Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hooked on .380 ACP phonics

So when I went down to visit the collective family, I got my first trigger-time with a .380 auto.  Why haven't I shot one till now?  Well, I never really went out of my way to do so.  That, and I have always been somewhat of a big bore fanboy, so the appeal was somewhat lost on me for a while.  That is, until now.

Exhibit A:
The full story so far:

Not the most flattering picture of the gun (or myself for that matter), but it's a Beretta 85.  Also called the Cheetah by Beretta.  Not a bad gun, but definitely not my favorite.  It still shows off the good performance of the round though. I won't complain too much, however, as it is not my gun. 

The official story is that a short time ago, the mother-figure was asked to hold on to this thing for a friend, who was contemplating selling it.  Good news to my mom, as she was interested in shooting a .380 auto because, she hadn't done so before either.  So, after a quick trip to the ammunition dispensary, she finagled a box of fun and out she went.  My mother hasn't shot too many handguns in her day, and has been trying to find something that could be shot all day without getting sore.  Being a breast cancer survivor, on top of graduating from the school of hard knocks, her bones just ain't what they used to be.  She was pleasantly surprised by the soft recoil compared to my old .40 S&W I used to let her shoot, and liked that the gun didn't seem too big for her hands.  She called me up and told me I should give it a shot, and I had to oblige.

I only got to shoot about 4 mags, but I was also quickly impressed with the performance of the round.  I liked the fact that I could make follow-up shots so quickly and accurately with very little effort.  The gun itself has some interesting design quirks, though.  Being a .380, it's naturally a dimensionally smaller type of gun; but for me, it took some getting used to, considering I'm kind of a big guy with fat hands. Once I had kind of gotten a "feel for it" after about a magazine or so, I was nearly plinking as good as the best of 'em. 

However, the gun does have one thing I really don't appreciate on just about any firearm.  A magazine disconnect.  Curses, I don't like those things (and neither does Caleb).  Especially when the gun is already fitted with an ambidextrous thumb safety. What's the point of that?  Did 'Mario' over in the Beretta design team, think you couldn't be trusted with your own thumb or something?  Did they not have any confidence in their manual safety?  Are they trying to insult the intelligence of shooters?  I just feel like slapping the guy that thought of that idea with a glove.  Whatever. Aside from being more than a little awkward ergonomically (for my tastes at least), the gun was still a good shooter.

On the whole, the experience has made me really like the whole 9mm Short idea.  Now I'm more than a little exited to try out some .380's made by other manufacturers, too.  Like maybe a double-stacked Bersa Thunder, or a SIG P238.  That would be cool.

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