Top 5 Most Efficient .380 Pistols (Plus Full Rankings Chart)

In this episode of TFBTV, James tells you which guns are SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN to be the best subcompact and pocket .380 handguns on the market. Kind of. James walks you through some formulas he came up with to find what carry mouseguns are the most efficient in terms of how many rounds they carry in relation to their size and weight. James gives you the top 5 most efficient doublestack subcompact .380s, and the most efficient 6, 7, and 8 rounds single stacks.


New TFBTV features:

TFBTV will start a monthly “TFBTV Mailroom” program. Viewers can send anything they want to TFBTV at TFBTV’s PO Box in New Orleans. (TFBTV Mail Room, PO Box 52288, New Orleans, LA 70152). Send (a) The Item; (b) A Short Description of the Item, and; (c) (OPTIONAL) Your Name and/or Contact Information. We will open everything on camera and read your description.

Second, TFBTV is going to roll out a comment competition. *This is for subscribers or Patreon supporters only, so make sure you are a sub and we can view your subs in your profile.* The best comments will get a random item that was sent in to the mail bag (feel free to request a hand-pick, we will do the best we can).

Winners will be announced on the TYouTube Video Page (check the pinned comment) or on James’ Instagram:

Good luck!

Official Rules for Mail Room and Comment Competition:

TFBTV Mail Room Rules:
– Please send an (1) An item; (2) A description, and (3) (OPTIONAL) Your name and contact information.
– Sending in an item does not guarantee that it will be shown on air.
– Postage is the responsibility of the sender.
– Any item sent to TFBTV becomes the property of TFBTV.
– Sender assumes all liability for sending any unreasonably dangerous or illegal material to TFBTV.

TFBTV Subscriber Comment Competition Rules:
– Comment competition is open to subscribers only. TFBTV will verify the commenter’s subscription before sending any prizes.
– TFBTV reserves the right to select any comment as the winning comment based upon any criteria whatsoever. While “thumbs up” counts are helpful, TFBTV recognizes that earlier comments tend to accumulate more attention than “better” comments that are submitted later.
– TFBTV is under no obligation to deliver any prize whatsoever and does not guarantee that the winning commenter will receive any prize, regardless of any comments or actions made by TFBTV stating otherwise. (For example only, if the winner’s package is lost, or stolen, or TFBTV deems the prize impractical to send for whatever reason, TFBTV has no responsibility to replace, reimburse, or in any way compensate the winner). Accordingly, do not act in reliance upon a promise that TFBTV will be sending the winner a prize.
– The winner accepts and uses the prize at his own risk and agrees to release TFBTV from all liability for use or possession of the item. The winner will be responsible for verifying the legality of the item in his or her locale.

Thanks to our sponsors:

Proxibid – Shop For Home Defense Pistols Online Here

Ventura Munitions – Retailer of quality ammunition.

Hoppe’s No. 9 – A worldwide favorite since 1903


Please subscribe!!! Click here.

Please subscribe!!! Click here.


Transcript ….

[coming soon]


James Reeves

• NRA-licensed concealed weapons instructor, 2012-present
Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, 2011
• “Co-Director” [air quotes] of TFBTV
• Former Regional Sales Rep, Interstate Arms Corp., MA
• Champion, Key West Cinco De Mayo Taco Eating Competition
• GLOCK® Certified Pistol Operator, 2017-2022
• Lawyer
► Instagram: jjreevesii
► Twitter: @jjreeves
► Vimeo: JJReeves
► 500px: JJReeves


  • Pete – TFB Writer

    Do not watch this video. Lies. I want an attorney! Wait, I want a different attorney.

    • Jason Lewis

      Mr Glock? That you?

  • billyoblivion

    RE: Spreadsheet;

    Shouldn’t it be “Rounds per *CUBIC* inch” rather than square inch? This takes into account 3 dimensions rather than two.

    • A.WChuck

      I agree, it would be a far more accurate metric to use.

