Some questions about .380 ACP, especially Ruger's LCP II

Discussion in 'Shooting & Fireams Training / Skills' started by Stone, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Early last fall, while living in Bangor in a kind of rooming situation, I was trying to help my landlady find suitable SD ammo for her .38 spl revolver. I posted a thread here, and got a lot of reasonable advice and suggestions. (I moved from that place before I was able to help her resolve that, and have more important stuff to do now.)

    Once again, I find myself in a similar situation. One of my neighbors downstairs has a problematic neighbor that seems to be involved in illegal activity, and she has some kind of twisted relationship with a guy upstairs that's issuing threats of physical violence. ("There will be blood shed", he said to one tenant in a sweeping threat to everyone in the building who might mess with him.) And he's posting crap on FB about needing to kill someone. (Yes, we're interacting with the police about this, but it's going to be difficult for them to sort out.)

    My good neighbor also has her disabled daughter living with her. So she's got some concerns.

    So, for the first time in her 60-something year old life, she wants to buy a handgun. Another neighbor and I who have a common interest in guns and knives (I'm turning him onto ESEE) are conversing with her about suggestions. I was going to suggest a 20 ga shotgun -- since she's never owned a gun in her life, and we live in an apartment building. But she says she now wants to be able to concealed carry, so ... no shotgun.

    That brings us to our other top suggestion for her: Ruger's newly redesigned LCP II in .380 ACP. Yes, I know many argue it's a mouse gun and inadequate for SD, but this is an older woman, and newer SD ammo is helping Mickey catch up with the bigger, badder calibers.

    Here's a good short video of the differences between the two versions (old v new). I've watched several vids so far -- especially Hickok 45 and Nutnfancy -- and both sing it's praises very highly. I'm impressed.

    Even though I'm a 9 mm guy, and love my LC9s, I still want one of these new LCP's for special occasions, when pocket or ankle carry is demanded, or as a backup if -- er, no wait, when civilization collapses and we're living in general social chaos. <ahem> :oops:

    We're also going to suggest she look at some revolvers -- we're planning a field trip to our fav gun shop soon. But to get a .38 spl light enough for her and her purse will potentially mean some stiff recoil. Still, she's open to considering all options.

    OK, finally, to my questions.

    1) for those who have shot both 9 mm (that I know) and .380 (that I don't), what's a rough comparison of recoil. I know .380 is less, but how much? Is it more like .380 recoil is 90% of 9 mm or 60%? Yes, yes, I know that the weight of the gun will factor in as will which loads are fired -- but I'm looking for broad, average generalities.

    2) For those who've handled an LCP II, is the slide really that much easier to rack? This is an older woman who's clearly spent no time in the gym for at least, say, 30 years. She's not a weakling, but I doubt a lot of hand strength.

    Any other comments, suggestions also welcome. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Theodore

    Theodore Member

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    Has this woman just never owned, or has she zero firearms experience? Handing a 60 something year old woman a firearm for self defense may not be the best idea. Even with some training.......
    Perhaps an alternative self defence plan should be made with this woman. As it seems to be a pressing issue.

    Edit( To be clear I am all for this lady exercising her trigger finger. I am just expressing concern that close quarters handgun defence is tough for someone younger and with experience let alone a new to firearms person who is older. )
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
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  3. Stone

    Stone Member

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    T'dore, I think she's shot guns, but never owned one. I'll clarify that with her.

    But she really wants to own one now.

    My friend and I have both stressed that she's going to need to get some training -- a couple of courses on gun safety, training, SD using a hand gun, etc. And such courses are very common up here (as you probably know living in Maine). She's totally good with that. She intuits the responsibility, and isn't one who just flippantly says, "I want a gun to protect myself and my daughter, just get me a damn gun and some bullets." She's more of a thinker than that.

