The .380 ACP Isn’t Slowing Down—New Gun Announcements

.380 ACP semiautomatic pistol with black grip and frame and stainless barrel and slide

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.

Beretta Pico

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 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.


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Comments (54)

  1. Thanks for your comments. I haven’t fired my Llama in over 45 years. And to my knowledge never fired any hp or other defensive rounds although I have them. I plan to go to the range this week and I’ll take some defensive rounds and test them out along with the others. I don’t plan to carry the Llama CC since I have the Shield 40 ca. but I do want to check it out. I do have a quantity of Peters HPs which I bought many years ago. I imagine Peters is no longer in business.

  2. RE THE ORIGINAL LLAMA: I carried this miniature version of the 1911, and when the new model appears on the market, one important characteristic everyone should check is the following—
    The original model had a generalized tendency to fail to cycle defensive rounds. I spent years, trying to remove this failure, with several gunsmiths, and work on it myself. Nothing worked, including several attempts at highly polishing the ramp. Yet, the pistol functioned perfectly with any type of ball ammo.

    1. I’ve had the identical problem with 9mm–several defensive ammo mnfg. I had the FTF on initial chamber load on my Ruger LC9-s, Kahr CM9, & Sig Sauer P938. Always racked the slide 1st round into chamber with ball nose w/o any problem. I learned that I was racking the slide too slow–if I pull slide back hard & let it snap forward instead of a slightly slower controlled action the 1st round cycles into the chamber–all worked well .
      If your FTF occurs mid clip round the chamber spring may be the problem.

  3. I carried the .380 Llama concealed, off duty back in the mid 50’s through the 60’s. It was small, and easily concealable. Although i was not totally comfortable with the small caliber it did the job at the time. There were not many semi-automatic pistols at the time that were as easily concealed and i definitely was not comfortable with a .38 or .357 revolver which were on duty issues. At the present my CCW preference is the S&W MP Shield in .40 ca. I also like the 9mm. Hopefully the new Llama eventually evolve into 9mm and .40. As I live in Kalifornia it is doubtful any will pass muster here due to State restrictions.

  4. I have a Sig 232 SS in .380. great carry gun, easy to take down, minimal recoil and fun to shoot. Only negative is the European magazine disconnect ((bottom of magazine). Weight 21 oz, but not noticeable with a IWB holster.

  5. My problem for selecting a concealed carry pistol is caused by very small, semiarthritic, and relatively weak hands and arms, My ability to operate the slide therefore is limited, and the pull distances on most desirable pistols are too long. But I do not have problems with recoil or
    loud muzzle reports.

    I have tried the EAA/Tanfoglio Pavona, and find it to be a well balanced, outstandingly comfortable and accurate shooter. But alas, too large and heavy for comfortable concealed carry, and absent of a rail. This model is said to have been designed with women in mind. The design engineers dropped the ball entirely on size and weight, while concentrating on an easily operated slide [VERY GOOD], and WHAT COLORS they should offer [ridiculous].
    I have carried, and love an original Colt Mustang, Plus 2.. It has always been a smooth, accurate shooter, easy to conceal, and a perfect fit for my hand, and slide operating strength. It is somewhat heavy, and I am looking at the new polymer version of the Mustang, and the light weight models of the many versions of the Sig P238. If there is no just-noticeable-difference in weight between them and my Mustang, I will definitely stay with my old, faithful bronco.

    1. I have carried the G42 Glock since July, and find it more accurate out to 25 yds than my G19. The problem of slide pull can be lessened if you point your non shooting elbow toward the target and your hand on the top back of the slide and push both hands together. the effort is less, and you don’t have to pull.

  6. Metro Arms/American Classic Llama Micro-Max based on the old 1911 Llama Semi- Automatic.

    I have a Llama .380 1911 version. I love the pistol I used to carry it on duty concealed/ I will be excited to see this new version. The old pistol was a great pistol. I am glad I still have mine and it is in pristine condition.

