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Old March 23, 2013, 03:14 PM   #51
LockedBreech
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Is the 380 Still Going Strong?

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Originally Posted by skoro View Post
Earlier today I was in one of the LGS and a guy walks past me, gabbing on his cell phone about "380acp - they don't have any." There were several boxes of WWB on the shelf and I pointed it out to him.

His reaction?

"Those are 380 Auto. I need 380acp. My gun jams on anything else."

I just smiled.
Sometimes you try to fix the stupid in the world, but sometimes it's better to just smile, agree with them, then treat yourself to a cheeseburger.
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Old March 24, 2013, 10:51 AM   #52
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Funny how a full sized 9mm is "feeble", and a 380 is "ok" :-)
I think you're arguing against a "straw man" here somewhat - I can't recall ever hearing the 9mm described as "feeble" here on TFL.

There may be sites on the internet where the "conventional wisdom" is that "If you're not packing at least a .45 ACP or a 10mm, you may as well just throw the gun at the bad guy rather than shooting him", but this isn't one of those places.
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Old March 24, 2013, 10:55 AM   #53
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If there was a gunfight I'd run away from it.

If I had to defend myself with a gun I'd want a Colt 6940 with iron sights.

If it had to be a handgun, I'd pick 1911 45 ACP--preferably a series 70 in full 5".

If I had to carry it all day long, I'd go to a 4.25" Commander.

If I wanted more bullets for some reason, I'd get a 9mm Hi-Power or a P226.

If for some reason I was told I had no option but to carry a gun that fits in the pocket of my pants, wasn't allowed to wear loose clothing, a holster, or a belt, I'd go with a 380.
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Old March 24, 2013, 11:06 AM   #54
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Is the 380 Still Going Strong?

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Originally Posted by roberg View Post
so lack of adequate penetration is not the issue. Lack of power is the issue. Funny how a full sized 9mm is "feeble", and a 380 is "ok" :-) A 5" 9mm has 3x the effectiveness of a 380, cause the 9mm, 5" will reliably expand a jhp, and offers 500 ftlbs. Of course, getting this level of performance requires that you load it correctly (ie, 1500 fps CorBon 100 gr ammo), but it can be done.

When you actually chrono your 380 loads, from a sub 6" long gun, like the pocket 9mm size, you see 90 grs at 850 fps, for a pathetic 150 ft lbs of "power". A CCI stinger, from a rifle barrel, has over 160 ft lbs. Who regards a .22 rifle as humane for taking anything as tough as a groundhog, except with brain hits?

People who don't understand math or the 'law of diminshing returns' can't see that a load that stops men 90% of the time is 3x better than a load that stops men 70% of the time. But a 10% chance of the "hittee" continuing to attack really is 3x better than a 30% chance of such a thing. If you don't believe that, then casinos probably get a lot of your money.
This post isn't very accurate. 9mm is certainly not fully three times as effective as .380. Two millimeters of cartridge space isn't that huge a difference. Quality 380s do about 8-11" in ballistic gel, as opposed to quality 9mms which do about 12-16". That's not three times. 9mm is more effective, but you're exaggerating how much.

Also, "stop percentages" are a statistic that has been proven garbage, and amount of energy in a round is essentially meaningless. A punch from a strong man or a car wreck at 20 MPH put considerably more energy into your body than a shot from even a fast .45, and they are much more survivable events. Penetration to organs and tissue destruction are the only things that can destroy the CNS, and thus the only thing that matters. Proponents of energy in a round are focusing on the wrong aspect of terminal ballistics.

The insinuation that choosing .380 means you're some kind of gullible sucker who doesn't understand math is pretty insulting, I understand it well, and understand dozens of cartridges very well. .380 is a compromise round. No one carrying it thinks it's service-grade, including me, but even the tiniest 9mms aren't quite as concealable as .380s, and the ultra-tiny nines like the Rohrbaugh are expensive and rare, unlike my $299 LCP which I shoot rather well and carry literally 100% of the time I leave my house. Choose the 9mm if you like it better in a small gun - it's undoubtedly a better round - but don't imply that having a different opinion makes you smarter.

Last edited by LockedBreech; March 24, 2013 at 11:13 AM.
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Old March 24, 2013, 11:08 AM   #55
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Is the 380 Still Going Strong?
Strong? .380? In the same sentence?

It's going as strong as all the other defensive handgun calibers out there: ammo is hard to come by.

My reason for not getting one was that I could not see paying several dollars a box more for less performance than a gun in 9x19 ..... with no practical upside.
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Old March 24, 2013, 12:50 PM   #56
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People who don't understand math or the 'law of diminshing returns' can't see that a load that stops men 90% of the time is 3x better than a load that stops men 70% of the time. But a 10% chance of the "hittee" continuing to attack really is 3x better than a 30% chance of such a thing.
I'd be careful trying to over-analyze this sort of thing and applying caliber-calculus (I just made that up ) to arrive at "stopping power" determinations and statistics.

