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Thread: .380!!!!

  1. #1
    ks23321 is offline Junior Member
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    .380!!!!

    I know people say .380 is a "backup" gun in most cases, but I want to know your guys' thoughts on it as far as stopping power, and really just effectiveness as far as close up personal protection.

  2. #2
    1jimmy's Avatar
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    imo there are a lot of 380's out there that are light and small and easily concealed. they are fun guns for the range or woods etc. not for personal protection. check out s&w bodyguard 38 or ruger lcr. both fairly inexpensive and easy to carry or glock 27 fairly light and small with 40 cal stopping power.

  3. #3
    berettabone is offline Banned
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    It's an age old, on going argument about...is bigger, better? This is just my opinion. First, is bigger better? Yes, if the shooter can place shots where they need to go, if not, then throw that theory out the window. I have seen video ballistics tests with personal defense ammo in the .380 caliber.....I have seen this load go through cloth, and two soaked telephone books, and mushroom to the size of a nickel.....if that isn't enough for you, then by all means, get something larger.....I own 2 .380's and have no worries about that caliber being able to stop someone.....we just had a justifyable shooting in an Aldi store up here....he shot at the person 6 times with a Steyer 9mm, hitting him once in the leg and once in the forehead....he's still alive.......I believe that if he would have gone center mass, well, case closed for him....placement, placement, placement......

  4. #4
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
    TedDeBearFrmHell is offline Senior Member
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    a .380 is fine, in fact police agencies in europe have been using them since the cartridge was developed. as with any caliber, they are most effective when you hit your target.... and as with a larger caliber, they have no stopping power on a bad guy when you miss....

  5. #5
    DWARREN123's Avatar
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    The .380 ACP round has been around for a long time and proved itself. Not my caliber but can be effective.

  6. #6
    sonja is offline Junior Member
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    "Gee -- if .380 is such a "mouse gun", will you go down range and catch one for me?"

    No one has ever said O.K. to that.

    I saw a Glock 27 mentioned. At one time I had one of those. Shot it fairly well. Just got tired of being beat up by some really stout .40 rounds. Or, as someone once told me, "Are you a cop? No one can shoot those things.." (I was shooting very well that day.)

    If you want something with more power, I'd suggest a 9mm - but even those, if they are really small, can beat you up pretty good.

    Before you buy anything, try to first rent, and shoot it at a range (if that's possible for you). Then you might know better. Please do not pick a pistol because choosing something else makes you a "wimp". One of the very easiest to shoot is .45ACP. With a 1911, recoil is more of a push. With a .40 it's a SMACK. Very different.

    Also, please try out the .380 of your choice. Some are hard to hold, have recoil far out o0f proportion to their power (esp. the simple blowback pistols like the PPK and Sig 232).

    I happen to be partial to the Sig 238, though some folks might balk at carrying it "cocked and locked". I don't shoot it that well, but am getting better with practice. Oh -- did I mention PRACTICE? Whatever you buy -- practice with it.

  7. #7
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    A lot of those Eurpopean agencies have moved to the 9mm in the last 10-15 years or so, maybe due to lack of options in replacement guns as the .380s aged as most .380s are on the small side these days...

    The .380 isn't a power house, the main reason it excels are far as model sales go is the size vs. shootability factor. A small .380 "shoots better" in the feel department than a small 9mm and do so wtih a better reputation for reliability than an similar (note similar does not mean "same") 9mm.

    A .380 in the same size platform as a 9mm is great for those that are recoil sensative. I actually wouldn't mind a doubestack Beretta Cheetah with 13+1 of .380 to spare should I ever find mylsef unable to handle something with more umph.

    When you look at the two sources for "stopping power" you get two totally different looks at the .380.

    1st we have the Marshall and Sanow stuff which is all one shot stop type data, in these studies, the .380 sucks.

    2nd we have the "Ellifritz Study" aka "An Alternate Look @ Stopping Power" and see that maybe it's not so bad after all...

    The .380 is a superb option when looking for maximum concealability, but when you start getting into mid-sized and larget guns, the 9mm makes more sense.

  8. #8
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    Nothing wrong with a .380, or a .22LR for that matter.

    What does matter, is shot placement.

    BTW......the .22LR has killed more people over the years, than all other calibers.......combined.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by paratrooper View Post

    BTW......the .22LR has killed more people over the years, than all other calibers.......combined.
    where did you find this info? Is that including wars?

  10. #10
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponzer04 View Post
    where did you find this info? Is that including wars?
    It's mostly rhetoric. I can't say that I've ever seen actual data to support the claim.

  11. #11
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponzer04 View Post
    where did you find this info? Is that including wars?
    It was a DOJ study that was done back in the early 1980's.

    It was a restricted study that was basically for LE statistics, that pertained to US firearm ownership.

  12. #12
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paratrooper View Post
    It was a DOJ study that was done back in the early 1980's.

