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Would you trust your life to a .380?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Orion8472, May 27, 2008.

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  1. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    The question is, would you trust your life to the .380 caliber?

    Interestingly, I have an F.I. Industries Model D in .380, my brother has a FEG 63 in Makarov, and we put each of those up next to a 9mm luger, and it is fun to see the millimeter difference in shell height for each one. Yet, is 2mm less room and a slightly lighter projectile all that less "potent" than a a 9X19?
     
  2. Uncle Alvah

    Uncle Alvah Member

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    I pondered buying a .380, but the availability of very compact 9mm's disuaded me.......
     
  3. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

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    Would I trust my life to a .380. Heck yes. I'd trust it to a steak knife if I didn't have something better. Would I prefer to trust it to something that starts with a 4? Sure.
     
  4. conw

    conw Member

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    Well, if you look at really "old school" ballistic thinking on rounds, no one was worried about "one shot stops." It was, and still is, all about shot placement and common sense (and practice). In that sense, a .380 is pretty decent - as long as you can hit the target. When even the .32 was introduced, it was thought of as powerful.

    That, and the .22, and other "marginal" rounds have been used for a lot of self-defense over the years. In one sense someone who practices with a .380 to hit multiple times accurately and fast IS more deadly than someone who expects a super-duper one-shot knockdown stopperoo from their bigger caliber.

    Me, I don't necessarily see the point of using the caliber when it's so much more expensive than 9mm and my 9mm is smaller than most .380s, and does offer better ballistics...but again, if you have it and had to use it, don't worry about the numbers.
     
  5. Spenser

    Spenser Member

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    .380's OK By me

    I've had the pleasure of working a couple of righteous self-defense shootings lately. One bad guy was one shot with a .45, the other with a .380. The wound tracks were about the same, as were the results. The aggressors rapidly assumed room temperature.

    They'll do the job, as long as you hit what you're aiming at.
     
  6. woad_yurt

    woad_yurt Member

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    Yup, I would and do trust my life to a .380. I don't know about hollowpoints; I use FMJ to be sure of sufficient penetration. I carry a P3AT 24/7.

    BTW, isn't (or wasn't) .380 a fairly common police caliber in lots of places?
     
  7. XDKingslayer

    XDKingslayer member

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    Yes I would. I already do.
     
  8. EShell

    EShell Member

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    I carry one myself.

    It's as much about having anything at all (even a steak knife) vs not being able to carry anything big in hot weather. A .22 short in the pocket beats a .45 sitting home in the safe.

    Would I rather have a 6" Model 29 with 180 JHPs? Yes. Could I conceal it in T-shirt weather? No.
     
  9. Anna's Dad

    Anna's Dad Member

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    Every day!
     
  10. Ltlabner

    Ltlabner Member

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    As I've answered on a litney of "is .380 ok?" threads...

    Yes.

    It's the minimum I'd carry (my normal cary is a Glock 23), but I do carry a Beretta 85 from time to time and don't think about it for a second.
     
  11. jocko

    jocko Member

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    beats a rock

    beats a rock all to hell. Carried one for over 3 years with confidence, but now my 24/7 is my kahr pm9. It can go 99% of the places my 380 went. I do think the 380 caliber is at the very low end of the power pole but proper placement has to be #1 with any caliber. a 50 caliber flying right by a person is not near as effective as a 380 in COM..
     
  12. Lashlarue

    Lashlarue member

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    My AMT backup was the original jammomatic with anything but ball ammo, so when it was my primary it was loaded with ball ammo. Took me forever to use up two boxes of jhp's at the range.
     
  13. DougDubya

    DougDubya Member

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    If it doesn't jam, and it fits my hand, yes.
     
  14. RX-178

    RX-178 Member

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    Yes.


    I often trust my life to a NAA mini-revolver in .22lr in El Paso's oppressive summer temperatures.
     
  15. jdc1244

    jdc1244 Member

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    A .380 works for me just fine.
     
  16. presspuller

    presspuller Member

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    A .22 vent hole in a bad guy is gonna take a lot of the fight out of him.
    Is it what I would want if I needed to vent said bad guy? Not really but its better than nothing.
    The .380 is even better. I carry a 9mm but if I ever have to use it I am gonna wish it was a .44 mag.
     
  17. legion3

    legion3 Member

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    Yes and not just a cop round it was also a very common military round.
     
  18. conw

    conw Member

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    Jocko wrote:

    Exactly!

    That depends on whether the .50 ricochets...
     
  19. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

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    I carry one as a BUG, in addition to my S&W 3913 9MM pistol. Would I carry one as my sole gun? Well, I did for a bit, but discovered that compact 9MM pistols are more fun to shoot.
     
  20. fletcher

    fletcher Member

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    I carry .32 more than anything else, so I'd certainly trust .380. I'll only use FMJ, though.
     
  21. DrLaw

    DrLaw Member

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  22. Baneblade

    Baneblade Member

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    Shot placement is everything. My LEO partner at work killed a knife weilding suspect with a 380. Single shot to the chest with his off-duty gun.

    I regularly carry a Kel-tec P3-AT off duty and I feel that as a defensive weapon it is adequate.

    Statistics still show that the 22 LR has killed more people in the USA than any other caliber.
     
  23. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    Why do some of you say that you'd only use FMJ? Wouldn't a Golden Saber be a better choice?

    Also, I may be keeping my F.I. .380 as a "collectors piece", so what other small .380 would you suggest? I know there are a few out there like the CZ83, Bersa Thunder, and the like. What would be a good gun to get that would cycle reliably with FMJ or HPs, and that would be okay riding in a pocket?
     
  24. ScottyT

    ScottyT Member

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    My wife trusts her life to a .380, and I trust it enough to have bought the gun for her.
     
  25. fletcher

    fletcher Member

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    First, a good reference: http://www.brassfetcher.com


    Second, the explanation:
    For the smaller (lighter weight) rounds, penetration is a big issue. While JHPs are your ideal round, they may not do much in the way of damaging organs with the light-weight projectiles as they penetrate less (might not even make it to the heart/lungs/etc). To help ensure that a hole of some size makes it to the internal organs, many use better-penetrating FMJ.


    Personally, I carry a Kel-Tec P32 in the pocket loaded with plain white-box FMJ.
     
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