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.380 Auto vs 9MM For Defense

by Guns & Ammo TV   |  May 26th, 2011 504

Have new loads for the .380 Auto given it the edge over the 9mm when it comes to self defense?

  • Barrett Moran

    .380 and 9mm are very close. .380 is my choise since compared to my 9mm is more concealable. But then I would be able to shoot the sob 16 times with the 9mm.

    • Keith

      Its 90 degrees outside,

      I am wearing a T shirt, shorts, and sneakers.

      I am heading for the beach with my family.

      I am carrying my Ruger LCP with an extra mag and still have less of a noticeable profile than anyone with a .45 which is my favorite carry gun when I can use cover. My friend is a State Trooper. I told him to find my gun without touching me. He looked me over more than three times and said "It must be right here" meaning he figured it was in my belt where the largest part of my pants is. I showed him that my LCP was in my change pocket. He was impressed because I could pull it and put it into service in under one second and nobody from behind me could take it easily while at rest. I once saw a woman that carried a Glock 9mm on the side of her sweat pants. It was hanging so far to the outside it was about to fall off. It was not even on a belt. It was only clipped on the waistband of the sweat pants that was rolled partly down. How incompetent is that ?

      Look, if you ever get shot, with any size gun – the first thing you think about is getting help or to a hospital. Only maniacs stay in the fight at that point. 380 is enough to go at least 8-10 inches deep which is more than half way through many people and the shock to the tissue is there unlike a .22 cal. The 380 is on par with the .38 and easier to carry and conceal.

      BTW, although shooting someone multiple times in the heat of the moment may seem required….if you shoot them more than 3 times you will be hard pressed to prove that it took 16 rounds to stop them. The Judge and Jury will look at you more in depth then you can ever imagine. The family of the dead will have 13 rounds of ammo to use against you in court even though you are innocent. I would also like to mention that there may have been other innocent people around that could have incurred bullets from your excessive trigger rant….just my opinion.

      – Keith.

      • Al Simon

        Ask and cop or military personell and they'll tell you they are trained to shoot till the threat is stopped. That mean they go down and if they don't fall till they're full of lead, then that's what it took to stop them.

        • Nelz68, David Nelson

          That does not work in a court of Law my Friend. your most likely guilty till proven innocent. Two or three shots are usually the most they will excect for self defense depending on the circumstances.

          • Herb

            Not in Texas!

          • Wayne

            How do you know what they will accept for self defense? Like Al simon said,You shot till the threat stops.So what you guys are saying ,is that you can only shoot two or three shots even if the threat is still coming.If the threat is still standing and still firing ,but you have to stop firing cause your saying the law will only accept two or three shots.So what do you do if the threat has been shot by you two times and he is about to fire his weapon at your child or wifes you say honey I can't shoot any more shots cause I have shot my limit of two,sorry dear!!

          • Danny

            Not in Kansas either.

          • Josh

            Not in Nevada

          • karlos

            not even i shot somebody 9 times 3 in the chest 4 in the stomach and 2 in the heAD im still out in the streets i was fined for carring a unregistered weapon

          • Jon

            Im in CA…im screwed haha

          • TOP SHOTTA

            SMH, NOT IN JAMAICA!

          • Rbreban

            Welll said Wayne. Imagine if its a 22

          • Tim

            What does a court of law matter anyway if u don’t end the threat and u let them win the battle. You would be dead and would miss the
            Court hearing anyway. You do what it takes to survive and deal with the court later. Tell one of my best friends that. The one who lost two partners and it took the 17th shot that enteted the body to end the threat.

          • Tom

            sounds like PISS POOR AIM/TRAINING. 17 rounds is ridiculous and those people should not carry a firearm or have a badge if thats what it took, did they not know what the vital areas are? Did they ever train with they're firearms would be the better question.

        • John Isoldi

          Dear Mr. Simon:

          Cops and the Military have an enormous legal machine behind them to fight lawsuits filed by P.o.S. (Piece of ……) relatives who think they now won the Lottery. Who or what to YOU have to handle legal expenses. Easy rule to remember.. shoot until the THREAT has stopped, NOT until the Perp has stopped moving.

          • ThatOneGuy

            If the perp is still alive theres a good chance he's gonna sue you anyway…so…….

        • Robert

          Cops and military can get away with murder ("this is how I was trained"), literally. Civilians can't.

          • KC

            We (the military) are not only required to uphold state/local/federal laws the same as you, we are also subject to the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). They can get you with that if you get off in civilian court. You actually can get away with less than your civilian counterpart. Civilians can use “i didn’t know” easier than we can use “thats how i was trained.”

          • bubba

            thats a bad code then

      • Mike


        I agree wholeheartedly with you. In fact the reason I am writing is because of you weapon selected – the LCP. I, too, purchased and enjoyed the LCP. I put it through the normal acquisition cleaning & put one hundred snappy little rounds through it at the range, so I would know exactly where the shot landed each time 10 yards & less. It performed flawlessly. I took the LCP home, cleaned it, cased it and decided it would become my warm weather CCW. I selected two holsters for it, one being a waistband cellphone type case; perfect for the days the shirt and tie are required, but no jacket. The second is a smaller IWB FOBUS. I love both holsters. Fast forward to a week ago. My wife and I travel to a resort area in another part of the state we live in. It's relatively safe, but there have been issues, and besides I conceal-carry EVERYWHERE I go. I mean EVERYWHERE. Stopping for gas at dark-thirty, I am on the outside island's fuel pump. As I complete the credit card transaction and am slipping my wallet back into my front pocket, a gentleman exits his car that he had just parked right up against mine, infuriating me. Before I can say anything, he raises his hand up inside his hoodie pocket at my face, telling me he has a pistol and that he wants my wallet. I put my left hand up, palm out, in between his 'barrel' and me, I do this manuever intentionally, to absorb any fired rounds first thru my non-strong hand & hopefully deflecting the round or at least slow it down, but anyway, as I do this, I tell him to take it easy and that I am reaching for my wallet with my right hand. I come up in a hurry with the LCP & roll into my car as I acquire target, he stands there momentarily in disbelief, begins to scream and, I think, cry as he dives into his car. The driver speeds away, I report the car and plate & in 15 minutes, the cops do a drive-by with the perps in the backseat. I identify the one that I could, they give me back my weapon and credentials and all is good… right? Wrong. When I bore down on him, I squeezed the trigger. FTF. I was so angry, and, even scared. I did not tell anyone that I attemted to shoot that bastard. What if he really did have a weapon? All the 'What if's?' ran through my mind. I put that weapon in the glovebox until after our little vacation, putting my larger 9mm in service for the rest of the vacation. When I got home, I immediately disassembled the weapon, cleaned it & then went outback and pulled the trigger. FTF. Cleared it and squeezed again. FTF. Cleared it and squeezed again. Bang. Bang. Bang. The two rounds I cleared I tried again; bang & bang. Perplexed, I tore the weapon down again. As I was cleaning, something ever so slight caught my eye protruding from the firing pin recess. I repositioned my light, grabbed my tweezers and removed what looked like just super small piece of regular pocket lint. I called Ruger to ask if this was even possible & surely there could not be any significant amount of room for enough lint to cause FTFs. The gunsmith corrected me and said absolutely so. That they receive so many of those LCP's back that have 'pocket trash' they call it, causing the FTF. The night of the incident was the only time I had ever carried that weapon in my pocket, unholstered. So be careful how you carry it, my friend. You may want to rethink plain pocket carry. I know I have. I've since sold that weapon only because I am stupid that way. It scared me by when it did not fire & I don't need a weapon with such tight tolerances for ccw. When I want bang; I want bang. Sorry for the longwinded reply…but just wanted to share an 'Oh, crap!' moment.

        • Scott

          Thats is why I love my wheelgun

          • Gary Emch

            I love both the revolver and wheelgun. With the proper cleaning and care both will do the job. Ammunition in some cases has to be checked to see if it will work well in some semi's.

          • John

            Amen. I love my Kahr K40 but I still feel more comfortable with a revolver. And btw a .22 Magnum is just as effective as a .380 in most cases. (better penetration) This .380 versus 9mm debate is silly. If you can carry a 9 then it might as well be a .40 or larger since the larger calibers are made for the same size pistols. That being said there really is no comparison. Carry at least a 9 or .38. If your wardrobe will not allow it, then and only then should you carry less. Hey, it's only your life we're talking about.

          • Jim Benat

            The best carry gun I own (and I've got quite a few) is my little S & W 442 with Crimson Trace laser grips and loaded with +P ammo. My wife has the exact same gun except hers is a S & W 642.

            We both own 380's, she a Walther PPK/S and I a Bersa Thunder. Both good guns but we never carry or shoot either of them.

        • Richard

          If you want a good carry gun spend the money and get a Sig 238 or Colt Mustang in 380. If your life is only worth $300 to $400 then live with the cheap gun like the LCP (little cheap pistol).

          • Harry Lloyd

            Life and Death Decisions are made at the cash register !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Mark

            That's pretty ignorant to say the least… The LCP has numerous reputable reviews and awards that speak to the contrary. Other than looking like little 1911s and appealing to people fixated on "price equals quality", the 238 and Mustang have no better "proven" attributes than the LCP.

          • John

            The problem with the LCP is that it is a Ruger. Most of their semi autos are just plain junk. Their revolvers are decent shooters and their rifles are ok other than the mini 14 which is another questionable weapon. How many Ruger pistols have been recalled for firing after being dropped???

          • jayBee

            I agree, Richard. I own the mustang and p238….Sig is good, the mustang is better, in my opinion.

          • Jaques

            Mustand is junk i had nothing but issue after issue with the two that i owned i do like my p238 but also equally like my lcp as much if not more for its weight

          • LawScholar

            Absolute nonsense, Richard. While the LCP did suffer a recall due to drop-firing, the Sig 238 has a dreadful reputation for reliability and I personally know three people who got so fed up with sending them back to Sig that they sold them at a loss. Do a basic search on GlockTalk, The Firing Line, The High Road, or any other reputable firearms forum and you'll see that the LCP has one of the best reliability, durability, and accuracy records of any pocket pistol. Further, the statement by John that Ruger semi-autos are junk is similarly unfounded. Any experienced shooter following industry developments would take an SR9 or SR40 over one of the Gen-4 Glocks any day.

            The Ruger LCP is a much, much better gun than it's price point, and I wouldn't take a Sig 238 if someone gave it to me free. If it works for you, that's great, but it doesn't mean you must actively denigrate others' choices with unfounded claims.

            By the way, my Ruger LCP is perfect at 500 rounds.

          • chris

            Right, so over 75% of the police departments in america are wrong about Glocks, but Mr. Lawscholar is right……… how could you ever compare a Ruger to the reliability of a Glock.

            whats the difference between a raccoon and a lawyer both dead in the middle of the road…
            theres skid marks in front of the raccoon. your an idiot

          • Dick

            your ignorance is bliss. treyvon martin was killed with a kel-tec it seems like that cheap little 9mm worked just fine

        • J. Todd Watkins

          I am not a gun expert. Just an ordinary guy who wanted to find out the truth about carrying a dependable gun. I read every gun magazine there was and talked to every gun "expert" I could find. The one thing that was consistent was they all had different opinions. So, I set out to find out the truth on my own. I have over one hundred guns.

          Let me go straight to what I found. The final result? I have three Kel-Tec three- eighties (sorry my numbers buttons are acting up). Anyway, I bought one for the simple purpose of seeing if it would be dependable. So, I have carried it now for five years. I have NEVER cleaned this gun. I took it out of the box and put it in a cheap pocket holster. I shoot fifty rounds per month through this cheap little gun. Do the math over five years times twelve.

          Now, it has NEVER jammed. It has NEVER misfired. No pocket lint issues with this gun. I have NEVER in five years had a single problem. I shoot hornady critical defense. This cheap little gun with critical defense rounds shoots through an old car muffler. Regular hollow points shot out of four of my nines would not penetrate the muffler.

          Okay, there you go. I am a Financial Advisor. I was an Army helicopter pilot trained with a Berreta (of which I love and own five of them). But, when I walk out my front door, I carry my clean Kel-Tec for defense and my never been cleaned Kel-Tec to see how long it will run. Reminds me of the tootsie pop owl commrtcial from my childhood. How many licks?

          • John

            Good point. The only Kel Tec I have heard that mis fired was one that had a rusted hammer. My gun dealer kept it in his pocket for years in south Georgia and eventually the humidity got to it. It was a .32 but it was the gun he carried while at his shop.

          • hhv

            Something is at a missed here with your statement that a 380 hornady CD ammo made holes in a muffler but not any hollow point thru your 9mm pistol didn't go thru. I think it is an ammo type issue and not a caliber type. Knowing that a 9mm is more powerful than a 380 is a given being that 380 is just a 9mm x 17mm Vs 9mm x 19mm. And a know fact is that 9mm tend to be a over penetration. If those 9mm didn't go thru that muffler, those would be a good defence round as you wouldn't worry to much about over penetrate and those rounds did the job.

          • Velko Milo

            Last time I went shooting there was a guy next to me shooting a KelTec in 380 – don't know which model it was. Kept failing to fire. He claimed it was the S&B ammo.

            I'll just stick to my Glock.

          • Bri

            i had a brand new glock 36 that malfunctioned religiously it was always clean as a whistle and oiled as should be. Me myself will never trust my life to a glock for that reason.

          • Bri

            Also i WAS holding it properly so that is not why the malfuncton it was my 6th handgun purchase and the first and only to be sold.

          • Matt S. from Alaska

            Are you effin kidding me? I sent my Keltec P3AT back and forth to the to Keltec untill it was jamming with every round and had scars all over the ramp from doing so. The dealer (who I about threw the gun at) said it was worn out from firing over 500 rounds. That gun is complete garbage and every part of it is brittle as cheap china. I was never more frustrated. I vowed never to buy anything smaller than a Glock 26. I did though. I’m on the way to Hawaii and concealed weapons are illegal.. so now I picked up a Sig P238 after a guy at the range let me fire his over and over and over.. shoots like a 1911: so far reliable.. I’m going to break mine in at 100 rounds then try not to wear it out. My Glock will miss me and hopefully I wont miss it when I need it most. P3AT: no way in the world, ever again: I about when broke trying to “prove” the gun and in the course of breaking it in work it out.. GARBAGE.

          • matt K

            your dumb

          • Spell Genie


        • ncvol

          That's what I call a "Maalox moment." I would have probably parked the car somewhere and thrown up. My Springfield XD Subcompact 9mm fits in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster in my trouser pocket at all times. It still picks up some lint, but I have never experienced a failure to fire at the range. It never hurts to inspect and clean now and then, but I don't do any detailed maintenance until after range time. Personally, I would always use a pocket holster.

        • Maui Doug

          Hey Keith – I'm a wheelgun guy, unless I go to areas on the Mainland with LOTS of gang on civilian perpetration – then I'm ALL for an alloy 9mm or 38 Super with minimum 7 shot mag, preferably a little more AND multiple clips (magazines). I have a S&W 60-15 w/ 3" barrel in stainless with "fire" front sight (until I can go full Tritium!) for home, camping, etc. Open and/or concealed carry are legally non-existent here in the State of HI (every 3rd person on the street is HI, ie., "skyed-out-of-their !#^*@! minds" on something – usually meth, of late). Of course, I prefer a jury of 12 to a casket crew of 6! AND, I'm a law-abiding citizen to the utmost, as much as I can.

          I worked as a Security Officer for many years after taking a "buyout" from a Federal Agency (couldn't stand the butt-kissing, lying and coniviving, let alone the incompetence). Hawaii is one of the few states that won't allow Security Officers to carry an handgun. Fortunately, I had a Motor Patrol 90% of my tenure (and I had a tiered threat response system from heavyduty spotlight, super authoritative high-volumn interrogation, pepperspray and Ms. Mossberg).

          I have an Inside Waistband Bianchi leather holster for the 60-15 and it covers up well with an Hawaiian Shirt – I wouldn't want to try a T or Polo shirt with it though. The 60-15 is just a liitle to large in diameter for a pocket (and I'm a 350 pounder!) – and I agree with you – NO PLAIN POCKET CARRY for any semi-auto pistol. A revolver would still function with a little pocket trash – always the 1st shot, probably the next 4 – it's just a concealment (and readiness) issue.

          BTW (by the way), I try to avoid abbreviations and slang in all posts as it can be off-putting, confusing and/or intimidating to novice handgunners and those interested in becoming shooters

          Keep the Faith and caution your launderer to not reveal the truth re: your encounter!

        • David

          I have also experienced more FTF with the LCP at the range so I've decided I will never use it as a CCW. If I can't carry my KImber Ultra Crimson Carry, I carry a S & W 360 .357.

        • Danny

          Great story. I bet the pickers factor was a 10…

        • TOP SHOTTA

          Try the Ruger LCR.

        • E.Nigma

          A very thorough and eloquent description of a rather harrowing event! Ive been leaning towards the Diamondback DB380, but have for some time had similar fears of misfiring or FTF; if that Tango had been intent on doing you in, this article would be missing your response…thanks for the heads' up!

        • David

          Uncle Mike's #3 pocket holster!!!!!! It has a rubberish strip on the outside of it so that you can draw with one hand… and it stays in place in your pocket as your LCP slips out like it was on a sprng. It keeps my LCP w/ Crimson Trace laser dust & lint free. I carry it every day, even if I have my Glock 23 40 cal. W/ CT laser IWB. I've fired hundreds of rounds through my LCP… and never had a single hic-up what-so-ever.

        • bubba

          who gives a crap

      • Dave brown

        Well put sir

      • Nelz68, David Nelson

        First I have to say that as of today i know of at least ten 9mm that are just as small and or only a little bigger than a .380, take the Ruger LC9 for a huge example or the Kahr CW9 both are not much bigger than my Colt Mustang II and they are actually lighter. So really 9mm is much better nowadays and with +p loads almost twice the stopping power with back-up ammo to keep the mad on-lookers at bay. I will always take 10-12 bullets with more power then 6-8 with less.

      • Deputy C

        Who says you have to shoot one person 13 times? What if that one person has three buddies? What if he is hopped up on PCP? I am steadfast in the arguement to bring enough gun, and enough ammo.

      • opar5

        Sound opinion, based on many courtroom examples!

      • Wayne

        Having 16 rounds is like insurance ,It's better to have and not need it ,than to need it and not have it.but if don't need but only 1 or 2 rounds then OK.It's better to have the 16 rounds and not need them than to need them and not have them. A glock 27 ,or a M&P compact is a good choice to carry concealed also.But you are right ,sometimes you might not need no more than 6 rounds.1 shot maybe all it takes but I like to have extra rounds,I feel a little uneasy with two 6 round mags.I like two 12 round mags in my glock 23,cause you never know when threat might be two or three bad guys and not just one bad guy.when you run out of ammo then what?It's not always just one bad guy

      • tattoo15k

        Someone hopped up on PCP might take more than 7-8 rounds (i.e Ruger LCP, Bersa thunder, etc) to take down.. that's the only problem with carrying a gun that small.

        • Marvolo Gaunt

          There are exceedingly few people "hopped up on PCP"- it is not a popular drug, and people unfortunate enough to be out of their gourd on it are not likely to attack you. Rip clothes off, run screaming incoherently through the streets- yes. Aggressively attack someone, not as much. Most of the PCP stories one hears are from cops- who are trying to stop them from running naked down the street.

          • John Mack

            Thank God, finally someone with some sense! Having been 'hopped up' on pcp more than my fair share back in the early 70s, the main effect of the it is a major distortion in depth perception. Your central nervous system will shut down with a well placed round just like anyone else.Most of the time it is an excuse for under trained leo not being able to deal with the stumbling lunatics created by those who have ingested the stuff. Having taught drug signs and sympthoms in many different areas, most officerss agree that some one on meth or other stimulants are more dangerous as they can lapse into psychosis. If attacked by someone on pcp most of the time you can just step out of the way and they will run headlong into the cruiser behind you.

      • Joe

        So you saw an idiot with a glock? That means nothing. You go on to say that if you get shot with any "size" gun that you will immediately seek medical attention. That's an interesting concept considering directly after that statement you say the lack of shock from a ".22 cal" is inept at causing tissue shock. As far as "shooting more than 3 times", who is to say that there isn't multiple threats, who is to say that you won't miss a few shots. As for you innocent bystander theory, you should never shoot at anything in which you do not know what lies behind, and if you do it is in dier circumstance in which you would rather be charged with an inadvertent crime than be dead..

      • John in KY

        I've had an LCP but sold it after I had to return it to Ruger. It had a defective magazine catch that would let the mag fall out part of the way after the first shot. They fixed it but I lost confidence. Also it was more difficult to shoot well and more unpleasant to shoot than my Colt Mustang or my S&W 649. Of those two guns, I carry the revolver, loaded with .38 cal Hydro-Shoks and refitted with Hogue Bantam Jr. grips 90% of the time because I can slip the weapon into a hip pocket or jacket pocket without a holster.

    • Mark

      I disagree friend. The two aren't close in any way no matter how you stack them up. There are sub-compact 9's that are as small or smaller than many 380's (the PF-9 is one of them and it is now my main carry weapon) I can carry it in my front change pocket if i'm wearing khakis, slip it in a jacket pocket, or into my waistband and not even know it's there. But I am a realist and know there are times I need something a little more compact. This is when I carry the 380 LCP. It's not my first choice, but it's better than nothing at all. I used to "try" to carry a full sized 9mm (beretta) or a full sized 1911, but found myself leaving it home to often due to it's bulk and weight. This was unacceptable, so I went to smaller,, lighter weapons. now it's always with me (even when i'm at home)

      • Oscar

        It is sad to read that you feel you must always be with your weapon (even when you are at home). Your life sounds nerve-racking, at least, your environment does, or your neighbors themselves. Do you make your neighbors concerned knowing that you leave your home everyday packing a deadly weapon?

        • Tugar

          So Oscar, do you have a spare tire in your car? Do you have a first aid kit somewhere in the house? Your life must be really nerve wracking to have those thing ready in case you might actually need them.

          Home invasions happen. So do animal attacks and other bad things. You can't stop time and run somewhere safe. Being prepared has nothing to do with environment or stress.

          • Joe

            Thanks Tugar, if you didn't say it I would have. Being prepared to defend yourself has nothing to do with nerves or your environment. Home invasions happen everywhere. If your not prepared you lose plain and simple.

        • smayer

          Oscar, Once the regular G&A site is up, take a look at the "What Would You Do" scenarios and see how commonplace deadly attacks are to every day people, with every day lives, doing every day things. Please don't take the mindset of "it only happens to other people."

        • Al Simon

          Sounds like he's prepared to come home alive, which apparently you're not.

        • Justin

          Sounds like he is prepared and your not. Or your willing to gamble that it "won't happen to you". Either way, I'm with him.

        • DC Campbell

          I have fire extinguishers loaded in my home as well. Being prepared for any situation is both reasonable and responsible. Anyone who has objection to a citizen legally carrying a firearm should live in France for a while. See how safe you feel there.

        • Woody

          Ever heard of "home invasions"? The only place they happen is at home, when you answer the door. Not to mention burglaries, also an at-home crime. If you wait for the threat to attack you first, don't plan on letting the criminal give you 5 minutes to call 911 and wait another 20 mins. for the police to show up. Better safe than sorry.

        • Tad

          Not nerve-racking in the least, just prepared. As far as the neighbors, it is none of their business whether or not I am carrying a licensed firearm. I carry because I want to be able to protect myself, family and friends. I don't tell the neighbors. Why would I?

        • Gary Emch

          Oscar, you sound a little young or ignorant. I carry a gun everywhere. I seen a news story where someone had a daylight home invasion with three men attempting to bust the door down to someone's house. They later found the homeowners had not known the criminals. As the economy is spiraling down you will start to see activities that most Americans never thought could or would happen. You better start doing so research or in now or in the short future you will find yourself in some

          real world trouble.

        • Joe

          Love my LCP, I carry everywhere..including at home. My environment requires…snakes and such you know. :)

          No neighbor for 1/2 mile (love that too).most of the folks around here also are "packing a deadly weapon" LOL…no victims on this end of the county.

        • ncvol

          Had an attempted suicide at my retail store in the mens room. He was strung out, and believed to be armed. Took police 30 min. to get there. Surprised the guy didn't bleed out. When I'm in a life or death situation, (I have been in only one thank God), I DON'T HAVE 30 MINUTES.

