Looking For .380 Advice/Experiences, Good and Bad

This is a discussion on Looking For .380 Advice/Experiences, Good and Bad within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The time has come for me to pick up a .380 semi pocket gun. I know several qualities I am looking for, so let me ...

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Thread: Looking For .380 Advice/Experiences, Good and Bad

  1. #1
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    Looking For .380 Advice/Experiences, Good and Bad

    The time has come for me to pick up a .380 semi pocket gun. I know several qualities I am looking for, so let me put a few out there:
    1) Decent trigger pull. Long and heavy is out;
    2) Striker-fired, no external hammer;
    3) Demonstrated history of reliability;
    4) Good trigger reset

    Thanks in advance for thoughts and experiences.
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    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    I cant think of one that meets all 4 of your criteria. I think that the G 42 would come closest to the mark, but #3 on your list is unknown, though probably pretty good.

    I have both Keltec P3ATs (bought before there was a ruger LCP), and a ruger LCP. All run well, and I put enough ammo thru them to be very sure of this. The trigger pull on both brands is ...not really decent. Not what you are looking for, I think.

    I will be interested to see if others can come up with something that fits the bill for you.
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    The only .380 I have is a Walther PK380.
    It has a hammer, so probably not what your looking for.

    Good luck!

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    I own two a colt gov 380external hammer and a S&W body guard 380 the trigger is long hard and awful. I own it and wouldn't recommend it. having said that there are times a little back up is good to have and scared the long and hard trigger will get pulled without me remembering how hard it was.

    Let us know what you buy and how it performs.

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    I carry a SP snub with .357 or a compact Kimber in .45 or a .642 lately I have stuck the G42 in my pocket for fast trips to the store. I have faith in my abilities to put rounds on target with it. Great trigger very accurate the easiest .380 to disassemble an clean. So far it has fed everything even my reloads great weapon.
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  7. #6
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    I just got a Taurus TCP.... I thought I would never buy a Taurus after handling my dads 709... anyway. I don't think its striker fired and I don't know of any .380's that are but of all the .380's it has by far the best trigger. I think by definition a pocket pistol will have a longer heavier trigger just because its... well for your pocket.

    Give the TCP a look... you may be impressed. I was.


    Many seem to suggest the glock... fine gun but to me, its very Shield like and not really a true pocket pistol.


    Keep us posted on what you buy.
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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    The time has come for me to pick up a .380 semi pocket gun. I know several qualities I am looking for, so let me put a few out there:
    1) Decent trigger pull. Long and heavy is out;
    2) Striker-fired, no external hammer;
    3) Demonstrated history of reliability;
    4) Good trigger reset

    Thanks in advance for thoughts and experiences.
    The G42 is thwe only striker fired .380 I can think of but I have no experience with it. Based on your criteria I would recommend the Rugfer LCP, and I will explain why.

    1. Trigger pull- The LCP is DOA. The trigger pull is long but is very smooth and right around 5 lbs on my gun. It is very easy to shoot accurately even with the long trigger. Galloway Precision makes a trigger kit that shortens pull length and improves reset. This is about as close to striker fired as you will be able to get and truly be a pocket pistol.

    2. While not striker fired, the hammer does not extend beyong the rear of the slide when fires on the lcp, making firing from inside a pocket absolutely doable if necessary with no worries of snagging the hammer.

    3. Read the numerous reviews of the LCP here on the forum regarding its reliability and they will speak for themselves. The forum here is why I went with an lcp. I have over 200 through mine, and I got it used, with zero issues. which seems to be par for the course with the LCP

    4. The trigger reset on the LCP is long but solid and tactile. Again, the Galloway precision trigger addresses this as it is fully adjustable.

    The LCP is a great pocket gun in every aspect. the G42 is larger in every aspect defeating the purpose of having a small gun but it could be worth lookng into. First gen LCP's can be found used for less than $300... the 2nd gen LCP which has better sights runs $350 ish new in my area.

    Good luck and hope this helps !!!
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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    To rule out for you:

    1. Keltec P3AT (long trigger pull)
    2. LCP (long trigger pull - the trigger breaks at the very rear of the trigger guard)
    3. Sig P238 (external hammer)

    Options you may consider

    1. Bodyguard .380 - I own one, but don't carry it, because their firing pins are known to break frequently. It has a nice trigger pull though, BUT, it is not striker-fired, it has an internal hammer.
    2. Kahr P380 - I have never shot one or owned on, but this seems to be a good option
    3. Glock 42 - I haven't even held one yet, so I can give no advice.
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    I've never even seen a G42 in person, but I think your criteria is aimed squarely at it.

