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Old 02-17-2012, 07:11 PM
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Default Looking for a CHEAP .380

Anyone have any idea what brand gun in .380 can be bought new, very cheaply?

I am working with a young couple that is just now into shooting and self defense. The husband sort of turned his wife against shooting by giving her large calibers to fire. She is very dainty and has fired three guns, a .44 mag, a .38 spl with +P ammo (snubnose) and a .357 mag. One shot each and she had enough.

He came to me for advice. I began working with both of them and they now have their concealed weapons permits. Both are professional people but money is tight. She feels comfortable carrying and shooting a .380 now to the point of being proficient.

I am wanting to locate a dependable brand that will not bankrupt them. Since I am not a .380 person, I have not had the exposure to them that would allow me to know the brands to suggest.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:17 PM
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most .380's are not fun to shoot. recoil can be tough. i tried just about every kind of them for my daughter. settled on a kel tec .32 acp. might try a j frame with 148 hbwc's . works for me. hth.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:19 PM
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Bersa. A "best-buy" .380. Not the smallest, but easy to shoot, accurate, dead reliable.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:28 PM
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My daughter liked J frame in 32 long, then moved up to K frame in 38 spl. If money is an issue, find an H&R in 32 long (can be had for under 200.00) (use it until money is not an issue and move up to S&W). Ammo can be found on line for approx 13.00 a box. True, 32 long is not a great defensive round, but it's a start, until she can move up. (This is why you never start a new shooter off with too much power, you will scare them. Start w/ 22 and work up until they find their limit.)
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:42 PM
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I am going to throw an alternative thought. One of the CZ (Vz) 82 (83), cheaper as a milsurp in 9mm Mak. It has some weight to absorb recoil, is truly abidextrous. It is big enough to manipulate at ease.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:48 PM
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How about a Keltec 380. CDNN usually has a good price on them and their shipping is reasonable. Don

PS- I think you have to call them to order handguns.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:52 PM
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If you want a brand that offers good reliability and good felt recoil then you should consider the CZ line in 9mm. The CZ 75 compact is an excellent weapon as is the Rami 75.

Also, used CZ 82s can be had for about $250 and they are chambered in 9mm makarov, which is not a very expensive round either.

Just some food for thought...

Andrew
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:53 PM
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I have been carrying a Post war German PP.PPK/PPKs on and off since the 60's.All have been very reliable.. But in todays market they are running higher than a cat's butt!! I have also had good reliable Interarms/Ranger USA PPK's and on all of the I had the extractors "tweaked" and polished ramps and throats for reliabilty.. Never owned a Bersa but hear good things about them..
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:57 PM
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I would not go the .380 route for several reasons...some already stated and others that are not. Ammo is harder to find and usually much more than 9mm. The guns are much smaller which is sometimes an asset to an experienced shooter but not a new shooter. They are also not so easy to shoot well either. Just like a J frame......

Newton's Law of Physics comes into play with recoil...for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.

Were I you.... I would introduce a good .22 first and then move to a K frame revolver 4" barrel with very mild target load...the 148 wadcutter loaded very lightly would be next.

After that then start looking for a high quality used firearm that fits her hand well and then move on to a suitable gun for HER.

Welcome to fixing what I call the " Bubba" complex.........but then you most likely know all of this anyway..

Let us know how it all turns out!

Randy
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:52 PM
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I also would have them try a Bersa or a CZ. The larger grip is going to be more comfortable to shoot and the Bersa is a PPK clone at half the price. They have the popular Thunder model and also a CC model.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:11 PM
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Default 380 help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
Bersa. A "best-buy" .380. Not the smallest, but easy to shoot, accurate, dead reliable.
I think this is good advice.

Good Luck
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:13 PM
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What is there price range? Will they share this gun, or is it strictly for the lady?
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:15 PM
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Once I met the lady, I started her with a .22 revolver, then went to an auto loader. Stepped up to a .25 semi and she was still ok with that. Went to the .380 and she was fine.
Went to a .38 (Model 36 snubbie for inquiring minds) with standard loads and she became uncomfortable.

Went down to a 9mm and she was not happy with that.

I have ran out of choices. A revolver would be best for this lady (32 yrs old) and a black belt holder in the martial arts. She says she feels best with the .380 so that is what her hubby and I are looking for.

Her hubby has a Colt Detective snubnose .38, a S&W model 29 with a four inch and a Model 19. She is not happy with any of those. I tried all the mouse guns I have and she likes the .380 best and I borrowed that one from a co-workers wife.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:45 PM
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I have no experience with the polymer frame Kahr pistols in .380 but my son has owned three in 9mm & .40 S&W and praised them highly. My brother bought this wife a Ruger LCP with the laser and they like it alot.

I gave my last .380, a Beretta 84, to my son.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:01 PM
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I have to agree with the comments on the CZ82 in 9 Mak. The round is adequate, pleasant to shoot and cheap. The gun is comfortable, reliable and cheap. It is somewhat of a win win. Is it the best all around gun? Nope, but you could spend a lot more and get a lot worse.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
Bersa. A "best-buy" .380. Not the smallest, but easy to shoot, accurate, dead reliable.
Bersa, good good, low price, dependable. Spend the extra money for the Corbon DPX's to make up for the smaller caliber.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pisgah View Post
Bersa. A "best-buy" .380. Not the smallest, but easy to shoot, accurate, dead reliable.

