.38 ACP vs. .380 ACP
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Thread: .38 ACP vs. .380 ACP

  1. #1
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    .38 ACP vs. .380 ACP

    Why did John Browning feel the need to design the .380 ACP (1908) cartridge after he had designed the .38 ACP (1900)?
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    ROBERT @ OKC USA




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    Smaller , blowback pistols like the 1903/08 Pocket Hammerless. The 1903 ws originally designed for the .32 , but Colt wanted something bigger. The .38 ACP was too big and was used in full-size , locked breech pistols like the 1900 Colt.
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." G.R. Ford

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    The 38acp is a semi rimmed design while the 380acp is rimless, but the the big difference is in length and in power. The .380 was intended for straight blowback pistols. There arehave been so many cartridges right around the same size, a few of which, like the 38acp have pretty much faded away as has the 9mm Browning Long (9X20mm). The 9X17mm (.380), 9X18mm (Makarov) and 9X19mm (9mm Parabellum) have manged to survive as have the 38 special and 38 Super.
    Ever hear of 9X18mm Ultra, 9mm Glisenti, 9X23 Largo, 9X23 Steyr, 9mm Bergman (or Bergman/Bayard) or9mm Winchester Magnum? You could probably ask why for many of them.

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    The diameter of these bullets:

    .356 in (9.04 mm) 38 Super (1929)

    .356 in (9.0 mm) .38 ACP (1900)
    .355 in (9.0 mm) .380 ACP (1908)
    .3125 in (7.94 mm) .32 ACP (1899)

    The case lengths:

    .900 in (22.86 mm) 38 Super (1929)

    .900 in (22.9 mm) .38 ACP (1900)
    .680 in (17.3 mm) .380 ACP (1908)
    .680 in (17.3 mm) .32 ACP (1899)
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    ROBERT @ OKC USA




    He who questions much learns much. - Frances Bacon
    There was a time when men were kind and their words were inviting. - Les Miserables
    Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. - Thomas Jefferson
    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers
    80% of success is showing up. - Woody Allen

    SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM.
    NON REVERTAR INULTUS.
    SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

  6. #5
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    Where does .38 and .380 come from?

    38 ACP

    Neck diameter .384 in (9.8 mm)
    Base diameter .384 in (9.8 mm)
    Rim thickness .050 in (1.3 mm)

    .380 ACP

    Base diameter .374 in (9.5 mm)
    Rim diameter .374 in (9.5 mm)
    Rim thickness .045 in (1.1 mm)
    Last edited by legelegel; 02-03-2016 at 03:45 PM.
    ROBERT @ OKC USA




    He who questions much learns much. - Frances Bacon
    There was a time when men were kind and their words were inviting. - Les Miserables
    Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. - Thomas Jefferson
    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. - Will Rogers
    80% of success is showing up. - Woody Allen

    SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM.
    NON REVERTAR INULTUS.
    SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

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    Some of the cartridge caliber names are pure marketing... They don't necessarily relate to cartridge measurements.

    Some cartridges have multiple marketing names too... The 9mm Kurz or 9mm Corto or 9mm Browning or 9mm Browning Court is the same as .380 ACP.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.380_ACP
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    Cheers! Marc


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    Well this forum is a wealth of gun information. I have a 380 as well as some 9mm (9 x 19), and also had a 9 x 23 As the 9mm Largo in the form of an Astra-400. I bought it because it was billed as being able to shoot, the Largo round as well as the 9 x 19 mm Luger and the 38 Super.


    Astra-400. . .Of course the 38 Super was a higher pressure cartridge than what the gun was built for. But I got away with shooting a lot of 38 Supers in it without ill effect, the 9mm luger was blowing primers and finding 9mm Largo on a dealer's shelf, was not to be found. A gunsmith weighed in that the use of 38 Supers probably wouldn't cause the Astra to blow up in my hand, but it would certainly wear the gun out faster - but to stay with the caliber it was designed for - I traded it off.
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  9. #8
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    Before Special, Super. Magnum etc. Colt simply gave the .36 (.357) a promotion, ergo .38.
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    I think my head is going to explode. But this is fascinating.
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