Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Hermitage, Pennsylvania
    (Mercer County)
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    Default Information about .380

    I recently just purchased my first handgun yesterday, it is in caliber .380. Since then I have been trying to read as much as possible about the caliber before to moving on to learning all about the specific gun I bought.

    Does anyone have any suggested reading or online providers that could steer me in the right direction? I have been watching youtube videos (Paul Harrell, Iraqveteran8888), and a few others) along with wiki, an older shooters bible, and a few other websites.

    Is .380 acp and .380 auto the same thing? Are most .380 ammo the same or is there a name or offset with heavier load?

    Sorry for such amatuer questions, and if this is in the wrong place. Thank you in advance - Nex

  2. #2
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    Aug 2013
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    Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
    (Lehigh County)
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    Default Re: Information about .380

    This is a good place to ask such questions. 380 ACP is the same as 380 auto and in Europe is often called 9mm kurtz or 9X17 which is a metric designation. The ACP means Automatic Colt Pistol BTW. I can't recall all the variations off the top of my head, but someone will be along shortly with a good explanation or link to more info.

    What pistol did you choose?
    Illegitimus non carborundum est

  3. #3
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    Jun 2014
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    Default Re: Information about .380

    A lot of people will mock the caliber because it's (almost) the same size as 9mm but less powerful, but that you trade that for less recoil and the ability to shoot more accurately and comfortably. It will still get the job done if you place the shots where they should be...even .22 can do the job.

    I carry a 380 most of the time, so does my wife...we have 3 of them in this caliber. You also get better concealability with guns in this caliber.


    p.s. Don't try to fire a 9mm through your .380. It might fit in the mag but it won't end well.
    My wife sells stun guns and pepper spray! PM me for info!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    NEPA, Pennsylvania
    (Wyoming County)
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    Default Re: Information about .380

    Congrats!

    I have a Ruger LCP and a Glock 42 in 380.

    May I recommend this video for ammo selection


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Philadelphia-ish, Pennsylvania
    (Philadelphia County)
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    Default Re: Information about .380

    380 acp and 380auto are the same thing. Also known as 9mmBrowning.

    Much maligned for many years and by many 'experts' as an inferior or inadequate defensive caliber. However, recent developments in bullet design have changed that, and the round has seen a steady rise in preference as a carry round (Hornady XTP and the solid copper monolithic rounds like Lehigh and Underwood for example).

    The relatively small size and light weight of pistols in this caliber make them great for deep concealment, and pocket carry.

    Often compared ballistically to the 918mm makarov caliber. Which is a fair comparison for the round itself. But the majority of pistols chambered for 9mmMak are largely steel and heavy, while the modern .380 pistols are much lighter.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Information about .380

    I was going to post the above recommendation as well. The .380 Ammo quest from Shooting the bull is excellent and extremely comprehensive when it comes to his testing process.

    Percision one produces the best performing hollow point using the Hornaday XTP and Lehigh Defense produces an excellent performing solid coped round the xtreme penetrator.

    I use the HP in the warmer months and the other in the colder months when people will be wearing more thicker and heavier clothing.

    When purchasing any ammo especially SD ammo you need to make sure it reliability and consistently functions in your specific hand gun especially hollow points and solid copper rounds.
    Last edited by Hodgie; November 7th, 2018 at 12:06 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Levittown, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
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    Default Re: Information about .380

    Just bear in mind that 80 percent of people shot with a handgun survive....no matter what caliber. So the goal is never to kill. The goal is to stop the threat. I think it is a fair statement to reckon that, if a poll was taken, it would indicate that people do not like being shot with a .380.

    I have two handguns in .380. A KelTec P3AT (pronounced, it sounds like pee three eighty) and a PPK. Both have a recoil that bites. The .380ACP served European armies and polizeis while known as 9mm Kurz (meaning 9mm Short) for decades.

    Manufacturer's sales reps swung them away to other "better" calibers and handguns. It continues to this day.

    I notice something about OP approach. It just may be the ticket. Buy first, then investigate. That way, one does not hesitate to pull the trigger on a caliber and model due to confusion of information overload. Pun intended.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Information about .380

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Badinov View Post
    380 acp and 380auto are the same thing. Also known as 9mmBrowning.

    Much maligned for many years and by many 'experts' as an inferior or inadequate defensive caliber. However, recent developments in bullet design have changed that, and the round has seen a steady rise in preference as a carry round (Hornady XTP and the solid copper monolithic rounds like Lehigh and Underwood for example).

    The relatively small size and light weight of pistols in this caliber make them great for deep concealment, and pocket carry.

    Often compared ballistically to the 918mm makarov caliber. Which is a fair comparison for the round itself. But the majority of pistols chambered for 9mmMak are largely steel and heavy, while the modern .380 pistols are much lighter.
    Reads like a copy/paste job.
    My wife sells stun guns and pepper spray! PM me for info!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Levittown, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
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    Default Re: Information about .380

    Disagree. Punctuation and style belies that.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
    (Montgomery County)
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    Default Re: Information about .380

    Welcome to the ranks of PA gun owners!

    Ahh, .380. Opinion time.

    I could see myself buying a PPK someday because they look cool, but for defensive use I moved on.

    My LCP was nigh impossible to shoot, my thumb would inadvertently hit the magazine release while shooting. Bang, bang, click. Click? OH, my mag is on the ground. Great. Repeat a few times on a few different days, lose faith in gun, sell it to a friend (who has not had the same issue, I specifically told him why I was getting rid of it, did not dump a lemon on someone).

    My Glock 43 is only barely harder to conceal, fits in my pocket just fine, and is full power 9mm all while being easier to shoot in general. I do not question that .380 can certainly kill and can also certainly stop a fight, but I found no net positive to keeping the one .380 I had. 9mm is also considerably less expensive than .380 which means more practice for your dollar with a 9mm. If I ever get a 9mm Ruger LCR, I'll also end up dropping .38spl for the same reason of price per round, but will retain my revolvers that fire .357 mag. That's just fun.

    Regardless of my opinion, I wish you good service with your pistol, having any gun is sure as heck better than being without. If you intend to carry, a small .380 presents literally zero reason why you would want to leave your pistol at home, unless you are going to a place that would give you a felony if caught. A .45 in your nightstand isn't as useful as a .380 in your pocket when you are going about daily life.

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