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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:00 PM
Original message
Effectiveness of the .380 auto. Thoughts?
Edited on Tue Dec-01-09 06:58 PM by eqfan592
With the possibility of CCW coming to Wisconsin within the next couple of years becoming very real, I'm starting to look at what sort of pistol I might carry. For me, something small that I could keep in my pocket would be perfect, and the same goes for my wife (who will also be getting her CCW when the time comes).

So I've been looking a lot at the Kel-Tec P3AT, the Ruger LCP and the new Taurus TCP. All are very compact, and all shoot the .380 auto. It seems more and more companies are coming out with these little pocket pistols chambered in .380. I've read from many that feel it is under-powered for a self defense cartridge, while others feel that it is more the adequate (especially some of the newer, higher velocity cartridges coming out) for close range self defense.

I'm just curious what the thoughts are among my fellow DU'ers on this cartridge and these pistols.

EDIT: I should have mentioned this earlier, but my hours at work were recently cut by 20% due to the poor economy, which has set my wife and I back a bit, so spending more than 3-400 on a new pistol is pretty out of the question for the foreseeable future.
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SlipperySlope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
1. Two ways to look at it
There are two ways to look at it.

First way; the .380 doesn't have the reliable stopping power to rely on for a self-defense caliber. You need to move up to a 9 mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP.

Second way; the small caliber gun you actually will carry is better than the large caliber gun you leave at home because it is too heavy, bulky, and hard to conceal.

I don't think there is really much more to the argument than that.
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slvrd4 Donating Member (17 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:09 PM
Response to Original message
2. Try a Walther P22.
Load it with High Velocity Long Rifle Hollowpoints.

The biggest complaint I hear of people that just got their CCP and buy a handgun is they underestimate the gunds bulk.

Remember, odds are you will NEVER need this gun; just brandishing it is enough so if you are actually going to be carrying it around a lot bulk and weight are important considerations. Also, my son has a Ruger LCP. It was recalled and fixed then it started jamming and he had to send it back for that. The factory replaced a small piece of metal in the receiver and it doesn't seem to jam anymore. If you get the LCP, get the thumb grip magazine. Kel-Tec & Taurus are fine guns also but the Walther is first class.
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. We actually have a P22 in the house right now :)
It's my wife's nightstand gun ATM.

And I agree with what the other poster said about the lighter gun you have on you being better than the heavy gun you left at home. I'm just trying to find a good mix between "stopping power" (which I hear is a myth anyway when dealing with most pistol calibers) and year around convenience. It just seems like a .22 is a little lighter than what I would want to rely on, especially coming out of a short pistol barrel, though it would still be better than nothing. :)
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metalbot Donating Member (234 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #2
23. Brandishing is almost always a horrible idea
Under most circumstances in CCW states, the only time it would be legal to brandish your weapon would be when it was also legal to use it. If you brandish in a situation where you would not be 100% justified in pulling the trigger, you will probably be violating the law. I know that in Texas that if you are not justified in pulling the trigger, you are not justified to point a firearm at someone.

The only time that I would consider drawing a concealed weapon was if I thought I was going to need to shoot it. And if I need to shoot something, I don't want 22LR. I know that 22LR can be deadly, but it's not deadly very quickly. If you want to stop a threat, you need to either cause massive bleeding or CNS damage. A 22 LR isn't a good choice for that.

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C_Lawyer09 Donating Member (690 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. It's not the meat it's the motion
Put the emphasis on skill and technique and you'll be fine. Personally I feel a Ruger SP101, .357, 3 in. barrel is a fine weapon. Good balance, inexpensive ammo, good stopping power, durable, reliable etc. Take a tactical shooting course, and you'll be better off than those who didn't regardless of make or caliber. The second most important consideration is your comfort level with the firearm. Having said all this, seems everybody has a different preference. Training is key.
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duckduckgoose Donating Member (2 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:23 PM
Response to Original message
5. Walther PPS
Get the Walther PPS. Very slim, very concealable, very accurate. Available in 40 SW and 9 mm. If you get 9mm make sure you use 147 grain JHPs.

I've shot the LCP and the felt recoil is much greater than the PPS in .40.

IMO anything less than .38 SPL +P is not adequate for self defense. There are very compact weapons available in service calibers - you don't have to compromise.
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. Thanks for the tip on the PPS.
I had never seen those before. They look to be only slightly larger than an Kel Tec PF-9. I also like that it has a similar mag release to the P22.
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Euromutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-08-09 06:27 AM
Response to Reply #5
86. The PPS is a *very* nice gun
I've handled and fired a rental one in 9mm at one of my local indoor ranges, and it was a joy to shoot for such a small gun. The downside is that it's fairly expensive, and until recently it was really difficult to find holsters for it (though that's less of a problem these days; the Blade-Tech Ultimate Concealment Holster http://blade-tech.com/Blade-Tech-Ultimate-Concealment-H... is now available for the PPS, and should work very well).
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. I really prefer carrying my compact .45 ACP, but I also carry a .32
PPK type pistol or even a small S&W .22 auto at times. If you carry a small caliber like the .380, get a lot of practice with it, and carry very reliable good quality ammo. I prefer S&B ball in the .32, and Federal auto pistol solids in the .22 for penetration. For .380, I'd recommend the older Remington load that has a small hollow point - it feeds very reliably in most .380 pistols. Make sure you shoot at least a few of whatever you plan to carry just to make sure the gun likes them.

Good luck.

mark
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Thanks for the info! (nt)
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
9. I like the Sig Sauer P232 - it fits nicely in a pouch on my bicycle luggage
The factory grip didn't work well for me, I found it too small and slick.

Hogue makes a 1-piece wrap-around rubber replacement grip. That works for me.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
10. I'd say the .380 would be perfectly fine for CCW
The LCP and other new .380 are IMHO great little pocket guns especially with the better self-defense ammo that is being made. The lightweight revolvers are also very good for concealed carry. You might want to look at a bit heavier caliber than a .380 for colder months when everyone is bundled up and penetration of clothing layers could be an issue and of course it is easier to conceal a bigger gun when you're dressed in layers.

Better the gun you have because it was easy to carry & conceal than the bigger one you left at home because it was a pain to carry & conceal.

