.380 auto's.

.380 auto's.

This is a discussion on .380 auto's. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; 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 ...

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Thread: .380 auto's.

  1. #1
    Member Array helderberg's Avatar
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    .380 auto's.

    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.


  2. #2
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    I haven't had any problems with the Bersa Thunder 380 or the Kel-Tec P3-AT. FWIW
    zonker1986 likes this.
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array zonker1986's Avatar
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    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.
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  4. #4
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    The Walther PPK has always been a bit finicky about what it likes to eat so you need to shop around for a cartridge that it feeds flawlessly. The factory weight recoil spring tends to be a bit on the heavy side also. Moving to a slightly lighter weight recoil spring seems to really make a great deal of difference w/ regard to performance. The Walthers also usually hate non-Walther magazines so factory mags are usually a must.

    There is not much slide mass to the KelTec and it's a .380 in the smallest, lightest, package possible so some folks need to play with it a bit before it functions reliably. Mine was initially terrible. Some shooters get lucky and buy one that runs perfectly right out of the box.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Array GreyGhost's Avatar
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    All the small 380s tend to be finicky about ammo selection. Take your time and find the one that works in yours and you will be happy. I have a Taurus TCP 738. The only failures I had were in the first 50 rounds. I was shooting Federals from Walmart. Once I found the self defense ammo it liked, that's all I shoot out of it. Period!
    Question Everything!

  6. #6
    Member Array lowercase's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your bad luck.

    I own an LCP that has been flawless. It's definitely not fun to shoot, but it is reliable and great for concealment.

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array ripley16's Avatar
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    As with almost every other firearm made, the caliber has less to do with reliability than the overall quality and design of the particular gun. There are a lot of unreliable .45s floating around too. The trend that has most affected reliability in the last decade or so is, in my opinion, the attempt to miniturize large caliber guns, to produce the more potent pocket gun. It's the small size that may lend itself to problems, both mechanically and in user error.

    There are certain brands that have been in use for years/decades that are very reliable, proven over time, that use the .380 round, such as Walther, Sig, Beretta, Colt, Sphinx, CZ. It seems to me that the more recent designs, especially the tiny polymer guns are the ones that push the envelope a little too far. If you want a reliable .380, buy a Beretta 84, and don't complain about the size. It isn't "too big" any more than a 1911 is too big for the .45. Is is in fact just right.
    mr surveyor likes this.

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    I've never had a problem with any of the Bersa .380's I've owned. That said, if I were to buy another .380 it would probably be a CZ82. Proven design, built tough and the plus of being 12+1.
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    Member Array DarthPete's Avatar
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    My LCP and Sig P238 have been flawless. Before that I had a S&W walther ppk/s the ran all types of ammo fine but I sold that to a friend. And years ago I had a P3AT that ran fine but had the walking take down pin while firing, FWIW.

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    My first Bersa Thunder, a two-tone, was flawless, bought a nicked one about a year ago, during the break in period, with quality fmj ammuntion, the extractor fell out. I have no faith in the brand now. I'll stick with a SIG 232 or a CZ83 if I have any need to carry a .380.
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  11. #11
    Member Array Sailor man's Avatar
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    My wife and I both have and had LCP's I sold mine but both fire flawless right out of the box. My carry is a AMT backup .45 older model. Not a ftf or fte in over 500 rounds and that is a micro 45 smallest 45 auto ever made. Wife's other gun is a seecamp .32 another small weapon that runs just great. My other gun is a masterpiece arms .380 it is the size of a seecamp and fired critical defense, remming ton 88 grain hollow pt. golden saber 102 gr. Hollow just great. Have no problems with micro guns. break them in and clean every time their used polish up the ramp and have a great shoot.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array crue2009's Avatar
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    around 400rds through my lcp,not a single hiccup..i think you can get a bad handgun regardless of size,make,model or caliber.not really sure if it's more common in pocket .380's though

  13. #13
    Member Array helderberg's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the post's. I think I am going to look for an older .380 as the trend here seems to be that the older guns ran better.
    Be safe, Frank.

  14. #14
    Member Array odeaar's Avatar
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    Sig fixed their P238 problem years ago. There is a firearm for everyone. You just have to find yours. It's ok to have more than one.
    Carry: Sig P238
    Home: Stoeger Couger 8000F 9mm

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Hot Wing's Avatar
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    My p3at will be 3 years old early next year .

    It has about 800 rounds threw ( at least)

    Flawless so far

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