are you comfortable with a 380acp as your primary carry gun?

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by TTPower, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. TTPower

    TTPower

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    before i start, i know some people will say that stopping power is a myth and shot placement is more important. i would like your opinion on this.... does the 380acp have enough stopping power? will it have enough penetration and expansion coming out from a 3.5" gun? like what the title says... are you comfortable with a 380acp? consider winter clothes or heavy clothing.
     
  2. Iceman cHucK

    Iceman cHucK

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    This is my final answer: NO
     

  3. Landor

    Landor

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    A 380 has it's place. Am I comfortable with it? Yes. Would I like a bigger caliber? Yes. But if I have to choose between a 380 or nothing, I choose the 380. There are many scenarios where a 380 is more then enough. The sound of the first shot and most of the time the bad guy will be running his butt off. Put some good SD ammo in it and it is more then capable to stop the bad guy in his tracks.

    An LCP can go places a lot of other guns can not.
     
  4. EL COLONEL

    EL COLONEL

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    NOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo..............................:faint:
     
  5. dakrat

    dakrat

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    no, its a feminine male's round
     
  6. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    No.

    But sometimes I carry it anyway.

    My primary is Glock 26 and I have every faith in the 9mm. I like my 1911 .45, but wasn't intended as a carry gun by me.

    For small carry, I have a PPK .380, and while that gun is accurate and reliable, I'm not a big fan of the .380. I think it lacks penetration.

    So, I bought .38 snubbie. There were many good reasons to get the snubbie, but increased penetration was one of them.

    Before I bought my snubbie, I did a test of my 9mm, .380, and wife's .38 snubbie, for penetration. Also other calibers for the fun of it. Anyway, .38 158gr go further than the .380. Not as far as the 124gr 9mm.

    I'm not trying to give all the specs and say my little backyard test was definitive proof. Just saying, it was enough for me to "objectively" see the difference in penetration.

    I also once shot a rabid raccoon with my .380, and was not impressed with the results. I think the 9mm or .38 would have done a better job.

    For defensive shooting or hunting, I believe whatever you use has to have the penetration. That is the first criteria. After that, we can talk about diameter and expansion and velocity.

    Nobody would ever like getting shot with a .380, so it would likely be effective in many situations. But I think it is a little lacking in penetration.

    That's my opinion. And like I say, I still like to carry a .380 :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  7. Roering

    Roering Sorting nuts

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    If someone ever shot me with a 380...and I found out about it, I'd be mad as hell!
     
  8. CanyonMan

    CanyonMan In The Saddle

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    yep ! To what ithaca_deerslayer said in blue.



    cm
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2010
  9. Mwinter

    Mwinter I'm MilkMan Dan

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    Nope. The only time I go below the 'floor' (38sp or 9mm meeting FBI specs) is for hideout or 3rd-tier use.

    My P3AT goes places other guns simply cannot go due to it's light weight and tiny size.

    I have skinny/bony hands, and many larger (P230, Beretta 86) .380 guns have a great feel to them....but for the price/weight/size I choose a small 38, 357, or 9mm.

    Plus, 380 ammo is ridiculously priced. I just put together an order at work, and even with our pricing the 380 stuff from ATK (and just about everyone else) is more expensive than 9/40/45/357....even 10mm was cheaper!
     
  10. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Would I carry one, sure, would I feel comfortable, nope. Makes a nice up close BUG, but most are not sufficiently accurate enough for longer shots IMO, & the power level is at the bare minimum. I see little point as there are 9mm options that are about the same size. If you are carrying a 3.5" bbl 380, you can carry s sim. size 9mm.
     
  11. dougader

    dougader

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    not as a primary weapon, no. 9mm on up for me. I sold all my 380 stuff, even my dies, brass, etc... so there's no going back.
     
  12. NAS T MAG

    NAS T MAG

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    For what it's worth, here is one person's opinion:
    .380 ACP (9mm Short, 9x17mm, 9mm Kurz)

    Now we're getting into some decent stopping power. The three or four best .380 JHP rounds have better stopping power than ANY bullet fired out of 2" barrel .38 Special snub-nose. All of the Big Five make good hollowpoints for this caliber. The Remington 88 grain JHP is the most reliably-feeding hollowpoint but slightly less effective than the Hydra-shok or Cor-Bon. Reliability is crucial, and thus you must test the rounds before carrying.

    I recommend the following two cartridges above all others:

    -Federal 90 gr. Hydra-shok (P380HS1 H) - the best standard-pressure .380 JHP load, period.
    -Cor-Bon 90 gr. JHP - the most powerful .380 hollowpoint, bar none.

    These are the two best .380 loads, and I recommend them for these guns:
    SIG/Sauer P230, Beretta 84/85, Browning BDA, CZ-83, H&K P7K3, Walther PPK and PPK/s. The Russian, East German, Chinese and Bulgarian Makarov pistols are apparently perfectly reliable with the hot Cor-Bon, and the strong all-steel construction of these guns should stand up to an infinite amount of these potent rounds. I have heard that the Colt does also well with the hot Cor-Bon JHP, which you should definitely look into if you own a Colt .380. You have better stopping power than any .38 snub-nose revolver (the long-time favorite concealment sidearm) when you load your .380 with these two rounds.

