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Best .380 Pistols [Hands-On]: Pocket Rockets

Can a .380 pistol save your life? We'll cover what the round can do, things to consider in choosing a gun, ammo, and our top 5 picks of the best .380 pistols.

Can a .380 ACP pistol save your life?

These “pocket rockets” have the ability to conceal well but also are plagued by limited ammo and doubts of stopping power.

Handgun Women Sig Sauer P238
Sig Sauer P238

We’ll go over what’s fact and what’s fiction.

And help you choose the best .380 ACP pistol for self-defense and concealed carry.

Summary of Our Top Picks

  1. Editor's Pick

    Ruger LCP Max

    Super concealable with 10 rounds of .380 ACP although snappy.

  2. Smallest

    Kahr CW380

    Budget friendly and compact.

  3. The Looker

    Sig Sauer P238

    Visually pleasing and nice to shoot.

  4. Ole Reliable

    Glock G42

    Trusted name, durable

  5. Laser Capable

    Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380

    Crimson Trace laser for easier aiming

  6. East to Grip

    Bersa Thunder and Firestorm .380

    Best ergonomics, even for those with larger hands.

  7. Easiest to Rack

    Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ .380 ACP

    Easy slide to manuever, feels great to shoot.

Table of Contents


Best .380 Pistols

1. Ruger LCP Max

The current third generation of Ruger’s great LCP series…the LCP Max is what our editor Eric carries while in athletic gear.

LCP Max in Hand
LCP Max in Hand

The first LCP was ok and the LCP II became more refined. But both only had a max capacity of 6+1 rounds.

Now…the LCP Max brings with it 10+1 rounds of .380 ACP.

All the while being super compact and lightweight (10.6 oz unloaded). For comparison a Sig P365 is 17.8 oz unloaded.

However, by being super compact and lightweight the gun is quite snappy and simply not fun at the range.

L to R LCP Max, P365, G19
(L to R) LCP Max, P365, G19

But if being ultra-concealable is the goal…you can’t go wrong with the LCP Max.

LCP Max in Hidden Hybrid Holster with Ulticlip
LCP Max in Hidden Hybrid Holster with Ulticlip

Testing so far yields great reliability with brass and self-defense ammo…but it HATES steel cased stuff.

Full review right here.

Available Coupons

What’s your take on the LCP Max? Give it a rating below.

Readers' Ratings

4.81/5 (1674)

Your Rating?

2. Kahr CW 380

Standing out as one of the smallest on this list, Kahr isn’t a brand you hear a lot but this is definitely an option you should consider.

It weighs just over 10 ounces with a barrel length of 2.5 inches. The trigger on it is smooth with a clean break, and the sights are also really good.

Karh CW9 with 8 Round Mag
Karh CW9 with 8 Round Mag

I can say that the ones I’ve fired were picky about the type of ammo they shoot.

After performing an in-depth review on one, I found that certain types of ammo didn’t cycle properly, to include steel cased, some hollow points, and really high-end self-defense ammo (Lehigh Defense).

.380 ACP Plinking Rounds
.380 ACP Plinking Rounds


I can say that cheaply made ball ammo seemed to cycle fine in this six in the magazine, one in the chamber pocket pistol and so do a lot of others.

Once I found ammo that worked, it ran like a champ. Check out our full review of its 9mm brother…the CW9.

at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

3. Sig Sauer P238

Small, tucks out of the way…and Sig makes great firearms.

It also just happens to be the best looking gun on this shortlist.

Aesthetics always take a backseat to functionality, but you can’t argue with a good looking gun.

The P238, as Sig would say, “is 1911 inspired.”

Handgun Grip Women Sig Sauer P238
Handgun Grip Women Sig Sauer P238

I can say that they are similar, and this is the only gun on this list that is of all-metal construction. This is great because it gives you some extra recoil-fighting weight.

The slide is stainless steel while the frame is an aluminum alloy. And the two metals combine to make this small handgun tip the scales at 15.2 ounces, with a barrel length of 2.7 inches long.

Sig Sauer P238
Sig Sauer P238

If you’re looking for an easy to take apart gun, opt for one of the others on this list.

While it certainly isn’t difficult to take down and reassemble, there are easier ones out there. If you take it apart the wrong way or forget to move the ejector upon reassembly, you could damage the gun.

The Looker
at Palmetto State Armory

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

4. Glock 42

Glock makes great handguns.

While I don’t personally own one, I’ve fired my fair share and can say that they are reliable and accurate.

Glock G42
Glock G42

The G42 is one of their latest additions (not to mention smallest) and performs how we’ve all come to expect them to at the range.

The G42 has a barrel of 3.25 inches, one of the longer ones on this shortlist, and weighs in at 13.76 ounces. 

It’s a polymer-framed gun with a capacity of six in the mag, one in the chamber. 

Ole Reliable
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

5. Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380

The Bodyguard .380 is a small, polymer-framed handgun weighing in at 12.8 ounces with integrated Crimson Trace laser.

The barrel length is just 2.75 inches and its capacity is also six in the magazine, one in the chamber.

It sports a long, heavy trigger pull with double-strike capability.

M&P Bodyguard with Laser
M&P Bodyguard with Laser

What this means, is that if you squeeze the trigger and all that happens is a “click,” pulling it again will allow the cartridge’s primer to be struck a second time, hopefully firing it this time.

It should be stated here that, while I’ve not had many malfunctions shooting one, this is my least familiar gun on the list and plenty of others have had picky ammunition issues from this pocket .380.

Finally, while the Bodyguards do come with a safety, they are hard to disengage.

In a firefight, should you ever find yourself in one, you may not get it off in time. If you plan to use it, train with it often.

Laser Capable
at GrabAGun

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Check out our full review of the Bodyguard .380 ACP.

6. Bersa Thunder/Firestorm .380

If you’ve ever seen James Bond’s classic Walther PPK and wanted it, you might want to consider the Bersa Thunder or Firestorm instead!

While the PPK is a nice gun, it is a bit dated. The Bersa .380 takes the classic, proven design of the PPK and pluses it up a bit with some modern features like a slide hold open and a decocker/safety.

Bersa Firestorm
Bersa Firestorm .380

One of the best things about the Bersa is that even if you have large hands, this is a very nice gun to grip and hold.

Just enough meat on it to feel right and give you something to hold on to, but still in a sub-compact footprint for CCW.

East to Grip
at Kygunco

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Read all about it in our Complete Review of the Bersa Firestorm .380!

7. Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 380 ACP

Looking for what is possibly the easiest gun to rack… ever? Then you’re going to want to take a closer look at the Shield EZ 380!

Shield EZ 9mm (left) and the Shield EZ 380 (right).
Shield EZ 9mm (left) and the Shield EZ 380 (right).

While the grip may be a little square for some shooters, the petite size and easy slide makes this gun a great CCW option for smaller humans. It’s also got a polymer frame, which keeps it lightweight.

We did a full review of the grip safety model, but you can also find it with a thumb safety, too!

Easiest to Rack
at Brownells

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

It’s a common belief that pistols chambered in .380 ACP are great for newer shooters because the 9mm-short (as it’s sometimes called) is so small that guns shooting it are super low in recoil.

Sadly, while we wish that were true…it isn’t.

When discussing felt recoil, it’s not just the size of the cartridge.

Popular Pistol Calibers
Popular Pistol Calibers

You can see the .380 is one of the smallest rounds in popular pistol calibers.

While size does have a direct correlation to the amount of felt recoil, it’s not all that should be considered. For more info on other calibers, check out our Bullet Guide.

.380 ACP Round
.380 ACP Round

The size and design of the gun must also be taken into account. As well as shooting mechanics.

Oftentimes, the guns chambered in .380 ACP are tiny enough to fit into your front pocket. Because they are so small, they don’t weigh a lot.

When a gun is light in weight, it doesn’t help dampen recoil as much as a heavier gun does.

This is one of the reasons why I almost always recommend people learn how to shoot on a bigger handgun, with low to moderate recoil.

A good example is this SW22 Victory that fires the tiny .22LR round.

SW22 Victory
SW22 Victory

Or, this Ruger MK 2.

Ruger MK 2
Ruger MK 2

Another thing that affects recoil is the design of the handgun itself.

The higher you can get your hand on a grip, the better the recoil management.

Springfield with High Grip
Springfield with High Grip

That’s because your hand acts as a pivot point to the recoil that comes back from the barrel. In an ideal world, you’ll be right behind the gun. But for now, you’ll have to settle for a high grip.

Straight Behind The Gun, Miculek
Straight Behind The Gun, Miculek

Lastly, the size of the grip itself can also help you handle the recoil better.

Having more gun to hold on to helps you get better control of the gun. It should go without saying that pocket pistols have small grips that give you a dainty look.

Sig 938 9mm, Pinky Off
Sig 938 9mm, Pinky Off

The only real way to know for certain how a gun is going to handle is to shoot it before you buy it. It’s always a good idea to shoot a gun to get a sense of how much recoil is present when the trigger is squeezed.

Going to a range and renting as many .380s as you can is a great way to try them out and see which one is the best for you.

Enough of the recoil…what can the .380 really do?

Capabilities of the .380

There are basically two methods of thought when it comes to self-defense cartridges.

The first one says that if your bullet size of choice doesn’t start with a “4” it’s insufficient for self-defense. Think .40 S&W and .45 ACP.

9mm Vs. .380 ACP
9mm vs. .380 ACP

The second thought is all-inclusive and says “carry whatever you can handle comfortably enough to prevent someone else from taking your life. And, be confident enough to accurately use it.”

Another way of looking at it is…the gun you’ve got on your hip is better than the one you’ve got in your sock drawer.

Gun in Sock Drawer
Gun in Sock Drawer

So Where Does the .380 Stand?

It’s good enough to get the job done with several shots, but obviously not the best choice out there.


Every cartridge has different things holding it back when compared to others.

Plus, there is almost always a more powerful self-defense round out there. When you get up to the most powerful ones, the guns are so big and cumbersome that it doesn’t make sense to carry them.

S&W 500 Magnum, Fate of Destinee
S&W 500 Magnum, Fate of Destinee

The .380 ACP is, technically speaking, underpowered when compared with some other mainline self-defense cartridges.

Where does it fall?

Somewhere under a 9mm, and about equal to a .38 Special (depending upon the gun, barrel, ammo type, etc.).

Popular Pistol Calibers
Popular Pistol Calibers

Even though it’s a much smaller cartridge, the .380 is about as strong as a .38 Special.

.38 Special vs .380
.38 Special vs .380

Depending upon who you ask, it beats the .38 in terms of velocity but doesn’t hit quite as hard as the revolver cartridge does (because a .380 bullet weighs 95 grains and a .38 Special bullet weighs up to 158 grains).

No matter what you choose, the gun on your hip is better than the one you’ve left at home or in the car – even if it does only hold seven rounds like most .380 pistols.

S&W Bodyguard 380
S&W Bodyguard 380


We started with the drawbacks… now let’s hit some of the positives.

.380 guns tend to conceal better than many others out there on the market.

Therefore, the tradeoff may be worth it.

Then again, those guns which are deeply concealed tend to be harder to access in a stressful situation.

Womens Concealed Ankle Holster
.380s are great as backup guns or deep concealment.

This is why it’s so important for people to choose the right gun/caliber combination. And the right kind of holster too. Check out our Guide to Holsters for Any Method You Carry.

Shot Placement

If you take aim at an attacker with your .380 pistol but miss four out of five shots, you may just end up angering the person coming at you.

These tiny pistols, especially the really lightweight ones, tend to pull the front sight off target more than others because of the associated recoil.


In order for you to be effective at self-defense, you need to choose a gun that enables you to rapid-fire your shots, and actually hit your intended target.

At the very least you should be able to place all of your rounds at center mass. Think of center mass as the torso of your attacker.

Center Mass Target
Center Mass Target

If you cannot shoot center mass, you need a different gun/caliber combo or to practice a heck of a lot more.

The most important thing in a defensive situation is shot placement. If you can land multiple shots on an aggressor, in any caliber, they’re more likely to give up or succumb to wounds.

A Word About Ammo

There are some things that can help you greatly when it comes time to stop an attacker.

The most important thing here is… proper ammo selection.

In order for you to effectively stop a threat, you need decent hollow point ammunition (if your area allows you to use it). Please also note that not all ammo is made the same, and some expand better than others.

FMJ vs Hollowpoints (9mm and .45 ACP)
FMJ vs Hollowpoints (9mm and .45 ACP)

There are some who believe target ammo (or, FMJ, otherwise known as full metal jacket, ball, etc.) is superior in these pocket .380 pistols because they tend to penetrate further. All that’s important is that you’ve got quality ammo that has been tested in your firearm.

Check out our Best Places to Buy Ammo Online or jump straight to .380 ACP self-defense rounds.

Please Practice

You’ll often hear people say that they buy two different types of ammo, only practicing with one of them. They’ll buy ammo for target practice and ammo for self-defense.

Sig Sauer P238 Shooting

I strongly suggest that you practice with both for two reasons:

  1. You need to know that your ammo of choice works in your gun of choice. A friend of mine carried a gun for months with ammo that didn’t cycle. Not good.
  2. You need to know how your self-defense ammo handles in your firearm so it doesn’t take you by surprise.


Pocket .380s are great firearms if it’s what you carry for self-defense.

While there are other, more powerful rounds out there, this is likely the smallest one you’d ever want to trust your life to.

Sig Sauer P238

They get the job done, but several shots may need to be fired to get your point across.

Do you have a .380 or plan on getting one? Let us know which one you chose and how you like it! And want more of our favorite guns & gear? Check out Editor’s Picks.

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339 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    John Wayne

    I want to know wTF are you doing that you need to carry a gun? Place you live? Consider moving. Hanging with wrong people. Get new friends. I find it scary anyone encouraging someone to Cary a gun right or no right. I believe it’s foolish and only going to get your ass shot by LE. I show up to a call and see someone with a weapon they are getting neutralized immediately no questions asked don’t need no tweaking crackheads running amuck with a gun especially in Merica

    October 9, 2022 1:21 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Michael Kovacs

      You are crazy. Just like the crazies that are carrying guns illegally and using them criminally. People have a right to not be a VICTIM and carry a gun for protection and to neutralize a criminal gun. Police are NOT everywhere and most times arrive after an incident is already over. With the stupid Defund the Police there are less Police and increased response times!

      November 17, 2022 2:42 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Seems like The Duke is forgetting that old and factual adage- when seconds count, LE is minutes away. Take the incidents this past week as examples..

      November 25, 2022 3:30 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Big Red

      It’s a personal choice whether to carry a firearm of any type. I am a firearm owner and I have made a choice not to carry a gun. Other firearm owners have made a choice to carry a gun. We live in a free society and people should have the right to make choices even if you don’t agree with them.

      December 21, 2022 7:52 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bruce E Gibson

    What about the SCCY CPX-4? Small, light, and I only paid $232.99 for it?

    October 9, 2022 10:16 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jeffrey Sacks

    I’m surprised in your updated article Mr. Gillem, you did not mention the Sig Sauer P365-380 (introduced Feb 2022) with the ability to mount a red dot optic like the Sig Sauer ROMEOZero Elite.

    July 23, 2022 6:37 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Most likely it wasn't discussed because the the Sig P365-380 is quite a bit larger than these yet offers no additional capacity.

      July 23, 2022 10:26 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Huh? Other than the LCP Max, no other 380 here has the magazine capacity (ten rounds) of the Sig. Peepew tends ro regurgitate older reviews and most likely the Sig wasn't available when the review was conducted. The P365 380 may be on the larger size spectrum of concealable 380s but is probably the flattest/lowest recoiling model.

        July 30, 2022 6:45 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Tim R Lee

      it’s the same size as the Sig 365 9MM pistol…..It is not really a pocket pistol…..No micro 9 really can be carried comfortably in a pocket…No micro 9 can

      September 13, 2022 7:30 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        Mr. Lee, I disagree. I carry a P365 in a pocket holster everyday in my right front pocket. Of course, being retired I wear loose fitting cargo pocket pants/shorts. No printing whatsoever.

        October 30, 2022 2:43 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mark Campbell

    I carry a Springfield Armory V-10. I ran into a good deal on .45 ACP JHP ammo, but it would not feed in either of my 1911's. The V-10 went back to SA, and they did a phenomenal job on the feed ramp. I could shave in it if I was inclined to do such a silly thing!!! I also have a PPK in .380 that I carry when I want something smaller. Happy with both options!!!

    July 20, 2022 2:25 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bemused Berserker

    I carried a Walther PPK/S as my CC Weapon for 25+ years. Never felt undergunned and to this day it remains the most accurate gun on my modest collection (<1" groups at 25').
    It was retired to range baby status because my aging eyes had trouble with the sights in Low Light Drills.

    Remember, a .380 started a World War. No other cartridge has that claim to fame or infamy if you prefer.

    July 17, 2022 4:35 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Tony Adams

    Bersa Thunder fan here. I enjoy the look of this little pistol and it fits my hand well. I like the three dot sights that comes with the pistol the last round hold open. Also the Decocker and the fact that I can lock the frame as a pistol with the key when my grandchildren are around are a plus. I have fired hundreds of rounds to this little pistol with zero failures.

    July 16, 2022 7:57 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    John H

    I've owned a number of 380 carry guns, the Beretta 84FS and the 85FS My favorite was the Beretta 85FS. It fit my hand perfectly. The only problem with it is those old school guns weigh a lot. I picked up a Kimber Micro 380. It's a good balance of weight and reliability. Even with a Streamlight TLR-6 on it, I can easily carry it in my shorts or jacket.

    July 14, 2022 8:28 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Chuck Tate

    Have a P238 that is great. Small, snappy, accurate in rapid fire, good sights, good trigger, and slightly heavier than expected due to full metal frame. Never an issue. Also have a Taurus 738. Less than an inch wide, polymer frame, striker fired. Shoots fine and no issues. Sights are cast bumps on the slide but are accurate. White paint applied to the back of the sights with a tooth pick really help. I trust both.

    June 12, 2022 6:11 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Michael C.

    Just bought a Sig P238 to replace a S&W Bodyguard that absolutely sucks. I would not trust my life with the Bodyguard . I've ran 100 rounds through the Sig P238 and not one issue , it is awesome , pricey but awesome . Very happy with my purchase . By the way I also own a S&W Shield 9mm and a full size S&W M&P 9mm both great guns , the Bodyguard .380 sucks though .

    March 27, 2022 3:11 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Luke S.

    I am with Jim, I think in the 3 to 4 years i have followed you all in the PEW PEW PEWVERSE, seen maybe 2 Kimbers in your top 5. I have a micro 9 and an ultra carry ii .45 and both are very reliable and groups are good. 1 jam in the UC ii and 0 in the micro 9 both with 500 rounds through. Why no Kimbers EVER?!

    March 14, 2022 8:32 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    MR King

    I have several pistols chambered for .380. In the order acquired, they are a PPK/S, S&W Bodyguard with CT laser, Ruger LCP-II, and Ruger LCP Max. All are used for pocket carry, as often my clothing choice here in FL makes it impractical to carry one of my 9's as I prefer, which is OWB under a loose-fitting shirt. The order I acquired these guns is also my preference for carrying them. Why? The PPK/S is heavy in the pocket, making it a poor choice for lightweight pants. The trigger on the Bodyguard is so poor that I find it unreasonably difficult to stay on target. The LCP-II and LCP Max are very lightweight and have decent triggers. And with such a tiny increment in size & weight, the Max capacity gives it the nod over the II. Once broken in, all four of these guns have been happy with a variety of ammo. YMMV, of course.

