We tested and compared the best .380 Pistols in terms of accuracy, price, weight, quality, ammunition, comfort, concealed carry & more!
It definitely is a struggle to select the best .380 pistol. But if you know precisely how these weapons operate, then you shouldn’t have any trouble choosing one for your own needs. In certain uses a .380 gun should definitely be part of your inventory. You may use it for concealed carry purposes, or using it for target shooting (in a relaxed or competitive environment).
The .380 guns are known to be accurate, strong and are a lot of joy to shoot. While there are a number of .380 pistols on the market, we have put together a ranking of the best few that stick out as the strongest in the business. You can see the list of those weapons at the top and the in-depth reports of the .380 pistols in the following.
First, we should examine whether a.380 handgun is a frequent concealed carry weapon, and why the ranking pistols have earned our selection list in particular.
Is a .380 a good daily carry?
Quick Response: Yes. Indeed, the.380 is maybe one of the finest calibers you can consider for concealed carry and home security purposes. The measurables are one of the key explanations for this.
A .380 weapon is about the same scale to suit compact or subcompact handguns in most IWB and OWB holsters. The .380 pistol is also limited in scale to a extent where concealability is likely to be better relative to other handguns of varying types ( i.e. max sized). They don’t really call it “pocket missile” for nothing.
Why did these .380 Pistols make it into the Ranking?
While there are several .380 handguns on the market, we just selected the best in terms of price and efficiency (and other related features). We did not arbitrarily pick any.
In order to pick a weapon by your own, we suggest that you adopt a similar method to ours. Here are a few explanations we ‘re going to evaluate the .380 handguns, which have entered the list:
Affordable for many budgets
You can choose a pistol that is reasonably priced, whether you have a certain sum of money you will want pay or have enough of cash to purchase every weapon.
Although a budget shopper may pay attention to the price tag, they should also consider a gun that provides outstanding quality and efficiency (and suits their budget range). The last thing they want is to waste money on bad quality and be disappointed.
Great for Concealed carry
Some of a concealed carry holster’s main objectives is to insure that the gun they are wearing is out of reach for strangers and not pointing out of their pocket.
When considering .380 handguns for this series we were vigilant in this respect. When you’re searching for a weapon that has maximum concealability, you definitely should be aiming to buy our best .380 pistols.
When it comes to choosing a weapon for concealed carry purposes, durability is crucial. If need to use it, the pistol has to function the right way. This ensures you want a handgun, which in no case can fail or malfunction.
Apart from that, it will be a decent weapon which will come in handy wherever and whenever you are in a life-threatening scenario. One final option would be self-defense. Since a.380 pistol can provide accurate and consistent knockdown strength when required, no matter what the circumstances are.
Test of the best .380 Pistols
Here is a list of the best .380 handguns available on the market. Try to compare the choices offered with your ideal vision of the firearm you’ve been thinking about when reading through this list; with this frame of mind, you will be able to find the pistol which will satisfy your needs.
Let’s start by looking at the first .380 pistol on our chart — the “best overall”:
Ranking First: S&W M&P380 SHIELD EZ .380ACP PISTOL
- Best accuracy
- Perfect for concealed carry
- The S&W fits in all the common holster
- Very good quality, hard to damage
- Basically none
S&W was one of the first major gun manufacturers to launch an ultra-compact polymer pistol in .380 ACP 10 years ago – with a striking resemblance to the older P3AT from Kel-Tec. The present sample belongs to the 2nd generation with improvements in trigger and sights.
The S&W M&P380 SHIELD EZ .380 ACP PISTOL is still one of the smallest and lightest pistols available in caliber 9 mm short. The partially preloaded trigger system with a medium trigger travel without pressure point does not run as smoothly as the Kahr Arms competition, but still runs much smoother and lighter than the first M&P380.
The Gen II sight is unfortunately still worked out of the slide and also turns out much smaller and with less contrast than the whole competition. But it allows a much easier aiming than the old LCP sight. In terms of workmanship and finish, it doesn’t quite reach the level of the competition – the SLPC Black’s low price is also apparent.
Ergonomically, the small, grippingly roughened frame is quite convincing. A spare magazine is not needed at S&W. The slide can be easily repeated by hand thanks to the non-slip cocking grooves and the relatively light closing spring and the magazine release is conveniently located behind the trigger.
S&W’s smallest pistol does not have much else to offer. The breech can be manually locked in its rear position via a slide. However, the LCP has neither an automatic slide catch nor a manual safety. Or an automatic firing pin safety. In addition to the heavy trigger, an extra-light firing pin and a reinforced firing pin spring ensure that the LCP Gen II is drop-proof.
