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This pocket dump includes a Ruger LCP and a blade. Given the recent .380 ACP debate I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on using one as your main carry. And if you do carry one, is it only for non-permissive environments or is it your daily carry?

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    • For anyone who carry’s a handgun caliber, less than a 9mm, for use as their primary self-defense tool, what threat level are you expecting to stop? Not that it can’t be done, but the question is, what threat level are ‘you expecting’ to stop?

      Seasoned criminals, felons, or a person under the influence of one or more drugs, do not give a care; even after being hit numerous times.

      • @Anon

        According to the seasoned researchers of TTAG – and there are quite a few – most threats are stopped by simply the sight of any gun period. So there’s that.

        I have a carry system for a full size 9, but it is absolutely not concealable. So that would mean open carry, which I am only a fan of in certain very specific situations. I wouldn’t open carry anything without a retention system in place for sure. Too tempting for someone to grab off you. Also presents security issues. There was recently a situation downtown here where a homeless guy high on drugs grabbed a pistol off a security guard and shot a bystander because the holster did not have a retention system.

        Instructors have told me that most real defense situations happen at very close range. Also that the chance I would be shooting one handed is near 100%, and the SIMS courses I’ve done confirmed that. So, it’s really about being accurate, fast, able to shoot one handed, and having something you can really carry somewhere you can get to it and draw quickly. Having a snappy gun that you can’t control can really work against you.

        Drugs that make people crazy and violent are always going to present the biggest dangers no matter what. Even a full-size with a full mag will sometimes not stop people like this. Situational awareness is your friend here as most people who are really high will be acting in erratic ways that are observable from a distance.

        • @ Both “Matt in FL” and ” ELAINE D.” …

          The original question is, assuming .380:
          “what threat level are ‘you’ expecting to stop?”

          this is not a question prompting a right/wrong answer or challenging your decision to carry a .380. Please absorb the question literally.

          Thank you both for your feedback; as a first hand .380 EDC participant. While ‘we’ do not knowingly associate with criminal, known felons and/or persons under the influence of drugs/alcohol,, ‘we’ unfortunately have the luxury of being dispatched to every imaginable environment, that dictates, not to trade-off caliber or handgun weight for concealment; open-carry is not considered.

          From ‘ELAINE: “According to the seasoned researchers of TTAG – and there are quite a few – most threats are stopped by simply the sight of any gun period. So there’s that.”

          … for ‘us’, this is nothing more than advertisement. As in, ‘you’ made a presentation, and hopefully stopped the threat. The next time, depending on the circumstance, word gets around, you are known to possibly be armed. The actors will probably be better prepared.

          Matt in FL, It’s not what I/we feel is appropriate (for others), that is the collective decision ‘we’ made. If ‘we’ are unable to carry 9mm and above, that would be a No-Go zone for us.

          • I really don’t understand where you’re going with this, aside from making the same tired old caliber superiority argument. How do you want me to quantify the “threat level” (whatever the hell that is) that I’m “expecting to stop?” How is it measured? What is the vocabulary? Bigger than a breadbox? Smaller than an elephant? Or wait, threat level… the government was using some color based thing… so… I’m expecting to stop… yellow? Maybe orange? Nah, orange would require at least a 9mm. But at least then I’d be carrying “9mm and above” and could keep my job.

        • A 380 will stop all kinds of threats about the same as a 9mm. The problem is thinking that some level of handgun caliber or even a handgun itself is going to be applicable to every threat situation. If a trained, armed assailant has the drop on you your most likely done, even more so if he is rocking a rifle, has stand-off, multiple shooters. Let’s not kid ourselves the skill set of those who carry maxes out at 50 m from a cover/concealed position, that might be generous. That being said a lot of good can done inside that range but we are not magically going to become John Mclane.