    All the .380s are snappy & regardless of how I adjust my grip, they all give me varying degrees of "trigger bite", leaving my trigger finger sore after shooting. Others find this to be true as well. FWIW, I suggest you practice with a .380 at the end of your range time so that the sore trigger finger won't affect your other shooting.

    March 14, 2022 5:27 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Herman Meister

    I chose the S&W MP EZ pistol. Fits my wife's hands as well as mine. We both have Sneaky Pete holsters. I can draw, take safety off, and hit target in less than 2 seconds. With more practice, I can do better than that. The holster appears to be a holster for an I-Pad. Nobody ever looks twice. Check them out.

    March 13, 2022 8:38 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Have you ever heard of Kimber?

    March 13, 2022 8:23 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I have the Micro 9 and like it except that it's single action and you need to rack it or carry with one in the tube and a cocked hammer, which I dislike. Very fine gun overall.

      April 7, 2022 1:02 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bill Stephens

    I have 2 pistols in .380acp. One is a KelTec P3AT, very small pocket gun, and I have a CZ83 in .380acp which is the finest .380 I have ever fired. The CZ is not a pocket gun, holds 13+1, runs DAO or cocked & locked 1911 style. A very fine pistol. Accurate and nice to hold, great controls. Just thought I'd mention it.

    March 13, 2022 7:57 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Even though discontinued, the Taurus TCP 738 is the best of the best. I know, Taurus, but it is what it is.

    March 13, 2022 7:40 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    John Dantin

    I am a little surprised that the Walther PK380 was not mentioned. My personal opinion, the Walther is vastly superior to the Smith Bodyguard. It is easy to rack, accurate, reliable, and very manageable to smaller or older folks.

    March 13, 2022 7:03 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Agreed and also like the mag release.

      March 14, 2022 3:51 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Pete B.

    A review of .380s and no mention at all of Springfield's excellent 911? Amazing. Prior to purchasing mine, I surveyed the field and was sure to check out almost all the popular options on the market, including all of those listed here with the exception of the Bersa and Kahr (the S&W EZ .380 came out after I bought my 911.) In many important aspects, the 911 is quite similar to the Sig P238 but I believe the former is superior in every way. I have a Glock 20, which is a fine gun, but I found the Glock G42 unimpressive (felt like a clunky brick despite the smaller form factor.) Many of the others, such as the S&W Bodyguard and Ruger LCP were too diminutive and had awful sights. (As a 31-year Army combat vet I appreciate decent sights; yes, even on a pistol that is generally considered a "short range" solution.) The higher-grade 911 (the original model) has superb (night) sights. Like the Sig, the 911 is all metal and the fit and finish are excellent. Reliability is also excellent. I am sure the S&W EZ .380 is a good gun (I have the 9mm version.). However, I definitely recommend anyone in the market for a superior and concealable .380 be sure to check out the 911. (I suggest PPT check it out as well.)

    March 13, 2022 5:32 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bill F.

    I inherited my Dad's Browning BDA .380. Thirteen rounds and easy to shoot. Good looking too. A little heavier than those in this article but re-aquisition is simple. And it's accurate... or maybe I am... ;-)

    As the article notes: Practice, Practice, Practice!

    March 13, 2022 4:26 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Re: Glock 42 and Sig P238
    I bought Pierce grips for the Glock 42 mags which allow a 7th bullet into the mag. Sig offers a larger 7 shot mag that has a pinky grip support on it. I added a Crimson Trace green laser to the Glock 42 and it works great.

    March 13, 2022 4:10 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    No Beretta 84????? Really??? Mine holds 13 rounds, how many has yours got??? Love your sight though and read it all the time. Want a Bersa Thunder though...........

    March 13, 2022 4:07 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I’ve got an 84. Nice gun but I’ve had a couple of stoppages with it at the range. On the other hand, my Taurus TCP 738’s, although not 13 rd capacity like the 84, just keep running and running, and running.

      March 13, 2022 7:43 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Ruger LCP as #1? You must be joking. Bought one. It wouldn’t cycle and FTE. Used two different kinds of ammo-American made. Sent it in to Ruger and they “fixed it.” No they didn’t-same problem. Got rid of it and got a Sig P238 and a Glock 42. Both run flawlessly.

    March 13, 2022 3:55 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mark Campbell

      Not sure what's with Ruger on returns for repair. I sent back my SR556VT that I bought new. There was a recall on it, but the trigger still sucked, a "3 stage", the first pull, then some weird twilight zone, and then the pull to release. Not sure if it's litigation prevention or what, but I slapped a Giessele two stage in it and never looked back.

      July 20, 2022 2:30 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Michael M

    I've carried a Bersa Thunder for years. My go to "practice " round AND go to "defensive" round is the 95 grain Hornady Critical Defense. I've ran thousands of rounds through it and have never had any failure to fire, or jams. Highly recommend both, the Bersa Thunder and the ammo, Hornady Critical Defense.

    March 13, 2022 3:25 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mark Fairris

      The data from the Luck Gunner ammo tests helped me arrive at the same conclusion...Critical Defense for the 380.

      March 13, 2022 4:03 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    Great read. Curious on you opinion of Kimber Micro? Love mine.

    March 13, 2022 2:32 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I also have the Kimber micro in both 380 and 9 mm. The 380 is essentially equal to the Sigg P238 but I like the Kimber a little better because of the slicker lines. I have no problem running ball and hollowpoint ammo in it.

      March 13, 2022 8:36 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Charles Zeltner

    And when you want the BEST .380 possible, carry a Walther PPK/S. I've had mine for 30+ years and carried it in an ankle holster. I've shot thousands of rounds through it and truly can't recall a FTE or FTF ever. It is also one of the most accurate small pistols I've ever shot. It's truly a shame that this wasn't included in the report. I guess everyone is into the crappy plastic guns.

    March 13, 2022 10:50 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Mark Fairris

      Agree 100%.
      My PPK/S is accurate enough to shoot snakes from a "safe" distance. While a CZ PCR is my main carry, the PPK/s get the nod when the summer arrives. It is also ergonomically correct and comfortable with the mag with the pinky extension.

      March 13, 2022 4:01 pm
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    Jason Harriss

    Winchester #209 Shotshell Primers
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    December 30, 2021 10:10 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    Have carried a Bersa Thunder for several years now when the weather is too warm for my main carry. I have always enjoyed the way this pistol feels and shoots. No real complaints on this gun.

    December 3, 2021 9:35 am
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    William J Byman

    The Remington 380 is a really decent gun. I'm done with the larger guns, which I don't really carry during normal activities, so this is a perfect balance between power and size.

    November 24, 2021 9:08 am
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    Johann S

    I've had the Kahr CW380's big brother the CT380 for about a year. I bought it used, based on discussions with an off-duty police officer. The Kahr CT380 runs perfectly. No problems with cheap FMJ ammo, Hornady Critical Defense, or Remington Ultimate Defense. The modern Kahr pistols seemed to have been straightened out. The CT380 is 7+1 and still as small as the others & the price is right. Worth a shot!

    November 18, 2021 7:37 am
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    No Walter PPK or Beretta?

    July 29, 2021 8:06 pm
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    When you see a list of the Best .380s and the Beretta Cheetah is not on it there is something disingenuous going on. Or the author has no clue. LMAO

    July 29, 2021 8:03 pm
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      I have an 84fs. The article is about pocket .380s. The 84 is a great pistol but I wouldn't carry it in my front pocket.

      December 2, 2021 8:25 pm
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      IMHO.... The author is not clueless. The Cheetah is a beautifully machined, built, and solid firearm. But I think the problem is not a disingenuous review, but the facts that an 84F is much, much more bulky gripwise, and heavy to lug around and conceal. So maybe that's why it is not added to this concealed carry list. I have both Cheetah and an LCP (with an upgraded trigger) and carry the LCP often for those reasons.

      December 7, 2021 6:04 pm
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    Joe v

    Hollow point are not a better choice

    July 10, 2021 6:58 am
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    I had a 380 EZ as a backup.. Loved it . It was to replace my LCP. But damn if my wife didn't like it also. She finds it a dream to rack and feel . So that is her EDC .

    June 6, 2021 6:09 pm
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    Jon Meinze

    Your article stated that the Kahr 380 was the smallest 380. In actuality the Seecamp 380 is smaller. Thankyou

    June 1, 2021 8:39 am
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    Gary Burns

    I own many pocket 380's, Colt Mustang XSP (now called Lite), Glock 42 (two of them), Kahr CW-380, Remington RM-380, Ruger LCP, LCP Custom, LCP II, LC-380, Springfield 911 380, S&W Sigma 380, Taurus Spectrum. I don't often carry a 380 out of the hose anymore since retirement, but before I did it was the Kahr as the smallest, LCP II as my steady fiend. The Spectrum, LCP Custom some. I like the others the LC-380 has a long smooth trigger pull like the RM-380, both are good I just don't care for that long pull. The RM-380 is the easiest to rack of those I own and the Kahr CW-380 the hardest. The Glock is easiest to recommend to a new shooter.

    March 8, 2021 1:00 pm
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    In selecting .380 Personal Defense pistols, it would seem that the Taurus TCP 738 Pistol would get an "Honorable" mention if not place in the top 5-10.

    February 16, 2021 4:21 pm
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      Randy Fugate

      The TCP is hands down the worst “firearm” I spent money on! Mine was complete garbage and would come out of battery requiring disassembly! I traded it 2 weeks after buying it and the guy gave me $100 in trade! I felt bad about taking his $100. Truth be told I would have paid him $100 to take it and another $50 to never mention that I had shown up with one on my possession. It was absolutely horrible!

      July 21, 2021 6:44 pm
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    James Williams

    I had to go with the .380 for health reasons. I am missing 3 tendons in each shoulder and need a shoulder replacement in my left. I picked the Bersa Thunder because it's easier for me to hold it out straight longer. It's tough growing old, but it does beat the alternative. I find I'm gaining endurance and may even be able to advance to a lightweight 9mm in a few months. One "embarrassing" point is, my wife Does use a 9mm. She takes it easy on me though.

    December 26, 2020 5:04 pm
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    I have a Ruger .380. I did a lot of research before choosing this one for my concealed carry. I'm very petite so I didn't want firearm with a lot of kick because it could cause me to lose balance and accuracy.

    November 15, 2020 11:36 am
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    Also, where is the Remington 380? It’s a small pocket gun with similar specifications to most every gun you did list. It’s also a sleek, well built little pistol with no rough protrusions that virtually disappears in your pocket.

    October 5, 2020 9:04 pm
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      I like my RM380. With a tight grip, you can get v. tight groups at 15 - 20 feet. Plus the DAO pull is rather heavy making an ND, regardless of holster, or, dare I say, lack there of, next to impossible. It really likes to digest Remington 88 gr HTP and Remington 102 gr Golden Saber. I have just started working with some SIG Sauer V-Crown but don’t have a good data set yet. Had a stovepipe with a Hornady 90 gr Civil Defense, though. It is a solid piece of metal and helps dampen the recoil. The pinky extension on the magazine, though, is critical for control.

      October 14, 2020 7:38 pm
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    Good article but why did you leave out probably the best .380 out there, the SCCY CPX-3? I think it came out right around the time of your article so why didn't you list it? Even if it came out after your article it was available for writers to test well before 2019 and, the M&P EZ shield (which you did include) came out I believe in late 2019 (after you wrote the article) yet you included it here and didn't include the CPX-3. Here are the SCCY advantages:

    - The CPX-3 can be had on-line for about $200 so it's just about the cheapest .380 out there
    - It's made in America (on the East coast of Florida)
    - its capacity of 10+1 in the tube puts every gun in this article to shame
    - It has great lines for a handgun
    - It's cheaper and has much more capacity than the Sig P238, the Kahr CW or the Ruger LCPII
    - It's shorter, cheaper and has much more capacity than the Glock 42
    - It's cheaper and has much more capacity than the Bodyguard
    - It's shorter, lighter, cheaper and has much more capacity than the Bersa Thunder
    - It's shorter, lighter, cheaper and has much more capacity than the M&P Shield EZ

    October 5, 2020 6:39 pm
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    thomas g. bernardini

    I have a colt .380 mustang pocket lite I have been packing for a couple of years, and love it!!
    the gun, 7 rounds& the colt laser sight weigh in at 17 once . I have lived in Alaska for over 50 years, and would not take it on a bear hunt, but it will do fine on 2 legged rats!!!

    October 4, 2020 10:56 am
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    Great Article Joshua. I own 2 of your top 5; the Sig P238 and the S&W 380 EZ, plus, my 85 year old father owns the Ruger LCP and my friend the Bersa Thunder and both love them !! I also just purchased the Rock Island Baby Rock, another great 380. My everyday carry is my Sig P238 as I can carry it all day on ankle or IWB without discomfort. This is a great gun with excellent sights for both day and night. For it's 2.5 inch barrel, I can easily hit center mass at 25 yards or less and with rapid fire shots. Because I have carpal tunnel and arthritis in my thumbs, I bought the S&W 380 EZ. What a great gun although much bigger than the Sig. Every thing is truly EZ, from loading to racking to field stripping & cleaning. My only complaint on this gun was the sights, which I easily remedied by installing a laser on the lower rail. The big thing to consider using these 380's is the ammo. I fired over 500 rounds through my Sig using dozens of different ammo and it NEVER gave me an issue. The S&W gave me an issue with certain brands of hollow point, but, more investigation needs to be done because I think it occurred with one individual magazine. Also, you can not use Plus P ammo with the S&W as the polymer frame and light spring will not tolerate the added pressure. The SIg will fire Plus P with no issues (although, the added pressure will wear out the inner parts much faster). That is why I also picked up the Baby Rock (a baby 45); solid steel frame made the same exact way Rock Island makes their 45's. In fact this Model 1911A 380 is just a smaller version with all parts being virtually identical. It can handle Plus P ammo and with the 3.75 inch barrel is extremely accurate. The ballistics testing of some of the newer Plus P ammo from Buffalo Bore and Underwood put the 380 round pretty close to regular 9mm ammo. I do find more noticeable recoil when using this ammo. I would like to try the Walther PPK S next.

    October 4, 2020 10:41 am
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    "While the LCP was a popular pistol, the LCP II is a refined and much improved version."

    Citation needed. I don't like what I've read about the LCP II. It's certainly uglier and much more expensive.

    August 17, 2020 6:45 pm
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      I agree. The LCP II was available when I bought mine but I chose the original and I'm glad I did.

      November 15, 2020 11:39 am
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    Dylan Slater

    Well interesting take though on all the ammo comparison charts I've seen on this site for popular handgun ammo I've yet to see the 9mm makarov mentioned and personally I carried a FEG PA-63 a hungarian made pistol though no longer on the market here carried it on me for least 5 years before I changed to a SiG P245 Compact due to the fact that I could Extremely easily find magazines available that fix in quiet extended size for the gun as it Accepted Magazines for the P220 as well which is a common officer carry ever since been a SiG guy still got the p245 but switched to a p938 Texas edition few years back But I'll Say this about the 9mm makarov and the FEG PA-63 at that, that is one gun to this day I regret selling but the local gunshop owner wanted it as a carry as he had one previously that got stolen when he was in the hospital and since they were no longer on market here I parted ways with mine but the 9mm makarov Is a absolutely great round can't even begin to describe how well it feels in the hand compared to a Luger

    August 17, 2020 6:14 pm
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    Casey Thacker

    Kimber Micro Raptor?????

    August 3, 2020 9:44 am
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      Excellent 380 and should’ve been included in this list.

      March 13, 2022 9:04 pm
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    Mike Cummings

    Really surprised the Browning 1911 .380 didn't make the Top 5. Was this a consideration?

    July 21, 2020 6:57 am
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    Shannon Wicks

    Thank you for your article. However, I’m having trouble finding a pistol for conceal carry. I currently own a S&W Shield, but need something much much smaller to wear on my ankle without moving down to a .22. To give you an idea, I’m 5’5 and 108lbs. Conceal carry at my size seems almost impossible.

    June 21, 2020 11:13 am
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      Remington 380. SUPER SLEEK, thin little gun that hides in any pocket.

      October 5, 2020 9:09 pm
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    Alejandro Pera

    Dear Mr. Joshua, enjoy your article and share many of the concepts that you use.
    Don't be offended, Joshua, but I don't think a serious overhaul of the best 380 ACP pistols can stop including the Walther PP Series.

    The Walther PP Series is the 380 ACP pistol, the most successful of all time, until today.
    A design that has been manufactured for 91 years! up to the present, it cannot be ignored.
    Its design has not been changed and it is manufactured the same as almost a century ago, because it is exceptionally good and very well made.

    With all due respect, I must point out a conceptual error to you, and that is when you present the good Bersa Thunder pistol as the best Clone of the Walther PPk, the Bersa pistol, it is not a clone of the Walhter PP Series, but of the Beretta Series 70 and 71.
    Its internal mechanism has nothing like the Walther, not at all, other than its external appearance and that the spout is fixed.
      Also, if you keep track of the previous Bersa models and study the mechanism of the Bersa Thunder and compare it with the Beretta 70 and 71, you will be able to confirm what I am saying here.
    Moreover, those who founded and started the Bersa models in Argentina were Italian investors and gunsmiths, and were familiar with and highly influenced by the Beretta models.
    The name BERSA is the result of the union of the letters of the names of the founding partners, Benso Bonadimani, Ercole Montini and Savino Caselli.

    Another even more serious mistake is that you, mentioning the benefits of the good Bersa pistol, about the Walther PPK, you textually say: "It improves it a bit with some modern features, such as an open sliding cover and a decocker / security." Well, with all due respect, I must point out to you that this is a serious error, indicating at least an ignorance of the history of firearms.
     As I remind you, that the PP Series Pistols, all have the sliding cover open, then fire the last ammunition, as it was and is the custom in all modern military weapons.
     And the Walther PP Gun was the first gun in the history of weapons that the decocker / security introduced.
    So well designed is the Walther PP Series Pistol, that it can be carried in complete safety, with live ammunition in the chamber, without activated safety, ready to be fired with just the trigger in Double Action, just like a revolver.
     This innovation in 1929, was revolutionary in the world of weapons, and led to its adoption as a regulation and special services weapon, in almost all of Europe, and the rest of the world, countries such as Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, France, Brazil , Bolivia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Austria and even the secret services of England. The latter country, in the 1980s, made a contract for the purchase of Walther pistols, PP model, in 22 lr caliber. to be used by the Agents who carried out activities in the territory of Ireland, the destination of said contract stated verbatim "to be used in personal defense".
    Hundreds if not thousands of police in the United States choose to carry a Walther PPK / S as a CCW, as an out-of-service weapon or as a second backup weapon.

     So much so that all, absolutely all the later models that have been made up to the present, including the iconic Beretta 92, have copied and reproduced this decocker / safe system. used by Walther in the famous design and iconic Walther PP Series pistol.

