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Mp bodyguard 380

Guide To Popular Concealed Carry Handguns Chambered In .380 ACP

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The best concealed carry pistol is the one that you feel most comfortable using and you’re willing to carry with you every day. There are quite a few firearm producers that make a tight, compact .380 ACP concealed carry pistol and we’ve tried to give a decent preview of the different options. Obviously, there’s plenty more than just what’s displayed but we wanted to give a broad overview of what’s out there on the market.

*For reference: SA/DA means “Single Action/Double Action”, DAO means “Double Action Only”

Astra-Unceta y Cia SA

Astra_A-60_semi-automatic_pistol,_left_side

Astra A-60

  • Barrel Length: 3.25″
  • Overall Length: 6.5″
  • Action: SA/DA
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 13 rounds
  • MSRP: $300 (USED)

The Astra A-60 was initially produced for the Spanish Military but has since become a beloved favorite for off-duty police officers and concealed carriers alike. There are models of the A-60 that accept .32 caliber and others that take .380 ACP.

These pistols, while still reliable, are no longer in production. This means your best chance of finding an Astra A-60 will likely be in the used section of a pawn shop, gun store, or hopefully a gun show exhibition.

Bersa

bersa-thunder-380-popular-concealed-carry-pistols

Bersa Thunder .380 ACP

  • Barrel Length: 3.2″
  • Overall Length: 6″
  • Action: SA/DA
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 8 rounds
  • MSRP: $300

The Bersa Thunder .380 ACP bears a very close resemblance to an older Walther PPK. This form factor for a concealed carry pistol is both considered utilitarian in terms of performance as well as very concealable. New or used, the Bersa Thunder has a long history in the concealed carry firearms industry. The Bersa Thunder .380 Auto probably fits best as an inside the waistband concealed carry option. While it’s small enough to fit inside a pocket holster, the user definitely benefits from ensuring it can be drawn from concealment rather quickly. If you prefer a comfortable neoprene backpad and tight retention, both Alien Gear and Stealthgear make IWB configurations for that. Stealthgear also has a very comfortable appendix carry model of holster for the Bersa Thunder .380 Auto.

Cobra Freedom

cobra_FS380BB

FS .380 ACP

  • Barrel Length: 3.5″
  • Overall Length: 6.4″
  • Action: Striker
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 7 rounds
  • MSRP: $134

Where there’s a market, there’s a product. For those interested in an American-made Cobra Freedom, it comes at a price-point equivalent of a family night out at a restaurant. The Cobra Freedom FS .380 ACP is a “no frills” first pick for the extremely budget conscious concealed carrier.

Colt Manufacturing Company

coltmustang

Colt Mustang

  • Barrel Length: 2.75″
  • Overall Length: 5.5″
  • Action: Single Action
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 6 rounds
  • MSRP: $499

For those that only trust their life to the 1911 form factor, Colt has you covered. The Colt Mustang is sleek, powerful, and easy to fit into an inside the waistband concealed carry holster. Featuring a beaver tail pistol grip design that can be balanced easily in one hand, this is a good choice for a backup pistol or even purse carry.

CZ-USA

cz-83-satin-nickel-finish-500x333

CZ 83

  • Barrel Length: 3.8″
  • Overall Length: 6.8″
  • Action: SA/DA
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 12 rounds
  • MSRP: $439

As far as we know, CZ-USA stopped making CZ 83s around 2012. It’s a shame because for a .380 ACP frame, it definitely fits the bill. CZ-USA makes some of the best consumer model pistols on the market and this sleek, classic design is sure to be attractive on the range or in a concealed carry holster.

Diamondback

diamondback_DB380

DB380

  • Barrel Length: 2.8″
  • Overall Length: 5.2″
  • Action: DAO
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 6 rounds
  • MSRP: $235

Competing with the likes of Cobra Freedom and Hi-Point, Diamondback makes a very economical concealed carry pistol chambered in .380 ACP. It features a very narrow 0.75″ width and relatively smooth DAO trigger pull that makes it an attractive option for first time concealed carriers operating under a very tight budget.

