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  1. #1
    hideit's Avatar
    hideit is offline Senior Member
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    380 - most reliable

    what is the most reliable 380?

    i like the weight of the keltec but a lot of people tell me dont get it
    and with a lot of the posts they complain about the problems

    so should I just go with the Kahr PM9 or
    is there another small 380 out there that I should consider?

    i am trying to find a small pocket pistol with the right amount of power

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  3. #2
    Snowman's Avatar
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    Well, the three that always come up are the Walther PPK or PPK/S, Bersa 380 Thunder, and the Sig 232. I'm a Walther guy, and my PPK/S has been flawless at the range, but it's a real pain to field strip and clean because there's a certain spring that likes to jump out and hide. I just bought a Bersa for a family member. I haven't shot it or anything but the quality is definitely not up with my Walther. I don't know much about the Sig, but I'm sure it's a nice gun.

  4. #3
    benzuncle's Avatar
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    NAA Guardian

    I have an NAA Guardian 380. I chose it after a lot of research and use it specifically for my daily carry. (I would love to have a Sig 220 45ACP for my daily carry but haven't figured out how to hide the dang thing!) The NAA 380 in a DeSantis Nemesis holster hides easily in my pocket. I've put 450 rounds through it in the last 6 weeks with no problems. It is a little heavier than the Kel-Tec, but after feeling the punch it produces, I would rather have the weight in my hand. I've replaced the stock grips with wood grips (Hogue) and it is very comfortable in my hand whether shooting with one or two hands. I have used American Eagle 95gr (made by Federal), Magtech 95gr, bulk 380 purchased at the gun show and my carry loads, Golden Saber 102 gr. All do well in the piece. The gun is easy to clean; the frame and barrel are one piece (made for NAA by Kahr until recently). Another nifty feature is that the slide has a small gap in it where you can see if there is a round in the pipe. I keep one in the pipe which means I have 7 rounds. The finger extensions on the magazines work really well. The 380 comes with one straight mag and one with the extension. I purchased another finger extension because I don't like the straight one. The replacement is easy to figure out. One last thing about the piece: the trigger guard rubs the first knuckle on my trigger finger. In a "situation" this would not be a problem; at the range where I'm putting 100 rounds or more through it at a time, I put a band-aid on my finger and this eliminates the problem of rubbing. Ironically, a friend of mine has a Kahr 40cal. and his trigger guard rubs me in the same spot. NAA 380's aren't cheap, and I understand that one gentleman had a rusting problem with his. As I said, I've had no problems with mine. It is very accurate at 21ft. I hit a 8.5 x 11 in target almost every shot, even when shooting quickly. The more I shoot it, the more I like it. There are a number of options for the piece through NAA and are listed on their website.

  5. #4
    benzuncle's Avatar
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    As Snowman mentioned, the Walther, Sig and Bersa are all fine pieces. I was thinking carry only (shame on me). I'd own the Walther or Sig in a heartbeat. I believe Sig uses the Walther action it it's 380 but I may be wrong.

  6. #5
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    To address the .380 question - I own or have owned the Sig, Walther, and the KT P3AT. The Sig 230 or 232 (232 is just a slightly updated 230) is hands down the best .380 out there. The reason why I don't own one now is that there are too many 9mm's that are essentially the same size and even slightly smaller.

    I have the Walther PPK/s just because I like Walthers and it's a classic design. Mine is quite reliable, and I would carry it if I didn't already have a Kahr. My P3AT has been 100% for about 400 rounds now, and I carry it when I don't want to mess with a belt holster. I know many have problems with their KT's, but mine has been wonderfully boring in it's reliability. I don't care to carry something the size of a PM9 or PPK/s or 232 in my pocket, but the P3AT is quite easy to do so.

    As for power (and I don't know what you mean by "right amount of power") - I don't feel undergunned with a .380, but then again I am a very capable shooter who knows the limits of what I carry. That being said, I do favor a 9mm when I carry in the surrounding cities. If I could just own one CC pistol, it would be a 9mm such as a PM9 or Glock 26 or Walther PPS. Of those three, the PM9 is much more pocketable.....

    PhilR.

  7. #6
    mactex is offline Member
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    The earlier notes were good. I thought I'd also mention the Seecamp. I've not owned one, but I've heard good things about them.

