Why carry a .380 when you can carry a .45 or even a 9mm pistol? Looking at it from the opposite end of the spectrum, why carry a .45 when you can carry a .50 caliber handgun? Why carry a pistol when you can carry a rifle?
It all filters down to personal decision based on deference to why and how you carry a gun. Further introspection should draw your attention to three important defensive carry factors that you’ve got to consider:
- Personal Comfort
ACCESSIBILITY IS A MUST
First and foremost is accessibility. Depending upon what you're wearing, whether it be a business suit, a pair of running shorts, or perhaps a skirt or dress, attire plays a critical role in accessibility.
Accessibility is defined as the speed with which the weapon can be acquired and drawn.
Accessibility is directly affected by the location of the holster on the body, the body position of the shooter when the weapon is drawn, and the ability to establish the proper grip on the weapon while it is still in the holster.
A handgun used specifically for self-defense must be readily accessible. In other words, you need to be able to get at least one hand on it quickly and easily. The more time it takes for you to get to your carry gun, the longer it takes you to respond to the threat and not defending against it.
Will you be carrying your protection piece in a shoulder holster, belly band, ankle holster, IWB, OWB, appendix holster, cross‑draw holster, fanny pack holster, handbag holster, thigh holster or pocket holster? The list of holster types and styles is quite lengthy and how and where you carry will determine your weapon accessibility.
Springfield Armory’s 911 .380 affords you several viable, easily accessible carry position options, including the recommended pocket holster. Depending upon the threat level, pocket carry of the .380 allows you to position your hand on your gun with your hand inside your pocket. Designed for defensive use at extreme close range, the .380 allows for immediate accessibility in stressful close-quarter situations.
Concealability is defined as the ability of the holster to be worn without detection. Concealability is a major consideration to plainclothes (under cover, off duty, etc.) law enforcement officers as well as defense-minded citizens. The smaller the holster and gun, the easier to conceal, especially if large, over-sized cover garments are not an option.
If you’re at the beach or someplace where you may be wearing a pair of shorts, or maybe running or working out, how concealable will a full frame .45 be? And what carry configuration is best should you find yourself in demanding physical exertion or dynamic movement. Again, the .380 may be an optimal choice given your operational environment.
Are you carrying in a place that is predominantly not gun friendly? In some states, if a gun prints through your shirt, either from a larger framed pistol or perhaps due to an OWB holster with a snug cover garment, it may be construed as “brandishing” and could land you in hot water.
Last but certainly not least is comfort. Shooter comfort is defined as the ability of the holster and gun to be worn for extended periods of time without discomfort. This factor is important in that if a holster/ gun combination is too uncomfortable, the shooter may choose not to be armed.
If you’re planning on driving for eight hours a day for the next three days, how comfortable will that full-sized .45 caliber handgun be in your appendix holster after the first ten minutes, let alone a couple of hours?
SMALL BUT SERIOUS
Unloaded, the 911 .380 weighs slightly over 12 ounces. Given a height of just under four inches with a barrel length of less than three inches, plus an overall length of 5.5 inches, the small lightweight construction of the 911 offers you one of the best concealable options in the industry.
Overhearing one of my students speaking to another student (while attending a forty-hour defensive handgun course), and referring to his .380, one asked, “Hey Joe, what possible damage would that little pea-shooter do against a determined attacker?” Joe's reply was a pithy, “Well, go ahead and attack me and find out!” #PointTaken
Bottom line is, if you find yourself in a violent physical altercation and he is (or they are), within arm’s reach, things have taken a turn for the worse and are pretty darn serious – especially if you assess it to be a life-or-death situation. Withstanding such duress and imminent danger, your last line of defense must be equally accessible as it is effective.
PROS OF SMALL
- Concealability provides you the element of surprise, especially when the odds are stacked against you.
- Carrying inside the pocket or in your purse, allows for hands-on accessibility while maintaining concealability before even coming out of the holster.
- When it comes to comfort, nothing beats small and light – a combination of desirable personal defense attributes that will almost cause you to forget you’re carrying.
- The Springfield 911 .380 is approved for the most-advanced and modern .380 defensive ammunition available in its classification.
The 911 also comes with a six-round and seven-round extended magazine. Add the "plus one", and those aren't bad numbers for a small defensive handgun.
When small is all, it doesn’t matter how tough-guy your assailant(s) may be. Seven or eight rounds of .380 hammered in succession directly into the abdomen or between the soup coolers will undoubtedly get their attention and cause them to change their course of action.
Note from Team Springfield
To learn more about training conducted by Steve Tarani, go to Steve's websites:
Author’s Bio - Steve Tarani, is a former CIA protective services subject matter expert who served on Donald Trump’s pre-election protection detail and is the lead instructor for the NRA’s Non-ballistic Weapons Training program offered nationally to 2.3 million members. Tarani, an active protective agent, is a Central Intelligence Agency and FLETC-certified federal firearms instructor who also provides services for the US Naval Special Operations Command, FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association, National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), and others.