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Hi Gents,

As some of you may have read I got a PPK clone in .380.

Now, I'm not a fan of .380 or .38spl (at least out of a snub barrel). I figure there's a huge power gap between the 9x17 and 9x19 and while the .380 etc. makes a good backup it's not really a good idea for primary because of broadside shots.

I've got 7 rounds of 88gr GD HP in this thing. I figure it's good for two baddies, worst case scenario.

I'm further thinking three each should do it, and I should practice the Mozambique. I'd have one left.

I can't reload this thing real fast; for starters I only have one magazine though I'm looking for another, and I've never been real good with the Euro release at any rate.

So... if you had to face down two or three baddies with 7rnds of .380acp, how would you do it? I would rather stay with the standard pressure at this point as this is a blowback gun of unknown metallurgy, made in Romania. Though that was a selling point because I'm super impressed with my Romanian .22 training rifle, I'm still inspecting it.

So, standard pressure .380acp, 3 baddies, 7 rounds. How would you handle this?

Thanks,

Josh <><
 

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Controlled pair BG1, controlled pair BG2, evaluate damage on BG1 re-engage if necessary, eval. BG2 re-engage if necessary.

While .380 isn't the greatest cartridge out there, you should be able to stop someone. Whatever you decide, apply it to your Taurus as well. It would be better to not adopt a different set of tactics for a different handgun. Rather, focus on what you do and make it work. Remember, two solid hits from a .380 is better than two hits from a .22, which is better than nothing.

-Rob
 

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I've had a few PP/PPK/PPKs Walthers. When I carried a PPK .380, I practiced the same method as with my Walther TPh- I emptied the gun into the high chest as fast as I could. I didn't worry about a second BG, which is probably a mistake. It's also a good reason why I moved on to something else.
But it beats many alternatives.
 

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It is probably a statistical anomoly but I happen to have known 4 people who were involved in shootouts where multiple body hits were scored with the .380 (ammo used was both JHP and FMJ). All of these cases were at arms length or just few inches over and all were with the subjects facing each other squarely.

In no case was the fight ended with as many as 7 upper torso hits. Interestingly, in two of the cases, the fight was finished with a knife (well actually one with a steel toed boot after the knife - the .380 user being on the receiving end of both after shooting the subject twice at contact range with 90 gr Super Vel).

Personally, I would shoot for the occular window for every shot from a .380, unless the range was unusually long. All the while knowing this is a very difficult shot so I would shoot mulitple shots to this area (3 as a default). There is a possible exception for the Cor-Bon DPX but I am always reminded of the .380 ball round that bounced off the sternum of the bank robber in that famous incident caught on film and taught by Calibre Press. The hit was at a perpendicular angle and the sternum is not a hard or thick bone.

Still, perhaps that too was an anomoly. In the case I know of that involved 7 torso hits with ball all of them penetrated well enough...they just did not hamper the subject any. A follow up .38 spl that traversed at an angle through both lungs did persuade him to stop but he was not incapacitated...he just gave up and sought medical aid - I talked to him (and the guy who shot him) many years later.

Some folks I know and trust have run across cases where the .380 worked just fine...I just have not yet. Again, you cannot rely too much on statistics unless you get thousands of them.

Good luck!

Jim

PS: I have never really considered the neck shot (the accuracy for hitting the spine below the chin - pistol bullets don't have a good record of penetrating the chin - is like the occular window turned on its side) due to the depth making it difficult to decipher exactly where the spine is. *However* a near miss of this target might result in a rather damaging wound to either jugular or in affecting the windpipe might discourage further action (not physically but mentally inducing a panic).

What I am saying is that I haven't given it much thought. It might be worthing of more thought!
 

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fwiw:

Just an anecdote from Chris Bird's _The Concealed Handgun Manual_ 4th ed (San Antonio, 2004), pp. 233-237, about a San Antonio barrio blood-feud:

1992: a 17 yr. old and 25 yr. old attacked some folks in a repair-shop and garage with a .45 and a .38 revolver. One of the garage mechanics returned fire with a .38, hit the .45 armed 25 yr. old in the left shoulder and right side. The other mechanic armed himself with a .380 Davis (yes, a Davis), took cover behind a vehicle, and from 15 yds fired twice and hit the armed 17 yr. old in the chest. Both gunmen retreated to their vehicle, drove away, but crashed from the wounds they sustained. Later, at the hospital, the 17 yr. old hit in the chest with the .380 died.

