Another .380 vs .38spl question

Another .380 vs .38spl question

This is a discussion on Another .380 vs .38spl question within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The general consensus is that a .38 cal round,especially +p has better "stopping power" then any .380 round.With the fact that the 380's can hold ...

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Thread: Another .380 vs .38spl question

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array crue2009's Avatar
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    Another .380 vs .38spl question

    The general consensus is that a .38 cal round,especially +p has better "stopping power" then any .380 round.With the fact that the 380's can hold 2 more rounds then the revolver,doesn't this even thing up quite a bit.Having 2 xtra rounds could be a huge advantage depending on the scenario.Appreciate your oppinions.

    Edt. basically comparing a 2 inch 5 shot revolver to a ruger lcp or kel tec p3at just to keep things in perspective.


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    Senior Member Array WC145's Avatar
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    IMO, no.
    I have a P3AT, I carry it when I can't carry a gun.

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    It's all a compromise, just decide which compromise fits your situation the best.

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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crue2009 View Post
    With the fact that the 380's can hold 2 more rounds then the revolver,doesn't this even thing up quite a bit.
    This really depends on the gun. They make revolvers that can fire .38 specials with anywhere from five to eight round cylinders. In .380 you can get guns with 6+1 and you can get guns with 15+1.

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    Senior Member Array Devone6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WC145 View Post
    IMO, no.
    I have a P3AT, I carry it when I can't carry a gun.
    That's great.

    Keeping with the 5 shot .38 or 7 shot .380 as you requested, I'd say it is tomatoes-tomotoes, really comes down to what you like and shoot well.

    "stopping power" is a relative thing, put a round of any caliber in just the right spot and it has the power to stop, quality over quanity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devone6 View Post

    Keeping with the 5 shot .38 or 7 shot .380 as you requested, I'd say it is tomatoes-tomotoes, really comes down to what you like and shoot well.

    "stopping power" is a relative thing, put a round of any caliber in just the right spot and it has the power to stop, quality over quanity.
    AGREED.

    I'll bet that I can drop a full-grown cow (1000 lbs) with one shot from my .380 cal LCP. I haven't tried it, but I had a cow die a while back, and with interest in the "science of ballistics", I fired two shots from my LCP in the dead cow's head, where I knew contained the brain. I went back to the site sometime later and had two bullet holes that penetrated the skull at the cranial cavity that contained the brain.

    Am I advocating small guns for personal defense? No, I"m not, but with the right shot they can be very lethal.

    Bigger caliber/more bullets/marksmanship starts giving you the statistical edge.

    I like the saying about "no one in a gunfight ever wished for a smaller gun"
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    Member Array Sand86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ppkheat View Post
    I like the saying about "no one in a gunfight ever wished for a smaller gun"
    But they may have wished for more capacity.

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    Senior Member Array usmc3169's Avatar
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    Or a heavier round...:-)
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

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    Member Array Runcible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WC145 View Post
    IMO, no.
    I have a P3AT, I carry it when I can't carry a gun.
    LOL. I've got one in my pocket right now, but LOL.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    I think that the .38 Spl with the best ammo is somewhat superior to the .380. I carry both at different times, and most of the time it is the P3AT because it is small and lighter than even my 642.

    I think it is a legitimate argument for the P3AT when one considers that it is faster to reload and it and the spare mag are lighter, easier to carry, and faster to reload than the 642 with even a speed strip.

    Regards,
    Jerry

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    Since I also think the matter of shot placement is of prime importance, I'll toss another ingredient into the mix: shootability.

    I have really small hands. Having said that, I still find the small autos (P3AT, LCP genre) to be just too small to shoot well. And the rudimentary sights make even the fixed snubbie sights look like target sights. Don't get me wrong, I fully understand the "up close and personal" nature of these weapons. I can just get a better grip and a better sight picture with the snub/j-frame platform. And grip, sight picture (no matter how "flash") and trigger control are what contributes to best shot placement.

    YMMV

    -jb

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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    I've got fairly big hands. For me, snubbies are definitely a lot more shootable than itty bitty autoloaders.

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    Senior Member Array jca1's Avatar
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    If you like the .380 then it's the one for you, carry it with pride you sissy...ha-ha that was a joke I just couldn't control myself.

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    Another issue to consider is reliability. With a S&W J-frame, you simply pull the trigger and the thing goes BANG! Even if you haven't fired the gun for 6 years. Pocket lint . . . not a problem. Semi-autos are much more finicky.

    While I'm clearly on the .38special side of this debate, I would like to pick up one of those new Sig P238s. I know I can go out and buy a used original 238 (the Colt Mustang). I just thought it would neat to also own one of the new Sigs. Mind you, this purchase will simply be for a toy. The smallest caliber I would carry would still be a .38special.

    Reg

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    Senior Member Array Landric's Avatar
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    I'm firmly .38 Special, for most of the reasons discussed above.

    IMO the two major factors in "stopping power" are shot placement and adequate penetration. Everything else is secondary. The .38 Special has a lot more potential for penetration than even the "heaviest" .380 round. The original police load featured a 200 grain bullet, even the standard 158 grain LSWCHP is a lot heavier than any .380.

    I'll take a reduction of two rounds and slower reloads for a heavier bullet in an easier to shoot well platform. YMMV.
    -Landric

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