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About a year ago I sold a Walther PPK/S I had bought for my wife (wish I hadn't done so). I am in the position to buy another one within the next 6 months. Numerous people told me forget it, the .380 won't cut the mustard for self defense (in the home, i.e. burglar, home invasion etc) especially if the suspect is all hopped up. They advise a 9mm. What say you all and thanks in advance.
 

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While many consider a 9mm the minimum for personal protection, I'm comfortable with my choice of .380. The importance of shot placement dwarfs the choice in caliber in my opinion.
 

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I trust the 380 I have one on my hip and 1 on the nightstand. Something most people never think about is what it will be like to set off your 12guage,357,9mm 44mag, in a hallway or bed room. If you never done it your in for a big suprise and facing the BG is not the time for another surprise. Shot placement and 380 is fine.
CorBon is coming out with a new round for 380 in may its a DPX bullett and should kick butt out of PPK/S,Bersa,Sig. .
 

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Like what has already been said, it's all about shot placement. True one shot stops rarely happen with any handgun caliber. You need to hit the brain stem through the ocular area of the head. The .380 may or may not have the umph to get through the flesh and bone to this area. The nice thing about the bigger calibers is they make bigger holes.

There is a lot that will determine how fast an assaillent will go down. Is that person on drugs? Is that person a highly trained military warrior that can take pain and run on adrenaline even though he may be bleeding profusely. (i.e. the Miami shootout)

The .380 isn't my first choice for a defensive weapon, but it is better than a rock.
 

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IMHO if a .380 wont stop someone, a 9mm is not going to do much more- best to use a shotgun then. IIWY, I'd have a .380 for carry and a shotgun for the house.

+1 on shot placement.
Here in town 2 weeks ago a BG dropped another with a .22 to the neck.
 

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Yesterday or the day before in Tennessee a freshman in highschool killed his assistant principal by shooting him in the chest with a .22

Now as one of my ER Doctors said all it takes is one .45 no particularly vital place (on Torso) to kill your attacker, to equal the same amount of internal damage as a .45 (no vital organs hit) it would take two to three 9mm. However no matter if its the size of a pin or the size of a donught, a hole in the middle of the chest is not something you will be able to cope well with... There is a reason why the sillhouette has an X in the MIDDLE. So once again placement placement placement!!!!!!! .380 is plenty of firepower

MTS
 

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+1

I say carry what you shoot the best, I happen to shoot my PPK a bit better than any of my other firearms, including my P99!!!  Ah, well.  Strange, it has the shortest sight radius, I believe.

At least the PPK really disappears when carrying.  It's really easy to conceal!  So, if you can shoot something well, you'll be most effective with that particular weapon.

-stunks
 

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Yes - bigger calibers would stop better - but its how well you shoot the gun you carry. I shoot my Glock 23 great - but the PPK/S conceals better and I shoot it just as well!
 

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I asked myself the same question many, many times before I purchased my Kahr PM9. I just couldn't bring myself to carry .380 when the new 9mm handguns are so small.

-Rohrbaugh R9 <--- Very spendy
-Kahr PM9 <--- same price as my P99
-Kel-Tec P11 <--- cheap

EDIT- You guys are right about shot placement, but why carry .380 when you can carry 9mm in the same (or smaller, lighter) package? IMHO, if you want a .380, get it in something smaller like a Kel-Tec P3AT.
 

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I personally know of two shootings with a .380. It was a PPKs carried by co worker in Narcotics who killed two bad guys in two separate drug buys that went bad.
 

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Rules to follow when involved in a gunfight:

#1... Have a gun.


If there was a 99.849271% chance that I would be assaulted next time I go out, I would be packing a pair of 1911 .45's AND a shotgun. However, since in reality the odds are that I won't be assaulted. Slipping my PPK in a holster when I go out is as natural as putting my watch on my wrist and quite often forget it's there.
It's true that while some of the newer designs can get you a 9mm is a similar size to a PPK, the ballistic differences at close/defensive ranges are neglible, at best.
 

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The 380 is a good gun to carry concealed. It will get the job done if placement is correct. Remember if she has to use it, it will probably be very close range.

If it is for in the home only, a larger caliber may be better IF she feels comfortable shooting it. If she likes the ppk and hits with it well vs a 45 or shotgun she cant hit with, go with the ppk. Each is a diffrent tool with positives and drawbacks. It all about what fits her and the situation.
 

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Since the scenarios you mention are "home based," I'll assume you are not primarily looking for a carry piece for her at this point.

(An aside: I don't know what state you are in, but to see the progress Shall Issue Right to Carry has made over the past 15 or so years, watch the 20 sec animation at:
http://www.gun-nuttery.com/rtc.php
and for info re concealed carry laws go to:
http://www.packing.org/
and select "state ccw info" button at the top of the page.)