Stopping Power is a term best applied to discussion of disc brakes in motor vehicles.

Anyway, I used to be one of those young guys who felt the only defensive calibers "worth carrying" were .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum & .45 ACP. (.44 Spl & .45 Colt were marginal "secondary choices", if only due to lack of bullet development.)

Then, one day they took my issued .357 Magnum revolver away and handed me one of those lightweight, hi-cap Wonder Nines (one of the newly released S&W 3rd gen 9's), and I realized the days of being able to finally get around to buying that Buscadero leather rig to carry one of my .44's as an authorized duty weapon were suddenly gone.

As my time passed in my LE career, and I spent increasingly more time working as a firearms instructor, my personal thoughts & opinions evolved a bit. The "caliber" issue took a back seat to what I decided were the more critical considerations of training, frequent practice, skillset, knowledge of tactics and Mindset. (I'd put Mindset first if I were listing them in order of priority, though.)

As time continued to pass I found myself carrying 9's increasingly more often on my own time, although I eventually developed a collection of .40's and more .45's.

Then, I "rediscovered" the practicality & value of the venerable 5-shot .38 snub ... and now I own more than half a dozen of them. Toward the end of my career (when I carried either a .40 or .45, since those were the only approved duty calibers), I found myself carrying one or another of my lightweight 5-shot snubs on my own time. I did (and do) a fair amount of practice/training with them, revisiting and refining my older DA revolver skills.

The choice of buying a LCP came as a surprise, as for the last several years I'd pretty much decided the .38 Spl +P was the "lowest" I was willing to go for a working/defensive caliber.

The tipping point for reconsidering the .380 was the diminutive size of the LCP (and the BG380, which is just enough larger that I went with the LCP). I could pocket holster the LCP in some instances when I couldn't do so with my 5-shot snubs (or, at least not as easily, depending).

If I couldn't shoot the little LCP accurately, controllably and effectively ... I wouldn't own or carry it.

If it hadn't demonstrated good reliability with a few of the more modern hollowpoints being offered in the caliber ... I wouldn't own or carry it.

It's NOT a "replacement" for my .38/.357 snubs. It's an option for some situations and circumstances. (Neither are my .38/.357 snubs "replacements" for my assorted 9's, .40's & .45's. They allow options for my perceived needs.)

There's a reason it's not uncommon to see .38/.380 calibers as the "smallest" calibers approved for secondary/backup & off-duty usage. (I remember when .22, .25 & .32 were once allowed at my former agency.)

Last year I attended a couple of in-service training seminars devoted to LE who have been killed & assaulted, and officer safety/field tactics. Both the .38 snub and .380 pocket pistols were mentioned as having been effectively used to save the lives of cops. A surprising number of times. (The .38 snub was mentioned more often, but then it's arguably had a longer & stronger presence in LE work for its role. However, it's not unfair to speculate that the growing number of good quality, reduced size .380's will probably start to increase the presence of the caliber in this regard.)
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Old March 24, 2013, 01:21 PM   #57
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Quote:
But you just go ahead and believe iin the 380. ...
Far be it from me to steal anyone's security blanket.
Dunno about you, but I don't "believe" in any Handgun caliber. There aren't any "guarantees" even when shotgun slugs or rifle bullets are being used.

I've known any number of folks who looked at their choice of one or another of the major defensive/service center-fire handgun calibers as some sort of "security blanket", or, even worse, seemed to have chosen their caliber because of some sort of "talisman effect".

Then, there's the handgun hunters, some of whom seem intent to virtually proselytize the use of "heavy-hitting, bone-breaking, deep-penetrating" large caliber SWC bullets for use in handguns carried for dedicated defensive use against human attackers (versus large, dangerous feral animals).

It's a handgun.

Everything about a handgun is a compromise, caliber included.
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Old March 24, 2013, 03:25 PM   #58
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Is the 380 Still Going Strong?

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Originally Posted by Gone_Now View Post
That doesn't make it a manstopper. :-) But you just go ahead and believe iin the 380. Far be it from me to steal anyone's security blanket. 35 years ago, I knew a little Asian lady, who had had obscene phone calls made to her while her hubby was working contruction, 100's of miles away. He got her a single shot .22 rifle, and she kept it in her closet. It comforted her. I made the mistake of asking her if she had ammo,had shot it, etc. She did not and had not. I "stole" her sense of security and could offer nothing in its place. Very bad thing to have done.

