The .380 Boom Why are .380s suddenly so popular?

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Why are .380s suddenly so popular? Well, why not? There are probably
more than 10 times as many people who have a concealed carry permit
now than a couple of decades ago before the change to “shall
issue” carry laws. And all those new people have gone through
the same learning curve that we old-timers went through, from “Carry
enough gun” to “How am I going to pack this thing on a
hot summer day?”

Carrying a gun can be a real hassle. If you’re going to do
it seriously and not be a ballistic dilettante, you have to do it
all the time. Which means you need a comfortable holster and a handgun
compact enough that it stays hidden. Which means, despite the sneer
some direct at “mouseguns,” you pack a really small 9mm
or .380.

In an ultra-compact, a full-power 9mm load can be tough to practice
with. And those .40 and .45 ultra-compacts are more like work (or
torture) to shoot than enjoyable practice. So the .380 wins by default.
And realistically, there’s nothing you can hold in your hands
that will guarantee a 100 percent stop with one hit. Once you realize
that accuracy matters, a small gun is OK and a big one is sometimes
not worth the extra hassle of packing it.

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July
8, 2010

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