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TrapperTrent
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Posted: July 24 2009 at 5:01am | IP Logged Quote TrapperTrent

I am considering a 380 ACP for a Conceal Carry pocket gun. I generally carry a sub compact Springfield XD 40S&W but need a pocket gun for those summer outfits where concealing a 40 is just to large. Does anyone have any suggestions for a 380 as well as any pet loads for the 380 ACP? I have a good stock of Remington 380 ACP (356 Diameter) 88 Grain Jacketed Hollow Point bullets and would like to load a few up. Primers are 5 1/2 Remington and have Blue Dot, Green Dot, Power Pistol, AA5, and Bullseye powders. I need to be away for the weekend but will be back on Monday. Many Thanks.

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richhodg66
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Posted: July 24 2009 at 6:34am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

There's a recent lengthy thread on the Ruger LCP. I've looked at the Kel Tecs which are very small and light and said to be good too. Seems like .380s are a boom industry lately.

Welcome to the forum, by the way.

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One Bullet Dan
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Posted: July 24 2009 at 7:21am | IP Logged Quote One Bullet Dan

Been carrying a Kel Tec for a few years now. Little bugger is so small and light, sometimes I forget I`ve got it.

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richhodg66
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Posted: July 24 2009 at 7:51am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Dan, I think I'm going to pick up one of their little 9mms for a CCW gun when I get back. I looked at both while I was home and think I can deal with the additional size and weight of the 9mm. The .380 is so tiny it seems like it'd be hard to control and I have fairly small hands.

Plus, I'm not set up to load for .380 and I am for 9mm. That's a consideration too.

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icarryagun
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Posted: July 24 2009 at 7:58am | IP Logged Quote icarryagun

The wife surprised me the other day. She came home from the gun shop with an LCP and announced she had a new CCW firearm. I took that to mean that "I" didn't have a new CCW firearm!

At any rate, it is a little jewel. Will do very nicely for her and it seems to function quite well.

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RetiredRod
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Posted: July 24 2009 at 8:07am | IP Logged Quote RetiredRod

I've owned a few .380's; a Star and 2 Bersa's. They were OK, but but not great. I got the feeling they were made to be carried a lot, but shot a little.

About two months ago, I bought a Sig 238. Currently, this little pistol has about 600 rounds thru it - approx 50 rounds of factory, and the rest my handloads. I've reloaded and shot bullets from 90 grains to 115 grains - lead and jacketed. All work fine and all have shown excellent accuracy. I love this little Sig. It has good sights, a good trigger, and is a joy to shoot. It also appears to me that it will hold up to as much shooting as I'll want to do with it.

I carry it every day, in an inexpensive pocket holster.

Did I mention that I really like this little Sig?

Edited by RetiredRod on July 24 2009 at 8:09am
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One Bullet Dan
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Posted: July 24 2009 at 9:01am | IP Logged Quote One Bullet Dan

Rich, you`re going to love the 9mm! I`ve got the old style P11; haven`t tried the new one yet. She`s light! A bit larger in the pocket, and the recoil might put some folks off, but with the arthritis and all, I find it easy to shoot.
My hands aren`t the biggest, but I don`t have any problems with the 380. As with all guns, especially handguns, practice is the key.

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Leftoverdj
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Posted: July 24 2009 at 1:40pm | IP Logged Quote Leftoverdj

I am of the opinion that there is little that the handloader can do to improve the performance of the .380 in a pocket pistol. You have to stay within the design limits of a small blowback gun. You cannot significantly increase velocity without sacrificing weight. If you can get reliable expansion, you sacrifice penetration.

My approach is to load cheap practice ammo with the Lee RN and AA-5. I carry with factory after having shot enough to be satisfied of proper function. Shooting such a gun enough to be instinctive is important. Fine accuracy is not. If such a gun is ever needed, it will be instinct shooting at very close range under time pressure. There's no reason to bang the gun up with max loads for practice when milder loads are close enough to the feel and impact of the heaviest practical loads.

btw, I am shooting a Backup. Much the same size as the newer .380s but all steel and a bit heavier.
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One Bullet Dan
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Posted: July 24 2009 at 1:52pm | IP Logged Quote One Bullet Dan

AA5 and Lee pills are what I normally shoot. I will not carry reloads in my going to town gun, on the advice of my lawyer and CPL instructor. Even if you down load `em, some prosecutor will try to tell the jury that you loaded up a round that "was designed to kill and/maim" like all bullets are designed to do.