      • iksnilol

        You said whilst using imperial measurements.

        • Nathan Alred

          Metric is not inherently more “accurate”. Just easier to use and do conversions with. Accuracy is a function of the measuring device, not the units used.

          • iksnilol

            I know, I just enjoyed the irony of imperial being an metric.

          • adverse4

            Everybody has to use the same stick to measure with.

    • James Reeves

      No, it only covers HxW, so it’s squinch. I wouldn’t factor in length for a number of reasons:
      1) It’ll add more weight, which will naturally add more to the denominator;
      2) Length is not the tricky part to conceal in most conventional modes of carry, and;
      3) The least important reason – there are more-difficult-to-comparatively-quantify benefits to length such as an increase in velocity and sight radius that wouldn’t warrant “penalizing”.

      • Dougscamo

        Is there a flux capacitor in this reply?

        • James Reeves

          No but I am about to fling my keyboard at 88mph and tear the time space continuum

          • Calavera

            James, call on line 2…the boys working the Large Hadron Collider at CERN want to talk to you about your “gun formula.”

          • James Reeves

            Haha I love you guys.

            Also, some people have asked, if I don’t do length, why I don’t do volume of the grip or the rear of the gun. I hope that the reason for this is obvious enough to the higher-intellect commenters on TFB versus YouTube.

          • Dougscamo

            Do you realize what you are asking??!!

          • Anonymoose

            When CERN comes to talk to you about your time travel experiments, answer the door with something bigger than a .380.

          • Edeco

            How about filling it with wax and placing it in a graduated cylinder of water? Otherwise a gloriousely boney Rem. Mod. 51 (the old ones) could seem bulkier than an aluminum/zinc jellybean like the double stack Thunder 380.

            You could apply an adjustment factor, drop the volume unit and call it the Girth Coefficient or GC of the gun.

          • Dougscamo

            “GREAT SCOTT!”…

          • Gary Kirk

            I’m pretty sure at least one of my old cell phone went supersonic once.. Then vaporized..

  • The Mystic Seer

    Didn’t watch yet, but I’m guessing Beretta 84.

    • ProLiberty82

      I’ve been looking for a .380 for “pocket pistol” competitions here in Norway and the Beretta 84 has been on the top of my list, but I’m now curios about the Bersa Thunderer Plus. How is the accuracy and recoil vs the 84?

      • GaryOlson

        Recoil on the 84 can be unpleasant for smaller hands; they are heavy pistols, and racking the slide takes hand strength. I’ve found all the Bersa Thunders are “barky”; and I’ve been told I’m hearing things which aren’t there.

      • The Mystic Seer

    • iksnilol

      Stopping power isn’t real, get over it.

      • The Mystic Seer

        Okay Mr Ayoob, how about: muzzle energy and bullets that penetrate to a sufficient depth and damages the most tissue in the process.

        • iksnilol

          Muzzle energy just says how much energy budget you got available to make a round do work in a target.

          IE M80 has plenty of energy, but crap stopping power because it doens’t really use its budget to do work.

          • QuadGMoto

            “Energy budget”. That’s a really good way to put it!

          • iksnilol

            Nathaniel F. coined the term IIRC. At least I heard that analogy from him first.

          • The Mystic Seer

            M-80’s? You are shifting the burden of proof. We are talking abut guns with barrels and bullets.

          • iksnilol

            Not shifting burden of proof. M80 is the standard load in 7.62x51mm NATO.

          • The Mystic Seer

            Good thing stopping power isn’t real, get over it.

          • iksnilol

            Ouh, I hit a lil’ nerve, didn’t I ?

  • Dougscamo

    I’m waiting for the photo-shopped memes to start flowing in….
    BTW, LOVED your Pilates outfit with the Taurus….

    • James Reeves
      • Dougscamo

        I just snorted a shot of Wild Turkey out of my nose….

        • Gary Kirk

          What a waste.. Hope it wasn’t rare breed.. Plus that hurts, I know..

