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While I’m a big believer in bullet placement is critical to stopping an attacker, I just can’t bring myself to buy one of the concealable.380 autos. I am not happy when weather/ heat makes me carry an Airweight as my primary weapon. I normally carry a .357 Mag revolver. Carried a .45ACP for 25 years. Given that pistols are underpowered, I wanted the best I could get and still control and conceal. .380 just never impressed me. What am I missing? Hank
 

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I sometimes carry a 380 Bodyguard, or a .38 642. I am pretty sure either of those would be enough to deter someone if needed. Getting shot, by anything isn't on anyone's list of things they want to try. I only carry those guns when dressed up or my normal carry of a 1911 in 10mm or XDm in 10mm would stick out too much. Nobody ever notices the small guns, no matter how they are carried.

bob
 

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Personally, for the past few years a stainless J frame .357 can be found in my pants pocket.........I will switch off once in awhile.

Regarding the .380 open question, it's by far not my favorite caliber but I have been known to carry one..........here's my logic: God forbid that I experience a need to ever use a handgun, but if I do statistics show that it will likely be a very close encounter and this is one of the main reasons why I'm a tin can shooter........because if I can quickly draw a gun and place multiple shots in a tin can size target (rapid fire), then it exercises practice of "shot placement"...........and close range, good shot placement will go a long way toward considering a .380 caliber for a defense weapon...........also modern bullet design certainly enhances the viability of that .380 cartridge.

Once upon a time I wouldn't have given thought to a .380 and still, they are far from being my favorites...........but my respect level has increased to where I'll carry one (once in awhile).
 

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make mine 45 acp 😎
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... I just can’t bring myself to buy one of the concealable.380 autos. ... .380 just never impressed me. What am I missing? Hank
not much - by my of thinking, it was capacity/size mainly.. i had a beretta in 380 that i had in the rotation for a while to use when i wasnt comfortable with one of the 5 shot 38 j frames. the 45 shield took its place and i passed the 380 on - i havent missed it or the cartridge..

these days the small nines are as good a size/capacity as any 380 IMHO
 

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I do carry a S&W CS-45 which is reliable, easy to shoot and carries well either IWB or pocket. I have tried the 45 cal hollow points by Federal and Hornady FTX and both function flawlessly. Think I have 400.00 in the little gun. This one has a de-cocker so can carry loaded and flick of a switch and ready to go (6 in mag and 1 in chamber). I also carry a 38 Special Colt Cobra (older one) but the little CS-45 goes on trips with me. I have never been able to warm up to the 380 or 9mm very well.
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When the only ammo for the .380 available was FMJ ball , it was woefully lacking but as with most other calibers , bullet technology has improved and turned it into a viable choice for defense. That being said , my EDC is a 3" 686+ loaded with Hornady Critical Defense and when I get my new 66-8 set up as I like , it will be with me. I just hope I never need to set off a .357 Magnum indoors. Goodbye ears.
 

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I have a few different carry options, most of them being 45acp, 357 magnum, and 9mm. I prefer major caliber also. I do have a Ruger LCP that I sometimes carry but I re-dedicated myself recently to carrying major caliber because I can imagine myself being in a store when something goes down, and i reach in my pocket and pull out that dinky little 380 and I curse myself because I'm so stupid that I only carried that gun that day.
 

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I prefer .38 special w/ 158 grain semi jacketed semi wadcutters, it's served me very well for critters deer size & under. A .357 w/ the same bullets are even better & add a bit of range. I sometimes carry a 9mm w/ a similar load. The new .380 ammo is worlds apart from the old stuff & comparable to the older .38's but it really doesn't fill me w/ confidence.
 

