.380/Pocket Gun defense training

Discussion in 'General Handgun' started by Darkfront, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Darkfront

    Darkfront G&G Evangelist

    I just had this question come up today: How many of you carry and train with a .380 pocket gun for defensive situations? Since the design spec is for contact distance engagements with the handling, sighting and ammunition characteristics somewhat limited, how would you describe your proficiency level and what is your training regimen?

    I'm curious to see where the changes are in training, tactics and mindset when using a .380 as a primary defense weapon, as opposed to a full sized or compact 9mm or larger caliber.
  2. Para Cassatt

    Para Cassatt G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Df, I no longer own a 380 or necessarily train for defensive situations with a handgun but I would be interested in your thoughts on the issue.

  3. I carry a P3AT and practice with it as often as I can with .380 ammo being tough to find. I do most of my practice shooting from 3 to 5 yards whereas that is more distance than I will most likely ever use it. I'll shoot a few magazines at 10 to 20 yards just to play but the true practice training is at close distances, no sights used, point and shoot.

    Sarge actually taught me an eye contact style at the Memorial Day BBQ designed for closer range shooting where you don't really even look at the gun, just your intended target. I forget what he called it but after some practice it works pretty well. PM him and ask him. He's good at what he does.
  4. Darkfront

    Darkfront G&G Evangelist

    Looking at how these pocket guns are used, I think point shooting should definitely be a part of any defensive training. Depending on stress reactions, it may be the only available option for some people.

    The difficulty with point shooting (also called instinctive shooting) is that the amount of time it takes to train your hand eye coordination to highly skilled levels is prohibitive for the average citizen. It also requires good body posture and relies more on the Natural Point of Aim for the most effective work. Defense situations rarely allow you to have ideal stance and posture when standing off against a hostile.

    Accuracy is key in these situations since you have limited rounds and a smaller caliber that delivers less energy to work with.

    Sighted shots will help mediate this, but again because of the short sight radius, less than ideal ergonomics and other factors, the incapacitating shot(s), even at 3-5 yard distances may prove difficult. Compound this with the fact that most encounters occur in low light with very few of the most popular pocket pistols having a provision for night sights (Ruger LCP, Kel-Tec have none) and there's a serious need for new tactics and training. Smith & Wesson's new Bodyguard has an Insight laser built in, but I don't rely on anything battery powered.

    I don't own any .380 pocket pistols personally, since I don't feel comfortably proficient to carry one, and have no idea on training options. It's kind of a catch 22. I won't buy one because I'm not proficient, but I won't become proficient until I buy one.

    I can see the difficulties, but would like to hear anyone's take on training drills or any shooting techniques to improve success with one of these pistols.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010