  7. Rick,

    Yes, I do like to write. However, I also feel strongly that there is a vast body of information that people rely on that is unreliable. To me, that is dangerous.
    Of course, you are right. Under ideal circumstances, a .22 will kill. The OSS used it inWWII as an assassination weapon. But, they chose the time and place to make the shot and it was preferred that their target not know of any danger.
    The difference is when you face an enraged opponent, possibly high on meth or similar drugs. I plan for worst case scenario, not the best case scenario. If fortune smiles and I get a soft target, so much the better. But, I prepare for the difficult and not the easy. If it is easy, I probably won’t have to shoot. It is the semi crazy that worries me and I will not bet my life on a “minor” caliber of marginal energy. Too many times in history that has been national policy and it always ended with men killed unnecessarily.

  8. There’s nothing wrong with the Glock 42. I haven’t shot one but I have fondled one

    That said, if your EDC is something along the lines of a LCP, Kel-Tec, etc. why change to a striker-fired gun which, at the end of the day, will not provide you with any appreciable difference in terminal velocity, stopping power, etc. It will give you a larger gun to grip, most likely less recoil but… remember we’re not buying them to plink out at the range. Personally, while I like my G23 and LOVE my G30, “safe pistol” or not, I don’t want to drop one in my pocket, Mexican carry, or anything other than carry it in a holster or snatch it up and shoot it. Too many unintended discharges.

    Give me a nice DAO with concealed hammer that will ONLY go bang when you really want it to go bang!

    I have a Walther PPK (pre-ban) as well as a PPK/S in stainless by Interarms, and a couple years ago, I bought a Walther PK380 just for fun. All, I have found, are reliable and the PPK’s are well suited to concealed carry.

    Still, with the best gun for EDC is the gun you WILL carry every day, I’ll stick with the LCP or something similar.

    1. DAO? How about trigger discipline, if you present your weapon without
      your finger on the trigger until you release the safety, you should not have any problems. Anyway, that is the way I was taught by a police officer.

    2. Joe, you may be taking my post out of context or else I didn’t make it clear. I have nothing against Glocks nor do I place my finger within the trigger guard before I intent to shoot. That’s the way I was taught also and carried as a LEO for more than 25 years.

      My point was, however, that other than those caused by idiots who should never handle ANY gun, unintentional discharges with a Glock or similar striker system generally are caused by something other than a finger getting inside the trigger guard and making the gun go bang. It can happen MUCH more easily with the Glock that’s been tossed into a pocket or jammed into a waistband than it ever could with a Ruger LCP, SCCY CXP-2, Seecamp, etc which are all DAO’s.

      Concern over the effects of foreign objects accidentally coming in contact with a Glock’s trigger do limit your carry options. I’m a big guy and could easily drop either the PPK or PPK/s into a pocket without a holster but only because a) the first shot would be DA and b) when I did carry it – typically in a holster – I had the safety engaged to protect against an AD if the gun was dropped since the safety is also a hammer block.

  9. MacII, you do like to write, don’t you?

    Most of the time I carry a Glock 27 because it fits. Sometimes, though, it is just not the right pistol for the circumstances and I take along my Keltec P380. I am not going to argue with anyone about stopping power since I know that any pistol will kill you if the rounds are put in the proper location — ask Bobby Kennedy about the .22, for instance.

    What I am really curious about is why no one has mentioned the Glock 42. I have not been able to get my hands on one yet, but my friends who have all love it.

  10. I’ve no problem with .380’s, I own a few couple. But I now have a Springfield. XD-45. With a short clip (11 rds.) I just have to worry about printing. That’s not much of a problem, not alot of holdsters out there though. I wish someone would redo another test from .17 to .50 and see how cartridges My wheegun is 125 grn .357 and my .45 is 185 or 230 hp’s. Those were the winners 20-25 years ago. Just a thuoght. But I’m going keep my Walthers and AP-9/PA-63 loaded with best I get feed them.

    1. …and I’m sure most, if not all of us, have something that shoots the also venerable US Springfield .30 cartridge introduced in (ta da…) 1906.

