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Posted: 5/17/2003 1:58:20 PM EDT
I'm tired of carrying around my Glock 23, and want to buy a more comfortable concealer. I don't want to spend more than about 350 bucks, but I don't want a jammer, or just a piece of crap either. There are a buttload of 380s out there, but I have very little experience with any of them. I've shot Colts, and Walthers and liked them both, but they are mui expensivio. I greatly appreciate your input.
Link Posted: 5/17/2003 2:08:01 PM EDT
You might want to look at a PA-63 (Hungariun) if you like Walthers. They are essentially a pp clone but they're chambered for 9x18 instead of 9x17 (.308). They can be found pretty readily at most gun shows for around $120 - $175 depending on your location. It's a zippy little round and the pistol is highly concealable.
Link Posted: 5/17/2003 5:55:19 PM EDT
A little Beretta or Taurus may be to your liking. I would use a Kel-Tec if it were me.

There's very little else out there that's decent quality, IMO.
Link Posted: 5/17/2003 5:57:10 PM EDT
Another thread reminded me that the new Kel Tec P3 is due out like now. It should fit the bill for you exactly. I can't see it costing more than around $250 and should be about the size of the P32 (or maybe a touch larger)and chambered in .380. You might want to hold on a couple of weeks until they are out.
Link Posted: 5/17/2003 6:05:44 PM EDT
I appreciate the input. I actually live about 5 miles from the Kel-Tec plant, and I know someone that works there. I'll check into the new pistols. I like the Kel-Tecs, but I've heard such mixed reviews on them that I'm a little leery. I guess it's worth a shot (excuse the pun). I've actually kicked around the idea of getting a job there. Everytime a new model comes out they all get one.
That does not suck!!
Link Posted: 5/17/2003 6:31:00 PM EDT
Pick up a Makarov in 9x18. More power than a 380, and well within your budget.
Link Posted: 5/17/2003 9:43:49 PM EDT
CZ makes a real nice .380. A friend had one and it was a great little shooter, very accurate. I also believe it held 13 rounds. rocko.
Link Posted: 5/18/2003 9:41:47 AM EDT
IMO ,, i would say PT145,,10 rd, .45acp , and is as small as most concealable firearms out there..and ya cant beat the devistation .45 + P HP can do. lol.. oh if that is too much, get the 9mm of the same gun..
Link Posted: 5/18/2003 9:44:43 AM EDT
The Sig 230 is probably the nicest .380 made. You're going to have to shop for a used one to find one under $350.
Link Posted: 5/18/2003 10:30:30 AM EDT
I back the thoughts on the Walther or the Sig, very fine and nicely crafted pieces of weaponry.
Link Posted: 5/18/2003 3:15:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/18/2003 3:24:59 PM EDT by AR15fan]
My first advice is dont carry a .380 for self defense. IMO A 9mm loaded with a premium JHP load is the bare minumum for self defense.

Picture yourself caught in the open at the grocery store parking lot. a career felon is armed with a handgun and shooting at you from a position of cover. Is a pocket .380 really what you want to be carrying??? A pocket .380 works great at contact ranges, but so does a knife or a metal flashlight. I want a tool that will carry me some reach.

The smallest gun I will carry is a subcompact 9mm with tritium sights and a spare mag. For me its a Glock 26. For my wife it's a S&W 3913.

If you must have a .380 then the Sig P230 & 232 have a good reputation. The PPK series are relics you a should avoid. They cannot be safetly carried with a round in the chamber, hammer down, and safety off, which is how a traditional DA auto is supposed to be carried. If you carry a PPK series weapon this way and bump the hammer, the gun will go off. This is enought of a problem that my agency issued training bullitens about this design flaw following a couple insidents. In one incident a cops wife was cleaning off the kitchen table, the cops walther was in his fanny pack which fell of the table and landed hammer down, discharging and hitting the wife in the foot. In another incident the contents of a cops locker settled follwing an earthquake. When the cop opened his locker his PPK/S fell out of the locker, landed on the linolium floor, and killed the hot water heater in the locker room. In both incidents the guns were carried in the manner the officers were trained to carry DA autos, loaded chamber, hammer down (aka de-cock), safety off.
Link Posted: 5/18/2003 3:47:27 PM EDT
There are enough small 9mms out there that approximate if not come in a bit under the size of most 380's; eg: Kahrs, that there really isn't much of a reason to pack an underpowered round like the 380.

Now, admittedly there are really cool .380s such as the Sig P230, Walther PPK/S (jammomatic) and my all time fav the Mauser HSc (if you can find one), but practically speaking I'd recommend a mini 9.
Link Posted: 5/18/2003 3:57:59 PM EDT
The PA-63 is a Walther knock off with an Aluminum frame that is all machined out around where the barrel is mounted - I have seen 2 that turned into paper weights. (Avoid like plague.)

I have had mixed luck with AMT backups - they are very magazine finicky.

Had a US made Walther PPK/s - was very ammo finicky and tended to bite...

The Sig P230 is expensive but worth it.

