Why .380 over 9mm???

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by Poink88, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. Poink88

    Poink88 New Member

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    Just wondering what is the reason people choose 380 over 9mm when buying a new gun. Way I see it, they are almost identical but less power on 380. Ammo cost is a definite advantage to 9mm supply availability and price wise. Potency wise, I think 9mm also has advantage.

    I can understand if they already got the gun but when buying new...is it the recoil? More compact? Just plain choice? What is it?
     
  2. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Very simple really - .380s come in truly small guns suited for pocket carry. While I've heard many folks say they pocket carry a Kahr PM9 or a KelTec PF9 - put either of these next to an LCP and compare...
     

  3. opaww

    opaww New Member

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    MIne is mostly a back up for my 9mm or .45 auto
     
  4. OklahomaRuger

    OklahomaRuger New Member

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    I had a KelTec 9mm just for pocket carry...what a miserable gun to shoot. Practice with it was no fun at all so I just stopped shooting it.

    The tried the Ruger LCP...was much more pleasant to shoot and far more likely to be practiced with.
     
  5. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    I think it boils down to two factors. Size and Price.

    The smallest 9mm sub compacts still have more bulk than the current "noisy cricket" flock of .380's of which the Ruger LCP leads the pack and has a strong following here.

    Personally, the smallest gun I own for defensive carry is the Kahr PM9. Over the years I've carried .32's, and .380's, mainly for there size, but I've come to realize that for ME, 9mm is the smallest caliber I'm comfortable with, just MHO.

    I've also realized that I can not get a natural grip on any of the "noisy crickets". The Kahr is the smallest gun I've found that I can grip quickly and shoot accurately.

    Yes, you'll spend nearly double for a good sub compact 9mm from a reputable builder but IMO your getting twice the gun.

    If your trying to stay in the .380 price range I'd suggest you look at the Kel Tec 9mm. The trigger is not in the same league as the Kahr but it's 2 bills less money.

    Good Luck!

    TACK.
     
  6. Poink88

    Poink88 New Member

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    Thanks guys.

    Just to clarify, I have no plans or even considered buying a 380. I am just curious why people still buy them as I (personally) don't see a practical reason to buy one.

    I guess being compact (for backup use) is the best reason.
     
  7. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    I own a lot of "bigger" guns but I generally carry a Walther PPK in .380 as it's convenient and easy to conceal. I don't need to pack a .44 Magnum to feel comfortable and protected...
     
  8. opaww

    opaww New Member

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    It's not the size or caliber of the gun that matters but rather how well you use it
     
  9. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    I have no idea. :confused: I don't like mouse auto's in any caliber. Smallest I want for carry is 9mm or 38special.
     
  10. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    How well do you have to use a .22short for it to be a viable carry gun? :D
     
  11. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    NGIB

    I agree that minimum caliber is a personal choice and that a .22 short is still better than a stick. My distaste for the "noisy crickets", "PPK would not fall in this catagory", has more to do with their "to small to grip" nature. They just don't fit ME.

    Tack
     
  12. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    +1 Tack, SIZE & PRICE

    Size:

    [​IMG]

    That's my daughter's Elsie Pea on top of Canebrake. You know, my Colt "mouse gun" that I needed to install a magwell and eight round mag so my pinkie had a place to park.

    Yea, SIZE does matter and this is truly a pocket pistol!

    Price:

    How about $279.95?

    Ruger LCP .380acp Pistol

    Yea, Price does matter and at <$300, this Ruger is a steal!



    But first, the use of a .380 should be for back-up only!

    I don't think you can compare the .380 to the 9mm, two completely different rounds as opposite as apples and oranges.

    Let me state, this is not a flame post, rather it's a save your life communique.


    This information was obtained from the Nov/Dec 2009 issue of American Handgunner magazine presented in the editor's (Roy Huntington) The Insider article. I will paraphrase except where quoted;

    Self-defense ammo is divided up into two categories,
    Major (stand alone) ammo:
    9mm Parabellum, .38(+P)/.357 Mag, .357 Sig, .40 S&W, 10mm Auto, .41 Magnum, .44Spl/Mag, .45 ACP/Colt​
    Minor (back-up-only) ammo:
    .22 Long Rifle, .25 ACP (6.35mm), .32 ACP (7.65 mm Browning, 7.65x17mm), .32 H&R Magnum, .380 ACP (9mm Short, 9x17mm, 9mm Kurz)​
    This caliber assignment is backed up by years of forensic firearm's criminalist data. Empirical data does not lie just like 'house odds' statistics. You can bet on it!

    "There are no magic bullets and all bullets fail some of the time, so you need to be able to place any bullet you fire as accurately as possible. As Clint Smith would say, 'Train to be marvelous, because during a gunfight you'll probably only be mediocre - if you're lucky.'

    I can tell you first hand it's virtually impossible to tell the difference between gunshot wounds among the 'major' .38/.357/.40/.45 calibers. Even the .44 Magnum can usually be lumped in here. And the internal damage inflicted is also virtually impossible to differentiate from caliber to caliber. However, if you insist on using a 'minor' caliber (think .380 or smaller in my opinion) then you're on your own. No guarantees in my opinion, and the amount of damage they usually don't do is often frighteningly noticeable."

