May it be for learning how to shoot or as a tactical concealed carry weapon or CCW, the .380 ACP is an excellent choice for many gun owners around the world. Arguably, it packs lesser stopping power than a 9mm.
But being a smaller round has its perks, too. It is inexpensive, much lighter, and remains the choice for concealed carry?
RELATED: Bersa Thunder .380 Combat Pistol Review
The Only .380 ACP Handguns You’ll Need
1. Ruger LCP
This list should start with the Ruger LCP. It is the simplest, smallest, slimmest, and lightest of the five. It sports a polymer frame and an efficient design that makes it easy to take apart and maintain.
The Ruger LCP .380 ACP pistol is no toy. It houses 6 rounds in the clip and one in the chamber. And since it is DAO, there’s no hammer that might snag on your garment, and that makes for a great lightweight CCW.
Its only downside (as one may argue) is the long trigger pull, being a DAO .380 ACP. The Ruger LCP may be bite-sized but boy does it bark. Its size does bring out a lot of recoils, so one should better tame it in the range first.
2. Bersa Thunder .380
A criminally underrated pistol from Argentina, this .380 ACP is a product of good design. Both single and double action, the Bersa Thunder’s trigger pull is a breeze. The de-cocking lever also helps guarantee safety during concealed carry. It holds 8+1 rounds, getting you ready to counter any contact with one round more.
It boasts of a steel frame and feels firm and sturdy in the hands. Bersa Thunder .380 is also a bit on the bigger side of this category so recoil is not as bad. But it is still not big enough to alienate small hands. The Bersa Thunder is also inexpensive, making it a good beginner’s pistol.
3. Glock 42
A skinny Glock? Sure, if we are talking of having a stealthier CCW than the Glock 19 or the 26. It looks and feels like a shrunk-down Glock, what with everything scaled down. Being a Glock makes it a reliable, well-balanced .380 ACP that is highly customizable for your desired tactical mods.
It also comes with the controversial Glock trigger safety and stock u-sights. What this .380 ACP need is an extender on that stock 6 rounder mag, or your pinky will swear. Other than that, you have a skinny Glock that could still bring out muscular firepower.
4. Kimber Micro Carry .380
This is not your 8-year-old son’s 1911; this is a real man’s .380 ACP! The Kimber Micro Carry is made with stainless steel and bears the trademark Kimber design that its .45 ACP brothers are famous for.
Strong, sturdy, robust, but a bit on the heavy side, which is good considering they all take much of the recoil. But, we reckon it isn’t heavy enough to pull your pants down during an encounter. Its mag carries 6 rounds with one in the chamber. This burly .380 ACP is almost entirely based on the 1911 template, making it a great SAO micro cannon.
Its trigger pulls are short and crisp and familiar. The Kimber Micro Carry Comes with basic sights that you could swap with dotted or tritium sights.
RELATED: Quality Time with the Bersa Thunder 380
5. Sig P238
Last on the list is this solid, sturdy .380 ACP from Sig Sauer. This stainless steel handgun may be a bit heavy, but it means that its recoil is just a toddler’s thud. The 6 rounder mag comes with a pinky extender, which is a nice touch and IS nice to the touch.
The grips can also be customized according to your preference, and that makes this .380 ACP the most ergonomic on this list. The Sig P238’s safety design blocks the hammer, trigger, and slide all at once.
And if that means a lot to you as a CCW operator, then this right here is our safe bet. Pun intended. Adding to the great value is that it comes with night sights out of the box!
Watch this video of Green Light Shooting checking the pros and cons on the top 5 best 380 ACP handguns:
To an experienced shooter, the .380 ACP is still a capable round. The guns of this caliber remain the top choice for many operators that need concealed carry.
That said, which .380 ACP do you think brings the most value? Which would you let your child learn to shoot with? Which would you want to actually select as your personal CCW? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Yes I own380acp it feels like a good one in my hand like to get more clips for it
I have found the BERSA .380 to be the best of then all. I own 2 of them and have never had a problem.
But that is a personal choice. The quality is excellent and best of all it is NOT a pocketbook buster.
you overlooked S+W 380 ez. Performance center model is probly better then all but the expensive Kimber
I have a S&W 380 EZ Shield, which I use and am very happy with it
I just bought a S&W 380 EZ Shield and as soon as I can find ammo for it I’ll tell you my thoughts, but it looks good, feels good, is easy to rack and load shells.
