International Forecaster Weekly

The .380

The arguments will never end. Ever. All you can do is make up your own mind. For me it’s quite easy, I have the right gun, the right ammo, I train religiously, and I will indeed stop the threat. No need for cannons.

Bob Rinear | May 24, 2017

I knew it would happen, it always happens. Over the weekend while talking “off topics” in my last article, I had mentioned I had changed my personal concealed carry gun from a Ruger LCP to a Barretta Pico. It is chambered in .380. I should have started counting the seconds after it was sent, because I knew someone would write in and give me noise about carrying a .380 for self defense. This was the first and most colorful of them. (exactly as I received it for special effect)

You don’t know much about guns do you? There is a reason the cops use .40s and 9 MM and not silly little 380s. your not going to stop anybody with that, you need a real bullet with stopping power. Stick to the economy, you don’t know what you are talking about with guns.

Well how about that? I’m not in the business of trying to embarrass people, so I’ll try my best to keep on an even keel here. I’m also not in the bragging business, it just doesn’t seem fitting. However, I’ll let a few facts surface and then we’ll get to the meat of the issue.

Do I know anything about guns? More than most. Why? Because while you might not know it, I’m a silent partner in a company that does nothing else than train people in gun fighting. From the basics of shooting, to getting your concealed carry license to high end tactical handgun and rifle. We’ve trained police, SWAT, Highway patrol, and thousands of “regular folk”. Our lead trainer is an ex sniper out of the military. Our other trainers have years of tactical defense training.

Even if just a little bit of what they teach rubbed off on me, I’d know more than most of you. But I can say that a lot more than a little bit got on me. I’m not them, I don’t profess to be. But you can’t be around that many people of that quality for so many years and not learn a few things. Without trying to sound boastful, I’ve sent more lead downrange than probably anyone you’ll ever meet.

But that doesn’t mean I know everything, I don’t. But I do know what I do know and one thing I know is that there’s more digital ink spilled concerning what’s the best self-defense round than almost any other topic. EVERYONE has an opinion about it. Some of them are fairly sound, some of them are stupid. But trust me, they all have one.

I guess the author of that little note didn’t read all of the little article I had penned. I said I’d much rather have my 9MM than my .380. But if I won’t go through the machinations needed to carry the bigger weapon, and I leave it at home…what good is that? None. Remember folks, the best carry gun is the gun you WILL carry. All the time. Every day. One that you’re comfortable with.

Another issue with the author is that he mentions the “cops” don’t use .380. Well, no they don’t. But maybe you hadn’t noticed, they’re allowed to carry out in the open, in wonderful holsters that are OUTSIDE the waistband, not inside with the barrel poking your privates. If I was allowed open carry, then I too would be carrying a Glock 19 9MM. I’m not allowed open Carry in Florida.

Moving along, I don’t want to get too graphic and inside baseball here, but let’s chat for a second about those words that everyone has heard “stopping power.” What is it? Does it exist? Yes it does, but probably not how you think.

The three main ways a human stops functioning from a gun shot is 1) if the shot hits a really important area, such as the face/brain/spine. 2) from stress shock ( people have died from wounds that should not have killed them, yet the impact imparted so much shock to their system, they locked up) 3) blood loss that lowers your blood pressure until you pass out.

To give you an idea about how differently people react to things, here’s an article about a Navy Seal that was shot 27 times. Not only did he live, he killed three of the bad guys in Iraq while being shot.

Remember Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman? Martin was shot 1 time, and died. The human body is an amazing machine and reacts differently.

But one thing we know from law enforcement, and our military trainers is that ammo alone is not what you should depend on to stop an attacker. Some of these people smoking bath salts have shown superhuman strength. In other words “shot placement” is at least… if not much more important than what ammo you use.

I never want to fire my gun in self defense. If I have to hurl a bullet towards someone it means 1) something really terrible has or was to happen, and 2) there’s a gaggle of Lawyers just waiting to parachute down on me with lawsuits. 3) it’s going to cost big dollars, and finally… it’s often life changing.

That said, IF that situation ever arises, I want to be confident that I can stop the threat. So what does one do if you can’t comfortably conceal the glock 19 in a tee shirt and shorts? You go smaller, you get the RIGHT ammo and you train. You put in range time, you put in simulator time. You learn muscle memory.

The advances in ammunition over the years has been truly amazing. The science behind “stopping” bad guys has evolved. One of the biggest problems one faces in a self defense situation is “over penetration”. Few people think about this until their trainer mentions it, but you take a high powered 9 MM, it can sail right through a person and kill the little kid 50 feet behind him. Ooops. There’s a problem.

So the science now is to send a lighter “bullet” with insane velocity ( speed) , that wallops its target with all that energy, expends that energy on impact ( doesn’t go through the other side and kill children) and fragments off into little pieces, each creating a wound channel (inducing bleeding) that quickly drops the attackers blood pressure to where he drops. That folks is the “new” stopping power.

Is a .380 capable of this? Absolutely. In fact, the ammo I use (for self defense) was created for the military by a man that lives just up the road from me. It is without a doubt the single best man stopping ammo on the planet. Even in .380 this stuff will fly faster, hit harder, stop quicker, splinter further than anything ever made. It’s called Liberty Civil Defense. ( note, don’t listen to the youtube reviews showing it in comparison to other ammo into ballistic gel. Please don’t. They all whine that it doesn’t have the penetration of the other rounds. Well DUH, it’s designed that way so it doesn’t go through your bad guy and kill grandma down the street!)

The arguments will never end. Ever. All you can do is make up your own mind. For me it’s quite easy, I have the right gun, the right ammo, I train religiously, and I will indeed stop the threat. No need for cannons.

Okay? Good.