Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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Is the 1908 vintage .380 ACP cartridge still a good choice for personal protection or has it reached its expiration date?

My answer NO!

Snip:
October 01, 2021
By Michelle Hamilton, Field Editor
The .380 Automatic Colt Pistol, more commonly known as: .380 Auto, 9x17mm, 9mm Kurz, 9mm Browning Short or simply "380" is a cartridge designed by John Moses Browning and introduced in 1908. It utilizes a .355-inch projectile, which is typically lighter in weight than used in the longer 9mm Parabellum. The .380 Auto is a cartridge with more than 100 years of service and lineage behind it and to this day proves to be not only a popular carry option for self-defense but also for recreational shooting. Hugely popular here in the United States, it also remains popular in Europe and around the globe.

With such a lineage, how does the .380 ACP really rank in terms of modern defensive carry? Is it still a cartridge to consider, especially with micro 9mm handguns like the SIG P365, Ruger MAX-9, Springfield Armory Hellcat and others in existence?
https://www.firearmsnews.com/editorial/ ... ete/452476
"The Worst Monsters are the ones we create. We are the monsters"

Re: Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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tonguengroover wrote: Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:05 pm Is the 1908 vintage .380 ACP cartridge still a good choice for personal protection or has it reached its expiration date?

My answer NO!

Snip:
October 01, 2021
By Michelle Hamilton, Field Editor
The .380 Automatic Colt Pistol, more commonly known as: .380 Auto, 9x17mm, 9mm Kurz, 9mm Browning Short or simply "380" is a cartridge designed by John Moses Browning and introduced in 1908. It utilizes a .355-inch projectile, which is typically lighter in weight than used in the longer 9mm Parabellum. The .380 Auto is a cartridge with more than 100 years of service and lineage behind it and to this day proves to be not only a popular carry option for self-defense but also for recreational shooting. Hugely popular here in the United States, it also remains popular in Europe and around the globe.

With such a lineage, how does the .380 ACP really rank in terms of modern defensive carry? Is it still a cartridge to consider, especially with micro 9mm handguns like the SIG P365, Ruger MAX-9, Springfield Armory Hellcat and others in existence?
https://www.firearmsnews.com/editorial/ ... ete/452476
Many, including me(gooned up RH thumb, wrist and ring finger), are 'recoil sensitive'. I have owned or shot many small 9mm HGs(Sig 365, Glock 43, Ruger LC-9, etc) and they hurt my hand/wrist/thumb. AND if it's no fun to shoot, you don't shoot it, you don't get good with it, don't 'test' the HGs reliability, etc.
So, I carry and shoot my Glock 42, a lot..more than my Glock 48.
Plus, with 'modern' ammo, like Underwood/Lehigh Xtreme Defender..the 'tests'(Yes, I know but direct comparisons mean something), show great expension, decent penetration..particularly when compared to some 9mm JHP out of these smallish 9mm barrels. Poor/no expansion, clogging up the nose with fabric, type thing.

So, I'm a fan of .380 and .380 ammo is now easy to find, not painfully expensive..so no, NOT obsolete, IMHO..
The micro 9's are nice but recoil must be hard.
People always questioning the. 380.
AND some YouTube cowboys put it in the same category as 32 and 25s. Bozos.

Good enough for Mr Bond, good enough for me.

Re: Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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FrontSight wrote: Mon Nov 01, 2021 10:10 am These days my primary carry gun is a .380, the new Ruger LCP MAX.
I'm a little jealous but I've heard there's some things to work out. See rugertalk.com

But anyways I'm just gonna go PPK. Prolly take me a year to get one but thats ok, maybe the price will drop. Their not going to stop making them thats for sure.
"The Worst Monsters are the ones we create. We are the monsters"

Re: Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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Obsolete? No.

