Single action .380s - cocked and locked pocket carry?

Single action .380s - cocked and locked pocket carry?

This is a discussion on Single action .380s - cocked and locked pocket carry? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Using the search function, I saw a lot of posts about condition one carry, but they all seemed to refer to 1911 .45s. What about ...

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Thread: Single action .380s - cocked and locked pocket carry?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array BamaT's Avatar
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    Single action .380s - cocked and locked pocket carry?

    Using the search function, I saw a lot of posts about condition one carry, but they all seemed to refer to 1911 .45s. What about the Sig P238 and Colt Mustang Pocket-Lite? How would you pocket carry these guns? Cocked and locked, hammer down on chambered round? In a good pocket holster, of course.

    I currently carry a Ruger LCP when I can't carry my Glock 19, but I've been thinking of getting one of the .380 SAO pistols. I'm thinking cocked and locked, but wanted to see what others thought.
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  2. #2
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    Yep, Condition One, in a proper pocket holster.
    Smitty
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    New Member Array sventvkg's Avatar
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    I never carried a SA and to tell ya truth it's the main thing that's stopped me from buying a Sig 238..I LOVE the gun, LOVE the feel...I'm just not keen on a safety. I'm not trained on one and I'm used to grabbing my gun pointing and shooting. I would have to really retrain for this gun and my other carry is a Kahr CM9..Why don't they make a DA version? GOD I wish they would..

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    Member Array Medic218's Avatar
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    I've got one of the original Mustangs and I carry with one in the chamber, hammer back and safety on in a nylon pocket holster with a rubber strip around it to keep it in place.
    "I don't like repeat offenders, I like DEAD offenders!" -- Ted Nugent
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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    I've carried mine C&L in a uncle Mike's pocket holster for a couple of years now and never a problem at all. The training issue should be a fun one so go for it, great little pistol IMO, love both of mine.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." – Luke 22:36

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  6. #6
    Member Array theheater905's Avatar
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    I have to agree with the others.. I carried mine cocked and lock with one in the chamber and in a holster. No problems.

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    I love the gun but won't buy one for carry specifically becasue of the Thumb Safety. Frankly I think it's really cutting across the grain to have a thumb safety on a dedicated pocket piece. In my opinion, a pocket gun should be a pull, point, and shoot kind of gun without anything else. I doubt (seriously doubt) if many who carry the small Sig have actually trained enough with it to be able to reliably get that safety off in a real world situation. I'm sure one or two have but honestly...standing at the line doesn't count or whipping it out of your pocket once every month or two on the back forty

    Now for some more blasphemey...that's what I think is the one singe draw back to the 1911 format, the thumb safety. I think it's better and a bit more acceptable on the 1911 for only one reason, the size; it's simply bigger on big brother. Therefore your less likely to fumble with it. A subtle point that makes this relative is whether or not the gun is intended primarily for offensive or defensive use. The 1911 was made for offensive. That would imply (but not guarauntee training) and that "going into" a situation would be the time you're working that thumb safety as opposed to reacting to a sudden threat.

    I believe the vast majority of civilians carry what they like or what seems popolar, not what is practical or the ideal defensive carry gun. I'm not judging that or putting it down but I suspect there's a reality to our carry choices that we'd rather ignore. It's one of the reasons I think the .38 snubby remains as popular as it is. It's convenient, lightweight, pocket-able, easy to load, unload, clean, etc. No controls, no sights to mess with and in a defensive situation you pull, point, pull (trigger that is). No chance to mess up. So for defensive civilian carry, I think a gun that has fewer controls and safeties will almost always be the better choice. Add to that the largest caliber you can shoot well and there you have it.

    If you're going to carry the 238 as a pocket gun I think you'd be highly disadvantaged to carry it any other way than cocked an locked in a good pocket holster. If flipping a thumb safety off can be a challenge under real world conditions, imagine having to rack a slide on such a small gun. I'm also of the opinion that if you want to carry the 238 you should consider only carrying a 238 and 19111's so everytime you shoot that lil thumb is doing the same thing. Not a substitution for actual training but better than the 238 being one of half a dozen guns on the range table with a variety of different configurations. At least this way you only do things one way, the same way, every time. Although I'm a hypocrate to my own opinion, I've always believed the principle behind the "man with one gun" idea. If I only carry one type I'll naturally be less likely to get confused or fumble with it when under pressure.

    Okay, I'll go away now...

    Enjoy your weekend everyone
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    Senior Member Array BamaT's Avatar
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    I've had all the same thoughts about whether the thumb safety in a pocket carry gun is a good idea. Sure wish these guns had a grip safety. My thoughts about going to one of these is that the triggers would feel a lot better, facilitating more and better practice. But that same thought about the triggers then makes one wonder about whether they are good pocket carry guns to begin with.

