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; [IMG]c:\users\connell\pictures\my arsenal\my arnsenal001[/IMG]...
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If you are not a country boy you might find this distasteful. That is fine, but I don't care to hear from you how cruel I (and others who take upon themselves this responsibility) are. Thank you.
I had occasion to put an old family friend down. It was time...she'd been with us for 14 years, was very old, tired and very sick when the family and I decided to let her rest easy. I took her out to her favorite spot when she was younger and could still get around...in the middle of a 1000 acre wheat field, I petted her head for the last time while she looked out over the horizon as she had done since she was a pup...I stepped behind her with my .380 and squeezed a round off in the back of her head...a direct hit, perfect bullet placement and she turned and looked at me!! A double tap to her head followed and though she laid down, gurgling on blood, she continued to breath a heavy breath, her eyes looking up at me...I had my .357 in a shoulder holster, I drew it and finished the scene with a single shot that let her rest. Living as I do, where I do I have had the unenviable task of putting down animals from time to time and this was the worst experience I have ever had with it. I've never used a .380 before and never again. Blazer aluminum case FMJ .380 were not enough for Sally...she was a tough old dog, but not an enraged man with an adrenaline dump going on... I have spoken on this forum and others in support of the .380...I retract those statements.
I hope you don't mind if I explore the point a bit further. When we talk about penetration into ballistic gel, according to my understanding of the FBI standard, the reason they want 12+ inches (12 inches being considered the absolute minimum), is because ballistic gel doesn't have bones. If you hit a bone (and the human torso has a bunch of them, specifically designed to protect the squishy insides), you need that bullet to break through that bone and have enough energy to continue doing damage. Then, what happens if your assailant has his hands in front of him? Suddenly you're shooting through hand and arm before you get to torso.
The .380 only pulls this off in FMJ, and just barely at that. That's an awfully little hole, and if you have hollowpoint ammo, you get a bigger, very shallow hole.
I have said that the .380 is better than nothing. So is a sharp stick, and I have never compared the .380 with a sharp stick
FWIW, about 15 years ago one of my sons (early 20's at the time) was showing a friend a deringer he'd recently purchased in .32ACP. The friend was holding it and there was an unplanned discharge when he "accidentally" pulled the trigger. The little .32 went through the wall of my son's bedroom then out the wall of the living room and lodged over an inch in the back of a leather covered chair. Luckily, there was nobody in the living room and nobody was injured. Still, that .32ACP did a PRETTY good job of penetrating those two walls and punched a good hole in the chair. I can only imagine what would have happened if it had been someone's head or chest and the caliber had been a .380 instead of .32!
"... Americans... we want a safe home, to keep the money we make and shoot bad guys." -- Denny Crane
As many have mentioned in this and many othe posts, any firearm is better than none in a SD situation. I don't have many problems with the .380, and I know it can stop a threat. I do however, believe it should be considered the minimum as others have stated as well...my opinion. Aside from the BB rounds, which I plan to look into for myself, I do have concerns about penatration and it relates to hunting as well. If you are using a hollow point bullet with a standard SD .380 round, will it penetrate through heavy clothing. That would be my concern. If it is a tshirt...no problem, but a heavy jacket or leather? Should conisideration be given to NOT loading a .380 with hollow points? What about ballistic tips, will that help with penetration through heavier clothing? My wife shoots a .380 and it most comfortable with a .380 with smaller SD type weapons; however, I am trying to work her into practicing with .380 and carrying 9mm. In addition, I typically only carry .380 as a backup, or when I am wearing light clothing that does not facilitate good concealment for a larger frame such as my Kimber Tactical Ultra. Mark
Active Duty Air Force
Federal Firearms Licensed Dealer - marchellearms.com
NRA Life Member
Concealed Carry Permit Holder
I got into a conversation with a friend who both of us carry 308 as bug and primarys when it's hot out. There's been such an improvement in ammunition technology and what
we now have avalible to purchase it still come down to hitting the target.Like previous poster said about the pellet rifle I purchased one to get rid of the varmit around the house but
it's almost as loud as my 22 rifles.
the.380 is ineffective untill you get shot with one
I'm with BG380 on this one. I too carry a Bodyguard 380 on hot days. My idea is most will be wearing lighter clothing and that 380 will drill right though that shirt and cause some damage. But on the other hand winter months with heavier clothing its my .40
One more step and it's on!
If one HAD to be shot, and had the choice of weapon to take a single round from and one could choose from a .380, a .357, a parabellum 9mm, or a .45...which would you choose? Now, if one had a CHOICE of what round to send down range, what choice would one make from the same list above?
I don't want to be bit by a tick either, but that doesn't mean it's the best, or even an effective self defense weapon...
What's really jacked up about all this is simply this, shot placement gets overshadowed by the caliber thingy..... Regardless of caliber a .22 to the heart will stop anyone regardless of their madness or drug induced crazy rampage. I have way to many .380s and a couple of nines as well as .40 and .45's, but the fact is a simple one for me.... Put just about any round in the right spot and the BG will drop into a heap bottom line. What we as operators have to figure out is, which one is right for us as an individual shooter, one that allows us to shot to point of aim consistently and effectively. Save the BBQ rig for the BBQ, and carry what you know and have confidence in regardless of the caliber. My choice for a defense gun has moved up to the .38 revolver over the .380 auto, not due to caliber but for the reliability of the platform. As always, YMMV
Shot placement is of course paramount...but ask anyone who has been in the situation and they will tell you that while practice can improve shot placement, unless your target is static, and you have training...extensive training...in controlling all the chemical dumps that happen in the body under a true life or death stress situation ( tunnel vision,shaking,loss of ability to breath smoothly, change in perception of time, etc..,), you will find that "shot placement", especially when your practice has been at paper targets at a controlled range, is tenuous at best. "Degradation of Performance Understress" is a fact that has been well known in scientific circles for centuries...look at folks who, for a living, practice and train in shot placement as part of their job..they don't even have to buy their practice ammo...they shoot and practice and practice and train...yet statistics prove time and time again that when police are put in a position to fire upon someone, they miss ! The hit probability for a NYPD officer in the year 2000 (latest data available) was 9% YES!!! 9%!!!! (Data based on study of NYPD ) These are guys who work relentlessly on shot placement. So, my point is we may think we can control shot placement but there are many,many variables that play into 'hitting what we point at'. We really can not control those variables. We can control caliber. Knowing these facts to be true, I'd rather be firing a weapon that if I do miss my mark, the perp will still know he has been hit and hit hard.