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  1. #1
    hideit's Avatar
    hideit is offline Senior Member
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    history of the .380

    i know about 100 years ago Colt made 380 pistols
    i read somewhere that in europe citizens could not own a militay caliber thus the 9mm short or 380 became popular
    i wonder if that is still the case in europe
    i am guessing that that is why Glock is making a 380 which is the same size as the g26

    when did colt stop making 380s?
    what manufactuer has probably made the most 380 handguns?

  2. #2
    Baldy's Avatar
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    Smile

    All I know is the 1903 Colt was a .32 and I think about 08 they came out with the .380cal. They went out of production around the end of WWII. Then they came out with the Colt Govenment .380 in the 80's and they went out of production about 1994. I have one of these. Great little gun.
    Some of the socialist leaning countries of europe you can't have military ammo.

  3. #3
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Europeans have never really been interested in small arms the way Americans have. European cops carried .32s and such up until relatively recently. Maybe bad guys are weaker across the pond?

    Military calibers are still banned in some countries. I remember back in the 80's, Tanfoglio was making CZ75 knock-offs in something like 9X21mm, to get around laws that forbade the standard 9X19mm.

    I presume Colt stopped making .380s because it was no longer profitable for them to do so, though it could have just been a typical stupid Colt business decision. I think they got rid of the last of the .380s around 2000. The current Colt pistol lineup only shows full-size 1911s and the Defender.

    The Colt 1908 design was pretty well obsolete by the end of WWII, with the emergence of the PPK. Better designs like the various Berettas and SIGs came along in .380 also. Finally, we entered the current age of really small and lightweight .380s, as typified by the KelTec P3AT and now its Ruger knockoff.

    Colt's .380 Government and Mustang were good pistols, basically mini-1911s but minus the grip safety. They had some popularity among gun enthusiasts, but I suspect a lot of people buy .380s for pocket guns, and weren't thrilled at the prospect of carrying a cocked-and-locked pistol (with no grip safety) in their pocket.

    My guess would be that Walther has made more .380s than any reputable manufacturer, especially if you include the Manhurin PPKs. There have been an awful lot of PPKs through the years, though of course many of them were .32s, so I may be wrong.
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  4. #4
    hideit's Avatar
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    hey mike you changed your pic!
    i guess my research today is 380's...
    since posting i have found that:
    South American citizens also can not own a military caliber;
    Colt made 380s from 1903 to 1945 and made 138,009;
    Walther ppk was made from 1931 to present;
    Kel Tec has made 75,000 3ATs in 2004 & 2005 ALONE. Thus with their current production of 1,000 a week, i can assume they have made more 380 pistols than Colt

    I think the small 380's started with Seecamp -
    i still have the March 2000 issue of HANDGUNS -
    then there was another article on the Seecamp in May/June 2000 issue of AMERICAN HANDGUNNER -
    the next year NAA got into it and there was an article in November 2001 in HANDGUNS
    you could say that this was maybe the first example of one manufacturer borrowing off another manufacturer like the current ruger/keltec issue

  5. #5
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    I believe Seecamp started out making .32 Cal guns that were designed around the Winchester .32 Silver Tip. The Gun was actually designed for that bullet. I had my FFL when they first became available in the early 1990's. I recall calling them and ordering two guns. It took about 14 months to get them.

    I believe Colt discontinued their small guns .380 Mustangs and the Pony in late 2000 I was lucky enough to get one of the last .380 Pony Pocketlites ever made.

    My guess is that either Beretta or Walther has made the most small caliber .32 & .380 guns.

  6. #6
    jimg11 is offline Member
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    Smile 380 Autos

    I understand Ruger has come out with a new 380 and sold a huge number in the first week. 80,000+ that is a lot of guns.

  7. #7
    Baldy's Avatar
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    The Ruger LCP .380 is not due out till mid-March. I still say KT has their fingers in it.

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