This is a discussion on .380 worthless.. within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; a while back i dropped a coyoye at a measured 91 ft. one shot it fell like it was hit with a sledgehammer. used a ...
July 26th, 2008 06:54 AM
a while back i dropped a coyoye at a measured 91 ft. one shot it fell like it was hit with a sledgehammer. used a ppk. i sure dont want to be shot with one
July 26th, 2008 07:55 AM
Due to my work, it's very difficult for me to carry a concealed weapon. I've found that a pocket gun works good for me during those times, otherwise I'd have nothing. While working I now carry a LCP (.380) and I think it's a lot of caliber for a very small gun.
Better choices out there.....you bet, but my arrangement works for me. I do upgrade to a g27 whenever possible.
July 26th, 2008 11:31 AM
I think a .380 is ideal for a pocket gun, possible to carry under practically any circumstance. My wife and I both have Kel-Tecs, and while not especially fun to shoot a lot, they are sufficiently accurate under 10 yards. The .380, with proper ammunition, provides a fairly powerful punch in a small package. Gold Dots are my current ammo of choice. I would, without a doubt, prefer the availability of 7 shots from my P-3AT vs. 2 .38 specials in a derringer. Not to mention the ease of carrying a spare mag.
All that said, if given an option for a more powerful round and larger platform, I'll take it. I prefer to carry my Detective Special, Hi-Power or 1911. I personally don't have a use for a .380 in a platform the size and weight of a PPK or Bersa Thunder. I'd choose a 9mm in a frame of that size. But, as an ultra-concealable pocket pistol, I have no hesitation in selecting the .380.
"We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters
July 26th, 2008 12:26 PM
July 26th, 2008 12:44 PM
The idea that something is better than nothing is right on! A few years ago I read a news story about a guy who followed a woman into her garage as she pulled into it. She produced a .22 auto and pointed it at him. He laughed and she shot. She later testified that he got a surprised look on face, turned and walked down to the end of the driveway, and dropped dead.
July 26th, 2008 12:57 PM
I would gladly take a .380 over a .38 Derringer anyday. The .380 is not my first choice for self defense but I carry a .380 more than any other firearm I own. My Kel Tec lives in my front pocket. I am planning to purchase a J-frame .38 snubbie in the future but I think that the .38 is only a marginal ballistic improvement over the .380.
Why Ike, whatever do you mean? Maybe poker's just not your game Ike. I know! Let's have a spelling contest!
July 26th, 2008 01:01 PM
I wouldn't trust an ACP in any calibre to kill a deer at 70 yards
but I'm not trying for a kill in a self-defense situation
and I'm not that far from my point of aim
I trust a .380 to stop an attacker at 10 yards
beyond that range, why would I be shooting instead of running for cover?
July 26th, 2008 05:08 PM
A self defense situtaion at 30-40 feet is far enough that I can probably run away, so I am not that concerned about what caliber I need at that distance. At 10 feet which is much more likely a .380 will do the job even if it doesn't start with a 4. In fact a .22 at 10 feet is quite dangerous and at 5'-7' even more. Inside my house which I figure is the most likely place I would need a weapon that longest shot I can possibly have is about 15'. All I can say is some of you people must have some big houses.
As someone else posted I'm not planning on deer hunting with any pistol but the caliber wars are about as dumb as calling a .25 a toy. I have asked for volunteers but have yet to find one that will allow me to shoot them with a .25 to test the "toy" factor.
July 26th, 2008 06:28 PM
Magsafe (not to be confused with Magtech) makes a bunch of very interesting but hugely expensive ammo.
Originally Posted by Metro 40
I think their web address is Mag Safe Ammo - Pre-Fragmented Saftey Ammunition Handcrafted In The USA
Their advertising info and claimed specifications are posted for a wide range of SD ammo; not just .380. The .380 was tested in a Colt Mustang, and they specifically warn to not use it in a Kel Tec.
It is interesting stuff. What I don't know is whether it is for real or they are full of it.
I have no connection to them whatsoever beyond having bought some rounds at my local shop in both .40 and .380.
We could discuss for days on end, I suppose, whether or not I have made a wise decision, and I would be interested in reasoned responses for or against this particular ammo.
(Correction--I went back and looked at their web site again. I mis-remembered the energy on their .380. It doesn't appear to exceed 400. Yet, for some reason, I had it in my mind that it was actually much higher than that---maybe my own faulty memory; maybe they corrected the web site info. Still, ft-lbs. are quite high and felt recoil somehow is remarkably light--especially in my .40))
Last edited by Hopyard; July 26th, 2008 at 06:41 PM.
Reason: to correct URL To add a correction.
July 26th, 2008 08:07 PM
There is some nice, hot and decently effective .380 ammunition being produced these days.
