Best 380 for self defense

This is a discussion on Best 380 for self defense within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This topic is probably been broached but Im thinking of getting a Keltec or ruger lcp for carry. The reasons are size ,weight. I know ...

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Thread: Best 380 for self defense

  1. #1
    Member Array opie's Avatar
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    Best 380 for self defense

    This topic is probably been broached but Im thinking of getting a Keltec or ruger lcp for carry.
    The reasons are size ,weight.
    I know the limitations ,but I feel I may be more prone to carry it all the time ,as another choice some of the time.
    My question is for those who own one and caryy as a EDC gun, what ammo do you recommend?
    No final decisions have been made, so any suggestions appreciated.
    No 380 hater's please.:

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array INccwchris's Avatar
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    personally for self defense, i would get Federal Hydro-shok, it has good muzzle velocity even out of a .380 and it would do more damage than a typical hollowpoint IMHO. That being said, i do not hate .380's I love my Bersa, but it is not a gun i would rely on for just my EDC. Then again, I am not worried about concealability, and I am not proficient with one. Once i have more practice, I will probbabley use it as my summertime gun.
    "The value you put on the lost will be determined by the sacrifice you are willing to make to seek them until they are found."

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    Ex Member Array Deanimator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INccwchris View Post
    personally for self defense, i would get Federal Hydro-shok, it has good muzzle velocity even out of a .380 and it would do more damage than a typical hollowpoint IMHO. That being said, i do not hate .380's I love my Bersa, but it is not a gun i would rely on for just my EDC. Then again, I am not worried about concealability, and I am not proficient with one. Once i have more practice, I will probbabley use it as my summertime gun.
    When I owned a French "St. Etienne" marked PPK/S, I used to use Winchester Silvertips. It fed them and was reliable. Recoil was pretty sharp.

  5. #4
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Buffalo Bore .380 90gr +P is the most potent I have found. There are many real life shade tree shooting tests out there on KOTG and other places that show it far surpasses all other .380 self defense rounds in terms of damage. It is what I carry in my time to time BUG and I can one hand point shot accurately with it.

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    Member Array MN2Go's Avatar
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    I really fell in love with the Ruger LCP - both my wife and I bought one.

    Then I noticed that my wife's gun was assembled carelessly and could have been the reason she'd die, because the gun did not work.

    It shoots nice and feels like a great gun. Before I ever trust it again, I must shoot a lot of rounds through it. It has very good reputation, as does the Keltec.

    As to the ammo: Ammunition For The Self-Defense Firearm

    Ruger says no +P ammo

    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.


    Hope this helps.
    If our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right. -- Cicero

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    Member Array JB-Norcal's Avatar
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    To be honest, you need to feed it and see what your gun of choice likes. The most expensive SD round won't do anything if it doesn't cycle consistantly.
    There is some talk about the failure of expansion of the 380 when penetrating multiple layers of clothing. IMO placement is king for the 380, and FMJ might be the best for some situations. I know in the very least, I want my EDC to go bang, bang, bang, and then maybe, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang!
    Get it, shoot it, buy a few boxes of SD and see.

  8. #7
    Ex Member Array Cold Warrior's Avatar
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    I got the Ruger LCP, a snappy hurtful little good-enough gun that is not much fun to shoot; but that fits into a fanny pack on a bike just right without being too big or too tight. The Bersa Thunder is bigger and feels a lot better to shoot, not being easier to conceal, of course. That damned gun buddy of mine, while we were trying to decide between them, told me: "Let's buy both!" Well, I had to buy both of these guns just because he did. It is not strange to carry these guns for close CCW range. "If you are far enough to aim your gun, you are far enough away to run." Quote: Leon Harrison. Mine are loaded with hollow-pointed Horny Daddies. Oh, of course, bigger steel guns absorb more recoil and are more fun, if not easier to shoot. Overheard inside a gun store, as said by a salesman to a female customer: "Don't worry, if it comes to that time when you have to use it, the last thing that you are going to be worried about is recoil."