        • Maui Doug

          Dearest Oscar,

          I'm alarmed to that you find it "sad" that someone would always have their weapon at hand. In today's world, especially in larger urban environments, where many live due to their jobs/professions, menace is an "ambient" fact for most citizens. With the explosion of violence inciting drug-use of methamphetamine and the predation of Inter-state street gangs, robbing, raping, murdering, etc., I'm shocked that you don't understand Mark's trepidation and the want for 24-7 protection for him and his.

          Most states require that if you carry concealed handguns, that you not let all but close friends and family know about it Broadcasting one's concealed carry sets one up for a robbery – to get that weapon, or, even more likely, your other weapons when you're away from home..

          In Hawaii, I won't even put a long-gun in my vehicle during daylight hours. I live in a condo and have to carry any long-gun to and from my van parked some 20 feet away at the curb – no attached garage here (very rare in Hawaii – usually an open carport) – so visibility is a problem.

          By the way, Hawaii is consistently from #1 to #3 in "Property Crimes", including burglary, in the nation. Many burglaries become Home Invasions by mistake. In my case, I'm mobility challenged (I "walked my knees off" surveying Colorado Rockies in late 70's/early 80's) and spend a lot of my day in the back bedroom/office. I'm semi-retired and if my wife is working, it may appear that the house is empty (daylight burglaries probably #2 – #4 in nation here). Sooo, I keep my 357 S&W within reach most of the time.

          Last year, while recovering from an extensive hospitalization, I had Home Nursing personnel stopping in several times a week – as I was essentially bed-bound, I had my wife leave the front door unlocked for the nurse when she was expected and my wife was working. I spent about half my day dozing – you can see the problem I think – my 357 was a great comfort under my pillow for a practiced draw and dry fire.

          I'm a VERY positive person and don't live in fear AND I'm a realist. I read the local crime reports, listed by address, in local "free" papers and know that the druggies prey on the unsuspecting, the tourists and those that they perceive as incapacitated. I hope I never have to shoot an intruder or any other perpetrator, AND I'm practiced, accurate and ready if I do.

          The Right to Self Defense is the First of All Natural Rights. Why is someone's preparation to exercise it considered unusual in the age in which we live? The Political Left, the New World "Odor" and all their "allies", witting or unwitting, are working day and night to disarm American civilians while the Police will tell you that they have ZERO obligation to protect you, your loved ones or ANYONE!

          To aid and abet the efforts of those deliberately designing to leave us defenseless, while the criminal element go unrestrained, due to "Bleeding Heart" legislation by the same Politicians and NWOderists, is absurd – unless you're uninformed or one of them!

          WAKE UP Oscar! WAKE UP AMERICA!

          • Edison

            Folks I do not usally repond to comments but having been a victim of a carjacking that resulted in my gettting shot in the face, I just had to respond to Oscar. During this fateful night I was not armed…….I can tell you that will never happen again. By the way no fun getting shot with a .38

          • Keith

            Well said my friend.

            Sad though – but equally true.

        • Merlin

          Oscar……I carry EVERYWHERE in my home. (Yes, even in the bathroom) I'm carrying as I write this. (Glock 23 in .40) I also have car insurance, home insurance, and a fire extinguisher handy should I need it. And my neighbors do not know I carry inside my home. My wife also has a Mossberg 590 12 gauge pump by her side of the bed. We live a very comfortable life style, and are free from worry. Please read the following, and maybe it will help you to understand my mindset.


          o The police cannot be everywhere all of the time, so it's up to me to protect myself and those around me. I can't depend on law enforcement for protection. Police are reactive, not proactive, and are minutes away when seconds are critical.

          o A gun is the only thing that puts a 68-year-old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year-old gang banger, or a 100 pound woman on equal footing with 220 pound mugger. I believe I am LESS of a target for a mugging, with minimal risk of being more a target just because a criminal might want to take my gun away from me.

          o Being armed is a way of life and a lifestyle choice. It is just like wearing my seatbelt …. I don't know if it will save my life, but it sure helps to be better prepared. While I would love to think nothing bad will happen to me when I am just running down the street to the grocery store in my neighborhood…. it happens to people all the time.

          o When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid.

          o An armed society is a polite society. I feel more secure now that I feel I can protect myself and those nearby if the need should arise. Therefore, my reactions to provocations now are very calm because there is no need for me to overreact.

          o Being armed is more of a social DUTY to me than a right. Properly armed and trained citizens are the best deterrent to violent crime. EVERY mass shooting you hear about in the news could have been reduced in scope by the presence of just one law-abiding and well-trained armed citizen (i.e., gun-free zones are dangerous places).

          o Guns kill people like forks made Rosie O'Donnell fat. Guns cause violence as much as cameras cause porn.

          o “I have decided in these hard and trying times that it's better to have it and not need it, that to need it and not have it. Today is definitely NOT a good day to die ….( tomorrow doesn't look good either. “)

        • mike

          he'll shoot shut up or he will kill you.

        • Nelz68, David Nelson

          A gun only does you any good if you have it with you when you need it and your going to be the one guy who needs it and does not have it with him. besides after awhile it get to be like your just carrying your wallet and not thinking about it and totaly comfortable with it.

        • Wayne

          So Oscar you think the neighbors should be concerned about a CCW permit holder packing a deadly weapon more than a criminal packing a deadly weapon.You and the neighbors are safer with me carrying a weapon than if I wasn't.And BTW you don't know who is carrying a CCW weapon in your nieghborhood.That's why it is a CCW (concealed carry weapon ),concealed means concealed in my state ,so you probably have neighbors carrying.And BTW it's not the CCW permit holders that are the bad guys

        • Wayne

          Oscar lives in a perfect world with no criminals .I guess you never watch the News or Americas most wanted or the ID channel that's (Investigation Discovery)channel .In his neighborhood ,no crime happens.Where do you live ….Mr. Rodgers neighborhood? LOL

      • Ernest

        Like the old saying goes the best gun/knife is the one you have on you. I have practiced martial arts for 30 some years and when people would hear that the old cliché well I’d just shoot you. I got tired of that reply and asked will where is your gun? In the 80’s and 90’s more than 70% of the time they would say out in the truck or I wasn’t expecting trouble so it’s at home. These days I’m not so cocky so I am more polite and have found that at least 60% of the people are armed. Sign of the times. Even though I taught martial arts I would have a gun and a knife where the law would permit. I never expected trouble either. I just wanted to be left alone and would rather the other people would not have told anyone that I was a martial artist anyway. Keep your cards close to your vest. A secret weapon is always your best

      • Ra

        It is not the caliber that does the job it is he type of ammo. Hornady makes some special ammo for the .380 that will do more damage than the 9 mm.

        • PJ

          Saying a 380 is "better" (more powerful) than the 9mm is akin to saying a 4 cylinder engine is more powerful than a V8.

          Sure, a tricked out, 4 cylinder formula 1 engine will be more powerful than a stock V8 but that tricked out 4 is nowhere near a match for an equally tricked out V8.

          Because like the old hot rodder's mantra, "There's no replacement for displacement."

          Anything (ballistically speaking) a 380 can do, a 9×19 can do with more speed and power.

          • Brian

            PJ, I like my .45, so the same can be said about that vs. the 9mm. Frankly, in my opinion, I can hit someone with a .45 and do substantially more damage than a 9mm, so why wouldn't I always just carry my XD 45? Concealment, mainly. A .380 is better than many small carry guns (.22, .25, .32) and is as easily concealable as all of them.

            BTW, I certainly wouldn't compare a .380 to a 4-cylinder while comparing a 9mm parabellum to an 8. MAYBE a straight 6, but the 8 cylinder's in my world all start with a 4…. .40, .45, .454, etc.

          • Britt

            I'll see your 9mm and raise you 12 ga! Gentlemen you're missing the point. It's about being able to conceal. Yes, 9mm is better than .380 and .45 is better than 9mm, and a rifle is better than a pistol. But I find it extreamly difficult to conceal my 12 ga.

          • P08 lover

            Formula 1 cars do have V8, and number of cylinders has nothing to do with displacement, and there ARE replacement for displacement, it's called higher rpms, overfeeding (Turbo or supercharge).

            For the Gun register I have a H&K USP .45, P08 9mm (which you don't even store in dusty places XD), and a lovely FN herstal 57. I should encourage you to try and fire that amazing 5.7x23mm round

        • Michael

          When working the ER, those who were shot several times with 9 mm might still come in sitting up or even walking. Those who were shot once or twice with a .45 cal came in dead. It's .45 cal for me all day long with a 380 in the pocket as a BUG or a 357 in a T-shirt holster as a BUG. AND I carry everywhere, includung home!

          • Maui Doug


            Sounds good to me – except, have you chronographed your 45, if it's a short-barreled model(less than 4 inch)? Try it and run the energy calculation – if it's a "shorty", you might be better off with a 9mm+P of a 38 Super! Just a thought – I've read about and heard about (from actual use reports) that 3" 45's may not do the deed – especially with meth-crazed perpetrators. I like your style and commitment to concealed carry!

        • Nelz68, David Nelson

          They also make 9mm too!

        • MedicQ

          Ra, Its not the caliber or the type of ammo. It is the correct placement of the bullet.

          • opar5

            Finally! Wisdom! Thank you, MedicQ. Am I the only one who carries a C/T laser on my pocket P-3AT with MagSafe ammo (suggested by the Strausborg Tests)?

    • john h

      I doubt the .380 is anywhere near the 9 mm in stopping power. However, I carry one because it needs to be concealable in places where I do not wear a jacket.

      Read the specs on the 9 mm (1,200 fps with 115-gr jhp) and .380 (900 fps with 90-gr jhp) and you see it is not nearly as powerful.

      • MacIndy

        John h, I really don't think the perp will ask if he/she was shot at 300 fps more/less or 115 gr or 90 gr. The scenario can get into the is bigger better with gr. bullets. Certainly!!! I carry the Kahr .380 in the summer time and I opt for more penetration in the winter (coats, layers, etc.) So I carry a Kahr P45 or a 1911 Kimber CDP or my Colt. I do feel that the answer will always lie in "shot placement" That is why I train, train, train and shoot shoot shoot.

        The only ones who are interested in specs will be the defense attorneys when a situation happens.

        If we desire to get into what would be the best, then carry the 357 mag or pump shotgun, but not always feasible. Just for thought. :o)

      • Gary Emch

        It dosen't matter what you carry unless you can hit what you aim at!

      • Michael

        You have to wear a jacket to conceal a 9mm? I wear a M&P45 under a t-shirt and never get made. And, I'm 5'6" and 145-lbs. Perhaps the solution could be in holster choice as opposed to caliber compromise.

        • Michael

          No jacket for me. I wear a shirt and tie every day without a jacket. I conceal a Glock 30SF (45 cal) and a Kahr P380 (BUG) very easily with my crossbread supertuck holster and either a pocket holster or a T-shirt holster (for the BUG).

      • Maui Doug


        Check the barrel length that those specs were achieved with. Depending on the Reloading Manual and/or Manufacturer, it may be somewhat apples and oranges. Most 9mm stats I've seen were shot from a 4 inch Universal Receiver, most of the 380 stats, with a 3 inch barreled pistol. A UR will differ significantly from an actual pistol barrel of the same length. Shouldn't lose 300 fps in 1 inch, or so – yet, I read side-by-side test of many models of both – real-world chronographed – and find up to 75 -80 fps difference with same ammo/same barrel length (or close), but different pistols! The difference may be less than one would suppose – although, generally I would agree.

        Concealability, legal or not, IS an issue for sure. The gun you have is the one that could save your life – if your preferred weapon is too bulky or obtrusive, you might not have it when you need it, which, like auto accidents happening mostly within 5 miles of your home, is likely when you run to the convenient store for beer, snacks or a newspaper or other close to home activity.

      • opar5

        Ever hear of the Strasbourg Tests on Alpine Goats: best stopper = .380 Magsafe – even better than .45 ACP!

        • OneBadMarine

          use your .380 on a goat i will stick to 9mm or .45 acp for humans. =)

        • Terry

          Better than .45 ACP Magsafe?

      • Rob

        Not so with the Hornady 127gr hollow point in the 9mm. Been there done it all, bud/s in the late 70's, and then on to NSA. I my H&K .45 ACP,(also have the smith 1911 .45 with the three dot tritum sights) but have the small S&W M&P 9mm with the Packmeyers. 3 and 1/2 in barrel (I believe)…..This is my CCW for the summer months….Had it since 1984? (maybe '85 or '86, cannot remember now) Anyway, I practice with the 115 gr. round nose full metal jackets by R&P. But..The HORNADY'S are the bomb in that they come in 127 gr. (I prefer the HollowPt'S) There IS no .380 out there that I am aware of that carries more power or rounds…..Has the Tritium sights (not the 3 dots) but you CAN see the end of the barrel at night. I never aim anyway, nor should anyone here, unless shooting a long gun..Have fired thousands of rounds through this little 9, and never even one hang-up, mis-fire FTF etc. I HIGHLY recommend this ammo to any 9mm users, whether this is your primary weapon, or your ccw. Have enjoyed reading all you guys have posted..Remember, he who 'gets there first; very, very seldom finishes last'!

    • Jerry L

      I have just abt every cal from .22 -.45ACP in revolvers and or semi auto's .

      When I have to due to clothing atire i carry the Sig P238 in 380 Hornady critical defense loads ( as I do in any Cal. )

      When I can I carry my Ruger P 345 …

      These new .380's Guns and Amo are very good Yes the 9 MM is better and they are making some really small .

      Since we are talking only .380 /9MM I just want to add that I would not carry even as a back up anything less than a .380.

      Jerry L

    • Cameron Kranig

      I'd carry a .380 long before I'd carry a .38 special air weight. Man those things are miserable to shoot. That being said my wife usually carries a 1911 in her purse which makes us golden for any season and I keep the 40 concealed in the car at an easy access point. I like bigger holes and if I have to shoot them I don't want them to live through it.

    • Tim H

      ignore the .380 AND the 9mm and do yourself a favor and get a .45 (my carry gun is a sigsauer p220 w/ 4.4 inch barrel) or perhaps at the least get a .40. The queen of my nightstand is a .357 Ruger GP100 w/4inch barrell. And mounted above the closet door is a Remington 870 12 guage shotty. Nothing stops human aggression like high caliber aggression and it gives you the ability to "touch" that drug crazed, psychotic assailant only once or twice as opposed to 6 or 8 times with those smaller calibers. .45 acp (230 grain jhp) is as good as it gets. and bullets are expensive, why waste them?

    • ald

      I own a range of handguns from a 1911 to a Makarov chambered in .380, and I often take out newer or first time shooters and bring a variety of firearms to try out. On the handgun side overwhelmingly newer shooters enjoy shooting the Makarov. Even with 3 different 9mm to choose from (Sig 226, Glock, HK), the .380 is easier to shoot and just as accurate as the 9mm's for less than practiced shooters who quickly build confidence and concentrate on basic marksmanship principles while still enjoying the (relative) roar of a handgun.

      I have large hands and prefer a full size handgun, but there's a certain logic to getting the right fit and the weakness of the 9mm round is that at compact and sub compact models the power of the round tends to deliver recoil that's distracting at best and dangerous at worst. The .380 round does seem a good fit at that size range.

      I'd emphasize the .380 rounds is good for shooters looking for a general carry weapon in that size range for whatever purposes (CCW, better fit, etc..), as well as infrequent, or unpracticed shooters. Most would agree that 6 – 8 well placed, confident shots are better than 15 panic shots regardless of the caliber.

      • Richard Henderson

        The Army counterintelligence Corps did studies for their choice of undercover guns in the 1940s. Their choice was the Colt .390.Many European police use the 9mm corto {short} which is the .380. If you really want to blow a home intruder away, I recommend a 12 guage slug

        Dick Henderson

    • jim

      Sorry, but there are now several pocket 9mm that are the size of most .380s. Patrick Sweeny was right. 380s are back ups because they are not as effective as a 9mm for a main carry pistol. That is why I carry in warm weather a Kahr PM9, which is as small as most .380s. Easy and smart choice.

    • Don

      The Kel-tec PF9 is only a few ounces heavier and slightly larger than the .380s. Carry in my front pocket or inside the waist band in cheap Uncle Mike's and is very concealable. Gives me an extra round, 8 with one on the pipe, more knock down (critical defense comes in 9mm too!) and is much more manageable to shoot accurately (longer sight radius, larger grip). It has a hammer, so is much less likely for FTF issues. Plus it can handle +P on a limited basis, in 124 – 128 grain, much more effective than .380. However, I would not feel under gunned carrying a .380 under certain circumstances, but would make Buffalo Bore 95gr jhp my round of choice… 1125 fps and 267 ft lbs.

      BTW, you guys should be careful about mentioning your intent for any possible attacker to not survive your defensive measures. In the event a trial ever came about, a zealous prosecuting attorney could use these statements you have left for all to see as a case for pre-meditation.

    • Matt

      agree 9 and 380 both work well – loaded with hornady ftx critical defense and the threat is going down. with self defense ammo advancing so far these days most everything brings enough stopping power at 380 or above.

    • Steve

      It's not what you carry, it's how you use it. In hot weather you may only be able to carry a 380. Buy the best ammo you can get and shoot the bad person till they stop their bad actions. You could also use a 22 or a 25. Don't poo-poo either one. I have seen both stop robberies. There is nothing like a facefull of small bullets to make a bad person stop bothering you, and want to leave. They only like the defenseless sheeple to prey upon.

      Use any caliber, but put the bullets where they need to go. I do believe in bigger is better, but you can't always carry a bigger weapon!

    • guest

      The last time I looked at any scientific data…it showed that the .380 does not penetrate enough to consider it as a serious defense round. If you want something compact then look at the J-frames and move on.

    • Mike Day

      Bersa Thunder Plus 380 = 15+1, now you can shoot the sob 16 times

    • CJ Keller

      Ruger LCP is a million times better than a smith bodyguard. I owned both but was disgusted with the bodyguard i had problem after problem and after sending it to factory 3 times me and my dealer got so fed up he gave me store credit for the amount i paid for it from him and ened up buying another ruger but the LC9 and some ammo and holster and i still have 68 dollars left to in instore credit.

  • Darwin Heaton

    It's not the loads or the power that makes .380s so popular–it's simply the size and convenience of carry. If there were more Rohrbaugh sized 9mms available that were more affordable the .380 craze would come to screeching halt.

  • jbp-ohio

    New advances have made the .380 better, but the same advances have been applied to the 9mm loads. So the 380 hasn't caught up with the 9mm. The .380 is better, and so is the 9mm, .40, .45 and so on….

  • Computer Chuck

    If you look at slim 9mm (and now 40cal) like the Walther PPS, 9mm is the way to go vs 380. Still not a small as the 380 guns, but the PPS is so thin and flat, they are a true joy to carry. Extremely comfortable!

    • MacIndy

      I had the PPS 9mm and it is a super nice pistol and extremely accurate. My only reason for getting rid of was in the lever release of the mag, it would hang up on my palm. I spent 2 hrs in practice to alleviate the problem and was able to use my shooting index finger better for mag release. I only got rid of it and purchased the Kahr PM9 as I am so accustomed to the "button" mag release and did not want to get caught in a situation where I would "forget" at the needed time.

      For someone not used to any particular mag release and doesn't need to transition back and forth, it is a superb choice.

      • hhv

        You just need to be more flexible. To much train do you no good if it doesn't train you to be adaptive. I own a PPS for carry and it did me good. And the mag release was never an issues and I tend to like it more than the button and is more sleeker and snag proof. I tend to get adjusted to any kind of weapon I can get my hands on. I know cause have a CZ SP01 bedside and 1911 in another. Oh, I don't like those Kahr as their firing mechanism is complicated and in my opinion not reliable like the glock system on the PPS. Oh it's is a Korean designer gun. I don't trust korean engineering but the model on their ads is hot.

    • Bob P

      Right on Chuck, had tried to carry many different weapons from a mini-cougar 40 to PPK 380. PPS is a dream, easy carry and I can still have 40cal

    • Steve

      I just came back from the pistol range. Just shoot 150 rounds through my PPS. 40. Did not have a single problem. Excellent gun, Looking at a PPQ

  • http://yahoo Vincent

    lokk to buy a gun

    • MacIndy

      Vincent, if you have a place that rents guns for you to try, the better off you are. Always try to buy the best you can afford (your life is worth more than the cost of a gun) If conceal carry is your goal and if you want an opinion, the 9mm is a good choice and small enough pistols are available now. I am an avid fan of the Kahr pistols, owning the P380, PM9 and P45. They make these in less expensive models such as the CW9, CM9, CW40 and CW45.

      Ruger makes the new LC9 that I haven't had the opportunity to shoot yet. My wife carries the Rugar LCP 380 and knows how to use it. I've tried to make the LCP fail, via speed shooting, limp wristing, etc. but it has run flawless.

      The choice will be your of course, but practice, practice, practice, and 9mm practice ammo is cheaper than 380 ammo. :)

      Good luck

      • jayBee

        You made the point I was waiting for….9mm cost less than the 380, so practice is not sacrificed, making the 9mm a good choice.

  • Greg Russell

    9mm is too fast, making it pass-thru, unlike a slower .45, or maybe the .380……..

    .380 is a plenty fine carry round…..

    • Al Simon

      When you use a bonded, large cavity, +P hollowpoint, they become a flying ashtray and make a very large hole going through a body. This gives tremendous hydraulic shock to the body and allows the target to "bleed out" very quickly and drop.

      • MacIndy


    • Myron

      Its a no brainer if you know balistics 9mm any day over 380. Bullet speed if more important than bullet size. Its the energy from the bullet speed that does the most damage. Case in point a .45 230 grain round VS. a .223 round 62 grain round. I'll take the .223 thank you, its 3 times the speed of a 45 and 1/3 the The 38 VS .357 same bullet the .357 has much higher velocity alot more damage.

    • Tom

      In handgun rounds, traveling at lower velocities, what makes a bullet an effective stopper is the size (volume) of the permanent cavity that is left in the vital areas of the target. This is what the FBI found in their studies of terminal ballistics.
      The reason bullets traveling at rifle velocities (about over 2200 fps) are so effective is because at those speeds, the temporary cavity (the area around the permanent cavity which is only momentarily stretched by handgun-speed bullets) gets ripped out as well.
      Also, a .380 is simply a 9mm with a shorter case, meaning less power. .380 can be used in more concealable firearms because of less pressure and recoil. For some people, it might be better to own a .380 because it might not always be practical to carry a 9mm with you everywhere, and something is better than nothing. That being said, a .380 is still an effective stopper, just not quite as good as 9mm or 38 special. If you decide to get a .380 and have the money, I'd recommend the Kahr P380; great trigger, reliable, very light, and excellent fit and finish.
      P.S. – 9mm will not "pass-thru" your target with reliably expanding hollowpoint ammo. In FMJ, 9mm and .45 will likely pass-thru your target.
      P.P.S – Hydraulic shock is not a reliable measure of stopping ability with any round, so it is best to disregard it when comparing ammo. All the evidence I've seen regarding this phenomenon is solely circumstantial.

      • Mr. 45-70

        Nice post! Thumbs up!! I agree with EVERYTHING you just said, and that's a RARE thing. There might be hope for humanity yet…

    • Stever Morelli

      You do not know much about ballistics or ammo out there, do you? It is scarey how many gun owners I run across who really do not understand ammo and other factors that go into making a good gun/caliber choice. Everyone wants small and then will find things to support their choice and ignore the rest.

  • MIKE

    i will stick to my glock 22 no matter where i go it is always with me no matter what.with the holster and long t-shirt it is very concealable as much as any 9mm with alot more stopping power!!! if i need some thing with more stopping power than my glock 22 i will gladly strap on one of my .357 mags.

    • MacIndy

      Mike, my home defense weapon is the Glock 22 with M3, light with 4 extra loaded mags and….. 12 ga. pump shotgun. I don't need to speak of my AR for extreme cases. :)

    • MicD

      How do you conceal your G22? I don't think that I can do that during the summer…or even the spring & fall here in Texas. Do I just not know how to do it or is my build too lean or what? I'm really asking b/c I don't think that I could conceal it. (6' 185lbs)

  • Kevin Sheaffer

    Screw em both. I go with my Colt M1911. .45 ACP FTW.