I have one. But I don’t hand load the round, and I find it a micro, .380 semi-auto pistol to be far less capable in my hands then a J-frame. They make sense for a lot of people though. I prefer a 9mm S&W Shield or G43 sized pistol for my own uses. That’s the minimum sized semi-auto that I can shoot decently and manipulate with my big mitts. I can take a J-frame or Shield running & cycling—- so that’s as small as I need a pistol to be.


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Re: Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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wings wrote: Mon Nov 01, 2021 6:27 pm Mr. Bond's PPK was chambered in .32ACP - or 7.65mm, if you prefer metric. He preferred .25ACP, but was forced to upgrade.
Yeah but no one can tell by looking at a PPK. Besides, .32 is too weak. Granpa carried a .25 semi auto. I guess they were popular back then.
"The Worst Monsters are the ones we create. We are the monsters"

Re: Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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tonguengroover wrote: Mon Nov 01, 2021 4:08 pm
FrontSight wrote: Mon Nov 01, 2021 10:10 am These days my primary carry gun is a .380, the new Ruger LCP MAX.
I'm a little jealous but I've heard there's some things to work out. See rugertalk.com

But anyways I'm just gonna go PPK. Prolly take me a year to get one but thats ok, maybe the price will drop. Their not going to stop making them thats for sure.
Yeah I broke my rule... I NEVER buy guns when they first come out. But since this is gun is absolutely ideal for me, and wasn't something that was goin to break the bank, I decided to assume the risk. Thus far it has worked flawlessly for 150 rounds...but I need to put a LOT more thorough it.

I personally have not experienced any of the issues most people are complaining about. There is one issue I may have to address, I haven't decided yet. The ejection port is not quite big enough to eject live rounds... it works with most ball ammo (barely), but some JHP's have caught on the ejection port. I'll play with it some more and if I'm unhappy about that, I'll put the slide on the milling machine and open it up a bit. For now, I'm going to just try different JHP's.

Overall I'm pretty happy, but it is a challenge to shoot well when you're used to a full size 1911 with a 3.25lb trigger that breaks like glass.
“I think there’s a right-wing conspiracy to promote the idea of a left-wing conspiracy”

Re: Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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Have owned .25 & .380 semiauto pistols, no .32. Can't think of any reason to be interested in any of those calibers. Too expense for plinking/target - that's what the .22LR's are for. YMMV.
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Re: Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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Wino wrote: Fri Nov 05, 2021 5:44 pm Have owned .25 & .380 semiauto pistols, no .32. Can't think of any reason to be interested in any of those calibers. Too expense for plinking/target - that's what the .22LR's are for. YMMV.
Not all handguns need to be practical. I bought my .32's because they're just cool. There are some really cool pocket pistols from the first half of the 20th century.
“I think there’s a right-wing conspiracy to promote the idea of a left-wing conspiracy”

Re: Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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Wino wrote: Fri Nov 05, 2021 5:44 pm Have owned .25 & .380 semiauto pistols, no .32. Can't think of any reason to be interested in any of those calibers. Too expense for plinking/target - that's what the .22LR's are for. YMMV.
Agreed. My 25acps and 32acp and 32S&W and 32S&W Long and not for plinking.
To be vintage it must be older than me!
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Re: Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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If your hand is large, watch out for the slide bite from the PPK. Friend of mine years ago showed up with a bandage where the slide took a chunk of the web between the thumb and forefinger when he shot it.
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Re: Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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For those who want to consider the .380 Auto "obsolete", I have just one question for those people.

Would you, therefore, be willing to stand in front of the business end of a loaded .380, while it's in someone's hand?
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Re: Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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A bit timely, I posted parts of this on a different forum today. The theme of the thread was Walther, but there are some 380 specific points in the post.
. . .
As it stands, my only Walther, and one that sees quite a dit of belt time, is my PK380. Frankly, it packs in a lot of features that I like. It is just so bothersome that it was so close to great.

