When it comes to choosing a caliber for your handgun, there are many factors to consider, including the purpose of the firearm, your own shooting proficiency, and the availability and cost of ammunition. Two popular choices for concealed carry and personal defense are the 9mm and .380 cartridges. In this blog, we will explore the differences between these two calibers and their pros and cons.
9mm vs. .380: Basic Differences The 9mm, also known as 9x19mm or 9mm Luger, is a larger and more powerful cartridge than the .380, also known as the 9mm Short or 9mm Kurz. The 9mm bullet is typically 115 to 147 grains in weight and travels at a velocity of around 1,000 to 1,200 feet per second (fps), while the .380 bullet is typically 85 to 95 grains in weight and travels at a velocity of around 900 to 1,000 fps. This means that the 9mm has a higher kinetic energy and momentum than the .380, making it more effective for self-defense and personal protection.
Pros and Cons of 9mm One of the main advantages of the 9mm is its versatility. It is commonly used by law enforcement and military organizations around the world, as well as by civilian gun owners for personal defense, target shooting, and competition. 9mm ammunition is widely available and relatively affordable compared to other calibers. Additionally, the recoil of the 9mm is manageable for most shooters, allowing for faster follow-up shots and better accuracy.
However, one of the potential drawbacks of the 9mm is its stopping power. While the 9mm is certainly capable of stopping a threat, it may not be as effective as larger calibers such as the .40 S&W or .45 ACP. Additionally, the increased velocity of the 9mm may lead to overpenetration, which can be a concern in certain situations.
Pros and Cons of .380 The main advantage of the .380 is its compact size, making it ideal for concealed carry and personal defense. It is often used in small, lightweight handguns that can be easily carried in a pocket or purse. The recoil of the .380 is also generally lighter than that of the 9mm, making it more manageable for shooters who may have difficulty with larger calibers.
However, the smaller size and lower velocity of the .380 also mean that it has less stopping power than the 9mm. Additionally, ammunition for the .380 can be more expensive and harder to find than 9mm ammunition, particularly in certain regions or during times of high demand.
When it comes to choosing between the 9mm and .380 calibers, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. It ultimately depends on your individual needs and preferences. The 9mm is a versatile and powerful cartridge that is well-suited for a variety of purposes, while the .380 is a compact and lightweight option that can be easily carried for personal defense. It's important to choose a caliber that you feel comfortable shooting and that will meet your needs in any given situation.
Need a new holster, mag holder, or gun belt? Checkout what we have to offer here.