What are THE most accurate .380 ACP pistols out there?
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Thread: What are THE most accurate .380 ACP pistols out there?

  1. #1

    What are THE most accurate .380 ACP pistols out there?

    I could really use some advice as I am interested in knowing what the most accurate .380 ACP pistols are, regardless of size.

    If you're curious as to why, I reread an article from many years ago recently from a fellow Ohioan named Greg Ellifritz who was inspired by Massad Ayoob to compile extensive data about shootings over a 10-year period. He is a full-time firearms and defensive tactics training officer for a central Ohio police department. He kept track of stopping power results from every shooting he could find. Ellifritz talked to the participants of gunfights, read police reports, attended autopsies, and scoured newspapers, magazines, and the Internet for any reliable accounts of what happened to the human body when it was shot. He documented all of the data he could; tracking caliber, type of bullet (if known), where the bullet hit and whether or not the person was incapacitated; and he also tracked fatalities, noting which bullets were more likely to kill over others. Here is the link to the article where he summerizes his findings: https://www.buckeyefirearms.org/alte...stopping-power

    Here are a couple of his charts:

    What are THE most accurate .380 ACP pistols out there?-ellifritz_oneshot_percent.png

    What are THE most accurate .380 ACP pistols out there?-ellifritz_incapacitation.png

    The results of his analysis tells me that the .380 ACP doesn't appear to be the best at anything, but it's good enough at everything that overall it edges out most calibers for the average person. This is likely because it's mild enough to be shot accurately in an average person's hands while still possessing enough lethality to get the job done. The data also shows it's much more effective than 9mm, but he smartly cautions us that the majority of 9mm rounds were fired with ball ammo which skews the results, but the .380 ACP's success rate compared to .40 and .45 is nonetheless impressive. At the end of the day, he says .380, 9mm, .40, .45, .357 sig are all effective rounds so that caliber choice isn't really important. I would add that they are all particularly good with the right modern hollowpoint ammunition.

    Doing more research on.380, I also looked to ballistic testing from ShootingTheBull410's YouTube channel. Spending the better part of a year testing various .380 ammunition with FBI protocols, this person concluded the Precision One and Fiocchi XTP loads were the best performers even out of short barreled .380's: .

    My general sense is that .380 and .9mm using the best carry ammunition likely make for the best carry firearms FOR THE AVERAGE PERSON. Like Ellifritz said, however, it doesn't really matter, and it make sense that people carrying and training with the bigger calibers can be just as effective or more (if you put the time in).

    I'm a Glock 19/Glock 26 guy, but I also believe in efficiency. 9mm is a little cheaper to shoot, but .380ACP is theoretically a little easier to shoot well so I own both (I also have a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 in my carry rotation, but at this point it was merely due to size). I'm looking to include a better shooting .380 than my Bodyguard, which I shoot fairly well but not nearly as fast as the others. My goal is to ultimately see over time what I tend to shoot better, and the results of that testing will likely become my main carry option (if it has enough rounds available).

    A such, any insight into what would make for the most accurate .380 ACP, regardless of size, would be greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2
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    The answer to your question would be the Glock 25, which you likely can't get. You can blame the federal government for that. There is the Glock 42 though.

    Apart from this thread very quickly escalating in to a caliber war, there is simply no mouse gun that you can shoot more accurate than a compact or full-size gun. If you want a better shooting gun than your Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380, then you have to settle for a bigger gun. This may very well defeat your purpose of carrying a such gun in the first place.

    The mission drives the gear and not the other way around. Setting the justification to carry a specific caliber completely aside, what are you trying to accomplish here?

  4. #3
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    If you think the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380 itself isn't accurate, you are wrong. It is the shooter that matters. A bigger gun with a longer sight radius helps the less than perfect shooter to shoot more accurate. A bigger gun that is heavier helps the less than perfect shooter to manage recoil better.


  5. #4
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    Well let me point out that your first graph lists the percentage by caliber, but sample sizes have a bearing too, so while 32 might look better in the first graph, I bet there wasn't a lot of 32's used compared to 380 or 9 MM, and the more often the gun is used the one shot stops will decrease. Also remember smaller calibers are often easier to shoot and therefore have better shot placement, that is important as you recognize, and likely the reason for your post in the first place. Just saying statistics have to be in context.

    I have at this point 9 380's. My Browning BDA is the size and weight of a all steel Compact 9 MM. A 13 round double stack. It has poor sights, but is likely my most accurate and easiest to shoot 380. I bought it new in '88 and will not be selling it. That is not the style gun you were thinking about I would guess. I have 8 380 'Pocket Pistols' that are likely more up your alley. Colt Mustang XSP, Glock 42, Kahr CW-380, Remington RM-380, Ruger LCP, Ruger LCP Custom, Ruger LCP II, S&W Sigma 380. so which of those do I find most accurate, the smallest one the CW-380.....BUT while it can make one small ragged hole at seven yards, that is with PMC Bronze FMJ, it will not function after one shot of Fiocchi, so the gun is picky on ammo. I use Grizzly or Underwood ammunition with the Hornaday XTP 90 grain bullets in the CW-380 and it shoots them well, but not as accurate as it does PMC...a bigger ragged hole. I carry the CW-380 right now as it is smaller than any of my others. My LCP II peeks out of the top of my back pocket. The G-42 fits a front pocket well and is tied for second most accurate. I find it the easiest to recommend for a number of reasons. I don't hate the Remington, I just don't have a warm fuzzy for it. But if a person had a hard time racking a gun due to a physical problem like a broken wrist or arthritis then the easy racking RM-380 really shines. I asked my LGS to price a Taurus Spectrum today and I'll buy one when he gets back to me. It takes time to get and more time till getting to shoot.