    • Pochos

      Did you already shot 550 rounds to break it in..? All high quality European autos are ready to shott any ammo out fo the box. 45's are stadard quality in general and are prone tojam with various type of ammo.

      • MacIndy

        Pochos, not always the case now with newer 1911's Not one bobble from my new Colt lightweight Government nor my Kimber CDP 5". Although I shoot more often than most. But from the beginning they have been flawless. I've shot 1911's for years and don't have a problem with them. My Kahr P45 has been flawless also although Kahr ask that 200 break in rounds be used. European guns such as Sig are good, but they also sell a fine 1911 of which a friend of mine carries.

        • Woody

          Got me a Kimber a few years ago; had to put 300 rounds through it before it settled down and now runs w/o a hiccup. Didn't have a break-in period with 2 Springfields nor 2 Colt Commanders. The Kimber is much tighter in tolerances, though; no "side to side" rattle when you shake it. Lovely weapon.

      • Charles_Texas

        I have a SIG 1911. Easy to shot, accurate and stopping power. It is every bit as reliable and it is not standard quality in general. Oh yes, it is "Made in America".

    • http://N/A Lopaka


      There is no finer shooting gun like the 1911 45 ACP. It will do the job when you need to stop the zxv*# out there in the jungle. I have loved the Colt 1911 since 1963 and not had a

      chance to use it on any Tigers yet. I also like my Springfield

      1911 stainless steel 45 ACP. Awesome firepower Kevin!

    • Leroy

      I like the Para 12 round 45 in a diminutive package. Namely the LDA Carry 12.

    • Tony

      Nobody was asking about your Colt so take it somewhere else where someone gives a hoot.

    • George

      Amen the 45. Is it. P.S. bigger bullet , bigger hole !!

    • Walt

      That's a stupid comment. The question is between 9mm and .380 period. Why didn't you just say you would go with a 12ga ?

  • Varmintmist

    Which is better?

    A rifle or shotgun. Face it, a handgun IS a compromise. Knowing that, you take what is comfortable to you. I love the 1911, but I was going to buy a 380 when I hit on the FP9. There is no comparison in concealed carry ability of the two.

    • sgt.

      what about the judge?

    • Jhon Baker

      Disagree when it comes to self defense on the street or in many cases in the home. If we were in a face to face situation I would take a handgun any day and go so far as to feel confident that I could strip you of a long gun in this situation. You need room to have the weapon utilized and this isn't the case with many handguns. You may have your long gun in a face to face and I will keep to my 9×19.

  • robert38-55

    Age old debate here,,,,, Once again "It is what it is" a 9mm is a 9mm and a .380 is a .380. I have had both at one time, I don't have any .380's at present, but still have my 9mm Browing BDM.. I would buy another .380… Which one would I choose to carry if I carried? For me personally I would choose to carry a .380 auto, with extra magazines….Why? Because thats my decision!!! plain and simple… forget the hooopla forget the bigger the better, forget the .380 doesn't have the capacity etc. etc. I believe that they type of carry self-defense weapon/gun is strickly an individual personal choice, always is, always has been, and always will be…

    I don't want to start WWIII here nor am I am going to bash anyone or any caliber, but I want to state some points here for discussion…. Isn't it the actual "shot placement" that actually brings down the objective, be it game or man? I always thought it was, so with that being said is a bigger heavier caliber, anymore effective when viewed from this point?. shot placement is shot placement. right? I have alway read that the average shooting, crime, etc, is about 7 ft or so, at that close range, would it really make that much difference which caliber one had, I mean 7ft is 7ft, almost point blank range. I am sure a shooting victim would probably feel more energy hit them with a bigger caliber, at that point, but other than that… Small compact light weight reliable, dependable, rugged, thats what should be considered in a carry weapon, and as mentioned above … what is one actually comfortable with and can use and control fast, efficiently and with good results? The bottom line is the way I rekon,is that there is a lot to choose from out there for everyone for every type of situation, and one gun doens't fit the bill for every single type of situation. There are those who think that nothing less than a .44mag, or .454 casull, or even a .500 smith has to be a CCW gun.Personally I would not want to be shot with either a .380 or a 9mm, much less something bigger and bolder……Varmintmist mentioned "concealed carry ability of the two" heres a point we can add to .380 vs. 9mm for carry…..shouldn't the ability of the person carrying the gun, be considerated? I mean if on the gun range a person actually performs better with a 9mm than a .380 then wouldn't ya think that hey Jeeccchhh, maybe I should carry this 9mm because I am better with it than my .380?.. I know I would consider that fact. See my Point I am getting at here?

    …. In a "Do or Die" situation, if someone was trying to save my life, and this person had a .380 then this would not be the time or place, to start "bashing them about why they should be carrying a 9mm or a .45acp, instead of a .380" the other point I would like to make here is that for me personally I am partial to rifles, and can actually perform a lot better with a rifle, than a hangun.. I am not saying that I am a poor performer with a handgun, I hold my own pretty good, with a hand gun, but I have to face the reality that trying to use a rifle for a CCW isn't practical, folks,,,so if I want to carry and be real and practical about it I must choose a handgun of some type and make,model and caliber….And the gun manufactures, no matter who they are have offered me and you plenty to choose from, we just have to be "practical and comfortable" with our choices,,now don't we?

    ……PS,,, why is it that we hardly ever hear of anyone carrying a .25 ,.32 or a .17, .22 or .22magnum??? or 9×19 or something? I have a Ruger in .327 Federal Magnum and I would have a problem using it for a CCW weapon….Now before I get bashed here hahahaha,, Look at the history and facts, I understand that more people here in the USA, have be killed with the .22 caliber, than any other caliber…

    • robert38-55

      In my previous post disregard the 9x 19 in the last paragraph… It was a typo, mistake… 9×19= 9mm

    • Dan Duffy

      Bravo on your disertation. I was trained with a 38….sort of…hand is too big and could not hang on to Mil Issue 38 so got a 45 (1911) and with the help of a qualified Marine Gun Smith it was both accurate and reliable, and with 8 + 8 would stop a freight train.

      I was younger and had not arthritic hands back then. I still shoot a 1911 well but it is costly (higher ammo prices and a sore hand for a few days after 50 at the range.

      9 mm is more affordable (for a retiree) and hurts less to shoot often. And with +P hollow point defensive ammo is almost as good as the 40 or 45 for defensive purposes. I am now waiting for the new Boberg 9's to hit the market so I can try one and see if it fits my hand (most small weapons have too small a grip). If it does I will acquire one and that will be a Carry with +p and an extra mag.

      Still toying with a 10 mm compact (steel for the weight for better control) but afraid my right hand won't like the kick.

      Maybe I should start shooting left handed and save some cash as I already have an H&K compact 45 but can't pull the trigger (1st shot) with my right index finger.


    • Eric

      Very good point. Its all about what you shoot the best. One shot landed with a .380 is a lot better than three misses with a 9mm, .40 or whatever.

      • pat carrera


        I use a Glock 27 or Sig P229 .40 and I consider myself a good shot

    • Vigilante

      The Taurus PT638 has a 15+1 capacity in 380.

    • Rpruitt1

      You are absolutely right. It doesn't matter what you carry as long as you can shoot it well. Shot placement is key.

    • doony

      I think that shot placement is more important than caliber as long as the caliber is not a 22 or so. Of course bigger is better if you can do it consistently. This is a side note but a 243 win in the right hands can bring a deer down better than a 300 win mag in hands that pulls every shot. Comfort alone allows for more training with the 243 win with exceptions for those refrigerator sized men. More training equals better real world performance. The same goes with shooting hand guns for self defense. Train with what you can use comfortably so you can do more of it. Of course going to a bigger caliber after good training you probably wont feel any pain in a life threatening situation. Carrying small 380 has more to do with comfort than with caliber or else there would be 45-70 kel tec pistols.

      • doony

        Did i just respond to a zombie post :) ?

    • paul

      Really enjoyed your writing– informative, logical, funny and loaded with common sense
      Paul in Chicago

    • Rich Ralston

      The best gun is and always will be the gun that you have on you when you absolutely positively must have one.

    • James Mcwilliams

      regardless of wether it's a .500 or a .22LR the simple fact that pulling out a pistol and point it is a pretty good deterrent itself and without hearing protection in an enclosed space i.e car, house, alley the report is pretty loud and once you know you're being fired at more likely you're gonna duck.

    • Dadth

      you are right, if you need more than 6 rounds of any caliber, then you need more practice …a 22cal will bring down anything on two legs_

    • 60grit

      I like the fact that you argue that there shouldn't be an argument and then throw in the 22 cal evidence

    • Elwood Caudill

      You would be surprised at what the performance of a diminutive 22 Magnum Semi would be.

    • Chris

      You cut right through the bull Robert! I hope more people will realize what REALLY matters, like everything you said. Hell, I would trust a Walther P22 loaded with CCI's to defend myself and my family any day.

    • DeathNACan

      Someone mentioned preference. Too me the question is "What do I feel comfortable shooting and why am I carring it?" I'm just as accurate with my Bersa Thunder.380 Plus, and its 15 round mag capacity, as I am with my Glock 17. The fact that the Bersa just fits better in my hand and I want something that feels good that I will feel more confident with. I don't like tiny guns that make big bangs (9mm or 45 cal) with small grips. I want it securely in my hand.



  • Keith


    But did they die immediately ?


    The big thing about being shot with a small caliber arm (eg: 22 cal) is that it bounces around inside you and tears things apart. Eventually the doctors can not sew you back together and you bleed to death.

    The shock impact of a larger bullet is the key to stopping a raging maniac. Just like hunting an angry Bear, Rhino or anything that weighs more than a few hundred pounds. If you shot it once and it ran then you need power to put it down quickly when you track it down. It needs to make a shock pulse large enough to incapacitate upon point of impact (so it can't eat you) and it can not stop at the front of the animal skin / Perp's jacket. That is about the equivalent of getting punched with a fist in the gut. It must penetrate more than 2 inches. Then there is a discussion about hitting and destroying important body parts.

    – Keith.

    • specops


      Animal or human, unless you hit the brain stem you are not going to "turn out the lights" immediately and if memory serves me the largest percentage of "Actual" recorded and verified 1 shot stops still belongs to the 125gr. .357 Mag. D.W.M. Bell killed over a 1000 elephants with a 7X57mm Mauser (.275 Rigby) with 175gr. FMJs. Shot placement and disruption of vital organs are more important than caliber or weight of projectile.

      • Al Simon

        You are absolutely right. the more damage done to a vital, the quicker the blood loss and and stopping of the assailant.

        • hhv

          So you shoot it in the knee cap or any joints to stop them. To kill just a shot to the head/brain. More powerful round for a rag doll effect.

    • Caligula

      Bounces around? I've shot plenty of varmints with .22 and have yet to see the round "bounce around."

    • Dalerj

      I don't know how many 380 Rounds it would take to stop a raging maniac but I know how many I will use1 all of them and then the other clip as will if they were still coming. That is the whole point of having 7 to 15 rounds in your clip. now if 7 to 15 rounds of home defense rounds did not work even with body armor he will not feel like chasing you.


    • FactsOnlyPlease

      The whole 'bouncing around inside you' line is a wive's tale – you are repeating a non-truth. Stick with facts & educate yourself!

  • Paul Van den Bergh

    I personally opt for the .380. It's easy to carry and conceal, and let's face it, at 7-10 feet it will ruin your day. Use good quality ammo, i.e. Hornady Custom 90 Grain or their Critical Defense round and this caliber should be more than adequate for close in personal defense situations. If it turns out to be more than that, you should be carrying a Mac 10.

    • mike

      i agree paul. as long as a person remembers he's not getting a .380 for bear hunting at 1000yds. i see the .380 as an up close and personal response tool. ccw doesn't limit one to just one pistol at a time. seems to me a .380 will make a great back-up. or stand alone

  • Jason Boros

    More people have been killed by22's than other calibers in

    the us because there are more of them in the us than any

    other caliber. On another note 22' s do not bounce around

    the body. Most people killed with 22's are shot in the head or chest.

    In my opinion a defensive caliber begins with the number 4.

    For me it's a.40 cal.

    • Sean

      Does 10mm start with a 4? I would personally take it in a self defense scenerio over ANY cartridge starting with a 4……actually over any other auto cartridge available….

      I would also be curious as to where you found your .22 data?

      • MacIndy

        Probably from Mod stats too. :)

      • MacIndy

        Make that Mob stats

      • Chuck

        Sean, Buddy 10 mm is .40 cal long, so yeah it does start with a 4 . The .40's and 10mm all started out as the BREN Ten in 1983.The old FBI load was 180 Grain JHP at 950 fps = 361 footpounds of energy. Yeah there's hotter stuff out there. Norma's first offering was a 200 gr full metal jacket at 1200 fps = 635 ft lbs. (but ouch) The off the shelf 180 JHP in .40 SW is about 1000 fps +- or = 400 footpounds. Better and shorter. Both will get it done and both tie with +P .45 acp loads.

      • Mark C

        the 10 mil is 40 cal if u can carry a 10 u can carry a 45 I carry taurus TCP 380 perfect or my sit on the job anyother

        time its Max-1 in 45 ACP

      • August Endsley

        Yes 10mm does start with a 4… 10mm is .40 inch or .40 caliber. The S&W .40 is in fact a 10mm short. Same case rim diamiter same case diamiter same bullets just shorter and less powder or different but faster powder usually. The .40 S&W is to the 10mm as the .380 is to the 9mm.

      • Bobby T.

        BTW, 10mm does start with a 4 as in .40 caliber.

    • ffrfrafranfrank

      More people are killed by 22's because they are cheap. Criminals don't by quality firearms. I personally opt for. 380 and that is only because of the ability to conceal.

    • timmay

      Uhhh, yes they do… especially if you get shot in the head, it makes a nice scramble and then stops in your brain stem somewhere.

      • FactsOnly

        Not true – do some research instead of being a parrot!

    • Bobby T.

      This is not accurate. There is quite a bit of documentation stating that the 22 does in fact bounce around once inside the body. I have read several articles stating that someone was shot say in the leg yet the bullet was removed from the shoulder. That's not to say that people aren't killed by head and chest shots. But stating that "22's do not bounce around the body" is downright false.

      • No More Comics 4 U

        Dude – you need to quit huffing Ballistol & Hoppes #9! What 'documentation' are you reading? Comic books are not documentation!

        • calm it down

          …..I have removed .22 caliber bullets and bullet fragments that was no where near the point of entry. This is quite common, ESPECIALLY with hollow points

    • Chase

      22's don't bounce they tumble… they say something like less than 1% will ever be in an altercation where rounds will be fired… I wouldn't be worried what caliber I had but that I had the upper hand… It's not like the bad guy is going to see the 22 and start laughing especially if he is empty handed and the business end is trained on him. On the other hand he isn't going to piss his pants when you have a holstered .40 and he has a .22 aimed at you… just saying… no matter the equipment the one who gets the upper hand by luck or smarts usually wins…

    • DAB

      Government statistics show that historicallty its the .38 SPCL that has killed more people and is actually been most often used in crimes.

    • Brian

      Yea me too. I carry the Springfield Xd-40 sub compact. Great gun and east to conceal. I will never have to worry about my attacker getting up ever again lol

  • Kevin J

    Carry both! and PRATICE with both! I use the S&W M&P 9c as the daily carry, but the Tarus TCP .380 on light days- usually with a spare mag though.

    I did a lot of work to the TCP including adding grip tape to cetrain surfaces and some things to make it more reliable, such as polishing the hammer surface and where it contacts the slide, and rounding off the sharp corner where these two interface. Also using lapping compound and cycling the slide a few thousand times.. but the true test is always shooting different kinds of ammunition through it and holding it as crappily and also as frimly as possible. To this day I feel comfrotable carrying it. It is way more accurate than it should be, light weight, and goes boom every time.

    That being said, on normal days where i can wear my comp-tac and M&P, ill stick with it.

    Be proficient, be safe.

  • Dean C

    What about the 9×18? Too close to the .380 for any comparision? Cheap shooting ammo, which means more range time! Good defence loads available, as well as, well made weapons available.

    • Bill C

      I'm with Dean, I prefer the 9×18 MAKAROV over any .380. I've recently found some good self defense ammo from HORNADY and I'm confidant that it would adequately protect me. That said if at all possible my SIG P250 sub-compact in .40 S&W is a much better choice for me. It's small accurate & highly concealable and is a potent caliber.

    • Chris B.

      mak (9×18 ) is actually much better than .380,(being closer to 9mm in power ,than .380 ) and larger dia bullets to boot !! Practice FMJ ammo is very inexpenive , and they make some defense hollowpoints .There are some PPK walther type( size /style ) Cz's that are inexpensive and well built. Good solid pistols

      • Brian

        Agreed. I like the CZ 83 too in either the 9×17 or 18. Rounds are cheap, its a blast to shoot and easy to conceal. Get options when other rounds are hard to come by.

  • Chris

    Does the .380 have the edge over the 9mm? No way!

    I just don't see it. When you have 115 gr +P and +P+ ammo, as well as 124 gr +P, 127 +P+ available for the 9mm the .380 is not even in the same zip code. Not even close…

    • Anthony

      I completely agree .380 has gotten better But so has 9mm in the high pressure loads. I carry A Kahr K9 it is the 2nd I have owned in ten years. I love this gun it is my backup. My wife is small and tenative about standard 9mm loads. But with the new developments in the .380 I was able to confidently get her a pistol she enjoys shooting and I feel more confident in its stopping power. But for me definitely +p when it comes to self defense and a little practice. Dont use reloads but buy the ammo on sale for practice.

  • R.J.

    I purchased an AMT Backup .380 in the 80's. I carry it on out of town trips when we are on the road. My .38 /.357 is just too big. With two 5 rnd. mags I can put shots in the gut or chest as well as a person with a 9mm. Again it's a matter of choice. I would prefer a 12 ga. But how can you conceal it on your body. I am the Red Neck Hunky Briar from S. W. Ohio.

  • Ed Gooding

    From the perspective of ANY gun is better if you need it than no gun, I carry both, depending on time of year and where I am. Actually, I carry 3 different guns, and I would carry my H&K compact .45 year round, if I could. Unfortunately, in Virginia, where the temps will be in the high 90's this week and I'll be in shorts and t-shirts, I can't conceal it. So, I'll carry my new Ruger LC9 in a pocket holster in my shorts. When I go to work, I have a special, 2-page calendar/appt. case with a special compartment that nicely fits my Beretta 84F .380, which carries 13 + 1 Corbon personal protection rounds, and a spare magazine. This is a fairly heavy pistol for a .380, so it's nice to have the mini briefcase style case with suitcase style handle to carry it, and it's on my desk beside me at all times.

    For me, a "one size fits all" mentality just won't work for concealed carry and personal defense. Different strokes for different folks.

    • Woody

      Also a VA resident. When I can dress casual (away from the office), I opt for either a strong-side belt holster or Miami Classic shoulder rig or (sometimes) both. I'm carrying Glock 23s in them. With shorts/pants, a t-shirt/polo shirt, and a light covering garment of unbuttoned ss shirt, this works for me. Except for windy days; then I use some of the buttons on the outer shirt (did this in VA Beach 2 weeks ago, strong ocean breeze). Yes, I also have .380s, even .22LR and .25 ACP mouse guns, but I believe in "use enough gun". Just make sure your cover garment is a size larger than normal, giving plenty of room not to print.

      When temps drop below 84F, I can wear a blazer or jacket and concealment is not a problem.

      Be safe!

    • Anthony

      hey I was looking into buying that model for my wife. does the weight control the recoil better than these polymer .380's

  • Drew

    Hey guys.

    Question: I want to purchase my mom(she has requested this) a pistol for self defense. She is excited about this too. She is a few years shy of 70, and standing straight 5'0" tall. What caliber and design would you recommend?

    • Tugar

      One that fits her hand and can operate. I'm not sure her grip strength is going to allow her many choices for a pistol. I actually would get her something like a Ruger SP101 in 357magnum. She can use 38 Specials until she can handle the magnum need be. Revolvers are easy to teach to novices and easy to keep clean.

      For autos, unless she has really strong hands, I would more than likely advise her to look at the Beretta tip-up models like the Bobcat in 32acp. Not a barn burner, but very small, the barrel tips up to load the first round instead of having to rack the slide.

      If she can rack the slide on a normal pistol, then have her try a few and get the one that is most comfortable. The problem with too may of the automatic is the slide take considerable effort to rack. If she has to clear a malfunction and she can't, the weapon is useless.

      • Bob P

        my wife had trouble racking most of my semi autos so we bought a Walther PK380 for her. , very easy to rack and plenty of rounds.(10)

    • smayer

      Drew, my mother is just a few years older than yours. Between her late 60s and early 70s, there are some changes to consider: After years without a problem, Mom can no longer physically rack the slide of her Walther or Kahr. Also, mechanical things that she used to be able to understand, sometimes take a moment. She has used an electric can opener all her life, but every once in a while I can catch her staring at it while holding a can of soup for a moment before the mental gears kick in and she opens the can.

      Mom no longer fools with auto-pistols and instead now happily shoots a double-action revolver in .38 Special.

    • JackB

      Good advice for everyone, despite all the technobabble going on here, is you need to be in absolute control of your weapon. Kel-Tec make a .22mag (WMR) pistol with a 30 round magazine. The light recoil and high capacity should compensate nicely for those individuals unable to reliably handle bigger rounds in a self defense situation.

    • Woody

      Love the intent and bless your heart. Don't want to put a damper on things, but please doublecheck the federal regulations. Every form I've filled out when purchasing a firearm asks a question about "straw purchases" and it's a felony to say, "Yes, I'm buying this gun for me." when it's really for another person. Might be an exception for family members, but might not. Check w/ the ATF. We don't want anyone getting arrested over a gift.

      • Pete

        Illegal straw purchases refer to buying a gun for someone that you have reason to believe would not pass the federal background check. Buying a gift for someone, especially a family member, where this condition does not exist is not a problem. If in doubt, just explain the situation to the gun seller and make them aware that the purchase is not for you but is intended as a gift. They will let you know what's what. I did this recently when my son wanted to buy a gun at a gun show but did not have two forms of ID handy as required in VA. After talking it thru with the FFL dealler, we all agreed that I would buy it for him as a gift. I did make him pay me back, though! ;-)

        • Pete

          Thinking more about it…. I think it helped that my son and I have the same last name and same address listed on our VA driver's licenses. We also suggested that the dealer run his name through the background check too, although he didn't take us up on that. I think the main thing here is that there was no intent to bypass the background check for someone who I would have reasonably suspected would not have passed.

        • Nate

          My grandpa bought me a rifle for my 16th birthday.

    • Maui Doug


      The fellow that suggested the ported 38/357 is right on. I would add – look for a 3 inch barrel, with a full underlug and ported. You'll get 20+% more performance than a typical snubbie, a lot more weight forward should she graduate to 125 gr 357, PLUS a 50% longer sighting radius for practice (a good confidence builder in itself).

      Most older ladies will likely prefer the purse for daily carry and 3 inches of barrel is not a drawback in a purse. And not much of one in a shoulder holster or an inside the waistband holster. Just make sure she practices EVERYTHING, presentation as well as shooting. Too many spend all their time range-shooting and don't use their concealment rig for practice – especially a purse or waistpack.

      A weapon is near useless if dropped or if it can't be retrieved when needed. Goes for knives and hand grenades too!

      Good luck with your Mom – get her started on light loaded 38 Spc'l.

      Wadcutters. They're CHEAP (as w/ 9mm of less) to shoot and very accurate with very light recoil. Move up to 125 – 140gr Semi-Wadcutter (SWC) Lead Ammo for practice. If she cant handle the 125 gr 357 Jacketed Hollow Point/Cup ammo, a little less fast 140 gr Lead SWC is still a potent load – especially at close range. Check with shooting ranges and gun shops – they may know a local volume RELIABLE reloader for the lead ammo. The 140 gr Lead SWC Hollow Pointed is very respectable defense at 900 fps.

      I wish more Moms would face their "hesitations" and learn to shoot. Mine won't. We need a tidal wave of new shooters to turn the politics of this country around. I help all I can encourage to learn to shoot with free ammo, use of a gun, free targets (off my printer) and free coaching/advice to all who I find interested. Hawaii is often referred to as "The People's Republic of Hawaii" by shooters due to the restrictive gun laws here (10 round max magazines, no open or concealed carry except on private lands, and maybe public hunting grounds where revolvers are allowed, Special Permits are reported as available from Chiefs of Police for businesspersons carrying large cash deposits, but unless you're related to the Chief, they won't be issued, etc.)