  11. The .380-caliber (9x17mm/Parabellum Kurz} is a Great Little Performer, what’s there to find fault with it. The only Fault is the gun, there are Good One’s and Bad One’s. The problem is finding the Right One…

  12. Bud S.,

    You have just articulated the best reason I can think of for acquiring a .380 — often the same reason we used to see recommendations for the .22 for new shooters. If a .380 is a starter and gets you to a 9mm or .45, then it serves a real and valuable purpose, IMHO.

  13. At the risk of taking this thread a bit afield from .380’s as CC weapons, let me suggest that anyone who wishes to carry a 9mm as an EDC, take a look at the Sccy CPX-2. 9mm, DAO, 10+1 and, for me anyways, custom made for my hand. Will fit in a pants pocket and being DAO (vs striker fired) is a very safe gun if you want to drop it in a pocket and run. Heavy trigger pull (but we’re not talking a target pistol are we?) that will go bang when you want it to, but ONLY when you want it to. Price? You can buy them all day long for less than $275 and that includes two magazines, finger grip extensions if you want to use them and a lifetime warranty.

  14. This keltec 380 has performed admirably and as long as you clean it and treat it with respect it performs without mishap so far and I’ve carried it for over 5 years. Along with the pocket 9mm I would recommend the keltec 380 over any of the others if you have a small wallet and can’t afford what the other makers ask for their firearms. Just my 2 cents.

    1. Rick,

      Of course, you are correct. Better a .380 than nothing at all. Without question. But, why not a Kahr PM40, or any of a large selection of small 9mms? Neither of those are huge, both can ride readily in the front pocket of my trousers and both are ballistically very superior to the diminutive .380.
      I can make the same argument you make for the .380 for a .22, or a .32, or even a .25. How about any weapon is better than no weapon? Is that the answer to the dilemma?
      Isn’t the real question whether or not the .380 is the gun you really want to bet your life on? Don’t we all worry about the worst case scenario? I do. I do not worry that much about the puny 98 pound weakling with bad eyesight and one prosthetic leg, missing one arm. With an opponent like that I would be completely comfortable with a .380 or a broken pocket knife.
      However, what about the 300 pound meth addict who is enraged and has both hands around your throat, or his hand up your skirt if you are female? Still want a .380? Or a .22? Or a .32 or a 25? At that point, I want something that has more energy than the bare minimum. If I am going to carry a weapon for self defense, I assume it is for a serious threat and not something that I do not need to take seriously.
      When I was younger, there was a case of a policeman, in Chicago, if memory serves. He was being choked violently by a drug addict high on something. He emptied his Glock 17 duty weapon into the chest of the assailant at contact distance, reloaded and dumped another magazine at point blank range. Finally, he succumbed to the choking and died. The perp ran several city blocks before expiring from blood loss.
      I am not saying that the Glock 17 is a bad weapon, or that the 9mm is not a potent caliber. But I do not know anyone who seriously thinks a 9mm is less potent than a .380. Still, in that admittedly extreme situation, which obviously left a very strong impression on me, even the 9mm did not get the job done.
      I once had the chance to hunt the big brown bear in Alaska. What impressed me about the beast was exactly how much energy the bear could absorb seemingly with no effect. I shot one at pretty close range 4 times with a .338 Win Mag before I was content to stop shooting. While I do not expect to meet a brown bear on my friendly streets in Oregon, I do know that a number of violent crimes take place, that police seem to always be too late to stop the crime, and that if I ever have to shoot, I want to have enough gun. I want the margin of error to be in my favor and not that of my assailant.
      I train with what I think of as adequate calibers, mostly .40 and .45. Those are my go-to guns. I have confidence that if I ever have to shoot and, pray God I never will, I want to have more than enough energy to end the threat, even if I am excited, do not make the best shot of my life, and maybe am facing more than one threat.
      Just my view.

