Buster Beaver Cerakote
Defensive Arts
Oregon Arms & Ammunition
Gun Deals
HighLine Firearms
J&B Firearm Sales
Simply Triggers
Southwest Firearms
Low Price Guns
Advertise on Northwest Firearms
Oregon Rifleworks
Sporting Systems

Phillyfan

Messages
1,413
Reactions
401
So my friend was talking about getting a concealed carry firearm for his wife. I suggested a .380 and he scoffed saying that the caliber was too light, and that he wanted to get her a 38 snubby. He felt that it was a stronger caliber and that the simplicity of a revolver was perfect for a novice in distress. My thinking is that the .380 has the same, if not better, ballistics out of a short barrel, and that if you keep a round chambered they are just as easy to shoot. Especially if you have something with no safety like a P3At. Safety wise it is the same, do to the long trigger pull. And the fact that it is lighter, and thinner she will tend to carry it more often. Any thoughts?
 
Messages
56
Reactions
1
So my friend was talking about getting a concealed carry firearm for his wife. I suggested a .380 and he scoffed saying that the caliber was too light, and that he wanted to get her a 38 snubby. He felt that it was a stronger caliber and that the simplicity of a revolver was perfect for a novice in distress. My thinking is that the .380 has the same, if not better, ballistics out of a short barrel, and that if you keep a round chambered they are just as easy to shoot. Especially if you have something with no safety like a P3At. Safety wise it is the same, do to the long trigger pull. And the fact that it is lighter, and thinner she will tend to carry it more often. Any thoughts?

While the small .380's are nice for concealment, you can throw a much heavier bullet out of a .38. I carry a J frame smith with 158 gr hp while my .380 throws an 85gr hp. As for a carry weapon for the wife, I would judge on how proficient she is with the weapon and is she ableto recognize and clear feeding issues with the .380 in a defense condition.
 
Messages
161
Reactions
3
Most of the info I have read on snubnose 38 are less impressive than 380. I was under the impression that they were using a 4" barrel on the 380. I am not sure if it would be the same as comparing a P3AT or LCP to a S&W 642 with the shorter barrels on those 380's.
 
Messages
490
Reactions
133
Either one would be a fine choice for CCW. Check out the box-o-truth web page I believe they did some testing with smaller caliber ammo and snubby .38 special.
 
Messages
252
Reactions
77
I must be missing something.
If you are being accosted by the average bad guy (not someone out to kill you in the first place) a double tap with either one is going to ruin their day. I don't know how many of you have been shot, but a couple of hollow points from anything will take the fight out of you very quickly. Very quickly, you just want the world to go away and leave you alone.

Revolver, first pull is hard, second pull the same. Pistol, safety off, hammer down, first pull is hard, second not so much. It all takes practice.
 
Messages
1,518
Reactions
1,906
A .38+P 158 gr. JHP or SWC is a far more effective SD round than anything coming out of the barrel of a 380.

Reliability is another issue to be concerned with. The current crop of pocket 380's (Ruger LCP, Keltec 3AT, Taurus TCP etc.) are all known to have feeding issues right out of the box. If you are going to rely upon one of these guns for protection you should run at least 200 rounds of the ammo you will be carrying thru it to ensure reliable operation when you need it most.

Premium defense ammo for the 380 usually runs at least a dollar per round if not more so in many cases you will wind up spending more on ammo than you did on the gun by the time you get it dialed in and ready to rely on for daily carry.

With an airweight .38 snub you just practice with cheap ammo and then run 5 or 10 rounds of the expensive stuff thru it to see where it hits, and you are good to go.

My Ruger LCR lives in a pocket holster in the front pocket of my shorts all summer long and I hardly even know its there. You cant beat it for simple, reliable and easy concealed carry.
 
Messages
1,518
Reactions
1,906
I must be missing something.
If you are being accosted by the average bad guy (not someone out to kill you in the first place) a double tap with either one is going to ruin their day. I don't know how many of you have been shot, but a couple of hollow points from anything will take the fight out of you very quickly. Very quickly, you just want the world to go away and leave you alone.

Revolver, first pull is hard, second pull the same. Pistol, safety off, hammer down, first pull is hard, second not so much. It all takes practice.

Two things;

1. People who are hopped up on drugs or alcohol or adrenaline quite frequently dont even know that they have been shot. They will often continue on with their criminal behavior until they bleed out which can take several minutes, even with good shot placement.

2. The current crop of subcompact 380's are all DAO with no manual safety. The trigger pulls are typically long and heavy, and being DAO they do not change after the first shot.
 