          • Dougscamo

            Yep…brought tears to my eyes…on both points.. 🙁

        • Wild Turkey is severely underrated.

          • Phillip Cooper

            At least they weren’t being trendy and talking about Knob Creek. That stuff is swill. How they charge people that much with a straight face I’ll never know.

      • Paul White

        I kind of want a gun that looks like that. Strangley alluring

  • TheNotoriousIUD
    • Dougscamo

      And guaranteed to get you thrown out of first grade..

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        You arent allowed near elementary schools anyway.

        • James Reeves


          • TheNotoriousIUD

            It was a good review, seriously.
            I’m just with you.

        • Dougscamo

          Hey! The best 16 years of my life were in elementary thank you!

    • jack daugherty

      Wow. Tough crowd…

  • Sean

    The one you trade in for a 9mm?

  • QuadGMoto

    Missing from the list: Browning 1911-380 in both Compact and “Full-Size”.

  • ostiariusalpha

    Whoa, wait a darn minute… a 5+1 capacity J-frame? Wouldn’t that be a C-frame like the Model 73?
    If I had one of those, I wouldn’t be stuffing it in my pocket either. They’re worth a fortune.
    Or did you mean that Smith & Wesson had figured out ČZ’s secret method of the hidden round?

  • ProLiberty82

    Guys it just struck me looking at the video thumbnail, I have the solution to the Youtube ad-revenue problem. We don’t need those advertisers, what we need is a TFB calendar consisting of James posing in tight shirts with dainty guns for all 12 months of the year!

    The money will roll right in and it will appeal to new demographics (women & the LGBTQ community) as well for increased profits and gun culture proliferation! It’s a WIN WIN situation!

    • valorius

      Seen the new Dove soap “motherhood” ad/commercial yet?

      • Phillip Cooper

        Is that the one with the tranny? Yeah, pass. I googled “Dove soap “motherhood” ad” and that told me all I want to know.

        • valorius

          That’s the one. You couldn’t make a better ISIS recruiting video if you tried. o.O

          • Edeco

            Well then; Deus vult, baby!

    • BattleshipGrey

      I’m pretty sure I don’t want that calendar, but I did suggest a 2017 TFB gun photo contest calendar as a revenue source.

    • Phillip Cooper

      Can we PLEASE, for the love of all that’s holy, have him NOT wear leggings?

  • YZAS

    Hey man – Size aint everything ya know!

    ….or maybe she was just trying to make me feel better? :- /

  • Keen Wah Kowboy

    You sunuvab*itch! How dare you not validate my feelings!

    That’s it… I’m going back to Facebo@k

  • jayHu

    The winner is Kel Tec P3AT????

  • Blackhawk

    Re: Taurus 738-TCP: Only came with one magazine – a no-no for a carry firearm AFAIC. Took me three years to find an aftermarket mag that would actually work with it because Taurus, apparently, couldn’t be bothered to ship magazines to retailers. Last Taurus I will buy.

  • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

    Never mess with a man that carries a pink (or purple or turquiose, etc) gun

    • ProLiberty82

      Dress tightly and carry a purple/turquoise stick.

      • Edeco

        Got to dress tightly, because of course and also flame/snag hazards are more of an issue for me than being attacked.

  • UCSPanther

    I like the appearance of the VZ 24 and VZ 27 pistols…

  • Oldtrader3

    No Colt Mustang? For shame!

  • Peter Nissen

    Wow! Thanks James for video and spreadsheet. That’s a lot of work on this subject.

  • Paul White

    Tongue in cheek? iksnilol is going to be jealous

  • Fred

    Had a P3AT; hated it with a passion. Bought a TCP; love it to death (for what it is, of course).

  • Madison J Coleman

    The Keltec P3AT also comes in first place for .380’s most likely to malfunction, randomly eject a mag, and/or result in you losing a finger or an eyeball. I think the formula for that is POS 4 < $ = Cheap POS.

