I Want A 380

39martind18

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I have a Bersa Thunder 380 that I really like. The Ruger LCP is solid as well.
Bersa Thunder .380s are probably the best in class, in cost to value ratio. Not really a 1911 platform, it does feel familiar enough to the 1911 to work for me. YMMV
 

soundchaser59

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Some interesting perspectives here, thanks for sharing.

I think some guys are stuck where CCW may be less popular, frowned upon by family, or more difficult in "concealed means concealed" areas of the country so they choose smaller more easily concealable stuff. In Texas if it gets uncomfortable I can just take the pistol off or adjust in public or carry openly or throw an AR or other rifle in my truck. I don't have to sweat my shirt riding up over my pistol. Some of the smaller pieces just function better for 24/7 carry. Like you, I prefer a full size pistol with large capacity 22+1 9mm! I usually run a streamlight on mine as well because it's dark out here and sometimes we get lost/meth/drunk/weird people randomly riding up driveways or parking in front of gates.

As for long guns I skip on the shotgun and have 30 rounds of x39 with an Aimpoint by my bed. Pistols are just for convenience.
I've heard good things about carrying in Texas. I'm originally from El Paso anyway, and also have vague familiarity with Houston and Austin. I would likely prefer the bigger cals as well if I was living there. I've also felt like the long pistol style gun that shoots 410 shells might be interesting for close encounters. But for me a smaller youth model 410 shotgun with some buck shot seems appealing as well.
 

sudogeek

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I'm left-handed so I look for two things: an ambidextrous safety and a gun which does not throw the brass backwards. I've owned a number of automatics - Brownings, Glocks, Berettas, etc - but my keeper is a Browning BDA 380 I've had for a over 30 years. It was manufactured by Beretta for Browning and is about the same size as the Beretta 84 or the 1934. It's a great gun. It's bigger as compared to, say, a PPK or Glock 42 and has longer and fuller grip which holds a stacked clip with 13 rounds. Nice weight and balance. I replaced the stock smooth wood grips with Pachmayrs. The gun ejects the brass straight up so it ends up at your feet - convenient if you're reloading. (Some pistols tend to eject the brass backward and to the right which, for a left-hander, can be an issue. With an AR, the cartridge whistles past your right ear.) You might look for one of these used.
 

VonBonfire

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100% agree with this. Had a .380 years ago and was killing some cans one day and one round penetrated a can and the bullet stayed inside the can and spun out its energy and remained inside the can. I was standing probably 15 ft. away. This was disturbing to me when thinking of a self defense weapon. Also had a friend who was shot with a .380 from about 20 feet away and the bullet hit him in the knee and remained there. I got rid of the .380 immediately and started carrying a 9mm. I now carry a .45 Officers Model.
The reality is most people will survive being shot by a handgun so really, just about every handgun caliber is deficient because velocity isn't enough to cause hydrostatic shock. Your best bet, IMO, is as many rounds center of mass as possible, and that means a large capacity auto as you can stand to carry. I don't think .380 vs 9mm vs .45acp makes much difference, just be good with what you brung.

I much prefer revolvers but just due to the nature of my needs out here I had to break down and buy an auto. The possibility of a carload of meth idiots seeking revenge at the wrong house or on a burglary spree or a pack of loose dogs being aggressive. Didn't want to be working in the woods and come out and find a truck full of dirtbags and only have a five shot revolver.
 

1955

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I got a used .380 a couple years ago, really cheap, before ammo went sky high. Mine is a Keltec. They basically innovate cool stuff that larger manufacturers with deeper pockets rip off and improve upon. Anyway, this little 1st gen P3AT needed a little fluff & buff to help with ftf and fte, but it is a great pocket gun. Doesn’t do great with hollow points, but has been solid at the range after some tlc. Customer support is very good in my experience. I rebuilt another discontinued one of theres in the AR platform that was in bad shape and they did me a solid with a hard-to-find part.

I have all the spare parts to maintain the P3AT over my lifetime because I took a liking to it. Very easy to have 6+1 ready to go with a couple 10rd mags in cargo pants pockets for situations where most folks wouldn’t ordinarily carry.

