380 or 38 Special for pocket carry. Pick one.

This is a discussion on 380 or 38 Special for pocket carry. Pick one. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Two different options for pocket carry a Kel-Tec (or Ruger LCP) 380 or J-frame 38 Special (Mag-Na-Ported). The 380 offers 7 rounds with the following ...

View Poll Results: 380 or 38 special for pocket carry?

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  • 7 rounds of 380

    118 40.55%
  • 5 rounds of 38 Special

    173 59.45%
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Thread: 380 or 38 Special for pocket carry. Pick one.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array CDW4ME's Avatar
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    Question 380 or 38 Special for pocket carry. Pick one.

    Two different options for pocket carry a Kel-Tec (or Ruger LCP) 380 or J-frame 38 Special (Mag-Na-Ported).

    The 380 offers 7 rounds with the following ballistics:
    102 gr. Golden Saber @ 775 F.P.S. / 136# KE
    90 gr. Hydra Shock @ 845 F.P.S. / 143# KE

    The ported Model 638 offers 5 shots with slightly more power:
    110 Silvertip (not +p) 821 F.P.S. / 165# KE
    130 gr. Bonded PDX +P 848 F.P.S. / 207# KE

    Which one would you pick for pocket carry? Why?

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  3. #2
    Member Array Big Larry's Avatar
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    If you can conceal the revolver I'd say go for it. Personally I have an LCR and I find my self leaving it at home because in a pair of jeans the grip protrudes nearly out the pocket. Same thing in cargo shorts unless they have pretty deep front pockets, which mine don't, and carrying the gun in the actual cargo pocket is somewhat uncomfortable. When actually walking the gun brushes against my leg, so it's hard to forget it's there. With the LCP you won't even know you have a gun on you.
    Walk quietly and carry a big stick.

  4. #3
    Distinguished Member Array BlueNinjaGo's Avatar
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    Oops. I didn't see where the TC mentioned "pocket carry".

    I'd take a .38 due to ammo availability and the extra power. But I can't imagine pocket carrying one, except for maybe a very large jacket pocket.

    For a real pocket carry, a Ruger LCP is where I'd put my money.

  5. #4
    JT
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    Easy choice. Go with the J-Frame. Reliability.
    marcclarke likes this.
    Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  6. #5
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    I have both, I have carried each, just this week.
    My preference if making a choice would be the .38...still easy to conceal and a little more powerful SD weapon.
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    I'll take the seven 95gr Gold Dots with 950FPS and 200FPE over the 5 rounds .38 with just slightly higher ballistics. Faster reloads and more firepower wins the day IMO. YMMV
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

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  8. #7
    Member Array jbourneidentity's Avatar
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    J-frame .38 anyday of the week.

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Diddle's Avatar
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    I have a chioce of carry guns. However, if I were to have to choose only one, and were going out to buy one single all-around PDW, I'd go with a J-frame. A 442, 642, 637 etc.

    380s are inexpensive to buy and (when you can find ammo) fairly inexpensive to shoot. 38 can get expensive. Regardless of what you choose remember you'll need to practice with it. How that plays in your financial situation up to you.

    Best!

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  10. #9
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    My Ruger LCR is always with me. Great little revolver.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
    -- Benjamin Franklin

  11. #10
    Member Array Kenny256's Avatar
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    .38 the 642 all but disapears in your pocket... plus if you have slightly bigger hands I think the J-frame fits the hand a little better then the LCP or the like.
    Carry-S&W 642
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array crzy4guns's Avatar
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    Really either one will work, however the autos are flatter and don't seem to print as much. The .38 is more powerful but is limited to 5 rounds of course. If you can spend the bucks, the Kahr PM9 9mm would be an excellent choice as it is as flat as any .380 and carries the same number of rounds (6+1) and is even more powerful than the .38 snubbie. Just my .02 worth.
    God bless our troops!

  13. #12
    Member Array Mike in VA's Avatar
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    Revolvers are nearly dead as defense weapons. I don't think they'll ever die, because they are so simple, but police dropped them for a reason (make that several reasons). Personally, if I had to carry puny, I'd take the .380 way before I'd take a 5-shot. I do have an LCP, but it's backup only, and a backup ought to be little. The LCP can take the place of a reload for your 1911 or Sig, because they weight less than a reload for those weapons.

  14. #13
    Distinguished Member Array razor02097's Avatar
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    I would take a 38 sp any day over a .380
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  15. #14
    Member Array Adameeski's Avatar
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    I would personally avoid a ported barrel for a SD gun. Remember that you don't always have the luxury in a SD situation to extend your arm fully and pull the trigger. You might find yourself being rushed and only have time to pull the gun to your hip before pulling the trigger. This situation will leave you with hot gasses and fouling straight to your face. Think about it. Porting is great for target guns but IMO is not helpful in a SD situation.
    ...Adam

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  16. #15
    JT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike in VA View Post
    Revolvers are nearly dead as defense weapons.
    Not even close.
    Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

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