  • Is James two feet tall? ‘Cuz comparative sizing with the pistol in that video thumbnail sure makes it seem that way.

  • valorius

    If i might interject some seriousness here:

    For the past 7 years i’ve carried a Ruger LCP1 with aftermarket night sights, crimson trace laserguard and Ruger 7rd magazine with a ‘mag guts’+1 kit (8+1 total capacity). It is 100% reliable, and thousands of dry fires and rounds later, the trigger is silky smooth and it’s pull a matter of muscle memory. It is shockingly accurate for a pocket pistol. I keep it loaded with Underwood ‘xtreme penetrator +P’ ammunition.

    It is without a doubt the best real world carry pistol i have ever laid my mitts on. If i am awake, it is on my person.

  • USMC03Vet

    Taurus spectrum just got more video time than any Springfield XD. James, why do you taunt me so.

  • Edeco

    So, yeah, the Reeves Efficiency Score is an OK idea, but I think it can be improved. First, take the total enclosed volume by filling the whole gun with parafin wax and putting it in water in a graduated cylinder. This will give a better idea of trimness. Second chrono all the guns with the most common ball ammo and go by the total muzzle energy payload with a full mag and one in the hose. This way ultra-short barrelled guns won’t be favored, especially if the cartridge thrives in longer barrels like 357.

  • gerald brennan

    Brilliant idea. Well executed. Thanks.


    If I wanted to send a firearm for you guy to dink around with, could I get it back?


    • James Reeves

      Email Phil at TheFirearmBlog dot com. He handles gun requests. We always send them back, whether we can accept them for review is a different story. Talk to Phil and he will “Phil” you in lol.

  • Ratcraft

    I still like my Bodyguard the best.

  • Just Say’n

    The efficiency metric is OK, but at some point these pocket pistols are just too small for my ham-hands to manipulate and shoot accurately. Like a Toyota pickup from the 90s, great little trucks, very efficient, but they just don’t fit me. Great vid though, very entertaining.

  • uncle fester

    Your formula should punish the double stacks for their width.

    Since most .380s are bought for concealed carry, prioritizing rounds carried is a mistake.

  • adverse4

    I had time to kill, so I watched. Good comedy act, take it on the road.

  • Rusty S.

    James, the reason I personally don’t like Taurus is their quality control, or lack thereof. They alone constituted the majority of my RMA requests, and I usually was intercepting poorly made ones before they got to any customers, thankfully enough. I just can’t trust them.

  • mazkact

    Not a .380 fan (J-frame always in pocket) but if I were to go .380 I think it would be a S&W Bodyguard. I have shot a BOdyguard and it really surprised me with its size and shootability. Why did the Bodyguard not make thelist ?

  • supergun

    Sig P-238

  • sally posey

    Great video. You are good at these. Like nutnfancy, you simply have the ability to keep my attention. (And rush Limbaugh and Colin Cowherd). I like the look of the Taurus spectrum, by the way.

    Great website.

  • ron

    How many rounds fired before a failure should be part of this “scientific” analysis.

  • jonp

    1) bought 2 KelTec’s and neither worked. Being small is great, not going bang in a self defense gun is not.
    2) J Frame in your pants? I carry a K Frame. Some of us are more gifted than others
    3) that picture of you in spandex walking your labra-doodle with a fruit colored Desert Eagle sized Spectrum is truely frightening.

  • BR549

    I had a DB380. It was INCREDIBLY accurate at 50 feet for a barrel that short, but when I had it a few years ago, the stovepipes and FTEs had me lose confidence. Also had a S&W Bodyguard 380 but by that time, I was getting a little sick of DAOs.

    I’ve since moved up to the Bersa and LOVE it. Even later bought the Plus, but my favorite is the standard Thunder 380.

  • jack daugherty

    Glock, hands down. Better than the only other .380 that I ever handled. My friends turkish something or other.