9mm vs 380

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by tws3b2, Jun 2, 2022.

  1. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Only a minor correction: Colt 1903/1908 were issued to Generals. Their Staff drew whatever sidearms the TO&E permitted.
    Glossy black leather belt & holster part of the General Officer issue, too. There's actually a glossy black UM84 for the current issue belt. This last year, Generals were to be issued a specialized SIG M18, in 9x19; they had been given custom M-9 pistols for the last coupe decades.
     
  2. 230RN
    • Contributing Member

    230RN Please Read the Preamble to the Bill Of Rights

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    I have a hint for your grandmother which works for me but seems to contradict conventional wisdom.

    You must remember that laser sights just emphasize the normal aiming wobble you would get with iron sights but don't really notice as much.

    I use a different technique.

    I hold my DAO gun two-handed near my waist so it is inherently steadier than the conventional arm's length hold and when the laser dot is wobbling around but about to approach the desired area, I start pulling the trigger.

    With practice the gun prints "right on" when it goes off.
    There are two dangers here. One is when the range officer spots you and berates you for what he sees as "unsafe gun handling" because you're "shooting from the hip."

    The other is to keep your targets hung low on the frame. Since you are shooting from a lower angle (your waist area), even though you hit the the regular higher target where you wanted, the bullet would be traveling in a higher trajectory than normal and could go over the berm or hit the ceiling.

    Now: This works very well for me, not for Arnold or George, or Michael, but maybe for your grandmother as well.

    Terry, 230RN
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2022
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  3. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    Sounds like a pretty good technique to me .... but then, I'm not an RSO.
     
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  4. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    Everything else being equal, a 9mm pistol will, of course, have more recoil (real as opposed to "felt") than one chambered in .380. But most pistols aren't "equal" in every respect and there can be some real contradictions in expectations and affects. Simple physics will dictate that heavier firearms will always recoil less than lighter ones but sometimes configuration can count more than weight in terms of "felt" recoil-and only shooting the pistol will determine if how the shape and feel of a pistol will make a difference in "perceived" recoil to an individual shooter. It's not rare that a pistol chambered in 9mm might have a felt recoil less than an otherwise equivalent .380 pistol (in terms of concept) based on how it "feels" to the shooter.
     
  5. Hasaf

    Hasaf Member

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    First off, the cost difference of the ammunition isn't that different. Yes, 380 ammunition is more expensive by about 20%-40%.

    As far as the Browning 11911-380. I have one that I shoot in both 22lr and 380. When shooting 22lr it is working as a blowback and when shooting 380 it is using a locking breech. The result is that the felt recoil is nearly identical with both calibres.
    1911-380-22-LI.jpg

    Right now I have been carrying my Glock 42. That is because I have been riding my motorcycle and I prefer the Safariland ALS holster for motorcycling and there isn't one for my Browning. The G42 has been as durable as expected, including after kayaking fail that had it underwater for over a half-hour. If you are getting a 380, just get something that was made this century. Avoid blowbacks, but the reality is that there are very few of those on the market, what HiPoint and various PPK clones.

    Glock-42-w-grip-tape-slide-release-sights.jpg

    You will notice that I have an extended grip on the magazine. I have also added factory night-sights and an extended slide release and some grip tape wrap. These have made an already easy to shoot pistol into a great shooter, I am just more accurate with th e 1911-380.
     
  6. 230RN
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    230RN Please Read the Preamble to the Bill Of Rights

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    Ported handguns, at least mine in .357/ .38, have a significant (and can be very disturbing) muzzle flash and muzzle blast. Yes, the felt recoil was a lot lower and follow up shots faster. I wasn't aware that anything less than .38/ .357/ full 9 were ported, but it can be done after-market.
    ...
    ,
    True, true, and I quoted this because I love to point out the amusing (to me) fact that if the gun weighed the same as the bullet, it would be just as dangerous on the shooter's side, recoil-wise. :what:

    Ike Newton pointed that out 'way back in the 16-17 hundreds. It was the E=mc^2 of the time.

    Yay, physics ! :)

    Terry, 230RN

    REF:
    The Principia
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2022
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  7. mokin

    mokin Member

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    I'm liking this thread. Especially the pictures.

    I think the takeaway is that the 380 cartridge is suitable (but maybe not ideal), it's the firearms you need to be wary of.
     
