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Micro 380 Shoot-Out

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Tallball, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Through various circumstances I recently gained possession of three micro 380 pistols. I finally got all three of them to the range today and shot them one right after the other until I'd burned through two boxes of ammo.

    Ruger LPC II - I saw it at my LGS. It was in really nice shape and I was about to not have a micro 380 (see below). The sights were way better than my P3AT. The trigger was deceptive when I dry-fired it just a few times. It felt kind of stiff, but when I shot it a day or two later I realized it had a short travel and broke easily. My only complaint was that if I wasn't careful with my thumb I would engage the magazine release while shooting it.

    Kel-Tec P3AT - I owned one for about five years and liked it. It had very small sights, but the trigger was halfway decent. For complicated reasons I let my FiL have it after I found a replacement (the LCP). The one I bought originally had a pretty good trigger and I never once engaged the magazine release by mistake. After I shot the LCP II, I kind of missed my P3AT. I found one for super cheap that was barely used and bought it.

    Beretta Pico - I ran across one barely used for super cheap. I couldn't help thinking, "Why not try them all?" It's pretty much the exact same size as the other two, though maybe slightly heavier. Unfortunately the trigger guard goes down lower, though, so I can't even get my ring finger all the way onto the grip. The sights are excellent, even better than the LPC II. I have XXL hands like Hickock45, but he said the weight and balance let him shoot it decently, even though it was a "one finger pistol" for him.

    Well, today I shot them all to see which one I really liked, and it wasn't even close. Keep in mind, I only had one of each. They might have been the best or worst of their variety ever made. In fact, I suspect two of them had stiffer than average triggers. Here is how they felt...

    I think the Pico may have been the worst. It has the best sights. Hickock was right, the weight and balance let me shoot it decently even though I couldn't get my ring finger all the way onto it. The magazine release and slide release are horrible. But nothing is worse than the trigger. It is stiff as a statue. If I have to squeeze until my wrist shakes, my accuracy is going to be sub-par. I could actually shoot it okay for SD, but it was the worst of the three because of the horrible trigger. Maybe I got an extremely bad specimen.

    This P3AT has a much worse trigger than my previous one. It isn't as bad as the Pico, but it's bad. The small sights don't bother me as much as I'd expect (I only shoot pistols like this at seven yards), the magazine release isn't obtrusive, and I can get my ring finger all the way onto the grip. But the trigger is almost as bad as the Pico; it sucks. I don't like handguns with sucky triggers.

    The LCP II has an overly-protruding and poorly placed magazine release. I have to be conscious to put my right thumb above it. The sights are good. I can put my whole ring finger onto the grip. The trigger is kind of "crisp", but the pull is short and it releases easily at the end. I shot it well. There was no question that it was my favorite of the three.

    Honestly, any of them would work for me for SD. I can empty any of them into a medium-sized paper plate at seven yards. None of them had malfunctions. They are all easy to carry. The LCP II was easily my favorite, though. It has good sights and a nice trigger. The 30-something rounds I shot through it all went into an area about the size of my fist. I have to be careful to avoid the magazine release with my thumb, but I can manage that.

    It's easily possible that the examples of the P3AT and Pico that I have are bad examples. According to what I was told, they were both purchased brand-new, and then sold after a box of ammo or less because the triggers were so stiff. I find that easy to believe. Of the three I definitely prefer the LCP II. I'll probably get rid of the other two.



     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2018
  2. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    Actually Hickcock said "I really like that trigger". when shooting the Pico. . Did you shoot the Gen 2 ? Something really wrong. Sounds like you shot the original model, before they reduced the trigger weight.
    I find the trigger really nice as well. Mine is 8lbs of pull, deliberate and smooth all the way through.. Just what I wanted for a Pocket gun. Breaks in very nicely. The LCP ll is too light for a pocket gun IMO. If you like the feel of a very light striker fired style of trigger, then of course you would not do well with the Pico, Kahr or any Revolver. But many prefer that as it seem you did.
    I can work the mag release and side very easily. Yes, there is a learning curve. But does fine once you acquire the skill.And yes it takes two hands, but very easy. And this is not a combat gun. It also has restrike capablity which I think is a extreme plus. And as far as shooting, I can do better with the Mild mannered Pico than I can with any of the one's you mentioned. I also have a size xtra large hand. But no the Pico is not a beginners gun. I posted some pics of targets of fast shooting the Pico. Will try and find them. I have taken the Pico and the Kahr to the range and ran side by side with the Ruger For myself the Pico and Kahr easily out performed the much harsher Ruger. And I use to be good with Ruger. The Kahr also has a similar style of double action like the Pico but a little lighter. Also you forgot to mention the Pico
    can add night sights and Plus P rated and that shows with the build quality. The Kahr as well. Important if you plan to do a lot of shooting.