  8. #7
    dourdave is offline Junior Member
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    I have been carrying the PPK/S-1 in the front pocket of cargo shorts all summer. A good pocket holster helps. The PPK/S-1 has been a good performer at the range and we both like each other. (The "Spring" problem during field stripping has been corrected by S&W) A larger .380 to consider is the Beretta Cheetah. Also a nice gun and fun to shoot. It's just too large to pocket carry.

  9. #8
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Of the guns mentioned, I suspect the SIG has the best track record of reliability. PPKs are hit and miss. The Bersa has earned a generally good reputation, but it is still fairly new on the market. However, the SIG is also a very large .380 - as large as some 9mms and .40s. I am not sure why anyone would carry a .380 when they could carry a more potent gun that is the same size or smaller.

    Like PhilR., I have had excellent reliability from my KelTec P3AT. Some people have apparently not been so lucky, however.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  10. #9
    Snowman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dourdave View Post
    I have been carrying the PPK/S-1 in the front pocket of cargo shorts all summer. A good pocket holster helps. The PPK/S-1 has been a good performer at the range and we both like each other. (The "Spring" problem during field stripping has been corrected by S&W) A larger .380 to consider is the Beretta Cheetah. Also a nice gun and fun to shoot. It's just too large to pocket carry.
    S&W didn't correct the problem on mine; I bought it about a year ago.

  11. #10
    medicmerlynn is offline Junior Member
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    i just happened across this post as i was trying to find a thread about personal defense weapons. for my 21st birthday i bought myself a KT P3AT and have been absolutely thrilled with it. that was almost 4 years ago. i bought the gun based on a few recommendations from friends and the fact that it placed in the top 10 backup guns for police that year. i have been very happy with its overall performance. there have been a few jams and one or two ftl's but the kinks have worked themselves out nicely. understand this though, the only reason why i bought the gun was for personal defense. i understand this gun isn't fun to shoot on a daily... (actually, i love shooting it all the time)... but it is extremely concealable and it does its job when i'm in a pinch. i'm actually looking for another carry gun and that's what prompted me to join the forum... hopefully i'll find some good information that'll point me in the right direction!

  12. #11
    Pointblank's Avatar
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    Don't forget the CZ-83. It's a top-shelf .380 pistol.


  13. #12
    cluznar is offline Junior Member
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    Bersa Thunder .380 --- In fact Bersa Guns and Glock Guns ARE Very reliable.

  14. #13
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    +1 on the Bersa, own one and it is solid....second would be the Ruger LCP w/Crimson Trace, wife's and also has been a flawless pistol....JJ

  15. #14
    LAGNAF is offline Junior Member
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    SIG P232 enough said.

  16. #15
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    I've yet to see another .380 for which I would trade my old Beretta 70S.

  17. #16
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    The 380 for a defense round is the pits, like someone said they could pass a kidney stone with more power.
    The 380 in states like Texas is the LOWEST caliper you can test with

  18. #17
    sonja is offline Junior Member
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    I know this is in the "general semi-auto " part of the forum -- but, there is a .380 revovlver -- perhaps it might be "the most reliable".

  19. #18
    jfcooper59 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by barstoolguru View Post
    The 380 for a defense round is the pits, like someone said they could pass a kidney stone with more power.
    The 380 in states like Texas is the LOWEST caliper you can test with
    "actually in Texas the smallest you can test with is the .32"

  20. #19
    qwiksdraw's Avatar
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    Ditto on the Bersa Thunder 380,it's my carry gun and I am 100% confidant with it.

    Don't let the price fool you into thinking it is a cheap gun. Inexpensive, yes and you get a lot of gun for the money. With what you save, you can buy lot's of ammo.

  21. #20
    kcs1 is offline Junior Member
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    Take a look at the Masterpiece Arms .380 Protector. Very reasonable price, very well made, same size as a Seecamp and it works.

  22. #21
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    M&P Bodyguard looks interesting.

  23. #22
    RustyNut's Avatar
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    I have a S&W .380 Bodyguard for a pocket carry. So far it has shot everything I've put through it. And it fits nicely in a pocket. I'm not real impressed with the lazer, I wish it would have been made to be removable.

  24. #23
    zeke4351 is offline Junior Member
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    Sig P238 at the bottom of the picture for .380 but if you want 9mm go with the Sig P938 shown at the top.

  25. #24
    TAPnRACK's Avatar
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    Sig P238 is ultra reliable... 600 rds without a hiccup and counting. Goes everywhere with me.


  26. #25
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    I've got 4 .380's, a Bodyguard, a Beretta 84FS, and 2 Bersa Thunders - all very accurate. I'd recommend any of them.

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