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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've seen the incredible rise in popularity of these tiny pocket .380 pistols, and honestly, I just don't get it. I just don't know why anyone would shoot a .380. Don't get me wrong, I definitely understand the appeal of a pistol of reasonable power that can be quite literally tucked in your pocket, but in .380? It's not significantly smaller in size than the 9mm, packs less munch, and is much more expensive. Where's the benefit? WE'd be better suited just shooting downloaded 9mm ammo than paying a premium for less power.

The only reason I'd buy a .380 is if no 9mm existed of a similar size, or if something about the gun was just so revolutionary I'd be willing to put up with the overpriced and underpowered ammo to shoot it.

I'm not saying the .380 won't do the job, nor that it's a "bad" cartridge. I just don't understand why anyone would pay so much for it when the 9mm fills very nearly the same niche. It'd be like if suddenly everyone wanted to make pocket pistols in .22 short!

EDIT: Can one of the mods correct my typo in the title? It's a horrible embarrassment for a grammar nazi...
 

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Basically, you seem to be making an apples to oranges comparison. With out trying to start the whole caliber vs shot placement arguement again, I'll say that , while there are 'large' .380's, and 'small' 9mm's, they really are not at all comparable, IMHO. Considering that I have an assortment of pistols ranging from 22LR to .45ACP, they each serve a specific purpose and are usually carried in pairs to compliment each other, not replace. I like to sum it up thusly, the pocket .380 is a close-range gun, not a range gun, and it all comes down to the personal preference and capabilities of the shooter. Otherwise, using your logic, then why are there any guns of any other caliber or design??
 

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I've seen the incredible rise in popularity of these tiny pocket .380 pistols, and honestly, I just don't get it. I just don't know why anyone would shoot a .380...
The same reason some folks like mayonnaise on their sandwiches and some don't.

Personal choice.
:thumb:

Even though one projectile may be a tad heavier and faster, a .355 hole is a .355 hole in many folks view.

So they'd prefer the comfort of carrying a lighter more easily concealed package.
;)

Personally, I don't believe in "magic bullets" or attributing rifle ballistics to handgun ammunition.

I love shooting and carrying handguns, but in the real world they're no substitute for a center fire rifle or shotgun for self defense.
:D
 

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.......
WE'd be better suited just shooting downloaded 9mm ammo than paying a premium
....

You can download 9mm????? What site???? That would be great!!
 

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Downloaded (I expect the OP means weakened loads) might not be strong enough to cycle the ejection/loading mechanism of your 9mm pistol.

Nor are small 9mm pistols the same size/weight as small .380 pistols. I often stake my life on a Taurus PT709 but it is nowhere near the size/weight of the Ruger LCP, the Taurus TCP or the KelTec P3AT.

Why do I do that? Because the 709 has a sweet SA trigger. With the small size and heavy trigger pull of the .380s mentioned, I tend to pull the pistol off target. That said, if a good gun manufacturer could produce a pocket .380 with the characteristics of the 709, I'd have one in my pocket right now.
 

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oops. I've got three. and only one 9mm. Yes you could load the 9mm down but Joe Sixpack isn't going to do that for a couple of boxes a year. Plus I only use factory ammo for defensive purposes for the oft discussed legal reasons. I've got a huge .380, the PT638. Why? a range gun because I started reloading for my TCP but it's no fun to shoot. Plus my wife likes the PT638 better than my 9mm. Mild recoil, 15 rounds.

The popularity is due to proliferation of concealed carry permits at the state level. there's really no "pocket 9", at least they are too big for my pocket. And if there was one it would probably be pretty nasty to shoot. These are carried a lot, and shot little in most cases. The 9mm has a ammo price advantage, at least for now. In the past that hasn't always been true, and may not hold true forever. If you're a reloader the 9mm doesn't really have a cost advantage, in fact the .380 is a tad cheaper.
 

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Small 9mm guns are pretty heavy in recoil with SD loads. Many of the people buying the .380s aren't going to be what we would consider "dedicated" shooters. The .380 ACP is milder in recoil in many guns, and can be made physically smaller through the grip than a comparable 9x19. For people to become proficient with a gun, it has to be shot. If it is a problem to shoot, and hit, with, they will just ignore it until it's needed.