    2. Sure, assuming that there’s a “one size fits all solution” but I don’t see this as being a case of that; there are different guns for different purposes and tasks (do you have just one pistol, one rifle and one shotgun in your case?). I just went down the “Do I want a .380 or 9mm?” road for small ccw. It’s really easy to hop on the slippery slope of, “Well, I can get x more fps and y more ft lbs of impact”…and before you know it you’re trying to carry a Super Redhawk.
      I decided that .380 was Good Enough for when I couldn’t carry a .45. The 1100fps/240 ft.lbs hollow points I have in it will no doubt stop anyone not wearing 30 layers of Nanook of the North clothing. But if they are, that means it’s winter and it’s .45 time anyway.

      Just remember, to a bad guy, the hole at the end of the barrel of a 9mm is the same as a .380….

    3. Rick,

      I am not a “one size fits all” kind of guy by any stretch of the imagination. I definitely have more than one pistol. My wife says I have too many and I think I have too few. But what characterizes my few pistols is each is a caliber that delivers more than 300 ft/# of energy at the muzzle. I have no desire to shoot someone, have them survive and do great violence to my family or me and then have a built in defense that I shot them first. I prefer them not to be around to tell their false tale of woe. Further, once I shoot them, I do not want them to survive long enough to harm my family or me. If I cannot escape and have to shoot, I want to prevail completely and not partially.
      The fundamental debate is what is required to incapacitate an attacker. According to the DOD, the minimum energy necessary is 300 Ft/#’s. The .380 is about 100 Ft/# short of the minimum. But energy alone is not the only consideration. Bullet size also matters.
      The Philippine Constabulary learned to their chagrin that the .38 they carried did not stop the Moro tribesmen from chopping them into sausage, even after being shot with 6 rounds of .38. Some contend that is the reason for the .45 ACP. Check out the Thompson-LaGarde stockyards tests in 1904 when it was decided that the .45 was definitely preferable to the .38. The Army used live cattle, actual cadavers and hog carcasses in a stock yard in Chicago to establish that the .38 long Colt was inadequate.
      The Brits went to the .455 Webley because the “fuzzy wuzzy’s” in the Sudan and the Afridi, Pathan, Waziri and Kashmiri tribesman on the NE Frontier of India were not persuaded to die when injected with lesser calibers. The German Army largely abandoned the .380 after invading Russia and finding it not suitable to stop Russians. I related the case of the Chicago cop who died after two full magazines of 9mm were not able to dispatch a doper who choked him to death. The Brit SAS allegedly developed the “double tap” after giving up their .455 Webleys for the new Browning Hipower in 9mm proved not persuasive against the Irish. The .455 had done the job with one shot but the SAS determined two were required with the 9mm round nose FMJ. I can go on and on.
      Any handgun starts out as on the lower margin of effective, even the best. Most elite forces say a handgun exists solely to be used to fight your way back to your rifle. For years, handguns were not issued because they were considered of marginal value and suitable for artillerymen or officers. The real warfighters were equipped with rifles. When you have a weapon of marginal utility as a man killer at the git go, why confound the problem by going to an itty bitty alternative that reduces possible effectiveness even more?
      My point is that “major calibers” of .44 or .45 were required time and again when lesser calibers, like the .38, the .380, the .32, or the .25 failed as defensive rounds. Quite a few people think even the 9X19mm is marginal. Personally while not of that school, I do admit a preference for the 9X21 over the 9X19 or 9mm +P over the standard.
      I would not ever want the responsibility for endorsing a lesser caliber as an adequate defensive round when I do not believe that to be true.
      Far too many people have tested lesser calibers lacking in energy, penetration or both in the real world and suffered grievous bodily harm as the result. The cases and reports are all there to be read and researched.
      I do not want to be one of those who endorses an inadequate caliber and later feel that the “blood of innocents” is on my hands (those who will not do their homework but merely believe that anything that goes bang is all they will ever need).
      I have learned over many years that far too many people will not do research, testing, or even thinking about what they believe, or want to believe. Look who gets elected as president if you disagree. As a prosecutor and defense attorney, after being an intelligence officer, I was often shocked and amazed at how easily mislead and how often misinformed a great many people are. I feel we owe our fellow citizens a fair shake and have a duty not to contribute to questionable information, which we expect others to accept and believe. Shoot, they may even believe it themselves. How many “drank the koolaid” in Guinana with Jim Jones. How many believed Bernie Madoff was a financial genius and gave him vast sums of money — and were terribly shocked when his pyramid scheme proved to be untrue and their money was gone. The vast majority of people will never do an adequate job of researching but instead will make decisions based upon a hope or belief not really based in fact, experience or proven by scientific method.
      For me, the .380 is inadequate as a defensive round. Even with new whiz bang bullets which do improve its performance, it still lacks killing power. Until I see valid experiential documented evidence or valid tests that prove otherwise, I will continue to believe, and advocate, as I think is necessary.
      I suspect I will never persuade you and, or course, you will not persuade me. However, if a .380 fails to protect as expected, I will not feel any responsibility. Further, I will not bet my life, or that of my family, on that caliber. Finally, I will not ever advise anyone that I believe it is “enough gun” when what I know leads me to conclude it is not.
      I like tiny little guns as much as anyone. I truly wish that they were better and that I could believe that they are all anyone ever needs. But, if wishes and dreams were peaches and cream, we would have a party every day — and only well qualified, intelligent, wise and competent politicians would ever be elected.
      Until that day dawns, I will adhere to a conservative life style, emphasize proven major calibers as defensive rounds and vote against politicians who say a great deal without really saying anything.
      I am not advocating a great big gun. It is both unnecessary and too much gun for most people to handle. The largest defensive handgun caliber I recommend is the .45 ACP. I think the .44 Mag, the .50 A&E, the .454 Casull, etc., etc., etc are utterly unnecessary and more gun than is practical for most shooters. I know that they are all too much gun for me, in every respect.
      I want a middle of the road weapon with adequate energy, penetration and bullet size to exceed certain minimums which are historically proven to be generally adequate. More is not necessary, either in size or energy. I do believe in overpenetration, wasted energy and danger to others from too powerful calibers.
      As to heavy clothing, I am a man for all seasons. But, if my concern is that heavy clothing might be enough to disable my defensive round, than it is probably not the caliber for me. If the usual 4 layers of denim will turn my bullet, or bleed off sufficient energy to make it inadequate, I want a different caliber — no matter how small, how convenient, how little it weighs and how it doesn’t hurt my hand when I pull the trigger.
      But, too each his own. In that respect it is still a somewhat free country.

