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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my effort “dust off” some guns that have been sitting, I took a walk into the nearby woods and tested a couple items.

One is a .380 FEG SMC, (A Hungarian, PPK clone.), which belongs to my father-in-law but had been sitting in a safe for more than a decade. He had asked me to go through it a while back and detail clean and lube it. I did this, and then asked if I could hang onto it a little while until I could get a chance to function check it. He agreed to let me do this.

The other handgun is one I recently acquired which goes kind of counter, to my normal carry preferences. A Taurus 85 in either a high polished stainless, or nickel finish. This pistol also belonged to someone who bought it in the 90s and fired a box or two through it then just parked it in a drawer.

I had some .38 special rounds laying around from when I did own a S&W 442 As well as some partial boxes of ammo that we’re included with the Taurus. I also had a mix of .380 rounds that I had for an LCP and my wife’s Beretta 85.

Finally had a bit of time this morning to tale a little hike, and grow a couple pistols in the pack with a couple boxes of ammo. I got into a little dry runoff gully and used a half of a soda 12 pack box as a target, and target holder, and began with the .380. I had it loaded with Federal Hydra-Shok and had loaded to maximum (meaning I had one in the chamber and topped up the mag and reinserted it).

First shot, right where I was aiming and first jam. Empty did not fully extract and bound up the next round. Cleared the jam and the rest ran fine. Not a great start, but I avoided this full top up for the rest of the rounds fired, and had no further problems. My theory is, the added pressure in the bottom of the slide, reduced slide velocity contributing to the jam. My box of mixed ammo included Winchester, 90 grain ball, Winchester, lead free rounds, and S&B 90 grain FMJ.

The Taurus had no functional issues. It is an all steel snubbie and was not unpleasant with regard to recoil, using 148 Gr Semi-wad cutter rounds, 158 wad cutter rounds and Remington 125gr +P semi-jacketed hollow points. I also tried out Zeta6 ”Speed clip” and hybrid strips For reloads and they were fairly slick to use.

With each pistol I started by just shooting at the soda box with some orange dot stickers to get familiar with the handguns. Then I did some shots drawing from the holster and doing a reload and getting back on target. then I did shoot some groups just to compare. The Taurus got a bit of a unfair penalty, because the box blew over a couple times right as the shot broke. But I still shot the little .380 better. I think a lot of this is me figuring out how to get a consistent grip and trigger finger position on the revolver. The long reset for the revolver is also requiring me to adjust in my head and cadence, compared with my experience with DA/SA autos.

My takeaways from this trip.
Don't try to overload the SMC
Probably won’t use Hydra-Shok in .380 anyway.

I’ll need time to get my snubbie groove back for grip, and trigger control.
While Taurus is among the very few companies I’m usually snobby against, the 85 usually got a pass from me and I don’t think I was wrong to take a chance on this little snub nose.
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