The.380 pistol has grown in popularity as defensive ammunition has improved. What are the best choices in the small and concealable category?Top .380 Pistol Options For Deep Carry (2021)
The.380 ACP pistol was all the rage until the world recently went to hell in a handbasket. Not that it isn’t still the case. In recent years, any gun has been preferable to no gun. Full-sized 9mms with readily available extended-capacity magazines, on the other hand, are looking pretty darn good right now. What does it matter if it prints? But I’m digressing. Top .380 Pistol Options For Deep Carry (2021)
One major factor in resurrecting the humble.380 was ammunition. Improvements in bullet design, which provided consistent penetration and expansion, took a marginal self-defense cartridge and made it, well… marginally better. That is to say, the debate over whether carrying a.380 ACP as your primary self-defense weapon is as alive and well as ever.
So, before we get into the top.380 pistol options available today, let’s go over some of the advantages and disadvantages of the modest 9mm and its handguns.
Why You Want A .380 Pistol
When looking at.380 pistol options, it is clear that the caliber has a significant advantage over almost every other. They’re tiny, almost minuscule. The ubiquitous 9mm has gained ground over the years. The dimensions of the Sig Sauer P365, for example, encroach on.380 territory. Still, this is the exception, not the rule… for the time being.
Because concealing your firearms is the key to concealed carry, these pocket pistols have an advantage. If you live in a shorts and T-shirt climate, a Government Model 1911 is extremely difficult to conceal. A Ruger LCP, on the other hand. As a result, concealing a.380 pistol is a relatively simple task.
However, the concealability of.380 handguns isn’t the main selling point. It is important to encourage program compliance. In layman’s terms, this refers to a gun that you will carry on a daily basis. It’s much easier said than done. Smaller, lighter guns, on the other hand, tend to encourage diligence.
Although this is a significant advantage for the.380, there are some unfavorable aspects of the caliber and its guns that should be considered.
Why You Don’t Want A .380 Pistol
The small size of.380 pistols is a significant advantage, but it is not without drawbacks. Small guns, in general, are difficult to shoot well. It’s not impossible, but becoming proficient with a micro.380 takes more practice than, say, a Glock 17.Top .380 Pistol Options For Deep Carry (2021)
There are several obvious reasons for this disparity:
Sight Radius: The distance between the front and rear sights is referred to as the sight radius. The less of it there is, the more difficult it is to keep a target in sight.
Grip: The majority of.380 pistols have a small grip, both in height and circumference. As a result, the guns are difficult to maintain firm control over, especially during faster shot sequences.
Lightweight: It’s nice to have a featherweight on your hip until it’s time to pull the trigger. Most have a lack of heft. Recoil is amplified in 380 pistols. With the smaller grips, you’ve got yourself a bucky handgun.
Low Capacity: The trade-off for a highly concealable gun is a lack of available rounds. 6-round magazines are expected to be the norm.
Ammunition is also an issue. While it is undeniable. Although the 380 ACP has improved over the years, it still has one major flaw: mediocre velocities for the caliber. Worryingly, given that velocity is the primary variable dictating the performance of modern bullets. If there isn’t enough of it, the projectile won’t be able to penetrate deeply enough or expand properly, if at all.Top .380 Pistol Options For Deep Carry (2021)
Is this to say that the.380 isn’t legal for self-defense? Not at all. However, it does imply doing your research on the ammunition you will use to protect your life. Choose wisely.
Top .380 Pistol Picks For Concealed Carry
The PPK/S is a true classic that still holds its own in modern concealed carry. Because it is larger than the original PPK, it is easier to shoot and more accurate as the day progresses.
At the same time, the.380 pistol is perfectly concealable in every way. The PPK/S is better suited to carrying on the hip—19 it’s ounces after all—but it can do pocket-carry duty in a pinch.
In terms of accuracy, two words describe the pistol: dead nuts. Much of this is due to the fixed barrel, which eliminates barrel wiggle and turns the dashing heater into a natural pointer.
