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Thread: Which 380?

  1. #1

    Default Which 380?

    I plan on putting some miles on the bike in the near future and am looking for smaller carry gun. My Glock 22 gets a little tough to hide riding on my hip in a Fobus holster with the wind whipping at interstate speeds.

    I have been looking hard for a 380 that would fit well in an ankle holster or even in my back pocket or waistband.

    I have narrowed it down to a Sig Sauer p230sl, a Walther ppk or a Bersa Thunder Concealed Carry. The Bersa wasn't even a concideration until I shot one today. The little gun was doing everything the PPK could muster. I've yet to shoot the Sig but sure liked the way it felt.

    My question then is since cost wise the little Bersa is half of what a low end PPK cost and also much less than the Sig. Is it that much less gun? Could it be counted on to be as reliable as the other two? I'm leaning toward the Bersa and I guess I need my confidence in that gun to either be built up a bit or I need you guys to give me some feedback as to why I shouldn't get the Bersa.

    Other 380's that I'm overlooking?

    Thanks EKC

  2. #2
    Member Diesel Nut's Avatar
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    I really enjoy carrying my KelTec P3AT. Jacket pocket, pant pocket (front or back), waistband clip, swimtrunks (long story...but I learned the clip will hold that pistol during really strenuous activity!), my KelTec goes anywhere with anything.

    If price is a consideration, I'd buy it or a Ruger LCP before I spent any money on a Bersa. If price isn't really a concern, the Kahr 380 is a really nice piece at the $600 price point, and if you want the ultimate a Rohrbaugh is simply beautiful at the $1K price point. Nice thing about the Rohrbaugh is it's also available in 9mm without any increase in weight/size.

    As far as raising Bersa confidence, well; I've seen many friends with Taurus products say they work great and they're every bit as good as S&W or Beretta. My personal experience says no, and I've observed more Bersa failures than Taurus. You might get a good one, but might isn't a word I want to depend on.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I've used the Sig 230/232 series for a number of years and of the ones you mention would be my hands-down choice. No real experience with the Bersa so I can't say, although I personally wouldn't have interest after shooting the Sigs.

    The 230 is simply the most reliable and smooth shooting small autos I've ever used. They make smaller ones nowadays but for my ham hands thats about as small as I can shoot well. I also like the Beretta 85 but they're a bit fatter than the Sig and don't carry as well. The Beretta is nearly the equivalent of my G19 for carry bulk.

  4. #4
    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    I've owned 2 Walther PPk/s 380's over the past 30 years or so, and both have been 100% reliable. I wouldn't hesitate to buy an older german made Walther. They may be a little spendy at 550+ these days, but quality goes a long way in my book. Mine carries nicely in my back pocket where you would expect my wallet to be, or inside the pants in the old Bianchi #6. They have been making these since 1935 and are still in production. Hard to argue with success. The new generation of 380's are a LITTLE smaller and yes lighter, But I don't think they are "better".estate 1.jpg
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

  5. #5
    Member Diesel Nut's Avatar
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    Nice choice of ammo Doug

    I agree the new guns aren't better than the older (and would actually argue in favor of the older production pieces). Unfortunately, I can't justify multiple 380s to match my clothing requirements, and the ultra-light, ultra-small P3AT fits the bill when circumstances won't allow something bigger.

  6. #6

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    I have a Bersa Thunder in .380 and it has been 100% reliable, never an issue with it. The same with my Ruger LCP. The Ruger is a lot easier to carry, the Bersa a lot easier to shoot. I have no problems carrying either one.

  7. #7
    Member marshall's Avatar
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    I have a Ruger LCP and it works, feeds just fine, no issues at all. It will fit virtually any where you choose to hide it. The sights are worthless but in a gun of this type long range or target shooting are not on the menu anyway.

    There are several good 380's but I was looking for reliability and concealability when I choose this one.

  8. #8

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    Like I said guys, I was looking for something that that would conceal better than my Glock and was reliable. I think all of the guns listed have merit in that regard.

    I probably gave this gun purchace more consideration than any for a long while. I guess because I've carried the Glock forever and figured it covered all aspects of CC. CC guns are the only guns that one hopes he never has to use but relies on more than any other in the event that he does have to use it(at least in an enviroment with no teeth and claws just peckerhead meth users).

    In the end, when a competent gunsmith carrys a certain gun for 30 years without a hitch and that gun fits in his back pocket...well I had to follow his lead. The only difference is my new stainless PPK has S+W written on the opposite side of Carl Walther. My dealer let me have it at his cost of $465.

    When I pulled it out of my pocket tonight my wife said "and whats this?". I shrugged and said it's gunbugs fault!

  9. #9
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Sounds like you decided to go with a little style as well EKC. She should prove to be a great choice--enjoy the PPK.
    Foolishness is a moral category, not an intellectual one.

  10. #10

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    Nothing beats a seecamp 380 for concealability. I never leave home with out mine.

  11. #11
    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    I wish you good luck with your new PPk, I hope it proves to be as reliable as mine have been.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

  12. #12
    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel Nut View Post
    I really enjoy carrying my KelTec P3AT. Jacket pocket, pant pocket (front or back), waistband clip, swimtrunks (long story...but I learned the clip will hold that pistol during really strenuous activity!), my KelTec goes anywhere with anything.

