Best .380 Pistols Reviewed & Rated for Quality

The .380 caliber pistols are one of the most popular variations of a handgun when it comes to self-defense. Many people turn to this weapon because of its lightweight and small size. This makes it easy for you carry the gun in a concealed fashion. Furthermore, if you are someone who isn’t able to handle the recoil of a larger handgun, then the .380 is more ideal since you are less likely to miss your target due to recoil.

Featured Recommendations

Remington RM380
  • Remington RM380
  • 5 out of 5
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  • Semi-Automatic
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Browning Black Label 1911
  • Browning Black Label 1911
  • 4.2 out of 5
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  • Composite Mainframe
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Browning Black Label 1911-Compact
  • Browning Black Label 1911-Compact
  • 4.1 out of 5
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  • Compact Size
  • Price: See Here

Many .380 handguns have short barrels which makes it easy to aim and fire at point blank distances. This is another reason why they are so popular for self-defense purposes. You can even purchase these handguns with laser sights which will help you aim more accurately. The smaller bullet size means that it is less likely that the gun will kill your opponent. In fact, it’s more likely to cause injury. This can be an advantage since your goal in self-defense is to keep yourself from being harmed as opposed to actually killing your target.

.380 pistols are sold by a large variety of different gun manufacturers. They are a common design that is also understood by many gunsmiths as well, making them ideal for when you need service on them. You will love the small size and lightweight of these guns when you are looking for something that is useful in self-defense.

 

10 Best .380 Pistols

 

1. Remington RM380

1. Remington RM380
This is an ideal choice for a handgun that you plan on carrying concealed. The gun is small and lightweight which makes it easy for you to carry underneath your clothing. Additionally, it can be used in both the left and right hand so that you can shoot with either hand depending on your preference. The gun is made by a well-known brand of gun manufacturers so you can trust it to keep you safe.
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Semi-automatic

You aren't going to want to have to worry about needing to reload the gun when you are in a hurry. This gun has a semi-automatic action that will reload it right away after you fire.

Slide Stop

This gun has a stop on the slide which will hold the gun open once you have fired the last bullet. This feature makes it much easier for you to reload quickly.

Cost and Value

You will be able to purchase the RM380 at a price that is well below the average price. The lower price allows you to get a full-featured .380 without having to pay a premium for it.
Pros

It has a round capacity of seven bullets total.

You can use it with either the left or the right hand.

The barrel is only 3" long and it only weighs 12.2 oz.

The frame is made of aluminum to keep the weight down.

There is a slide stop on it that is fully functional.

Cons

The front and rear sights are black and can be hard to see.

This gun has a long pull on the trigger.

2. Browning Black Label 1911

2. Browning Black Label 1911
Browning is another brand that is associated with high quality and workmanship in their firearms. This gun is based on the 1911 design, which is a well-known handgun design that is commonly used by law enforcement and the military. It's smaller size makes it ideal for concealed carry and self-defense purposes so you can go out safely.
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Reduced Size

The gun is 85% of the size of a standard 1911. This makes the barrel shorter since it's only 4.25" long and the gun only weighs 18 oz. The smaller size makes this weapon ideal for concealed carry.

9 Round Capacity

The gun has a nine-round capacity. You can put eight rounds in the magazine and one round in the chamber. This will reduce the number of times that you need to reload the weapon.

Cost and Value

This is a higher end firearm so you will need to plan on spending an amount that is higher than the average price. It's worth the premium since it uses better materials that make it last longer.
Pros

It has a semi-automatic action to allow for fast reload.

The gun is 85% of the size of an M1911.

The gun and the magazine combined have a nine-round capacity.

You can use it with either the left or the right hand.

It only weighs 18 oz. and has a 4.25" barrel length.

Cons

Some of the internal parts are made of plastic rather than metal.

The magazine doesn't always feed properly and causes jams in the gun.

3. Browning Black Label Compact

3. Browning Black Label Compact
If you are looking for an even smaller version of an M1911, then you should check out this compact model that is made by Browning. This gun is based on the 1911 design but it has been scaled down precisely to fire a .380 bullet. The small size turns it into an ideal choice for people who are looking for a concealed carry weapon.
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Compact Size

This gun has a barrel length of 3.62" and it only weighs 16 oz. The small size means that you will have no trouble tucking it under your clothing and hiding it.

1911 Design

The M1911 is a popular design for handguns and is well known and understood by gunsmiths. This gun is an M1911 that has been scaled down in order to fire the smaller cartridge.

