This is a discussion on .380 v. 9mm within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have to say that I could not pick just ONE of my CC guns. Depends on the situation and clothing what will determine what ...
I have to say that I could not pick just ONE of my CC guns. Depends on the situation and clothing what will determine what I carry. Warm out with draw string shorts or swim trunks it will be my LCP. Sweatshirt my Kahr CM9 or with heavy clothing the Beretta PX4 .40 cal it all depends but I have to say I prefer the 9MM.
Kahr CM9, Beretta PX4 SC .40, Ruger LCP/LM, Dan Wesson .357, Beretta 21A .22, Four Aces .22, H&R .22, Marlin .22 rifle and 1946 Remington 12 gauge.
As a lot have said: "get the gun that fits you and that you can shoot well." My wife shoots her 9mm Sig very well, but she can "drive nails" with her .380 Bersa Firestorm...so she carries the Bersa.
KNOWLEDGE: A tomato is a fruit.
WISDOM: Not putting a tomato in a fruit salad..
Realistically speaking, .380 or 9mm is going to hurt like hell. It is what type of round you are using and where the shot or shots are placed. How far are you from the target? I am going to assume that some of you have done some hunting. How many times have you ever dropped a critter with one shot? Maybe a small animal with fall with one shot. And under most circumstances you are going to be stoked up and into the tunnel vision aspect with your heart trying to jump out of your chest. Hell, ask any Marine or Soldier with combat experience, the wounded will still fight or better yet run hopefully. Need to think about these things and Training, Training, Training and more Training. Mac U.S. Navy Retired
9mm for me.I carry a Nano when I really need to conceal,or I pocket carry the LCR in a Nemisis. If you practice a lot you should do ok with a .380. Shot placement [ as others have said ] is key.
9MM would be my choice over .380 (some call it mini 9). Cheaper & more readily available ammo.
That being said I've settled on .40 cal.
USN Submarine & UDT/SEAL Veteran
1SG, US Army Retired - Airborne Infantry All the Way!
Retired PI/Armed Security
I prefer a 20mm over a .40 cal...my problem is that those 20mm guns are just SO hard to conceal.
If all of the advice so far has you confused, let me add some more....
- Guns are used in self defense somewhere between 80,000 and 2.5 million times per year. Nobody knows for sure.
- 95% of the time when a gun is used for self defense, no shots are fired. Just producing a gun stops the threat... any gun. Caliber doesn't matter.
- In 90% of the cases where shots ARE fired, the bad guy turns and runs (if he is still able to), even if he has a gun. ....any gun. Caliber doesn't matter.
- When shots are fired, shot placement makes FAR more difference in the outcome than caliber. For every story of a bad guy that takes 6 rounds of 9mm to the chest and keeps on fighting, there is a story of a single shot from a .22 that drops a guy in his tracks.
- Stopping power against charging 300 pound meth addicts and extended shootouts with bad guys make for good TV and lively testosterone-rich debates on gun forums, but are so rare that they don't even hit the radar screen when it comes to real life cases.
Does caliber matter? Well, all things being equal, it does, but in real life all things are seldom equal, and there are so many other factors that matter so much more than caliber that it almost becomes silly to debate it.
I have four guns that I will carry, a .357 snubby, a sub-compact 9mm, a pocket-sized 380, and a pocket sized .22. My choice of what I carry each day has more to do with which one I am most comfortable shooting and which one conceals better than the caliber. But that's just me.
The best gun for you is the one you feel comfortable with and can shoot well.
I own an East German 9X18 Makarov which falls between the .380 (9X17) and the 9MM Parabelum (9X19). There are some good ammo choices out there for the Makarov as well such as Hornady Crtical Defense and CorBon Pow'R Ball. The size is not much bigger than a .380 and quite a bit smaller than a full 9MM. A buddy of mine bought a compact 9X19 DiamondBack (I think thats the name) but hes already had to send it back twice. The trend towards micro guns in full 9MM and 45 ACP put a lot of stress on those guns. If you are going to buy small and powerful, dont buy cheap!!! Look at the Makarovs, they're stout made pistols.
I've read a lot of posts from seemingly knowledgable people saying to avoid to 147 grain 9MM's. 124 grain seems to be the most popular choice.
In the last ammo shortage 380 was still available long after 9mm was gone!
I dought anyone shot will be able to tell which round they were hit with. So for me it comes down to the guns themselves. 380s tend to be blowback actions, 9mms tend to fire from a closed breach. That makes the 380 a little snappy in the hand and uses a stiffer recoil spring. But can be made in a more compact package. The 9mm guns tend to be heavy for their size but that and firing from a closed or delayed breach makes them more comfortable to shoot. That is until you reduce the size of the gun to a 380 size gun. Then you have lost the weight advantage.
There are exceptions out there, the Sig 239 and Colt mustang even in 380 fire from a closed breach, and guns like Hi Point are blow back no mater what caliber they are.
That's why this argument comes down to gun size more than 380 or 9mm. DR