    Today, May 2020, the Walther PPK / S pistol continues to spearhead the pistol offering and remains today, as it has been for nearly a century, a best seller. It has been successfully tested in World War II. Worldwide, and throughout the Cold War, and to this day, it is on the list of backup pistols endorsed and authorized to be used by some US Police Departments. USA

    WHICH is now said to be or is suggested to be outdated, is more of a "sales marketing" issue than a technical one.

    The only aspect that has been overcome, is in the weight, and this is a debatable aspect, as you very well point out, as commented on the benefits of the Sig Sauer 238, for being all metal. Well, now there are weapons that weigh the friendship, but this is a debatable topic because the weight as you have pointed out when referring to the benefits of the SIg 238, is a variable that plays in favor of reducing the elevation of the weapon in the firing and favors follow-up firing, which is a great help in a marginal caliber weapon.

    As a curious fact and proof of the historical importance of the iconic Walther PP Series, I will say that the exceptional, world-renowned Frank Sinatra, carried a beautiful, beautifully engraved Walther PP pistol that was auctioned off at a fortune.
    Also the famous and consecrated King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, wore a Walther PPK / S engraved, with an initial "take care of your business"
    Success !
    Just my 2 cents

    Alejandro Pera

    May 6, 2020 11:46 pm
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      Mel He

      Just your 2 cents?
      Hell that was a buck and a quarter at least!
      Well done and VERY informative! Thank you for that PPK History lesson!

      May 27, 2020 10:51 pm
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    Lawrence Sanders

    I'm a 71 year old Marine Corps careerist and Vietnam combat vet whose career mainly relied on the 1911 platform. It fit my large hands and short fingers. I was disappointed when we went to the 9mm but I understood why we did so. I've been armed for over 50 years on a daily basis.

    That being said, I will say that I'm a fan of the concept that if you can't hit your target then no firearm will be for you. I usually carry pistols in these calibers, .380, 9mm, and .45. My pistols are various makes and models from around the world and they have all (some with mild fit and finish work) become reliable for daily carry. My favorite are .45s by Kimber, Taurus, Remington, Metro Arms --- 9mm by CZ, CANIK, SARZILMAS (SAR), Remington, Taurus Millennium G-2 --- .380 by BERSA (Thunder .380 and .380 PLUS), Browning, Beretta and the well built GIRSAN MC-14

    My most consistent shooters have been .... all of them. Most accurate?? The Kimber, Metro Arms American Classic, CZ-75B, CANIK 55, CANIK TP9v2, --- all of my .380s.

    Yeah, I like Clones, mainly those made in Turkey because they've been well made in NATO spec facilities. ..... so far.

    Semper Fi,

    USMC Retired

    April 29, 2020 12:45 pm
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      Kenneth Copeland

      Thank you for your service!

      August 1, 2020 12:22 pm
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    Stephen R Stanfield

    Surprised you left out the Walther PK. Great gun

    April 12, 2020 10:52 pm
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    Lee Bryant

    I read your article and found it very interesting and somewhat informative. I do think you missed the boat on adding the Springfield Armory 911 on your list. It is extremely well built, easily concealed and extremely accurate.

    March 18, 2020 2:42 pm
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    Jim Streicher

    I own a S&W 380 M&P Shield EZ, and I'm very pleased with it overall. I'm a 65-y-o man with arthritis in both hands and carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists, and the easy rack and milder recoil are the primary reasons I chose the EZ in the 380 model. My right hand and wrist are sore when I leave the practice range, but they don't ache for days as they have with 9mm. I'm looking at a Walther CCP M2 380 for my wife, whose hands are smaller and more arthritic than mine, and hope you'll review it someday soon.

    March 15, 2020 12:58 pm
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    Michael Wall

    Just wanted to say, I own 4 different caliber Taurus pistols and I am very satisfied with my 357 mag, 1911 Commander 45 acp, and 38 special.
    The 4th was picked out by my wife for her ccw. It's a .380 Spectrum. It's also a useless piece of crap. The only way you're gonna hit your attacker is if you stick it in their gut and start pulling the trigger.
    Don't waste your time with this gun.

    March 8, 2020 10:04 pm
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      Taurus really dumped in their lunch bucket when they discontinued the TCP738 and replaced it with the Spectrum which is, I’ve read, as you describe. Among my .380’s I’ve got two TCP’s and they are extremely reliable and accurate at their intended ranges.

      August 13, 2020 9:29 pm
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    Melissa Robinson

    I own a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard and a Ruger LCP II so, I was pleasantly surprised to see both of my pistols on this top 5 list for the .380 bullet. My favorite is the Ruger since the trigger pull is 4, maybe 5, lbs. @ most; whereas, my Bodyguard definitely is a heavier (approx. 8 lb.) trigger pull. It’s much easier for me to shoot my Ruger than it is my S & W! This writer is SPOT ON w/the issue of firing & nothing happening w/the Bodyguard! Mine has misfired multiple times since I bought it. This makes me nervous so I’ve always sought help to clear the chambered bullet but now I know what to do! I appreciate the tip! I prefer these smaller pistols to large “cannon-like” guns b/c I’m almost 51 years old and have a chronic illness which has caused Rheumatoid Arthritis in some of my joints, especially my hands. I can handle both of these guns, which helps me to be able to keep my family safe. I NEVER leave home w/o my Ruger on me! Thank goodness for conceal carry licenses!

    January 31, 2020 5:21 pm
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    ronnie cooley

    Amen! Stephen. I owned one of these years ago and it was a dream! It was made by browning and I traded it for a 222 rifle. Big mistake!

    January 23, 2020 4:57 pm
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    Randall P

    I’ve shot 3 on the list. I found the small grip and long trigger pull of the Ruger LCP makes it difficult to stay on target. My wife carries the Sig P238 which is a great gun with very few issues. I’m not a fan of carrying “cocked and locked” so my personal pocket gun is the Bersa Thunder 380CC. You missed It in your review but it is mechanically similar, but smaller than the non CC (conceal carry) model. I like the DA/SA design, 8+1 capacity, lifetime warrantee, and $299/$309 price point. The edges and dove tail are tapered to allow true pocket carry. For work I carry the Glock 43, 9mm.

    December 6, 2019 5:37 am
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    Stephen Hastings

    I'm surprised that you didn't even mention the Browning Black Label 1911-380! Particularly the compact model is a really nice-shooting pistol that is light enough and small enough for concealed carry.

    December 3, 2019 12:04 pm
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      Ryan Stephenson

      I love mine,,,, goes everywhere

      December 21, 2019 5:37 pm
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        Do you carry it in a pocket holster?

        June 30, 2020 1:24 pm
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    Rating the Ruger LCP II above the Sig P238 made me laugh. I have a Sig P238 ASE and the trigger is excellent and recoil is minimal. Pocket carry cocked and locked.
    The Kahr is an excellent 380 too.

    December 2, 2019 4:10 am
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      Joseph Riggs

      I have the sig p238,Springfield armory 911,glock 42 and ruger lcp, I like my short trigger pulls but my lcp does have a decent enough trigger and recoils not bad! Still I agree with you!

      February 18, 2020 9:18 am
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    Lanny Harrison

    The Walther PPK and PPK/S may be dated but so is the 1911 but they are still proven designs. If they weren't they wouldn't be the most copied designs, just like Glock. I own the newer PPK/S and the quality and craftmanship is second to none. The Bersa Thunder is a good gun but it is a PPK, PPK/s clone for a reason. It Works.

    October 6, 2019 6:20 pm
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      Ron Wright

      I have two Walther PPK/s , and find them to be excellent! The only thing is when I got them, every internal edge was as sharp as a razor! But, all it took was a disassembly and careful stoning job. Mine were made by Smith&Wesson, you would think for the price they could have deburred those edges.

      January 2, 2020 1:06 pm
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    Adam Yanhko

    I strongly disagree with your top 5 the Bersa Thunder 380 should have right there at the top. I have a Bersa 383 DA I have carried for over 30 years. It’s the most reliable gunI own. I recently bought my wife a 380 Thunder and it’s the only gun I’ve found the equals my 383DA. Now mind you I am only comparing 380’s. There are nines I’d rather carry for self defense but as 380’s go Bersa is top of the line.

    September 28, 2019 12:07 pm
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    Alexander Kulik

    I’ve been a lawman for over 40 years and I’ve carried many handguns both in uniform and plain clothes. For the last 15 years as a plain clothes Detective, I chose to carry the nickel finish Beretta 84FS Cheetah. I like the 13+1 capacity. It’s looks great and feels great in my hands. It always feeds, fires and ejects regardless of what ammo I feed through it. It’s not a subcompact pistol, but it’s much easier to shoot than a subcompact. Also, I never carry a handgun in my pocket. It’s always in a secure IWB or OWB holster. Recently, I also purchased the Bersa Thunder plus 380 (15+1 capacity) and it too hasn’t failed to feed, eject or fire with Ball or JHP ammo! Great pistol!

    August 22, 2019 12:16 pm
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    Pete B.

    I have several Sigs, S&Ws, Rugers, and a Glock 20, so I would have thought your list would serve. l looked at those models on your list (and several others), but found what I was looking for in the Springfield 911, which, in my opinion, was far superior in design, construction, features, and feel. As a combat vet, I don't want anything without useable sights, which the 911 demonstrably has (excellent night sights) and is accurate (again, the 911 is surprisingly competent at extended ranges). Good trigger, too. Why get a self defense weapon if it's essentially useless in limited visibility conditions? If you want something toylike with questionable or useless sights, the author's list will serve you. (The Glock and Sig feel bulky and have lousy sights; the Ruger's "sights" are a joke; the Smith's aren't much better.) Did you even consider the Springfield?

    August 10, 2019 6:03 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I recently purchased a 911 because I am a fan of Springfield Armory. That and I own a Sig P238 that has been the best everyday carry gun I have ever owned and the 911 seemed to be a copy of the P238 only made by Springfield and slightly better looking in my opinion. I agree with you that the sights on the 911 are great for a pocket size pistol and I have no issue with them but I do like the sights on my P238 more. In fact the sights that came on my Sig are some of my favorite that I have ever owned. In low light they are just as bright as any nightsights I've seen and the added hi-viz feature for daylight conditions is just awsome. It's the best of both worlds, no compromise, no having to choose one or the other. Weather day or night my Sig's sights glow nice and bright. I still like my new 911 and have no complaints with it so far. I also still believe it is the better looking of the two (my girlfriend disgrees but...). However, as much as I love Springfield and wish I could give them the nod I just can't credit the sights as being better than those on my Sig.

      June 8, 2020 3:55 am
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    Thank you for your reviews. However, in the .380 you are missing the very best of them. Rh CZ P07 & CZ P10c chambered in .380. They chew any Ammo you can think of, with ease and practically no malfunction!

    August 8, 2019 4:59 pm
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    You say the LCP2 has a long stiff trigger not true the first gen LCP did the LCP2 are one of the best triggers available on a 380 hadgun

    August 7, 2019 7:56 am
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    Anthony Ray D.C.

    What are you talking about the .380 is underpowered and is equal in power to a .38 special ?
    The .38 spl. has put a many people under in the world and was the sidearm of many law enforcement agencies in the U.S. for several decades.
    I know the California Highway Patrol carried .38 spl. Many years.
    I own a .380 and I'm confident it will neutralize an attacker upon the first of 1 or 2 shots.
    Some survivors who survived being shot from .380 remembered going into paralysis before blackout . So don't underestimate the power of calibers starting with 3.
    I've seen police videos when 4 shots from a .45 acp failed to stop an attacker.

    August 4, 2019 9:27 am
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    Pocket carry brings up a very specific need and a very specific gun, in my opinion. Why? Because your firearm is potentiallypointed at your junk! For this reason, I recommend only 1911 style p238 firearm, hammer uncocked but a round in the chamber.

    August 3, 2019 8:14 pm
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      copy that

      August 11, 2019 7:19 am
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    I started with a KelTec P3AT that fit nicely with a custom holster into a back pocket. What I didn't like about it is the double-action trigger; by the time you get it pulled, you've probably pulled way off target in a crisis situation.
    Helped GF decide on a pistol for her own self-defense and ended up with the Sig Sauer P238 and I liked it so well that I got one for myself to replace the KelTec. Plus side for smaller folks is that the slide racks easily and you can even fully load the extended magazine without a helper tool.
    Recently helped my niece choose one for herself and budget was part of the equation and she ended up with a Springfield Armory model 911 in .380 and she absolutely loves it - and says it is easy for her to use, load and maintain.

    July 21, 2019 11:32 am
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    I have a Bersa thunder cc chambered in 380 ACP. I bought it because it looks so much like the Walther PPK. Three years later and about 1100 rounds, I have mixed feelings. There’s not a pistol I shot more accurately then this Bersa. I have had almost 20 failure to feed malfunctions with this pistol, 3 different magazines and every brand of 380 that Walmart sells I’ve tried. . Safety lever broke off, still could move it up-and-down with what was left, but still a hassle, And the extractor broke on me. Replacement parts were free from Bersa and I did the labor myself, pretty easy to work on. Bottom line for me on this pistol, I’ll never get rid of it, but I would replace it as a daily Carry.

    July 12, 2019 4:53 pm
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    Here's a plug for a very specific P238, from a very specific source. It's called a
    Sports 12, it comes with two 6-round mags and one 7-round mag with extension so you can get all your fingers on the grip (I can, anyway). Has tritium night-sights, plus front sight is also fiber optic, they are excellent. Comes with a Hogue rubber grip as well. A P238 with rosewood grips may be prettier, but this one is a no-nonsense carry piece and looks it.

    How about all that for $459.00 in a plastic box? You have to get it from Palmetto State Armory. Other places have it, online, for near that price, maybe at that price if you look harder than I just did, but I've not seen one for less. Also, it doesn't show up on Sig's website. At first I thought it was an older model that was being closed out, but it may be more likely it's an exclusive production run for some of these sellers.

    I bought one for my wife back in March, and another for me about 2 weeks ago. Patience will get you free shipping, too, as Palmetto makes that available every so often. Extra patience is necessary at the moment since the 12 is temporarily out of stock (other 238's are in stock but at much higher prices).

    I couldn't believe it when I first saw it, but now I have two. Best .380 (arguable, I know), best carry features (arguable, I know), best price for a P238 (can't argue there).

    June 29, 2019 3:47 pm
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    Daryl Walker

    I bought a Springfield Armory 911 380 as an alternative to my 9mm EDC when I need a smaller form factor. The 911 has a light, crisp SAO trigger, great night sights, and the 7+1 extended magazine has enough grip to make it easy to shoot. I carry it cocked and locked. Use of the external safety becomes automatic with practice. I think it is better than the SIG p238 and at a better price point. Thanks for the great article.

    June 13, 2019 9:53 pm
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    Joshua, do you pull any weight at Ruger? Could you convince them to make an LCP II in .32 acp?

    June 12, 2019 11:27 am
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    Jimmy R

    I currently own 4 .380 pistols. Sig P230, Ruger LCP, Kahr P380 and a Beretta Pico. I have lasers on the Kahr and Beretta. The best shooter is by far the Sig , as a matter of fact , it’s the most accurate pistol I’ve ever shot. The drawback is the size, not bad , but nowhere near as easy to carry as the others I own. My edc is the Kahr. It’s the best combo of size, carry and shoot ability. Also, I have not had any problems with any ammo. The Beretta Pico is a nice gun, very very thin. I found that carrying it on your waist with the extended mag was slightly annoying as it is very long. I wouldn’t carry any of these micro pistols without the extension, I need to have all 3 fingers on the grip. I have a 1st edition LCP. I have nothing bad to say about it except it feels cheaper than the others. I have had no problems with it and it is the lightest of them all. What is very important to me is having a laser and being able to shoot juiced up .380 rounds. That’s why the Kahr is the winner here. I like how the CTC laser activates just from gripping the gun and not having to worry about finding a button to activate laser. I like that I can use Buffalo Bore ammo without issues and that Kahr is rated for their use. The BB ammo gives you specs that are very close to a 9mm round in such a small package. It is also the best shooter out of the very small .380’s. Just my 2 cents. Be safe.

    June 12, 2019 5:14 am
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    I have the LCP2 and the P238. Both are easy to carry and both shoot well. I have hundreds of rounds through both and I haven't had any malfunctions with either of them.

    June 9, 2019 3:52 pm
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    Karl Vanhooten

    Thanks for getting the Bersa Thunder 380 on the list. I've had one for 6 years; love it. No failures or issues (other than the small sights - still waiting for some company to make fiber optic replacements). Carries 7+1, decocked and hammer down, great SA, eats any brand ammo.

    June 7, 2019 5:25 am
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    Billie Weber

    Bought the SW body guard, it is great, easy to conceal.

    June 3, 2019 9:32 am
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    Wayne Benedict

    I have had several .380 pistols, and currently have a Sig P238 that I really like. Small, easy to carry and just plain sexy, I have to say it's my favorite so far. Mine is the Tribal edition. While size really isn't that much of a issue for me, as I carry my Glock 20 10mm quite often, the P238 is easy to pop into a pocket when I'm in a hurry.

    May 27, 2019 3:05 pm
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    Rented an LCP II this weekend. Wow, what a horrible experience. I'm sure it is because the rental wasn't maintained well. The problems: 1, Mag wouldn't load properly. I had to push really hard and when I finally got it into the mag well FOUR rounds came out of the slide opening! 2, When I picked up the rounds and reloaded the mag the same thing happened when I got it in the gun. 3, when I tried to release the slide there was a failure to feed, this with only three rounds in the magazine, 4 I manage to drop the mag, clear the jam and fire three rounds and reload. 5 Same issue with the sticky magazine, rounds flying out of the opening in the slide. 6 I get the mag in, release the slide and it doesn't go fully into battery. 6 I get the guys who work at the range to clear the gun, took a FULL five minutes, he fires two rounds and I tell him to take the gun back, I won't fire it again. Oh, and the first time he put a full mag in the weapon three rounds came popping out for him just like it did for me!!! They gave me an Smith and Wesson 380 EZ instead, functioned flawlessly and I shot it well.

    May 20, 2019 6:50 am
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      Grayson Brown

      I don't think your experience here is typical for the LCP line and you are probably correct that it was due to being a rental. I have owned an LCP for over 10 years, gave another one to one of my daughters, and both have always worked flawlessly with whatever ammo I fed it. For what it is, I really like the gun and most reviewers feel the same. Still, shoot whatever makes you most comfortable; that S&W is a fine choice. Stay safe.

      May 27, 2019 6:49 am
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      I came to this article specifically to learn about the LCPII’s reliability after my experience with one at the range this afternoon. I could almost copy and paste Pete’s review of the LCPII as my experience.

      I’m in the market for my first CCW and have the LCPII on my radar. I went to my range and rented one. I had 6 stovepipes(!!!) in 50 rounds with the ammo selected by the range, presumably because they think it’s quality ammo. The chamber seemed pretty dirty so I’m willing to give the weapon another chance, but I was very disappointed. The only other rental gun I’ve shot (ironically, another Ruger: the LC9S at a different range) had no misfires, so I’m not completely down on Ruger.

      On a side note, thanks for a great article and website. As a new shooter (didn’t shoot until age 45, didn’t shoot again for another 5 years, bought my first gun two years later last March) I find your website very helpful. Keep on keepin’ on with it!

