.380 or .38? - Page 2

.380 or .38?

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 ...

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Thread: .380 or .38?

  1. #16
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    Array Hopyard's Avatar
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    Please explain a bit more, why

    Quote Originally Posted by ASSA9 View Post
    I have both ,but I like the 380 better
    If I were to be faced with buying a new
    .38 I would not do it again,instead I would
    buy an assortment of 380 ammo and
    practice, practice,,practice
    just my .02
    I sort of partially agree to some extent with what you are writing, and I carry 380. I have not yet bought the 38 I covet.

    I think it would be helpful to hear why you feel the way you do if it is possible to articulate it without precipitating another "caliber war."

  2. #17
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    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
    A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.

  3. #18
    Member Array kitsapcharly's Avatar
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    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.

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  5. #19
    Member Array mojave_pistolero's Avatar
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    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


  6. #20
    Senior Member Array ASSA9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    I sort of partially agree to some extent with what you are writing, and I carry 380. I have not yet bought the 38 I covet.

    I think it would be helpful to hear why you feel the way you do if it is possible to articulate it without precipitating another "caliber war."
    I do my best to explain it to you.
    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."

  7. #21
    VIP Member Array tns0038's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ispcapt View Post
    shot in the back of the head at very close range with a 380FMJ. No exit wound
    On Oct 2, 1996 I was leading our SWAT team on an entry to arrest a federal fugitive who we were pretty certain was armed. He had stated he would not be taken alive. When we hit the door he opened fire on us with a TEC-9 in one hand and a Colt Mustang .380 in the other. Both were loaded with FMJ ammo. He fired 11 rds at us preventing us from making entry. He then shot himself in the head with the .380. The bullet entered just in front of his upper right ear, traveled thru his head, exited behind his upper left ear, went thru 4" of the arm of an over-stuffed chair, went thru drywall at an angle which meant it passed thru almost 2" of drywall, and came to rest buried about 1" in a 2X4 wood stud. DRT.
    Shall we also presume it ended his criminal carrier?

  8. #22
    VIP Member Array tns0038's Avatar
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    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.

    Selecting the Duty Weapon--Is Caliber the Key?
    by Evan Marshall

    Selecting the Duty Weapon--Is Caliber the Key?

  9. #23
    Member Array tom1965's Avatar
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    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.

  10. #24
    Member Array ispcapt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tns0038 View Post
    Shall we also presume it ended his criminal carrier?
    Not quick enough as far as I'm concerned. Not a whole lot of happy entertainment when 11 rds of 9mm and .380 are coming your way. It makes you wonder why you're out there in the thick of it and your boss is probably sitting at home having a cold one playing slap and tickle with momma.
    I will say tho he was a man of his word. He said he'd never be taken alive - and he wasn't.
    183 FBINA

  11. #25
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    I like the +P 158 grain .38 Special loading or its hand loaded equivalent. Whips .380 handily.

  12. #26
    Member Array Rusty Bouquett's Avatar
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    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.

  13. #27
    Member Array 357sig's Avatar
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    38 rounds are less expensive and better better for defense INO
    Glock 32 (357 sig)

  14. #28
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    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.

  15. #29
    Member Array libertarian5's Avatar
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    4 Corners
    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

  16. #30
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    I don't post here anymore...Sorry

    Both suck.

    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.

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