However, because it is a straight blowback action, it produces a stronger felt recoil. Furthermore, the PPK/S has a DA/SA trigger. Mind you, it’s a good one. But keep in mind that the first trigger pull is a hefty 13 pounds or so.
In addition, there may never be a better time to start a PPK/S. Walther is once again the sole manufacturer, resulting in excellent fit, finish, and quality control.
People were looking at the P238 because it ticked like a Swiss-made timepiece. 380 ACP long before the cartridge’s resurgence. Of course, Sig spent some time and money on sound engineering to create a pocket pistol that performs like a full-size iron.
The.380 pistol is essentially a micro 1911 with all of the features intended by John M. Browning in perhaps his most famous design. A great example is a powerful single-action trigger that works tirelessly to ensure the accuracy of the 2.7-inch barreled gun.
Few firearms outperform the P238 in terms of concealability. With a height of 3.9 inches and a weight of 15 ounces unloaded, it is clearly a pocket pistol and would perform admirably in this capacity.
The pistol, however, has some drawbacks for some. One is the thumb safety, and the other is the cost. The P238 with 6+1 capacity is on the more expensive end of the spectrum. Take solace in the fact that few people consider the pistol to be a waste of money.
The G42 was one of the most anticipated firearms in the last decade, and it did not disappoint. The.380 pistol checked all the boxes for a deep-cover concealed carry piece: it was concealable, familiar, and, most importantly, dependable. In a nutshell, it’s a Glock.
The G42 has been overshadowed in recent years by Glock’s small 9mm offerings. However, it has a place in close-quarters combat. Especially because of its shootability. It is larger in comparison to the others. 380s is partly to blame for this, with the gun measuring 4.13 inches tall and.98 inches wide.
Some people find semi-automatic pistols prohibitively expensive. Because of the hitch and heavy springs, manipulating the slide is nearly impossible. Recognizing this problem, Smith & Wesson addressed it head-on and deftly with the M&P380 Shield EZ.
When compared to a standard pistol, the.380 requires a fraction of the force to rack the slide, making it more accessible to a wider range of shooters. Smith & Wesson achieved this feat by breaking away from the herd. By using an internal hammer rather than the more common striker-fired design, the company was able to use lighter springs, reducing the force required to manipulate the slide. Smith & Wesson also added a few other features, such as aggressive slide swivels, for good measure.
Even years after its release, the LCP II is still something to marvel at. How did Ruger squeeze so much into so little?
An improvement on the original Light Compact Pistol, the LCP II is an ideal backup or deep-carry gun. To that end, it’s plum minuscule, weighing in at a scant 10.6 ounces and measuring .75 inches in width and 3.71 inches in height. That’s small.
The LCP, on the other hand, is no slouch, holding 6+1 rounds and shooting like a dream. Much of this is due to Ruger’s improvements to the trigger, which give the double-action hammer-fired gun the feel of a single-action gun. The other half of the equation is excellent ergonomics that accommodate even the largest mitted.
Again, this is a small and light gun. As a result, many people who are new to handguns will need time to learn how to use the LCP II. But, when it comes to a piece that is a no-brainer to carry every day, few can compete with Ruger’s little.380 pistol.
Value and performance are frequently inversely related. This is not the case with Springfield Armory’s small, effective, and, yes, dashing. 380 caliber pistol
However, before we get into the nuts and bolts of the 911, it does bear a striking resemblance to Sig’s P238. It would be a problem if Springfield simply knocked off the pistol and left it at that. However, the company improved on a tried-and-true design, giving it its own set of legs to stand on. The pistol, in particular, is lighter (12.6 ounces) than the P238, has arguably better sights (Pro Glo day/night), nicer standard grips (G10), and is significantly less expensive. Not to mention that the aluminum-framed mite is fully capable of turning off the lights.
However, there is one thorn to pick: the trigger. If there’s one thing that has people scratching their heads, it’s the 911’s G10 switch, which was designed to save weight and money. This isn’t to say the pull and break aren’t great. They’re exactly what you’d expect from a 1911 single-action. However, it does not have the same feel for some as cold, hard steel. Is it a deal breaker? No, it does not. Still, if you’re picky, keep this in mind.