Is the .380Auto reliable? - 1911Forum
1911Forum
Advertise Here
Forum   Reviews   Rules   Legal   Site Supporters & Donations   Advertise


Go Back   1911Forum > >

Notices


View Poll Results: Is the .380Auto reliable?
Yes, it's a reliable little gun. 116 91.34%
Nope, garbage and I wouldn't trust it. 11 8.66%
Voters: 127. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-04-2019, 10:07 PM
Rastoff Rastoff is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal (Near Edwards AFB)
Posts: 3,147
Is the .380Auto reliable?

Lots of folks say the 1911 is unreliable. We know different. However, would you recommend the .380Auto as a carry gun?

I've been a CCW instructor for 5 years now. In all that time I've seen many .380Auto guns in my class. As far as I can remember, I've only seen one make it through the class without malfunction.

At first the shooting portion of my class was 35 rounds. Since the new law the number of rounds is only 12. The one .380Auto that made it through the class was recent so, it only had to fire 12 rounds. I can't remember a single one making through the 35 round course of fire without a malfunction. The brand of gun or shooter experience doesn't seem to matter; they're just not reliable.

The most important factor in a self-defense gun is functional reliability. If it don't work, it's useless.

So, anyone can chime in, what's your experience with the .380Auto guns?
__________________
Remember, you can post here because they died over there.

www.blackrivertraining.com
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-04-2019, 10:16 PM
sechott sechott is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: WV
Posts: 3,168
I've owned an Astra A60, Bersa Thunder, NAA Gaurdian and a Sig P230. Only the NAA jammed occasionally.

Sent from my SM-J737P using Tapatalk
__________________
Is there any hope for a person, who is brainwashed to the point of believing that bearing arms is responsible for a violent disposition in the human psyche? -me
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-04-2019, 10:19 PM
earlwb earlwb is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3,673
You need to test the gun out for a while first. it has to demonstrate that it can be counted on to work all the time. There are guns out there that are not all that reliable. But other guns are very reliable.

The one I have works fine. S&W Bodyguard. it has more than a 1,000 rounds through it and it hasn't had a misfeed or misfire yet. Knock on wood. I carry it when I need something that is more concealable, such as when I wear a T-shirt and shorts in the summer or when I am dressed up in a suit and tie.

Now then many years ago I bought Grendel and I had to work on it some though. After that it was reasonably reliable. But it still sometimes had a failure to fire. But being double action only, it would fire off the round on the next trigger pull though. I think the hammer spring is a touch too weak. it never had a misfeed though.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 05-04-2019, 10:53 PM
JohnnyEgo JohnnyEgo is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Front Range, Colorado
Posts: 815
The smaller you get, the more fiddly things get. In a small semi-auto .380, all the distances are shorter, there's less pressure to work with, and the timing has to be spot on. I have found them to be less fault tolerant than most other larger calibers. That said, I actually think they've leveled up a bit over the years. Find the ammo it runs reliably with, keep it clean and well maintained with springs changed at the appropriate intervals, and I doubt you'd have a problem.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-04-2019, 11:18 PM
PolymerMan PolymerMan is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,431
I didn't vote because the choices are at two extremes. The .380 ACP's reliability is somewhere in between the two choices in the poll.

The reality is it depends on the manufacturer and model of the pistol. I have a Walther's PK380 that has never jammed or had an issue new out of the factory box. Never needed a break in and is very accurate. But it is also a relatively large pistol for a .380. I have 9mm's pistols smaller and equally as reliable as the Walther PK380, such as a Rohrbaugh R9 and Kahr PM9.

Now, if the question is about 'stopping power', I would say that the .380 is under powered especially since many of the mouse guns made for the .380 have barrels under 3 inches. Most are 2.5 inches, and they pack a punch in terms of recoil because most are hard to hold and the pistols very light.

Last edited by PolymerMan; 05-04-2019 at 11:20 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-04-2019, 11:43 PM
bmcgilvray bmcgilvray is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 390
There are .380 pistols and then there are .380 pistols.