        • @ Matt in FL says:
          November 11, 2018 at 23:12

          “I really don’t understand where you’re going with this, aside from making the same tired old caliber superiority argument. How do you want me to quantify the “threat level” (whatever the hell that is) that I’m “expecting to stop?” How is it measured? What is the vocabulary? Bigger than a breadbox? Smaller than an elephant? Or wait, threat level… the government was using some color based thing… so… I’m expecting to stop… yellow? Maybe orange? Nah, orange would require at least a 9mm. But at least then I’d be carrying “9mm and above” and could keep my job.
          The question was pretty straight forward, without any guidance from yours truly. I,nor the question, is/was –trying to take the discussion in any direction.”

          End quote

          THE QUESTION:
          “what threat level are you expecting to stop?” … as in — *are you* expecting to stop–.

          I will not draw a parameter or provide conditions. Matt in FL (‘you’), made a decision to carry that caliber, fine. The question is literal.

      • I do not, as a habit, associate with seasoned criminals, felons, or persons under the influence of one more drugs. There is no concealable handgun caliber that is a “sure thing.” I carry a P238 in .380 because I am balancing concealability and comfortable daily carry against the, let’s be honest, infinitesimally small chance that I’ll ever actually need to use it in anger. And it is honestly a pretty awesome little gun, and great fun at the range.

        There is an additional magazine in my backpack side pocket, and often another handgun in the same backpack whose size and caliber would be, I suspect, much more in line with what you feel appropriate. Even though I agree that the Springfield Armory XDm 3.8 is the best gun ever designed and built by man, and that .40 S&W is God’s One True Caliber, it’s just not feasible for my daily carry.

        I do like the looks of the Springfield XDs in .45, but carrying that would mean adding 6-7 oz in weight, nearly an inch in height, and a full inch in length. In my job and mode of daily dress, that is too much to give up.

        • Backpack carry? Nope. The one time I needed to draw, the pistol was in my backpack on the ground…halfway between me and the bear. Not a good feeling. I managed to bluff the bear into backing off enough for me to access my pistol. Never carried in-the-pack again. I rigged a carry pouch attached to an ENDOM Hippie Panel that allowed me to have accessible carry while wearing the backpack hipbelt.

      • Per activeresponsetraining compiled data, 380 looks pretty effective:

        .380 ACP# of people shot – 85
        # of hits – 150
        % of hits that were fatal – 29%
        Average number of rounds until incapacitation – 1.76
        % of people who were not incapacitated – 16%
        One-shot-stop % – 44%
        Accuracy (head and torso hits) – 76%
        % actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) – 62%

        9mm Luger# of people shot – 456
        # of hits – 1121
        % of hits that were fatal – 24%
        Average number of rounds until incapacitation – 2.45
        % of people who were not incapacitated – 13%
        One-shot-stop % – 34%
        Accuracy (head and torso hits) – 74%
        % actually incapacitated by one shot (torso or head hit) – 47%

  1. When the weather was hot and I was on campus I’d sometimes carry a LCP2 on myself and my USP in my backpack.

    It’s legal to CCW on campus here but there are enough hippie liberals that if your concealment fails (it does fail for everyone at some point) you very well might end up with serious harassment from some anti-gun profs or students and end up talking to the cops about the situation. That’s a huge waste of time so swapping around the backup and the main gun sometimes makes sense.

    Non-permissive or daily carry? That is, like most things in life, situationally dependent.

    • Do you find it super inconvenient to carry in your backpack on campus? I imagine having to keep your backpack with you at all times would be a hassle when leaving class for five minutes to pee.

      • I don’t find carrying a bag around inconvenient at all in terms of having a gun in it.

        First, no one but myself and my wife know it’s there so when I’m on campus only I know it’s there.

        Secondly, I don’t leave my bag unattended. Ever. Never ever. The other stuff that’s in there is too expensive and the data on my laptop is sometimes irreplaceable because it hasn’t yet been backed up.

