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In the market for a pocket 380

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by RTR_RTR, Jul 3, 2016.

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  1. RTR_RTR

    RTR_RTR Member

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    Primary things I'm looking for are reliable, tiny, real sights (but don't need to be adjustable), and within my budget. Looking at the lcp custom, tcp, pico, and cw380 (this one being at the top end of my budget). Ive shot the gen 1 lcp and hated it, but have read the custom is much improved. I've handled but not fired the pico. I liked the trigger and the ergonomics were actually reasonable for me outside of the mag release, but the reviews seem to be mixed at best. The tcp and the kahr I haven't even handled. The tcp seems to get a ton of praise and it is crazy cheap, but taurus gives me pause and I'm not sure about the lighter trigger for a pocket pistol, holster or no (a decent DAO or DA/SA would be ideal). Finally, a gun that is somewhat tolerable to shoot would be nice to make practice more likely (and I hear the pico is fairly gentle), but that's not a necessity.

    Any insight / recommendations to help me make a decision (or other pistols I should consider) would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    I have a Pico and I love it. The mag release is a little different, but not difficult once you get used to it. Racking the slide, however, is not for those with even average hand strength unless you get the new upgraded model.

    It's a very well made and very soft shooting little pistol. I have had no failures with mine and it isn't even one of the newer upgraded models.

    The Pico is the first micro .380 that I can take to the range and shoot until I run out of ammo (about 100-150 rounds). I really enjoy the little shooter. AND it seems that the price point as dropped on them to sub-300 dollars.
     
  3. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

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    What's your budget? The SIG P238 is the Cadillac of pocket .380s (does anyone even say that any more?) but it isn't cheap.
     
  4. RTR_RTR

    RTR_RTR Member

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    Thanks Fiv3r, that's good to hear about the Pico. One of the big things that'd turned me off was reports of broken firing pins, but I'm wondering if this might be people dry firing without snap caps.

    Sergei - $500 or so all said and told, but that includes ffl transfer fee (or tax) and $150 for at least a couple hundred rounds of defense ammo to break in and test reliability. I would be going with the p238 if I had the budget for it
     
  5. Webmonkey

    Webmonkey Member

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    Anything other than a p238, I just sold mine, it was a lemon that never worked. Even after a visit to the factory
     
  6. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    I have been carrying my Kel-Tec P3-AT since 2005. I have always found it to be reliable and relatively accurate.

    FWIW. :)

    P3AT.jpg
     
  7. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    GBExpat, that's almost exactly my preferred pocket rig. I think I recognize the high dollar grip sleeve. Many of my firearms wear one like it. I've had no problems whatever with my KelTec P3AT and would recommend it.
     
  8. likesguns

    likesguns Member

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    I have a Kahr CW380,I love the way it shoots,not the least bit uncomfortable to fire at the range,with that said when I first purchased it I had issues and had to send it back to Kahr for a fix(which seems not too uncommon for them)
     
  9. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    I'd go with an LCP, and probably will for my own "deep concealment" need. Super small, light, excellent track record backed by excellent CS, and a price that can't be beat. Really hard to go wrong with it.
     
  10. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    I currently have both the CW380 and the LCP Custom. Price is pretty much a toss-up between the two.

    The LCPs just flat work. (Had two early model LCPs previously.) Any ammo, any time. However, the triggers are horrible. The Custom's trigger is no better than the two Gen 1 LCPs I had. Maybe it will smooth out in time. The sights on the Custom are much better than the earlier models--almost too big, but a welcome change.

    The CW380 is a joy to shoot. Trigger is fantastic. Sights are great, feels like about half the recoil of the LCP. As a result, I shoot it far better...and with half the effort. However, it is a bit more ammo-finicky than the LCP. In fairness, most any factory ammo seems to work on the CW--most of my problems are with my handloads, and I'm getting there.

    However, the same handloads which give my CW fits, go right through the LCP.

    Handle and dry-fire both side by side if you can.

    The Sig 238 is nice if you are a 1911 guy (I am). But, it is larger and heavier than either the LCP or CW380...actually, it is larger/heavier than several 9mms...and at that point, why carry a .380 at all?
     
  11. joem1945

    joem1945 Member

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    I carry a Kel Tec in a Desantis holster.
     