I have a Remington Model 51 that's 100 years old or near to it and its both reliable and very accurate. I have a Kel Tec P3AT that has given uneven service since I got it in late 2005. It has indistinct lumps for sights and a wretched trigger so is not particularly accurate.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-05-2019, 02:18 AM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 7,046
Depends, all the 238s I've tried have worked well but most LCPs can't withstand heavy use. My PPK works and most larger blow-back style ones also work that I can seen.
__________________
Carry gun:Wilson Carry Comp Custom .45S Pocket carry:on loan Other 1911s:WC Supergrade Accucomp .38, WC BW Opticomp, WC CQB Compact, WC CQB Professional, WC Super Sentinel, WC CQB Elite 9mm, WC EDC X9, WC X9S, Ed Brown SR, NHC Predator II Opticomp, NHC T3 Hardchrome, Kimber Ultra, ATI Tactical, RIA Tactical 10mm, Kimber Ultra Diamond 9mm, Detonics Combat Master MKVI, Colt Centennial .460 Roland
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-05-2019, 03:31 AM
*MAYHEM* *MAYHEM* is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Columbus, OH
Age: 57
Posts: 1,632
My CZ83 is as reliable as any gun I own.
__________________
.
You may know a thing and it is not true. But in understanding that thing there can be ONLY truth. And to understand, you will need contrast. NOT adherence to a single idea. The truth is in the contrast.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-05-2019, 05:16 AM
Rick_A Rick_A is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: GA
Posts: 2,438
Really comes down to the bullet launcher, not the cartridge.
__________________
There are no restrictions expressed or implied by the 2nd Amendment.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-05-2019, 06:50 AM
dmthomp32 dmthomp32 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 169
I've got a Sig P238 that I've shot 200+ plus rounds at a time through without incident. I've owned a Glock 42, Colt Government .380 among a few others that I'm sure I'm forgetting. All of which functioned fine, just the P238 fits me perfectly for my intended use. Now I have shot mostly ball ammo in my guns versus hollow points. However I've never heard of a generalization that .380's are inherently less reliable.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-05-2019, 07:07 AM
Tim Burke's Avatar
Tim Burke Tim Burke is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: NC
Posts: 10,729
I have a Colt Govt 380 that is both reliable and a joy to shoot.
My father's PPK/s is reliable. My PPK/s isn't with the finger rest magazines, but is with the flat base plate.
My Sig P230 is reliable.
Only the Colt is a joy to shoot.
__________________
TB., NC
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-05-2019, 07:11 AM
bulldozer1 bulldozer1 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Virginia
Posts: 331
I've carried a 1993 Colt Mustang Pocketlite .380 daily for 25 years. Always loaded with Federal Hyda Shok's. I do not ever remember any malfunction. It is original, out of the box to this day.
I will say about 2 years ago added a Sig P938 to the rotation.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-05-2019, 07:23 AM
ejr10mm ejr10mm is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: upstate NY
Posts: 3,093
Never an issue with my sig p238. Had a walther ppk/s and the extractor went flying. Neat gun but not for large hands. Summer carry is the p238 in a pocket holster or my glock 43. Ive also got a 38 spl on the way, just gotta get it put on my permit.
__________________
Colt AR-15 LEO armorer
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-05-2019, 08:18 AM
K38 K38 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 1,023
No issues with my p238.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-05-2019, 08:29 AM
SwampDawg SwampDawg is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Ocean Springs Ms
Posts: 333
Ruger LCP II. No failures.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 05-05-2019, 08:31 AM
kilowatt3 kilowatt3 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 68
I've had quite a few .380's over the years:

Llama III-A
Beretta M84
Walther PPK/s
AMT Backup
Sig P232
Accu-Tek AT-380
Kel-Tec P3AT
Kahr CW380
Ruger LCP.

The Llama and AMT were utter crap. Could almost never make it through a mag without issues. The PPK/s was a disappointment. I really wanted to like that gun, but it was unreliable and uncomfortable to shoot. The Accu-Tek was an impulse buy, because it was cheap, and I liked the looks. Its reliability leaves something to be desired. The P3AT is a bear to shoot, and also has some reliability issues.

I've been very happy with the Kahr. It has never choked on quality ammo since break-in, and is in a class of its own when it comes to micro-380's. The LCP has run 100%, too, but I received it as a gift, and have only run a box or so through it so far.

The Beretta and Sig have never malfunctioned with quality ammo, ever, and I've had them for 42 years and 22 years, respectively.

My experience is that the reliability has nothing to do with the caliber per se, but rather a couple of other factors that play in. As mentioned in an earlier post, .380's tend to be small pistols, making manufacturing tolerances more critical. The lower-power cartridge gives the mechanism less to work with, and the small size also increases the risk of operator error, e.g. poor grip or limp-wristing. Note that the two star performers (Beretta & Sig) in my stable are also the two largest pistols!

