Top choice 380ACP pistol (DA or DA/SA)

This is a discussion on Top choice 380ACP pistol (DA or DA/SA) within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Would like to get current views on the best choice for a compact or subcompact 380 that is reliable. Don't want to get into 9 ...

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Thread: Top choice 380ACP pistol (DA or DA/SA)

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    Member Array Philly3458's Avatar
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    Top choice 380ACP pistol (DA or DA/SA)

    Would like to get current views on the best choice for a compact or subcompact 380 that is reliable. Don't want to get into 9 vs 380 debate. Seems like there is little consensus on the most reliable 380?




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    Quote Originally Posted by Philly3458 View Post
    Would like to get current views on the best choice for a compact or subcompact 380 that is reliable. Don't want to get into 9 vs 380 debate. Seems like there is little consensus on the most reliable 380?
    Pocket carry, IWB, or OWB? Use for carry? Range only? Details of how you plan to use it may influence the responses you get.
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    Member Array Philly3458's Avatar
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    CCW - pocket or IWB


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    I think the best deal in this category is the Bersa Thunder .380, although it is generally a little big/heavy for pocket carry.
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    I picked up some good info here:
    Looking For .380 Advice/Experiences, Good and Bad
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    I chose the Taurus TCP...after alot of research, and advice from LGS owners and employees and a couple of other brand purchases of 380acp that didn't pan out....

    The TCP is the keeper

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    Smith & Wesson bodyguard. I've had one for a few years now and not a single problem. I've heard people on here talking about how they're firing pin sometimes break off but that was mostly just the early bodyguards that do that. Me and my cousin both got ours around the same time in December 2011 and neither of us have had a problem. Small, super easy to carry, and reliable.
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    Ruger's number one selling handgun LCP
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    My favorite is, and always has been the Bersa Thunder. I prefer to carry the BT Plus OWB, though sometimes I carry the regular BT, also. I do pocket carry the BT CC sometimes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post
    Smith & Wesson bodyguard. I've had one for a few years now and not a single problem. I've heard people on here talking about how they're firing pin sometimes break off but that was mostly just the early bodyguards that do that. Me and my cousin both got ours around the same time in December 2011 and neither of us have had a problem. Small, super easy to carry, and reliable.
    My bodyguard pin broke, and it was just bought 6 months ago. Had way too many FTE, and FTF's that I traded it in. It was flat out not reliable. Went with the Walther PK380 and not a single problem. It's not as easy to conceal as the Bodyguard though.

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    Member Array Philly3458's Avatar
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    Not interested in the bodyguard due to the terrible trigger and just not an s&w fan.


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    Generally the subcompact 380 genre boils down to the Ruger LCP, Kel-tec P3AT, Taurus TCP, Kahr CW380, S&W Bodyguard, Sig P238, Glock G42, and Bersa Thunder. I can only speak for the CW380. It is a DAO trigger, 2.5 in barrel, 6+1 capacity. It shoots really well. The trigger is smooth, the reset is quick, and the recoil is easy to handle that it is fun at the range. It can be bought online for 300 to 340 dollars before transfer fee and shipping. The recommend putting 200 round through as a break in period. It is usually in this period that you'll experience any issues with the gun. For mine, it was one stove pipe in rounds 50-75, no issues in several hundred rounds since. It can fit in almost any pocket (not in the old jeans FOB pocket obviously) so there is no reason to not be at least carrying it. Overall I find it a quality offering.

    That said, if you can at least handle some of them in a showroom, you should because these are small guns and finding one that fits your hand well is important. If you can shoot one or two even better.

    Good luck and good hunting.
    Kahr CW380, Kahr P9, Walther P99AS


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    Quote Originally Posted by sliderbk View Post
    Generally the subcompact 380 genre boils down to the Ruger LCP, Kel-tec P3AT, Taurus TCP, Kahr CW380, S&W Bodyguard, Sig P238, Glock G42, and Bersa Thunder. I can only speak for the CW380. It is a DAO trigger, 2.5 in barrel, 6+1 capacity. It shoots really well. The trigger is smooth, the reset is quick, and the recoil is easy to handle that it is fun at the range. It can be bought online for 300 to 340 dollars before transfer fee and shipping. The recommend putting 200 round through as a break in period. It is usually in this period that you'll experience any issues with the gun. For mine, it was one stove pipe in rounds 50-75, no issues in several hundred rounds since. It can fit in almost any pocket (not in the old jeans FOB pocket obviously) so there is no reason to not be at least carrying it. Overall I find it a quality offering.

    That said, if you can at least handle some of them in a showroom, you should because these are small guns and finding one that fits your hand well is important. If you can shoot one or two even better.

    Good luck and good hunting.
    You and I were typing about the Kahr at the same time. Thanks for the thoughts on the trigger and the recoil.
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    Member Array Philly3458's Avatar
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    Do any if these 380s have a better than others reputation for reliability?


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