.380 auto's.

This is a discussion on .380 auto's. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My P3AT will be 6 years old next month and the first 400 rounds were an exercise in futility. It became a hobby to shoot ...

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Thread: .380 auto's.

  1. #16
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    My P3AT will be 6 years old next month and the first 400 rounds were an exercise in futility. It became a hobby to shoot to see if it would ever smooth out on its own. It actually did and now has seen an additional 900 rounds with no problems.

    It has been claimed in some circles that the .380 ACP cartridge is a little too short for best feeding reliability. Some "authorities" also claim that cartridges like the .38 Super and the .22 Long Rifle are really a bit long for best feeding reliability in handguns. The 9mm Luger is represented as being just right.

    Excepting for the .22 Long Rifle which does seem to be a problem-child I don't have much opinion on the matter. Perhaps there's something to relative cartridge length in semi-auto pistols.

    The .22 Long Rifle's troubles center both in overall cartridge length and with the cartridge's rim. I've never encountered a .22 semi-auto pistol of any make that gave what could be termed a flawless feeding performance. Even if the .22 Long Rifle, when fired in a pistol, brought more performance capabilities to the table I would not choose it over reliability issues.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

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  3. #17
    Member Array WvHiker's Avatar
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    My P3AT has had a new trigger bar, extractor, and recoil spring assembly. It still just flat out does not work. It's sitting on my desk, in a box, ready to ship back to Florida. I haven't sent it yet because I'm seriously considering just tossing it and cutting my losses so far. Never again.

  4. #18
    Ex Member Array Yankeejib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonker1986 View Post
    agree with Gthorp. I have a Thunder .380 Plus, and have owned several Bersa .380's over the last twenty years, and have never had one issue. Have the Keltec .380 that, after the break in period, has been perfect. (hate to shoot that little beast).
    While I don't recommend a .380 for a primary self defense weapon, there are plenty that work just fine, but may take a little patience and TLC to get them running properly. Don't expect the performance of a $750 pistol out of these little guys, and you will be much more content. Find one you like and practice until you're comfortable that its gonna do the job for you.
    My KT P3AT is the most uncomfortable, most inaccurate, least reliable (FTE's galore) little pistol to shoot. It never even makes the carry rotation, ever. I either pocket a .38 wheelie or Remora one of my Glocks. If it's not fun to shoot, you're not going to practice.
    johnnydollar likes this.

  5. #19
    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Cool

    I have found that with the .380 and barrel 's under 3" there is no room for limp wristing.

    The shorter slide travel distance leaves little room for error and FTF can be common.

    I have a Diamondback .380 that does quite well with Speer God Dot and Speer Lawman ammo and a good strong grip.

    OS

    P18163004.jpg
    click image to enlarge....
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

    "A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves".

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  6. #20
    Member Array 1959's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    My P3AT will be 6 years old next month and the first 400 rounds were an exercise in futility. It became a hobby to shoot to see if it would ever smooth out on its own. It actually did and now has seen an additional 900 rounds with no problems.

    It has been claimed in some circles that the .380 ACP cartridge is a little too short for best feeding reliability. Some "authorities" also claim that cartridges like the .38 Super and the .22 Long Rifle are really a bit long for best feeding reliability in handguns. The 9mm Luger is represented as being just right.

    Excepting for the .22 Long Rifle which does seem to be a problem-child I don't have much opinion on the matter. Perhaps there's something to relative cartridge length in semi-auto pistols.

    The .22 Long Rifle's troubles center both in overall cartridge length and with the cartridge's rim. I've never encountered a .22 semi-auto pistol of any make that gave what could be termed a flawless feeding performance. Even if the .22 Long Rifle, when fired in a pistol, brought more performance capabilities to the table I would not choose it over reliability issues.
    I have a Browning Challenger that I bought new in 1966, I have fired thousands of rounds thru it. It has never not fed or not fired anything I put thru it.
    I also have a Ruger 10-22 that has been totally dependable.

  7. #21
    Member Array Cattus Vir's Avatar
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    NO issues out of either my Sig P238 are my S&W Bodyguard. I have not tried firing any JHP out of the Sig yet but will get around to it eventually. The Smith has been in my wife's possession as a purse gun are when she can not carry her M&P 40. She has had no problems with it since she took it from me.

