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Thread: an interesting .38 vs. .380 article

  1. #1

    Default an interesting .38 vs. .380 article

    I just read this article on Gunweek:

    The part about pig skull penetration was particularly interesting. I didn't think the lowly .38 was capable of that.
    Tsimshian tribe, wolf clan, the house of Walsk.

  2. #2


    38 is not a bad load at all... the +P offerings do even better. The factor that the author neglected to consider with the 380 is that it is available in much smaller pistols with 1 or 2 better capacity. I have a little KelTec that is no larger than my Motorola Q..... a 380 on the person is better than a 38 in the truck any day.

    If I was going to step out of the pocket pistol range and into snubby range, there are way more options than the 38..... Kahr makes their PM series in 40 and 9mm.... the 9 will grab +P 38 performance and the 40 is out of sight of both....

    I guess I don't understand the point of the article.... don't really think it was apples to apples other than application..... to a point.... .
    Hunting, camping & shooting goodies.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    That particular article is wroght with error and het seems to make the assertion that the 380 and the 38 Spcl are of equal power at first....not so.

    The 38 Special was developed at the turn of the century (not 1933) and S&W had a gun for it in 1902. It was a lengthened version of the 38 long Colt which was a longer 38 short Colt. All are of the same diameter, case and bullet. He makes reference to the 38 S&W a shorter and older round with a .360" diameter bullet, which was 19 century round. As he stated, the 380 was first developed for the 1908 Browning and was first used to start WW-I in Sarajevo.

    The auther then refers to the more powerful calibers and includes the 9mm as well as the 40 and 45. Well, I donot beleive the 9mm is more powerful than the 38 spcl if we consider the +P load from equal barrel length. The 9x19 and the 38 Special should be compared not the miniscule and very unpopular 380 Auto. I donot think it is popular today and the days of the Walther PPK and the Mauser HSC are pretty much gone. Very few American guns were made in the caliber and foreign entrants have deminished after WW-II. And even at the beginning of the 20th century there were many better choices for self defense than the european pocket pistol.

    The 9x18 Makarov is a superior round but is all but forgotton today. Personally I have no use for either one but the 38 Special is a very good target round and is an excellent first center fire caliber to learn to shoot. I see very little demand for any gun chambered in the 380 auto, and they are too small to hold the empty cases in my fingers to load ammo for them. There is something special about the 38 spcl.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


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