Here's a good video from Guns & Ammo on the .380 vs 9mm discussion. http://www.gunsandammomag.com/cs/Satellite/IMO_GA/Page/...
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
11. The .380 will kill a guy, if that's what you're asking.
Yes, it will kill someone if you shoot them.
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TPaine7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #11
50. If he bleeds out 15 minutes after killing your entire family
I would consider that a failure, his death notwithstanding.
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TPaine7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
12. Have you looked at the Kahr line?
They make very slim (the slide is thinner than 1 inch) pistols in .40 and 9mm. The polymer versions are small and lightweight too, though they still sell the standard steel models that weight more.

And if you'd like a 9mm in the smallest available package (and don't mind the cost) there's always the Rohrbaugh.

The S&W J Frame Airweights like the one reviewed here ( http://www.snubnose.info/docs/m642.htm ) are also fine and very carry-able weapons in 38 Special +P.

Anything less than a 38 Special +P is marginal, IMHO, but a mousegun you have is better than a 1911 that you left at home.
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. I will have to check out the Kahr line.
Something I should have mentioned in the OP is that I'm trying to keep costs at around $300 right now. My hours at work were recently cut by 20% due to the poor economy, which has set my wife and I back a bit, so spending more than 3-400 on a new pistol is pretty out of the question ATM.
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burrfoot Donating Member (801 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Money money money money.....MONEY!
Edited on Tue Dec-01-09 07:35 PM by burrfoot
Sadly, that's the boat a lot of us (I think, anyway) find ourselves in today. The Kahr (Khar?) is a cool little gun, I shot their PM 9 and it pointed well and the recoil was a little stiff but, well- this isn't going to be your daily practice shooter anyway.
The new(ish) .380 from Sig is awesome. If you were able to pull together a little more dough and were ok with the 1911 style controls (i.e. a thumb safety) that would totally be my recommendation. I've heard good things about the Walther slimlines, but I've also heard they have some hiccups- but Walther is a great company and I'd bet they smooth out after some rounds go through.

Kel-Tec makes a very small gun too. A lot of people complain about the quality control (some are fine, some suck ginormous donkey balls), but other people shoot them all day long with no problems. This is probably the closest to your budget, though.

Also, don't forget to check for used handguns!

Note: I'm not a gun pro by any means. I've only been shooting for a couple of years. Take everything I say with a grain of salt.
That being said, make sure you update us on what you choose!!

:toast:

*EDIT: FWIW, I carry a Walther .22 right now. I know, I know- but for me, it's what I have that's small enough for the pocket right now; I'm just not going to carry my Glock 17. I'm anxious to hear what you choose, and plan to poach all information and recommendations that are provided for you here when I upgrade! :evilgrin:
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. It'll probably be a month or two before i actually go for one.
But I'll make sure to post on here whenever I do figure out what that is, as well as how it works out :)
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #14
31. Oh, and thanks for telling me about the Sig P238 .380 auto!
I do like 1911 controls, and DAMN YOU for telling me about it! I friggen love what I hear about it and I just watched a nice video review on it. But the price tag is more than I can think about spending at this time. DOH!

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burrfoot Donating Member (801 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #31
42. hahahahahaha
:evilgrin:

I feel your pain. If it makes it any better, I'm not buying it either. Although it's a terrific little pistol, I'm not such a 1911 fan; I'll probably go with something no safety when it comes time. I still enjoy shooting that little guy, though (my shooting buddy got one about 3 weeks ago).
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #31
44. Oh, if you like that
then you'll love this. Same size:

http://www.impactguns.com/store/770752110110.html
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. Yep, I've seen those as well!
Is it really the same size?? It says in the description that it has a 10 round mag!
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. It's maybe wider.
Acutally, it's probably quite a bit wider, because the stack of rounds are staggered, and a .45 is bigger than .380 to begin with, of course.
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DonP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #31
55. The Sig P238 is a knock off of the old Colt Government Pocketlite
The mags and some parts are even interchangeable.

I don't know if the Colt Patent lapsed or if Sig bought the rights, but they are basically the same gun. I have a very nice Pocketlite in 380 that has one of the earlier alloy frames and weighs in at 12 ounces with the mag full. It's basically a miniature 1911 without the grip safety. Very easy to carry and shoot Sights are crappy (like an original 1911), but it's an up close kind of thing anyway.
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dmallind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-09-09 02:53 PM
Response to Reply #13
93. I carried both Kel-Tec and Kahr PM9
Latter is larger and heavier but not by a whole lot - mostly thickness. In a pocket holster it prints about like a normal wallet. Much more reliable and can handle far more potent 9mm rounds - including +P if you can deal with a stinging recoil when practising. The Kel-Tec is better than nothing but can have some reliability issues, most of which can be solved by a small and judicious polishing of the ramp. Still stovepiped a bit though and reliability is #1 for a CCW so I scrubbed it eventually and remained with the PM9 until I moved out of a CCW state sadly.
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Euromutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #12
29. By all accounts, Kahrs are good carry guns, but I doubt I'd buy one
For one, as the spouse of a rather... shall we say, curvy woman, their advertising ("Thin is Sexy") annoys the piss out of me.

But more importantly, there's that bit about the company being a division (though it's claimed it's now a former division) of the Saeilo Group, i.e. Sun Myung Moon's business conglomerate, and Justin Moon is still the company's CEO.
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Hangingon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
15. I carry a .380 because of its size.
Living on the Texas coast, it is hard to conceal a larger gun most of the year. I have confidence in the round but, if really needed, I would prefer a 9mm or .45 ACP. Friends have told me a .380 may not go thru a heavy coat -not a problem most of the time - so I keep a hydroshock in the chamber and a FMJ at the top of the clip.
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. Hmmm, I have a hard time picturing a heavy coat stopping a .380.
Especially with some of the new cartridges that are coming out now. But I'm glad to hear about your confidence in the round :)
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oneshooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #15
26.  I guess I am on the other side of the spectrum
My daily CCW is a full size SIG220 in 45cal. Carried in a Don Hume "Undercover" IWB holster it is covered by a light button up shirt, generally worn unbuttoned. I tend toward the theory that if I have to make a hole in somebody, it's gonna be the biggest one I can!

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #15
64. I believe your friends are talking out their asses.
Speaking as somebody who's used a .22 LR to blow an entire side out of an aluminum can that's a shitload tougher than a "thick coat," I don't envision regular attire stopping a .380 ACP. That sounds like the kind of "common knowledge" that I see on other gun boards, like claiming anything less than 12 gauge 000 buckshot or slugs will just bounce off the imaginary drug-fueled psychopaths coming to eat your family.
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #64
65. LMAO!
Nice :P And I do get that impression on a lot of firearms boards. And really, if you think about it, if you were to happen to come across one of those drug-fueled psychopaths on the streets, the sort that can deal with shot after shot of .556 nato without dropping, then even if you are carrying a .45 with you you're going to be in deep shit.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
16. I carried a P3AT with Cor-bons. Use high quality ammo in the highest quality gun you can afford.
Edited on Tue Dec-01-09 07:29 PM by aikoaiko

I trusted my life to my Kel-tec because I could afford it and it never failed me at the range. It was moderate quality though.

