The .380 Craze

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by UnderFire, May 24, 2009.

  1. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    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.:eek:

    So how about you?
     
  2. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    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
     

  3. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    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.
     
  4. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

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    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. :)
     
  5. bgeddes

    bgeddes New Member

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    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.
     
  6. hossman

    hossman New Member

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    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.
     
  7. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    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 :)
     
  8. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    :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.
     
  9. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

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    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.
     
  10. Lefty

    Lefty New Member

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    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!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2009
  11. UBRocked

    UBRocked New Member

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    .380's are definitely everywhere now. I am in the process of looking for a concealable gun for my wife and she is drawn to the LCP but has not shot it. I understand the debate of caliber but what about recoil?

    Anyone with a .380 (size of the PPK or even LCP) have any thoughts about the recoil? I am looking for something that she can actually shoot and I have heard that the LCP is not pleasant to shoot when putting 50-100 rounds through it at a time. I think she may be better off with a .38 special revolver.
     
  12. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

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    Pocket guns don't fit the hand, and they don't have much mass, so blisters and bruising do occur. For some reason the AMT wears out the lower inside pad of my trigger finger, evidently from the skin getting between the trigger guard and the trigger at firing. Some days it looks like I've just slaughtered a steer when I walk off the range.
    Or not.
     
  13. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    I can't speak for the LCP, because I don't own one.
    I'm sure they're very fine guns.
    I do own a Kahr P380 which is a lite weight small handgun.
    I also own a S&W .38 special revolver model 36LS.
    Although lighter guns will have more recoil, my P380's recoil
    is much more controllable than my heavy steel frame, nickel finish,
    .38 S&W Special +P.

    I've squeezed off 150 rounds during a target practice session with no discomfort using my P380. I have currently ran 550 rounds through my P380.
    IMO; a gun needs to feel/fit good in your hands and a firm grip. ;)
     
  14. group17

    group17 New Member

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    I have a bersa 380 duo. It is a very accurate weapon with no problems so far.
    Check out the Bersa section to confirm.
     
  15. UBRocked

    UBRocked New Member

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    Thanks for the info. I will have to get her up to the range to rent a few to see what works. Problem with the Kahr guns (and some others) is that they can't be found anywhere right now. I want to look at the PM9 for myself but can't find one.

    My wife is actually wanting a gun that recoils like my G19 with the .22 adapter on it :)
     
  16. ChrisDM

    ChrisDM New Member

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    I jumped on the 380 bandwagon because sometimes my "subcompact" .40mm CZ 2075 just isn't comfortable in long, light carry. Plus in considering the 380 as a very close quarters defensive weapon, I understand that shot placement can play as great a role as caliber. And the Colt Mustang is such a pretty little pistol:

    [​IMG]

    Chris
     
  17. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    ChrisDM, that's a sweeett l'il Colt.
    Where did you find it at?
    How do you like it?
     
  18. chucksolo69

    chucksolo69 New Member

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    It seems that every time someone posts something about the .380 ACP it becomes an instant debate on its usefulness as a defensive round. I don't think that is what the user was looking for. I bought my Bersa Thunder .380 because I have always liked the "James Bond" look of many of the .380 autos. Although I have never owned a Walther .380, I did own an Astra Constable and a Beretta Model 70s. Both those guns were reliable and fun to shoot, although the Beretta tended to mangle your thumb if you weren't careful. I also bought the Bersa because at $259.00 it was a steal. The recoil on the Bersa tends to send the gun back into your palm and does not have much muzzle flip. This has caused the joint of my thumb to get sore after 100 rounds or so of firing the gun. No big problem though as you certainly wouldn't want to shoot much more than that at one session, particularly with the price of .380 ammo these days.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  19. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    .32 ACP is very underrated for personal defense.
     
  20. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    You've never seen a Para Warthog, have you?