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Snub .357/38 vs. .380 auto

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Erik M, Feb 18, 2010.

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  1. Erik M

    Erik M Member

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    My most used CC gun lately has been my Walther PK380. It is a good gun and I got a decent deal on it. One of the first guns I ever owned was a used model 66. lately I have caught a small dose of the revolver fever. I am much more comfortable carrying a wheel gun for CC just as a personal preferance. Even with a mag full of Speer Gold Dots I feel like I would be more comfortable with a stout wheelgun.

    If you were to wiegh the performance of the two, would you stay with a .380 or trade it for something along the lines of a 642/M&P/.ect revolver?

    would have made a poll but the option has disappeared.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    My main carry pistol, out of about 25 handguns I own, is a .380.
    But it's a Kel-Tec P3AT weighing 10 oz, and is small enough to fit in my shirt pocket.

    Nobody could accuse a Walther PK380 of that!

    I'd say with a size & loaded weight as much as many 9mm guns today, you could go with a lighter revolver with more power, or a lighter 9mm with more power.

    rc
     
  3. NinjaFeint

    NinjaFeint Member

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    I have to agree with rcmodel. To replace that gun I would get something along the lines of a x42/LCR or a PF9/PM9. I feel comfortable with 7 or 8 rounds of 115gr 9mm+P DPX on my hip in my PM9. That said, I am going to get a small 380 for those times when I need a true pocket gun. Either an LCP or a Kahr P380 depending on my budget at the time.
     
  4. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    FWIW, my LCP weighs 12.1 oz loaded 6+1 with 90gr. My 442 weighs 17.5 oz loaded w/ 5 125gr. They both have their place among useful carry options.

    Les
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  5. ronto

    ronto Member

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    380 is a barely minimum SD round. They don't call the 357 MAGNUM for nothing ...You make the call.
     
  6. Erik M

    Erik M Member

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    This is the exact reasoning in my madness. I knew I wasnt the only person that saw it that way.
     
  7. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    The P3AT/LCP/Diamondback/P380/etc. are the only guns that make carrying a .380 practical. The Walther PPK/S or Beretta 84/85 are larger than todays micro 9mm's, so that's a no-brainer, IMO. Shoot, that Walther is almost as big as my CS-45 (thinner, but otherwise....)
     
  8. Paints

    Paints Member

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    .380 ballistics are no where near a .357 ballistics.

    .357 penetration will be at least 50% deeper than a .380, along with more reliable expansion.


    When I want something small and easily concealed, I carry a 3" 5 shot .357 (Taurus 605). It is easily concealed and light enough. It is all steel but light enough that it's not noticeable. Mine came with factory Hogue rubber grips and recoil is very reasonable.

    I do have a Sig P230 (.380) but it only gets carried about once a year.
     
  9. ronto

    ronto Member

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    Erik M...We both may be mad but we're not stupid...
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  10. rha600

    rha600 Member

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    I don't know how the .380's shoot but I can tell you I have a S&W 386NG with the 2 1/2" barrel and whileit does shoot nice to about 10 yards, it's not much good after that. don't get me wrong, shooting at center mass from 15 yards you'll probably hit them, but the groups really start to open up after the 10 yard mark.

    i guess it can be me, but I have no problem placing 4" groups or better at 10 yards and 2" at the 7 yard mark.
     
  11. Erik M

    Erik M Member

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    I traded the PK380 and some change for a S&W Model 64-3. Im also considering buying a .44 that the dealer is supposed to have in stock in the morning.
     
  12. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Erik, if nothing else you'll be leaving that little S&W 64 to your great grand kids ... don't suspect the same of the PK380.

    That K frame .38 will last forever and be something your ancestors will be proud to keep in their collection.

    I bought my wife a Keltec P3AT a while back and she likes it because its so small and light ... and I like carrying it to the gym because it fits in the pocket and doesn't bother me while working out.

    But if I had the choice between .380 and .38 I'd take a wheelgun in .38.

    Actually I have a Dan Wesson 14-2 that I recently acquired that will end up a CCW piece too (but its big ... seems larger than an L frame but not quite as big as an N frame).
     