The Ruger and Taurus may be a small step up in price and quality

The SIG and Kahr another step up.


If you are considering a Kel-tec why not consider the PF9 and carry 9mm? The price is within your range and the ammo is much cheaper.


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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Actually, I was thinking about the PF9 for the reasons you stated. :)
It's a little bigger than the P3AT/LCP/TCP, but it's a 9mm, and it also has better sights on it. :)
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
17. I have semis and revos
Edited on Tue Dec-01-09 07:32 PM by pipoman
my goto has been a S&W 638 for several years. I like the 1911 compacts but they are heavier. My favorite semiauto is a S&W 3914. It is a single stack 9mm so it is thin for IWB carry and has never failed in probably 10k rounds, accuracy is great, not as small but I never pocket carry anyway. I think benezra carries a newer 3913 Ladysmith which is the same frame in stainless. I have had 2 ultra small light weight guns (Colt Mustang .380 and Kimber Ultra .45) they always get left behind in favor of a gun I actually enjoy shooting at the range. The tiny guns are not fun shooters IMHO and therefore I hesitate to carry them because I don't get as much practice with them. I am thinking of getting a S&W 296...it will likely not be a fun shoot either .44 spl with titanium frame, I like the .44 round though.
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X_Digger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
18. How about a Bersa Thunder? n/t
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Now that you mention it...
...my buddy has a bersa in .380. We're gonna go to the range together sometime soon. I'll have to check it out then and see how I like it :)
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Katya Mullethov Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Take some spare ribs and different kinds of ammo along
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. Yay box o' truth!
I love the sight :) It's not the MOST scientific thing out there, but it gives you an idea of what your looking at penetration wise. Glad to see the .380 JHP hit the 4 jug mark, and they got the .380 ball through 5. Gives me a tad more confidence in the round :)
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Katya Mullethov Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #27
41. Dont eat them
Tie them together and shoot them . Tie some more together , wrap them in denim and then shoot them . Then you'll have an idea .

Post pics ..
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #22
35. Bersas are excellent .380's.
When I first got my CHL in the mid-'90s, I carried a Bersa Model 383. It was remarkably accurate, and with properly tapered FMJ or JHP it never had a failure to feed or fire (it didn't like the nearly hemispherical nose profile of Sellier & Bellot FMJ, but fed PMC FMJ and Federal 90gr Hydra-Shok JHP fine, and the latter was my carry load of choice.

I eventually moved up to a S&W 3913 Ladysmith 9mm, but the Bersa was an excellent pistol, with good ergonomics and easy to reload, field-strip, and clean.

Having said that, something like an LCP or Kel-Tec will be a little easier to carry, as it is small enough to work with a pocket holster, whereas the Bersa requires more traditional carry methods.
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Euromutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #18
30. Good suggestion!
Bersas are fairly inexpensive, and in what I've heard about them, the positive far outweighed the negative. At the range once, I had to clear a jam on a Bersa .380 for a sixty-something year-old lady who was putting her new purchase through its paces, but she seemed to be a newbie to shooting, so maybe she'd limp-wristed it.
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GreenStormCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #18
36. I did have some difficulty with one batch of ammo.
I had trouble with some Blazer .380 ammo, but it was only one box that gave me trouble. I had several failure to feed jams out of that box. Other boxes, same brand, worked just fine. So maybe I had some bad ammo. All other brands that I have tried have done well.
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bluedigger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #18
56. +1
Very good quality, good shooter at the range, and right at your price point.
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cognoscere Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 09:34 PM
Response to Original message
25. As others here have mentioned, the .380 is better than nothing.
It's also better than a rock, stick, knife(unless it's long enough to be a sword) and numerous other items. The sad reality is that virtually every "name brand" firearm costs a bundle, even for .22's.
The used market isn't much better. However, the higher prices seem to be in the large store areas - Gander Mountain is insane and Cabella's is not much better. If you have a small gun shop/store near you, check them out. Get to know the owner and be known by him.

There are all kinds of these places around Milwaukee, especially the further north you go. Closer to home, Paddock Lake Sports has a large selection of new and used guns at better than average prices. I've heard that Pete's Guns in Kenosha is good. Fleet and Farm and Dunham's are also reasonable, but I can't remember if they sell handguns.

Lastly, I've been reading a lot of good info on Hi Point firearms. Here's their website: http://www.hi-pointfirearms.com/index.html
Would I own one? No, I don't like striker fired pistols, so I wouldn't own a Glock either. Anyway, the consensus is they are reliable, accurate, and ugly. At $135 for the .380 and $155 for the 9mm, they are, as they are advertised, affordable. They are also made in Ohio and have a LIFETIME warranty.

You'll need to decide what is best for you - maybe frequent some ranges that have rentals so you can get a feel for what works. Some things to consider: Single/double action; striker/hammer; single or double stack magazine; pistol or revolver. Better yet, enlarge your circle of friends to include one or two gun...afficienados.

Two or three times a year I get together with other shooters and we make... a lot of noise(especially when we get the Tannerite out)
I've seen a Beretta 92 stovepipe and FTF; an FN FTF; and a Steyr lock up so bad we had to strip it and prod it with a screwdriver to get the unfired round out, which might not be a problem if you are good and fast with a screwdriver. I've shot.380,.38,.357 magnum, 9mm,.40 S&W, .44 magnum; and .500 S&W magnum - guess what? If you can't hit what you're aiming at, it doesn't matter what you have, although the blast and flame from the .500 magnum might take out a bad guy even though you missed. The point is, whatever you decide to get, train and practice with it as though your life depended on it. I've been using a lowly .380 Llama for years, but I know what it will do and I know what I can do with it.

Ultimately, you need to do some analysis of what you need and how you will use it. Five hundred rounds a week for IPSC? Or a box here and there just to keep the coordination in shape? Good luck and good hunting (bargains)
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-01-09 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. Thank you for the great advice :)
Actually, I own a Hi Point 9mm carbine, and I love it :) As bad a rap as Hi Points seem to get from some, they seem to go bang every time you pull the trigger, and you can't beat the warranty. :)

And your 100% right about practice. I'm a pretty good rifle shot, and I'm handy with the .22 pistol, but I have almost no experience with anything larger than a .22 in pistol form, so I know already that I'll need to spend a lot of time at the range to make sure I get things hammered out, and the same goes for my wife. :)

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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #28
32. Make sure you test the ammo your intend to carry in your weapon...
occasionally you will find that one type of ammo will cause malfunctions while another will not.