        It’s called discipline. Take a piss before or after class. Otherwise you’re missing potentially critical information. Just like planning how you’re going to eat during the day so that you don’t get super hungry in a class or a lab. Can’t do that? Then you’re a fucking waste of an “adult”. Take it from someone who before being diagnosed as a diabetic was pissing constantly due to how much water he was drinking and being in DKA (slowly dying). If a dying guy who drinks 6+ liters of water a day can handle this then so can you.

        • Easy Francis……

          Seem a little testy for a simple question.

          It would strike me as a bit of a PITA to always have a bag of some sort.

          I am sure you figured out how to get it done but it wou,d be a problem for me to carry a gun in my computer bag as I am not in school.

          We didnt have laptops then. Backpacks were a grown up book satchel in college.

        • LOL, this “adulting” thing is rather near and dear to my heart because when I went back to school I got a first hand look at things I had only heard tales of before. “Adult children”, “helicopter parents” etc. The question doesn’t make me angry. It’s thinking about the answer that a lot of my classmates would have to give that pisses me off. Most are good to go but I would wager something on the order of 20%-30% basically can’t take care of themselves at 18-22 years old. It’s pathetic. Their parents are even worse in most cases. How they made it to middle age is a question I’m not sure modern science can answer.

          It’s also the case that I don’t much understand how someone gets along without a bag of some sort. What’s their job, unemployment? You really carry so little on a daily basis that you have no use for a backpack, satchel, briefcase etc? I mean shit, not even a lunch pail to stash a gat under a sammich? [I did that when I was a welder.] Hell, I couldn’t avoid a bag of some type even with the first job I ever had in fast food. I had to have some way to carry my Hardee’s uniform around because I sure as shit wasn’t going to wear it to school all day.

          Also, specialist, you’ve been here long enough to know how I feel about weak ass excuses for not carrying [insert object here] because [insert excuse here] when, in reality, it’s not that big of a deal to just carry it. Usually this revolves around carrying a sub-compact only because a full sized pistol “isn’t comfortable”, in which case I refer the person saying that to Clint from Thunder Ranch.

        • So to summarize… No you do not find it inconvenient because you do not have situations where you need to leave your bag. And you don’t like some of your classmates lifestyles.

        • Well Strych….I understand your point and position. You made it work based on what you had to carry with you.

          I carry a truck (or it carries me). I am a Technical Development rep for chemicals.

          So i do often have a computer and such with me. Unfortunately, when meeting and interacting with customers and co-workers, we often leave our stuff and go into the field or lab. It would be pretty tough to explain getting my computer and bag and taking it with me each time.

          My truck has a lot of extra “stuff” that i might need in an emergency situation. Imhave bigger pistol, ammo, bigger light, etc. But… isnt always with me. So….i decided that an LCP in a pocket with a light with a spare was doable and sensible.

          I used to do it with a J Frame , speed loader and speed strip before the LCP era. Flashlight are way better now as well.

          So I carry as big as I can without getting fired. I am now the age that I am thinking of getting a vest to tote stuff. My options will increase if I do.

          Adulting …. I get a kick out of saying that. I hate to say it but there are folks in the work force that are in that boat. Life seems hard with that mindset . Everything is an emergency.

        • Strych, we really should get together sometime. As a type 1 diabetic, perhaps I have some insight? Either way, if you’re up for it sometime, I think a range trip could be, at the very least, a little bit of fun.

          And easy with the “waste of adult” stuff, you’ll offend someone somewhere who can’t be responsible for themselves. Offending people is, after all, the worst thing on earth. /sarc

          “Carrying a gun is supposed to be comforting, not comfortable.”

          “It was hot, I had two guns on me. And a rifle. It was California.”

