Colt .380 questions....
Iím considering getting a small backup gun in .380. The Colts have caught my eye. I know the are no longer in production and the ones you see arenít cheep. I want something that is very reliable and the fact that the price is high makes me think that these guns are in demand. Is it because they are that good, or is it that they are becoming collectorís items? I have never been able to shoot one and would like to know what to expect from someone who has. Thereís something about its 1911 ďmini meĒ look that draws me to it, but looks are secondary. I want the best and I am willing to pay for it if they are truely that much better.
In you experiences:
How reliable are they?
How accurate are they?
Any biting or excessive recoil issues?
General thoughts, good or bad?
I had a Colt Pony for several years. I had the stainless version - Here is a pic:
I think I would have preferred the SA version - almost like a mini 1911. But, at the time, this was the only one being made - it was DAO.
I had 1 problem w/ it - the slide stop was peening the slide - basically, the hole in the slide for the slide stop - the metal around it was bending back, the more I used it (the slide locks back on the last round). I sent it in to Colt right after I got it, because it did it very fast, and they replaced the slide. It started to do it again, so I rarely shot it. Finally ended up getting rid of it...
Don't know if it was a consistent problem or not. But, I wouldn't buy another because of this. If not for this, it would have been a good gun - recoil wasn't too bad because of the weight of the gun. Although, the stainless version was very heavy. The aluminum frame version would be lighter.
I think the Beretta Cheetahs are nice 380s, but of course, they are big. Berse and SIg make some nice ones - look almost like a PPK. And, I think I plan to buy a Keltec one myself... Because, I want something smal. The Keltec is a little bit smaller than the Colt versions, if I am remembering correctly.
Last edited by Shipwreck; 07-16-2006 at 10:24 AM.
I would not want to put all on the line with that little .380 Pony. The ones I have shot all want to hang up. You can hit with them up to 20' and be on the money. You just never know when it's going to jam. The recoil isn't that bad but you do have to practice a lot to stay on target.
Keltec has come a long way in the last couple of years and their 3AT is a shooter. The price is right too about $250. They stand behind it too.
Well, I guess I was lucky - mine never jammed once. But, I have seen a Colt Mustang (the SA version) do that to a guy using it to qualify with back in 96.
Thanks for the good info.
I have shot the Beretta 84/BDA, but they are pretty big.
I'll probably take a better look at the Sig .
Keltech? I'm guessing there's a reason it's half the price, I'm looking for the best, small .380 I can find for my BUG.
I've got two colt mustangs
Both are very reliable with proper ammo.
I have no recoil issues.
Overall I give 'em two thumbs up!!!
I have no experience with the pony...
I have a Mustang that I carry from time to time. I like it. Mine has been totally reliable and its very accurate at reasonable pocket gun ranges.
Basicly it really is a scaled down 1911 and since I do often carry a 1911 the Mustang its a natural for me.
What makes the Mustang so good is its locked breach design. The recoil is much lower and smoother rather than the sharpness of other .380s which use a blowback system.
I replaced the plastic trigger and recoil spring guides with those made by Scott- McDougal. However, Scott-McDougal has since gone out of business and I don't know if any of their custom parts are still around.
Mine is a pinto, a stainless slide on a blued frame. Mine has also had to go back to the factory for the same peening of the slide stop notch as Shipwreck mentioned. It seems that the stainless slides were a little too soft. The blue slides seem to hold up much better. If mine should do that again, I plan to buy a blued slide off one of the auction sites to replace it. BTW: when I did send my gun back to Colt for the slide replacement I asked for a blue slide and was told that they were no longer avalible. So used is the only alternative.
Otherwise, I've been very pleased with my Mustang and I will trust my life to it.
The .380 Pistol
The Walther PPk and PPk/S were considered the penultimate .380s, and the AMT Back-Up, along with the old M1934 Berretta were the classics. I can't say about current guns however.
The .380 is not the choice for accuracy. As a defensive gun, it rivals the .38 Special revolver in power. Its not too bad a choice, but larger diameter bullets would have a slight edge. Also the .38 Special revolver with a good expanding bullet would exceed the .380's stopping power.
