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Old 08-18-2019, 02:00 PM   #1
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Would you carry a Mini .380 as a Primary?

I was pretty surprised at FOP bull session that a lot of active and retired LEO's routinely carry LCP's, Glock 42's, and other types of .380's or even .32's. The consensus was after hauling around a two pound plus firearm the min's are just the thing. I don't agree with it but I seem to be in the minority. How about you?
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:13 PM   #2
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Too many small 9mm to bother with a 380 or 32
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Old 08-19-2019, 04:59 AM   #3
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My normal daily carry is a 9mm G43 carried iwb and a ruger LCP in my offside front pocket. When I'm going to be out around people, I want the more substantial gun, but when I'm at home, there are times that the lcp is all I'm carrying. Killed a copperhead with it saturday in fact.

If for some reason I found myself with only the LCP in a social setting, I wouldn't really like it but probably wouldn't be terrified about it; as long as we're talking about our area and situation, small town with a low population density and pretty much no 'group' crimes. In a city I'd want more, but imo if loaded well the LCP is about as effective as the old j-frame .38's that we used to carry a long time ago.
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:42 AM   #4
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depends upon how you carry and dress. if you want to pants pocket carry with typical clothing, the pocket 9mm's are a bit too large for most pockets. If you hot load a locked breech 380, and do it right, it can be at least as shocking and destructive as 230 gr .45 jhp's in a 3" barrel, or more than .45 ball from a 5" barrel. That's not saying much, however. Such .45's wont reliably stop a house cat or a chuck. Big George got between a chuck and his hole at the club at litch. and yelled for Joe and me. I shot it thru the ribs with a 200 gr lrn .45, at 800 fps, and it just rolled and got back up on its feet. I had to brain it, IIRC. I've had blowback 380's do THAT "well".
 
Old 08-23-2019, 03:08 AM   #5
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My Go To is either a Colt Defender (.45), or a Colt Cobra in .38. I had a mustang for years, but finally gave it to my Niece since she loved my SiL's. I might get one of the smaller 9's to tote around if the mood moves me, but I dont think I'd jump down to .380 again. Where I was the Back-Ups were usually PPK's or PP's (Depending on how old the guy was) so im not surprised that carried onwards.
 
Old 08-23-2019, 12:29 PM   #6
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I have both an S&W shield in 9mm and a keltic pf-9. Surprisingly, the PF_9 has never had a F2F or any failures. It's a little smaller than the S&W, and has a little sharper recoil.

I don't feel under gunned with either.

Then I have full sized 9mm's and .45's (and a colt officers in .45) that I carry from time to time.
 
Old 08-24-2019, 12:27 PM   #7
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if you dont feel undergunned with just a 380, it's just a reflection of the fact that you dont know much. Shoot some critters with it and you'll see. Same thing goes for 230 gr .45's in short barrels, or 158 gr lhp in snubbies, or .45 ball or 147 gr jhp in short barrels. You get no expansion and very little effect. You'll see about half of mere alley cats shot thru the chest with such loads just run off. I shyte you not. You have to get up around 450-500 ft lbs, with assured expansion, to have a reasonable (ie, maybe 90%) expectation of a chest hit having some effect, as quickly as you need it to have said effect. They preform about like a stinger in a .22lr rifle, and for the same reason. They actually only transfer about 160 ft lbs cause they go out the far side of the critter with 1/3rd to 1/2 of the energy that they had on the near side. Blood loss and loss of organ function are always too slow, taking 4 seconds or more. The best you can hope for is hurt him badly enough to make him NOTICE, be shocked by it and quit, psychologically. THEN the blood loss finishes him off.
 