    I think she actually sees it as a new adventure in life, an opportunity to do something new and exciting. When she learned that my friend and I are gun owners, her face lit up. She's really listening a lot now, and is researching the LCP II on her own with our help.
    ______

    Oh, I talked with my gun shop today. He's got two coming, but he's already got customers asking for them, and thinks they'll go fast. (He's in rural northern Maine, and not a big volume shop, so he gets few that are "allocated" guns.) So I'm just trying to gain as much info as possible until she actually gets to look at one.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  4. Stone

    Stone Member

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    Oh, and my friend owns a .22 LR semi-auto pistol. I think we'll use that first at the range -- to which she's already expressed an interest in going ("I'll drive!", she said.) -- just to teach basic handgun shooting. We're already indoctrinating her with safety issues -- most notably the four rules of gun safety. (She knows there will be a test before she gets to handle a loaded gun.)

    There's a great range in the next town over that offers basic courses for beginners. (And they just put in a new 400 yd range that I'm pretty excited about ... once I get my .223.)
     
  5. .357 mag

    .357 mag Member

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    Is she hot? I think I speak for everyone here that hot chicks shoot way better than ugly women regardless on what they are shooting.
     
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  6. Stone

    Stone Member

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    If hot is 10, and cold is 0, she's a -4.

    Good person, kind, good neighbor, but the antithesis of hot.

    <responding to a joke with a joke>
     
  7. .357 mag

    .357 mag Member

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    Gang.. not even on the scale. .22lr.. won't scare her off. If she can put 10 rounds on a pie plate as fast as she can pull the trigger she will be just fine.
     
  8. OKcherokee

    OKcherokee Member

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    The round itself is less powerful than a 9mm.

    But since the gun it is firing out of (LCP) is so much smaller and lighter, the recoil felt is actually more than a larger, heavier 9mm gun.

    People equate smaller gun to being easier for a woman to handle, but you can go too small.

    I'd get her a revolver in .38spl.
    Like a Model 10.
     
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  9. .357 mag

    .357 mag Member

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    Look up G42 vs G43. The 42 is a cap gun compared. To the 43
     
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  10. Stone

    Stone Member

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    this is the most useful post so far. thanks.

    G42 (13 oz)

    G43 (17 oz)
     
  11. timdgsr

    timdgsr Member

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    This. Pocket 380s are not ideal for someone that might have weak hands.

    I saw a woman in her 60s shooting a keltec .32 at the range and absolutely hated it.
     
  12. Marty W

    Marty W Member

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    Sig P238
     
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  13. Stone

    Stone Member

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    I don't think her's are "weak". I just don't think she's appreciate 9 mm.
     
  14. anrkst6973

    anrkst6973 Member

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    OKCherokee hit the nail. A double dose of modern 38 hp is a winner, especially for a new shooter. A hammer less "Chiefs special" or something in that flavor would get my recommendation. That and some appropriate training will give her the edge if it comes to that.
     
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  15. OKcherokee

    OKcherokee Member

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    I missed the conceal carry part of Stones original post.

    But I still maintain a smaller .38 revolver would be a good choice.

    Less moving parts and distractions for a new shooter.
    No magazines or slides to fool with. No trying to remember if there is a round chambered.
    Just aim and pull the trigger.
     
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  16. Zeek

    Zeek Member

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    This is true, I've shot LCPs and find them very unpleasant. I'm generally a recoil junky... but damn LCPs are like getting stung by a bee.:mad: Now if you're not going to practice with it... just stick it in your pocket, as I think most do, then go for it. You won't mind the bee sting when you're in a life or death situation.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
  17. Zeek

    Zeek Member

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    Yep... small revolver all the way. Some other interesting options are the Ruger LCR in 9mm (ammo compatibility) or in 327 Federal Mag (six shot).
     
  18. JAD

    JAD Member

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    I've owned the following:
    Ruger LCP .380 auto (traded-only pistol I no longer have)
    Ruger LC9 9mm (1st Gen)
    Sig Sauer P238 .380 auto
    2 S&W revolvers in .38 spcl, 642 and 442 (same pistol different color) with internal hammer.

    These are my unscientific "feelings" and experiences including my wife and daughter who have shot all of the above.

    Lightest felt recoil to heaviest felt recoil (5* rating scale 5 being the best)

    Sig P238 5*
    Ruger LC9 3*
    Ruger LCP 1*
    S&W .38spcl 1/2* (that is one-half star)

    In terms of recoil the Sig is really a dream to shoot. It would seem to be a combination of weight (all metal frame/slide), geometry, and ergonomics. My daughter likes the Sig so much she bought an almost indentical Kimber version for SD.