      February 8, 2020 8:55 pm
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    I have an AMT Backup in .380 (I also have one in .45 acp). I take it everywhere. Fits my hand with my natural point so no need to try to find the non existent sights. Can put 5 shots into a trash can lid point and shoot at 25 yards. I use old Supervel. I still have a bunch of old stock and they feed and shoot well.

    May 18, 2019 5:54 pm
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    Todd V King

    I'm not sure where you learned to count/measure Josh. I went to Government schools too :-) but there is more than I can ignore. The picture captioned "Handgun Caliber Smallest to Largest", that you used twice, isn't even close. It shows .38 Special being a larger caliber than .45 ACP and 9mm being larger than .380 among other errors.

    May 17, 2019 11:12 pm
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      Kenny M McKenzie

      9mm is larger than 380!

      May 19, 2019 1:41 pm
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    gerard samoleski

    why is the .25 cal never up,i have a 1994 950bs that I shoot without using the sights [which are useless]at about 10 yards and have no problem hitting the target.

    May 4, 2019 3:32 pm
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    Bert Green

    I have a S&W Bodyguard. I do like the safety feature. Of course one must practice with any firearm to learn the particularities of that gun. The safety feature is no problem if you practice. I think it is a great gun. I highly recommend it.

    April 24, 2019 2:43 pm
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    You left of far and away the best .380 on the market the Springfield 911, best of the bunch as far as recoil and a beautiful gun optically, sights are top of the line right out of the box

    April 13, 2019 12:12 pm
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      Ahh yes, the less expensive knockoff of the 238 (which in and of it self was a knockoff of the colt mustang) brought to you by the company who sold the residents of IL down the river for the all might $.....No thanks, you can keep it.

      April 16, 2019 5:20 am
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        Before the Colt Mustang there was the F.I. Model D, based on a Star design that goes back to the 1920's. The F.I. Model D serial numbers started with the characters "CPA".

        June 13, 2019 5:16 pm
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        Charles stan

        Yes but sig at least bought the rights to it from colt , Springfield just stole it

        September 8, 2019 6:28 am
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    Sharing my experience. My favorite carry firearm is my Kahr P380. I prefer the 7 round extended magazine, plus 1 in the chamber. Initially it only liked ball rounds, but after the break-in period (Kahrs have super-tight tolerances), it runs perfectly. The 'P' series has a Lothar Walther match barrel - the thing is ridiculously accurate! As long as its kept clean, the firearm is flawless. I've been using Hornady Critical Defense in it. Mostly carried in a Desantis SuperFly pocket carry.... prints like a wallet.

    April 7, 2019 11:06 am
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      ESTE ES UN TEMA QUE NO ESTÁ TRATADO EN EL ARTICULO: LA PRECISION !!! Increiblemente yo cazo con pistolas .380, desde liebres, grandes tatús, lagartos extremadamente resistentes, avestruces (algunos de más de 80 kilos) Uso una walther pp, capaz de poner 5 tiros hornady en 1.5 " pulgadas a 25 mts, apoyado. Uso una bersa 380 cc, con cañón de estrias polygonales, uso una walther ppk y tambien una Kahr, que es la que tiene el caño más corto. Para defensa bala semiwatcutter con penetrador. La walther PP y la bersa ponen todos los tiros a 50 yards en la figura tirano rápido con 2 manos.-

      April 9, 2020 8:13 am
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    J R

    Bought my wife a Walther PK380 because with her arthritis , she can still rack the slide. I didn't see any mention of this pistol here. Too bad because it's a fine firearm.

    March 28, 2019 7:50 am
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    Does .380 make sense, if one legally cannot carry HP/JHP ammo?

    March 25, 2019 2:28 pm
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      David, PPT Editor

      I would say no - unless you really needed the ultra-compactness and reduced recoil. HP/JHP ammo is the definitive defensive ammo type, but if you're not allowed to carry it then you need to rely on a larger caliber to do the same job.

      March 25, 2019 6:30 pm
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        Thank's David! On a bit of a related note. As I carry 9x19, I was trying to find out, what round has the smallest chance of overpen. It's hard to find something online, as almost everyone is talking about JP/JHP rounds. Is some heavier, SP round good for carry, if I wan't to minimize danger to others, besides the intended target?

        March 28, 2019 4:25 am
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          David, PPT Editor

          Heavy bullets have more penetration, I would stick to 115gr in 9mm. Hornady Critical Defense and Sig V-Crown is what I carry - there is a ton of info and recommendations in our Best 9mm Ammo article!

          March 28, 2019 1:22 pm
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      380 makes more sense than 9mm or larger caliber is you cannot legally have HP ammo. 380 and 9mm will make the same size hole and anything larger than 380 without HP will surely over-penetrate. Get some Leihgh Xtreme Defense ammo if you can legally do so (65gr wrecking ball without H.P.) Know your target and what's behind it as you are responsible for that round that goes through the target and lands in something/someone else.

      October 26, 2019 5:58 pm
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    Bill Rose

    No problem with the safety or trigger on M&P .380 Bodyguard. The trigger pull is hard, very similar to a revolver, but on a pocket gun that is a good thing that won't affect me if I have to use it plus I practice with it all the time. I have no issues at all deactivating the safety. It's not a lot of the fun at the range as it is small and powerful and beats up your hand but it's not supposed to be. It's reliable, accurate enough and easily concealable no matter what you are wearing which is why I own one. If I can't wear my 9mm Shield 2.0 the Bodyguard is my next choice and I have no doubt it will perform effectively in a life and death situation. My Bodyguard did have a few issues with Hornady Civil Defense ammo but Federal HST 99 grain JHP has been off the charts in accuracy and reliability. As for range ammo I have had no issues with Federal, Fiocchi or Winchester. Still mystified by the issues with Hornady as that is my 9mm choice for personal and home defense. , If I were to replace my Bodyguard the Ruger LCP would be my choice.

    March 23, 2019 5:12 pm
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    Shad Holland

    I did get a .380 3 or so years ago. It was a Bersa Thunder 380 CC.

    I never really liked it. To start, it seemed heavy so carrying it in my pocket felt pretty funky. Then there are the teeny tiny sights. Not adjustable and too hard for me to comfortably see down. At the range I could hit the target, but not even close to as well as I could with other handguns.

    Then finally, it jammed all the time. At the time I didn't really think to try different ammo. But it did jam on the cheap stuff as well as Critical Defense .380 which I thought should have worked better.

    The gun now sits high on the shelf in my basement bicycle/workshop. It's there as last resort if I happen to be down there and unarmed when an intruder comes in. But honestly, I don't even know if I trust it to do that.

    Other things I didn't like. The plastic grip sides come loose after shooting it. There is a screw, I tighten it down and it works loose pretty quickly while at the range. Maybe some loctite, but maybe the manufacturer should already have that resolved.

    Today I have a Glock 43. It's oh so slightly bigger (barely) than a Glock 42. I figured why not have 9mm since it's only slightly bigger yet still as easy to conceal comfortably. I have fired a wide variety of 9mm rounds out of it. It has never misfired.....not once! It has had at least 2000 rounds through it. I have cleaned it once.

    I plan to clean it again soon. It gets dirty and dusty just from carrying it. I even saw lint and crap in there when I went to the range. I didn't clean it because I wanted to see if it would cause any issues. Nope! Never skipped a beat.

    It's hard to not be a Glock fan.....it really is.

    March 18, 2019 11:56 am
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    Karl Vanhooten

    You forgot or ignored the Bersa Thunder 380. 7+1 rounds, all-metal, a decocker, and the look and feel of a Walther PPK, but with a better trigger, and it's priced right.

    March 18, 2019 11:17 am
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    Had a Keltec P3AT And will say I had no problems with it, that being said I have heard others not so lucky sold mine to a friend that had to have it when I bought my P238, once I polished the feed ramp on the Sig it worked flawlessly was pissed that I had to polish the feed ramp on a $575 dollar pistol when a $199.00 pistol ran like a champ. Will say that I really liked the Sig because of the night sights,cause goblins come out at night

    March 16, 2019 5:48 pm
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      Terry Cowan

      My p3at , is great. Slips in and out of my back pocket with ease. Shoots great with a CrimsonTrace laser. Never a jam

      April 5, 2019 10:12 am
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    Simón Olguín

    Self defense means close shooting. So, .380 will do the job.

    March 14, 2019 2:02 pm
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    Italo Morello

    I own a spanish Gamo rifle 4.5 mm caps and a Turkey made ,38 rubber bullets revolver brand Ekol
    The later is for personal defense
    I live in Colombia, the only ountry in the world where self defense is prohibited
    Anyway I decided to purchase the revot in spite of that absurd and stupid law

    February 28, 2019 3:30 pm
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    No love for Springfield 911? Easily the best .380 weapon out there in terms of cost, reliability, features & looks. Yeah, yeah... they got caught in some controversy, but I'm sure all weapon manufacturers are subject to lobbying BS.

    February 28, 2019 1:29 pm
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    Capt kirk

    I've owned the Bodyguard and the Ruger and currently own the Glock. Actually, I purchased all of them for my wife. Of course, like all good husbands, i shoot her handguns too.......to keep them running. And like many of us, we have/or have had a bunch of weapons.....some very nice.....and some inexpensive.

    To my point, the VERY BEST 380 that we have currently, in terms of dependability and easy for her to rack, is th Bersa Thunder 380. That's right, of the 4-5 that we have , the Bersa has never ever had a problem and it was under $200 out the door. It's gets shot more than occasionally and rides under the truck seat when not in use.

    This is one very inexpensive pistol that works very well. I know snobs won't like it, be I do.

    PS?.....and the worst pistol I ever had in my hand was the 380 Bodyguard. The trigger pull was beyond bad.

    February 13, 2019 3:28 pm
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    I got rid of a bodyguard. The pull was so long that i would miss the reset when trying rapid fire. i moved up to a p938 since it isnt much larger. May as well have a 9mm for about the same size. as those 380s.

    February 11, 2019 1:31 pm
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    Any thoughts on the bersa 380 cc? Small, all rounded edges, 7+1 and shoot anything from cheap ammo to non standar +p

    February 11, 2019 10:30 am
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      David, PPT Editor

      I wrote a review on the Bersa .380 Firestorm, I like it. It's one of my two main CCW guns now.

      February 11, 2019 10:33 am
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    I bought a LCP II but the extended clips don't work in it, so I am still carrying my old LCP in my front pocket. Don't make me reach for what you might think is my wallet.

    February 4, 2019 3:29 am
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    I evaluated all of these and bought the Springfield 911. Far superior in almost every way (great sights, for example (lifelong soldier and combat vet; got to have useable sights, no matter what I’m shooting)). Quite accurate, too. Surprised it didn’t make the list.

    January 27, 2019 7:42 pm
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      Jack W Harris

      Tell me more.

      February 1, 2019 12:07 pm
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    I took a chance and bought a Remington RM380 and I'm not disappointed. Consistent, smooth trigger pull from start to finish, very controllable, and accurate for short distance work, and it doesn't look bad.

    January 20, 2019 7:07 pm
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      I’m with ya on the Remington RM380. Solid, all metal gun. Got three of them, one of which is an initial commemorative model (still in box, never fired). They’re made about 15 miles from where I sit right now. Trigger pull was stiff at first but now is just a deliberate pull.

      March 10, 2019 6:10 pm
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        Another vote for the Rem. RM380.
        Owned a S&W Bodyguard 380 for a couple years .
        It was very ammo sensitive .
        Went back for service twice. Once for a broken firing pin then again for a broken laser.
        Traded for the RM380 and never looked back.
        Well over a thousand rounds through it without a hitch.
        It eats anything you feed it.

        September 4, 2019 10:11 am
        • Commenter Avatar

          Takes about 150 rounds through the gun to train your mind for the trigger pull and, in general, to get familiar with it. It also smooths out the trigger and, more importantly, loosens up the slide so it's easy to rack. Make no mistake about it though, this gun, in my opinion, needs no holster because the gun is so sleek, a holster would hinder its use. It's a pocket gun and after a few carries you will forget you have it on you.

          October 6, 2020 10:08 am
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      Another BIG vote for the Rem 380. Small, sleek, thin, no snag points on it, mostly all metal. It just falls into your pocket. Also no safety to snag and good double action pull such that it could never accidentally discharge. If this gun discharges it's because your purposefully, and with several pounds of force, pulled the trigger!!!

      Another great gun is the CPX3 .380 pistol made by SCCY on the east coast of Florida. Made in America!! I don't know why the author didn't include it in the article but it's lower in cost than any gun in this article AND, it has a higher capacity than any gun in this article AND, it's smaller in some dimensions and lighter than a number of guns in this article!!! The CPX3 has 10+1 capacity which trumps every single gun done in this review.

      October 6, 2020 10:00 am
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    I have both the kahr and the Sig . And I have had Issues with the kahr after about 10 rounds , Not with the Sig so you know what is in my belt always .

    January 12, 2019 7:14 pm
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    Karl Vanhooten

    It may be slightly larger than the pocket models, but I prefer my 7+1 Bersa Thunder 380 for concealment, great hand fit, trigger, & DA/SA with decocker. Have owned (and traded) a Ruger LCP II, not fun to shoot and has tiny, almost useless, sights for my old eyes.

    January 10, 2019 6:21 am
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      Then you'd love the Bersa Thunder Plus .380 that holds 15+1. NOW that's a 380!!! I have one.

      October 6, 2020 10:11 am
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    I bought the glock 42 and have used a lot of different ammo(hollow point and fmj) and it has never failed very nice gun

    December 18, 2018 4:00 pm
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    My bodyguard was $225 shipped. Runs laquered steel to brass with a single hiccup, 900 rounds total.

    The trigger pull is long but it's not a gun for more than 25 feet anyway.

    No idea what he is talking about when he mentions the safety being hard to engage, but I guess you gotta make one pistol the scapegoat lmao

    December 5, 2018 10:05 pm
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      He said the safety was hard to disengage. The safety on my Shield .40 was the same way. Part of my problem though was my huge hands.

      December 10, 2018 10:40 pm
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    The LCP II is bigger than the original LCP and is a blocky and unattractive turd. It looks like something that belongs in a pawn shop case. That is good because that is where I see a lot of them ending up.

    The original LCP is smaller, weighs over an ounce less, still has a decent trigger for a 380 and is straight up sleek and sexy. Amazing look and design for a small gun. Best of all they are around $200 easy maybe a bit less to the new versions $350 (to find it for 300 you will have to really look around online). The original is one of the biggest selling personal carry pistols of all time. Pass on the II and get the original. Ruger still sells them brand new.

    November 30, 2018 3:10 pm
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      This is a person-specific thing. I prefer the LCP II because it doesn't have the long double-action pull. (ps: author disses the LCP II trigger, and I wonder if he was thinking of the original, or if the LCP II he had was a different trigger design, as my wife's II has a great trigger). The majority of reviews of the two models say the II is preferable because of its better trigger and better sights, and this fits my experience.

      December 2, 2018 3:05 pm
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        Hi Chuck-I was thinking the exact same thing in regards to the trigger. The author must have been thinking the original LCP, as my II has a great trigger as well. I also disagree with Danny-I think the II looks much better than the original.

        December 8, 2018 7:38 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        I prefer the long trigger pull on the original. If it's something that's stuffed in my pocket, I want to make sure firing it is as intentional as possible. Wouldn't trust a striker gun in my pocket, even with a pocket holster.

        March 21, 2019 9:23 pm
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    Underwood's use of the Arx +p is significant, and not listed.

    November 9, 2018 8:04 pm
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    John K

    I have carried and shot many many rounds through both my LCP 2 and my sig P238. Even though the P238 is much more expensive I find it the better pistol if you can afford it. I have extended mags for both but the LCP 2 is still a lot snappier then the sig making it harder to get back on target. The sig comes with superior sights out of the box and the trigger even though plastic has a very nice pull and reset compared with my LCP2. I’m not keen on having to carry condition 1 with the safety on but with training that can be overcome quickly. All in all Sig for me is the better choice.

    October 21, 2018 9:46 pm
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    Tom Deem

    You may want to research a little. The original LCP had a long hard pull trigger like the S&W .380 bodyguard. The new LCP II has a light very crisp awesome trigger for a small .380. The new LCP II is single action only unlike the other 2

    October 21, 2018 8:59 pm
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    "ole reliable" would shoot barbed wire if would cycle. Have shoot over 1500 rd of all types of ammo. Only issue was my wife's hands are frail so she had limb wristing issue, which she has not had with the Sig P238 and she could not rack the 42/43 which was the main reason for the Sig P238. All being said; the little guys are all hard to shoot without a lot of practice with solid grip. I carry the 42/43 since both are he same platform and only caliber difference so with either on I don't need to "think" which gun do I have today

    October 18, 2018 2:26 pm
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    Seven Wonders

    Great review! I love my Sig P238 so much that I bought another one (in a slightly different "flavor") for my Wife

    October 14, 2018 3:10 pm
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    Pito Perez

    No, no, none of the handguns you recommend are a good 380 ACP choice, get yourself a Glock 25, that is like a Glock 19 but chambered in 380 ACP, that gun has almost no recoil and it is concealable but wait a minute, now I remember, you are in the USA so a Glock 25 is a no, no for you.

    October 9, 2018 6:43 pm
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      Michael S Tenenblatt

      pretty sweet passive aggresive comment there

      October 11, 2018 2:30 pm
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      Pito Perez's Daddy

      Lol, the Glock 25 was made for countries with strict gun control. A .380 bullet in the size of a Glock 19, lol. Just get the Glock 19.

      October 14, 2018 11:04 pm
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      Yeah... congrats... you live in a heavily restricted country that doesn't allow you to own "military calibers"... you must be so proud.

      November 13, 2018 12:56 pm
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    Harry Mitts

    I, and my brother both have a Kahr CW380. I have had zero problems feeding anything. In fact, I currently shoot Lehigh defense ammo. My brother, on the other hand, has sent his Kahr back to the factory for the 4th time! This time he is either getting his $ back, or a replacement. This seems to be a hit and miss gun as far as quality is concerned.

    October 2, 2018 6:48 pm
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    E. Teasley

    Try the Remington RM380, it was a pleasant surprise.

    October 2, 2018 6:21 pm
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    Caleb Longstreet

    I have and carry the G42 routinely. It just fits perfectly in my hand. I also carry, on occasion, the SW 442 but, it kicks like a mule and is hard to find the RIGHT holster for soooooo, it sits a lot.....also carry the Tarus TCP 738...yes, Taurus....this thing has been FLAWLESS, is 8 years old and you simply can't beat it for deep concealment (pocket without a holster)….it is everything the Ruger LCP 1 was not....locks to the rear on the last shot, actually has rudimentary sights, light as a feather, better trigger (long and consistent albeit lighter than most and 1/2 of the workout you will endure with the ruger's trigger and I LOVE ruger products!)…..I bought the stainless version with that goofy holster in 2010....this thing has always worked for me and I can punch the torso of a full silhouette at 10 yards without too much issue, quickly no less....it works....they sell the all blued version on sale as low as $159....I just like my stainless, grease the rails after a good cleaning (very, very lightly) and 4 drops of oil in critical places, wipe off the excess and bam! This thing rocks.....

