Pistol World Forums banner
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys.
I was talking to the guy at the range yesterday about calibers and such. He said that the minimum .cal you should use against people is a .380.

How do you guys feel the best hollowpoint .380 round would measure up to like a 9mm, or a .40?

Reason I'm asking is because I shot a Walther PPK yesterday and fell in love :)

I mean trust me, if I KNEW someone was in my house and I had to grab one gun, it would probably be a 1911 or a .40...but I was just curious as to your all's opinions on the .380.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Haven't we been through this one about a dozen times before.? look, you are right ...the .380 is fun to shoot, but little else.!! With proper ballistics and a lucky shot placement, you might get a lucky stop on the BG. Anyone care to take a chance on odds like that in the middle of a potentially lethal encounter.? Not I..!! Now let's move on to another topic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I understand the .380 has less stopping power, but with the constant innovations with frangible rounds I didn't know whether it had come to a point where if you put two rounds into a BG you would stop him.

Geez, sorry I asked.

Lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
It's a fair question no matter how many times it's asked. So no need to be sorry.

Many would say a .380 isn't enough but it's all about shot placement and if you can put two or three where they need to go then it might be just fine. Personally I wouldn't use a .380 for personal protection but I know a lot of people that carry them as a light conseal pistol when the weather is warm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Re: re: 380 for Self Defense?

aliasneo07 said:
I understand the .380 has less stopping power, but with the constant innovations with frangible rounds I didn't know whether it had come to a point where if you put two rounds into a BG you would stop him.

Geez, sorry I asked.

Lol.
Ask yourself one question: Why would I purchase and carry a firearm in 9mm Krutz (short) when I could get either a 9mm Luger or a 40 S&W in the same size?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would have said because of recoil. Less recoil often means better shot placement. For me I wouldn't worry about it too much, but, for say, the girlfriend, it could be an issue.

I guess part of my question involves where the shots SHOULD INDEED go. I always assumed in a targets upper left torso, or a head shot if you know you won't miss. (Distances less than a couple feet). I guess for that I should take a pistol self defense class.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
Re: re: 380 for Self Defense?

aliasneo07 said:
.....I always assumed in a targets upper left torso, or a head shot if you know you won't miss. (Distances less than a couple feet).....
Repeat after me, "Center of Mass."

"Center of Mass"

"Center of Mass"

No "head shots", no "upper left torso" (the heart is actually VERY close to the center of the chest)..... shoot for the center of the torso, right about the bottom end of the sternum. Several inches in any direction will still be a serious hit.

This ain't the old cowboy movies where the good guy shoots the gun out of the bad guy's hand. If you're going to shoot, then you're going to shoot to kill.... period.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Re: re: 380 for Self Defense?

wwb said:
aliasneo07 said:
.....I always assumed in a targets upper left torso, or a head shot if you know you won't miss. (Distances less than a couple feet).....
Repeat after me, "Center of Mass."

"Center of Mass"

"Center of Mass"

No "head shots", no "upper left torso" (the heart is actually VERY close to the center of the chest)..... shoot for the center of the torso, right about the bottom end of the sternum. Several inches in any direction will still be a serious hit.

This ain't the old cowboy movies where the good guy shoots the gun out of the bad guy's hand. If you're going to shoot, then you're going to shoot to kill.... period.
During my career I've been through several schools where the training course was to shoot for "Center Mass," but I subscribe to the "Groin Shot" school of thought.

In every school the instructor taught the class to double “tap” the target, generally Center Mass. The reason was to amplify the hydrodynamic shock to the target area of the body causing extensive damage to surrounding tissue/organs.

There are several reasons why I subscribe to the Groin Shot.

One; breaking the pelvis immediately stops the forward motion of most perps.

Second; perps sometimes wear body armor. Lighter calibers such as the .380 with defensive ammo in the winter time don't have the penetrating power to deliver stopping punch through heavy clothing. Most perps don't wear armor or heavy clothing on their lower extremities any time of the year.

Third; not only breaking the pelvis, a double tap to the groin will most likely rupture two of the largest arteries in the entire body, bleeding the perp out in a couple minutes while shock and blood lost would render them almost immediately unconscious.

The reason I wouldn’t use the .380 because it doesn’t have the shocking power of the more powerful 9mm or larger calibers. I have a Walther PPK/s in .380 and since my first Kahr purchase I haven’t used the Walther, keeping it only because my late father gave it to me as a present.