CHLChris

Messages
3,302
Reactions
4,643
Isn't this an apples/oranges thing?

Fact: Hold a .380 95gr JHP against a .38spl+p 158gr LSWCHP and the .380 looks like a toy. I wouldn't want to be shot by either, but there is very little comparison.

Fact: Comparing the LCP (and any comparable .380 pocket weapon) and the LCR (and any comparable snubbie) isn't truly helpful. Does the shooter prefer the revolver platform or the semi-auto platform?

THAT question must be answered first. THEN choose the most appropriate firearm.

Personally, my family has BOTH. I prefer the LCP and my wife prefers the LCR. Actually, I prefer my Colt 1911 in .45acp, but that's a different discussion.
 
Messages
2,150
Reactions
352
I must be missing something.
If you are being accosted by the average bad guy (not someone out to kill you in the first place) a double tap with either one is going to ruin their day. I don't know how many of you have been shot, but a couple of hollow points from anything will take the fight out of you very quickly. Very quickly, you just want the world to go away and leave you alone.

Revolver, first pull is hard, second pull the same. Pistol, safety off, hammer down, first pull is hard, second not so much. It all takes practice.

have you ever been shot?
 
Messages
455
Reactions
33
Either one puts a hole in the bad guy. I prefer the p3at because its tiny. I can put it in any pocket without anyone noticing and its been 100% reliable so far.
 
Messages
2,071
Reactions
400
I guess it would depend on what she can shoot best - if she can't hit the broad side of a barn with gun X, then it doesn't really matter what caliber it is. A trip to the rental range or borrow some friends is a good investment.

Personally, I shoot my 642 better than my P3AT and I have more confidence in the .38spl round - so, the 642 gets carried more often.
 
Messages
634
Reactions
114
I guess it would depend on what she can shoot best - if she can't hit the broad side of a barn with gun X, then it doesn't really matter what caliber it is. A trip to the rental range or borrow some friends is a good investment.

Personally, I shoot my 642 better than my P3AT and I have more confidence in the .38spl round - so, the 642 gets carried more often.

+1:s0155:

I don't think the caliber of a weapon is near as important as how comfortable the shooter is with that weapon. Take her to a range, have her shoot various weapons of various calibers & let her decide!!!
 
Messages
252
Reactions
77
Yes, I was 16. A buddy of mine. Don't ever want to go there again. Didn't hurt much for the first few seconds, just burned, but after that . . . After we figured out I wasn't dead, we a towel in the hole and went to the ER. After that, all he** broke loose. His folks, my folks, giving us he**. What a mess.
 

waltermitty

Messages
476
Reactions
463
(9mm ricochet off metal plate (25 yds) to the middle of forehead. n..n...na..nu...no side effects)

when considering 380 v 38 spl, also factor in clothing. Eastern OR or WA, in
Winter, one thick layer of wool will seriously moderate the effects of a 380
at center mass. so as always, consider your environment and conditions
before trying to argue simplistically.

at the lower end of the spectrum, the ballistics can be so marginal that it
doesn't take much to turn performance to mediocre.
 
Messages
5,092
Reactions
887
I no longer own a .38 snubby so I don't have one handy. I know this is an either/or question, but how much bigger and heavier is a Kel-Tec PF-9 Than the snubby? Why am I limited to a .380 if the snubby is also an option, and why isn't the 9mm an option here? Or a Kahr in about the same size...

If size and weight is the issue, then go with a .380. If it isn't everything, then may I please have a compact 9mm?

Just saying. ??
 
At the CCF <broken link removed> we consider a .380 as a 'bug gun' and not adequate for real self protection. FBI tests reflect that. Go with the .38 or something larger .... JMO
 
I no longer own a .38 snubby so I don't have one handy. I know this is an either/or question, but how much bigger and heavier is a Kel-Tec PF-9 Than the snubby? Why am I limited to a .380 if the snubby is also an option, and why isn't the 9mm an option here? Or a Kahr in about the same size...

If size and weight is the issue, then go with a .380. If it isn't everything, then may I please have a compact 9mm?

Just saying. ??

Take a look at the Kel-Tec PF9/P11 or the new Kahr 9MM ... :s0155:
 
Southwest Firearms Forum
Copeland Custom Gunworks
NW Custom Firearms
Cerberus Training Group
Advertise on Northwest Firearms
Sporting Systems
Oregon Arms & Ammunition
Project Appleseed

Latest Resource Reviews

New Classified Ads

Top Bottom