup and as I saw it beat throwing rocks or praying.
    Some good .380s are out there and with a well designed bullet and a well placed shot (or shots) it will due in a pinch.
    I would go with a Beretta or Browning DA high capacity or a Colt .380 either and old one or the newer Mustang or Pocketlites or a Walther PPK.
    Its still a .35/.36 caliber hole even if on the light powered side so practice allot and hope you never NEED to use it.
     
  22. Joshua M. Smith

    Joshua M. Smith Member

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    A friend of mine "volunteered" to take a ball round of 380 ACP in the chest oh, maybe 10, 12 years ago from arms length distance.

    He is not with us any longer. He said "help me" and fell forward. His last words were to a friend of mine who was performing CPR. He began breathing again, begged her not to let him die, then expired a few minutes later. He was shot just above the heart in the aorta.

    The criminal who shot him was high on several different things and ended up doing about nine(!) years.

    The gun was a Loricin. The criminal wanted to see what it felt like to shoot another human.

    I carry a 380 as an alternative to my snub revolver when I feel that a couple more shots may be needed. Regardless, they are both backup to a service-sized 9mm that I've not felt the need to stop packing in ten years.

    For a backup, yes, I'll carry one. For a primary, well, I'd have to be dressed up with no way to conceal my service-sized pistol.

    Regardless, pour more lead into the target during practice. There's a large gap between the 380's "stopping power" and the 9mm, 40, 45, etc. A 380 will not penetrate to optimum depth - the ball round did not exit my friend from near-contact distance. When I do carry a 380, I carry a heavy-for-caliber flatnose round. I will grant I've not tested the 102gr Golden Saber, so that may be an option. I simply do not know.

    Same with 38 Spl - it gets a 158gr round. I don't trust these lighter rounds, even the 135gr Speer short barrel offering.

    I voted that I would, but it's very conditional.

    Josh <><
     
  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I carry a .22 Mag a bunch, as I do a .32 as well. Yea, a .380 will do.

    Of course, if we know we are going to a gun fight, we would bring a tank or something, but normally we are just trying to have something with us.
     
  24. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    With subcompact autoloaders like the Kahr PM9 around, I see no reason to carry a .380 as primary armament. It does make sense and fill a niche for a very small backup or "hideout" (when anything else is too big) gun.
     
  25. mbt2001

    mbt2001 Member

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    Nothing wrong with a .380, the cops in Europe have been carrying .380's and .32's for years and I don't hear them complaining. It has a reasonable history as a man stopper and is a proven cartridge the same way a .38 special is.

    People can decry the lack of stopping power, but big calibers don't stop people, effective shooting does.


    On paper, there is this OBVIOUS and GLARING difference... Roughly 350ft lbs for a 115grain 9mm and 180ft lbs for a 85 grain .380.

    But on paper the 30 carbine generates 800ft lbs and no one would recommend that for game over deer, even though it out performs the .357 (by a wide margin) on paper. Paper projections can't be trusted, stopping power is more than just energy as converted above... It is a complex bit of experience, math, shot placement and the human body (being the big variable). Bullets sometimes do really weird things when they hit people. Anyone with hunting experience can verify that.

    As I said above, the .380 has a long history of working. The police have used it in Europe for some time, the same way our police used the .38 special. It is a good round with a good history and I would feel well armed if while out at a movie, the SHTF so to speak. Obviously this is a CHL gun, not a primary service gun for real SHTF or hunting or whatever. There is a difference between what CHL considerations dictate you carry and what you would carry as a cop, while at war or while surviving an apocalyptic event.
     
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