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Old September 27, 2012, 12:41 PM   #51
TheRaskalKing
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Shot placement, shot placement, shot placement. It's not a split decision between caliber and shot placement, not even close. Would you rather take a .22lr to the eye, or a 50 BMG to the big toe?

However, two shots to the same place, I'd rather have a bigger hole, and better penetration. YMMV.
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Old September 27, 2012, 12:47 PM   #52
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I have no problem carrying a .380acp. In fact I just sold my LCP so that I could buy a Sig P238 and have a much nicer, better shooting .380acp. Of all the reports/stories/myths I've read, I'm under the impression that if the attacker is sober and aware that he has been shot, it doesnt take much more than a .22lr. If he is drunk/on drugs/insane then its gonna take a hole lot of something to put him down.
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Old September 27, 2012, 07:25 PM   #53
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In the past many "Gun Rag Experts" debated whether the 38 Special or the 380 were the minimum floor for a self defense round. On paper the heavier slower 38 Special was often given the nod as it had 10 whole ft. lbs. muzzle energy over the 380 and due to its heavier bullet was expected to penetrate farther. Of course many of these experts also didn't consider the power loss that came about when you used a snub with a sub 2" barrel. Lighter faster vs. slower heavier....guess what in a non expanding bullet they both make the same sized hole.

Then came the first two generations of hollow points. Mostly a concession to the market want for a hollow point bullet with the added issue that many guns available in 380 wouldn't reliably feed a generous diameter hollow point. So you have bullets that will feed well but expand poorly if at all. A 38 Special had no such problem with feeding so the makers could easily make a bullet that would work well. There was also a smaller demand for 380 ammo so little effort was put into improving the bullet designs and the lesser demand also kept the ammo cost up; further depressing demand.

Then came the proliferation of Shall Issue CCW laws. Lots of people found suddenly that a 45 auto looks great on paper but not so great when dressed for places like the Southern States in Summer. Suddenly many people found that the saying that a 32 in the pocket beats a 45 in your dresser really meant something. The 380 found new popularity.....and the market took notice. New efforts have been put forth by the manufacturers to make better ammunition that both feeds well and expands more reliably. They even try to balance that with penetration.

In most cases where a gun needs to be used, if a person presents and the bad guy believes that he WILL get shot the encounter ends without the need to actually shoot. The gun has successfully neutralized the threat and stopped the bad guy. In the other cases if you must shoot, you need to hit. When the bullet fly, the bad guy will probably flee...if so the gun stopped the bad guy. If you hit and wound the bad guy and he stops doing bad things; again the gun worked and stopped the threat. If you hit and the bad guy dies; threat neutralized permanently.

Can the 380 kill???? Yes. Can it "Stop" a bad guy???? Yes. Can it stop with one bullet???? Yes but that is asking an awful lot from ANY handgun.

8 hits from a 380 beats 5 misses from a Scandium frame 357 any day; I don't care what ammo is in it.
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Old September 27, 2012, 08:44 PM   #54
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Here's a thought for y'all.... For those who don't think the "lowly" .380 is lethal... Just stand in front of one as its going off.
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Old September 27, 2012, 09:00 PM   #55
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About the .380 round, I never could figure out why there are no "super-capacity" .380 handguns out there. I bet you could get 20-30% more cartridges in a magazine compared to 9mm. That means we really should be seeing 25 round, full-sized .380's. Now, that would be something I would be interested in!
481 is right, the 380s could hold as many as a 9mm could. Most 380s are marketed as tiny mouse guns, so they're made with single stack magazines. The Bersa Thunder Plus model has a 15rd magazine capacity, and I believe the Beretta 84 is a 13 rounder.
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Old September 27, 2012, 09:06 PM   #56
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As lethal as a .22 through the eye or a 50bmg through the liver. its still a round. just like cigarettes there is no safer than option or choice with live ammo.
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Old September 27, 2012, 09:18 PM   #57
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You can't take the 10/22 with you when you leave the house. If you home carry (as some of us do),it's easier to have the 738 on you at all times. Try toting a rifle around with you throughout the house.

