The Myth that .380acp is ineffective for personal defense. - Page 9

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; Originally Posted by AZ Husker Scissors have killed many people...I still wouldn't carry them. I would if that was my choice... Scissors or nothing.... I ...

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

  1. #121
    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Husker View Post
    Scissors have killed many people...I still wouldn't carry them.
    I would if that was my choice... Scissors or nothing....

    I am one of those that thinks there is no one perfect carry gun for all occasions. I believe you have to have multiple guns in order to be able to carry in every situation. When you can, you carry the biggest caliber you can shoot well. When you can't you carry the biggest caliber you can fit and conceal AND shoot well too. I think you need a EDC and a Mouse at the very least in your choices. Its like having long pants for winter and shorts for Summer.


  2. #122
    Member Array patrol's Avatar
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    A Handgun in general is considered to be a secondary preferred defensive tool vs a shotgun or a rifle so why not carry the most effective caliber you can realistically carry with comfort? Nothing wrong with a nine short but if you can tolerate a .357, 9para, 40sw, 45acp or 10mm why not? Having said this, today even conventional ammunition has come a long way in ballistic technology so the mouse guns even work out for you. Federal(Speer) makes Gold Dot ammo that is bonded and keeps it's integrity on impact and Winchester makes awesome ammo as well. You have a Bersa double stack .380 with Gold Dot ammo it's not at all inferior to anything in a handgun. If the gun is of quality and reliable the most important quality even more so than caliber is the quality of ammunition you use. just my two cents....
    Last edited by patrol; January 20th, 2011 at 08:38 AM. Reason: content
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  3. #123
    Member Array 229fornow's Avatar
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    according to some FBI ballistics stuff on the internet, Speer GD in 380 tested on Cloth covered gelatin had good expansion and 11.74" penetration. this seems good enough to my untrained eye.

    i know many don't like the 380 because the FBI won't choose it as a service round because it doesn't pass the penetration test when shot through a barrier. my thought is that if i'm trying to shoot through a windshield in the street to stop a bad guy, then i've got to question if i'm shooting in SD or if i'm trying to mimic LE.

    thoughts from the forum?

  4. #124
    Member Array kinoons's Avatar
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    A .380 penetrating 11.74" does not meet the minimal 12" requirement for a self defense round. Until it can be demonstrated that one does, I'm not interested in using one for self defense.

  5. #125
    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    I don't think the .380 is ineffective. I do however think that the small ones are very hard to shoot well and that give's me a lack of confidence in the gun as a whole. The larger ones are easier to shoot but the larger ones are the same size as some small 9mm's so at that point I figure just go with a 9mm.
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  6. #126
    Member Array 229fornow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kinoons View Post
    A .380 penetrating 11.74" does not meet the minimal 12" requirement for a self defense round. Until it can be demonstrated that one does, I'm not interested in using one for self defense.
    i agree with you in principle, which is why my primary carry is a .40S&W, but i was thinking about my BUG. what are your thoughts on these particular rounds?

    according this this site: http://www.firearmstactical.com/ammo_data/380acp.htm

    certain 380 rounds meet the FBI criteria with clothed gelatin: 380 ACP 88 grain CCI/Speer JHP, 5/21/91: 17.25" and .380 ACP 90 grain Federal HydraShok JHP, 5/21/91: 12"

  7. #127
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 229fornow View Post
    i agree with you in principle, which is why my primary carry is a .40S&W, but i was thinking about my BUG. what are your thoughts on these particular rounds?

    according this this site: http://www.firearmstactical.com/ammo_data/380acp.htm

    certain 380 rounds meet the FBI criteria with clothed gelatin: 380 ACP 88 grain CCI/Speer JHP, 5/21/91: 17.25" and .380 ACP 90 grain Federal HydraShok JHP, 5/21/91: 12"
    Those tests are seriously outdated. The Speer load got good penetration because it did not expand. Therein lies the issue with .380...you can get expansion or penetration, but not really both.

    Since penetration is more important, I just use FMJ in .380, which gets 16-17 inches, even when fired from the short barrels of mouse guns like the LCP. See the tests (done with a P3at) at www.goldenloki.com.
    The more good folks carry guns, the fewer shots the crazies can get off.
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  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10thmtn View Post
    Those tests are seriously outdated. The Speer load got good penetration because it did not expand. Therein lies the issue with .380...you can get expansion or penetration, but not really both.

    Since penetration is more important, I just use FMJ in .380, which gets 16-17 inches, even when fired from the short barrels of mouse guns like the LCP. See the tests (done with a P3at) at www.goldenloki.com.
    thanks. i currently have hornady critical defense in my BUG, which i got all of 3 days ago (LCP). i'm still learning about the .380 rounds and all the help from guys like you makes me glad i signed up for this forum.

  9. #129
    Senior Member Array mastercapt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kinoons View Post
    A .380 penetrating 11.74" does not meet the minimal 12" requirement for a self defense round. Until it can be demonstrated that one does, I'm not interested in using one for self defense.
    Listen to yourself. The bullet lacks 1/4" of penetration and your are not carrying a 380 because if it?
    1?4" depends on which way your glasses are cocked while measuring it......
    I seriously doubt the 1/4" is going to make the difference between some drug head living long enough to hurt you after being shot.

    I carry hydrashoks in my Mustang, and the same in my 642 Smith.

