Opinions on .380 for my wife

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Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby murphjd25 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:22 pm

Am looking at the .380 m&p bodyguard with built in laser to get for my wife to start carrying, since I have the shield .40 and love it. Any other great .380s worth checking out for under $500? Thanks for your help.
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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby remnar » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:44 pm

The Smith is probably a good choice. I really like my Kahr CM9 and can shoot it quite well, so I would suggest you check out the Kahr P380 (if that's the caliber you need). I think you can probably get the Kahr and add a laser for under $500.

(Edit to Add: Not sure if the P380 is the correct model number, but there are Kahr .380's for under $400.) :)
Last edited by remnar on Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby Doc Dan » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:50 pm

The S&W is a good choice if she can work the slide. The laser is a bit awkward to use. Better are those lasers that can be activated simply by grasping the pistol. The Kahr CW380 and Ruger LCP are worth looking at, also. The new model LCP's weight only 8 or 9 oz and will fit in her tiny pockets or purses. All of these are good pistols. Remington has a new model out that I am not personally familiar with.

My wife had a semi-auto she could use well, but she ultimately decided she liked the S&W 38 Bodyguard with laser better. It only weighs 14 oz. Not as light as the .380s but still pretty light and simple to use. The Ruger LCR 38 Special is similar as both have polymer frames. The Ruger is a tad lighter and may have an easier trigger. It can be had with a laser.

The 38 Special is a bit more effective than the .380 ACP, but the .380 is easier to shoot.
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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby farnorthdan » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:04 pm

My wife is not a big gun person, she's been around them most of her life and shoots with me once in a blue moon. I've tried to keep it as simple as possible for her, especially considering the amount of stress she would be under if she ever had to actually use it. I gave her a hammer less airlight, .38cal. small enough that she will actually throw it in her purse and/or console in the car, I figured a revolver would give her the best chance. I tell her to aim center mass and just keep squeezing until it stops going boom.
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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby i am travvy » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:52 pm

Save up another $150 and get a sig p238. You will not regret it. I work at a gun shop and it is out best selling firearm. Especially to women. Easiest slide to rack, trigger pull is very nice, they can be ambidextrous and have night sights. Another great option is the glock 42.

The problem with the bodyguard and even the lcp and lcp2 is that they are very light weight which is great for carrying but bad for shooting. Recoil is very snappy on those little 380s. The sig p238 is an all metal gun /stainless slide and alloy frame so it's hefty and that weight really really helps with the recoil. 380 is small but still packs a punch especially in those light polymer framed guns.

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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby SpyderNut » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:55 pm

Josh,

First off, kudos to you for looking into getting a carry-gun for your wife. I personally love the "concealability" of .380 pistols. About five years ago, I completed an extensive research on nearly every conceivable .380 pistol on the market at that time. (My OCD got the better of me :rolleyes: ). I carefully compared the features of every model and weighed the pros and cons between each model. My wife and I also went to numerous gun shows, gun shops, etc., and handled a number of different models to see what suited us the best. The Smith and Wesson Bodyguard was definitely a contender on my list. Fortunately, I was able to experience a coworker's Bodyguard prior to making a purchase. My coworker explained that she "didn't like the heavy trigger pull (at 12-15 lbs)" on the Bodyguard and also that the "trigger pull was so loooong." Interesting. I did a little research and found that the Bodyguard has a double-action trigger, which explains the long trigger pull. I also looked into the "heavy trigger," but I did not find any conclusive evidence that it was factory set at 12-15 lbs. (However, I did learn from a gunsmith friend of mine that 12 lbs on the Bodyguard's trigger is probably fairly accurate).

In the end of our search, my wife and I had it narrowed down between two models: The Kahr P380 and the Sig Sauer P238. At that point in time (five years ago), both models were roughly the same price, but the Kahr was lighter and a hair thinner than the Sig P238. In the end, my wife chose the Sig Sauer P238 Tactical Laser model because it had all of the features that were important to her, namely, an external safety, external hammer, half-cock feature, night sights (standard), and short and light SA/DA trigger. I personally chose to go with a Kahr, but I went with the CW9 (9mm) in place of the P380 because I really liked how well the gun fit my hand and I it was not too much larger overall than the Sig P238.

