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.380 ACP is even capable of meeting FBI/IWBA specifications for duty cartridges by penetrating a minimum of 12" in Ballistics Gelatin through 4 layers of heavy denim with full expansion
Yes.

, albeit marginally (12"-13" is about as much as you can expect) and pretty much exclusively with the modestly expanding Hornady XTP bullet design.
No. If you (like one author) elect a Taurus TCP, and somehow still manage to get slower velocities and worse results across all rounds than even people using shorter barreled LCPs and LCPIIs, then sure, you're stuck with an XTP.

Go with a Glock42, Makarov, Bersa (or something closely resembling a Bersa?) and the options open right up. Really glad I didn't go with my first instinct and buy a Beretta Pico.

Still, a duty cartridge it is not, so if you want to carry a duty cartridge, you want 9mm Luger or higher.
Yes. Even the people/rounds/arms that look FBI-spec in gel or gel+denim don't even try the barrier tests. (or, conversely, if I'm defending out in the world and the threat goes and hides behind a car, I'll just leave...)
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I shoot mostly factory hardball in all my P-Series pistols. They work wonderfully, and while they probably don't expand, they probably don't need to, and I'll probably never fire one in SD. For the fun of shooting, it's hardball.


Hornady Critical Defense is my only concession to expanding bullets. I got a couple of boxes from a guy who owed me money and that was the exchange. They seem to shoot reliably in the few times I've used them for a function test, but are too expensive for practice.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Not "hard to shoot because of recoil" or "slide bite," but because learning to shoot these fine pistols takes patience and acknowledgement of their design imposed gripping and ammunition requirements/limitations.

Everyone is likely a "recoil wimp" at some point in their lives; I see it fast approaching. For some, this happens sooner than later for whatever physical limitations imposed by nature or life. For this reason, I usually wince at usage of "recoil wimp."

Well, I'm 74 years old and have dreaded recoil since I was a young man. I have always been a recoil wimp....strike that, I have always been recoil sensitive. I don't have any arthritis issues (knock on wood) but do have weaker hands than a few years back. It's difficult, but not impossible for me to rack a .380 slide, easy with the .32.


The Interarms .380 PPK/S was my first introduction to a dot-front sight. I found it pretty easy to shoot in low-light and street situations. I carried it for a while as a primary weapon because I was a LEO UC and didn't want to get burned because I was carrying a cop-looking gun. The Interarms PPK .380 has excellent sights as well, and I painted the .32's sights with orange fingernail polish. So now I can see all of them.



I don't think it took any special training to get proficient with the PP over any other auto...just line up the sights and pull the trigger. Just like any other auto pistol I've owned.
 

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My only beef with .380 is it鈥檚 more expensive than 9mm. As far has hard on the hands, I have both a PPK in .380 and a Ruger LCP (my carry gun). The PPK is a dream to shoot versus the (and after shooting) LCP. But my favorite to shoot at the range is the much maligned PPK/S in .22. You can shoot it all day for not much money and my hands never complain. Any of these three can be a self defense weapon considering less that 1% of people who carry will ever encounter a need to use it for such. My opinion not backed up by fact.
 

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Shoot a .32 and a .380 PP-series pistol side by side and the reason is obvious. The exception is the .380 PP Super, which is much more pleasant to shoot.
My PP Super is in 9mm Ultra and I was surprised at how comfortable it is compared to my .380's.


Everyone is likely a "recoil wimp" at some point in their lives
I think everyone handles recoil differently. I enjoy shooting 10mm and .357 / .44 Magnum but I find .357 Sig and most .380's to be unpleasant.
 

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Recoil / slide bite - didn't mention those.
Special training - didn't say that.

I did say "patience and acknowledgement of their design"; a nod to not wimp wristing and not using HP in a pistol designed for FMJ (aka pre-S&W.) A seasoned pistol shooter does, of course, know this and has an advantage when first using the PP series.
 

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Nonsense. Everyone knows the .45ACP is God's own caliber.
馃檪

Having had the need to use a M1911 for irs intended purpose in Nam, all I can say is that God should savor her selection. I would have rather had a 9mm while clearing buildings in 鈥68 in Hue City. For me accuracy is the most important factor of lethality. There is a good reason the military went to 9mm. Most are more accurate with that caliber. But the 45 is wrecking ball of a different class.
 