      PLEASE – EVERYONE, just help people to learn to shoot and select and purchase a handgun – even a 22 – just to relieve people's apprehensions re: handguns and long guns and boost our numbers.

      TRY TO KEEP IT LOW KEY WITH CLEAR, NON-JARGON EXPLANATIONS AND "POSTURE FREE". We can all discuss the virtues of this and that and forget that to a novice it is bewildering, intimidating to hear and they're already a little, or maybe a lot, afraid already. Be tactful, courteous and kind – as I know you are with your kids and others anyway. I've witnessed too very many well-meaning techno-babbling gun nuts totally turn off aspirant shooters.

  • Will

    A 38 Special S&W with a ported barrel might be your best choice for your mom. No slide to rack and much less chance of a malfunction. If she can get off 3 well-placed rounds at 7-10 feet that should handle most potential threats. See if she will practice at least every 2 weeks or at least once a month. Just having the weapon and having the skill-set will give her confidence which in itself is often a deterrent.

    • Woody

      Porting is great as long as you're not holding the firearm next to your body; the gases shoot upwards into your clothes or face. Highly recommended for hunting rifles; not recommended for defensive sidearms — use gentler ammo, lighter bullets, "target loads" if necessary.

  • Bob Kenney

    I agree with Will. I like the idea of a person, not so familiar with auto-pistols, using a revolver. So, a 38SPL pistol is not a bad idea. This post was originally about the 9mm vs the 380. Well, the 9mm is a better round for sure. I don't like the 380 as a first choice, but there are a number of very small 380s that offer great concealment in situations where something else might be difficult to carry. In that regard they have their place.

  • Jack

    As the old saying goes……….The first rule of a gun fight is to have a gun. I prefer a 9mm or 40SW for carry, but will carry, in my summer time shorts, a Kahr .380 with premium ammunition and extra magazine. My house is equipped with a semiauto 12 gauge with light & bandaler sling. No gun helps when it isn't instantly available. No gun helps when it is left home.

  • twenty

    Whats wrong with the 9×18?

    • MacIndy

      Nothing, just a little hard to find ammo. :)

  • Obrian

    Im a L.E. officer and get into this arguement all the time. It irritates the crap out of me when I hear people rant on about the .45. Pistols are not rifles and do NOT carry the shock at impact a rifle does. In pistols you gotta have two things when you are going against a committed adversary, shot placement and penetration. I dont care what you carry, .357 included, one shot stops are bogus. (With exception of course to brain or spine). Plan on it taking awhile for the bad guy to bleed out. Dont believe me? Go shoot a deer with a pistol,it takes awhile. 90% of shooters would be thrilled if they could hit a pop can every shot at 10 yards, now suspend the can on a string and shoot it with the wind blowing. Thats more realistic to shooting a moving human. You cannot plan on one shot stop hits, so why even talk about them. Train? sure why not, but plan on it? Not a chance. Now, simply put, carry what you are comfortable with. Odds are, your going to need your gun the day you left it home. So either carry it everyday, or dont bother. You gotta be able to hit a moving target, it aint gunna stand still for you. Carry extra rounds, I dont care if your shooting .25acp or .45. Plan for the worst, the damn thing is gunna jam when you need it most. Learn your local laws, learn to carry, learn to shoot from all angles, learn to shoot well with both hands. You do that, and you are better help to yourself than 99.9% of the population.

    • Jack

      Totally agree, but read a study a number of years ago and it show that even LE's and professional security people have a difficult time with shot placement under stress. Practice, practice.practice. Trust me, if I shoot you in the face with a .380 it will get someones attention.

    • paul

      you are so on target—thanks for your service too.
      Paul in chicago

    • Jim

      you're spot on!!!!!
      I just want to through out a question for you the 357 sig, I like to shoot it mine happens to be a styer, but I get a ton of grief about it folks saying the round is to fast will not open correctly just like that. what are your thoughts on the 357 sig?
      Also something that folks don't take in to consideration its not all men that have CCP a ton of women now carry as well 380 is a good choice due to the light action and some of the pop up barrels. They work great for lady's that do not have strong hands.
      I would rather have a punk shooting at me from the hood than a lady that know how to shoot any small caliber pistol.

  • flashback49

    What we call a 380 is actually a 9mm short or 9mm Kuntz I failed spelling anyway we call it 380 to not confuse the 2. I prefer a 45acp but they do get heavy. sepecially if it is a double stack 13+1.

    • Chuck

      Flashback , ur killing me…. 9mm KURZ , or 9mm Corto, 9mm Court, .380 ACP, 9mm Beretta M1934, or 9 X 17mm….BUT NEVER "KUNTZ"


      That kind of talk is a whole different fourm , Sir…

    • 9mmKurtzFan

      What a moron. Misspelling Kurtz to make it sound like a profanity is very junior high of you.

  • flashback49

    twenty tells it like it is PAY ATTENTION

  • Ted

    I carry a Walther PPK .380 with a clip draw attachment. In my home I prefer the Judge with Winchester self defense loads. Easier to hit a moving target and if the BG isn't hit with the discs the #4 shot just might change his attitude!

    • C. Estes

      I would like a walther ppk in 9mm,like a souped up James Bond

  • Doc

    They both look good. Like the weight of the 380 BUT, what I would really like to see is a little ballistic gel test or a similar penetration test. With the new propellants and bullet shapes how do the compare?

  • Pete

    This exchange sounds like Saturday Afternoon Live. There are a number of small 9 MM handguns on the market now, including the Ruger LC9. As I recall, that has the same mag capacity as the LCP and is only .10 inches thicker. A PPS is thinner still. Taurus weighs in with one in the same size range. And for practice, 9 MM is less expensive and more plentiful. Stop the bad comedy and deal with the subject.

  • Pete

    I saw a few comments above about revolvers. Here's a tip from one of my customers. With at least a three inch barrel, the ejector rod on a revolver should drop spent casings clear of the cylinder. With a two inch or shorter rod, you'll need to clear spent casings with a second motion. This is time/danger in a pressure situation.

  • Mike

    With the introduction of compact 9mm's and .40's these days; this continued arguement between .380 & 9mm is a mute point. The BEST weapon you have, is the one that is in your hand, putting lead downrange & stopping the threat. I do not carry a .380 anymore. I carry at least one, but usually two compact single stack 9mm's & one extra magazine as my edc. In a high stress, adrenaline pumping situation, it is easier to deploy the second weapon than attempt to swap magazines. Trust me on that. Forget what Hollywood and all the gun rags tell you to practice. Carry two weapons. Don't believe me? Next time you range practice, leave your earmuffs off, get a bud to get prepared to start cycling carbine rounds to your left and get another bud ready to start squeezing off some pistol rounds on your right side. Get a boom box, put on some high energy music and turn up the volume, with the on button close by. Get a 9 volt battery powered strobe light going just above your head. With your weapon holstered just like you carry it everyday, set your target at 10 yards. Have another bud hit the boombox on button & target retrieval button at the same time. The boombox starting up signals the other two buds to start shooting. The bud that turned everything on is now screaming like a hysterical woman in your ear. For the first three times you try this drill, and IF you punch paper at all, it will be a lucky shot. Period. THAT'S why you carry the largest round you can comfortably handle and conceal-carry. You want the largest wound cavity possible, WHEREVER you manage to hit the perp. For anyone to think they are going to remain calm, cool & collected enough to put proper rounds on target in a high stress moment is kidding themselves. Our regular police forces are not even trained properly. How many news articles have you read where 2 or more LEO's have squeezed off in excess 30 rounds from a .40 S&W and the perp was hit twice.

    Practice for the moment people, with the largest weapon you can handle, in the most chaotic, harshest, loudest environment you can replicate. Not only is it going to give you a set of shooting skills that 90% of the rest of the armed population does not have, it's a lot of fun. We take the grill, drinks, etc… we mix it up by using pop up targets… good exercise, too.

    So, with all the small framed compact weapons available, forget the 'this-round-is-better-than-your-round' game & just get good with what feels good to you. As a matter of fact, research the Reagan shooting. Look at the wounds experienced by the individuals shot, including James Brady. All that carnage & disruption of lives from a .22 caliber pistol.

    • Smilam

      Ha! Good advice, I carry a Kahr PM9, and normally carry two WITH at least 1 spare reload. Down in Austin TX I once killed a deer with a Kel Tec 380 not far from where Perry (our Governor) killed a coyote! No joke! The story does NOT go like this “it was an off hand shot fired from the hip at a running deer that was going uphill (or downhill-your choice)”. No No No!!! But it is a long story, I’ll tell it if you buy the drinks (I prefer 11 year old Bourbon over ice) I’ll bring the cigars just name the time and place. I keep a Seecamp, a Kel Tec 3AT, Kahr PM9, various 38/357 snubies Glocks and 1911’s. I have these and shoot all of them and carry different guns for different needs. A gun in the hand is better than two at home. Just shoot what you have and practice as often as you can.

    • Tim

      Great article Mike! I recently read that LEO only hit their human target between 20 and 30% of the time. You will not be calm, cool and in top form when a threat suddenly presents itself. You will probably caught off gaurd and your attacker or would be attacker will be very close to you.
      I recently watched the video of President Reagan being shot. I suggest anyone interested in seeing how people react when shot take a look at this. The Secret Service Agent that was shot in the chest or abdomin went down very quickly. Of course, Brady went down instantly as well.
      Carry what you are comfortable with, Carry what you can shoot instinctively and accurately. Disregard the advice of would be bad asses and gun counter commandos. Your defensive pistol does not need to be in a caliber beginning with "4"
      Be aware of your surroundings and be mentally prepared to act quickly. If you will need your weapon to defend yourself, chances are you will need it in a big damn hurry

    • dukecola

      Prob one of the best responses I've ever read. Bravo zulu!

  • Scott Rhymer

    I love how stories like this always devolve into oneupsmanship (I only carry a 2" deck gun!) or diatribes on stopping power. You don't carry an "oh $#!t" gun to go into combat; you carry it because you might need something while you're running out for milk in the middle of the evening, or you're going somewhere in which carrying a big hogleg is going to raise eyebrows or hackles.

    I use whatever I've got. Sometimes I carry my Kel-Tec .32 when on my motorcycle: it fits in a jacket pocket without drawing attention. Sometimes I carry a 5.7mm — it's light but I'm outsomewhere sketchy. Sometimes I carry my 10mm because I'm somewhere that might entail running into a bear or mountain lion….

    It's nice to have a gun just in case. Most of the time, the first BANG and the incident is heading for over with people finding other places to be. Usually, it's not going to take more than a couple of nasty wounds to stop the conflict. Stopped doesn't always equal dead, or even mortally wounded.

  • Rob W


    Basic ballistics give 2 bullets of equal diameter as the speed the bullet travels at increases so does penetration. As it decreases penetration does but tissue damage often increases. A 9mm round is faster and it's tendency is to go through tissue and do less damage to the surrounding tissue. Both the 9mm and the 380 can be purchased as personal defense expansion rounds the difference is because of the speed and mass of the bullet. Even with the expansion the speed and mass of the 9mm round gives it a greater chance of going through. The 380 rounds tends to expand equally to the 9mm yet again does more tissue damage with less tendency to exit.

    When considering take down power you must consider how a body reacts to the type of damage. A clean through shot often allows for a person to react and carry on an activity before they drop. Increased tissue damage seems to decrease the ability to react.

    • Robert Espada

      Right on .
      viet combat vet.

  • Pete

    Modern anti-personnel 9 MM rounds do not make a "clean through shot." That's a FMJ problem and the reason the .45 ACP is so much more effective than the 9 MM even though their muzzle energy is mathematically similar. But a deeper wound channel the diameter of a quarter is more likely to prove a "stopper" than a shallower wound channel of the same depth. The deeper the round goes, the more likely it is to destroy more blood vessels and hit more vital organs.

  • Pete

    I meant the same diameter, not the same depth.

  • Jan A

    CCW is not allowed here. So my statements are certainly an outside in view.

    My take is that with improvements in Bullets, Propellants and loading technique the .380 has become viable as a defensive caliber. No more, no less. The .380 will not outperform the 9 Luger, as long as You compare similar loadings. terminal ballistics are predetermined by the outer ballistics and by bullet construction, there are no mystical factors like bouncing bullets.

    Light and tiny guns like the LCP get fair Use of the energy in a lighter loading like the .380. A gun with similar Dimensions in 9 Parabellum gives up a great part of the Bullets Energy due to the short barrel. And such a Gun will snap at firing, snap and bark. If You want superior Power, go with a slightly bigger Gun that's got about 4 Inches of Barrel.

    So it comes back to Taste: If You feel more secure with a powerful Gun, sacrifice at the Altar of Weight an Size. Anybody for a .44 Special Bulldog Revolver ?

    If You want the smallest Gun, go with a .380. As I said, it's become viable.

    "Have a Gun" is a good Quip, I think. My countries Law denies me the opportunity. Make the most of Yours.

  • Sivispace

    With the 9mm one can load a 125 grain JHP slug at very close to .357 magnum velocity. If the .380 now matches the .38 special, it is reasonable to conclude that the 9mm is analogous with the .357. Given the performance in actual shootings, the .357 has a substantial better stopping rate than the .38 special. I carry a Ruger LCP as a last-ditch back up but I would carry the the 9mm version as my primary summer gun. As it is I carry a Glock 27 as my primary sidearm because 10 rounds of .40 S&W are even better than the 9mm. And yes, I will have the new Ruger 9mm as soon as I can afford one.

    • tim

      it is not reasonable to conclude that" if a .380 now matches the .38 special, then a 9mm is alalagous with the .357"
      You have made a gratuitous statement, not a logical analysis.
      Great advances have been made in handgun ammo in the past 15 years. This is true of the .380 ,the .38 special and the .357.

  • Bozlow

    I just bought the LC9 and is a great CCW! Common ammo with my full-size 9mm. If you need a small 9 mm then the LC9 take a look at the Solo.

    • http://CBinMagnoliaTx. Chris Blow

      the solo looks nice ..but can buy two LC9s for the same amont ..And you know what Clint says .."One is none and Two is One" … Ruger Rocks And the Solo IS limited in its ammo compatabality -Read the manual

      C B in Magnolia Tex.

  • roger

    oscar i will put this simple. failure to prepare is preparing to fail. these are the words i live by

  • http://Investor13 JGus

    I live in a non-ccw state (IL), but have ccw permits for all the other states that allow it and legally carry when I can. I carry a Beretta PX4 Subcompact in 9mm and other times an EAA Witness Compact 40sw. Both guns are extremely reliable extremely concealable, and are a pleasure to shoot. I also have a Kimber Compact 45acp, but don't carry it. If I'm involved in a conflict that requires use of one of my carry weapons for self-defense, I'd rather the police confiscate my Beretta or EAA rather than my Kimber. Understand that is just part of the process. Yes, you should get it back, but depending on the state it may be quickly or it may take some time. I have several different full size pistols and revolvers (my personal favorites are my 1911 pistols), but being a very active person they just don't work for me as ccw. Too heavy and too bulky when hiking, biking, running, etc.

  • duane wood

    I have had a CCW for almost 25 years. My favorite day-to-day is an Airweight .38 Smith with plus P "defense" ammo. Holstered in my back pocket with a speed strip containing five more rounds for a reload. If I get into a situation where I cannot solve the problem with what I have , my bad. Shame on me. I must be in a coma. If I were a peace officer, a full sized auto with a spare clip. Being a civilian, I am first required by law to "run" in most states, or face the consequences.

  • AJ

    I pick the 9mm. I have a full size 9mm weapon which a lot of people have and it's a NATO round. I bought a Keltec PF9. One less different caliber of ammunition in my box. You can go into Wrong*Mart, J-Mart, or just about any sporting goods store and find 9mm rounds.

  • Joe

    Dick's argument for the 380 is just as dumb as Pat pointed out for every thing Dick had to say. And just so you and the rest of the shooting times people know Ruger is not the only manufacturer out there. Sig, Keltec, Kimber and others make a 9mm just as small as the 380's, remember the caliber is exactly the same and the difference in weight is so small you would never notice it. If a little more power wasn't needed than why do they have +P ammo?

  • Jerry L

    No Matter what I carry -when I practice I practice HEAD SHOTS and the next is a HEART SHOT all in double or tripple tap .

    I try to do run in place and anything to get my heart pumping – I try to fire from all sorts of crazy positions and also with my off hand .

    Ya just never know what / when / how it will come down .

    I was on a major Police dept 24 yrs and usually when your thinking abt your next day off or your sweetie that is when the crap hits the fan.

    Jerry L


    I recall the Dec '09 issue of G&A where the sub compact Tarus .380 was test fired through the FBI's Standard Winter Clothing layers and into body simulated gel. I believe Corbon 90 JHP ammo was used and the round penetrated the 3 layers and a further 10 inches into the gel with good expansion. BTW… when I can't carry/conceal my Ruger SP 101 I carry my Bersa .380 Thunder. It's easier to practice with than smaller 9mm shooting full loads, too.

    • 101st Abn

      My Bersa .380 is not a "mouse gun" by today's standards, nor do I want it to be. It fits my hand, fires crisp, ejects well, stays on target, just works. Use Federal Hydra-Shok 90 gr. It has a 7 round total cap, the 8 round cap you see in ad is correct, if you don't mind clearing it after firing first round caused by over feed. It puts rounds on torso targets at 25 yards, under controlled conditions, (IE: nobody shooting back at me). I like .45s, but I could afford the Bersa, and it has lived up to it's reputation as a well made and reliable firearm. I would go to a .357/.38 revolver with appropriate self defense ammo rather than 9mm. There is a reason you need hi-cap mags with 9mm. To me a 9mm is just not worth the money for a between the rows firearm. Get a .40 or .45. Or, a well made reliable .380 till you can, just remember, the smaller, the harder to shoot, I would stay away from the fashion trends.

  • BaldEagle

    I've got a CZ83, all steel, 3.8" barrel in 380 that is magnificent to shoot

    and still very concealable. I love the double action first shot & single action after that up to 11 rounds (it is rated at 12+1 in the chamber but the springs are just too strong in the magazine to load 12 I've found). At 75 feet all thoracic cavity hits; at what I consider engagement range of 21 feet…aimed shots all in the black & even when rapid-fire hardly aimed all thoracic cavity hits always. NO failures from the start with brass ammo (one stove-pipe with cheap russian steel ammo) from the very start & seldom is cleaning needed. Anybody else have a CZ?

    • Protected

      I too have the CZ83 and have found it to be an all around great gun. Conceals fantastically and shoots straight even at further distances.

    • Chris B.

      The CZ 82 in 9×18 makorav is a really cool pistol and somewhat a compromise between the 380 and the 9mm… and the 9×18 shoots a little heaver bullet, a bit faster then the average 380 … standard 380 is
      90 gr@ 950 whereas the 9×18 is 95 gr.@ 1050fps.and the bullet is a bit wider ! …J & G sales has a
      Kalafornia leagle (9round mag ) listed for just $ 223 .95. and the .380 CZ 83 is only $ 239.95 either
      of these little pistols make a great CC rig.
      But I must say I usually carry my Ruger LC9 , 'cause 115gr. @ 1150 or 1200 fps. is better yet !

    • Ymir

      Just purchased one today. I can't wait to bring it home. Damm 7day waiting period here in RI.

  • O.R.La Rosa

    I agree with Ted. I believe "The Judge" is the ultimate self-defense weapon. .410 Shot, or .45 Colt. If you're not the best shot with a pistol, load "The Judge" with nothing but .410-00Buck, or some of that self-defense ammo made by Winchester for shotguns. Unfortunately, I live in The Peoples Republik of Kalifornia, and "The Judge" isn't legal here. The state is very soft on crime and caters to the criminal more than to law abiding citizens. The politicians still can't quite grasp the fact that criminals don't pay any attention to gun laws.

  • BigBullet

    The best gun to have for SD,is the one you have on you,when things go down hill. A .380 ,or .38 snub in the pocket,beats a .45 locked in your vehicle,or safe at home !

    That being said,shot placement from any caliber can never be ignored.I feel, if I can carry a 9mm compact,then I can carry a .40,as they're on the same frame.

    As mentioned in Keith's post above,the ability to conceal is a major factor.I carry a Glock 27 in a belly band holster with a spare mag under swimming trunks,or short pants.Having several members of my family in law enforcement,they too,were unable to detect my concealed carry,even when I told them I was carrying,they could not see,or imagine where I was concealing a firearm on my person while wearing shorts,without a shirt.

    I like the LCP's,and LCR's,but,have yet found a scenario where I couldn't carry my Glock 27,or any of the other compact frame mini .40 caliber,or 9mm handguns,with the belly band holster rig I use in hot weather .This holster can also be used for small frame revolvers,if that is your choice .

  • eRick

    If you train for shot placement like your supposed to, then you should do fine no matter what caliber. If you are a bad shot, then you might be better off disengaging the confrontation.

  • Mark, PR

    For social work, especially in hot weather, a Diamondback .380 pocket pistol is very comfortable. Just don't forget to get out on the range and find out what ammo it likes and practice. Also, as with any new gun, stay inform by reading forums and backtalk blogs.

    P.S. As for grandma, I read an article in G&A about ‘Guns for persons with arthritis.’ Some of the recommendations were surprising; one example: 1911 45 APC, because of its 4lb. trigger pull. The cost of these guns is another issue.

    • Russ

      I can not believe that the DB9 Diamondback is not wildly popular. It is slightly larger than popular LCP type guns,

  • doug walker

    I would rather have a .380 or a 9mm than a .22, but I would rather have a .22 than nothing. I carried a .380 for years and felt better protected than with a knife or a rock. A lightweight .380 or 9mm will get the job done.

  • Gary K

    hey guys, just a note frrom this old paratrooper–an old gruff m-sgt at the last time at the range in europe used to say, don't sweat the up or down on a target, be very sure of the left or right. the closer to the center of mass you are the more sure of heavy damage and stoppage. My ccw is a Baikul 380. The ammo is Federal 90 Grain Personal Defense Hydra Shock JHP. Squeeze off a round at a watermelon from 10 feet and you will be surprised big time. Also this gun will fire EVERY TIME under the worst of conditions.

  • Dan O'Connell

    Just a thought, is hiding your CCW always the best alternative. Sometimes a visible, concealed weapon, is enough to persuade the bad guys to look for an easier mark. Give me you opinions, I would love to hear different sides to this argument. I carry a 44spl Taurus revolver and while it's small, it doesn't conceal that well.

    • 101st abn

      Just my personal opinion, while the open carry may be a deterrent to the casual miscreant, in a higher stakes environment, it could get you killed first, then you are no use to anybody.

    • Tim

      In Missouri, concealed means concealed!

  • Mike Koch

    Good Posts here…

    I personally carry the SIg P232, and use Federal 90 Grain Personal Defense Hydra Shock JHP. It's the only way to satisfy the CCW, comfortably and knowing that it will be there IF you need it. As for those, who think that we are cowboys, needing to carry, all of the time, sorry… my wife was attacked, by an illegal alien, and nearly ran her over, for $29 in her purse…. security cameras time stamp show the entire laspe of timeframe beginning to end, was 6 SECONDS… I wasn't carrying back then, but I do NOW.. my backup is my Kimber 45 ACP, with Crimson Carry.

    by the way… "If you want to Feel Safe, carry a rabbit's foot…IF you want to BE SAFE, carry A Kimber 45 ACP

    • J Gus

      Well said.

  • Álvaro Cascia

    I actually have both, the Ruger SR9 and the LCP, but since I aquired the LCP, it´s practically my every day carrying companion, even with the inadequate ammo we do have here in Uruguay. It´s an amazing little gun, and powerfull enough to put me out of troubles fast…

  • Erik

    Here's my 2 cents! People can easily get way off topic. Strictly for CCW I own the LCP and it's very easy to conceal in any occassion. I purchased the LC9, which isn't all that much larger, but is much more difficult to conceal without altering my personal comfort. The fact is there's probably less than a 1% chance I'll ever need it so yes, my personal comfort is a factor as I don't live in Detroit! Probably 9 out of 10 will shit or run the second they hear bang, even if it's a .22. At home I'm much more prepared than my trusty .380, but for owning just 1 CCW where you have warm climates and personal comfort is important there's no reason why a .380 isn't a perfectly acceptable CCW. In my pocket holster, my LCP is almost exactly the same size as my wallet, which would make it all the more believeable when someone pulls a knife and says "gimme your wallet", "no problem buddy, it's right here… let me just pull it out!"

