What's The Attraction To The .380 ?

This is a discussion on What's The Attraction To The .380 ? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So what's the big run on .380 deep concealment type guns. Most every article reads that the .380 is an unimpressive round with minimal stopping ...

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Thread: What's The Attraction To The .380 ?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array xXxplosive's Avatar
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    What's The Attraction To The .380 ?

    So what's the big run on .380 deep concealment type guns. Most every article reads that the .380 is an unimpressive round with minimal stopping power....a little better than a punch in the nose.
    Even Ayood Massaad says it's a light weight on the power scale.

    So what's the attraction and where'd all the ammunition go ?

    And go figure, I just bought one last week, NAA Guardian .380.

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    Distinguished Member Array Pro2A's Avatar
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    The only thing I like about it is it makes a good back up gun. The P3AT is the smallest pocket gun I could find. It's in .380 and thats better then nothing.

    As I always say, if you're not willing to stand downrange from it, it's a good enough caliber.

    I've yet to have someone take me up on that offer.

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    It's the largest of the mites?

    It offers bullets with larger frontal area and a little more weight than it's traditional pocket auto-pistol cartridge stable mates, the .25 ACP and .32 ACP. All operate at relatively low pressure so simply engineered blow back designs can easily be manufactured for them.

    These days though, the Kel Tec P3AT and its spin-off Ruger LCP are locked breech designs.

    They're all weenies but the .380 is seen as the best of the breed.
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    Two things. The guns are inexpensive and the small size is attractive to women. I know I know, men carry them too, but they are primarly a cute little purse gun for a woman. I don't have any numbers but I'd say the majority of 380 sales are in LCP's and Kel-tec's. Cute little inexpensive guns.
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    I wanted my .380 (Sig P232) for summer carry in a gun caddie or pocket holster as well as in cooler weather for car travel (in a Galco shoulder rig). It's a very convenient size and I don't worry about stopping power of the caliber.
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    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    CAn't say I agree that they are a cute little woman's purse gun. I bought one to have options in how I'd have to dress carrying. Yeah its smaller caliber than my others I also carry a 1911-45acp, Glock 26, and a Taurus snubby.

    So I have the range of options for carry depending on how I can, or want to dress according to the weather or other things.

    I'd say you need to practice with it so you could reliably hit where you aim. But I think in most situations it could get the job done.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xXxplosive View Post
    So what's the big run on .380 deep concealment type guns.
    Concealability, weight/size.

    Most every article reads that the .380 is an unimpressive round with minimal stopping power....a little better than a punch in the nose.
    Most articles are unimpressed, sure.

    Actual tests of penetration, expansion and performance show it to be within spittin' distance of the average 9mm factory loads.

    Will it be enough? Who's to say. It's fair to say that a couple/three holes in the body due to a .380 fired at close range is going to cause a bit more damage than a punch in the nose.

    So what's the attraction and where'd all the ammunition go ?
    Concealability, weight/size. Suitable for when something larger (and presumably more powerful) cannot be carried.

    And go figure, I just bought one last week, NAA Guardian .380.
    NAA 380 here, too. Kahr P380 likely, as well, when the dust settles.
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    Senior Member Array ErikGr7's Avatar
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    I think people like the idea of having a small
    very concealable weapon they can fit into a
    pocket/purse.

    It's popular for sure with the Kel Tec and now
    with Rugers version.

    If I was in a sticky situation and things went south
    I would much rather have a snubby .357 on me

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    "....a little better than a punch in the nose"

    It's better than a punch in the nose. The right ammo that is decently hot enough will crash through facial bones and mess up some brains if the bad guy has any brains hiding in there to begin with.

    Speer has a really good .380 as does the stiffest BuffaloBore offering in .380.

    Bottom line...of course it is not the very best SD caliber but, it will get the job done for many of the most often occurring self-defense scenarios.

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    If I had to make a choice, I'd accept the punch in the nose every time.

    I like my little KelTec .380 as an 'extra' weapon, not an EDC.
    Last edited by RETSUPT99; May 23rd, 2009 at 07:15 PM.
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    Senior Member Array adaman04's Avatar
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    It's small. That is it. There is no other reason to be drawn to the .380 other than the size of the gun IMO. Same with the .32.

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    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    When you are up against the wall you will be glad to have any that shoots.When you are up close a 380 will do the job

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    The hole is the same size as 9mm. Up close it will penetrate and expand just fine. Most handgun SD episodes are up close.

    .45 is nice, but doesn't guarantee anything; as we have seen from the post about going against a shotgun with a .45 and ultimately, but just barely, prevailing. It is shot placement and luck that count.

    .380 is easy to control and facilitates rapid fire onto the target; no need to battle muzzle tilt and recoil.

    I'm conflicted about the tiny ones, the p3ats and Rugers, but they can't be beat for ease of carriage.

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    For my job and schedule, my .380 LCP works great for me. Quick to drop in my pocket and lightweight. Is it the best CCW? NOPE, not at all.

    However I do carry a more appropriate gun, when I feel the need, and at the same time I keep the LCP in my pocket as well, in that capacity it serves as a BUG, plus my pocket feels funny when it's not in there.
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    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    I have a .380 KT because of the very small size, and although the power is on the light side, it is easy to carry.
    Before the KT P3AT came out I purchased a P32 for the same reason.

    I carry the .380 more than any other gun due to its small size.

    No, I am not worried it will get me killed due to lack of power.

    Regards,
    Jerry

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