  15. Favorite of all time has to be the Mauser HSC. It was the most accurate and dependable. I am patiently waiting for S&W to come out with one in the M&P Shield. I think the .380 would perfectly complete that line.

  16. One of my earliest small caliber .(380) concealed carry pieces was an
    HK 4, acqiered in the later 60’s. This was a superb DA/SA semi-auto with ideal weight and size and was amazingly accurate. It resembled a PPK in design and take down was simple and fast. It had one flaw and that is likely why H&K stopped production: It contained a buffer made of a composite material that eventually gave out and was never made available on the aftermarket. This made the gun inoperative and forced its retirement Some may recall that this handgun was originally offered with 4 alternative calibers and a full “kit” included barrels for .22, .25, .32 and .380 rounds. I wish I’d had the foresight to buy the whole setup. Oh well, that’s my favorite .380. Now I’m a 9mm and
    45 ACP guy.

  17. Walther PK380, light enough, small enough for CC, and with enough barrel length to give you some accuracy, range and velocity. And THERE is plenty of defensive ammo available. My primary CC weapon, keeping in mind it is all about placement not size.

  18. We can all debate calibers vs whatever all day and at the end of that day nobody will be completely right or wrong.

    Points to ponder… Why is the .22LR so popular (at least in the Chicago area) with the “Outfit” “retirement plans”? How heavy is that projectile? 42 grs or so? How many ft lbs of energy?

    You just never know what will punch your ticket. You may safely assume that regardless of what you’re shooting, the closer to the target and the better your choice of same (head, upwards from the throat), center of chest, etc. the more effective that shot will be.