  • Chad Kleinschmidt

    I am a defensive handgun trainer and I own and carry both calibres but I far prefer my Smith Bodyguard to all of my other pistols for its combination of extreme concealability and decent stopping power when loaded with some good +p's . Just remember if you find yourself in a gun fight any gun is better than no gun!

  • Eric

    I personally went with the 9mm because I already have another one. When I buy ammo, I am buying for two pistols. Full size S&W in the house, Sub compact Kahr IWB. When considering my carry pistol, I liked the idea of the .380 because it has less punch. WWhhaatt? you say. Yall may disagree with me on this, but you are responsible for every peice of lead you sling out there. Being the .380 (9×17) bullet is the same size as the 9×19 Luger bullet, but with less velocity, the round is less likley to exit and hit someone/something else. At least that was my line of thinking, but since I already had one 9mm, I decided to go with another one. I also liked the fact that ammo is cheaper too.

    • 101st abn

      Thank you, no matter the caliber, the shooter is responsible for turning it loose. It can not be put back.

  • J Gus

    Just bought a Walther PK 380. I'm really impressed with it. Have a brother-in-law that carries that gun for CCW and he loves it, so bought one for myself. It's a light, extremely concealable, slick little gun. Firepower good enough to defend myself and my family, and even more concealable than my subcompact Beretta PX4 9mm and my EAA Witness compact 40s&w. When I'm wearing shorts and t-shirts in the summer, it's definitely the gun to carry.

  • mike

    sure wish ruger would come back out with the sp101 in 9mm again.

    • Herb Fredricksen

      Second the emotion. ;-} Great combination of size and caliber.

      Also their Speed Six and maybe Security Six in 9mm.

      Meanwhile Taurus still has two offerings in 905 snubbies.

      I tried to collect every version of 9mm revolvers. 13 models surfaced, but I gave up when they proved hard to find or pricey.

  • Rob Alan

    In response to Keiths comments that justifing using more than 3 rounds in a shooting to a jury or judge would be tough,,, it is just not so. The force used to stop someone who is attacking you varys from each attacker and of course most importantly your caliber of choice and your shot placement. I know a Deputy who shot a man 7 times with a 40 cal. and one round went right through the suspects heart,,, he still ran 43 paces before he collasped and during this time was continuing to return fire. The rule of thumb is keep shooting until they go down, and don't stop until they do. When you find yourself in a life threatining situation it is better to be testifying in court then being on the wrong side of the lawn. Rob

  • Mike

    As a CCW holder that owns both a LCP and SR9. It all comes once again to the old saying that the best one is "the one you carry consistantly". With a semi active lifestyle and summer temperatures reaching 100 degrees makes it hard to conceal the SR9 with spare magazine. Yes 35 9mm rounds would give you the advantage in most situations and I would love to carry it everywhere I go but try explaining in court why you thought you needed that many rounds to go shopping. The LCP on the other hand even with a spare mag or 2 goes everywhere I go. I carry it in a front pocket with a simple Blackhawk pocket holster which keeps lint out. This works in all but the tightest pants. I also make holster cleaning part of my regular gun cleaning routine. This is mainly putting a vacuum hose in the holster. The key to carrying a 380 is training, training, training. Go to a range that lets you move and shoot, shoot from the low ready position etc. If you arent hitting center mass target shots every time, keep practicing. Just like seatbelts you hope you never need them but if the come comes you will be glad they are there.

    PS Just got a LC9 so now what? lol

    • http://CBinMagnoliaTx. Chris Blow

      L C P .380 makes a nice the LC9 9mm

      CB in Magnolia ,Tx

  • Smaug

    Fun video, but I wish they'd gone a bit more in-depth.

    The 380 guy makes some fair points. But He has to admit that the main thing 380 has going for it is portable guns. It is a simple matter of whether one can conceal a 9mm or not. (Rohrbaugh not withstanding) They're just bigger guns.

  • Smokey

    Saw a Gel test with 380 citical defense mmo an was very empressed

  • Jon

    There isn't really a good reason to buy a .380 weapon when there are so many better choices. S&W makes an excellent Airweight 357 magnum that's just as concealable and you get sizeably more punch. Also, Hi Point makes a 9mm pistol for $200.00 that was recently tested on Handguns Television and received high marks. No thanks to the .380.

  • Kevin

    This is a great topic! The only advice I would give to anyone looking to carry a handgun is to go with one that your capable, confident and comfortable enough with to carry/employ. I've had lots of handguns (inlcuding the Kel-Tec .380) and sold them due to them not fitting the 3-C rule I go by. Ultimately my weapons I carry fit my personal needs best which is most important to me when I know the safety of my family and myself are on the line. With that said there are lots of gun makers out there for a reason, so shop around and enjoy the experience.

  • Larry

    I read some of the comments so forgive me if I repeat what has been said. The way it was explained to me made it very simple for me to comprehend. If you start with a smaller caliber, shot placement becomes very critical. In the heat of the moment when you are scared or nervous you just might not place the shot where it will stop the threat. A larger caliber CAN be more forgiving if you are a tick off with your aim. You may still nick a vital and stop the threat easier with a larger caliber. I carried a Walther .380 PPKS (S&W) . I kept it well and it would always dissapoint. I had it worked and re-worked, it still was unreliable. I carry a COLT Lightweight Commander in .45 ACP with 2-8 rnd magazines and 1 in the chamber for a total of 17 rnds. If 17 rounds can't do the job then I will have a bad day. Conceal carry is not supposed to be comfortable, it is supposed to be comforting… IMHO.

  • Phil Crocker SGT MGR

    Folks, why all the concern over what another carries and shoots? It’s a free country and we can all carry what we want if we live where you can carry. Out west in Oregon we have few if any restrictions once you get a permit and if your firearm is viewable you don’t need a permit. But I digress, when it comes to stopping a threat, I can speak with some authority. I started in the Army (a long time ago) as a Chaplin’s Assistant but switched to the infantry and worked my way up to Drill SGT, 1st SGT and finally SGT Major. I qualified with every weapon we had available starting with the M1 Grand all the way to M16 including the M49 Grenade Launcher and the Big Browning 50. The reason I tell you this is because after firing thousands of rounds and training thousands of soldiers in the art of combat I have learned a few things about confronting the enemy. First, you must be prepared mentally. I meet a lot of folks who are armed with a concealed weapon but are not armed mentally. There’s more to killing another human than just pulling the trigger. I spent years turning young men into killers. It was neither easy nor pretty but it had to be done. The last thing I worried about was which weapon they were going to use to kill someone. What I worried about was whether or not they could do it before the enemy killed them. Most of the comments by you folks all have valid points. The one fellow mentioned taking my long gun. He might take someone else’s but the last guy who tried to take my M1 Grand looked like he was hit with an “Off-set Grinder” from his belly button to his chin. Gee, and I didn’t even pull the trigger. He was just lucky I didn’t have the bayonet attached. See, it is not what you have in your hand but how you use it that counts. Sometimes I carry my little 2 barrel 38 SPL Derringer. Talk about small. Do I use +P loads; heck no, I use lead flat nosed wad cutters. See, I know what will kill a man and a flat nosed wad cutter will displace far more energy to the nervous system than a 1,200 FPS RNHP. I also carry a Charter Arms 44 SPL with 235 grain Keith Style lead cast HP. Same point, just a lot more impact. I also carry a Colt 1911 1991A1 with 230 HP and three seven round clips. I’m not scarred, just prepared for whatever circumstance I anticipate. The most import thing I carry is the full knowledge that killing the enemy, when required, is as easy as saving the life of another. It is just a part of life. This is what makes the difference. Prepare yourself mentally for the moment of challenge. Be kind and support what others carry and don’t assume what you have is better then what they have. If you are young, search out an old solider with combat experience and learn the ropes from him. I paraphrase the late great Jeff Cooper “…when you meet the elephant in the jungle, carry enough gun but be mentally prepared”. If you are young and I was to train you in personal defense, the first thing I would take away would be the “Wonder Nine” and I would give you a single action revolver until you could shoot and kill with just 1 round and then I would allow you to have the pistol of your choice. Way too many people worry about how many rounds they have in “the ready” but it is always the first shot that counts. Never, ever depend on a second shot when the enemy can bite or shoot back. You just might not get time to use it. Friends, and I hope you are still friends, enjoy America and the freedoms of choice we all have. Learn to respect others choices and then learn to “Be the best you can be” not matter what you carry.

  • David

    Video contained no valuable information, just two old men bickering over personal preference. Comments are more of the same. No one is offering any real actual scientific data, just hot air. Disappointing.

  • Russ

    It brings to mind the old anecdote: "the reason I carry a 45 because they don't make a 46!

  • Survival101

    Wow, its amazing how far off topic this gets. Obviously everyone has their personal opinion on what works for them. A 9mm ball ammo round has approx. 61% single shot knockdown power to stop a threat. The same round in a HP(JHP) +P+ increases that percentage up to 92%.

    The same rule applies to the .380 (percentages are slightly lower) If you're going to carry a .380 for self defense, use the correct tool for the job at hand(Cor-Bon, Hydra-Shok,etc). A HP round that feeds reliably, has the power to rip through multiple layers of clothing and bone and has controlled expansion for full transfer of energy once it hits soft tissue. The wound channel will be devastating.

    With that being said, ANY significant single round striking your threat in the head or C-spine will snatch the fight; if not the life right out of them.

    What I teach is this: #(1) The gun should feel perfect in your hand and well balanced. #(2) The caliber needs to be something you can handle and train with. ** A 98lb. woman was sold a 10mm Glock 29 for self defense. She was insistent in learning how to shoot it in spite of my pleas to go with a smaller caliber. After repeated dry fires to become familiar with the trigger and sight alignment…She was now ready. I positioned myself behind her as I watched her struggle to get her finger to barely reach the trigger, she slowly squeezed the trigger…BOOM. I grabbed her wrist in enough time to prevent a permanent indentation forming in her cheek from the rear sight and to prevent subsequent firing. Missing the target from 7 feet away and being fearful of the recoil, she threw the gun on the ground and wanted no part of any of it and lost all desire to have a firearm for self defense.

    after taking a break and having lunch, I convinced her to try again. Now at a different gun dealer and feeling 20+ smaller caliber handguns, she loved the Sig P238….SOLD and after a month of shooting it with 90gr. Hydra-Shock she could compete.

    #(3) Train With The Same Gun And Ammo You Carry: Another student shoots 115gr. 9mm ball ammo everyday and become very proficient with it. Now it was time for a dose of reality. After loading a magazine of his carry ammo (Federal 124gr. Hydra-shok) into his P226 and having him holster it, I started a knife weilding charging target out at 10 feet and had it approach him at a brisk walking pace.

    By the time he had unholstered his weapon he was able to get off 6 shots before the target buzzed indicating it had reached him.

    Due to the 124gr. ammo which had a different point of impact from what he was used to combined with the rush of adrenaline from the target now engaging him resulted in only two of the six rounds striking the targets left shoulder and bicep. Too bad the target was right handed.

  • M Fred Pezok

    I had a 380 Bersa. Getting Ammo was my problem, I went about 4 months were I couldn't find, let a lone buy 380 ammo.

    I traded to Bersa in for a Glock 9mm, never had a problem of getting ammo for the 9mm.

  • Gary

    They are both 9 millimeters, one just has a little more room for powder. Now that you can purchase 380 again, I think I'll continue to carry the smaller more concealable version.

  • Greg

    My wife carries a 9mm in her purse because her 20 gauge will not fit. :) The point is, carry what ever your attire will allow you to carry concealed. A .380 in your pocket is better than the larger caliber you left at home.

  • Mike M

    There is a ton of good advice in the forums above, but the main thing that I take into consideration when choosing my favorite CCW (and I own virtually every model described above in all of the listings), is reliability in a life or death situation. There is no automatic pistol made that will beat the reliability and ease of use of a similarly priced revolver. Many people that decide to carry a small automatic will carry it without a round in the chamber (just in the magazine), due to the fear of a misfire or for an added measure of safety. This can and probably will be a fatal error in a life or death self defense situation. The added time that it takes a person to chamber a round against an armed assailant will be just enough for the assailant to either disarm or get the drop on the victim. This can all be avoided by carrying a small J frame revolver. For the safety conscious citizen concerned about misfires, leave the chamber behind the pin empty. Your still live with one pull of the trigger with either 4 or 5 rounds of 38 or .357. If the recoils a little too much, consider switching the grips out. I own a very small J frame .357 magnum S&W pistol that was almost unbearable to shoot with the factory grips. I switched them out for a set of Pachmeyers and it's like owning a completely different much tamer gun. The bottom line is: if you're gonna carry an automatic, keep a round chambered. If you aren't comfortable with this; buy a J frame revolver; and to answer the question 380 or 9mm. 9mm is the winner in my mind just for the cost of the ammunition. If you want to carry a firearm and the responsibillity that goes with it, you must commit to practice and range time. The cost of 9mm ammo is half of .380. This makes the 9mm much more affordable to practice with, and with many of the new slim configurations out there from Khar, Kimber, Ruger, Walther, Taurus, etc…. the conceal ability of these new 9mm firearms is very near that of a .380.

  • Carl Wilkey

    I normally carry the Glock 27 in 40 S&W. I carry it in the Desantis Nemesis holster. If I am making a "short run" in somewhere, I have a NAA Mini Revolver in .22 Magnum that has the fold out grip.. It looks like a folding lockblade knife in my pocket. Sometimes I carry both depending on the situation. Of course, if I it were possible, I would love to carry my Desert Eagle……

  • Ed Wymer Sr.

    I carry a Hi-Point 9mm with me

    all of the time.

    I figure it's better to be prepared just in case.

    Also when I return home I am ready in case some one

    is in my home who is not supposed to be there.

    Could you imagine walking into your home and finding

    some one there and not be able to defend your self.

  • Bill McLaughlin

    I have a several 9mm auto's as well as Colt 10mm & 45 ACP.Additionally I have a 9mm marakov.I have never owned a ,380 & never fired one so I won,t comment I enjoy shooting all of them. I seem to shoot a little better with single stack autos. they just feel better in my hand. I keep several 9,s

    & the 10 in the house ( all my kids are grown,although when the grand kids visit i put them away). The 45 stays in my GMC.Here in Florida CCW can be a problem in summer so a small gun is a must,

    I prefer my small J frame 38+P with after market rubber grips, Its small

    enough to take almost anywhere and unless you are unfortunate enough

    to be confronted by a full grown perp,(300 lbs+ on meth) the little 5 shot

    38 should take care of business otherwise the 45 ACP or 10 mm is

    comforting to have but CCW is only possible in the winter.

    Be thankful. if your state allows CCW, take advantage of you right to protect yourself and your family, bad things happen every day in this country and I fear the worst is yet to come.


  • OldNavy

    I'm a big guy with big hands (XXL+ gloves), and I have found that the KelTec P3AT/Ruger LCR are physically too small for me. Concealable? Yes! When I attempt to draw one of those little guns, I find that I spend far too much time getting the proper grip on one. I am far better served with the Ruger LCR with the standard factory grips. I would have purchased the Crimson Trace grips but, unfortunately, they have the profile of the "boot grips" and are too small. "Carry enough gun" refers not only to caliber, but to physical size. When you need one, you need it quick. You won't have time to fumble around while attempting to get it pointed in the right direction.

  • Devin

    I have 3 carry pistols. a SCCY CXP-2 9MM, a Berreta 92FS 9mm, and a Taurus PT-1911 .38 Super.

    Though I prefer the .38 Super, I carry according to my current dress standard. CXP-2 in the hot summer months, the Taurus in the winter months, and the stainless Berreta when wearing a sportcoat.

    They are all good, but only if you have it with you.

  • Raymond

    i know when i finally get my CCW my choice weapon will be the 357 mag. only because of stopping power and relaibility. it may not hold many rounds, but the odds of taking one to the shoulder or chest and still stand are too close to zero.

  • William

    My wife is new to CCP's and I'm hoping to give her a weapon for her birthday. In her profession she needs one. I carry an LCR but have a .40 Glock, a 5-shot S & W .38 Chief's Special (from military days), a PPK in .32 cal, a Colt .45 1911 that was completely re-worked by a Navy Chief Gunners Mate and can group a 4-inch round at 50 yards with a machine rest, plus a number of other items. I've offered any of the above but she wants her own.

    She wants a lightweight revolver in .38 as every auto on the range the day she got her permit jammed at least once! No autos, she says.

    I expect a lot of suggestions and recommendations, but I need a bottom line. Thanks for the input.

  • MikeP

    Casual browser.

    A .22 in your hand is a far better weapon than a 45 in the safe.

    A .25 round in the chest is a better result than a a 44 in the ground or distance.

    It doesn't matter what you've got as long as it with you and you can hit something with it.

    You can fire a 22 dustshot in a car and still hear after. Try a 9mm in a car! Dustshot in the face of an attacker at 2 metres is very effective, a 9mm you cant use because it liquifies your own skull with soundwaves isn't.

    My choice was generally a 9mm parabellum FN Browning but a 22 worked just fine. (9 x 19 was military ammo and widely available. 45ACP was not.)

    Ex SA resident, carried and used firearms in the 90's

  • Steve Mann

    I see a lot about which gun and cal. you should use. That said you should use the one that you can hit something or someone that your shooting at.

    Recoil, is never a problem in a gun fight, neither is fancy shooting, most gun fights are under six feet, so sights are not very useful either.

    Learn to point and shoot, its much more practical and more effective.

  • Bernie

    I think that everyone that has commented here has valuable input but the REAL truth of the matter is you must be comfortable with what you carry! Be it a .380, 9, .40 or 45, wheel gun or otherwise, it needs to something your comfortable carrying. All the different arguements that have been made ARE valid points for the man making them. I carry a Para Ord. Warthog 45, because I believe bigger is better and capacity is an important factor to me. On hot days when I find myself wearing shorts I can still manage to wear a button down shirt to conceal it. I have and do still sometimes carry my XD 40 Sub-compact but it is the same size as my Hog so I normally go big! Oh, I use a Crossbreed IWB holster which I find can conceal most any of my handguns. I hope I'm around when you 380 guys get into trouble, you might be comfortable carrying the little guns but I've seen guys take 3 or 4 and keep on commin'!

  • StephenMann

    I was a cop for 28 years and I carried the standard 38 with a 4 inch barrel and off duty a 2 inch model 60 SW.

    But both were fine in the cool weather when I had a jacket but I found still to big for shorts and a tee shirt, So I got a High Standard 22 Mag derringer and it fit in my pocket.I fired it several times at the range and if the flash from the 22 mag didn't scare him off he must have been deaf, small gun, easy carry and no problems. I still carry it when I go anyplace.

    Thanks and its a great web site.


    liveing near cleveland/akron makes ccw manditory acharter a aarms stainless22mag is one of myccw.s if the perps are active a browning hlgh power rides under my right leg . i bought my son a ccw corse for his birthday. igave him a 9/18makoreve for his ccw a lama 45 is his home defence gun.i hope he never needs them .



  • Tony

    There are more people killled each year with a 22 than any other weapon. The caliber debate has gone on for years and will as long as guns are carried. I have a 380 a 9, 40,12ga and 223.and 30 06 and a number of 22 an shoot either as well or better than anybody I have shot against with either hand.Theres times I can only carry the 380. Most of the time I carry two guns. Never know when one is gonna take a dump on you.Yes I can make head shots with the 380 on moving targets at 7yds.I use 3×5 index cards for that.Carry what you want but be able to use it very well, keep it clean and oiled and change out your ammo every six months. if you can hit a man 10 time in the head rapidly with a 22 and miss him everytime with a 45 which one is better?

  • Terry Stewart


    I live in Durban, South Africa and manage some of the cities conservation areas. Law enforcement is part of the job. Yes, Ive been in a couple of shoot outs. Used a .25acp (Taurus PT51) which worked just fine with Hornady XTP's. Humans are not very difficult to put down unless they are wearing ballistic armour. I eventually gave it to my sister because the .25 is not very effective at stopping large aggressive dogs and carried an old (1930's vintage) Astra 9mmK (380auto) loaded with Hornady XTP/s for the last 12 yrs. Last year I had a pair of big German Sheperds try attack me in one of the reserves. Put two shots into the first and then had a misfire. The 70+ yr old firing pin chose a very inconvenient moment to break. Lucky for me the second dog turned and ran. Fortunately I was able to source an original, new inertial firing pin and have it fitted. So it should last a few more years. It may not have the "stopping power" of my Ruger Security Six or my Ruger Blackhawk but I know it will do the job at anything under 25m and any further than that I have the option of running away to live another day.

  • ntrudr_800

    9mm or .380? Really? How about you [legally] carry whatever you feel like. Yet, 22WMR is kinda….small for defense. Our troops would never go to war using .22WMR rifles of pistols X(

    .223 is a different story, don't bring that up. And understand this: .22WMR is one of my favorite calibers. I still would rather have a .380 vs a .22 Rimfire (talking pistol here). The design of the .380 cartridge is safer for everyday carry. Also, 22WMR has VERY THIN CASES. As in, cases so thin that as you load them into a magazine they may dent.

  • JACK






  • Carl

    Personalyy, I carry a Springfield .45 full size 1911. This gun is what I was trained to use in the military and it works great, reliabe and will stop anything. I carry a Colt .45 revolver when I am hunter as a final kill gun, I know a .22 magnum will do as well, I do have that as well. My CCW is either the .45 Sprinfield or I have a .9 mm Springfield with high cap clips. It is a matter of choice, we all have different feallings

  • DRZ

    9MM pistols can not be had that are the same size or smaller than some 380s. The 9MM is more powerful that the 380 and shoots a heavier bullet. If the bullet fails to expand, heavier will always be better. Living in the south were summers are 90/90. Temp over 90 degrees and humidity over 90 percent. It is difficult to carry a .40 or .45 concealed without risking heat stroke. a 9 or a 380 will either one fit into the average pants pocket with a good pants pocket holster which can run from 20 dollars for Uncle Mike's up to 60 dollars or more for a custom made holster. Sizes being near equal why not go with the power of the 9MM?

  • Dave

    Folks, a lot of great comments and suggestions have been placed on this blog and I have enjoyed reading the overwhelming majority of them. However, I would like to add some things that some of you may not have thought of or even be aware of. I live in Arizona where we have illegal aliens literally invading every aspect of life. And despite all that you hear, the simple facts are that they are becoming ever more violent and ever more belligerent toward people of other races. You cannot help but feel increasingly threatened when you are out in public and even when you are at home. This is not a commentary on people of Mexican decent, it is just a simple reality.

    i ive in one of the nicer cities in Arizona and yet, I have personally had to take a gun out into the street on three separate occasions to defend one of my neighbors. And let me tell you, a lot of what I have read on this blog goes right out the door when the situation becomes real.

    Some quick examples:

    1. I stopped a person in the act of stealing one of my neighbors' new truck. I had a Ruger P94 .40 cal in my hand and told him to get out of there. As soon as I said that, a car with three men in it pulled up close to us to pick him up. All of a sudden, I was confronted with not one but four people. I know, I should have called the police when I saw the guy attempting to steal my neighbors truck. Agreed. However, we had a car theft ring operating in our area and we were getting tired of our cars being stolen. Somewhere along the line, good people must stand up to evil and put an end to it.

    2. While driving their RV home from the mountains of northern Arizona, an older couple that live down the street from me were followed for over 60 miles by a man that was out of his mind. They did not have a cell phone and panicked and drove all the way home as he continuously tried to run them off the road while yelling and screaming at them out his drivers side window. They happened to gain a little separation from him as they approached their house and were able to summons me and a close friend that lives next door to them. The terror in the husbands voice told me everything when I heard his cry for help. I instinctively grabbed a S&W 686 .357 magnum and went out the door to see if I could help them. When I got there, the man, who was very large, had pulled his car parallel to the curb in front of their house and was threatening them. He was standing on the drivers side of the car, which was the side of the car that was away from us. He had what I am pretty sure was a tire iron in his hands and it was obvious that he planned to use it. I immediately confronted him and told him that he wasn't going to hurt my neighbors that day. I never showed him my gun but it was obvious that I had it tucked in the belt in the arch of my back with my hand on it. He backed down and left.

