Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Are .380s good for self defense?

    I carry a .380 everywhere I go as many others do. They are small, powerful, and easy to carry.

    Last month I saw 1 member post that he cringes when he heard ppl say they use a .380 as their man carry gun. I didn't care about the comment too much but it was always in the back of my mind. I know it's about shot placement and not the size of the bullet. Then right now I was reading the armed citizen. Had a story about a female who shot a attacker 3 times 1 hitting him in the chest where he was taken to the hospital and was in stable condition. Now it makes me concerned because a guy gets shot in the chest and still lives. Should I trust my life or my families life with this weapon?

    You guys are the experts. Would you trust a .380 as your main carry gun ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Levittown, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
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    Default Re: Are .380s good for self defense?

    Pistols in any caliber are not good killing machines when applied to the torso.
    However, the focus and purpose of carrying a handgun is not to kill. It is to stop the threat. Be very careful establishing yourself as wanting to kill a threat, it could bite you in the a$$ if you do shoot and kill someone and wind up being judged by a bunch of citified types.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Ambridge, Pennsylvania
    (Beaver County)
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    Default Re: Are .380s good for self defense?

    I personally do not like .380 and yes it is about shot placement. My FIL carries a .380 everyday but I prefer my revolver with .357s or my .40. What .380 are you carrying?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Pocono`s, Pennsylvania
    (Monroe County)
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    Default Re: Are .380s good for self defense?

    Nothing wrong with 380 also known as a short 9.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    York Township, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default Re: Are .380s good for self defense?

    Quote Originally Posted by wakefield724 View Post
    I carry a .380 everywhere I go as many others do. They are small, powerful, and easy to carry.

    Last month I saw 1 member post that he cringes when he heard ppl say they use a .380 as their man carry gun. I didn't care about the comment too much but it was always in the back of my mind. I know it's about shot placement and not the size of the bullet. Then right now I was reading the armed citizen. Had a story about a female who shot a attacker 3 times 1 hitting him in the chest where he was taken to the hospital and was in stable condition. Now it makes me concerned because a guy gets shot in the chest and still lives. Should I trust my life or my families life with this weapon?

    You guys are the experts. Would you trust a .380 as your main carry gun ?
    My current carry gun is chambered in .40 S&W but I carried a .380 for quite a while (Bersa).

    I prefer the larger caliber but it is important to note that most times an attacker stops after being shot because they don't want to be shot again (versus immediate incapacitation).

    To me, carrying the largest caliber in a gun you are comfortable with and can be accurate with is most important. That being said I wouldn't feel unarmed with 8 rounds of .380 and a spare mag.

    III% - Stand and be counted

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    (Cumberland County)
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    Default Re: Are .380s good for self defense?

    carry what you can shoot well - if that's a 380 then so be it. if that's a 22 mag, then it's better than a 38 that you can't shoot to save your soul. my daughter struggles currently shooting an automatic or revolver larger than a 22 so i got a lcr 22 mag for her. she shoots that like a champ ! better to shoot 2 or 3 well placed 22 mag shots then 2 or 3 wildly shot 38's. just my opinion.
    "Tastefully Pimptastic"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
    (Cumberland County)
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    Default Re: Are .380s good for self defense?

    Some people think they are pointless as a carry. Some people consider 380 their caliber floor. Very often ending up on the pain dispensing side of a gun is enough to make an attacker rethink his present course of action.

    Either way, it beats throwing a rock.
    ...and the hits just keep on coming. #MAGA

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh (Allison Park), Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: Are .380s good for self defense?

    A .380 in your pocket is better than the .45 in the safe.

    This is my philosophy.

    Unless I'm going swimming or to a prohibited place I can always take my LCP comfortably.

    But anything larger than a pocket pistol and I would make my starting point 9mm.

    There is the "recoil sensitive" argument, but IMHO that is a training issue for %99 of people. Also any .380 in a blow-back design (there seems to be allot of these) has much harsher recoil than a similar sized 9mm with a locked-breech design. At least with the firearms I have shot.
    Last edited by QuackXP; October 29th, 2014 at 09:54 AM.
    "No, it's just a machine. I'm the weapon." - Jack Harper in Oblivion

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Brookville, Pennsylvania
    (Jefferson County)
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    Default Re: Are .380s good for self defense?

    Typically criminals are cowards. More often than not the perp will flee if you present a gun, and damn near every one of them runs when you start bang'n away regardless of caliber.

    Very few, only the crazy's and the determined, will stay around to engage in a gunfight. And if you are dealing with a crazy or a determined perp - a handgun is not what you needed to have to begin with.

    So the moral of the story is - yes, .380's are good for defense.
    RIP: SFN, 1861, twoeggsup, Lambo, jamesjo, JayBell, 32 Magnum, Pro2A, mrwildroot, dregan, Frenchy, Fragger, ungawa, Mtn Jack, Grapeshot, R.W.J.

    Don't end up in my signature!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania
    (Montgomery County)
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    Default Re: Are .380s good for self defense?

    Carry the biggest, baddest gun you can hit the target with! If that is a .380 then that is what you have. I do not care for .380 because the ammo costs more than 9x19 and has less energy. I like to shoot and ammo price does matter, to me.

    My personal choice is 9x19mm, it is effective, easy to carry lots of ammo, accurate and it is chambered in fantastic pistols.

    There is no definitive answer to the question you have asked. There is no panacea that will prevent all problems and fix all situations. Well, .300 Winchester Short Magnum comes pretty close... so does 12 gauge now that I think about it. A carry pistol is a compromise, size, weight and capacity are all factors. These are tools, we humans are tool users. Use the right tool for the job, or the best tool you have access to and remember to do cardio. There are lots of other dangers out there (actually inside of you) that are more likely to kill you than a two legged predator...

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr60/nvsr60_04.pdf
    Join the groups protecting your rights from the fools trying to take them from you!

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