    One of the guys I worked with once said… “If some SOB shoots me with a .25 auto and I find out about, I’ll kick his a$$! Just don’t let him hit me with a .22…with my luck he’ll hit me in the arm and the slug will wind up in my brain or heart.”

    Ask around about wound tracks with .22’s Ronald Reagan and James Brady ain’t talking anymore, but I imagine Tim McCarthy could tell some tales.

  19. I have a Taurus PT738 for occasional carry and my wife primarily carries a S&W M&P Bodyguard. Both are reliable. While the Taurus was only $199.00, the S&W was quite a bit more. But then, my wife’s safety & security can not be bought at any cost. Both have been good shooter’s with either brass or steel cased ammunition and are easy to conceal.

  20. Ross, if you’re inquiring about my comment in re your wife, it should be obvious that I was supporting what she said. Having investigated a case where the kid was was shot at near distance – not point blank – with an air rifle and killed him, certainly supports your claim, albeit hearsay through her, that a .380 a much heavier and powerful projectile can do the job. Clear?

    One doesn’t need to be an ER doc or RN to understand some things. Just have to attend a few autopsies and stand around getting blood on your shoes at crime scenes. Kind of a crash course.

    1. rth60098, thank you for your explanation. I had no idea someone had been killed with an air rifle, but it does exhibit how dangerous any kind of gun can be up close.

      Oh, BTW, that guy shot with the .380 didn’t die. I read the article in the American Rifleman too fast, and probably got it confused with others. Three shots were fired at him, but only one hit him in the chest. It stopped him cold and he was taken to the hospital where he may survive. I guess I should read things better before I quote them.


  21. I like my Beretta 84. Not exactly small, but a great shooter. My wife has a Ruger LCP that conceals well, but is not at all enjoyable to shoot.

  22. Just exactly what does your comment about my wife mean? Are you and ER doc or nurse whose had a lot of experience with gun shots up close and personal? I would very much appreciate an explanation.

  23. I love my Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380 with the Crimson Trace laser.
    I can’t think of a better gun to carry summer or winter.

  24. If you are about to be Assaulted and they will Not Back Off don’t be bashful. Step Right Up and Put em in the Forehead with ANY Caliber.

    1. You hit the nail on the head. If you’re up close and personal, where you could almost smell their breath, the 380 will kill a man. There is an incident in the American rifleman where an intruder was shot in the heart with the 380 and dropped him
      dead on the spot. My wife who is a hospital supervisor and a trained ER nurse Who has seen many shootings told me this about the .380 years ago

  25. I’ve carried since 1978, everything from a .22 to a Colt Officer’s Model .45, semi-auto to revolver, and to date, and hopefully for the rest of my life, I’ve never had to use a firearm. But, I don’t agree with those who think a 380 is too small. The piece you have with you is the one that, theoretically, can save your bacon. Some times you just can’t carry a full size 1911. After all, the key word is “concealed.” I would never open carry. I think that is stupid. If a perp enters an establishment with no regard for human life, no compulsion against shooting, who might he/she shoot first?

    During the winter, everyone in heavier clothes, yes, pack something bigger. Easier to hide, the extra power is needed. What the hey, I’ve packed my 629 S&W “Mountain.” During the summer I’d rather have my Wilkinson Sherry in my shorts pocket than nothing. A .22 will make it through a cotton shirt and sting like hot sulfur. Optimum, no, but better than the XD-S .45, thin as it is, that was too big for the days garb. I practice to be able to make quick hits not centered in body mass, but something a little more eye level.

    I’ve owned Walther PPK’s, had an AMT (older one needing continual polishing from galling, the newer ones are better), a Browning BDA (no kidding, tin cans at 100 yards). I find the easy to hide Ruger LCP to be most reliable, not even a burp as of yet, factories and handloads, accurate, but prints low (I know where to hold to compensate).

    I’m just too big a coward to rely on my Buck folder, eh? No, seriously, don’t the stats show that just having a piece prevents a million or more criminal actions per year, no shots fired? You can’t carry with the intention of intimidation. If so, really, leave it home, but I would certainly take pause looking down the barrel of a “mouse gun.” No?