Shortly thereafter, my wife and I took our new pistols to the range for some testing. We both cycled the perfunctory 200+ rounds through each pistol as recommended as part of the "break-in" process. Now, what happened after this shocked me beyond belief. To my utter amazement, my wife proceeded to out-shoot me with her little .380. Bear in mind, my wife had virtually no prior pistol experience and I used to be on a handgun league while in college and was probably a fairly decent shot at one time. But no--that little blessed Sig literally blew my Kahr 9MM out of the water. We switched guns, and I ran a few mags through the Sig. WOW. This gun was for real. Very low recoil and a very smooth, silky action. It made my Kahr feel almost unpleasant to shoot. We ran probably another 150 rounds through the Sig and only had two stove-pipes (from what I can recall).

Fast forward five years. In April '16, I FINALLY decided that I had to have a P238 of my own. At present, Sig now also offers the P938, which is nearly identical to the P238, but is chambered for 9mm vs. .380. I looked at both, but decided on the P238 because it was the gun that stole my heart and NO OTHER .380 has even come close to changing my mind. In all fairness, prior to purchasing my Sig, I've looked heavily at the Glock 42, S+W Bodyguards (both with and without the built-in laser), Ruger LCP, Ruger LC9, Kahr CW380, Kahr P380, Kimber Micro, and Colt .380 Mustang. None of these were quite like the Sig. Now, I may be a bit biased, but I have been so pleased with the quality, accuracy, and functionality of Sig's products, I knew that the Sig would be the right choice. I've never regretted that decision. In fact, I am now looking at trading in my Kahr on another Sig. :o For some reason, I can't stand the long DA trigger pull any longer. After shooting the mini-1911's, I guess I've been spoiled.

Summary: The Sig Sauer P238 is my recommendation to you for your wife, hands-down. Please look and have your wife look at the Sig P238 in person before you make a choice. If you are able, try to find a gun shop that will allow you to shoot several of the guns you are interested in before you commit to buy. It will be worth it. Granted, the P238 will cost about $250 +/- more than the S+W Bodyguard, but you will certainly notice a marked difference at the range and also in quality. My wife and I both carry our P238's with confidence and are extremely pleased with the performance and quality of these fine firearms.

Sorry to ramble. I hope this can be helpful to you.

Best regards,

Michael

For more info, please see a thread I created on this very topic: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=70446&p=1080289&hil ... 8#p1080289

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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby murphjd25 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:27 pm

Wow! Thank you guys so much for the quick reviews and recommendactions! I personally think I would like the bodyguard just because I love my smith and wessons and a heavy trigger pull doesn't really bother me, but the more I thought about it and watched some more videos there is no way my wife would be comfortable with that bodyguard I believe. She has now both narrowed it down between a Sig P238 or P290 and the Kahr. It's also got to look pretty..(women haha). There is a local range I am going to take her to on Saturday where you can rent, I'm going to have her try a few different 380s out and it's ultimately her decision, she has to be able to use it if God forbid she ever had too. I am so proud of her for finally getting her CPL. Let's keep that chat going with what you all like as I am going to try to get her to shoot at least a few different 380s to find what she likes.
Josh

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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby chuck_roxas45 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 11:46 pm

For a non-gun person, I would always recommend a revolver for SD carry. Not a lot of fiddling to do before it can be fired. Having said that, don't dismiss a .22WMR as an ultra concealable SD carry. The Magum .22 is an entirely different animal from the .22LR. I would say the ballistics might even exceed that of a .380. It might be worth looking into.

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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby noseoil » Tue Nov 15, 2016 8:09 am

I would take her out & shoot lots of different ones first. Then see which one she shoots best & buy that.

Chuck's suggestion of the 22 mag is also a good one. I think a laser sight is too "fiddly" in a close combat situation, not necessary, bulky & time consuming when there may not be enough time, a distraction not an aid. If it were me, I'd find an older PPK (blue, not SS) & figure that was good enough.

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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby Doc Dan » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:19 am

I did not recommend the Sig 238 because it is priced outside of your stated limit. However, it is a stellar firearm and you cannot buy a better pistol. It is a bit larger than many .380 pistols on the market.
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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby Evil D » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:26 am

Why a .380 and not 9mm? My wife shoots all my guns with no problem and carries my Shield most days or my 43.
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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby OldHoosier62 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:56 pm

My opinion on which .380 is like Evil D's.....get her a similar sized 9mm. Much better choice.

