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Old March 17, 2013, 08:20 AM   #26
spdracr39
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I had a BG380 that I still like. It kicks a little but after putting a Pachmyer sleeve grip on it is manageable. My wife got her chcl and a gave it to her and I graduated to a Sig P938. It is almost as small and the larger caliber makes me feel more manly. It is a great carry gun and I love it. I don't have issues with the .380 caliber but bigger is better The $700.00 price tag stings a little but it is worth it IMHO.
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Old March 17, 2013, 08:46 AM   #27
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The 380 has been around and been carried for years and years (since 1912). It's not going anywhere.

I think it is too small of a cartridge for hollow point ammo to be reliable though. I think that you need more penatration.
I carry 103gr cast bullets with a huge meplat (Ranch Dog). Its an accurate round and I dont feel undergunned at all.
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Old March 17, 2013, 09:11 AM   #28
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I agree with UtahHunting: it's stronger than it was several years ago. There are more and varied loads for it - I suspect it benefited from the realization that semi-autos were not the jam-o-matics they were thought to be up until the 1970s. In fact, I see more types of 380 hollow point than I do 38 Special, so I suspect some people have shifted their allegiance to the auto.

One real advantage to it over the 9mm is ammo availability during panic buys - I can find 380 ammo, but I can't find 9mm.
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Old March 17, 2013, 09:37 AM   #29
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Sig P238, Kahr P380, Keltec P3AT, Ruger LCP, released this year Ruger LC380, Sig P232, S&W Bodyguard 380, Sig P250 380, Walther PPK/S, Bersa Thunder 380, Walther PK380, Taurus TCP... all still pretty popular. I don't see 380 going anywhere as it's the #1 caliber choice for small pocket guns in the US.

When I pocket carry I use the LCP however love the Keltec P3AT as well.
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Old March 17, 2013, 01:01 PM   #30
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I started experimenting with overloading 9mm pistols as soon as I started reloading in 2000.
I only started getting serious about testing the 380 with in the last year, but I did get 357 mag performance out of a 380 in Sept 2003 [1187 fps 158 gr], but that was just a raw datum, and not the falsifiable science I am trying to assemble now.

The People Magazine version of what I would say about the 380 vs the 9mm is:
1) 9mm pistols almost all have thick chamber walls, heavy slides, room for good recoil springs, and case support to .19" or less [9mm case webs are .16"]. This makes for a robust pistol that can take double loads of Power Pistol and kick like a mule.
2) 380 pistols can have thick or thin chamber walls, heavy or lite slide, big or small recoil spring volume, and case support from .17" to .29" with 380 brass having a case web .175" thick. This makes pistols that can barely tolerate 380 +P to pistols with hot handloads that can beat the best factory 357 mag ammo with the same short barrel lengths.

What does it all mean?
With the wide variation in 380s, the pistol may be able to handle just wimpy or really hot. The tiny one that fits in your shirt pocket is likely the wimpy kind.
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Old March 17, 2013, 01:15 PM   #31
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I bought an LCP when they first came out.
I already had a Kahr PM9, and the PM9 has gotten far more carry and shooting time.

I have often taken that pair to the range (as I did earlier this week) to allow a friend who has recently gotten his CHL. He has a 642 but thinks it too large for pocket carry.

He put about 50 rounds through the LCP, 50 through the PM9 and took the LCP (plus pocket holster) with him to carry for a week. I took his 642.

Yesterday he contacted me and asked me to keep an eye out for an LCP for him. Fortunately, my LGS has several.

Now as far as finding ammo...that is a question for another day. But I have a box or two I can spare, and he can pay me back one day when ammo is readily available again.
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Old March 17, 2013, 01:27 PM   #32
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My Big Sister didn't much care for shooting until she got her "own" gun.

A S&W Bodyguard in .380

Despite my hatred of the name Bodyguard not referring to snub nose revovler with a shrouded hammer, it's still a neat little gun, and what's more she can shoot it well and even enjoys shooting it. To the point where she depleted my zombie stash of small pistol primers in a matter of weeks.

So I think it is still going strong.
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Old March 17, 2013, 02:06 PM   #33
David White
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Is the 380 Still Going Strong?

I'm with you guys! I have been carrying my .380 for a couple of years now.
I bought the Taurus TCP for its feature set that was not available on the other pocket guns.
The slide locks back after the last round is fired, it has dual recoil springs, it has a chamber loaded indicator on the extractor and a concealed hammer and small sights for a snag free draw from the pocket!
Mine does not like the 102grn Golden Saber but it is flawless with every other round on the market. I keep mine loaded with Critical Defense and I have no doubts that it will do its job.
I use a "BlackHawk" pocket holster and it disappears into my pocket.

