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.380 recommendation

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Stebalo, Jul 21, 2008.

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  1. Stebalo

    Stebalo Member

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    I'd like to pick up a small pocket gun. Something that I can very easily conceal but also something the 98 lb. wife could comfortably shoot at the range. .380 seems to be the most obvious choice. I've been wanting a Walther PPK but I've heard bad things about the recoil plus the weight of the gun, so I'm looking for recommendations.

    So for the moment, I'm looking at the
    • Walther PPK
    • Ruger LCP
    • Kel-Tec P3AT
    • Kahr P380
    • NAA guardian .380
    • Seecamp .380

    1) Have I missed any contenders?
    2) Why is the Ruger so hot right now?
    3) any particular recommendations?

    Also, I'd prefer her never experience the joy of slide bite. One instance could turn her off shooting for good. So please take that into consideration when making any recommendations.

    [edited to add Seecamp and NAA--I goofed]
     
  2. jocko

    jocko Member

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    kahr

    the P380 kahr will not be out until late Sept. so eliminate that one already. MY choice of the other 3 would be the lcp
     
  3. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    The very small .380 will have a stiff recoil. One nice larger .380 you may wish to consider is the Beretta, which is about the size of the PPK/S.

    The Ruger is so hot now, because it is a small compact .380, and it works. The Kel-Tec didn't always.

    The Seecamp is a very small .380, and is much more expensive. There is also a long waiting list.
     
  4. Stebalo

    Stebalo Member

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    Ok, I added 2 others I'd left off the list.

    What merits do the Ruger have that make it such a hot gun right now? Anything other than the newness and limited supply driving the frenzy?
     
  5. Dobe

    Dobe member

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    Reliability, price, size and the name. Ruger generally makes a firearm, which is reliable.
     
  6. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Member

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    I have a P3AT, which, I believe, is the lightest of all. The recoil isn't bad. It's a little stiff but totally bearable. Get a Kel-Tec or Ruger. They're both small; the Ruger's the bigger of the two. They're like having nothing in your pocket.
     
  7. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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    I’ve got a PPK and I don’t see how anybody could complain about the recoil? I am impressed with how accurate it is, but the weight could? be a problem depending on how light/how deep a backup gun you want. The LCP should be quite a bit lighter than the PPK.
    If I’m not mistaken, the PPK is not “drop safe” if the safety is off. (old Massad Ayoob article)-you might want to do some research (I’m assuming they’re still made the same)?
    Which reminds me…I’m assuming the LCP is drop safe (firing pin block?) since it’s a newer? design, but I may have to do a bit of research myself!

    After inspecting one, I’ve got an LCP on order-always eyed the Kel-Tec but just never could bring myself to buy one. Not that it makes any difference in the function, but the Kel-Tec looks a bit “unfinished”. The LCP has a much nicer finish to it than the P3AT.
     
  8. Tully M. Pick

    Tully M. Pick Member

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    Kel-Tec P3AT, or the Ruger P3AT.
     
  9. Thernlund

    Thernlund Member

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    The grand mack daddy of all .380's... the Sig P232.

    sigp232-6x4.jpg

    Spendy though at $750 (+/-). You didn't mention a price range.

    Stainless is also a tad heavy for a .380, but will help alot with comfort (ie. the recoil).


    -T.
     
  10. AMBASSADOR

    AMBASSADOR Member

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    I have a Walther PPK/S and I like it very much,it is accurate,minimal recoil,fun to shoot.If I were you I would also consider a Bersa .380 if you can find it at a descent price.The Bersa has just about doubled in the last year.
     

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  11. teknoid

    teknoid Member

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    I picked up a Bersa T380 last Friday. Only one range trip so far, but I like it a lot. For a $250 gun ($257 at Bud's), the trigger surprised me with it's smoothness. Accurate too, and negligible recoil. It's definitely worth a look. 23 ozs, unloaded.
     
  12. Law Enforcement

    Law Enforcement Member

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    I have the Sig P232 in blue (allow frame, steel slide) which is outstanding. It fits easily in my front pants pocket, is lightweight, controllable, and reliable. It is the BMW of .380s. Thernlund is spot on with his observations of the Sig P232. If you go to the Sig Sauer web site you will see blued Sig P232s MSRP of $629.00

    Buy one. You won't regret it.
     
