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Discussion Starter #1
I wonder if the shortage of .380 ammo has begun to improve and why that cartridge was so hard hit in the first place.
 

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As I understand it, it was hit hard because of so many people getting CCWs all over the country and the rash of new, small .380 guns that have come out in the last couple years to be marketed to them. Demand for the ammo has been unprecedented.

The ammo makers, used to cranking out trainloads of .45, 9mm, .38, .223, .308, and other long-time favorites, didn't see the demand coming, and by the time they did, the famine was upon us.

FWIW, the only .380 I've ever owned was a NIB postwar Walther PP I bought cheap specifically to be used for eventual "swap fodder." I only had it two or three years and traded it for a used PP in .22, which I still have to this day. Of course, now I wish I'd kept the .380 PP and paid for the .22 with cash. They're printing money every day; they're not making any more blued .380 PPs. Not at $125, anyway. :(
 

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I think the shortage is beginning to improve... I'm seeing .380 ammo advertised occasionally. Natchez had some in a flyer this week.

I don't buy Snake's explanation, though. Yeah, there are a lot of 380 autos being sold. I bet most of them haven't even had a full box of ammo put through them. Most gun owners aren't shooters, and I bet most of those 380s are going to people that aren't shooters.
 

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I sure don't see many "new" .380 pistols coming to market. The only real big name is the little Ruger .380 which could only have been a blip on the big screen.

I certainly agree that the increase in CCW permits is a big factor but wonder how many of those people bought .380s...

I think Snake is right about the ammo makers. I'm pretty sure that .380 ammo is made only in quantities large enough to meet orders and anticipated demand so while 9mm is run every day they might only load .380 a few days a month or maybe even less.

How many of you know someone who carries a .380 as a primary? I own a few but mostly old school stuff like Colt, Savage and Remington but did briefly carry a PPk as a backup but with the exception of the Ruger it's been a long time since I shot one.
 

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S&W & Sig both have new 380s, as do some smaller companies, like Diamondback. Kahr is jumping on the bandwagon, too.

I have carried a 380 as a primary... but that was before I got trained.
 

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I've got to agree with the comment that most .380s don't get shot a lot. However, when I taught CCW regularly, I saw a surprising number percentage wise (never saw a 1911). And those definately got shot, at least in my training. There are apparently, quite a few people who wish to feel armed, but don't want to be inconvenienced. I recall a guy about 6'4" and 270 lbs who felt anything larger than a PPK was an unreasonable burden. A buddy told me he fired about 1 magazine a year and whined about the slide cutting his hand :cluebat:
 

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A blow back 380 that bites the hand is one of the less pleasant things I've shot.
You want convenience? Stick an airweight in your pocket.
 

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William R. Moore said:
I recall a guy about 6'4" and 270 lbs who felt anything larger than a PPK was an unreasonable burden. A buddy told me he fired about 1 magazine a year and whined about the slide cutting his hand :cluebat:
I'd have known the make and model even if you hadn't mentioned it. The PP/PPK series seems to cut everyone's hand. I've found a way to hold mine that eliminates this, but it's not the same grip I use with "everything else" and hence is not "instinctive." :(
 

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I'm seeing more and more around here.

At the gunshop where I used to work, one of our strongest sellers was the Bersa .380. We were moving them at roughly $260 each.

I have never heard a good reason for the shortage. I do know that a lot of 9mm was being sent to Iraq and probably Afghanistan via our tax dollars. Perhaps that tied up equipment as the cartridge is about the same, but that's speculation on my part.

I own one .380 - a Bersa. Beats a PPK IMHO. :shock:
 

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A few months back I bought a Sig Sauer P 238. .380 has been a bit on the skimpy side, though I found a supersize box of .380 ball at Academy Sports and bought a couple boxes for practice, and occasionally turn up some hollowpoint of various makes, either at Academy or through internet/mail order.
I doubt I will be shooting the Sig a lot, but it is a handy little gun for CCW on the summer ... well, anytime really. :)
 

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You guys may be right as to the shortage of .380 ammo. I haven't been able to find any for the last 6 or 7 months. Not to worry though, I do have about 400 rounds, mostly reloads. :thumbsup:

I bought a Browning BDA .380, made by Beretta, several years ago. IIRC I paid $175 or $200 for it. It's about the same size and weight as a Colt Commander. Conceals nicely in a paddle holster under a sport jacket. Also does pretty well under a concealment vest or with a t-shirt pulled out. Nice gun and it doesn't bite either. :mrgreen:

BobMac
 

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"It has been stated" :ek: in various places that the reason for the .380 shortage was that the ammo makers were so tied up making 9x19 to keep up with the demand by military, law enforcement and the public after Obama's election. .380ACP is made on the same machines as 9x19, and makers weren't willing to change dies and take time making the less popular cartridge.

*The above might be worth exactly what you're paying for it... :ehsmile:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
380ACP is made on the same machines as 9x19,
While that is true the same machines with just a change of dies can make almost any other cartridge too. Every ammo plant I've been in has one or more loaders that do only 9mm but they also have lots of loaders so I'm pretty sure that changing dies is less of an issue and there very well might be a machine all set up for .380 that is idle because operators aren't available. Depending on the machine it takes several people to run them although one crew may be able to monitor a couple of loaders. There is ALWAYS an inspector at the end of each one though. Just keeping the hoppers full for brass, powder and bullets can keep somebody hopping.

Also there are two separate things and actually making the brass is more time consuming than loading ammo. It will actually take three or more different machines to make a piece of brass by conventional methods although the newer impact extrusion machines such as those used to make Blazer turn out a finished case in one- very fast- operation
 

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Retmsgt. said:
I was told the reason is that Mike Venturino bought a Mac in .380.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I don't believe it's true, though. If he had, he'd have published seventeen articles on it by now. :roll:
 

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CeePee, thanks for the details. When I think about it, my mind boggles at how the ammo companies can make millions (make that, billions) of cartridges to such uniformity that we complain if one doesn't function properly. :shocked:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm going to ask some industry friends and see if there is a consensus answer.

I have a few .380s but the only one I've shot in ages is the new little Ruger and I'm pretty sure locked breech is a better idea for them.

I think the worst .380 ever has to be the High Standard G-380. Even though it was a big heavy gun the recoil was unpleasant and I don't think there has ever been a gun with more hammer bite. The best is still the Remington Model 51 which is so nice and thin it carries well and Mr. Pedersen's locking system really works. The downside is that advanced engineering degrees really help if you want to put it back together and the mechanism is so complex it would cost a ton to make one today/
 
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