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At the tender age of 59 I finally bought a handgun for the 1st time, even though I've had my carry permit for 5 years. Today is the 1st day I'm actually wearing a gun. A Ruger LCP. If comfort was the only criteria, I would have no doubts about it. I bought it last weekend and so far put 50 rounds of FMJ through it. FTE on round #3 and then not a hiccup. I't's loaded with JHP even though I haven't fired any yet.
I've heard that I should put about 200 rounds through it before I try defensive ammo. I'm going to try for another 50 or 100 rounds of FMJ this weekend but with the price and avilability of 380ACP what it is, getting to 200 rounds is painful. Seems all other centerfire calibers are being replenished while the 380 prices just keep going up as it gets harder to find. From backorder dates I'm seeing, looks like the situation may improve by February. Let's hope. In the meantime, I'm looking to pick up a .40. Maybe a Springfield compact? Lot's of research to do. Appreciate any input in that price range. I also have a Ruger SR9 but I think it's a little large for a CCW. I love the way my stubby little mitts fit around it though. I've got about 400 rounds through it and all it's ever asked is to be cleaned after each use.
 

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If you've got smaller hands, you might check out the Glock Model 26. I have been carrying that since spring and although I normally switch to my Kimber 45 acp in the winter, I've become so accustomed to the G26 I may not switch out.

And 9mm ammo is some of the least expensive and most available.

My two cents...
 

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I have an lcp too! I love it! however, before trusting your life with it, you have to put down range, at least 250 rounds of your carry ammo, flawlessly. Mine as with many LCP's, are very troublesome with different ammo. Changeing the recoil springs, and a light polish to the feed ramp, did the trick for mine. If FMJ seems to shoot without any problems, carry that until you are sure anything else is good enough to bet your life on it. Personally, I think the FMJ makes a better choice for carry ammo in 380 cal., more penatration. Cost issues of 380 is definetly an issue. But your life is worth it. In the future, I would consider a service caliber of 9mm or better for everyday carry, and keep the 380 as a bug. there are a number of very small 9mm pistols, that are very concealable. 9mm is at least a lot cheaper to practice with. Be safe! Always carry!
 

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.380 is usually run twice a year. Find out the run dates and stock up then.
 

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Which gun? Well, a Glock-26 if you prefer 9mm, or a Glock-36 if you shoot with the 'big boys'...:rolleyes::joke:
The Glock-36 has the smallest grip of all the Glocks because it is a single stack. I used to hate Glocks, but the '36' started calling my name...go hold one.:yup:
 

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Nice to here you didn’t just rush out there and start carrying! Just kidding but waiting five years is a long stretch. A lot of folks already have everything ready as they open the envelope. Anyway, the .380 ammo issue would keep me away too. I’m a revolver guy these days, and though the ammo isn’t a real bargain, I still buy a box every chance I get.
 

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Is this true of all the manufacturers? Seems like someone would have a captive market if they produced them right now.
 

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Get it while you can

Nice to here you didn’t just rush out there and start carrying! Just kidding but waiting five years is a long stretch. A lot of folks already have everything ready as they open the envelope. Anyway, the .380 ammo issue would keep me away too. I’m a revolver guy these days, and though the ammo isn’t a real bargain, I still buy a box every chance I get.
Yup...that's what I've been doing. If it's one box at a time it doesn't feel like I'm spending as much. Besides...retirement is really overrated.
 

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Is this true of all the manufacturers? Seems like someone would have a captive market if they produced them right now.
My dealer is fairly in tune with what’s going on with ammo production and he explained it to me in this way. The popularity and sales of 9mm and the .38 handguns is what drives ammo production. Some ammo makers have considered tooling up for another production line to support the .380 but they also want to ensure that demand and profits remain high.

Granted, the 9mm ammo production tooling is the same as it is for the .380 and the makers do plan on shifting to more .380 ammo, once more the .380 guns are sold.
 

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There's no actual rule that says you must fire X number of rounds through your weapon to be certain it functions...

What MOST of us do is fire enough rounds through our weapons to be certain that they digest our selected ammo properly... (usually this number is around 200 or so)... some go much higher... some go lower.

It's all about your comfort level. You're carrying the weapon to protect your life. You need to be comfortable that it will function.
 

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There's no actual rule that says you must fire X number of rounds through your weapon to be certain it functions...

What MOST of us do is fire enough rounds through our weapons to be certain that they digest our selected ammo properly... (usually this number is around 200 or so)... some go much higher... some go lower.

It's all about your comfort level. You're carrying the weapon to protect your life. You need to be comfortable that it will function.
Well said.
 

