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  1. #1
    cclaxton's Avatar
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    What are the best 380 auto's?

    I have two 380 guns: Bersa 380ThunderCC, which I like to shoot and is accurate, reliable, etc., and the Bodyguard 380 auto. And, I own 4 9mm guns, and am really loving the Cz 2075. I like the Bersa a lot, but what is better for a 380 pistol in DA/SA?...or DAO?

    I lean towards the Walther PK380 or the Cz 83.
    Any other 380's still in production I should consider? ...not looking for pocket gun, but high end 380.

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
    1jimmy's Avatar
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    ruger has a lcp 380 and a lc9 9mm, sig has a p290 9mm and a p238 380 beretta has a 84fs 380, walther pk 380 is an excellent choice and glock even has a 380

  4. #3
    denner's Avatar
    denner is online now Senior Member
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    One of the best, if not the best quality .380's on the market is the Beretta 84FS Cheetah. Although, for this Rolls Royce your gonna have to lay down some dime, but it will last a very, very, long time.. MSRP $770 TO $830. Mama-Mia! However, they have been around a while and used ones can be had very reasonable.

  5. #4
    jakeleinen1 is offline Member
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    Not a fan of .380s

    But if I get one it will be the Sig P238, their small little 1911 design in .380 looks badass

  6. #5
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    I'm not sure that I understand your question.

    If you are not looking for a pocket gun, why would you want a .380 ACP pistol at all?

    If one wishes to carry a compact or full-size pistol, anyone could handle a more effective caliber than that.

    "Traditional Double-Action" (TDA) semi-autos are harder to shoot well than even "Double-Action Only" (DAO) pistols, because one has to handle the second-shot transition from DA to SA, which is a distraction. The ideal is to have a weapon which presents the exact same trigger action for each and every shot.

  7. #6
    Cat's Avatar
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    My wife hits bulls all day long with her pk380 at 25yards.Very nice pistol in a 380. It is the first time,I picked up a walther. But I can say, It is a very nice pistol. And I pick up the p22 for my kid.And she love it as well.

    pk380 is all most the same size as my glock-27. Very close,Glock is little bit widder.

  8. #7
    2gunkenny's Avatar
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    I like the Bersa and have had more/carried more of them than others. I liked the Beretta but it was too nice of a gun to carry. The Ruger and Keltec are nice as pocket guns but I didn't care for the triggers or Dao. The Bersa is a good choice even though people seem to think they are a lower grade pistol. I like the DA/SA setup myself and they carry nice. For all those who think the 380 is not a good choice for a defense round,get shot in the head by one and see how you like it.

  9. #8
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2gunkenny View Post
    ...For all those who think the 380 is not a good choice for a defense round,get shot in the head by one and see how you like it.
    The issue is not whether or not one will be injured or hurt, or whether one might eventually die, but rather how to immediately and decisively stop a fight.
    There is no question that the .380 ACP round is not an immediate and decisive fight stopper, unless one's shots are extremely well placed.
    None but the extremely well practiced and cucumber-cool will make accurate head shots during a save-your-life panic.
    Don't kid yourself.

  10. #9
    hideit's Avatar
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    IMO i think the 380's could soon be an after thought
    the new single stack CCW 9mm's are, in all practical dimensions, the same size.
    yea i read the dimensions and i keep a table of ccw weapons but until i went to a LGS 4 weeks ago i was amazed at the size comparison.
    my initial thought was WOW forget the sig238 and get the 9mm, like kahr CM9, or keltec PF9, and save several hundred dollars and also save on the cost of ammo.
    my LGS doesn't like the Kimber solo - not sure why

  11. #10
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    I own both 380 and 9mm guns and have seen the results of gel testing and my own testing with good quality HP rounds in 9mm and 380, I think there are not significant differences in the two rounds with regards to effectiveness. The gel depth differences are 20% deeper for the 9mm...but overall gel depth is 8-11 inches for the 380. The size of the round in grains creates a bit more punch and will thus create a larger shock area in the body around the wound. I carry my Bersa with Mag-Tech 85gr hollow points with complete confidence.

