.380 for primary carry?

Discussion in 'P-3AT' started by 68hodaka, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. 68hodaka

    68hodaka New Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    I'm the proud owner of a P3AT. Nothing else I own is as comfortable to carry as that gun.
    So, I rarely leave home without it in my front pocket.

    I've noticed a few other forums (i.e. concealedcarry.com)  that not only discourages carrying a .380, but will lock almost any thread where somebody mentions a .380 for carry.


    Is this anti-.380 for carry typical of most  gun forums?

    If the link to another forum is not acceptable, please delete it with my aplogy.  
  2. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Welcome to carrying when you can't carry anything else.

    I don't visit many other forums so its hard for me to say exactly why but I would GUESS that it has to do with the heated debate that invariably comes up when caliber is discussed. That horse is WAY dead.

    Around here we realize that being shot with a .380 (or even a .32) will more than tickle. Sure, they are on the minimally accetable range for self defense. Is 9mm better? How about .40? Probably. But I'd rather defend myself with a P3AT then "Hey, Stop That!" by itself. As the saying goes, a P3AT in the hand beats a Glock in the Box every time.

    Because we are not totally imune from some of the same things the rest of the world is ilked with, all caliber discssions around here require the obligatory:


  3. frankmako

    frankmako Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2006
    Chattanooga TN
    i carry my p3at as my "bug" on duty and more and more as my "primary" off duty. it is so easy to drop it my my pocket and forget it. also a second mag is easy to drop in. nothing wrong with the 380 acp round. i carry a hydro-shok in the pipe and ball (FMJ) in the mag and in the second mag. but after seeing some of GL's gel tests i might go to all FMJ in the gun. the 380 acp will get the job done for potection. remember you will not be in a tv gun fight. if you ever need your gun; it will be, pull the gun, address the problem, shoot the gun dry center mass (point and shoot), run like heck, reloading and calling 911 on the way.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel New Member

    Feb 6, 2005
    Eastern Kansas
    Is this anti-.380 for carry typical of most  gun forums?
    Yes it is.

    Figure 99.999999999% of the Internet posters have never been in a gun fight, never been shot, never shot a man, or never even shot a game animal.
    And probably never will.

    SO, 99.99% of those guys only repeat what they read yesterday about the .380 not being enough gun.

    Well, I got news for everyone.
    No handgun you can CCW is enough gun.
    No handgun will insure a fight stopping first, second, or third shot every fight.

    The .32 ACP, .380 ACP and very similar 9mm MAK armed half the combatants in WWII.
    Post war, they armed over half the worlds police forces.

    Ballistically, the .380 ACP is more powerful then the .36 Colt Navy used on both sides to fight the civil war.

    Do you think any of those guys were under-armed to go fight a war, or police a nation?

    Now, is the .380 the best gun to take to a gun fight?
    I'd want a 12 ga shotgun, or .30 cal rifle, at least.

    But like has often been said, a .380 in your pocket is much better then a .45 at home, because it was too big & heavy to carry.

    At the very least, it's way better then a knife or a sharp stick!

  5. adamsesq

    adamsesq New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Thanks for the link. That, and the thread that link links to had some information in them but my summation after reading them is that "wannabe's shouldn't be allowed to make 'absolute' statements on the internet" and I very much loved someone's sig line "...because I can't throw a rock at 1200fps."

  6. Moose

    Moose New Member

    Jun 22, 2005
    I've hunted a bit in my life, and seen what different size guns do to different size critters, from squirrel to deer.

    I would think the 380 is enough to do what I want it to do.
  7. wheelguy

    wheelguy New Member

    May 4, 2007
    +1 to everything RC said. And - the P3AT using BuffaloBore ammo is more powerful than a 38 special with DoubleTap +P loaded snub nose (I have both, and personally measured bullet energies from both). Take that - caliber snobs  :)

    Also, carry as appropriate for your situation. Your situation will not be the same as mine. Examples, heaviest first...
    1. 40+ caliber + bullet proof vest : angry ex-con is after your azz
    2. 357-9mm : passing through rough neighborhoods regularly
    3. P3AT : everyday livn the life, nothing unusual going on

    Beyond this, why limit yourself to either doing nothing, or using your weapon? Having some intermediate SD can fill that gap. Such as - combat training, pepper spray, and/or stun gun.

    All this may be of no use, however. My neighbor's kid was robbed at gunpoint this week, apparently by an experienced criminal. He wasn't carrying, but wouldn't have been able to use his gun if he had been (no combat training, and you can't out-draw a BG with his gun pointed at you). Fortunately, the BG just got his wallet, house keys, parent's house keys, large tool cache, and car - nobody was hurt.

    Personally, I have a choice between a large 40, small 40, 357, and the P3AT. I usually swap out regularly between the P3AT and 357. The P3AT is 11 oz fully loaded, the 357 is 12 oz fully loaded - so, not much weight difference. P3AT is more comfey, though, because it is much thinner than the 357.
  8. mg0427

    mg0427 New Member

    Apr 15, 2008
    After reading all the links, I have a very strong opinion on what they said; all of that is a one sided view from a very narrow mainded person.
  9. riverkeeper

    riverkeeper New Member

    Aug 30, 2006
    ^ What he said and-->

    ""Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts""  -- the late Senator Patrick Moynihan.

    Modern 380 ammo is about as effective as 38 spl and I doubt forums will delete comments on the old 38 without a humungous uproar.  Stupid is as stupid does.

