Sig .380 For Personal Protection
I made a trade of a shotgun and got two P228's, P239 .40 and a SIG .380.
The .380 is a neat little pistol BUT I have no experience with the caliber and would like to carry it but cannot decide if it is good for personal defense.
Anybody know about the .380 performance in the real world?
Is there a good SD load for it?
Thanks for any help.
What kind of a shotgun? Sounds like a hell of a trade! From what I have read it seems that the .380 is a decent defense round. There are better out there, but you will be giving up some concealability. I would have no problems carry a .380 as long as it shot accurately. If you can hit what you aim at then I would say you are good to go. The .380 can penetrate enough to be good defensively.
Check out "the box"
From the tests he did, the .380 HP round penetrated 4 1 gallon jugs and expanded somewhat (equal to 12" of ballistic gelatin.) The .380 ball round penetrated 5 jugs.
102 gr. Remington Golden Sabers and Federal Hydra-Shocks (95 gr. I think) seem to be among the favorites for .380 ACP I've also heard good things about Cor-Bon ammo as well.
Cor-Bon ammo will invalidate the warranty on some guns. Check the owner's manual for that info.
I do know a quite a few that carry a .380 for self defense. That must say something.
Thanks to those who posted.
The shotgun as a Benelli Executive Grade III which is too lovely to take out of the house. It was a gift many years ago and I NEVER shot it.
Found a guy who lusted for it and bought the SIGS retail as a trade!
Makes me wish I had a fancy shotgun. Or wish I didn't live around here. I could never find someone to trade anything with. Except empty beer bottles or maybe a tractor.
I've always had trouble figuring out where the P230/232 fits in the defensive handgun spectrum. It's as big or bigger than guns of greater power (the Kahr series, for example). It's too big for most people to pocket or ankle carry. There are .380s that are decisively smaller, like the KelTec P3AT.
Basically, it strikes me that the P230/232 is too big for its power level - "size inefficient," as it were. For a gun that size, you can carry a 9mm or .40. Alternately, you can have a tiny gun of the same .380 power level.
If I had a P239, there is no way in hell I'd carry a P230/232. It's a high-quality pistol, like most SIGs, but I just don't see where it fits.
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The only problem is the weight of the 239. I'm a fan of that gun, but it's a bit harder to conceal. It's way too much to strap on an ankle holster, though I have one that was designed for just that pistol. It's much more heavy than the 232. I agree about the overall dimensions of the pistol, but Sig really did well in cutting down the weight of the 232. If they would chamber a 9mm Luger in the same dimensions, they'd really have something.
The 232 is a bit large to get away with pocket carry, though it can work with the right holster and clothes. The ankle holster works as well, though it's a bit longer than what you really want in an ankle gun.
I still preferred the 232 for pocket carry over a similar ppk in stainless. That's a heavy little piece, and drags the pants down considerably.
Yes, I would love the 232 in 9mm but, for now, I am going to carry the the 239 in .40.
SIG! Wake up and make the 232 in 9mm and sell a ton of them!
Unfortunately, you will wait a long time. The 239, if you notice, has a shoulder on the barrel that locks the barrel to the slide at the time of firing. Then, as the slide moves to the rear a cam on the bottom of the barrel unlocks the barrel from the slide so that the round can be ejected and a fresh round fed in. The point being that the barrel must be locked to the slide/breechblock when the pistol is fired. The .380, being a much less robust round generating lower pressures can get away with a blowback mechanism, where only the pressure of the recoil spring on the slide and the hammer spring, coupled with the intertia of the mass of the slide, holds the breech closed at firing. SIG could make a blowback mechanism for the 9mm or the .40 S&W, but the weight of the slide and strength of the spring required to hold the breech closed at firing would be prohibitive. Actually, according to the late Gen. Julian Hatcher, one could build a .30-06 rifle with a blowback mechanism, but the breechblock would need to weigh about 27 pounds! (Found in Hatcher's Notebook, Stackpole Books).
Originally Posted by MAN WITH A GUN
So, the bottom line is that the .380 is about the most powerful cartridge that can be used in guns that use the blowback principle. Anything more powerful requires a locked breech or else the use of a prohibitively heavy breechblock and extremely strong recoil spring.
Now that was about the most coherent and informative post on the subject that one could ask for. Thanks a lot for the education on that one.
I figured it had something to do with the velocities and pressures. However, I wonder if Sig could generate a gun like this, state that only certain bullet weights could be used and no p+, and still come close to these dimensions? After all Kel-Tec and Kahr have made pretty tiny 9mm's.
Ruger did something similar with the Sp101's, stating that only certain bullet weights could be used and nothing else.
I would think some design genius at Sig could accomodate us in the buying public, should they have a mind to. It might not be blowback, but I bet it would fit the bill.
They look like this:
Originally Posted by TexasFats
i carry a 239 9mm i have no problem with the( weight) at all. the 9mm is actually a little smaller than the 40 or 357sig 239s.i used to carry an xd 40 service pistol.i don't understand how with the right holster a 239 could be too big or weigh too much for anyone to carry comfortably.in fact ive read many forums where it is considered as the perfect carry gun.
the p239 is also scary accurate!
Last edited by stormbringerr; 07-04-2007 at 01:39 AM.
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