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.380 Auto for self defense

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by RancidSumo, Jun 25, 2007.

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  1. RancidSumo

    RancidSumo Member

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    My dad lives in Denver and has had a few scary instances downtown late at night. His only gun that is small enough to carry is his little 3" .380 with a 7 round magazine. Would this be a good gun for self defense or would you recomend getting something bigger?
     
  2. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    If it's a gun he already has, has he shot it a decent amount? is he comfortable with it? Can he shoot it accurately? If he needs to start carrying soon, it's more important that it be a gun he can use effectively than what caliber it shoots. I'd take a .380 I am familiar with over a 10mm that I haven't trained with much any day.
     
  3. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    Is the .380 acp lethal?


    Yes.
     
  4. KevininPa

    KevininPa Member

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    Ilike my .380's

    I have three carriers and they are all .380. I'm quite comfortable carrying them.


    Kevin in Pa
     
  5. bpisler

    bpisler Member

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    Pick decent ammo that shoots well and hope
    for the best,380's aren't the best stoppers
    but they are better than nothing at all.
     
  6. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    Can he hit what he wants with it?
    Is he accurate?
    Is it reliable?
    Does He have confidence in it?

    If so don't worry about it and carry on. I trust my 380 because I can shoot it, I can hit with it and I don't worry about needing more then 7 shots most of the time. In general I carry a 9mm PSP, but sometimes that is just too big for routine carry.
     
  7. rdaines

    rdaines Member

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    Others have pretty much said it all. The .380 is a good defensive round and usually find a home in pocket type pistols (Walther ppk among others). Familiarity with the weapon and how it shoots is a plus, just buy quality HP ammo.
     
  8. Tomcat47

    Tomcat47 Member

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    Wonderful CCW....I carry Taurus PT58HC plus.....and so does my wife:)
     
  9. SAG0282

    SAG0282 Member

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    Not perfect, but provided it's reliable and easy to shoot accurately it will more than do the job.
     
  10. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Have your dad load his .380 up with ammo that shoots reliable in his pistol every time and he's good to go. There are many good factory rounds available for the .380 which will do a good job if needed. I like Winchester Silvertips in my .32 Auto.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2007
  11. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    I carried a 380 PPK/S for years.
     
  12. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    I recall a popular gun "rag" writer stating: "If you are carrying anything less than a 9mm you are not well-armed".
    He's no longer popular and neither was I when I brought it up on a forum...Total BS....Sir: Your dad will be okay with the previous advice from others....:)
     
  13. scurtis_34471

    scurtis_34471 Member

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    I've carried my .380 many times when I didn't want to bring my full-size XD-40 with me. Its true that .380 is not the best stopper, but that doesn't bother me much. The gun is accurate and controllable to the point that I can put 9 rounds through the 3" ring in under 3 seconds. I figure 1 round may not stop a bad guy, but 9 certainly will.
     
  14. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    When the bad guy starts...

    feeling holes being punched into his body. I don't think the caliber is something he is going to sluff off because it is a small caliber bullet.......chris3
     
  15. MrAcheson

    MrAcheson Member

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    Accuracy, portability, and reliability all beat caliber in terms of effectiveness. You want a gun you can shoots and shoots well and that you have access to when you need it. Once you have those things a bigger or better bullet is nice.
     
  16. full metal

    full metal Member

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    with a .380 ACP he should train to reload quikly and carry extra clip's.
    or get a .45 ACP all you need for multi-atackers is one clip.
     
  17. full metal

    full metal Member

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    with a .380 ACP he should train to reload quikly and carry extra clip's.
    or get a .45 ACP all you need is one shot.
     
  18. Soybomb

    Soybomb Member

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    9mm would be better, but if he won't carry it the .380 is better.

    I hope thats sarcasm :D
     
  19. JLStorm

    JLStorm Member

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    Its better than a poke with a sharp stick thats for sure. It wouldnt be most peoples first choice for a carry gun unless they lack strength or training to handle something with more stopping power, but if he already owns it and is proficient with it, its something to start with.
     
  20. the naked prophet

    the naked prophet Member

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    Personally, I prefer to use FMJ when I carry a .380 for defense. Why?

    I think that in terms of ammo performance, penetration is key - whereas reliable function is a given and expansion is a plus but not necessary. If a cartridge does not penetrate 12 inches in ballistic gelatin, I don't trust it to penetrate deep enough to reach vitals in a non-optimal shot (through an arm before it reaches the torso, or sideways through the torso - anything but an unobstructed frontal shot). Expansion is great, but not at the cost of penetration. You can get a .45 to expand to 1.0 inch and still penetrate 12 inches. You can get a 9mm +P to expand to 0.65 inch and still penetrate 12 inches. You can get a .38 special +P to expand to 0.50 inch and still penetrate 12 inches. You cannot get a .380 to expand at all and still penetrate 12 inches.

    If you still want expansion, you could carry JHP alternating with FMJ. If you've got two shots in the center of mass, you've got all your bases covered - but how many shootings have you heard of when the good guy got two shots COM?
     
  21. jaholder1971

    jaholder1971 Member

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    I carry an older AMT Backup whenever the need arise.

    As long as the piece is 100 percent reliable with the ammo has carries in it (and several hundred rounds of it fired through for safe measure) and he can hit what he aims at his .380 will work fine.

    I carry an older AMT backup .380 at times with a couple clips to spare. I carry Black Hills loads as they use XTP bullets and they feed like ball through mine, YMMV. Marshall and Sanow have plenty of examples of .380 JHP's expanding on real people with plenty of penetration.
     
  22. Newton

    Newton Member

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    Suggest your Dad goes with the new Corbon DPX load for carry, it has redefined the .380 as a viable SD cartridge IMO.
     
  23. RancidSumo

    RancidSumo Member

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    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, don't sugest that to him! He absolutly hates the
    9mm.
     
  24. Tomcat47

    Tomcat47 Member

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    Quote!

    with a .380 ACP he should train to reload quikly and carry extra clip's.
    or get a .45 ACP all you need for multi-atackers is one clip.


    Or get a PT58......19 rounds + 1 :neener:.........also with the .45 and mutiple attackers be sure when you shoot them no innocent victims are behind them!......:eek:

    40 shots rang out!....40 people fell!.......Patty and the killer missed each other.....but they shot that town to hell! :uhoh:
     
  25. obxned

    obxned Member

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    It is not a good 1-shot stopper, but ammo is cheap and it's a pretty effective 3- or 4- or 5-shot stopper.
     
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