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I was carrying Sig 238 in the 380. When Sig came out with the 938 in 9 mm I decided to go that way. The extra weigh is not noticeable and just a little more punch.
 

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What are your opinions on the .380 as your only round for self defense?
Meaning all by itself....Not as a back up to a larger caliber.

Rather than typing this all out i have found a article that is close to my feelings on it.
Not spot on but generally close....What says you?

https://www.activeresponsetraining.net/is-the-380-acp-an-adequate-caliber-for-defensive-use
It was a very popular cartridge up into the era of the micro 9's. I saw lots of shootings with 380 pistols when I worked the streets in Ft Worth, TX. It works about the same as a 38 snubby. What I saw is that it was very inconsistent. Some rounds would barely penetrate, some would shatter bones. I think it was more indicative of being a low energy round than anything else.

If I had to carry one I would try to use this:

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=127
 

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@CDW4ME -- Hey! I have an idea! Why don't you show us some pics of you carrying all your big guns all concealed and everything? :smile:
I don't do pictures well. I carry a fullsize Glock and a spare mag concealed comfortably 99.9% of the time. Its about gear, belt, holster, mag pouch....
 

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I have owned several firearms chambered in .380 and would carry one with confidence if I had another. .380 is plenty powerful enough if the person holding the gun does their part. A hit with a .380 is better than a miss with a .45, 9mm, etc.
 

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What are your opinions on the .380 as your only round for self defense?
Meaning all by itself....Not as a back up to a larger caliber.

Rather than typing this all out i have found a article that is close to my feelings on it.
Not spot on but generally close....What says you?

https://www.activeresponsetraining.net/is-the-380-acp-an-adequate-caliber-for-defensive-use
My wife, whose osteoporosis and arthritis make larger calibers untenable, does nicely shooting the .380.

Go with whatever you are up for.
 

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It was a very popular cartridge up into the era of the micro 9's. I saw lots of shootings with 380 pistols when I worked the streets in Ft Worth, TX. It works about the same as a 38 snubby. What I saw is that it was very inconsistent. Some rounds would barely penetrate, some would shatter bones. I think it was more indicative of being a low energy round than anything else.

If I had to carry one I would try to use this:

https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=127
That is what I use and the Pico handles it very well. I started with standard pressure in the same cartridge but, decided to test the +P which we know has no SAAMI spec. The Pico is rated for +P which seems strange with no spec to go by but, it all works. I prefer something bigger but, the little 380 keeps me armed where otherwise I could not be. I have carried enough guns to know that very small differences in dimensions can make a huge difference in concealability despite how they compare on paper. I can feel the difference of 2 ounces between the Pico and the LCP Custom I used to carry. Its not a deal breaker of course but, that 2 ounces is a noticeable extra drag on the pockets when wearing light shorts or PJ's /sweatpants.
 

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380, 9mm, 357Sig, 40 and 45 all have a place with me.
My LCPll goes most everywhere with me,, usually as a back up, but it has its moments as the only gun with me. It’s about the only gun besides a J that is pocket size for me.

I run some pretty hot handload XTP. Maybe they will expand, maybe not, not too worried about it.
 

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Going back to the original question, no, I don't consider the .380 adequate as an only caliber for self defense. I consider 9mm the minimum if I were to only pick one caliber.

Having said that, more often than not I have a Kahr P380 in my right front pocket loaded with Precision One XTP rounds carried in a DeSantis Superfly. I also spend 95% of my time at home now that I'm retired. One might argue, based on local crime stats, that I'm in a virtual "no threat" environment. I also have a full size 9mm within easy reach.

When I go out or travel it is almost always daylight, and my SD round of choice is 9mm (P365 12+1 Federal HST 124 gr. carried IWB with a TT Gunleather holster with a spare 12 round mag).
 

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I have a Bersa Thunder cc .380 in the rotation. I use ARX ammo it runs perfect. The Bersa is slightly heavier than your average pocket pistol. It fits my hand perfect and the da/sa allows for fast follow up shot placement.
 