.380's are often cheaper pistols as well (e.g. Llama, AMT, Accu-Tek, Kel-Tec), so the manufacturers just don't have the resources for top-shelf quality production. Note that my Beretta & Sig were also the most expensive of my .380's!

I've never seen a .380 that would function reliably with crap ammo. Stay away from steel- or aluminum-cased or no-name ammo.

FWIW - YMMV!
__________________
Regards,
Jim

Colt Combat Commander, Special Combat Government, Dan Wesson Valor, Valkyrie & ECO, Les Baer Premier II, Sig C3
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 05-05-2019, 08:49 AM
hardluk1 hardluk1 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 2,371
Bersa 380CC
Bersa thunder Plus
2-TCP b series
Sig P250sc380

Practice ammo is home rolled , HP has underwood and Remington 102gr .
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 05-05-2019, 09:02 AM
HT77 HT77 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,845
There are certain pistols and ammo that just don't work reliably regardless of caliber. .380 is no exception but it is possible to find ones that work reliably and effectively. I don't use this caliber but I would not consider myself defenseless with a Glock 42 and good ammo.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 05-05-2019, 09:02 AM
jfbong jfbong is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Nevada
Posts: 292
My Kimber 380 raptor is very reliable about 1,000 rds and only one malfunction that I caused.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Life Member
USN. RET.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 05-05-2019, 09:11 AM
Cappi Cappi is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 14,686
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastoff View Post

I've been a CCW instructor for 5 years now. In all that time I've seen many .380Auto guns in my class. As far as I can remember, I've only seen one make it through the class without malfunction.

can't say the same, Ras

Depending on CCW class size, we shoot a minimum of 50 rnds and as many as 100 rnds

most are novices as well

Of the ones I see pretty regular that run the CoF without a bobble;
Bersa Thunder
Sig 238
S&W Bodyguard

those that are hit 'n miss (some run some don't)
LCP
Kahr
Taurus

worst reliable has been Glock's G42
.









Quote:
what's your experience with the .380Auto guns
only personally owned a handful of 380s that I've shot more than a 100 rnds thru
Couple LCP's (one reliable, one not)
Sig 238 HD..."sorta" reliable (couple bobbles in 1000+ rnds)
S&W Bodyguard (current niche gun) maybe 800 rnds thru it without mishap
3 or 4 Bersa's (one double-stack)...all bulletproof reliable

..L.T.A.
__________________
K.I.S.S.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 05-05-2019, 09:45 AM
John Joseph John Joseph is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,725
I'd say it depends on the firearm and ammunition it's fed, as well as the condition it is kept in.
The only .380 I've owned was a Walther PPK/S, which I sold off for reasons other than reliability.

Last edited by John Joseph; 05-05-2019 at 09:48 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 05-05-2019, 09:46 AM
400cor-bon 400cor-bon is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: NW NC
Posts: 1,711
Friends don't let friends carry 380s.

Some are reliable, some not. All are under-powered.
9mm minimum.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 05-05-2019, 10:05 AM
SDDAVE SDDAVE is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,538
I have an Intertarms PPK/S that I purchased new in 1981. Now that I thing back I can not remember it ever failing. I did have to replace the loaded chamber indicator spring.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 05-05-2019, 10:13 AM
magazineman magazineman is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12,076
No reliability issues with my Sig P238.

My prior carry was a Kahr. Totally reliable after I bought Kahr's heavy spring package.

Before that I carried a Keltec P3AT. Also ran 100% but was so light that with hot ammo was painful to shoot.

And my old 380's (1937 Browning + Colt 1908) both run without issues.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 05-05-2019, 10:34 AM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Rural VA
Posts: 21,960
I have two Colt government model .380s.

And a Colt 1908 pocket hammerless in .380. They all run reliably.

Last edited by USMM guy; 05-05-2019 at 07:55 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:21 PM.


NOTICE TO USERS OF THIS SITE: By continuing to use this site, you certify that you have read and agree to abide by the Legal Terms of Use. All information, data, text or other materials ("Content") posted to this site by any users are the sole responsibility of those users. 1911Forum does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity, or quality of such Content.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 2015 1911Forum.com, LLC. All Rights Reserved