It may 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?
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.
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.
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