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.380 face off

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Carbon_15, Dec 27, 2008.

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  1. Carbon_15

    Carbon_15 Member

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    I have been thinking about buying my wife a .380. Its here favorite caliber, but we are without one now for several reasons. Ammo is expensive, and I already have too many calibers to reload as it is. But I think if I get her one she will go shooting with me more often. I have been thinking about the Sig 232 and the Beretta 84. We had a Beretta Cheetah a long time ago and it was VERY accurate and she loved it, but it jamed alot, so I sold it. How do the 232 and 84 compare in accuracy and reliability.
    It would just be a range toy for now...untill I can talk here into getting her CCL

    Thanks,
    Jason
     
  2. Marcus L.

    Marcus L. Member

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    I don't have any experience with the Beretta, but I have a P232 that I have put about 5000rds through(about 3000rds FMJ, about 2000rds JHP). I find it to be a trustworthy pistol with very good accuracy and good handling for a .380 pistol. Nothing negative to say about the pistol other than the direct blowback design which recoils a bit and is more sensitive to ammo and limp wristing. However, it is the best of the blow back designs in my opinion. Competators would be the Bersa, CZ 83, Makarov, and Walther PPK, which have hit or miss records.

    I work as an armorer for the Department of Interior and have processed probably 15-20 P230s/P232s a year for maintenance and repair. The only parts I have replaced on them consistantly are bent roll pins which occur from excessive dry firing without snap caps. Use snap caps to dry fire(A-zooms are great) and there isn't a problem. Other problems I've encountered such as feeding issues are usually corrected with a new recoil spring, or teaching the shooter to not limpwrist. Recoil springs should be replaced every 2500rds or every 4 years on the P230/P232(which ever comes first). Direct blow back pistols are more depended on spring tension than other designs. As far as ammunition goes, most JHPs will work just fine. I have had some feeding issues with Ranger Talons though. Stick with Hornady 90gr XTP if you can, or Hornady FTX Critical Defense.

    Great .380 pistol though if you want a small carry piece that still has enough grip and weight to it to handle well and ensure that you can shoot well. I prefer to carry my P239 9mm off duty, but when I need something a little smaller and lighter I'll carry the P232.
     
  3. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    Bersa Thunder less then 300 and relieable. A PPK/S type but not a true clone.
    http://bersatalk.com
     
  4. colt1903

    colt1903 Member

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    I have had both a Beretta and the SIG. Both are reliable and accurate, no problem there. The SIG might be slightly smaller and easier to conceal. My current favortie .380 is the Walther PPK:

    [​IMG]

    It is smaller and easier to conceal than either the SIG orthe Beretta and is also very accurate; top torso shot at 21 feet, bottom torso shot at 31 feet:
    [​IMG]

    All three pistols should be plentiful at a well stocked gun shop. See what fits best.
     
  5. Runningman

    Runningman Member

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    Hard to go wrong with the P232.
     
  6. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    I like the .380acp a lot as well... likely because it was the cartridge my first handgun was chambered in.
    My wife greatly prefers my K9 9mm over any of my handguns in .380acp and 9x18 as the recoil is far more pleasant. As Marcus mentioned, the blowback design you find used by most .380 handguns provides for a relatively sharp and snappy recoil. The K9, being a locked breech, has a mellow recoil despite the more powerful 9x19 cartridge. However, I still greatly enjoy the cartridge and a Colt Mustang is still on my list.
     
  7. Auburn1992

    Auburn1992 Member

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    Just picked up an 84. I've heard their accuracy was outstanding, as well as their quality.

    THis is all from others as I've yet to shoot mine. BUT, I feel you really cannot go wrong with the Beretta, and especially how ncely it fits the hand.
     
  8. gglass

    gglass Member

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    I picked up one of these post-recall LCP's and could not be happier. I thought I was buying a belly-gun, but this little guy stays accurate out to 15-yards... Who knew?

    [​IMG]
     
  9. kitsapcharly

    kitsapcharly Member

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    For shooting a Bersa 380 is hard to beat in any of its variations. Good gun, good price. For carry a Kel-Tec hides better than anything but recoil is very snappy.:)
     
  10. MMMike

    MMMike Member

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    My favorite 380. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  11. innerpiece

    innerpiece Member

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    I know,I know.... Ill be a bit out of place here by saying that Id put a bit more in yer wifes hands than a .380......