Go to my posting on: “Anyone Own a Walther?” (http://www.pistolworld.com/bbs/viewtopi ... highlight=) why I wouldn’t recommend nor carry one.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
318 Posts
The best shot is center body mass, period.
1. With a center body mass shot you have a bigger target area.
2. More vital organs in close proximity.
3. Less chance for collateral damage, caused by missing.
And on a final note, the only reason you would ever shoot someone is TO STOP THE AGGRESSION because YOU WERE IN FEAR FOR YOUR, OR SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
640 Posts
Having actually carried and been forced to use a 380 ACP, I would say it is a good minimum for unplanned defensive use. I carried mine back when the revolver ruled the LEO community and today's plethora of small 9mm Para and larger handguns were not even a gleam in some designer's eye. The 80 gr Super-Vel hollow points from a Beretta 84 did what they needed to do when I did my part. When I didn't, they didn't either. With the great advances in bullet technology, I would expect the 380 ACP to be much more effective than back then as hollowpoints are much more likely to expand then the Super Vels.
That said, in a gun the size of a PPK I would be much more inclined to go with something in 9mm Para or larger as ammo cost and choices are much greater and more available as well as arguably more "stopping" power. I don't expect a handgun bullet to expand, especially in the shortest barrels, so there is some merit to bullet diameter and weight in these circumstances. The 380 shines brighter when one begins to get into the sub-subcompacts where the two finger grips do not give much support for a heavier recoiling gun. It would also be a decent choice for someone who may be somewhat recoil sensitive where the 380 ACP in a heavier gun would be much more controllable for them. My personal opinion is a 380 ACP is not much different than the standard 38 Spl snub nose. If one is satisfactory, the other should be too.
As for aim points, since a handgun is rather underpowered and the hardest firearm to shoot accurately and the head is the smallest, most mobile, and heavily protected area of the body it would be foolish for the any but the highest trained shooters to try for that area. Even for them, they typically shoot for the torso if the subject is alerted or aggressive. I do not follow the "center of mass" theory exactly; I prefer center of chest. As has been pointed out in many classes, the center of the body is around the diaphram or bottom of the rib cage. Hits to the upper portion of this area can stop an aggressor fairly quickly but those lower often do not do much more initially than a good punch would. That is not necessarily enough to stop a determined attack. Center of chest is a better thought as that is where the most necessary tools for life reside. Hits to the lungs, heart, major arteries, and possibly even spine can quickly stop an aggressor and any hits to ribs and sternum can cause additional secondary projectiles and the added damage accompanying them whether the bullet expands or not. Hits to these body parts can also increase the likelihood of the bullet expanding if of that design. Shot to the pelvis are not a bad idea but are much less certain with less than duty type cartridges and guns. General consensus seems to be that a minimum of of 147 gr expanding 9mm rounds from a 4" or greater barrel are needed for consistent breaking of the pelvis. The 115 and 124 gr expanding bullets are not as consistent but the FMJs are better with this shot placement. The 38 Spl with 158 gr semi-wadcutters in a +P loading appear to be in the same ballpark. My personal choice of shots is to center of chest followed by a shot to the pelvic area if no immediate positive reaction. As the hip/waist area is much less mobile than the head and less likely to be shielded, I feel this is a better secondary up plan to stop an aggressor than a shot to the head.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
For the size and weight of a PPK, I would choose a 9mm Kahr and have more power. Where the .380 comes into its own is in the new ultra compacts like the Kel-Tec P-3AT, Ruger LCP, and the soon to be shipped Kahr P380. These pistols are all of very similar size and weight. They are the size of many earlier .25 ACP and .32 ACP pistols. These guns are good backups to a bigger primary gun or can be the primary gun when nothing else can be concealed. I carry a Kel-Tec P-3AT in a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster. It is loaded with 90 grain Cor-Bon +P loads. Its better than nothing. I prefer to have one of my J frame S&W .357 Magnum snubbies with me whenever I can.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Interesting posts guys, thanks.

As for what I said about headshots, I only meant that if nothing else was working, or if there was some grappling involved, and I was within a foot or two of the perp. Even still, I would probably more likely to dump the mag in his chest.

For anything else, I've also been told just a double tap to the chest. I just figured that the upper left torso would be a better spot, but then again, i have no defensive handgun experience :p. So I'll listen to yall.

Sounds to me like for a small carry, 9mm should be the minimum. I didn't realize a .380 would have trouble doing damage through heavy winter wear...that sucks. As it is in my state (MD) CCW isn't allowed, so this was just for when i finally move to either VA or PA, lol. Therefore, my primary use for a defensive pistol would be in the home environment...period. In which case I would not only skip the .380, but also the 9mm in favor of a .40 or .45.

