This is a discussion on 380 Gone, Caliber Changes for 2011? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I agree with a lot of what was said. I used to have 3 pocket .380's. That's down to one and I challenge myself to ...
I agree with a lot of what was said. I used to have 3 pocket .380's. That's down to one and I challenge myself to carry the largest caliber I can when I carry. My problem is small hands for a guy so I'm pretty much limited to single stacks. So I love the Kahr line, 1911's, etc. I'll try to carry an all stainless J frame in .357 before I go to the .380. I really do think the question we ought to focus on is what will we wish we had been carrying if in fact we ever have to use it and merely producing a weapon isn't enough? And let's be honest, we can rationalize any choice we want to make. We've all done that enough just making a case for that next gun
And I like what he said about not forming a circle round another guy and shooting him down for his choice of a .380. I know of one forum that openly mocks those that carry a .380 and they have a policy that the administrators will automatically delete every thread about any mouse gun caliber. I find them to be rude and arrogant. I agree with the main point they're making but I think they've thrown away a real opportunity to teach and educate by carrying on as they do.
Sounds pathetic but the hardest part of this whole issue for me has been a simple cover garment! I've never worn anything but tucked my whole life. If I'm going to wear a decent caliber with minimal capacity, it has to come out of the pocket and go IWB; I've changed my style a little but at work it's always tucked in dress cloths but NO coat. That's challenging. I've tried smart carry and found it uncomfortable and didn't feel it was really that secure. then there's tuckable holsters but I'm a slender guy and it prints and i just don't feel comfortable having a clip on my belt for no reason.
So I carry a J frame airweight if the pants will allow it, or the infamous .380! I kahr PM9 won't fit my pockets without looking like a huge brick that peeks out the top!
So we do what we can but yes, the guy makes some good points. It'll probably never happen, but if it ever does, what gun, caliber, capacity will you want? Based on that we need to make some choices.
I won't ever get rid of my one single pocket .380 and I have about a 1000 rounds of ammo stockpiled for it and I carry some good defensive ammo in it but I'm trying to stick with my 9's, .38's, or .45's
I've owned 2 .380's in the past and have since switched over to more powerfull cartriges. I know since then that there are now better .380 defensive rounds out there. But I don't see myself going down that road again. Like those gun stores you called, I prefer a .38 +P as a minimal defensive round. All that said, I do agree that a gun in any caliber offers a better level of protection than the one that gets left at home.
+1 Rollo. Being fully aware of the limits of the .380, there is still a place for it in my defensive line-up. It's a tool with a purpose. Not a first choice or a best choice, but for me, there is still a role for it.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all.
Listening to the podcast as I type - thanks for posting!
I carried a Bersa .380 exclusively when I began carrying, but recently I've moved away to my Beretta Storm 9mm. Small hands, so sub-compacts and single-stacks work the best for me.
I'm thinking of moving up to a 1911 .45 ACP in the next year or two, but I'm going to move backwards to a .22 range-plinker in '11 (not for HD/SD!).
NRA Life Member since 2010
Who is Jon Hodoway? As far as I can determine, he is no one anything at all special.
He appears to be heavily biased towards the .45, in my opinion. I don't give his opinion any significant weight, as I don't see that he is any sort of expert at all.
That story from the French Revolution that he told of a guillotined man being able to blink his eyes 30 times after having his head severed sounded rather bogus and irrelevant to me. He really offered nothing specific at all in the way of hard data to back up his opinions.
He stated that several people were killed at that New Life Church shooting three years ago, when in reality, only 2 people were killed by the gunman.
45's are generally bigger and heavier handguns. They are definitely not as easy to conceal, due to that. Now, he apparently does like the Kahr 45's. However, even he admitted that the Kahr PM45 has violent recoil that is difficult to control. So even he admitted that small 45's are not for everyone.
Hodoway admitted that at 6' 2" and weighing 300 lbs, he can more easily conceal a large handgun on his big body. However, the fact is that not everyone is as big and heavy as that.
I won't give you Jon's training/teaching resume, but having heard it I will say it is impressive and he does know his subject material. I have met the man and even shared a cigar with him, as well as a meal.