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Improvements in ammunition have made me more comfortable carrying a 9mm than I had been in the past. Anymore...I have my Kahr CM9 on my hip pretty much everytime I step out the door.
Having SOMETHING/ANYTHING in your hand when faced with a potential life-or-death choice is better than having the hottest, highly customized big bore sure 'nuff T-Rex killer at home...in a drawer.
To illustrate...a story I know to be true from the past:
An old gentleman was out riding his motorcycle one day. Stopped at a rest area when 3 large individuals accosted him for his wallet, AND the keys to his bike. When he went into his pocket..instead of pulling out keys...he pulled out a tiny NAA 5 shot 22 lr revolver and asked "Who wants the first one..??"
Turned out there were no volunteers as the 3 big guys decided to take off. It ain't ALWAYS going to go that way...but sometimes you get lucky.
 

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I tried to like the .380 but .. first .. that weeeee little bullet is anything but confidence inspiring and I have not yet bought fully into the "bullet Technology" jazz. Then I had a devil of a time shooting it well in anything over 5 yds.

I guess as low as I go if you can call it that is my 642 with 158gr LSWC. Bullet tech or not its going to make some impressive holes and I have made 5 shot groups at 9 yds that were touching each other.
https://www.underwoodammo.com/collections/handgun-ammo/products/38-special-158-grain-lead-semi-wadcutter-hollow-point-gas-check?variant=18785707458617


Honestly .. if I have to engage at 3 yds or less in order for the gun to be useful .. I would rather have a knife. It may change as I get even older but for me a gun is a distance weapon and if I cant take your eye out at 7-10 yds its not the best tool
 

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I carried a .380 Sig P232 for years. Never really felt "undergunned". IIRC more people are killed by .380 than any other cartridge.

Remember the 3 rules of real estate: "location, location,location"? It's also true for defensive shooting. These days, my most common carry piece is the 940- and that's just because it's smaller. When I can, and I'm going somewhere particularly bad, I take the 66-4.

In hi-cap 9's, I have a CZ Rami and a Springfield Hellcat, but haven't carried either with any frequency.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I’m always glad to see bullet manufacturers making improvements, but I’m old and a fan of Elmer Keith, among others. I like heavier bullets,generally speaking. I have also developed the habit of carrying the same weapon, in the same spot all the time. If I deviate from that, it’s to add a 642 or 37(bobbed) in my front pocket. If the situation warrants, I might add an 870 with #1 buck if I’m doing facility security. My muscle memory is to reach to my 4 o’clock for my handgun. The only other weapon at my 4 o’clock might be a Glock 21. Same procedure, firing grip, on target, shoot/don’t shoot decision. Might not work for everyone. 99.5% of the time it’s a .357 Mag at my 4 o’clock. Hank
 

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I don't trust anything smaller than a 9mm Parabellum for self-defense. I only trust a 9mm Parabellum for bad breath fighting distances.

My preferred urban carry gun is a government model 1911 in either .45 ACP or 10mm. Other carry options include striker fired .40 S&W pistols for more capacity and revolvers in .357 magnum or .44 magnum for rural or woods carry.
 

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I carry the largest caliber I can shoot, given my arthritis and greatly reduced hand strength. It is .380. Is it ideal? Of course not, but it is right for ME because it is far better than my other choice which would be .22lr. I'm pretty darned accurate also.

If I could shoot larger more powerful calibers I would carry them, as I did for close to 20 years before this problem developed.
 

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My everyday carry is a Glock 19 which if I have my pants on, I’m carrying it. Very rare for me to carry either my CM9 or my 638.

But I may move up to a Glock 41 45 acp. It’s the size of a 1911 except the grip is larger holding 13+1 and it’s considerably lighter than a 1911. Only purchased it recently and after a little more proving, I’ll most likely start carrying it. I’ve carried it some around the house some and it carries great for in a G19 holster. I already have a holster picked out for it once I’m ready to carry it. I’m really like the G 41. Very soft recoiling and accurate.

Joe
 

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I usually either carry my 2.5" 66-2 .357 or my Springfield Armory subcompact XD MOD2 .45. Sometimes I carry my 638 depending on the situation. I do have a 380 but I don't carry it much...prefer the larger calibers but you never know.;)
 
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