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Looking for a new .380

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by antman157, Jan 8, 2010.

?

Which .380 reigns supreme

  1. Ruger LCP

    31 vote(s)
    52.5%
  2. Kel-Tec P3AT

    16 vote(s)
    27.1%
  3. Sig Sauer P238

    12 vote(s)
    20.3%
  1. sarxsvt

    sarxsvt Loaded Pockets

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    Picked up a PK380 today for $305.

    If I like it more than my LCP that is probably going to be sold off. I like the LCPs size, but the more I shoot the thing, the progressively worse my accuracy seems to get. It started off impressively good for such a small gun, but now I'm somewhat disgusted.
     
  2. tradja

    tradja Loaded Pockets

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    Even before I planned to get a .380, I have been collecting .380 brass. I've been too lazy to sell it, and now I have a Ruger LCP to load range ammo for. As far as carry ammo, I've tested and carry Golden Sabers in there now but look forward to testing Double Tap.


    I am a new LCP owner and have handled and shot a friend's P3AT frequently. I've never handled the Sig. To speak to your criteria:

    Most upgrade options? Well, most KT P3AT accessories will fit the Ruger LCP. For example, I recently installed a KT pocket clip on my LCP. Good luck finding anything special for the less-prevalent Sig.
    That being said, mags are expensive for any of the choices and what do you really need beyond a good selection of holsters? I am not a big accessory guy. As far as actual upgrades, I've seen some really nicely-done DIY sight upgrades for the LCP at other fora dedicated to that model.

    Easiest to clean? None of your choices are relatively hard to clean. Any defensive weapon, and especially a pocket pistol, must be kept clean.

    Lightest? LCP or P3AT. While the Desert Eagle looks like a great weapon, don't let the macho talk obscure the fact that the only advantage a .380 has is light weight and compact size. Keep it light, and keep it on you. At 14oz, you have better carry choices than a .380 anyway.

    Best? Probably the Kahr. ;D Seriously, the best quality of manufacture might be the Sig, but between the KT and the Ruger, having used both I would give a slight nod to the LCP. I recently paid $280 out the door for my LCP. I've not seen a P3AT for much less these days. For very similar price, the Ruger feels slightly better built. My LCP has been 100% with every load, and my friend's P3AT has struggled with a variety of loads before and after a warranty trip to KT. Keep in mind that these observations are from a very small sample size of exactly two (2) individual guns. Others have experienced the opposite.


    antman157, it sounds like you are between the P3AT for $260 and the LCP for $290. I wouldn't let the small price difference influence your decision -- get the one that satisfies your other requirements. The PF-9 would be an excellent choice as well. In several respects (ammo availability/commonality, ammo price, ammo selection, ergos, shootability, terminal ballistics) it is better than either .380 you are considering.
     
  3. 3fgburner

    3fgburner Loaded Pockets

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    I'm one of the Kel-Tec carriers in the poll. Re: the Sig P238, I saw some at the gun show this past Sunday. The ones that made my eyes hurt were these pimp-tastic babies:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Brules

    Brules Loaded Pockets

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    The latest NRA magazine came today and has a complete story on most of the compact 380s available, including the Sig, Keltec, Ruger, etc. My brother carries the Sig 238 (non pimped version), I carry the Ruger LCP. Overall the LCP is lighter and somewhat smaller, but the Sig appears to be of a higher quality.
     
  5. 3fgburner

    3fgburner Loaded Pockets

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    Looking at the 238, are the innards as 1911-like as the exterior would seem to hint at?
     
  6. antman157

    antman157 Loaded Pockets

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    I'd like to know the same .. Good question
     
  7. antman157

    antman157 Loaded Pockets

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    I've always liked the sig brand .. But the price of the ruger is so much more appealing .. And I am a fan of ruger as the have superior customer service
     
  8. tpd223

    tpd223 Empty Pockets

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  9. alfanator

    alfanator Loaded Pockets

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    +1. Accurate and it has a manual safety. German made PPK/s are easier to find and just as well made, slightly taller with one extra round. Sig 230 or 232 is also a good choice. The longer barrels in the Sig and Walthers add more velocity than the smaller .380s, giving the bullet more energy than a .38 coming out of a snubbie.
     
  10. dogtorlam

    dogtorlam Empty Pockets

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    Sig 238 for sure...my favorite of the bunch in nickel with walnut grips!!
     
  11. Paddling_Man

    Paddling_Man Loaded Pockets

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    I would love to have a P238 - beautiful guns but with an appreciable price tag. I've got a P3AT that has been a back-pocket-pistol for a few years now. Reliable and small enough to disappear.

    If you can deal with the weight and increased size, i can't say enough good about the PM (Makarovs). I own an East German and a Bulgarian. The Bulgarian isn't quite as nice as the EG but still a world nicer than the lil plastic pistols. The 9x18 (Mak) has more energy then the 9x17 (.380) as well.

    With a Wolf spring replacement to reduce the gorilla double-action, the Polish P64 chambered in 9x18 is a little handful too.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. 3fgburner

    3fgburner Loaded Pockets

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    A word of caution about the P64 -- recoil is, IMO, snappier than the P3AT's.
     
  13. amacman
    • In Omnia Paratus

    amacman Loaded Pockets

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    Re: Looking for a new .380 The oldies are the best.

    I will never part with my Colt Mustang Pocketlite!!!!
     
  14. earthtech

    earthtech Empty Pockets

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    I have several .380 caliber guns. A Walther PPK, 2 Ruger LCP's with crimson trace lasers and a Sig Sauer P238. I have shot the LCP's alot and will say that the Sig is a wonderful weapon, it is accurate, low recoil and very easy to carry. I have about 500 rounds through it. I like it so much that I have a second one on order. Just my .02
     
  15. kcwater

    kcwater Loaded Pockets

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    Anybody have a Kahr P380? I'm planning to buy one. I love Ruger (I have an LCR and an SP101), but the Kahr looks and feels like a much higher quality product. I know it costs a lot more, but with the Kahr, it looks like you get what you pay for.

    I'm very impressed with the Kahr construction process that they use in all of their pistols, right down to the .380:

    http://kahr.com/KA-2.html
     
  16. EODtech

    EODtech Loaded Pockets

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    I have carried a s/s Sig 232 since 1989, first as a backup to my Glock 9mm and now a primary carry weapon. Sadly I sold my first SIG to my partner when I retired and shortly after purchased another 232. I would guess over 20,000 rounds ( 1000 +/- rounds a year ) through the SIG's in 20 years and no problems.
     
  17. antman157

    antman157 Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah if I was to get a Sig, it would be a P226 -- My father has a service model and I love that gun!
     
  18. SCKAUTOCRAFT

    SCKAUTOCRAFT Empty Pockets

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    I have been carrying a kel tec P3AT in my rf pocket for years. Their.32 before the .380 came out. I have never had any issues with them. After a day of shooting the weapon, I have to admit my hand will hurt a little the next day. alot of the recoil is transfered into the hand. Certain high power ammo is not recommended and I think the gun has a service life of 6000 rounds. But for the price and effectiveness, and compactness it is hard to beat.
     
  19. 3fgburner

    3fgburner Loaded Pockets

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    If you get American Rifleman, or can lay your hands on a copy, this month's issue has a huge spread on compact 380s.
     
  20. antman157

    antman157 Loaded Pockets

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    What issue is it? I think the bookstore here sells that magazine .. I will have to look .. Thanks!

    Here is the online version if anyone is interested

    http://www.americanrifleman.org/ArticlePage.aspx?id=2074&cid=4