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post #1 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Calling 380 owners...experiences please

In this month's American Rifleman they have a pretty neat article / reviews on some small pocket type 380s. They look like neat guns and I think I would be more inclined to carry more often then I do with a smaller gun like that.

I'm not looking for a 380 vs. "X" caliber discussion here. I understand that a 380 isn't an optimal self defense caliber but having a gun with me regardless of caliber is much more effective than having a larger gun sitting at home. So if you own or have shot any of the small framed 380s (particularly any that are featured in that article) your feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!
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post #2 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 10:25 AM
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Defense ammo has come a long way for the popular .380 round. I use Gold Dot Personal Protection rds for carry. They have good reviews for penetration and expansion. I bought a Ruger LCP and it stays in my draw side pocket. It's real easy to carry and conceal but not the best range gun. The recoil is on the heavy side with any of the pocket size 380's. My other 380 is a Browning BDA. It's a good bit larger but accurate and less felt recoil. I don't feel "under gunned" carying a 380. I'm a big fan of the calliber.

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post #3 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 10:31 AM
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I have a KelTec P3AT, the sights blow but then again it's ment to be carried more than shot. I'm probably man-accurate out to about 15-20' with it, snappy recoil but sure is easy to carry. Beats a sharp stick I guess, never had any issues with it.
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post #4 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 11:13 AM
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I have/have shot a ruger lcp and the kel tec. Both are great little pistols and either would be a good gun to carry understanding their drawbacks and positives. Personally I like the ruger lcp because fit and finish imo was far better. Personally a carry gun should be a revolver and LCR all the way. (2 cents)

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post #5 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 12:31 PM
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S&W's web site now has their new Bodyguard .380 pistol with built in laser.
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post #6 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 12:43 PM
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I carry the LCP as a bug and summer gun. I'm comfortable with the 380 as a defensive ammo. I'll second the fact that 380 ammo has come a long way. My biggest gripe is the shortage of 380 ammo on the market. I rarely shoot the LCP at the range because of ammo shortages.

I'd like to pick up one of the Sig P238's when they are a little easier to find.

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post #7 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 01:51 PM
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.380 sucks. I think I'd do more damage by throwing my gun at them then shooting them with it.

You can get a .40 with a frame size that isn't much bigger than a .380.
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post #8 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 02:18 PM
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Quote: .380 sucks. I think I'd do more damage by throwing my gun at them then shooting them with it.

There's no need to throw a perfectly good gun at some one when you can beat em to death with one of these and save the expensive ammo. LOL

S&W 50cal.


Off topic but couldn't help it.
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post #9 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topkicker View Post
Quote: .380 sucks. I think I'd do more damage by throwing my gun at them then shooting them with it.

There's no need to throw a perfectly good gun at some one when you can beat em to death with one of these and save the expensive ammo. LOL

S&W 50cal.

Off topic but couldn't help it.
I have an AMT .380 and the thing is a boat anchor. Small frame size, but heavy. If I threw it at them, it would surely cause more damage then the little BBs that it shoots would. Anyone want to buy a .380?
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post #10 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 02:45 PM
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Quote: I have an AMT .380 and the thing is a boat anchor. Small frame size, but heavy. If I threw it at them, it would surely cause more damage then the little BBs that it shoots would. Anyone want to buy a .380?

I respect your opinion. Alot of my buddys feel the same way you do.One thinks a 9mm is not enough. Some one on "thefiringline.com" posted some ballistic info between 9mm and 380 ammo and they were close. Sure you give up some knock down with smaller calibers but the pocket 380's are so dang easy to carry. I like my shorts and T-shirts in the summer and the LCP fits the job. As far as your heavy 380, try selling it on "gunbroker.com".You should have good luck there.

