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.380 vs 9mm?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by chrisnoel27, Mar 13, 2011.

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  1. chrisnoel27

    chrisnoel27 Member

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    OK, I might be slightly ignorant (or more) so I must ask, why are .380's so popular? Wouldn't people rather have the more powerful 9mm round at hand? Or is the .380 not as weak as I'm thinking? I know for carry the .380 is more optional because of the size but aren't their quite a few 9mm's the same size? Please to be educated now.
     
  2. Geckgo

    Geckgo Member

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    Price. Well, gun price at least, but most people that I know don't shoot their 380s too often. Finding a "pocket 9" is usually more expensive, supposedly because the gun needs to be built better and can't use a blowback design like most 380s. Some of this is speculation, some fact, but there are always exceptions.
     
  3. beeenbag

    beeenbag Member

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    There are no 9mm the same size as the smaller .380s except maybe the rohrbaugh, I haven't held one so Im not for sure.

    The lcp sized 380s are possible because of the 380 being a lower pressure round, allowing the manufacturer to use a smaller platform.

    Also a 9mm would be totally punishing in that sized pistol.

    I have a kel-tec p-11 which hurts my hand alot worse than my glock 27 in .40 S&W. The p-11 is small but not as small as say a p-3AT.

    This is just my take on it. Others will have more technical info shortly.
     
  4. george29

    george29 Member

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    In the US they are popular because of Kel Tec's P3AT and the knockoff's that followed. In Europe, S.America and certain M.East countries they are popular and have always been so as powerful Military & Police weapons. With the advance of body armor, metallurgic technology and ballistics, Government troops are usually no longer issued the .380. So why do civillians in these countries still like them? Maybe because most Europeans are not ballistic savvy and in Europe the .380 is called 9mm Kurtz so they think it is the same as a 9x19.
     
  5. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

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    .380 is very small and can be easily pocket carried. Its not easy to do that with 9mm.
     
  6. heeler

    heeler Member

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    ^^... What he said.
    I own a Diamondback .380 as well as a Kahr PM9 and at the moment at least I know the Kahr is one of the smallest,lightest 9mm's out there and is quite easy to conceal but with light summer clothing it will never be as concealeable or as light or as thin as my .380.
    And that is the reason these little .380's are so popular and is exactly the reason I bought mine.
    Put it in a pocket holster,drop them in a pocket, and you will practically forget you have it on you.
     
  7. Nushif

    Nushif Member

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    I'll agree here. People can pound on about how there is 9mms that are the size and shootability of a DB but they can hardly ever show me one that isn't well over 800 bucks.

    I laugh.
     
  8. PabloJ

    PabloJ Member

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    In America at Walmart pack of .45ACP FMJ being same price as pack of .380ACP...... The 9 Luger ammo is substantially less expensive then both I have mentioned....I don't get it. I don't think European hunting stores are full of subcompact 9x19 pistols and in most countries poor people w/o connections can not legally own a handgun. In most places application process is complex and includes psychological evaluation by medical practitioner. One doesn't simply check "I'm sane box" goes through background check and goes home with a firearm. Ownership and purchase of ammunition is also strictly regulated.
     
  9. Ala Tom

    Ala Tom Member

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    I used to own a .380 and I thought a 9mm would be a lot better as a defense weapon. I ran a comparison on genitron.com of the Kel-Tec P3AT and the Kahr PM9. I also looked at the Taurus TCP 380. The Kel-Tec has a heck of a kick. Its energy is about the same as a full size .40 or .45. But its defense rating is only 57%. The Kahr 9mm also has quite a kick. Its defense factor is 74%. The Taurus .380 did better than the Kel-Tec but was still well below the 9mm. It has a low kick but its defense factor is 59%.
     
  10. cskny

    cskny Member

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    - +1 -
     
  11. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    In addition to the size/price factor, the 9mm simply doesn't have that great an advantage when shot out of a very short barrel. For example the Rohrbaugh only gets about 950 fps out a 2.9 inch barrel. A number of .380 loads will top that out of the same barrel length.

    Of course, you're shooting a lighter slug (90 vs 115 grain) in the .380, but taking everything into account the performance advantage is negligible.

    http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/9mmluger.html
     
  12. gym

    gym member

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    size and weight
    A lot of what you read is debatable. The only way to tell is to, shoot a bad guy, put him in a time machine and shoot him again with a different caliber at the same distance time etc. Until that can be accomplished, use what you have and aim.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  13. BushyGuy

    BushyGuy Member

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    .380 is inferior to the 9mm in every way, 9mm is minimum for optimum protection IMHO. Ruger LC9 is as small as a .380 and with more punch.

    i feel the .380 is a waste of money -they are more expensive to shoot and not as effective as the 9mm. Everyone is different to each thier own.

    i wouldnt carry less then a 9mm , but thats just me.
     
