Looking for a small, but "shootable" gun
This is a discussion on Looking for a small, but "shootable" gun within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My Kahr CT380 is great!!! Reasonable price, very concealable, easy to shoot, easy to maintain. Great investment for me!!!...
November 2nd, 2019 05:24 PM
My Kahr CT380 is great!!! Reasonable price, very concealable, easy to shoot, easy to maintain. Great investment for me!!!
A .380 in your pocket is better than a .45 at home.
November 2nd, 2019 05:36 PM
Shootable Small Handguns
I have tried most of the available .380 ACP pistols. The G42 is one of the easiest to shoot for me. BUT, as you are wanting smaller than that, here are some of my opinions based upon my experience shooting and carrying .380s, with some consideration for arthritic hands.
Originally Posted by Talldog
Beretta Pico - Great sights (for small pistol), accurate, well made, difficult to rack for me due to narrow slide and small serrated area. Longer grip than some other small pistols makes it somewhat easier to shoot. One of the most narrow pistols made.
Kahr CW380/P380 - tight tolerances require break-in, recommended by manufacture. I have had several and always follow a routine of feed ramp polishing, slide racking a minimum of 400 times, and shooting 400 rounds for break-in. Some will find this pistol difficult to rack, due to slide spring, but this does help in recoil reduction. I like the standard sights of the dot/bar, but some will not. Magazines receive a lot of hate mail due to tendency to lose the top round if carried in pocket. The metal used in the magazines have always reminded me of something you would find in a "Saturday Night Special", but I haven't had issues with them, just the "looks" bother me. Mine have all been accurate and I haven't experienced the malfunctions that some report of jamming, failure to feed, etc., but I do prep the pistol.
Kahr CT380 - What was said about the CW380 can be said for the CT380, with the caveat that the CT380's longer grip makes it easier to shoot and more difficult to conceal.
, for your condition of the arthritic pinky finger, this just might be the ticket!
Ruger LCP I - Another pistol I have owned several of, starting with their first released ones, which had to be returned to Ruger for a modification. Anyway, the LCP I has a double action only very stiff trigger pull, essentially non-existent sights, a barrel that will rust if exposed to sweat, salt water, etc., the slide doesn't lock back on the last shot fired, and is one of the smallest pistols one could carry. Mine have been very reliable for about 150 shots, then needed cleaned or they would jam. I have one of the "Custom" models, too, which actually has a decent trigger pull and better sights. With the LCP II available, I can't recommend the original model to anyone unless they are totally spooked by the striker fired action of the LCP II and the light trigger pull.
Ruger LCP II - Could have been named something different than LCP since to me it is a totally different pistol. Striker fired, safe trigger, wider, better sights, slide lock after last shot, and only slightly larger than the LCP I It is, for me, much easier to shoot than the LCP I. One of my often carried pistols when I need something very small, carried in my front pocket.
Sig P238 - I have one of the "pretty" ones, engraved with fancy grips and night sights, but that is cosmetics on what is a very well made pistol. Easy to rack. Trigger pull could be better, as I find it heavy for a single action pistol. Accuracy is adequate, but what do you need for a little .380? Very good pistol, but it is somewhat pricey.
Kimber Micro .380 - I have had one of these since they first came out, before Kimber started making some many different models of this pistol. Mine is the basic stainless model with rosewood grips. Of all of my .380s, this is my most accurate one to shoot (for me). If there is a downside for me with this pistol, it is Kimber's recommendations of changing out the recoil springs after a relatively low round count of 1,000 rounds, less if you use +P. The springs are cheap, so this really isn't an issue, just my gripe.
Taurus 738 - I have had a couple of these and found them easier to shoot than the Ruger LCP I. Slide locked back after last found fired. Better sights than the LCP I. No longer made, the last ones being offered new could sometimes be found for as little as $130, NIB!.
Sig P290 RS - Small, but not as small as some others. Long trigger pull. Mine had Sig night sights, which were very good. These came in two different configurations, one with re-strike capability and one not. The "R" in the model numbers were the ones with re-strike capability. Good quality. Mine was very accurate. With the wider grip and larger size, the felt recoil is low. I gifted mine to one of my sons and he likes it very much. No longer available new. IMHO, this pistol's size excludes it from consideration, but I thought I would add it anyway, as you might come across one and like it.
Remington RM380 - Most know that this is a copy, with a couple of modifications, of the Kevin Rohrbaugh designed double action only trigger pull, hammer fired pistol. All metal, stainless slide and aluminum frame, it is slightly heavier than most of the other small .380 pistols. I put this into the same class as the Sig P290RS, slightly larger than the others, but easy to shoot. It is not as tall as the G42, and just a little wider. For me, accuracy was okay, not stellar. At one time there were some good deals on these with heavy discounts and manufacture's rebates, making it a good buy.
November 2nd, 2019 06:01 PM
Might have already been said, but the smaller the pistol the less shootable they become. And 380 felt recoil isn't much different than 9mm. If minimal size of pistol is paramount, a Beretta TomCat in .32 auto might be the way to go. Keep in mind, Beretta specifically warns against using any .32 ammo over 130 ft lbs of energy, and many modern 32 loads exceed that.
"If you're in a gunfight there's no such thing as enough ammo, and your gunfight will only last as long as your ammo." - Clint Smith
"There are only two times you can carry too much ammo, when you're drowning or on fire." - Mike Hughes of Gunsite
November 2nd, 2019 06:13 PM
I love my LCPII. Good clean trigger break, ok sights, shoots well, reliable, very small and light. The relatively light trigger pull makes a Kydex pocket holster a must.