    3. A woman that fomerly lived down the street from me has a very abusive husband. He used to beat her regularly. She is an alcoolic and was afraid to leave him. One night, whe screamed out for help and yelled that her husband was beating her to death. I thought that I should just call the police but got the impression that she did not have a lot of time. I took my ruger P94 and went to investigate from the street, not wanting to get in the middle of a domestic dispute. As I arrived, I saw him beating her with a telephone hand set in the face. She had taken a pounding and things were heating up fast. I knew that I had to do something so I yelled to my wife to call the police. Their front door was open so I then yelled ot the husband to stop and threatened to come in if he didn't. Frankly, I was bluffing and had no intention whatsoever of entering their house or stepping foot on their property. However, he bought my bluff and stopped beating her. He calmly exited the house and came out to talk with me. I later learned that he was out of his mind on drugs, but he saw my gun on my side in an open carry holster and decided to end the confrontation. The police came and took both of hem away. One of the officers later told me that had I not intervened, he most likely would have hurt her very badly or killed her.

    In each of these cases, I would have hated to be put in the position of having to use a small caliber pistol, like a .380 to defend myself or my neighbors. I cannot imagine facing four criminals with a small gun with limited capacity and a small caliber bullet like that as in case #1, or an out of his mind lunatic that was carrying a tire iron and was within 15 feet of me as in case #2. I am much bigger than the abusive husband in case #3, but I assure you that in his state of mind, he was capable of just about anything that night.

    Let me also remind you of the blitzkrieg tactic that drug users are now using all around the country where several of them hit multiple entry points into your house all at the same time. Imagine sitting watching television and having four, five, or more meth hardened criminals break into your house all at once? Would you really want to be armed with a .380 at short distance in a situation like that?

    And while it is so sick that it is hard for me to even mention, let us also not forget the new fad among our godless, immoral, vid-idiot youth. That being the one in which they like to go out and beat older people. If you are older and are not aware of it, I ecourage you to listen closely as there have already been multiple cases across the country.

    And finally, when it comes time to pull your gun and face someone that wants to harm you, rape you, or kill you and/or your loved ones, eveything that you know will change. You are not going to be able to count on every shot hitting a kill zone, or for that matter hitting your target at all. The stress is so exceedingly high that you are very likely going to miss your target as many or more times than you will hit them. If they are loaded on meth or are a hardened criminal, you are highly unlikely to stop them with one shot, even with a major caliber bullet. A handgun round of any caliber is a weak round at best. And criminals know that if they can close to within 15 feet of you, you are going to get off no more than one shot before they are all over you. If you are a female, small in stature, older, or disabled, the one shot that you get off had better count and it had better be powerful enough to stop your intruder or you may very well lose your life.

    Take care my fellow gun owners and be safe.

    • Danny

      Thank you for your heroism and braveness. I agree bigger is better but for some it is not practical. I think we all can agree than having something is better than nothing regardless of the caliber.

    • joe

      I read your comment.

      Have you ever been shot? I can tell you it hurts like hell! Ask anyone who has. Even a .22 will keep someone occupied long enough to retreat.
      The .45 ACP was developed specifically to stop soldiers on the battlefield and has proven to be a man stopper. I'm not going to argue with those who have been hit by it. No amount of meth or coke can keep someone going with a .45 to the chest or the brain pan.

  • Bill

    Question. I don't happen to own a .380. I do own a 9×18 Marakov.

    Would a 9×18+p be similar in stopping power to the standard 9 mm

    even though the 9×18 bullet is generally smaller. Does the increased

    speed of 9×18+p make up for its smaller size? Thanks

    • Carl Hawkins

      Bill the 9X18 is not smaller, it is .364 caliber, the 9mm is .355 cal.The makarov round is just slightly more powerful than the .380.

  • jeff

    as far as stopping power the smaller the bullet the more the need for proper shot placement.

    my .22 has as much stopping power as your 45 if i shoot you right between the eyes .

    small bullets are effective if used properly. high rate of fire, sustained fire and, and above all accuracy are paramount with smaller calibers

  • Bill AstrTurf

    I have an LCP Ruger .380 and have had NO Problems, EXCEPT in dark areas, so I put the Crimsin Trace Lazer on it! PERFECT!

    NOW, I have a 9 shot .22 Taurus revolver also, the key to that is, Aguila has Hyper Velocity 1750 FPS rounds for it, they hit HARD, check them out in Ballistic test. Like a .38 at least.

  • Brian

    A completely over looked pistol in 380 is the Sig 232. It's larger than these "pocket" pistols but only slightly. With it's locked barrel design your talking about 2" groups at 25 yards. Recoil is absolutely less than any 9mm or pocket 380 out there hands down. Because of this, double taps are EASY, no question about it. But really the article is 380 vs 9mm, and not about the firearm which it's coming from. In that case any argument trying to say the 380 is a better stopper goes against all the laws of physics. It's lighter and slower, period.

  • Herb

    ManStoppers? 380???REALLY ? 9MM Not REALLY! 45ACP YES!! This HYPE is all about Rugers new GUN and Hornadys new ROUND( in 380) .lets make'm argue and they will buy it ALL! Stay with what works people, as the 380 got ?better? so did the OTHER rounds.Stay with What WORKS! Forget the Sales Pitch!

    • Carl Hawkins

      Actually herb the 9mm is a very good "manstopper', the better 9mm+P rounds do about 400 ft-lbs of energy, not too shy of what a .357 does from a 4" barrel.

  • Russellk Pinoy

    You guys are right, but who think about the legalities when your life is in danger, If you shot somebody wether you like it or not you are going to defend your self in front of the judge. I carry my full size SR 9 ruger in my back, My Brother and his friend who are a police Oficers of North Miami could'nt even tell that Im crying one. Talking of power, a bad guy who gets hit with nine will probably get down and the one that gets hit with 380 unless he got hit in the head or in the heart will still have a chance to shot back. Now think about yourself where will you rather be, in the morge or in front of the judge.

  • John McDonald

    380 or 9mm at 15ft both work equally well

    Wouldn't want to be on the business end of either one

    I still cant get over watching the trigger pull on the Ruger LCP 380

    I carry a Kimber 45 acp or a Sig 239 in 40 S&W and when I really feel the need to hide a S&W model 60 in 357

    I still cant get over the trigger pull on that little Ruger 380 WOW!!!!!

  • Danny

    In the hot summer its a pain to carry my FNH fnp 40. I'll carry my 40 caliber Springfield XD subcompact in a Crossbreed holster. For back up I carry a Bersa 380 thunder in a pocket holster. Both guns have Crimson Trace lasers attached.

    I tried the Ruger lcp but hated the trigger. Just terrible! To bad cause I'm a firm believer in the 380 acp with the right ammo.

    Shot placement is crucial. You have to place the sub caliber to the central nervous system. You must keep firing until you stop the threat. I've seen big game shot with large caliber rifles and they still run off.

    If your threat is on drugs or a trained warrior they'll probably stay in the fight.

    Just my thoughts…

  • Charles

    This post tell me nothing. There are no facts. Why not compare a 150 mm artillery to a .22.

    All I see is two peaple with different opions and everyone has at least one of those.

  • Richard

    This video shows, proves and demonstrates NOTHING at all, it's a silly chat between two individuals, unsubstantiated by anything factual. Pointless.

  • denner

    380 Corbon Powerball Velocity: 1100fps.


    9mm Corbon PowerballVelocity: 1475fps.

    Energy: 483ftlbs.

    See any difference?

  • Thomas Deal

    I wouldn't want shot with either the 380 or 9mm and I don't think the bad guy does either ! Whichever you got at the time will probably work just fine.Semper Fidelis

  • Jerry

    Nelz68, David Nelson

    In response to you 2 or 3 shot self defense rule.In any criminal court the use of force rule is to use equal force to stop your attacker. Once the attacker is stopped or retreats than you the victim must stop. Regardless if it takes 1 well placed shot or 15 shots. You do whatever it takes to stop the attacker. I would rather be judged by 12 (Jurrors) than carried by 6 (Pallbearers).

  • Cool Ridge, WV David

    My aunt and uncle didn’t carry concealed. I guess they didn’t think it was necessary. I mean they lived in a quiet community and really close to the main road in direct sight of the traveling public and their neighbors so why would they feel threatened. In reality, a man came onto their property at 1:00 pm on a Monday and killed my uncle with a hatchet in his utility shed as he worked, then went in the house and killed my aunt with a ball bat, all before setting them both on fire to try and conceal the crime. He was looking for money and medication and was high on cocaine. Home invasions do happen and they happen to people you know. It’s best to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.

  • Al

    I've tried to read several of these posts. The grammar and spelling are so bad it just got completely painful. When you post something for the public please take a little time to make sure it makes sense. Use the same care for posting that you would use for shooting. Thanks!

    • Danny

      A grammatical error wont cost somebody their lives. This is a gun discussion not an English class. Relax.

    • John Mack

      Al, I have only been online for about 18 months but in that time I have read many different comments in many different areas. One thing that is consistent is how poorly most people write their comments. The theme of online discussion seems to emphasize content rather than grammar and proper spelling. While I concur with your observation, for the most part you are wasting your time.

      Considering that the subject, clearly stated in the heading, is a debate regarding the effeciveness of the .380 vs the 9mm, your comment is also out of place.

      • Aaron

        So you’re the comment police police?

  • Carl Hawkins

    meh…….if you carry a pistol for serious duty/job/social circumstances, carry a pistol in 9mm or better.

    BUT…….for everyday "in the pocket minimal carry" there's nothing wrong with a reliable flat thin concealable .22 auto.

  • Danny

    The Ruger LC9 solves the problem of concealability vs stopping power. Its a tiny gun that handles the 9mm very well unlike the Kel Tec garbage.

  • Velko Milo

    Why do I carry a gun?

    Because a cop is too heavy.

    • Baz

      Thanks for making this a little lighter with some humor. :-)

  • bigjohn

    Please don't shoot one person 19 times. You will have a very difficult time justifing that in court. If you also have to shoot some one 15 times as one has suggested might be necessary you had better get a bigger caliber, better gun, or learn how to shoot. Ever heard of shooting the bad guy twice in the chest first. then once in the head if he doesn't stop. I have seen lots of shooting and muders in 25 years of law enforcement but I have never seen anyone shot 15 or 19 times where the alleged good guy victim didn't end up behind bars for a very long time. If you shoot some one that many times you don't need a lawyer. You need a maricle to stay out of jail.

    • David

      There is a Pharmacist in Oklahoma City that shot a guy 5 times while fighting off a robbery– 4 of the shots after the bad guy was down on the floor.. and it was all caught on the store's closed circuit video… he's now doing live in prison for murder.

  • ViolentCityMedic

    The "mine's bigger" discussion has very little to do with reality of so-called stopping power. It's all shot placement. As long as a BB has enough power to penetrate the skin & poke holes in vital organs it will kill you. I've pronounced many people killed very dead with one .22 round to the chest, and I've fought a guy I was trying to treat who was shot 22 times with a .40 cal. to every part of his body but vital structures (we stopped counting at 22 BTW). The miniscule difference in size/weight of a slug makes no difference in tissue damage in medium-velocity penetrating trauma (handguns), and the power behind the slug makes a negligible difference. In fact, too much power works against you with over penetration. Nothing beats shot placement. Hit the center of the chest & go home. People don't get blown across rooms or even knocked down by the force of the round like on TV. Research has shown that people fall because of either neurologic damage (damage to brain or spinal cord) or just emotional shock of realizing they've been shot, not because they are knocked down by the round. I carry a .45 G30 & when weather allows because I like the round for ease of control, but I carry a .380 P238 with Hornady Critical Defense most of the time. High-velocity rounds do make a difference in tissue damage, but now you're talking apples & oranges with handguns vs. rifles.

  • Buck Williams

    There are only three places I don't carry a gun.

    1. Bed (it's uncomfortable)

    2. Bath (it might rust)

    3. Bars (illegal)

  • paddy brett

    i have read that statistically, by deaths, the .22 is the most lethal weapon in the US. it is a common caliber, so it makes sense. but it also goes to show that shot placement is #1. i am looking for my second handgun for concealed carry – first was a kel-tek 380 – and keep coming back to the .380. when weighing the pros and cons of power, you can't dismiss manageability. the .380 is easier to shoot than a small 9 mm. i am a former newspaper reporter and had the police beat and the worse crime i ever saw was a stabbing, not a shooting. also, later on, i was jumped by a gang – probably on meth – and stabbed in the left eye. i was unarmed. the interesting thing about that incidend was that they were "wilding" (and it was dark night) and it would have been damn near possible to hit one with anything but a shotgun. they came in and out, fast and hard, and the more injured i was, the less capable i was of seeing them. i got out of it with a concussion and stitches and kept my eye. this happened on the main street of a nice waterfront town. i grew up shooting and i could hear my late grandfather admonishing me. i got the kel-tek and carried it in my front pocket. of course nothing happened to me and i never needed it. i sold it. now i am on the west coast where there is more crime. but more important, i have take up camping in remote places where there are bears and mountain lions, as well as humans. i know a lot of people would say bears? and reach for a .45, but one has to balance everyday carry with the odds, and also consider whether a .380 is enough deterrant. my sense is that most bad encounters happen very up close, where caliber matters a lot less than the fact that you simply have a GUN. if i had drawn a .380 and fired it, that gang would have ran like hell. i suspect the same to be true of a mountain lion or ted bundy.

  • fighter

    when it comes to guns I don't care what I use as long as it gets the job done

    but if I had to choose I'd use a 1911 colt .45, a desert eagle .50 and .44 caliber and a smith and wesson .357and .358 and as for rifles I'd use a mossberg 500 AA12 shotgun( auto assault 12) barret .50 cal an m16 and when they run out of ammo a minigun

    • fighter

      also my fighter plus commando knife

  • http://msn Bobr

    I have owned several concealable pistols; a 380 keltec (uncontrollable recoil), 9mm Taurus 704 (not reliable), 380 Bersa (poor accuracy). I recently purchased a Sig P238 and am in love. I have fired about 150 rounds through it without a single problem. Recoil is barely noticable and trigger pull is as good as it gets in a small 1911 style pistol. What I like most is the incredible accuracy, at 15 yds. Standing two handed, I was regularly able to put most rounds in a 2 inch circle. I could not come close to this with the aforementioned pistols.

  • Pyrolighterfighter

    Just picked up a Kel Tec pf9. Anxious to employ it in my summer routine.

    • bayou_mojo

      I love mine, I still haven't taken the time to be good with it, and it has adjustable sights. (go figure), I'm a lot better with my Kel Tec .380. I bought the belt clip for both.

  • Sara Cooper

    for me, it;s really hard to decide between these 2. I love the size and conceal ability of the .380, but -and this is probably not relevant to more recent models- my old pre-'69 Browning .380 could chew up a hand in no time flat. The 9mm was much more comfortable to shoot, and frankly was a more comfortable fit in my hand (I have really large hands for a woman).

    So, really, whichever is closest and serves the purpose- I can always heal a hand if I live.

    • Sara Cooper

      sorry about the typos, y'all- I am under attack by five boston terriers here- my alarm system you might say.

  • Mr. Dan

    My wife carries a Ruger LCP and I at times carry my Walther PPKs. The round of choice is a Remmington 102gr JHP round. At 6-15 ft it is going to stop a bad guy. Both wife and I can put 3 rds the size of a quarter at that distance. Training and experience with any firearm is the difference. Both are extremely easy to conceal and access if needed. Which is better, that is shooter choice. Newer technologies in bullet and powder design have given the consumer more choices with the firearms they choose for personal protection. I like my .380's and will keep them. Besides my Walther looks really cool.

  • bayou_mojo

    This one will go on for a long time. I obviously could not read all posts, but I think the answer is "It Depends." Ideally I'd keep an M4 cross slung over my shoulder; although, concealment would be a problem. If it's winter and I'm wearing a heavy coat, then a 6" .357 mag in a shoulder holster if I'd choose. Wearing shorts and light clothes in the summer, then a auto pistol with a single stack. I like the thin single stacks. Carry a magazine in the other pocket if you feel you may need it. They may some nice bullets for small guns like the .380. Sure they make them for the bigger pistols, but it reverts back to "It depends," and your preferences. Some of the biggest keys to self defense are decision making and proficiency. Maybe a single stack .32 is all you need if you can make every shot count. Let's face it, someone could always get the draw on you, or you could severely out-gunned or outnumbered. Fight for your family. Get them to safety and if it's your day you will see them tomorrow.

  • David

    I worked in Law Enforcement for approx. 20 yrs and know a few statistics about gun fights. Most gun & knife fights outside the home are settled in under 30 feet. Police can shoot a man rushing them with a knife if he gets within 21 feet, because he can cross the distance in 1.5 seconds. That has been upheld nation wide by the federal & state courts.

    In the home, most gun fights take place in rooms or hallways of no more than about 12-14 feet [[[at the most]]].

    A modern .380 / 9MM short with a lighter bullet grain weight but higher velocity like the latest +P home defense rounds [such as the Corbon Pow'r ball or Winchester PDX1 70 grain ammo] has about 1,100 fps & 188ft/lbs.. they retain most of their bullet weight and mushroom to 1.5-2x their normal diameter with approximately 10 inches of penetration.

    So, as long as you have [any] dependable functioning mouse gun [I like the Ruger LCP] in .380 caliber and are using a good name brand +P JHP ammo… you are going to ruin some Bad Guys day if you hit him in the center body mass a few times– say in a lung, nerve bundle, or the solar plexas.

    The main issue is will the weapon be comfortable enough for you to make it a every day habit to slip it into your pocket or IWB holster. And remember, if your in a hurry to draw and fire.. weapon control is critical… a small .380 like a LCP or P3AT kicks like your holding a large firecraker in your clenched fist.. a ever so slightly larger 9mm+P will have even more of a pronounced bite. You have to weight control of the weapon over any advantage the 9mm might give you over a good +P.380 JHP at close range when it comes to aim & control in a quick fire situation.

  • David

    By-the-way… I added a Crimson Trace laser to my Ruger .380 LCP and sighted it in at 21 feet. From 10 feet out to 30 feet, firing from the waist.. I have no problem putting 7 rounds within a 6-8" circle [center body mass] rapid fire.

  • Fletchman

    With modern self defense ammunition both calibers are a step up from what they were. However the 9mm is the better option. .380 autos are great for concealed carry and modern .380s have ballisitcs on par with 38 specials. I personally want something bigger. I carry a model 60-15 S&W loaded with 357 mag Hornady critical defense ammo or a S&W CS45 loaded with Hornady critical defense. Pocket carry to me is just plain stupid. If you are going to carry a gun you should have a good holster that retains control and keeps foreign matter out of the gun. A pocket holster is minimum in my opinion.

  • ssgt. milley

    When I was stationed on the east coast, a guy on base had a "cleaning accident," officially, and his issued 9mm was discharged into the bottom of his jaw at an upward angle, kinda like he was trying to kill himself. He lived, mainly because it was a 9mm, the bullet beat around his jaw and lower palate and about an inch into his sinuses…never entered the cranial vault where your brain sits.

    I'm not a ballistics expert, I handload because I don't trust someone else with my life. I shoot every weekend, I have shot people, and my job is to pull out the bullets and save the people they hit when its possible. BUT, when you are in an urban combat situation much more stressful than most of the domestic defense situations that you'd encounter over here and you go through a clip from you 9mm sidearm and the guy charging you from a block away doesn't go down with all shots hitting the central mass, that's when you dump the hunk of crap and all the rounds with it into the trash. They make only slightly clunkier CCWs in the .40 and .45, and that has been my service sidearm since. The object is to drop the threat. In my experience on any of the continents i've fought on, and on the table when operating where you can see the actual power of these rounds, the 9mm or .380 auto take better placed shots, more shots, and do not do enough damage to be a first choice in a CCW.

    The point has been made on here that the price should not be a deterring factor when choosing the tool you will use to defend your life. Neither should reliability or stopping power.

    That said, I know that my experiences are a lot different from most folks' and that I'm sure someone will have something to say about that, so take her with a grain of salt.

  • Christopher

    The .380 is not even close to the better 9mm loads on the market. The small .380's are actually harder to shoot accurately and have sights that at best might be called small. I will take my M&P 9mm and be very happy and secure. The little guns are nice backups, but I'd rather have my M&P. Oh and before I forget, The snappy recoil in the little .380's (And I have fired quite a few), especially the plastic ones, make sure hits harder. All these points are moot with the cz-83 though. The best .380 I ever shot, decent sights, all steel, decent capacity, just a little heavy for some people. If I was going to use a .380, it would be the cz-83, Sig 238 possibly a close second. But capacity is only half the cz

    • Bob

      I agree, I too have the CZ83 in 380. Solid feel, shoots just like my larger 9mm CZ's. Very accurate.

  • Sam

    In a desperate situation of course all of us would want to have a large caliber and large capacity. My favorite handgun of all time is a 1911. But here in the real world, I'll carry my Sig 238, which by the way will put 7 rounds in a 3" circle, and feel comfortable that my Cor-Bon 90 grainers will stop a perpetrator from doing whatever it is that he is doing.

  • Robert

    What's the best gun to have in a gun fight ? Any gun.

  • RichardGA

    With small 9mms like the Kel-Tec PF-9 (my CCW) or the Ruger LC9 you really wouldn't need worry about needing a .380 for concealment. They kick quite a bit due to the low weight of the slide, but it is reassuring knowing that you have a round that is large enough for military use. Honestly my primary reason for wanting to use a 9mm CCW gun is that I don't need a different round than in my Glock 17 or 26 which I carry when concealment isn't an issue or where I want at least a dozen rounds.

  • Guest,

    shoot right and both work plain and simple

  • shidpoke

    I carry a .380 Bersa Thunder in winter, I like the .380 rd. for personal defence at close range, but I carry a NAA .22mag. 80% of the time. I'm not looking for "stopping power" I hope the perp runs away, all I want to do is keep him (her?) off me until help arrives. I don't want to shoot anyone. Believe me, after the court and lawyers $$$ get done with you you"ll wish the perp ran away and was never found. They won't be back.

  • DonLee1281

    I have a Ruger LCP with a Crimson Trace laser. It stays loaded with Hornady Critical Defense ammo. It' s all in a Uncle Mike's sidekick fabric holster that is so light and comfortable that I forget it's in my back pocket. If it's ever needed, those 7 rounds are going to do more than adequate damage and the laser will take over if the target is a little farther away. Do I need more power? Nah. It's a perfect gun for the task at hand. Love my Beretta M9, but sure wouldn't want to carry it around.

    • hicusdicus

      check out buffalo bore for your ,380. You will know when you shoot it.

  • Jason R.

    Remember the 1st rule of a gun fight – HAVE A GUN! That being the case, I carry the easiest gun I can conceal given what I'm wearing that day. I rarely go unarmed so that means in the warmer months I must have a pretty small gun. Often that gun is a KelTec model P-3AT with a Crimson Trace laser. I'd like to carry something larger [like my 1911, 45 ACP] but the KelTec fits in ANY pocket, and is instantly available, if need-be. It may not be the best choice for a defensive piece, but it sure is handy, and comforting to know that I am ALWAYS armed.

  • OllieK

    Ruger LC9 with Crimson Trace laser sight. Enough said.

    • hicusdicus

      No! laser sights are slow enough to get you killed just like safeties and slides and anything else that require manipulation. In lightening fast stressful situations a small wheel gun loaded with buck and ball gives you your best chance to deter an attacker before he hurts you. The key word here is deter not kill, that comes later.

  • Fitch

    My wife loves her SIG P238 which is a .380ACP. The slide may be the easiest to rack on the planet. The gun can be loaded, unloaded, and cleared with the safety on. It oozes quality.

    I haven't found a 9mm of any size or shape I can get her to like. My G19, my G26, or any others. She doesn't like my LCP either, not at all. But she love the P238. She fired the first round out of it right into the center of the bullseye and said with a huge sigh of relief "that's soooooooooooo sweeeeeeeeeeet." It's the first handgun small enough to carry that she's liked to shoot, and she shoots it well. She has it on her all day. If I want to see it I have to wait till she's asleep.

    So, Mr. Sweeny, I should take it away from her because it's not a 9mmP? She'd be safer with the 9mm at home than the P238 on her person? I don't think so, but that is the right question. Caliber is no better than 4th on my list of criteria for a handgun.

