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Best .380 For Concealed Carry?

Discussion in 'General Handgun' started by Chris, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Chris

    Chris Administrator Staff Member

    Hey guys,
    Picking up my CCW in a few weeks, and I've been scouring the .380 market.

    I just love the .380s you can put in your pocket with the right holster and never know it's there.

    I've been looking at the ever popular Ruger LCP .380 . I've shot them, and they are find I think for general purpose.

    I've been toying with the Walther PPK. I did qualify with this pistol, and scored a 99% accuracy...even if it was only 7 yards from the target.
    This piece is a bit heavier, bulkier, but has sights.

    There are constant tradeoffs between weight, accuracy, and conceal ability.

    Any other suggestions before I pull "the trigger" on the ruger?

  2. whirlwind

    whirlwind G&G Enthusiast

    when ya want a 380 ya really just cant beat a walther! ive been looking at them too and i really like the looks of the "PK-380" it looks just like their P-99 but smaller. its not but a fraction of an inch taller than a ppk and new its a couple hundred less than the ppk.
  3. Jay

    Jay Old man, No tact... Staff Member Forum Contributor

    My wife really likes the Bersa Thunder .380...... It surprisingly fits my large hands pretty well. I bought her the Bersa Thunder in .22 to pling with, as all the controls are identical, as is the size. I have the widebody Bersa (15 rounds) in the glove box of my truck. VERY similar to the Walther PPK series, but the Bersa has an external slide lock that the Walther does not.

    Given that you're aware of the trade offs. I post this.... I very rarely suggest a particular firearm to anyone else. What fits me may not hardly fit you..... :tapedshut: :usa2:
  4. flyingbrkracing

    flyingbrkracing G&G Enthusiast

    Nothing bad I can say about my LCP as far as reliability is concerned but if plan on shooting at more than 7 yards..........lets just say it's an "up close and personal" kind of pistol.
    The best thing is as long as you have pockets you can carry.
  5. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

    The 3 guns in .380 I recommend is the Colt Mustang / Pocketlite or the Ruger LCP. For belt hip carry in a holster a Makarov .380 because of it being Double action and Flat for easy concealment and a bit larger grip than the others. Very accurate as well. Getting a gun out of your pocket can cost you vital seconds so it is something to consider.
  6. Palladin8

    Palladin8 G&G Evangelist

    There are a few things that I dislike about the lcp that I bought.
    1.) there is no slide lock for last round. Not the end of the world but I would like to have one.

    2.)the slide is blued rather than parkerized or other coating to resist corrosion. Salty sweat reaks havoc on bluing.

    If I hadn't bought the LCP before knowing that Sig was going to release the 238 I would have waited for the 238. It is like the Colt Mustang like Moose recommended and the ones I have held just felt solid.
    You can't go wrong with the PPK but they are just a little larger than the other pocket pistols and frankly you can find a 9mm that is the same or a tad smaller.

    If you can swing it I would say go for the Sig.
  7. BaserRonin

    BaserRonin G&G Evangelist

    There appears to be quite a price difference between the LCP and the 238, with the 238 being all around larger. Would you say the LCP is worth twice as much when thinking of reliability and conceal-ability?

    I don't have experience with either, and my early experiences with 380's was less then satisfactory.
  8. Levergun4570

    Levergun4570 G&G Newbie

    I use a Keltec p3at, it is not the prettiest and it doesn't have any bells or whistles. But for a up close and personal ccw weapon I'm real happy with it. I only paid 250 for it brand new. The gun is about the same height and weight of my cellphone, which makes it easy to just put in my pocket and forget I have it most of the time. Just another option.
  9. texnmidwest

    texnmidwest Sir Loin of Beef Forum Contributor

    I can weigh in on the PPK and the Bersa. I have a PP and find it accurate and fun to shoot. The bersa is just a poor man's Walther in my opinion. The only complaint I have against the Bersa is that the trigger travels almost as much as my Mosins triggers! But once I got used to the trigger pull I was holding pretty tight groups. Both are very reliable pistols!

    The one I would carry if I could, that I don't have is the Kel Tek. I like the size, it can fit in a pocket and it comes in 9mm. JMHO!
  10. SightNSqueeze

    SightNSqueeze G&G Newbie

    Can't find fault in any of the above suggestions. Let me throw one out there though. CZ-82 in 9x18mm. Pocket size, ergonomic, quality made in Czechoslovakia during the late Cold War and in response to the Soviet Makarov.

    Aim Surplus has them with "two" 12-round mags. Since they are surplus, they are inexpensive at $2-219. I think they still have them. Other distributers may have them too. I would get one if I didn't already have a Colt Officer's ACP and two Taurus Model 85 snubbies as small concealable pistols.