  26. I have a Bersa .380 and a .40 S&W.
    Of course the larger the cal the more damage it will do, but I would not want to be in front of the .380 at any time. Some talk about it as if it was a pea shooter. Take a hit from a .380 and then tell us about it.

    1. +1 Jade Valk & Rickcad

      As a retired LEO I don’t envision myself doing anything with my EDC other than saving my own ass or that of a loved one and I reasonably expect THAT sort of situation to be up close and personal. Active shooter at a mall or…? Unless I am forced into it I intend to seek cover and become part of the floor and a good witness. I’ll will carry what I WILL carry everywhere and if forced to use it, odds are that I will be close enough to the target to either shoot him point-blank or bitch slap him with the gun. Mouse guns with a hot .380 load at point blank range are going to mess with his head – LITERALLY. Keep your laser sights, adjustable sights, etc. If I can’t stop the threat inside that typical 21′ or less, maybe I deserve to be shot

      As for Ross’s wife @ 4:13PM… Amen, sister! Couple of kids playing with BB guns – granted it was either a Gamo or AWS .177 but one kid took a single shot to the chest. DRT! Hit the cardiac sac and he bled out before he could be transported. Let’s see .177 projectile at maybe 1,100 fps tops vs. Liberty Civil Defense, 50gr frangible, at 1,500 fps+ and maybe 200 flbs? Insert one round beneath chin or into face? What are the odds?

  27. If there was a huge size difference between .380’s and 9mm’s, that might be an argument for some to carry a .380. Sig solved the problem by bringing out the P938 9mm which is so close to the size of the P238 .380, that you have to lay one on top of the other to tell the difference. Both will fit comfortably in the pocket of dress pants. And ,380 ammo is at least half again as expensive as 9mm and not nearly as plentiful.

  28. I’ve carried everything from 9mm to a NNA mini .22. For several years now, my EDC gun is a Ruger LCP. Super-reliable and I can do fast, tight groups all day at 5 and 15 yards (Remember, the most common self-defense shooting occurs at 5-10 feet).. Plus the gun is always in my pocket or IWB and deploys super-quick. No, .380 isn’t a ‘serious self-defense round.’ But with head shot or a double-tap, the bad guy is going down. If terrorists become common, I’ll go back to the (9mm with the .380 as a back-up.