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  8. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    Hah!! I think that sums it up in a nutshell quite well!! :thumbup:
     
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  9. SDGlock23

    SDGlock23 Member

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    Probably the best shooting 380 out there is the Glock 42. It's not the smallest 380 but it is a small gun. The 380 isn't my go to choice but because of its size I find myself packing a 380 quite often (LCP MAX)
     
  10. Pistolay

    Pistolay Member

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    I've had to move down to .380 due to severe thumb and wrist issues. My biggest problem wasn't recoil, although that was an issue. It was manipulating the pistol: racking the slide, engaging the slide lock, and in the case of Glocks, removing the slide.

    In .380, I currently own an LCP II, 2 LCP MAXs and a P365. I've previously owned a SCCY CPX-3, SIG P290RS and 2 G42s.

    The recoil of the LCP II sucks bad enough that I don't want to shoot more than a few mags, but it's easy to manipulate. I only keep it around for those times that I really need something tiny. Other than the recoil, it's a good gun for what it is.

    Both MAXs have Hogue HandALL grips. The recoil is tolerable, and both pistols are easy to manipulate. They're good guns.

    My P365 is my EDC. It's soft shooting, easy to manipulate, and very accurate. I really like this pistol and will own a second one sooner rather than later.

    The SCCY and the SIG were both soft shooting, easy to manipulate, and acceptably accurate. However, they both have DAO triggers that most people don't like these days. In addition, the SIG is no longer in production, and the SCCY doesn't hold up over the long haul.

    The Glocks were soft shooting and accurate, but had the stiffest springs of any of my .380s. They were hard to rack, and had that Glock takedown procedure that was difficult for me to deal with. More importantly, the wrist of my shooting hand is weak, and they were very limpwristing intolerant. That's why I no longer own them.
     
  11. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    What I carry / do is "no one else's problem nor business" yet I'll post it on a discussion forum.
    giphy.gif
     
  12. Hasaf

    Hasaf Member

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    I also added some skateboard tape-like things to go in the slide cutouts on my G42. It makes it significantly easier to charge.
     
  13. jstert

    jstert Member

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    my s&w shield ez 380acp is a pleasant shooter but seems too big to serve as a ccw, for me anyway.

    my ccw suggestion is a 38sp j-frame revolver, loaded with softer wadcutters or short colts, and fitted with a rubber aftermarket grip that covers its backstrap and gives a 3-finger hold, all to ease felt recoil. finding this softer 38sp ammo is a real challenge now, thus a heavier steel, versus airweight, frame might be in order to soak up recoil from stouter loads. a 327/32 revolver would be better yet only if ammo can be assured.

    a 22lr handgun that serves as a practice, plinking and, later in life, a final protection piece is a good choice in any event; either a ruger sr22 pistol or a more concealable lcr revolver (preferably -x model with exposed hammer for both single & double action). 22lr ammo is the least challenging to get and keep. two 500 round bricks of decent 22lr ammo costs 10% in price, weight and storage space of just 500 rounds of softer 38sp loads now.

    i would worry more about accuracy and ease of shooting than stopping power when i hit my 70s.
     
  14. citizenconn

    citizenconn Member

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    My elderly Mother's Walther PK380 is very mild shooting as well.
    https://waltherarms.com/pk380/

    Walther_PK380-Black_LS_5050308_L.png
     
  15. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I like the .380 round, too, even from the blowback-operated Bersa Thunder. If I could find one, I think a Taurus PT58 would be a nice shooter.

    I do still carry either a 9mm autoloader (G2C or PF9), or a .38 snub. Either is backed by a Ruger LCP-MAX.

    I agree with others that, for a recoil-operated .380 for carry, it will probably boil down to either the EZ or the P365-380.
     
  16. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

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    Like others said, an equal sized/weight .380 will yes be lighter recoil. But, often people get a .380 that is smaller than the smallest 9 mm, and then the recoil is stout. I’d say a Glock 42 to S&W .380 Shield, Bersa .380, or the new Sig 365 in .380 are good compact yet low recoil options.
     
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  17. sgt127

    sgt127 Member

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    E0ACCD6B-5A4D-427D-AD5E-8440AD945761.jpeg A full size, all metal, locked breech .380 is really good for recoil sensitive users. And, diminished grip strength to rack the slide.

    Much better than blow back .32’s. Of which I own several.

    I still shoot .45. .357 Sig and 9mm. But, I got this for Officer of the year in 1987. Just shot it the other day. Reminded of how pleasant it was.

    it’s in reserve for when others get too unwieldy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2022
  18. zaitcev

    zaitcev Member

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    It is a plain blowback. Many blowback operated handguns have removable barrels. Colt Hammerless and FN 1910 are typical examples.
     