Modern semi-auto handguns are generally reliable and compared to those made 20 years ago rarely jam or suffer a failure to feed. Unfortunately it does happen.

I always try to run 100 rounds of potential carry ammo through any semi-auto I own after a reasonable break in period. If I get more than one failure, I try another brand of ammo.

When I owned a Beretta .40 cal I bought my 100 rounds for test and made it through 15 rounds before I had a case separation which jammed the weapon. The bottom of the case, which contains the primer, separated and broke away from the cartridge case. The remainder stayed in the barrel. The next round failed to feed.

I brought the weapon out to the range master who had a brass rod. We tapped the remainder of the cartridge case out of the barrel and agreed that it was a once in one million failure. Ten rounds later, the same thing happened again.

So I moved on to a different brand. I fired at least 2000 rounds through the weapon without any further problems.

Generally, a revolver requires far less test ammo. Revolvers are far less sensitive to ammo differences than semi-autos. Still the test is a good idea.

I own a S&W 9mm J-frame revolver. A review in a magazine stated that a very hot factory ammo was a superior load. I fired 5 rounds and found I could not extract the empty cases since they were in a full moon clip. The brass had expanded enough under the pressure that I had to use a rod to tap them out from the cylinder.

Testing ammo is expensive and many people ignore it. Your life may depend on it.





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cognoscere Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #28
48. Don't discount your abilities with a .22.
I see all kinds of ads for kits that will allow shooting .22 in various pistols and rifles to save money on ammo. I guess as long as you develop and maintain the basic skills, all you need to do is get accustomed to the variables of the individual weapon.
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taurus145 Donating Member (453 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 01:47 AM
Response to Original message
33. I carry the Kel-Tec P3AT for backup
Small, perfect for a pocket.

You can guess what my primary piece is, but I do go 1911 when OC'ing.
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highlander100 Donating Member (5 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
34. LCP here
I carry the Ruger LCP, it has a belt clip on the right side, and clips right into the front of my of my pants and is undetecible. As for the .380 Round, I'd prefer a .45 ACP, but my Ed Brown is bulky and hard to carry concealed. So I figure the .380 is better to have in hand than wishing I'd put my .45 in my belt (which I wouldn't have)
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jeepnstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 08:23 AM
Response to Original message
37. There are plenty of 9mm pistols...
available that are as small or nearly as small as a .380. I carried a .380 for several years as a backup gun but switched to a 9mm about fifteen years ago. The Glock 19 is a great pistol and police trade-ins are all over the place these days. I know quite a few people who carry the Glock 26 daily with no problems at all.

If I only had $300 or so to spend on a gun and couldn't find a decent used G19 or 26, I'd probably go for a used .357 or a .38 snub revolver and call it a day. There is nothing you are likely to encounter in daily life that a .357 can't kill. If you are a professional grizzly bear wrangler or something your mileage may vary.

Wisconsin is a long way from approving CCW. You have plenty of time to shop.

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OneTenthofOnePercent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
38. I carry a Glock 19 and Ruger LCP everywhere.
More often than not, the G19 stays in the car unless I'm dressed properly to conceal it. The LCP goes into just about ANY pocket and with a wallet holster it's invisible. It literally goes EVERYWHERE with me. Awesome backup gun... maybe the best ever. And for primary carry it beats the hell out of a .22lr or .32acp and is certainy better than nothing at all. HOWEVER, I would suggest that if you are looking at the .380 for primary carry you consider other options in a larger caliber. S&W airweights, Kahr PM9, STI LS9 or LS40, Ruger LCR, Glock 26... all are only slightly larger and shoot more powerful rounds.

I can knock down bowling pins at about 5-10 yards consistently and quickly (3 pins in 5 seconds) with my LCP. Seven rounds (6+1) should be fine for most any emergency and you can always carry spare mags. I will say... it is NOT enjoyable to shoot. I mean, shooting's always fun but after about 3-4 mags of practice you're ready to stop shooting it. It is also one pistol I've found utterly vital to practice with - the sights are great for a pocket pistol but still suck. Personally, I like the Ruger and Taurus extractor design better as well as their looks. Not surprising since the P3AT was the predecessor and cheaper.

I feed mine Corbon Pow'r'Ball - they feed fine and seem plenty potent. Never had a jam with it yet. Word on the street that the only 3 rounds to carry for .380 are Corbons, Buffalo Bore, and Gold Dots. Don't let .380 ammo scarcity or prices discourage you. It's not a "shooter" so ammo usage is minimal - break it in with 2 boxes of ball ammo and another few mags of ammo you plan on carrying to ensure reliability. After that, a singe box of 20 defense rounds should last you forever.
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GreenStormCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
39. What one carries depends on multiple factors.
After retiring early as a Private Investigator, I began to work retirement jobs. Those are low-responsibility, low-stress, jobs that are also low pay, but help out with the retirment income. One of those jobs, for a few months, was night cashier at a convience store. Company policy was no guns. If I got made, I would be fired. Even though I could have quickly found another job, I still enjoyed working within walking distance of my house. So I wanted maximum concealability. Kel-Tec P3AT.

In my job now, the possibility of being made is fairly low, so my primary gun is a S&W 642. That's a .38 Special for those who don't know. But I am not totally confident with it as it only holds five shots. So I carry a Bersa Thunder .380 and two spare magazines for backup.

I would love to carry a bigger caliber, but concealing a bigger gun gets to be difficult. Maybe it may be easier in northern climates, but Dallas if warm-to-hot for eight months of the year. Most methods of carry tend to print or play peek-a-boo with larger guns. That's why .380 is seeing such a surge in popularity. The .380 that you have on you is superior to the .45 that you can't carry.

The idea that it won't shoot through a heavy winter coat is false. However, I do prefer the FMJ for a little bit of extra penetration.

A .38 Special from a small .38 will have more hitting power, but after five shots, your are done. The .380 is usually fired from a semi-auto, which is a bit easier to conceal and you can carry a couple of extra magazines.