As can be said of many guns, any gun is better than no gun.
Mauser also made pocket pistols same as Walther PP/K &S. My wife has careied this one for about 25+ years. It's a model Hsc .32.
Yeah, the HSc was right up there with the classic .380s. I hadn't forgotten about the Mauser, but couldn't remember the model number.
Nice photo, by the way.
Had a stainless Colt .380 Govt. model for a while. Never jammed, much more accurate than I am (never shot it at targets over 20 or 30 ft.), and this one was about as close as you can get to the 1911 govt. model and operated exactly the same way. I wish I still had it (went to a nephew).
Yes sir Charlie we all have guns like that. I must have went through 25 or more Smiths, Colts, & Rugers I wish I had today.
Know what you mean, Mr. Baldy.
At last count I could account for 54 different handguns having passed through my hands!
Let's see - all the guns that have passed thru my hands...
16 I no longer have (over several years) + 5 I do have right now...
The only good thing about the little Colt .380 is that my nephew has it and will never sell it as it belonged to my father (his grandfather). That means when he comes to visit, we go shoot it!
I got a blue ,mustang and Its carried loaded with Corbon 90gr HP Has good accuracy and even with Corbon min recoil. I did add wolff recoil spring I still carry now and then but their value has really jumped . So mine is put up and carried for a dress up occasion. I carry a PPK/S IWB and a 32 KelTec in pocket. PPK/s is a easy to carry gun just disappears in pocket or IWB Sig,Beretta and other won't.
Here's a notice put out by Colt a while back about the .380. Hope it helps.
Colt .380 ACP Recall and free upgrade
COLT 380 AUTO CALIBER, SEMIAUTOMATIC PISTOL
RECALL: We are incorporating a safety improvement on all Colt 380 semiautomatic pistols that we are now manufacturing. We are offering this same opportunity to all owners of Colt 380 semi-automatic pistols free of charge.
It has come to our attention that the sear spring may be bent in some Colt 380 autos. Where this occurs there is a possibility that the sear spring will become unseated from the base of the receiver which could result in accidental discharge.
To hold the sear spring in place, Colt will send you a 380 Auto improvement kit, which includes a spring clip and instructions for attaching the clip to the sear spring. Once the spring clip is installed the sear spring cannot come loose. This is a simple but effective safety modification.
This important message applies to all Colt 380 autos in the current series first introduced in 1982. If a spring clip has already been installed, it will appear in the magazine well as a yellow piece of metal attached to the sear spring.
To obtain the spring clip we ask that all owners of Colt 380 semiautomatic pistols contact us now by calling our special toll-free number below, available Monday through Friday between 8 AM and 5 PM, Eastern Time. Colt will send you a spring clip and complete instructions for quick, easy installation. There is no charge for this service. In the meantime we urge that you do not use your Colt 380 auto until you make this change.
Colt endeavors to manufacture firearms of the highest quality. We also continue to serve our motto, A tradition of safety.
CALL TOLL FREE 1-800-533-0380
That notice is years old. You can remove mag look inside and see the clip. If not their Colt will still mail one but I don't think any Mustangs left that have been done The problem was with early guns Mines a 1990 and has factory installed clip.
Yes that is a old notice from Colt and it's still inafect. Just trying to help.
I love my little Mustang and good deals can sometimes be had on them, I bought mine at a pawn shop awhile back, they had just got it in and it was still very dirty and had a sticky slide but looked almost unused, I picked it up for $250 and after a good cleaning and a new set of Wolff springs it functions 100% and I have never had a failure with it and shoots anything I've fed it, mine came with the sear clip installed already, the only problem I had was the slide stop would only engage the slide about halfway and was dinging it up a little, I had to bend the mag spring a little so it would put more pressure on the forward part of the follower so it would push harder on the slide stop and that fixed that problem. It's not the most accurate gun in the world but no pocket pistol is but at 5 yds it's deadly. Here is a pic...
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