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.380 as a defensive caliber?

hardballer

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2009
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925
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West Coast of Wisconsin
I agree with Uziel gal. If I had the choice, I would not have anything less than a nine and I don't really have much confidence in that caliber. The .40 does seem like a fair compromise from the .45acp. I only carry a .45 and would not feel fully confident with a smaller caliber. I'd make do, but I wouldn't like it.

I do not recommend carrying anything less than 45ACP. The debate as to whether a .380 is sufficient or what load should be used is moot. The round does not perform. This is not conjecture it is fact. If you carry one, you are putting your life and your loved ones lives in danger. Just read the stats.

Sure it will send lead down range but a target is not pumped up with crack or meth or booze and a target is not running toward you. It takes 1.5 to 2 seconds for a perp to cover 21 feet. It takes 1.5 to 2.5 seconds for the average COP to engage the perp. Hmmmmm. Already doesn't sound too good for the diminutive .380.

Add to that, crack, meth, hunger or whatever and now we really make it hard on the lilliputian .380. More than one perp, winter clothing (hollow-points tend to fill in and then the bullet passes right through) Plus, in the winter, velocities are down. Depending on powder, significantly. Sounding less and less attractive.

Lets try this with the .45ACP. Can't do much about the perp and closing speeds but if you do get a shot off and make it a good one, it likely will slow him considerably or statistically they will be measuring him for a casket. The .45ACP will stop the average meth-head in his tracks if you are competent shot. As for velocities, the .45ACP +P will run 990 fps while standard loads are more docile at 890 fps. Weather doesn't slow this truck down much at all. Still a man stopper at lower temps.

That thar is the the whole shootn' match if ya ask me. Man stopper. If'in I didn't already have one, I'd have tah git me one of them. Yup. To tell the truth, I never did have much respect for those smaller calibers but if that's all you can afford, or it is all you have, fine. Do the best you can. I would save up enough to trade that little bitty gun in on a decent 1911 in .45ACP If'in it were me.

Ultimately, situational awareness and shot placement will do you the most good. Whether you carry a .22 or a .45.
 
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professor gun

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Jun 8, 2008
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Depends on skill of the operator. A .380 in the center of the chest is more deadly than a .40 in the shoulder.

Very true.

In the Women's Pistol classes that I teach, most are interested in getting a handgun for self defense. The advice I typically give is they should choose the largest caliber that they can comfortably and confidently shoot. For some of the students this means a .22 LR, for some this means a .45 ACP, most are somewhere in between.

A few years ago I brought a .454 Casull to one of the classes for one of the instructors to try after the class. When the women in the class found out it was there, a few wanted to try it out. In no time all 100 rounds were gone. A young woman who was about 5' tall and weighed around 110 lbs shot it a lot and was putting her rounds consistently into about 2" at 20 yards.
 

Captain Nemo

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Apr 11, 2010
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There is also an old saying to consider for those that switch from one firearmto another depending on circumstances. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that. I understand the reasons. The old saying reads "Beware of the man that only owns one firearm. He probably knows how to shoot it very well".
 

TyGuy

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.380 with you is better than a 357 at home. If I am wearing dress clothes then it's the LCP only, but other than that it's the LCP on the ankle and the Glock 19 on the hip.
 
M

McX

Guest
i've been considering going back to my roots, and getting a nice .357 mag revolver next, rather than a .45. one it's cheaper and quicker for me to aquire, two i'm familiar with it. just don't know if they make retention holsters for .357 mag revolvers to continue my personal debate on this idea. any thoughts out there?
 

tronson

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you can find a good .357 at gander mtn for about 300 and they have nice generic holsters for them
 
M

McX

Guest
i need retention my brother, remember when i go under a car, the gun goes with me.
 

Captain Nemo

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McX:

Cabelas handles a triple K brand holster called the Carry-Lite you might be interested in looking at. Costs $30. Has a thumb break safety strap that has been stiffend with spring steel so it does not easily unsnap.
 

GlockMeisterG21

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johnny amish

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Mar 9, 2010
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Ruger makes a LCR that is not that much larger, light to carry, and loads 38+p ammo, a great shooting revolver with enough punch to make a difference. I think we sometimes need to decide what is more important, self protection, or the way we dress. I choose self protection, but only opinion.
 

Shotgun

Wisconsin Carry, Inc.
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Aug 23, 2006
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There is also an old saying to consider for those that switch from one firearmto another depending on circumstances. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that. I understand the reasons. The old saying reads "Beware of the man that only owns one firearm. He probably knows how to shoot it very well".

