.380 For self defense?

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Joe Chartreuse

Single-Sixer
Joined
May 1, 2022
Messages
178
Location
New Jersey
Expanding a bit on what I already posted.
I believe the .22 has only two advantages if both being fired from the same gun. Cost per round and reduced recoil.
If someone is physically unable or unwilling to shoot the .380 enough to handle it and the choice comes down to the
.22 or .....no gun at all....... the .22 wins.
Range practice drawing and firing, dry practice is great but you really don't know what you hit with that lightning fast draw
followed by a trigger click. The .22 in that LCP platform would be a good training tool, cheap enough to practice 1000s of
times with, finishing each practice session with a couple out of the .380.
I really can't think of anything else the .22 has going for it in the LCP platform.
In some case THREE advantages. Depending on the firearm, more rounds per mag.
 

KurtC

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
166
Location
New Jersey
The best handgun in the world is the one you have with you. The one at home is useless.

Most 380's are straight blowback and have more felt recoil than a locked breech 9mm.

Regardless of the handgun you choose, use it too take a defensive handgun course of fire. Most folks think they are Wyatt Earp because they can hit a piece of paper at 10ft. Nothing can be further from the truth.

The smaller the pistol, the more difficult it is to use under stress. Drawing from awkward positions, reloading, malfunctions, weak hand shooting, darkness, etc, are all more difficult with subcompact pistols.
 

RC44Mag

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 18, 2022
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191
Location
Long Island
I have a Beretta 84F I bought about 25 years ago and love it but by todays standard it too large for concealed carry as smaller 9mm pistols are out there now with about twice the muzzle energy. It now spends it’s days in a safe.
 

Snake Pleskin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
2,180
Location
Aiken, South Carolina
I use a Glock 42 most days, or a J frame(various) and of course my LCPII in .22lr. I once read where these were called "two handed" firearms. You hold the bad guy with one had and shoot them with the other?? LOL : ) No one wants to be shot, and unless you practice daily/weekly, are in great shape physically, and have professional training both mind and mechanics, thinking you are going to remember all these great bits of information etc, your 4 point Gunsite draw, the side step, the terminal T, the danger zone within 21 feet , etc., You will be lucky to get the piece out and get a shot off before the SHTF! If you have been in a close confrontation and been shot at, you will understand. Sensory deprivation, tunnel vision, loss of hearing, from muzzle flash & blast. Adrenalin pumping, heart racing, hands sweating, flight or fight response. LOL, I just did not realize how many professionally trained Jason Bourne types we have here, who have actually done this and survived. LOL, LOL! IMHO. The last thing I want to do is get in a "gunfight" with anyone. I practice daily my best technique. It's called "running away"!! I'm getting very good at it!
 
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Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Messages
1,727
I use a Glock 42 most days, or a J frame(various) and of course my LCPII in .22lr. I once read where these were called "two handed" firearms. You hold the bad guy with one had and shoot them with the other?? LOL : ) No one wants to be shot, and unless you practice daily/weekly, are in great shape physically, and have professional training both mind and mechanics, thinking you are going to remember all these great bits of information etc, your 4 point Gunsite draw, the side step, the terminal T, the danger zone within 21 feet , etc., You will be lucky to get the piece out and get a shot off before the SHTF! If you have been in a close confrontation and been shot at, you will understand. Sensory deprivation, tunnel vision, loss of hearing, from muzzle flash & blast. Adrenalin pumping, heart racing, hands sweating, flight or fight response. LOL, I just did not realize how many professionally trained Jason Bourne types we have here, who have actually done this and survived. LOL, LOL! IMHO. The last thing I want to do is get in a "gunfight" with anyone. I practice daily my best technique. It's called "running away"!! I'm getting very good at it!
This got me thinking about training and practice type stuff.
I think I posted about this at the time but last November was asked for money by a druggie/drunk going into an auto parts store and semi-politely
brushed him off. Coming out he more aggressively tried again and I responded equally with..... well you know. Apparently it pissed him off and he came
after me. It was a very short physical encounter , but honestly thinking back I never remembered I was actually carrying a gun. At no time did even a hint of thought or reaction to draw came into my mind. I've taken plenty of training but NONE of it involved any physical struggle and trying to get a gun
into action. Played ice hockey my whole life and been in countless tussles and that's what my brain and body reacted with. Wonder how long it
would have taken if he had a knife or weapon to catch up to the situation and decide it was time to shoot him......
It was obviously the right choice not to, but the point is I didn't make the decision but totally forgot I even had the option.
 

