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9mm or .380

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by ndjpow74, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    In what situation would you forsee shooting a .380 acp at someone farther than 15 feet away from you?

    I carried a Guardian for 20 years before the LCP was introduced. For me it always served its role of self protection well but it has been retired from carry guns by lighter and slimmer pocket guns. I always felt confident in hitting a man sized target out to 50' (15 yards) with my Guardian but that was about as far as its could go considering it complete lack of sights. I am able to group my shots with my LCP much better than I ever was able to with my Guardian.
     
  2. jar

    jar Member

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    I find my 380s as easy to shoot quickly and accurately as any on my handguns but then I also actually practice and train with them. I find 380 easier to control and place several rounds in quick succession on target. I find my 380s easier to conceal and far more comfortable to carry than my other options, and those other options are broad and numerous. I find my 380 perform very much like my snub nosed revolvers and always have at least one more round.

    But if you do not feel fully and adequately protected with a 380 there are many viable options today you can pursue.

    And my 380s are also still 9mms.
     
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  3. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    Huh? Bullet diameter?
     
  4. jar

    jar Member

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    9mm Browning Short, 9mm Kurz, 9mm Corto, 380acp are all correct names for the same round. There are also 9mm Largo, 9mm Mak, 9mm Browning Long and several other variations of 9mm cartridges.

    medium800.jpg
     
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  5. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    At one time the performance gap between 45acp and 9mm (I shoot both) was pretty significant. Recent improvements in bullet design has narrowed this gap.

    I do not own a .380 acp but wonder if bullet designs are starting to close the gap between 9mm and .380 acp.
     
  6. George P

    George P Member

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    15 feet is less than a car length, so maybe an attempted robbery at a gas station?
     
  7. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I think they are... you can get more modern bullets in the .380, like Speer Gold Dots, which is what I carried when I toted the .380. Like one poster mentioned... having a .380 is better than having an empty hand... or a .45 back in the truck.
     
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  8. Livin_Cincy

    Livin_Cincy Member

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    The 380 is more suited for 'urban' terrain as bullets tend to not exit the intended human target. So you would need (2) shots to make (2) holes. Bersa & Berretta make double stack 380 designs that have 13 &15 round magazine capacities. So, it is not that big of an issue.

    The Metal Jacketed 9mm is designed to make an entrance & exit wound. With hollow points not always expanding it becomes an issue to think about. So you must decide ig you wish for this or not.

    The very small 380's can be a challenge to shoot or enjoy shooting on the range. They typically are light weight, have small sights, and as noted are small. For those reasons you may not like one.

    With 9mm being in double stack & single stack designs in a compact size you have many options. It is hard not to find one that fits good in the hand. Price is also competitive in this market.

    If you hand load you can load a 9mm case with a 380 bullet weight & velocity. This lets you shoot cheaper 9mm cases and cheaper 95-100 grain bullets. You can load these into a double stack 9mm for days when a 380 will do and then load a heavy 147 grain 9mm +P for other days. You can also buy inexpensive range ammo in 9mm.

    Along that same line is the option to load 115 grain bullets into 380 cases. There is load data for this as well. So you can have a heavier bullet for winter duty.
     
  9. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I rotate between a CW9 and a CM9... it doesn't sound like much... 1 round and .6" of barrel length... but it does make it a smaller pistol. I can conceal the CM9 under a loose T-shirt, I can't do that with my CM9. In fact, I just picked up another Kahr... a PM9 (same size as the CM9) for an additional carry piece.

    Nice thing about standardizing with the Kahr 9mm's... I use the same holster, same ammos, same magazines between all of my 9mm Kahrs (the exception being the shorter CM9 mags don't, obviously, work in the CW9) so I don't have to juggle a bunch of different holsters and/or remember to grab the correct spare magazine.
     
  10. frogfurr

    frogfurr Member

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    I can honestly say, from what I have seen shooting on my backyard range at home, that a 124 gr Speer Gold Dot in 9mm will tear up more stuff than a 45acp 200 gr LSWC. Size does matter. But bullets can help even out the odds.
     
  11. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I was at the movies with my wife and daughter today. I had my LCPII in the breast pocket of my flannel outer shirt. I prefer a 38 special, 44 special, 9mm, or something else bigger, but I didn't have time to get anything else out of the gun safe. Like the other posters said, it's WAY better than nothing.