No matter what the caliber, shot placement and tactics are paramount.
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Gumbo Donating Member (20 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
40. Do not carry a .380, get a J-frame
If weight and size are that big of an issue, then the number one choice in my book is a S&W J-frame in .38 Special. It weighs almost nothing and is just as small as any .380 auto. Look at this way, 9mm, .380, and .38 Special are essentialy the same caliber bullet, the big difference between the three is how much powder is behind them, so why wouldn't you opt for the biggest bang for your buck, forgive the pun.

If I were you, I'd wait till you get a license, and then carry what you have. You may find that you don't mind carry a compact sized pistol. I carry a P229 almost everyday comfortably, during the summer, in Louisiana. Imagine how easy it would be for you with all the coat weather you have.
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AtheistCrusader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
43. It's better than nothing.
But it's a pretty wimpy cartridge. If it's size is desirable, and it's the difference between carrying this, or nothing, I would carry a .380.

I would much rather carry a small frame 9mm.
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
47. It's as powerful as a .38 Special, just about
If you'd trust your life to a .38 revolver, then no reason not to trust it to a .380 auto.


You might want to give the new .327 Federal Magnum a look, though. Ruger makes their compact SP101 revolver in this new caliber, only it holds six rounds, as opposed to the more common 5-shot .357 Magnum versions. And the .327 Mag put out more power than a 9mm. Federal makes an 85-grain Hydra-Shock loading with a 1,400-ft/s muzzle velocity for 370 foot-pounds of energy.

http://www.federalpremium.com/products/details/handgun....

And they have an American Eagle soft-point with a 100-grain bullet at 1,500 ft/s for 500 ft-lbs of energy.

http://www.federalpremium.com/products/details/handgun....

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Gumbo Donating Member (20 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #47
49. Here's the numbers
Foot pounds of energy for Federal Hydra-Shok:

First number is at the muzzle, second number is at 25yrds.

PD380HS1H 380 Auto (9x17mm Short) 200 182 167 154 143

PD38HS3H 38 Special 235 217 203 190 179

P38HS1 38 Special +P 258 246 234 224 214

PD327HS1 H 327 Federal Magnum 370 322 281 250 225

To be clear, the 642 is manufactured to handle +P loads; hence I carry it in my 642.

Clearly the .327 is the winner, but I'd be wary of purchasing a gun chambered in a new caliber.
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #49
51. Thanks to both Krispos and Gumbo for the info!
I hadn't heard of the .327 mag before today, but the numbers look impressive! I wonder if somebody is going to make a lever action carbine in .327 mag so you can have the nice revolver/carbine combo like there is for the .357 and .44 mags :)

I'll have to keep my eye's on this new cartridge for sure!
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Gumbo Donating Member (20 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. .357 Mag
Edited on Wed Dec-02-09 03:14 PM by Gumbo
Ballistics for the same line of Federal ammo, 130 grain

PD357HS2H 357 Magnum 574 511 457 411 373

They make J-frames in .357Mag, but they're so unpleasant to shoot that I didn't recommend them. A gun you're afraid to practice with is just a paper weight. If you aren't holding my SW642 in .38 Special right, it'll pop your hand pretty good and that's with normal loads. If you're goal is the most boom possible out of the smallest package possible, you won't find better than a .357Mag J-frame.

My problem with the .327 is the same problem I have with 6.8SPC. While all the ballistic charts in the world tell you it's a superior package to something similar (5.56 in the case of 6.8), it's almost impossible to find and correspondingly pricey. I'd recommend sticking with either NATO calibers or tried and true American classics like .45ACP and .38 Special.

Do yourself a favor, save some money, and do what I suggested. Get your permit and carry a handgun you already have, like your wife's P22 and see if you're comfortable carrying it. Decide what size pistol you're comfortable with and choose a caliber from there.
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 03:27 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. That's some good advice there.
Lord knows I have time to save anyway, as Wisconsin won't get CCW for at least a year I would imagine, and that's at the earliest.
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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #53
77. .357 J-frame and recoil...
The amount of recoil depends on the weight of the firearm.

My primary carry weapon is a S&W Airweight Model 642 38+P revolver. This snub nosed revolver weighs 15 oz empty. The recoil is stiff and unpleasant but not unmanageable with practice. This little powerhouse is a great pocket gun. On the range, people would ask me if they could try it. I never had anyone ask twice.

To become proficient with this firearm you have to master the stiff double action trigger pull. Most people tend to prefer to cock the hammer on a revolver before firing it. That option is not possible with this weapon.



Occasionally I carry a 3" S&W model 60 .357 magnum/38+P which weighs 24 oz. empty. The extra weight makes .357 magnum rounds easier to shoot than .38+P rounds in the model 642. The slightly longer barrel and the better sights enable quicker accurate shots at a longer range. With this revolver, you can cock the hammer and use the far lighter single action trigger pull if you choose. (I generally use the double action pull.)

But this firearm is not as good a pocket gun as the model 642. It's heavier and the hammer can sang on your pocket when you draw it from your pocket. I carry this weapon in an inside the waistband holster under a light jacket in the winter months in Florida.

The Model 60 was far more popular with my fellow shooters at the range. They would often stop and ask if they could shoot it when I had it with me. This worked out well, because I would then try one of their handguns in return.



Smith and Wesson does make a very light .357 pocket revolver, the Model 340PD. This little beast weighs 12 oz empty. I have never had a chance to try one, but undoubtedly it would be an experience to remember. I would never suggest this firearm as a beginner's gun, especially with .357 mag rounds.





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dmallind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-09-09 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #77
94. I fired the Airlite PD with .357 mag
Edited on Wed Dec-09-09 03:02 PM by dmallind
I weigh 280lbs and was a powerlifter for years. I've shot thousands of practice rounds with small powerful guns. Needless to say I have a strong grip and powerful forearms, and have at least some basic shooting skills.

It hurt. I don't mind admitting it.

I would still have considered one for CCW had I remained in a CCW state, but my preference is for single action triggers. The theory behiond this gun of course is that you practice with .38 99% of the time to build up muscle memory, interspersing a couple of .357 rounds so you don't get a major shock if you ever have to fire them, and then load with .357.

