For a primary carry I would go with the 9mm, and get a .380acp for a BUG or another carry option at a later date if finances don't allow for both at this time. If you had to choose only one I would recommend the 9mm because as others have stated the cost of 9mm ammo is about half the price of the 380acp ammo so you can practice more with it as 9mm is more readily available. And not to mention it packs more of a punch, seems like a no brainer. I guess it comes down to how your planning on carrying, IWB, OWB, pocket, ankle, shoulder, etc. If you prefer to pocket carry or don't like the idea of a heavy gun on your waist the 380 would be the way to go. But for me I don't mind carrying a 21oz M&P compact 40 inside my waistband. I would suggest the M&P9c it's a great gun.
I carry my primary S&W M&P 40c which I've converted to 9mm for the range, and carry a S&W Bodyguard 380 as a back up or rarely I will carry the 380 by itself.
Good luck and welcome to the wonderful world of guns, and be warned it's additive! I'm sure you'll probably end up having something in every caliber eventually if your like me!
They are the same diameter bullet. The 9 just has a longer case.
TNOutdoors9 on youtube does gel testing of loads and the 380 gold dots penetrate 13" with decent expansion. Will 9mm do better? Yes, slightly. But the 380 is fine.
9mm is always preferred due to capacity and such, but if you need a SMALL gun for concealment or lightness, then the 380 is fine. I love my TCP! 10oz ftw.
As expected, Less Filling vs Tastes Great.
I have both. I carry both. I trust both.
380 performance out of a SIG 229, M&P, or a Glock 19 is terrible when compared to a 9. Of course, those are not 380 platforms.
380 performance out of a SIG 238, Kahr p380, or a BG380 ain't too shabby. Those are guns you just drop in a pocket. Yeah, I know they make small 9s now. But I trust my 380 to do what it was designed for: as a good backup for one of my full size guns.
My advice is that before you decide on any gun, try them out first.
I tried a Ruger LCP .380 and did not like it at all, I usually carry a Glock 23 .40, which I love.
I just picked up a Kel-Tec PF9 that is slightly bigger than the lcp, lightweight, and easy to conceal, and I can actually shoot it OK too.
So, for me not really a caliber issue, more of a function and usability issue. If you can't shoot it, it does not matter what caliber it is, it will not do you any good when you need it.
9mm all the way. I have a .380 but don'y really like it much. I am thinking of trading it in for a LCR or a J frame S&W.
I will carry either caliber, both will do the job if shots hit it's target.
Just always remember that a 9X18 Makarov bullet diameter is different than a .380 or a 9MM luger (those two are the same diamter).
I agree with pogo2 you need one of each, shoot placement is going to be more imortant than the difference between a .380 and a 9mm buy the one you shoot better
Many projectiles, including the .40 can be lethal, but the .40 is not a reliably effective defensive round. That ... and the marginal size difference of subcompact .45s leads me to my recommendation
Many projectiles, including the .45s can be lethal, but the .45 is not a reliably effective defensive round. That ... and the marginal size difference of subcompact .44 mags leads me to my recommendation
My 380 is my bug and it is always on me. Sometimes my attire means I can only carry the 380.
My thinking, I will draw at one distance, pulling the trigger will be close range ( less than 8 feet ) I live in Florida so no heavy jackets to worry about. The round at that range will make BG change his mind if not then I have 6 more to help his thinking.
I have the smallest .40 available and a kel-tec P3AT .380. both serve a good purpose. In all honesty, the Kahr is really not that much bigger then the .380
How do you like that Cm40? That strikes me as an excellent choice for a CCW. I love those Kahr triggers.
There is lots of shooting data, but not much controlled scientific data due to the number of variables vs. the number of volunteers willing to be shot in a controlled environment. Thus the FBI has developed minimum criteria for handgun rounds. Here's the simple part. The 9mm meets this standard. The .380 does not.
Feel free to offer your own research if you don't like the source I've provided.