  29. Let me state again a concern voiced by many well known pundits from days of yore. Succinctly put, the .380 lacks sufficient energy and punch to be suitable defensive round.
    I continue to believe that to be true even considering the new whiz bang wonder bullets that seem to be all things to all writers.
    I worry about planting the idea in someone’s head that the diminutive .380 is a serious contender as a defensive round when I truly believe that is a falsehood. To me it is rather like believing that president Obama is a great leader. I do not subscribe to that myth, either. The major difference between the two myths is that there is a daily increasing mountain of evidence proving president Obama’s failure as a leader and, sadly to me, there is not as much devotion and common knowledge of the inadequacies of the tiny .380.
    Back in my more salad days, the Department of Defense postulated that the minimum energy generated by a defensive PDW (Personal Defensive Weapon — why couldn’t the bureaucrats have just said pistol or handgun?) had to be 300 ft/# of energy. To my knowledge, that directive has not been rescinded.
    Massad Ayoob, who has more experience than I in evaluating handgun cartridges said of the .380 that “Some experts regard it as barely adequate while others consider it barely inadequate”. Having shot it into various inanimate objects, I fall into the second category and consider it simpy inadequate.
    According to Wikipedia, the .380 ballistics with a 90 Gr bullet generally launches at 1,000 FPS and has a terminal muzzle energy of 200 ft/#. In the 95 Gr weight, it launches at 980 FPS and is registered at 203 ft/# of energy.
    The 9mm in the 115 Gr weight launches at 1,300 FPS and generates 420 ft/# of energy. The 9mm in the 124 Gr weight attains 1,200 FPS and garners 382 ft/# of energy. Some consider the 9mm as marginal in the energy department.
    The .45 ACP, in the 185 Gr weight starts at 1,225 FPS and generates 616 ft/# of energy but in the 230 Gr weight at 900 FPS only generates 414 ft/# of energy. The newer .40 S&W in the 165 Gr starts at 1,150 and develops 485 ft/# of energy while in the 180 Gr starts at 1,050 and develops 441 ft/# of energy. All these numbers come from Wikipedia and can be verified by a simple web search.
    In other words, the .380 develops about 1/2 the energy of more widely recognized defensive rounds, or less. I suppose that a weak, elderly woman who was assaulting someone might well be “done in” by a .380. But, is it adequate against a 250 pound young rapist intent upon taking his pleasure with his blood up? Dwell in ignorant bliss with your .380 ACP if you will. It may well be better than nothing — maybe. But, it was rejected by the German military as inadequate against what they considered to be inferior beings (everyone not a pure Aryan) and I consider that a scant endorsement of support.
    I, personally, know of small women who have trained and become comfortable in shooting the 9mm, the .40 S&W and the .45 ACP. It can be done. The question, I suppose, is whether or not the training for small framed people to learn to handle more demanding cartridges is worth effort. If all you want is a loud noise, or the mere display of a weapon, to deter a determined adversary, fine. Carry the .380.
    However, if you are truly concerned about disabling a large and perhaps powerful attacker, in my opinion, the .380 is a poor choice. Otherwise, the German military would have kept it as their PDW cartridge now wouldn’t they?
    My second worry is that, in my experience, far too many people buy a handgun, perhaps fire a few rounds, and consider themselves prepared for all contingencies where a handgun might need be employed. Peace of mind is a worthwhile goal. But if that peace of mind is falsely inspired are you well prepared? I think not.
    My view — choose a generally accepted adequate caliber and train to the level necessary to wield the weapon adequately — or rely on the police to protect you. Remember, when you have seconds to live, they are only minutes away.

    1. I agree, but it took you A lot of words to say what could’ve been said in a couple of sentences

  30. … being built on the same size *chastity* as the rimfire model… REALLY?

    The latest in gun technology, the 1911 Chastity!

    That’s the best typo ever!

    As for .380 – I love my Beretta 84 Inox. Yes, it’s big and defeats the purpose of .380 but it shoots nicely and beautiful to look at. And it defends my chastity. Um…no!

  31. Being retired from the job and having a valid HR218 conceal carry in all 50 states I find my Kel-tech 380 to be light and comfortable on my ankle holster as I carry 24/7 whenever I leave my residence. My pastor at church appreciates this as do my friends when they’re out and about with me. We live in dangerous times and Islamic terrorism is a reality!

  32. Well, Gringo, you’re the one who brought up kissing one’s sister. Perhaps Suzanne anticipated that comment and wanted to keep her comments on the Browning chaste, like that kiss

    I agree with you, a .380 on the 1911 platform is a range toy. Nothing more. Then again, if you – man or woman – shoot a 1911 at the range and are used to its function, the Sig P238 is a logical move for EDC that can conceal with the best of them.

    I am a firm believer in “the best gun for every day carry is the gun that you WILL carry every day.” Since I bought it and a Galco pocket holster that is a Ruger LCP. Like my American Express card, I never leave home without it.

  33. Of my three .380 mouse-guns , I have to rank the S&W Bodyguard above the Ruger LCP and Taurus TCP based on its superior sights alone. All three are equally versatile for CCW and all three suffer from excessively long trigger-pull. The mini-1911 design and 7-round mag for the Baby Rock sound intriguing, but chambering a mid- or full-sized 1911 Browning in .380 seems like kissing one’s sister – what’s the point?

    Speaking of the Browning, if Suzanne will allow an editorial comment, it appears her spell-checker changed “chassis” to “chastity.”

    1. Well, they don’t come any uglier than the S&W Bodyguard .380, but I guess it may be in the eye of the beholder.

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