  13. DFW1911

    DFW1911 Member

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    I would have done the same for the stated reasons. You picked a very nice revolver, BTW :)

    Now you get to do all the fun stuff to "outfit" it: holster, speed loaders, speed loader holder, etc.

    When you get the .44, repeat!

    Good trade.

    Take care,
    DFW1911
     
  14. christcorp

    christcorp Member

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    There is absolutely nothing wrong with a 380 for defensive purposes. Some people will keep chanting how the 380 is weak. Yet, no one volunteers to be purposely shot buy one.

    However; you can't compare a 380 to a 38/357. It can't be done. Don't try. The 357 magnum revolver is the MOST VERSATILE caliber in the world. You can buy ammo that is a soft as a 380 (Very light 38spl). You can use normal 38sp, +P 38spl, weak 357 mag, all the way up to stuff that will take down an elk or go through a car.

    You simply have to decide which gun you want to shoot. If you can't keep the 380 AND buy a 357 mag revolver; and have to sell it in order to get the revolver; then I would definitely do it. Like I said; the 357 mag revolver is the most versatile of them all. With a good 3"or4" barrel, there isn't anything that it can't be used for. If a person could only have one gun, and it had to be their "Everything" gun; for carry, self defense, home defense, hunting, plinking, or any other imaginable activity, then the 357 magnum revolver is the one and only gun they should have. If you're going to have more than one gun, then you can specialize.
     
  15. shockwave

    shockwave Member

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    That is so well put. Totally agree. My HD setup is considerable, but I'm homing in on the CCW solution now and I'm still working out the trade-offs of 9mm vs .357 snubbie. The Taurus 605 is extremely attractive. The small Kahrs and Kel-Tecs have an argument going for them, in terms of weight and concealableness, firepower and reload time. But then, at the range this weekend my friend brought a Glock 30 and a Baretta 87 Cheetah (22LR).

    The Baretta felt so good in the hand - I was looking forward to plinking practicing with it. It was jamming on every second or third round. I don't know, guys. On the one hand, there's all these guys saying they bought an auto and have put 10,000 rounds through it and not one FTF or FTE, and then there's me who has had jams with Glocks, H&Ks, Walthers and now a Baretta. And never one problem ever with a revolver.

    The reasons that have led me to select revolvers for HD are arguing strongly for revolver for CCW. Just thinking out loud here, no decision made yet. You can get autos that are smaller, lighter, and in 9mm offer a wide variety of powerful and inexpensive ammo.
     
  16. duns

    duns Member

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    I agree with the above.

    My view when I bought my first gun (just a few weeks ago as a matter of fact) was that I wanted it to be as reliable as possible. I also wanted it to be pocket sized for summer carry. So I bought a M&P340CT J-frame 357 Magnum. Then I added a Beretta 92FS for home defense. Then I bought a Walther P99C to carry in addition to the J-frame when clothing permits. My plan is that I will always have the J-frame with me because I can rely on it better than any semi auto.

    I specifically decided against a 380 caliber pistol partly because of the caliber but more importantly because, from my reading of reviews, most of those little pistols are somewhat unreliable and also not able to stand up to a lot of shooting (and I want to practice a lot with all my guns).

    So, briefly, my logic was that whatever semi-autos I may have on or around me, I feel more comfortable if I have a revolver on me as well. If I can only carry one gun in summer clothing, I prefer it to be the J-frame.
     
  17. duns

    duns Member

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    Interesting about your Beretta problems because I bought a 92FS based on its renowned reliability. I was dismayed on first shooting it because it jammed every few rounds (with standard 9mm rounds -- was fine with +P ammo). After 120 rounds, it settled down (i.e. no problems between 120 rounds and the 500 I've now fired). Hopefully, it's now broken in and there will be no further problems for many thousands of rounds.

    One of my concerns over the little 380's was that many are not sufficiently durable to take the amount of shooting that's necessary to prove their reliability (I'm a newbie so not speaking from experience here, it was just my concern based on what I read).

    As I said in my previous post, the most comforting gun I own is my little snubbie because I perceive there's not much to go wrong.
     