A .380 is basically a shorter 9mm. More folks have probably met their end to 22lr (and .25 back in the day) than a lot of other calibers. Sure, it’s not going to have stopping power like a .357 or 44 mag, but a get-away-from-me mouse gun is better than no gun at all, and I’m not going to carry my full size 9mm P320 with 21+1 everywhere. I just need enough time to get to my other guns haha. I have a little j-frame 38 with +P 38s, that’s only 5 shots, but if you pull the trigger, it goes bang.
 
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studio1087

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If you want a full size handgun would it make more sense to just get another 9? The Taurus Millennium is very compact and for some engineering reason they have almost no recoil. I have a Ruger P89 that kicks like a mule and the Taurus which feels like a gentle baby. The Brazilian Taurus is very nice and very affordable. Great little gun. They call it a compact.

54973-DEFAULT-l.jpg
 

studio1087

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380’s are pretty much concealed. Mine is smaller than my wallet. Bunches of people at my office we’re getting their permits and I didn’t do it but I got interested in 380’s. The band had gigs every Saturday for 4 weeks and I had $600 easy dollars. The Ruger 380 was $400 and I bought one.

You’ve got an 1-3/4 barrel. It’s not a marksmanship gun by any means. 20’....point it at someone. That’s really what your getting.

i eventually got a carry permit. I have never carried. It’s locked in one of two vaults in the basement but I do have it.

Check out the Taurus. You can’t do much with a 380 other than walk around with it totally hidden in you pocket.

Kind of of a mean sad little piece of tech.
 

tap4154

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I've shot and owned pistols and rifles since I was a kid. I really still have quite a few right now, but they're all locked away. Except for one. Not that I'm against guns now, I'm just not obsessed with them. I bought this Smith & Wesson Centennial stainless steel, .38 +P+, I think back in the 90s. I have a Glock 23, I have other pistols, but I've shot this one more than any of them, and this is the only one I keep in my bed stand, and I throw it in the motorhome when I take a trip

The things I love about it is that it's so simple. It has no external hammer. if I go downstairs to answer the door, I could slip it in my pocket, and then pull it out very quickly. However I have to say, I've never done that.

It also has a very long trigger pull, so you can pull the trigger to **** it, then squeeze it off very slowly, and it really is a pleasure to shoot, and is quite accurate at short distances. Unlike the alloy frame versions, it has some heft to it, so it does very well with regular .38 loads. I don't have a concealed carry permit, and have no desire for one. And I don't carry it illegally.

Also, in my older age, I've realized that you're most likely never going to use a gun in self-defense, and there's really nothing to be paranoid about. But I do have plenty of ammo, and a Garand and an M1 carbine, if all hell breaks loose 😎
 

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drmordo

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This is a topic I am conflicted about and my feelings oscillate every few months.

I pocket carry a .380 sometimes. A S&W Bodyguard 380. It's tiny and my most concealable gun. I load it with flatnose FMJ, which I am reasonably confident will hurt a bad guy if necessary. Is it a compromise? Absolutely. Small, light , easily concealable but a low power cartridge and not an easy gun to shoot well.

I'll add that I had a PPK for many years, and it was both unreliable and unpleasant to shoot. It would tear my hand up every time I shot it.

I pocket carry a 9mm sometimes. I have a Keltec PF9 that is a hair bigger than the Bodyguard but holds an equivalent amount of much stronger 9mm ammo. Is it a compromise? Yes. Small, light, but snappy and kind of a cheap gun that has been flawless so far, but I worry about its reliability.

I pocket carry a 357 sometimes. I have a Kimber K6S that is decidedly bigger and heavier than my two small autos. It also carries only six bullets, but I consider revolvers to be far more reliable and 357 has A LOT more power than 9mm. Is it a compromise? Yes, it's heavier/bulkier and has less ammo despite being more reliable and projecting far more power. It is brutal on the hands and ears when shooting full 357 loads. However, I grew up shooting revolvers so I shoot them better.

I have other guns I carry (my main carry gun is a Hi Power loaded with +P+, but I carried a 4" S&W M29 for a coupla years and will likely go thru that phase again) but these are closest to the OP's questions. Personally, If I wanted a large 380 to carry, the Browning or a Beretta 84 would be at the top of my list. I freaking love those Berettas, but I am a 1911 guy thru and thru so I would probly get both... but the fact is I have no problem carrying a larger caliber full size gun, so even if I owned the Browning or Beretta 380, if I'm hanging a gun on my belt it will be in a more powerful caliber.

