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Old June 29th, 2021, 01:52 PM #1
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380 ACP

I was shooting one of my 380 ACP handguns this weekend. Compared to the 9MM and 40 S&W guns I was using the 380 seemed kind of puny.

How effective is the 380 as a Concealed carry gun. Could it stop an attacker?
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Old June 29th, 2021, 02:08 PM #2
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well, a .22LR COULD stop an attacker if your shot placement was perfect and/or they had a low constitution. So, I think the question isn't if it COULD stop an attacker...the question is probably more along the lines of is it YOUR best choice of round for what you expect it to be able to perform to?

For me, I'd say that if you can't consistently hit targets with a 9MM, .40, 10MM or .45...but you can with a .380 ACP...then maybe it's a better choice for a defensive firearm. If you can't hit a target, then all the extra terminal ballistics behind the cartridge is just going through the wall next to / behind your target. .380's have also traditionally made for very concealable and light weight handguns, but with 9mm micro's being what they are now, my personal choice would be to go with a 9mm.

I went with a SigP365 and find it very manageable.

Just one guy's opinion. Admittedly, I'm not a handgun expert.
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Old June 29th, 2021, 02:11 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Striper69 View Post
I was shooting one of my 380 ACP handguns this weekend. Compared to the 9MM and 40 S&W guns I was using the 380 seemed kind of puny.

How effective is the 380 as a Concealed carry gun. Could it stop an attacker?
Only you can be the judge on what your situation is and the trade-offs you're willing to accept with .380 relative to more powerful cartridges. Plenty of comparative data out there and plenty of .380s in circulation as carry guns.

https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/sel...llistic-tests/

https://www.luckygunner.com/lounge/3...ittle-caliber/
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Old June 29th, 2021, 02:12 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Striper69 View Post
I was shooting one of my 380 ACP handguns this weekend. Compared to the 9MM and 40 S&W guns I was using the 380 seemed kind of puny.

How effective is the 380 as a Concealed carry gun. Could it stop an attacker?
Better than .22.

Better than birdshot.

Much better than paintball.

I was going to follow up these wisecracks with some remarks about it being a tradeoff, and about how effective you are with it vs a larger caliber, and about a .380 that you carry being better than a .45 you decided to leave home the one time you needed it because it was a PITA to carry.

The previous posters covered most of that pretty well already.
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Old June 29th, 2021, 02:35 PM #5
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As I recall from the old (and hotly debated) Marshall and Sanow "One Shot Stop" study, .380 ACP was the smallest caliber which could be considered "fairly effective" (greater than 70% probability of a one shot stop). But it's effectiveness was even more highly dependent on the exact ammo used than larger calibers, i.e. Cor Bons and Hydra Shoks worked pretty well, but nothing else much did.

Of course bullet technology has improved since then.

I shoot and would carry a .380 pocket pistol with one of these premium defensive rounds (if I didn't live in MD). Because of the short barrel/sight radius I consider it mostly a "7 yards or less" proposition.

For anything other than a pocket pistol I would go with a 9mm or .45 acp since ammo is cheaper and there are more choices.

Last edited by Growler215; June 29th, 2021 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old June 30th, 2021, 03:42 AM #6
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Originally Posted by Growler215 View Post
As I recall from the old (and hotly debated) Marshall and Sanow "One Shot Stop" study, .380 ACP was the smallest caliber which could be considered "fairly effective" (greater than 70% probability of a one shot stop). But it's effectiveness was even more highly dependent on the exact ammo used than larger calibers, i.e. Cor Bons and Hydra Shoks worked pretty well, but nothing else much did.

Of course bullet technology has improved since then.

I shoot and would carry a .380 pocket pistol with one of these premium defensive rounds (if I didn't live in MD). Because of the short barrel/sight radius I consider it mostly a "7 yards or less" proposition.

For anything other than a pocket pistol I would go with a 9mm or .45 acp since ammo is cheaper and there are more choices.
Maybe the 380 would be best suited for an ankle carry weapon. Last resort for a close-in shot.
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Old June 30th, 2021, 02:44 PM #7
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Maybe the 380 would be best suited for an ankle carry weapon. Last resort for a close-in shot.
Ankle carry is for limited applications and you must train a lot to get good at using it.
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Old June 30th, 2021, 07:31 AM #8
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Even as a .380 detractor , I have to admit they can be accurate beyond 7yds . From the bench , my .380 Backup ( model name) could keep head sized group @ 25yds .

.380 is the prime example of being ammo dependent , typically being exactly on the ragged edge of expand vs not expand vs expand Too much . Bbl length differences can yield all three results from same load, from different guns . Hence all of this what a significant % of users will default to FMJ on purpose .

During the early years of Modern Shall Issue Era , aka circa 1990 , relatively large double stack .380 had a very large following as a ideal carry gun , as being high capacity , yet smaller than most 9x19 pistols of the day .

But time and technology have marched on . We now have a plethora of subcompact polymer 9mm similar or smaller than 1990 era .380's . 380's new market niche is in very small and light micro pistols , little bigger than large- ish .25acp .

Historically in gun 'zines one of the staple cliches was " .380 vs .38spl Small Frame Snub " . Despite the cliche- ness , that actually is a worthwhile comparison . (I have my strong opinions on that , but that debate is as much about Revolver vs Semiauto as between the cartridges .)

* To Me * in recent decades, Subcompact 9mm is a fine option , and if I want smaller , I'm going more smaller- er than .380 .

Is .380 " better" than slingshot , BB guns, Airsoft, Paintball , .22lr , etc ? Yup. Better than . 32acp ? I and others can give a spirited debate .

Is .380 " good enough " for stand alone primary pistol ? Debates rage to this day .

Is .380 " better " than a J Frame * For You * ? Only you can decide .
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Old June 30th, 2021, 08:49 AM #9
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380 beats the crap out not having anything.
My carry was a 380 for years.
Chances are, god forbid, if you have to use, you wont know the difference anyway. Go with what you feel comfortable with. Also make sure you can get ammo.
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Old June 30th, 2021, 09:40 AM #10
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The .380 has done 007 well for fifty years. After all...in "SPECTRE" he even shot down a helicopter with his PPK. That's proof enough for me!
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