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  1. #1
    HannibalTheCrow's Avatar
    HannibalTheCrow is offline Junior Member
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    What do ya think?

    My wife and I are looking to buy new guns. She has her heart set on a .380 cause she wants something small and automatic to carry in her purse or holster. She personally likes the feel of the little Bersa .380 Thunder a lot.

    I personally like automatics also and am leaning towards a 9mm, I like the S&W 910 personally and will also be carrying this concealed or on my hip.

    All said, my question is: Since she has her heart set on this .380, does it have enough knocking power to be a good 1st gun for a lady that dont shoot much. I should add, that she is a fairly small lady also.

    thank you so much in advance for your advice.

    HannibalTheCrow

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  3. #2
    Charlie's Avatar
    Charlie is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome.......Probably ought to buy a pair of HK P7M8's. Meets your criteria (wife won't mind the 9mm in that gun). Nine mm has always been my minimum caliber for self defense. 45's, 10mm's, etc. are even better, if ya' don't mind carrying big guns. Have a powerful turkey day!


  4. #3
    Baldy's Avatar
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    The truth of the whole matter in self defense is being able to hit what you are aiming at. A .380 any make is a up close and prsonal weapon. As long as she is willing to take the time to master it and practice it will work OK. You both should think about taking a hand gun defense course as this will help you a lot. Good luck.

  5. #4
    Revolver's Avatar
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    Those are some good choices. Just be sure that you both become adequate and comfortable with your weapons.

  6. #5
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is online now HGF Forum Moderator
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    Realize that because of the design of most 380s, many kick more than a similiarly sized 9mm. Many people are surprised about this when they buy a 380.

  7. #6
    rfawcs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shipwreck View Post
    Realize that because of the design of most 380s, many kick more than a similiarly sized 9mm. Many people are surprised about this when they buy a 380.
    Got that right. I sure was surprised the first time I fired a .380 handgun; from what I had heard about how puny the .380 was, I certainly wasn't expecting anything near what I felt.

  8. #7
    Baldy's Avatar
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    I would say the recoil on a Kel-Tec 3AT would scare most women away from shooting altogether. Unless they were experinced shooters. My wifes frist gun was a .32 Mauser. She picked it out and became very good with it. She practiced a lot. Still carry's that old gun now and then. She also dislikes a K-T .380 but shoots a 1911/.45 all the time. Go figure.
    Last edited by Baldy; 11-24-2006 at 08:54 AM.

  9. #8
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    I used to have a Colt Pony 380 - but it was a locked breech 380, so the recoil wasn't bad at all. Most 380s are blowback. Much more recoil...

  10. #9
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    spacedoggy is offline Senior Member
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    I'll probably get attacked for saying this but the last thing you should carry as a primary is the 380. It's a good back up gun but for primary you should carry the biggest round you can handle well. Some say they can stop anything with a 380 because their a good shooter but when your in a gun fight everything is differant.

  11. #10
    Charlie's Avatar
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    Nine should be a minimum, IMHO. Whatever you buy, buy quality. Buying cheap never works in the long term.

  12. #11
    Hal8000's Avatar
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    Charlie and Spacedoggy are spot on in my books. 9mm is as small as I will carry, and it happens to be my favorite... Modern bullet making has come a long way and with a high quality cartridge your better off today with the .380 (9mm kurtz/9mm short) then you were a few years ago, but still, 9mm is small as I will go...

  13. #12
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    This is my take on it;

    Bersa's are good guns, I own several, and the T-380 is about as reliable as they come. The .380 has always been nothing more than a low powered 9mm - it's also known as 9mm short, remember - but with the major advances in defensive ammo design in the past 5-10 years, I'd much rather have a good self-defense bullet in .380 than the 9mm ball ammo many (most?) people seem to still use. As for recoil, a .380 blowback pistol has as much felt recoil as most similar sized 9mm's using a locked breech design.

    The main difference is cost. A blowback is usually less expensive than most other designs. OTOH, there are now many good 9mm's that are no bigger than blowback .380's or .32's, and no more expensive. SHYY's CPX-1 and K-T's P-11 or new PF-9 are good examples. As for the comments I sometimes see that the .380 makes a good BUG, but is not good as a primary caliber, my opinion is this; if you don't trust a gun/caliber as a main gun, why trust it as a backup? I wouldn't carry anything as a secondary weapon that I wouldn't trust as a main gun... you never know when your BUG just may become your main gun!
    Last edited by rachilders; 11-24-2006 at 02:59 PM.

  14. #13
    Spenser is offline Member
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    I'm pretty much in agreement with the last comment. A gun you're carrying is worth ten times what the guns you've left home in the safe are worth. The main reason people quit carrying is that it's really a lot of trouble. Guns are heavy, cumbersome things that have to be hidden in our society. So a person needs to carry something that is comfortable.

    While I tend to agree that bigger calibers are better, you have to have a bigger gun to handle the cartridge. That means more mass, bulk, etc. That decreases the likelihood of you actually carrying the thing when you might actually need it.

    I love bigger calibers, but pocket pistols are not a bad way to go. Statistically, there are probably more people killed with .22's than any other caliber. Why? You can pack one pretty easily.

    Bottom line: carry the biggest thing you can pack comfortably, whether .22, .32, .380, etc. Just make sure you can put all your rounds from that pistol into the kill zone.

    The .380 will do your wife just fine, as long as she learns to shoot it. She's more likely to do so if she likes the caliber.

  15. #14
    HannibalTheCrow's Avatar
    HannibalTheCrow is offline Junior Member
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    My wife and I went to the gun retail/range store today. They let her try a couple .380's (Bersa Thunder and a Walther), a S&W 38 snub revolver, a Ruger 9mm revolver, and she tried my S&W 9mm 910. She shot about 5 rounds in each.

    When she was done she settled on the Bersa Thunder .380! We loaded her up with some 105 grain HP's and we both fired that through it. And, I must say I was really impressed with that little gun.

    And, the most important factor, I feel, she was extremely accurate with it. Then, I loaded her 2 clips of 6 and tested it for accuracy. At 7 yards (21ft), she put 5 out of 6 shots dead center chest and then went upstairs on the next clip and put 4 out of 6 in the head with it. She is very pleased!

    She wants to use and learn with this and next year step up to something a little bit more powerful.

    We both thank you so much for all your advise for us,

    HannibalTheCrow

  16. #15
    Wandering Man's Avatar
    Wandering Man is offline GM HGF Gold Member
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    thanks for the update. Keep us posted on how the she does with the gun over time.

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  17. #16
    Baldy's Avatar
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    Hannibal that is good shooting and a good distance to practice at. The big thing women need to do is be aware of their surroundings and what is happening. When the creap starts to make his move that's when she should be coming out with hers. Two to three seconds later with a couple shots in his noggin the creap is off to get fitted for a dirt over coat. Mommy can come home and cook the beans. I think she made a good choice. Good luck.

  18. #17
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    That's great - always find a gun the woman will like and picks herself, instead of U picking it for her.

  19. #18
    Baldy's Avatar
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    Thumbs up That's the turth..

    Quote Originally Posted by Shipwreck View Post
    That's great - always find a gun the woman will like and picks herself, instead of U picking it for her.
    I agree with Ship a 100% on this. These gals can think for themselfs. They know what they like and don't like. My wife picked a .32 Mauser many years ago for her first gun and she practice and practice some more till she was dead on with it. To this day I don't feel she is under gunned if she has it on her.

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