Best bang for the buck is a Makarov - I have yet to experience a failure to feed, fire, extract or eject in the 8K+ rnds I've put through mine - but it is an all steel gun that rivals a few small 9x19 guns. - That said unless you are set on 380acp a real 9mm compact might make a better choice.
Link Posted: 5/18/2003 6:22:46 PM EDT
Thanks again for all the input. I have had some apprehension about carrying anything less than a 9mm. Hell I'm the one who always professes that the 40 is the best all around caliber. I just really like the feel and the stow-ability of the small frames (I live in hot ass Florida). I don't know that I'd feel safe with a .380, but I do know that I'm getting lazy about carrying my .40 at times, and I figure a little bullet is better than no bullet at all. Your insight has been very helpful.
Link Posted: 5/18/2003 6:46:12 PM EDT
I went from the G23 every day to a Colt Poney Pocketlite in .380. It goes everywhere with me b/c its light and fits anywhere, even in shorts and a tee. I know its not a .40 but if your current situation is pretty safe and you find yourself leaving the gun at home, 7 rounds of .380 rcbd or other tactical ammo is a lot better than your fists.
Link Posted: 5/18/2003 7:15:05 PM EDT
I have a P230. It is well built and reliable. However, the slide bites my hand and I have come to hate double action pistols. For those to reasons I would not buy it if I had it to do over again.
Link Posted: 5/18/2003 7:23:14 PM EDT
Might I suggest you take a look at the Bersa .380. It is very small and very concealable. Price ranges from $230 -$250. Uncle Mikes also make a pretty good IWB holsters for them.
Link Posted: 5/18/2003 8:36:52 PM EDT
I thought this looked interesting:

www.naaminis.com/380.html
Small and stainless steel. Quite a bit smaller than the smallest 9mm, even shorter than the new Kel-Tec 380.
Link Posted: 5/19/2003 6:31:29 AM EDT
don't beleive all the crap about people dogging the .380 for self defense or carry, simply because, it's better to carry a .380, than nothing at all. In most instances of self defense, you don't have to fire, so just having a gun is enough.

I'd like to see all the naysayers take a .380 to the face, and then tell me it's not effective.

That said, check out the Bersa Thunder .380. It's a little PPK clone. It feeds MUCH better. It's light, slender, runs as DA/SA with the safety/decocker, and is pretty stinking accurate! I love mine.. the best $200 gun available.
Link Posted: 5/19/2003 9:38:57 AM EDT
I've heard nothing but good about Bersa's .380. I'm planning on one for my wife. Sure, there are other rounds that hit harder, but it makes holes and I wouldn't volunteer to be shot by one!

Go to www.handgunreview.com and check the posted comments.
Link Posted: 5/19/2003 10:09:31 AM EDT
I have a Kahr MicroK9 in 9mm that I carry daily, but it's still a LOT heavier than my wife's Beretta Tomcat in .32acp.

The Tomcat has a tilting barrel for loading, as well as magazine feed.

perfect for anyone with weak hands that can't reliably rack a slide on a semi-auto. You load the first round manually, blowback reloads.
Link Posted: 5/19/2003 10:39:58 AM EDT
I have a PA63 in 9X18, although mine must be an odd variant because it has a black frame, instead of just in the white anodized aluminum. It has fed and fired all the rounds I have put though it, which isn't enough to be comfortable with it. Mine was $125 and it judging from where the finish was worn, it was mostly holster wear. The trigger actually smoothed out after I dry fired it a bunch. The trigger is horrendous. The other day I was curious on how heavy it actually was, so I used a digital fish scale, which is not the right tool, but I did get 24lbs on DA. I am getting a lighten trigger spring and two new recoil springs(13 and 15) from Makarov.com. 4 used mags too. With the current recoil spring it really hits the hand hard and throws the brass(read steel!) like 20ft.

I would definately carry a Glock 23 instead of a PA63. 10X40S&W, slide is actually shorter than PA63, although grip is like .85 inch longer. The main reason I will keep it is that it was cheap, I wouldn't get anything out of it if I sold it, ammo is cheap, it is reliable, and it will fire if shoved up against something. It is a throw away that will do the job, seven shots of 95 grain 9.3mm bullet@1050 second isn't something to laugh at when it is coming from < 3 feet. Chrome bore lets you treat it like shit too.


Go with a mini glock or something, although a lot of people carry Maks.
Link Posted: 5/19/2003 12:29:37 PM EDT
With regard to .380 caliber, we don't have concealed carry in my state so I can't tell you if it would be good for carry.

However, I own a Sig P230, FEG B9R, Llama Micromax, and an FEG PA-63. By far the best is the SIg but it is also the most expensive. If you have small hands, this size is excellent with Hogue grips. Shoot a few and I think you will love one.

Rebel 13
Link Posted: 5/19/2003 2:42:08 PM EDT
Its over your budjet but nice stuff anyway:



www.colt380.com/
Link Posted: 5/19/2003 3:57:18 PM EDT
Yeah the Colts are nice, but HOLY CRAP!! I have a good friend that has one. We went to the range once and he let me shoot it. I fell in love with the little thing. I was shooting better with it than I was with my trusty old Glock. It was so comfortable too. Then he told me what he paid for it $600.00!!!!!! I told him to take it from me, put it away, and let us never speak of it again.
Link Posted: 5/19/2003 4:33:44 PM EDT
Why would a career criminal be sitting behind cover taking shots at you? If he's a career criminal and wants something from you, he's going to come take it. Taking a shot from cover is going to get attention, then he still has to come over and take what he wants, after having gotten the attention of the whole parking lot.
Link Posted: 5/19/2003 4:34:48 PM EDT
It gets worse, $600 for the gun than another $600 for a custom "melt" and all the extras. But its free to window shop. BTW my partner got a stock NAA .380 and is very happy with it.
Link Posted: 5/19/2003 6:32:41 PM EDT
You can't go wrong with a Bersa 380. I used to carry a Makarov but now I carry a Bersa 380. I absolutely love it. Just my .02
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