Some say it is "snappy," but it IS a small polymer .380. I don't find the recoil bothersome at all.
The difference in weight of 10 oz. for the LCPII vs. the 12.5 -- 15 oz. weight of most other .380s is HUGE in my pocket -- just my opinion. 15 oz. in my pocket feels like I'm carrying a brick.
Charlie Co. 101st Assault Helicopter Battalion (Wings of the Eagle), 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile)
Phu Bai, Vietnam 1971-72
November 2nd, 2019 06:33 PM
If it hurts but you can still shot then maybe a centerfire handgun with a comparable 22 RF practice gun. I am thinking specifically the Ruger LCR in 38 special and 22 RF version. Make sure initially the LCR in 38 special is reliable even if you have to have someone else test it. Then fire LCR 38 special very infrequently doing your practice with 22RF version. Once you have assured LCR in 38 special is reliable can be pretty sure it will stay reliable with any quality ammo. LCR is maybe not the smallest package but its shape conceals well for most people and double action is generally good out of the box.
November 2nd, 2019 06:37 PM
I haven't ruled out .32ACP, but I'd like to stay with .380 if I can. I'll be shooting a P380 on Monday.
Originally Posted by Big Western
November 2nd, 2019 07:54 PM
I have a G42 and 2 P238's. I prefer to carry the SIG's because they are so much easier to rack the slides and really soft and accurate shooters. HOWEVER: Even though the P238 is measurably smaller than the G42 - the Glock CONCEALS BETTER!!!! I do not know why, but it definitely has a "flatter" profile.
Originally Posted by Talldog
I carry my guns IWB in Vedder holsters, a bit in front of my hip bone. I shoot left handed due to severe arthritic deterioration in my right hand which was my shooting hand for 20 years.
I sincerely wish you luck with your search for the right gun for you for your needs and with your limitations!
Getting old was not on my list of "things to do" in the Golden Years!
Talking to each other here is good, but taking action is better.
November 2nd, 2019 08:09 PM
For me, a J-frame revolver works well in the pocket.
"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." - Sam Adams
"Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." - Mark Twain
November 2nd, 2019 08:21 PM
I've owned many of the guns posted in this thread, and my concern with many of these recommendation is they will be snappy or it will be difficult to manipulate the slide.
The only guns I can recommend are:
SIG P238: easy to rack the slide, light-ish trigger.
Ruger LCP II: Not too bad to rack the slide, light trigger.
If they won't work for you, the only thing left is to move down to a 32 ACP - Keltec P32 or Seecamp.
November 2nd, 2019 09:14 PM
Maybe carry your G42 in a more concealed manner? Smartcarry?
Carry a sidearm always. Be able to put shots into the torso and then head, if needed. The rest is much less important.
November 2nd, 2019 10:09 PM
My cousin just purchased a LNIB P290 in 9mm .... Great pistol... I just have had the chance to run around 50rds through the pistol.... I like the trigger .. DAO ..feels similar to a a S&W 642 I once owned that had a great trigger job ...
Originally Posted by CAS_Shooter
Though a small pistol , with 124gr FMJ , very manageable.... BTW .. He got it at a steal at a LGS
My deep concealment pistol is a Taurus TCP .. Good trigger .. Has been very dependable...
November 2nd, 2019 10:39 PM
I would recommend the RM380 small emough to carry the all steel construction makes it easy to shoot.
USCG Ret. Code Enforcement Officer, Small Arms Instructor.
November 2nd, 2019 10:47 PM
LCP2 or Kahr CM9. I've got both for pocket duty. The CM9 actually shoots softer, IMO.
November 3rd, 2019 12:07 AM
Depending on how my testing works out, this might become an option. Turns out, there's a place I can rent most of the guns I'm interested in, and I'm willing to do that if I need to.
Originally Posted by 10thmtn
I will add this to my list. I will say though, that I'm going to be renting a Kahr P380 on Monday, and if I like that gun, I'm probably going to buy it.
Originally Posted by mamaxwell
In any event, I have until spring to figure this out. After years of travelling around New England in our motorhome, my wife and I are now retired and the owners of a brand new diesel pusher, which we will be using to travel much farther from home. Even though my carry permits are good for 30 states, that leaves a lot of places where we wouldn't be legal, and we've been struggling with how to handle this, even considering travelling unarmed. Then, this past week, this story has been all over our airwaves in New Hampshire:
This has focused our minds, and we both realize that as an older (OK, old) couple travelling alone far from home (in an expensive motorhome, no less), we are at a higher risk of being targeted by predators like the ones who killed this couple. Obviously, I've been around long enough to understand the importance of situational awareness and staying away from bad areas, but I now realize that there's no way I'm going to travel around the country unarmed. It seems likely that I will, on occasion, find myself in locations where I will end up in jail if it is discovered that I'm carrying a gun, or that there's a loaded gun in the motorhome. We're old, with no criminal records, don't go out partying at bars, etc., so we know that as long as we're driving close to the speed limit, we're probably not going to attract official attention, but I want to make sure the odds are as much in my favor as possible. I'm looking for a gun that won't be made by people who who are trained to make them, like cops and criminals. That's what this is all about.
November 3rd, 2019 10:16 AM
Note that the the P380 is at best a tiny two finger on the grip pistol . The shorter slide will be harder to rack to and at 10oz is lite and its crazy expensive compared to a cm380 thats the same size . If they have a kahr ct380 to handle it see and feel the difference .