The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semi-automatic Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old April 27, 2012, 01:27 PM   #1
bikerbill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 19, 2007
Location: Lago Vista TX
Posts: 2,367
Need .380 Advice

Getting ready to bite the bullet, so to speak, and join the .380 club ... my local gun shop is offering 10% off on the Kel-Tec, so I'm leaning that way ... price is important, but not vital ... should I be concerned about it for any reason; and if you don't like it, can you offer a better option that won't break the bank? currently carrying a Kahr PM9, but we have a long road trip coming up and I'm looking for something a bit lighter for pocket carry, with a bit more punch than my NAA Pug ...

Thanks for your help in advance; I always trust TFL opinions more highly than gun mags, so please be frank ...
__________________
"If all guns were built with mechanisms that kept them from firing when held sideways, we could end gang violence." humorist Frank Fleming
bikerbill is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 01:32 PM   #2
Budda
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 7, 2011
Location: Earth
Posts: 445
Keltec makes a good, reliable, ugly lil gun and .380 will stop most two leg critters with shot placement. Keltec also makes a 9mm single stack (pf9?) which would be a better choice IMHO.
__________________
...They have the internet on computers now....-Homer Simpson-
Budda is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 01:45 PM   #3
Laz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 12, 1999
Posts: 996
I had to make the same choice recently. I have a Kel-Tec P32 which I like very much and when comparing the P3AT and the (very) similar Ruger LCP, I leaned heavily toward the Kel-Tec for three reasons: 1) I felt the checkering on the Kel-Tec P3AT allowed for a better hold than the smoother grip of the LCP, 2) I felt that George Kelgren, the designer of the Kel-Tec and the man who, IMO, started this whole mini .380 craze, deserved the profit from his ideas, and 3) the Kel-Tec, while not as pretty was somewhat cheaper than the LCP.

I purchased a P3AT and then had the opportunity to shoot a P3AT and LCP side by side. I ended up selling the P3AT and buying an LCP and am very happy. In spite of the checkering, I found the LCP to be softer shooting in my hands and much more comfortable. I also found the LCP to be more accurate, for me, and easier to get decent groups. I rather liked the Kel-Tec trigger better than the long, somewhat mushy trigger of the LCP but, in the end, I could not deny the better results I got with the LCP.

None of this is a complaint against Kel-Tec. I love my little 32 and like the P3AT. I just found the LCP to be better, for me.
__________________
Laz

Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do, or do without.
Laz is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 02:21 PM   #4
LockedBreech
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 6, 2009
Location: Rocky Mountain West
Posts: 3,115
I'm a big fan of my LCP. I'm edging toward 1,000 issue free rounds (one error that was my fault around 300).
LockedBreech is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 03:10 PM   #5
C0untZer0
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 21, 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 4,555
If I were you, I'd re-evaluate everything and see if I really just didn't want another pistol.

You already have a PM9, that's pretty light weight already, is weight REALLY that important on a road trip? Maybe for hiking, site seeing - yes, but when you're in the car, stopping for gas / rest breaks, weight shouldn't be that big of a deal that you wouldn't want at least a 9mm for those situations.
C0untZer0 is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 03:20 PM   #6
KyJim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2005
Location: The Bluegrass
Posts: 7,715
I have a Kahr CM9 but have clothes where pocket carry or other concealment it is difficult. That's when I carry either my Sig P238 or Ruger LCP. So, I completely understand wanting a true mouse gun. After some initial problems, the Keltec has earned a good reputation. Good enough that Ruger copied the design in the LCP. It's strictly a close range weapon for most of us but an awful lot of incidents occur at close range.
__________________
Jim's Rules of Carry: 1. Any gun is better than no gun. 2. A gun that is reliable is better than a gun that is not. 3. A hole in the right place is better than a hole in the wrong place. 4. A bigger hole is a better hole.
KyJim is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 04:36 PM   #7
momano
Member
 
Join Date: October 29, 2011
Posts: 26
IMHO, the LCP is worth the extra money. I had a P3at; it started FTE problems around 600 rounds. It also aggravated my arthritis. After 3 trips back to the mother ship, I got rid of it and got a LCP. The extra weight makes it easier on my hand, no reliability problems so far, the finish is nicer, and it is my most often chosen EDC. Good luck in your decision~
momano is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 04:45 PM   #8
CWKahrFan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 3, 2010
Posts: 1,831
My LCP is amazingly accurate for it's tiny size. It's my most-carried gun too.
__________________
What did Mrs. Bullet say to Mr. Bullet? ... "We're having a BeeBee!"...

