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Discussion Starter #1
A friend of mine purchased a nice used S&W 380. If I had been there with him I would have told him to AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE that POS plastic pile of crap, but, I wasn't. So we're out shooting yesterday and upon his first shot, it explodes in his hand. I need for him to send me the cell phone photo he took of it, but needless to say, the gun is ruined. Cracked the frame in the backstrap area, blew the slide upwards about 1/2", although the slide is still attached somehow at the front. Blew the firing pin back out of the gun (that's probably what he felt hit his face). Blew the magazine out the bottom, although the follower and one round was still in place. All in all a MESS, and he had to go hit the rum bottle after that episode to alleviate the pain! (Needless to say, I joined him, but I digress...)

My question is, since I don't ever mess with plastic POS guns, was there ever a recall on the S&W 380? Anyone ever hear of one blowup before, etc. Any help/insight is appreciated.
 

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Wow Ken, that's ugly.... do you mean the SIGMA .380 or the PPK/s Clone?
 

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Ugly is an apt description. Had your friend been hurt, that would have been Fugly! Yeah, so, to echo Drew's question, what kind of S&W was it? I can't imagine a S&W coming un-glued. Ammo? Can't imagine a .380 causing that much havoc. I'm lacking imagination tonight, can you fill in some of the details?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I guess it is the Sigma, that all black plastic stupid looking thing. The brass of the fired round was squashed down lengthwise, with a blowout...almost like where the lower bottom of the cartridge is not supported when fully chambered...I'm thinking that perhaps the slide didn't go fully into battery and the firing pin released anyway. I didn't have my camera handy, and he took the gun with him when we parted ways. Worse comes to worse, I'll see the gun this weekend and take extensive pictures and post em.
 

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What ammo? Reloads, or?????

We never had many of those guns here but the few we had worked just fine.

For the record, I have had FAR fewer issues with plastic guns than others made of all metal and wood, and KaBooms happen with "real" guns as well, seen it for myself.
 

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Lets see here. He bought it used with no idea of
its history and it blows up with the first shot.
I'd say something was wrong with the gun that
the seller knew about. Or perhaps it had been
assembled incorrectly after cleaning etc.
Might have even been modified and the seller
knew he had screwed up.
We are waiting for photos
 

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I bought a S&W380 new when they came out. This was in the mid '90s.
I don't recall them being refered to as a Sigma 380. What I do recall is S&W saying the had a life expectancy of 2500 rounds.
I liked the concealability of it's design but not the way it was made. After about 100 practice rounds, the fixed barrel and it's support developed a dark discoloration leading me to think the 2500 rounds would come sooner rather than later. I sold it after a few years.
I'd buy another if S&W would improve the quality.
 

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Weren't those the ones that had a slide made of zinc?
 

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I had one for about 7 years. I did not like the looks of it so I sold it eventually. It fired every thing I put through it. Never a bobble with various HP rounds. I don't think I put more than a few hundred rounds through it. It cost me less than $200 but It was more reliable with HPs than some .380s that I have tried costing a lot more. It was a lot better than the Ravens, Lorcins, jennings, Davis, and such junk that I see some people still carrying from time to time.
 

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I'm reading this thread and nobody has indicated what the actual model number for this pistol is.
Can somebody please elaborate on the .380 S&W pistol model?
I have a friend looking for a .380 pistol for his BUG. Avoiding this one sounds like a strong possibility. It's hard to believe they would make a pistol as this one is described.
I'm leading toward issues that existed when he bought it, and the previous owner neglected to mention or divulge them.

What models of .380 did S&W make? I did a search and found nothing so far.
 

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Gregory, tell your friend to get a Ruger LCP, I don't have one, but a few guys I know do and for the price/performance, probably a good deal.
 

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I know S&W made a Sigma in .380 Auto and of course the Walther PPK. But that is all I know.

I have a feeling that Sigma is the subject here.
 

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no, Jose, believe it or not the sigma has never had a single recall. The ppk on the other hand, after years of being recall free, becomes somewhat of a trainwreck when S&W takes over manufacture of the pistol...
sorry, your sigma theory is foiled again...
 

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Blackcloud2,
I intend to tell him to buy one of the LCP's. I think they are one of the best designed .380's currently in production. If not one of the best certainly the best looking one!
I'm also going to recommend he gets the Crimson Trace Trigger guard for it too.

I really can't figure out the .380 other than a super easy conceal.
I've seen post that swear a slingshot has more knockdown power.

But with all that said, I might just have to get one after all.
Every time I see a post here of any of the LCR's or LCP's the guys have, the entire forum starts to drool. Almost like we're looking at a K22 in mint condition.
Not too bad for a Ruger in the S&W forum.

Gregory
 

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f150guy said:
no, Jose, believe it or not the sigma has never had a single recall. The ppk on the other hand, after years of being recall free, becomes somewhat of a trainwreck when S&W takes over manufacture of the pistol...
sorry, your sigma theory is foiled again...
Well, someone said the pistol had a zinc slide.

Did S&W-made PPKs ever have a zinc slide?

I actually find it hard to believe S&W would use zinc in ANY part pf ANY pistol.
 

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Jose said:
I actually find it hard to believe S&W would use zinc in ANY part pf ANY pistol.

They did with the SW380. The slide was made from Zamak, a zinc alloy. These were throw away guns, S&W rated them for a 2500 round life expectancy. They have been around for 14 years, plenty of time for some to exceed the round limit and get passed on in the used firearm marketplace.
There was also a SW9M that had similar features as the SW380. Production for it only lasted 1 year.
SW is not the only users of Zamak, Colt used it in some of their .22 single action revolvers.
 
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