A couple of gratuitous pics of my favs:

20190103_001405.jpg


After a reblue by S&W due to warranty work. This gun has over 12000 rounds (mostly 44 Specials) thru it.

M29 reblue 1.jpg


I also carry this one when I'm in the mood for a revolver

M629 classic grips.jpg
 
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Twofingerlou

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And I'm convinced that the Browning 1911-380 is the best choice for build quality and comfortable fit in my hand.

I considered the Walther PPK and even the Sig. What I don't understand is why Browning is the only one making a full size 380. I'm just not fond of the fact that every other 380 is a compact or a micro. It's like the 380 isn't considered to be a serious choice. But there are countless clips on YouTube showing that the 380 rounds perform on par with the 9mm.

The other factor is I'm left handed, and Browning is as close as I've seen to being ambidextrous. The Walther is the only other one that seems to care about us south paws.

I did have one factor in favor of Glock and that is the ease of take down and cleaning. I can take my 43x apart blindfolded and put it back together.

Honestly if it’s a full-size why not just by a 9mm? I don’t see any real advantage going 380 verses a 9mm in a gun that size when 9mm generally is cheaper and has better ammo choices.
 

swervinbob

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I’ve got the little Ruger. I carry it more than anything else because it’s so small and slim. And it’s not that bad to shoot either. I can get pretty good groups at seven to ten yards.
 

Wildeman

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380 is a pretty wimpy round in my experience, I'd rather have a 22LR weapon myself, if i was gonna go small.
 

Twofingerlou

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The reality is most people will survive being shot by a handgun so really, just about every handgun caliber is deficient because velocity isn't enough to cause hydrostatic shock. Your best bet, IMO, is as many rounds center of mass as possible, and that means a large capacity auto as you can stand to carry. I don't think .380 vs 9mm vs .45acp makes much difference, just be good with what you brung.

Plenty of police videos out there with people getting dropped with handgun calibers and succumbing to their wounds. Look up the police activity channel on YouTube.

Just like anything technology changes and modern self defense ammo has come a long way than 20 plus years ago. I run federal HST’s in my carry and bedside pistols. Those things blossom and expand like a flower. Speer gold dots are pretty good.

A pistol isn’t as efficient as a shotgun or rifle no doubt but I wouldn’t say you’re under gunned. End of the day shot placement is key. One of the police videos I watch this dude must of been methed out or something, you could see the bullets hitting him and watching him flinch. He kept taking rounds like a boss or the Incredible Hulk. One round most of finally hit the spinal cord or something and finally **** him down.
 

Twofingerlou

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If you want a full size handgun would it make more sense to just get another 9? The Taurus Millennium is very compact and for some engineering reason they have almost no recoil. I have a Ruger P89 that kicks like a mule and the Taurus which feels like a gentle baby. The Brazilian Taurus is very nice and very affordable. Great little gun. They call it a compact.

54973-DEFAULT-l.jpg
If you want a full size handgun would it make more sense to just get another 9? The Taurus Millennium is very compact and for some engineering reason they have almost no recoil. I have a Ruger P89 that kicks like a mule and the Taurus which feels like a gentle baby. The Brazilian Taurus is very nice and very affordable. Great little gun. They call it a compact.

54973-DEFAULT-l.jpg


No offense but there’s too many better choices than a Taurus for the money in today’s market. Their revolvers are eh ok, there autos are too dicey.
 

drmordo

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No offense but there’s too many better choices than a Taurus for the money in today’s market. Their revolvers are eh ok, there autos are too dicey.

I have now had three of the Taurus autos he references, and every one had been absolutely flawless, and I have run them dirty and shot many different kinds of ammo thru them. I have had far more problems with Glocks than I have with those Taurus pistols. I actually carried one of those G2Cs for a while because the Glock 26 I bought was unreliable junk. This was before I started carrying a full size handgun.

Taurus has had their problems for sure, but those autos are probly the best gun they have ever produced.
 

rz350

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I have a Beretta 9mm for CC, it shoots straight, is as reliable as an anvil, and I know it well....

I don't know what to recommend to you without more information.
 




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