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Old December 13, 2010, 02:35 PM   #17
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Join Date: February 12, 2005
Location: North central Ohio
Posts: 6,831
The .380 has a slide lock, but I'm sure small mags like that are a pain to fumble with. A five shot speedloader might be easier.
With equal training and practice, a revolver being reloaded with a "speedloader" will never be as fast or as easy to do as inserting a magazine (even one as small as some .380 mags are) into a semi-auto with the slide locked back is.

And forget the so-called intimidation factor. If you have cause to point a firearm at another human being, it's only because your life and/or limb or that of another innocent person's is at risk. And if yours or another's life is on the line, you want a defensive handgun to put your adversary down; not count on it to make him run away (if he does flee at the mere sight of your pistol, that would be the best possible outcome and a welcome response-but I would never select a firearm to be employed for self-defense on the basis of any supposed "fear factor").

As to choosing between a small revolver chambered in .38 Special or an equally small semi-auto chambered in .380 ACP, it pretty much comes down to the higher capacity and easier reload of the auto vs the simplicity and unsurpassed reliability of the revolver. Maybe the most important difference between the two (as others have noted), many, if not most, would agree that in terms of "stopping" power, the best .38 Special load is likely superior to the best .380 load. Your choice may simply come down to which of the two under consideration you can shoot best and which one conceals better and is quicker to hand when your state of usual attire is reviewed.

If you simply need a small handgun to augment your regular carry piece(es) to accomodate climate (mode of dress) and/or social circumstances, I don't think you could go very wrong with either of the two.
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