Personally I would add "and make damn sure you don't miss with the first shot, because target reacquisition for the second may take a while".
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Merchant Marine Donating Member (650 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
52. CZ-USA
Makes a Makarov clone in .380 Auto. I've always been impressed by the accuracy of the makarov design. Guess its that fixed barrel at work.

http://cz-usa.com/products/view/cz-83/
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G. L. Herter Donating Member (11 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 06:44 AM
Response to Reply #52
61. Well, kinda.
The Makarov has the safety/decocker on the slide; the CZ-83 has no decocker and a safety on the frame. The Makarov has the magazine release on the heel; the CZ-83 has it behind the trigger ala 1911 (and is ambidextrous). The Makarov is a single-stack holding 8+1; the CZ is a double stack holding 12+1. The CZ can be carried cocked-and-locked, the Makarov can't. Other than that, yep, perfect clone. ;)

I am a big fan of the 9x18 round and would recommend the Makarov, the CZ-82, and even the PA-63 for everyday carry. 9x18 isn't as hard to get nor as expensive as .380. That said, I usually have either an SW642 or the Ruger LCP on me, because they're both easily pocketable. Belt carry, I go for the Ruger SP101 with low-recoil .357. OC, it's gonna be the 1911.

If .380 is the favored round of the OP, the Bersa Thunder CC model is worth looking at. I have one that was my first everyday carry until I branched out a bit. Only downside of the gun is that it has a magazine disconnect, which I'm not personally a fan of.
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biermeister Donating Member (425 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-02-09 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
57. I just picked up one of these and I am very happy with it
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Xela Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-03-09 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
58. Beretta 85F (BTW, .380 ammo prices are crazy right now)
Gave one to my wife as a bridal gift.

Turns out she preferred one of my Colt 1991's in stainless steel. She really likes .45 ACP and can handle it way better than I can.

And apparently, I do great with a DA .380.

I don't think you could go wrong with an 85F, or 84F if you prefer hi-cap. But you would have to try one yourself.

That's actually my recommendation: try/shoot/clean/disassemble as many as you can before buying.

Keep in mind... .380 ACP ammo prices are CRAZY.

Xela
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Israfel4 Donating Member (86 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-03-09 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #58
60. My friends wife just claimed his HK45C as hers when he got her a Sig P232 LOL n/t
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Xela Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #60
76. She also took one of my Russian SKS's.
Of course she took the nice one with the shiny blue finish as opposed to the one with the flat black finish.

Xela
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Israfel4 Donating Member (86 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-03-09 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
59. I would look at carrying something bigger
A .380 would be a nice BUG(Back Up Gun) though. Whatever you decide to get make sure you get snap caps for the gun, from A-Zoom, and dry fire practice as well as put the snap caps in with live ammo at the range to work on accuracy. Also look into IDPA/USPSA/IPSC competitions near you. Shooting and moving is much more difficult than it looks like in/on t.v./movies.
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GreenStormCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-05-09 07:15 AM
Response to Original message
62. Get Crimson Trace laser sights for the gun.
Yes, I know that they run between $200 to $300, but if you ever have to use the gun for self-defense then they are worth it. With a .380, shot placement becomes more important. The tiny .380s have useless sights, but the laser solves that problem. Lasers also enable accurate shooting from awkard or non-standard positions.

Lasers will pay for themselves in ammunition saved when they are used as a training aid.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #62
80. The good news is they are under $150 for the LCP
I'm going to save up for a set for my new LCP.
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Naked_Ape Donating Member (89 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 02:53 AM
Response to Original message
63. Did not expect to find this thread here. The answer depends on you.
The first thing you have to think about is you. Most people of good intent will hesitate before using deadly force. Hesitation can be deadly in a crisis. If you just couldn't really shoot someone and hurt them and make them lie on the floor bleeding to death calling out for their momma, don't get a defence firearm. Get a stun gun, pepper spray, a baseball bat, or take self defence karate classes.

Realize that a pistol doesn't make an unsafe place safe. Being armed does not make it OK to walk through the bad part of town at night. It will not make you taller or stronger or even bulletproof.

Don't get a pistol if you won't take a real class and learn how to use it and how to care for it. It ain't like TV. Hitting a target with a pistol takes practice and it takes a firearm that you are absolutely familiar with. Hitting a target in combat takes all that and luck, while pumped full of adrenaline, in the dark. Unlike TV you are legally responsible for where those bullets go and what they do when they miss or pass through your attacker. A relatively weak handgun round is still lethal after penetrating four sheets of wall board.

Having said all this, I have a CHL and I am armed every day. I have a very wide selection of firearms at my disposal. I keep a "big" handgun around the house for things that go bump in the night. A Beretta 96 (full size, .40Cal) or GI 1911 (.45ACP) makes good home defense but is not practical for everyday carry. I am a big guy and I sometimes carry a .45 or Makarov. They are a bit heavy. You will always know they are there. Same with any revolver. The cylinder on even a costly light weight revolver (I have a S&W 638 Airweight, wonderful pistol) makes it bulky to carry. Almost every day you will find my cheap-o Kel-Tec p32 in an Uncle Mikes holster in my pocket.

Why not carry the p3at? The p32 does carry one more rounnd, but the main reason is that the p32 is very plesent to practice with and the p3at in not. The .380 recoil in a very light gun will discourage you from practice. .380 ammo is also very costly and can be hard to locate right now. .32 isn't cheap though.

Neither of these rounds is ideal for stopping a bad guy but A) the pistol you have with you works better than the one you left at home because it was uncomfortable to wear. and B) The pistol you practice with is more likely to hit a target than one you seldom use.

A poorly placed .380 or even 9mm shot is no more effective than a well placed .32 shot. .32 and .380 rounds both are so slow and light that hollow point ammo hinders rather than helps. The most effective shot (I have read and been told) for a low powered round is in the triangle made by the tip of the nose and the pupils. Though unlikely to cause instant death the perp will defiantly know he has been shot, that it hurts, and it is time to go. Standard practice is to shoot for the "center of mass," between the heart and stomach. A shot from a .32 in this area can certainly be lethal but the perp may not notice it right away as noted in an earlier post.

I hope this helps. There are many schools of thought and many options available. Read a lot. Take classes. Many pistol ranges (here, at least) rent pistols to try out for very reasonable rates.
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safeinOhio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
66. 80% of the time this is what I carry
http://www.seecamp.com/laser.htm

in the 32 cal. I can carry it in tight shorts with no shirt and it imprints the same as a wallet. There are no sights, I do have the laser as pictured. About 90% of gun fights are at 6 feet or less. This is the Rolls Royce of small weapons. Follow the links at the site.

I sometime carry a 9mm Glock, but only using my Thunderwear holster. The only one, I have found to conceal. Also, for me more comfortable. Add plus, more women will hit on you.

Every cop I have meet at the range has wanted to buy my Seecamp from me for a back up or off duty carry. It ain't for sale.