Notaguru

Bearcat
Joined
Jun 28, 2022
Messages
3
Location
32506
With a career in the Marines behind me (three Vietnam tours, two combat deployments "elsewhere"), and one attempted mugging (I was the planned muggee), I feel strongly that shot placement trumps caliber. At this age I need a bit more distance between me and an attacker, so since age 70 I've done a warmup and then two strings of SEVENS at least monthly, and am confident that my LCP MAX (slightly modified/polished and now ultra-reliable) is an ideal self defense handgun. For decades I carried a 637 in 38 Special +P, but now - in my declining and reclining years - I prefer 12+1. The Max can go into any pocket, so is unlikely to be left behind. For me, a high-capacity .380 is ideal and I watch the market looking for the emergence of anything superior to my Max...

Two more points.
1. For those who do a warning shot (as in my mugging incident), the "snap" of a .22 - even a WMR - is not an effective deterrent. Changing an attacker's plan requires the "bang" of a .380 - at least.
2. My first round (chambered) is a blank 9x19mm, crimped to fit. They're handloaded to avoid FTF and FTE problems and make one hell of a bang!

As always, train regularly and hope you never need it!
 
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Snake Pleskin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
2,180
Location
Aiken, South Carolina
This got me thinking about training and practice type stuff.
I think I posted about this at the time but last November was asked for money by a druggie/drunk going into an auto parts store and semi-politely
brushed him off. Coming out he more aggressively tried again and I responded equally with..... well you know. Apparently it pissed him off and he came
after me. It was a very short physical encounter , but honestly thinking back I never remembered I was actually carrying a gun. At no time did even a hint of thought or reaction to draw came into my mind. I've taken plenty of training but NONE of it involved any physical struggle and trying to get a gun
into action. Played ice hockey my whole life and been in countless tussles and that's what my brain and body reacted with. Wonder how long it
would have taken if he had a knife or weapon to catch up to the situation and decide it was time to shoot him......
It was obviously the right choice not to, but the point is I didn't make the decision but totally forgot I even had the option.
Yup, it ain't like Hollywood. Things happen we never expect to happen and we do not always react the way we think we will!
 

smith1961

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 11, 2008
Messages
551
Location
Massachusetts
As a "professional" LEO Firearms instructor and a "hobbyist" student of ballistics I would point out the following:
1. Whatever caliber you carry for self defense is adequate when you PRACTICE. PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2. The variables in both human physiology and ballistics combined, make it folly for any of us to think there is one right answer.

Then again I'm only 61 years old and still open to new ideas. So forgive me if I lean toward the "better a hit with a .22 than a miss with a magnum" adage.
You probably are still wayyyy ahead of the game, if the only practice you ever do is empty draw from a quality holster.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Messages
1,727
2. The variables in both human physiology and ballistics combined, make it folly for any of us to think there is one right answer.
Agreed, but are there "better answers"?
Then again I'm only 61 years old and still open to new ideas. So forgive me if I lean toward the "better a hit with a .22 than a miss with a magnum" adage.
The original question seemed to be is a .380 hit better than a .22 hit?
 

Snake Pleskin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 26, 2022
Messages
2,180
Location
Aiken, South Carolina
Agreed, but are there "better answers"?

The original question seemed to be is a .380 hit better than a .22 hit?
It is not apples to apples, that is the problem. If you could shoot all calibers exactly the same, same accuracy, same speed, etc. Then a larger caliber is the better choice (IMHO), But, we know that is not the case, so you have to factor in age, ability, health issues, training, recoil, platform used etc etc. I would rather have a .22lr I know i can hit with every single time, then a .380 that I can hit with 50% of the time! No one wants to get shot with anything! IMHO
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2007
Messages
5,094
Location
Southwest Washington
I have numerous defense-carry pistols and revolvers in 9mm, 45acp, 10mm and 38/357. 99% of the time I am wearing a Ruger LCP Max due to concealability. With the modern 380 ammo performance I feel I have adequate protection. However, when fall arrives and I start wearing a jacket, I may change to a Speed Six, Hellcat, King Cobra, compact Colt 1911 and the like. Whatever I can carry and conceal is my choice, but most of the time it is still the LCP Max.
 