  6. #5
    Like I said, I wanted to know the most accurate .380's regardless of size. I knew that would likely require going bigger than my Bodyguard and that's fine, but there has to be others other than the Glock 25 and Glock 28 .380 blowback designs people who are not in law enforcement aren't allowed to buy.

    The mission is merely concealed carry. My preference is to carry anything as large as my G19, but I prefer to carry something the size of my G26. That said, I'm open to suggestions of pistols of any size.

  7. #6
    I never said my Bodyguard wasn't accurate. Did I? In fact, I don't complain about the trigger like many people do. I am accurate, but I am not as fast and accurate as I am with my Glock 19 or 26. 99% of people who say they are as fast and accurate with a Bodyguard are out to lunch in my opinion. 99% of us are not professionals who "train until they cannot get it wrong." This is the real world here, and I am not going to be at the range enough to be "professional."

    I also know a lot about firearms and have carried many for the last dozen years or so, so I really don't need to be lectured. I'm sure I can hold my own with most people in the room, and I'm probably more knowledgeable about firearms than most, but I am not a ballistics expert, nor do I have time with all guns on the range. I did study statistics in college and grad school, so I am aware of the limitations of the data I presented above, but I am also aware there is a good point there to be made about the .380 ACP. But that's NOT what I am trying to do; as I said, I merely want suggestions about what options are out there that are candidates for better accuracy than my Bodyguard. The Browning 1911-30, the Bersa Thunder series, the Walther PK380, the Glock 42, the Beretta 85FS are just a few. I don't have any time with any of these pistols, so that's what I am looking to the forum for answers. For starters, does anyone personally feel they can shoot the Glock 42 better than they can a Bodyguard.

  8. #7
    I appreciate your comments and fully agree about the .32 ACP. I studied statistics in college and grad school and am fully aware of the limitations of the study (and the merits). As such, I don't need advice per se about interpreting the data as my background probably prepares me for that better than most; but I do want to know what .380's that are out there that people find are more accurate than my Bodyguard. I know a lot about 9mm, .40 (which I carried exclusively for almost 8 years), and .45, but I have no experience with .380 outside my bodyguard.

    As far as your Browning BDA is concerned, I would carry something like that if it had better sights, so thank you for mentioning it, but my eyes are getting older now that I'm in my 40's. In fact, I'm waiting to hear back from my father because he had mentioned awhile back that he has my great grandfather's .380 now, but he didn't mention what it was. I'd love it if it were a BDA!

    I am leaning towards a G42 at the moment, but do you have any idea how your Kahr CW-380 or the Glock 42 compares to the Bodyguard?

  9. #8
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    FYI: The reason for my earlier posts were that the OP did not include the important information that you posted now.

    You are close to asking the impossible here. The best comment anyone can give you is to go to a range that rents handguns and try them out. As I stated, handgun accuracy is really about the shooter and not the gun. You can put a gun in a bench rest and it will shoot accurately. You can put the same gun in to the hands of a shooter and he/she may shoot it accurately or not. You are asking us which gun you would shoot good. Any answer to that would be a wild guess. We certainly can do that.

    Giving that you have already Glocks, I would suggest to stay with striker-fired firearms without an external manual safety. A consistent manual of arms makes training and practice simpler. As you said, you won't be training like a professional. There is no need to complicate things. The Glock 42 shoots better than any of the usual .380 ACP mouse guns.

  10. #9
    Check out the Sig P238 with night sights.
    ΥΣΜΧ SEMPER FIDELIS !!!

    54 AND COUNTING

  11. #10
    Asking the impossible? That sounds like hyperbole to me. All I am asking is if someone shot a .380 that was more accurate for them. Handgun accuracy is both about the shooter and the gun, by the way. We don't shoot guns in a vacuum. All things being equal, a heavier gun is going to shoot more accurately in most people's hands, for example. If a gun is too thin, most people won't shoot it as accurately either. Bore axis also makes another difference. It's physics. It is true much of it can be subjective due the mass and shape of someone's hand, but a lot of it is universal as well. I think it's also overblown with such memes as "the gun is more accurate than I am." It has less to do with that and more about how the average person can naturally capitalize on a gun's accuracy. Lastly, I never asked what gun shot better for me, and since it's not solely or even mostly subjective, I just want to know what others have experienced. Trust me, I have a documented IQ three standard deviations above normal, and I'm not talking about those free internet tests that make everyone look smarter than they are so they pass them on. I've been studying firearms and carrying for twelve years, so believe me, you're not going to educate me on something I don't already know unless you can answer the question I'm asking. If you can't, just don't saying anything. That would be better in my opinion.

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