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TexIndian
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Posted: July 24 2009 at 6:32pm | IP Logged Quote TexIndian

My little Walther shoots very well, too. It's not as big a stopper as the larger calibers, but it is easy to carry. And it meets the first rule of gunfighting - Have A Gun.

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adirondakjack
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Posted: July 26 2009 at 12:03pm | IP Logged Quote adirondakjack

Though not a micro gun, the best bang for the buck in a .380 is a BERSA Thunder, either the regular one or the CCW version. Rock solid, very dependable, and actually shootable (2.5" at 25 yards with those tiny sights and my poor eyes).

I run a 90gr XTP and 4.7 gr Power Pistol. WEIGH THE CHARGE, as 4.8 is max, and be careful to not let OAL shrink. Crimp em so just a little of the bullet side wall is showing, NOT over the shoulder.

FWIW, in chatting with a Hornaday rep, he was singing the praises of their .380 critical defense ammo. It essentially is a bullet very similar to the XTP but with a rubber core filling the hollowpoint. They claim better expansion, even through denim. I'm gonna experimant with some "rubber" stuff I got here, (maybe some form-a-gasket) along with some XTPs, to see if I can make a hillbilly version of it ;)

Edited by adirondakjack on July 26 2009 at 12:07pm
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TrapperTrent
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Posted: July 26 2009 at 3:20pm | IP Logged Quote TrapperTrent

Excellent stuff everyone and thanks much for the welcome to the newbie on the forum! I have been active on many other forums over the years and find them to be very informative and friendly. I am a new CC holder here in Iowa because the new Sheriff will now allow conceal carry without having to carry a minimum of $500. I never could figure out the logic of the old Sheriff because you would have to carry at least $500 and the local paper would publish who all the county CC holders were. It was like walking around with a bulls eye on your back! I was the past Mayor and City Councilman and told the Sheriff once just how foolish I thought the rule was. Well the new Sheriff was elected and even as a Democrat, ran on the promise of “shall issue” rather than conditional issue.

I grew up in a home with a father who was a 30+year peace officer and narcotics agent so I was use to seeing my Dad conceal and or carry all of the time. Dad always told me that he believed everyone should have the right to carry because criminals don’t like the idea when law-abiding citizens can fight back and violent crime usually goes down. Enough of this and back to my question.

I have been reloading for many years for all of my rifles 17 through 30 caliber and find it very enjoyable and fulfilling – aside from just the cost savings. I think I will stick to the factory stuff for the going to town magazine and reload some lightly loaded range rounds until I get the hang of the little booger. It will take some getting use to because I am a big guy with big hands but I am sure it will be a welcome addition to my collection. Based on the feedbacks I will also have to consider the Bersa Thunder, and Sig 238. Thanks much to all for the suggestions.

One Bullet Dan, I can’t understand why some prosecutor would try to convince the jury that you loaded up a round that was “designed to kill and maim. I would feel like jumping up and say of course I did you fool. It was either my life or his and I felt my life was in danger or I would have never pulled my weapon and pulled the trigger! I was also advised to use ammo that said “Personal Protection” on the box and that you should keep the box! You also mentioned that you like Lee pills… Can you please explain what those are?

Again, Many thanks to all and I look forward to to many posts on this great forum.


Edited by TrapperTrent on July 26 2009 at 3:57pm


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One Bullet Dan
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Posted: July 26 2009 at 4:14pm | IP Logged Quote One Bullet Dan

I had one instructor tell me to buy the "Personal protection" ammo; I had a lawyer tell me to carry nothing but factory lead bullets. I carry FMJ`s, because they are Geneva Convention approved (ok, I`m just a cheapskate), and the folks I would wind up using `em on are notoriously hard headed. Not to mention, they`ll pop through a car door rather well, if the need came.