Fabricca d’Armi Pietro Beretta

Beretta-Pico

Beretta Pico

  • Barrel Length: 2.7″
  • Overall Length: 5.2″
  • Action: DAO
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 6 rounds
  • MSRP: $396

The Beretta Pico is in the modern family of pistols produced by Fabricca d’Armi Pietro Beretta. The Pico is strictly intended to be a tight, everyday concealed carry pistol. These Picos are highly customizable, with upgradable pistol grips, laser sights, and even different colors of lower receiver. This makes the Pico an attractive option for those with small hands or no room to print or show. Because the Pico is so concealable, some concealed carriers actually carry this in a pocket holster. Crossbreed makes a great pocket holster known as the “pocket rocket” which is ideal for carrying the Beretta Pico.

beretta 84FS cheetah

Beretta 84FS 380 Cheetah

  • Barrel Length: 3.8″
  • Overall Length: 6.1″
  • Action: SA/DA
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 13 rounds
  • MSRP: $679

For those who have lived and trained with the Beretta 92FS — standard issue for most branches of the United States military — the Cheetah was designed to be a slimmed down version of that gun. No longer in production, the Cheetah is a pistol that earned its stripes in the hearts and minds of many former law enforcement officers and military service members. It features a very robust magazine capacity for a pistol of its size and is extremely easy to use. The Beretta Cheetah is a great example of a sub-compact concealed carry pistol that can hold up to outside the waistband open carry as well. This would be a great gun to wear in Alien Gear’s Cloak Mod OWB.

Glock Ges.m.b.H.

glock 42 380ACP

Glock 42

  • Barrel Length: 3.25″
  • Overall Length: 5.94″
  • Action: Striker
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 6 rounds
  • MSRP: $399

The Glock 42 hit the markets in 2014 at a time when single stack concealed carry pistols were just starting to cool off. While Glock fans raced to get theirs, many gun owners were cautious of this latest attempt to break into a very particular market. As it turns out, Glock gave what they promised: a very concealable, reliable, slim, single stack pistol chambered in .380 ACP. Since then, it’s joined the Glock family of single stack pistols like the G36 & G43. For those who simply love the low recoil and precision of the .380 ACP round, the G42 is almost always a very safe option. As an everyday carry option, if you’re looking for a slim profile, high-speed-low-drag approach, check out Squared Away Custom’s Alpha IWB. If you’re the type that gets nervous about only carrying six rounds, feel free to check out Accelerated Solutions’ IWB magazine holster.

Grand Power

Grand Power Cp380 M12

Cp380 Mk12

  • Barrel Length: 3.3″
  • Overall Length: 7.0″
  • Action: SA/DA
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 16 rounds
  • MSRP: $465

Breaching the upper limit in what is considered a sub-compact concealed carry pistol, the Grand Power Cp380 Mk12 delivers. These pistols are made in Slovakia but have garnered themselves a small but stalwart following amongst some concealed carry gun owners.

Hi-Point Firearms

hi_point_cf380

Hi-Point CF-380

  • Barrel Length: 3.5″
  • Overall Length: 6.75″
  • Action: Striker
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 8 rounds
  • MSRP: $151

The Hi-Point CF-380 is the entry level model for this series chambered in .380 ACP. Hi-Points are priced and designed for the most strict budgetary requirements. The cost of cleaning gear, holster, ammunition, and protective equipment to go to the range will arguably outstrip the price to purchase this gun. If that means the concealed carrier is actively practicing with it and getting the results he wants, there’s no problem.

Kahr

Kahr CT380

CT380

  • Barrel Length: 3.0″
  • Overall Length: 5.52″
  • Action: DAO
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 7 rounds
  • MSRP: $419

Kahr is probably one of the most underrated pistol manufacturers out there when it comes to everyday concealed carry. The Kahr CT380 has a longer barrel and holds one more round than its CW380 counterpart but in terms of performance and reliability, they’re identical.

Kahr CW380 ACP

CW380

  • Barrel Length: 2.58″
  • Overall Length: 5.52″
  • Action: DAO
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 6 rounds
  • MSRP: $419

The Kahr CW380 is definitely a great choice for a concealed carry pistol for those who are adamant about never printing or showing. It has a reliable track performance in terms of accuracy and precision and it definitely falls within the price point of pistols that will perform adequately. This CW380 model is a great first introduction into Kahr’s line of concealed carry sub-compacts. If you’re a fan of a nice retention and smooth ergonomics, Crossbreed makes a great Freedom Carry holster that’s molded specifically to the CW380.

Kahr P380

P380

  • Barrel Length: 2.53″
  • Overall Length: 5.52″
  • Action: DAO
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 6 rounds
  • MSRP: $667

For the life of me, I can’t tell the difference between a P380 and CW380 from first glance. The difference, so I’ve been told, can be found in the finer-tuned trigger and handling of recoil. Otherwise, the P380 seems like a more expensive version of the CW380 and the price point difference isn’t readily apparent in performance. Be advised, when buying a high retention IWB or OWB, if a holster company lists coverage for the P380, it will very likely also fit the less expensive CW380. But, if you’re into buying premium, might as well go full tilt and get the Crimson Trace laser sight attachment. Alien Gear makes a holster specifically suited for that laser sight and that means you get to carry everyday with your premium Kahr P380.

