This is a discussion on .380 Popularity vs. Perceived Lack of Power within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by JD You can vouch for every UC LEO on the streets? Man, and I thought I knew a lot of people. No ...
And if you're familiar with Thunderwear undercover holsters, their holster model specifically designed for BIG pistols like the 9mm, .40 and .45---is EASILY their biggest seller to federal law enforcement agents.
Fed agents are going into very dangerous situations where they need significantly greater firepower than the weak-sister .380 can provide, which is why they opt for concealed holsters that carry relatively large firearms.
I can carry an XD Compact .45 in my Thunderwear holster, with people standing right in front of me not being able to tell it's there.
When I can carry REAL handgun protection, why would I want to carry a .380?
Looking at velocities provided by Ballistics by the inch under 3" of bbl the 9mm and .380 have about the same velocities...as for real life tissue damgae etc, the 9mm probably beats the .380 due to the larger slug, but I have the feeling that with the right .380 load, while you may not be able to beat the all the 9mm loads, you can probably go neck and neck with some.
As for the thunder wear, I've tried stuff like that and it just didn't work well for me, I spend too much time sitting behind the wheel and it just wasn't comfortable.
Aside from that, I still carry my .380s in a IWB so they are still more accessible than an under the pants/tucked arrangement FOR ME.
As for what depts I'm familiar with...
Various Depts in SE MI.
Various Depts in SE PE
a few depts in VA.
As for IA...I don't know that many cops here yet, but next time I talk to the drug task force guys I'll be sure to ask what they carry on the job and off duty. As for the pocket 9s. I just didn't like them as much, although I do think I need to give a Kahr MK9 a run as my next small carry gun, just because my Colts are aging and I want to safe them and there's not another .380 that I like as much as the Colts, if Sig were to widen the P238 options to include a steel frame and the longer grip I'd be all about it.
I can carry an XD Compact .45 (4" barrel) all day, every day---with a Thunderwear concealed carry holster---with complete comfort and often forgetting it's there.
Why anybody would want to risk their life packing an underpowered handgun like the .380, when there are great options like Thunderwear holsters that allow you to carry a full-sized, large caliber handgun comfortably---with people standing right in front of you not knowing it's there---is quite simply beyond me.
I frequently travel a several state area via automobile, and my Thunderwear holster is completely comfortable, carrying a .45 and an extra mag. While also wearing my seatbelt!
So I don't put much credence in the "I can only carry an underpowered .380 because anything bigger just isn't comfy" argument.
Kind of reminds me of people who don't want to wear seat belts because "They're just not comfy and wrinkle my clothes."
.40 S&W's have about a 93% successful perpetrator stoppage rate, compared to the weak .380's 63% stoppage rate.
Based on years of law enforcement research and statistics, that figure means you have less than a two out of three chance of stopping perpetrators with a .380. Which just isn't an acceptable success rate for people who want to properly protect their loved ones and themselves.
If one is absolutely insistent on a "small gun", a micro 9 such as the Kahr PM9 (or any other micro 9 by a quality maker) is the smallest gun that makes any sense.
It all depends on your personal tolerances for carry weight and size.
For me, a G26 is fine. Having 10+1 seems like not very much, and I gladly carry a G19 magazine along as well.
For someone else, a Kahr or KT single-stack 9 would be more comfortable. And for others, even that would be too big for them to want to carry all the time. For those people, a 380 might be a good choice.
Even a single-shot .22 derringer gives you more options than having nothing at all. Sure, it probably wouldn't do much good, but if you have it it still gives you another option. Options are good.
Everyone has different goals and expectations related to carry. I see no reason to completely discount some of those people just because I personally prefer more firepower.
"Trust in God with hand on sword" -Inscription on my family's coat of arms from medieval England
---Carry options: G26/MTAC, PF9/MiniTuck, PPK/Pocket, USP40/OWB---
---NOTE: I am not an expert. If I ever start acting like a know-it-all, please call me on it immediately. ---
I have no problem with carrying and recommending the 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, .45 GAP and .45 ACP to those who prefer semi-autos, which includes myself.
I also have no problem with recommending the .38 Special, .357 Magnum and .44 Special to those who would rather pack a revolver.
All of the rounds above are proven man-stoppers, whereas the .380 is an underpowered cartridge designed for undersized guns that are often quite simply too small for many men to hold properly.
I usually carry my Kimber or Glock in .45, but there are times that I can only take my P-3AT...I wonder sometimes about an extended gun battle and my need for the (Kimber) pistol that shoots so well.
If I have to use my .380, so be it...I wouldn't want to get shot with it, and up close it's going into the eye socket...it is a useful defensive weapon. IMHO
"That I cannot do."
"Give this to, uh, Clemenza. I want reliable people, people who aren't going to be carried away. After all we're not murderers in spite of what this undertaker thinks."
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
I wouldn't want to get shot with a CO2 BB pistol, but that sure doesn't make it a good man-stopper.
In statistics based on actual nationwide law enforcement case histories, the .380 has a 63% success rate at stopping assailants.
That's pretty weak compared to the .40 S&W and the .45 ACP, which have success rates of over 90% each.
If you want to stake the lives of your loved ones and yourself on a gun with a 63% success rate, then that's your right. But with all due respect, you're not going to convince me that it's a "useful defensive weapon."
I wouldn't rely on an "eye shot" to get the job done. According to law enforcement case histories, you'd be surprised at the significant number of complete misses trained LEO's incur at distances of TEN TO FIFTEEN FEET in defensive situations.
Hitting somebody with a shot in the eye is far easier said than done, and one certainly shouldn't stake the lives of their loved ones and themselves on such an extremely low percentage shot.
Oh man, you had to go there, didn't you?
Why did you stop with your comparison before you finished? There's still a lot to go before we reach the top end of the handgun calibers. This is what the extended scale looks like:
Chevy Colorado= .32
Ford Ranger 6 Cyl.= .380
Ford F150=.38 Special
Ford F150 4X4= .38 Plus P
Ford F250= .40 Cal
Ford F250&350 4X4= .45 Cal
Chevy 1500 4X4 = 10mm
Chevy 2500 4X4 = .44 Magnum
Chevy 3500 4X4 = .460 Magnum
The opinions and rhetoric in this thread are coming from the .380 advocates, while the facts are coming from the .380 OPPONENTS.Every day. Though, opinions and rhetoric are one thing. Facts are another.
An approximate 37% failure rate at stopping an assailant makes the .380 a remarkably poor choice for self-defense.
Didn't you know that 63.8% of all statistics are made up on the spot?
07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006