    If price is a consideration, I'd buy it or a Ruger LCP before I spent any money on a Bersa. If price isn't really a concern, the Kahr 380 is a really nice piece at the $600 price point, and if you want the ultimate a Rohrbaugh is simply beautiful at the $1K price point. Nice thing about the Rohrbaugh is it's also available in 9mm without any increase in weight/size.

    As far as raising Bersa confidence, well; I've seen many friends with Taurus products say they work great and they're every bit as good as S&W or Beretta. My personal experience says no, and I've observed more Bersa failures than Taurus. You might get a good one, but might isn't a word I want to depend on.
    I couldn't agree more with this post on a number of things.

    My P3AT goes in my right pocket as often as my keys go in my left pocket. It's so comforatbale and convenient that I don't even notice it's there. I can barely hit the side of a barn with it at 25 yds, but I don't expect to shoot it that far, I can hit well with it at 15-20 ft, it was cheep, and it always goes boom whenever I pull the trigger (same with the .32 ACP version I have had a lot onger).

    The only highly-compact .380 I would rather have is the Rohrbaugh, which is about the same size, but by all accounts, is a extremely well-made and well-designed pistol and far more accurate than the KT. It's expensive though. And, as DN mentioned, if you want one of those, you might as well get the 9mm version: http://www.rohrbaughfirearms.com/products

    So, I would modify the statement above to say, if I could have any compact .380 or 9mm ever made, I would choose the Rohrbaugh 9mm.

    That being said, if I didn't want/need something quite so compact, personally, I think the decision is really easy. It's the 232: http://www.sigsauer.com/Products/Sho...0&productid=68

    I've owned and shot countless .380s, including Walther's (which balance very well) and my dad's Sig 232, and no .380 is as near-to-perfect as the Sig 232 is IMO.

    EDIT: EKC, I see you got the Walther, so disregard most of the above. I think they are very good pistols (with the possible exception of the 1990s Interarms variants). Like I indicated above, I think it's one of the best-balancing pistols in my hand.

  13. #13

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    MarineHawk, I agree. I have a wide hand and some of those itty bitty 380's just didn't feel right. The Walther pointed the best and I was able to put 8 rounds into an 12 inch circle at 50 feet free handed. I couldn't come close to that with most of the others.

  14. #14

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    EKC, there are two type of guns in this world an only two types of guns. There's goin' forward guns and there's backin' up guns. The 380 cartidge is a backin-up cartridge. You are asking about small pocket guns and cite the fact that you presently own a Glock 22. Why not stay with the same "weapons system" instead of getting into a different brand entirely. And while you're at it don't waste time with any "Backin-up" cartridge/gun...move forward in life, fall back in death.

    Suggest you look into a Glock 26 or 27, (9mm or 40 respectively). These weapons systems you are already familiar with and the cartridges are both goin' forward cartridges, albeit the 9mm marginally. For me, the 9 mm is the break even point between goin' forward and backin-up guns. That Glock 27 in 40 S&W cartridge will be at or close to the same size as that Walther or Sig 230 and you'll have some stopping power when needed. The 380 is not a man stopper, the 32's and the 25's are not man stoppers.
    Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for the shadow is mine and so is the valley. Thy Glock and thy M14 comfort me in days of civil unrest and terror

  15. #15
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I've yet to figure out how to exercise (not that I do that very often any more) or work strenuously (every day) carrying a full caliber carry gun. My work day entails going up and down out of trucks and heavy equipment dozens of times a day, sitting in an office chair for a few hours, into rain gear, out of raingear, off with my coat, on with my coat, out of my longsleeve shirt and down to a tee shirt and back again...all in the same day. Lifting boxes, 2x6's and repairing hydraulic hoses...cleaning up and going on a sales call on the same day. You can talk all day about cool terms like "goin' forward" and "backin-up", but when the rubber hits the road a gun that you actually carry is worth a thousand times more than the gun you left in your truck or in the house. Which is exactly why the original poster was looking for a .380 and why it's my carry gun of choice for 75 percent of my life.
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    EKC:
    Congrats on the PPK:

    I've got one, had it for probably over 40 years. and it's a dandy.
    You should be happy with the PPK. I understand the PP has a longer grip and is easier to handle.

    HOWEVER, I was fixin to suggest the Walther PK380. They're a bit larger than most of the Pocket Pistols, like the Ruger LCP.

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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ex1811 View Post
    EKC, there are two type of guns in this world an only two types of guns. There's goin' forward guns and there's backin' up guns. The 380 cartidge is a backin-up cartridge. You are asking about small pocket guns and cite the fact that you presently own a Glock 22. Why not stay with the same "weapons system" instead of getting into a different brand entirely. And while you're at it don't waste time with any "Backin-up" cartridge/gun...move forward in life, fall back in death.

    Suggest you look into a Glock 26 or 27, (9mm or 40 respectively). These weapons systems you are already familiar with and the cartridges are both goin' forward cartridges, albeit the 9mm marginally. For me, the 9 mm is the break even point between goin' forward and backin-up guns. That Glock 27 in 40 S&W cartridge will be at or close to the same size as that Walther or Sig 230 and you'll have some stopping power when needed. The 380 is not a man stopper, the 32's and the 25's are not man stoppers.
    I hear ya and used to have that same philosophy. Thats before my son-in-law introduced me to one of his friends who happens to be a Cook county Illinois medical examiner. He seems to think there are more bags zipped up on dead bodies in that county as a result of 380 holes than any other.

    I shot another box of Mag-techs through it today and am getting the hang of it. Another hundred rounds or so and it's going in the back pocket and on a motorcycle ride

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