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Kel-Tec CNC Industries

KelTec P3AT

Kel-Tec P-3AT

  • Barrel Length: 2.7″
  • Overall Length: 5.2″
  • Action: DAO
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 6 rounds
  • MSRP: $340

For affordable pocket guns, the Kel-Tec P-3AT certainly comes to mind. It has a decent record of performance and is definitely easy to conceal. The P-3AT is a no frills, no bells and whistles sort of sub-compact pistol — so be prepared to do the work on your end to make this your preferred choice in everyday carry.

Kimber

Kimber Micro Carry 380

Micro Carry .380 ACP

  • Barrel Length: 2.75″
  • Overall Length: 5.6″
  • Action: Single Action
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 6 rounds
  • MSRP: $650

Carrying a single action sub-compact? Bold move. Good thing it’s a Kimber. Kimber pistols are the Cadillacs of the firearms industry. Sleek, high performance single action trigger action means that your first shot may be the only one that needs counting. If you’re willing to throw down the extra cheddar to make this your everyday carry option, you likely won’t be disappointed in it when it comes time to use it.

North American Arms (NAA)

NAA guardian 380

Guardian 380 ACP

  • Barrel Length: 2.5″
  • Overall Length: 4.8″
  • Action: DAO
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 6 rounds
  • MSRP: $486

North American Arms’ Guardian 380 ACP is so tiny, you may have to double check to make sure it’s still there. Still, with six rounds in a standard magazine and an overall length of 4.8″, it may be the last thing your assailant never sees coming.

Remington Arms

remington-arms-model-rm380-popular-concealed-carry-pistols

Model RM380

  • Barrel Length: 2.9″
  • Overall Length: 5.3″
  • Action: DAO
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 6 rounds
  • MSRP: $380

Remington is a brand known for shotguns, rifles, and competition grade munitions. What they aren’t known for is their concealed carry pistols. But just because we don’t see the Model RM380 getting tossed around every time people list a “who’s who” of sub-compacts, doesn’t mean it’s not an incredible pistol for everyday concealed carry. Featuring a very competitive overall length and a price point attractive to first time buyers, it’s a bit of a surprise the RM380 hasn’t gotten more attention.

Sig Sauer

Sig-Sauer-P290RS-380-best-concealed-carry-pistol

P290RS

  • Barrel Length: 2.9″
  • Overall Length: 5.5″
  • Action: DAO
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 8 rounds
  • MSRP: $513

If Kimber could be compared to a Caddy, Sig Sauer most certainly is the all American muscle car of the gun world. Lean, mean, and plenty of power to spare, the P290RS is meant as an entry level sub-compact concealed carry pistol. Featuring a super smooth Double Action Only firing mechanism and 8 rounds in a standard magazine, the P290RS is an excellent choice for those looking to minimize size while retaining high performance.

Sig Sauer P238

P238

  • Barrel Length: 2.7″
  • Overall Length: 5.5″
  • Action: Single Action
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 7 rounds
  • MSRP: $786

For those that only trust their lives to a 1911, Sig Sauer has you covered. The Sig Sauer P238 is a single-action, true-to-form 1911 chambered in .380 ACP. It’s a bit pricier than most other sub-compacts in the same market, but Sig Sauer places a lot of emphasis on quality over quantity. After all, when rounds are going down range, you don’t want to second guess the pistol you’re using.

Smith & Wesson

mp bodyguard 380

M&P Bodyguard 380

  • Barrel Length: 2.75″
  • Overall Length: 5.25″
  • Action: DAO
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 6 rounds
  • MSRP: $379

Smith and Wesson was at the forefront of firearms manufacturers going after reliable sub-compacts for concealed carry. The M&P Bodyguard series highlighted the need for a reliable sub-compact that can be stowed away in a discrete inside the waistband concealed carry holster or even a pocket holster. Meant for short-to-medium range combat, this pistol can definitely stand toe-to-toe with nearly any other .380 ACP on the market.

Sturm, Ruger & Co

ruger_lcp_2

Ruger LCP

  • Barrel Length: 2.75″
  • Overall Length: 5.16″
  • Action: DAO
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 6 rounds
  • MSRP: $259

A loaded chamber indicator (view-port), a smooth DAO trigger pull and six rounds in the magazine — that’s what a Ruger LCP offers. It also offers the comfort and security of knowing you have a trusted name in firearms producing an affordable sub-compact for your everyday concealed carry needs. There aren’t too many frills on the base model, but it does offer reliability.

ruger-lc380-concealed-carry-pistol

Ruger LC380

  • Barrel Length: 3.12″
  • Overall Length: 6.0″
  • Action: DAO
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 7 rounds
  • MSRP: $479

A little bit bigger and a whole lot meaner, the Ruger LC380 has proven itself to be a good advance on the Ruger LCP form factor. Reasonably affordable and good for close quarters to medium range, the Ruger LC380 is definitely a solid choice for a sub-compact concealed carry pistol.