The present sample is characterized by the stainless steel slide. The basic version unfortunately only has a matt black finish to protect against rust.
What recent Buyers report on the M&P380 SHIELD EZ .380 ACP PISTOL
A lot of recent buyers were looking for a.380 pistol which was considered perfect in every way. Here is how one person identified her weapon when she ordered it. She said, that when it went inside her pocket holster it was comfortable as a glove, so it was simple to draw and re-holster.
Most new users claim the measurables were ideal for optimum concealability, and it was not a problem at all to load. The shooting was also potent and precise, leaving tight shooting groups on targets ranging from 15 to 25 yards.
Why did the S&W M&P380 SHIELD EZ .380ACP PISTOL convince us?
S&Ws are known for being excellent pistols, and most of the time they are proven to be super reliable and accurate. This weapon is built from components of the highest standard to guarantee you will carry it for a very long time. Longevity, in a pistol, is definitely a plus.
This can save you a lot of Dollars, because you’re not going to have to contend with any problems throughout the time of owning a S&W. It’ll last a long time, if you periodically clean and repair it. This pistol comes with seven rounds, which is enough to give you the opportunity to fend off one or more attackers during the process.
Is the S&W M&P380 SHIELD EZ .380ACP good for women and men?
This is a superb hidden carry pistol for both men and women. It has the right measurables to be a fantastically concealed carry pistol. Holster it, put it in a console or glove box and put it in a place where you know it’s going to be the moment you need it. You can not go wrong with a pistol like this, with its durability and reliable shooting.
The S&W M&P380 SHIELD EZ .380ACP pistol is making a strong case as to why it is at the top of our list. You find it’s a nice .380 weapon that meets all kinds of expectations.
If you want toughness, precision and efficiency all rolled into one tidy little box, then this might probably be the gun you ‘re going to want to purchase.
Ranking 2nd: WALTHER PPK/S .22 LR PISTOL
- Awesome firing power
- Tight shooting groups
- Works with different .380 ammunition
What recent Buyers are reporting
This pistol overall has really impressed a lot of new users. They claimed it was ideal for anyone looking to concealed wearing it, and it’s worth remembering that a number of them were newbies.
Another person claimed the gun was light in weight and the absence of recoil allowed him improved handling, resulting in greater precision and accuracy in each of his shots. There was, overall, no single complaint about its functions or quality.
Why do we recommend the WALTHER PPK/S .22 LR ?
This pistol is part of a long line of Walther pistols that were reliant for many concealed users carrying it. In fact, they are amongst the most reliable pistol varieties on the market.
And make no mistake, every pull of the trigger is fairly accurate. ngYou ‘re not going to witness any jamming at all (and it is not going to malfunction). It’s the kind of gun that would be ideal for home protection and to protect yourself while you’re outdoor in any given survival scenario.
The Spartan II is ideal for stealthy concealability, and no one will even realize whether or not you have it on you unless you need to draw the gun.
Does the WALTHER PPK/S .22 LR fit to me?
For those starting with concealed carry this would be a great pistol. If you’re a newbie looking for a pistol that will give you less recoil and more control right out of the box, then you might find this pistol really fascinating.
Yes, you are going to get accuracy and reliability, as well as concealability under the radar. Which means less bulging and no unnecessary exposure, since you’re wearing a gun.
The WALTHER PPK/S .22 LR in the best .380 pistols might just be what the doctor ordered if you are looking for a pistol that will be excellent for beginner concealed carry users and will live up to the standards of being one of the best .380 pistols in the business.
Once you pull the trigger, your shots will be tight, accurate and deliver a knockdown blow for sure.
Ranking 3rd: S&W M&P380 SHIELD EZ .380ACP
- Reliable shooting power
- Great to carry concealed
- Perfect trigger pull, not too heavy or light
What Buyers of the S&W M&P380 SHIELD EZ .380ACP PISTOL reported
For a few good reasons a good number of new buyers have been quite happy with this pistol. Aside from being very cheap, new users were able to fire well over 100 rounds and no malfunctions or jamming were recorded.
One user said he is using it for concealed carry purposes, but he was also able to use it at the range for target shooting. He said it was fairly consistent with the accuracy being good up to around 25 yards and still great the farther the shots went.
What are the Features of the Smith & Wesson?
Smith & Wesson have long been one of the brands widely respected by firearms owners and there is a strong explanation behind that. They are producing handguns which are among the world’s most accurate weapons. This .380 represents no exception to the rule.