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I did extensive research on 380 ammo when I bought my RM380.
I've owned a lot of 380's in many brands. The one with the best "all things considered" score for me has been the RM380. I have yet to experience a failure of any kind with many types of ammo. It feels comfortable in the hand, the trigger is long (which turns some off) but is predictable and not heavy to me. It feels solid and hits where I point it out to 7 yards. It is not the highest scoring on all categories, but is it my overall favorite.

I do also still have an LCP and it just can't be beat for size. When size matters to me, the LCP is my favorite 380. I have only had a few failure issues with my LCP and those were mostly when using Wolf steel cased ammo. I have no issues carrying a 380, even thought I probably carry a 9mm more often.
 

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I feel the same about this round as I do all others that are part of my carry rotation.

I have my preference and as long as it's prudent to carry it, I strap on my .45.
Sometimes I can't ... I need to have something tucked, in the pocket or for other reasons smaller than the .45.
The difference to me - whether I'm carrying .45, .357, .38, 9mm or .380 - which are the rounds in the guns that are part of my rotation - is knowing which I'm carrying when and the limitations of the weapon. I'm not going to use a .380 like a use a .45 and I need to be aware of that when I'm carrying ..... that I can't expect to stop a threat at 10 yards with the .380, so I may have to brace myself for a closer encounter and deal with it within range of the weapon.

Choices we make ... or circumstances dictate.
 

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What are your opinions on the .380 as your only round for self defense?
Meaning all by itself....Not as a back up to a larger caliber.

Rather than typing this all out i have found a article that is close to my feelings on it.
Not spot on but generally close....What says you?

https://www.activeresponsetraining.net/is-the-380-acp-an-adequate-caliber-for-defensive-use
Thinking about the premise a bit more, my pocket .380 is not carried as a back-up, but rather as a purpose-driven main gun, in addition to whatever I'm carrying elsewhere.

As has been demonstrated elsewhere, the hand-on-gun pocket draw is nearly as fast as it gets. With that said, which round is more effective in an up-close-and-personal, time is of the essence scenario, say a common parking lot assault--the .45+P 165-grain CorBon that I don't have time to get out of my holster, or a sub-one-second fmj or two in the occular/nasal cavity of the guy intent on doing me harm right this second?

So, will I rely on the .380 all by itself? As with most things, it depends.
 

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With the advancements in SD ammo today, IMO the 380 is sufficient to stop an attacker (although, I do carry my P365 - 9mm into WalMart). I certainly would not want to be shot with a Precision One 90 gr XTP JHP. No, it is not as powerful as a 44 magnum, but I'm not Dirty Harry and I have no desire to carry a cannon.
I agree. I carry the Precision One 90 grXTPJHP in my FEG AP9 w/4" barrel. This ammo has some pretty impressive numbers. Check out the "Shooting the Bull" video.
 

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Thinking about the premise a bit more, my pocket .380 is not carried as a back-up, but rather as a purpose-driven main gun, in addition to whatever I'm carrying elsewhere.

As has been demonstrated elsewhere, the hand-on-gun pocket draw is nearly as fast as it gets. With that said, which round is more effective in an up-close-and-personal, time is of the essence scenario, say a common parking lot assault--the .45+P 165-grain CorBon that I don't have time to get out of my holster, or a sub-one-second fmj or two in the occular/nasal cavity of the guy intent on doing me harm right this second?

So, will I rely on the .380 all by itself? As with most things, it depends.
That is not only a great and valid point, it begs that it is wise to reconsider how we think about common knowledge that has been driven by buzz words such as BUG.

If the pocket gun is the go to gun for a particular situation, it’s a primary, not a back up.