    It was a restricted study that was basically for LE statistics, that pertained to US firearm ownership.
    Oh, this one:

    www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf

    Probably more people in this country have been killed by .22 rimfires than all other calibers combined, which, based on body count, would compel the use of .22’s for self-defense. The more important question, which is sadly seldom asked, is what did the individual do when hit?
    That's opinion.

  13. #13
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    When it comes to stopping power nothing compares to the .45 handgun. Two shots in the torso in the "down one or down zero" will put a person out of the fight. However, you have to be a good enough shot to hit them in those zones. And, if you train and practice enough to get those shots every time, then a good .380 hollow point bullet will be just as effective if you put 3-4 shots in the "down one or down zero". There are certain exceptions to this: heavy clothing can impair (but not eliminate) the effectiveness of the .380 and even 9mm hollow points, etc.

    It is also true that one shot in the ocular/nasal region of the head from any handgun will cause an immediate electronic reaction in the brain and stop a person from any other action (such as using a knife or gun on a hostage.) That is definite stopping power.

    So, a .380 is has effective stopping power with sufficient shot placement.

    It's up to YOU to get sufficient training operate the .380 handgun to use that stopping power.
    So, get good training and practice a lot.
    And, Remember the four universal rules of gun safety.
    CC

  14. #14
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cclaxton View Post
    When it comes to stopping power nothing compares to the .45 handgun. Two shots in the torso in the "down one or down zero" will put a person out of the fight.
    That is factually false and a bad way to look at things. There are several more calibers with greater terminal performance than the .45ACP, and two shots is not always enough. If may take a lot more than two and having false expectations of a given caliber can be dangerous.

  15. #15
    berettabone is offline Banned
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    I carry a Bodyguard 380 and also have a Beretta 84fs........not worried about either one......

  16. #16
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    I always cringe when the term stopping power comes up.

  17. #17
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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    perhaps they were talking as a percentage? more of the people shot with a 22 die compared to the percentage who die when shot with other bullets?

    this i can see.... the 22 is an externally lubricated bullet and many times has a waxy like coating making it a "dirty" bullet.... it would tend to collect thread and powder and whatever else and drive that deep into the would cavity.... it also likes to follow erratic paths when it enters the body, perhaps nicking the intestines 4 or 5 times as many places as a through and through wound with a larger caliber bullet.

    so MAYBE a dirtier bullet with a propensity for tearing up a bacteria laden area of the body KILL'S more people (by infection) as a percentage....

    doesnt mean it has any stopping power but have a heck of alot of KILLING power?

    just typing out loud here

  18. #18
    Brevard13 is offline Member
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    I lol'ed at the 2 shots from a .45. I posted a story about a guy who was shot 7 times with a .45 (and if I am not mistaken once was in the head) and he lived.

    Can the .380 be effective. I would say use. Even a .22 or .17 can be effective. Like I say a .22 or .380 is better than nothing at all. Would I carry one? Yes. I however, have the capability to carry a larger caliber so I do. The .40 to me is my favorite right behind the .357. If I was tempted to get a pocket gun I believe I would go with a .38 snub nose personally.

  19. #19
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brevard13 View Post
    I lol'ed at the 2 shots from a .45. I posted a story about a guy who was shot 7 times with a .45 (and if I am not mistaken once was in the head) and he lived.

    Can the .380 be effective. I would say use. Even a .22 or .17 can be effective. Like I say a .22 or .380 is better than nothing at all. Would I carry one? Yes. I however, have the capability to carry a larger caliber so I do. The .40 to me is my favorite right behind the .357. If I was tempted to get a pocket gun I believe I would go with a .38 snub nose personally.
    I have and carry a S&W 642 a great deal of the time. It's light-weight, pretty much snag-free, and I can use +P loads in it.

  20. #20
    jrw711 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cclaxton View Post
    When it comes to stopping power nothing compares to the .45 handgun. Two shots in the torso in the "down one or down zero" will put a person out of the fight. However, you have to be a good enough shot to hit them in those zones. And, if you train and practice enough to get those shots every time, then a good .380 hollow point bullet will be just as effective if you put 3-4 shots in the "down one or down zero". There are certain exceptions to this: heavy clothing can impair (but not eliminate) the effectiveness of the .380 and even 9mm hollow points, etc.

    It is also true that one shot in the ocular/nasal region of the head from any handgun will cause an immediate electronic reaction in the brain and stop a person from any other action (such as using a knife or gun on a hostage.) That is definite stopping power.

    So, a .380 is has effective stopping power with sufficient shot placement.

    It's up to YOU to get sufficient training operate the .380 handgun to use that stopping power.
    So, get good training and practice a lot.
    And, Remember the four universal rules of gun safety.
    CC
    My best friend was a Seal in Nam and went undercover right from the Post. He has always advocated point shooting and shot placement. Working undercover, he always carried a beretta .380 and survived several shootings while putting the bad guy down. This was all done using pre-1984 .380 ammo. The key is accurate shot placement backed by training. That is what my friend has taught me. Thus it would seem if you train and practice shot placement, the .380 or larger caliber will work fine with the emphasis on training and shot placement.

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