My guess is, like me, you'll go through owning lots of guns and holster before you find what is comfortable for you.
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
67. Read the "Ayoob Files"
By Massad Ayoob.

There is an account of a guy that took 10 point blank shots from a .30 caliber pistol. Including one shot touching the top of his skull and several center of mass hits. The only thing that stopped him was shooting him in the hip, which didn't kill him. It only made it so he couldn't walk, and he bleed out trying to keep attacking.
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safeinOhio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #67
68. Many things to consider as well as bullet size

http://www.seecamp.com/faq.htm#Hollow%20Points

The most important thing is that the gun goes bang when the trigger is pulled.

Smaller cal. bullets can be more effective than larger cal. ball ammo. I'd also much rather be shot in the foot with a 45 than in a vital spot with a .22. I shot a 100lb dog that was about to attack with a 22 hollow, trust me, it put a world of hurt on that animal. I had to track it down to put it away. But, the attack was stopped right then and I'll never forget the scream that dog let out.

One has to weigh the situation. A 50cal hand gun will stop a bear in it's tracks. But, few can carry one concealed daily. I can ride my bike on a hot summer day in shorts and a tank top with my little Seecamp.
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Taitertots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #68
69. That is a false dilemma
Reliability is not an issue with larger caliber guns in the least bit. A .357 revolver is almost a negligible difference is size.

There is no vital or foot option. If someone could get a .380 and shoot you in the chest, they could get a .357 out without question. They could more than likely get a snob nose .44 out too.

Obviously concealment is a important issue. There are so many incrementally larger guns that the comparison to a .50 is without merit. There is no shortage on the market of compact 9mm, .40 cal, and .357s. Going to a .22 cal handgun is an unacceptable trade off.

I'd rather get whacked in the leg with a machete than have an artery cut with a scalpel. That doesn't make a scalpel better than a machete for self defense.
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PavePusher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #69
74. Fortunately, the places I currently live and travel to...
concealment is not generally a requirement. Makes things much easier.
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safeinOhio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #69
75. False dilemma?
No, a matter of opinion. I have a friend that is a retired detective from a large metro city. He has been in real gun fights. Now all he carries is a 22 double shot darringer. He is a NRA trainer and trains police.
Reliability has more to do with quality and care of the fire arm.

The poster wanted suggestions. You are correct and so am I. If I needed arguments I'd get married again.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #69
78. I just got a Ruger LCP .380 as a pocket backup gun
to my Glock 9mm. I also have a .38 S&W airweight snubbie. There is a sizable difference between it & the LCP. And it is a bit more difficult to carry the .38 in a pocket (with a pocket holster) without it printing or having the butt sticking a bit out of the pocket.

I can put that LCP in a pocket holster in jeans, cargo or jacket without worrying about it printing.

I also have 2 more rounds in that LCP than in my 5 round snubbie.

I'd take it as a tradeoff when its hard to carry anything else to have it instead of nothing. Be great when I'm out doing yard work or dashing out to take out the garbage. Or even moving around in my home when I'm not going to be carrying another firearm.
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safeinOhio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #78
81. Here is something you can do with your 38 snubbie
cut out a square piece of cardboard and put it between the gun and the outer inside of your pocket. Outside print is a square not a gun. Very cheap and works great.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #81
84. Not really - I have a Desantis holster with that kind of setup
And that snubbie in the pocket still says GUN except if I'm wearing 5.11 type cargo pants.
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GreenStormCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-08-09 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #84
87. I made a homemade setup that doesn't print "gun"
I started with a DeSantis holster that was supposed to pring square, but didn't. It was just a piece of leather, folded over and stitched. It wasn't worth the $35 that I paid for it, online. I cut the stitching, opened the leather, stapled it to a plastic kitchen table place mat, and stapled an Uncle Mike's holster to the inside. Works great. By stapled, I mean one of those really heavy duty staplers that will go through 50 sheets of paper.

You may wish to check out www.cheaperthandirt.com Look in holsters, carry position, inside pocket, show all, then the top row ones and all the way at the bottom.

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-08-09 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #87
88. Being female our jeans usually have smaller front pockets
Believe me, a 38 snubbie doesn't work that well in a front pocket no matter the holster. Even if you can prevent the printing you probably have the butt sticking very near the top and possibly being exposed unless under a sweatshirt. And trying to disguise the holster you end up with a big bulge in the front pocket.
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GreenStormCloud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-09-09 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #88
92. Yep, Strong difference in the cut of the clothes.
My wife carries a Kel-TEc P3AT in an inside the waistband holster, blouse outside the pants. It doesn't show at all.

Previously, when she was working at the place where her DGU happened, she carried in a Tommy's Gun Pack. http://www.tommysgunpack.com/ProductDetails.asp?Product...

The gun is completely concealed, but to people who are observant and know what they are, it screams, "GUN". Most people don't know what they are.
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #67
70. But there is also a store in the Ayoob Files...
...about a woman who brought down a (not small) attacker with essentially a single shot (she shot him twice, but the first shot she pulled to the right and it went through the fleshy part of his arm) to the center of mass with a .380 auto.

I've also heard stories of drugged up guys in Iraq taking round after round of .556 NATO without stopping their attack.

Basically, the lesson I've learned is that a .380 is perfectly functional as a self defense round, and going up against drugged up guys is bad news, no matter what you're armed with.
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Xela Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #67
73. Ayoob's praise for Beretta's 86 .380
I think he goes both ways on the .380.

From my readings of some of his work, Ayoob has a good opinion of the Beretta 86.

Xela

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Xela Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
71. Marshall Sanow
Love them or hate them, here's a bit of their info on the .380 ACP:
http://handloads.com/misc/stoppingpower.asp?Caliber=10&...