    September 25, 2018 7:06 am
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    Lucas Shell

    I'm carrying a Kel-tec p3at in a Velcro ankle holster at work. I've put fmj rounds through it as well the defense I carry at work. No malfunctions of any kind. It's not one of your top 5 but works for me. Very small, very conceable. Technically, it's against policy for us to carry on the boo boo bus and if I ever have to use it, I will lose my job. Everyone in the department takes that risk. We are often alone in situations where LE isn't dispatched to clear our scene because of the 911 nature of the call. Things go bad fast and I want to go home at the end of my shift. The p3at hasn't failed yet at the range. Just putting it out there for those looking. Got a good deal on mine. If anyone has a legitimate reason I shouldn't use this particular weapon for self defense, please respond. In not new to guns, shot IPSC for a while. I an however new the these little pocket pistols though. The weapon I carry must be conceable, in an ankle holster. Glad I found this site.

    September 13, 2018 8:07 pm
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    Shot the S&W .380 EZ and you'll dump your Ruger LCP or S&W Bodyguard!

    September 9, 2018 10:08 am
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    You forgot to mention the Bersa Thunder 380. It’s all metal, has extended mag for 9 round capacity and highly reliable.

    September 2, 2018 11:10 am
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    Sorry, with all due respect, I simply cannot agree with your equating the .380 ACP and the .38 Special. Both cartridges are most similar when the .38 Special ballistics are compared when coming from a snubnosed revolver with a 2" (or slightly shorter) barrel. Even then, with properly chosen ammunition, the .38 has an edge in terms of kinetic energy and penetration. But it is still comparing the .38 Special, with one hand tied behind it's back, to a .380 ACP which is allowed all the advantages.

    Let's make a fairer comparison. In terms of kinetic energy, the .380 ACP always lags down near the 200 foot-pound line, and struggles to add another 10 or 20 foot-pounds of KE due to limited case capacity. There are no ".380 ACP +P" loadings for that reason. Penetration is iffy, as is expansion.

    By contrast, the .38 Special, when shot out of a revolver with the standard 4" barrel, easily gives kinetic energy figures of 280 foot-pounds, and with +P loadings from Corbon (and others) can deliver over 300 foot-pounds of energy. That's about 150% more kinetic energy than the .380 can bring to bear! Adequate penetration is not an issue, either, and bullet expansion can be expected. (Even the slightly easier to carry 3" barrel models can provide fairly similar figures.)

    While I'd agree that we've never had a better selection of ammunition for the .380 ACP, and that it is a viable alternative to a .38 Special snub gun, the .38 Special really deserves to compared to the 9 mm Parabellum. This is especially true if 147-grain 9 mm loads are compared to the higher-performance loadings in the .38 Special; it is uncanny how similar these are, especially given the differences in how barrel lengths are measured in pistols versus revolvers.

    Simply put, the best .380 ACP gun/ammunition combination cannot begin to match a plain S&W M10 with a 4" barrel and high-performance +P ammunition. The .380 only offers easier concealability, but not equivalent performance.

    August 31, 2018 11:31 pm
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      Meadview Ken

      My thoughts exactly when I read the authors comparisons between the the 380 and the 38 special. The 380 is in between the 22/25 pocket pistols and the 38spc/9mm sub compacts. And far closer in performance to the 22/25's than 38+P. I tell new CCW people to carry the most potent weapon they actually can conceal and get comfortable with, not the smallest and lightest available. It's the bullet that hits the bad guy, not the gun. Stopping power can often be the difference between giving the police a witness account and being a murder victim. Any bullet however beats a rock. If I really have to go little my 22 Beretta is in my pocket. But my 99% of the time my CCW weapon of choice? A Glock model 30 which is a compact 10+1 45ACP. With even a loose fitting shirt it's incognito. Accurate and adequately handles the recoil of best defence ammo available. Final thought? Practice, practice practice.

      September 27, 2018 12:30 am
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    Ryan Short

    LCP 2 has a long heavy trigger?
    I haven't fired one yet but every review I've seen says it's the best 380 trigger out there. I think I've seen it test at 5-5.5 lbs.
    Were you perhaps thinking of the first gen LCP?

    August 30, 2018 6:20 pm
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    Why was the S&W 380 ez not in this list?

    August 27, 2018 11:52 am
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      My son bought one, I shot it once, sold my LCP and bought the S&W EZ!

      September 9, 2018 10:06 am
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    YouTube has a fascinating video discussing the Best Handgun Calibers. It looks at over 1700 firearm incidents involving police, military or private citizen armed encounters and looks at the weapons used, incapacitation and lethal effectiveness. It includes rifles, shotguns and a wide variety of handguns. Here's the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nycYxb-zNwc&index=48&t=0s&list=WL

    Some of the results of this study show that rifles and shotguns are very effective (duh!) and pistols shooting shotgun rounds are very effective (e.g. The Judge). The thing that got me was for handgun rounds from 380 to 44 Mag, the lethal/incapacitate results were pretty much equal! Now this is real world data and results. Amazing. I prefer my 357 Mag but I'm seriously considering a 380 due to their size and less recoil. Anyway, a great video.

    August 22, 2018 3:59 pm
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      Interesting video. Without seeing his actual data, I would agree with 95% of what is said. 2 major things I would contest though:

      1) .22 LR for bugging out - using it for human threats I would agree is a poor idea. However, it's role in a bug out isn't for humans but rather for small game. And for that, it is king and an absolute item to bring if possible.

      2) .410 for defensive, I strongly disagree with the assumptions made. Based on meat tests and gel tests of .410 out of a pistol, it is barely effective at anything except the shortest range. Also, the penetration is very low. Too low, imo. The theoretical gain it offers is not worth the proven disadvantages it displays.

      August 22, 2018 5:08 pm
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        the 22 LR is routinely maligned. IF you think of BUG, think of a true BUG out situation? Not an inconvenience of power loss or what have you but, societal break down. We saw a glimpse of it last year with the ANTIFA riots....imagine if you deprive 1/2 of society out of their entitlements and freebies? Imagine if a urban environment gets REALLY bad....the .22 has a great advantage in many ways....Hunting....relatively quiet, eaaaasy to shoot...even the most novice in your troup can probably become proficient in an afternoon, CAPACITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Try lugging 500 rds of .223/556, 30/30, 7.62X39, .45, .40, 9mm, .38.....think about it carefully.....when weight is a premium??? And most humans I now aren't and can't be willing to live on a bag of rice, some band-aids, and water along with 10-20lbs of ammo and gun???? Add to that that .22 ammo has come a long, long way too??? put hyper-velocity rounds through your .22 semi-auto rifle and enjoy 80% .22 mag performance for the first what, 50 yards, mostly in the first 25??? it's a practical REALITY.....if your troup were say, 5 strong and each member carried 500 rounds of .22 you are now sitting on 2,500 rounds of ammunition....one goes down, loses a box, whatever and you STILL have a large, large amount of ammo....now assume everyone also has a .22 pistol? light, affordable, easy to master....see where I am going in a real BUG situation....one where you aren't looking to tangle but, with that much ammo you could pin down a group 2X larger or more if necessary out to a maaaaybe 125 yards effectively??? withering fire is a bitch especially if you have it.....carrying 500 rounds of anything else is 2X a normal combat loading and damn heavy after 10 miles of hiking....now make it 20.....and you still need food, clothing, perhaps a tarp and/or tent, water.....adding 20lbs of ammo doesn't make much sense when you are evading society.....

        April 1, 2021 1:48 pm
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      Shotshell equivalents are nothing new. These were offered decades ago for the Thompson-Center Contender. I was actually shooting .410 loads in a handgun in the 1970s, and the Contender could boast a choke and a significantly longer barrel (as I recall, about 9" in mine). The barrel was also ported to dampen recoil and to prevent gases from blowing a hole in the shot pattern. (Makes the "Judge" seem crude by comparison!). Plus it quickly converted to a .44 Magnum! Great hiker's gun. (I preferred to use it on woodchucks, however, out to 100 yards, with a good Leupold scope and a .22 Hornet barrel.)

      While the shotshells were fine for small game, I cannot image them being the least suited for self-defense. A .410 is barely an excuse for a shotgun, and should never be used when a 12 or 20 gauge is called for. There is nothing magical about the the .410 slug, either. It should be telling that the "Judge" (or it's equivalent) has made NO inroads with law enforcement, security, or the military. It's a joke.

      August 31, 2018 11:51 pm
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        I wouldn't discount the veracity of a small, low-recoiling cartridge for two reasons: One, there are people who are better suited to very low-recoiling firearms, not necessarily children or the elderly, and a .410 is probably the most prolific low-recoil shotshell south of the 20, and Two, they can still kill you or me or many a beast on this earth. I gotta say I agree with your sentiments about the slug.

        September 4, 2018 7:29 pm
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    Jeremy Buchanon

    I have owned a Remington RM380 for about 9 months now. I really like it because it's all metal and so dampens the recoil. It's also rock solid reliable...Over 100 rounds of mixed ammo types without the first hiccup. And all models are made from stainless steel and gun grade aluminum.

    August 12, 2018 6:14 pm
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      How does the RM380 pocket carry for you? I really like the feel of it but am debating between it and the LCP II.

      February 11, 2019 2:25 pm
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    Tony Polichetti

    I like the feel and dependability of the Glock 42. Carry it anyway you like, in a situation
    you hope never to have, the 42 will be there for you.

    August 8, 2018 4:45 am
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    The short lived Sig P250 in .380 is my favorite. Great performance and a 15+1 magazine.

    August 4, 2018 8:48 am
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    I am not sure why Kimber was excluded from the list of .380's. The Micro 380 is a miniature 1911. It is made in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Kimbers are not made out of a polymer plastic; I think the Kimber pistols are sexy, if not a piece of art, and the tolerances of the moving parts I feel is the best in the firearms industry. The Micro 380 now comes with a 7-round magazine; The Micro 380 weighs a mere 13.4 oz. For me, it is the Mercedes Benz of hand guns. I strongly suggest checking out Kimber. I also have a Micro 9 which is a bit larger than the Micro 380. Both guns are extremely accurate. I have also put Crimson Trace Laser on both guns for shooting in low light. And for the record, I don't work for Kimber.

    August 1, 2018 5:22 pm
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    Van Kennedy

    I recently purchased the Kahr after reading this article, and many others. I acquired two pinky extended mags, and applied my requisite Talon grips. 400 rounds later with only one ftf, I couldn't be happier with the decision. I'm more accurate with it than my j frame, and carry two additional rounds. Tucked into a J&J wallet holster, it's gone but easy enough to deploy. The trigger and grip feel are top of the list imho.

    July 25, 2018 4:21 pm
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      Eric Hung

      Awesome, glad to hear!

      July 25, 2018 9:18 pm
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    Lorne Martin

    I have a Glock 42 and I’m a realtor. I carry it a lot because of how I dress. Great in pocket holster or ankle holster. +1 pierce extension & 1 in the chamber gives you 8 rounds. I also carry an extra mag.

    July 25, 2018 4:17 pm
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    What do you, or you guys, think about 380 caliber gun( converted zoraki) with extended mag? I re-size my 380 ACP rounds so there fit more into the chamber. It is also fully automatic and is suprisingly loud.

    July 15, 2018 9:40 am
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    RC Cash

    Don't do plastic guns ..... put to many rounds thru to many of them and about the ONLY one worth a flip is a p99 .... .... anyhoo, the sig can be had for $450-500 if you shop it and it's worth it and more .... .... By far, It's the best quality gun of the bunch, takes all ammo and won't fail after a ton of rounds if you really want to make a habit of .380 practice with a pocket gun. The little heavier metal gun helps recoil (won't beat you up if you're a rook/woman) and it won't come apart when you bang/drop it and a heavy/quality holster won't mess it up with heavy use. Has Excellent sights (tritium) and safety and did I mention, it's a real gun, not some plastic wannabe. But, I always preferred the M14 to the M16 and walnut stocks on my bolt action rifles.
    Yea yea, .380 is underpowered, etc, but if you need something you can handle and/or throw in your pocket, .380 beats a .22 or .32 and anything else is to large to pocket.... besides, if you hit the target, the .380 WILL do the trick.
    Typically carry colt ofcr .45, but sometimes just can't. Won't go wrong with the Sig, the Real gun, Besides it last long enough to pass to your grandkids .... the plastic won't.

    July 13, 2018 2:31 am
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    I like my Ruger LCP II - light weight, I can handle the recoil. But the lack of a grip safety worries me. I have tried the pocket holster that came with it. I also purchased Uncle Mike's. Both tend to come out of my pocket stuck to the weapon. Not funny. Has anyone found something that works reliably.

    Another point: I have been working on the Center Axis Relock shooting stance. The problem is that my LCP II ejects the spent shells into my forehead. That's not funny either. Is it just me? Or do other pocket guns eject toward the rear?

    July 9, 2018 9:50 am
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      Hey, I understand! Not fun! Hot cases!

      Try adjusting your grip, i.e., grip,the gun a little more tightly, or a bit more loosely. This seems to affect where the cases end up. You might see if the pistol sends cases into the forehead when someone else shoots the gun. If it doesn't, it suggests it is your grip. If it hits the other shooter's forehead, it the gun, maybe gun/ammunition combination.

      Changing brands of ammunition might help. It ultimately has to do with the ejector. Ammunition will differ slightly in energy, and that affects ejection.

      You might check on a Ruger-oriented forum, on Ruger's own website, or call Ruger customer service. They are very helpful and want you to be happy with your pistol. I am sure others have had the same issue at some point.

      Or you may have to adjust your stance? I am a pistol instructor, and I never teach students to rigidly adopt any stance. We can learn from trying different stances, but none is perfect or "THE" answer. A good shooter should have a variety of stances in his/her skillset.

      A Ruger-oriented forum could help with the holster issue. Google it. Good luck!

      September 1, 2018 12:10 am
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    I've had the Kel Tec P3AT but didn't like the fact that it wouldn't lock the slide back on an empty magazine, so I sold it and got a Taurus Spectrum. I do believe this is a sleeper...here is a gun that Taurus didn't release until they had it right. It has a slide stop (not too useful as a slide release but it holds the slide back when you're empty), and second-strike capability which I've had to use. It works. The thing is so ergonomically-designed, you don't even know it's in your pocket (holster) most of the time. The soft-touch panels are great, too. The color variety? Don't need that. I have a plain gray/black one, but whatever melts your butter.... For about $230-250 new, you could do worse. Other pluses include a lifetime warranty and a free year in the NRA. "He must work for Taurus or at least a gun shop", you say....nope to both. Have I had problems with Taurus guns? Sure. It just seems like they got this one right-check it out!

    July 6, 2018 5:37 am
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    I personally enjoy my Bersa Thunder 380. The concealed carry version has a smaller beaver tail which can get in the way on the standard version if you are a bigger guy.. Great gun for the price and easy maintenance.

    June 30, 2018 10:02 pm
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    I have the Springfield 911 and that gun is amazing compact good grouping lightweight are amazing

    June 30, 2018 3:09 pm
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    Darren B

    I sold my Ruger LCP (original model) and bought the Glock 42. Love the Glock. Haven't tried the new Ruger.
    I front pocket carry the Glock, stock. It's fine for that. Happy with my choice.

    June 29, 2018 8:53 am
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    I love my Bersa Thunder Combat. It is a little heavier but the recoil is super manageable. It also feels good and is stupid accurate. With the added magazine flair, my hand (including pinky finger) fits great.

    June 25, 2018 5:36 am
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      Lazy Glenn

      I agree the Bersa Thunder series is great ! It seems to be ignored often when discussing .380 's

      July 3, 2018 9:24 pm
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    Bubba Blackimon

    S and W bodyguard is great if you can get used to the long , heavy trigger pull.
    Trigger feels like a revolver. Mine has more than 500 rounds with no malfunction other than slide failing to lock back after final round a couple of times. A laser definitely helps with the short barrel. I carry it inside waistband or front pocket. It is very light and not bothersome at
    all. You forget it's even there.

    June 15, 2018 10:00 pm
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    Dennis Golden

    Picked up a Sig 238 and never looked back - just drop it into a pocket
    Also picked up the larger 938 - and carry either one depending on how I am dressed
    Yes there is a difference but not enough to be an issue

    June 9, 2018 9:03 am
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    Man you really missed one of the best out there. The Beretta Pico is top dog. I am a Pocket gun enthusiast that has been shooting these guns almost weekly for 10yrs. Forget the Ruger LCP's, reliable until they are not. Meaning they do not hold up to a lot of ammo down range. I know, I had 4 of them. Split rails, cracked frames, cracked grips, broken take down pins etc. Stay away from any of the cheap aluminum pocket guns.
    The Pico is soild stainless steel, with a stainless steel chassis, and a modular design where you can work on many parts yourself, and change grips. Even ships with a stainless steel recoil guide. Best sights in class. And can add night sights easily. Heavy take down pin, Double strike capable. Stainless steel Magazines with stainless steel follower. The look like high end custom 1911 mags.
    They are not only built like tanks, but will shoot Plus P ammo milder than most guns shoot standard ammo. I mean they are freaking mild to shoot. Trigger is perfect for CCW.. The Gen 2 is about 8lbs of pull, Smooth all the way through and deliberate. They are built super sleek, appear as if they were designed in a wind tunnel.
    And they are ultra reliable. I have over 5.000 rounds of mixed ammo through one of them and over 1,000 rounds through the other. They run like sewing machines.
    And yes, Pocket guns require diligent training. And that is why you need a gun that can handle a lot of ammo down range. I could go on and on. But you get the idea.

    June 2, 2018 9:54 pm
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      Thanks for your detailed review of the Pico! You hit all the points I had questions about. I didn't even know that there was a gen two!
      I have a Beretta 9 mm Storm carbine, and it's quality really impresses me. And not just quality -as my wife pointed out, it has style. It is well thought out, and was crafted, not just cranked out. It is how you do things after making guns continuously for hundreds of years.

      While I appreciate the clever workmanship expressed in my Ruger LcpII, it doesn't wow! me. It speaks to me in a purely utilitarian language, which is fine, it has it's place. I think the Pico would, on the other hand, please me the way my older S&W revolvers do, when I just handle them -they seem to ask for, and certainly get, appreciation as something more than a tool.
      Again, many thanks!!!

      September 1, 2018 12:40 am
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    All the expensive, name brands. Smh I recently bought a Taurus tcp 738 (on sale for $149, shoulda bought two) and really like it. It, and my .38 special, are my everyday carries, over a 9mm and a .357, sometimes, depending where I'm going, I'll carry both. Easy, real consealment, they disappear under my clothes. The revolver, obviously, shoots every time, and, knock on wood, the .380 has never had a feed, fire or ejection problem, either. Considering that just showing a gun is going to stop most altercations, a shot, hit or not, is going to stop most of the rest and a hit will stop pretty much all the rest, stopping power is overrated. The chances of actually having to draw is really small, and the chances you're going up against someone who will shake off being shot are almost nil. Carry what makes you comfortable, I guess. See ya at the range.

    May 28, 2018 11:37 pm
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    Kahr CT380 is a great choice as well. A little larger than the CW380, and much easier to hold for large hands.

    May 23, 2018 12:58 pm
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    Glock 42 is the best pocket rocket I've shot yet.. The extra half inch of barrel imporives accuracy dramatically and tames recoil even more dramatically. It is just fun to shoot, unlike most mouseguns.. Got one for the Mrs and liked it so much I got a second for myself. Great tool.

