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Old 11-09-2019, 06:54 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by rice paddy daddy View Post
Iím perfectly comfortable with it, going into town.
@RPD, I wish I could say that, but experience and gray hair tells me that predator wolves have not diminished because us rabbits have better fangs now.

BTW, I do not know if I showed these off, but I bought two automatic Buck 112s, my favorite daily folder. I prefer the 112 since it has a finger choil on the front bolster so your hand doesn't slip onto the blade.

I park a 112 in front of my CCW holster, and I can actually draw it, hit the activation button and close distance before some idiot who has seen way too many adventure movies realizes his poop is in the red.

For the other 99.9% of my needs, I find these 112s are just great pocketknives for any job.
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Old 11-16-2019, 11:42 PM   #32
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My first handgun, purchased about 30 years ago, was a 380 Government Colt and it was my only handgun until a few years ago. I've since started picked up shooting as a bit of a hobby and bought the guns in my signature.

Long story short, I think recoil/kick has a lot to do with the design of the pistol - particularly barrel to frame placement and grip angle. The Ultra Carry II in 45 has less recoil/kick than the P229 in 40. So if I was worried about recoil/kick, Iíd take a serious look at the Ultra Carry II in 9mm.

Before buying the 380 so many years ago, I did a little research (not much information available back then) and thought since the bullet size was the same (shorter casing/less powder), there probably wasnít that much difference between the two at close range. Once I started looking at buying another handgun, I researched ballistics info and found the following site showing ballistic data with pictures. https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/sel...llistic-tests/

I used that site to pick my carry ammo: Winchester 230gr Ranger T-Series for the 45; Remington 180gr Ultimate Defense for the 40; and Hornady 90gr FTX Critical Defense for the 380. I already had taken snippets of a number of the ballistic gell photos and properly scaled them for comparison. So, I did a quick overlay of what I think is ďthe bestĒ 9mm and 380 for you to get an idea of the penetration and wound channel difference between the two.


I think there is a considerable difference and when I get to the point I think the 40 or 45 is a little much for me, Iíll get an Ultra Carry II in 9mm. That said, there are only a couple months of the year here in the south that folks wear heavy coats. So, the majority of time I have no worries about dropping the little 380 in my back pocket for quick trips in the safer areas.

Hope this helps in some way. EKG
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:36 AM   #33
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EKG: Thanks for that informative post. Once again it shows the undeniable advantage of the 9mm over the .380....not that many of us were in denial of the fact.

As the guns now are about the same size/weight, it always amuses me why anyone would choose the lesser caliber for self defense when a much better alternative is readily available in the same package.

A .380 is certainly better than nothing, but not "better" than a 9mm for the same purpose. Just sayin'......
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Old 11-17-2019, 10:48 AM   #34
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The only advantage between, let's say a Micro 380 and a Micro 9, is that the 380 is much easier to cycle for anyone with strength issues.
Size matters; bigger is better. However don't carry an automatic pistol that you cannot cycle quickly. As an example the Solo is a cute, concealable and lightweight 9 mm but even my 40-year-old son could barely cycle the slide to clear a jamb or load a round.
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Old 11-17-2019, 11:25 PM   #35
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I have a take on this. First, I am 71, and have been shooting everything for 60 years. In handguns, I have owned .22s, .38spls, .357 mag, 9mm (including my current favorite, the micro-9), a .44 mag (smith 29), a 44mag (ruger Redhawk), and a 454 casull, also a Ruger.

I enjoyed shooting each and every one. 100 rounds a day at the range for any of them was common.

So, for the micro-9, I do not understand the recoil issue. I am old. I am not huge (5'10" 200 lbs). I have shot my micro-9 with one hand (either right or left), and with both. For accuracy, I go with the double-hand hold. But I have never had a single issue with holding the gun so loosely that it would either (a) misfire due to slide not traveling to the stop or (b) ratchet out of my hand.

I fired about 250 rounds in a couple of hours one day last week. Hand did not fall off. Do not have gunsight/hammer marks on my face, etc.

I could see how a frail female might have a problem. But my wife, 5'3", 120 lbs, 71 years old, can fire my micro-9 with no problems.