I have been carrying the G26 every day since my BG has been out to the factory, and as good and confident as I am with the G26, I can honestly say that I really miss the advantages I had with a pocket gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Thinking about the premise a bit more, my pocket .380 is not carried as a back-up, but rather as a purpose-driven main gun, in addition to whatever I'm carrying elsewhere.

As has been demonstrated elsewhere, the hand-on-gun pocket draw is nearly as fast as it gets. With that said, which round is more effective in an up-close-and-personal, time is of the essence scenario, say a common parking lot assault--the .45+P 165-grain CorBon that I don't have time to get out of my holster, or a sub-one-second fmj or two in the occular/nasal cavity of the guy intent on doing me harm right this second?

So, will I rely on the .380 all by itself? As with most things, it depends.
When did this thread get changed to pocket carrying a .380?....Did i miss something?
But since the thread seems to have changed to pocket carry.
There are plenty of posts showing that people carry bigger than a .380 in their pocket.
As well as those who carry a .380 in a IWB holster.
It doesn't matter to me what one chooses to carry and how they carry.
This is nothing more than a discussion on the .380 and how others feel about it.
No one is forced to agree with anyone else's opinion here...Just a bunch of thoughts
on a subject that seems to be interesting to few anyway.
 

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On pocketable carry guns. I just finished rebuilding (again, for one of them) my two Kel-Tec PF-9's. I changed out the triggers, all the springs, the stainless steel guide rod and 20lb recoil spring, all from MCarbo, and did a careful micro polish on all the moving surfaces and the feed ramp. The change is remarkable. Trigger pull weight went from 5-6lbs to 2.5lbs and is butter smooth. Zero trigger bite. This is a hammer fired gun, so a light double action trigger, properly covered by the holster, is completely safe.

The little PF-9, when loaded with the stock 7 round mag, (8 rounds total) can be nicely concealed in a DeSantis pocket holster. Of course, my basic plan is the PF-9 in the right front pocket, and the S&W Bodyguard 380 in the left front pocket. I'm searching for a cell phone case for one of these "almost tablet" size cell phones that will accommodate 2 PF-9 (8 round) mags and 2 BG 380 mags (8 round) and look like a large cell phone on the belt. One of these days, I'll get it all together.

Anyway, sorry for the slight drift, but it is possible to pocket carry a very few 9mm's. You just have to know which ones work and which ones don't.



@Cornhusker95 One advantage I have found is that the very small 380's, like the S&W Bodyguard 380, allow you to actually draw from the pocket and conceal the entire gun in your hand. Not "giving your hand away" as it were. I can't do that with any other gun I've ever owned. Just one level closer to firing than having a hand in the pocket on the gun.

I expect the consensus here seems to be: Only carry? Maybe, maybe not - usually not. Sometimes it is a 380 or a pocket knife.
 

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Thinking about the premise a bit more, my pocket .380 is not carried as a back-up, but rather as a purpose-driven main gun, in addition to whatever I'm carrying elsewhere.

As has been demonstrated elsewhere, the hand-on-gun pocket draw is nearly as fast as it gets. With that said, which round is more effective in an up-close-and-personal, time is of the essence scenario, say a common parking lot assault--the .45+P 165-grain CorBon that I don't have time to get out of my holster, or a sub-one-second fmj or two in the occular/nasal cavity of the guy intent on doing me harm right this second?

So, will I rely on the .380 all by itself? As with most things, it depends.
That is exactly how I view my pocket 380. More of a left hand primary option for me than a "BUG". If its the only gun I can carry that day it stays in the left pocket as the only primary. I typically do not even practice much with it right handed. It has a very specific role that it fills very well in my opinion.
 

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For the most part, the only reason that most people carry a 32,380, or LW J frame is for the use of pocket carry. Really doesn’t make any sense to belt carry these, since something more powerful could be carried on the belt.

Now, if you want to make a truly valid argument, one could be made about the reason one would choose a heavier, larger variation of a 380, such as a Beretta 84 over a something like a Kimber Micro 9, or any like sized 9mm.
 
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