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Old January 17, 2008, 03:02 PM   #1
gunnie12
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Best .380 semiautomatic?

Reliability, takedown trigger pull, etc?

Experiences and comments?

Thanks in advance.
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Old January 17, 2008, 03:24 PM   #2
HisSoldier
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Are you wanting a small backup or is it going to be primary carry? Do you want a SA trigger? I like my S&W PPK/S, the SA trigger is very nice, and it's accurate. purdy too. I've got a Llama that is a bit rough but very reliable, 1911 except for the extractor and size. I've got a Star that's nice, a bit larger. Neither of them has as good a trigger as the PPK/S. I own 14 or 15 .380's, only one made of plastic garbage and none of alumicrud. I don't trust my Kel-Tec. NAA Guardian is good DAO, not too accurate with the trigger and shortness. Government model Colt .380, not outstanding accuracy, and no where near a 1911 in design, more related to the Star internally. The Colt Mustang does seem to have trouble keeping it's recoil spring, as someone else said. The Gov't model probably not that way as it's longer. All just my opinions based on experiences.
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Old January 17, 2008, 03:27 PM   #3
kayakersteve
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Not sure if "It is the best!"...

But, I sure like my Walther PPK - I had owned it for >15 years and it shoots as well today as it did when I bought it. Some people complain of slide bite with these, but I have never gotten bitten by it.
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Old January 17, 2008, 03:50 PM   #4
Capt. Dixie
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Best .380

Try a Sphinx .380 if you can find one. They are no longer imported although there were rumors they might be imported once again.
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Old January 17, 2008, 03:52 PM   #5
MotoIdaho
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Bersa Thunder .380

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=276029
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Old January 17, 2008, 04:12 PM   #6
dairycreek
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I am really put off by the posts that ask for the "best" of anything. But, having said that, when the term "best" is raised and coupled with a 380 auto it is really hard to overlook the SIG P232 stainless.


This is just an excellent piece of firearms engineering and artistry.
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Old January 17, 2008, 04:14 PM   #7
Playboypenguin
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The Sig p232 is supposedly a very nice pistol and I do love my Smith version PPK and PPK/S pistols...but I will have to say my favorite is my Beretta 84FS Cheetah.

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Old January 17, 2008, 05:28 PM   #8
BillCA
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+1 with PlayboyPenguin. I like the Beretta 84 & 85 models for a reliable pistol. I think it's the 85 that has the tip-up barrel (now discontinued I hear) for those without the strength to run the slide for the first round.

Downside is that these are pretty large pistols for a .380. I used to have a Colt .380 Mustang Plus II that was tiny, flat and ran well, but these are now too expensive and hard to find.
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Old January 17, 2008, 05:41 PM   #9
Nanotech
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P230 / P232 gets my vote

Without a doubt, dairycreek is absolutely correct. The SIG Sauer P230 / P232 is one of the finest small pistols ever made. Its size, mass, and design are perfectly suited to the .380 ACP cartridge. Similar to other small-frame, small-caliber pistols, it has a fixed barrel that is mounted directly to the frame. One of its unique features is that the operating controls are almost identical to the large-frame SIG Sauer pistols. If you have any other SIGs, the "manual of arms" is similar. It has a decocking lever like the other SIGs, but lacks an external slide release. There is no manual safety. It also has a heel-type magazine release, which for deep concealment helps prevent inadvertently dropping your magazine. The hammer is external, but is very nicely shaped to avoid snagging. Both the DA and SA trigger pulls are also excellent. For take-down, simply verify the magazine is removed and the chamber is clear, flip the take-down lever on the left side of the frame, and retract the slide while pulling it up off of the frame. The build-quality, materials, and finish of these pistols is magnificent. Mine is an all stainless P230SL, which I prefer for concealed carry purposes. After a short break-in session (100 rounds), reliability has been perfect. If weight is an absolute concern, the pistol is also available in a blued slide / alloy frame variant.

I hope this helps with your decision!