  13. Thernlund

    Thernlund Member

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    Ah yes. I do stand somewhat corrected on this point. My price quote was aimed at stainless. Blued models are in fact less expensive.

    Thanks for the clarification LE. [​IMG]


    -T.
     
  14. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Only .380 I've ever owned/fired is my Bersa Thunder .380, and it's a great little gun. Found it new for $225 from a kitchen-table FFL.
     
  15. Prepster

    Prepster Member

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    I love my PPK, but it can be a little snappy with a heavy load (Buffalo Bore, Corbon). I've never had the slide bite problem, but I have pretty small hands, so that might be why. If recoil is a concern and you like the PPK, try it out with some Remington Golden Sabers or Federal Hydrashok 90 grain loads. Both are pretty nasty and very gentle on the hands.
     
  16. Robert14

    Robert14 Member

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    Check out the Beretta double stack 380. The new one looks like a mini-me 92f.
     
  17. Bobo

    Bobo Member

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    Walther PPK ...
    The Bersa Thunder is very similar but less costly.
    The SIG 232 is also very similar but more costly.
    All these guns are a bit larger and heavier than the others below. This may be good due to less recoil and softer to shoot.
    A bit large for pocket carry.


    These below are good for pocket carry:
    Ruger LCP ...
    Kel-Tec P3AT ...

    These are very similar and are very small and light, easy to conceal and carry a lot.

    Kahr P380 ...
    Not available yet.

    NAA guardian .380 ...
    A bit smaller than the Kel-Tec or Ruger. It is also heavier and costs a bit more.

    Seecamp .380 ...
    The smallest of all and one of most expensive. Not as easy to find as the others.


    My personal choices would be:

    Bersa if she can easily carry a slightly larger and heavier gun.
    They are low cost, reliable and quite accurate, and comfortable to shoot. Better as a "fun" range gun than the smaller guns.

    Kel-Tec or Ruger if a very small gun is preferred.
    They are low cost, reliable once broken in, and accurate at self-defense distances. Not very comfortable to shoot, but fine for the few rounds necessary for self-protection purposes and some practice at the range.

    Bobo
     
  18. Halo is for Kids

    Halo is for Kids Member

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  19. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    The smallest .380 pistols may not be comfortable for your wife. Hope I'm wrong, b/c they are easy to carry.

    The Bersa Thunder is worth checking out. Small enough for CC, even if not a pocket gun and big enough to help reduce felt recoil. It is a pleasure to shoot.
     
  20. BamAlmighty

    BamAlmighty Member

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    Another vote for the Sig 232, but with the Hogue grips.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    I've owned a Bersa DLX that I enjoyed greatly. It was a very reliable and accurate firearm but it's on another level in terms of size and weight compare to a Kel-Tec/LCP sized gun.


    I love how the ruger hasn't made out to the countries ranges yet, but people are heralding it's reliability and quality.
     
  22. Halo

    Halo Member

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    Another recommendation for the Bersa. I have a Bersa Thunder and a Bersa Series 95 (they're practically identical). They are great pistols, and you can find them NIB for around $250. I keep mine fed with Speer Gold Dot, 90 grain. Recoil is a bit snappy, as with any small blowback pistol, but it is more than manageable. I sincerely believe you would be doing yourself a disservice if you don't include the Bersa in your hunt for a small .380 pistol.
     
  23. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    A HUGE +1 !!!

    I've owned & shot quite a few .380's over the years.

    There is often little difference in recoil between a locked breech 9mm and a blowback action .380

    While the SIG is a beautiful, well made handgun, it is waaaaay to big for a .380 pocket pistol. All Kahr polymer frames (P9, PM9, CW9) are lighter and smaller than the Sig 232. They are also 9x19- meaning much cheaper to shoot than .380acp.

    The Kahr CW9 can be had NIB for less than $400. If you a bound and determined to get a .380, let your wife shoot a Bersa and a KelTec/Ruger LCP. She'll let you know which she likes.
     
  24. The_Sheriff

    The_Sheriff member

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    Bersa .380 is great, they also make a concealed carry model.
     
  25. knicks118

    knicks118 Member

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    SIG 232, blued of course.

    [​IMG]
     
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