    The cost of ammo is definitely a factor in my mind, though. I can get new 9mm brass ammo for 20 cents a round, but the best I can do with new brass 380 is 28 cents a round.

    However, the reduced recoil allows for greater control, and getting better shot placement. I am considering getting a better 380 to see if I can be as accruate as I am with my Cz 2075 and my FNX-9...or better than I am with them. But finding a high quality 380 that will handle at least 14 rounds and have all the same features I like is challenging since there are less models to choose.

    For decades the 380 was the standard police issue for most of europe....that was not because they wanted less powerful guns.

  12. #11
    jakeleinen1 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2gunkenny View Post
    For all those who think the 380 is not a good choice for a defense round,get shot in the head by one and see how you like it.
    Hahaha

    Cosign

    Right now if Im forking over money I prefer to by bigger caliber handguns, Im sure someday I will acquire one. .380s allow you to carry a very very small gun comfortably almost as if you dont even have a gun on you

  13. #12
    Cat's Avatar
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    Ya,The 380 is one of the cooler pistols in the world. 9mm just a little bit bigger,And yes they make a small 9. But like the BG380 Size is one of the best ones ever made.So small you can put it in your picket.And not see it at all. Why do I know this,6mo's ago I picked one up for the wife for the hell of it.Do I think it's the best pistol (BG) No. Do I think it will save her life,Yes. If you put the bg next to a Hp25cal or Hp22 phoenix, The hp25/22 is a bigger pistol.

    So did s&w do a grate job,Hell yes they did.

    And as you read up on pistols,The 380 is one of the most honor pistols in the world. Just like a 38 special, The handle of a 9 is a little bit bigger. And wider, That why lady's don't like them just for that. Not as easy to hide on their body's.

    The 380 will never go a way. Let see how many women to man in the world. What 25 to 1 I think now.

    Just like Steve said, You have some one that can't shoot good, Put the 380 in their hand. They will do a lot better then using a 9m.Funny you said that Steve,We teach just that in are class room.

    Love your pistols,They love you so much.They will kill for you.True love


  14. #13
    cclaxton's Avatar
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    I was talking to a rangemaster at the NRA range and telling him about the MagTech 85gr +P and asking him if he knew of other +P 380 HP rounds. He said, "A 380 +P....isn't that the same as a 9mm?"

  15. #14
    ozzy's Avatar
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    BG380 I don't leave home without it. My perfect summer carry.

  16. #15
    MLB's Avatar
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    I don't think I saw the SIG 230 (or 232) mentioned. If you're looking for a quality .380, that's not a pocket pistol, the 230 is a good lead.

  17. #16
    cclaxton's Avatar
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    I stopped by Gander Mountain and looked at the Sig 232 and liked how it felt in my hand. But it has a couple of wierd things about it:
    1) Mag release is on the bottom of the mag itself...no button on grip to release the mag;
    2) No slide release. You have to release the mag, then pull the slide back and release to put it into full battery. With bullets in the mag, pulling out the mag is not required;

    I like the trigger, hammer, weight, decocker, etc.
    Also, don't care that it is 7+1 rounds only for the magazine.

    I also looked at the Beretta Cheetah 84. It handles 10+1, but is 1.4" thick and weights 23oz without ammo, and slide release is hard to reach with thumb and very difficult to release the slide with the release tab. It is a bit heavier than I wanted.

    So far it looks like the Cz 83 and the Walther PPK are the top 380 pistols. Any others?

  18. #17
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    I had a PPKS which mostly I carried on the ankle. I could shoot one hole groups at 20 feet with it no problem. Light recoil, good sights, long first trigger pull, short light ones after that. It is heavier and bigger than current .380s--bigger and heavier than some 9mm. But if you want a light recoiling weapon that is easy to shoot and has a 50 + year history of reliablity, then you can do a lot worse and not much better than the Walther.

