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Old March 18, 2013, 12:36 PM   #39
fastbolt
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Join Date: June 9, 2002
Location: northern CA for a little while longer
Posts: 1,488
The venerable .380 ACP seems to be enjoying a continuing resurgence of interest and usage. The ammunition has benefited from attention to defensive application, as well.

Up until I picked up a LCP in the last several months, I hadn't owned or carried a .380 for about 25 years (Beretta M84).

The LCP offers me an advantage I haven't been able to duplicate with any of the subcompact 9's I've tried (or cared to own, at any rate), or my several J-frames. It fits in pocket holster carry situations where my smallest 9's and 5-shot snubs can't. (Spare me the "comfortable v. comforting" lecture, as I'm familiar with the concept and context. )

I'd have chosen the S&W BG380 if it had been just as light and small, overall, as the LCP.

Now, I won't try to make the LCP/.380 combo into something it's not ... but I've found that it does offer me a calculated compromise that's acceptable and practical for some situations as a retirement CCW.

The little LCP has demonstrated a surprising amount of inherent and practical accuracy, as well as good reliability with some of the better defensive loads available to me (Rem 102gr HPJ, Speer 90gr GDHP & Win 95gr T-Series).

As with the little 5-shot snub revolvers, though, the very attributes which make the little .380's so attractive & useful for lawful concealed carry usage can also make them difficult for some folks to safely, accurately & effective use ... especially under stress.

Probably not for everyone.

FWIW, I've been seeing an increasing number of the LCP & BG380, as well as many of the different lightweight 5-shot .38's, among a younger generation of cops ... and even among the older cops.

In the case of the older cops the reasoning offered has generally been that many of them have decided they still want to be armed off-duty or in their retirement (or have decided to once again carry a weapon), and the littlest 5-shot .38's & 6-shot .380's don't require them to "dress around" belt guns.
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