  • Jeff Smith

    You know — I have a glock 19 and CCW. I am 5'7" 145lbs. My pistol stays on my nightstand. I know it is compact, but I dont put myself in places where I feel the need to carry a 45. I am considering a .380 or most compact (uber reliable) micro 9mm firearm I can easily carry and wont leave on my nightstand. I love the 45– will I ever use for personal protection, maybe, not for concealed carry though.

    Another thing is CCW is very different from open carry– I have very comfortable itac roto defense holster for my glock 19. but IWB is just not very comfortable for me to carry all day. I have done it from time to time, but not often.

    Home defense is even a whole different ballgame, there I would go with shotgun if I had one and was not as comfortable with my glock 19 skills vs. level of threat of my neighborhood

  • Guest

    I didn't read every post, but has anyone pointed out the obvious? A .380 IS a 9mm. They are both 9mm rounds. One is shorter. With the advances in propellents today's .380 is better than yesterday's 9mm, and everybody thought those were just great.

  • Willie Carry

    380+P is called 9mm. 9mm+P is called 40 Smith and Wesson. All this +P+PP+ talk is rediculous. You can't make a mouse into a tiger.

  • StoneyFF

    Yes, lots of people are killed with a .22, maybe more than any other weapon… but how long does it take for them to go down or stop shooting at you.

    The problem here is that everyone is worried about the wrong thing. The single thing that matters in CCW is stopping the bad guy from threatening the good guy… you. The bigger the bullet, the more likely that is to happen. Notice I said bigger, not necessarily faster or more 'powerful'. Shock value is paramount… you're not trying to kill anyone, you're trying to stop them from killing you. The military and the cops have a different objective than a CCW holder… They are on the offensive. We CCW holders are always on the defensive, and if you go on the offensive, you go to jail.

    Any caliber can kill, but you don't want to kill, you want to stop the killing… of you or yours.

    And if you haven't ever fired a weapon at another human being, you have no idea how that stress is going to screw with your 'aim'. Adrenaline is a bitch and it's not something you can practice for (with the possible exception of Force on Force training, I'm keeping an open mind on that)…

    Talk to a vet or a cop who's had to discharge their weapons at another human being and your perspective will change dramatically.

    And for those of you who switch between firearms for carry, you better practice a lot with all of them, and if they have safety's, you better make sure they work in the same direction. I carry a 1911, and when I pulled out a pistol that used a reverse safety (push up to go off safe, where the 1911 pulls down), I get killed (or would) every time… no matter how much I love a gun, if the safety is reversed from what I'm used to (1911 manual of arms), then I'm staying away from it for CCW, cause split seconds count.

    And anyone that thinks they are a marksman and hasn't been in a firefight is in for a rude awakening. Get as much muscle memory as you can from practice (under less than ideal circumstances or positions), but expect most all of it to disappear the moment the other guy fights back!

    {who's been there and done that and when shot with a 22, it took 25 minutes before it started to really hurt and impede my ability to function… the bad guy can do a lot of damage to you in 25 minutes or 25 seconds… cats catch mice, but it takes something bigger to catch rats.. that's why I don't carry a mouse gun (other than a BUG, usually as a third, and then it's an NAA folding handle 22Mag boot gun with a clip to keep it at the top of my cowboy boots so I can get at it if it ever comes to that!}

  • mark

    If you can't do the job (self protection, deterrance, protecting person or property within the law) with a S&W .380 six shot semi auto-then you shouldn't be carrying a fire arm. If you have to fire more than 3 times and are not sure of the result, I would attempt to depart the area instead of a continued OK Corral shootout. Most criminals now how to shoot downrange wildly by pulling the trigger and target practice is usually a live human being. They cannot afford to go or are not permitted into the gun range The .380 has a little less kick and and I can control where I'm shooting much easier in a 2-4 second firing exchenge. A 380. hollow point slug (good ammo always helps in your favor) with in 2 -15 feet is much more than is needed to bring someone down who's not vested up.

    • hicusdicus

      Where did you ever get the idea that most criminals don't know how to shoot? Violence and attacking is their business. When they come for you they are ready. You are not.

  • marvin

    i like the colt cobra 38 it is light small and easy to carry

  • dude

    I carry a Kahr CW9 with a CT Laserguard in a Uncle Mike IWB or a Blackhawk pocket holster and find both quite comfortable.

  • guest

    I carry a Glock 36. Bigger is better. I have trouble reading and believing anything written with so many misspelled words. If you want to make a point, at least spell it correctly.

  • hairbaggs

    A judge public defender with buck and ball from 0 to 35 '' makes all the rest of these hand guns look like sissified noise makers. They weigh 1 lb 4 oz and are little bigger than a 38 snubby. one shot to the head and they are stopped. 4 more rounds and you will need therapy to get over the visuals.

  • Don

    All it takes is 1 round placed in the right spot to do the job. I like having the option of doing less damage as a first option, then taking a lethal shot if absolutely necessary. Personally i think if you believe "bigger is better", or you think you need more rounds, you are not very confident in your shooting abilities…

  • Matt

    Whenever I hear this debate going on, it's almost always among people who have never or will never shoot another person. People who have or will? They say shoot with what you will hit with. If you're going to carry a 1911 and couldn't even bring the sights up before you're stabbed, it doesn't matter what caliber you have, you're stabbed. As long as the carrier has a round strong enough to penetrate, is comfortable with the gun and can be accurate with it, this debate will always continue among people who will probably never be in this position. Maybe this video will help open some eyes:

  • XD1

    I don't believe that what caliber you carry is the real issue, there other factors, such as carrying a weapon based upon your true ability, experience, ect. And what about the possibility of a follow up shot based upon those factors, how many follow up shots on target would you have with a .22 verses a .45. And I don't know about you if someone pulled a gun on me I am not going to stand there and wonder what caliber I am going to get hit with and decide if I have a better chance to survive, that's crazy! And I am pretty sure the bad guy isn't considering that either. If you pull the weapon you are truly at ease with in a defense situation you have a better chance than somebody who pulls out a big bore a doesn't have a clue what they are doing! Carry what you practice with is what all of us should be doing, if you have no experience maybe a .22 that you can control a put a lot of rounds through is the way to go at least in the beginning, just saying. The .380 vs.9mm argument only matters if the person carrying the caliber KNOWS for themselves which one they are better with. Peace out!

  • justin sc

    A 9mm is good for its reasons and 380 is good for its reasons

  • jim

    Terrible vid. These guys are just two old men arguing back and forth. No real points were made. Childish debate. Waste of time.

  • personally

    i carry a keltec pf9 shooting a 147gr federal premium hydra shok jhp.. extremely concielable i use a belly band and positioned right you forget its there and they are a good gun at a good price not that they are going to be as nice as a sig or springfield but for $250 they are a nice lightweight carry gun that is reliable i have put 1000+ rounds through mine with only 2 FTE and that was using junk plinking ammo, just keep them clean and they'll be good to you, i feel much more secure knowing a have the power needed to put someone down, face it you say any gun is better than no gun IMHO YOU ARE NOT GOING TO USE IT UNLESS THREATENED more than likely to pull a gun on someone they have displayed one themselves and i dont want to just piss someone with a 22. i want to drop them in a very short period.

  • Arnold

    I wish the two guys in the video would have left out their attempts at comedy and really compared the to rounds.

  • thalvors

    You know I just got a Beretta Nano for my IWB carry to replace my PT140. I have always been warry of even 9mm for it's lack of stopping power. 375ft lbs is not enough in a lot of cases, and thats why I like 40 S&W or 357 sig for semi-auto carry, but the trade-off is always the size of the gun and the gun that is best to carry in a defensive situation is the gun you have on you at the time. so the point being, I carry my nano but also my ruger lcr in 357 just in case.

  • Nothing There

    Kept waiting for an intelligent thought. There's 2:17 I'm never getting back.

  • stu

    the same loads are available for the 9mm, if loaded with critical defense for example, the nine wins….. everytime..

    • Ravi32

      no. the first cm hit wins virtually every time

  • Robert T. US Army

    Hey, let's all face it that the day you get shot, you aren't going to ask what caliber it was. You're just going to either die or usually be incapacitated. Either way, you aren't gonna be happy about it. I've seen some men stopped with a 9mm better than a 5.56 round. And I've seen the opposite too. It's all about speed and accuracy with whatever weapon you decide to go with. Face it, if you are a crappy shot than you probably aren't going to be effective with any firearm. Practice makes better. So find yourself a CCW that you are comfortable with and make sure you can hit your target, whether it's at 7ft or 300m.

    • Hog Hunter

      First Robert Thanks for Serving , now you are rite , I have shot with many cops at the range, there life depends on hitting there target, some of them qualify once a year and put the gun away until next year, and they barley hit the paper, I don’t get it , I am not a cop but I shoot a lot, if your going to carry you don’t want to miss and hit someone else. I just came back from a hog hunt, I use a AR-10, Hog came out I triple taped him in the head with a 308 and did not mess up any meat , they said how did you do that, Practice , some don’t even zero in before the hunt you go thru the swamps for two weeks looking, and you may get a 2second chance at your target why be four inches to high and 3 to the left .

  • Johnny

    I have many pistol's but the 22 automagnum made by AMT……..Is the best pistol always accurate even at 125 yards……Do that with your .380 9mm 45 I have a quick release holster the gun is sold by High Standard in TEXAS…….The one I carry is the original made in the 1980's

  • squareWave

    A .380 certainly beats fingernails, but it's not really in the same class as the 9mm. People look at their similar external dimensions and think they must be close in performance, but the 9mm operates at a considerably higher pressure. Similarly, the .38 Special and .357 Magnum have cartridges that are close in size but the .357 is much more powerful due to its higher operating pressure.

    In my view, the only thing that might recommend a .380 over a 9mm is the particular firearm, but in most of those cases there are close analogs available in 9mm.

  • Henry Tanton

    .380 & 9mm OK but Glock 32 & 33 in .357 SIG still 9mm but far superior to 9 Kurtz or 9mm. More one shot kills and close to .357 Mag in power. A winner hands down.

  • poopy nigger

    i have a 22 with a 25 riund mag theyll die eventuially

    • outlawjj

      Shit ill drop em in one shot and save the other 24 for the range

  • Boomer

    Reality is what's called the dead mans 10 seconds.. Which is a saying that has been around for a long, long time. A one shot drop is rare to say the least regardless of the caliber. I prefer a 40 S&W ( I really prefer a shotgun but…..) but weapons are merely tools in a tool box. You pick the one based on the need to get the job done. The three C's capable, confident and comfortable is a great place to start. If you can't handle a 45 all you got is an expensive club. Shoot what you can handle and train to shoot well. I carry my 40 95% of the time but sometimes discreet carry does not allow this and I have to turn to the .380. Being proficient and shot placement, the mission is to survive the encounter. I think everyone would agree a .380 is better than throwing rocks.

  • MotoJB

    All of you posters that are straying from the 380 vs 9mm discussion (what this darn video is about) are ANNOYING! Sheesh. Enough all ready. Of course we'd all like a Ruger LCP sized .45acp that holds 10 rounds!!! What we're talking about here are the only two calibers that a majority of folks feel come in small enough platforms for concealed carry. That's what this video is really about and that's what you all should be talking about. For me, I have/carrry a .380. If I had a 9mm that was the same size/weight of my 380, I'd sell the 380 in a heartbeat. Sure, the 380 has come further with advances in ammunition but I already feel less than secure with the 9mm's stopping power. With equal sized platforms, I'd certainly pick the 9mm any day over the 380. Since the smallest 9mm's we can get in CA are still too big/heavy for concealed carry IMO, my 380 will do (until there is a better option). Like we've all heard before

  • Chris

    What I have read on most of the comments are personal opinions and the old "my d**k is bigger than yours" routine, I think most are forgetting the first rule of any armed confrontation: BRING A GUN!

    Does it matter what size it is? NO, as long as you have one and can defend yourself with it!

  • Marc

    Although I am by no means an expert, as most of you are, I do something about firearms. I have been in the Army for 30+ years and most, 99.9%, of the Soldiers I serve with agree on one thing, shot placement. Close combat, been there, requires quick reaction and fairly accurate shot placement. Shot them in the head and regardless of the calibre they will, 9 out of 10 times, go down. In Afghanistan we used the "who is shooting at me" school of thought. Twice in the chest, this regardless to what they might be wearing will cause anyone to look up. Once you have their attention, whack, one well placed shot in the head and down they go. It is a sad fact that ploice are not allowed to shoot bad guys in the head. Think of how quickly the incident in LA would have been brought to a close were the first officers there been allowed to shoot the bad guys in the head. How many lives would have been saved? In closing, regardless of calibre shot placement is what counts, shoot the bad guy in the head and this solves all kinds of issues. I have always tought my four son's, who are also serving in the Army, shoot until they stop moving.

    • 380 is gravy

      I’m a CPO, and that is non-sense. My target is center mass. Center mass of whatever target is available, that is. If I’m getting shot at, it’s going towards the brain, as long as I have the shot. If I am shooting in a hurry, it’s flash front post and mag dump all day. Either way, survival is the name of the game.

  • terry

    I like the 380 in a carry gun got the 44 sol for home defence

  • terry

    Ment 44spl

  • LawDog

    Ok, why are they not comparing 2 guns within the same size group or doing any ballistics comparison? I have a Taurus 709 and it is not that much larger than their 738. The 9mm has 7+1 a nice trigger and a safety. The .380 has 6+1 rather lacking trigger and no safety. Also could have looked at the Kahr PM9 and the P380 or many other options rather than a full sized gun vs. a pocket gun. Show us how the rounds perform out of a similar gun

  • rayzrface714

    My experience with this line of argument is also similar! We were shooting a .38 Special and a .357 Magnum in the sand pit one day 34 years ago and when I was using the .38 My accuracy was good and the target got hit a lot! When I fired the .357 i only hit the target one third as much and the satisfaction level was frustrating? Recoil anticipation seemed to be the problem! Thank you.

  • Robert W.

    As an ex-paratrooper and retired Deputy Sheriff I thought my LCP was the perfect "always" gun as it will conceal in my Rangler Jeans right rear pocket. However, my new Rohrbaugh 9mm is the same size and conceals equally well and has replaced the LCP as the perfect always gun. Stopping power of a 9mm will always beat a .380, but either makes a good rear pocket gun. I carry the Rohrbaugh as a back-up if the area I going to is questionable and I have a Glock .40 strapped on. Neither the LCP or the Rohrbaugh are much fun to shoot, but it's conforting to know one is filling my rear pocket.

  • robert

    This is a great topic but i think the 41 magnum takes my pick.

  • Todd

    Why argue about which is better? Carry both as I do. I carry my 9 as my primary defense, yet I also carry my 380 as a backup, both of which I carry an extra mag for. Case closed, next subject?

  • Jeremy Monson

    The .380 is more concealable. If you had to choose between the 9mm and the .380 for carrying it's an obvious choice. Plus the .380 is more affordable which makes it a better starter gun. Not that there's anything wrong with having a 9mm but in the battle between the two I'm saying the .380 takes it.

  • Frank

    I own a .45 ; .40 cal ; .357 mag ; a 9mm and a .380. I choose the .380 for my CC gun. If a gun is to big and uncomfortable its no good to me at home or in the car. The .380, extra clips will get me out of most any situations. A couple of .380 head shots will make anyone fold like a crying baby.

    • Jim Dorsey

      This is my exact thought. Who wants to keep putting a larger handgun on your belt then take it off everytime you get in your car. Pain in the A$$! Two six round mags should be enough to get me home safe.

  • Brian S.

    Shot placement is what matters, the size of the bullet really doesnt matter if your hitting in vital areas like heart and head. Carry whatever you have and can do so comfortably. Thats my personal opinion.

  • Brian S.

    I forgot to add in my previous comment muscle memory , PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE and hitting the rights spots in any condition or stress level will be 2nd nature as with anything just like driving a manual transmission.

  • JiminGA

    The choice is quite easy. Remember .380's are called "mouse guns" and lack penetrating power. Sure, the bullet is similar but there's lots less powder to push it. And possibly even more important is the lack of size and weight of most .380's makes them painful to shoot. Always train with your carry gun, and a .380 is no fun to train with. A .380 makes a fine backup "ankle gun" but is not adequate for primary carry.

    • BRIAN

      i thoroughly enjoy and have fun shooting both of my 380's at the range every week and have never encountered any pain whatsoever, same with my wife, and on the topic of penetrating power the 380 has plenty to get through a leather coat and t-shirt and still bury itself in the body you definately don't want the round going completely through what your shooting at it then defeats the purpose of the round displacing ALL of its energy into said target. All in all its one of those "to each his own" type of things, if you don't like them don't carry them simple as that but do not bash a completely adequate round go do some ballistics before trying to sound smart.

      • JiminGA

        I wasn't trying to "sound smart", but instead was passing on my wife's and my experiences with her .380. After a range visit she practically needed physical therapy for her strong hand. We solved the problem by leaving the .380 in the safe and buying her a Ruger SP 101, firing .38 Spl +P+ JHP ammo which has more stopping power than both the .380 and my Glock 9MM.

        As you said, "to each his own".

    • Mickey

      My wie carries a Sig P238 both primary & back up. I find the Sig a very easy & comfortable pistol to shoot & control and it is very accurate for having such a short barrel.
      I think lots of people make their decisions re: pistol/caliber on the basis of armchair heroes.

      • outlawjj

        Armchair heros……i like that one…hope you dont mind if i use it..

      • garyhope

        Or armchair Rambo’s or Terminators. Perhaps our most valuable and most knowledgeable defensive shooting information should come from those who have actually shot somebody or been shot themselves.

  • nat

    now look i carry a .380 tcp cause when i have it, it is invisible on my side no matter what i wear. which is the reason i considered the .380 i didnt want to buy my new ccw and then have to change my wardrobe so i got the gun to fit my style. but i think the better cal. is whats better for the one carrying it. no matter what the caliber of the gun when three shots are fired they will do what their designed for.

  • David

    I have an HK Model 4 that converts from 22 caliber to 380. It's great (and cheap) to practice with the 22 and then to convert to the 380 for regular carry. The gun weighs almost the same in both configurations. It's a comfortable fit when wearing lightweight clothes.

  • Rebitcha

    I agree with Barett the first comment….I got 16 trys ,) m

  • K. kendall

    Good question. For personal defensive carry I. carry a WALTHER PPK .380. You definitely want the rounds to stay in the body. We're talking about a distance of 10 to 12 feet. A double tap is enough to get the perp off of you. And my throw in my pocket carry is an AMT BACKUP. But the .380 round is not considered a round that will kill like the velocity of a well place 9mm JHP. If I need offense and defense then I woould choose the 13 to 16 shot 9mm.

  • just asking

    both have great ideas for a gun. but guys just a question: WHY CARRY A GUN WHEN YOU HAVE TO CONCEAL IT OR BE IT PLACE IT WHERE YOU CANNOT DRAW IT AS FAST AS YOU CAN?

    • Mr. 2nd Amendment

      To the contrary…Why carry a firearm if it’s prominently displayed? You become a target. The idea is to never let your target know you’re a threat until it’s too late. It’s just as easy to draw a concealed firearm if you know what you’re doing / have practiced the routine.

  • DocterMike

    My wife said, "Are you packing?" So I put my New Agent in my bag. She said, "What if you're not at the desk?" So I put my LCP in my pocket ……………………. and it hasn't left yet. By the way, the LC9 came and went in about 2 months: Too big for the pocket, Too small to be useful.

  • Glen

    Both guns have take down power. The .380 just has to have the right ammo. It's all about ballistics. The FBI. States that it must go at least 12 inches I think in ballistic gel. There are 380 loads that will go up to 18 I think. So I think it's just preference. They don't call it 9 mm Kurtz for nothing.

    • TruthFinderXXX


  • Will

    No matter what you carry, PROJECTILE PLACEMENT STOPS THE FIGHT!!!
    No exceptions.

    • popeye

      Fine! Now you tell me; after I’ve taken receipt of my new 40W phased plasma rifle!

  • DAB

    I hate plastic guns. Especially the LCP. It's a cheap looking pile that shoots as bad as it looks. Practically a contact weapon. Buy a real gun or take cover!

    • T.G.

      I am a NRA instructor and vertified Combat Police Instructor, I carry a LCP as a back up and have never has a problem in over a 1000 rounds through it. So I bought my wife one. They are extremeely accurate and with Personal Protection ammo a life saver. I know it saved me and my wife last week coming from Church when we were attacked by 3 black men, just because I was white and she is asian. We are also older folk and they thought we were easy targets. Did not figure we would both be armed with the Ruger LCP’s. They were so surprised that one of them pissed in his pants, I was able to detain one of them until the Police got to them. He did not say, “that is just a Ruger .380″. as the bullet went through his lower chest and expanded to about .45 cal. He is recovering now in hospital and will stand trial. He also ratted out his 2 friends who both have extensive police records and will spend a lot of time behind bars now, simply as “we were profiled as easy targets”.

      • j

        good story – considering a LCP380 for my wife… but who cares that they were black buddy. unnecessary info, and irrelevant. Glad you and your wife are okay though.

        • Teddy

          Your right, that information is unnecessary. It was also implied when he said he was attacked.

          • A human being

            You’re an idiot. Color does not matter, anyone can be a criminal, anyone can be a victim, avoid being both…

          • Brion Bell


          • dj

            funny teddy have you heard of Ferguson MO…totally racial…totally biased and so totally the norm when a black is involved….Color matters and is now forever in my mindset because of Ferguson MO.

        • Brickkicker

          If it’s true then it IS relevant….

        • Michael Faust

          Sure it is relevant, it is a fact. We should absorb facts.
          Ignoring the FACT that muslims are now cutting off heads in the USA is a big problem. FACT!

  • poconoshooting

    Even a .22 LR is good enough. 380 is a very good round. 9mm is better. 40 my favorite.

    My carry is a .22 Mag NAA Mini-Revolver. It is the only gun I can carry 100% of the time. I can even sleep with the gun in the holster. I tried carrying a 380 Ruger LCP, the gun felt too uncomfortable inside the waistband.

    Unless I expect you might have a problem (ungoing riots and looting) I carry the smallest thing I can.

  • Will

    The best gun for home defense? The one you have, know how to use and is available. It is not 39, 9, 40, 45.
    I guarantee you a home intruder shot with a .22 is going to be disabled or turn on his/her heels and run. When you are hit in the chest cavity, if you don't collapse you are not saying, "Gee, it is only a .22 (you have no idea what hit you), you are thinking, I have been shot – FLEE."

    • Flexhead U.S.A.F.

      I have been reading all the post about how much better the 9mm is than the little 380. The 380 has saved myself and members of my “PJ” team. It’s small, compactand fits any where! The best defense is training, training and more training. It has proven itself to be a choice for back up for us and first choice in tight spots. Just like a 22 if you shot its will give the shock effect so you can more than likely get another round or 2 off. It may be small to conclude but it does the job without any problems!

  • Marko

    There are a few good comments here from LE and military personnel and I thank you for your service. You guys are the true heroes.

    Thankfully, I have never been in a firefight. At any given time I have a Ruger LCP on my person, even in the office. I own large caliber handguns, but it's not likely on a hot summer day that I will take them out.

    I have trained with this weapon and if I'm challenged, I feel confident that I will know what to do. There is no substitute for training. I have rehearsed the scenario over and again.

    If I can successfully put a round in an attacker's head or chest there is a good chance that I will live to see another day. The best defense is a good offense.

    My favorite quote is from Oliver Cromwell: Trust in the Lord, but keep your powder dry.

    • garyhope

      Excuse me, but what is “I & # 039s”? Is this a military code word for some type of technique or procedure?

      • Bryce

        coding changed the apostrophe into the numbers and symbols. the first word is IT’s and the second is I’m, third Attacker’s
        took me a minute too

        • garyhope

          Thank you too Bryce.

      • Richard

        Poor website coding. &#039 is html for the single apostrophe. Which is also used in code to end/begin certain values. To prevent hacking, any characters used in coding are converted to html, then usually converted back to regular characters when displayed.

        • garyhope

          Thank you.

