Considering a Colt .380
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Thread: Considering a Colt .380

  1. #1
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    Considering a Colt .380

    I’m 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 aren’t 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 collector’s items? I have never been able to shoot one and would like to know what to expect from someone who has. There’s something about its 1911 “mini me” 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?

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    Are you referring to a Colt 1908 in .380 or something like the mustang or government .380's? Just about everything in the world of classic colts is collectible and rising in costs. Just about all of them are great shooters. A 1908 in .380 is a fine pistol but if you find one in nice condition I don't know if I'd carry it as they are pretty desirable. The mustang and government models are less desirable to collectors (for the most part) but they would make a fine shooter. I don't know how well they handle hollow points though, if that is something you were considering. Good luck!

    Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

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    DJC
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    My Government .380 functions flawlessly with everything I have fed it. Hollow points tried were Gold Dots; no problem. The locked breech on the Govt. .380 makes recoil very mild. The gun does not bite or do anything strange, it is easy to disassemble and clean and fits nicely in my Carhartt pants pocket. My pistols are nickel and the finish has been very durable. One has seen a great deal of carry in pocket or in a boot top since 1985 or so and still looks fresh.

    have to edit this to suggest, for the DA aficionados, the Bersa Thunder .380. I don't care for DA autos but in this case, the Bersa serves a purpose in that I can handle it left handed if I am carrying a pair of pistols. The gun is accurate, reliable and very shootable yet no larger than a Colt Govt .380. All in all, the Bersa is a sorely under rated pistol.
    Last edited by DJC; 05-06-2019 at 06:39 AM.

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    I think the Colt 1911 style 380's are somewhat in demand due to being sought after by Colt enthusiast. I've owned and shot Colt, Sig238, and the Kimber Micro 380. I've found them all to be very similar in reliability, accuracy, handling, and actually price.

    I've kept the Colts and traded off the other two brands not because they were inferior to Colt but because I like Colt firearms.

    Between the three Colt .380 sizes I personally prefer the Government over the Mustang or Mustang Plus II model because I like balance of the longer slide and length of the grip. I also prefer the steel frame pistols over the Pocketlite (alloy framed) versions but that's just me they're fine little pistols also.

    Now with that said the Mustang size pistols do carry a little better as far a pocket carry mode but I have the Colt .380 Pony (DAO) for that purpose if I so choose.

    I have no experience with the Colt Mustang XSP (polymer framed) model. I really never cared for the look of that one.

    I guess I've been fortunate since I've never experienced any major function issues or hand biting with any of the mini 1911 380's. I know some have not been so lucky. And in my opinion the ones I've shot were sufficiently accurate enough for what they have been designed to do. Anyway, good luck with your search and decision.
    ColtsDad and Pocketlite1 like this.

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    You can get a Colt Government 380 cheap by buying a Star D. Colt bought the Star D direct and had them rebranded by Star. So did Firearms international, LLama and who knows who else.
    spacecoast1 likes this.

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    I carried a Pocketlite and then a SW .380 Sigma for awhile as backup. Both guns functioned fine, although I really wanted similar size in 9mm. When the Kahr PM9 came out I was sold. Carried as backup on vest strap for years and off duty in a pocket holster. Carry it today, and every day,
    in a pocket holster
    during retirement.

    I would give the Sig P365 serious consideration if I was looking for one today.

    Regardless of your choice, function test with different ammo and especially carry ammo. The old school of thought has been a minimum of 200 rounds of initial practice and function testing.
    Vic
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    Just to add a little confusion, why would you want to carry a .380 when you can carry a 9MM in the same size gun?
    Tomray and ei8ht like this.

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    I don't consider the Colt Government Model 380 to be a 1911 type pistol. It is more like the Star pistol then the 1911. But the 1911 did inspire the Star Model 1940 as well as the smaller versions.
    Ken
    "I like Colts and will die that way"

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    Glock 42 - I know some people will disagree but I think this little gun is great. I haven't had a single problem in 5+ years and a few thousand rounds. Same with the Glock 43 which is similar in size to the 42 but in 9mm.
    However, I usually carry a Glock 17 because it fits my fat fingers better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by revolverman68 View Post
    I’m 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 aren’t cheep. ?
    ???
    The Mustangs are still in production. I traded (plus some cash) my AMT backup 380 for a Colt Mustang Pocketlite .380 about 10-15 years ago. LOVE IT. Its my primary CCW gun in a Bianchi inside the pants leather holster. So light and small its just amazing.
    Reliability: I initially had issues with one magazine causing jams (I got the gun used). So I bought 2 factory Colt magazines and have 100% reliability with all factory ammo I tried (mostly Federal Hi-shoks and Hydra-shoks, Winchester Silvertips, and Winchester FMJ ammo for fun). I have to add, being an aluminum frame and it being my primary CCW I dont beat the stuffing out of it with huge extended range times. Probably several hundred rounds by now (the first hundred or so to make sure my carry ammo (Federal Hi-shoks) functioned).
    Accuracy: Well, I dont target test small CCW guns at 25 yards from a bench. I do offhand at about 7 yards to make sure point of aim = point of impact. It does.
    Recoil: no issues. Of course the LW Mustang certainly delivers a bit of a snap, but nothing excessive.
    General thoughts: If lost or stolen, I would IMMEDIATELY replace it with another. Can't say that about all the guns I've owned.
    Thats my 2 cents!


 
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