  2. Rule#1 always bring a gun to a gunfight.

    Basically, expect to have to hit someone almost 3 times with 380 ACP , a little more than two and a half with 9mm, under two and a half with 40 S&W, and just over twice with 45ACP. Hmm…

  3. Salesman said the only downside is that once wifey tries it out you’ll never get it back. Better buy two.

  4. I used to carry a .38 snubbie, but now I carry a .380 (Springfield Armory 911).

    I can carry it easily and disceetly no matter what I’m wearing; the .38 snubbie was problematic on the rare occasion that I wore a suit. My particular .380 has excellent tritium sights and it is accurate enough for easy head shots at seven yards and reliable torso hits at up to twenty five yards. It is enjoyable to shoot and I practice regularly. I could shoot the .38 snubbie accurately if I had plenty of light to get a good sight picture, but lower light conditions were a big challenge I wouldn’t want to have to deal with in a real situation.

    With modern JHP ammo and good shot placement, it should serve you well as a defensive arm.

      • Thanks, just sent to messages.
        Thinking about Walther PK 380
        My dad’s under Justice of Peace garment was a Colt Goverment model 380. I inherited it and have now passed on his grandson, nephew. It did fine with FMJ but choked on HP.
        Hoping that is not a feature of 380 rounds generally

  5. First off to avoid argument over guns, caliber, make, model, capacity, penetration, blah blah blah, whatever YOU are comfortable and confident with carry it and practice as often as you can afford to because shot placement is more important than anything else.
    I am 58 years old, have been around guns every since I was 7 years old and have served 7 years in the US Army as 11 Bravo (combat infranty). Am I an expert? No. But I do know a little about guns.
    I own a S&W MP .380EZ, and a Taurus PT 738 which is a great gun. I carry it more often than the Smith. I love them both, am good and comfortable with both. I love .380 period even though I own several guns in different calibers, I prefer to carry .380 for ME. My whole point like I said earlier is whatever YOU are confident (not cocky) and comfortable with, practice often and carry it. And remember….safety first.

    • That sums it up. If someone is comfortable, good enough. Shooting the bull did a whole bunch of rounds with 380. A few did well.

  6. Sig P238 for daily carry. Have two of ‘em, though I don’t carry them at the same time, though I technically could. Extended mag + 1 in the chamber = 8 rounds, not bad for a mini gun.

    I didn’t like the other minis I tried, including other .380s and 9s. I think the all metal construction of this one is why I like it so much – it makes it a very soft, accurate shooter, even with defensive rounds, and it’s easy to shoot one handed, making it optimal should a real situation arise. I just found the polymer littles to be too snappy in any caliber, but these are a sweet shot, fun to practice with, and I like the fact that it has a safety for when I might have to carry without a retention strap of some kind.

  7. .380 is plenty effective for defense.
    It’s the 100th anniversary of WW 1
    Which was started by an assasination using a .380 with fmj ammo.
    The Archduke and his wife were both hit once with a .380 and both died.

  8. I carry an LCP everyday. So,it is my main carry.

    I sometime back that up with an SR9c, Glock 43, or an LCR.

    But the LCP is always with me. I carried a Smith 042 Centenial for years and can hit faster with LCP out to 25 yards. It has two more round than the Centenial and is much faster to reload.

    As with all decisions, it is a tradeoff. The LCP is small and thin enough to always be carried.

    I always carry in a pocket. And unlike Elaine, I have carried two LCPs. Almost as easy to carry as one.

    • @Specialist

      How did you do it? One each in two pockets? Double shoulder holster, New York Reload style? I’ve looked at those, but I kind of like systems that hug the firearm super close to the body.

      • Usually each front pocket. Or front pocket strong side and cargo pocket offside.

        Occasionally, i will carry one in a chest pocket of my outer shirt. Easier to acces while driving.

        • I often carry one in a strong side pocket and one either IWB or OWB at 3 o’clock. I have also ankle and pocket carried two mini pistols at the same time.

  9. LCP II for pocket carry and Sig P238 OWB when cover is convenient. Low threat environment. Most defensive will be close range.

  10. Qualified for CHGL with a Bersa Thunder 380
    Still a plausible choice but have since added
    Walther PK 380, 6 round magazine haven’t had to the range yet.