Each time when you bring this to good use, you are almost assured jam-free and malfunction-free firing. Because it’s known as the bodyguard, when you need it the most, it will remain at your side. You can make sure that every shot you take goes exactly where you need it to go with the laser sight intact.
On top of that, fitting in most IWB holsters the Smith & Wessen Bodyguard has the right size to ensure you get the best possible concealability.
Does the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard fit me?
For those looking for a reliable and accurate .380 pistol on a budget this would be one of the best possible options. Yes, it’s at a level that anyone can handle. Yet it performs twice as good as it should be for this pricerange.
In short, you get a whole lot more than you’re asking for. That is exactly what you want for this price range in a pistol.
Test result of the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard
In so many respects the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard will live up to its reputation. It will stay by your side, and can be placed to effective use with faith if you are in risk.
Each shot will be accurate and tight, with the help of laser sight. So, if you’ve been wanting a pistol that won’t disappoint you and shoots perfectly, this .380 pistol will be a perfect fit for you
Ranking 4th: SMITH & WESSON M&P BODYGUARD .380
- Not much recoil out of the box
- Very lightweight
- Easy to control, great for beginners
Latest Buyers rating of the SMITH & WESSON M&P BODYGUARD .380
Most recent buyers say this pistol was solid in weight and had little recoil right out of the box, making it easier to precisely control and shoot. They were able to holster it in their choice IWB holster and the concealability wasn’t disappointing. One person said he is prepared to use it in any specific survival scenario, when he puts it inside his holster. It feels like he has absolutely no weight to carry
Why we recommend the SMITH & WESSON M&P BODYGUARD .380
S&W have become a name that will be mentioned by many pistol owners when talking about reliability. We can add as many manufacturers as we want but without mentioning the name S&W, it’s not a true discussion. Ever wonder why members of the military and law enforcement in nearly 50 countries rely on them? It is because they nearly never struggle.
They’ll just fail in very unusual cases. Plus, you ‘re getting a healthy number of additional features as well as a decent pull weight trigger and superior firing power. It packs a punch and is sure to be a must-have for the user of a .380 weapon wanting to use it for self-defense.
Why do i need a SMITH & WESSON M&P BODYGUARD .380?
For those who want superior reliability, this will be an excellent pistol and you’ll certainly get it with this pistol. You get superior precision, excellent firing power, and a pistol that stands up against attackers who are stupid enough to take you on. If you want a truly concealed carry pistol that will handle situations of high stress like a champ, this pistol should pop up on your radar in a big way.
Verdict of the SMITH & WESSON M&P BODYGUARD .380
If you’re searching for one of the better hidden handguns on the market to carry .380 guns, the M&P may just be the gun for you. It definitely is reliable and accurate. It exudes all the features and properties a concealed carry pistol should have. If you enjoy what it can do and what it will accomplish, the decision is definitely a no-brainer.
Why settle for less when there is so much shooting capacity and precision in this pistol?
Best Full Size .380: Bersa Thunder .380 Plus
- Fits in most holsters
- Great shooting power
- Concealable even though full sized
- Trigger pull could be a bit easier
What the Buyers reported
As expected, the overall use of this pistol was quite pleasing to a majority number of users. The shooting capability was pretty good and allowed accurate, precise shooting up to a good 30 yards. One consumer was shooked to see that a shot could strike far away with good precision.
On top of that, even when fully loaded, they were satisfied with the lightness while carrying it. One customersaid it didn’t feel large, but he got less recoil than any large weapon he’s been working with in the past.
Why we recommend the Bersa Thunder .380 Plus
When it comes to .380s, the scale is a bit larger than others. So as you would see with most pistols, it is not really double the size. But it can certainly get the job done as a fullsized gun in terms of providing effective, precise selfdefense shooting and even a target shooting scenario.
If you want a pistol that hits your targets with precision and a bit of “oomph,” this pistol may just be your cup of coffee.
Who can have the most of this
This will be a great pistol for those who prefer something bigger, but concealable for carrying under the radar. You can be stealthy, and still carry such a pistol with little or no bulging at all.
Only pick a pretty good IWB holster and you’re going to be perfectly prepard. It is lightweight, quick to shoot and will be ready to bring you out of a situation of life or death.
The Bersa Thunder Plus 380 ACP Pistol may not appear like any normal full sized handgun. But it will certainly fulfill its role better than almost every fullsize firearm on the market (regardless of caliber) by providing good accuracy.