I think that if you search back through my old post, one or two years ago I started a thread titled, "Mousegun Rant". I'll cut to the chase and say that I do agree with Jon, to a point. We may differ on the effectiveness of the .357 Magnum vs .45 ACP, but I don't know. I happen to like, make that love, the .357 Magnum. It is my preferred bipedal aggressor caliber. Being that it does not come in a "bottomfeeding" platform I gravitate to the .45 ACP or the 357 SIG / .40 S&W if carrying an autoloader. "The 9mm may expand, but the 45 will never shrink."
Let's look at the .357 Magnum for a moment. here you have a roughly 9mm sized bullet going 1350+ fps. In my 4" .357 Magnum it's going 1450 fps and generating well north of 500 fpe. In fact my preferred load generates over 600 fpe. The 9mm doesn't have that amount of power, and power is but one part of the entire equation. This is where the light and fast comes in. On the other side of the coin you have big and moderate speed. The .45 ACP travelling at 900 - 950 fps, combined with a bullet weight of 230 grains tends to produce the desired result, stopped felon, with almost the same regularity as the "Lightning Bolt" .357 Magnum, and generates more power than the 9mm. The only 9mm loads I even consider are rated +P or +P+.
Now ask yourself what law enforcement agency is actively arming it's people with the .380, or other very marginal caliber? I don't believe there are any in the United States. Most smart people would call that a significant clue. While .380's have their place they are not for a primary gun unless one really doesn't want, or can't be armed, and they should be very familiar with the limitations of their weapon/caliber. Some agencies allow, there is a HUGE difference between allowing and issueing a caliber by the way, the .380 ACP. If I couldn't be armed, then I might consider a .380, but I'm more apt to choose a blade seeing as how both are contact weapons in my view. The effective range, not maximum range, is about the same as my custom Damascus Blade Bowie Knife, and no .380 platform is as pretty.
Carry the hardest hitting caliber that you can effectively control and the biggest gun you can effectively conceal.
So Jon Hodoway is also a professional handgun shooting trainer?
I did some more research on him on the web, and found out that he is the head of sales for an automotive products manufacturer, and travels on the road a lot in that job.
I could not find anything at all about him regarding having any professional background in the shooting industry, or any kind of law enforcement experience. Nothing at all about him giving any training classes.
Besides his sales job, his online resume says that he is in charge of security at his local church. But there was nothing to indicate that he has any professional training in that field.
He comes across as being quite knowledgeable. But I really did not see that he made a strong case for the .45 in this podcast.
I would value his opinion as much as any other experienced shooter here on this forum. But I would not consider him to be any sort of expert, or guru of any kind.
Let's take a step back. How, exactly, do handgun bullets "stop" an attacker?
Either through bleeding - which can take a considerable amount of time...or through disruption of the CNS, which can have a near-instantaneous effect.
So...what is it about the .357 Mag that makes it the "lightning bolt" that some here seem to think it is? Seriously, I'm asking. Please explain.
The only beef I have with the .380 is that it does not drive a JHP to 12-15 inches penetration consistently. The fix for that is rather simple - use FMJ - which consistently gets 16-17 inches penetration in gel. That bests the FBI 12-15 inches.
If you hit a vital area with a handgun bullet that penetrates deeply enough, you will have as much terminal effect as you can hope to have. Bullet design and caliber will not matter much. If you miss a vital area, then caliber and bullet design will not make up for that - a point that was made in the podcast. Lots of operators have killed lots of bad guys around the world with FMJ ammo.
And a question for those who like big booms - whether that is .357 or .45...can you control that big boom, while moving, with only one hand? Just a question to ask yourself. Carry the largest caliber you can make repeated hits with, with accuracy, while moving, with one hand. Even Jon admitted the small light .45s are hard to handle - I wonder if he can shoot that thing one-handed?
But - first you need to have a gun. And the micro .380s allow you to have a gun, when you otherwise might not be able to. For that, they are invaluable. There is NO other handgun that is as small, light, flat and powerful as the micro .380s - period. The R9 is heavier and much more costly, the PM9 is larger and heavier (and finicky, in my experience with two of them).
So, there you go.
The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all.
I think too many fail to realize that we may have our off hand tied up sweeping a loved one to a safer position or guiding them as we fire with one hand. If a .380 is better than no gun then having a gun we can shoot accurately and control with one hand is a lot better than some heavy recoiling gun we can't shoot as well.
I'm too young to be this old!
Getting old isn't good for you!
What is best for one person is not always what is best or possible for another person. There are trade offs of some kind with just about every gun out there. Lack of power, lack of capacity, hard to conceal, there can be some fault found with every gun.
Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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