Is .380ACP The New 9mm?

John Johnston is the host of the Ballistic Radio Podcast / Radio Show. He’s a firearms trainer and has literally thousands of hours of firearms training from some of the best trainers in the business and is also a crack shot.

So what does he carry? Well, right now, he’s carrying around a .380ACP semi-auto, specifically a Smith&Wesson M&P 380 Sheild EZ. Compact. Easy to shoot and carrying 10+1 rounds of ammunition, the Shield EZ is not your usual .380 pocket rocket.

.380ACP Ammunition
Ammunition selection is important with .380ACP pistols.

Many of our customers are choosing guns in .380ACP over 9mm or larger calibers for their personal defensive firearm, and they are doing so for a variety of different reasons. .380ACP kicks less than 9mm, making guns in that caliber much easier to control under recoil than other larger calibers. Also, because they shoot the softer-recoiling .380ACP cartridge, the slide of the .380 EZ and similar guns such as the Ruger LC380, Glock 42 and Walther PK380 are easier to rack than similar-sized guns in 9mm or larger calibers. The larger size of those .380’s makes them a little more difficult to conceal than other guns like the Ruger LCP2 or SIG Sauer P238, but that added size and weight means you have more to hang onto and more mass to soak up recoil.

That soft recoil comes with a price, though, and that price is less muzzle energy and less effect on the target, which means round like that will penetrate and expand in 9mm, like Federal HST or Speer Gold Dot, might have a hard time punching through bone and muscle to be effective. This, in turn, makes shot placement even more important, which means training and practice in order to make the shot when it matters the most.

Is .380 the new 9mm? That’s up to you and your ability to shoot your gun. It doesn’t matter what round you’re carrying in your gun if you can’t hit the target, and all the firepower in the world does you little good if it’s not there when you need it. Stop by our range today and spend some time honing your skills, and take a few minutes to look over our selection of holsters so your gun is ready to go at all times, because choosing to carry a .380, 9mm or some other caliber only matters if you actually carry your gun.

Leave a comment