When I carry a 380 ppk or ppk/s, it's stoked with these:
Buffalo Bore 90 gr. Speer Gold Dot J.H.C. @ 1175 fps 276 ft. lbs.
The Speer Gold Dot 124 gr 9mm has 364 ft lbs. Thats only 25% more energy than the BB 90 grain load I'm using,
The Speer Gold Dot 125 gr 38 Speical +P has 248 ft lbs. Thats 11% less energy than the BB 90 grain load I'm using in the 380 ppk/s.
People carry the snub 38's very often, in fact, probably a lot more than other small calibers combined in recent history. That BB 90 grain load surpasses the 38 special, and no one is disputing their 38's are not adequate for SD.
I've fired some of the BB on my plates, and from the sound of them hitting, you don't want to get tapped with this load. The 380 has come a long way since your grandpappy's days
Whatever you do, stay away from the frangible ammo like MagSafes and such. Their stated ME sounds impressive but it isn't the whole picture in a SD round. You need penetration capabilities and that requires some weight to the prrojectile to dig deep enough to disrupt organs.
July 26th, 2008 08:27 PM
Here's the 90 grain BB load stats from various small 380's
1. BDA-3.75 inch barrel----1218 fps
2. Walther PPK-3.5 inch barrel-----1200 fps
3. Colt Mustang Pocket Lite-2.75 inch barrel---1123 fps
4. Keltec---1100 fps
From their website:
"This bullet is truly bonded and will mushroom to about .55 caliber and not lose any weight, thus penetrating quite deeply in human matter. You should expect about 10+ inches of penetration in flesh and bone."
I'll take a minimum of 10 inches of penetration out of a little gun that expands to .55 caliber and doesn't shed it's jacket. I've fired these on the plates, and the jackets do not separate on them so I'd guess they won't on bone either.
Don't like the 10+ inches of penetration, not enough for you?, try this load from BB
100gr. Hard-Cast FN @ 1125 fps 280 ft. lbs. It is estimated it penetrates 20+ inches. I've got to get me some of these as well.
1. BDA-3.75 inch barrel--- 1160 fps
2. Walther PPK-3.5 inch barrel-----1149 fps
3. Colt Mustang Pocket Lite-2.75 inch barrel---1072 fps
4. Keltec---1061 fps
July 27th, 2008 11:57 AM
My main carry weapon is a .45 cal. Para Ordnance LDA. But I also carry a Taurus 9mm and a Walther .380 ppk/s at times. I don't feel the least bit underarmed when carrying the ppk/s. When wearing light clothing, the ppk/s conceals very well and is very comfortable with a CTAC holster. I am DEAD ACCURATE with this little .380. I can put all seven rounds in the 10 spot at 7 yds. with this little gun. So even though the stopping power may be a little light, I feel really confident on my shot placement with it.
July 27th, 2008 02:00 PM
These incidents came from the archives of The Armed Citizen. I think the deceased criminals might have a different opinion of the .380's effectiveness.
The Morning News, Springdale, Ark, 3/27/07
American Rifleman Issue: 6/1/2007
JOSHUA NICHOLSON AND his roommate were allowing Sarah Enkler and her two children to stay with them while she fled an abusive husband. Late one evening, Nicholson was jolted awake by the sound of someone breaking in through his back door. Police say he retrieved his .380-caliber pistol and walked down the hallway. When Nicholson saw the suspect entering the home, he fired a shot, causing the man to flee. The suspected invader -- Enlder's husband -- was arrested after seeking treatment for a gunshot wound.
Associated Press, 09/17/05
American Rifleman Issue: 12/1/2005
After an Idaho woman went outside her home to investigate a strange noise, she found a former co-worker hiding in the bushes. He told her his pickup truck had broken down and he needed a lift home. She reluctantly agreed and took a .380-caliber handgun with her. Police say that when they reached the co-worker's driveway, he began to assault her. "He grabbed her and physically attacked her and told her she was coming with him," said Sheriffs Capt. John Valdez. The woman drew her gun and shot the man in the abdomen, killing him. An autopsy of the assailant, who was a registered sex offender, showed he had a blood-alcohol content of .26 percent. Investigators say his truck was later found near the woman's home, and it appeared that its engine was intentionally disabled.
The Kansas City Star, Kansas City, MO, 08/02/05
American Rifleman Issue: 11/1/2005
A 66-year-old contract carrier for a Kansas City newspaper still doesn't know what his attackers wanted, but he does know that he's lucky to have been armed. His shift was just beginning at about 3 a.m., when four assailants sprinted toward him, forcing him back to the safety of his van. But before the carrier could get away, the biggest attacker, along with his three accomplices, began pummeling the man through the driver-side window. During the ordeal, the van drifted forward and slammed into a store, at which point the carrier retrieved a .380-cal. handgun and fired three shots out his window, causing the attackers to flee. Authorities were unsure if any of the thugs were wounded. The carrier was left bruised and bleeding, but he considered himself fortunate to be alive. "I thought these guys just weren't going to let up," he said. "He intended to knock me out, maybe leave me for dead. At that time, he'd get whatever he wanted."