    Personally, I'm quite content with the LCP and its looooonng trigger pull. I carry it on occasion because of its size, not ergonomics. Otherwise I wouldn't bother with .380 at all.
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    As someone who owns a loot of 380s .. Let me tell you what I have learned :

    1. Most pocket guns can be fixed up with a better trigger ( Galloway percsion sells sweet peas for most 380 pockets it helps a looot ) .. That said by there nature most 380s have very long and heavy trigger pulls .. This is due to them being deep cover weird carry guns to lessen the chance of going bang .. Why most of them dont have any sort of maunal saftey . So for me 1 and 2 are moot points as both the pull and reset are easy fixes .. As you know my LCP had a sweet pea very nice trigger
    2. Most pocket guns have internal hammer ..
    3. That said for me the best trigger pull of a pocket gun were the sigs due to being sigle action very smoth pull but external hammer .. But they did alwasy work ..


    For me I like and dont like the BG 380 the trigger is heavy as heck and the laser is pointless ..Not sure how the new no lasers are .. That said it shoot well .. I am getting a 42 soon so I will know



    Really for me the best pocket 380 I have/had was the sig 238 but external hammer no recoil well built and alwasy went bang ( if you get post recal ) .. The other gun I carry a lot is a p3at cheep and if you get one that works it will keep working .. Beyond easy to hide .. I also like the DB380 but I might have gotten lucky with that one ...

    Really if I were you due to the nature of the guns I would rent the following and see what you like .. 380 are very personal guns due to the small size :
    1.LCP gen 2
    2. P3AT gen 2
    3. sig 238
    4.Taurus TCP
    5.Colt mustange ( hard to find )
    6. DB 380
    7.Kahr 380
    8. Glock 42 ( if you can find one )
    9. BG 380 laser and new no laser

    Also if you can watch videos on how the ones you want take down .. Some are a paiin to take down..

    Then go from there .. I have gone though a lot of them seeing what I like and dont like .. Oddly right now I am carryinga 32 ppk L smoth and sweet but they never made them past 32acp due to the frame ..I only say that as the L is the only model PPK I would pocket carry .. The normal ones are way too heavy

    here are some of my 380 old and new 2F24A2F6-2AC7-4661-9C34-04AB74685277_zps4ganyjrk (Medium).jpg 2013-06-16 15.47.47.jpg2014-02-15 17.11.04.jpgCCE92B8C-45D4-42CD-9B32-8577F9512760_zps8m7dy9ct.jpg
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    I like the P3AT. It's the lightest one out there. It has the smallest width and the smallest footprint. There's nothing sticking out to hang up on. The trigger pull is fine for a small gun and the pull length is part of the safety function. I own two.

    I also have a Sig P238. Nice gun shoots great and I like the trigger. But it's heavier, single action with a hammer and raised sights.

    For pocket carry I think the P3AT wins hands down.

    Happy Easter

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    Get a Walther PK380.

    It is, IMHO, the greatest .380 automatic handgun that has ever been devised.

  14. #13
    OO7
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    For the people saying walther pk 380, don't listen to them. The thing is way to big for a .380 and you said you wanted to fit it in your pocket. However, it is a very nice gun
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  15. #14
    VIP Member Array WrongRecroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post
    For the people saying walther pk 380, don't listen to them. The thing is way to big for a .380 and you said you wanted to fit it in your pocket. However, it is a very nice gun

    yeah big honking gun ... If you got outside pocket I would get a bretta chetta as it holds 13 rounds nice gun but not pocket
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    A lot of your criteria is subjective (what is a "long" trigger pull? what is "heavy?" what is a "good" reset?) and therefore impossible for anyone but yourself to figure out for you.

    That said, if you want a striker fired .380 - you have the Glock 42, the Kahr P- or CW-380, and the Diamondback DB380. I think that's it. Of those, the only one I would even begin to consider is the Glock 42, and IMHO it is NOT a 100% pocket gun (meaning a pistol that can fit into ANY men's pants pocket).

    I think you are short changing yourself if you do not at least test fire the Ruger LCP. It is a great little gun. The newer ones have a shorter trigger pull and better sights - but we have three of the older ones in the family, and I can easily blow out the bullseye of a target with any of them (using the excellent CT Laserguard sights, and the mandatory [IMHO] mag base finger extension for a firm grip). Took mine out of my left pocket a few days ago (more than a month without any cleaning) and ran at least 75 rounds through it with nary a hiccup. Right hand only, left hand only, two handed...just ran and ran.

    As mentioned the hammer does not extend out of the gun. It is very "striker-like" in operation.

    You have been very vocal about your ability to carry a full size gun in any attire and in any circumstance, so I for one would be curious to know what's made you consider a micro .380 in the first place?

    Good luck in your quest.
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