    I can shoot mine fairly well. Then again, I have lots of practice. I got my first P3AT over five years ago. They aren't that hard to shoot if you practice enough, IMHO.
     
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  12. George P

    George P Member

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    And 9x21 and 9x23 and 9mmSTW
     
  13. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    Yeah, not me! All the gas stations around have signs all over the place saying there is never more than $50 in the till available to the attendant. I am not a cop and I am not a vigilanty, I am not going to start a gun fight over $50. I won't risk my life or even the life of the attendant to save Chevron fricken $50.

    When I started carrying 25 or so years ago I made a concious decision that the reason I am carrying is to protect myself, my family and possibly an innosent stranger from harm. Thats it! I will let the police to the policing. I will collect as much information as possible for the police if I ever witness a robbery but I am never going to risk my life or someone elses life over $50.

    Even if I had a clear shot at the perps back taking that shot will put my life for the next year in termoil with the legal process, high priced lawyers etc. If I thought the perp was going to shoot the attendant I do believe I would take the shot and suffer the consequences to save the attendants life. If I ever find myself drawing my pistol I have already reached the conclusion that someone is going to end up dead. I will not shoot to wound.

    All things considered I do not see a situation where I would shoot someone further than 15 feet away from me. Even if I was carrying my 1911 with a red dot which I can hit the 18" 100 yard gong with more often than not, I don't walk the streets looking for a gun fight so I have a chance to impress everyone with my shooting skills.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  14. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    You won’t be the first or the last. Another couple dozen calibers and you’ll be off to a great start.

    The best thing 380 has going for it to me is that I can load my own shot rounds for it using .223 brass, that cycles in a semiauto. Makes for a good lightweight snake pistol.
     
  15. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Not me. As small as 9mm pistols have gotten, I just don't see a good reason to go with a less powerful but more expensive round.
     
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  16. George P

    George P Member

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    No, I meant someone trying to rob you while you're pumping gas at your car (or do they outlaw self-serve?)
     
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  17. WYO

    WYO Member

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    How about in a movie theater where a bad guy dressed like a Batman villain is firing a rifle at innocents while standing between you and your nearest exit? How about in a shopping mall where running away risks the real possibility of you or your loved ones taking a round in the back? How about a situation where a loved one in danger is closer to the bad guy than you? You don't have to be the police or a wannabe hero to get caught in a life-threatening assault at multiples of 5 yards.
     
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  18. BlueHeelerFl

    BlueHeelerFl Member

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    I've been considering getting a small 380 as well. There are times when carrying my 9mm Shield in a pocket or iwb is difficult for me, such as when wearing dress slacks.
     
  19. Hasaf

    Hasaf Member

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    There seems to be an assumption here that all 9x17 pistols are incredibly small, easy to conceal, and hard to shoot. While it is true that some 9x17 pistols fall into all three of those categories, not all 9x17 pistols fall into any of them. There are plenty of options that are not sub-compact. Further, some sub-compacts shoot well.

    As I discuss 9x17 pistols you will notice that blowback pistols are absent. The only blowback pistol that I can recall owning is a Makarov, and it is not in 9x17. I also have a braced Scorpion and a High Point bullpup; however, I hardly count them as pistols.

    The Mustang variants (sold by several different companies) include some that shoot very will. As an example, I am continually surprised by how well my Kimber 308 Micro shoots. However, as some have pointed out, the small size leads to a stronger felt recoil. Moving up in size is the Glock 42 (G42). At that point we are well into pistols that are large enough to start seeing the low recoil advantage of the 9x17. However, we are no longer looking at sub-compacts. I am not going to deny that the G42 is a hard pistol to shoot accurately. That said, like the parent of the Mustang variants, the Colt 380 Government Model, it has the potential accuracy; which can be seen when shooting from a rest.

    Leaving those behind, we are now looking at the full size 9x17 pistols. This class is typified my the Beretta 84/85 service pistols. While I do not have either of these pistols, largely dye to my avoidance of blowback pistols, these service pistols remain highly regarded. This categories newest entrants include the Smith & Wesson M&P 380 ez, which I have not fired; but, as mentioned in this thread, is highly regarded. Also in the recent entries in this category is the Browning 1911-380.

    Based on my experience, I would not hesitate to recommend The 1911-380. However, with my arthritis in my thumb, I am finding that I need to move away from the 1911 based, and other thumb safety pistols. I find that I am moving back to my PK380 that is both DA/SA, and has a paddle release that I can easily operate with my trigger finger. However, like the 1911-380, it is no micro pistol.