I am not a fan of .380. Having said that, I have carried a Ruger LCP for years. It fits in my pocket, doesn’t print much, and doesn’t weigh much. I load it with +P hollow points so the ballistics aren’t quite so wimpy. This is all in response to my son pointing out that the .45 in my glove box doesn’t do me much good if I am in a restaurant or store and need to defend myself or others.
My wife uses an S&W M&P Shield 380 EZ and loves it. She loves the size of the gun and conceals it well with her IWB holsters.
I do as well and it’s a pleasure to shoot and is as accurate as the individual holding it at 25 yards.
smith and wesson body guard 380 with laser is my choice
If you can hit with it it’s just as good bigger does not mean you can protect yourself making more noise if you can not hit where you should be aiming-(in the leg)
I don’t care if you are a fan of the .380 or not I for one like it for many reasons and mostly it is strength related I have Muscular Dystrophy which hit me not long after I left the Army after 11 years I got an honorable discharge with PTSD and pissed at what I saw around me after being a body guard then a Prison guard I moved to Las Vegas for more security I always carried a .380 as a back up I’m not a fan of unarmed security work especially at some of the Apartment complexes I worked in Las Vegas when I moved to Las Vegas I sold my .380 to a fried along with my Roger p89 9mm not a bad gun all in all when I moved to Texas I stopped working out and stopped walking a lot gained a bunch of weight started working at 7 eleven as Ann overnight assistant manager and when we got deliveries the distributors didn’t bring in (beer, soda in cans or bottles…….you get the drift) but I could move around 1 gallon cases of water that had 8 gallon of water or cases f water cases of soda bottles like no bodies business had gone to the Dr because I was hurting more it took 3 years and me gradually before we found out why it’s adult on set though I had symptoms as a child. Back to the .380 because a 9 has more recoil than I can be accurate with I tried many other calibers before I set upon .380 for concealed carry I like the feel of the Walther PK.380 smd the Smith and Wesson M&P .380 EZ no safety point and shoot considering I only load it with one in the pipe is when I go practice with it and have no kids and have a trigger lock at home though I take the lock off at night and I’m nice to my wife of 14 years so she won’t shoot me while I’m asleep, I don’t drink, smoke (6 weeks in a coma not related to smoking a total of 3 months in the hospital in 2017 cured me I’ve had 2 in 3.8 years and didn’t like it) but the Muscular Dystrophy has eaten strength from my arms and hands so a .380 fits my strength restraints call me what you will but a .380 Hydroshock will kill you just as dead as a 50 from a mile away or a .45ACP, 40,9, 38,357,44 PICK YOUR POISON THE BEST GUN TO OWN IS THE ONE YOU CAN SHOOT WELL AND YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE SHOOTING. I feel good shooting with a .380 you feel better with something else and so you feel like an authority on handguns(snort/chuckle) everyone has an opinion I fell if cops felt better with their weapons and practiced more they wouldn’t have to unload a clip and hit nothing if you have to use more than 1 or 2 shots to hit a criminal you’re nothing but a gangbusters with a badge I’ve taken guns from cops because they aren’t weapon aware and Bern shooting with the and except for an ex Army guy like me they were all over the place maybe hitting black at 20 years thinking they were good until they daw mine and the other guys target and all groups the size of a silver dollar center mass in the head in the heart so it takes familiarity, practice, above all what you can handle and can shoot well
Beretta F84. Most accurate pistol I have ever fired. No longer made.
I’ve never fired any .380 that felt better or shot more true than my stainless Walther PPKS … with Pachmayr grips. I loved that firearm. As soon as I can, I’ll replace it. I’ve always been a Ruger enthusiast as well, but – surprisingly – really dislike the looks of that LCP. Man, excuse me, but that is not one aesthetically pleasing auto! I would hope that it’s at least up to Ruger’s rigid standards and withstands the test of conditions and time, as well.
I prefer the Sig P238. I own 3 of them and also the P938 9mm. They are well built pistols and very accurate right out of the box. The standard Nite Sights are a plus for a self defense carry gun. The reviewer wasn’t too knowledgeable of the extended magazine as he would have known this is a 7 round magazine making the capacity of 8 rounds including 1 in the chamber.
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I have the Bersa and also have 1 for my two children and my wife. The Bersa is underrated, it is very dependable, very easy disassembly. You can drop them in the pigpen and they will still do your work for you.
I carry a to s&w mp 380 shield ez from the performance center it has s few extras like ported barrel wide trigger very pleasing to shoot. With out laser just open sightsmy first 8 shots at 25 yards all were touching and all were dead center. At 25 yds with my 9mm they were very close but not all touching. What does that mean if you break in my houseyou better hope I’m not home because with either one 911 won’t help you.