Can Your .380 Fight a Rifle?

By Clay Martin
Posted in #Skills
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Can Your .380 Fight a Rifle?

September 12th, 2019

5:46 runtime

How far should your concealed carry handgun be capable of shooting? If you’re running off of averages, the statistics say seven yards. And I would buy that when you think of all the things a normal street crime lethal force encounter involves. Positive ID, clear and present danger, blah blah blah. But if you base your needs on raw averages, you could risk it and leave your gun at home.

I don’t live that way, and odds are you don’t either. When I leave my house, I carry a Springfield 911 in my holster to help me address lethal threats.

Long distance shooting with a .380 ACP pistol
While a .380 might seem like a close-range-only option, a solidly accurate gun like the .380 911 can give you some options in a pinch.

The fact of the matter is, the world is changing. You might find yourself in a rifle fight, holding onto just your CCW gun. If push comes to shove, will your gun reach? This week, I decided to find out.

Sight alignment is critical when shooting long range targets with the Springfield 911
A set of good sights can a make real difference in the long-range performance of a tiny .380.

All the things that make a gun great for concealment also tend to make it not great for shooting. Short sight radius to go with the short comfy barrel, thin little grips for stashing in your waistband, and not exactly a target gun trigger since you’re cramming it in your pants. But are there exceptions to that rule?

Federal and American Eagle .380 ACP ammo used in long distance testing
Clay ran some basic and also high-end defensive Federal ammo through the 911 during the test.

From my experience with the 911, I would have to say yes. While I have seen CCW specials that wouldn’t hit paper at 25 yards, this isn’t one of them. I have been impressed from day one about the accuracy of the 911, all the more so since it actually has a stubby little 2.7 inch barrel. So I took my .380 ACP version on a walk back and it reached out farther that even I would have bet. Take a look at the video above to see how it did.

Federal HST self defense round in .380 ACP
Clay really likes Federal Premium’s HST .380 ACP ammo for self-defense use.

Would I pick a .380 for a gunfight against a rifle? Nope. But, if I found myself in that situation and the 911 was what I had with me, I’d be ready to reach out with it to stop the threat. Part of being ready is to carry the Springfield 911 with you and couple that with quality training.

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Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory. The views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Springfield Armory.

Clay Martin

Clay Martin

Clay Martin is a former USMC Infantryman, Reconnaissance Marine, and Scout/Sniper. Cross decking to the US Army in 2003, he retired as a Special Forces Intelligence Sergeant from 3rd SFG (A). Clay has been a competitive shooter in USPSA, 3 Gun, and PRS disciplines, as well as a contract instructor for marksmanship and Close Quarters Battle. Aside from being a gunslinger, Clay is the author of Last Son of the War God, and the soon to be published Sword of the Caliphate series. He currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, sons, and pack of feral dogs.

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