Small 9mm or .380?

This is a discussion on Small 9mm or .380? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by gun1 Price isn't much of a consideration, but I am probably not going to spend $900 on a pistol. I don't want ...

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Thread: Small 9mm or .380?

  1. #31
    Senior Member Array zamboni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gun1 View Post
    Price isn't much of a consideration, but I am probably not going to spend $900 on a pistol. I don't want anything cheap either.
    Well barring any local restrictions of what you can own where you live.

    Your budget seems to be under $900. which leaves a lot of choices to conciser. So if I had that much saved up I'd start with looking at the Sig's. They Have a couple nice 9mm's and .380's in the size you're looking for. Then I'd compare them to a Ruger .380 LCP and an S&W M&P 9mm Shield. Then try to shoot them and see how they fit & feel in YOUR hand.

    The posters can make suggestions on what WE like but it's like buying a pair of shoes. You have to try um on to see if they fit YOU. I might like Billie-Bob shoes but, they don't fit you comfortably so you like Bob-Billie shoes.

    So I'd suggest a 9mm or .380 Sig, 9mm S&W-M&P Shield, or .380 Ruger LCP < final answers

    Good-Luck in your search I'm sure you'll find something to fill the void.

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  3. #32
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    Most people are surprised by the recoil of the pocket pistols. They are not good range guns and are meant for short range defence. If the 9mm recoil isn't an issue with you, the larger caliber would be more potent.
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  4. #33
    VIP Member Array Rollo's Avatar
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    IMO it really depends on how you want to carry. For me, a small .380 like a LCP or P3AT is a lot easier to pocket carry then something like a PM9 or PF9 but I only pocket carry one I 100 percent cant get away with IWB carry. So I own a LCP for pocket carry and pocket carry only. If I wanted a super small semi auto and I was going to carry IWB I would go with a PM9 or PF9 or something like that. To be totally honest... I am not a fan of small semi auto. I'm not talking about subcompacts like Glock 26's or XDsc's. I mean the (what I call) mini compacts like the PM9,PF9, Nano, etc. In my experiences they tend to be finicky. Now... Don't get me wrong... There are plenty of guys and gals out there that carry one daily, have thousands of rounds through them and have never had a failure. I just prefer a wheel gun when we are talking about sub sub compact style of guns. Just not a aluminium frame J-frame...
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  5. #34
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    I absolutely do not feel under-gunned with a .380 - in stress-fire drills I can draw from concealment and put 8 rounds in a 6-inch circle at 25 feet very quickly. I can not (yet) do that with my larger calibers.
    In looking for a subcompact pistol suitable for waist or pocket carry, I shot a lot of rounds through a lot of guns... The hands-down winner for me (and for Mrs. Whoppo) was the Sig P238. I bought hers first and mine a few weeks later, followed by yet another. At just about a pound, it's heavier than many other choices, but you can shoot it all day long without the uncomfortable *snap* of the lighter pistols. It's a single-action trigger with manual thumb safety (ala 1911) which turns some folks off, but I actually prefer it, having been weened on 1911's and Hi-Power's. Trigger break is clean and reset is short, making follow-up shots easier and closer to target. The 9mm P938, at just about a half-inch longer, it on our list once the Equinox versions show up on the streets around here, but the P238's will stay as well.

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  6. #35
    New Member Array Hanzerik's Avatar
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    I have both; Ruger LCP, and Sig PP238. The Sig is much more enjoyable to shoot. The trigger and sights are much nicer on the Sigs. Plus it is a very well built pistol, but you are paying for that. There is nothing wrong with the LCP, mine has been perfect from the start, and the trigger does get better after a few hundred rounds. We have put about 600 through the Ruger and about 500 through each of the Sigs. Some folks look at these types of pistol as nothing more then a self defense gun that you buy, shoot a couple hundred rounds through, then stick it in a holster and forget about it. Me on the other hand, I shoot the heck out of all my guns. Reloading allows me to cheaply shoot a hundreds of rounds out of them every range trip. I reload 44mag, 45ACP, 380ACP, and 308. I don't own safe queens, and will sell off a gun I don't shoot much.

  7. #36
    Distinguished Member Array lchamp's Avatar
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    I have a Sig P238 and also a Sig P938. I got the 238 first, but the wife claimed that so I got the 938 for me. I was surprised at the light recoil of both guns, although I don't think they are good for hours at the range. My primary carry is still the Sig p239 because of the initial DA with firing pin block safety. Subsequent shots are SA and sweet. I'm still not 100% comfortable with the thumb safety on the 238/938 pistols...sometimes I still forget!

  8. #37
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    I would definitely go with 9MM if you can handle the recoil. The Shield comes to mind but they're generally hard to find so continue to do your research & choose one that's right for you (and your wallet). If you can try out a bunch of guns it should help you make a choice. Always keep in mind that anything you carry is worlds better than nothing.

    I guess I'm blessed with being able to OWB conceal a Sigma 40VE successfully, the same size as a Glock 23 & expect it to be even easier with the M&P40C that I bought the other day & am waiting for it to get to the gun shop.
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  9. #38
    Member Array steffen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollo View Post
    IMO it really depends on how you want to carry. For me, a small .380 like a LCP or P3AT is a lot easier to pocket carry then something like a PM9 or PF9 but I only pocket carry one I 100 percent cant get away with IWB carry. So I own a LCP for pocket carry and pocket carry only. If I wanted a super small semi auto and I was going to carry IWB I would go with a PM9 or PF9 or something like that. To be totally honest... I am not a fan of small semi auto. I'm not talking about subcompacts like Glock 26's or XDsc's. I mean the (what I call) mini compacts like the PM9,PF9, Nano, etc. In my experiences they tend to be finicky. Now... Don't get me wrong... There are plenty of guys and gals out there that carry one daily, have thousands of rounds through them and have never had a failure. I just prefer a wheel gun when we are talking about sub sub compact style of guns. Just not a aluminium frame J-frame...
    ^^^What he said.