Now, back to the issue at hand. My best advice is getting her a shotgun. I haven't bought one yet, but the one I would Rx is the Remington 1187 Youth Synthetic in 20 gauge. I've read many good things about the 1187 for self-defense use (Awerbuck loves 'em), and the 20 packs as good a wallop as needed w/in a normal sized dwelling. It's a semiauto so she won't have to mess w/pumping and it reduces the already mild recoil of the 20 ga. The Youth versions have shorter length-of-pull (buttstock) than the regular, which make them better for fast shouldering under dynamic conditions and the Synthetic has dull black stocks which are also better in a tactical situation. IIRC, Federal offers #2 buck in 20 ga which should perform excellent for fending off unwelcome boarders. About the only thing I'd do to it is put a XO Big Dot tritium front sight on it. I also Rx ANYTHING (books, DVDs, classes) by Louis Awerbuck for SGN training.

In general, she'll be able to hit 'em a LOT harder and a LOT easier w/a 20 ga SGN than most any HG. Hope she never needs it.
 

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A shot gun even a 18in barrel is hard to handle in a house . A women will have a harder time. At room range a shot gun misses just as good as a pistol the shot pattern will only be a little bigger than the bore(try and see). Couple of inches at most.I got a cyl bore 410 18in and at 30' I get around a 5" spread with the 5 00Buck round If in fixed location and defence covering door maybe a shot gun. Tell me will you carry you shotgun room to room at night or during day . Remember home invasions are norm now I have a pistol on or near to me at all times I dam sure not walking around with a shotgun or trying to answer the door with one either. A pistol for most people in home to me makes more sense. And a 380 will put the hurt on BG. Most will run at first shot because they don't want shot Hospitals call Police over gunshot wounds I stopped a attemted robbery of me one night with a 25 auto . He saw pistol and did a Road Runner
 

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M.T. I guess when I wrote "I haven't bought one yet," I should have written "I haven't bought a Rem 1187 Youth Synthetic in 20 ga yet."  I have several SGNs and first trained w/Clint Smith w/SGNs back when he was doing his ITC "road trips" before opening Thunder Ranch (TX), so I know what SGNs can and cannot do.  We had several women in that class and a couple of women regularly participate in my club's 3-Gun matches (using 12 ga semis).  It takes very little training to learn use a SGN effectively w/in a dwelling.

If home invasions are common where NOPTPARS lives I'd Rx keeping that SGN stashed behind something (like a couch near his favorite chair) where he spends most of the evening and then taking it w/him to his bedroom when retiring.  I'd also Rx getting a pistol, something between .38spl/9mm and .45acp, to keep upon his person at least while at home.  

NOTPARS, once you have a gun, the main things are knowing when to shoot (law & tactics), knowing how to shoot (training), knowing where to shoot a person (anatomy), and be willing to shoot (moral indignation/outrage).

As far as answering the door, unless you know them or are expecting them (e.g., UPS), why do it?  If they say they need help or their car broke down, just tell them through the door you're happy to call help, road service or the police for them -- that's what I've done (at 2 am).  

I would much prefer even the 5" dia pattern from a .410 @ 30' (typical "down the hall" distance) than a single 0.35" dia bullet (the true diameter of .380 bullets).  A single SGN hit w/20 ga buck will give the BG a LOT more holes to bleed out of faster than a HG, thus preventing BG from doing more bad things. Multiple pellets make hitting a major blood vessel more likely too.  Also, as Clint told us, if a BG comes at you w/a knife and you shoot him w/a HG you're hoping he'll drop his knife.  If you use a SGN you can blow his knife arm (or head) off.  SGNs, w/buck up close, REMOVE flesh.  But note well, even if you blow his heart out, if he is determined (e.g., Moros, drugged up, psycho, etc.), he can still fight for 12-15 sec before his brain runs out of oxygenated blood and he MUST go down.  

To really give NOTPARS better advice would require knowing more about his situation (e.g., house/apt; rural/suburban/urban; level of criminal activity in the neighborhood/city; is the weapon for him/wife/both; willingness of him/wife to learn/train; need to carry; lay out of home (esp location of family room and bed rooms); etc.).  

NOTPARS, about the best and most current info you can find on the web re. the effectiveness of different calibers and shot/gauges is at WarriorTalk's Terminal Ballistics forum (AmmoLab-David DeFabio) and Tactical Forums Terminal Effects forum (DocGKR).

Good background info can be found at:
http://www.firearmstactical.com/tactical.htm
and esp at
http://www.fbi.gov/publications/leb/2004/oct2004/oct04leb.htm#page_15
although it is focused on law enforcement.

WarriorTalk also has a good forum dedicated to SGNs.
 

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I too have had some reservations on the effectiveness of the .380 as a selfdefense weapon. In particular in the winter when folks wear heavy clothes, coats etc and some super big druged up thug with 4 layers of fat. I have some what solved this by stacking the mag one in tube is a FMJ and the top one in the mag is FMJ they tend to pentrate better and feel well balance of mag has HP, mag tech or Federal Hydra Shok. I am looking to find Corbon DPX. AS many have stated shot placement is key. There are a lot of .380's out there and many more will be sold. Let's face it the PPK in both .32 and .380 have defended and killed a lot of BG since 1931. And in FMJ to boot. Kimber and SA make some small, 3" barrel 1911 45 ACP if you feel better protected with that caliber.
 
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