This is a discussion on .380 or .38? within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by ASSA9 I have both ,but I like the 380 better If I were to be faced with buying a new .38 I ...
I use to carry both, my wife prefers the snubnose (Taurus 605) and I mainly carried a makarov .380. Now I carry a 9mm (PT-111) or sometimes I pocket carry a .357 loaded with .38+p's
“You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”
― Robert A. Heinlein,
My 380 Kel-Tec is always with me...sometimes I carry two of them. My favorite gun is a 45 but a KT is there 24/7. With Double Tap ammo you can get 200 pounds energy at the muzzle from the short KT barrel yet it only weighs 11 ounces loaded with 7 shots. No 38 is that light empty and the smaller ones only hold 5 shots.
When you can also carry something bigger then by all means do. 45 is probably the very best but when possible. But when you need an always, everywhere gun the KT 380 is it.
You know what they say, Rule #1 to surviving a gun fight is to have a gun. I usually carry a 45 cal. for everyday carry but if a small .380 guarantees you have it with you and your accurate with it then continue with it till you get proficient and comfortable carrying larger calibers.
There is only one tactical principle which is not subject to change. It is to use the means at hand to inflict the maximum amount of wound, death, and destruction on the enemy in the minimum amount of time."
- General George Patton Jr
First, I do know the .38 is a stronger round,and if that
was all there was to it , it would beat the 380 hands down.
But its not , a gun in 380 hold more rounds, and is faster for
the average shooter to reload , a lot faster!
The recoil is less because of the fact the slide movement.
This lets you put a lot more rounds ON target FASTER!
A gun chambered in 380 can be made smaller and flater.
With companys like Bersa making good guns for around
$250 to $325 there is no down side on the cost
of buying a 380 (yes,the ammo does cost a little more)
And last it a semi auto gun and that more my style
Zoe: "Preacher, don't the Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killing?
Book: "Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps."
Well, let’s put it this way.
If you have no choice but to go to a ruff area of town, then I’d carry nothing less than an 9mm. But for an everyday, I’m headed to the store for some milk, pocket defense pistol, ether the 380 or 38 special will serve you well.
Regardless, 380 up to 45 auto; the type of bullets you use, and shot placement is far more important that the actual caliber.
RESULTS FROM THE STREET
Selecting the Duty Weapon--Is Caliber the Key?
by Evan Marshall
Selecting the Duty Weapon--Is Caliber the Key?
Carry what you like .380 is good .38 is better for me, but may not be better for anyone else. carry what ever your comfortable with.
I will say tho he was a man of his word. He said he'd never be taken alive - and he wasn't.
I like the +P 158 grain .38 Special loading or its hand loaded equivalent. Whips .380 handily.
I've never been a big fan of the .380 ACP but I read something interesting not too long ago. There was this guy called Wild Bill Hickock, way back when. He managed to slay 5 bad guys (well, he SAID they were bad guys!) in two years using the .36 caliber 1851 Colt Navy revolver. That gun tosses an 80 gr. bullet at about 900-925 fps, almost the exact same ballistics as the .380 ACP!! So, I'm guessing bullet placement was really the key to WBH's success, as it is a matter of historical record that the man was an absolute dead-eye shot.
38 rounds are less expensive and better better for defense INO
Glock 32 (357 sig)
Ballistically, there is no contest. The .38 Special blows the short .380 out of the water. There are other considerations though. Do you like to carry and shoot a snubby revolver? I don't. If I'm holster carrying, I'll have my .45 that's thinner and carries more ammo. Do you like to carry a semi mousegun and have to reach in your pocket for it? Not me. I guess you can see that neither is my choice. Why limit yourself to either one when there are so many options out there?
Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.
Buffalo Bore .380
100gr. Hard-Cast FN @ 1125 fps 280 ft. lbs
.38 special standard load (not +P)
158gr @ 765 fps 205 ft lbs (from Ammoguide)
.38 special +P
129gr @ 1079 fps 334 ft lbs (Ammoguide)
The .380 loaded with the BB ammo compares favorably to the standard .38 special load, but falls behind the +P loading by 16%. On the other hand, most 380's are very concealable, and you get a few more rounds before reloading.
If I were looking for a .38 special I would get a small .357 then experiment with the many ammunition options available. You can get as hot a load as you can stand to shoot.
A veteran, whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable
to "The United States of America" for an amount of "up to and including my life." Author unknown
Your quick trip to the store to get milk can turn into a gunfight just as easily as a crack deal in a housing project because someone else decided that store was the one the were going to rob so they could afford another hit of something good that night.
In 2003 I was in a liquor store in a nice part of town after work trying to decide if I wanted a Jack D or Famous Grouse* that evening. In came two people who did not look like locals who entered togther, looked around and immediately split up.
One for the cashier, the other to check the back of the store.
I look at the cashier and she is suddenly nervous.
When the cashier in a liquor store is nervous, be afraid. Be very afraid.
And here I am, with a Keltec .32 in my pocket.
My Glock 26 loaded with 124 Grain +P Gold Dot was at home.
I figured "It's a nice area, I won't need a gun, so I'll just carry the pocket pistol...you know, just in case..."
(I know...its not a .38 spl or a .380ACP...but we are getting to the point, so bear with me...)
I'm thinking to myself "Oh, this is going to be fun..." and I palmed my keltec and staked out my position behind a huge pallet load of beer.
Bud, I think, but all I know is that it was about 3 feet of metal and liquid, and that was the best cover I could get at the moment...
And besides, I didn't want to risk the wine. Especially the reds. I love dry reds....
The guy near me saw me moving to cover and pointedly ignoring him...and I'm sure he figured out I had already decided he was going to get the first shot in the face the moment anyone moved fast...and he and his friend just left the store without incident.
What if they had been a little bolder?
What if they had decided they really needed some cash to get right that evening?
A pocket gun & spare magazine of ammo, just in case is completely insufficient.
When you don't need a gun, any will do. When you do need a gun, nothing is sufficient.
The .380 has insufficient power. The .38 Spcl has insufficient capacity.
Yes, I know...the statistical gun fight is over in 2.3 (or something) rounds...
But that only means out of 20 or so gunfights 17 of them were 1 shot affais, and the other 3 were mag dump & reload festivals.
Carry a fighting handgun if you are going to carry one at all.
Otherwise you end up behind a pallet of cheap domestic beer holding a pocket gun hoping the bad man goes away.
* I ended up with Jack D that evening.