Advantages and Disadvantages of Owning a 380 Pistol

When talking about guns and ammunition stress is given to the large calibers and high powered rifles. Not a lot of attention is given to small handguns which are quite popular as concealed weapons. Super compact pistols like Sig Sauer P238 and Ruger LCP don’t have the firepower of a 9mm. However, these can easily be carried around in a small bag, ankle holster or even in a pocket. This is where these compact pistols have managed to create a market for themselves. They are small enough to be carried around anywhere and provide a basic level of protection. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of the 380 pistols as personal defense weapon.


Light Weight: Thanks to the smaller rounds and compact design, the 380 pistols are significantly lighter. To give you an idea the Sig Sauer P238 weighs just 430g compared to 950g weight of a standard 9mm Beretta 92 pistol. This light weight makes it perfect for women to carry it in their purse or it can even be carried in pockets without being uncomfortable.

Easily Concealed: This is what this weapon system is all about. People carrying 380 pistols has no trouble keeping it hidden from view. Like a perfect defensive weapon, these pistols will suddenly seem to appear out of nowhere and serve as a decent protective tool.

Lot of Pistol Options: There are no shortages of options when you are looking for the perfect pistol that can fire the 380 rounds. Colt Mustang, Beretta Pico, Taurus 738, Kahr P380, Walther PK380, and many more, the list of 380 is seemingly endless. All of these pistols are great but be sure to select a model that fits nicely in your hand.

Cheap Pricing: 380 pistols are cheaper than 9mm pistols. Usually priced below $400, this is a great option for average individuals looking for a firearm for their personal protection.


Lack of Stopping Power: Everything said and done, the 380 rounds definitely lacks stopping power. Thanks to modern technology, the penetration and fragmentation of the 380 ammo is significantly more than it used to be 10 years ago but it’s still not as effective as a 9mm pistol. This is a serious disadvantage as there is nothing more demoralizing than shooting an attacker who simply won’t go down.

Introduction of 9mm Compact Pistols: The introduction of compact 9mm pistols like the Beretta BU9 Nano and Kahr CM9 kind of questions the decision of going for a 380 pistol. These are slightly heavier and larger but deliver a lot more punishment when it’s needed the most.