Also it’s one of the most durable .380 pistols you’ll ever own. If you want something that is made to last and ready in a concealed carry scenario to respond to a danger, this might be just what you’re searching for.
Most Reliable: .380 Pocket Pistol: Kimber Mfg. 1911 Micro SS
What the Buyers report
For several good reasons many new users loved this pistol. Of course it was pretty accurate and they managed to shoot 100 rounds without a single jam or failure. In addition, they managed to fit this in most pocket holsters, giving way to excellent concealability.
Other than that, the shooting capability was pretty accurate and shooting groups between 10 to 25 yards were pretty tight. One user even noticed that the groups were getting slightly more tight when they hit further targets.
Why we chose the Kimber Mfg. 1911 Micro SS ?
It’s proven that this gun competes with the big ones. We talk the likes of Glocks, the SIG Sauers and even the Smith & Wessons. Indeed it is proving to be highly efficient.
It’s small enough to work in most holsters. So you get the potent combination of outstanding reliability and uncompromising concealability. If that’s what you’re looking for in a pistol, then the Kimber 1911 Micro SS is your solution.
Who should buy the Kimber Mfg. 1911 Micro SS?
That would certainly be a perfect weapon for those who are searching for a decent deal of concealability while being able to shoot it quickly even at a time when your life is on the line.
Reliability is incredibly critical in determining whether or not you are going to survive another day in a dangerous situation.Whether you’re a newbie person or have practicing for years with a weapon, this might be a perfect main or even secondary sidearm for you.
Verdict for the Kimber Mfg. 1911 Micro SS
The Kimber Mfg. 1911 Micro SS may be low in scale but when it comes to how good it will work it is surely no joke.
This puppy can shoot straight and accurate while delivering flawless shooting better than any pocket pistol out there. If you want something small but with a heck of a punch, this pistol can accept the challenge.
Best .380 ACP Pistol: Smith & Wesson M&P .380 Shield
What Recent Buyers of the Smith & Wesson M&P .380 Shield reported
Most recent customers claim this weapon has met a number of standards. It provided a lot of accurate, effective shooting and leaves reliably small firing groups from 15 and 25 yards on targets. One consumer said he liked how effective it was and was sure that if he were to use it on an intruder who tried to break into his house it would do just as well. Overall there was very good consistency and many features.
Why we recommend the Smith & Wesson M&P .380 Shield
Yet again, we are looking at a proven robust Smith and Wesson pistol, all while offering you the advantage of clear and effective firing. While it would be a fantastic gun for concealed carrying and self-defense, it also continues to be useful as a casual shooting tool.
But holding it ready and near your control will be perfect because you’re prepared for action if and when anyone breaks into your house or tries to attack you when you’re in your bed.
This can offer quick , accurate firing with one pull of a trigger, far quicker than a weapon with double action at that. If time isn’t your buddy, and you have to protect your own life against a threat, this could be your go-to choice.
Who needs this pistol?
It would be a perfect weapon for those who want fast shooting while ensuring sure every shot is fired with precision and accuracy. Even just that, it’s small enough to be concealed just about everywhere.
Concealed carry is stealthy and nobody knows you ‘re carrying until you pull your gun when it’s necessary. When you just want to be armed, a weapon like this is required to make sure you ‘re ready for action.
Yeah, it’s a Smith and Wesson so durability is provided. Yet what you really didn’t expect on the market is that it can get a shot off better than just about any weapon.
If you want a .380 gun that produces solid performance and holds you one move ahead of any attacker that dares to mess with you, this Smith and Wesson M&P 380 Shield might just be the weapon you’ll want to wear in your holster!
Best .380 Pistol for Women: Kahr Arms CW380
What the latest buyers of the Kahr Arms CW380 say
For a few different reasons many people were very pleased with this gun. The trigger pull on their finger wasn’t too hard and it required fast and accurate firing. One consumer said she really liked shooting this at range and seeing how effective it could be up to 20 yards out.
She said there was not a lot of bounce, and it allowed her a lot more leverage over the gun, since she could fire it straight and place a shot on target.
Why it stands out for us as the best .380 Pistol for Women
This gun is just the perfect height for a woman to conceal it in almost every way. When you buy a holster or need a gun that can fit into a bag, then this could be one of your better choices.
The trigger is fast and compact enough to pull, and should you wind up in a risky position firing won’t be a challenge, as this gun will provide quick fire with one pull of the trigger. Yeah, it will do a good deal of harm, irrespective of how far out the target is.
Why do I need it?