    I've been shooting handguns for about 35 years, handloading for about 34 years, CCW for about 33 years. I shoot larger guns such as Blackhawks, super Blackhawks, k frame Smiths, J frames, DA large frame Rugers, Glocks, Kimber 1911s, and M&Ps very well. I consistently place highly in IDPA matches in points down (I'm not as fast as most though). So having said all that, I'm embarrased to admit I don't practice very much with my LCP beyond routine function testing.

    Whether I go with one of the SAO .380s or stick with my LCP when my Gock 19 isn't feasible, I need to practice more with my pocket carry piece. In addition to thinking the P238 or Mustang Pocket Lite would be more practice friendly, I would think they would also be more accurate. I know these are close range guns, not target pieces. But I do love accuracy, relatively speaking. Either way I go, I'm committing to more practice.
    Last edited by BamaT; August 18th, 2012 at 01:52 PM. Reason: Grammer
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    VIP Member Array rammerjammer's Avatar
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    I wouldn't feel comfortable carrying a SA cocked and locked in my pocket even with a good holster.

    I prefer a long DA trigger pull for safety's sake.
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    I love thumb safeties and loathe the point-and-shoot DAO triggers. For me, the gun with the superior trigger is always the better choice.

    Don't have a SA .380 pistol but, for those who admire the .380, it would be fine for pocket use with a proper hoster.
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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    I love thumb safeties and loathe the point-and-shoot DAO triggers. For me, the gun with the superior trigger is always the better choice.

    Don't have a SA .380 pistol but, for those who admire the .380, it would be fine for pocket use with a proper hoster.
    Respectfully I disagree unless you're talking about the range or combat. Defensive (especially civilian CCW) shooting is mostly reactionary under very unusual circumstances that few have ever experienced or trained for. A light single action trigger can actually be a serious negative in this situation such as discharging before you intend or unintended double taps. Main advantage of a light smooth SA trigger is accuracy. At bad breath range accuracy is still very important but it's a different ball game than shooting a group at 15 yards. Also a DAO trigger, albiet long can be smooth and not much of a detriment to accuracy if at all. The whole point is when I'm scared and reacting I want the simplest/fewest motions necessary to stop a threat.

    Having said all of that, what do I know, I've never been in a defensive shooting situation and I know there's exceptions to every rule.

    Also having said that...I don't think there's a better looking .380 pocket gun on the market than the SIG P238 and I would love to have one.

  12. #12
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    It's only a matter of personal opinion, Gideon. There cannot be a "one-size-fits-all" for all mindsets and circumstances. If one is practiced and confident then a single action trigger really is a non-issue. A single-action trigger "can" be all those things you mention or not. I prefer single-action trigger capabilites on automatic pistols to the almost complete exclusion of DAO designs from the handgun managerie here. I really like a good trigger and there's no good reason for me not to indulge in single-action benefits. Enough other folks out there feel the same way to sell quite a lot of single-action automatics.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

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  13. #13
    Member Array Lindy1933's Avatar
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    The Sig P-238 does not have a typical single action trigger. It is quite heavy about like the double action weight but not so much travel. I carry mine bullet in chamber, cocked and locked, in a .060 kydex holster I made that covers the gun and safety up to the rear sight on top, covers the trigger but not quite touching the laser button on the bottom. The CT laser is great IMHO. I practice every Friday and have a bit of a head job getting the safety off since my other carry gun is a S&W .38 Airweight. After yesterday's test of .380 shooting through two 3/4" plywood boards with both Powerball MJHP and FMJ, I believe the P238 will be my only carry gun. It has never failed with powrball HP or FMJ. Winchester, Hornaday and Remmington HP bullets dive into the ramp when releasing the slide for the second clip. Powrball looks just like FMJ with a round plastic nose. I am going to make a kydex belt holster for the P-238 this afternoon. BTW: It is not as easy as you would think. I am a woodworker and made a model P-238 wooden gun with laser to mold the kydex to. I don't want that much heat near the poly frame of the P-238. Cheers all. Lindy
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  14. #14
    Member Array sdcromer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    Yep, Condition One, in a proper pocket holster.
    This.

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    No argument here BMC... and I agree about not one size fits all. I also agree with the comment above that the P238 doesn't have that traditional 1911 trigger feel. Seem's like it could be smoothed/lightened.

    Seem's like most agree thought that if you're going to carry this one in a pocket then you ought to carry it cocked and locked so it's as ready as you can safetly have it.

    Gotta wish that .380 was a bit cheaper too. I was hoping with all the folks buying .380s these past few years that the price on that ammo would come down a bit...

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