Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by conservative, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. conservative

    conservative New Member

    I have read on different sites that the 380 is a mouse gun but it really doesn't lack much when compared to ballistics of the 9mm . So I have been youtubing, googling, and forumning too try to get a straight answer on whether the 380 95 grain is a viable choice. I had previously asked about the viability of the 22lr, but recently became interested in the 380 since it seemed to be in the middle ground on the power spectrum. I am in the process of getting my handgun license so I will be able to test fire some guns . In the meantime, what would you reccomend for a beginner who is close to six foot tall and 300lbs?
  2. Oldhand

    Oldhand AKA Rawhidekid! Lifetime Supporter

    Although the 380 ammo has raised it to a viable self defense gun, it is cheaper to shoot a 9mm. For your size I wouldn't think you would be happy long shooting a 380. Beretta makes some large 380's and Glock makes one that may fit you also. I highly recommend finding a range that rents firearms or go to a range most will let you try a few shots with their firearm.:)

  3. SavageGuy

    SavageGuy Active Member


    Well, it does lack quite a bit, actually. Let's take a look at one the most powerful .380 loads and compare it to one of the most powerful 9mm load. Both loads shot out of a 4" barrel

    Here's the .380:
    ImageUploadedByRuger Forum1480550337.603331.jpg
    300 ft/lbs of kinetic energy

    And 9mm:
    ImageUploadedByRuger Forum1480550393.149677.jpg
    450 ft/lbs of kinetic energy

    Also, the 9mm is shooting a heavier bullet that will be capable of expanding while the .380 has spotty performance in regards to hollow points expanding reliably.

    What would I recommend? Definitely a 9mm at the least. A 9 is also a LOT cheaper to shoot than the .380, .40, .45 etc. About $9-13 a box compared to upwards of $18 for the others.

    What's your budget? You can get a S&W SD9VE for $300. Or you can buy a Glock 19 for $550. Lots of options out there.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2016
  4. kyhunter

    kyhunter Member

    I agree with the SavageGuy. If you can and will carry a pistol and carrying a 9mm sized pistol works for you it is the better choice for all the performance reasons SG listed.
    For me, I wanted a pistol I knew I could carry in the summer in my front pants pocket. The Ruger LCP 380 in its simple little "foam type" pouch is easy for me to grab and keep in my front pants pocket and I don't even know its there.
    So for me the 380 even with its shortcomings was at least a pistol I would carry vs a side holstered gun I might not.
    The 9 mm is a better round, but a 380 is better than a pocket knife and don't
    know anyone who would be willing to be shot with it -
    First rule in a gun fight - have a gun. SG is right 9 is better but 380 is better than not carrying anything. Holster carry - 9. Pants pocket carry 380.
    Just my 0.02

  5. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

    The 380 mouse guns are really called that for size of the gun and being able to fit in just about any pocket. Those mouse guns usually come with more kick than the smaller nines have. I had a Beretta 84F which is not a small gun and is more like a midsize 9 so I saw no point having it versus having a nine. For the cost of ammo and being uncomfortable to train with mouse guns only pro is their size for concealment. Shoot 50 rounds with a mouse gun and see if you are looking forward to shooting another 50.
    I no longer own any 380 guns.
    The Ruger LC9s 9mm is only about an inch larger than the LCP 380 but it sure is much more pleasant as well as more economical to shoot. After looking at all the pros and cons of a nine versus a 380 I think you will see the 9 is the better choice.
  6. SavageGuy

    SavageGuy Active Member

    The very popular lcp is considered to be a small, pocketable Carry gun. Here it is compared to its bigger brother, the Lc9s
    ImageUploadedByRuger Forum1480559648.878832.jpg

    They make pocket holsters for it, too.
  7. Oldhand

    Oldhand AKA Rawhidekid! Lifetime Supporter

    Let us not forget the Ruger 9e is around $300,(used) and having one I highly recommend it.:D
  8. SavageGuy

    SavageGuy Active Member

  9. MagBlackhawk

    MagBlackhawk Patriot

    Six foot tall and 300 lb? Most any smallish 9mm should not be a problem for you to shoot or carry.

    Even though I really like the .380 caliber, IMHO it ain't enough gun.
    I recently read a report about a BG that took 4 hits from a 9mm, then tried to steal a car.
    I'm thinking 9mm minimum.

  10. greg_r

    greg_r Well-Known Member

    I carry a 380 every day. Paired with a 45 (usually), a 9mm Luger, or another 380 (seldom). Don't think you will find too many people who will say the smaller round / gun is better. There are a few exceptions.

    First is method of carry and dress. Are you going to pocket carry and dress business casual? Get something like the LCP. Anything bigger will print pretty bad, the LCP will still print, but it is manageable. Jeans? Not a problem, the LC will work there just fine. I prefer a pancake style holster for my EDC, I can comfortably carry the RAP in it.

    Recoil management, the pocket 380's can be a handful, choose wisely. Example, the LCP is not pleasant to shoot. The grip is thin, recoil is concentrated into a very small part of your hand. The LCP II is wider in the grip and spreads out recoil into a wider area of the hand. Makes a huge difference. 25 or 30 rounds through an LCP and I'm done. I can shoot the LCP II 200 rounds (I did last weekend) an I'm good. The LC380 is even lighter in the recoil department. The subcompact 9's can be a real handful. Try and find a range where you can rent some of the firearms you are interested in, try them out. Then you can make an informed decision. If you don't like shooting it, you will likely not practice with it.

    Also consider penetration, you need enough, but too much is not good. The 9mm is known for penetration, most any bullet you choose will hit the magic mark. The 380 not so much, you have to choose the right bullet. Penetration is a double edged sword
    You need enough, too much is a liability. Build yourself a mock wall section, sheet rock, moisture barrier, insulation, sheathing, and siding. Back it up with several layers of 1 gallon water filled jugs, shoot through it with a 9mm, 380, and a 223. I think you will be surprised in what you find.

    And consider power. None of the "normal" cartridges you find in semi automatics (380, 9mm, 45) are real powerhouses. That said, 380's aren't exactly going to bounce off your target and the 45acp will not create little mushroom clouds when it strikes the target either. Buy what you like, practice and become proficient with it. Then hope you never have to use it.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  11. JohnR

    JohnR New Member

    .380 is definitely better, if that's the gun you shoot most accurately, the gun you can conceal every day, and the gun you actually have with you. I feel it's more a function of the firearm/user interface than the actual cartridge being fired.

    Compared to most of my guns, when I shoot my 9mm Shield it's more like an extension of my body and I feel very confident in hitting what I aim at without thinking, so that's what I carry.

    I get a lot of satisfaction from other guns, revolvers and semi autos, but for self defense it's not about finding pleasure in the shooting experience, but about the pleasure of staying alive.
  12. conservative

    conservative New Member

    Thanks I will give the nine more thought just trying to do my homework while I wait for my license to process. Also I was realizing that since 380 is usually small, it's hard to find one with a three finger grip without mag extensions. Thanks for helping me narrow my options