    May 22, 2018 6:15 pm
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    Gary Spitzer

    I agree with most of what you say in this article, but find that you failed to mention one very real consideration. The harder hitting calibers you mention often tend to over penetrate the human body endangering anyone nearby. Since I don't know where or when I may have to draw and fire my weapon this is an important consideration for me (we are reminded that we are responsible for EVERYTHING that bullet may hit and/or damage). If you're at the mall, theater, gas station, busy parking lot, etc., when attacked I doubt that I will be worried about what's behind my assailant.

    May 22, 2018 12:24 pm
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      Absolutely, this is why 10mm is great for a woods carry gun when you're facing four-legged threats but less of a good idea when you're in the city facing two-legged. Know your target and what is beyond it!

      May 22, 2018 1:16 pm
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    Fred Bar

    The Glock size is kind of oversized for pocket. As a matter of fact is 1/2 inch longer than a Kahr CM9. I don't know why it keeps appearing in these 380 pocket lists, must be advertising? Don't get me wrong, Glock makes great pistols but as far as the pocket models in 380 and 9, they are a Johnny-come-lately-me-too and it shows.

    May 17, 2018 8:46 pm
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    Kevin Barnes

    Those are all brand name and very fine and reliable guns I am sure but I have a Taurus TCP 738 pocket rocket and I love it. I watched a u tube vidoe and made a slight adjustment to the magazine and it runs like a champ now where as before it would failure to feed almost every other shot but the little tweek I made fixed the problem and I haven't had a failure of any kind since. It shoots fine now and have over 200 rounds thru it since the magazine tweek. I even carry it sometime in my pocket as back up to my Glock 17 which I should say it way sweeet (the 17). I just recently purchased the SW M&P .380 EZ which is also sweet. Its in my opinion size wise as in between my Glock 17 and my Taurus pocket rocket. I have read alot of bad about the Taurus TCP 738 but I love mine and at $239 and reliable as heck with the fix I did it"s alot cheaper than the top 5 in this article, not trying to take anything away from the top 5 or anyones personal choices..

    May 5, 2018 7:10 pm
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    Kimber Micro .380ACP TLE — I'm liking it a lot. I was worried seeing a lot of internet Kimber slamming between the time I bought the pistol and the time I had a chance to run it. I wouldn't say the gun is proved after 110rounds, but I'm not worried now.

    I picked up five loads for function testing from those showing good terminal ballistics at Lucky Gunner — 1st round of Win White Box failed to chamber a couple times off the top of the 1st magazine; I hit the magazine release by accident on the 2nd magazine; no other function problems yet with a variety of useful loads FMJ-RN, JHP-RN, and JHP-truncated cone. For the short test, out of box function and flexibility of this gun is fine.

    I'm returning to shooting after a near 40yr layoff, and find the Kimber handles nicely. But I learned gunning on a Detonics Mk Zero (2.5" barrel, chopped M1911 4.5" x 6.5"), so have never considered running a [well-designed] small gun to be particularly difficult. After running a few boxes through the Detonics for function and selection of new ammo, I find I am able to put 5 into 5 at 5 with about six seconds not feeling rushed. The .45ACP pushes harder, the .380ACP is a bit sharper, but with one in a heavy gun (31oz empty) and the other in a light gun (16oz loaded) they handle very similarly.

    During decades with firepower sitting in my nightstand, I never ended up frightened enough to hide 2lb of steel on my person at all times. I'm hoping one pound will make my actual carry more likely in these crazy days. I carry a 3" folder, but not a Bowie. Seatbelts have saved my life, but I drive without a helmet and 5point restraints. I've not needed to use deadly force in my 1st 60yr, and I hope to make the peashooter suffice during my second.

    Happy surprise — the G10 grips are awesome secure!
    Unhappy surprise — I haven't found an extended safety, and I can't put the stock lever to "safe" without shifting my grip or using my off hand. [Moving from "safe" to "fire" with a shooting grip is no problem, so I consider this more gripe than fail.]

    May 5, 2018 2:28 pm
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    Scott Neal

    I purchased a Ruger LCP last month, ftf/fte, 35 out of 50 rds, 95 gr. Fmj, cci, winchester, and remington, sent back to Ruger, replaced slide, back to range, same issues, took to local gunsmith for evaluation, awaiting results, Ruger missed the mark on this one, not acceptable performance, from a name like Ruger, not acceptable for personal defense, do not recommend for purchase, own a P-89, will feed anything, own an American .243, extremely accurate, again, Ruger missed the mark with the LCP.

    April 21, 2018 4:08 am
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    frank furtive

    What good is stopping power if you aren't comfortable with carrying at all times or can't put bullets on target. I'm a novice and feel quite comfortable with ALL aspects of the LCP 2.

    April 16, 2018 7:41 pm
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      Matthew Collins

      This has always been my approach. Other things being equal, a 9mm or .380 is easier to shoot than a .40 or .45. There's just less to correct for shot to shot. Shot placement is always going to trump "stopping power" and modern 9mm hollowpoints are just as effective against a living, breathing target as older .45 rounds.

      April 17, 2018 7:48 am
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    I have an LCP II and love it. IMHO the trigger is much smoother and easier to use with a lighter pull than the original LCP or the S&W Bodyguard .380 I was comparing. The LCP II is my usual EDC because it's size and weight make it so comfortable and easy to carry in a kydex IWB holster from Concealment Express.

    I addressed the black sight visibility issue with a little white nail polish and have no issue picking up the sight picture, so long as I get my tri-focals lined up correctly. That last is not the gun's fault, just my age, and it is a problem for me with every gun I shoot, long or short. I also put a drop of a different color nail polish on the visible part of the back of the hammer to help me see when the pistol is cocked.

    I also added a Magguts conversion to add one more round to the magazine, so now I have 7 + 1 available if I ever need it. After several hundreds rounds I am confident the conversion is reliable in my gun.

    I had been carrying a S&W M&P Shield 9 mm, with the Magguts conversion for 9 + 1 rounds, as my EDC until I picked up the LCP II. The Shield is not hard to carry and conceal, but my .380 is so much more comfortable and concealable that it is the one I choose most of the time. So I trade off a couple of rounds and a little fire power in order to have the gun with me more often rather than back home in the safe. The best gun for any emergency is the one I have with me.

    My only complaint about the LCP II is that I wish the trigger was more rounded where my finger makes contact. When firing repeatedly at the range, the recoil, which I find manageable overall, causes the edge to push into my finger, After a couple of dozen rounds that gets uncomfortable. I practice with the .380, but my sweet shooting Shield is still my favorite range gun.

    April 15, 2018 5:46 pm
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      frank furtive

      EXACTLY. I'm a 65 yr old novice and it only required 30 seconds to select LCP 2. Have you tried magazine extender that permits 3 finger grip, or does that magazine you mentioned offer that?

      April 16, 2018 7:44 pm
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    I completely agree with your #1 pick. Sometimes multiple things come together in one gun, and LCP II has it. It's light. The trigger is amazing. The size is perfect. The accuracy is very nice (I am going to paint my sights). No sharp edges to bother me in my pocket. I love this gun for my pocket pistol. What decent pistol can you put in your pocket and forget it's there? Ruger did a very nice job here. Thanks for the review. Also, I think if it were not for the loooong and resistant trigger of the Bodygaurd, that pistol might have done better. Simple. LCP II

    April 5, 2018 4:53 pm
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      Matthew Collins

      The Bodyguard triggers have gotten better, but I absolutely agree. It's hard to find a pocket-carry gun that can top the LCP II, but the new SIG P365 might do it for me. I'll be reviewing one soon, so keep an eye out!

      April 6, 2018 7:07 am
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    A few BIG points about the Sig P238 that should be in most any article about them: The SIG P238 has a single-action trigger that is light, crisp and easy to shoot. Also, the P238 slide is easier to rack/manipulate than many other mouse-guns. This matters with hands that are not as strong, or that might be arthritic. My mother comes to mind.

    That said, it is expensive as hell. I'd suggest hitting local gun shops and getting a deal on some of the more..."creatively designed" (ahem) versions out there. Sig has made more than 20 styles (colors, etc.) of this gun and not all were winners. You can still find some of the more garishly (rainbow?) decorated guns for a "get it out of my shop" discount. Maybe swap out grips and get something less hideous?

    The best of class (IMHO) is the old P238 HD. It is all stainless steel, rather than using an Aluminum frame. It's about 30% heavier as a result, but it shoots awesome. I think they make it still, but in a CA-compliant model only.

    We have a few of the guns in this article, and I have shot them all quite a bit. Our favorite is always that P238 HD. I've got thousands of rounds through it. It's actually fun to shoot, unlike a lot of small guns.

    April 5, 2018 5:32 am
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    You will want to read this: I own an LCP, Sig P238, and a Bodyguard.... Three of the top 5 here....I have spent A LOT of time testing ammo with all 3 of these 380's because even though I have an LC9S Pro 9mm and a Sig P938 9mm, I WANT to carry the 380 because its just more comfortable in summer to carry. I get it... you are thinking "carry the 9mm", but I like the lighter weight and low recoil of 380.... so I need all 6 of 380 on target to make a stop, no problem, we practice constantly and hopefully I can do that, as shot placement is king. So I went on an ammo quest with all 3 of my 380 firearms to find the best Self defense round... watched every video on youtube from Paul Harrell, Shooting The Bull (who did ammo quest and voted Precision One the BEST 380 SD round) , TN Outdoors, Hickock45 and everyone else....you name it....and now hundreds of rounds personally downrange. All the biggest ammo players. I could have done an "Ammo Quest" video myself. I was primarily interested in WHAT SD ammo can cycle in my gun RELIABLY but is still a VIABLE load that will expend, not UNDER penetrate, and not OVER PENETRATE. Looking for the FBI specs 12 inch to 18 inch in ballistic gel...But here's what I found after all the Self Defense 380 ammo testing. It's kind of like the old Sears "Good, Better, Best" thing. I put LCP in "Good", Bodyguard in "Better", and Sig in "BEST".... and I WANTED to dislike the Sig (all metal freame, it's HEAVIER). I WANTED to carry the LCP but I CANNOT carry it after owning it and my testing. 1. LCP is a JAM-O-MATIC that I wouldnt trust my life to. Consistently turns into a JAM after a few mags either FTE or FTF, usually FTE. It MIGHT be OK in a totally CLEANED gun first 6 or 7 shots but that's about it... reliability goes out the window after the first mag. (Takedown all 3 of these guns and you'll see why. LCP is the CHEAPEST and SMALLEST springs, etc on a 380 ever). I LOVED it for its size and wanted it to come in #1! But under conditions, I will NOT carry it, because it WILL NOT perform consistently time after time after time.... Jams HST. Jams all Underwood Xtreme Penetrator or Defender. Jams Precision One. Jams other 380 hollowpoint. Hell, it jams FMJ BALL AMMO after a few mags. I wanted to LOVE the LCP because its SO easy to conceal. But if you are carrying it.... BEWARE. Now here;'s the good about the LCP....It Feeds CRITICAL DEFENSE like a champ.... cant make it jam off of Critical defense. So if you like Critical Defense ammo (with the red polymer plug), get the LCP, it works GREAT and EVERY time. But I didn't like that ammo because it UNDER PENETRATES in 380.. My LCP is now sadly a Safe Queen loaded with Critical defense in case I ever have a real problem or need my 3rd backup gun... I know that critical defense ammo will cycle in my LCP... but Critical defense is my THIRD desired ammo... So... given all this my LCP is in the category called "GOOD". 2. S&W Bodyguard... "BETTER". I can't jam it. It literally Runs almost EVERYTHING. I would trust my life to the Bodyguard... It runs Underwood penetrator, defender, Federal HST, Precision one, critical defense, you name it, The only reason I dont carry it is because it jammed on an HST ONE TIME. (might even have been me Limp wristing it) but still it should cycle... And the trigger is probably the LONGEST trigger EVER. That can be both GOOD and BAD, but Beware of that trigger. However, I felt very safe carrying it because it would never be an UNINTENDED DISCHARGE candidate. . Otherwise, I REALLY like the bodyguard and would feel 95% to 99% comfortable with it. The few failures I have had maybe are my fault. So Bodygard is "BETTER". 3. BEST: Sig P238. This gun is amazing and feeds/extracts EVERY ammo I give it. I have tested them ALL... I don't care for the whole 1911 thing, I'd rather have a single or double action striker... but this P238 is amazing. I literally went out and bought a P938 in 9mm because of the P238's reliability. So, when it comes time that you have to rely on your 380, think long and hard about what's in your hand, and what ammo you are feeding it. It makes a HUGE difference! Do the tests, try out your piece with everything. I can say I have spent a lot of time, effort, etc on my 380 quest. The final answer: Sig P238 with Precision One Hollow Point or Underwood Load Lehigh Defense Extreme Penetrator or Extreme Defender. Your mileage may vary. As always, be safe out there and thanks for taking time to read this.

    April 4, 2018 2:57 pm
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      Marc Hanson

      Great read, I carry the bodygaurd. I’ve put probably 3000 rounds thru it of every kind of ammo I could find. And just like my performance center 9mm shield it will run anything without fail. I’ve heard a lot of story’s about failure to fires and light strikes but I have never had one. Only complaint I have is that long trigger pull. I’ve trained it out but I was pulling it left every shot because of that long hard pull. If I could I would carry my shield daily, it’s just not possible at my job, the bodygaurd is small enough it conceals much easier. Thanks again, your post was very informative.

      April 13, 2018 7:15 am
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      I appreciate your thorough discussion, BUT ... the Ruger you are comparing is the LCP while the #1 gun in the article is the LCP II. These are two very different guns. I looked carefully and tried both, as well as the S&W Bodyguard .380..

      IMHO the LCP II trigger is much, much smoother and easier to use, although I do wish the shape was more rounded where my finger contacts it.. I found the triggers on the LCP and the Bodyguard 380 both unpleasantly stiff by comparison.

      April 15, 2018 5:04 pm
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      I, too, love the Sigs. My two sons, their wives, my wife and I, and my wife's sister all have the P238. I have the Scorpion model, and it shoots to point of aim. I can put double taps into three inches at 6 yards. Opens up a little bit more at 10 yards. Of the 7 Sig 238s we own, we have had zero FTF or FTE with factory loads, having fired over 3,000 rounds combined. We had one jam with my initial reload recipe, since corrected. This little gun is so easy to hide in my front pants pocket, or jacket. I carry it in a de Santis pocket holster, condition one, so I have 8 plus a spare 7 round mag. I also carry the Sig 938, which is almost as good to shoot as the little one. The 938 goes in a hip holster, condition one, with a 7 round spare mag. I shoot the 238 better than the 938, but not by much. I do not feel under gunned when carrying either gun. I load them both with Hornady Critical Defense FTX and feel those will do the job, when I do my job with placing the rounds where they will have the best effect. I practice double taps, two to center mass, two to the head. Thanks for your comment.

      April 19, 2018 11:44 am
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    William Bell

    The Sig comes with a 6-round magazine, but Sig also makes a 7-rounder for the P238, so you could carry 7 + 1 if willing to carry it cocked and locked. (I'm not, due to the absence of a grip safety.)

    Another good one not mentioned in your list: Remington's RM380, which like the Sig is all metal. I have one and I like it. It's got a long trigger pull, but I don't think that's a problem with a concealed=carry gun for close-up self defense. It's cheaper than any of the guns in your list.

    March 22, 2018 3:50 pm
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    Paul Temple

    I bought a Ruger LCP II after Christmas and it has become my everyday pocket carry gun. Compared to my Taurus PT 709 Slim it is harder to be accurate but worth it from a carry standpoint. My original idea was to buy the S&W Bodyguard but after looking at both decided to go with the Ruger. Turns out I should probably should have gone with the S&W. This is because it is slightly heavier and I find I can shoot small, but heavier guns more accurately than light small guns! Still very pleased with the gun. After much video reviewing on the internet I went with Hornady American Gunner 90 gr XTP. The XTP bullet has a good track record with several calibers but was one of the top performers with the .380. Surprisingly enough the XTP bullet actually expanded with a .25 caliber bullet in several tests! That is saying something about the bullet design. The Ruger is light, easy to carry concealed and is very accurate. It does have small sights and is a mini-beast to shoot. I have some arthritis in my hands and find that the LCP II kind of beats them up. Still I would highly recommend this pistol, especially if you need to pocket carry.

    March 21, 2018 8:11 pm
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    380 ACP Hollow Point from a short barrel (i.e. CC) tend to expand inconsistently on "real" targets, that is solid targets covered in cloth, etc..

    Paul Harrell has done a lot of testing on his meat targets and he came to the conclusion the Underwood's Xtreme Penetrator Ammo, which he does not recommend for larger calibres, is a superb choice for the 380. It's basically a flat-nose and doesn't expand, so doesn't need to hit expansion threshold, and as a result works consistently.

    By comparison, the UXP still worked fine in 9mm, but he was able to find dozens of 9mm hollow point rounds that expanded consistently and only cost a fraction of the price.

    March 21, 2018 1:54 pm
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    I own a Glock 42, Sig Sauer P238, and the Ruger LCP II. If I had to bet my life, my choice would be 1) Sig P238
    2) Glock 42
    I have put a thousand rounds of all kinds into these beauts and only 2 FTFs.

    March 16, 2018 9:37 am
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    I think a good one for the list would be the Remington rm380. I know there is bad talk about Remington pistols, but this one I have rocks. It will digest about anything I throw in it, cheap ball ammo to top notch hollow points, it’s not finicky and the accuracy for me was great. I really like mine, small and compact. It’s an updated design of the old Robaugh, I hope I spelled that correctly. Great little pistol that I think is worth a mention, thanks

    March 15, 2018 10:51 pm
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      I like mine too but my wife has a lcp2. Mine performed flawlessly with critical defense ammo, but flat out refused the less expensive ammo. So embarrassing she emptied the box of low cost ammo and then shot the ammo that my gun rejected. She wiped it off loaded it with critical defense and kinda politely sneered at my Remington. I can’t win. She knows a good gun.

      July 31, 2018 2:59 pm
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    This article stated the trigger pull on the Ruger LCP II is long and heavy, that is incorrect, in fact that is one of the improvements over the original LCP.. Chambering a round cocks the hammer and the trigger pull is almost that of a single action pistol....

    March 14, 2018 8:48 am
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    You should do a part II to this article and evaluate a few of the other guns that were mentioned in the comments. I have not shot one, but think the new Smith & Wesson Shield EZ is going to eventually grow into a popular CCW firearm.

    March 3, 2018 1:17 pm
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      Eric Hung

      Yup, we're looking at an update this year!

      March 5, 2018 12:10 pm
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    Rick in MI

    Any list discussing pocket-carry guns that does not at least mention the best on the market, the Seecamp, is incomplete.

    March 2, 2018 8:54 am
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    Have both the Sig 238 and 938. Have fired hundreds of rounds with both. If you can afford a Sig you will not regret it. The 238 is very easy to conceal. The 938 is very close in size and does have a more punch. Either one will give a bad guy some reasons to reconsider his actions.

    February 23, 2018 9:49 am
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    In your evaluation of the Ruger LCP II you stated it has a long and heavy trigger pull. I think you may have been thinking of the original LCP.. The LCP ll has a new improved trigger and is similar to a striker fired pistol.