    When considering pocket carry, you have to at least consider a wheel gun... Given the choice between .380 and 9mm, I vote for .38 Special
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  10. #39
    Senior Member Array KBSR's Avatar
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    There are a lot of Kimber bashers on here (read a LOT of Kimber bashers on here), but their experience isn't mine, so I'll share. I carried a KelTec .380 for years until the Kimber Solo Carry (SC) came out. Would have bought the Ruger copy first, but because it's a copy, it wasn't available when I purchased the KelTec. :) When I handled (fondled) the SC in the gun store once, I had to have it. The SC has permanently replaced the KelTec in my right front pocket. Now the SC is somewhat finicky with ammo, but if you feed her a steady diet of high quality ammo, you won't have a problem. I'm using Remington Golden Saber Bonded 124 Grain +P's right now, and they function flawlessly. It's a great little gun, and fits my hand nicely, with the 1911 ergonomics. Now be forewarned, the Kimber finish SUCKS!!! I don't know why a quality company like Kimber can't produce guns with a better finish then they do. My SC is chipped and almost down to bare metal in the grip area where it impacts a benchmade auto opener that rides in that same pocket. Old habits die hard, and though I've tried to relocate the knife, I just couldn't get used to it in any other location. I'll just have it refinished by Wally Birdsong and Associates with their patented Black T finish when I get a chance, and forget about it.

    While most would consider a 9mm an adequate primary weapon, I don't. My SC is a backup to my Kimber Ultra Raptor in .45ACP. It's just nice to be able to off-load the larger pistol, when the weather is really hot, in the tour pack on the Harley, or in the truck, while remaining prepared to deal with any emergency.

    Good luck with whatever you decide on.

  11. #40
    Distinguished Member Array Fitch's Avatar
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    The true pocket guns in an acceptable minimum caliber are pretty much all .380's. (My sister has an absolutely cherry 1930 Walther Model 9 in .25ACP but that's really a pop gun with less muzzle energy than a .22LR - but she carries it, every day, and won't carry anything bigger every day.)

    I have two .380's that I pocket carry fairely often in the summer, a Ruger LCP and a SIG P238. My wife has her own P238. The P238 is a pocket .380 that shoots like a bigger gun. It has excellent sights, is remarkably accurate, and can be fired during reasonable length range sessions with out an ice bag for the hand. My 70 year old wife put's 25 to 50 rounds through hers at a range session, no problem.

    The P938 is only very slightly bigger. It's the only real 'pocket' 9mm I've had in my hands. The Rohrbaugh R9S may be the best pocket 9mm but it's really expensive and I've never held one in my hands. It's a personal preference but don't like the trigger on the Kahrs or the Beretta Nano. The Kahr slides are impossible for my wife to manipulate. The P238 is easy for her.

    I owned both a Shield (excellent weapon, delightful to shoot, but sold it and kept the Glock 26) and an LC9 (which for some reason is 'not' fun to shoot, much more felt recoil than either the Shield or the G26).

    There will be an XDs under the Christmas tree for me (present from my wife). That may make the list as a pocket gun but I think it's going to be a bit too tall. Nice and thin for IWB in the summer though.

    Fitch
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  12. #41
    Member Array DoingOK's Avatar
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    I have owned or currently own the following: Ruger SR9c, Kimber Solo CDP, Ruger LCP, M&P Shield (9mm) and Sig P938 SAS and Extreme. I have shot and then sold all except the Kimber Solo CDP and Sig P938. They were the two best in my opinion and I'm keeping them. They are in a class above the others.




  13. #42
    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    Any discussion of pocket pistols absolutely MUST include the fabulous comparison chart from 'Mouse Guns'.



    Get it here: http://mouseguns.com/PocketAutoComparison.pdf

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  14. #43
    Member Array charliefox's Avatar
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    I used to have a hard time recommending a .380 when there were 9mm's the same size. However, there are a lot of advantages to a slightly smaller gun in a slightly smaller caliber - specifically in NPE's (Non-permissive environments) where absolute concealment is the order of the day. Both of these weapons are going to have increased recoil due to simple physics, however practice makes this managable and in a negative high stress interpersonal encounter recoil, muzzle flash and blast are the last thing one will notice. My wife carries an LCP and, while she doesn't like the recoil, she can shoot it straight and fast. I recently switched from a Glock 19 to a Kahr CM9 (both in 9mm) and haven't had any issue with shooting it straight and fast. The CM9 is MUCH more concealable, which allows me to carry it MUCH more often than my Glock.
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  15. #44
    Member Array Jjxj's Avatar
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    Small 9mm or .380?

    Having shot and disliked the LCP I purchased a KT P3AT. A much better shooter I think, so does my mom and my wife.

    Did the fluff and buff and ran a couple hundred rounds through it without a hiccup. Great little shooter.

    In either front pocket or back pocket all day every day. I've seen what the .380 can do and don't feel at any disadvantage carrying it.

  16. #45
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    I like my Kahr P9 compact 9mm it has a single stack mag which makes for a nice slim gun for carrying and the recoil is not bad at all.

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