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  1. #1
    Cannon Fodder Wolfhound's Avatar

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    Review: 380 Pocket Guns (6)

    I decided to do a review and comparison of 6 380 pocket guns. Why these 6 guns? Simple, it's the 6 that I either already own or could borrow for the review. I did my best to be impartial and fair in the review and testing.

    These are the 6 guns I will be comparing in no particular order:



    Top Left: Taurus TCP
    Barrel Length 2.84 inches Magazine capacity 6 Weight 10.2oz Slide lock back YES
    Pros: Decent trigger, Longest barrel
    Cons: This gun is difficult for me to disassemble

    Top Right: Beretta Pico
    Barrel Length 2.7 inches Magazine capacity 6 Weight 11.5oz Slide lock back YES
    Pros: Thinnest of the group, Good Sights, Decent Trigger
    Cons: Magazine release is odd, Heaviest of the pistols tested, Sights are not low profile

    Middle Left: Ruger LCP Gen 1
    Barrel Length 2.75 inches Magazine capacity 6 Weight 9.4oz Slide lock back Manual Only
    Pros: It's been on the market a long time
    Cons: With the LCP 2 redesign why buy this one?

    Middle Right: Ruger LCP 2
    Barrel Length 2.75 inches Magazine capacity 6 Weight 10.6oz Slide lock back YES
    Pros: Best Trigger of the group by far, Has a trigger safety, Refined feel
    Cons: Second heaviest of the group

    Lower Left: Kel-Tec P3AT
    Barrel Length 2.75 inches Magazine Capacity 6 Weight 8.3oz Slide lock back NO
    Pros: Lightest gun tested, been on the market a long time
    Cons: Rough trigger

    Lower Right: IO Hellcat
    Barrel Length 2.75 inches Magazine Capacity 6 Weight 9.4oz Slide lock back NO
    Pros: None
    Cons: Worst trigger of the group, seems "clunky" rattles when you shake it, Not considered a successful design

    On to the testing:

    I shot each gun six times at a target plate placed 5 yards away. I understand that these are not target/range guns. They are designed to be carried in a pocket and used for self defense at short distances so I thought 5 yards seemed reasonable. I only had two issues shooting the guns. The first was a FTF while shooting the IO Hellcat. The other was with the LCP 2. The trigger on the LCP 2 is in a whole different world as the other guns. After dealing with the other triggers when I went to fire the LCP 2 the first time it created a flyer because the trigger broke well before I was ready. I decided to disallow that test. Got a new target and restarted.

    Here are the results:













    Final Thoughts:

    I thought that 5 of the 6 guns that I tested performed well enough to get the job done. The only one I would not recommend is the IO Hellcat based on the testing and my experience with it. If I had to rank the six guns I would put the Ruger LCP 2 at the top of the list. It easily has the best trigger and I think that shows looking at the target shooting test results. I would put the Beretta Pico, Taurus TCP and Ruger LCP in the middle of the pack somewhere. Second to last would be the Kel-Tec P3AT and easily in last place is the IO Hellcat.


    Disclaimer:

    I am not a firearms "expert". I do not work for any firearms manufacturers or sell firearms for a living. Some of this is purely my own opinion. I shoot handguns about every two weeks and am an average shot with them at best. Your results shooting these guns may vary from mine. YMMV etc....
    Last edited by Wolfhound; 10-07-2017 at 13:36. Reason: typo
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  2. #2
    Grandmaster

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    I'd still rather have a Bersa Thunder.
    Dormant U.S.Marine/ NRA Benefactor-Life

  3. #3
    Cannon Fodder Wolfhound's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mgderf View Post
    I'd still rather have a Bersa Thunder.
    I own a Bersa Thunder 380 and like it. I didn't really consider it to be a pocket gun so I didn't use it in the testing.
    Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 press 1 to talk to someone now or text 838255 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

  4. #4
    Marksman

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    I like my Kahr CT380 for the pocket, but I also have a Sig P230 which is, IMHO, the finest 380 out there.
    Last edited by Tomc1947; 10-07-2017 at 16:47.

  5. #5
    Master Dr.Midnight's Avatar

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    I currently have one .380 handgun, which is a Sig P238. The only gun I can compare it to on your list is the LCP. The Sig is twice as heavy, but the felt recoil is much less. The trigger on the Sig is light years ahead of the LCP. The down side is the Sig costs nearly three times what a Ruger does. Unless recoil is what leads you to carrying a .380, I would suggest stepping up to a Sig P938. Same size gun, but packs a lot more punch.

  6. #6
    Cannon Fodder Wolfhound's Avatar

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    I would like to do a comparison of the SIG P938, Glock 43, Kahr CW9 and XDS someday. Maybe throw in a Beretta Nano and Kel-Tec PF-9 just for kicks.
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  7. #7
    Grandmaster doddg's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfhound View Post
    I would like to do a comparison of the SIG P938, Glock 43, Kahr CW9 and XDS someday. Maybe throw in a Beretta Nano and Kel-Tec PF-9 just for kicks.
    1. Love this sort of thing: it's what I did buying multiple 9mm trying to find: the one.
    2. My best friend (lives out of state) was here overnight and had a Kahr CW9 that he utterly loves and says it never misfires.
    3. He loved my Shield 9 and especially 45, and even wanted to also buy my Sig 1911-22, but a big no from me. He said why? I said b/c these are the ones I wanted but would sell the 45 when I'm done playing with it. He made fun of my Beretta 25 and Taurus 22 tilt-up barrels, and I told him he had good company, but I like what I like and for back up it's fine.

  8. #8
    Grandmaster Leadeye's Avatar

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    Good review!
    Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth shattering Kaboom.

    Marvin the Martian

  9. #9
    Master Dr.Midnight's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leadeye View Post
    Good review!
    Indeed it was. I apologize if I jacked the thread earlier. My enthusiasm for my Sigs got the better of me. Thanks for taking time to write this up OP.

  10. #10
    Cannon Fodder Wolfhound's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leadeye View Post
    Good review!
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.Midnight View Post
    Indeed it was. I apologize if I jacked the thread earlier. My enthusiasm for my Sigs got the better of me. Thanks for taking time to write this up OP.
    Thanks guys! It was a lot of fun. I will try to do a few more in the future.

    Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 press 1 to talk to someone now or text 838255 available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

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