Let’s face it: the firearms market has been absolutely saturated with concealed carry guns chambered in the feisty little .380acp. The most popular thus far has been the inexpensive Ruger LCP. Unfortunately, the LCP has been affected by a safety recall. Some early units were not drop-safe– not exactly a good proposition for a gun that is supposed to hurt the bad guy and not you or a friendly in the process. My personal experience with the LCP is that it does not reliably feed the 6th round from the magazine. Lightly coating my rounds with CLP was an easy stopgap solution, but I want bulletproof reliability in a concealed carry weapon. So, I passed on the LCP.
And Ruger is not the only resident of 380 Recall Land. Sig Sauer’s new P238 hasn’t been on the market for long and is already on recall– and the situation is even more dire. Deactivating the safety lever may cause the gun to fire! Thousands of P238s recently arrived at one of our suppliers and every unit had to go back to Sig as a precaution. Also, the aluminum grip panels that were shown on the gun at Shot Show are now made of plastic– causing an uproar among buyers. Frankly, once a gun has been involved in a safety recall, especially of this magnitude, I can no longer trust it for defensive carry. So, the Sig Sauer P238 is off my list too.
Kahr’s new PM380 is ultra compact and easily has the best trigger of the bunch. Kahrs have always been known for their buttery smooth double action trigger pulls. Reliability will probably be ahead of the curve too. Once we get one of these in, we’ll certainly take it out for a range test.
Walther debuted its new PK380, but it’s rather large for a .380acp. In this form factor, you’re probably better off with the excellent and super slim Walther PPS in the more potent 9mm cartridge. This leads us to what is, in my opinion, the best new .380acp on the market: the Micro Desert Eagle by Magnum Research.
The Micro Eagle is the only steel gun in the group and a stunning piece of engineering artistry. The proprietary nickel Teflon finish that Magnum Research uses is very attractive, slick, and resistant to corrosion– not unlike hard chrome. Of course, this is an important attribute for a concealed carry firearm considering the amount of sweat the gun will be exposed to during its service life.
I took the Micro Desert Eagle to the range this morning with 50rds of ancient ammunition that I found at the shop. Recoil is refreshingly light thanks to its robust steel construction. However, the trigger is 14 days long and over 8 pounds– something you’ll have to learn to live with it. My accuracy at 25ft is on par with other micro .380acps that I’ve fired (see target) and nothing to brag about. I’ve found it best to shoot the Micro Eagle single-handed because the large trigger guard makes your weak hand placement incredibly important– lest you want to lose a digit during fire. In fact, the slide had a big orange sticker from the factory reminding you of this potential danger!
The Micro Eagle’s sights are miniscule, but useable. Although the price point seems high ($439), you’re getting a steel-framed handgun and you get what you pay for. Take down is fascinatingly elegant. Simply drop the magazine, clear the weapon, move the slide to the rear so its takedown line synchs up with the takedown line on the frame, rotate the barrel clockwise, and the slide comes forward off the frame. It’s actually pretty fun to field strip the little bugger! And its most important feature of all: the Micro Eagle is not on a safety recall– which seems like a rarity when you consider the woes Sig Sauer and Ruger have shared lately.
“If” I wanted to carry a .380acp right now, I would probably select the Micro Eagle. It serves its purpose as a mouse gun, but if you can carry a bigger gun, you should. I’m hard pressed to be in a situation where my little Glock 26 can’t tag along with me. When that’s the case, I’m usually in a Speedo or spandex bike shorts. That in itself is more of a deterrent than any .380acp in my opinion! I’ll leave you with that unpleasant visual! Bwahahaha!
Have a good one and God bless.
Review written and Authorized by Evan over at Onpointfirearms