Just a curiosity thread, thanks for your responses everyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
My wifes first gun was a Browning 380, she experienced several jams with factory fmj ammo, and not at all happy with the accuracy at -20'. She ended up with a Colt Det Sp 2" in 38 sp loaded with 110 jhp and went on to get her ccw permit.
My present wife packs a 2" 32 mag loaded with 95g jfp and feels ok with it at 15' center mass all out shooting. She has ordered a 4" 38/357 S&W/ adj sights for range shooting and ccw permit. My point is revolvers are less intimidating to casual shooters from a point of self defence, at least to women. Myself I pack a 44sp snubby, or 45 acp colt 1911.
Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
159 Posts
I was not trying to steer anyone away from the PPK. There are better carry and defensive options out there, but Walther's PPK is a classic. If you want one, by all means, buy one. You should never have to justify the purchase of a handgun. The only justification you need is that you like it and you want it. Period. The rest is between you and your budget.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
I almost bought a new PPK but all my local gun shop/range had was a 22. I bought the S&W M&P compact 9mm instead. I was looking of a easy carry pistol. Remeber these are up close pistols, shooting them at 20 foot targets is a waste of time. Shooting at 10 feet is where the rounds have to hit. In real life it will be even closer.

With that said I can hit a 30 foot target consistantly with my S&W M&P compact. But that's on a range with no distraction, no one trying to take my life. So I expect it's a good 10 foot pistol.

Still thinking I might buy a 380 PPK when they are in stock it is a good fit to hand and even lighter than my recent purchase.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Re: re: 380 for Self Defense?

aliasneo07 said:
As it is in my state (MD) CCW isn't allowed, so this was just for when i finally move to either VA or PA, lol. Therefore, my primary use for a defensive pistol would be in the home environment...period. In which case I would not only skip the .380, but also the 9mm in favor of a .40 or .45.

Just a curiosity thread, thanks for your responses everyone.
If you're looking for a home defense firearm I wouldn't look at a handgun but a shotgun.

First off, you never go looking for a perp, even in your house. By doing so you expose yourself to attacks, possibly having the handgun your using to hunt the perp down, taken away and used against you, your love ones and/or someone else in the future!

Another reason I don't subscribe to handguns for home defense is that ammo has more energy to blow through multiple walls in the home endangering the ones that your trying to protect.

There is several books out there on this issue that I would recommand you take a look at or better yet! The NRA has a course on Home Defense that I would highly recommand you take (http://www.nrahq.org/education/training ... .asp#ppith), and while the majority preach the use of a handgun in the home, following the principles/procedures that you'll learn, you easily can apply them with a shotgun.

My reason for subscribing to a shotgun for home defense is:

More Lead! While a handgun might have 37gr. (.22LR) up to 280gr. (.45acp.) or more in bullet weight, a shotgun 00 Buck generally has a full "Ounce" of shot (one grain = 0.002285 ounce. You do the math!). More mass equals more energy transfer meaning more terminal trauma to the target. While the shotgun has more terminal energy at close range, it's drops off quickly, presenting less of a danger to love ones in the next room.

Psyological advantage! Everyone has heard of the mighty trenchbroom's destructive power of blowing a man clean in two, even the perps! While this is mostly propaganda they will do quit a bit more damage then a handgun. If a perp learns that they're confronting a armed homeowner with shotgun [either by you telling them or the racking of the action (there is no other sound quit like it!)] they will generally flee. If you do get a stupid one, the minute that they see the business end is generally enough for them to flee. If not! Then you know what come next.

Less government regulations! Most states (if any) don't require the registration of shotguns unlike handguns. There is no special purchase perments, licensing or safety inspections requirements (defacto registration). While you may be required to have some type of safety devise on it by law. Unless you have children I would worry about it. My dad had a double barrel saw-off over the door inside his closet for years. Us kids couldn't get to it until we were much older and it was convinent for him in a hurry.

Depending on what type you get, (I would recommand a Rem. 870 cause of ease use, and reliability, plus the score of interchangible barrels you can get aftermarket) it may be use to defend your home, it can also provide food on the table or endless hours of sporting entertainment.

With all this, I would also have a handgun as a backup in case of needing time to get to the shotgun, being surprise in the middle of the night or malfuctions of the primary weapon (shotgun). A handgun has always been the weapon of last resort, remember this and you'll more then likely will stay alive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the post stmichps.

Actually, I already have a mossberg 500a with a 18.5 inch barrel, a sling, side saddle, and light on it. (Dont have a pressure switch on the light though which means i wont use it for HD scenario, normally) and I keep it loaded with 00BK close to my bed.

For some reason, and I might be alone in this, I want a pistol for HD. I can't explain why. Mainly for portability. Even with the 18.5 inch barrel its harder to shoot around walls, or clear rooms, vs. a 1911 with a pressure activated light or laser, for instance. Its a tough call and I'm not 100%, i just always pictured myself grabbing a pistol when someone busts in. But, I spose I should give it more thought. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
I think a lot of us do exactly that, have a 12ga shotgun available for investigating the bump in the night (a good light with a pressure switch is worth the $) and also have a pistol that is easy to grab if you have to respond to a threat quickly.

I have a mossburg with the short barrel, folding rear pistol grip stock, pistol grip forearm and a shurefire light with a pressue switch under the bed. In the night stand I keep my S&W M&P 45 with night sights and light/laser combo on the rail
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top