The Myth that .380acp is ineffective for personal defense. - Page 10

The Myth that .380acp is ineffective for personal defense.

This is a discussion on The Myth that .380acp is ineffective for personal defense. within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I dont carry .380 because I have not felt the need to get that small of a weapon. With new offerings like the LC9 and ...

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Thread: The Myth that .380acp is ineffective for personal defense.

  1. #136
    Member Array Lyndo's Avatar
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    I dont carry .380 because I have not felt the need to get that small of a weapon. With new offerings like the LC9 and the SIG 290 I just cant justify having to stock another caliber of ammunition. My Glock 26 fills my need for a small gun and if I need to go smaller there are offerings in 9mm that are plenty tiny.
    Glock 36, 30SF, 31, 32, 21 Gen4 - Carry guns
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  2. #137
    Member Array katmandoo122's Avatar
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    Are we REALLY having this discussion again?!?!?!

    Fact: The best caliber to use is the one in the gun on your person.

    Fact: It is wisest to carry the most powerful gun that you can handle effectively and conceal

    Fact: For some (including many women), the compact nature of the 380 frames is the only concealable frame for every day use.

    Ergo: Some people should carry 380s.

    To have a sales guy tell a woman that she shouldn't even look at an LCP, S&W Bodyguard, etc. had a LOT less to do with the effectiveness of the round than the margin on 380 pockets guns. Classic upsell.

    But if I'm recommending a firearm to a small-framed woman that dresses in something other than flannel, the S&W Bodyguard is always near the top of firearms to consider (although a nice J-Frame 38 is a good choice for inexperienced shooters).

    Hey...let's talk about 9mm vs. 45 again!
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  3. #138
    Member Array JoeyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Not quite true. A PM9 is larger and significantly heavier than the micro .380s like the LCP and P3at. Having had both PM9s and still having LCPs, I'll say that the LCP is better for pocket carry duty, IMHO.

    The R9 is the same size, but heavier and three + times the price (~$300 vs ~$1000).
    +1 10thmtn, I have both and lately LCP is EDC in back pocket, wife's got one in the purse. Still carry the PM9 and PT145 when and as needed, either solo or in addition to LCP.

  4. #139
    Member Array loneviking's Avatar
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    The prettiest corpse I ever worked on was a stripper that walked out of a bar into the middle of a gunfight. She caught one .380 just to the right of her nose. One round and DOS. Its about shot placement!

  5. #140
    Member Array crabbys44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    Effectiveness is defined by its ability to end the threat. A vast majority of SD situations in which a gun is utilized a shot isn't fired. I doubt that a BG is going to check caliber before he decides to advance or not. BGs are typically opportunistic and choose what they believe to be easy targets. When armed resistance is presented, they are less likely to continue viewing the target as easy. There are plenty of examples where actual SD shootings with a .380 have been successful in stopping a threat (up to and including lethal). There are also plenty of examples where larger caliber shootings have not resulted in immediate stops. Plenty of BGs end up found in ERs hours later with multiple shots of 9mm just to walk out a little bit later (hopefully escorted by guys in uniforms and wearing stainless steel jewelry).

    A .380 that a person can load, rack, and shoot comfortably and can become proficient with is a much better choice in my opinion than a .40 caliber that the person can't handle. TRUE Effectiveness is more determined by the shooter than it is the weapon.
    AMEN Brother.

    When I was mugged at gunpoint in L.A. I was so pissed because I saw it coming and I wasn't in a position to change anything. I wasn't packing anymore b/c I had moved to Texas and had to go back to CA for business.

    I saw the 3 scumbags approaching in a vehicle about a 1/4 mile away. There was no where to go. There were no doors to duck into and turning around would have put my back to them w/out any advantage to me. In short, I was SOL and knew it. They stopped their truck about 30 feet from me on the sidewalk and I had perfect profile shots, I could have taken all three out with my bug (5 shot .38), BUT I didn't have it with me b/c I was no longer a cop in CA.

    So I watch these 2 POS exit the vehicle and the fat guy reaches way down with his left hand and pulls his belly up so he can dig in his waistband for his gun. It was a tiny rusted .22 or .25 and I didn't feel like getting shot. They took my wallet but I talked them out of the center portion with the pictures and my ID using my high school Spanish. They threw that part on the ground and left. I heard some laughing behind me and then big guy fired of a few rounds at the kids on the block. I was too mad to really give a sh*t.

    I did manage to keep my ID and address from the scumbags and not get shot, so I guess it didn't end as badly as it could have. Freaking Rampart district. I called 911 and was put on hold. I was shocked when 2 cops actually showed up at the hotel to take a report. They were shocked I could describe the POSs and the gun (it looked like a rusty Jennings .22, I didn't know if Jennings made a .25). They said people are usually so freaked out by being held up at gunpoint that the descriptions they usually get was "It was huge!" It was always a "huge" gun after someone stared down the wrong end of the barrel. If they were lucky they would get a description (shiny or black) and usually the victim couldn't remember if it was a revolver or automatic.

