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New thoughts on LCP & pocket .380s

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by TTv2, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. IdaD

    IdaD Member

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    That's why I like the AmmoQuest videos on Youtube that cover 380 - he uses a little short barrel pocket 380, although I don't recall which one. His conclusion after a ton of testing was that the XTP was the hands down winner for hollow point loads, but I think he had a follow-up video on the Lehigh Penetrator that performed even better. I just carry the XTPs in mine.

    A pocket 380 is an indispensable part of my carry rotation because I carry it whenever I can't or don't want to carry something larger. Whether that's driven by a need to be discrete or just plain old comfort, if I didn't have a pocket 380 in the rotation I would carry a lot less. It isn't the easiest gun to shoot but I don't find it all that unpleasant, and it's pretty accurate for me out to 15 yards. I haven't shot a ton at longer distances but I think I'm going to try to work in more longer distance practice with all of my carry pistols going forward.
     
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  2. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    Totally fair question. See for yourself:
     
  3. PapaG

    PapaG Member

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    That was a cheap shot on Michael Fox. I pray you don't get Parkinson's or other nerve disorder. High Road.
     
  4. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    It’s surprising how different the recoil impulse can be on some of the small 380s. The Kahr and Pico are the two softest shooting I’ve fired, with the Bodyguard not too far behind. The LCP II hurts my trigger finger while shooting sometimes.
     
  5. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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  6. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    I just bought a Taurus TCP in 380 and had to buy the first factory ammo I have bought in a couple of decades. Boy howdy that stuff is expensive. So i got the happy idea I would look at getting a set of dies and reloading my own 380. And then I could load some of the lighter weight 380 bullets available to help mitigate the recoil. And the TCP does have recoil.

    I was shocked at die prices. Even the Lee dies I used to buy for $20 a set are now at least $30+ and the 4 die set is closer to $50. What happened? Anyway I found brass on GB 500 pieces for around $25. I can either buy bullets or a bullet mold but the lightest Lee sells is a 100gr bullet.

    So I looked at buy ammo on line. Its hard to find light weight factory loads. But I can buy most factory 380 loads 250 rounds for around $56 plus shipping. So about $70 for 250 rounds. Now I understand why so many suggest a 9mm over a 380 just because of the ammo cost difference. And as popular as 380 is you would think the price would be similar since there is less material in a 380 round.

    I really feel for guys that don't reload or are just starting out in the shooting game. I am not sure I would have stuck with it if I were paying todays prices for ammo and guns.
     
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  7. Hanshi

    Hanshi Member

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    I still have the only .380 I've ever owned, a Walther PPK/S and it's Manurhin sister in .22LR. Here they are pictured along with my PPK .32 I inherited. They fit my hands perfectly and I shoot them well. Recoil of the .380 is fairly "snappy" as is the .32 (7.65). I was astonished at how accurate these little pistols were. I've had them going on 40 years; and while they aren't "penny weight", neither are they heavy.
    PICT0640.jpg
     
  8. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    Hanshi I have a Manhurin/Walther PP in 32acp and its in almost perfect shape. And it was made in 1957. I paid $250 OTD door for it in 2008. I wouldn't take for it either. What a nice shooting gun it is. I would love to find one in 22lr.
     
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  9. WYO

    WYO Member

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    I load .380 ammo with jacketed bullets for the same price as jacketed 9mm, about 13 cents a round, now that I have some brass. It was hard to get components a few years ago, but not right now.
     
  10. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    Back when the KelTec p40 came out (and later discontinued ... I have four of them :) ) I used to shoot my 4" .44 mags to 'warm up' to the recoil of the p40's.

    That became my normal range habit so I start out each range session with a box of .44 mags. After that everything else is manageable :)

    That said, I've settled on p365's for my carry pistols.

    However, I keep seeing some nice S&W bodyguard .380's that will probably see my gun safe with some extended mags.

    I do have a KelTec p3AT but somehow the Bodyguards are just that much more appealing.

    Still, p365's will be my carry.

    Oh, btw, my new p32 is my minimum carry pistol (with 10 rd mags):

    20190731_222538.jpg
    20190712_200102.jpg
     
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  11. slide

    slide Member

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    There's another thought I haven't seen discussed. I used to carry a .380 as my concealed weapon. Within the last year, I've had to draw it twice. Once to break up an ostensible kidnapping of some girl and once when I came home for lunch to find a burglar in my home.

    The second time the bad guy was at least 225 lbs and maybe 250. I felt like my .380 was similar to those 1930s pop guns which shot a cork attached to a string using a tiny puff of air. While I didn't have to shoot since the firearm intimidated the bad guy enough to freeze him, I also felt that if he were stirred up, the Ruger LCP wouldn't do much to discourage his belligerence.