This is also what I would recommend. I told several people to buy them and all have been very satisfied. they can be had new for $300-350.

Kevin
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Old 02-18-2012, 08:33 AM
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I didn't want to taint my recommendation by saying I own a Bersa but the fact is I sold a Colt Mustang and bought the Bersa (actually a Firestorm model) with the money and am very happy I did. The Mustang was a nice gun but was 4"-5" groups at 10yds while the Bersa is more like 1-1/2".

Also the sights are much better and it has the hammer-drop safety which allow it to be carried fully loaded while the Mustang requires the 1911 style cocked & locked mode I doubt she would be comfortable with. The only negative feature is that it is a little bigger than a lot of the popular 380s being sold now but then she has a purse to help her conceal it. The Sig is just a clone of the Mustang. Both are way overpriced IMO.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:00 AM
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125JHP
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I didn't want to taint my recommendation by saying I own a Bersa
Nothing wrong with that, I owned an older .380 Bersa I picked up used just for a cheap carry piece. It was a very well built handgun for the money and it was accurate. Never had a problem with it.
Just sold it to a guy who was looking for an inexpensive piece to carry and one his wife could shoot as well. Kinda miss the thing but I had no further use of it and I know it went to a good home plus I knew I helped a guy out who couldn't really afford high end.
Would I recommend the BERSA,,,you bet.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:43 AM
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I agree with the Bersa 380. I had 2 of them brandy new from my fathers collection, it was the first gun I shot my first range visit and loved it. I also will add my wife has not taken to anything larger than 380 either. She loves her Ruger Mark III so I am thinking of getting one of the 3" short barrels for it. Heck, I like my 40-45acp carry guns for the bigger caliber, but if my wife isn't comfortable shooting the larger caliber, 22 works if that is what she is comfortable with... she is deadly accurate with them.
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:50 AM
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Ya' want cheap?
Hi Point CF 380.
Suggested retail $135.
Don't think you'll find any cheaper.
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Old 02-18-2012, 10:52 AM
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Another vote for the Bersa. Exceptional value in all regards other than price of spare magazines.
Randy
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:23 AM
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While recoil is very subjective, most people find that a .380 in a small pistol (like an LCP, for example) has more felt recoil than a 9mm. Plus, 9mm is less expensive and more available. If she has tried a 9mm and doesn't like it (although there are a large variety of pistols chambered for 9mm, and felt recoil can vary widely) then it isn't the right caliber for her.

First, I would suggest that she go to a range and try renting a bigger sample of guns, especially in 9mm. Failing that, if she is focused on a .380, I would definitely suggest the Bersa Thunder .380. It is by all accounts a very pleasant shooter, reliable, inexpensive, and Bersa offers a lifetime warranty with good customer service. Other than that, if she wants to go even smaller, there is the S&W BG380 or the Ruger LCP...but many complain of recoil being excessive.

I just bought a Bersa yesterday...it is a new model, the BP9CC, which is a 9mm designed for concealed carry. I would suggest that, but they are hard to find right now (according to all reports; I saw one in my local gun shop yesterday, and bought it on impulse) and I doubt that there would be any available for rent.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
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Another vote for the Bersa. Exceptional value in all regards other than price of spare magazines.
Randy
You can get them at Natchez shooting supplies
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blujax01 View Post
Ya' want cheap?
Hi Point CF 380.
Suggested retail $135.
Don't think you'll find any cheaper.
As heavy as the Hi Point .380 is, recoil should not be a problem either.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:14 PM
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May I suggest a Micro Desert Eagle Micro Eagle Pistol: Magnum Research . It is small, easy to conceal, and because it is completely made of steel - easy to shoot. I own one, and so does my wife. We have shot hundreds of rounds through ours without any failures. They can be found for less than $400 if one is willing to look. I may even buy another one just to put away.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:25 PM
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My first thought for inexpensive .380 was also a Bersa.

I've never owned one, nor even shot one...but in my days working at the gun shop we sold quite a few, and many buyers came in expressing their satisfaction with the Bersa, but I don't recall anyone ever coming in regretting having bought one, or having any negative comments regarding them.

I'll also agree with others comments about the CZ82. It's an excellent pistol in a decent cartridge, a great shooter and a good value. The only slight downside is that it's a bit large, for a .380/9mm Mak, not as concealable as the Bersa, but it does have a higher capacity.

Another choice in either .380 or 9mm Mak would be the Makarov. The .380s are a bit harder to find and, as such, often demand a higher price. The 9mm Maks, especially the surplus Bulgarians, are usually the better deals now.

Tim
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:45 PM
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I'd vote for the small Ruger LCP
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:17 AM
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Bersa is what I would recommend as well.
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
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I'd vote for the small Ruger LCP
I agree. Love my Elsie Pea! :-)

My wife ended up with the Kel-Tec P32 with a Laserlyte.

I've got a S&W Bodyguard 380 but right now I cant recommend one. It's on its way back to S&W for the second time .
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:08 PM
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it came down to two for my wife....the Ruger LCP and the Taurus TCP.....she liked this Taurus better because of a smoother and lighter tiggger pull.....Just under $300 with two mags.....lock....fannypack.... Needed about 200 rounds to break it in.....very tight slide and release at first
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