The rise of the .380.

Author:Ayoob, Massad

All dealers know the micro-size .380 pistol is one of the hottest gun shop sales trends. Pistols chambered in this round have caught the attention of cops for off-duty and backup carry.

Rob Dearden, director of L.E. sales and training at Ruger, and Rob Wood, Ruger manufacturing engineer, confirmed the LCP .380 is not only the best-selling of the breed, but is the single best-seller right now among the vast array of firearms Ruger produces. There are over a million of these baby .380s in circulation. Cops like them for the same reason as your other customers: they're small, light, comfortable and easy to conceal while still being very reliable.

The LC380, Ruger's compact 9mm format chambered for .380, has exceeded sales expectations; mild recoil and a slide that's extremely easy to operate are key selling points, Dearden explained.

"At new shooter seminars where attendees can try shooting all the guns, the LC380 is the one the neophyte shooters most often ask to shoot some more," he said.

However, in the police market, those selling points are less important, and cops favor the LCP.

Smith & Wesson supplemented their popular BODYGUARD 380 with the M&P .380, which is essentially the same gun without the integral laser sight.

"A lot of police departments don't approve lasers," explained Dan Keuhn, S&W regional sales manager. "L.E. agencies asked us for the same gun without them, including LAPD."

Louisiana State Troopers are reportedly in the process of acquiring laser-less S&W .380s as backup/off-duty guns for all their armed personnel.

Glock recently introduced a...

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