    That said, you must go with what suites you. There is no one perfect fit for every one. Sounds like you spent some quality time to find the the right gun for your individual desires. The LCP is a nice liitle gun, the first one I bought years ago, have had a number of them and still own one. So congrats to you. Good luck and have fun shooting. Welcome to the world of Pocket guns.

    PS go to the web and log in your serial number of the Pico and see if it has been upgraded. It does not sound like yours was. if not, they will upgrade it at no charge. Takes about a week.
     
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  3. somethingbenign

    somethingbenign Member

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    Glad you found one you like. Your description of your Pico sounds about the exact opposite of mine concerning the trigger. I actually prefer the mag release but everyone else who has shot it doesn't, definitely a niche within a niche. I really wanted to like the LCP II I rented but that mag release was a deal breaker. Never tried a Keltec, can't find them in my area. Side note: just realized that when you say 3AT out loud it is 380. I'm ashamed how long that took me to notice.
     
  4. murf

    murf Member

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    i agree with you. although, i am biased because i own and shoot an lcp II. i can shoot this gun quite well and would recommend it to anyone.

    murf
     
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  5. beeenbag
    • Contributing Member

    beeenbag Member

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    I’m with ya, I’ve tried them all at some point and love my lcp II

    I won’t post 6 paragraphs in defense of one of the ones you didn’t like. ;)
     
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  6. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    20180321_174357.jpg
    I had a little(pun) shootout of my own.
    LCP vs. Kimber micro.
    Virtually the same size.
    The Kimber is a nice little gun.
    The LCP held its own on paper
    The Kimber has better sights, manual safety, and of course a better trigger.
    The LCP is lighter and more rounded for carry.

    I am thinking of buying a micro 1911 in 380 to be something of a bbq gun since my LCP is looking pretty rough.
     
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  7. somethingbenign

    somethingbenign Member

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    A micro 1911 would be a nice choice. I was heavily considering a Springfield 911 when I bought my Pico. Only issue was the ambi safety bit my hand when I disengaged it and sometimes the meat of my hand would prevent the safety from disengaging fully. Never thought I'd see an ambi safety be a drawback.
     
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  8. zaitcev

    zaitcev Member

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    Oh it absolutely can be. Ruger even sells a safety removal kit from the factory for Mark IV.
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I can get my finger in the trigger guard of my wife's Pico no trouble. Trigger pull is not light but is very controllable.
    Beretta Pico Pic 1.JPG Small.JPG
     
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  10. rskent

    rskent Member

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    Since we are sharing.
    380.jpg

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Hasaf

    Hasaf Member

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    Hey! This has morphed to "Show your 380 collections." That sounds like a fun thread!

    Unfortunately, I don't have a picture handy that shows them all together.

    And, my first picture will be a "cheat," it is 9x18 instead of 9x17. However, it is the only one here that is blowback.
    IMG_20170728_120131814.jpg
    Makarov

    Now, we start on 9x17. I will start from my oldest.
    IMG_20170728_120213559.jpg
    Colt 380 Government Model

    Glock_42_w_grip_tape_slide_release_sights.jpg
    Glock 42

    IMG_20180105_174155201_HDR_1.jpg
    I just realized that I have no pictures at all of my PK-380. This is a picture of why I sent it back to Walther for service. The firing pin was broken and jammed. That is the way I received it (a "like new" pistol listed on Gunbroker).

    IMG_20171224_055339460.jpg
    Kimber 380 Micro. This is the one is my EDC.

    As odd as it seems, The existence of the airsoft trainer, and a good selection of active retention holsters, is a big factor weighing toward the Glock 42 as an EDC. I just enjoy shooting the Kimber Micro more. I suspect that has more to do with my using a 1911 when I went to the academy. On paper, the Glock is a better choice, but I just like the Kimber so much more.

    While I do not doubt that some here can easily switch carry pistols, for me, it is a bad idea. I need to practice with something very similar to what I will have under stress. That is why I got the Colt 380 Government Model back when it was new. I wanted a daily carry pistol that had the same controls and drills as my service pistol.