-Nanotech
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Old January 17, 2008, 06:25 PM   #10
Eddie C-clamp
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For deep concealment there is no better choice than the LWS .380 (Seecamp). But its not a range gun. Too "snappy" for that. Just my opinion tho........
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Old January 17, 2008, 06:30 PM   #11
DBski
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I have a Browning BDA 380 and a Bersa Thunder 380, my choice is the Bersa. After the Browning has been back to factory many times I still don't trust it. (FTF, FTE) It feels good in hand but not reliable. Fun to shoot, but won't bet my life on it. Whereas the Bersa had not failed me yet. Not as refined, very reliable. Accrurate enough for it's intended purpose. Easy to clean and a darn good price.
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Old January 17, 2008, 06:40 PM   #12
Ivory Grips
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1. Bersa Thunder .380

2. Beretta 84 & 85
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Old January 17, 2008, 06:47 PM   #13
bluetopper
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.380 Makarov

The Makarov in .380 caliber.
Dependability, ease of disassembly and accuracy makes it a great choice.
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Old January 17, 2008, 06:50 PM   #14
Ivory Grips
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YO Mr. Penquin

I have to agree, the Beretta is one hell of a .380
I had I believe, a model 85. It had a single stack magazine. What I remember most was how utterly smooth this gun cycled. Looking to buy another one. I like the very nice pic of your Beretta.
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Old January 17, 2008, 06:59 PM   #15
garyl43
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Man I'm drooling over that Beretta 84FS PBP!
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Old January 17, 2008, 07:05 PM   #16
Playboypenguin
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Quote:
I like the very nice pic of your Beretta.
Quote:
Man I'm drooling over that Beretta 84FS PBP!
The pics don't do it justice. it is even more beautiful in person...and the smoothest .380 I have ever shot. You would swear you are shooting a cap gun.
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Old January 17, 2008, 08:28 PM   #17
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I really like the .380 and in particular many of the pistols chambered for the round. I own now or have owned the following;

Beretta 84 - This is the best. best reliability, best accuracy, best trigger. A+
Beretta 85 - Just a slimmer version of the above. No tip up barrel though (model 86). A+
Sphinx AT 380 - A very well made pistol based on the CZ82. Nice DAO trigger. A
Sig P232 - A very nice pistol, Best take down, accurate, slim. A

Walther PPK - A great design, but a heavy DA trigger, accurate, but harsh. A-
Bersa T380 - An OK gun. A good design made on the cheap. B
Astra Constable - A well made PPK clone. B
CZ83 - Accurate, great trigger, heavy, poor sights. B-
I have a E. German Mak but it's in 9mm Mak, but the .380 would be little different. These are nice guns...I like mine, but they are very simple, too simple, have horrible sights and heavy triggers. B-

IMHO the Beretta stands alone. It is unbelievably reliable. It is the only one I'd rate as a duty quality sidearm. With night sights and any of the four available grips, this pistol is ready to go to war. The full grip on either the 84 or 85 lends itself to easy, natural pointing, shooting and fast follow-on shots. Fit, finish and material quality are tops. The only one with a military ready chrome lined barrel.

I'd post a pic of my beloved 84 but PBP's is way prettier. Mine is scared and scratched from many years of service, but I think it's beautiful.
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Old January 17, 2008, 08:33 PM   #18
Playboypenguin
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Beretta 84 - This is the best. best reliability, best accuracy, best trigger. A+
I agree...I am betting that many that are saying Bersa or Sig have never had much experience with the Beretta m84 or m85.
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Old January 17, 2008, 08:50 PM   #19
Moe Howard
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I have had several .380s over the years. Right now I have a Bersa and a Beretta 84. I will agree with other posts above mine, the Beretta 84 is the finest .380 (IMHO) that money can buy. I even like it a little better than the Browning BDA I had ( almost the same as the Beretta). I have never shot the Sig but am very interested in taking one for a test drive.
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Old January 17, 2008, 09:45 PM   #20
ROCK6
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I agree...I am betting that many that are saying Bersa or Sig have never had much experience with the Beretta m84 or m85.
This I agree with this. My wife has a Bersa .380 which is a great pistol for wat it is, but I've handled the Beretta 84 and Browning BDA .380...both are extremely outstanding .380 pistols and few compare.

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Old January 17, 2008, 10:07 PM   #21
Mac Attack
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Colt Mustang or
Colt 1908
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Old January 17, 2008, 11:40 PM   #22
GeorgeF
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For concealability, comfort, reliability - Colt Mustang Pocketlite. I can fire it all day long with its locked breach. At 13 oz it is super concealable too.

For comfort, accuracy and old school looks - Browning BDA. Super nice to shoot and real classic piece.

Have not fired the Beretta yet but I bet it would be akin to to the BDA.
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Old January 18, 2008, 01:31 AM   #23
theberettaman
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Have not fired the Beretta yet but I bet it would be akin to to the BDA.
You'd be right.Seeing as they were both made by Beretta.
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Old January 18, 2008, 03:11 AM   #24
cheesesteak
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One more vote tor the Beretta 84f Cheetah
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Old January 18, 2008, 06:12 AM   #25
pistolet1
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Colt Mustang
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