.380s feeding HP ammo

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by CampingJosh, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    So I've pretty well decided that I'm going to get a .380 of some kind, and I wanted to ask those of you who have and use them which ones feed good self-defense ammo reliably.

    This is basically the order in which I'm considering them:

    Walther PPK/S (I'd like to know about both the Interarms and the new S&W-made ones, please)
    Kel-tec P3AT
    SIG 230 or 232
    Ruger LCP (not that I'll be able to get one in the next year...)
    Colt Mustang
    Taurus Millennium Pro .380
    Beretta Cheetah

    Please feel free to comment on any or all of these, and any other .380 you know of. As you can see, I haven't much narrowed down the list (though those top three are certainly well ahead of the rest).

    Of course, I may just go off and spend all my "play time" money on a Taurus 651...
  2. carver

    carver Moderator

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    IMHO anyone purchasing a simi-auto should consider having to take the new gun to a smith to have it worked over if it fails to feed or eject properly. Having said that, the only folks that will work on a Taurus is Taurus. All the other makers you have mentioned will have no problems with local smiths. Todays guns probably need little smith work, but you never know for sure. I own a Jennings (Bryco) in .380. I have fired hundreds of rds. through it and it has never given me a problem, yet. It really loves the Hydro-Shock ammo, and feeds and ejects without any problems. I mention the Jennings to show that not all guns need to go to the smith, no one would work on it anyway. I got it in a trade, turned out to be a good deal. Who knew! All the hand guns I own have gone to a smith for tuning and triger jobs at purchase. Just a precaution on my part. I want my guns to work every time.
  3. Xaiver56

    Xaiver56 New Member

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    Hey Josh,

    I have owned a couple of those listed and shot a few more on the list as well.

    Taurus Mill Pro in .380 : This was my first carry gun and I loved it. 12 + 1 capacity. The only problem I had with it was one bad magazine, purcahsed another on and had no problems. It handles HP ammo well and is fun to shoot. For conceal carry it is a bit on the bulky side (I am a big guy however so that is easily mitigated). I carried in IWB. I upgraded to the same weapon in 9mm, which also fires HP's well.


    SIG 232 : My Dad is a self confessed "Sig Guy" All of his guns are Sigs and out of his collection of about 8 SIGS, the 232 was the only one he sold. We all tried to like the P-232 but it was not fun to shoot and lacked the smoothness one would associate with a Sig. It is a fixed barrel so you can expect a sharper recoil, however for .380 it was too much. It was accurate, but we had some jamming problems as well. We never even tried HP ammo in it because it would jam, usually in the middle of the magazine, at least 1 every 10 magazines. We could have gotten a lemon or it could have just not been the right gun for us, but for a Sig price tag it really disappointed.

    Kel-Tec P3AT : A friend of mine has this gun and for conceal carry it is great, just drop in the pocket and go. Shooting it however is another story. They should really say it is a triple action trigger because it cocks it, fires it, and annoyes the hell out of me on each trigger pull :D The trigger pull is LLLLLOOOOONNNNGGGGG, which is what one would want in a pocket conceal carry, however the time you spend practicing with it will not be fun. Once you get used to the trigger pull you can get accurate (for myself only at closer range around 10 - 12 ft) and it never jammed with about 50 rounds thru it.

    Bersa .380 : It is not on your list, but in my opinion a great value. My wife had one when we met and at first I turned up my nose because I thought Bersa = Crap. I finally took it out for shooting and I really enjoyed it. I found it to be accurate, it took HP ammo well, and was much smoother than I anticipated. There are some who immediately turn the nose up at Bersa and I was one of them until I shot it, a great little gun.
  4. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

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    i'll second the comments on the bersa. well made trouble free and a great value. i'd own it before considering anything with a s&w stamp on it. but your other choices are sound. go to gun reviews.com and check out the comments on each. you'll be surprized to see the excellent comments on the bersa. and it's overall rating compared to a walther/s&w
  5. Gene Seward

    Gene Seward Member

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    My wife also has the Bersa and we both love to shoot it. I have everything from 44mag. down to 22, and the Bersa is one of the most fun to shoot. Cheap in price, but not in shootability and consealability.
  6. Xavier, your comment on the Sig surprises me, not that I doubt what you are saying is true, but that my experience was quite different. I have a P230 Sig and it's always been one of the most reliable and accurate weapons I own, even with hollow point ammo. It could well be that your dad happened to end up with a lemon, or one that needed a little fine tuning. I have found, however, that the Sig does not like cheap ammo. I tried some Russian Wolf hardball in it and it did tend to jam for some reason. With good quality American or European ammo (like Winchester or Sellier & Bellot), I've never had a problem.
  7. Mosin_Nagant_Fan

    Mosin_Nagant_Fan Active Member

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    I never owned any of those but I have used HP (JHP, actually) in the .380 pistols I had and had no problems feeding (I've seen HP rated the same weight as the JHP I used).
  8. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    I have a Walther PPK (by Interarms) which is the only .380 I've ever owned. I like it very much and it has been my primary piece for concealed carry for 20 years. With hollowpoints, the first round from the magazine, when chambering by hand, always sticks on the ramp. I've had a polishing job and some other tuning, but have never been able to solve the problem. When firing however, it cycles without problem, every time. The short of it is that if you decide to go with a .380, the Walther is very hard to beat.
  9. Xaiver56