The Augusta Chronicle, Augusta, GA, 01/25/05
American Rifleman Issue: 6/1/2005
Shoats Grocery & Package is a small store where neighbors often stop for breakfast or lunch, but owners Bobby and Gloria Doster said two strangers who entered their business had more nefarious intentions. Gloria Doster was rearranging boxes by the front door when a wigged man came through it; behind him, another masked man announced they were robbing the store. One intruder grabbed her and pushed her toward the register, while the other kept his gun on her 62-year-old husband. As Gloria tried to open the register, the assailant told her she wasn't moving fast enough and shot at her husband. Not only did he miss, but his gun jammed. Bobby Doster then retrieved a .380-caliber handgun and shot one of the men while his wife drew a 9mm pistol she keeps near the register. They both opened fire on the other robber. "I was trying to shoot and dial 911 at the same time," Gloria Doster said. Police arrived about five minutes after her call and took the men to the hospital, where both died soon after.
Roanoke Daily Herald, Roanoke Rapids, N.C., 7/15/04
American Rifleman Issue: 8/1/2004
When two men tried to pull Dexter Hedgepeth from his car at a pool hall near Hollister, N.C., Hedgepeth fought back. After being cut twice, he retrieved a .380-cal. handgun and fired killing one assailant and wounding the other. A grand jury declined to issue an indictment in the case, which police said appeared to be self-defense.
Chicago Sun Times, Chicago, IL, 04/24/03
American Rifleman Issue: 10/1/2003
A 76-year-old Chicago man was making his usual stop at the local gas station when things went very wrong. Charles Smith, a 27-year army veteran, was getting back into his car when he felt a gun at the back of his head. "Start the car and get out or I will kill you," was all the teenager, later identified as Blannie Hanes, said. Smith complied, but then confronted the teen from the passenger window, showing his .380-cal. pistol. When Hanes extended his gun, Smith fired, fatally striking the carjacker in the chest.
The Hartford Courant, Hartford, Conn., 11/21/01
American Rifleman Issue: 2/1/2002
An East Hartford, Conn., pawn shop employee shot and killed one of two masked men when they attempted to rob the store. Bill Kane was working in the rear of Tom's Pawn Shop about 5:30 one Tuesday evening when two masked men armed with metal pipes entered the store. Kane's coworker, Ralph Lane, was working at a jewelry bench at the front of the store when the men came in and began swinging the pipes and demanding that the safe be opened. When one robber hit Lane, he pressed an alarm button that summoned police. The second robber headed toward the back of the store. Kane warned the approaching miscreant that he was armed, but the man continued toward him with a metal pipe. Kane then drew his .380-cal. handgun and shot the robber. Upon hearing the shots, the robber's cohort fled the scene.
The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, 3/4/00
American Rifleman Issue: 5/1/2000
A man armed with a shotgun and concealing his face with a bandanna entered Getachew Alemayehu's Fort Worth, Texas, grocery store threatening the owner and his pregnant wife. Determined to fight back, Alemayehu grabbed his .380-cal. handgun and fired several times, killing the bandit. Only a month earlier, a clerk had been shot to death at a neighboring convenience store. That incident prompted Alemayehu to buy the gun that probably saved his life.
The Bulletin, Bend, OR, 9/2/98
American Rifleman Issue: 1/1/1999
After one of three men apparently thought that Steven J. Serrao of Bend, Oregon, was staring at him at a popular market, the group followed Serrao to his car nearby and began to punch him in the face through the open windows. Serrao produced a .380-cal. handgun, for which he has a permit, and fired at his attackers, wounding one. All three men ran, but were later apprehended by police.
Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, 4/21/98
American Rifleman Issue: 9/1/1998
When two men attempted to rob 43-year-old auto mechanic Thomas Ellerbee as he walked to his Philadelphia home one night, Ellerbee feigned reaching for his wallet and instead pulled a .380-cal. Sig Sauer pistol. He fired three shots, killing one assailant and injuring the other one, whose relatives later took him to a hospital. According to police, Ellerbee had a permit to carry a concealed firearm.
July 27th, 2008 02:12 PM
Originally Posted by spooter66
No doubt about it. Shot placement is the key. If you look back in history during the times of Al Capone you'll find that more people were murdered/assassinated with .22's and .25's than any other caliber. I think the .25 was called a "belly gun" and the .22 was used for close range head shots.
Myself, I carry a CZ-82 makarov in the summer and a .40acp Beretta during the winter. But that's just me.
July 27th, 2008 02:32 PM
When some one says that the .380 is useless, they are actually saying that they don't know much about ballistics, statistics, or the requirements of concealed carry.
"If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan
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