.380 for self defense?

Discussion in 'Guns - Blackpowder' started by flathead willie, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    I've been looking for a smaller lighter gun than my 1911 for concealed carry. I looked at a cool little .380 that has a wallet for a holster and can shoot from the wallet. The only problem is I have a fear of light weight guns when it comes to self defense. I've never carried anything but .45s and .357s. What do you guys think about the stopping power of a .380?
     
  2. catfisherman369

    catfisherman369 Floyd

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    4,944
    State:
    Nashville Il.
    Anything smaller then a 9mm catches my fat hand with the slide unless its a revolver ...lol

    A 380 could be and would be deadly in the right hands . The 357 is right up my alley . Thats a great gun .
     

  3. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    I've had that happen to me before, but in a life or death situation I wouldn't worry too much about it, except for getting meat in the action and jamming the gun! LOL. I'm 6'3" and have pretty big hands. I know that when you shoot someone with a .45, they tend to stay shot...and stay down.
     
  4. 223reload

    223reload New Member

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    10,798
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    Oklahoma
    Willie ,look at a ballistic table 380vs 9mm,not much difference in them ,
     
  5. SGTREDNECK

    SGTREDNECK New Member

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    1,522
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    A well placed shot with any caliber will drop any man in his tracks. A 380 is small but still deadly. And they are pretty cheap too. Good luck
     
  6. THE PAN MAN

    THE PAN MAN New Member

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    1,213
    State:
    hartsburg mo.
    like 223 says. a 9 and a 380 the bullt moves 2 fast and with little knockdown power altough will go right through them. i personally would say a 45 or 40 is the best best the bullet moves slower and has the knock down power i want them to stay shot if it comes to that. i personally carry a walther pps 40 cal. tactial issue. one hell of a pistol for knock down and accurecy
     
  7. THE PAN MAN

    THE PAN MAN New Member

    Messages:
    1,213
    State:
    hartsburg mo.
    i would andrew also.( andrew also being my son) one shot one kill depends on bullet placement
     
  8. THE PAN MAN

    THE PAN MAN New Member

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    1,213
    State:
    hartsburg mo.
    also agree. sorry for my last sentence. im not a good typer
     
  9. cubacroc

    cubacroc Member

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    43
    State:
    Louisville, Kentucky
    The ATF has regulations regarding wallet type holsters. Some of the older full concealment wallet type holsters are classified as AOW ( Any Other Weapon ) devices and may require a license and tax.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2009
  10. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    Thanks, I haven't heard of anything like that before. The place that sells them is the same place that qualifies people for their permits. I'll have to look into that.
     
  11. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    Yea, I'm old school. I started shooting 1911 .45s since about 1960 since my Dad was a Naval officer and carried one. I've shot a lot of steel plates and it's easy to see the difference between a 9mm and a .45 in knock down power. I've killed two deer with it and it slams them.:wink:
     
  12. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia
    I guess it comes down to a confidence thing. I have total confidence in a .45 but I need something lighter and easier to conceal. I found a neat little Taurus .45 online that holds 10 rounds but is pretty small. I may have to check those out.

    http://hunting.about.com/library/weekly/aasttauruspt145.htm
     
  13. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

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    6,252
    State:
    Verde Valley AZ
    Don't forget,,,

    What you're wanting, is a One Shot STOP,,, In theory

    You can still be hurt and or killed, even after you've made a killing shot. Man or beast.

    Most training, involves, putting several rounds on target, for self defense. Which, in the heat of the moment may be difficult,,,, How good is your training...
    so, the larger calibers, make sense ,,,,
    However, if you don't carry the large caliber,,,because, it's,,, Large,, I'd much prefer to actually HAVE,, the .380,, .22 LR, .22 Mag, .32, etc in the event I really needed something. and,, empty the first magazine, or cylinder into the target.
     
  14. Magnus777

    Magnus777 New Member

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    State:
    Arkansas
  15. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    i dont recommend a .380,i wouldnt use anything less then a 9mm..380 just dosent penetrate enough.on that note i wouldnt want to be shot with it either know what i mean ? lol.
    when people ask me which gun is best for self defense i tell them its the one in there hand when the shooting starts.I guess anything is better then throwing a rock.
     
  16. Jeremy Sheffey

    Jeremy Sheffey New Member

    Messages:
    2,388
    State:
    Columbus, Ohio
    i had a bersa .380 it was one of my favorite carry guns...

    as far as stopping power it doesn't have near what my .45's have, and they are what i carry the most. however with the personal defense rounds they have out now you can really step up the stopping power of a .380 to that of a .40 cal. Im talking about he ANTI-SHOCK rounds... they really expand fast and one hell of a lot more then the standard hollow point rounds. i shot a standard FMJ hollow point and a Self defense round into a metal tub and the hollow point expanded fairly well and went through the 1/4 inch tub. the self defense round went through also but expanded almost twice the size. in my mind carrying a .380 with those rounds would create enough energy and force to do the job needed against an average enemy. however if they were high on meth or any of the other drugs that are common today i would much rather have my .45 with the same rounds. JMO
     
  17. mcseal2

    mcseal2 Active Member

    Messages:
    503
    State:
    Kansas
    I have always preferred revolvers in 38/357, but since they are bulky and inconvenient to carry they often get left in the truck where they may not do any good anyway.

    I live on a ranch, and had a 45 & a 40 a couple years ago, I used them to put down terminally ill animals, and to shoot a broke-backed doe my neighbor hit with his truck. I was not impressed with the shock delivered on target from either of them compared to my 357, so I sold them.

    Now I too am in the market for a smaller gun and I too am looking at the 380. I hate to drop that far in power, but you can get them in a gun small enough to carry all the time. I have been doing some research on Hornady's new flex-tip load, and from the 3 articles I have seen, the 90gr 380 loads are offering 10-12" of penetration with 2x expansion from a 3" barrel. That is pretty decent performance from any auto pistol load, and exceptional for a 380. I think I could be happy with a Ruger LCP & crimson trace lasergrips dialed in for these bullets, at least to get me safely back to the truck with my 357 & rifle.

    Another good option I have considered is the little Glock 33 in 357sig. You get 357 performance in a small package. I would like to shoot one first before buying though, that would probably be a real handfull.

    Good luck picking one out, let us know what you decide and how you like it.
     
  18. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    I carried a 380 for years as a back up and now since I am retired I carry it all the time. You load that sucker with some 90 grn hydro shocks and practice at 15 feet until you can throw the first shot at the throat area and second head and I guareentee you will body slam him . I don't worry about carry a big weapon because your fight is going to come into play at 7 to 15 feet. Practice the twp tap methoed and you will be fine with a 380
     
  19. NJ CLAD

    NJ CLAD New Member

    Messages:
    196
    State:
    Arizona
    If I were going to rely on a 380ACP to save my life (which I occasionally do), I would only do it if it was a Colt 380 mustang or 380 government with the proper hand loads. These are the only 380's that are not made with blow back slides. They lock up the same as their big brother 45 ACP, with a locking lug between the slide and barrel. A smart reloader can manufacture safe, high pressure ammo for these pistols. My personal loads push an 80 grain barnes bullet 1300 fps. When tested shooting through a leather jacket, lined with pork ribs, and wet newspaper, the penetration was deep enough that I am sure it would exit a man shot in the chest, at combat ranges; leaving an exit wound significantly bigger than the entrance. 380 factory solids, did not preform well in the above mentioned test. Since this is the reloading page, I'm assuming that you know how to load your own ammo, and use a micrometer to determine maximum pressure for the cases involved and the firearm used. If this is not the case, I would consider 38 special +P the minimum, for life saving pistols or revolvers.