Tanfolgio

witness-pavona-polymer-compact-by-tanfolgio.2_f

Witness Pavona Polymer

  • Barrel Length: 3.6″
  • Overall Length: 7.3″
  • Action: SA/DA
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 13 rounds
  • MSRP: $400

Almost a compact pistol in terms of overall length and magazine capacity, Tanfolgio’s Witness Pavona Polymer promises itself as a great solution for immediate protection in a sticky situation. It clearly borrows heavily from CZ-USA’s CZ 83 and the Beretta Cheetah but is definitely more affordable than either. Performance-wise, it’s definitely seen as a reliable choice.

Taurus

Taurus PT738Model 738 TCP 380 Compact

  • Barrel Length: 2.84″
  • Overall Length: 5.25″
  • Action: DAO
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 6 rounds
  • MSRP: $356

Sleek, dynamic design features make the Model 738 TCP 380 an attractive option for those looking to get into a reliable entry-level sub-compact concealed carry pistol. Taurus definitely hit its marks with a no-nonsense, streamlined pistol meant to be drawn from a high-retention holster and employed with speed and accuracy.

Taurus-Curve-180CRV-0

180 Curve

  • Barrel Length: 2.5″
  • Overall Length: 5.2″
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 7 rounds
  • MSRP: $393

Ugly? Yes. Out-of-the-box design? Yes. The 180 Curve, since its inception, has struggled to find its niche within the concealed carry community. It doesn’t have fixed or adjustable sights like many of its competitors but it does offer an integrated optics assembly meant to illuminate potential foes.

Walther Arms

Walther_PP_380

Walther PPK

  • Barrel Length: 3.3″
  • Overall Length: 6.1″
  • Action: SA/DA
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 6 rounds
  • MSRP: $360

You can’t get much more of a classic feel than while carrying a Walther PPK. Originally produced in 1931, this single-action/double-action pistol has become the quintessential concealed carry sub-compact. Even though Walther has long since stopped producing the PPK, you have a decent chance of finding a gently used one out on the market. As an everyday concealed carry pistol choice, you can do no wrong with this firearm.

Walther-PK380-Left-Profile-COB

Walther PK380

  • Barrel Length: 3.66″
  • Overall Length: 6.5″
  • Action: SA/DA
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 8 rounds
  • MSRP: $420

While the Walther PPK has gone the way of the dodo, the Walther PK380 does an honest job bringing that classic Walther framework to the 21st century. The Walther PK380 showcases a nice, sleek appearance with the classic smoothness and reliability that made Walther famous to begin with. The PK380 is an excellent choice in terms of a sub-compact that’s capable of handling the rigor of practice, training, and everyday carry.

Zastava Arms

zastava-m70_standard

Zastava M70

  • Barrel Length: 3.7″
  • Overall Length: 6.5″
  • Action: SA/DA
  • Standard Mag. Capacity: 7 rounds
  • MSRP: $300

The Zastava M70 pistol was developed in former Yugoslavia as a police pistol. It has since found a new niche with concealed carriers as its rugged design and smooth SA/DA firing action have made it an ideal choice for price-conscious concealed carry.

Why The .380 ACP Is A Good Concealed Carry Caliber

When Glock came out with their single stack .380 ACP G42, a lot of critics said it was too little, too late. Big complaints arose from the usage of a smaller cartridge when the market was swinging towards bigger, bolder single stack options. However, we’d like to point out that Glock designed a pistol that was relevant for the times.

Many first and second generation concealed carry pistols used smaller cartridges like the .32 caliber and even as small as .25 ACP. The advance to the .380 ACP was an effort to get into the 9mm family of ammunition while still preserving ammunition capacity in the magazine.

The .380 ACP round is a slightly shorter version of the 9x19mm Luger round commonly used in your quintessential 9mm pistol. It’s shorter length tends to sacrifice velocity and penetration at the expense of size.

To overcome this, we always advise concealed carriers who use pistols chambered in .380 ACP to use self-defense rounds such as jacketed hollow points, frangible copper munitions, and similar. These rounds tend to penetrate and then fragment or balloon out and cause a much larger wound channel.

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Categories: Beginners Guide, General
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About James England | View all posts by James England

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry…

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun is a Glock 36 in a Lenwood Holsters Specter IWB or his CZ-75D PCR in an Alien Gear MOD holster.

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