  12. Keb

    Keb Member

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    There is a downloadable PDF at mouseguns.com
     
  13. DonP

    DonP Member

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    Another vote for the Kahr CW380, but for sights get a Crimson Trace Laserguard for it. When you put visible/bigger/night sights on a mouse gun it's no longer a Mouse Gun.
     
  14. Cokeman

    Cokeman Member

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    I like my Kahr P380
     
  15. MauserHSCman

    MauserHSCman Member

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    Go retro

    If budget is a problem and reliability is primary (as it should be) -- I carry a Mauser HSC in 380. Beautiful firearm, smaller than most current models (and heavier, being all steel), with rounded corners and good sights. Should be able to find one well under $300 somewhere.
     
  16. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    I was a PPK fan for nearly 40 years. A few years ago got a S&W BG380. I've been carrying that since. Easy to shoot. I shoot it about as well as a 2" j frame. It's been 100% reliable with any ammo I've put through it.
     
  17. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    <nodding> I started with those (I still have one left) in 1975, so 30 years for me ... my P3-AT replaced it as my Small Carry piece.

    I only very rarely carried the PPK in a pocket, though, almost always in a Roy's leather pancake at 4-5 on the belt. Seemed a bit heavy to me for pocket carry unless I was wearing a substantial coat.

    Good thing about the ol'PPK is that with the heavy DA trigger pull on those things there is much less chance of snagging the trigger while it is loose in-pocket and blowing off a body part. ;)
     
  18. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I have 3 pocket 380s; a Kel-Tec P3AT, a Kahr P380 and a Glock 42. The Glock is what I carry the most. When I'm wearing very light clothing (like a swimming suit) or clothing with a shallow pocket, I carry the Kel-Tec. The Kahr doesn't get used that much.

    Consider what a pocket 380 is for. It's for very close shooting in self defense. You're not going to be using it for picking off a groundhog at 50 yards and, the truth is, if your clothing will allow, you'd be better off with something with a little more horsepower.

    With the purpose of a pocket 380 in mind, it is REALLY important that it has a "good" trigger or that the recoil is so brutal (LOL) that it hurts your widdle hands?

    Derringer and 454 Casul

    The guy is shooting a Bond Arms Derringer loaded with 454 Casul cartridges and they weren't loaded down (no, this is not recommended by the manufacturer). If the 380 ACP bothers you, I'd recommend Pamprin.

    By the way, awhile back I tried various 380 ACP cartridges in the P3AT and the Kahr. The P3AT didn't choke on any of them and the Kahr did on the hollow points and flat nosed bullets.
     
  19. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    RTR_RTR

    Currently I have three .380s: an older Colt Mustang, a SIG P238, and a KelTec P3AT.
    Between the two SAO guns the P238 gets a slight edge mainly because of it's factory night sights. Both are easy to pocket carry though I prefer an IWB holster for better access to the gun. The P3AT is a true pocket carry gun though not nearly as ergonomic or as comfortable to shoot as the other two. I carry it most times in a DeSantis Nemesis holster.
     
  20. Predator55

    Predator55 Member

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    Hard to beat a Kahr, especially for reliability.
     
  21. Acera

    Acera Member

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    You should check out the Remington, RM380. I've been seeing some good things about it. It is what Remington did with the Rohrbaugh design after they bought the rights.

    Since the 9mm (my EDC) is easy enough for me to shoot, I would suspect that the .380 is even better.
     
  22. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  23. twhorse

    twhorse Member

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    I carried a LCP .380 for a long time but with more bad guys needing to be taken out of the gene pool, i have started carrying a Ruger Lc9s in a Kangaroo Carry shoulder holster under my shirt. I took it to church yesterday and nobody had any idea that i was carrying. I just feel better with a 9mm vs 380.
     
  24. RevDerb

    RevDerb Member

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    I carry the LCP Custom about 50% of the time and Ruger LC9s (9mm) the rest of the time. In the 9mm, the LC9s-Pro the trigger was too light for pocket carry for me so replaced it with the 9s with safety.
     
  25. jeepnik

    jeepnik Member

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    If you don't mind a bit of extra weight, the PPK or PPKS are the Rolls Royce of .380's
     
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