1996: Two relatives of the slain 17 yr. old--one 34 and another 40 yrs of age--retaliate, armed with a shotgun and a single-action .357. The mechanic, armed with another .380 Davis returned fire. The mechanic was wounded in the legs from the shotgun and in the left hand by a bullet, but killed both assailants by shooting one in the heart and the other through the right eye, all shots probably fired from about ten feet distance. Police on the scene surmised the mechanic had fired five times, and the guy with the single-action .357 four times.

To be sure, just a pair of incidents--albeit the same .380 user in both cases. Both shootout stories are just anecdotal, and perhaps anomalous as well, but it does bear out the "placement is power" equation, including og's point about the upper cardiovascular area, and Josh and Jim H's caveats about the occular region.
 

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I should probably make clear that all 5 incidents I recounted involved "perfectly placed hits" by normal standards (not all the hits in every case but some in 4 and 1 in the 5th). At least as perfectly placed as they can be in the body. Two were contact wounds to the center of the chest. One of the subjects died, but more likely from stab wounds than pistol bullet wounds (he was stabbed after he was shot 4 times with a .380. He took the pistol away from the BG - it may have been jammed - and was thoroughly thrashing him when the BG produced a big knife and stabbed him repeatedly - the victim was a very good friend and a more gentle soul you would never meet).

Of course nothing can be counted on with poor placement.

Sorry for the rant but I fear for folks who *depend* on little guns. The 1st case Chriss Bird mentioned above was two failures. The .45 because it was poorly placed and the .380 because it is an inefective cartridge. It hardly matters if the guy dies 10 seconds later...fights should be over in way less than 10 seconds (they are not allways but we are depending on luck in those cases).

If a guy is still capable of delivering fire a second or two after you shoot him then it is a failure to stop because you survive only because he is inept or his weapon fails for some reason (mainly because he was inept in selceting it also). We are more than willing to see the good guy survive by luck but lets not claim it is a ballistic thing. No, I do not know a single cartridge that will for sure stop a determined aggressor with one shot to the heart in 1 to 2 seconds...but who says you are limited to 1 shot? That's why we practice!

Not to get too extreme here. Most encounters end without a shot being fired...so any gun is better than no gun! But that is not a ballistic thing either.

Back to my cave :)
Onward and upward,
Jim
 

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Interesting discussion of pros and cons for the .380. I'm wondering what you all thing about the case histories in the 3rd book by M&S (their analysis of latest handgun ammo) on pages 244-247 where they show good results and only one failure that was because the BG got hold of the gun.
I'm not a big fan of M&S but some of their stuff is fun reading and believable.
If you've read the 3rd book pages above please post some comments.
og
 
G

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There are so many variables in a fight that it is hard to say that "a way" is the best way to handle a situation. Mr Higginbotham made the point that he would shoot into the ocular window unless range was unusually long. I tend to agree with this idea, but I might also apply a round to the body if rapidly moving to nearby cover.

In Josh's example he stated 2-3 bad guys. In my opinion, the above still applies. I might place one to the body of each attacker if I am moving rapidly to cover or an escape route. Maybe it will work and maybe it won't, but now they are bleeding. This fight may be short or it may be long. If it goes long I now have the upper hand. If it's short, I haven't given up much. Every shot after that will be to the head, specifically the ocular window, but I might take other shots to the cranial vault area depending on circumstances. You never know in a fight when you might catch them looking in the wrong direction and well aimed round may be placed into the side of the cranium. That round may well bounce off, but in my experience even if you just knock some skin or teeth off with a head shot, you still get a response. Rarely will someone take any kind of high velocity rock to the head and not turn, flinch, or fall. They may come back at you, but you have gained time.

Now, this scenario would be if you had a little distance when the fight starts, but if it starts with you up amongst 'em, then I would aim for places like the ocular window, under the chin angling toward the cranial vault, and the base of the skull. Remember, that at times like this taking the fight to them may be better than backing out into their gun target line. They won't usually expect you to step past them and screw a gun in their ear. (This is not usually a good idea with an auto due to unlocking the slide and activating the disconnector. You must allow distance with the auto. A few millimeters is fine.)