    Horrible handguns owned? Tarus Judge, sold it to a local Pawn Shop. Super heavy and the shot rounds wouldn’t kill a mouse right away so you would have awful smell wherever it decides to expire behind space between wall studs.
    Other horrible handgun was a Charter Arms rimless 9mm revolver, so bad dropped off a local Green Guy Metal recycle operation. You have to have proprietary rounds that set properly for firing pin to engage. Good concept Moon clip less but not well executed.

    • @@Gungal

      A Bersa Thunder! Do you like it? I looked at those. I don’t know anyone who has one, so I haven’t shot one.

      • It was good enough to past, Range Test for Concealed Handgun License.
        A lot of Range Officiers and instructors don’t like them at all. Did get a number of jams Range Test but not enough to have to take Range test twice.
        Bersa 9 Ultra is a better choice in my opinion.
        Bersa is a quality manufacturer. Just stay away from Bersa 22lr and frankly the 380. Only benefits is you can get very good at learning to clear a handgun round and get back to the task. Bersa is not a Colt or Ruger but they are well made and a good buy at less cost than better recognized brands. Academy Sports carries them.
        Haven’t had the chance to go to range with Ladies Shooting League lately due our 7 year old male Golden Retriever had to have cataract surgery in both eyes.

  11. I carry a 380 for my everyday carry and feel completely confident. I guess at the end of the day it’s what feels right to you but i believe shot placement is everything regardless of caliber. If I had to put it bluntly I’d say let me shoot you first with my 380 than you can shoot me with your hand cannon

  12. Have stepped down from .45 to 9m to .380 for my EDC as I’ve gotten older – increased hand as wrist sensitivity as the years roll by. I now flinch too much to be accurate with the .45 and the 9m. And I figure hitting with .380 is better than missing with .45.

    • I am honestly thinking of a 22 for some elderly loved ones. They are late to shooting and seem to anticipate the recoil no matter what.

      • Ruger SR22 pistol is a low recoil pistol.
        I really enjoy mine and loaned to new shooters
        Only thing is 22lr rounds are very small and very light
        Very accurate and a really fun handgun to shoot.
        Only thing is that if shooting in a high wind and at a distance, the round will be less accurate.
        But with 10 round magazines. It’s not a deal breaker! Plus with pew, pew aspect and tumble nature of that caliber.
        Ask any successful MD that goes into an operation how much they hate to operate on folks shot with 22lr rounds.
        Could take down an elephant with it? Not likely but my grandfather could take the head of a rattlesnake off, outside of stike zone of a rattlesnake!

  13. Baretta .380 killed Gandhi in 1948.
    Summer I carry a Walther ppk/s .380 the blow back operation keeps it very accurate on follow up rounds. In the winter .357 with Walther for back up.

  14. Hmmm……..what caliber is best, .380 or something larger? If I could I’d carry my S&W Model 29-2 (6 inch) but I’m not Dirty Harry/Clint Eastwood. Being 70 years old I also don’t have the hand/wrist strength to handle the heavy calibers anymore. I’ve had to move down to my much milder Colt “Government Model” .380 due to arthritis. With this I can still shoot a 3″ group at 25 feet and there’s 7 rounds of a hot “Personal Defense” ammo available at the squeeze of the trigger. There’s also another full magazine in my offside pocket just in case. Situational Awareness? I observe what’s going on around me and carry the .380 in a Ted Blocker wallet holster so I can walk around with my hand in my right front pocket. It cuts down on the draw time should I ever have to draw my weapon. With that said, any pistol/revolver you’re carrying is certainly better than calling 911 and hoping the cops will get there in the next 30 minutes.

  15. I dig that light minimal edc dump.
    Folks can bag on LCP, but they are very dependable and practical. Mine is well used, ugly and carried more than any other pistol.
    Stopping the threat doesn’t mean going John Wick.