    That was my last trip to L.A. They can keep it.
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  6. #141
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    He he, when I was mugged at gunpoint the single six he used looked like a friggen 105. Of course this was long ago BC (before conservative) and I was unarmed. A student of mine from San Diego shot an armed mugger to the heart with his legally carried 357, but the BG turned so fast that the shot hit the shoulder, and the BG ran. Maybe a 500, which he subsequently bought, would have made a difference, but as Janq says, some have survived 45 hits, and others have succumbed to pellet guns. I think (maybe and that’s final) the 380 might serve one’s defensive needs, but the reliability and ergonomics of the tiny 380 firearms make dedicated practice all the more necessary. I suggest learning to shoot with an accurate 22, but the rimfire design doesn’t always go bang, and I nix it for self defense. Studies of one shot stops don’t take into consideration that big bore pistoleros have probably practiced more and placed their bullets better than the 380 gangbangers. So, contrary to most instructors, I recommend the 357, 40, and 45 as the proper primary choices, and the 9mm or 38+p as possible BUGs. If you feel you’re worth it, make the effort to conceal them comfortably, to get them out in a smooth hurry, and to control them in rapid fire. Until they make an IWB for my 870 slug gun, I’ll use the Rohrbaugh 9 for deep cover, Kahr PM40 for pocket backup, and EDC an Ultra CDP/LG strong side. If I have to toss my BUG to a partner I won’t be embarrassed.

    Gratuitous NB: Different opinions and horses make the races interesting. To each, his own. Mindset, preparation, planning, and awareness: if you don’t have them, don’t leave home. You’ll win every gunfight you avoid.
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  7. #142
    Member Array supv26's Avatar
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    I have seen what a 380 auto 90 gr Hydra Shok will do to flesh and bone.................. it's not very pretty!!! It punches a perfectly round hole in a skull........ like others have said....practice and shot placement!!!
    It's not the destination, it's the journey.

  8. #143
    Member Array Sturmruger's Avatar
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    Very simple, I don't think anyone would want to get shot with one. .380 can be deadly just like any other pistol round.

  9. #144
    Senior Member Array mastercapt's Avatar
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    Shot placement is the #1 priority, of course.
    Gotta tell this one, which happened at a nearby gun range. I had my 9 MM, the 642 smith and the mustang 380. I was shooting the mustang at 25', and the guy in the next stall was also shooting the same distance. We were using the targets we bought there, the standard sillouette one. The guy was shooting a brand new .40 and in 3 full magazines, never got a round the the COM area.
    I was keeping the shots in the 8 ring or better. So, Mr. 40 decides he is going to watch me shoot. I put up a new target at about 15', and put 4 in the 10 ring, then put down the gun. He comes over and says " what are you going to do if you shoot someone 4 times with that mousegun and hes still coming?"
    I picked up the Mustang and put a hole in the targets forehead. When I turned around, he was gone......

    So, I gotta agree with the above posts stating that you should carry whatever you can hit with, and conceal well.
    Do I feel undergunned? Hell, no

    What is important is the fit of the gun to the shooters hand. The Mustang and the 642 fit me perfect. I can draw them from my IWB holster and they naturally line up with my arm and point where I am looking. There is a probability that if you get into a defensive situation, you will not have time to use the sights.

  10. #145
    New Member Array oly884's Avatar
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    I'll throw my 2 cents in on this issue.

    I think the discussion about caliber and what to carry is highly situational. If I could, I'd carry my glock 20 around everywhere I go on a open carry holster on my hip. However, I can't. So I settle for my glock 27 IWB most of the time.

    I recently just bought a S&W 351PD to use as a BUG and a gun to carry in the event that I can't carry my glock 27. I mostly find this the case in summer time where my small frame has a hard time hiding even the 27 in shorts and t-shirt. I doubt I'd ever carry it as my primary gun in the winter due to most everyone wearing heavy coats, shirts, etc.

    So, for me, it's situational. I carry the most effective, and safe, way at all times. If I have a harder time concealing my 27 in the summer time I'd rather not carry and risk exposing the gun and having the possible legal ramifications, so I got the 351PD to pocket carry and now that issue goes away.

    Does that mean that it may not defend me in every scenario, yep, but it changes the odds IF an attack happens.

    It may not be the most ideal, but using the tool between your ears also has a lot to do with personal defense. Know the limitations of what you choose to carry, know your surroundings, practice, and at the end of the day, do what you feel the most comfortable with.

    My buddy had a 340PD that he "let" me shoot some +p loads out of. I'm not going to lie, as light and small as that gun was, the recoil was so absurd that it was worthless to use as a self defense gun to me.

    I say to each his own, but preface it with education. Inform people about calibers, one-shot stop statistics, ballistic information, and the rest and let them make up their own informed decision about what they will feel the most comfortable with.

  11. #146
    Senior Member Array borglyn's Avatar
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    I started a thread a while ago about what 380 to use, fmj or hp. The response was very large and varied. I think the 380 is a caliber people want to use but are not sure of stopping power or effect. We have heard this a lot but I will say it again. Just use what you like, and use it well. Take the military and police as an example. They train and train some more with a well maintained weapon.
    " The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer." Henry Kissenger

  12. #147
    Member Array dean1818's Avatar
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    I think that it is good, regardless of your caliber choice to actually test it yourself.

