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 am tired of all this inadequate .380 shyte. The only real way to find out is have the bad guy trying to harm you ...
I am tired of all this inadequate .380 shyte. The only real way to find out is have the bad guy trying to harm you wearing only a t-shirt and you putting 3 rounds of 380 dead center mass. I would never ever condone this but it would surely put the myth to death so to speak. Sorry to offend anyone.
One more step and it's on!
Move. Shoot. Survive. ― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine
“The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.” ― Thomas Paine
To me these stories about somebody being killed by a .380, or a 2" knife, or a puny man's punch, do nothing but try to muddy the waters as to why a man should not carry a 9mm or above, as long a folder as he can get away with, or not pump some iron so his punches are more powerful.
I suppose it is worth mentioning that congresswoman Gabriel Giffords was shot through the brain with a 9mm from a Glock 19 (the same gun I usually carry) and still did not die. Granted, she was certainly incapacitated. (incidentally, no disrespect intended for the congresswoman, but does anyone know if that round was hollow point or FMJ?)
I think the whole "stopping power" thing is a bunch of bull. I've read accounts of officers who have unloaded an entire magazine of .45 ACP into a bad guy who still kept attacking.
I carry 9mm, .380, and sometimes I carry a .22LR pistol. My guess is that in 95% of possible situations that might arise, just brandishing the gun will be enough to deter whatever is going on. As somebody else pointed out, the bad guy isn't going to look at your gun and say "Oh, that's just a .380 I'm not scared." If I have to pull the trigger, I'm probably going to fire several shots to the chest, however I will also be well aware that this may or may not stop them and I'll be prepared to do whatever comes next. If I'm in a situation where somebody else is being attacked and I'm going to take aim and fire upon the bad guy without him realizing it (giving me a few extra seconds) I'm going to go right for the head-shot. I suspect no matter what caliber it is, even my .22LR, it is going to incapacitate him whether it kills him or not.
The only true negative that I can see with the .380 is range limitations where accuracy is concerned. I have a hard time being accurate further out than about 21' with those .380's I've fired. Otherwise, from what I know of their ballistics, I'd say that you can kill most anything on the planet with a .380 up to the size of a man, tho possibly not the smaller bear family critters.
Arkansas Concealed Carry Instructor #12-751
If guns kill people, then:
Pincels miss spel werds;
Cars make people drive drunk;
And spoons made Rosie O'Donnel fat.
The vast majority of self-defense scenarios I read about involve some sort of robbery as the motive. Except in the most extreme of cases, the bad guys go scurrying away as soon as a gun is produced or the first shot is fired... making caliber a moot point in all but the most extreme of cases.
In the remaining small percentage where someone is defending themselves against a nutcase or some such then and only then does caliber enter into the equation. Personally I have a .45 a .40 and a 9mm and feel perfectly fine with any of those options.
Just read through all 11 pages of this thread and there sure are a lot of passionate people on the subject of minimum SD caliber! Fun to read all the differing opinions.
My prefered carry is a Glock 30 (.45) or for a pocket gun a Ruger LCR (.38spcl). Friday I purchased a Ruger LCP (.380) for a very specific purpose. I work in downtown Houston and have a fairly long walk from the park-n-ride bus to my office building and I come across a lot of "interesting downtown folk". Neither my company nor the building I am in have a "no guns" policy. Since we deal with outside clients, there is no way I would try and conceal a Glock 30 or pocket carry Ruger LCR as it would show and I don't want to be known at work as "the guy with the gun". So, the LCP is for DEEP conceal and no one will ever know I have a gun. I figure the .380 is better than my current weapon set of my wit and devistating charm.
That saleman is full of crap tell him to test fire a round on him self
I do tire of caliber threads and I'm not a fan of anecdotal evidence. Even so, here is an example of a one-shot dirtnap from a .380:
"the judge pulled the trigger on his 380 semi-automatic pistol, shooting Howard in the chest."
UPDATE: Burglary suspect shot dead by Superior Court judge
One less dirtbag resulting from one round of .380. I carry an LCP as a BUG and on rare occasions as a primary because it is the largest caliber available in the dimensions of that firearm - it fits in a wallet that is always in my back pocket. I generally also carry either a .45 or 9mm 124gr +P.