  8. #22
    Member Array Aiko's Avatar
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    +1 on Sig fixing their issues some years ago. The P238 shot 800 rounds of anything I could put through it without one jam or issue.

  9. #23
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    It's true that the P3AT is no high-grade piece and it probably has the most wretched sights of any handgun said to actually have sights. The .380 ACP cartridge is no powerhouse round either. Far from it. Still, it technically could serve for some extreme shooting efforts if pressed into duty.

    The object seen in the distance up the side of the hill is actually a couple of common galvanized steel trash cans that became stuck together when they got too bent up to separate. So, they were pressed into use as a target up on the side of the hill at our old home place.


    I put 4 rounds out of the P3AT's magazine capacity of 6 rounds onto the cans. My brother-in-law was there with his range finder and determined that it was 165 yards to the cans from where I was shooting as I stood underneath the guy wire seen in the photo.

    The rest of the story is: it took 6 rounds from a previous magazine to find the range and walk the bullets onto the cans. Once it was determined how to hold, then even the crude and indistinct bumps that represent the pathetic sights on the P3AT could be used to hit the cans with fair consistency. Even at the distance involved, each bullet completely penetrated the cans. That's 4 layers of the sheet steel from which they were fabricated.

    So don't imitate Hollywood and go hiding behind the garbage cans in the back alley as you shoot it out with the bad guys. Their bullets won't just bounce off.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  10. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by helderberg View Post
    I am beginning to form the opinion that the .380 auto is a hit or miss idea accross the manufacturing lines. I base this on the many post's I have read and my personal experience with the platform. I have had a bad LCP, after reading many post's on the LCP forum I read that you need to change to a Wolf spring set. My Bodyguard that I have now is supposed to have a problem with the take down pin. I have read about problems with SIG not feeding, stove pipes with Walther PPK. I have had nothing but good luck with the compact and full sized autos I have owned but the sub-compact guns seem to have a inherent problem. Anybody else think this is a trend with these guns. I realize that some people have put hundreds of rounds through their guns without a hitch but that is my point. The quality of these guns seem to be such a fine edge that if the specs are off by a few thousandths the guns will not run. Let me know what you people think.
    Be safe, Frank.
    There are many slightly larger pistols available in true service calibers. The Walther PPS or HK P2000 SK for example.

    Sometimes you have to spend some money for a decent sidearm. I know that's a painful realization but it's true.

    Really, what did you expect from a Ruger LCP selling for about $300.00?

    Good luck in your search.
    "Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less".
    General Robert E. Lee

  11. #25
    Senior Member Array ironmike86's Avatar
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    No matter how much I HATE the .380 round = cost per performance. Should be cheaper then it would be a good gun imo. I love it at the same time smae easy to carry decent power. I love my 2 Mustangs. I've had a Ruger and Walther didn't like compare to the Mustang. Rugar no fun but will do the job. PPK to hear for the caliber and was a picky eat but shot well once you feed it right.



  12. #26
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    There's no brand name or any model in any caliber that someone out there hasn't had issues with and blabbed it all over the internet to become legend. Small, light caliber are known to be more finicky, so it takes the right grip, ammo and break-in to make them work right all the time.
    helderberg likes this.
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  13. #27
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    My Beretta 84 hasn't failed me so far and I've had it for a couple years now and it has roughly 600 rounds through it. Of course you can get a 9mm at that size, but as someone else said, it is probably the most reliable .380 you'll find.

  14. #28
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    Never shot a Beretta Model 84 but I can imagine that it is one of the best mannered .380s ever made.
    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

    Theodore Roosevelt, The Wilderness Hunter, 1893

  15. #29
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    I have been looking at the small frame .380s for a carry for warmer months. Looking at the sig 238, ruger lcp and taurus tcp. I am liking the TCP due to it's similarity to my main carry the G19(no ext safety, DAO, slide lock). I don't want to disrupt muscle memory so I want to maintain that similarity. Any suggestions?

  16. #30
    VIP Member Array searcher 45's Avatar
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    Wife and I both carry P3ATs with ct laser for inside building and low light, they have been 100% dependable with 100rds of rounds through them.
    NOT LIVING IN FEAR, JUST READY!!!
    I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness,
    nor the arrow for its swiftness,
    nor the warrior for his glory.
    I love only that which they defend.
    -J.R.R. Tolkien

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