The Old .380 vs .38spl

The Old .380 vs .38spl

This is a discussion on The Old .380 vs .38spl within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Thinking of adding to the collection but not sure if I want a light weight alloy 5 shot .38spl revolver (like Taurus) or maybe a ...

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Thread: The Old .380 vs .38spl

  1. #1
    Member Array johnsonabq's Avatar
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    The Old .380 vs .38spl

    Thinking of adding to the collection but not sure if I want a light weight alloy 5 shot .38spl revolver (like Taurus) or maybe a one of the new .380s (LCP or P380) It's for carrying.

    What say you?...
    NRA Member
    Kimber Ultra Carry II, Glock G23 & G36, Kahr PM9, Winchester 1300 Defender 12gauge pump
    (my favorite but hard to hide)

  2. #2
    JD is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnsonabq View Post
    What say you?...
    I say

    While both are closed, they still offer good info.

    FWIW, I prefer the pocket .380s over my J-frame, it just easier for me to get out of the pocket.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Central FL
    Me, I wouldn't want to get shot by either one.......

    It's a lot about personal preference. I prefer revo's for my small back hideaways. Research, and take your best bet. Try if you can before you buy and see what you shoot best.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array frankmako's Avatar
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    search the site lots of good info. then i would look at the s&w j-frame and/or the kel tec p3at.
    An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

    Red State State of Mind

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array Landric's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    Kansas City Metro
    I've never found a small auto that was as unfailingly reliable as a J-frame sized revolver. Given that experience, I'd always go with .38 Special because of the platform. Even discounting the platform though, I have a lot more respect for the .38 Special as a defensive chambering than the .380ACP. It throws a heavier bullet at an equal or higher velocity and has much better load availability than the .380ACP. Besides, for a handloader like me, its a lot more fun to handload for the .38 Special.

    "The Engine could still seemed to scare them" -Felix

  7. #6
    Member Array Jim Downey's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    I have owned and carried both, and still have some really small semis that I like. But I just plain shoot my 642 a whole heck of a lot better - just fits my hand and is more accurate at some distance. So it has become my default pocket gun when I need to carry something small.

    Jim D.

    Ballistics by the inch: "Four guys, two chronographs, and 8,500 rounds of ammo."

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  8. #7
    Member Array carleb's Avatar
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    May 2007
    I don't want to get into the actual 38 spl. - 380 debate, but if you don't have S&W J frame 5 shot, well.........that's just wrong. Absolutely can't go wrong there.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array Super Trucker's Avatar
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    I prefer the small revolver. I like the S&W J-Frames though.

  10. #9
    Array Pointblank's Avatar
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    I was an LEO for over 32 years (recently retired).. I saw a whole lot of people that were shot dead by 380s and most of it was FMJ. Hornady has the new Critical Defense ammuntion available in 380 and it looks like it works very well. I'd go with that.
    It Is Easy To Be Brave From A Distance ~ Aesop

  11. #10
    jfl is offline
    Distinguished Member Array jfl's Avatar
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    My wife has a S&W airweight .38 and a S&W .357 scandium; she says "5 for sure".
    I have a tendency to prefer semi-autos. But 9mm is my thing.

    Numberwise the .38 especially +P beats the .380 every time and you can find ammo anywhere in the sticks.
    The first rule of a gunfight: "Don't be there !"
    The second rule: "Bring enough gun"

    (NRA Life Member/Instructor - GOA - IDPA - GSSF - ex-IHMSA)

  12. #11
    Member Array alnitak's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Like several people in the threads above, I looked at the options and avoided the whole question ... I went with a PM9 shooting +P. Best of all worlds.

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