.380 vs 9 mm - You Decide

I have both, I prefer my Smith and Wesson m&p shield 9mm.

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The .380 Walther I once owned I found had a pretty noteworthy recoil. I would be concerned a 9mm Parabellum in a Walther size/weight gun to be even more so—perhaps enough to impede rapid follow up shots. This is why I’m not a fan of ,357s in J frame S&Ws.

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The difference between the 9 and the 390 is the length, the 9 case is longer but both cases are the same diameter, the 9 would not go into battery on the 380,but the 380n will go into battery on the 9,but there would be slack when it comes to seating in the bore

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I normally carry 2 at all times. A smaller 380 and a 40 or 45… I like to switch it it up as I don’t wanna get pigeon holes into just 1 firearm… Some may think that’s crazy, I call it prepared for anything… But that’s just me!!!

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@Layton There are several You-Tube vids that show .380s being fired from a 9mm Glock, the .380 fired and was just as accurate as the 9mm. You just had a semi-auto single shot, but it worked. :wink:

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Other than weight of the projectile I believe the operators accuracy is the most important factor.

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I’m torn, to be honest.

I’ve only shot one .380(Taurus T something…it was in 2013. Micro compact) and own multiple 9mm firearms, so I may seem a bit biased in this, but here we go…

I chose 9mm because of the extra power the load can deliver over a .380.
Conversely, I am a firm believer that accuracy reigns over firepower, so the softer-shooting Kurz would be would be a better choice for its lighter recoil and theoretical faster follow-up shots.

Of course, everything here is extremely subjective, and it could be very well that I don’t have a firm enough grasp of what I am typing about anyway, laugh

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9mm. It’s the best of both worlds. It’s a small round, with great penetration and expansion. I would not go smaller than 9mm unless I had no choice but to pocket carry something small.

I carry .45 now… bigger bullet, bigger hole, better chances of stopping someone threatening the life of me and my family. I think 9mm is a great choice though. Expansion difference is small and penetration is typically better with 9mm. 45 makes me feel safe and fuzzy though.

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Just remember at the end of the day…more people have been killed with a .22

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In many ways I feel like I’ve been in a coma, and this is one of those discussions. When I went on hiatus from being truly active in the firearms space the situation was FBI dropped 9mm in favor of watered-down 10mm then .40 S&W because 9mm wouldn’t cut it, police followed, .380 was considered a “mouse gun” but sometimes carried as a backup because there were no really small 9mm guns, etc. I come out of my coma and the ammo manufacturers have gotten things to where even .380 can meet the FBI penetration and expansion requirements, the FBI and other law enforcement has dumped .40 S&W and returned to 9mm, there are lots of pocketable 9mm guns, and .380 is now generally considered a viable self-defense round. Even weirder is that although I’m a 10mm/.45ACP guy, I’m now almost totally focused on things .357" for self-defense.

Given current data I would be quite comfortable carrying around .380 when I wanted something extremely concealable. But I would always give the edge to 9mm because it is just a generally more useful round. You can use it in everything from a small subcompact to a full-size double-stack to a carbine. It’s a great plinking round because of there being so many ammo suppliers driving prices down, and has the widest selection of self-defense rounds available as well. When I go through all the ammo calibers from my beloved .45 ACP to the ever fun ,22LR, there is just nothing that comes close to the versatility of 9mm.

Now my dispassionate attraction to 9mm will not deter me from wanting to own, shoot, and carry guns in many other calibers; My main EDC right now is a .38 Special revolver. But 9mm wins the game of “best overall round”.

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I have a Ruger LCP .380 and it is a nice little carry gun. I have also gotten fairly good with it at the range too and have nice groups at 35 feet or so. That being said, if and IF is a big if … if we get the $1,200 from the government I may have to go shopping and add another firearm to the herd. i have the little .380, a Ruger single action .357 and a desert eagle .44 mag.

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I like 9mm. I like it better in a big M9 than a little LC9, but I don’t open carry. My wife loves the LC9.

I don’t love the .380 but I love the tiny 238 that I can drop in my pocket and still shoot relatively accurately. Practice rounds are priced reasonably similar to the 9mm, from what I’ve seen.

FWIW, I also like .45. I suspect we could have the same endless debate between 9mm and .45.

I wouldn’t recommend any of these to anyone. Each person is unique and needs to find the pistol that fits them best. I don’t fault anyone for carrying something that fits their body and hands, and that shoots well.

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I carry 2. 380 and 45. I never got the 9mm hype and probably never will. Especially after this pandemic thing… 9mm ammo was all gone but no problem finding 380 and 45…

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I have a .380 for my carry pistol, however i am looking to purchase either a 9mm with hopefully a 15 or 17 round magazine so i do not have to carry extra magazines, or possibly a .40 Beretta 96A1 from a friend. Nothing will beat my little Ruger LCP though for ease of carry, because it is so small and super lightweight, I carry it all day from like 4:30 am until I go to bed at midnight or 1 am and oftentimes I forget I have it with me because it is so small and lightweight. this will be a hard decision.

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One thing about the “do not have to carry extra magazines” thing, often the second magazine is for reliability purposes as much as extra rounds. From accidently dumping a magazine, to dropping one during jam clearing, to just having one that turns out to not be reliable, a second one is a good backup.

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That is a good point. About a year ago, one of the factory mags that came with my G26 when I purchased it started randomly dropping out of the mag well. It was one I usually used on the range so it had been popped in and out on the gun quite often. After it started happening, as I was cleaning everything, I noticed wear and rounding on the magazine where the catch graphs it. With each shot it would loosen and then drop out. That would suck if you ever got into a gun fight.
And yes, magazines do wear out.

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And… to be legal in those Communist Bastions that limit magazine capacity…

Have several magazines and always have spares for when some start to wear (you can do some repairs sometimes)…

Governor ‘Blackface’ Northam wants to limit magazine capacity to 12…

So, carry 3 or 4 extra magazines. Problem solved… except for the unconstitutional acts of the Governor.

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I’ve always preferred the 9mm since I started shooting quite a long time ago. It hit the sweet spot for me between accuracy, recoil, punch, and cost.

So I ended up owning multiple 9mm pistols including a 92F and a G17. More recently, I’ve acquired a CX4 and an AR9. One uses 92F mags and the other G17 mags. With this combination, I feel I can effectively defend or evade as the situation warrants by focusing on stocking one caliber ammo and a couple of different mag types.

In everyday life, I have various types of 9mm ammo for carry, home defense, and range - 115gr FMJ, 124gr FMJ, 124gr JHP, … But in an emergency situation, I can use any of them on any of my 9mm firearms. When this COVID thing hit, I had let some of my stock dwindle down to a couple hundred rounds each, but pooled together, I still had over 1000 rounds of 9mm ammo.

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I have both but my edc is a 380 due to size and concealability. I’m not allowed to carry at work so when I’m off work it goes into my ankle holster. Not an ideal position but at least it’s on me.

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I prefer 9mm for everyday carry but sometimes I carry my 380 in pocket to night job. Recently upped it to my 9mm p365 because it’s not that much bigger but a whole nother level in terms of on hand capacity

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