    I moved to a Shield in 40 and don't plan on returning to the lesser weapon. It's one of those you have to have been there to fully understand, I think. I hope none of you ever are put into that position.
     
  12. stevek

    stevek Member

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    I had a Kel-Tec P3AT. Most uncomfortable gun I've ever had the displeasure to shoot. The current .380 in the lineup is a Glock 42. A pleasure to shoot, and it disappears in the pocket. Carried infrequently, but alternates with a S&W 638 snubbnose when a quick pocket gun is called for.
     
  13. HB

    HB Member

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    I had a similar instance and resulting feeling. I also shot a 380 into a rotten stump and could pull the bullets out with my fingers. Went to a 38 with cast 158s since they seem to penetrate well. Now carry a g19 daily. The glock isnt any more difficult to carry on the belt and holds 300% more ammo, is more accurate, and reloads are a snap. Its much heavier... but thats because it has a bunch of lead ready to roll. The snub is relegated to times when Ill be getting hugged or I need snake shot as the first option.

    Im fairly confident in close quarters a large man with a knife could cut me to pieces before a pocket gun would stop him. A typical criminal carries a service sized gun and at that point lord willing I’d prevail.
     
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  14. slide

    slide Member

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    I agree that for any purposes aside from ultra concealment, the Glock 42 is vastly superior to the Kel-Tec or other subcompacts in .380. I can easily see how much fun it'd be to shoot assuring its owner of getting the needed practice regularly.

    However, in my recent confrontation with a goblin (as Col Cooper used to say) my concern wasn't the firearm but the cartridge. This was my second confrontation in a few months and both times I felt undergunned. The first time only slightly but the second was in close quarters at close range against a vastly larger opponent who went 225 to 250 lbs against my 168. Happily, the firearm dissuaded him from aggression but that was due to luck (him not being drugged up) mostly.

    This is why I decided to move to a larger cartridge in a larger firearm rather than a larger firearm in .380. A Glock 42 or the new Shield is as good as it gets in .380, but it remains a .380. I initially thought to move to a 45 ACP but found my chosen firearms in that caliber, a Shield, lacked compatibility with concealment holsters. So instead went for a Shield in 40 and a Glock 29 in 10mm. I alternate based on my clothing where the Shield is much easier to conceal in tighter clothes than the Glock due to the latter's thick grip.

    Like no doubt the Glock 42, these firearms are a hoot to shoot and frankly, the only thing keeping me from the going to the range in the early morning before work is ammo cost.

    Yet the bottom line was my sense of dread at being undergunned in the third armed confrontation I've had as a civilian. If there's a fourth, and I earnestly hope not, I'll surely feel reasonably armed with the 40 or 10.
     
  15. slide

    slide Member

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    I had a G1 19 and found it a good deal of fun to shoot plus it being utterly reliable. I had to sell it when I went back to sea.

    Big game hunters refer to certain cartridges as 'crumplers' meaning that one shot will disable the animal even in the midst of a charge. While the 9mm is a lot closer to being this, I still think that a goblin with his blood up will walk through a 9mm if the distance is 12 or so feet or less. It may even be the case with greater distances. I do not agree with the common wisdom that the 9mm is now the same as a 40 or 10 or 45 due to new bullet designs since those designs are also available in those major calibers.

    To me, that argument is incoherent.

    This is why I went 10 and 40 trading capacity for power. I'm also much less sensitive to recoil than others, it seems. Yesterday I burned through 100 cartridges in 10mm only stopping due to running out of ammo. Had I an unlimited supply and was vastly wealthy to re-supply, I'd have gone twice or three times that amount.

    In the end, all choices trade various compromises and we need to decide for ourselves which is right. The only common theme is we hope that we never have to actually test our choices.
     
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  16. HB

    HB Member

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    I dont think a 9mm is much more potent thana 380, its just that in that example it holds 3x as many bullets and can be fired more accurately and faster while being deployed faster.

    To keep it on topic, try shooting your LCP, LCP with extended mag, and a larger gun on the clock. Its not that a 380 is worthless, its that pocket guns trade shoot-ability for being able to fit in a pocket.
     
  17. slide

    slide Member

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    Your post got me curious about comparing the 9 with the 380. The key difference in a good firearm such as the Glocks is that the 9 can be had in +p or even +p+ so getting 400 or even 500 lbs of energy is feasible. Here's the site I used to do this research:

    http://www.ballistics101.com/380_acp.php

    Although there are a few oddballs using ultra light bullets such as 45 gr. in brands I've never heard of, generally speaking the best we can expect from a 380 is 220 lbs while 400 lbs is feasible in a 9. My guess is very short barrels will have an equally deleterious effect on both cartridges.

