A couple of weeks ago one of our Sheriffs lieutenants was instructing a handful of deputies on our VirTra 100.
He was “knocking the rust” off of their weapons manipulations skills.
To demonstrate a proper tac load he removed his Glock from his holster, (don’t worry folks it was unloaded and verified through a secondary safety check) and began to explain the various aspects of the reloading procedure.
I was leaning against the wall watching him and sipping on my coffee.
Something looked a little strange to me so I peered closer.
The gun looked… well… “small”.
“Lt. is that a .380?”
He looked over at me and had a sheepish look. “Yeah… but it is a real tac driver.”
“Yeah” I chuckled… “it is adorable”.
He grimaced… “Thanks”
(If you arrived here from our newsletter continue reading here:)
Those of you have have taken classes with me know that I give a lot of grief to .380 carriers.
Last weekend we had a CCW class and I know one of our students, Allen is still probably annoyed with me for all of the jibing I sent his way regarding his little .380.
Folks… I want you to know something and I want to make it absolutely clear: I would rather have a .380 on me than nothing at all.
(But for what it is worth I’ll stick with my .45 thank you very much)
Caliber discussions and debates have been going on since we first started making defined cartridges.
Smaller caliber carriers boast about ammo capacity and the ability to conceal their firearms.
Large caliber carriers talk about the mythical “one stop shot” with the howitzers they carry on their hips.
Each of these users are passionate about their weapons… and make amazing counter arguments to the perceived deficiencies:
.380: “It is all about shot placement”
“I can carry more ammo on my body and deliver more fire power with less weight on my hips”
“If a single shot from a .380 doesn’t stop the threat the 20 more I am able to carry with me certainly will”
“I can tuck in my shirt, carry a gun and not look like I have a tumor on my hip”
.45: “It is the only round powerful enough to stop a threat”
“One .45 drops even the most seriously narced threat in their tracks.”
“It is what the most elite spec opps teams use”
“Even though you end up carrying less ammo.. it is ok… with a .45 you need less ammo”
The fact of the matter is…. all joking aside… your choice of weapon is dependent on a variety of factors. What you wear… how you shoot… how you grip your gun…, are but a few.
Jack O’Conner was famous for only hunting with a .270.
He used that round on literally everything, from goats to dangerous game. He was a master of that rifle round and knew the limitations and made sure that his engagements were within the parameters of those limitations.
The same is true for the smaller caliber rounds.
Would I grab that .380 first if there was someone breaking into my home?
Would I grab that .380 first if I was going for a jog?
We make decisions each day about how we choose to dress and where where we choose to visit.
Both decisions dictate the type of weapon we will carry with us.
There are times when a .380 may very well be the best decision.
There is another value in the .380… like inter service rivalry, it makes for some good natured ribbing.
That lieutenant that I mentioned earlier… he is an absolute master of defensive tactics and weapons craft. Would I want him on my side if things went south?
You betcha….. even if he were only carrying that ”adorable” .380