One of the most anticipated firearms from the 2014 SHOT Show was the GLOCK 42—a “baby” GLOCK chambered in .380 ACP. Nearly a year later, due to its small size, easy operation and low felt recoil, this little pistol continues to win over women for concealed carry.
The .380 pocket pistol hit a high in popularity a few years ago, especially appealing to the more and more women choosing to arm themselves for self-defense. The .380’s slim profile, lightweight package, minimal recoil and trouble-free slide operation make carrying these semiautos comfortable, easy and unobtrusive.
Thinking that maybe the little .380 would not reign for long, it was my prediction that the more powerful pocket nines would take top billing once the initial rush was over. However, recently the .380 ACP is returning. On the eve of the 2015 SHOT Show, quite a few manufacturers have released new .380 ACP semiautomatic pistols, with the 1911-style platform being popular.
The following are six new .380 ACP semiautomatic handguns releasing in 2014 and early 2015.
Browning Black Label 1911-380
Though not as small as many of the pocket .380s on the market, the Browning Model 1911 in .380 ACP borrows from the popularity of Browning’s 1911-22 by being built on the same size chassis as the rimfire model. However, the .380 ACP model operates from a locked breech. The Browning Black Label 1911 .380 ACP is almost identical to the full-sized .45 1911 and is a single-action semiauto with a single-stack 7-round magazine. It operates, shoots and disassembles just like a classic 1911. This made in the USA .380 ACP 1911 has a 4.25-inch barrel, is 7.25 inches long overall and weighs 17.5 ounces. It has a manual thumb safety, external hammer and beavertail grip. Browning anticipates its new .380 to be not only a range toy, but also a concealed carry pistol.
Delayed for over a year to ensure feeding and extraction are reliable, the Pico is finally shipping. At 18mm at its widest point, Beretta says the Pico is “the thinnest 380 semiautomatic handgun on the market.” The Pico has a 2.8-inch barrel and is 5.1 inches long overall. It only weighs 11.5 ounces and has a three-dot sight system. Like the 9mm Nano, the Pico’s serialized part is the modular chassis, meaning you can swap out the frame to suit different shooters hand sizes or color preference. Made in the USA, the double-action only Pico has an ambidextrous magazine release.
Kahr Arms CT380
Early in October 2014, Kahr introduced the CT380, part of the company’s new value-priced series. The CT380 is a locked-breech, modified Browning-style double-action only polymer pistol. It has a 3-inch barrel, is 5.52 inches long and weighs 11.44 ounces. As with all Kahr’s Value Series, the CT380 has a conventional rifled barrel, metal-injected-molded slide stop lever and less machining operations to keep costs down. It has a black polymer frame with textured grip and a solid 416 matte stainless steel slide.
Magnum Research Micro Desert Eagle
Magnum Research’s Micro Desert Eagle is a double-action only pistol that operates the same as the company’s full-size Desert Eagle. With a 2.2-inch barrel, 4.52-inch overall length and lightweight frame, Magnum Research made the Micro Desert Eagle .380 specifically for concealed carry. The gas-assisted blowback-action pistol has fixed non-adjustable sights and a six-round magazine. It weighs 14 ounces.
Rock Island A380 Baby Rock
Rock Island Armory/Armscor invited a few industry insiders out to the Academi Training Center in North Carolina early summer 2014 to debut a working prototype of its true 1911 .380, the A380 “Baby Rock.” There to show off the pistol was Rock Island President and CEO Martin Tuason. He called the pistol a “mini 1911” and said the company hopes to release the pistol in late September or the beginning of October. So far, we are still waiting on more information from Armscor/Rock Island. There are no specs on the Baby Rock, except it has a single-stack seven-round magazine, grip safety, black rubber grips and an expected suggested retail price of $459.
Metro Arms/American Classic Llama Micro-Max
I found the announcement for this new gun on Americanclassic1911forum.com. I called MetroArms to inquire about the pistol. As of yet, the company is still working on authorizing the pistol for import into the United States. There is no sell sheet or pictures. Supposedly, the gun’s design is based on the old Llama 1911 style .380, manufactured by MetroArms, but branded as Llama. Hopefully we will see the gun at SHOT Show 2015.
Are you a .380 fan? Tell us which one is your favorite and why in the comment section.