This gun is built for a woman who wants to protect herself by all possible means.Women do experience assaults more often than men do. But they’ll definitely be ready with this handgun, the intruder should think twice before they enter a home with a woman with this pistol.
When you’re a woman (or a man searching for a gun for your mom, daughter or the significant lady in your life) this could be a fantastic choice to consider.
Verdict: Best .380 Pistol for Women
The Kahr Arms CW 380 is not an standard hidden women’s carry weapon. Just one pull of a trigger it is able to and will produce precise, effective shots.
So you can get off a shot even quicker than even other ACP guns. If you just like one of the better self-defense handguns in the caliber.380, this may just be the pistol for you.
Best .380 Pistol for Self-Defense: Springfield Armory 911
Buyers reviews of the Springfield Armory 911
Most new users have been spending time dreaming about how quick this bad boy can fire. In one pull of thetrigger (which was quick and smooth), they were able to accurately strike their objectives for objectives ranging from 10 to 20 yards away. One consumer said during a run and shoot session at the range, he brought this to the test. He felt, that he had outstanding power over the weapon, that if and when the time came he should be able to keep it stable in a serious circumstance of self-defence.
Why we recommend the Springfield Armory 911 as the best .380 Self defense weapon
This pistol is made of highly durable steel which makes it extremely tough and capable of handling shot after shot without failure or jamming.
Best of all, after an lengthy shooting session it will cool down even quicker than other handguns.If you want a pistol that cools down rather quickly even after firing off shot after shot consistently, this pistol will be right up your alley.
Who should buy it?
It will be an ideal weapon for anyone who choose to carry it close by with their holsters or even have it for home protection. It will give you effective and precise firing, no matter how you use it. With superior fire ability and fast shooting, you’ll be equipped for a risky scenario.
Plus, dealing with heat variations is no problem for the pistole and does not quickly warp or degrade it. If you are searching for durability in a firearm (along with efficiency and outstanding shooting power) this might be what you need.
The Springfield Armory 911.380 ACP gun continues to be one of the top .380 handguns in self-defense. If and when risk is close and presents as a dangerous hazard, you’ll want something that can work to your benefit.
You ‘d be insane to pass up the chance to give this a closer peek at this weapon that’s unrivaled in shooting strength and durability.
Best Ruger .380 Pistol: Ruger LCP 2.75″ .380
What the buyers say of the Ruger LCP 2.75″ .380
Forthe overwhelming majority of the people, the gun was a success. The explanation was a number of new customers have medium and even tiny hands and the weapon was fitting perfectly in their hands.
In addition to the easy handling capability, users were able to get off shots quickly and hit their targets with effective precision of up to 20 yards. Overall they had no problem with the pull weight of the load or the overall trigger.
Why we recommend it as the best .380 Ruger pistol ?
This Ruger gun is for full hidden transportation at the any given time. All it takes, now, is to locate a holster that suits it like a glove. This weapon is certainly designed for selfdefense purposes and can do a lot of harm if and when an attacker tries to place your life at danger.
But be assured, with a strong shot or two from this gun, you’ll be able to fend them off easily.
This Ruger LCP pistol may be a great option if you want outstanding concealability, unrivaled shooting strength and reliability.
Who should use the Ruger LCP 2.75″ .380
This would be a good newbie-friendly gun for anyone who is preparing to use one for selfdefense and in the past didn’t have any prior experience with pistols.
It is a gun which benefits both men and women alike. It is at the perfect size for stealthy hidden carrying and is strong enough to knock down a distanced or close intruder. Very easy to hide, quick to shoot off and strong as a tank, in a case of self-defense this weapon is anything but worthless.
Verdict of the best .380 Ruger pistol
When you choose a .380 weapon that should be one of the strongest in a scenario of selfdefense while having exceptional concealability, the Ruger LCP 380 is sure to be one of the best options you can get on themarket.
When you get this in your pocket and are taking a few test shots, you can know for a fact that in a combat scenario it will stand a great chance of saving your life.
Buyers guide for the best .380 Pistols
There are a few things to remember while searching for a pocket pistol.380 or other pocket weapons.
How are you going to use it? Selecting a concealed firearm has different criteria compared to getting one that is bound to be left in the car or at home. You should take weight , size and style into consideration. Too heavy, long and carrying it around will be uncomfortable. Too low weight and short and it can be too challenging to shoot. You have to assess the purpose carefully.
What size is right? That will vary greatly from person to person. Think about the size of your hands. Keeping a proper grip on the weapon all boils down to a comfortable fit.