There's a certain amount of truth in old an adage. In this day and age this particular saying is probably more hopeful than truthful. If any have been watching History Channel's "Top Shot" program you can see what happens when you put unfamiliar firearms in the hands of people who are, supposedly, very fine shots with their particular firearm of choice: unimpressive to say the least. I would be more impressed, and wary, of the individual who shoots a dozen dissimilar firearms very well. There are a few like that.... apparently none of them tried out for the show.
 
M

McX

Guest
it's good to see ruger is still making beautiful revolvers, and the link to the holster was just what i had in mind too!
 

hardballer

Regular Member
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Jul 16, 2009
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Listen, the .380 may be better than a knife or a rock but it still sucks. The argument as I see it isn't if it is better than nothing, the argument is whether it is worth buying or owning with the idea of self-defense in mind. If you can afford a decent .380 you probably can afford a better caliber. I prefer the .45ACP some may prefer the .40. The .380 is not a proper self-defense weapon and anyone who has one should be earnestly looking to upgrade to a decent self-defense round. You can blather all you want about placement etc. but the truth of the matter is that a .380 is not a man stopper. It will not do the job. I really get tired of those who expound about shot placement. In a firefight, you'll be lucky if you can remember to disengage the safety let alone hit the target with precision.

Hardballer out!
 
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me812

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Mar 13, 2008
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federally occupied Arizona
.380 ACP is the absolute bare minimum I'd rely on for personal defense.

There are times when concealability trumps all other concerns, and this is where the .380 really shines. It's main advantage is that it's the most powerful caliber that you can chamber tiny little subcompacts in. However, I'd consider .380 stopping power to be totally unacceptable in a full-sized or even compact pistol.
 

paul@paul-fisher.com

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May 24, 2009
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Chandler, AZ
.380 ACP is the absolute bare minimum I'd rely on for personal defense.

There are times when concealability trumps all other concerns, and this is where the .380 really shines. It's main advantage is that it's the most powerful caliber that you can chamber tiny little subcompacts in. However, I'd consider .380 stopping power to be totally unacceptable in a full-sized or even compact pistol.

Wouldn't a 9mm XD sub compact be a good CC/pocket carry/ankle BUG?
 

me812

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Mar 13, 2008
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Location
federally occupied Arizona
Wouldn't a 9mm XD sub compact be a good CC/pocket carry/ankle BUG?

I don't know anything about that particular piece, but all the 9mm concealed carry pieces I've seen were considerably bulkier than .380s. Practically all the nines I've seen I wouldn't call subcompact, but rather just compact. The sole exception to this would be the PF9. That's the only nine I've seen that's thin enough to where it could be conceivably considered subcompact rather than just compact.
 
B

bhancock

Guest
According to a study by ammoguide.com dated in 2005 the average muzzle energy is 193 ft lbs for a .380 auto, 346 ft lbs for a 9mm Luger, 438 ft lbs for a .40 S&W, and 377 ft lbs for a .45. Topping the list was 10mm Auto at 573 ft lbs.
 

Shotgun

Wisconsin Carry, Inc.
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Aug 23, 2006
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According to a study by ammoguide.com dated in 2005 the average muzzle energy is 193 ft lbs for a .380 auto, 346 ft lbs for a 9mm Luger, 438 ft lbs for a .40 S&W, and 377 ft lbs for a .45. Topping the list was 10mm Auto at 573 ft lbs.

For serious purposes while traveling long distances in the wide open western states, I use Winchester 175 grain silvertip in my 10mm which generates 649 ft/lbs and keep on hand Buffalo Bore 180 grain stuff which is rated at 728 ft. lbs. Hot stuff, and highly accurate. But still pleasant to shoot. For hunting Buffalo Bore also makes a 200gr. fmj and a 220gr hard cast-- which is almost 1100 foot pounds at the muzzle.

The 10mm was designed to penetrate vehicles, and it certainly will do that. From a ballistics standpoint, the lower velocity 10mm picks up where the higher speed .40 stuff ends. Taking into account the expensive nature of 10mm ammo it makes sense to just carry hotter .40 caliber ammo and not buy the mild 10mm ammo except for range practice. 10mm shines when you let it do what it was intended to do without it being reined in by the milder loadings.
 

mFonz77

Regular Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2009
Messages
265
Location
Sierra Vista, AZ
I certainly wouldn't volunteer to let anybody shoot me with it. I use it in one of my BUGs...Speer Gold Dots in a Kel-Tec P3AT...never my primary carry weapon but I'd still rather have that than nothing at all.
 
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