4 Things you need to know about .380 ACP for self-defense

The debate concerning which caliber is optimal for self-defense purposes is a never ending story.  On the one hand, gun enthusiasts will claim that larger caliber is always a more reliable choice. On the other, however, we cannot disregard the fact that .380ACP is one of the most popular calibers used for self-defense. So, before you make a choice which gun to buy, make sure you get informed on the cartridges those guns use. Here is some basic information which might help you make your mind on whether .380 ACP for self-defense is your cup of tea.

1. Background and military history

First important fact to underline, when it comes to self-defense guns and ammo for women, is that there is no such thing as male of female caliber or gun. However, to enable an easier and more efficient use of a gun for self-defense purposes, a woman must consider following basics:

2. Favorite concealed carry

.380 ACP belongs to most favorable concealed carry calibers. This is not without reason.  Guns which make use of .380 ACP are generally light weight. They are also small in size. For comparison purposes: smallest 9mm handguns weigh approximately 15 ounces when empty, 20 ounces when full, while fully loaded weight of a .380 ACP handgun is 11-12 ounces. This advantage made the caliber extremely popular, particularly in connection with development of concealed carry laws. Producers have recognized this trend, which led to increased and highly diversified offer of 380 ACP guns on the market.

3. Disadvantages of .380 ACP for self-defense purposes

Those not in favor of .380 ACP for self-defense purposes will always argue that this caliber is simply too small. This means that its penetration depth is low which is in direct connection with the attacker’s ability to move after being shot. Ballistics expert estimate that, if a .380 ACP shot misses vital organs, attacker will be able to move for several more seconds to a minute. This being said, it is clear that in its job of stopping the attacker, this caliber simply does not work as well as his bigger brothers like .450 ACP or 9mm. It is also important to note that .380 ACP is most effective at close range i.e. approximately 3 yards.

4. .380 ACP for self-defense purposes- yes or no

People love .380 ACP handguns for following reasons:

  • Extremely easy to conceal
  • Quite easy to carry all the time
  • Cheaper than the competition
  • Variety of choice

Compared to larger calibers, .380 ACP most certainly has many nominal drawbacks. These include lower stopping power and lower accuracy at long range.

Anyhow, when discussing .380 ACP for self-defense purposes, it is necessary to underline that “the short one” is remarkably effective at close range and far better than any other smaller caliber. Controllability is what matters also. In terms of recoil and ability to deliver more rounds in a short time period, .380 ACP is much better than larger calibers.

To sum up, use of .380 ACP for self-defense purpose depends on your idea of what self-defense is. Is it to deliver combat shots with high stopping power and potentially infect serious wounds in a single shot, or to defend yourself effectively while probably having to fire several shots which might not all together cause devastating wounds. The choice is, as always, yours.

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