Cost and Value

You will have to plan on spending an amount that is higher than the average price. The higher price is worth it since it has premium features and is made of high-quality materials.
Pros

The gun is based on the 1911 handgun design.

It has a 3.62" barrel and only weighs 18 oz.

It has a nine-round capacity and can be reloaded quickly.

The side rails and sub-frame are made of lightweight aluminum.

It has a semi-automatic action to allow for faster firing.

Cons

It has to be shot with your right hand only.

Some of the internal parts are made of plastic rather than metal.

4. Remington RM380 Laser Sight

4. Remington RM380 Laser Sight
Here is a gun that is perfect for self-defense and concealed carry. This gun has a short barrel that is only 3 inches long and laser sights. Both of these features make it an ideal weapon of choice when you are firing at point blank range. You will love how small and compact this gun is which makes it really easy to hide.
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Laser Sights

This gun features a laser sight. Laser sights are great for when you need to aim and fire quickly at a point-blank range since you can just point the gun and fire.

Daul Recoil Springs

The gun's design has dual recoil springs that will help to absorb the recoil energy that is created when the gun is fired. This will make it easier on your arms and wrists when you shoot.

Cost and Value

You will be able to purchase this item at a price that is below the average price. The low price makes it into a great value since you can get a high-quality gun with a laser sight.
Pros

It has a laser sight built into the gun for easier aiming.

There are also front and rear sights that are fixed to it.

It has a 3" barrel and only weighs 12.2 ounces.

There is a slide stop that will hold it open for reloading.

The action is semi-automatic so that you can fire faster.

Cons

You will need to paint the sights so that you can see them.

The stock is small and it can be hard to use if you have large hands.

5. Ruger LC380 Semi-Auto Pistol

5. Ruger LC380 Semi-Auto Pistol
The LC380 has been specifically designed with conceal carry needs in mind. It has a short barrel and a low weight so that it's easy to tuck underneath your clothing. The frame is made of a nylon that is fiberglass filled to help reduce the weight as well without affecting the durability of the gun. Finally, the trigger pull is clean and crisp.
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Snag Free

The edges of the gun are fully beveled and the hammer is integrated into the slide. This will help make sure that the gun doesn't snag on your clothing while you carry it.

3-Dot Sights

It also features a 3 dot sight design that will help you aim accurately. The short barrel length makes it ideal for when you need to shoot at targets that are close to you.

Cost and Value

You will be able to purchase this item at around the average price. The mid-range price turns it into an excellent value since you get premium features without paying a premium price.
Pros

It has beveled edges that will keep it from snagging.

The gun and magazine have a seven round capacity combined.

There is a three dot sight system on it for accuracy.

The gun has a 3.12" barrel length and only weighs 1.07 lbs.

The trigger has been designed to have a light and short pull.

Cons

It has been designed for right hand shooting only.

The magazine has been known to jam on a regular basis.

6. Sig Sauer P238

6. Sig Sauer P238
The P238 is an ultra-compact and lightweight handgun that is ideal for concealed carrying purposes. It features a slide that is made of stainless steel so that it lasts for a long time and you can store up to seven rounds in the gun when you combine the chamber and the magazine. This handgun also features an attractive two-tone finish.
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1911 Style

The design of the P238 is based on the M1911 design. This is a design that is commonly used by military and law enforcement personnel and is known to be reliable.

Adjustable Sights

Many .380 pistols have sights but they are not adjustable. The P238 has adjustable sights that allow you to get additional accuracy from the gun once it has been sighted in properly.

Cost and Value

This is a premium handgun so you will need to plan on spending an amount that is above the average price. The higher price is due to using high-end materials that keep the size and weight down without compromising durability.
Pros

The design is based on a scaled down 1911 design.

The barrel is only 2.7" long and it weighs 15.2 oz.

The slide is made of stainless steel for reliability and durability.

You can adjust the sights as needed for additional accuracy.

There are serrations on the slide to make it easier to grip.

Cons

The slide pin bar has been reported to fall out of the gun.

It has not been designed to be shot left handed.

7. Kimber Micro Bel Air

7. Kimber Micro Bel Air
The Micro Bel Air is another choice for people who are looking for a premium handgun to use for concealed carrying purposes. You will hardly notice that you are carrying the gun thanks to its small size and low weight. Furthermore, it features wonderful aesthetics such as a fully polished stainless steel slide and ivory colored grips on the handle.
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Stainless Steel Slide

The slide is at the top of the gun and is made of stainless steel. This helps it fire more reliability and the polished stainless steel adds to the look of the gun.