    I carry a 44 mag when I want to, a 357, a 38spl and/or 380 when I want too.  A Doofus Nimrod can supply his opinion but unless it is backed by facts AND logic applied to my situation --- goodbye sucker.
  10. raymac1215

    raymac1215 New Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    I could not agree more with WHEELGUY. As a retired Officer I find carrying the P3AT adequate to stop the problem. On duty this would be a backup weapon only. I also have a .38 special that I always carried as a backup but since I retired I just stopped carrying it because of the weight and size and the concealment issues. The P3AT requires very little pocket space in a nice pocket holster so now I carry all the time. Great defense weapon !!
  11. 68hodaka

    68hodaka New Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    Do you have a link comparing the Buffalo Bore .380 to the 38 special ?

  12. wheelguy

    wheelguy New Member

    May 4, 2007
    No 1 test per-say, just a test result I posted on KTOG (for the BB380) and another test I did for the S&W forum. Below are pictures of the charts from these 2 tests. You will have to click on the pics to blow them up enough to see clearly. Notice that the 38 special Gold Dot in 125grain size comes in at 199 ft-lbs compared to the 90grain Buffalo Bore measurement of 236 ft-lbs.

    I have not seen a gel-block test that compare these 2, but many other gel-block tests I have seen tend to follow the "ft-lb" numbers pretty well. This is because, in my opinion, the energy number is matching the volume of the hole you get in the gel block - when you calculate penetration depth times expanded bullet area.

  13. billjohnso20

    billjohnso20 Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    I read this so-called experts thread. I know quite a number of folks that feel this way. Sadly,most of them will be unarmed when a BG shows up because their full size service piece will be locked in their glove box! Everyone who can read, knows that in SD situations that most guns are drawn but not fired. It is the mere sight of the gun that does the job. My own beloved wife has had to draw her weapon. At the sight of her revolver, the BG wet himself and ran over himself trying to get away. The result would have been the same if she had pulled a .380. Any Nimrod with a brain knows this.

    I have looked at that particular forum before and it has turned me off each time. Most of the guys on that forum seem to have a John Wayne complex. In fact the testosterone is so thick it's unreal, literally unreal. Hopefully someone with one of the mouseguns they decry will be around when they have a run in with a BG to save their hides when they've left their hogleg in the car. Sheesh! >:(
  14. Mohave-Tec

    Mohave-Tec New Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    I have the .380 and a 40 cal. on my Utah CCW. My guess is that I will never carry the 40 unless un-employment reaches 40% and I can almost expect to be in a gun fight at some point. The 40 is such a boat anchor that I can see it actually detracting from the quality of life over time.
    When I feel the need to carry, the .380 takes no special consideration, just drop it in the pocket. I think it very important to consider the ammunition used in the little gun. After a great deal of research, I’ve settled on Hornaday Critical Defense for 2 reasons. It was designed for our gun so the little bullet chambers flawlessly every time and it will expend after passing through leather. I think all these facts make the KT a viable carry defense weapon.
  15. badchris

    badchris New Member

    Mar 24, 2009
    I was always told that the best firearm is the one you carry. Shot placement is more important than the caliber itself.
  16. BillK

    BillK New Member

    Jul 23, 2007
    I carry my P3AT maybe 90-95% of the time and my 9mm Glock perhaps 5-10% of the time. Almost always when I carry the Glock I'm still carring my .380 (front right pocket). Carrying 9mm gives me more comfort than .380. Having my hand in my pocket and on my P3AT gives me more comfort than my Glock IWB appendix with a cover garment. Many times I'm about to leave home carry my Glock but change my mind and put the Glock away and just carry my P3AT. Maybe someday my habbits will change but that's the way it has been since I got my first P3AT to be reliable.

    BTW, this time of the year I carry a custom load of a 105 gr. flat nose hard cast bullet in my P3AT.

    Take care...
  17. Glasstream15

    Glasstream15 Active Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    I actually consider my PF9 as my primary, although of the 3 carry weapons I have it's carried the least. Most of the time if I can comfortably carry the PF9, the G19 will work too so I carry it. And if the PF9 is going to be difficult to conceal or carry, the P3AT is there. Do I feel "undergunned" with the P3AT??? Not a bit. If I'm attacked by a gang, a P3AT, a PF9, a G19 or whatever, I'll really need a squad of Marines. One or two BGs, they're looking for easy, not getting smacked with 95 grains of FMJ. So, what I got my CWP for, and what I carry a weapon for, the P3AT is fine, not the best, that would be the full time squad of Marines, but a more than adequate sel defense weapon.
  18. bro61

    bro61 New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    I used to visit that site but was turned off by it also. It seemed to be an advertisement for the site creator more than anything else. I carry either my P-3AT or my S&W 642 most of the time and do not feel under gunned. Obviously if you are an LEO or an armed security guard you would want something more substantial for a primary carry. Most of us though live and work in relatively safe areas and have little chance of actually having to use our carry guns. Having the P-3AT or the 642 is a vast improvement over having nothing and they are very easy to carry. When I do go into an area or a situation where I feel more threatened I would carry my G26.
  19. YooperP3at

    YooperP3at New Member

    Oct 12, 2008
    Here's a pic of my handguns.....
    P3at for 100% Off Duty carry
    P11 Nightstand
    Sig P229 .40 Work Duty Gun
    S&W 586 .357 Hunting/plinking
    CharterArms .38 Plinking
    Someone here once said, "I carry a .380 because i can't throw a rock 1000fps"
    Love that quote.
  20. joje

    joje New Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    i read that mouse thread and it really angers me. it worries me its gonna get some poor people to trade their p3ats or lcps for a 40 that will subsequently end up in the drawer, or the glove compartment at best. and when they are stabbed, raped and murdered they will be unarmed and this will be thanks to the expert advice of mr nathan collier.

    of course you shouldnt be carrying a 380 as your only weapon if your personal or professional situation puts you in a high-risk bracket, but for the overwhelming majority of us, the 380 represents an good compromise between comfort and security.