Last edited by David White; March 17, 2013 at 02:15 PM.
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Old March 17, 2013, 02:47 PM   #34
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Yeah, only the wimpy 380s get carried; Kel-Tec P3AT, Ruger LCP, and Kahr P380.
But each one weighs a little more and is a little more powerful.
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Old March 17, 2013, 06:27 PM   #35
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It ain't small, light, modern, or common. It is a lot of fun, and I don't think it will ever wear out or break. And it always goes BANG! ................. [IMG][/IMG]
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Old March 18, 2013, 11:34 AM   #36
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Sharp dressed man,
I have emailed you the American Rifleman July 1885 article on 1934 Berettas.

Per my experiments on a WWII bring back I got at a gun show...
The chamber wall is 0.82" in the thinnest spots, and that is good for up to triple 380 loads, and then the chamber starts to expand.

My late uncle in WWII took a 1934 Beretta from an Italian Officer that was a prisoner of war. My cousin has since sanded it down and re blued it
But I had possession of that pistol for a few months in 1972.
I have always been impressed with that pistol.
I have a picture of my mother shooting it in the late 1940s.
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Old March 18, 2013, 12:00 PM   #37
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Sharpsdressed Man- nice! My wife inherited a 1934 from her Grandfather and has owned it since the mid-80's. Great gun!

Clark- would you please send me the article? I'd love to see it. Thanks!

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Old March 18, 2013, 12:06 PM   #38
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Is the 380 Still Going Strong?

I generally CC the sig p238 or the Tcp738, but on occasion depending on climate & situation the PT745. The TCP seems to get the most use with hornaday CD.





Sent from iPhone
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Old March 18, 2013, 12:36 PM   #39
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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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Old March 18, 2013, 01:10 PM   #40
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Pops, who was career Air Force, and carried either a M-1911A1 or M-15 for all of his career in addition to a CAR-15, recently traded in his Colt Series 70 Commander for a Ruger LCR in .380 ACP. Well not recently, been a couple of years, but after carrying a full sized duty gun, or nearly so, for round about forty years, the change was remarkable.

And he simply didn't want to dress around the gun anymore, he has a pocket holster for it and can just slip it into the pocket of his Wranglers or old man shorts and be off.
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Old March 18, 2013, 01:12 PM   #41
Clark
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Quote:
AH.74
Clark- would you please send me the article? I'd love to see it. Thanks!
done
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Old March 18, 2013, 03:34 PM   #42
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Thanks, Clark! we were interested to learn that the one we have is a 20th anniversary of the "Fascist Italian" regime. There's a picture on p.2 of your article, and in the pic above you can see the same "XX." Pretty cool stuff to find out after all these years.
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Old March 18, 2013, 05:41 PM   #43
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The .380 is not an ideal defense cartridge, but it ain't goin' away anytime soon because of the portability that some of the smaller pistols have. The SAAMI pressure limit for the .380 ACP is 21,500 PSI and cartridges that are loaded higher than that like Buffalo Bore are definitely +P.

What you have to take into consideration are the 2 different locking systems employed in .380. The Blowback types are the most encountered and I'd stay away from +P if I had a Blowback operated Pistol. While Ruger may not recommend the use of +P in the LCP, it is a Locked Breech design like the majority of larger 9mm pistols and it is the stronger system. While I might not rush out and buy Buffalo Bore +P ammo for it, if I had it I would fire some rounds to prove it functions and carry them if they were loaded with a JHP bullet like the SPEER Gold Dot or the 102 gr. Remington Golden Saber.

Locked Breech .380 pistols are becoming increasingly more available like the SIG/Sauer P-238, Colt Government/Mustangs and the new Ruger LC 380 among others and if I carried a .380 pistol it would be of the Locked Breech type in order to use higher pressure JHP loads, some of which do pretty well in various gel tests.
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Old March 18, 2013, 05:55 PM   #44
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Carry one or the other....

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Old March 20, 2013, 12:23 PM   #45
Mr Budha
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Been thinking about picking up an LCP. This helped me decide
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Old March 21, 2013, 09:39 PM   #46
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I have been carrying a KelTec P3AT for 3+ years and it is my preferred carry gun over a S&W 640, S&W 642, NAA 22mag, Colt Detective, Walter PPK (that is a 380) and S&W 66.

Have not put 1000s of round through the gun but maybe 400 to 500 and never had a problem feeding any type of ammo.

Yes I think it is here to stay.
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Old March 22, 2013, 04:06 PM   #47
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Thanks, Clark!

Didn't know what to make of your email til I got back into this thread! Definitely enjoyed pondering the data, and your comments above. This makes me feel better abut the ever-so-slight top end loads I work up. I guess if my powder measure is off a little bit, I'm not going to worry!
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Old March 22, 2013, 04:52 PM   #48
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Old March 22, 2013, 05:09 PM   #49
lcpiper
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.380ACP has been selling well enough here that the prices have been dropping from around $32 to $38 for a 50rnd box to the $25 dollar range. And it's available where most other calibers are not.

I carry my P238 on my morning walks every day. I would carry to work to if I could but that just isn't a possibility working on a Military base.
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Old March 23, 2013, 02:40 PM   #50
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a little off topic, but...

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.
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