    Yes, I am fully aware that, with most of the pistols I have named, I could have done with 9x19 instead of 9x17 and found something very similar. However, I have had no great desire to do so. I suspect that if I regularly frequented ranges that do not allow rapid fire I might feel very different (and yes, I am aware that prohibition is quite common). As it is, while I am not a competitive shooter, I enjoy placing my shots well, and rapidly. As far as defensive capability, based on the information I have seen, I consider the 9x17 to be adequate.

    I have been using 9x17 for my EDC since I purchased my 380 Government Model in the '80s. While I have a small number of 9x19 pistols, I see little reason to shange my EDC.
     
  20. zignal_zero

    zignal_zero Member

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    Don't forget - you also get the added benefit of more expensive ammo with the 380 :D

    OP - on a serious note. You will hear about the different lethality of various calibers but there are really TWO thing that make a pistol truly "deadly": (1) having it on you (2) actually being able to hit stuff with it. So..... Wtvr gun you are more likely to ALWAYS carry AND become more proficient with is the right gun for you. Yes, 9mm is ballistically superior, yes 9mm is cheaper and more plentiful BUT a 380 in you hand beats a 9mm in your car. Likewise, a 380 you shoot well beats a 9mm you don't.

    Personally, I have zero interest in 380 but it ain't for me.
     
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  21. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Not to change the subject, but there are no self-serve gas stations in Oregon anyway, are there Mike? I was under the impression pumping your own gas in Oregon was against the law.:)
     
  22. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Member

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    I've never hidden my dislike for 380. With the wonder nines that are out nowadays being the same size as 380 I find no point in owning one myself. More expensive ammo than the 9mm, worse performance, just not what interests me.
    Again, this is just my personal opinion and experience. There's a reason it's still around and popular. I just don't like the price of ammo for what it does.
     
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  23. Mark 40

    Mark 40 Member

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    And this is exactly why I carry a small 380ACP. It's what I'm confident and competent with.
     
  24. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    There aren't any 9mm pistols as small as an LCP, P3AT, Pico, etc. It's a different size category.
     
  25. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    I have never understood this line of thinking... you are something like 100 times more likely to be hit by lightening in the US than you are of ever being caught in a mass shooting. By this reasoning you should be walking around with a foil hat with a ground wire taped to the bottom of your shoe.

    You could also be caught at a concert where someone is popping off rounds 3000 yards to 4800 yards away. Do you never go to a concert without taking your .338 Laupa mag sniper rifle with you? Why would you go anywhere in public without a sniper rifle?... it has been proven that there is a possibility of of being killed by a mass shooter at greater than hand gun distances... more than once!


    True, Oregon does not allow self service. It really sucks as there are attendants that move at a snails pace and it can take forever to get gas some times. I do have to travel to our Washington office enough that I hate not being able to be armed with even a .380 due to no CCL reciprocity between OR and WA. I sure the heck don't let my tank get low enough that I have to fill up in the middle of the night at some gas station in sketchy neighborhood in Washington. If I find myself having to travel to our new Washington office much more I will check into getting a Washington CCL. In the mean time I am very aware of my surroundings and the situations I put myself into while I am walking around Buck Naked in WA!


    I am not saying there is anything wrong if you want to carry a large caliber hand gun and you are able to conceal a large caliber hand gun on you and it is actually on you everyday the entire day. Likewise there is nothing wrong with carrying a 380 pocket gun if that is all you are able to carry. A buddy of mine, a big guy, choice of carry weapon is a 1911... great, good for him! The number of times he has carried in public while I was with him I can count on one hand. He also NEVER carries at the office! I work in an office where flashing is not an option, neither is wearing a windbreaker or flannel over shirt. My boss carries a .40 M&P shield at work... in his back pack... which is next to him a good portion of the day... because he won't carry anything smaller than a 9mm. I will take my 380 that is on me every minute of the day over his 40 that is pretty accessible... much of the time. I really appreciate owning a 380 as it allows me to carry a gun when I would not otherwise be able to carry a gun. I love my DB9, which I practice with regularly and has been 100% reliable for me... but it is not concealable on me with the dress code of my office.

    If you don't like 380's.... don't carry a 380! I really don't care! If you don't have a gun on you when you need one... tell your widow not to come crying to me! If you want to tell someone else that a 380 is not worth owning... I will be sure to let them know that I believe otherwise!
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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