    Other good .380 ACP jacketed hollowpoints:

    - Remington 102 gr. Golden Saber BJHP (GS380M) - Another excellent .380 load (the BJHP stands for "Brass Jacketed Hollow Point"), the heaviest one available. I prefer the Cor-Bon and Hydra-shok, but many (including Sanow) like this new Remington round for its deeper penetration. I'll stick with the Cor-Bon and Hydra-shok, but the choice is yours.
    - CCI-Speer 90 gr. Gold Dot JHP A good all-around hollowpoint.
    - Remington 88 gr. JHP (R380AI): A good high-velocity hollowpoint that feeds well in: Colt Government Model .380, H&K HK4, Taurus PT-58, older PP and PPK, Bersa .380, Beretta 70s, Makarov and Hungarian FEG. These are all good guns that might choke on other hollowpoints but they will probably feed the Remington fine. This hollowpoint was redesigned in 1993 and gives excellent performance while retaining its rounded shape for positive feeding. If your .380 chokes on other JHP loads, try fifty rounds of the Remington 88 gr. through your gun and see if it improves.

    .380 ACP hollowpoints to avoid:

    -Winchester 85 gr Silvertip (X380ASHP) I really cannot recommend this weak and jam-prone round. It works reliably in a few modern European guns (e.g. SIG 230, Beretta 84F), but every load named above offers better performance. The Silvertip will likely jam in any American-made .380 automatic. Russian .380 Makarovs and PPK series guns may jam with the Silvertip, as well. The .380 Silvertip was once state-of-the-art, but has since been superceded by superior designs. It is also quite expensive. Look elsewhere.
    - PMC-Eldorado Starfire 95 gr. JHP This round is similarly weak and jam-prone.
    - Federal 90 gr. JHP (380BP) (see below)
    - Hornady 90 gr. XTP-HP (9010) Both the Federal 380BP and the Hornady XTP-HP never expand and may jam many guns due to their truncated-cone bullet nose profiles. Pass by these two.

    To read his opinions on all defense rounds, go here.
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/ammo_by_anonymous.htm
     
  13. fredj338

    fredj338

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    Based on what, that article? The ancient 158grLSWCHP+P will penetrate further than any 380 except possibly ball ammo. The 135grGDSB+P does far better than any 380 w/ little more recoil. Since there is no reliable way to measure "stopping power", I am suspect to say the least. Chuck has written several things that I just have not found to match my own exp. Given a choice, the 380 sightly beats a good fighting knife for close in SD. Ok, that's an exaggeration, not by much though, the 380 is so far behind even the ancient 38sp as to be laughable.
    http://www.firearmstactical.com/images/Wound Profiles/38 Spl FBI load.jpg
    http://www.firearmstactical.com/images/Wound Profiles/38 Spl Plus P JHP.jpg
    http://demigodllc.com/~zak/firearms/fbi-pistol.php
    Check penetration & wound volumns, pathetic vs any service caliber. FWIW, most 380 are not any easier to shoot than sim size 9mm. The blowback designs actually cause more felt recoil. With todays micro 9mm, I am surprised the 380 still has a following at all.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  14. HollowPoint .45

    HollowPoint .45 NRA Member

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    Its by no means ideal but the .380 has killed alot of men and I suspect it will kill several more before its all over. It wouldnt be my first choice unless dress or surroundings absolutely demanded it. Then again when the time comes that you really need it, a .380 in your pocket is better than a .45 under the truck seat.
     
  15. Davegrave

    Davegrave Dapper Dan

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    No, but I make due with it when I don't want to holster up with a larger pistol.
     
  16. pennlineman

    pennlineman

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    Not really, it is the smallest caliber I would carry for defense. Given the small size of the guns offered in .380 I see no need to go with anything smaller. I hold it in higher regards than a RF 22, 25 ACP, 32 etc. They are excellent for deep concealment and a lot better than nothing at all. If at all possible I'll stay with a snub nose .38 spl or my G19.

    Well placed shots from a .380 will get it done.
     
  17. deadhawg

    deadhawg

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    Not as primary. I consider 9mm/38spl as the minimum I am willing to depend on for self defense. Maybe as a BUG if the situation called for maximum concealment, but my Kahr PM9 9mm fills that role very well. It's not much bigger than most 380's, actually smaller than some, and carries a much more potent round.

    Of course, shot placement IS king, and a hit with a 380 is better than a miss with a .500. I would not expect to ever use a 380 at more than bad breath range though. I'm sure a 380 in the ear would change a bad guy's mind about his line of work.
     
  18. mikegun

    mikegun

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    Gotta say i have seen several bad guys shoot and kill one another with 380s,at least the street results, and i carry a kel tec 380 as a bu,with a laser on it,but never a 380 alone,nothing less then a 9 40 or 45, for main carry....IMHO also a 9 or 45 for me as i cant shoot a 40 worth a damn....i can carry anything i want now that im retired...and i shoot the 9 and 45 well., but always have the 380 with corbons in my back pocket, long tine habit.
     
  19. TTPower

    TTPower

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    i think its settled! thanks for the replies. just keep them coming
     
  20. Taykaim

    Taykaim NRA Member

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    I stick with the 9mm I am more comfy with, but my wife carries a 380 daily, (a happy step up from her old and not so reliable 22lr) and I am perfectly comfortable with her carrying* it. She is a good fast shot with a finely tuned sense of situational awareness. I approve of her 380 right up to the time I have to buy more of the ammo that is ungodly scarce and expensive right now.


    *And woe to the would be attacker that tried her on for size. And any kidnapper better get away clean or the last thing that goes through their mind will be copper jacketed lead.