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DE Pistole I agree with you, having to learn how not to get bitten by the slide of the PP/PPK鈥檚 is something a lot of shooters don't learn. All it took for me was the mark鈥檚 on the web of my right hand. Then the light came on, just grip it so the slide clears the web, and the rest is history.
 

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I've got a couple of .380s in the PP frame, yet I see a lot (well, maybe not a LOT, but some informed posters) dismissing the .380. Why is this? Mine shoot any type of ammo I've tried flawlessly...they're Interarms, back from a while ago. The last one I bought is SS a very accurate pistol...more so than my .32 Ulm.


And the recoil? Not bad. So why no love for this pretty good pocket cartridge?
I love it. It is my go to carry caliber because I am focused on self defense rather than fighting off Al Qaeda. I have the LCP, the Sig P238 (which is awesome) and the PPK, which is easy to carry but not good in a pocket for me.


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Mr.Efficiency now i will say the Sig 238 does have some nice sights
The 238 is everything a pocket automatic always should have been. I love my others... but I carry the PPK in a rhemora holster that doesn鈥檛 need clips. I use the LCP as a super micro, ankle or shorts, etc.

Anyone who thinks a .380 isn鈥檛 good enough for personal defense... I think a .380 is plenty to make someone stop what they were doing that made you shoot them :)

I鈥檓 also fond of snubbies as personal defense guns. Many of mine do fit in a pocket, but I prefer to carry those in a rhemora as well.




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Mr. E: Don't forget bear attacks and home invasions;)
Well, I have different pistols for that... for home invasion, that鈥檚 a 12 gauge. For bear attacks... I have a .357 magnum... a little light but the biggest gun I want to pack. My truck gun is a 45-70, though :)


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DE Pistole I agree with you, having to learn how not to get bitten by the slide of the PP/PPK鈥檚 is something a lot of shooters don't learn. All it took for me was the mark鈥檚 on the web of my right hand. Then the light came on, just grip it so the slide clears the web, and the rest is history.
I have huge hands and the slide has never bitten me. The hammer bites me every time but I can tolerate that to enjoy the hefty accuracy from the PPK


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Just joking ! , as we seem to have several threads on the "most dangerous" instead of the "most likely" self defense scenarios your average American (not walking a beat / clearing an enemy position) will face. But, as you note, the .380 ACP is a viable round for the most likely self defense scenario most of us will face in the remote chance even it occurs. For those concerned about the "most dangerous" self defense scenarios, they can up-arm to whatever degree they deem appropriate for that contingency.
 

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This business with .380 recoil in the PP platform has a habit of turning into a machismo contest. Let's clarify that first; in this gun, the slide's impact at the end of its travel is really what you feel. The same round in a Glock 42 is pleasant; in a Smith EZ, it's a .22. The cartridge isn't the issue.
The .380's claim to fame is its ability to be chambered in smaller pistols than a 9. It's not the stopper that a 9 is, but the smaller/less recoil is worth the trade off.
The affection for the .32 here is, IMHO, a combination of snob appeal for the less common, original iteration in that caliber, and the notion that the smaller caliber is more pleasant to shoot.
Personally, the .380 is an adequate defense round for an armed civilian, and it helps meet the first rule of gunfighting, that "have a gun" thing.
Moon
 

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I find the recoil to be sharp and unpleasant. The pistols are beautiful and I have several, three I think in .380...but I was extremely disappointed the first time I fired a PPK in .380. The pistol drives straight back....hard. Other small .380's seem to flip upward more than drive rearward and I find do not kick as hard. I'm not a wimp about it.... but the recoil is pretty hard in my opinion. Other pistols handle .380 recoil better these days. But none are as beautiful. I don't carry one at all. If I did it would probably be the .32 version. 1917
 

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Weird. Straight backward is preferable to twisting and flipping up. Weapons remains on target and follow up shots are easier, and you don't feel yourself trying to fall into the habit of anticipating the flip and trying to compensate for it.
Only guns I have this applies to are the PPK, the Sig/Mauser M2, and 1911s. Like shooting fireballs directly from your finger tips.
 
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