Small .380's Too Small?

This is a discussion on Small .380's Too Small? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Just wondering if the ultra small LCP's and P-3AT's are just too small to properly support the .380 over extended periods of time and that ...

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Thread: Small .380's Too Small?

  1. #1
    Member Array Air,Land&Sea's Avatar
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    Small .380's Too Small?

    Just wondering if the ultra small LCP's and P-3AT's are just too small to properly support the .380 over extended periods of time and that if .32's are better suited for that size platform. I have a .32 Seecamp that fits the niche very well and would like something lighter to add to the mix. I wonder if maybe a .32 Kel-Tec is the answer and if there's not really much difference (in effectiveness) between the two calibers in something that small (and if .32 in that size gun is easier to handle effectively while under extreme stress). Another option is to buy one of everything and call it a day, but I'm a minimalist.
    Thanks for any discussion.
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Not sure what you mean by "too small to support." I've never had a round fall out...
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  4. #3
    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    I have had several KelTecs (still have 3), and none of them are "range guns". They are not designed for many thousands of rounds down range. A few hundred rounds to break in the gun, and shooter, then a couple of magazines per month to stay fresh with the muscle memory to handle the weapon. The KT's are on the very cutting edge of technology, stretching the envelope when it comes to design of a reletively high powered cartridge in an ultralight handgun. They are made for defensive use, up close and personal, so tremendous numbers of target rounds are really unnecessary anyway.

    After the initial break-in and reliability proofing, a few rounds each range trip should keep you and the gun in good shape.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Array dnowell's Avatar
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    I've heard that the intended lifespan for a P3AT is 5000 rounds. It's intended as a carry gun, not as a fun range gun. 5000 rounds = a box of 50 rounds once a month for 8 years. Then you buy another one. 5000 rounds of 380 costs a heck of a lot more than another P3AT. If you can afford to shoot it that much you can afford to buy another one.

    If you just carry it and shoot it a few times a year it should last indefinitely.

    Not sure about the LCP.

  6. #5
    Member Array Air,Land&Sea's Avatar
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    A lot of fingers are pointing at the P-3AT. Might have to get one like maybe tomorrow.
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    Member Array Precision's Avatar
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    at just over $200 NIB. Mine is the "I know I'm getting wet, dirty, dusty, not gonna be clean all day" gun. Sure I take as good care of it as I can, but when I need to be armed and I may fall in a salt water canal or am gonna be doing something else very hazardous to gun lifespan, my P3AT gets the call.

    If SHTF, I am armed.
    If the gun gets buggered up extra fast (which it will) another $200 and I'm in business (or more likely) some repair parts and I'm in business.

    It goes bang everytime, it has been in my pocket almost constantly for 6 months in HORRIBLE conditions without complaint (other than cosmetic damage) and I am MO goblin from 25ft and COM certain from 15ft, so what's not to like.

    Ok so maybe the .380 isn't exactly an uber round, but it still makes me armed when otherwise I wouldn't be.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air,Land&Sea View Post
    A lot of fingers are pointing at the P-3AT. Might have to get one like maybe tomorrow.

    if you do, be sure and get at least one finger rest, i.e. Bersa magazine base finger rest. That will definately increase your ability to get a good, solid two finger grip and give you an unbelievable amount of control. KT has always had excellent customer service for those willing to take advantage of it. And, for the record, I would bet that if you did wear one out KT would still repair whatever it needed to be reliable.

  9. #8
    Member Array Naturalstate's Avatar
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    Ruger LCP

    I recently have purchased a RUGER LCP 380. Quite a fine made small gun. I have put about 300 rounds thru. No hangups yet and appears to handle the Hornady 90 gr. JHP quite well. Seemed a bit smoother with this ammo than the Corbon or the GoldDots.

    If one is right on top of someone 5 ft or less.. this gun could be of greater asset than a larger handgun.. Little of anything for the BG to grab.. Of course my favorite is the Kahr Elite K-40. Each has its place. At least take a look at this small pocket type gun.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array CR2008's Avatar
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    I use to own a KT P32 (2nd Generation) and found them to be reliable within the 200 rounds I placed through it, I was easily able to get headshots using point shooting at 9 feet. Also it was LIGHT, and easy to control recoil though it's very small.

    On the other hand, I sampled a Smith and Wesson 340PD and it was only a tad heaver than the P32, yet it's in a much more powerful caliber (though many advise against using 357mag rounds in it due to the excessive recoil.)

    The KT is no range gun at all, and I would consider one only a BUG and not a primary carry weapon. Also, though the gun worked well, it had tool marks in many places, it's not a looker but it works.
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    Member Array forestranger's Avatar
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    If u buy it new, even if u do shoot it enough to wear it out, KT will fix or replace it under lifetime warranty.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Rustynuts's Avatar
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    Having had several failures with my KelTecs, I'm not 100% confident in them although I carry my P3AT daily. Most of the failures were trivial and KT sent replacement parts fast. However at least two failures resulted in paperweighting the guns. NOT something you want to happen in a firefight. Seecamp 380's are just too expensive for a 380. I'd get a Rohrbaugh before paying the money for the Seecamp. Me, I'm waiting to get a look at the new Kahr 380.

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I'm buying a keltec p9 or p11 9mm In about the same package i pick 9mm over .380 anyday,besides ammo is much cheaper
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  14. #13
    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    why not get the PF9 AND the P3AT... then compare the sizes. You'll find a whole lot of uses for the P3AT

    And, for the record, I wouldn't turn down the Ruger LCP either, but I would like to see a successful 1 year track record first. The new announced offering from Kahr may be o.k. for some too. As for the Seecamp and Rorbaugh (sp), I'm not sure the price is within reach of many folks in the pocket gun market.

  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array clarkston_cz's Avatar
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    Nice info about the Hornady ammo. The stuff never feed good in my old
    CZ83, but I'll try some when I pick up my LCP.

    Anyone have LCP experience with the Fiocchi .380 JHP?
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  16. #15
    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    I shot about a hundred rounds of Fiocci jhp through my P3AT a couple of years ago and don't remember any issues. It should be fine in your LCP. If I were you though, I would put at least a couple hundred rounds of WWB, Rem UMC or MagTec Blue Box (my fav) through it before using S&B, Fiocci, or other foreign made ammo. With some of the Fiocci and Aguilla rounds I have experienced hard primers. In a new gun that you are trying to condition and "proof", you really want to take out as much possibility of ammo problems as possible.

    just my opinions, for what it's worth

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