1911 Thumb Safety

The safety on the gun is based on the 1911 design. Anyone who has fired a 1911 gun will find this safety design to be familiar which makes it easier to learn how to use.

Cost and Value

This is a premium firearm so you will have to plan on spending an amount that is well above the average price. It's higher price is due to high materials such as stainless steel that is mirror polished.
Pros

The safety on the gun is based on the 1911 design.

It has sights that are low profile so that you can quickly acquire your target.

The frame is made of aluminum and will resist corrosion.

The barrel is only 2.75" long and it weighs 13.4 oz.

The slide is made of a stainless steel finished that is polished.

Cons

The gun has been known to misfire and feed properly.

It's hard to reassemble the gun after you have cleaned it.

8. Ruger LCP

8. Ruger LCP
The LCP is another handgun that is ideal for concealed carry purposes. It has a short barrel that allows you to quickly aim and acquire your target at point blank range. The gun also features a recessed hammer that will help to prevent snagging as well. It's small size and light weight turn it into an ideal choice for a concealed carry handgun.
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Hold-Open Latch

Sometimes you need to clean or inspect the gun, which can be hard to do if you have to hold it open by hand. This gun has a manual latch that will keep the side open for you.

Locked-Breech System

The gun features a locked-breech design which makes it easy for you to open the slide when it is time to reload the gun. Furthermore, the design helps to reduce recoil.

Cost and Value

You can purchase the Ruger LCP at a price that is considered to be well below the average price. The low price makes it an ideal for choice for someone who is looking for their first concealed carry weapon.
Pros

The hammer is tucked into the slide which helps keep it from snagging on clothing.

You can use a hold-open latch on the slide to inspect the chamber or clean the gun.

The firearm is made in the United States of America.

It features a semi-automatic action that allows for faster firing.

It has a short barrel and only weighs 1.65 lbs.

Cons

The gun has been reported to jam easily while firing.

The takedown pin can fall out of the slide assembly.

9. Taurus 738 TCP

9. Taurus 738 TCP
The 738 TCP by Taurus has been designed with concealed carry needs in mind. The gun has beveled edges so that it doesn't catch on your clothing and it's small size and light weight make it easy to tuck away and keep it hidden. You will love the feel of the handle which will give you a firm grip while you aim and fire.
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Polymer Grip

The handle features a grip that is made of polymer and is checkered so that you can hold onto the gun easily. You will find that it is easier to steady the gun using this grip.

Loaded Chamber Indicator

There is an indicator on the gun that tells you when there is a round in the chamber. Knowing this will help improve safety and lead to fewer accidents with the gun.

Cost and Value

You can purchase this handgun at a price that is lower than the average price. This makes it into a great value since it has great features like a loaded chamber indicator.
Pros

The grip on the handle is checkered for easier handling.

There is an indicator that tells you if the gun is loaded.

It will easily fit into a large PDA case when needed.

The sights are fixed and have a low profile on them.

The safety has an ambidextrous design for both hand shooting.

Cons

This gun has a large recoil on it for its size.

The gun can be fired without the clip installed in it.

10. Kimber Micro Carry Crimson

10. Kimber Micro Carry Crimson
If you are looking for a premium handgun that has lots of high-end features, then you will want to check out the Kimber Micro Carry Crimson. This is a fully loaded .380 gun that is ideal for self-defense. Its small size makes it easy to conceal and the sights allow for a quick target acquisition so that you can fire quickly.
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Laser Sights

Laser sights make it much easier to acquire your target. This gun features the Crimson Trace (TM) laser sights. You can use the laser to quickly find your target so that you can stay safe.

1911 Safety

The gun's safety is based on the 1911 design. This will help reduce the time it takes to learn the gun if you have prior experience with a 1911 style handgun.

Cost and Value

You should plan on spending an amount that is much higher than the average price. The higher price is thanks to features such as a laser sight, aluminum frame, and small weight and size.
Pros

It features laser sights that will help you acquire your target.

The thumb safety is based on the 1911 handgun design.

The frame is made of aluminum to help reduce the weight.

There are serrations on the slide to help with reloading.

The non-laser sights are low profile to help you find your target.