kmoore

Buckeye
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
1,166
Location
Idaho
Snake beat me to the answer. But since I like to give my thoughts, I will say the same thing with different words. When you pick out a handgun for SD. Get the largest caliber in that size of gun. If your able to fire it comfortably. Some cannot fire a small 45, 9mm or 380, than use a .22lr. All take practice, Been saying and preaching that for years. For me at least once a year, normally 2-3 a year with my SD handguns at the range. I don't count rounds fired except in the 380 it's more of just a mag of ammo for function checks. I fire one handed, two handed, standing and kneeling. 15 yds to 2 yds. Drawing is just as important, I fire 2 to 3 rounds before holstering up. That's just minimum, new shooters need a lot more.
 

Paul B

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
1,569
Location
Tucson, AZ
Normal carry is a Colt Combat Commander and an S&W M60 .38 SPL. as a bug. Sometimes though, a smaller gun may have to do duty as the primary weapon. In that case My Walther PPK/s .380 serves as my Sunday go to meeting gun. Back up is another Walther, a Manhurin PP in .32 ACP.
Paul B.
 
Joined
May 9, 2022
Messages
22
Location
USA
I used to carry a Seecamp .32 at my old job in a holster where the entire grip sat below the waistband, couldn't risk having any printing. Comes in .380 too, but it's such a small gun even the .32 hurts to practice with. Small bullet and slow draw, not ideal. But I figured it might give me enough time to escape an active shooter situation. Like others have said, nobody want to get shot by any bullet. I can't pretend I know what its like to be shot at, but I imagine any bullet will make someone think twice again about what they're doing.

But, that was in a very specific situation where I couldn't carry a larger gun. I'm skinny, but can hide a CZ75 9mm in summer clothes everywhere else.
 

Dave Schwaab

Bearcat
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
Messages
43
In my retirement, I had reduced my arsenal to just the guns I really enjoy shooting, .22 LR and .45 Colt (I grew up with all the TV Westerns). Living in the People's Democratic Republic of New Jersey, I never thought I would have a carry gun. Since the Bruen decision, our Beloved Governor Murphy has had to allow the common folk to be able to get a CCW Permit.

I had figured that I would carry my SR22, but the State wants Permit Holders to qualify the same as Retired Police Officers, and that requires .380 ACP or greater. I bought a Browning 1911-380 to be my carry gun.

1663860851273.png


As you can see, the two guns are almost identical in size, in fact, the 1911 may even be slightly smaller. I have smaller hands (if you hadn't guessed that from the grip sleeve on my SR22) and the 1911-380 fits me perfectly. While many people consider the .380 to be "snappy", because of the guns, like the LCP, that it is chambered in, the Browning 1911-380, with a few extra ounces, a 4.25 inch barrel and a true tilting-barrel locked-breech operating system is very well behaved.

With good modern ammunition, like Hornady's Critical Defense, The 1911-380 should be an excellent carry gun. And yes, it will be carried in Condition One (while the SR22 would have been carried in Condition Two).
 

MitchSC

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
16
Location
SC
My opinion/experience is that the only advantages of a 22 would be size, less recoil and less expensive ammunition. If one is concerned with recoil then they need to consider trigger pull. A 22 is going to have a heavier trigger pull because a rim fire cartridge requires a heavier strike than a center fire therefore more finger strength. So it may be better to get a 32 vs 22 then it would be 32 vs 380.

Example: My wife is recoil sensitive and has a very week trigger finger. She carries a 32 H&R in a LCR 327 with a modified trigger pull of 6#. She carries it in her laptop case so only has access to it in her auto and at work. I convinced her to get either a Bobcat or Tomcat to carry in a change purse. she wanted a Bobcat due to size and less recoil but she didn't have the strength to operate the safety so ended up getting the Tomcat. The caliber is less important than being able to operate the firearm.

One of my favorite pistols is my .380 LLama.
DSC_7465.jpg

It rode in my glove box for 30 yrs before I started conceal carry. It fits my hand perfectly but weighs 22 oz. I replaced it with a LC9s then a Mirco9. My thinking was why get a .380 when I can carry a not much larger 9mm. I also carry a NAA Guardian in 32 acp. My thinking is why carry a .380 when I can carry a more concealable less recoil 32.

I also carry a Kimber Ultra carry 45. I believe bigger is better but I don't feel disarmed when I go small.
 
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