    Its easily done, and cheap as well..... fill 4 milk jugs full of strips of newspaper (fill completely and tightly pack the newspapers) fill with water, soak overnight

    use denim strips (I use 4) to simulate clothing

    Shoot your favorite HD round and see how well the bullet penetrates and how well it expands.


    I did this test with the thought that the 9mm may not be enough.

    After seeing Corbon DPX ammo go 15 inches and expand to almost 3/4 inch, I was sold. (Numbers that are similar to a 40)

    After reading this post I looked at some home testing for 380 on youtube in similar set ups........ In a few cases, the bullet expanded well and penetrated "OK"....... However.... in MANY cases the bullet didnt expand at all where there is denim.

    Unless the thugs are naked in your town......... you may want to try the Winchester bonded 380.... it looked like it performed well

    Rember, that the manufacturers are setting up performance data in optimized inviornments. The LONGEST barrel possible (to increase bullet speed) is usually used.

    All in All..... A 380 is always better than nothing.

    For me........ a 9mm however, is the BARE minimum.

    With the TINY 9mm available from several vendors (Kahr CM9) the ability to pocket carry is now a real option in 9.

    Whatever you do.......test it yourself, you will always feel better about your choice

  13. #148
    Member Array kaboomkaboom's Avatar
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    Just to clarify, tho I am sure MOST here know, the ".380" is 9mm...it is known by various names...,9mm Browning, 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz, 9mm Short, and 9x17, around the world...as opposed to the 9x19 or 9mm Luger or 9×19mm Parabellum ... GLOCK makes a .380 (9mm Kurz) though they are not available to the U.S. market because they do not earn enough "points" for importation under federal law...as Massad Ayoob said referring to the 9mm Short (or .380) "Some experts will say it's barely adequate, and others will say it's barely inadequate." The wounding potential of bullets is often characterized in terms of a bullet's expanded diameter, penetration depth, and energy. Bullet energy for .380 ACP loads varies from roughly 190 to 220 ft-lbf. Proponents of the hydrostatic shock theory contend that bullets transferring over 500 ft-lbf of energy in 12 inches of penetration can produce remote wounding effects known as hydrostatic shock. At .380 ACP levels of energy, these remote wounding effects and enhanced incapacitation do not occur. But the 500 ft-ldf level is not attained in any of these!! :
    ft-lbf joules
    380 ACP 199 270
    .38 Spec 310 420
    9mmLuger 350 470
    9 x 19 383 519
    .45 Colt 370 500
    .45 GAP 400 540
    .45 ACP 400 540
    .40 S&W 425 576
    .357 Sig the list is ;longer but I'm tired of looking them up!!

    But, I agree with those who say shot placement and the gun you have with you is what really counts...I carry a .380 Hornady Critical Defense FXT, which alleviates through the clothing expansion concerns, as a BUG in a pocket holster...
    Last edited by kaboomkaboom; May 14th, 2011 at 08:00 PM.

  14. #149
    Member Array chiefrcd's Avatar
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    I love my Sig 232 and carry it with Buffalo Bore all the time.....right below my Para .45 LDA CW. with 200 Gr. +P Buffalo Bore. hey.....don't say that, I'm not paranoid....well, maybe just a little.
    Have Gun ~ Will Carry
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  15. #150
    Distinguished Member Array Spec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oly884 View Post
    I'll throw my 2 cents in on this issue.

    I think the discussion about caliber and what to carry is highly situational. If I could, I'd carry my glock 20 around everywhere I go on a open carry holster on my hip. However, I can't. So I settle for my glock 27 IWB most of the time.

    I recently just bought a S&W 351PD to use as a BUG and a gun to carry in the event that I can't carry my glock 27. I mostly find this the case in summer time where my small frame has a hard time hiding even the 27 in shorts and t-shirt. I doubt I'd ever carry it as my primary gun in the winter due to most everyone wearing heavy coats, shirts, etc.

    So, for me, it's situational. I carry the most effective, and safe, way at all times. If I have a harder time concealing my 27 in the summer time I'd rather not carry and risk exposing the gun and having the possible legal ramifications, so I got the 351PD to pocket carry and now that issue goes away.

    Does that mean that it may not defend me in every scenario, yep, but it changes the odds IF an attack happens.

    It may not be the most ideal, but using the tool between your ears also has a lot to do with personal defense. Know the limitations of what you choose to carry, know your surroundings, practice, and at the end of the day, do what you feel the most comfortable with.

    My buddy had a 340PD that he "let" me shoot some +p loads out of. I'm not going to lie, as light and small as that gun was, the recoil was so absurd that it was worthless to use as a self defense gun to me.

    I say to each his own, but preface it with education. Inform people about calibers, one-shot stop statistics, ballistic information, and the rest and let them make up their own informed decision about what they will feel the most comfortable with.
    Washington is a OC friendly state... so why not OC that Glock 20 or the 27 for that matter?
    NRA Certified Rifle/Pistol Instructor
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G18CFw0lnD8

    Accuracy ALWAYS WINS! So carry what you can hit with.

    If you find yourself in a fair fight your tactics stink.

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