380 Pros & Cons

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by steven07, May 3, 2013.

  1. I have been doing a lot of reading over the last past week on the 380 cartridge and have really developed some mixed feelings about it. Some say it has enough stopping power to resolve a situation and others claim that it has been proven not to even pass through heavy clothing. What are your views on the cartridge?

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  3. dkf


    Better than other mouse gun calibers like .22lr, .25acp, .32acp and etc. With an FMJ or cast bullet non HP penetration is usually more than adequate. It is down on power compared to the more run of the mill service calibers however. If you can handle a slightly larger pocket gun the 9mm is a better choice. A .380 on your person is better than a .45 in the safe.

  4. For years European police - and even James Bond - considered the .32 ACP to be adequate.

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  5. It's a chick gun.
  6. eb07

    eb07 Sharkin'

    Pro: Lightweight. Very concealable.

    Con: penetration. capacity.
  7. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

    Not to be "smart", but only "cons". I would never suggest anthing under 9mm to a friend or anyone. Not enough in the .380. Folks can argue all day, but there is just not enough there, to give me a good feeling to carry one... It is a "mouse gun," and mouse guns, although, yes, they can kill, (but so can a 22) just have no place in the real world against a huge perp trying to kill you.

    Forget , "well, it's light and easy to carry." So what ! If it don't blow through heavy clothes and a bunch of fat and muscle and bones and organs, and get to vitals to end the threat, who gives a rip if it's easy to carry !!!???

    No thank you on a .380. I barely like 9mm, and I kow what it can do, and do well, if experience and practice, knows how to use it, but sorry, I still favor 45acp and 44mag.'' But not at all "afraid of the 9mm."

    All the stuff, 9mm 40 s&w, and 357sig, and 45cal work well, and also 10mm, but not the .380 and under. Again, forget light, comfortable, easy carry.

    When a BG is beating your brains out or your in a real bad mess, that mouse gun will Embarrass you and maybe get you dead !

    Been there and done that a good number of times ! ;) ( NOT with a mouse gun BTW) ;)

    Good luck!
    stay safe !

    #6 CanyonMan, May 3, 2013
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  8. fg17

    carried big guns for a long time, then slowly started carrying less and less and then not at all. figured the odds of me needing a gun where pretty slim. Survived a lot of violent situations without a gun. Bought a ruger LCP 380 now I carry everywhere again.

  9. A person only needs to not survive just one, and carrying a .380 only is helping the opposing team.
  10. Pretty much this. They make some small, lightweight 9mm pistols and .38 special revolvers. No need for .380. It's just dumb...
  11. jakebrake

    jakebrake cracker

    add ammo a little pricey for what it is, and tends to be kinda on the dirty side
  12. swoh

    Using FMJ should help penetration, but it obviously won't open up at X distance like an HP in a bigger caliber will. My only .380 is a NAA guardian and I've shot it a few times in my back yard for the sake of testing some polishing I did on the action - I found one of the bullets, FMJ, with almost no deformation (and very little rifling marks thanks to the barely more than a smoothbore NAA barrel) laying on my lower patio. I assume it bounced off a tree in the forest that's in and around my yard, mostly cherry, walnut and tulip poplars.
    #11 swoh, May 3, 2013
    Last edited: May 3, 2013
  13. NDCent

    NDCent Socially Inept

    I carry one at times. IMO, it's an under powered poor choice.
  14. The "Pros" are all in the designs and the guns available

    There are no ballistic "Pros" IMO.
  15. I have several guns I rotate and carry depending on how I am dressed but after picking up an LCP a few months ago I carry it all the time. In a raven pocket holster or an IWB I picked up from a local leather guy at a gun show, it's just carries so easily. Until it started warming up I almost always had a second(primary) gun on me but now that its cargo shorts and tees weather I feel pretty good carrying it alone.
    They say most confrontations occurred inside 10 feet and I think this caliber is perfect for this situation. The zombie max was all the self defense my LGS had when I bought the gun so that's what's in it but once I find some +p then ill make the switch.
    Hell if one shot doesn't stop him I've still got five more...
  16. fg17

    Maybe, but I will take my chances. Besides I do have some faith in the .380 cartridge. Lets face it the odds of using your gun in self defense are slim. A lot of people live in a fantasy world and if they want to carry a big gun, 3 mags, rifle or shot gun in the trunk, vest and a trauma kit more power them. Lets be honest car accidents, cancer and heart disease are the real killers, but that's not as much fun to think about. Not to say a person should not be prepared and every ones situation is different. As a lifelong martial artist self defense is always on my mind but I try to keep things in perspective.
    #15 fg17, May 3, 2013
    Last edited: May 3, 2013

  17. I think that in all honesty you are saying these things to convince yourself and not others. I agree about the rifle, shotgun, vest, etc. for the common layman, however spare mags are always a plus just as is a reserve parachute for a parachutist. He may never need it, but no one sane would jump without one.

    The bottom line is that almost everyone who carries a .380 does so for convenience and to be frank that is the worst reason to carry a CCW. CCW's are meant to save life which entails far more than just convenience. Just my 2 cents. Good luck. :cool:
  18. Warp


    Pro: People who are not willing/able to deal with carrying a gun can carry a small .380.

    Con: Insufficient ability to stop a lethal threat in a timely manner.

    What the heck are you talking about?
    #17 Warp, May 4, 2013
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  19. fg17

    What I'm talking about is that you will be fine with a .380 and in my situation and in most peoples situation the odds of actually using your gun are so small that it does not justify carrying a bigger gun. To each his own.

    Pros: compact, lightweight, can carry almost all the time

    con: minimal stopping power, harder to shoot than a bigger gun.
    #18 fg17, May 4, 2013
    Last edited: May 4, 2013
  20. Odds. He's talking about odds, and he's right. It's the same argument as the 'air travel is safer' argument. The odds of being in a plane crash are slim, like the odds of being in a gun fight are slim, considered per capita. The problem with the argument is when it's your plane.

    I would consider a .380 as a backup (though if the primary failed, why would a lesser caliber succeed?) Mouse guns are for coup de gras shots to the temple. But if it was all I had, I'd carry it, and I'd want to be close in if I ever used it.
  21. SCmasterblaster

    Millennium Member

    You got that right! :cool:

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