    Xaiver56 New Member

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    Yes the quality of that Sig suprised me as well. We used mainly federal ammo and we just kept getting jams. I cleaned the gun several times, and nothing I could do seemed to help. A trip to gunsmith might have helped but Dad just sold it to be done with it. Although that experience did not turn us off to Sigs because we have had 0 problem with any other sig we have owned.
  10. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

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    I carry the Keltec P3AT everywhere and it has fed reliably since about 200 rounds have been through it. The trigger pull IS very long but the gun can be fired rapidly when you get used to it... It's no accuracy-king but that's to be expected. The good thing about the gun is that if you have a CWP the gun will always be with you as it takes no special effort to just drop it in your pocket with a pocket holster to conceal the print. The one problem with the P3AT is that its short barrel doesn't allow adequate expansion of all hollow point ammo. Actually, in an online review I read a while back in 2005 the only ammo that reliably expanded in the P3AT was the Winchester Silvertip. That's what I carry in my P3AT now...

    As far as the Bersa that has been mentioned above, do not bother with the full-size Thunder .380 as I don't believe it is a sensible choice due to the 9mm alternatives out there in a comparable size. It's just odd that the full-size Thunder .380 in 7 round capacity is as wide as the 13 round double-stack mag version due to the ultra-wide but ergonomic plastic grips. I own one but have no use in carrying it as it is only a bit smaller than my Taurus Mil Pro PT145. In short, there's not really a reason to buy the full-size Thunder .380 except that it's cheap. The CC version though?.... I like that one but have no reason to buy one due to the Keltec I carry which serves its purpose and is much smaller and lighter.

    Here's a comparison of my full-size Thunder .380 versus the Keltec P3AT... For the life of me, I don't understand why anyone would buy the Bersa now with the 9mms that have come along in the past few years. I bought my Bersa in 2000 when I was young, stupid and the Bersa was cheap. It's reliable but there are better alternatives... My comments will probably get me in trouble as there are many people who love the full-size Bersa for whatever reason. I recently warned specifically against one guy buying one in lieu of the CC version and despite my explaining he bought the full-size which he likely won't carry often, if at all...

    I'll also add that the Taurus Mil Pro .380 falls into the same bulky category as the full-size Bersa. Make sure you buy something that you'll actually carry if you have a permit and your state allows.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  11. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    S&W PPK/s.....zero failures to feed and still going. Shoot it with whatever hollowpoints are on discount all the time. I carry it with Silvertips.
  12. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 New Member

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    I had a Bersa Thunder Duo Tone .380 ACP. It would feed everything and was accurate, never had a problem out of it. Only reason I got rid of it is I have gone to 40 S&W as my handgun caliber.
  13. Your PPK/s is a fine weapon, Delta. I must say though, it looks much more appealing when Shellie is holding it for some reason. :D;)
  14. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I remember that picture, and I'm going to agree with Pistol. (Here's the post from a different thread http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showpost.php?p=319376&postcount=17)
  15. PPK 32

    PPK 32 Active Member

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    I've got an older Walther in the 32. It operates flawlessly, also easy to clean. I tried hollow points and had trouble, but I believe the ammo was not up to par, it was an off brand. Great gun.
  16. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    Yup. I cannot argue:D
  17. lead

    lead Active Member

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    I bought mywife a Bersa Thunder380 about 2 years ago. It has been flawless from day one. She outshoots her uncles, shooting old S&W revolvers.
    I had a Sig230 and really liked it. You could tell the difference in quality over the Bersa.
    Have you looked at the CZ83 yet? A milsurp gun, but well made, reliable, and accurate.
  18. nolacajun

    nolacajun New Member

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    I HAD a Jennings 380 but tossed it in as part of a trade for a 22 rifle I wanted. As for the comments on the Bersa, great little handgun!!! Not the best finished piece on the market, but has an "improved" Walther action, and is as reliable as the sun coming up in the morning!

    With all the variations of really reliable 9mm's out there, I can't justify to myself why I would want/need a 380.

    John
  19. ponycar17

    ponycar17 Active Member

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    I agree with this assessment. The only reason to own a .380 is to VERY easily carry a concealed handgun in the 9mm diameter range but without the larger frame usually associated with 9mm. For that role, I believe that only the Keltec or Ruger LCP fit the bill. The others will not be carried often enough to be worth the purchase. If I went larger than the Keltec or Ruger, I'd go with a small 9mm.
  20. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I understand this thought. If this gun were to be entirely for me, I'd have already bought the Keltec.
    This gun is mostly for me. However, I have a special lady friend who is VERY recoil sensitive. She loves shooting .22LR, but can't stand 9mm.

    I'm thinking that maybe a PPK/s will eventually be enough of a compromise for her...

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