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  1. Following is my view of 380 ACP, for what it is worth. If anyone can point out where I am mistaken or missed something, I would appreciate them correcting me.

    1) The only sure stopping shot is a shot to the brain — and a 380 in full metal jacket will do as well for that as a 9mm or 45 ACP at 2-7 yards.
    FBI stats indicate most gunfights occur within 7 yards.

    The brain is just as big a target as the heart.

    2) Plus body armor is becoming increasingly common and the two 45 rounds to the center of mass may not work.

    3) Admittedly, however,Precise shots are difficult under stress and in dim, confusing lighting (e.g, dark alley partially illuminated by a streetlight 20 yards away.)
    Reason why you need a flashlight — and to make sure you can see the threat well enough to testify why he was a threat justifying deadly force. PLus the LED lights temporarily blind an attacker for a moment.

    4) So it seems to me the full size service pistols –in 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP — become significantly better than the 380 mainly at ranges greater than 7 yards. Plus the Glock is better even at shorter ranges because 15 rounds are better than 6.

    5) The thing that screws up this idea is a hostile attacker who is moving/ charging at you.
    The Tueller drill showed you can be stabbed before you can shoot if the hostile has a knife and is within 7 yards.

    6) One advantage heavier metal pistols like the Walther PPK have over light polymer pistols is less recoil –which aids accuracy. The longer magazine with the curved finger ledge is better because it gives a stronger grip to prevent the pistol rotating around the web of the hand on recoil.

    7) Plus James Bond shot a helicopter out of the sky from 500 yards away with a Walther PPK in 380 ..excuse me “9mm short”. (He tried using a Glock but threw it away in disgust after firing several rounds.)

    (starting at time 0:50 )

    Don’t know if he uses hollow point or FMJ.

  2. In the 70’s when I lived in Dayton Ohio there was an incident where two women were arguing on a bus and one pulled out her 380 and shot the other one point blank to her head. The bullet bounced off her forehead and she grabbed the gun and fired point blank at the other lady hitting her in the heart killing her. Kind of an under powered round.

    1. I’m pretty sure most handgun rounds would be considered “underpowered”. I’m aware of an incident in which a person was shot in the head with a .357 magnum with the same results. We carry handguns because shotguns and ARs/AKs are tough to carry all the time without people feeling threatened. They are especially tough to carry concealed effectively. That being said, as previously discussed, even a .22short can kill. It’s all about shot placement and we shouldn’t let the exception be the rule. For that matter, there are plenty of incidents where even a rifle bullet bounces off of a head. Like I said, exception, not the rule.

    2. I’m from the Dayton Area. Still live here. I remember the story you’re talking about but my memory is bad and I’m getting it mixed up with another story from the same era. It was about an old lady too. I thought she was on a bus and shot someone with a .22, but the damage was minor. I thought I remembered something about the ammo being old, not firing right, etc. Sound familiar?

  3. My Dad (retired DC cop) told me about a woman who had been shot in the forehead with a .22, and went on to beat her attacker senseless before being arrested by the responding cops who seeing a spot of blood on her forehead thought she had been struck during the fracas and didn’t send her to the hospital until she told them she’s been shot. The bullet lodged in between the hemispheres of the brain and did no significant damage.

  4. I carry a colt 1908 in .380 in the summer time as it’s easy to conceal and feel well armed. I shoot FMJ, It’s all about shot placement. Practice, practice, practice. Good thing I like shooting!
    My particular gun was made in 1913 back when guns were still built by hand, it’s difficult to find quality like that in a new made gun.

  5. no matter what platform or caliber you choose, mindset, skills, and actual training under defense scenarios are critical.

    Just buying a gun and sticking it in a drawer is no more than a good luck charm.

  6. 380 for me is emergency use only. I have a Kahr CT380 and it is a nice little pistol and so far reliable. I don’t carry it!

    As for 1911 If I’m going to buy another it will be like what I have, 45 or 10MM

    I’m sure some folks will love the idea of a 1911 in 380 and I did handle one at the NRA convention and it was kinda cool!

  7. Shooting under real stress is hundreds of times harder than at the range. Grouping when your heart is pounding out of your chest is very difficult.