For several years my EDC was my Smith 637. Good gun, compact, easy to fire, only negative is the 1.5" barrel. But I knew it would go "bang" when the trigger was pulled. After about 1,000 rounds through my micro-9, the only failures I have had (maybe 3-4) were with the infamous steel case rounds we were talking about last week, where the groove in the case head was partially filled in by whatever crap WW used to coat the casings to prevent rust. ALL of those were FTE where the extractor would simply not grab that groove. Normal ammo has been 100% reliable no matter what the bullet type and weight. It is now my EDC. It is a bit heaver than the smith, but it carries 8 rounds rather than 5. It is a very quick reload as opposed to a revolver (which can be fairly quick but nothing like a quick magazine eject and insert).

To me, the micro-9 is the perfect carry firearm. I am a C-1 fan, and it is always cocked and locked whether it is in a holster, in my pants pocket or in my jacket pocket. Nice compact frame with a significant punch. And (to me) anything but excessive recoil. I consider it fun to shoot myself.

BTW last time I was out, we did a comparison shooting water jugs. Friend had one of those REALLY big recoil air weights in .357. Yes, it IS a bit painful although I put 10 rounds through it. The thing we noticed was that my 9mm was producing a bigger impact on the water jugs, judged by how far the water expanded, etc. I can only assume that a .357 through a 1.5" barrel is not burning much of the powder where it does the most good. Out of curiosity, I took that gun out back at 10pm and lit off one round. 2 minutes later, I could see to walk back up to his back porch. This thing produced the classic "watermelon" that extended at least 3-4' beyond the muzzle. The micro-9 has twice the barrel, which is apparently just enough to shoot as hard as a 357 in a j-frame. BTW I did have my Smith 27 with me, and it DEFINITELY hits harder than my 9mm. 6" barrel makes a difference. And, of course, it was quite pleasant to shoot (heavy .357) compared to that damned airweight. Owner of that gun keeps it loaded with .38spl rounds. Says a lot. Looks impressive but he was too big a wuss to carry real .357 ammo in it. I will never let him live that down.

So, from that, these little guns really do pack a wallop. And, to me, are easy to control and convenient to carry (I ONLY use the 7 round mag and always carry in the 7+1 configuration.)

I am convinced that this "limp wristed" stuff is more about a lack of training than an actual inability to properly fire the gun. I hate people that shake my hand with a limp grip that feels like a dead fish. I would assume THAT is the kind of person that really has trouble gripping/firing the micro 9mm type guns.

In short, I would not make the decision between .380 and 9mm purely based on recoil. The army gave up on the .45 because too many folks did not like the recoil. I've never considered a .45 to be a vicious gun to shoot. Lot of fun, actually, and my Smith 645 has had a ton of ammo fired through it. But for EDC, for me, not workable. Too big and too heavy. THAT is what drives my choice, which works best in the application. Advantage for the .380 is a smaller gun. If that is important, that is the gun to carry. If either works size-wise, I'd go for the more potent 9mm. These small guns don't hold a bunch of rounds, so the rounds that do the most damage have a significant advantage...

Just my $.02 of course.

Last edited by BobHyatt; 11-17-2019 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:47 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by BobHyatt View Post
In short, I would not make the decision between .380 and 9mm purely based on recoil.
Well, Bob, that's why I started this debate--and I hope it's fun for all.

I go the other way. Here's an analogy, was Crocodile Dundee really safer with that big pigsticker? Of course not. He was outnumbered and would have had to place himself between the girl and the thugs. The knife meant nothing, and I'm a knife guy.

Some folks have asserted that practice is the golden rule for defensive weapons, and I agree with that opinion. In my neighborhood .380 ACP ammunition is very cheap, and you can buy it in 250 round packs in any sporting goods store.

Then there's the crux. Would any attacker actually say, "Gee, I'm glad that guy only shot me through the heart with a .380, I thought I was in big trouble for a moment..."

Then there's those nasty shooting statistics. Most exchanges use Mouse Guns, like the .22LR and the .25 ACP. Even those guns kill about 45% of the time.

So, because of cheap ammunition (and cheap practice), limited recoil and easier second shots, I'd vote for the .380 ACP. And that's what I carry.
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Old 11-18-2019, 08:36 PM   #37
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The critical point is to choose a gun you will actually carry 100% of the time that you are "out". The smith .500 won't help you a bit if it is home locked up because you don't want to lug 5+ pounds of gun and ammo around.