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I've stayed away from this thread for a long time, probably because I don't have a dog in this fight (I don't own a .380) but I've got to say I'm not put off by the smaller calibers the way some of you are. I carry either a .38 or a 9mm both loaded with +p cor-bon in the .38 and Ranger T's in the 9. both weapons are kept in the night stand when they're not on me. We have an upstairs loft we use for a den, where we watch TV and I keep a Ruger MarkII .22 loaded with CCI Stinger hollow points and a spare mag. of 10 more right beside it. I do not feel the least bit under gunned. I figure if someone can climb those 14 steps while taking those 10 Stingers (never mind the spare mag.) and still get to me...well then I figure they're a "Booger Man" and they can have me. Point is when putting holes in someone is needed I don't think the size of the holes is as important as where the holes are put. Just my $.02
"The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it".
yes the caliber war crap does get old, but sometimes people state their opinions and aren't at war, just saying the opinion, its the people that go to bashing and being rude/disrespectful that ruin it for everyone
just my $.02...carry the most powerful thing you can 1)shoot properly, accurately, safely 2)conceal properly and carry all day; all else is fluff or cannon fodder
I carry a Glock 30 off duty, a lot of people (not just officers) can't due to body size, comfort, etc. I know some officers here pocket carry a .380 or small 9. Good for them, at least they're armed.
For me, the smallest thing I will carry is my Keltec P11. Fits in pocket, spare mags, and I can shoot it accurately out to 25 yards. I can't even properly grip/manipulate the P3AT or other small .380s due to my hand size....those mouse guns are too small to shoot right
I'm not condoning 9 or 45....I carry both.....9mm G17 on duty with 642 .38 +p backup, Glock 30 .45 and/or Keltec P11 9mm off duty. I practice and qualify with them all.
If a .380 is all you can afford, handle, manipulate, carry, or shoot accurately....then go for it.
If you can do the above with another more powerful round......then go for it.
I've only been on 2 calls where someone was shot and wasn't dead, and where they were hit in an area that should have been lethal:
1-punk 15yr old playing with P3AT, thought it was unloaded (didn't drop mag first before racking to clear chamber), shot 15yr old girl in the back of the head at point blank range, FMJ round entered about 1/2 inch to the right of the MO, went inbetween a major artery and a vessel, blew out 4 upper teeth exiting our her right side sinus just below the right eye....she was standing and talking to the POS that shot her when I arrived on scene
If that shot placement, for lack of better analogy, was a 1/2 inch either left or right she would have been dead by the time I got there, if it was a hollow point...probably the same...if it was a 9mm or .45 I don't think she would have survived....now thats based on where the bullet went with that particular shot
see how many factors are involved here in the supposed one shot stop, etc etc etc?
2)guy tried to kill himself, shot holding muzzle of .380 against his chest just the to the left side of the sternum, fired one shot, seems the bullet hit the edge of the sternum and went almost parallel with the front of the chest hitting rib and then going towards the back off to the left side of lung/heart, he fought 7 of us in the house trying to load him up including me putting all 210lbs of my body weight on his right lower leg and he lifted me a foot off the ground, threw off 2 burly firefighters holding his arms, and ripped off his c-collar and sat up, 2 more arriving officers let us get him strapped down and transported
If shot placement was 1/2 inch to left it would have hit heart/lung, if it was a more powerful round it would have blown through the sternum
caliber and shot placement both factors in this
I don't give these examples to bash 380, they are the only 2 I've seen in my experience that lived after being shot (all the ones that died were 9mm and up), just the way its fallen for me so far
Just some things to think about when you consider what caliber you are gong to carry, what type of person you may face, and what that round can or can't do, or will or won't do.
if a .22 (or insert whatever caliber here) is all you got or want, then be the best danged shooter with that weapon that you can be, use the best SD ammo it will function with
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA RSO, Instructor
Independence is declared; it must be maintained. Sam Houston-3/2/1836
If loose gun laws are good for criminals why do criminals support gun control?
I carry my P3AT when I can't carry my .45. It's my "better than nothing" pistol. I've never been a fan of .380 really.... But I finally broke down and bought one due to it's ease of carry because I'm often in a position where carrying my G30 is impossible (IE: work). I also carry my P3AT as a substitute reload to my G30.
My preferred caliber is .45ACP as it is with a LOT of others. But anyone will agree, .380 is better than nothing.
There are plenty of cases where people have been shot in the face with 9mm or .45 and are still here today. I saw on a TV show about a guy who used to be a drug addict tried to kill himself by putting an AR15 under his chin. Not to say the 5.56 is under powered (I don't think it is, some people may) but, he now lives a sober and happy life, despite having a very deformed face.
Besides it's not always about killing, but incapacitating. Dieing is only a side effect.