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No free man shall ever be de-barred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort to protect themselves against tyranny in government."

- Thomas Jefferson, of Virginia, Proposed Virginia Constitution, 1776

.380 ACP

Developed by firearms designer John M. Browning, the .380 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) (also referred to as the "9 mm Short", "9 mm Browning", "9 mm Kurz", "9 mm Corto" or "9x17mm") pistol cartridge consists of a rimless, straight-walled pistol cartridge.  Colt introduced the .380 ACP in 1908 and has enjoyed popularity as a self-defense cartridge since that time.

.380 ACP pistol cartridge.

Browning and Colt intended the .380 ACP cartridge for early blowback pistols, which lacked a barrel locking mechanism. The locking mechanism found on most other pistols is not necessary for the .380 ACP’s low breech pressure.  The guide spring offers enough of a buffer for the slide. This design simplifies manufacture of pistols chambered for such a round and generally lowers costs.  The design additionally permits the barrel to be permanently fixed to the frame during firing, which promotes accuracy.  The .380 ACP cartridge is ballistically similar to the slightly hotter 9x18mm Makarov service pistol cartridge developed in the Soviet Union.

Performance

The .380 ACP offers a compact, lightweight package but the .380’s lacks range and  stopping power. However, the .380 ACP remains a popular self-defense cartridge for shooters who want a lightweight pistol with manageable recoil.  The .380 ACP produces slightly less power than a standard-pressure .38 Special and uses 9 mm(.355 in) bullets.
Standard loads usually consist of 85, 90 or 95-grain bullets with the 115-grains being the heaviest bullet that can be safely loaded into the .380 ACP.  Many consider the .380 ACP to be the minimum cartridge for self defense, while others draw the line at the slightly more powerful .38 Special or at the less powerful .32 ACP. The recent introduction of several compact, lightweight pistols chambered in .380 ACP has produced an recent increase in interest for the cartridge.

.380 ACP compared to the 9mm.

Numerous cartridges similar to the .380 ACP exist, such as semi-rimmed .38 ACP, rebated rim 9mm Nickl, the 9mm Ultra, and 9mm Makarov.

Synonyms

9x17mm Short
9 mm Kurz
9 mm Corto
9 mm Court
9 mm Short
9 mm Kratak
9 mm Browning Short
9 mm Scurt

Type                                                Pistol
Place of origin                                 United States

Production History

Designer                                          John Browning
Manufacturer                                   Colt Manufacturing Company
Produced                                         1908

Specifications

Case type                                        Rimless, straight
Bullet diameter                               .355 in (9.0 mm)
Neck diameter                                .373 in (9.5 mm)
Base diameter                                 .374 in (9.5 mm)
Rim diameter                                  .374 in (9.5 mm)
Rim thickness                                 .045 in (1.1 mm)
Case length                                     .680 in (17.3 mm)
Overall length                                 .984 in (25.0 mm)

Ballistic Performance

Bullet weight/type                            Velocity(MV)                                 Energy(ME)
90-gr (5.8 g) JHP                        1,000 fps (300 mps)                        200 ft·lbf (270 J)
95-gr (6.2 g) FMJ                        980 fps (300 mps)                           203 ft·lbf (275 J)

Test barrel length: 3.75
Source: Federal Cartridge

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I recently ordered a couple of new guns from my local gun shop. It may be a while until they come in, from what I am told. I ordered a 3 inch Ruger SP101 in the new .327 Federal Magnum caliber and a Ruger Hawkeye African in the .375 Ruger caliber. The seller tells me that the SP 101 in that make up is just now trickling out of the factory and that distributers are having a hard time stocking them for retailers, so I may be waiting a while...click for more.

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