Remember Platt and Matix, in Miami, 1988. Matix was struck full in the face by a plus P .38 lhp, from 5 yds or less, from a 2" barrel, and it did not penetrate to his brain. Both of those murderers were shot in the head, from 6 ft of range or less,, 3x each, with a 4" barreled revolver, same load. After penetrating the windshield, not one of those 6 bullets penetrated their craniums. Now, take a load with considerably less power than the .38 plus P lhp, and calculate how "good" it is, ok?
No handgun round short of .44 magnum is truly a "manstopper". People have survived head shots from .357 magnums and .45s, and have been killed by single shots from a .22 Short. Single-incident anecdotes aren't reliable evidence, which is the same basic reason "stop percentages" are a meaningless statistic. When the circumstances, distance, JHP designs and size of people involved are different in each scenario, it's impossible to make a conclusive caliber judgment. The only real objective standards of evidence we have for round effectiveness right now are the FBI and IWBA gel and barrier tests, which show that the .380 ACP performs a lot like a standard pressure .38 Special, a round that has done the job for many years. Not ideal, but not ineffective.
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Old March 24, 2013, 06:34 PM   #59
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Originally posted by LockedBreechThe only real objective standards of evidence we have for round effectiveness right now are the FBI and IWBA gel and barrier tests, which show that the .380 ACP performs a lot like a standard pressure .38 Special, a round that has done the job for many years. Not ideal, but not ineffective.
That's if you want to forget that the FBI has had 4 significant ammunition failures in the past 30 years. The first was at the "Miami Shootout" and it wasn't because a .38 Special to the face failed to stop the fight. It was because of an underpentrating 115 gr. SilverTip that caused a wound that was deemed unsurvivable later, but at the actual time of the gunfight, the perp did survive long enough to kill additional FBI agents with the SilverTip lodged just short of his heart. There have been a number of cases where LE officers used full power .41 and .44 Magnum rounds that because of their excessive energy, overpenetrated and didn't expand failing to stop the perp.

And speaking of the IWBA, it's best known member, Martin Fackler, convinced the FBI after the "Miami Shootout" that the solution was a subsonic 147 gr. JHP in 9mm, with many LE agencies following suit, with the result being little expansion and overpenetration to the point that innocent bystanders had been struck by bullets that had completely penetrated through their intended target. Fackler followed that up with the recommendation of the 10mm "Lite" that was also subsonic, penetrated deeply but with little expansion. It was deemed a failure. Then the .40 S&W came along and this time Fackler convinced the FBI to use a 165 gr. "Medium Velocity" load that performed as bad or worse than the 10mm "Lite". He still preaches penetration after shot placement with the same old subsonic theme except that we now have better technology bullets that will expand better at subsonic velocity. Then there's doc GKRoberts recommending things like the most effective load for defense with a .44 Magnum is a 300 gr. XTP that's designed for deep penetration in large game with controlled expansion. The third musketeer is Duncan MacPherson who states that 18" is the desired maximum penetration in gelatin and that might work, in GELATIN. I can provide a link if anyone wants to read the actual statement from Roberts where he also quotes MacPherson right here:http://www.ar15.com/ammo/project/Sel..._FAQ/index.htm

The tests that the FBI uses today were actually copied from the Texas DPS when they selected their current service autos and cartridge. The DPS had a long and distinguished history using the .357 Magnum and in particular, the 125 gr. JHP since its inception. The DPS testing occurred before the wave of new bullet technology and bonded bullets. Only 2 cartridges passed all of the barrier tests with satisfactory penetration and expansion into ballistic gel. 1. the cartridge they adopted, the 125 gr. JHP in .357 SIG. 2. A 147 gr. JHP in 9mm rated +P+ that delivered around 1175 FPS from the SIG/Sauer P-226. The 9mm +P+ round was dropped from consideration only because of the possible bad press that might be associated with a +P+ label on their ammunition. No subsonic round passed the tests and neither the .40 S&W or the .45 ACP rounds they used passed the tests. The DPS has had very few issues in using either the 125 gr. JHP in .357 Magnum or the SIG. What do these rounds have in common that they deem so desirable? They both provide penetration even after barriers and still expanded reliably and provide a minimum of 500 Ft/Lbs of KE into their target. In the past 150 years, no one has had more gun fighting experience than the DPS/Texas Rangers with the recent exception of the US Border Patrol. In the findings of M&S's research, they concluded pretty much the same thing and their biggest detractor has been Martin Fackler who's never had a plausible explanation for the 125 gr. .357 Magnum's outstanding street record. There is far better research being conducted today than theories like bleed-out where you can be killed while waiting. This will also shed some light on Martin Fackler's feud with M&S if you have any basic concept of physics:http://www.btgresearch.org/wb.htm

As far as the 9mm case only being 2mms longer than the .380's, it also develops 35,000 PSI for standard pressure ammo with a 38,500 PSI max. for the better 124 gr. +P loads. The max. pressure rating for the .380 is 21,500 PSI and none of the major ammo makers load anywhere close to it. For that you'll need boutique loads from companies like CorBon, Underwood, Double-Tap or Buffalo Bore with some of them wearing a +P label.
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Old March 24, 2013, 06:52 PM   #60
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Is the 380 Still Going Strong?