RE:Stressfire-interesting you consider Bersa as 'inexpensive'. To each his own I guess.
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Old September 27, 2012, 09:34 PM   #58
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The Taurus PT638 had a 15+1 capacity. DA only. I almost bought one but I'm not a big fan of DA only pistols. My Taurus 738 and S&W bodyguard .380 are DA only;but,that's to be expected since they are pocket guns.
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Old September 27, 2012, 10:03 PM   #59
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Anyone who says the .380 sucks has never been shot by one.

Fact is John Browning never made a bad product.
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Old September 27, 2012, 10:07 PM   #60
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The 380 will do its job if you do your job.
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Old September 28, 2012, 05:49 AM   #61
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My 380 LCP is honestly the smallest gun I've ever owned, I can carry it in the pocket of my shorts... without having to wear a heavy belt to support my IWB holster for my P229 357 SIG and then make sure everything is concealed. It's also great for travel and essentially has become my regular CCW because it follows me everywhere, I can take it on long road bike trips without ever noticing it's there.

The gun is also relatively accurate at 5-10 yards.

If I ever move somewhere cold where I can easily conceal something larger, I'll go back to the Sig.

A gun is better than no gun.

Is it more powerful than a 10mm or more accurate than a 45 ACP full-size steel frame? Hell no.

Does it give me a gun in a situation I'd have to defend myself with my bare hands? Yes.
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Old September 28, 2012, 11:20 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by CCCLVII View Post
The 380 will do its job if you do your job.
That is the perfect answer
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Old September 28, 2012, 11:28 AM   #63
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Here's a thought for y'all.... For those who don't think the "lowly" .380 is lethal... Just stand in front of one as its going off.
You go first, I'll watch
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Old September 28, 2012, 12:10 PM   #64
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How many of you actually shot live things with your 380 ??? What animal ? What was the reaction ? How does that compare with similar shots with 9mm ? Forget the 'muzzle energy ' or other numbers.
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Old September 28, 2012, 12:23 PM   #65
temmi
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It's not a stopper

but

If you can carry it and shoot it under pressure

It is ok


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Old September 28, 2012, 12:33 PM   #66
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I don't know, I think .380 has some bite
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Old September 28, 2012, 01:32 PM   #67
Stressfire
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Originally Posted by reaganmarine84
RE:Stressfire-interesting you consider Bersa as 'inexpensive'. To each his own I guess.
Comparatively speaking, that is

Bersa 380 CC - roughly $300 new - on par with Ruger LCP and slightly more than Taurus 738, KelTec P3AT, or the IO Hellcat - but with features that none of those I listed have

Sig 238s, for example, tend to be more around the $600 range, Colt Pocketlites or Mustangs hover between $700-$800

So, yes, compared to other options I consider Bersa inexpensive

mySig229 - Yikes, what the heck are those? I want some
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Old September 28, 2012, 01:58 PM   #68
357 mag
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Anyone have any experience with Buffalo bore 380 ammo?
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Old September 28, 2012, 04:56 PM   #69
David White
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Anyone have any experience with Buffalo bore 380 ammo?
Buffalo Bore +p rounds are not recommended for use in the tiny guns like the TCP738. A guy on another board fractured his slide shooting the hot .380 loads!
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Old September 28, 2012, 05:06 PM   #70
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Funny you should ask. I just got home a little while ago from the shooting range where I shot my newly purchased Buffalo Bore 380 100gr +P FNHC. Wow. I've shot all kinds of ammo through my ol' Colt Mustang and nothing even vaguely caught my attention. My wife calls that gun "Baby" because it is so pleasant to shoot. You could definitely tell the difference between BB load and anything else I've shot through it. Much snappier. Not a problem whatsoever, but definitely snappier. I recently saw a 31" penetration test on youtube for this load. Me likes it aLOT!