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKM View Post
    Ayoob (IIRC) always said, carry the biggest gun and biggest (most powerful) caliber you feel comfortable with. And .380 is that for some people. And that's 100% ok. I can happily and comfortable carry a .45, so that's what I do :)
    He says that NOW. I have a book at home by Ayoob where he says that "9 m/m" is too much for a personal defense gun, and .45 is "too much for a civilian to carry" or something. He reccomended the .25 auto, the .32 auto, and if you thought you needed a lot of power, the .380 ACP. I think that book was written in the early '70s.

    Opinions change, even among the professionals. My personal opinion is that .40 is the minimum for normal carry. I might get a 9mm for a super light duty carry, maybe something like the new LC9 or a Springfield EMP if I ever need something physically smaller, but I doubt that I will ever seriously consider a .380 for myself. OTOH, I don't see anything wrong with someone else carrying it, because their needs, wants, and capabilities are different than mine.

    As far as BUG goes, I have an XD subcompact in .40. . . the mags are interchangeable with my .40 XD service that I carry as my primary. I can't quite fit it in a pocket, but I can hide it really easily. It fits in my coat pocket, and for deeper concealment it'll fit in my holsters for my XD Service. I also have a 'small' smartcarry that it fits in quite well, invisible except making me a little more popular with the ladies, lol.


    Oh, as a side note, 007 didn't carry a .380, he carried a Walther PPK in 7.65x17mm (.32 ACP).

  11. #131
    Member Array kinoons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mastercapt View Post
    Listen to yourself. The bullet lacks 1/4" of penetration and your are not carrying a 380 because if it?
    1?4" depends on which way your glasses are cocked while measuring it......
    I seriously doubt the 1/4" is going to make the difference between some drug head living long enough to hurt you after being shot.

    I carry hydrashoks in my Mustang, and the same in my 642 Smith.
    Absolutely that 1/4" makes a difference. The 9mm and .40 cal rounds I carry get past 12" by more than a cm or two. I've said it before, you're in a fight for your life, so stack the deck in your favor as much as possible. With the size of small 9mm and .40 cal pistols dropping every 6 months there is no good reason to not carry a service caliber handgun.

    Yes, all handguns are a trade off, but do you want a round that may penetrate deeply enough to have a chance to end the fight, or do you want a round you know will penetrate deeply enough to have that chance if you do your part. Shot placement isn't squat if the round doesn't go deep enough.

  12. #132
    Senior Member Array Haywood's Avatar
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    If attacked I will not shoot to kill I will shoot to stop. I carry a 45, 357, or 9mm as my main carry If the attacker dies as a result I was just trying to stop the attack and save my life.

  13. #133
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    Would I carry a 380 for self defence?

    yes, I would and do. Most often it is as a backup to my 1911 or my Glock 23 but I have, on occasion, carried it solo. Is it as good as a 45, 40, or even a 9mm, no. Is it better than a knife or a sharp stick , yes. The big upside is that in a package like the Kel-tec, LCP or, Tcp, it is as easy to conceal as a lot of pocket knives. Also, while some of the newer rounds are on par with, or approaching 38 special ballistics, my LCP holds seven rounds, while my much bulkier S&W J-frames only hold five. Carrying a reload for the LCP incredibly easy, while carrying a speed loader for the J-frame isn't.
    The bottom line for me is that I can carry one or even two LCPs while wearing just a pair of shorts. Yes, I have two. I can put all seven rounds in the 8 ring of a B27 target with either hand, quickly. The first rule of gunfighting is to have a gun. The second is to have enough gun. While I prefer to carry a 1911 in 45acp or a Glock 23 in 40, I have no use for 9mm any more, I prefer to always have a gun. If the LCP is all I can carry, so be it. It still beats a sharp stick.

  14. #134
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    The debate can not be truely resolved

    I remember when the debate was between the 9mm and the 45 ACP. There are many examples where each was adequate and other cases when it was not. All things being equal, the larger hole made by the heavier bullet wins... usually.

    I have been a 45 ACP fan for many years, but often the clothes I wear does not allow me to easily conceal a large handgun. Today, my full sized holster gun is a Glock 20 in 10 mm. It is usually too large to carry and I often carry a Kahr P380. I do not feel particularly well armed, but I am also not helpless.

    During my years in the Army, I usually carried a 5.56 mm NATO rifle and sometimes also a 40 mm grenade launcher. The handgun did not compare favorably with this combination. A handgun was better than nothing, but it would be easily outgunned against the AK47 or SKS rifles. A machine-gun in 7.62 mm outgunned all of the rifles and handguns. A 50 Cal machine gun was better yet... it can go on and on.

    The best weapon you carry is going to be a compromise. You can tilt the scale in your favor by training and learning to maneuver in your environment. It helps to have situation awareness. Also, do you really need to get a loaf of bread at 3:00 AM? Have you trained drawing and firing your weapon at speed? Practicing things without training only means you have more to unlearn. Have you trained in conditions similar to the environment in which you may engage an enemy.. and remember, this is an enemy already engaged in an attack. That already creates a disadvantage because you are forced into reaction mode in an unfortified fighting position.

    Anyway, something is better than nothing only if you know what to do.
    Last edited by ScottieG59; March 13th, 2011 at 10:00 PM. Reason: typo
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  15. #135
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    If size were not a consideration, I'd carry a Benelli M1, pistol grip that will stop most BG's.
    But given practical considerations, I sometimes carry a 380 H&K, but most often carry an H&K 9mm USP compact.

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