If something goes off, rebound would be tougher to overcome that influences the shots’ precision. Luckily to correct this issue aftermarket grips are available. If you have smaller hands you can even have a custom short trigger.
Have you had experience with handguns? You really know what you’re searching for because you’ve been shooting all kinds of weapons before and are now hunting for a concealable model. You also have an understanding about what you want or don’t want, you should make the choice with that.
If this is the first time you ‘re going to buy and use a handgun, first do some research and practice shooting at the local shooting range. Usually they have weaponry you can rent.
What type of gun is better?
It’s basically a option between a semiautomatic and a pistol, the former being chosen for its slim profile due to the proportions and the latter for its smoother function, storage, and maintenance. You also need to consider the convenience of loading and unloading, and this is where a semi-automatic .380 pistol tops its other counterpart.
Stuff to Consider when buying the best .380 Pistols
These are features of a specific pistol which separates it from the rest of the herd. When you like higher accuracy, easy handling and stronger efficiency, these factors should be remembered when you go gun shopping.
Sight. Because of the shorter barrel and other design features, many .380 pocket pistols are equipped with a ‘gutter sight’ where only 2 sight posts are installed instead of 3. At the center of the slide is also a trough, hence the term. Since of this disparity in style you’ll need to make changes while firing.
Trigger design. Big , powerful stimuli are not for women and for people with smaller hands. And while there is an alternative for certain models to configure the trigger, it’s an added cost for you. Single action triggers are easier to push, but they are more reliable than double action ones.
380 Ammunition. This will make or break your .380 pistol firing experience. If you want more depth, instead you go for an ammunition disk. Use the JHP ammo to expand more. Many seasoned shooters choose hollow points because of their stopping ability, while they bring their weapons around. The realistic alternative for training and exercise would be a ball ammunition.
Aspects to remember before purchasing
It is critical that you recognize a few additional factors which will influence your buying decision.
You should make a choice that is well educated, rather than picking a weapon at complete random. Before purchasing a gun, here are a few items you may like to mull over
Are you searching for an update or starting out?
A.380 gun is one of the few calibers that will be ideal for both newbie consumers and others who have done concealed carry. If you’re new to being armed, you may want to consider one with which you can easily get a shot off. And look out for handguns with a gentle trigger pull (along with other qualities such as fast loading).
What size do you need to holster a .380?
You may require a holster at any stage to carry a .380 pistol. Many holsters built to match compact and subcompact holsters are likely to be your best option when you need one for the .380 gun you pick. Sure, also a full-sized.380 can fit into lightweight holsters for concealed travel.
Will I be able to use a .380 pistol other than for self-defense?
You will consider a weapon which is mainly used for self-defense purposes (such as the.380). And indeed, some of them can be used for certain uses such as firing targets or even competitive sports.
For such uses, you don’t have to use a handgun, although you have the right to do so for any firearm irrespective of calibre. In this specific case, certain weapons can outstand better than others. A.380 is more geared at self-defence.
Can a .380 kill a person?
Sure, if you are struck by a projectile from varying directions, it will harm you. Whether the target was struck in the eyes, chest or other place where critical organs are most damaged, such bullets were designed to be deadly. Therefore, it could be one of the most common explanations why in a concealed carry situation a .380 is favored.
Is the .380 better than a 9mm?
For certain cases they are. Although they are around the same scale, they are easier when it comes to shooting and also in terms of having a better price. Some of the .380 cartridges are marginally better than variants of 9 mm.
How far can the best .380 pistol bullet travel?
A.380 projectile has the potential to fly up to 955 fps, depending on the circumstances, when aiming at a point positioned 50 yards away. This can vary based on the weight of the ammunition you use.
Best .380 pistols: the Verdict
On the shooting range the 9 mm short pistols had to be used for a precision test. They were then compared in parallel in a fast shot at several distances of 5 to 25 m. As expected, the large models from GLOCK and Kimber shot much easier, faster and more precise than the smaller pistols. The S&W Bodyguard felt best in the hand, but also had the second hardest trigger with the longest trigger travel in the field.
There were no functional problems in the direct comparison of the pistols. Even a few magazine fillings with one hand and a deliberately loosely held weapon posed no problem. Nevertheless, one should not expect the miniaturized .380s to have the smooth reliability of a modern service weapon. A short running-in period and the correct choice of the appropriate laboratory for the individual pistol are worthwhile in any case.
Depending on whom and for what purpose the pocket pistol in 9 mm short is purchased, each of the weapons can play out individual advantages as a trump card that can be decisive in certain circumstances. If money is an issue, the Ruger LCP is a must. Although the sight and trigger characteristics still leave a lot to be desired, the LCP is very small, light, reliable and at the same time particularly inexpensive.