Old 08-24-2019, 12:33 PM   #8
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9mm is the smallest caliber that I would feel comfortable in a semi auto that I carried as a primary. My Colt Combat Commander in 9mm comes to mind in a self defence role. In the bush as predator protection other choices are front and center.
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Old 08-24-2019, 04:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boati View Post
if you dont feel undergunned with just a 380, it's just a reflection of the fact that you dont know much. Shoot some critters with it and you'll see. Same thing goes for 230 gr .45's in short barrels, or 158 gr lhp in snubbies, or .45 ball or 147 gr jhp in short barrels. You get no expansion and very little effect. You'll see about half of mere alley cats shot thru the chest with such loads just run off. I shyte you not. You have to get up around 450-500 ft lbs, with assured expansion, to have a reasonable (ie, maybe 90%) expectation of a chest hit having some effect, as quickly as you need it to have said effect. They preform about like a stinger in a .22lr rifle, and for the same reason. They actually only transfer about 160 ft lbs cause they go out the far side of the critter with 1/3rd to 1/2 of the energy that they had on the near side. Blood loss and loss of organ function are always too slow, taking 4 seconds or more. The best you can hope for is hurt him badly enough to make him NOTICE, be shocked by it and quit, psychologically. THEN the blood loss finishes him off.
You should get your eye's checked Melvin, those Kitty Cats were wearing vests.
 
Old 08-24-2019, 04:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boati View Post
if you dont feel undergunned with just a 380, it's just a reflection of the fact that you dont know much. Shoot some critters with it and you'll see. Same thing goes for 230 gr .45's in short barrels, or 158 gr lhp in snubbies, or .45 ball or 147 gr jhp in short barrels. You get no expansion and very little effect. You'll see about half of mere alley cats shot thru the chest with such loads just run off. I shyte you not. You have to get up around 450-500 ft lbs, with assured expansion, to have a reasonable (ie, maybe 90%) expectation of a chest hit having some effect, as quickly as you need it to have said effect. They preform about like a stinger in a .22lr rifle, and for the same reason. They actually only transfer about 160 ft lbs cause they go out the far side of the critter with 1/3rd to 1/2 of the energy that they had on the near side. Blood loss and loss of organ function are always too slow, taking 4 seconds or more. The best you can hope for is hurt him badly enough to make him NOTICE, be shocked by it and quit, psychologically. THEN the blood loss finishes him off.
I’ve shot animals with a .45, including two coyotes. Both died right there. I guess shot placement matters. I’ve also shot one pit bull that was attacking me. It also dropped right there.

My experience with a .45 doesn’t match yours, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

And I do feel under gunned with the .380, which is why I don’t own any...

Last edited by Dorobuta; 08-25-2019 at 07:47 AM.
 
Old 08-26-2019, 09:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boati View Post
if you dont feel undergunned with just a 380, it's just a reflection of the fact that you dont know much...

...They preform about like a stinger in a .22lr rifle, and for the same reason. They actually only transfer about 160 ft lbs...
That's funny. You claim a pocket 22 will "rock your world"; but a normally-loaded .380 with three times the power is inadequate, and is the mark of someone who "doesn't know much".

Priceless...
 
Old 09-17-2019, 08:57 AM   #12
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...230 gr .45 jhp's in a 3" barrel, or more than .45 ball from a 5" barrel. That's not saying much, however. Such .45's wont reliably stop a house cat...
A hollowpoint from my Detonics and a hardball round from my Govt model are both inadequate for housecat-size animals..? I can vouch from firsthand experience that that's not only wrong, it's wrong to the point of silly.

I've seen a 14-16 lb feral cat drop almost like a stone when shot with a subsonic .22LR thru the upper ribcage. That's roughly one-fifth the power of a 230-grain load from the little Detonics, and an even smaller fraction of the power of hardball from the govt model. Doesn't matter that the .22 was a HP, because even expanded a .22LR stays smaller than a .45 starts out.