  18. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    Shockwave the Beretta 87 is a rimfire and so much more liable to encounter ammunition troubles, and to be picky about ammunition too.

    I have never had a Beretta 92 malfunction on me during State Marksmanship Team practices, or on anyone shooting them near me.
     
  19. easyg

    easyg Member

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    I would choose the .38 snub-nose over the .380 auto.
    The snubbie is most likely going to prove more reliable over the years, and the .380 just isn't that great as a self-defense caliber.
     
  20. Fiv3r

    Fiv3r Member

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    .380 handguns usually excel in being very light and very concealable for times when you might find yourself in bad-breath range. Personally, i would pick a .38 revolver over a .380 any day.

    I routinely pack a cheap lil' P-64 chambered in 9x18 mak. It behaves like a peppy .380 but ammo is cheaper and more readily available (online). Nice flat carry gun that tucks into my back pocket, in my jacket, or the small of my back.

    However, if you like revolvers...well there isn't anything wrong with that:D I also carry a .38sp Model 36 often.
     
  21. christcorp

    christcorp Member

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    Shockwave; if anyone ever says they've shot 10,000 rounds through a semi-auto and it "NEVER" had a FTF or FTE, I would have to call B.S. on them. Or at least say that they had one and just don't remember.

    By it's nature, a revolver is more reliable for defensive purposes. Not necessarily just the gun itself, but because there are 3 things that a revolver doesn't have to worry about. A magazine that isn't engaged properly, mechanical feeding of ammunition, and the human factor or working safeties, slides, etc... A revolver is simply point and click. However, with a revolver, you give up to things. Magazine capacity and speed in reloading. I've never been one who puts emphasis on magazine capacity. ALL of my guns, except 1, has a magazine capacity of 8 or less. Matter of fact, when I'm carrying concealed, I don't even have a 2nd magazine with me. I just happen to like my CZ-82 and my Sig P220. They feel really good, accurate as all hell, and excellent ammo.

    But, my main gun in the bed room in case of that late night break in is a 357 magnum S&W revolver. And it's loaded with 158 grain hydra-shocks. So it's all about preference. I have the revolver in the bedroom, because at 2am, your brain is NOT working at 100%. When you hear a noise and get out of bed, a lot of things are going through your brain. I want my mind to concentrate on the intruder. I don't want my mind or my wife's mind to be thinking about the gun. Is it loaded, is their a round in the magazine, did I turn off the safety, maybe I should look, etc... At 2am and your brain like that, is where accidents happen. With a revolver, it's point and click. No thinking about the gun. Think about the intruder. Is it an intrude or your daughter who had a fight with her husband and decided to come home for the night. Was it just part of a dream that seemed real and there was no noise. Doesn't matter what the scenario. Point is, at 2am, and half asleep, I want my 357 magnum revolver. My wife and I are proficient with it. We know if we pull the trigger, it will go bang. We can concentrate on the intruder and not the gun. That is the safest and best way in my opinion.
     
  22. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    The smallest gun I carry is a Smith Model 36.

    The smallest caliber I would even CONSIDER is .380acp.

    Twenty years ago, I had a French PPK/S. There was no CCW here in Ohio, so I sold it to a friend to finance another purchase. He and I are both out of work again. If I get a job before he does, I'll probably offer to buy it back, just to have it.

    If I need to carry a gun and it really needed to be very small, I'd consider a PPK/S, but I'd never have as much confidence in it as I'd have in that S&W loaded with the Federal "FBI" load.
     
  23. GoodKat

    GoodKat Member

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    Depends on where you want to carry it.
     
  24. duns

    duns Member

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    christcorp - good message. My philosophy is to try to keep two ore more guns of different designs about me, one of them a revolver for the reasons you give in your message - relaibility and simplicity of operation.
     
  25. gearhead

    gearhead Member

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    +1 on the P-64 with Mak. It's my cheap, reliable pocket gun, although I also have been known to pocket carry a .38 Spl. snub (my wife's bedside gun). I have an FNP-9M and a Taurus 24-7 Pro compact in .45ACP for IWB carry. Just depends on what my wardrobe is and where I'm going.
     
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