Both the GLOCK 42 and the Kimber Micro are especially recommended for fans of the respective basic technical design who simply want a very handy pistol for catching fire or defense. However, neither of them is spectacularly small – comparable model variants in 9 mm Luger are not much bigger and heavier. On the other hand, shooting with both is much more fun than with the smaller competition. And you also hit much more precisely and faster.
The M&P Bodyguard from Smith & Wesson scores with its operability and the safety concept with “long” DAO trigger and an additional thumb safety. It appears to be a particularly good choice for wearers who actually want to carry the pistol in their pocket from time to time.
The Beretta Pico weakens in the area of ergonomics. But it wins through its tiny, flat design and can be carried particularly well concealed even without loose outer clothing thanks to its extra small handle.
Myths about the .380 caliber
There’s a whole set of misconceptions about the.380 ACP and the weapons,which fire this caliber. While this seemingly small round is considered to be the bare minimum caliber of defensive pistols, the reality is that it actually has a lot to offer and got a bad rap from the caliber junkies over the years.
It has been proved time and time again that accuracy matters more than caliber, but apparently you just can’t say that to some people. Among others, the caliber fallacy is behind some of the misconceptions regarding the.380 ACP, and today we are here to put the record straight.
.380 Auto Doesn’t Have Stopping Power
Thing about stopping power is that most of it doesn’t exist, whether it’s a.380 Auto or a.44 Magnum. The physics behind the bullets is rather basic. The impact force is roughly equal to the recoil force. And unless you start wearing an elephant pistol like a EDC, you might might as well ignore it.
The impact force doesn’t stop an attacker; shock-which means psychological shock-or a brainstem hit does. Blood loss takes too much time to take effect and neither does the immediate trauma of a gunshot wound, unless a person gets shot in the pelvis or kneecap and the skeletal structure becomes compromised.
Even a .44 Magnum isn’t a definite man-stopper so the .380 Auto is fine as a defensive round. As with any round of handguns, what matters is selection of the placement and bullets. It’ll save your skin with a good hollow point and precise power.
.380 ACP Is Defective
No bullet is inherently inaccurate; if anybody says that the.380 ACP is inaccurate what they actually mean is that they don’t, can’t or have never shot it well. To be sure, it is not exactly the fault of most people if they don’t shoot cloverleafs at 25 yards. The truth is that the ACP .380 is as accurate as the shooting person.
Most pistols chambered in .380 ACP are small, micro-sized to subcompact. There are, of course, certain bigger weapons that are or were produced in this caliber (the CZ 83 is / was a prime example; it is a small service weapon) which are capable of doing what a 9 mm firearm of the same size does in terms of precision. A barrel length of less than 3 inches does not lend itself to great precision however. Small weaponry is also much harder to shoot for extended periods. Anyone who ever had a pocket pistol was already slide-bit a time or two.
Having your hand injured would render you unable to exercise with your pistol, which means you ‘re not going to do too many, which means too your shot groups are heading into the “minute of a barn’s large side.” Smaller weapons, less fun to shoot … it’s not the .380 ACP round that’s not hitting the target. It’s the gunman so it’s not the calibers responsibility at all.
.380 Guns More Suitable For Women
Have you ever seen a clerk in a gun shop suggesting a snubbie pistol or one of several .380 weapons for a female buyer, particularly one who doesn’t seem to know a lot? It has been a whole bunch of occasions and it’s just simply false.
Small weapon, small hands seem to make sense, but the reality is that for unpracticed hands, a small pistol is not. Given the height of the pistol and the strength of the shot, a Ruger GP100 in.357 Magnum is still fairly easy to shoot; the weight of the frame soaks up a decent deal of the recoil. A tiny pistol, with little weight to withstand the recoil?
Not as fast, and with such a tool a novice won’t be well served. aThat’s not to suggest a female shooter is not able of being proficient; they definitely are nowadays . To say, however, that some sort of weapon is safer for them because…whatever…is clearly incorrect.
A.380 Vehicle Can’t stop an Intruder
Never mind “stoping power;” some people think a .380 can’t do enough trauma to stop an attacker. Not true at all . When using .380, however, the selection of ammunition is critical. Search online , and you will find all kinds of stuff (people, animals) that have been destroyed by tiny bullets. WDM Bell killed 800 elephants with a Mauser 7×57 mm; a quick, medium velocity centerfire rifle.