    Basically. If someone gets shot with a good quality expanding bullet from any of the ‘major’ calibers listed – and the bullet performs as advertised – you’ll get the best ‘stopping’ power you can expect from a handgun. And unless you hit someone in a central nervous system point (head, spine,ect.) there really isn’t any shock or ‘stopping’ power, they simply bleed to death, some faster, some slower. This lowering of the blood pressure (due to loss of blood volume) eventually shuts down the brain. It might take three seconds or it might take ten seconds or longer. You just never know. It’s a crap shoot, so hit them well if you have to shoot. And, as Connor says, ‘It’s not enough to shoot them until you think they’re dead, you have to shoot them until they think they’re dead.’

    It’s actually simple. Use a good gun, good ammo and practice with it. What’s a good gun? Probably the one you have. Like ammo, there is no magic gun, just good and bad ones. Oh, and the likelihood of you needing a fire extinguisher is only about a thousand times more probable than your ever needing a handgun; so make sure you have extinguishers around the house too. You do have some, right? Right?


    Some good common sense right there!

     
  13. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    My NAA Guardian.380 fits in my hip pocket and looks like a wallet. My KelTec PF9 doesn't.
     
  14. jackg

    jackg New Member

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    My Walther PPK/S with it's 3.35" barrel is technically a sub-compact but, it can work as a pocket pistol only w/out a pocket holster, and that's OK for me because I don't carry it with a round in the chamber and w/safety on. As long as my jeans are tight it doesn't drag one side down. It's an all steel gun.
     
  15. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    What? You carry a pocket gun with an empty chamber? What for? How long does it take you to get it out and rack the slide so you can shoot? :confused:

    Might as well carry a small hammer imo.
     
  16. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Active Member

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    I carry a .380 (Ruger LCP) in my pocket all the time as a BACKUP gun. I carry a .45 or .460 Rowland as a PRIMARY defense gun. Looking at it from the other side of the coin, I see no reason to carry a 9mm for a primary gun when better rounds are available-TO ME-in MY opinion. 9mm guns are too bulky for ME to carry as a backup gun. So to ME, I have very little use for a 9mm. Sure, I would love a 9mm or .40 if it was the same size as my LCP. Any size 9mm is also available in .40 S&W or .even 45 in some instances. The ONLY exception would be the Rohrbaugh 9mm which is as light & concealable as the .380s. I had to sell mine (when fighting to get pension) and cannot afford a replacement. 1,000$ for a Rohrbaugh or 279$ for a Ruger LCP-you do the math. Rohrbaugh Firearms
     
  17. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    That heartbeat it takes you to rack the slide could be your last!
     
  18. jimbobpissypants

    jimbobpissypants New Member

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    In my case, the 380 is the largest cal that I can comfortably carry during hot weather.
    In cooler weather, I carry a 40, or usually a 45.
    During the heat of summer, I wear as little clothes as is socially acceptable. While doing so, a small and light 380 is far better than no gun. If a manufacturer ever produces a 9mm that is even close to the size and weight of a lcp, I will own one(Taurus excluded). Until then, a 380 will have to do during hot weather.
     
  19. Mr. Bluesky

    Mr. Bluesky New Member

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    You live in Florida, right, NGIB? In a hot place like that, there's a lot less difference between 9mm and .380 for defensive purposes, seeing as the most clothing you'll have to punch through is a light shirt.

    Cane, where does 9mm Makarov fall in that list? It was the primary round for the USSR through the collapse, and is still used by the Russian army. Shop near me has a brand-new Bulgarian PM I've been eying for my 21st this October, still in the packing grease and everything. All steel, able to be taken down by a reasonably intelligent 6-year-old, and so thin it would disappear. Finding ammo's no issue - every time Cabela's has a sale on S&B FMJ, we head down there and maybe grab the last two or three boxes of 9x19, and the 9x18 is still piled high.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  20. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    +1 Cane

    Good info from AHG on the minor v/s major calibers.

    Cost and size do play a big role in many CCW's decisions but there is a breaking point where "uber small ulta concealable" designs begin to negatively impact the ability to draw smooth and quick and place shots accurately.

    I would not rely on any gun as dimunitive as the current crop of mouse guns EVEN IF they came in a major caliber. There just to small to grip properly unless you've got the hands of a 9 year old.

    With that said, the vast majority of DGU's are resolved with no shots fired. Most thugs will flee once they realize there intended target is armed but I'm not going to bet on that.

    There are many good, compact, full power, CCW weapons available. Carried strong side in a belly band with your shirt tucked or untucked, they are every bit as concealable as a .380 in the pocket.

    After much research on size, weight and capacity it came down to either the Roughbar or the Kahr PM9. I prefered the Roughbar but had to make my own cost consesion. With the difference being 1k v/s $600.00 I settled on the Kahr and have found it be both relaible, accurate, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, shootable for ME.

    I think it was the late Jeff Cooper who once said, "To be armed with a handgun, any handgun, is to be barely armed". I agree with that statement and see no advantage, other than cost, in handicaping myself further with a weapon I can't shoot very well in caliber considered to be minor.