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    Member Array jvteach77's Avatar
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    I suggest you go to a gun shop and hold different 380's to see which one you like. I looked at 4 other manufacturers before I held a Kahr P380. To me the others all felt "toyish". The kahr was the only one that felt good to me. The others may have been great, but I carry my Kahr nearly all the time, except at work and I love it. It fits easily in a pocket holster in gym shorts, jeans, etc.
    As for ammo I use 90 grain JHP. I can't remember the manufacturer right offhand.
    Glock G23
    Kahr P380
    OMC "The Backup" .380

    I may die by my own gun, but whoever kills me with it will have to beat me to death with it, cause it will be empty by the time they get it.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array DIABLO9489's Avatar
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    As for pistols...Kahr P380, Ruger LCP, KelTec P3AT. In that order.
    As for ammo...Speer GDHP, Federal Hydra-Shok, anything Cor-Bon. In any order.
    Colt New Agent, Dan Wesson V-Bob, Glock 19,20SF, 23, 26, 27, 29, 30SF, 36, Kahr P380 w/CT, PM9, PM45, CW9(SOLD), Kel-Tec P32, P3AT, PF9(SOLD), Kimber Ultra Crimson Carry II, Stainless Pro TLE/RL II (SOLD), Rohrbaugh R9s, Ruger LCP w/CT, LCR, SP101 S&W J-Frame 638 w/CT, M&P 340 w/CT, Walther PPK/S

  11. #10
    Member Array justim's Avatar
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    fmj in the non-edc amt

  12. #11
    Member Array chiefrcd's Avatar
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    I have a Kel-Tec and a Sig 232. I carry both but the Sig will shoot circles around a Kel-Tec. The Sig 232 is probably the best, naturally pointing weapon I have. I use Speer Gold dot 90gr. in the Kel-Tec and Buffalo Bore in the Sig.232 without any issues. Would not recommend Buffalo Bore in any of the small pocket .380 guns.
    Have Gun ~ Will Carry
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    Member Array joeyrh9's Avatar
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    Am I reading this right?

    Quote Originally Posted by MN2Go View Post
    I really fell in love with the Ruger LCP - both my wife and I bought one.

    Then I noticed that my wife's gun was assembled carelessly and could have been the reason she'd die, because the gun did not work.

    It shoots nice and feels like a great gun. Before I ever trust it again, I must shoot a lot of rounds through it. It has very good reputation, as does the Keltec.

    As to the ammo: Ammunition For The Self-Defense Firearm

    Ruger says no +P ammo

    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.


    Hope this helps.
    Uhh sir, am i reading this right. Did you say your wife died as a result of the LCP not being assembled properly. Please clarify. If Im reading it right...Im sorry for your loss.
    Remember as a rule of thumb in defensive carry...your intention is always to STOP....not to hurt, however; in a gun fight, its either me or them.....and Im sure as hell that it will NOT be me.
    -joey rh

  14. #13
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefrcd View Post
    I have a Kel-Tec and a Sig 232. I carry both but the Sig will shoot circles around a Kel-Tec. The Sig 232 is probably the best, naturally pointing weapon I have. I use Speer Gold dot 90gr. in the Kel-Tec and Buffalo Bore in the Sig.232 without any issues. Would not recommend Buffalo Bore in any of the small pocket .380 guns.
    Why don't you recommended buffalo bore?

    Also comparing a 3.6" barrel to a 2.7" barrel and saying a gun can outshoot another gun seems strange to me, it has always been the shooter and not the weapon in my experience

  15. #14
    Member Array cliffyp's Avatar
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    Cor-Bon JHP 90gr

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    New Member Array Wildwood's Avatar
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    I've been very happy with my LCP. I carry it virtually all the time because it is easy to conceal and is lightweight. Never have had a jam. Ammo? Hornady Critical Defense.

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