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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby Spydergirl88 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:16 pm

I've had a ruger lcr, ruger Lcp, sig P238, And Glock 42. I absolutely love the Glock 42.
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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby bearfacedkiller » Tue Nov 15, 2016 1:36 pm

Has she fired a small .380? Most are neither fun nor easy to shoot. The P238 is a tank for a .380 and that is a good thing. If she is gonna purse carry then weight doesn't matter and the Sig is easier to shoot as far as recoil goes although the LCP is simpler in operation? Does she need a gun that is just point and click? My wife does. I will only give her a gun with a double action trigger and no safeties so she can just shoot. My wife also wants nothing to do with the recoil from my LCP or PF9.

Also, .380 ammo is stupid expensive and both 9mm and .38 special are stupid cheap. I hate buying .380 ammo.

I know this is not the answer to your question but if she is not experienced with firearms and wants an easy to control and operate CCW with affordable ammo and adequate stopping power then an LCR in .38 special is my recommendation.
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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby murphjd25 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 3:10 pm

My wife is a very small lady, so a 9mm is pretty much unfortunately out the window. Ive had her shoot a couple of my 9mms before and they were to much for her. I am just going to have to see what she is comfortable with shooting and handling on Saturday when I take her to sample some. She will basically just be purse carrying and needs it to go bang when she points it at someone. The glock 42 has piqued my interest as well..and Darby I will look into a lcr .38 you make a very strong point. A small .22 may not even be out of the question either.
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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby remnar » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:02 pm

murphjd25 wrote:My wife is a very small lady, so a 9mm is pretty much unfortunately out the window. Ive had her shoot a couple of my 9mms before and they were to much for her. I am just going to have to see what she is comfortable with shooting and handling on Saturday when I take her to sample some. She will basically just be purse carrying and needs it to go bang when she points it at someone. The glock 42 has piqued my interest as well..and Darby I will look into a lcr .38 you make a very strong point. A small .22 may not even be out of the question either.
murph, It sounds like you're really thinking this through, and that's great. If you're looking at the micro .380's, most won't feel much different than your 9mms. They will be very snappy unless you get one with a little more mass like the Sig. I have a Kahr cm9 and a Ruger LCR in .38 +P and regularly switch between these two for carry. The Ruger is simpler to operate but It is not all that fun to shoot. It could be better with low-powered rounds but that doesn't change the long and heavy trigger pull. I hope your wife gets a chance to shoot as many models as possible because that's the only real way to tell what she does or doesn't like.

BTW, There will be a big gun show this weekend at the Puyallup fair grounds. It's a great place to see a lot of guns in one place, but you must be a member of the Washington Arms Collectors to buy or sell guns.

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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby DBDEV1 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:41 pm

.380 (9x17) is a capable round, certain ammo being on par with the 9mm (9x19). Terminal ballistics data is available, as well as data related to percentage shot vs percent incapacitated/killed. In the latter, I believe that only shots where the attacker was incapacitated immediately are tallied.

Here's a great article: http://www.policemag.com/channel/weapon ... ities.aspx

I usually carry an M&P 40, but sometimes opt for a S&W Bodyguard chambered for .380 automatic. It is a fine firearm, which I do not feel "under gunned" carrying.
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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby murphjd25 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:22 pm

You don't say remnar? is it all day Saturday and Sunday? That might be a good opportunity to have her handle quite a few different pistols...I'll see what she thinks about going. Thanks for the heads up!
Josh

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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby remnar » Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:55 pm

murphjd25 wrote:You don't say remnar? is it all day Saturday and Sunday? That might be a good opportunity to have her handle quite a few different pistols...I'll see what she thinks about going. Thanks for the heads up!
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There is also a show in Monroe on Dec. 3rd and 4th if that's a little closer to you. I have never been to a show in Monroe but I go to the Puyallup show almost every month. If you go Saturday morning, then I'll probably be there. :spyder:

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Re: Opinions on .380 for my wife

Postby Doc Dan » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:47 pm

The Ruger LCR comes in .327 Federal Magnum. It is a 6 shot rather than 5. This would be very effective and yet have lower recoil. Plus, she can practice with .32 Longs and etc. for cheap, low recoil fun.
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