    I am pretty sure that my next pistol will be a Browning 1911-380.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Tallball

    When I checked out the Beretta Pico for the first time I didn't care for the really abbreviated grip (and I have relatively small hands), and the trigger being so heavy. That pretty much took it out of the running for another .380. I already have a KelTec P3AT, along with a Colt Mustang and a SIG P238, so I'm now looking at the Ruger LCPII and the Remington RM380. Have thought about the Kahr CW380 (I have a Kahr CM9), but I have read a number of negative reviews of this particular model that I'm not so sure about this one.
     
  13. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    I have the Kahr 380 and love it. Did take some beak in. But runs great now. Supposedly they redesigned the extractor so should not be a problem. The Trigger is similar to the Pico, just a ltttle lighter. Similar to the LCP Gen 2 which I perfer over the LCP ll. But if you are considering the LCPll., then you would not like the Pico or Kahr. Two different triggers, smooth deliberate double action vs a very light striker fired. (even though it is not a true striker fired) but feels like one. The Kahr is a lovely gun, very well built. (Not as much quality as the Pico, but very nice indeed). And like the Pico it is very mild to shoot. I really cannot tell much of a difference with shooting both at the range.

    I have two Pico's and can tell you, that I doubt very seriously there are many more reliable guns out there. The Kahr can be finicky and will do well with round nose bullets. (The new extractor seems to have fixed that). Kahr will beat the Ruger in quality. All stainless steel except for the polymer frame. But they did place steel inserts in the Grip frame on the rails where these guns take a lot of stress.Unfortunately it does not have restrike Capability.
    I really like my Kahr. but the Pico will take the winners circle for me in the small Pocket gun Class. The Kahr also has nice sights and you can change out the front sight yourself. You might have to go to a Smith to change out the rear sight.

    Ps I bought a new extractor and received it yesterday. Might be a while before I put it in. Just no hurry. But again, I doubt from what you have said, you would like the trigger anyway.
    Pico

    Here is the Kahr.Point are stainless steel. Pico https://imgur.com/gallery/cbuqy5C

    bDrJWlH.png


    I have to say, I enjoyed this thread. I love the small 380's. Love looking at Pictures of all of them. What people IMO do not understand, there are small guns or classes with each other.
    Thank every one for posting. Never get tired of viewing a nice Pocket gun/small 380.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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  14. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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  15. 1MoreFord

    1MoreFord Member

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    My choice of a small .380 is the LCP Custom. I didn't like the sights on the regular LCP. The LCP II wasn't out yet. Didn't like the feel of the Beretta. The RM380 was too big as was the Sig P290RS .380. Didn't look at the Kel-Tec. Didn't want a single action .380 with the possibility of pocket carry. I already had a PPK .380 that isn't a small .380 anymore though it once was.
     
  16. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    A micro 380 shootout and not a Seecamp to be found?
     
  17. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    I'm old and shoot old guns.
    COLTMDL1908.jpg
    Colt Model 1908
    Bein' old ain't all bad.
     
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    The Seecamps have practically been made obsolete with all the new wonder .32s and .380s that are lighter, often times with better sights & better triggers. But if you want all steel...... :)

    An old .32 Seecamp.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Zendude
    • Contributing Member

    Zendude Member

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    The Pico’s mag release is one of the reasons I like it. It would be difficult to release the mag accidentally.
     
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  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    You can say that again.
     
  21. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    Yep, perfect design for the intended use. Totally sleek, looks like it was designed in a wind tunnel.Precision fitting.

    c3cH2pK.jpg yfIzMEd.jpg

    0MNAT5W.jpg

    https://imgur.com/gallery/cbuqy5C
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  22. Triggernosis

    Triggernosis Member

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  23. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    20180916_090209.jpg
    On the day we spent cleaning up this mess.......

    I spotted a foreign object in my shovel just as i was about to toss the shovelful of corn into the auger......
    It was the magazine of my LCP. ??
    That hasnt happened before or since...
     
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  24. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    Wow, that is a lot of corn. Your life is a most interesting life Farmer. I bet it sure beats sitting behind a desk all day long.Glad you found you Magazine (especially before it went into the Auger)
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
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  25. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    IIRC, the front sight on the Beretta 84 is integral to the slide. It's a nice shooter, kind of medium-sized, with a double-stack magazine and a pretty good trigger. Mine is a police or military turn-in of some kind.
     
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