I recently did a ballistics test between a j-frame 38 Special and a Smith & Wesson Model 19 with a 4″ barrel. I thought that I would get better ballistics out of the obviously longer barrel, but I was wrong. It’s amazing what a chronograph will do to your belief in gun energy. I’ve seen ballistics out of M4 Carbines that nobody would believe. I’ve read lots of stuff online about how weak the M4 Carbine is and that 2800fps was what they normally shot at. Well, I was clocking in ballistics that were 400 fps above that. I’m aware of the amount of stress and wear you can put on a firearm if you shoot it that much, but let’s just walk about capabilities within a certain threshold.
There are so many .380 pistols showing up out there that people are more content with small pocket pistols like never before. I finally got to shoot a Ruger LCP .380 a few weeks ago, but wasn’t blown away. I know why people like them, but a j-frame in a pocket or even in Galco holsters, like a paddle holster are just fine for me. The Rohrbaugh guns are the race cars of small compact semi-autos, but the j-frame will always have it’s grip in that mode of CCW. Considering that all of these .380 pistols are usually 6 or 7 shots, going with a 5 shot and a speed loader isn’t much to loose sleep over.