Hits:
  • It is a 380. This allows it to be very lite, easy to rack, and have low recoil
  • It has a DA/SA trigger. I know this is controversial, however, I never liked the Glock style "safe action" trigger.
  • It has a paddle Magazine release. This is great when my arthritic thumb is bothering me and is overall a great design for a magazine release.
I say it just misses great, here are some of the places where it missed the mark.
  • The need for a takedown tool instead of using a takedown lever. This isn't such a big one, many pistols needed some external tool. However, it is not a common thing to be lacking in any modern designs. I think it was a great idea to use a Schrader Valve tool, which made it easily replaceable. However, to many, who looked at it, it felt like "cheapness."
  • The second was the lack of a slide release. Again, I understand the reasoning. First, it kept the frame clear of levers and protrusions. The second is that, with the light recoil spring, it did make more sense to chamber a round by pulling the slide fully to the rear and releasing.
  • The third is that it was clearly first intended to be a double stack. A look at the magazine and Magazine well makes that obvious. However, it is a single stack and has a much lower capacity than its size would allow. I have two pet theories for what happened here. The first is that they may have had trouble getting a double stack to function reliably. I think the second is more likely, I suspect they wanted to get the sales in states that limit pistols to ten rounds or less.
  • Then the final thing that it missed with, and I do consider this to be a big one. That is the decision to not include a de-cocker. The method they choose was a -just plan bad- approach. Why? I suspect that it was an attempt to keep the cost down.
Yes, I know that it sounds like I wanted it to be a small HK P30. That wouldn't be far from the mark. While I have, and frequently carry the PK380, it feels like they missed great due to marketing reasons, and the result was a pistol they couldn't market.
Image
The PK 380 is by no means a small 380

While this is a look at a single product, I see that in the entire line. Frankly, if I had been more aware of the P99as and the P99ASc I probably would have gone that route instead of the P30. Walther makes some great products however, it seems that they have trouble gaining brand awareness. It isn't just the lack of advertising, it is the entirely dysfunctional approach to their US marketing.
Note the picture in that post, not all 380s' are micro pistols. That said, I also get a laugh out of it when a gun writer will say something like ". . . unlike most other 380s', this one isn't a blowback. . . " There aren't many 380 pistols, designed in this century that are.
"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matt. 25:40

Re: Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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Note the picture in that post, not all 380s' are micro pistols. That said, I also get a laugh out of it when a gun writer will say something like ". . . unlike most other 380s', this one isn't a blowback. . . " There aren't many 380 pistols, designed in this century that are.
Yup..that a review of the Walther PK380..get a Glock 42, add a +2 extension..get all the goodness of a reliable, small, easy to shot .380 w/o all the goofy decocker/external safety gobbledy-gook. :thumbup:

Re: Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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I have a nice CZ 83 that is no long made, fixed barrel and blow back. It was available in 9X17 Makarov and 380. ACP. Steel frame, great shooter. CZ police carried the CZ 82 in Makarov. I noticed that CZ still has some of their polymer pistols in 380.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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CowboyT wrote: Sat Nov 27, 2021 1:07 pm For those who want to consider the .380 Auto "obsolete", I have just one question for those people.

Would you, therefore, be willing to stand in front of the business end of a loaded .380, while it's in someone's hand?
I don't want to be shot with a .22. Better yet, I don't want to be on the receiving end of a table fork, but that is certainly no reason to recommend them to carry for protection.

The smallest caliber I would recommend for carry is a 9mm or .38 but I don't "recommend" revolvers for carry either.

Re: Is the .380 Auto Obsolete?

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I would certainly recommend smaller cartridges to those who can't handle larger cartridges. There are some who just aren't ever going to be effective with a pocket .380, or LW J frame revolver. Those are very difficult handguns to shoot well.

So for those people, something in smaller is appropriate. But they need to understand the limitations of the cartridge, Which means, you'd better be pretty darned good with that .22 if that's the only thing you have. Oh, and get a good set of running shoes (which is good idea no matter what you carry).
“I think there’s a right-wing conspiracy to promote the idea of a left-wing conspiracy”

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