.380 ACP Cartridge

Sunday Gunday: .380 ACP Cartridge is Here to Stay

Are you a fan of the .380 ACP cartridge?

This little caliber has become a favorite for ultra-small concealed carry. Here's why the .380 ACP cartridge is so popular.

From obscurity to a major seller, the .380 ACP cartridge has become the go-to for many concealed carriers. With a huge assortment of pocket pistols available, the popularity continues to grow.

Is this caliber a mouse gun in your mind or the ultimate in concealed carry? Well, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Ease of Concealing

How small can a pistol get and still have some stopping power? In my estimation, with proper self-defense ammunition, the little .380 makes the cut. Holsters that look like wallets, pocket holsters and ultra-hidden belt holsters are available. That makes this little caliber the one you pack when that big ole .45 ACP handgun is just too big. Even as a backup gun, this lightweight brute will serve you well.

Plenty of Options

Years back, the American market for .380 ACP firearms entailed European military surplus, such as the Makarov and Walther PPK pistols. American-made pistols were the Colt Government .380 or the Automatic Colt Pistol Model 1908. Now just about every gun manufacturer offers a .380-caliber pistol. Browning offers a little Colt 1911 clone. Keltec was one of the first to make ultra-small .380-caliber pistols with their P3AT. Ruger, Glock, Taurus and many more make a vast assortment of .380-caliber pistols. For example, the Ruger LCP is one of the most popular models offered today.

Self-Defense Ammunition

Federal Hydra Shok .380 ACP hollow-point ammunition as seen above is no joke for self-defense. Gone are the days when full metal jacket ammunition was all you could buy. Known overseas as the 9mm Short, Browning Short or 9mm Kurz, this shortened 9mm Luger cartridge makes for a great defense round when loaded with high-quality expanding projectiles, like Hornady Critical Defense Ammo. This pistol cartridge up close with JHP ammunition will carry light and hit hard.

Do you like articles about the outdoors? Click here to view more articles by Eric Nestor. You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram.  You can view more Nestor Photography photos at Nestor Photography.