    I had the Cheetah too (though I don't recall it having that name back when I owned it). Similar comments to the Walther. Easy to shoot. But a big, fat grip due to the double stack magazine. It does not conceal as well as the Walther. But it was reasonably light. The open slide is good for reliablity.

    I don't buy that these mid-sized .380s are obsolete. For some people it can be the perfect weapon.

    Addendum: As I recall my Beretta was called a "Beretta Model 84".

  19. #18
    MLB's Avatar
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    The only difference I can recall between the SIG 230 and 232 was the location of the magazine release button. I though it was the 230 that had the European (heel) release, but since you held the 232, perhaps it was the other way around.

    Regarding the slide release, the Walther ppk and ppk/s work the same way as you described the SIG. No slide release. Empty mag should lock the slide back. Current production of the ppk or ppk/s is by S&W by the way. There are a few differences from the German, French, and Interarms incarnations that were made previous to the newer ones.

    I most often carry a S&W produced Walther ppk/s and am happy with it. It had some sharp edges that I addressed myself (stainless - no touch up needed), and it was in for the hammer block recall a few years ago. It's been a fine shooter though.

  20. #19
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    When I got my PPKS it was made in Portugal but said "Made in Germany". At the time German law said that if the final assembly was done in Germany then they could say "Made in Germany". In my case the entire gun was produced in Portugal and the two grip halves were screwed in place in Germany. Made in Germany.

    That having been said, I saw no manufacturing deficiencies in my gun and I don't know if it could easily be determined if a weapon was made in a third country other than Germany. With current production you know at least that it is produced in the USA (and not China or Viet Nam or Korea).

    There have been some quality issues raised about these weapons but I think S & W turns out fine products with excellent production control. Start up in any new factory is going to be subject to some issues. You have new vendors for heat treating and stamping and black oxide finishing--any one of which could cause issues.

    From what I understand their current production is excellent.

  21. #20
    SMann is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cclaxton View Post
    Any other 380's still in production I should consider?
    Yes, the one's chambered in at least 9mm.

  22. #21
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMann View Post
    Yes, the one's chambered in at least 9mm.
    Current generation .380 ammo is vastly superior to the stuff we had in the late 1970s and 1980s. While I don't carry one, if I needed a very small weapon I would consider it.

    There are other advantages to using a medium weight weapon such as the PPKS and the not much lighter Sig 238 is that the gun will recoil less. This can be a huge advantage to those people who are recoil sensitive and can make the .380 a more potent weapon in their hands than a small 9mm.

  23. #22
    SMann is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Packard View Post
    Current generation .380 ammo is vastly superior to the stuff we had in the late 1970s and 1980s. While I don't carry one, if I needed a very small weapon I would consider it.

    There are other advantages to using a medium weight weapon such as the PPKS and the not much lighter Sig 238 is that the gun will recoil less. This can be a huge advantage to those people who are recoil sensitive and can make the .380 a more potent weapon in their hands than a small 9mm.
    Blah, blah, blah. Hey Mr. Smarty-pants, did you not see the ()? It was an attempt at friendly, humorous ribbing. Geesh!

  24. #23
    cclaxton's Avatar
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    380's are great for lightweight carry and easier to shoot, and I do really like to shoot my Bersa 380. And, with todays 380 HP ammo, I carry with complete confidence.

    But I still prefer to shoot 9mm's....
    I also find I am more accurate with the 9mm's, so I prefer them.

  25. #24
    group17 is offline Member
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    My Bersa 380 has been totally reliable and my favorite until I found an Astra A-60.
    Beretta 84BB and Llama 380c are on my wish list.


  26. #25
    Hotled is offline Junior Member
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    I personally love the Bersa Thunder UC.
    It has never failed me and that is saying allot because I shoot every weekend.
    It's slim,light and leaves no footprint.
    I also carry the 9mm Bersa which has become my gun of choice over my XD 45.
    It's just easier to manage and it has less to go wrong with it and it goes bang, every time I pull the trigger.

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