    Czech CZ-82 9x18 Pistol
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  11. oldjarhead

    oldjarhead G&G Evangelist

    It's difficult to go wrong with a Walther PPK, Walther PK380, Sig 238, or the Makarov 9x18 or .380.
    The main point to look for is the fit of the gun in your hand. If it's too small or too large you will have difficulty handling it. FIT...FIT...FIT!
    The pocket guns are cute but are useless for anything but a rib gun. The time it would take for you to extract one from your pocket may cause your death. Buying a gun because it's cute is a poor reason to buy.
    Regardless of close attention to should feel like an extension of your own arm.
  12. Ninja Piper

    Ninja Piper G&G Enthusiast

    I do like the LCP. I've shot my friend's LCP and it was dead on accurate. He has the crimson trace on it so it really makes up for the lack of decent iron sights. However, at the range most shootings would occur in self defense, you really won't need the sights. I figure if you need to use the sights to get an accurate shot at that distance, you have enough time to get out of the situation.
  13. arvetus

    arvetus G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    I have both the Bersa Thunder .380 and the Walther PK380.
    Both are great guns. The Bersa has a bit of a pop to it, but has always been reliable and a great gun for the money. The Walther shoots very nice, and I like it better. I can shoot that thing just like a .22 ... pull the trigger just as fast as that sucker will shoot, and I can without even trying, maintain an excellent group within the upper section of center-mass. It is a VERY easy gun to control.

    The PK380 holds 8+1 wheras the Bersa is 7+1.
    More is always better, ESPECIALLY if you're using as small of a round as the .380. Also, hollow points with polymer tips are a MUST with the .380 round. Example: Hornady Critical Defense. You do not want to take a chance on the standard hollow point failing to expand because the BG had a wool jacket on or something.

    For ultimate conceal-ability, I would look into something like the Ruger LCP or S&W Bodyguard. Keep in mind the smaller framed pocket pistols will be more difficult to control as there is less mass to absorb the recoil. But with some practice, you should be ok.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2011
  14. trigger

    trigger G&G Evangelist

    If I could ccw here in the great land of political corruption. I would carry my kel-tek .380. It fits easily in front or back pocket.
    I have over 500 rounds through it. Not 1 malfunction.
    I can constnintly group a paper plate at 40 feet. Which I thought was amazeing.
  15. Twitch2120

    Twitch2120 G&G Evangelist

    Kahr p380. All stainless parts that aren't polymer. Polygon rifled barrel. Shoots like a dream, thinner than the lcp and only taller because it gives you actual sights. I pocket carry mine in a desantis superfly holster
  16. blaster

    blaster G&G Evangelist

    my .380 s are a LCP and a PPk/S. both are fine pistols. I usually carry the LCP in a pocket holster and have had no problems pulling it out unless sitting. I carry the PPk IWB and it is comfortable and well concealed. the only problem I have with the PPK is that it eats up the web of my shooting hand. I have 2 scars where the slide saws into my fat hand. the Polish P-64 is the same exact size as the PPk, has a smooth and rounded slide that doesn't bite and shoots a more powerful round. it has become my favorite carry pistol. the CZ 82 is another excellent choice and one that I carry often. it is a little larger than the PPK but has more fire power. the CZ is no bigger than my .45 Colt officers model which is another good carry gun. another one to look into is the Kahar PM 9 or CM 9. they are the same size as the PPK but shoot 9mm Luger. these days there are so many great carry choices that it can be mind boggling.
  17. Laserlips

    Laserlips G&G Newbie

    I can't say which 380cal pistol is best for YOU, but I can tell you which 2 380's are best for me, and why.

    First, JOB 1 for me in a self defense firearm is RELIABILITY... Well, actually I guess it's JOB 2, and JOB3 because if your self defense choice isn't reliable it's worthless..

    My experience with the Ruger LCP (I have two, my wife has one) has been excellent. All three have been absolutely reliable right out of the cheap white cardboard box, and MORE than self defense accurate.

    I have added a Crimson Trace Laser to my carry LCP as well as external sights. (Innovative Arms). Do I think a laser or external sights are necessary for a pistol that is designed for close up self defense?
    Just loved the LCP and figured any improvements, necessary or not, would be nice. And, I don't mind spending money on a gun I would expect to defend my life with.

    As far as I'm concerned the LCP is perfect just as it comes, but the addition of a laser and good sights is just something that appealed to me.

    My 2nd choice in a 380cal. pistol is the Seecamp LWS380. I've yet to find a smaller, easier to conceal pistol than this diminutive little pocket rocket.

    Reliability and self defense accuracy is a given, and the Seecamp is small enough that it can go anyplace, anytime.

    Even tho you didn't ask about a 9MM I'll add that I also have a Ruger LC9, and when I want to cc a pistol of larger caliber than either of my 380's (in addition to one of my 380's) I carry my LC9 in an iwb holster. (I carry my 380's in a rear pocket holster).

    The LC9 has offered the same absolute RELIABILITY and surprising accuracy of it's smaller brother (LCP) and I consider it a great choice for a small 9MM sub-compact cc choice.
    I'm sure there are other 380's (and 9's) that are equally good choices, but I'm quite satisfied with the ones I've made.
    Best Wishes,
  18. Palladin8

    Palladin8 G&G Evangelist

    I would like to send my slide and barrel to get them hard chromed so when I carry it I won't have to tear it down and oil it every night.
  19. mud lake

    mud lake G&G Newbie

    I agree 100%! It was the first one out, and lots of manufacturers have copied it. For the price, the reliability and the ease of carrying it is my go-to pocket pistol of choice. I carry in a pocket holster and it is mostly a back-up piece to my .45 ACP Colt Commander.Even when wearing light clothing which precludes toting a full-size gun, there is no reason to be unarmed with these little packages available...and .380 ammo can be effective in some of the new loadings. I use SilverTips since they are proven feeders and have a good reputation for terminal ballistics. Just my opinion, one to add to Chris45hunters!!!
  20. 9mmXDm

    9mmXDm Suspended

    I had a BERSA Thunder 380 and it was perfect they do make a CC model too!
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