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  19. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    If you can carry, a 9x19 pistol versus a 380 ACP pistol, will give you have more capability with the 9x19.

    The offset is size, the 9x19 pistols are a bit larger than their 380 ACP counterparts.

    I carried a 380 ACP Colt Mustang (1986 vintage) for many years and got very good with first hits and follow up hits. I realized its limitations and felt comfortable with its size and conceal ability. Finally, I got comfortable shooting the Mustang with reliable hits out to 50 yards or so. While not an effective range for 380 ACP, but a nice skill/performance to have on hand to keep heads down.
     
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  20. golden

    golden Member

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    tws,

    I think you have several options. You mentioned the CZ-83. I think that it would be an excellent self defense gun. While a lot is made about locked breach, blowback, the truth is that the CZ 83 is an all steel gun and not very light. I have the CZ-82 in the harder recoiling 9m.m. Makarov caliber and it is not a strong recoiling gun to me. If you have one, it is a very good choice. It is well made, accurate and very reliable. The only down side to this gun is that it does not have a hammer dropping safety like the similar sized, but lighter BERETTA 84. The BERETTA is also an outstanding choice. They both have large capacity magazines, so you may not even have to reload in a fight.

    I would also recommend the S&W EZ .380ACP. I bought one for my wife who has limited hand strength and she has no problem shooting the EZ. It is a brilliant design and lighter and more compact than the CZ-83. The only really drawbacks are a smaller magazine capacity (mine holds only 7 rounds in the magazine when the slide is forward and it is not as accurate as other .380ACP pistols like my SIG 232.

    I carry a SIG 365 off duty. Recoil is an issue with this gun. I am using the HORNADY 100 grain FTX load to keep recoil down, but they recently announced this excellent gun in .380ACP. It has a 10 shot magazine or larger is you are willing to use a bulkier gun. It has a shot trigger, good sights for a small gun and has proven very reliable.

    If you can, rent the gun you are interested and try it before buying. It will tell you a lot.

    Good luck with your choice.

    Jim
     
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  21. Hasaf

    Hasaf Member

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    I didn't mention that one because it is out of production. There is the other problem that many people reported the safety walking off on its own. Easily fixed by removing the safety and drilling the detent about .5mm deeper, but it is intimidating for a lot of users to go after their own pistol with a drill press. The main issue is just that it is out of production.
    IMG-20170728-120213559-1.jpg
    Of course, the obligatory picture of mine.
     
  22. dawei

    dawei Member

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    I acquired a Ruger® LCP 380 Auto. It was great to carry but a bear to shoot. I really couldn't see the minuscule sights so accuracy suffered and it was very snappy in recoil. I traded it for a first-generation Ruger® LC9. What a marked improvement over the LCP! It is accurate and soaks up the recoil. I won't go back to a 380 when I have a 9mm that will do the job.

    YMMV.
     
  23. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    Was that this guy?

    318A4CA6-E30F-4D55-927F-EFAABDA0DAE5.jpeg

    I heard he’s an expert on the use of a shotgun for self defense, too.

    As for the OP, maybe a used Browning BDA or Beretta 84 .380 would fill the bill? They certainly kick less than any of my smaller .380’s do.

    Good luck finding the gun that fits your needs! :thumbup:

    Stay safe.
     
  24. Autodidactic

    Autodidactic Member

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    Yeah, but there are much better .380’s than LCP I, including even LCP Max’s. S&W Bodyguards. Glock 42’s, etc. they all have better sights, more mass, better grip, etc.
     
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  25. defjon

    defjon Member

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    My wife has a sig p238 and it doesn't seem bad in recoil or in slide racking (remember to cock hammer before you rack).

    I saw jstert recommend the revolver and it is something to think about. I've had hand and wrist surgeries and always go to the revolver during these times. It is easy to load from speedloader/speed strip/ or dropping rounds in the cylinder. It does not depend on proper grip angle or strength.

    I recommend one with a hammer.

    Something like the Taurus 856 defender gives you a three inch barrel and night sights. Loaded with 158 grain flat point fmj recoil is negligible. There are many low recoil self defense loads in 38 special that will perform well with the 3 inch barrel. Standard pressure critical defense 110 grain loads recoil like wadcutters (which would also be a very easy load and get the job done for self defense).

    Carries well as a bonus. Versatile for carry and house gun. when you get into smaller guns, you don't give up as much as far as capacity when you're talking about a proper six shooter.
     
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