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post #11 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 03:14 PM
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I second the Ruger LCP - the KelTec is a good gun, however the LCP is what the Keltec should have been. I don't own either, but have shot both. I also have a Bersa .380 - looks a lot like the Browning in the pic above.. it's basically a "minature 1911" as far as the frame goes. I agree about the sites being crap, but the gun is meant to hit a person sized target 7-21 feet away - you aren't going to be sharp shooting with these things.

Shoot good ammo through any of them and you'll be fine. Personally I carry a Walther PPS in .40 - slightly larger than the .380's frame wise, but I have big hands, so wanted a slightly larger grip.

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post #12 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oz97tj View Post
You can get a .40 with a frame size that isn't much bigger than a .380.
Good Luck! Have you picked up one of these guns? You can't even find a 9mm that small.


Kel-Tec - Bought one for my sister and it is nice for a crude gun. Functions
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This is exactly why we need to practice proper gun control.

If he was aiming down the sights correctly and had plenty of practice rounds under his belt, there would only be one side of this story.
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post #13 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broncojohn View Post
Good Luck! Have you picked up one of these guns? You can't even find a 9mm that small.
Ruger LCP = 5.16" long x 3.6" tall x .820" wide
Walther PPS = 6.34" long x 4.41" tall x .91" wide

Not that much difference. I'll try to get a pic of my buddy's LCP laying side by side and on top of my PPS tonight and post it for y'all.

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post #14 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsaxman View Post
Ruger LCP = 5.16" long x 3.6" tall x .820" wide
Walther PPS = 6.34" long x 4.41" tall x .91" wide

Not that much difference. I'll try to get a pic of my buddy's LCP laying side by side and on top of my PPS tonight and post it for y'all.
I'll be ready for the comments on this statement but:

In your pocket size makes all the difference.

I know the numbers look close but a true pocket pistol is carried in your front pocket. Try squeezing the Walther in there. The Ruger will fit with your hand at the ready. I carry my Tomcat (a little thicker but shorter) everyday and if I worry I can stick my hand in the pocket and no one would even know I have my hand on a gun.

When I holster carry everyone knows when you put you hand on your gun.

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This is exactly why we need to practice proper gun control.

If he was aiming down the sights correctly and had plenty of practice rounds under his belt, there would only be one side of this story.
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post #15 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 03:54 PM
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I bet that .40 is quite "snappy" in that little gun
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post #16 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broncojohn View Post
I'll be ready for the comments on this statement but:

In your pocket size makes all the difference.

I know the numbers look close but a true pocket pistol is carried in your front pocket. Try squeezing the Walther in there. The Ruger will fit with your hand at the ready. I carry my Tomcat (a little thicker but shorter) everyday and if I worry I can stick my hand in the pocket and no one would even know I have my hand on a gun.

When I holster carry everyone knows when you put you hand on your gun.
I agree - I normally carry IWB with a 7 round magazine, but with the 5 round one, it fits fine in my front jeans pocket.

Quote:
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I bet that .40 is quite "snappy" in that little gun
It's actually not much different from a HK USP Compact or Steyr S40 (the two other 40's I have shot the most). It is much less snappy than the .380's listed and my buddy's Kahr P40 IMHO.

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post #17 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 03:59 PM
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I used to carry a Bersa .380 and moved up to a Keltec PF9 9mm when they came out

I know you said you wanted .380 info, but you also said the reason you were looking at one was ease of carry. Why not get more power in the same package?
if you want a small pocket gun its pretty hard to beat the little PF9
you get 9mm power in a package that's smaller and lighter than a lot of .380s

Here are the specs for a PF9

Calibers: 9mm Luger 9x19mm
Weight unloaded: 12.7 oz. 360g
Loaded magazine: 2.8 oz. 81g
Length: 5.85" 149mm
Height: 4.3" 109mm
Width: .88" 22mm
Barrel Length: 3.1" 80mm
Capacity: 7 + 1

It's the .88" width that makes it so great to pocket carry

plus they're inexpensive so I don't feel bad about wearing the finish off carrying it in my pocket.
I've put a lot of rounds through mine and its always been reliable, I've even let it build up a lot of pocket lint inside it and tried firing it to make sure it would be ok and it blew dust bunnies everywhere

Just 2 bits from someone that USED to carry a .380 and is much happier with a smaller, lighter 9mm with more punch.