  16. I carry a Glock 42 with Ghost Inc brand +2 mag extension kits (longer chrome plated springs included). Carry rounds are 65 grain, +P Underwood Xtreme Defense. Keep it loaded 8+1. I also practice monthly with both FMJ and my carry load. I can actually and more importantly, quickly make 2 and 3 shot groups under 3 inches in size from what I consider to be real world carry encounter distances, 15 feet and under. I never do slow, aimed shots as they are counter productive to self defense shooting.

  17. Ruger Lc9s.
    Recoil was something to get used to since the gun is so light but it’s comfortable for edc, affordable, and reliable.

  18. Looks like my set-up. Well used. Bluing is almost gone on my LCP and my knife has rounded edges on the clip from being carried/used. OWB in homemade slide style w/thumb break snap. IWB is a Cross Breed Mini-Tuck at 3-3:30 position. My truck hauls the rest. PCC under rear seat. Extra ammo and SHTF stuff. Long way ‘tween towns out here. -2 this morning.

  19. I’ve long carried a P3AT in a Nemesis when I can’t carry my LC9s IWB or OWB. I’m trying a Diamondback DB9 in a Nemesis. It works, but it prints a bit more in the pocket. If I can pull off 9mm, I’d rather have it. But .380 is still good.

  20. I carry a .380 as my EDC simply because it fits in my pocket. There is much less chnce of someone noticing it or being able to take it from me. In the distances I can see needing it, under 10 yards, it is acurate enough to put 4 rounds covered by a quarter. And with rapid opening home defense rounds i think the damage it would do is as much or more than JHP fro a 9mm. The big thing is to know both the limits of your weapon and yourself.

  21. Fulfills Jeff Coopers number 1 rule. Have a gun. LCP goes everywhere undetected. A lot more accurate than you would expect.

  22. I’ve got 44 and 45 and 357 and 9 and 38 and 10 and carry the 380 daily. I love to shoot ’em all and can get the job done, but the little Body Guard fits in my pocket and works for me.

  23. For me personally, it’s .32 auto. I am not a L.E.O. and don’t go to the wrong side of the tracks. It is a perfect pocket pistol: there if I need it, but hopefully I’ll never need it. If the time does come, I can pop a mag’s worth into somebody pretty quick.

    • I wish someone besides keltec made a tiny .32 still. I kinda like that round. Reliable 16” penetration with ball ammo. .380 hollowpoints typically fall a tad short in penetration for my comfort level and ball ammo goes just a tad deeper than I prefer.

      • North American Arms makes a nice all-stainless little pocket .32 auto. You can get them for about $300 to $350. That’s what I originally wanted, but I picked up a Kel Tec P32 in a trade. I like how thin and light it is, but I will admit, it had to grow on me.

  24. .380 is usually compared to 9mm but perhaps a better comparison would be to .38 Spl.
    I am very pleased with my Interarms PPK/s. It is accurate and substantial, and reliable with most ammo (except Blazer aluminum.) Easier to carry than a J frame, higher capacity, and reloads quicker too.

  25. I have a P238 and a Shield 9. I suppose I’m stupid for using the P238 sometime and the Shield 9 sometimes…..because neither is a 45.

  26. 55 comments on a pocket dump! Gotta be a record.

    I usually carry a 5 round .22mag single action revolver, so 7 rounds of .380 is upgrading for me. (I carried a .380 off and on for years.)

  27. I carry as light as I can. Sig p238 w/ ext mag condition one, one extra ext mag, pocket knife, wallet, keys, phone.

    I have no worries about my caliber choice.

  28. Get a Bersa Thunder .380 Plus. If you’re going to carry an arguably marginal round, carry as many as you can.

    The regular Bersa Thunder .380 has a single-stack, eight round magazine. The Plus model has a double-stack, 15 round magazine, for a 15+1 capacity.

    Both about the same size, dimension-wise, as a Walther PPK/s (heck, they’re PPK/s clones), but they’re much more affordable and reliable as heck.

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