57k, since you like the Texas DPS approach, and say that's the current FBI approach, would you agree with my statement that the current FBI protocol is a good objective measure? Better than anecdotes at least? That was my only point.
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Old March 24, 2013, 07:29 PM   #61
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57k, since you like the Texas DPS approach, and say that's the current FBI approach, would you agree with my statement that the current FBI protocol is a good objective measure? Better than anecdotes at least? That was my only point.
I certainly wouldn't ignore it, but in reality the average armed citizen is not likely to encounter some of these barriers. I mainly focus on penetration after 4 layers of denim. I'm not a big fan of subsonic handgun loads, even newer technology and bonded bullet loads, and I disagree with a number of Fackler's opinions. Even though I mostly use the .45 ACP, I still carry a 500 + Ft/Lb load. The Rem. 185 gr. Golden Saber +P that will penetrate deeper in my water jug tests than a 230 gr. JHP. I don't personally use the .357 SIG because I handload and only one company makes a carbide sizing die and it's very expensive. Adequate caseneck tension is one of the biggest challenges in reloading the cartridge. In the near future I will be developing a load to replicate the 147 gr. JHP load in 9mm that the DPS found to pass their tests. But, unlike their's mine won't need a +P+ label and if everything goes as planned it will not even need a +P designation. But this load will only work in pistols with long throats like the Ruger P series or the pistol the DPS used that I have, the SIG/Sauer P-226.
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Old March 25, 2013, 08:55 AM   #62
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Is the 380 Still Going Strong?

The 380 or so called 9mm shorts are going strong and expensive


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Old March 25, 2013, 09:52 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OP
However after I bought my Kahr CM-9 I have stopped carrying the 380 for now anyway. The CM-9 is a great little pistol, but still not as comfortable to carry as the little LCP.
After I bought my PM9 I too stopped carrying my LCP.
Fast forward 2 years and guess what... I carry the LCP nearly 100% of the time because it is noticeably more comfortable.
I just dont worry so much about being attacked or in a gun fight enough to be uncomfortable all day every day.
I sold the PM9 despite liking it very much.

I do keep a G27 in the truck though...
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Old March 25, 2013, 06:51 PM   #64
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I've carried a .22 magnum as well. The .380 is the .38 of the auto world. It's adequate, and with certain ammo, excellent. It's not a 9mm any more than a .38 is a .357. It works and has for many years. The pistols, among other things, have a certain "sex" appeal, for lack of a better term. They're the Miata of the gun world. Yeah other cars have more muscle and power, but for some, the form factor just does it. Someone who can drive a Miata will go around the track faster than a newbie with a ton of horsepower that uses that horsepower as a replacement for skill.
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Old March 25, 2013, 09:04 PM   #65
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Did everyone see the raw video of the PA shooting that was caught on tape?:

http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/...03/22/2007039/

The perp used what looked to be either a full-size .380 or compact 9mm judging by its size, and he hit three of the men inside the building. But as you can see they all got back up and ran out the door after him. I guess they probably didn't even realize they were shot at first. This is the sort of thing that might happen regardless of what you shoot an assailant with. He may go down right away, or he may not even realize you're shooting him. The victims in this case were obviously not struck in any vital areas, which is the key thing to understand here. Those who carry a .45 with the smug confidence that they're going to put the bad guy down with just one or two hits might be in for a shocker if they actually had to use it. My complaint about the small .380 pistols really has nothing to do with the caliber, it's more the fact that they're darn near impossible to hit anything with beyond arm's length. I hear of owners who say they're fired 400-500 rounds through their little pocket gun and trust it every day, when the fact is they likely haven't practiced with it enough to hit the center X of a target except slow fire at 10 feet. Try it again at 21 feet allowing less than .5 second between shots and see how you do. Almost any caliber will do the job if you can reliably reach the CNS of your adversary, but if you can't then caliber discussions are more a matter of pride than anything else.
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Old March 26, 2013, 04:11 AM   #66
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To this day i never leave my house without my lcp. It is never my primary but its always there! Just like my wallet. I own and carry a few others as well, such as the bersa .380, Cz83 and The beretta 84/85 series. People rag on the .380 but i have never felt undergunned with it.
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