Xela
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Jdub4abluenc Donating Member (15 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 12:56 PM
Response to Original message
72. Better to actually carry your .380 vs own a .45 at home
My Keltec P3AT is always in my back pocket. I tend to agree that you assume a larger pistol won't be a burden until you try to live with it every day. I have a Kahr CW45 & Keltec PF9. You need some kind of a carrying rig for either of them. With the .380; all you need is a slim pocket style wallet. I carry either the new Hornady Critical defense, XTP's or the Federal Hydrashok ammo. Your biggest problem is finding ammo for a .380. My better half likes her Bersa thunder .380 better (longer sight radius & longer grip for better control)- Just my .02! Either one cost around $ 260 in NC.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
79. Coincidentally I just won a gun raffle & got an LCP over the weekend
Only bad part is all I could find to put through it was defensive ammo which was a bit expensive. But then I still got to put enough defensive rounds through it to make sure it went bang every time and to get acquinted with it as a weapon and to see which round was the most consistent aiming. Even though I shoot 9mm pistols regulary in competition it took me till the 3rd mag where I put them all on the target and in some decent groups. I wouldn't call this exactly a pistol for beginners. It has a bit of a jump & a bite in the hand. Still I'm pleased with the LCP and think it will make a great backup & pocket gun. I would like to put a Crimson Trace laser grip on it to make up for its teeny sights.
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safeinOhio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #79
82. I sold a ppk(james bond gun)
because of the bark and bite. My Glock model 26 9mm is a lot lighter too.
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Euromutt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-08-09 06:21 AM
Response to Reply #82
85. Muzzle flip is often a problem with .380 ACP-chambered guns
Much like with snubby .38 Spls, the manufacturers figure you want concealability and minimum encumbrance, so they shave as much weight off the gun as they can, which increases the felt recoil to the point that it's nastier than a 9mm Para or a .40S&W from a medium or large frame gun.

And I acknowledge that, personally, I like having a carry gun that's the compact version of my full-sized "bedside" gun (in my case, the S&W M&P40c and M&P40, respectively, but it'd work just as well with a combination of a G26 and a G17, a G27 and a G22, an XD 3" sub-compact and a 5" "Tactical," say, or even a 3" and a 5" 1911) so that my two defensive handguns have the same manual of arms (and when I say "bedside," I mean in a quick-access lock box bolted to my bed).
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
83. One other thought if you want a quality gun above a .380
Is look at the used market. If you find a gun store you can trust there can be some really good deals on pistols & revolvers out there. And if you want a brand name Gander Mountain & I believe Cabela's deal in certified used firearms. Find a friend who knows about guns and can check the used firearm you consider. There are some good quality uses firearms out there on the market. It's one way of getting a good used Glock, XD, S&W, Sig, etc.
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Lurks Often Donating Member (505 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-08-09 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
89. My thoughts
My thoughts, in no particular order
1. If you can't hit anything with the gun, it doesn't much matter what caliber it is.
2. I don't care who owns Kahr, they make a a very good gun and I am not going to rule out what might be the best choice to save my life just because I may not like the owner's beliefs or politics. The Kahr PM9 is a regular carry gun for me when I can't/choose not to carry my H&K P7M8. (I shoot a 1911 in 45 ACP well, but I can't shoot it as well as the 9mm P7M8)
3. The .380 caliber is borderline, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. (but that applies to all calibers, see #4)
4. Shot placement is the key, if you don't hit a vital area, it doesn't much matter what the caliber is.
5. If they are are on meth, pcp, crack, cocaine or heroin (and I may have missed a drug or two), you either need a central nervous system hit (brain or spine) or a structural bone (hip, pelvis) hit to stop them.
6. Most people can't hit shit with a snub nose revolver, I see proof of this on a regular basis at competitive plate shoots where there are 8" round targets at 30 feet and the people who win match after match are the ones shooting semi-auto's.
7. .380 class choices in the $300 price range: Bersa makes a good gun, an East German made Makarov is a very good gun, if a tad heavy (I carried one for years until I moved up to a 9mm, extremely reliable and accurate), the CZ made guns in the same class in either .380 or 9mm Makarov are also very good.
8. I have a Kel-Tec in .32 auto, it is difficult to shoot well in a hurry, the same would apply to the Ruger LCP or Kel Tec P3AT.
9. If at all possible, find out what the ammo the local police department carries and use the same ammo (if possible).
10. Ammo choices: (While I don't feel that foreign ammo is necessarily bad or junk, when it comes to defensive ammo, I believe the American ammo companies make the best defensive ammo) In 9mm either the 115 or 124gr hollowpoint, my preference is the 124gr CCI Gold Dot, in .40 S&W either the 135 or 155gr hollowpoint, in .45 ACP the 230gr hollowpoint by an American manufacturer. There are no real bad choices in 230 gr hollowpoint, but my preference is the CCI 230gr Gold Dot.
11. If you are not willing to spend enough time, money and ammo practicing with your gun to become proficient, get a revolver.

What passes for my "credentials":
I have been shooting competitively at the local level for 15 years now and at plate shoots (5 steel plates, 8" in diameter, from 30-45 feet away, whoever knocks them down the fastest, wins) I am only marginally slower ( a half second) then some of the shooters who shoot near the top of their respective classes in the IDPA Winter Nationals at Smith & Wesson. In other words, with all due modesty, at the local level, I am considered one of the better shooters. I routinely shoot competitively at LEAST once a month, more often twice a month.

I have taken 3 separate pistol courses: the NRA course required to get my carry permit, I shot expert, with a perfect score, at the US Army Military Police School and using two separate pistols shot a 295/300 and a 300/300 during Lethal Force I, a civilian firearms training and use of force course that equates to many police qualification courses.

In other words, with all due arrogance, I am a very good pistol shooter who has spent 15+ years competing, researching and taking the courses to make me a better shooter.


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spin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-08-09 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #89
90. Some damn good advice in your post...(n/t)
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-08-09 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #89
91. Thank you VERY much for all the info!
And welcome to the DU :D
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eqfan592 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-09-09 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
95. An update.
After reading a lot of stuff on here, as well as doing more research out on the interwebs, I'm currently looking at one of two firearms.

Bersa Thunder .380 (maybe the CC version, though I think the standard is small enough for my needs)

Makarov in 9x18 Makarov

Now I know a fair amount now about the Bersa Thunder after reading about 2 dozen different reviews, but I know very little about the Makarov's, other than they are fairly inexpensive and that their ammo is cheaper and seems easier to come by, as well as that many people swear by them. I am in the process of expanding my knowledge base now, however.

Thanks to you all for all the great info, it is GREATLY appreciated :D
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Xela Donating Member (787 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #95
97. Makarov.com
http://www.makarov.com /

Back about 10 years ago that was the place to go for ALL Makarov information and needs.

You may want to try starting there.

One of my first handguns ever was a hi-cap Makarov with a adjustable sights. It was beautifully made...but being a sucker for rifles I exchanged it (and an Astra A-70) for a sweet looking Russian SKS.

The only complaint I ever heard about my model was that loading it to the max sometimes caused malfunctions, which is not the case with the regular capacity ones.

Nice pick. My vote is for a nice East German Makarov if you can find one still.

Xela
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1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-11-09 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
96. everything you need right here. .357m, j-frame and 8 rounds to boot. s&w 327...
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