Cons

This gun has been known to fail to eject the shell properly.

Users have reported that the gun fails to feed properly.

The .380 pistols is a handgun that has been well known for being an ideal self-defense gun. This is because the smaller cartridge allows you to have a gun design that is smaller and lighter weight than a gun that fires a larger round. It’s small size and low weight makes it easy for you to tuck the gun under your clothing and draw it quickly when you are in danger. Furthermore, the barrel length makes it easy for you to acquire your target quickly so that you can defend yourself at point blank range.

There are many different brands choices for .380 pistols. Many of them are low cost so that you don’t have a high barrier to entry when it comes to purchasing a handgun. You will also find that there are plenty of high end and mid-range options as well. This allows you to find a handgun that fits properly with your unique needs. As always, you will want to take your .380 to the range to make sure that you are comfortable with using it prior to keeping it as a concealed carry weapon. This will help improve your chances if you find yourself in a dangerous situation.

Criteria Used in Choosing the Best .380 Pistols

Size and Weight

Most people will consider size and weight to be an important factor in their purchase of a .380 handgun. The reason for this is that these guns are typically used for concealed carrying purposes and a smaller gun is easier to hide than a larger one. Another reason for a small size and weight is that you can aim and fire the gun more quickly at a point blank range. This makes target acquisition much easier and helps you to stay safe when you are in a tight space.

Most .380 handguns weigh less than two pounds and many of them weigh less than one pound. The lighter weight is ideal because it will mean that the gun will not weigh down your clothing when it is tucked into your pants or concealed in a pocket. A well made .380 is so light that you may not even notice that you are carrying it with you while it is tucked into your clothing.

The barrel length is the other thing that you will want to look at when you are buying a .380. Most of these handguns have a barrel that is around three inches long. Some of them are slightly longer while other ones are slightly shorter. A shorter barrel makes it easier to conceal the gun but it also reduces the accuracy at longer ranges. This is why most .380 are intended to be fired at point blank range of the target. Generally speaking, you will want to stick to around the three-inch mark in order to make sure that your gun is accurate enough for its intended purpose but that you can still carry it on you as well.

Safety

Firearms are deadly when misused which is why safety needs to be a critical factor when you are purchasing one. There are a few different safety features that are considered to be must-haves on a .380. One of them is a safety for the trigger that will make sure that the gun won’t fire unless the safety is turned off. It’s also important that the gun won’t fire unless the magazine is inserted into it either. Finally, you may find it helpful to look for a gun that has a loaded chamber indicator that lets you tell instantly if the gun is loaded. All three of these features will go a long way when it comes to improving safety.

The trigger safety is the most important part and is the first line of defense against accidents. Many .380 use an M1911 style trigger safety because many gun owners are familiar with the design of the safety. However, regardless of the kind of safety your gun has, it is important that it works properly. If the gun fires while the safety is turned on, then you need to get it fixed right away to avoid an accident. You should also be familiar with how the safety operates and make sure that you are comfortable with using it.

Additionally, the gun should not fire if the magazine is removed. This is important because many gun owners will detach the magazine while storing the gun. It is possible to forget that there is a shell in the chamber even when the magazine is detached which means that the gun can be fired. This is why it is important that the gun can’t fire without the magazine attached to it.

Reliability

There are many reasons why you want your gun to be reliable. One reason is your personal safety. After all, what good is a concealed handgun that won’t fire in the event that you are attacked? However, poor reliability in any firearm can also lead to accidents which is why you need to make sure that your gun fires reliability, ejects the shell, and reloads the way that it is supposed to. If you find that any of these three areas are compromised, then you need to have your gun looked at.

A common complaint that many owners of a .308 have about their gun is that it misfires. A misfire is a condition that occurs when you pull the trigger but the gun doesn’t actually fire. They are dangerous because it means that there is a potentially live bullet in the chamber but you don’t know when it will actually go off. There are a lot of causes of misfires, one of which is inexpensive ammunition. However, prior to purchasing a .308, you should check and see if it known to misfire on a regular basis. If the gun is known to misfire, then you should consider getting a different kind of .308.

Ejection and feed are the other two common complaints. Ejection refers to the gun ejecting an empty shell casing after the gun has been fired. Sometimes the shell casing gets caught in the gun and doesn’t eject which causes a jam. The feed refers to the gun loading a bullet from the magazine into the chamber after the previous shell has been ejected. Once again, it’s best to check if the gun you are interested in purchasing is known to have problems in these areas.