It's a lot like telling someone to "buy a small .357 Magnum gun, you can shoot .38 Specials through it." Problem is, it SAYS .357 Magnum on the barrel. Eventually, they will decide to load it with the "proper caliber", and it goes downhill from there. Many of the "dedicated shooter group" own these guns, but only shoot a few .357s through it, with the majority being .38 Special. In truth, they simply spent more money for a curiousity.

I own a P3AT, and a PF9. They are NOT the same size, and that 9mm has more recoil, as well as being harder for a beginner to small mini guns to hit with. I actually see very little difference between the recoil of the P3AT and my P32.
 

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when i got my P97, my wife said it was too big for her hands so i got her a thunder 380 that fit it alot better (both used). even though i think hers has more kick than mine because its so small i can't grip it good, she is great with it. thats really the only reasons i bought one, fit her hand and good price.
 

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Well have you ever tried to conceal a .45 SSA while wearing shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops?

1.1 USA.gif
 

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This is my case. When my wife and I decided to get guns recently due to a huge increase in local crime I wanted old school all metal guns, automatics. I was all over a 909 that was listed as in stock at a great price. Turned out he didn't have it. Second choice was what I really wanted, a PT92 in stainless. I took my wife to the local range and put a few guns in her hands. She was terrified of the 9mm's, shot 4 rounds. My wife and I then went to a few local shops and the local gun show. At the show I found the .380 Bersa which I thought would be great for her. Too big. Tried all sorts of .380's and smaller... She liked smaller and I would not let her get smaller than a .380. We got a Bersa .380CC. Nice gun that she is comfortable with and she's more accurate with it than I am. I carry it open carry now and then...

My thoughts are if she's not going to shoot it why have it. The .380 may not have the power of the 9 but I know if she had a 9 she'd never pick it up. I'm now considering a P3AT for a pocket gun. There's a thread near this one talking about this.

when i got my P97, my wife said it was too big for her hands so i got her a thunder 380 that fit it alot better (both used). even though i think hers has more kick than mine because its so small i can't grip it good, she is great with it. thats really the only reasons i bought one, fit her hand and good price.
 

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I have a Beretta Nano 9mm which is one of the smallest 9mm's on the market and my TCP 380 is still significantly smaller than the Nano and weights nearly half as much. From a carrying standpoint, the TCP is MUCH easier and more comfortable to carry in pocket or iwb than the Nano. You dont THINK there is a big difference until you carry both but the difference is huge in my opinion. I love my Nano but nothing beats the comfort of carrying my little light TCP!
 

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I kinda agree with Branth. Not very impressed with the pocket .380's - not knocking and to each his own. I had a Llama .380 auto years ago I carried in my auto (long before it was legal to have in auto in Texas unless traveling), which eventually was stolen when auto was broken into, and I was somewhat relieved - it was a terrible weapon - never knew when it may go off so no chambered ammo and had to be very careful as when jacking slide would fire 50% of the time). Almost reminded me of the Colt Model 1908 Vest Pocket .25 auto my Dad bought for my Mom in 1940's cause he traveled so much - not much firepower, nor many bullets (5-6 if I recall) and unless hitting a vital spot, just enough to really piss someone off. Still, better than nothing.
In fall/winter, my 709 (and now my 740) were pocket carried in vest or jacket with DeSantis pocket holster - not very practical or comfortable for pants / jeans front or back pocket though on my small frame. Spring / summer use the IWB DeSantis Sof-Tuck.
 

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Wino, sorry but to me it seems you are basing your view on a whole class of guns and a size of ammo based on a badly made gun you had years ago. I agree the rounds are expensive but that really is the big drawback. You can argue power compared to a larger size round...
 

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The good thing about the pocket .380s is that they will truly go in almost any pocket. Pocket 9mms will fit in some pockets and in those pockets they may draw quickly or they may not draw quickly at all. It does depend on the pants and the way the pants are built if a pocket 9mm will work well.

The little LCP stacked on an LC9 and something else entirely.







 

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Thanks for the 'illustration', nice pics, chicharrones. What did you do to that front sight on the LCP?? Is that the 'glow' paint??
 

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It's not glow paint, just a flourescent shade of green from a sight paint kit. The two Rugers belong to a good shooting friend of mine and I get to shoot them frequently. The Glock 36 is mine, but it is no pocket gun. My current carry pocket guns are a NAA Guardian, a Taurus TCP, and a Taurus 85UL.
 
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