Bella Twin, a Canadian woman, murdered a (then) world record grizzly bear with a .22 Pistol, marginally less strong than a.22 LR. There’s always been a lot of men down with a .22 LR; the deuce-deuce is perfect for more than just plinking. An attacker is stopped by two things: physical trauma or psychological shock. (Blood loss typically takes too long to be a factor.)
The former may be achieved in any round; it just has to be appropriately put. WDM Bell and Bella Twin did their feats with expert shots to the brain, despite the use of a small round to dispatch some of the biggest and most dangerous animals on earth.
The above is up to the person you bring into the ring, so it’s something that doesn’t have much to do with the gun or weapon. The.380 Auto is ideal for self-defense, as long as you have chosen a reliable bullet and are willing to position it where it wants to go.
History & Info about the .380 ACP caliber
Hand in hand with new guns aimed at personal defense or presented as back-up weapons, the .380 ACP or 9 Corto has returned to the front line of fire.
It has many names: 9mm Browning, 9 Kurtz, 9x17mm… although perhaps the most popular are the .380 ACP and 9 Corto. Its life span is more than 100 years, and although many already thought it was dead at the ballistic level, the 9 Corto seems determined to rise from the grave. The truth is that, with new pistols for self-defense or presented as back-up weapons, the .380 ACP has returned to the front line of fire.
Some very evident examples of this process of rejuvenation of the 9 Corto can be found for example in the new line of Smith & Wesson Bodyguard defence weapons, in the Walther PK380 pistol, in the revolutionary Ruger LCP, or in the new MPA Protector, a small sub-compact pistol manufactured by Masterpiece Arms, “father” of the MAC-10 and MAC-11 sub-machine guns.
As we said, the birth of this caliber goes back to the beginning of the last century, specifically to the year 1908. It was at that time when the first pistol prepared to fire cartridges of this calibre 9x17mm appeared. That weapon, known as the Colt Pocket Hamerless, was presented as an innovative design of reduced dimensions and had the peculiar characteristic of having a hidden hammer.
Designed by the brilliant John M. Browning for the Colt company, this Pocket Hamerless had a system of action known as “blowback” or closing by mass regression. This system, designed precisely for small arms and with a manufacturing cost significantly lower than the classic “locked breech”, has historically accompanied most pistols that during this century have been designed to shoot rounds of the caliber 9 Corto.
On the outside, this ammunition is easily recognized by its straight, unflanged barrel. Its dimensions and ballistic properties are almost identical to those of the Russian 9 Makarov caliber (9x18mm). Most manufacturers of ammunition on the international market offer a multitude of variants of this calibre, although perhaps the standard load, or at least one of the most widespread, is the one mounted with a jacketed projectile (FMJ) of between 85 and 95 grains.
Given its growing acceptance among those shooters looking for a weapon of defence or last resort, in recent years are gaining greater prominence variants with hollow point projectiles (JHP), capable of generating greater stopping power in the opponent.
A good example of this type of ammunition is the Remington Golden Saber JHP equipped with 102-grain projectiles, or the Cor-Bon +P, one of the most powerful in its sector.
Surviving the critics
The most critical voices with this caliber use as main arguments for their attack their lack of power and their poor accuracy at medium distances. In a way, they are not exempt from reason, since from 50 meters the precision with a 9 Corto pistol remains well below what we can achieve for example with a . 38 Special or a 9x19mm caliber; especially if these precision shots are made with a gun with a mass inertia closure (blowback.
In the same way, it is true that at short distances, or when a high stopping power is required, the 9 Corto stays far from the power results that can be obtained with heavier calibers such as the .40 S&W or the .45 ACP. However, it is also true that with the proper ammunition (such as the hollow point ammunition discussed above) and good bullet placement, the .380 ACP can play a worthy role.
In addition, it should be noted that, since its cartridges are lighter and more compact than those of other small arms ammunition used for defense, the 9 Corto can be used to power smaller, lighter guns, so what may be lost in power is gained in carrying comfort and ease of concealment.
This is one of the reasons why the 9 Corto also has a high degree of acceptance among female police officers, since its lower recoil allows for better control and mastery of techniques such as double tap.
Despite all these circumstances, throughout its history the .380 ACP has been the standard cartridge for various police units and military forces around the world. Without a doubt, among the most famous are the German officers who, during the Second World War, taught us what this calibre, together with one of their legendary Walther PPK, was capable of.
The Italian military of that time also enjoyed weapons with this same ammunition, specifically the Beretta M1934 pistol, the official weapon of Mussolini’s armies during that war.