Sights

The sights are used to aim your gun at a target and are necessary in order for you to shoot the gun accurately. Most .308 handguns have dot sights but some of them have laser sights as well. At a minimum, you will need the dot sights since they are required for aiming, but a laser sight is useful because it helps you aim faster.

Dot sights are located on the top of the gun. There may be one, two, or three of them with three being the most accurate. In less expensive guns, these sights tend to be fixed but higher end ones will allow you to adjust your sights in order to sight in the gun and make it more accurate. Higher accuracy is recommended for safety reasons, which is why you should look for a gun that has adjustable sights. You should also make sure that the sights have a low profile so that they are less likely to catch on your clothing and will help you find your target faster in the sights.

Premium guns will have laser sights that point a laser beam at the target. This allows you to quickly find your target since you can point the laser at the target and fire quickly. If you have a laser sight, you will need to keep in mind that it isn’t always visible in all lights and it only tends to work reliably at shorter ranges. This is why a laser sight isn’t a substitute for dot sights on the gun. Nevertheless, laser sights are a useful feature to have because of the quick target acquisition that they offer which can be life-saving when seconds count.

Cleaning

You will need to clean your handgun at some point which means that you are going to have to take it apart and put it back together. When you are shopping for a .308 pistol, you should always make sure that you check the cleaning directions on the gun ahead of time in order to make sure that you have the skills that are needed to take the gun apart and put it back together properly. Failing to reassemble a gun properly can have a wide range of deadly consequences. Some of the more common consequences include misfires, failure to feed, and failure to eject the shell.

Additionally, you are going to need to consider what sort of tools and cleaners that you need to polish and maintain your gun. This is also something that you will want to consider while you are shopping. If you are not sure what you need in order to clean your gun, then you should ask an expert who can advise you properly. Once again, it’s important that you clean your gun correctly in order to make sure that the gun operates in a safe fashion.

Finally, you should check and see how often the manufacturer recommends that you clean your handgun. Some guns may need to be cleaned more often than other kinds of guns and you will need to clean your gun in order to keep it in tip-top shape. The more you fire the gun, the more you will need to clean it and the type of ammunition that you use with your gun will affect the rate at which you need to clean your gun.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. While is it called a .380 pistol?

A: The gun is named after the .380 ACP cartridge that was developed by Browning. This is a cartridge that has been designed to have a short range and low stopping power. However, the small size of the cartridge also means that it can be fired from compact handguns. This is why the .380 is a popular weapon of choice when it comes to concealed carry purposes. Guns designed to fire the .380 cartridge can be designed to be small, lightweight, and have a short barrel.

Q. For what uses is a .380 pistol appropriate?

A: The .380 pistol is primarily designed to be a short range, low powered concealed carry handgun. It does not have as much power as a .45 but less power also means less recoil which allows the gun to be easy to handle. Furthermore, the small size of the gun makes it easy to carry in a concealed fashion, which is another reason why the .380 is popular as a self-defense gun rather than a longer range gun.

Q. What should I use to carry my .380 pistol?

A: You can fit these guns in a large variety of different spaces. Some people put them in a pocket while other people may keep them in a purse. You can also use a holster as well. The key thing to check is to make sure that the gun will fit in the space that you plan on carrying it in. You should also practice withdrawing the gun to make sure that you can remove it from it’s carrying place easily.

Q. Should I get a semi-automatic or revolver kind?

A: Semi-automatic guns tend to be more popular than revolvers. They normally have a larger magazine capacity, reload faster, and are thinner. However, a revolver is easier to operate and some beginners may find the revolver to be easier to load and operate as opposed to a semi-automatic. However, the revolver is thicker and harder to conceal and you are normally limited to six rounds when using the revolver handgun design. You may want to consider trying both styles prior to purchasing a handgun to make sure that you are comfortable with them.

Q. Why do I need to clean my gun?

A: Firing your gun will release debris in the chamber and the barrel. Over time, this debris will build up and this can lead to the gun to malfunction. For this reason, you need to remove this debris on a periodic basis to make sure that the gun fires properly. Cleaning the gun is also an opportune time to oil and lubricate it as well as this will help the internal parts mover freely and help to resist corrosion.

Sources

  1. NRA Family, First-TIme Handgun Buyer’s Guide
  2. Shooter’s Log, Pocket .380 Pistols
  3. Wikipedia, .380 ACP
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