.380 Pistol choices

11/18/14 @ 11:44 AM
ORIGINAL POST
4Lakes
4Lakes
USER since 6/22/01
I'm trying to figure out what might be out there for .380 semi-auto pistols that are NOT in the ultra-compact CCW type. Specifically looking for DAO .380. The gun is for my wife to shoot, not carry. Is there anything out there bigger than the Ruger LC380? Anybody know anything about the Taurus PT 638? Andy
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Displaying 1 to 10 of 19 Posts
4/20/16 @ 10:48 AM
PalmerTenderfoot
PalmerTenderfoot
USER since 3/7/16
I'd answer this question with one of my own. Why stick with a range .380 (larger size) when you can get 9mm cheaper and get better ballistics?

If the answer is to stay with the same ammo you're currently shooting, then I'd say the only DAO, med frame .380 that I know of is the Sig P-250.

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1/11/16 @ 9:37 AM
'da Coach
'da Coach
USER since 12/23/08
Hey, guys, let's not lose sight of the fact that Andy specifically noted in the OP that he's not looking for a CCW; he stated that he's looking for a range gun for his wife, so letting money dictate life expectancy is not at issue here.

Re G-F's Hi-Point comments, I've sold dozens, and always mention that I've never heard of someone who regretted buying a Hi-Point.

That said, it still makes more sense to me to buy a 9MM; with .380 ammo costing so much more than 9MM, within a year or so of shooting, you will save enough on 9MM to make up the difference in original purchase price.

That said, I personally have no interest in a Hi-Point, they're too clunky for my tastes, but to each, his own!

Andy, there's a lot to be said for the simplicity of a revolver if your wife has trouble racking semi-auto slides, but stay away from snubbys, go with a full-size.

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1/11/16 @ 6:10 AM
JimLi
JimLi
USER since 12/20/11
If you go to gunbroker.com and type in 380 you'll see hundreds to choose from. I can't think of a manufacturer that isn't making something in 380. I still think a revolver would be the best and several companies are now making revolvers in 380.

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1/9/16 @ 8:03 AM
Go-Fish
Go-Fish
MEMBER since 3/17/02
I assume I will get some flack for this, but how about a High Point .380? 3.5 barrel, American made and 160 bones........ A buddy of mine has a .380, he loves it. I see him a the range more often with the High Point than his Taurus. I have a 10 year old 9 mm, I like my revolvers more than a semi but that old gun has had a lot of rounds put through it with very few issues. Not sure why High Point has such a bad reputation, I would buy another one. Mike.

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1/9/16 @ 7:52 AM
JimLi
JimLi
USER since 12/20/11
Walther PPK/S is very good, however, Bersa Thunder is identical and has good reviews. Besides that, many companies are now producing 380's. Look at "ballistics 101.com" and you'll see that the MODERN 380 is a good round. Be sure to use hollow point and +P (if your gun can handle it). The best is Mag-Safe 380. Go to their websight and you'll see what they are. Other than that, several companies are now making revolvers in 380. Highly recommended for women or those that don't get to the range regularly. Autos are very mechanical and can malfunction where a revolver is a matter of just pulling the trigger again. Don't let money dictate your life expectancy.

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1/8/16 @ 3:10 PM
'da Coach
'da Coach
USER since 12/23/08
Andy,

I'm trying to understand your stated requirements. If this is a range gun for your wife, why a .380, and why a DAO? The .380 round is virtually, by definition, a personal defense round, not a range round. Generally speaking, 9mm is a better range round, in no small part because .380 ammo will generally cost you between 60-90% more to shoot than 9mm.

In addition, the vast majority of .380 handguns are fairly small, short-barreled devices, again, because they're designed with personal defense in mind (i.e., the LC380). Barrel lengths typically range from @ 2.5-3.66".

A couple of arguable exceptions include the Walther PK-380, and, secondarily, the Bersa Thunder.

Oftentimes, novice and/or more petite shooters are attracted to these guns as a function of the relatively small frame size and relatively light slide spring resistance.

Note that neither of these guns is a DAO. The Sig P250-380 is indeed a DAO.

The DAO design exists as a safety feature when carrying the firearm; for range purposes, given that the shooter has virtual total control over the situation, the DAO safety benefits become quickly outweighed by the heavy trigger.

If your wife is concerned about recoil, smallish .380s may quickly sour her on shooting, as they can be fairly punishing to shoot. And given their relatively short 2.5-3.66" barrel lengths, accuracy is quite limited.

She'd be better off with either a .22LR (except for the difficulty in finding ammo!), or a mid-size 9mm striker-fired gun. If you've already decided against a .22LR, there are still several striker-fired (same trigger pull every time, but much lighter than a DAO) guns on the market that might meet her requirements.

Take a look at the Ruger SR9 or SR9C. The striker-fired Ruger SR series guns have relatively slim grips that tend to accommodate smaller hands, as well as the following safety features.

1) External Safety

2) Dual-Stage trigger (safety feature)

3) Visible striker-set indicator (safety feature)

4) Visible & tactile chamber-ready indicator(safety feature)

Check 'em out, you may be pleasantly surprised!

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1/7/16 @ 8:29 AM
drptine
drptine
USER since 6/6/07
Glock 42 with lazer sight. Love it.

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1/6/16 @ 9:12 PM
wack'em & stack'em
wack'em & stack'em
USER since 3/13/10
Get a 1911 in .380!!

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1/5/16 @ 6:47 PM
Todd Young
Todd Young
USER since 6/25/15
Which compact .380 pistols are anyone carrying. Looking at a variety of them not sure which one I would like to get. any info appreciated.

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11/30/14 @ 9:23 PM
STEVE L
STEVE L
USER since 4/19/02
G42

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Displaying 1 to 10 of 19 Posts