    My view is no doubt colored by those two last confrontations which frankly have me spooked. If, during the last one especially, if I could magically conjure up any handgun in the world to aid me in defeating that goblin, I'd have chosen an S&W 500. So my view is hardly neutral nor am I an expert. I'm simply a citizen who's seen the elephant.
     
  18. The Evangelist Cowboy

    The Evangelist Cowboy Member

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    I had a Tan LCP, I traded it for a rifle some months back, I loved how light it was to carry but thats about it, I have fairly large hands so I was unable to shoot that LCP without it hurting my hand. I went back to the J frame for a pocket carry or back up to a larger gun but if it works for you than go for it.
     
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  19. Buckeye63

    Buckeye63 Member

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    I have had great luck with TCP's , I have one now and have 3 others in the past ... They all were realiable ... I carry Underwood 90gr XTP ...

    Another interesting looking 380 pistol is the SCCY 380acp 10+1 capacity slightly smaller than the SCCY 9mm offering ...

    Like others have said , If I go bigger ,I will carry a 9mm ... And thats my 43 with a +2 mag

    @slide , I agree with the 40 S&W ...
    My 27 with +1 mag extention loaded with 180gr HST
    Im a 40 S&W fan ... It will be rediscovered , I never lost interest...
    In fact , Id like to get a S&W Shield in 40 S&W
     
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  20. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart Member

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    Some days, when going into bad areas, I will take a backup gun. My backup, is a Keltec P32, for my main carry the Beretta Pico.
     
  21. Mustangowner

    Mustangowner Member

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    I've always liked 9x17s. I like the idea of the 7.65 Browning as well but I've never owned one. Don't pay too much attention to minimum caliber people, ballistic gel is certainly entertaining and will give you a great idea of how a bullet will perform... In ballistic gel. I think it's funny people put so much trust in what the Federal government does with ballistics, yet when we want a package delivered fast we choose anybody but the Federal government.
     
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  22. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    I have said the same thing many times. At me to you distance a man with a knife is just as deadly as a man with a snub 38. And several years ago I could prove that. But not anymore. Now I stand a lot better chance with a gun in my hands. And my preferred defense is to stay out of bad situations and avoid a confrontation. Especially if I am armed.
     
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  23. 1MoreFord

    1MoreFord Member

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    I normally don't wear pants with big enough pockets to pocket carry unless in a back pocket. My smallest .380 is a LCP Custom and I need to buy an uncle George holster for it and some cargo pants.
     
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  24. Edcnh

    Edcnh Member

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    I pocket carry a Bodyguard 380 most of the time in the summer because it fits in the front pocket of either shorts or pants. The rest of the year I carry a S & W 9mm Shield. The Shield does conceal well for me under an untucked shirt in the summer.
     
  25. slide

    slide Member

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    I may have missed it but there's another consideration from my viewpoint and that's accuracy. These tiny .380s are more than difficult to shoot even with defense grade accuracy at more than a few yards. They're also so uncomfortable to shoot that we tend not to practice with them. I'm guilty of this with my LCP which is there but which I tend to not practice with since it actually pinches my hand in use.

    To see what I mean, set up a target at 10 yards and try to hit it with your LCP or Kel-Tec or whatnot. I find that to be near impossible where doing so using even a subcompact such as a Shield is simple. While I'm on a bash, I'll also say that IMO, the Shield, for all it's great, makes no sense in .380 except for those who are fantastically recoil sensitive and/or cannot rack the slide on a 40 or other major caliber pistols of that size. Why use a .380 when it'd be just as easy to use a 9 or 40 or even 45 two of which have vastly less expensive practice ammo plus better defense loads.

    I bring up accuracy since it's important, IMO. In the case of need, I wish to hit the bad guy but not hit the good guys which is easy at defense range for the aforementioned subcompacts such as the Shield class weapons but is more than problematical with the tiny .380's. Consider: you're in a store. A goblin shows up to rob the place shouting he'll croak everybody there so you having your CCW, swing into action to prevent him from croaking you and the others. You shoot at him but with a tiny .380 you end up wounding the clerk and an innocent shopper. Sure the goblin is legally liable for that but how'd you feel? I know how I'd feel - terrible.

    In sum, the best I can say about the tiny .380's is they're better than two things: a .32 or nothing and that's not saying much.
     
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