    I used to have one to.. but now the smallest pistol calber Ill allow in our house is a 9mm.

    And yes, I do all kinds of backyard tests to find out what works on what.. a .380 really dosent do alot, serious. I dont say it out of any other reason then for you to convince yer wife to try out something just a bit more powerfull.
    Ill also mention that I havent shot a .380 that was less snappy than the most compact 9mm Ive shot.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2008
  12. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...but it jammed a lot..." Mags or ammo causes jams. If you don't want to reload, you have to try a box of as many brands as you can to find the ammo the pistol both shoots well and cycles the action. The price of said ammo means nothing either.
    "...so I sold it..." You don't get the choose what she uses or can shoot well. It has to fit her hand and her skill level, not you. Take her shopping for a firearm that fits her hand, she likes and can shoot well. Makes it her gun, not your's or ours.
    And don't get PO'd when she shoots anything better than you. It's normal.
     
  13. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    IMHO, both the Beretta and the Sig are excellent choices. If you are looking more for a range gun, then the Beretta may be the better pick. You said you had the Beretta 84... but a more direct comparison to the Sig would be the model 85.

    All Of my Sigs and all of my Berettas have been very reliable, with the nod to the Berettas.

    Both models are about equal in accuracy. Both easy to take-down and clean.

    IMO the Beretta has the superior trigger action.

    The Sig may be a tad easier to rack the slide, (trigger cocked first).

    A hard choice to make. I shoot both routinely and enjoy them both very much. This is a comparison thread with two winners.

    Good luck.
     
  14. Carbon_15

    Carbon_15 Member

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    That happens alot :D

    Its not really about recoil...her second favorite caliber/gun is my Smith 27 .357. Its more about the way a mid-size .380 fits her hand.
    And while the Bersa, LCP and Walther are nice guns, its going to be eiher the Beretta or the Sig. She has been checking out these 2 in the local gunshop for a while now.
     
  15. Mr_Rogers

    Mr_Rogers Member

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    Both good. Sig stainless better.
     
  16. mgregg85

    mgregg85 Member

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    I've got a P3AT and a sig P232, both work great but I end up carrying the P3AT most of the time because of the size of the P232.

    Avoid the Little Copy Pistol and you will save yourself time in trying to find one, P3ATs are easily available and cheaper.
     
  17. 357sigRog

    357sigRog Member

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    I love my Bersa Thunder 380. Great little gun and like Michael T said under $300. Very accurate gun and hard to beat in my opinion.
     
  18. KC0QGL

    KC0QGL Member

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    Same here, been CCing mine for over a year, It's never let me down.
     
  19. eng23ine

    eng23ine Member

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    Looking for small? Keltec P3AT

    Looking for a fun plinker? Bersa

    Looking to spend more $$ than you need to? LCP or a nice little colt.


    I went with the Keltec and have not looked back.
     
  20. Darth AkSarBen

    Darth AkSarBen Member

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    Bersa Thunder is a very nice pistol, well made and accurate. Did I mention accurate?
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    The Berettas are among the best .380's out there. Big for the caliber, expensive, but excellent. Love my M85FS.
     
  22. DrLaw

    DrLaw Member

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    I used to carry a Mauser HSc as an off-duty gun. Never felt naked with it. Never really felt undergunned with it, either. I don't think I would feel naked or undergunned with any of the guns mentioned here. If you can get used to the idea of the grip safety keeping SHTF, a Browning 1910 is not a bad idea, either. Come to think of it, neither is a Colt. John Browning used to keep one of his 1910's in his pocket and shoot it on a regular basis from what I've read.

    The Doc is out now. :cool:

    [​IMG]
     
  23. wnycollector

    wnycollector Member

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    A buddy of mine has a Beretta 84...what a sweet shooting pistol! Its not a small .380, but its nice comforting handfull with 14 rounds of .380;)
     
  24. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    Until you stated this, was much in agreement with your opinion...
     
  25. benderx4

    benderx4 Member

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    CZ83 or Sig 232

    (The Walther is a beast!)
     
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