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What do you Think of the 380 ACP for a Carry Firearm

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  • What do you Think of the 380 ACP for a Carry Firearm

    I carry a keltec P3AT (380 ACP) for Personel protection. I would like to carry a larger caliber firearm but it is allways a burden and I find myself not carrying the larger caliber handguns. Do you think the 380 is enough gun? Would you carry a 380? What ammo is the best. I carry REM Golden Sabers 102 grain HP. I also carry a extra mag this gives me 13 total rounds. Thanks for you help.

  • #2
    I guess if you cannot carry a larger caliber then .380 is the best for you. There are several fellow officers that carry a .380 as a back-up/off-duty gun and use FMJ ammo. There was some concern (right or wrong) of under penetration with hollow points. However, if you do want to carry hollow point ammo then I would say you will be happy with most of the quality manufacturers. There will be some differences but overall they will get the job done.

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    • #3
      Check out the 'Kahr" line. Most of their semi's are the same size as many 380acp pistols and you can get them in 40sw. I prefer the 40sw over any 380acp to save my hind quarter any day of the week.
      "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

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      • #4
        For the type of shooting situations you would use it for (personal protection, not tactical use), the .380 is very sufficient. The Golden Sabre is a good round, as is the Silvertip. Buffalo bore makes some of the best +p .380 ammo on the market.
        The vast majority of shots in self defense are close range, straight on. Penetration is more than sufficient.

        That being said, if you could get one of the new, compact 9mm's (Kel-Tec makes one), you would certainly be better armed.

        The three most important things in a gunfight: shot placement, followed closely by shot placement which in turn is followed by shot placement.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Outshined
          I used to carry a .380 off duty, it was a nice gun. I think it will do the job ok from what I have seen.
          Carried a Sig P-230 off duty...Nice little weapon...

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          • #6
            I have a Sig P232 (.380 ACP) that I bought for ocassional carry. I have no problems using it in that roll. Make sure you buy good ammo. I also have a Sig P245 (compact .45 ACP) that I carry at times. Depending on where I am going, I have even carryied my full size P220. You would be suprised how easy the single stacks conceal.

            But I find myself more and more carrying the little S&W J frame .38 special that has been passed down from my dad. It is 50 years old and has never failed me. Small and easy to conceal.

            Bottom line is, the gun you always carry is much better than the one you leave at home. My HK USP 45 is an awesome weapon, holds 13 rnds of 45, and its a tack driver. But it wont help me defend myself when it is sitting in the safe because it is so freaking HUGE I cant conceal it.

            For a purely defensive roll, I say the .380 would be fine.
            Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
            --Winston Churchill--

            "Si vis pacem, para bellum"

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            • #7
              If you mean from a purely ballisitic standpoint, then it's fine. .380 has solid potential to wound and terminal properties. Practice with it a bit and there should be no problems. Most people would say it's the bottom range of a defense caliber; I usually tend to agree. .32 or .25 won't cut it.
              "Officer, you are kinda hot."

              "And you are kinda intoxicated."

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Protection Ofc. View Post
                I carry a keltec P3AT (380 ACP) for Personel protection. I would like to carry a larger caliber firearm but it is allways a burden and I find myself not carrying the larger caliber handguns. Do you think the 380 is enough gun? Would you carry a 380? What ammo is the best. I carry REM Golden Sabers 102 grain HP. I also carry a extra mag this gives me 13 total rounds. Thanks for you help.
                A Kahr or a Walther PPS are all roughly the same size and fire a much better round.

                A 147 grain Ranger Talon will serve you a lot better than a 102 grain Golden Saber.

                It's only your life riding on the gun.

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                • #9
                  Thanks for all the great information.

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                  • #10
                    When you say "carry firearm" do you mean duty weapon? If so NO WAY, I wouldnt even carry a 9mm as a duty weapon let alone the cut short .380version of it! .40S&W at the least. Now, if you are talking about a concealed carry firearm, thats a different story. I also have a kel tec p3at that i am gonna get rid of as soon as i can get my hands on a ruger lcp, and that is a cool little hidden gun which is perfect for concealed carry

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                    • #11
                      If price is not an issue, check out this---

                      http://www.rohrbaughfirearms.com/

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                      • #12
                        underpowered IMHO, I like 9 or 40 at least, you can get a compact gun in 9 or 40 these days, www.kahrarms.com

                        I've seen a lot of .380's just not penetrate very deeply, stopped by leather coats and down in the winter time, penetrate only 2-3" on some subjects, bounce off bone... ETC.

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                        • #13
                          "A 147 grain Ranger Talon will serve you a lot better than a 102 grain Golden Saber. "

                          I do believe the smaller grained 9mm's are better for firing from a pistol. The heavier rounds are unable to gain the proper velocity to get good expansion and thus are not as effective as a little smaller grainage round. Although 125 grains is still quiet a bit better, than 102, and that expands more reliably.

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                          • #14
                            Modern ammo, especially the Ranger series Winchester, has a very wide velocity window in which it functions properly.

                            These days, grain weight & velocity matters less than bullet construction & design.

                            If you want lighter ammo, great.

                            115 grain Corbon DPX solid copper JHP or Gold Dot 115 grain will do just as well as a 147 grain Ranger...which will do the job as well as 124 grain Golden Saber...which will do the job as well as 135 grain Federal bonded.

                            The point is, any of those 9mm rounds is better than using a .380ACP when you can get it out of the same sized package.

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                            • #15
                              I carry a Keltec P3AT as a BUG. I generally will not carry it as a primary off-duty gun. My G26 is small enough to be unobtrusive. I have been looking at the Walther PPS. 9mm in a very slim package.

                              If you are using the .380 as an alternative to NO GUN then I guess that's acceptable. However it really isn't a good option for someone who wants to go armed.
                              "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
                              8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

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