A big plus, if the bullet doesn't hurt the bad guy enough, maybe the cloud of dusty smoke that pours from it will temporarily blind him enough for you to make a get away.
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Old September 28, 2012, 05:56 PM   #71
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Quote:
357 mag

how lethal is the .380 acp round?
Why does everyone down it so much is it really that bad?
Whether a round is lethal is irrelevant to the analysis of choosing a defensive handgun cartridge and handgun from which to shoot it.

All cartridges are lethal.
The issue is incapacitation, not lethality.
Some handgun cartridges are better at incapacitation than others.
The main mechanism of incapacitation is loss of blood pressure due to crushed tissue which causes hemorrhaging. Generally, the more crushed vascular tissue the faster the blood loss. Incapacitation takes time.

Hypothetically, I submit that the best .380 ACP is not as good as the best 10mm auto or .45 ACP in incapacitating a deadly human threat by means of crushing vascular tissue. Assuming the same bullet placement and path, the latter two rounds would likely expand more, penetrate deeper, and crush more tissue leading to faster incapacitation than the .380 ACP.

I submit that all "defensive" handgun cartridges are under-powered. That is why we are trained to shoot at least twice, assess, and proceed as necessary.

What is a "defensive" handgun cartridge is a moving target. It differs which each individual's analysis. I have settled upon handgun cartridges starting at the level of the 9mm parabellum and .38 Special up to something less powerful than full .44 magnum loads. This is a personal preference.

Some people will say they feel safe carrying a .25 ACP. I would not. But I have seen the lethal results of a unarmed large young male being shot by a shooter who hit him 6 or 7 times with a .25 ACP. According to witnesses, the victim tried to run away, was able to run until the shooter ran out of bullets, walked around for a bit then laid down. He eventually expired . . . . eventually.

In choosing a handgun for self-defense, I submit that choosing the most powerful, largest caliber handgun cartridge that you can competently shoot is the best chance for incapacitating a deadly threat in the quickest manner. Do not expect it to stop a determined attacker in less than 5 seconds (maybe a lot longer) even if your shot placement is perfect. Be prepared to move, find cover and fight for your life.
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Old September 28, 2012, 06:06 PM   #72
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I use the .380 ACP because there are times when it is impossible for me to carry anything else.

Period.

I'll take seven rounds of .380 in my pocket instead of anything else sitting at home in my gun safe.
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Old September 28, 2012, 06:21 PM   #73
SHR970
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Quote:
Super Sneaky Steve said: Fact is John Browning never made a bad product.
I'll disagree with your opinion on that.

Baby Browning (based on Browning design), Colt Model 1900, Colt 1908 Vest Pocket Pistol, M1895 Potato Digger, and 25 ACP. The Baby, 1900, and 1908 can and most likely will go off if dropped; I've seen it happen on more than one occasion. The 25 ACP is...well a 25 ACP. Although it can be lethal, shooting someone with one of these may tick them off enough for them to really hurt you bad.

Last edited by SHR970; September 28, 2012 at 06:29 PM.
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Old September 28, 2012, 06:21 PM   #74
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If you're the type to look at numbers when picking a self-defense round, it's pretty evident why the .380 doesn't always get much love. Whether you're looking at muzzle energy, momentum, or the FBI penetration tests, there's a pretty big gap in performance between .380 ACP and 9mm Luger. That doesn't mean that the .380 is worthless, it's just that if numbers are your thing, 9mm gives you a lot more in a slightly-larger package.

Even so, I still carry a .380 when I don't feel like carrying my .40.
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Old September 28, 2012, 06:29 PM   #75
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Why does everyone down it so much is it really that bad?
The 9mm is more effective, and there are small guns available for it. The low bore axis of the .380 produces as much recoil as the 9mm in many guns,and there is an abundance of good ammo available for the nine.
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