You will probably notice a lot of "usually" or "often" used in this post. No fight is a cut and dried affair as everyone knows. Tactics are about a lot more than shooting. Shooting is simply the culmination (the killing stroke, or stop, if you will) of your proper maneuver. A good way to work on tactics is "what if?" scenarios. Those are good to do when you are sitting at the mechanic's shop waiting for an inspection or an oil change, while in a restaurant, or at a stop light. "What if" the environment you are standing in when possible. It helps you get a feel for time and distance as well as cover and escape routes. (And belive me when I say that if I am in a fight with 3 dudes and I only have 7 rounds of .380, then I am looking for an escape route).

In my opinion, a spare magazine and practice doing reloads would be worth a lot of piece of mind.

I use these type of tactics regardless of armament. I carry a 1911 and a spare magazine everywhere in The States. Those tactics are appropriate for that as well as here where I carry an M14 and an M9 or an M4. I have no faith that any shot to the body with anything will drop a man instantly. Some guys are just wired differently and have to be turned off.

This is of course only my opinion and your mileage may vary.

Take care
 

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Interesting discussion of pros and cons for the .380. I'm wondering what you all thing about the case histories in the 3rd book by M&S (their analysis of latest handgun ammo) on pages 244-247 where they show good results and only one failure that was because the BG got hold of the gun.
I'm not a big fan of M&S but some of their stuff is fun reading and believable.
If you've read the 3rd book pages above please post some comments.
og
Evan Marshall is a very dear friend of mine (not a term I use casually) and one of the handfull of people I would trust my life to. I say that to say this, I have evolved over the years to beleive that most instances involving pistol bullets end because the "shootee" decided to quit rather hand *had* to quit.

While that result is gratifying, it confuses the issues about the incapacitation properties of pistols. I have started discounting cases where the subject simply quits fighting (we interevied a subject shot in the lung with a .38 - the victim of a robery. Since he was unarmed he decided not to fight and just sat down on the curb...he talked as he awaited the ambulance but did not seem to be under much distress...yet he would be considered a "stop" by some.

Things like this have caused me to rethink the whole issue of just what "works" and what doesnt and in fact to rethink the definition of "works".

It is a complex subject, I hardly look down my nose at those who don't agree with me...heck sometimes *I* dont agree with me


Onward,
Jim
 

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thanks, Jim.
that's what makes this a great site, we respect each other opinions. This discussion so far proves again the old saying for CCW type handguns...."there's no magic bullet". But I agree, bigger is better, or should I say "maybe better". Many variables, placement, penetration, did the bullet expand, how many shots, on and on makes this a difficult subject.
og
 
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Using my Kel-Tec P-3AT (6+1 like your gun)...

I have a Speer Gold Dot JHP in the chamber, then each mag (I carry three - one in the gun and two spares) is loaded with a Santa Barbara FMJ on top, two Speer Gold Dot JHP, another SB FMJ, and lastly two Gold Dots. I always shoot in three-round sets, and practice a lot of Mozambique drills.

The idea is - two quick shots to COM, the first is JHP, the second is FMJ (if one doesn't expand or penetrate well, hopefully the other will), third shot is JHP to the head. This sequence is repeated twice for each mag. This leaves a JHP in the chamber for the reload (no need to rack the slide) which then is an identical sequence as the previous mag, etc.

Shooting this mix must be practiced in my opinion, because the Santa Barbara FMJ is quite a bit snappier than the Gold Dot JHP. So the three-round sequence is mild-snappy--mild.

I also practice other three-shot sequences - three COM and three head, but always two groups of three (a mag at a time).

This is assuming one or two BG.


For three BG - same as RandomMan said. I'd shoot pairs.
 

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Little guns are for carrying when you really don't need one. I have a .32 for those times. Not much, but very compact and better than a .22. Other days, it's the HK or the BHP, but any handgun is a poor substitute for a rifle or shotgun. If I really expected trouble, I wouldn't go -- or I'd be loaded for bear! To get back to your original question, I wouldn't want to go dry right away. Two each, then check.
 
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