Firearm & Gun Forum -

Firearm & Gun Forum - (
-   Semi-Auto Handguns (
-   -   The .380 Craze (

UnderFire 05-24-2009 03:20 PM

The .380 Craze
Lets talk about our .380's...why you bought one? which one you bought? how do you like it? If you want, give a range report of your .380, etc, etc....

I remember when the .380 caliber seemed to be a forgotten caliber. I remember when ammo suppliers had boxes & boxes of .380 ammo and it didn't really move. Man!! it sure is different now. I see more & more gun mfg's coming out with new models of the .380 and you can't even find a box of ammo on the shelf, if you do you better buy it then, because it won't be there tomorrow.

I was at a local gun store the other day and saw a Beretta Model 84 Cheetah, 380 ACP. Looked very sharp. Don't know if it's new or if it's been out for awhile. Sig has (2) .380 ACP models. Ruger has the LCP. Kahr has introduced their P380, which I see becoming a CW380 model very soon.

I chose my .380 (Kahr P380) because it's an instant CCW firearm. I live in a very hot state, so in summer it's usually shorts & T-shirts. Even in cargo designed shorts I found my .40 cal would imprint through the clothing very easily. I don't have that problem with my .380. Plus my .380 is soo very light I don't have the constant annoyance of it trying to bring down my pants.:o

So how about you?

ScottG 05-24-2009 09:40 PM

Yeah, what's with all this resurgent interest in the .380 ACP? Everyone knows it can never kill anything!!!! Wayyyy too weak of a round.

Next thing you know, people will be looking for .32 autos.... :p

matt g 05-24-2009 09:50 PM

I got one because my wife couldn't handle the .45 ACP/1911 combo. I bought her a little High Point to use as a trainer.

gorknoids 05-24-2009 11:30 PM

A .380 will kill a person, but it will be close-in and personal. Anyone who can't hit a BG in the throat, nose or mouth at arm's length isn't going to make it through the encounter carrying a .50 cal, so caliber isn't an issue. What the smaller rounds bring to the table is concealability. A .22 will kill a cow, but I wouldn't take one deer hunting. :)

bgeddes 05-25-2009 02:04 AM

I bought an LCP with couple years of Cabela's gift cards. It's ok for a limited pocket carry or BUG, but many better carry options out there. Round is the absolute bottom end of PD power. 9mm Mak, 9mm Lug, or .38sp are better options in the 'bottom end' zone.

My wife shoots a .38sp wheel gun more comfortably than my .380.

hossman 05-25-2009 03:38 PM

I have a Walther PPK/S that I love. I own about 10 simi auto and revolvers, various cal. and I can hit better with the .380 better than anything I own. It's not how big the cal is but where you place the projectile. I am a terror on armadillos in my pasture.

UnderFire 05-25-2009 06:42 PM


Originally Posted by ScottG (Post 108801)
Yeah, what's with all this resurgent interest in the .380 ACP? Everyone knows it can never kill anything!!!! Wayyyy too weak of a round.

Next thing you know, people will be looking for .32 autos.... :p

I'm looking to hear from .380 users not haters.

My take on caliber debate is this: it's all about shot placement. The only way to disable someone really really quickly is with a shot to the heart or central nervous system. A hit anywhere else doesn't guarantee that the person is going down. Despite what you see in movies, any handgun bullet is going to do very little damage as compared to a shotgun or rifle. Any good defensive round (.380 & up IMO) is going to be able to drop someone with a well-placed shot. Another big factor (IMO more important than caliber) is bullet design.

C'mon .380 ACP owners I want to hear from you :)

ScottG 05-25-2009 08:40 PM


Originally Posted by UnderFire (Post 109097)
I'm looking to hear from .380 users not haters.

:p = joke

I considered buying a 1908 Colt Hammerless, but the ammo was more than the '03, otherwise I would own a .380 ACP.

Some people believe that anything less than a .45 is worthless. Therefore, my comment. Considering the number of guns produced throughout history not in .45, I would guess that the .380 ACP is bullet enough to get the job done.

gorknoids 05-26-2009 03:37 AM

I carry ball ammo in my .380 because it gives the deepest penetration, and that's the name of the game when you're shooting for the medulla oblongata, which truly is the "Off" switch for the human body. Would I rather have a larger caliber handgun which I can conceal with my open palm? Sure, but they don't make a 5-shot .45 cal derringer.
I've shot some very tight patterns at 45' from a 2" barrel, but over about 30', the bullets will keyhole, which is why I say the .380 is a close-in weapon. It is a very viable self-defense weapon with characteristics and applications which other rounds do not share, particularly the concealability of many platforms.
If you need a small, deadly semi-auto with great accuracy, go with the .380. If you want to shoot targets, go with a 9mm, because .380 ammo is getting very expensive. Your choice depends on the intended use, so consider all aspects.

Lefty 05-26-2009 04:35 AM

All guns are a study in compromises. .380 is not as powerful a manstopper as a .40 or a .45, but it's easier to control and it is enough smaller to allow a noticeably smaller gun. Deeper penetration vs. wider expansion is an eternal debate. Both are important and both have their faults. 9mm is arguably the most popular handgun round in the world despite its tendency to overpenetrate because its benefits outweigh its weaknesses for a lot of applications. A round too expensive or painful to train with is a weakness since, as it's already been noted, shot placement is always crucial.

I love my PPK .380, but I hate my brother's Taurus .380 (I forget the model) because a gun as large as his could easily shoot a bigger round. If I could carry his Taurus, I could carry a 1911. On the other hand, the Taurus also costs less than one week of minimum wage so it's a more realistic gun for more people. Keep in mind that one of the most commonly recovered guns used in homicides is the Lorcin .380; it's not on any gun fan's top ten list, but it has racked up a lot of kills.

There is a saying among photographers that owning more than one lens means always having the wrong lens for the shot. The same can be said about guns. Any gun can kill a grown man and any gun can miss the broad side of a barn. You can only prepare for so many contingencies. The .380ACP is a nice balance of stopping power, controlability, concealability and price (not so much for the ammo anymore, but there are a lot of cheap .380 guns around.)

On that note, the ammo shortage is getting annoying. If all of you with more than 200 rounds in your safe could stop buying .380 for a few months, the rest of us would appreciate it. Thanks!

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:30 AM.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.