    February 18, 2018 1:45 am
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    David Charles

    I'll take a high capacity 380 over a low capacity pocket 9mm any day in a real world gun fight. In a real world gun fight capacity rules over caliber. As the US Seal replied when asked if his 9 mm was powerful enough and would he prefer a 40 cal? "When I put two in your chest an one in your forehead, you'll never know the difference."

    February 16, 2018 6:33 pm
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    James Wagner

    I can't believe they left one of the best, if not THE best .380 on the market, The Beretta Pico.

    February 12, 2018 9:29 pm
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    I have the Bersa Thunder Combat .380 and love it. Easy to shoot, very reliable and inexpensive (~$285).

    February 8, 2018 1:14 pm
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    What actually causes recoil in a (combat caliber) semiautomatic handgun? In addition to a pistol’s caliber, recoil (felt, perceived, or mechanical) is determined by the type of breech lockup that a pistol uses. A blowback action is going to ‘kick’ the most of all, followed by a partially locked (or, as they say nowadays, a modified Browning lock-up) breech; and, the lightest recoiling pistol is invariably one that employs a locked breech.

    With a puny caliber like the 380 Auto (9mm kurz), shot group placement is everything — Everything! If a shooter can keep his first three shots inside a nice tight 4 - 6 inch circle @ COM, and do this consistently from a minimum of 7 1/2 - 8 yards, then, yes, he’ll have a viable chance of surviving an armed attack unscathed; however, it’s been my general experience that most people who are foolish enough to buy a 380 Auto for personal (walk around) protection, in the first place, are almost invariably too anemic in their pistol shooting skills to consistently hit COM well enough to guarantee their own survival; (and I watch dozens of people shot all different sorts of pistols every month.)

    There are pistols that can be relied upon to save your life in a surprise CQB pistol gunfight, and there are other pistols, like 380's, that do little more than make a handgun carrier feel safe. I call these comfortable little handguns ‘pacifier pistols’. (You know, after those calming rubber nipples that young children like to suck on.)

    These discussions are frequently exchanged between strictly internet gun forum aficionados (armchair commandos at best); so, perhaps, a little background information is in order: I once became very suddenly and very unexpectedly involved in a cleverly set up, triangulated, 3 shooter ambush; and there I was, right, at the center of the deadly triangle!.

    Now, contrary to the great internet gun forum 3 x 3 x 3 myth, my attackers were smart enough to begin the engagement at almost 10 yards’ distance, and before I had a chance to draw my pistol. If I hadn’t been carrying a high capacity Glock Model 21 I very much doubt that I’d be writing these words right now.

    It takes a lot more than just having a gun in order to survive an armed surprise ambush. A unique combination of circumstances: alert mental acuity, the right pistol, the right caliber, and a mature determined mind, along with a much better than average ability to ‘reach out and touch someone’ are ALL required.

    Feeling safe while carrying a sidearm is NOT the same thing as actually being safe. With a pistol carrier/user like me a 45 ACP caliber handgun will always be king! I wouldn’t trust the preservation of my life to anything less than a CQB pistol caliber of either 9 x 19mm or 45 ACP; and I use the term ‘caliber’ very loosely — OK. Neither would I want my pistol's barrel to be anything less than 4 inches in length.

    In my considered opinion anything less than either a 9 x 19mm, or a 45 ACP pistol is for people who don’t know any better to drool over and covet. Another thing: With me the 40 S&W caliber is, also, out. ‘Why?’ Because, over the years, I’ve watched a very great number of pistol shooters OUTGUN THEMSELVES by trying to shoot a 40 caliber pistol consistently and well. Yes, some pistoleros can do it; but the vast majority of 40 S&W caliber pistol shooters cannot; and, for anyone who might like to test this opinion THIS is a readily observable fact!

    February 6, 2018 3:46 pm
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    Wow...no North American Arms Guardian .380? So much for credibility of the write up. I don't even own one (yet...next on the list). But the omission is glaring. Solid stainless to reduce felt recoil and improve longevity, but only 19 oz. empty., double action, made in USA, HIGHLY rated by every police and LE blog or review I've read (very popular for ankle, backup, etc for our cops).. These write ups for .380 always list guns like the P238, colt mustang, etc....without explaining the issues with carrying SA only pistol (especially in a pocket). DA trigger safer, easier (no external safety), albeit heavier. It's probably as small as any on this list, at only 4.7" X 3.6"

    February 5, 2018 4:00 pm
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    I’ve owned and fired every caliber from my little Colt target 22 to my 50 cal Desert Eagle. When it comes to a 380/9mm Kurtz however, without question, my old Stainless Sig P232 was and remains my favorite. The gun has that phenomenal Sig quality, is very comfortable in the hand and shoots extremely well! The Sig was my carry weapon until I began carrying a ported barrel M & P 40 S&W with night sites. Both are very easy to conceal and I never doubted the reliability should I ever need to use either.


    February 3, 2018 10:04 pm
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    Mark P.

    I noticed the Kimber Micro .380 didn't make the list. Although the price may be too steep for many shooter's budgets,... I've found the fit and overall feel of the pistol to be more favorable than the Sig 238. The Sig has a more "boxy" feeling to the slide, whereas the Kimber's slide is more "melted" along the edges, making for a more comfortable pistol for all day carry. The Kimber also has many "factory custom" options such as a lowered ejection port and a flat wound recoil spring to aid in the pistol's reliability factor.

    January 29, 2018 11:52 pm
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      Eric Hung

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Mark. I do like the Kimber Micro too.

      February 13, 2018 8:58 pm
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      I have a Kimber RCP (lg) that I picked up a while back. Though it is probably one of the most expensive 380's on the market, I don't think that should matter when it comes to defending yourself and loved ones. It has a longer mag for those of us with larger hands, built in Crimson Trace laser grips, will shoot any ammo you put through it, the fact that it is a hammer fired pistol it eliminates the trigger pull issue that some of the others have, it also has a metal frame and slide, and it looks great(not that that's important, just an added bonus).

      March 26, 2018 9:41 am
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    We have a Ruger LCP II and we use Hornady Critical Defense 90 gr FTX ammo with it. We watched the ballistics videos on youtube and it seems like a solid combo. I thought this would be a good combo for the lady, but she has had difficulty using it on the range. I moved her to my S&W M&P Shield 2.0 9mm and she can fire and control it much better. The S&W is the pistol she will be using to qualify for her Texas License to Carry CHL class. However, the LCP is her pistol and she still wants to carry it.

    January 28, 2018 8:18 am
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      Had the Ruger and so typical of the brand it was a pain to take down. Why Ruger makes its guns difficult to disable for cleaning is beyond me.

      February 23, 2018 9:58 am
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    Lance Mitchell

    I don't know if anyone else has mentioned it, but it's almost a sin that you did not put the .380 Seecamp at the very top of this list. Maybe you forgot. I know, it's expensive and maybe not popular, but WELL worth the price. I don't need to make a case for it, it speaks for itself as most will know. I LOVE mine and I'm very proficient with it.. In this caliber your discussing I wouldn't carry anything on this list simply because they're all too big with too many bells and whistles for me especially living in my "environment" (South FLA.). Lasers are a joke on a .380 and I don't like sights that may snag for deep concealment.. They won't save your ass in a jam. Time is not on your side in a crisis. You need the quickest deployment possible and the point and shoot Seecamp is the only one that makes sense. You do get spoiled with the Seecamp and everything else looks like a brick in your pocket once you carry it. . IMO it's the best .380 concealed carry on the planet! I wear shorts mostly all year around and this is the best of ALL the rest for deep reliable concealment. hands down. You can wear your bathing suit anywhere and feel pretty safe with your gun not being noticed at all. The "other" gun will show before this one let's put it that way. Save up your money guys and get the Seecamp if you want the best .380 to carry. Never jams, ran all kinds of ammo threw it. It does not fail. I get that it's so expensive, but I tell you, it WILL the best investment you'll will ever make!!!

    January 27, 2018 3:34 pm
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    I got a Bodyguard a couple years ago. I saw it looked well made with a laser which I feel is only an extra. I have taken the module out and battened down the hatches that covers it, securing the screw with blue lock Tite.. I shot a few hundred rounds of the various shelf ammo available so now I can say I'm used to it. I found a Desantis pocket carry for it to ride in. The Bodyguard seems to work best with Fiocchi fmj, Hydrasocks, and WWB.
    I would suggest if you plan to carry any mini handgun try to get a mini version of the full size pistol you use in order to avoid learning another system.

    January 26, 2018 10:38 pm
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    I purchased a Browning Black label Pro with 4.25 inch barrel , I also own 9mm of different mfg. Comparing my 9mm to the 380 isn't hard. I love the gun and the 380. It is now my daily carry gun and probably will be from now on. With the proper ammo this weapon can't be beat for carry and at 10 yards put your shoot where you aim it. The hornady personal protection ammo is a good match for the gun. I always thought I needed to carry a 9 or 45 now I know I don't.

    January 23, 2018 9:08 am
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    I got the ruger lcp. First time I shot it the slide cut my thumb.

    January 22, 2018 12:31 pm
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    I dress then chose a pistol from my collection that fits concealed with the most stopping power. In the rotation is the LCP 2 and the G42. Both serve me well. I think the human interface of the grip and trigger is different with each individual shooter. For me the other pistols you mentioned don't fit my human make-up. I have put rounds through all of the pistols in your post. For example the Sig is not accurate for me. But my buddy I shoot with he is very accurate with the Sig. So for folks just getting into the 380s. Take the advice. Rent and shoot them all.

    January 19, 2018 8:00 am
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    RC West

    Great review on the 380's. Anyone have feedback on the Bersa Thunder 380?

    January 14, 2018 1:53 pm
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      Dave M

      For the size & weight you could carry a Ruger LC9S in 9mm that does everything better. I mostly like the Bersa Thunder .380, but, reliability can be a concern. I do not own one, friends do. It looks like a Walther PPK, which is neat, but other guns beat it.

      January 15, 2018 6:26 pm
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    I bought the Kimber .380 Raptor after a day of shooting a buddy's. A little pricey, but very accurate, no malfunctions, has tritium night sights, and a real pleasure to shoot. We both shoot and carry with a +1 magazine for better control and comfort. I use Alien Gear IWB, and put the extra mag in my back pocket.

    January 11, 2018 7:42 am
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    I recently looked at the ammo testing done by Shooting the Bull. The Precision One XTP round did excellent. On their website they recommend the +P version for the Glock 42. The Fiocchi Extrema
    90 grain XTP did very well also.

    January 5, 2018 11:34 am
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      john perry

      i also see this,, bought the 42 with precision one ammo,, fired over 200 rounds yesterday,, excellent patterns at 25 and 50 feet,, also bought the haugh hand grips and the finger extension on the magazine,, realy helped on accuracy. had the 40 cal. ,, always sat home,, too big... this goes everywhere with me,, can fit in pocket.

      January 25, 2018 6:47 am
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    Also a quick not for those that carry a .380 I would look at the new XP Extreme Penetrator and XD Extreme Defender ammo by Lehigh Defense. This is the round to go to in the 380. It is also used by Underwood ammo who produces it in a +P and +P+ plus loads. you can see it on Ammoquest .380 youtube if you want to see how it performs..awesome round for the 380

    December 22, 2017 1:02 pm
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    I laugh at all those that say a .380 is enough gun to get you killed....Really, Having No gun will get you killed ! and let me say Where the hell do you expect to conceal your .40 S&W on a 96 degree August day in Florida.! concealed carry is about .concealment..It will vary dependent on many factors..like the weather and where you plan to carry..You don't carry a cannon in to a movie theater or other crowded event because every missed shot has the potential to kill innocent bystanders..

    December 22, 2017 12:36 pm
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      Your comment is interesting. I personally carry my Beretta PX4 Compact in .40 S&W concealed during the 96 degree days of summer all the time. I also carry this 'cannon' into theaters, libraries, to the park, to the zoo, etc. It has never been a problem. I'm not saying that there is any problem with a 380, but people shouldn't be swayed to a smaller firearm if a larger one suits their needs.

      January 5, 2018 10:11 pm
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      john perry

      agree totally with yu chris,, retired police,, had 40 cal. glock but too big to carry,, traded for glock 42,, excellent patterns at 25 and 50 feet,,at range yesterday,, over 200 rounds,, use the precision on ammo plus p,, called them,, they said this best ammo out there ,, 12 inch penetration with 1/2 in hole,, you right,, if you don't hav it you can't use it.,,also bought finger extension on magazine and haugh grips,, excellent helpers and made patterns alot better.

      January 25, 2018 6:50 am
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      Lance Mitchell

      Well said Chris. Many people place a little too much emphasis on caliber and many are not proficient with their "Big Guns". I love those kind too, and all kinds of guns for that matter, but those big .40, .45's etc.. have there place and it's not in your pocket feeling like a brick.. You understand living in Florida. Concealment is key in our world.

      January 27, 2018 4:31 pm
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    Bob 1

    The Kahr CW 380 is my concealed carry gun. Add Pearce grip extenders and a Pachmayer grip for a perfect .380 great trigger (practice makes perfect) gooot sights and shoots like a dream for me. Comfortable for pocket quick to aim and easy to hit your target. Hard to rack the slide if you’re weak handed so practice - I’m 81 and can do it. Love it so much bought the CM 9 big brother for IWB holster use.

    December 19, 2017 6:42 pm
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    Just shot 4 of the 5 on the .380 list. Being S&W & a Ruger fan, I was so disappointed in the Bodygaurd & the LCP. To the point of I wish these two models didn’t even exist. The Sig was great w/ the Glock being my runner up.

    December 6, 2017 4:03 pm
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      I had the Glock 42 FTE all the time and the Bodyguard kicked almost as bad as my 38 didn't like either one.

      December 23, 2017 1:00 pm
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    Dave W

    Hard to believe you put the Kahr on a top 5 list. That thing is a piece of garbage. Buyer beware! I could see if this list were entitled "Top 5 guns most likely to get you killed"

    November 23, 2017 7:52 pm
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    Mark Wynn

    Like everything about the Ruger LC380 ... except the trigger, and would buy another one if Ruger gave it the same, striker-fire setup as the improved LC9S Pro. Find the LPC a bit small for my hand. As far as grip, pocketable size, melted corners and good sights, the LC380 is Goldilocks just right, for me.
    (However, suspect Ruger will go with the LCP II as their .380 and discontinue the LC380.)

    November 8, 2017 7:43 pm
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    A slight correction. The Ruger LCP has a long, heavy trigger pull, but the LCP II does not.

    November 4, 2017 6:43 am
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    Gary Sutton

    Patrick O. And Howard H - I couldn’t agree more. My wife’s CC gun is a Bersa 380 and mine is a Bersa 380CC. We have fired hundreds of rounds thru nothin the last several years with only a few issues. Steel case hollow points seem to be the most disagreeable. I would recommend a Bersa to anyone entering the world of Concealed Carry.

    October 31, 2017 6:38 am
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    alvaro alteri

    I have the kimber mucro 380 that i replaced with the new micro 9 with the laser grip and the extended mag and in a pocket holster when i wear shorts and it shoots great vwry easy to hit your target and it has a great trigger i have iver 30 hand guns but thats my favorite Pocket Gun next to that is my Glock 19 when I have regular clothes and i am a member and have the insurance and you guys are great very informative

    October 30, 2017 2:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Patrick O.

    My first handgun I ever purchased was a Bersa Thunder 380 standard capacity, 7+1. I have had this firearm for approx. 16 years and fired thousands of rounds through it. Very reliable, I have only had one brand of ammo that gave me feeding issues, and that was some cheap wal mart steel case surplus ammo, that would still fire but I had to reduce the amount loaded in the magazine for proper feeding. Pretty much any brass case standard ammo you can think of has gone through this gun and fired flawlessly. I have owned many firearms since, but this is my all time favorite little handgun. It does what it's supposed to do, with a really good factory trigger, pretty decent little sights, it's withstood the test of time, and it's a pretty sexy little gun (mine is the matte black with brushed nickel highlights).#1 380, hands down Bersa Thunder 380's, oh ya, and at a very affordable price. It's not space age polymer, but rather a look a like of the ppk (James bond gun) for a much better price than the ppk, and functions just as well or better.

    October 26, 2017 8:35 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Thanks for your experience, Patrick!

      November 7, 2017 5:13 pm
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    Howard Harris

    i bought a Bersa thunder plus with a 15 round mag for 350.00 bucks and it has never had a failure to feed or any other issues. i would put it up against any you recommended plus i have twice the ammo for defense

    October 26, 2017 2:03 pm
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    David Muscato

    While I have a number of guns, my carry gun is the Ruger LCP. The size and weight make it very easy to carry especially with the screw on belt clip. Slide it on your waist band or pocket and you almost forget it's there, so I carry it all the time. I keep tactical rounds in it for extra stopping power. All that said, when I go to the range I have to force myself to shoot it. While I do find it accurate it is NOT fun to shoot. After running a number of clips through it .your hand will begin to hurt from holding such a small grip on a gun with a good amount of recoil., Never had a jamb with any type of ammo, overall a great reliable little gun

    October 23, 2017 1:26 pm
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    Dr. MIke

    What about the. ll-Tec P3AT?

    October 12, 2017 6:56 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I have a Keltec .380. It’s never mentioned in articles about .380 pocket pistols. I love mine. It was inexpensive, and I’ve never had a misfire or a jam.

    October 12, 2017 6:50 pm
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    To say that the 380 has limited stopping power is a moronic statement. Getting hit in center body mass with 95 - 100 gr hollow point will take the fight out of 95% of the human population. I am 6'2" and was shot in the gut in a drive by shooting and I doubled over in pain. The object of concealed carry has only ONE OBJECTIVE....to stop the threat. It's not about killing the perp, just ending the threat and after getting shot with a 22 or 380 the perp will run away because of the pain and noise which will bring attention to the perp.
    I carry a Ruger SR22 and I can fire off 10 fast shots accurately due to no recoil..

    October 3, 2017 4:34 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      True, it is to stop the threat. I personally don't want to take the chance in case it's a huge guy with several layers of clothing, and hopped up on adrenaline or drugs.

      October 3, 2017 3:01 pm
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    I think you hit on a lot of good points. I would like to comment on a takeaway I have. I am one that will NOT keep a pistol if it ever has a failure to feed regardless of the type ammo fed through it. In line with your sock drawer comment, if there is even the remotest possibility that I will have a malfunction, I don't have any use for that pistol. The Glock doesn't fall into my "favorite" handgun catagory of the pistols I own or have owned but I have never had a failure to feed or failure to eject nor have I seen a FTF or FTE at the qualifications range...no, that's not true...one time during qualifications, a new officer was having FTE's with her issued Glock. The range officer called for a cold range and inspected her Glock in disbelief. He then raised his voice and advised her that you don't shoot 9mm in a 40 S&W and sent her off the line to go change out her ammo. I have owned several in different calibers and have carried them on-duty and have the utmost confidence in them. That said, I will continue to practice my tap-rack-bang exercises...even with a Glock. Cheers

    September 19, 2017 7:54 am
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    Buckeye 63

    The Taurus TCP is the top of the heap for reliability and value ..by far the most relaiable out there and great trigger also

    September 18, 2017 7:06 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      There are a lot of disparaging comments about the TCP on the internet, but I love mine. Super reliable, very concealable. The Pearce grip extensions help with control.