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post #18 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 04:17 PM
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There are some tiny .380s. However, a Glock 27 or S&W M&P Compact aren't too much bigger, aren't very heavy, and are .40s. They are easy to shoot as well. I've owned both, along with many other guns and the 27 is by far my favorite for concealed carry. I should also mention I carry EVERY day EVERY place I go.

For someone wearing shorts and t-shirts in the summer looking for a pocket gun, look into a Ti wheel gun. I had a S&W 342 PD. It was a .38+p 5 shot. The gun only weighs 11 ounces. It is about the size of many of the smaller .380s, with more power. There is also a .357 that is about the same size, but it's a little tough to shoot. Either way, carrying in a pocket gets a bunch of lint and shit on the gun so I like the simplicity of a revolver. You can also shoot with the weapon in your pocket if needed. A semi auto will only fire once as the slide won't likely function properly for a second shot.

For inside the waistband carry, the Glock 27 is hard to beat as it's very flat so it isn't jabbing you in your hip, and it's plenty small enough to conceal yet large enough to do a good job.

The best advice I give to anybody that wants to carry concealed is to first figure out where you plan to carry the weapon on your body. This will slim down your choice of weapons considerably.
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post #19 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 05:02 PM
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Here's a Kel Tec .380, AMT Backup .380 and I had to include my .45 Kimber Raptor
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post #20 of 30 Old 01-22-2010, 05:27 PM
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I think your picture is bigger than the actual weapon...
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post #21 of 30 Old 01-23-2010, 08:26 AM
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See if your Keltec and LCPs can do this (Diamonbadk DB380)

Heres a little test I did with the Diamondback DB380. Its the fairly new on the market and looks much like a Glock.
YouTube - Diamondback DB380 Extreme Measures Review
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post #22 of 30 Old 01-23-2010, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broncojohn View Post
I've been wanting to trade up my Tomcat .32 for the Ruger, But the Taurus is looking nice. I will try to hold one before I commit to the Ruger.
I'm mainly looking at the Ruger LCP, Taurus 738, and the Kel-Tec P3AT and like you I want to see and hold a Taurus before I commit to anything. That Diamondback DB380 looks like a nice gun too. I don't know. I need a rich friend that can buy all four and let me shoot them.
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post #23 of 30 Old 01-23-2010, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by MaJiK hat View Post
I had the Kel-Tec P3AT and that thing packed a wallop for such a small gun. It was so damn flat.

Not sure if that is in Rifleman, but it is definitely a small 380 auto.

I should also say that it wasn't that fun to shoot. The sights sucked for me at that time, but they might have changed them since. With the pocket clip I could just stuff the thing in the waistband with zero print.

I don't recommend the little magazine extension because although it let me get my pinkie on the grip, it would sometimes pitch the magazine in such a way that the mag release wouldn't hold, and the mag would fall out.
I can second everything above accept i didnt have the pocket clip on mine. The mag extensions are peices of shit and the mags are as high as giraffe nuts.

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post #24 of 30 Old 01-27-2010, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topkicker View Post
I bought a Ruger LCP and it stays in my draw side pocket. It's real easy to carry and conceal but not the best range gun.
Do you run anything through your LCP besides the Gold Dot ammo? The reason I ask is the American Rifleman article said the LCP was a little picky about the ammo choice. Have you had any feeding / jam issues with your gun?
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post #25 of 30 Old 01-27-2010, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WahooJeep View Post
I rarely shoot the LCP at the range because of ammo shortages.
When you do shoot have you found it to be sensitive to which type of ammo you feed it?
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