    The S&W are rough to shoot in stock form. I've fitted mine with oversized Pachmayr grips to improve felt recoil and shootability. With the stock rubber grip it is only a 2 finger hold for me (nowhere for my pinkie to go). To shoot them with only passing proficiency takes a lot of practice. I have about 1200 rounds through them collectively and can easily hit center mass from 21 feet. But when I hand it to one of my sons who rarely or never shoot it, they can just as easily miss the entire paper target on first shot from that distance. No kidding.

    I've done some trigger work on my 642, replacing the springs and I stoned some of the internals to smooth up the action. I don't mind shooting them. Out of the box this probably has a 12-13 lb trigger pull. You're not going to accidentally pull the trigger. My wife keeps the 442 bedside. No visible hammer (internal), no safety, 5 shots of .38 spcl +P. She doesn't like the recoil but she can put the entire cylinder on the target from 21 feet. Believe it or not this would be the pistol I would recommend for her. (See my wrap up below.)

    My LC9 is not one of my favorite pistols but it is the first pistol I ever bought. It's went to Ruger right out of the box for a variety of problems. I have about 6,000 rounds through it and I believe it is reliable. Since coming back from Ruger I have never had a single hiccup feeding any ammo what so ever. I think it is somewhere in the middle of the road on recoil. In 9mm I'd rather shoot my G19 or 26.

    The LCP is just plain terrible in my opinion. It remains the only pistol I've ever gotten rid of. My son owned one as well and he gave it to his brother in law in, then turned around and bought an LCP II. (I think he is out of his mind but like I said these are only opinions.) He said it is better than the first one he had, but I have not shot it yet.

    Conclusion:
    There are a lot of things going on with a semi-auto. When I watch novice shooters they tend to get overloaded with the operation, and that is if nothing goes wrong. My wife will not shoot regularly and when I do get her to the range I realize the lack of familiarity just slows everything down. Another example is how frequently novice shooters cannot seat a magazine. Then they think something is wrong when the gun won't chamber a round. And they make the mistake over and over. That is just one example of what I mean when I say too many things going on. I absolutely believe this will be your neighbor, just like my wife. (And my wife has ample opportunity to shoot but doesn't really want to.)

    In reality my wife (your neighbor) will probably be no better hitting a target with a semi than a revolver, but she can pick up the revolver and just pull the trigger tp shoot. I'm not sure I could say that about her picking up a semi. Full disclosure, my wife says if a bad guy comes in and I'm not there, she is going to reach for my Glock anyway. :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
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  19. Stone

    Stone Member

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    The most useful (and well-thought out and expressed) post yet, @JAD. Thanks.

    OK, I'm listening. I too have read nothing (ok, little) but bad reviews about the original LCP. Claims are that the redesign significantly reduced its recoil. I want to learn more about that.

    Still, I'm def going to look more closely now at the Sig. I know little about Sigs -- never even shot one (I think I saw one once) -- and even less about the P238. Will take a serious look since there've now been two recommendations, including yours which actually explains why; I value posters who don't just throw out a recommendation but also explain why. (Remember those essay questions in school? "Describe phenomenon X, and why it happens." "Just because" never got any A's.)

    ETA: I notice that the Sigs are roughly 2X as much as the Ruger. I'm sure it's worth it; what I'm unsure of is what my neighbor's budget is. These ain't luxury apartments we're living in. :rolleyes:

    I hear you also re the revolvers. We're discussing those with her, also. In the end, it may come down to renting one of each that fit her -- pistol (maybe the Sig) and revolver -- at a gun store over near Bangor that has an indoor range, and let her try them out. Hell, after that, she may decide a stick is a better option. :D
     
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  20. Zeek

    Zeek Member

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    I have the Sig 938 which is the slightly larger 9mm version. Nice gun for sure but not my first choice for carry or for someone unfamiliar with handguns. I think they are better off with something that doesn't have a manual safety.
     
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