    This being said, my issue with this kind of handgun is not about he caliber, it’s about the style. I personally refuse to cary a handgun with a 1911 style safety.

    I know, I know, I just said something bad about a 1911 and here that’s like calling someone’s baby ugly. Keep yours, enjoy it. I think they look awesome. The caliber rocks. I like them. But with microsecond between life and death my choice is something else.

    1. I’ve carried a Browning HP for years. The safety is only an issue when you are not intimately familiar with it. The action of flipping the safety off as part of the draw is about as natural as I can think of. I do it without even realizing it on the draw. However, when it came time to find a more concealable handgun, I looked into quite a few and ended up rejecting most of the striker fired guns just because the didn’t feel the same when drawing the weapon. I ended up settling on the Sig P938 because it felt so similar and used the same muscle memory as the Browning HP. I can easily switch back and forth between these firearms without any issues. I suspect I would have the same feeling about SA 911 in .380. You use what you are comfortable with.
      YouTube is filled with accidents of people changing up their weapons all the time and attempting to do speed draws. I gave up that bad habit a long time ago.

      1. Like I added, harsh is to strong a word. Every firearm has its flaws. M1A safety requires you to put your finger right next to the trigger, HK91 needs gorilla hands or angles to switch the safety, ar15 has its issues, myth and fact based. To date, I have yet to find the “perfect” handgun or rifle, because sometimes I forget that’s like buying the perfect hammer. Perfect for what.

  8. Does the 911 have a magazine disconnect? I will not carry a handgun that will not let me fire a round in the chamber if the mag is missing for whatever reason.

  9. Try a Sig 938 in 9mm. Hammer fired, etc. My little .380 is almost impossible to shoot and hit anything beyond a couple of yards due to all the mentioned problems as well as me.

  10. I got shot in the foot with a .380 once…. it tickled(lmao).
    Seriously, if you live in a duplex or apartment and are worried about a home invasion and about a wall-breach then a .380 would probably fit your needs. Punching a bullet through your wall and in to your neighbors home is not good.

  11. Just some food for thought.
    I work with a retired Air Force gunner (Pavehawk) who knows and understands guns pretty well.
    He had an incident several years back where as he and his family were unpacking groceries from the car and taking them into the house (in a residential neighborhood), a homeless guy that was transiting the area decided to attack them as they entered the house. My co-worker pulled his 380 auto and shot the guy dead center in the chest. It knocked the homeless guy down, but he got up and ran away. They caught the guy later as he went to an emergency room complaining of chest pain. The bullet did not pierce the skin but left a basketball sized bruise on his chest.
    It didn’t happen because of the 380 being under-powered. It happened because the homeless guy was wearing so many layers of jackets and shirts. It is the exact same issue our troops have been complaining about in the Middle East as the terrorists also tend to wear many layers of clothing, especially in the winter months. The 9mm issued to our troops is not effective under those conditions.
    A lot to take into consideration when dealing with a split second situation that could mean life or death.
    Maybe everyone should buy a Wildey .475 – Lol! Worked for Charles Bronson!

  12. Nice Review! I see it has revitalized the 380 as a mouse gun debate. I also worked as a PI and you cannot always carry a standard size handgun. Most of us have trouble carrying a standard size handgun is the summer anyway. I have carried a 380 at times for years and still do at times however there are now some 9mm handguns like the Glock 43 that are extremely reliable and pretty darn compact but not quite as small as some 380’s. There have been stories for years about this caliber or that, not working well in a shooting, so FMJ bullets might be advisable for these smaller caliber guns.

  13. Hmm, don’t know much about the SA 911 .380, nice article. Don’t know if I would consider getting one. Although I did pick a 1911 SA Range Officer compact 9 mm a few months ago, and have 200 rds though it. I like the feel and the way it shoots. It is 1/2 inch shorter length and height wise than my .45 commander and lighter in weight. Am considering putting a laser sight on it ( like my commander ), have been using a sticky holster ( IWB ), only one I have found that will work so far. Ran across a Kimber Micro 9mm with Crimson Trace mounted on it, really like what I saw, but already have something.

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