This isn't theory, it isn't something I read on the net, and it isn't foggy memories from the 70's. This is personal experience from less than ten years ago. I know it was a subsonic .22 rimfire because I was using a norrell ruger pistol with integral suppressor and ported barrel that keeps bulk-pack federal 36-grainers subsonic. Feral male cat kept getting into our shop building, beating up our two female cats, stealing their food and crapping inside all over the place. I ran him off a couple times, but he wouldn't stop so I had to stop him. Didn't enjoy it, just did it because it was necessary. Wasn't sure if the round would over-penetrate, which is why I did a torso shot instead of head shot (it was only 12-15 feet). The round did completely penetrate him on a full broadside shot, and bounced off the OSB wall sheating immediately behind him; pretty much spent by the time it got thru him. Didn't even leave a discernible dent in the wall. That was roughly 60-70 ft/lbs, and he dropped like a sack.

Just look at some old hunting rifles - from the 1930's to the 1960's my dad took a LOT of deer with his .25-20 carbine. (Wish I had that gun, but he sold it when I was in the army in the early 80's and they divorced & sold the farm.)

Point being, a typical deer is substantially tougher than most modern Americans, and he dropped them reliably for decades with a gun that was no more powerful than the tiny glock 43 that I conceal daily.

So no, a .45acp hardball load from a full-size 1911 is NOT inadequate to reliably stop a housecat. Good god.
 
Old 09-17-2019, 09:30 AM   #13
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My Wife is a Cat lover and besides our domestic tabby's she has a outside "Colony" that we have trapped and have spayed and neutered. It was a dozen, but we started finding them dead but not eaten. We found two kitten's with there heads chewed off. I kept an eye out and a large Male not of the colony was lurking about the property. He got bolder an attacked a male of the colony in front of my Wife. They Cat's ran into the woods and we never saw "Our" male again. That did it for me. After a discussion and much research we found that Cat's can and will become predator's to their own kind. Kind of a serial killer if you will. I waited up with a Ruger 10/22 and a magazine full of .22 Stingers. One shot behind the shoulder from about forty feet and he never even flopped around. .22's are deadly on animals that size. To think that a larger caliber, any larger caliber, would do "less" does not make sense. Our colony is down to five. Not from predator's but because they pretty stupidly cross the road. (SQUISH!)
 
Old 09-17-2019, 10:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry G View Post
My Wife is a Cat lover and besides our domestic tabby's she has a outside "Colony"...
I've become more of a cat person in the last ten years or so. I don't like putting down mean ones, and I don't put any down that are just non-problem-causing strays, just ones that hurt others. Had to put one down probably 3-4 months ago that was beating up my wife's cat at night. (We can't have cats can't stay inside due to my wife's allergies.) After several incidents of going out & yelling at it and it running off only to come back later, did the .22 thing again with a different gun. Put out a can of tuna just barely inside the illumination of the yard light, took out the screen on one of the upstairs windows, and sat up there (away from the window) watching the camera feed on my phone. When he came, I walked over to the window and popped him.

But no cat hate here; I really like my wife's cat. Sissy, hanging out with her big brother Rowdy:
 
Old 10-13-2019, 07:38 PM   #15
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I'm sure most folks know that many folks have died being shot with.22's. In fact, many mafia hits were done with those same .22's! Many more folks have died with very plain
.38 ball bullets. I personally carry 9mm hollow points. I would feel protected with a .380
hollow points. If they are wearing body armor my survival is going to depend on my ability
to hit where that body armor is not! My real choice is a handloaded hollow point .45! Unfortunately I have severely Arthritic wrists. Even though my wrists are painful, I can still
put my shot where I need them to go! Most of the punks out there with pistols don't know how to shoot them, they just steal them, they don't go to the range with them! If my wife is not with me and she is a very small in stature woman with very small hands, she will be better off carrying a small .380 with hollow points in a pistol she can well control than trying to carry a 1911 she can't control! My statement boils down to "carry what you can control and shoot well rather that trying to shoot a pistol that you can't control or hit anything with! Be safe out there folks! There are nuts out there that don't care about your life or theirs, they have no hope for a better life and are just pissed off at their life!
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