Can’t See The Point

On some list of new carry handguns, I see this entry:

Now, I will admit to being Old & Slow-Witted, but as I see it, the only reason to choose the .380 Weenie is to have lotsa boolets to pump into someone — e.g. using a magazine holding 12+ rounds, or at least two 6-round magazines so that he gets the point, so to speak.

Shooting a marginal self-defense cartridge in a slow-to-reload six-shot revolver seems… well, silly.

And I like Charter Arms revolvers, by the way:  I carried a .44 Spec Bulldog (loaded with Winchester Silvertips) for years.  But this makes no sense to me at all.


  1. I didn’t look into details, so it’s POSSIBLE this uses moon-clips, which might give a slight reload advantage over speed-loaders in a .38 Special at cost of somewhat less effective ammo.

    On the other hand (where I also have five fingers), I’m sure Charter Arms thinks it’ll fulfill its purpose perfectly, which is to be sold. Guns, like anything else, are a product and companies that make them do so in order for someone to spend money on them. Since there’s no shortage of .38 snubbies since…forever this one at least stands out from the pack. I hope they sell a gazillion of them just because it shows a market is now being served that wasn’t before. (Of course, if they DON’T sell a gazillion of them, it might be a good idea to buy a couple and leave them unfired for future collector value.)

    Sigh, now that I live in a state which allows CCW, I actually have to give serious thought to the what-and-how of carry because once I get my new driver’s license (which I’ll do once I can prove residency) I can apply for my CCW. Since my only current handguns are revolvers with 6″ barrels (thanks to NYC’s old target-license rules) I’ll need something new for carry.

  2. I get daily emails from several of the discount online gun stores with their latest “specials”. About once a week I see the Ruger SP101 marked down to some ridiculously low price and I’m like finally, I can get one! I’ve been wanting one but never really had the budget or need, I just think it’s a damn fine pistol. Then I look a little closer and see that it’s the 9 mm version. Damn.

    Apparently they thought there would be a market and there’s a ton of these out there, somewhere. Gathering dust on the shelf. You never see the .38 / .357 mag versions on discount. But they can’t seem to give the 9 mm version away. Especially after multiple reports that 9 mm ammo, loaded for 9 mm autoloaders, tends to have the bullet back out of the case when fired from a revolver. This tends to lock up the action. Wonderful idea, guys.

  3. Thanks for the link to that list. I laughed out loud.
    It’s good to know some things never change, like gun magazines having useless articles.

  4. Very seldom does any kind of gun border on the territory of “useless”, but that’s pretty close.

    Conversely, a S&W K frame in .32 S&W or better, 32. H&R Mag, is one of the most accurate target revolvers ever made. Rimmed case, of course, so I’m only comparing weak cartridges, but not directly competing ones.

    I do have a Holy Grail gun in .380 though. Colt 1908. I want two of ’em. One, a nice, clean and minty-ish example of Colt’s Finest. The other? A mechanically sound one, but a cosmetic has-been. So I can do all the sins, such as an enlarged ejection port, decent sights, up-sized slide release & safety, Cerakote, and etc.

    If Colt sold an updated Model 1908, I think they’d have to run the line in three shifts.

    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

    1. I had one of these, and it was the only gun I’ve ever sold. When shooting, it bit the soft part of my hand between the thumb and trigger finger and also had an unpleasant recoil. The barrel was badly eroded from corrosive primers and the action was loose. In those days of about 1970-71 you couldn’t just go on the internet and get new parts.

  5. I think you might have missed the major factor: the price. Looking at that list it’s the second-cheapest gun (there’s a cheaper .22). And having a gun when you need one is better than not having a gun when you need one.

    IOW is it not a cheap starter pistol?

    1. But! But! But! Isn’t the .380 the venerable 9mm Kurz! the shorter version of the 9mm Luger?
      besides which, at 9″ (oops! ‘cuse me! 23cm) three shots should prove more than effective.

  6. The only reason to carry .380 is because you are carrying a PPK, and it’s worth having to shoot someone three times to be classy.

  7. > Now, I will admit to being Old & Slow-Witted, but as I see it, the only reason to choose the .380 Weenie

    Two reasons:
    1) DEEP concealment. Pistols based around the .380 and the .32 can be significantly smaller than 9mm, and thus can be carried successfully into places that the 9mm cannot. I have a Ruger LCP that was purchased specifically for carrying around San Francisco when I used to have to travel out there. Now it goes places where there is a significantly reduced threat profile, but I’d rather be more subtle than a Glock 43 would allow.

    2) Not relevant in ‘Merica yet, but there are some places in the world that prohibit “civilians” from owning military calibers. I don’t think the .380 would be better than the .38 special in revolver (along any axis), but it certainly would in a pistol.

    One thing about the .380 when carried for “deep cover” is that the envelope of engagement changes–you wait until the problem is a lot closer and a lot more obvious before you shoot them in the face.

    Oh, and one last reason for the .380:

  8. Only makes sense if the revolver is very small, and can be loaded with full-moon clips provided with the revolver.

    I concur, full sized in .380 makes no sense.

  9. I’m reminded of a conversation that I had once with a police officer while waiting to testify in a trial. I admitted to him that I carried a KelTek P32, but I felt guilty about it. He laughed and said that it was the pistol that he recommended people carry. I asked him why. He said that the P32 was both underpowered and inaccurate — but those were two characteristics he liked. Since anybody who carried a P32 knew they couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, then they weren’t going to be getting into any long-range firefights. Similarly, since they knew that the .32 was a wimpy round, once you started shooting, you would keep shooting until the opponent just stopped. That meant that it was the perfect close range “get off me” gun — in his mind the “real” purpose of concealed carry — and there was little chance that anybody who carried one would be tempted to use it for anything else.

    The same thing is true of small revolvers, except they have one further advantage. You can shoot a revolver (particularly a hammerless one) more than once from inside a pocket. A semiautomatic pistol will catch on clothing, but a revolver is much less likely to do so. Finally, of course, you don’t have to clean up brass from a revolver. which can be an advantage in some circumstances. The drawbacks of this particular revolver, to me, are the weight (it’s a little heavy for a “get off me” gun) and the fact that it has an exposed hammer.

  10. Pit Bull in .380 ACP, an answer in search of a question.
    For me, S&W SS 640 for pocket or real hiding the gun.
    Sig P 229 the rest of the time.
    But I suppose the Pit Bull is better than “Please mister, don’t hurt me.”

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