      November 9, 2017 5:25 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I have a slim 9mm Taurus has never failed in any way my main carry. Just for the 380 Kimber micro haven't shot it yet, hope it is not the ones that have the FTE problem. I watched my son in law shoot his 40 cal Glock at the range it blew a piece of the slide right out with normal ammo I think Remington, after calling them he sent all the pieces to them and they had the gun repaired all free but kept it 6 mos. kind of scary.

      December 23, 2017 4:20 pm
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    I got a 380 many years ago because I "print" way too easily, and found I could carry an AMT 380 with no problem. It was an upgrade from a Beretta Jet Fire 25.

    The AMT has a small finger hook at the bottom that helps with recoil. It comes as a 5 +1 with a grip and thumb safety. I found that if I cut about an 1/8" off the spring in the magazine, I could make it a 6 +1.

    This gun has never had a FTF except with Corbon hollow points. I couldn't get even I magazine to fire without 2 or 3 issues.

    Hydroshoks work great in this gun, it's all metal, but still stings a bit when you shoot it.

    I always wanted something similar, but in a 9mm and something that had a better magazine release set up.

    I finally found it a few years back, in the Kahr CM9. I haven't looked back! This gun has less felt recoil, is about the same size, super easy to conceal, but with 9mm firepower.

    I still have my AMT, but my EDC is the Kahr CM9. For some of us the best 380, is actually going with a mini 9.

    It was a tough choice initially between the Sig 938 and the Kahr CM9, but the Kahr had a great trigger, no safety to worry about and the 1st shot speed and confidence this DAO provides.

    No feed or FTF issues at all. It's worth a look.

    September 13, 2017 7:07 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    The only two on that list I'd even consider trusting my life to would be the Sig and the Glock. I have a S&W BG that's basically a paperweight. If I could find my wife a SC 9mm that she felt as comfortable shooting as the P238, I"d dump the .380 round altogether for reliability of avail firearm issues though and not because it's a "puny" round. Do they consider the .38 Sp "puny"? Plus search YouTube for "Texas Rancher Wild Hog .380" and watch his video. But, if you can't find a reliable handgun, what's the point? The .small 380s are plagued with failures with many off the shelf ammo choices. THAT should NOT be!

    August 28, 2017 4:09 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I just shot a sig 238 at the range rented man that was a nice shooting gun and right on target every time.

      December 23, 2017 4:24 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        I am a 76yr. old woman and I love my WaltherPK380. Everything about it is perfect for me. Should be on the list!

        January 7, 2018 10:23 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Eric Hung

    From Reader Robert C:

    I used to carry a Colt .380 Government Model. It recently was retired to my safe in favor of the Glock 42. I had trouble finding carry holsters that I considered safe to carry in condition one. I frequently found that the holster had bumped the safety off, This was not an extreme problem as the .380 Government Model had the series 80 firing pin block; but it was something that shouldn't have been happening.

    If a person were looking for a 1911 style .380, I would recommend the Browning .380 over the Sig you listed. The advantage of the Browning is the added grip-safety.

    As far as the nature of .380, I have always considered it adequate. The, much lauded, FBI study is not highly relevant to CCW, purely defensive, needs. The ability to shoot through car doors is a significantly lower level of concern than the hazards of over-penetration.

    August 20, 2017 2:11 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Will B.

    I have an LCP II and have sent it back to Ruger twice but it still misfeeds on but FMJ and JHP. Looking to replace it with something more reliable.

    August 12, 2017 3:47 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    robert pierpoint

    Love the sig p238 tried the lcp gave to my brother. I guess I'm just as a 1911 fan . Carry sig in ankle holster . Deep carry a kimber ultra raptor II for primary weapon. . Cor-bon dpx works well in both and a good defensive round . Thanks very informative article .

    August 11, 2017 7:10 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Tom Spears

    Great review. I have a Glock 42, which I love, and a Bersa Thunder which is always in my truck. I have owned a Ruger LCP but it was just a little too small for me but thats just a matter of personal choice. I have no qualms on the 380 as a self defense weapon and am a strong believer in shot placement. If you can't hit the side of a barn in a pressure situation the caliber of your weapon isn"t going to save you.

    August 7, 2017 7:04 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I was carrying a Kruger 357 mag short barrel ed I am a big guy

    But I have to go to a place 4 days a week now I needed deep concealment I read a lot and I use to have a Body Guard and did not like it don't know why bottom line is I went with the Ruger LCP 2 and luv it to me there is not much kick fits my hand well with the extender on the mag with 200 rounds of all kindsll thru it not 1 single f2f or ff I carry it with Gold Dots for a lot of reasons but that's what I ed in all my guns with all the improvements 9n the new LCP2 2 imho for the money there is no better 380 acp on the market

    July 22, 2017 9:52 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Glad to hear it working out for you, Guy!

      July 23, 2017 9:40 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    jeff bell

    Ive used many .380s but the best is the bersa thunder 380 cc . i love it and would not trade it for a sig or khar any day....

    July 13, 2017 4:45 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Timothy McGee

    I have a KAHR CW 380. I practice with it often and agree that it is picky on ammo and that the cheap FMJ ammo cycles the best. Unfortunately, after three magazines, my gun tends to malfunction on any ammo and must be cleaned in order for it to function properly. The slide will stop short of full closure and must be bumped from the back to complete the closure. Which surprises me due to how hard the slide is to pull back. Since I only have 3 magazines for it, it really doesn't bother me. (My LCP had the same problem.). I like the accuracy, the sights and the fact the slide locks back when empty. It's small size is great in my front pocket and performs great with my colleagues pressure drills.

    July 7, 2017 9:30 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    phillip whitt

    I own a LCP and it's my EDC. I go to the range often and am a big fan of the Walther PPQ and Creed models. My biggest fear with the LCP as an everyday carry is that most micro 380s have the reputation of being a bit finicky. I went to the range last weekend and intentionally gathered up all 380 reloads from my house that I could find. Different primers some Full Metal Jacket some hollow points. After 100 rounds ran through the LCP, not one single malfunction. It should come as no surprise to me since I own other ruger's and they have all been Flawless operators. (Except for a 10/22). I highly recommend the LCP as an everyday carry

    July 3, 2017 2:03 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike T

    Not going to cycle (read) all these awesome responses to this well written article except to say that if a woman like my wife showed me the barrel of her 380 and hit me with a couple-three rounds -- I would be one hurting unhappy camper.
    The .380 cartridge is as nasty as any other small one! OUCH!

    June 20, 2017 8:28 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I "HAD" 2 kel-tec 380's (both garbage). Have the Ruger LCP. really like. Have the Taurus TCP really like it. (both very lightweight and extremely easy to conceal). And I have the Sig Sauer p238 (IMO) the KING of the small 380's. The quality and reliability is absolutely worth the extra weight and money. I added a grip glove that really added extra grip for my large hands and, of course, helps tame the recoil issues with the small framed 380's. However, I highly recommend that you opt for the extended magazine to get use of your pinky and the extra round. That being said I prefer the Ruger or Taurus if I am wearing shorts and a T shirt... But if I am wearing pants, belt, etc I opt for the Sig. Bottom line is I would put my life in the hands of either one of the three guns mentioned.

    June 8, 2017 8:33 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Sgt Jim

    I carry a Springfield XDS in45acp. I appendix carry with a desantis holster. It is slightly heavier, but packs a wallop with Corbon flying ashtrays. It's easy to conceal and plenty powerful.

    May 23, 2017 9:10 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I am a retiring Law Enforcement officer. I routinely carried my duty weapon (early years .357 S & W mod 19) and back up .38 S & W Chief Special with +p ammo. Later issued Glock 19 9mm for duty and carried a Sig P230 .380 as back up. Last 10 years carried a Glock 36 . 45 ACP as a duty weapon as an administrator.

    I decided for retirement to go back to a .380 for concealed carry, as it is easier to conceal in Florida's weather. I went with the Glock 42 and enjoy shooting it, additionally I am a Glock armorer which factored into the decision. I have qualified with it twice and I have full confidence in shot placement. With practice and qualifications I have shot 1,000 rounds and had no issues. Use Winchester FMJ for practice and Speer Gold Dot HP for carry.

    A recent shooting in my county was a one shot stop with a .380 to the chest at close range.

    May 18, 2017 12:54 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Your last paragraph says it all... Bullet placement is the key.

      June 8, 2017 8:37 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Kraig Knutson

    Great reviews, here 's my 2 cents. Bought the Beretta Cheetah 84sf Nickel Probably one of the prettiest guns in the safe, shots very well and 13 round magizine's . Cons mucho $'s, and it's next to impossible to rack the slide without cocking the hammer first. So went out and bought a Bersa "Fire Storm"...fell in love with the 380 cal. over again. Great all metal pistol, a bit Lg. for CC, I have a Lg. hand and it works well for me. The Bersa is a Great Value that gets the job done without fail!


    May 17, 2017 3:29 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I forgot to mention, AMMO for home defense I strongly suggest
      G6 Research Radically Invasive Projectile (RIP) Ammo 380ACP.
      Erraicates unwanted subjects from your residence without using a 45,
      Good Luck and Good Hunting.

      May 17, 2017 4:12 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Rocket Man

    As a lifelong 9mm shooter (starting with my very first....Browning Hi-Power) I recently purchased a Bersa Firestorm in .380. I simply bought it because of its price (too low to mention???)its features and.....how it looked. Looking into the warranty impressed me, as did many of the online reviews. After 100 rounds of CCI FMJ at the range...not one misfire! Decent groups, although early on, I was working out my shooting kinks. It simply is the best gun, dollar-for dollar I own. Have I fired it in anger? Not yet, and hopefully never will, but it WILL be the one that rides with me. (PS-I had a local 'smith do some smoothing of the edges and it's amazingly easy to get in and out!) PSs-I've owned/own Brownings, Rugers, Sigs, Smiths, Springfields...add Bersa to the list!

    May 4, 2017 4:05 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Krae xox

    I bought the Sig P238. Absolutely love this lil gun. How it feels in my hands like no other. Can't go wrong with this one. Truly perfection! Thank you for the info

    April 15, 2017 1:51 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Linda Burton

    As a gal new to the conceal carry scene, I looked the .380"s over very carefully and settled on the Sig P238. I've never regretted my choice....it is awesome. I have a S&W M&P9 and a S&W Shield so was leaning toward the Bodyguard, but its trigger is unbelievably heavy, so heavy I could barely get it pulled. My first experience with what was certainly a 30 lb. trigger!!!!!! I had to pass!

    April 14, 2017 4:53 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I just purchased a S&W Bodyguard ($50 manufacturer's rebate through June). Yes it does have a heavy trigger pull, Not quite 30 lbs., actually more in the neighborhood of 10 lbs., but probably not for most women or anyone without strength in their grip. Personally, I don't mind the heavy trigger pull. I know it's not going to accidentally go off unless I intend it to. With the after rebate price, it was just too good to pass up.

      May 5, 2017 11:34 am
  • Commenter Avatar

    I've owned a Bodyguard (without the laser) for years now and I've gotta say, I love that little guy. I've heard the same thing about it being a bit picky on ammunition, but never experienced it. Mine has gone through hundreds of rounds from every brand I find, and there's no more than an occasional jam. The double strike feature is great too, particularly when using cheap reloads. Won't lie though, "long and heavy" sure is accurate on the trigger pull. It goes on for miles and catches me off guard every time I go for more than a short time without firing it. All in all, I wouldn't trade it for anything of its type!

    March 30, 2017 6:46 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    "They get the job done, but several shots may need to be fired to get your point across."

    Same could be said for Any common pistol caliber ammo....

    March 25, 2017 9:28 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike M

    Personally, I like the Bersa Thunder .380 plus. While it's not pocket size, some features I like are the safeties it has, (so when not in use it can be locked without having to put a trigger lock on it and cannot fire without the mag), it has a fixed barrel, it is a 15+1, and while the initial trigger pull is long all others are short and the recoil is nice for control. I have put over 1000 rds through it without one failure. The one drawback is the lack of comfortable holsters. But it is accurate and true and the cost is $350. I have big hands and the pocket .380's don't work for me. I had a Ruger LCP and after the third round, the pistol began bouncing around in my hand, not good.

    March 21, 2017 2:30 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I also have the Thunder plus. Same thing with big hands. An accurate piece and conceals pretty well for a double stack. I would recommend it.

      May 8, 2017 8:08 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Glenn K.

    Great article--wishing I had spotted it before purchasing my Kahr P380 which pricewise is above everything on this list. I've had a Kahr PM9 for years, thrown everything I could at it, and it has never failed to feed, fire, or lock the slide. When I wanted to downsize somewhat for summer carry I went with the P380. Talk about a pistol that's finicky with ammo! Well, at least the one I have. Even after 500+ rounds or so it took just about every manufacturer and bullet type to find one with 100% reliability to fully feed, fire and lock the slide 100% of the time (my winner is the Winchester 95 grain in FMJ and JHP). I will say it shoots beautifully and the night sights it came with are excellent. Center mass has never been a problem from the get go. As a side note, during the interim and before I found ammo that would feed consistently I purchased a Ruger LCRx in .38spl. While it carries a little heavier, it's easier to find and pull and I know it's always going to chamber and fire. The downside is it's only five rounds and bites a lot harder, especially in +P.

    March 8, 2017 5:03 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Hey Glenn, thanks for writing in! Sucks to hear about the pickiness of the P380. I'm sure your testing will help out some of the other readers.

      March 9, 2017 10:34 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Glenn K.

        To clarify and in all fairness to Kahr many have no problem out of the box and many have experienced what I have (according to the forums). Since I now have 100% reliability I can't attribute it to shooting technique or any pistol defect. And in a .380, what's working for me might not work in someone else's pistol. That's why your comment on the necessity of range time with your carry ammo is dead on the money.

        March 9, 2017 6:52 pm
        • Commenter Avatar
          Eric Hung

          Thanks for the confirmation Glenn!

          March 14, 2017 11:16 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ralph Jannelli

    I recently purchased a S&W Bodyguard with the laser. Like you said the safety is difficult to disengage but with the double action trigger and long trigger pull I feel comfortable carrying with the safety off.

    March 3, 2017 6:45 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Hey Ralph, that's great to hear. The trigger just takes a lot of practice to get right.

      March 7, 2017 6:24 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jeff Smith

    What do you think about the Beretta Pico? I have read conflicting reports about it.

    March 3, 2017 10:18 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Hey Jeff, it seems great in concept but haven't had any hands-on experience with it.

      March 7, 2017 6:22 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I own a Taurus TCP 738 which I upgraded with Galloway trigger and springs and NiteSighter sight dots. It is like the Ruger but fit my hand better. I am quite accurate out to 10 yards and have gotten used to the recoil. I have also shot the Bodyguard, Glock, Ruger LCP2 and Sig at rental range. Taurus and Bodyguard quite snappy but you can adapt. Glock surprisingly snappy for its size and felt cheap. LCP2 was pretty nice, especially with an LGS price of $280. Snappy but controllable and also pretty accurate for the size. Sig 238 was amazing if you can afford it. Felt and shot like a Swiss watch, as it should. Minimal recoil. Utterly smooth in every way. If buying today, I would buy Sig if money were no object and LCP2 if looking for a good price and good performance.

    February 14, 2017 4:46 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Eric Hung

      Nice! Thanks for the insight.

      February 15, 2017 4:35 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Alan McKean

    I have had a Bersa Thunder .380, a Ruger LC380, and now a Glock 42. For me, the Glock works the best. Significantly less felt recoil than the others, smaller, and lighter. It also fits my hand perfectly and I can shoot it better. IWB in a Multihoster or a Remora (works for pocket, too), it hides very well. All in all, I love it.

    January 9, 2017 12:11 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    One of the big box sporting good stores ran the Ruger LCP 380 for $199 on black Friday. Boy, did I sure miss out on that one.

    December 9, 2016 9:09 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    M Sussman

    I have the Glock 42 and love it! It's a good fit for my small hands, target shooting is fun, it conceals beautifully and I have confidence with my ability to hit the target with a tight group of rounds. Try it, you’ll like it.

    December 7, 2016 4:57 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    I carry an 9mm HK P30SK and my backup gun is a hand-me-down Walther PPK/S (.380). The only .380 cartridge I'd ever use, is Precision One. You can check out ammo quest on YouTube for thorough ballistics testing and these are top for the .380.

    December 5, 2016 11:20 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Alan McKean

      He posted another eval after his wrap-up because he discovered another ammo that out-performed the Precision One ammo. The Lehigh Defense Extreme Penetrator. It's what I carry now.

      January 9, 2017 12:13 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Bill in La Mesa

    Another 380 that didn't make this list, but considered top 5 on many others is the Bursa FireStorm. At around $325, the solid metal construction and excellent build quality complement a very accurate and reliable pistol. A lifetime warranty you will probably never use is yet another reason you might be sorry you didn't consider a FireStorm, if you're interested in a nice 380.

    December 5, 2016 7:16 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Haven't had a chance to try that out but thanks for the rec.

      December 6, 2016 5:26 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      I have the Bersa thunder and love it... It feeds anything that I put in it. I haven't had a chance to get the firestorm yet but am looking forward to getting one soon. Bersa never gets the credit it deserves.

      June 8, 2017 8:42 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      I agree. Bersa 380 is the best 380 out there. No comparison in my book.

      July 23, 2017 12:50 pm
  • Commenter Avatar

    How come the Kimber Micro isn't on this list?

    December 5, 2016 5:35 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Hi, we had to choose our personal favorites although it's a great gun too.

      December 6, 2016 5:25 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        Which gun to purchase which is light weight firm grip, small pocket size, but great accuracy?

        August 4, 2018 6:57 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Charles V Failla

    Excellent review.
    I would suggest in this instance photos of the various Guns.
    This adds to the visual/narrative of the text.

    December 4, 2016 8:31 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Hi Charles, are the pictures not showing up on your end? You might need to refresh or clear your cache then.

      December 6, 2016 5:24 pm
      • Commenter Avatar

        I had no images on Chrome, but Firefox was fine.

        December 9, 2016 9:07 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Mike Shelton

    I bought a ruger LCP I love it the long trigger pull makes it a excellent pocket pistol. I can forget and drop my car keys in my pocket without shooting myself.

    December 4, 2016 6:58 pm
    • Commenter Avatar

      Great point Mike!

      December 4, 2016 8:21 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Alan McKean

      I had the same thoughts when I bought the Ruger LC380 but I found the long trigger pull made me less accurate so I went to the Glock 42. My groups are much, much smaller now. The long trigger pull didn't help in the pocket because I won't carry without a pocket holster. The Remora works great!

      January 9, 2017 12:15 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        James Peterson

        The lcp 2 resolved the trigger issue of the lcp 1. I think it is the best pocket ccw out there load it with the all copper Underwood self defense ammo and the lethality of the round will compare with a traditional lead 9 mm, which is the best of all possible worlds for cc. I own both lcp pistols. I prefer lcp 2.

        May 7, 2017 4:33 am
        • Commenter Avatar

          Thanks for mentioning that the Underwood works in the LCP 2.

          July 24, 2017 11:22 am
    • Commenter Avatar

      Never carry in a pocket (or elsewhere for that matter) without a proper holster...

      March 25, 2017 9:22 am
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