What makes the .380 cost almost twice what the .32 does?
What makes the .380 cost almost twice what the .32 does?
I suggest you ask Larry Seecamp the question directly. He has an "Ask Larry" topic thread on his web site.
The L.W. Seecamp Company Forum - Index
Let us know what he says. :hand10:
I did. No answer so far...
Can you post a link to the question...I'd like to follow it.
In the mean time follow this link...
The L.W. Seecamp Company Forum - Price of the 380 - why double
My question wasn't on the website, it went via email. Interesting thread there. I'd like to buy the excuses, but I have some knowledge of machining. The story about tight tolerances costing more is hooey. Everything today is made with tight tolerances. Computerized machinery takes the hand error out of the equation.
I used to wonder this myself. It just didn't make sense to me. (Why S&W revolvers made of stainless steel cost progressively more as the frame sizes go up still doesn't make sense to me since the material cost increases are negligible, but anyway...)
But, some months ago, I read a thread over on the Seecamp forum (just lurking) where Larry Seecamp answered this question.
Don't quote me on this, but I recall him saying that the dramatic price difference has to do with the greater amount of hand fitting that the .380 requires. It is probably this that has given birth to the erroneous statement about tighter tolerances costing more. It should be "Greater care in manufacturing costs more." Given that the exterior dimensions of the .32 and .380 are the almost the same, greater care has to be exercised when working on some areas of the .380 to make sure that enough metal is left (and in the right places) to provide sufficient strength for the gun to be safe. There's just less room to fit everthing in.
It happens that, as odd as it may sound, the hand fitters at the Seecamp factory do some of the grinding (???) work on the frame by hand because they can better control what is coming off where. It's a different animal than "tighter tolerances".
That may sound like hooey to you but I'm fairly sure that is the gist of what Mr. Seecamp said. But I'm not rock-solid sure, so don't quote me. I hope someone can link to the thread itself, because Larry was a lot more specific than I was above and it made for very interesting and englightening reading.
I'm a unabashed fan of the Seecamp pistol. In the couple years the web site has been running Larry Seecamp has been unbelievably accessable to anyone for the answering of questions, advise and help in using the pistols. I've yet to read anyone with the encyclopedic firearms making knowledge he has and the grace to share it.
If he says it's labor intensive to build .380, then I have to believe him.
Seems as if Seecamp has low yield on the .380s due to an agressive manufcturing process. He could start with larger forgings and improve yield. OR, as it appears, the scrapped 380 parts can be sucessfully used to build 32s as they are 1mm thinner. (1mm is a mile and a half in the machining world).
And the 'tigether tolerance' comment is bogus. Any maching THAT TIGHT would be grossly unacceptable for a carry pistol. Tolerance should always figure in a wad of pocket lint!
Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to put them down. In fact, I'd love to have a .380. I'm just curious about the huge price difference in two very similar models.
Can't speak to that but I have a32 that I'll never sell or wear out for that matter quality is second to none. But that given I've got a Ruger LCP coming now just couldn't justify price of a 380.
Simple supply and demand and nothing else. If you want another choice may I suggest the NAA Guardian. I have two of them one in 32acp that is gutter sniped with night sights and one in 380 acp, there is little ballistic difference between the two out of such small barrels. I prefer the Guardian over the Seecamp for a few different reasons, one is the extra size and weight. The Guardian is a little larger which allows for larger hands to shoot this weapon without a single finger hold, also the extra weight helps to tame the stiff recoil from SD rounds like the Corbon DPX rounds. The Guardian mags can be held with a finger extension and the Seecamp doesn't. This finger extension makes a huge difference on folks with large hands. Seecamp owners love to look down their noses at the Guardian and claim it is a brick, but these same folks will recommend a model 60 over a air weight because the extra weight will tame recoil!!!! Anyway the Seecamps will only reliably feed a few SD ammo, where the Guardians have fed everything I have asked them to, from Corbon DPX, to wolf target ammo and everything in between, fmj and JHP. The Guardians also have a lot of accessories and custom options available from NAA. For me the Guardians were the right choice. I have never had a single failure with both of mine, and that is how I measure a guns value, not by the price tag. My 380 is always in my front right pocket in a Nemisis holster while the 32 rides in the wifes purse.
I just thought someones in the market might like this info. I sure wouldn't pay what they want for a 380 Seecamp, if you look at the ballistic difference between it and the 32 out of basically the same size barrel the difference was less than 50 FPS IIRC. Inmy 32 I carry the Fiochhi FMJ, and the 380 gets the Corbon DPX, however I just read some great articles on the Buffalo Bore Golden sabre loads pushing 1175 FPS, this is by far the hottest 380 round out there. I have ordered a couple boxes to give them a shot.
Seecamps are top quality, but $800.00 for a .380 without sights, holy cow Batman!
I would guess supply and demand is one of the big reasons. Back when the old man Seecamp ran the business, he made them in small quantities and they always commanded higher prices along with the long waiting lists you were on.
One of the things the son has done since the old mans been gone is to ramp up production by adding employees and becoming a bigger shop. More guns made each month, more availability, the price has dropped considerably over what they cost 15-20 years ago [ at least in the local I was from back then ].
As to the BB loads, I have three boxes of 380's from them, and stoke the ppk and ppk/s with them. They're hot, no question, but the recoil isn't that bad considering the extra oooompphhhh they have over most any other 380's out there.
I've owned 4 Seecamps over the years and presently own a 32 Seecamp again. It's just what the doctor ordered when the order of the day is utter reliability in a very small gun.
I bought a Kel-tec 32 for it's weight, but I trust the Seecamp where I'm hesitant to carry the little Kel-tec in regards to being utterly reliable. As another mentioned, the ballistics between the 32 and 380 in those short barrels isn't enough to expend the extra to own one in 380 IMO.