IF THE SHOE FITS, WEAR IT!... IF THE GUN FITS, SHOOT IT!
CWKahrFan is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 05:32 PM   #9
AndyWest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2011
Posts: 621
Another vote for the LCP. I put mine in a DeSantis Nemesis holster. Easy to grab and drop in the pocket when you're going somewhere at night. Very snappy recoil but quite manageable once you get used to it. I found the finger extensions on the bottom of the mags helpful for my fat hands.
__________________
Shoot smart. Shoot S-Mart.
AndyWest is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 05:48 PM   #10
Rspeters
Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2011
Posts: 67
I'm not sure how it compares in size to a pm9 but the best 380 I've had is by FAR my Sig P238. It is an amazing shooting gun, and it's actually fun to shoot…as compared to the LCP (which I've owned in the past) which is in my opinion uncomfortable to shoot. The trigger on the sig p238 is very good, the sights are great, and the recoil is the softest shooting pocket carry 380 I've ever shot. It is a little more expensive than the LCP, but you can find them for as low as $450-500, sometimes lower.
Rspeters is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 08:19 PM   #11
orionengnr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 9, 2004
Posts: 5,011
Having owned two P3ATs and two LCPs, I vote LCP hands down.
Both P3ATs were troubled (to put it charitably), and I never got either to work reliably enough to carry.
Both LCPs came from the factory ready to run reliably.

That said, when I feel the need for a pocket pistol, my PM9 gets the nod. The PM9 is only slightly larger, employs a more powerful round and has far better sights.

The LCP has not seen the outside of the safe in quite some time. Probably ought to sell it, but something makes me keep it around.
orionengnr is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 08:30 PM   #12
Glock Guy
Member
 
Join Date: January 28, 2012
Location: Ga
Posts: 45
I know I'll prolly catch hell for saying this but I'm not a fan of either the keltec or lcp. I bought a diamondback 380. Yeah there were problems with the gun in the beginning but what gun hasn't. Feels much better in the hand also. If you do decide on the gun make sure the serial number is in the zdxxxx range. Za, zb or zc stay away. They also so make a 9mm that's not much bigger. I love the gun and have had no problems with it so far. I've put 500 rounds through it.
Glock Guy is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 08:45 PM   #13
plouffedaddy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 13, 2011
Location: Carolina
Posts: 3,265
I've had the Taurus, Kel Tec, LCP, and BG380. I only have the BG left. It has been 100% reliable, has usable sights, a built in laser (not a big deal for me but it is for some), and the best trigger of the bunch. The LCP and BG were both 100% reliable but I couldn't stand the trigger on the LCP. I'm sure it could be mastered with practice but I didn't want to put in the time/cost to do so when I could naturally fire the BG380 very well.
__________________
Mrgunsngear's Youtube Channel
Certified Glock Armorer
plouffedaddy is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 08:48 PM   #14
michael t
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 17, 2004
Location: Out back Ky
Posts: 3,477
I would go with the KelTec All 5 of mine from the P-32 to the PF-9 have been trouble free.
__________________
Colt Defender ,Colt Mustang ,Dan Wesson CBOB, PPK/S, American Classic,
Bersa Thunder 380
http://bersachat.comHome of Bersa
American Classic new home www.americanclassic1911forum.com
michael t is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 09:17 PM   #15
franco45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 29, 2010
Location: Toledo Ohio
Posts: 278
LCP all the way. Rode from Ohio to Fla. and back last year. The LCP was in my pocket all the time (except for passing through Georgia). I had the DB380 and the TCP but stayed with the LCP because of reliability and accuracy.
franco45 is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 10:44 PM   #16
B.N.Real
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 22, 2008
Posts: 4,082
I'm not a fan of how the ammo companies are treating people who shoot the 380 cartridge.

That ammo is very expensive compared to ammo that is considerably more powerful.

There is a high demand for it so they can't say it is because it's a rare or hard round to find or manufacture.

I use a Taurus 38 snub that carries in a pocket for me just fine.

The Kahr small ccw 9mm's are also well thought of too.

I'm won't be joining the 380 club unless it's to buy a 1908 Colt hammerless.

But,of all the mini 380's,it appears the Ruger LCP has the best reputation for not being a pain in the saddle.
B.N.Real is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 11:31 PM   #17
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,211
I have a P3AT and it was surprisingly accurate (in spite of the almost nonexistent sights) until I started flinching with it. Every shot feels like a "ladyfinger" firecracker going off in my hand.

I still carry it when I can't carry my K-frame revolver, but I don't practice with it enough. I really should do something about that this summer, now that I have plenty of .380 brass and don't have to worry about losing a few pieces. When I bought it, .380 ammo *and* brass was very scarce.

BTW, it throws the brass way up in the air and it lands about 50 feet behind me and I lose a lot of it. I put the strongest aftermarket springs on, and it didn't make a difference. I called Kel-tec and they said that was normal.

I've shot several hundred rounds thru mine and not had a single FTE or FTF or other problems.

I hate that there's no slide lock -- not even a manual one.

Overall I like the gun, even though it's probably not obvious from what I just wrote. I might have been happier with a P32.
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is offline  
Old April 28, 2012, 12:06 AM   #18
LockedBreech
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 6, 2009
Location: Rocky Mountain West
Posts: 3,115
Quote:
Originally Posted by plouffedaddy View Post
I've had the Taurus, Kel Tec, LCP, and BG380. I only have the BG left. It has been 100% reliable, has usable sights, a built in laser (not a big deal for me but it is for some), and the best trigger of the bunch. The LCP and BG were both 100% reliable but I couldn't stand the trigger on the LCP. I'm sure it could be mastered with practice but I didn't want to put in the time/cost to do so when I could naturally fire the BG380 very well.
The BG380 is under-appreciated. If I didn't love my LCP it'd be my next choice
LockedBreech is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10886 seconds with 9 queries