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At the tender age of 59 I finally bought a handgun for the 1st time, even though I've had my carry permit for 5 years. Today is the 1st day I'm actually wearing a gun. A Ruger LCP. If comfort was the only criteria, I would have no doubts about it. I bought it last weekend and so far put 50 rounds of FMJ through it. FTE on round #3 and then not a hiccup. I't's loaded with JHP even though I haven't fired any yet.
Warning: Get thee to the range IMMEDIATELY and try some of that JHP through it. My LCP was very picky about the hollow points it would load. The first box of JHP that I tried was Remington. It would fail to feed every other round!

I have found that Gold Dot's work well for me (YMMV). I practice with Gold Dot hand loads, and I keep factory ammo in my defensive pistol.

I would take those hollow points out right now and load up with FMJ until you can get to the range and verify how they work.
 

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.40? Glock 23....nuff said.
 

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Today, at Bill Goodman's Gun and Knife Show, I finally bought a Kel-Tec P11 9mm pistol, instead of the thinner one that held seven bullets instead of ten. I didn't especially want this gun, but decided that I had better buy one that I can hide while wearing instead of scaring with those big bulky boxy black plastic guns that I have been buying, that can only be hidden under winter coats. I do envy those cowboys, country boys, mountain men and their friends who can carry around those big hog legs and Colt .45s. A pity that we can't do this in the city.
 

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I have an old .380 that shoots everything I feed it, but haven't carried it in 10 years. It borders on a mouse gun - suitable for a backup gun maybe but not primary defensive carry. The Kimber Ultra Carry in .45 ACP is an excellent choice. It conceals well in all weather, shoots great, is comfortable to carry, and makes almost 1/2" holes on entry that expand from there. Springfield and others make similar models if you want to branch out, but Kimber has always treated me very well.
 

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In the lower price range... aproximately $500 and less...

Khar CW9 and CW40 Good quality guns, very light weight, thin and easy to conceal. Only safety is internal.

Springfield Armory XD Subcompact 9mm and .40 Great guns, a bit thicker and heavier than the Khar, but can usually shoot anything you put in them. Grip safety like the 1911, trigger safety like the Glock, internal safety.

Glock subcompact models are the 26 9mm and 27 .40 Great guns, nearly identical in size and weight to the Springfield XD subcompact models. Can usually soot anything you feed it. Trigger safety and internal safety.

Taurus Millenium, known issues with the frame cracking. Their is a do-it-yourself fix available if you are comfortable tinkering with your carry weapon. A little larger frame, but still concealable.

Kel-Tec models have mixed reviews. Some people have great success and love them for personal carry, while others don't think they are reliable enough to bet your life on.

Smith & Wesson models, The Sigma seems to be a good gun. No bad reviews that I can find, larger frame, but still concealable. The M & P compact models MIGHT be available in the $500 price range. I haven't checked locally, but based on the MSRP, they MIGHT. Another good quality gun with good reviews.

I can't think of any others in this price range in a 9 or .40 right now.

From a price point of view, I prefer to carry 9mm. Target ammo at Wally World is less than $10 for 50 rounds. If you get a gun that can handle +P ammo, I've read that +P has similar ballistics to the .40 cal. Otherwise, defensive ammo is still pretty affordable. Cabella's has several options of 50 rnd boxes for under $20
 

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Today I feel like buying a Glock 36. The last one I had I never fired due to a flash deployment to the FRG. Anyway, I wish well again with your new carry mode.
 

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IMO, you can't go wrong with any XD. Heck, I guess a Glock would do you right, too.
9mm is the minimum that I would choose to carry.
 

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Warning: Get thee to the range IMMEDIATELY and try some of that JHP through it. My LCP was very picky about the hollow points it would load. The first box of JHP that I tried was Remington. It would fail to feed every other round!

I have found that Gold Dot's work well for me (YMMV). I practice with Gold Dot hand loads, and I keep factory ammo in my defensive pistol.

I would take those hollow points out right now and load up with FMJ until you can get to the range and verify how they work.
+1 to what Tony said. My LCP was picky for the first 50 or so rounds. Since then, it's been flawless. After 100 rounds, I ran a box of Hydra-shoks and a box of Corbon's thru it trying to pick my SD round. Both had zero issues, but I thought the Hydra-shoks were more accurate and had less recoil. I wanted to try Golden Sabers, but couldn't find any. I plan to try Golden Sabers and Hornady Critical Defense when I swap my SD ammo out in January.

With regard to your other question, I also have a PF9 that I pocket carry. It was inexpensive ($280 to my local licensee) but it's real picky about ammo. I'm adding a G36 (it's in the mail, in state) that I intend to carry under a coat or heavy shirt. It meets your price point, too. Can't argue with the Glock reliability, 3.76" barrel, 7" total lenght, and 7+1 rounds of 45ACP.
 
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