The Lee pill would be mould #90305, a .356 diameter 102 grain round nosed bullet. They feed in every .380 I own. Accurate #5 is a great powder, too!

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TrapperTrent
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Posted: July 26 2009 at 8:01pm | IP Logged Quote TrapperTrent

I completely understand the cheapskate part. Ditto for me to. I think when it comes right down to it, I will carry what I have the most confidence with and pray that I never have to use it. I have the Lee melting pot and pour my own 38 wad cutters but think I might have to invest in the mould you recommended along with the mold for my 40 in 180 Grain. Thanks again Dan.

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Nimrod
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Posted: July 27 2009 at 9:11am | IP Logged Quote Nimrod

Trent-- I've carried an Interarms stainless PPK/S for the past ten years. Normally, it's loaded w/ cor-bon HPs and they're hot enough. Here comes the "but"--- Virtually every PPK/S I've come across suffers from smokestacking and feed problems right out of the box.Definitly NOT what we want in a piece that your life may depend upon. I've taken on the PPK as my pet project and have, done at least 20 ramp and feed jobs on these little guys, and cured them all. Take away the limp wristing and add a spicey round and you've got a sweet (maybe a little heavy) fully dependable carry #.Keep an eye out at the gunshows and shops, as many folks dump these guys for the aformentioned problems. Also, keep in mind that S&W recently bought the rights to make the pistol and changed the profile of the grip and strap (don't like it). Best of luck--

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One Bullet Dan
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Posted: July 27 2009 at 9:44am | IP Logged Quote One Bullet Dan

Guess I got lucky with my PPK/S. It eats anything I feed it. When it come to a pocket gun, the Walther weighs more empty than the Kel Tec does loaded!
As far as the smoothest pistol coming out of a pocket, a Mauser HSc is hard to beat. Heavy, though, compaired to the plastic wonders.

Trapper,Lee makes a mould for the 40 that is a 170 grain TC TL. They function well in my friend`s two Sigs and my Daewoo.

Welcome, Traper and Nimrod! We love new faces around here!

Edited by One Bullet Dan on July 27 2009 at 9:49am


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Leftoverdj
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Posted: July 27 2009 at 10:20am | IP Logged Quote Leftoverdj

Trapper, the Bersa is a bit big for a pocket gun. If you are willing to carry something that size, you might as well carry something in a serious caliber. The virtue of the .380 is that you can build a pistol the size of a pack of cigarettes around it.

Since you are set up for casting, and since the two cavity Lee moulds are roughly the price of a single box of factory jacketed bullets, you would be silly not to cast for your pistols. I prefer the six cavity moulds but last time I looked, Lee did not offer the .380 bullet in six cavity.
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smith52
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Posted: July 27 2009 at 12:07pm | IP Logged Quote smith52

TrapperTrent,
I just recently shot the Sig P238 and was very impressed, accurate little thing. Planning to get one myself before too long. Like the Sig much better than the Kel Tech, have not shot the Ruger LCP yet. I do think the Sig is worth the extra money.
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Posted: July 27 2009 at 8:15pm | IP Logged Quote AzJoe

TT.......The Bersa Thunderer is a well made pistol for the money. This is what my wife carries full time.
Easy to dissemble and clean and she has never had a failure to feed or eject.

When it comes to choosing a round that a jury could find objectionable because it was handloaded, should be at the bottom of the list of your legal worries.
Top of the list is whether the shooting was truly justified and provable. Beyond this, the bullet or load you use will not even enter the legal picture.
So, dig in and KNOW the laws in your state when it comes to SD and adjust your actions accordingly.
Just like LE, good shoot or bad shoot is where your legal hide hangs in the balance.

The JHP load I have loaded for my wife's Bersa has only ONE purpose..........to stop a deadly encounter at short range.

Wish you well on your choice.........Joe



Edited by AzJoe on July 27 2009 at 8:16pm
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One Bullet Dan
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Posted: July 28 2009 at 8:27am | IP Logged Quote One Bullet Dan

"Beyond this, the bullet or load you use will not even enter the legal picture."

I`m not betting 20 years out of my life on that statement. I`ll stick with the pros. I`m WAY too pretty to go to prison!


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