  14. Hypnogator

    Hypnogator Member

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    Errr..... No! A Ruger LCP or Kel-Tec P3AT are pocket guns. An LC9 or PF9 will fit in SOME pockets. I carry the PF9 when I can, the LCP when I can't. Whenever I'm dressed for it, I carry my .40 PPS or my PT-145.
     
  15. Ben86

    Ben86 Member

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    Because there is no such thing as a true 9mm pocket gun. Trust me.
     
  16. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    Check out "ballistics by the inch" and see just how much more punch a 9mm has in a 3 inch barrel. You'll be disappointed. A 9mm out of a 3 inch barrel is not the same animal as a 9mm out of a 4 1/2 inch barrel.

    Not only are you dealing with a large drop in ballistic effectiveness, but you are also dealing with enormous recoil (slower follow up shots) and muzzle flash (night blindness).

    Ballistics by the inch: http://www.ballisticsbytheinch.com/results.html
     
  17. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "Because there is no such thing as a true 9mm pocket gun."

    I've carried a Rohrbaugh 9mm in my front pants pocket everyday for 4 years.
    It's just as easy to carry - in the same types of clothing - as the P-32 I used as a pocket gun for many years prior to buying the R9.



    "the 9mm simply doesn't have that great an advantage when shot out of a very short barrel"

    Okay, it's only a little better. But better is better. It's still not worse than, it's better than.

    The R9 has one big advantage, the entertainment advantage that comes from listening to people proudly state that they'd never spend that much on a little gun.

    JT
     
  18. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    Really? Try shooting your Rohrbaugh against someone with a nice little locked breech .380 like a Sig P238 or a Mustang. How many rounds can you get on target and how quickly? I suspect he's going to get two rounds off for every one you do.
    Would you rather get shot twice with a 90 grain .380 or once with a 115 grain 9mm?

    There's nothing wrong with a very small nine like the Rohrbaugh, but I just think that in the real world it's not as good as it sounds.
     
  19. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    Like Kodiak is pointing out...
    There is certain types of firearms that a round excels in
    A small pocket gun might be better, and more easily controlled in .380, than 9mm
    Or a VERY light weight, very small gun better in .32 than .380.

    I find the P32 a nicer gun than similar weight .380s
     
  20. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    I like a 380 I see nothing wrong with one. People don't want shot and when shot most tend to leave, if possible in a hurry.. Not all BG are 400lb biker on PCP. My Mustang is easy to carry and soft recoil I trust it and Corbon DPX to do the job Mustang and KelTec are great pocket pistols In a t shirt my Bersa or PPK/S disappears IWB .
     
  21. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    Hell of a discrepancy between the velocities of the Para Carry 9 (3") and the Rorbaugh (2.9") on those results. I think it goes to show that every barrel is different, and that Rorbaugh they were shooting really seems to have a slow barrel.


    On that table, the only two loads I see that are what I would consider up to date defense loads are the Cor-Bon 115 DPX and the Speer 124 Short Barrel load.

    Both of which did very well out of the short barrels, better than anything else on there. I'd be curious to see them add some more typical defense loads like the 147/147+P HST, the 147 Ranger-T, a couple other Gold Dots, some stuff that people are likely to be carrying in 2011 instead of 1995.

    Oh yeah, on a lot of those real world results, the Beretta didn't really do any better than the Para-Ordnance.
     
  22. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    In a case of the tail wagging the dog, the .380 is popular because the little, relatively inexpensive ($300-ish) pocket pistols now on the market chambering it are popular. To go up in cartridge power means a step up in size as well as price.
     
  23. cskny

    cskny Member

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    No, it's not.
     
  24. Delmar

    Delmar Member

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    The best 380 loads in a decent pistol have close to the power of a 38 special, which is not a terrible place to be. but the same technology which brought us better 380s also brought us better 9MMs. As has been repeatedly stated, size does matter. Same argument with the 2 inch snubby 357s...you lose a ton with a short barrel on them as well. I guess the side benefit is the muzzle flash will set them on fire too lol.
     
  25. Norton Commando

    Norton Commando Member

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    The 380 was one of the first pocket guns, which is one reason why it was so popular for so long. It doesn't pack the punch of a 9mm, but you can't argue about the small size and ease of concealment.

    DSCN0011.gif
     
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