  • SamB

    Has anyone of the "high testosterone" crowd on this post actually seen any law enforcement studies of the percentage of gun owners actually attacked by "crazed, pcp doped-up " attackers? I like handguns, but lets face it. None of my family , brothers, sisters, cousins, etc..have ever reported to have been attacked by a drug crazed villian needing to be put down by a 45 acp or larger. Recent studies show that just "brandishing" a firearm will, in most cases, make a thief or would be attacker break off. And most large calibers, like 357mag, have such a loud report that it would put the user in "sonic shock" when firing it in closed quarters. Try taking your ear protection off in the gun range. You are more likely to have home defense problems with rabid raccoons or coyotes from the woods behind your house. Never heard of anyone I personally know that has been in a true urban combat situation. Like the saying goes, if you need more than six shots, then the deer deserves to kick your ass.

    • joe jack

      how many of your kids , brothers, sisters and family have been shot in say a movie theater, or school?? be prepared..

    • Mr. 2nd Amendment

      How many of your relatives have ever had their house burn to the ground? If none, then by your logic nobody should own fire extinguishers. It never happens to anyone you know right up until it does. Also, your “saying” is irrelevant.

      • GM

        well written.

      • Terry

        By the same token, how many people do you know that have a fire truck parked in their driveway? He’s not saying “don’t carry a gun.”

    • usmc2363

      We live in the most violent society the world has ever known and in most major cities we are not defending ourselves against deer. Deer don’t shoot back!! Yes, better safe than sorry, I want my 15 round mags.USMC 0311 Semper Fi

      • Benjamin

        Sorry but this is most definitely not the most violent time the world has ever known. Hitler isnt Around. Look at midevil times when people were torture by the church and it was “fine”. There are no gladiators. Just saying. And not to put them lightly as they are very tragic, but these recent shootings in relation to some of the things this world has seen are not very big occurrences

        • Colonel P. McD.

          Our home is in a quite quaint small town, My son was shot in our home during a home invasion several years ago. we are not affuint or deginent, just middle class people that mind our own business. Why we were picked to rob in the middle of the day on Sunday is still a question? I heard the shot from out doors and ran in the house with my .45 ACP Colt. If I had not responded as I did I would have been shot with a .22 cal. also as my son was (My son has perminate brain damage). I shot one of the perps, he made it to the front door before colapsing. His partner made off in the car and drove off and left him to die. He lived and recovered, Now after 6 years he is on the street and I have to worry that the bastards will come back for revenge. So of course I carry a .45 ACP, do you think I would carry a .22 cal handgun? Or God forbid have to go unarmed?
          Colonel P. McD.

          • bob

            somebody shoots my son in the head im puttin one in his, regardless of law, if im not carryin im crushin his head with my boot…there would be no, “out on the streets”

          • Gene Hines

            Just wondering how you acquired the moniker” Colonel” because you’re clearly not a military Colonel. As indicated by your very poor spelling it is quite apparent that you’re not a very well educated man.

        • GodofHellfire

          The church! The church? Always with the Church Benjamin, already!

      • outlawjj

        We are not the most violent civilization the world has ever known …not even the top 100..ever hear of the vikings, romans,Mongolian empire,etc,etc. I live in ca..i can make due with ten in the mag and one in the chamber..and two extra clips in my right pocket..

      • Neill Southwick

        What a stupid statement. Read some history fool

    • Phil

      Our home is in a quite quaint small town, My son was shot in our home during a home invasion several years ago. we are not affuint or deginent, just middle class people that mind our own business. Why we were picked to rob in the middle of the day on Sunday is still a question? I heard the shot from out doors and ran in the house with my .45 ACP Colt. If I had not responded as I did I would have been shot with a .22 cal. also as my son was (My son has perminate brain damage). I shot one of the perps, he made it to the front door before colapsing. His partner made off in the car and drove off and left him to die. He lived and recovered, Now after 6 years he is on the street and I have to worry that the bastards will come back for revenge. So of course I carry a .45 ACP, do you think I would carry a .22 cal handgun? Or God forbid have to go unarmed?
      Colonel P. McD.


      Sam B, try to get to a simulator with a multiple threat scenario. Let’s see how many rounds you shoot while under pressure. Most people underestimate greatly how many rounds they sent down target. My philosophy is be prepared for multiple offenders. While everyone is in the “cute” fad of wearing a 5 or 6 shot xds like it is jewelry, I would not carry any sidearm that carries no less than 10 rounds. I don’t carry to be comfortable, I carry to defend myself or my family. The chances of you having to use your weapon are slim. The chances of you having to use more than 6 shots may be slimmer, but I refuse to be under gunned. Thats just me.

    • AK

      Wrong – when I was 22 I was raped. IT was daylight and I was not at the wrong place at the wrong time. If I had a gun I would have shot to kill. Bad things do happen to good people. I carry a gun. I have not had to use it, but will if necessary. I carry it in parking garages and parking lots. I do not want to kill someone…that is the last thing I want to do. I will run, I will remove myself from a situation in order to be safe and not kill anyone. But I will defend myself with a gun if there are no other options.

    • garyhope

      I’ve never been shot or shot anyone. I hope I never experience either one, but I think if I was shot or even had a measly .22, pointed at me that I’d try to leave the area ASAP.

    • JoeHavana

      You either live in a small town or are a complete idiot.

  • Jim Dorsey

    I have a Springfield 3.8 9mm XDm and it is not the most comfortable to wear all day in an IWB holster. I also have a KelTec .380 P3AT and it goes everywhere with me. I can drop it in a pocket, side holster, backpack, you name it and it will fit. This thing is called a noisy cricket and I would bet my life on it, hope it never comes to that. I would rather have the .380 on me than the 9mm in the car.

    • Manfer

      I carry a .380 in my pocket, a 9mm in my car, and keep a 10mm in my night stand.

      • Hog Hunter

        380 Ruger LCP with silvertips in the pocket will drop the scumbag , Glock 40 cal in the car Taurus Judge with PDX next to bed

  • Ron

    Don’t take a knife to a gunfight. Today we have much better ammunition then when the 380 was first brought out. I’d say that a 380 is a adequate caliber if the person can reliably put the shots where they count. Just like a NAA 22, better then nothing!

  • Hedd Wyn

    Just remember this, a mother in the US recently fired a .38 snubbie five times at an intruder. He was hit five times including hits to the face, he fled and survived. This guy was just a few feet away from the lady so the .38 rounds should have been at their most potent. I think this illustrates how weak small pistols can potentially be. If a .38 struggles then good luck with anything less powerful. Btw a .380 is weaker than .38 special which falls in between .380 and 9mm parabellum.

  • John Doe

    This was a very uninformative video. I was expecting to learn something new about the advances in ammunition but instead I just saw 2 guys saying what they like better, without any real facts to back it up.

  • latxguy

    the question is comparisons between the 9mm and 380!! why are comments talking about 45’s and 22s and everything else!! Stick to the subject otherwise I would rather have a M60 mg and maybe a SAW. Choice between the 2 is obvious and that is the 9mm. I do not care if it saved you and your pals a 9mm would had been the choice unless PJ’s are training stupid from when I remember it use to be 40+ yrs go.

  • combatcontrolUSAF

    I am 25 and have a number of handguns 2 9mm and one 380 auto that I carry. I served in the USAF combat Control for 2 years before injury. I awoke one night to a pair of intruders busting down my door at 2am by the time I got my 380 I keep under my pillow and got into the hallway they were stepping in. I had 8 shots. I warned them verbally and they didn’t recede, so I put one in each of their lower shoulders. I live in NC which is a castle state. I forgot to mention they both had 870 pump 12″s full of buckshot. the .380 gold dot dropped them both on the spot and I immediately took their firearms and gpt them help which they made a full recovery. 9mm and .380 are identical in diameter a 9mm fits flush in a spent 380 cartridge. besides a heavier 147 grain 9mm and a 105 grain 380 and a casing 2mm shorter. In the old days the 380 was called 9mm short. I have full confidence that a well placed hp through the mouth and out through the neck would be a fatal shot. 9mm fly at 1200fps and zip through the target not transferring all its energy. a 380 at 950fps dumps all energy into the target and opens creating a nice wound channel. when I leave If I have room for my Taurus 24/7G2 9mm ill carry it, if im wearing sweatpants I choose my LCP. shot placement is key. knowing how to inflict a lethal and non lethal shot is critical and having the marksmanship to do so. now a 380 and a 45 black talon…that’s another story!

  • BlueSeas

    It’s all about risk vs. benefit, like everything else in life. If you are a retiree who is free to dress in any manner, and you live in a less-than-safe neighborhood, then it makes sense to carry the biggest & highest capacity gun you can shoot. If you’re a white collar office worker who works for a not-gun-friendly company, and you live in a boringly safe neighborhood, then carrying a large gun carries a much larger risk (to your career) compared to the benefit (defending yourself against a once-in-a-lifetime crime that might not even come).

    The vast majority of people live in places so safe that they balk at the prospect of lugging around an extra 2 lb chunk of metal for a crime that might not happen in a lifetime. You are far more likely to die of a heart attack than from violent crime, yet I don’t see people carrying portable AED units. If the gun can be made small and light enough that they are willing to carry it, then it’s much better than a hand cannon left in the car or at home.

    Modern .380 handguns are so popular because they are an almost perfect compromise for people who want to be armed without the slightest hint of being armed. They are small and light enough to be kept in a pants pocket comfortably, yet shoot a round controllable and powerful enough for most self defense situations. Sure there are small 9 mm guns available, but most of them are twice as heavy as the lightest .380 pistols. The weight difference is enough of a nuisance that it can keep people from carrying the pistol at all times, which defeats the purpose of CCW.

    • Gary Teears

      The LCP is the best!! I have two of them. Love them. The 380 round is sufficient to cause some serious, nasty and fatal damage if the rounds hit where they should. This firearm is accurate, reliable, soooo easy to carry ANYWHERE. I have two of these, two S&W 38s, Ruger GP 3″ 357 and a Smith 617 22 cal. The LCP is my CC weapon and I have every confidence in the world that it’ll perform. Thought about a 9mm, but, I don’t need that. I’ll use the money for 380 ammo.

  • Kevin

    If bigger is better, why would you choose a 9mm?

  • rlee3

    My Wife tells me that bigger isn’t always better. Ha!… gust got a G42 and am now carrying it rather than my S&W shield 9 which i left in my back pack half of the time. a .380 carried on your person is better than any 9 not with you.

  • NoMoBamaNation

    If I’m not carrying a 45 I have a G19 on my hip or a G26 in my pocket. 380 Auto is just too small. I can carry a G26 wearing just shorts and no shirt with a +2 Pearce grip extension for 12 rounds of 9mm in my front pocket with a horse hide pocket holster that is very discreet. My G17 G19 G26 can also fit in the zip pocket of my leather notepad holder (paper kind) if I don’t want the slight pocket bulge. I just have to be careful where I open it. 9mm is not hard to conceal. I am eyeing a G36 to trump them all. I just reloaded some +P 45 ACP today and held all three together. The 380 auto just seemed so tiny. I suppose if I was a smaller guy I might reconsider. What matters most is hitting the target. . . . . with bigger, faster ammo.

  • HotRodG35

    Something to be said for shocking power. Try stopping a 250lb. dope head that’s all jacked up on meth with a little 380. They won’t even know they’re hit, and they’ll have plenty of time before they bleed out internally to overwhelm a smaller or weaker person. Big bores can literally knock someone down. The biggest caliber THAT YOU CAN HANDLE proficiantly, the better. Hitting the attacker IS the most important aspect, but nextly is to hit them with something heavy. This is life or death we’re talkin about. If you believe you’re good enough to deliver a head shot 100% of the time even under that kind of stress, the caliber debate is moot. IMHO of course. Personally, I like my chances with about 2oz. of #4 shot out of my 870 express at close ranges. They will NOT keep comin’! Lol!


    Where’s the video with actual substance? What a waste of time.

  • Pete I.

    I heard a great quote from a Marine interviewed when the military went from carrying the .45 auto to the 9mm. The reporter asked him about he difference in stopping power between the two to which he replied, “sir, when I shoot you twice in the heart and once in the head, I don’t think you’ll know the difference.”

  • buckaroo50

    The best one to have is the one that you can shoot accurately in any position…
    The 9mm full jacket will penetrate more than a .40 and even .45 so you may have a pass through and hit someone else, such as an innocent bystander or a relative in another room… Does it really matter if the penetration is 10 inches or 12 inches – not really…
    in any case the person being shot with a .380 is going to be hurting… Since a .380 can shoot through car doors I don’t think that skin is going to offer much resistance… bullet expansion once inside is more important than initial shock…
    Try holding a 9mm, .40 or a .45 in one hand and stick it around a corner out of a door way and shoot it down a hallway… then do the same with a .380… I will bet that you will be able to send more rounds down the hall with a .380 simply because of less recoil…
    My choice would be a double-stack magazine .380… 14 rounds of accurate (because of less muzzle jump) shots in about 5-7 seconds… Plus maybe a wife or a responsible child could shoot the .380 without it jumping out of their hands…
    Actually a 7.65mm (.32 cal)… will get the job done… and with basically next to nothing for recoil… A person can shoot this with one hand and basically never take have to resight, just keep pulling the trigger…
    Standing up holding a weapon with two hands at a firing range is a heck of a lot different from shoot with one hand while rolling on the floor or other non-typical positions…
    Well that is my 2 cents worth… Doesn’t matter to me if anyone agrees… What will save your life will be which ever one you can shoot the best…

  • Ray

    I just got a south Africa police 380 cal hand gun like to know what you think of the gun

  • Benthere

    I retired from law enforcement after 30 years. In the 70s I worked a robbery cases where detectives armed with a Walther PPKS in 380 in one case and a 38 special in the other shot suspects. In both cases the suspects kept going as if nothing happened. After that I was a firm believer in more powerful pistols. However, as said the ammo now is not as weak as it was then and a 45 does no one any good if it is a hot day in July and you can’t carry it without it showing. But, I would like to see more large capacity 380s. I’ve known great shots who missed 5 out of 6 times in real shooting situations. Very few people retain their skill in a real shooting.

    • Hannon

      This is exactly why I’m so disappointed there hasn’t been a belt fed pistol offering in 380 :)

      My state has a 10 round cap restriction, so all summer I make the 45 work by dressing like a retarded clown, but the law doesn’t have any language about belt fed pistols. Perhaps a small revolver that has been converted to feed a 20 round belt would actually come in handy.

  • neolocke

    There are some clear and dangerous misconceptions displayed on this thred other threds on similar topics as well). I would like to provide some info to help clarify some including the chance that you may need your firearm, shot placement vs stopping power, and the number of rounds required to defend oneself.

    There are roughly 5 million violent crimes in the USA every year. Around 1 million crimes are thwarted every year in the USA by civilians using or displaying firearms (and only a tiny fraction of us are armed). Every statistic proves that in the USA increased gun control law = increased crime, increased violent crime, and more murders. Over 50% of the population will be the victim of a violent crime at least one during their life. Your gun is way more likely to save your life than your health insurance or Obama care which is an obstacle to health care (Doctors provide healthcare Ins companies block health care. We need to take control of the lexicon and call INS bastards that won’t pay not call INS healthcare – health INS is NOT NOT health care.).

    In close quarter shootouts that occur suddenly – more than 60% of the shots fired by LEOs with training miss the entire human body as the target. In the high stress of a surprise attack and gunfight even competition level champion marksmen can not depend on hitting the very small area of the human body such as a good head shot that will instantly incapacitate an attacker. In the 1986 Miami shootout much more than 100 rounds were fired including 9 hits on one bad guy that still continued fighting and killing. My understanding (I have heard conflicting stories but all report many hits required to stop him) is that he finally stopped after receiving 10 hits. A 22 LR even to the heart should not be expected to stop an attack – It would NOT stop me. Unless your name is Alvin York you can not depend on 6 38 spl rounds to ward off even 2 attackers. There is no predictable response to a gunshot (handgun even 45 ACP or .357 mag) strike to non vital tissue. Yesterday I watched on TV a WWII vet describe how when he was hit by rifle fire on Omaha beach – he thought he was stung by a bee. It did not slow him down at all. He continued functioning as if nothing had happened until he was informed by a buddy that he was in fact shot.

    Yes shots to the brain (not necessarily head) with a 380 will very likely result in instant incapacitation (not always) and to the heart less likely but still probably result in the same instant end of aggression. It is however less likely that anyone from this thred will be able to make this head shot even with 6 tries than it is for a bad guy to continue fighting even if hit in the head (not brain) by a 380 to continue fighting. Less than 1/2 of head shots in a gunfight hit the brain. Comparing random hits a !2 gauge will stop aggression faster than 45 ACP which is faster than 9mm faster than 380.

    There are many factors to consider when choosing a self defense firearm including: circumstance (HD vs concealed carry and other factors), recoil, reliability of the weapon, as well as your personal skill and comfort using the weapon etc. Two VERY important factors are: 1st the power of the round from the platform it will be deployed (the same round will have greater power from a 5 inch barrel than a 3.inch barrel) – power quantified by the following: energy – momentum – diameter of the bullet etc. The second factor is magazine capacity. When deciding on a self defense weapon it may be wise to consider worse case scenario. In the case of handgun defense figure at a minimum to prepare for a bad scenario – 2 misses for every hit, 3 hits for every stop, and three bad guys = 27 rounds.

    The libs don’t understand the facts pertaining to civilian weapons and right to bear arms, gun control and the crime producing effect it always has, and about self defense in general. Maybe those in power do understand but don’t care. The ignorant electorate that empowers these libs to usurp our right or power to defend ourselves definitely don’t understand the facts about firearm defense. It is not helpful for us to make foolish statements that a 380 is enough or all you need is 6 rounds and you can ward off the barbarian hoard. It is definitely not helpful to make statements that could be interpreted as because you personally don’t know anyone that defended them self with a gun then why bother having one.

    • Christopher Smith

      Let me clear up a common misconceptions that you brought about up. The statement, “Every statistic proves that in the USA increased gun control law = increased crime, increased violent crime, and more murders” is not accurate. You and others who state this (I’ve hear it many time before) make the common mistake equating correlation with causation. There is zero evidence that stricter gun control causes more crime. ZERO. It’s merely a correlation if at anything at all.

      I’m not sure about your “50% of people will be subjected to a violent crime” data point but I am sure that the vast majority of those people survive that “violent crime” with or without a gun. If that wasn’t the case and your 50% statistic is true then a plurality of people in this country would meet their end violently. This is clearly not the case. I also take issue with the statement that a gun is more likely to save you then health insurance. I highly doubt that. Statistically it’s not possible but the ACA argument is a different matter for a different day.

      I completely disagree with your assessment that the most important factors are caliber and magazine capacity. The most important factor is TRAINING. Get the biggest most badass gun you want and get a huge mag to go with it. If you can’t hit anything with it you might as well have a hammer. Bigger caliber and more rounds will win you a dick swinging contest but better training will really save your life.

      I’ve never even needed a gun in any situation I’ve ever been in. If you are even contemplating the small chance that you are ever going to be in a shootout like the one in Miami in 86 then maybe you need to re-evaluate what you are doing with your life. Personally I think the .380 vs higher caliber debate comes down to your level of paranoia when it comes to self defense. A .380 just won’t do it if your weird dark hero fantasy involves bad guys wielding AKs. If you just need a basic, easy to shoot weapon for self defense it’s more than enough.

      • Aaron

        Whoa, Chris. Yer soundin’ awful smart like you from college or sumthin’. This is clearly not the forum for rational and logical argument. Let us have our dick-swinging, paranoid, and weird dark hero fantasies. From the several anecdotal accounts I’ve read on the internet, violent, coordinated, and tactical terror cells invade homes with the intent on raping our wives and kidnapping our babies like, at least, ALL THE TIME.

  • Rick M

    Look the way I see it is that if you have anything, even if it’s 25acp it can be all the difference. Don’t get me wrong I carry a Glock 30s 45ap daily but I have some friends that carry a .380, doesn’t matter anything is better than nothing in a self-defense scenario! Sometimes just brandishing a firearm or even a knife can end an altercation.

    • Hannon

      Just the confidence you get from carrying any weapon, will usually(not always) cause a potential threat to pass over you and look for a more insecure target. Criminals sniff out weakness and soft targets the way predators select their pray, they try to feel out the low hanging fruit. I know plenty of folks who carry, and not one of them have ever been targeted, but on the flip side I know people who are always unarmed and have been robbed, and in one case(my cousin) car jacked.

  • george

    Put 150 rounds through my Kimber ultra carry 45, left hand right hand two hand weaver stance etc. I cannot miss a siloeit tarrget at 7 to 10 yards and no matter what the bad guy is wearing he is going to be stuned when 235 grains hits him, 380, 9mm not so much IMHO

  • Trey Harris

    Just my 2¢, I’m an EMT, I’ve seen a few GSW, and a .22 is almost always a worse case scenario. It will in fact do majot internal damage, they do bounce around. I have various caliber firearms, and my choice to carry is .380, my EDC is the LCP. My wife carries the Bersa Thunder .380. She to is in the medical field. There’s no way we would carry a 9mm for personal protection. I do think however that a .40 is the best all around self defense round.

  • Don Russell

    I’d bet my life that the guy on here claiming to have shot 2 shotgun wielders with a 380 is lying. :-) If really want to know the answer to this, shoot some animals. Silver 380’s do not reliably expand in flesh, If you use CorBon 100 gr PowRball, 1400 + fps loads, you do get expansion in flesh and 400 ft lbs beaths 150 ft lbs, all day. The Silvertips are weakly loaded, just 850 fps of velocity, the bullet is just 85 grs.

  • Don Russell

    Whom ever told you that cops “aren’t allowed” to shoot at the head? that’s total bs. They just can’t HIT the head, that’s all, especially not from a distance, with rifles firing at them. That was the problem with the armored robbers in the N Hollywood bank thing

  • Don Russell

    “placement’ is bs, too. when you are being shot=at, you will be lucky if you hit the man at ALL at a mere 5 yds. That is what thousands of gun fight studies have proven. You will miss the entire chest half of the time at 10 ft, too. The heart hit is not nearly as likely to suffice as is the head hit, and they are the same size. There’s nothing about a hit to the lung, liver, or spleen that is physically incapacitating in less than 4-5 seconds. The man can shoot or stab you 4x per second. If you COULD “place” your shot, you should shoot him in the brain. But the fact is that under lethal stress, you can’t do this, beyond spitting distance.

  • Don Russell

    YOur “guarantee” that a .22 will suffice is worth what you are. Nothing. If the .22 fails, are you going to pay for the defender’s losses? You are a pos to make such claims.

  • Don Russell

    It takes TIME to get hits. If you’ve already missed the guy 8x, what makes you “think” that another 7 shots will help? your ears will be blown out, your eyes will be dazzled by the flashes (in bad light) your enemy will be emboldened by your incompetence, and you will be dismayed by it. What will your enemy have done in the time that it took you to miss him 8x, hmm? made it to cover, or shot you. YOU should be using cover by then, so swapping magazines should be a feasible move at that point.

  • Don Russell

    A 380, in animal tests, using jhp ammo, hits no harder than a Stinger from a .22lr rifle. It’s just not much upon which to base your life. Since 380 ammo costs 3-6x what .22’s, cost, just how much pracice will you have getting this “placement” of your hits? :-)

  • Don Russell

    .45 ball ammo does not rate much respect, either. Shoot some coons, nutria, jackrabbits, feral cats and dogs, chucks, possums, etc, with it and you’ll learn the truth about it. Most of the GI’s are mistaker (orjust lying)about how great it was/did in combat. It stops men with good chest hits, now, about 2x in 3 shootings. Not bad, but nothing great.

  • Don Russell

    the 380 ammo is severaly handicapped by having to be weakly loaded enough to be safely fired in the PPK and similar “simple blowback” guns. Many modern 380’s are made with locked breeches, and could safely be loaded to deliver 300 ft lbs of power, twice what current 380 ammo offers. For safety reasons, the cartridge would have to be made too large to enter the chamber of the blowback 380 guns. Something in .37″ bore would be necessary. I do understand that such would be a big step, but there’s been the 327 Federal and similar experiments. 30 years ago, who had heard of the .40 Short and Weak?

  • Don Russell

    for safety reasons, the round could be made in .34″ diameter, too. The too small bullet, fired in a 380 blowback, would have most of its powder gases “blow by” the bullet in the barrel, reducing pressures. This would also let the barrels be a bit thicker and stronger, better able to handle higher pressures. Somebody is missing a wonderful money making opportunity by not developing this rd and guns to fire it.

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