The micro-9 or smith 637 would not be my first choice for actual target-shooting or busting water bottles. My choice would likely be my Beretta 92. But for carrying, it is really no contest. I would be willing to carry a .380, and I do like the slightly smaller size and weight. But it is ANOTHER caliber to have to deal with, and since the micro-9 is not that much bigger or heavier, and since it shoots a caliber that is common to other guns I shoot, that is a plus.

Only comment is I would NOT use that 200 round/box ammo for EDC. There are lots of good rounds that will actually expand and do real damage, and you can be sure they will each fire when you need 'em to do so. For range shooting, I shoot the cheapest ammo I can find. But for EDC, it is about $25 per 20 for me.
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Old 11-18-2019, 11:18 PM   #38
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First let me say that just about any caliber round of any type will do the job if placed appropriately. The following is my opinion based on my research and reasoning - certainly others’ opinions will vary.

I don’t have an issue carrying my 380 loaded with Hornady 90gr FTX ammo when it’s not heavy-coat weather (maybe 2 months around here). That’s ONLY because of the consistency of the ballistic testing showing the FTX round has pretty decent penetration and expansion while making a decent wound channel. The Sig 90gr V-Crown is what I’d consider the 2nd best 380 round and if not for the FTX that would be my 380 carry ammo. In fact, if not for these two rounds, I wouldn’t carry the 380 as a primary weapon at any time — unless it was the only caliber I was physically able to place a second shot with.

When looking at other caliber ballistic results, I think there are only 3 really good (non-plus) 9mm rounds that I would feel comfortable with as my primary carry round. If not for those three 9mm rounds, I wouldn’t want to carry a 9mm as my primary weapon either. However, there are a number of 40 and 45 caliber rounds that fair extremely well in the ballistic testing and I wouldn’t think twice about carrying any of those rounds.

I know the topic is 380 vs 9mm, but for what it’s worth, these are my picks based on a combination of expansion, penetration, size of wound channel and the consistency of all those things (based on the 5-shot results). If you check out the site for visuals, keep in mind that you have to scale the pictures when comparing the wound channels. Also, just because the expansion of one bullet over the other is greater doesn't necessarily mean it will produce the greater permanent wound channel (width and depth).

.380 ACP
Hornady 90gr FTX Critical Defense
Sig Sauer 90 gr V-Crown

9MM
Winchester 147 gr Ranger T-Series
Remington 147 gr Golden Saber
Federal 147 Grain HST

.40 S&W
Remington 180 gr Ultimate Defense
Remington 180 gr Golden Saber
Remington 180 gr Golden Saber Bonded
Winchester 165 gr Ranger Bonded
Winchester 180 gr Ranger Bonded
Federal 180 gr HST
Winchester 180 gr Ranger T-Series

.45 ACP
Winchester 230 gr Ranger T-Series
Winchester 230 gr Ranger T-Series +P
Federal 230 gr HST
Federal 230 gr HST +P
Remington 185 gr Golden Saber +P
Remington 230 gr Golden Saber
Magtech 230 gr Bonded
Speer 230 gr Gold Dot
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Last edited by EKG; 11-18-2019 at 11:30 PM.
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Old 11-19-2019, 09:36 AM   #39
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@EKG, when you consider that most defensive rounds are fired at point-blank distance--maybe even just few feet--I believe any .355 bullet rattling out of a muzzle will hit with the same energy.

When I reloaded .380 and 9x19mm (which I seldom did, I hated reloading 'tiny' brass cases) I used the same .355 bullets in both cartridges.

I believe they were definitely close in velocity because I never reloaded cartridges to maximum speeds.
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Old 11-19-2019, 01:52 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by The Tourist View Post
@EKG, when you consider that most defensive rounds are fired at point-blank distance--maybe even just few feet--I believe any .355 bullet rattling out of a muzzle will hit with the same energy.
With that flawed 'logic', a .38 S&W would "hit" with the same energy as a .357 Magnum.

If the .380 ACP was so effective for SD, wonder why all the European armies and police forces dumped it long ago in favor of the 9x19?

No matter how you try to justify carrying a .380 over all the other choices available, there is no denying basic physics......period. Velocity and energy DO matter!
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