Feedback on Colt Mustang 380


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jaro
October 29, 2009, 06:10 PM
I bought my Colt Mustang 380 in the 1980's and it has very few rounds through it. I just moved to a shall-issue state and have been thinking about what might be optimal for effectiveness/comfort during carry.

The Mustang has always functioned perfectly, is compact, and has a six-round magazine. What do you think about it for my purposes and in general.

Many thanks,

Jaro

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Guns and more
October 29, 2009, 07:29 PM
A bird in the hand............

I just bought a Sig P-238 which is a copy of the Mustang, and I love it.

NoAlibi
October 29, 2009, 10:43 PM
I have two Walther's in .380acp, a PPK and a PPK/S. Both of them bite the web of my hand and the recoil is more than you would expect from this caliber, so I don't have much use for them and they pretty much reside in the safe.

Not too long ago I shot my buddy's Mustang and not only didn't it bite, the recoil seemed to be much less sharp. I was very impressed with it. The only thing I didn't like was the idea of carrying it cocked and locked in my pocket with only a slide safety.

I think that DeSantis makes the Nemesis pocket holster for it and I would carry the Mustang cocked and locked in it.

HisSoldier
October 29, 2009, 11:09 PM
The only thing I didn't like was the idea of carrying it cocked and locked in my pocket with only a slide safety.

The Colt Government .380 doesn't have a slide safety. The safety was designed by Star of Spain, and most of the gun's design features are Star. One departure though is that Colt's series 80 .380's have a firing pin block, which should give anyone a tad more confidence if they don't trust the safety alone. The safety lifts the hammer off the sear, blocks it, so the only way it can go off is if you somehow knock the safety off, and accidentally pull the trigger to undo the firing pin block. (A bit of sarcasm there).

smoketheresfire
October 29, 2009, 11:20 PM
Had a Colt .380 Govt that I miss badly. Good guns.

Girodin
October 29, 2009, 11:51 PM
The mustang is my favorite pocket .380.

DasFriek
October 30, 2009, 12:07 AM
Its the perfect small concealed gun,i prefer a larger caliber when carrying it as a solo gun.But a .380 is the lowest caliber most people feel are effective to carry,and i agree myself.
The gun you have is worth alot more than you paid for it,check gunbroker and LNIB is about $750-$1k
I won the Sig p238 clone and i just love that gun.

VA27
October 30, 2009, 12:30 AM
Get a holster. The mag catch spring is too light and if you try to pocket-carry the mag will pop out. Other than that they are great little guns.

MICHAEL T
October 30, 2009, 02:03 AM
I have 2 Mustangs and looking for a 3rd These are great pocket pistols If you have the mag release problem contact me. I tried wolff spring and still had the mag pop trouble It a easy fix.

joe_security
October 30, 2009, 09:32 AM
I remember reports of frame cracking, and a Colt employee carring a pocket pistol that was something other than a Colt. He was very negative about the quality of these Colts. A friend had a .380 Govt. model that had 2 magazines through it in 15 years, the barrel bushing on that gun seemed flimsy and ready to break. I also remember a recall where a yellow piece was installed by Colt, maybe to retain the ejector ? I test fired a SigP230, it pounded the heck out of my hand, I bet the Colts have less percieved recoil than the blow-back design such as the P230. Anyone having one of these Colt .380s made a great investment based on the prices of these pistols today.

wadcutter45
October 30, 2009, 02:02 PM
"I remember reports of..." This adds nothing. Do you have any references to this problem? Otherwise it is like "I heard about the nephew of a guy who had a friend who said they were..."

Real experiences and observations are appreciated. The plural of anecdote is not data.

joe_security
October 30, 2009, 02:44 PM
To be specific, the frames cracked around the hole for the slide stop. I do not know how many rounds would cause this. The recall was related to the ejector pushing down into the frame too far. The ejector pushes down for field stripping. Colt devised a fix, a little yellow metal clip. I am going from memory, back in the 80s when these Colts first hit the market. These pistols remain a great investment .

makarovnik
October 30, 2009, 02:59 PM
Nice guns. I had a Iver Johnson in .380 and liked it a lot. I believe it is also a copy of the Mustang. Or was it the Pony?

MICHAEL T
October 30, 2009, 04:45 PM
Colt devised a fix, a little yellow metal clip.

That clip keeps the sear spring in place in frame Springs popped out on some early ones
Every body will flip the ejector at least once Its easy to turn back around and Colt even has instructions in the manual.

Some late model had bad heat treatment of slides they will peen badly in a few 100 rounds I know of no way of telling before hand It was in pistols made near the end
I suggest a field strip before buying to check for this. I am also not in favor of the metal guide rods . My one mustang became very unreliable when I installed. The plastic works fine and both mine still have. Metal rod went in trash. Also easier to re assemble with plastic rod . I have found the plastic trigger is also not a problem These are SD guns and not target pistols I have saw Mustangs decked out to point the parts and labor was way more the price of pistol. I belive in Kiss and keep as stock as possible on all my pistols

HisSoldier
October 30, 2009, 08:53 PM
I had a Iver Johnson in .380 and liked it a lot. I believe it is also a copy of the Mustang. Or was it the Pony?

It's an interesting story. Spain's Star made a small aluminum framed .380 called the DK, Colt decided to manufacture a steel framed version using proxies here, FIE I think. They were going to call it the "Pony". This was a totally different gun than the later DAO Pony. Anyway, they made about 50 of them and decided (After some quality control problems with FIE) that they would literally scrap the project, almost all of the 50 originals were scrapped. Meanwhile FIE had quite a few components made, so (Somehow) Iver Johnson acquired the selling rights. I'm not sure when FI (Firearms International) got involved, but they also sold some them.
After all of that, much later I believe, Colt took a lot of the DK's ideas and incorporated them into a new gun, the Colt Government model .380, the Mustang and Mustang plus II. I'm not sure what the order of those offerings was.
So really Iver Johnston didn't copy the Colt, Colt copied the Star.

I welcome any corrections to the history I just outlined. But it wasn't the first time Colt worked with Spanish gun steel, they also sold rebranded Astra cubs as the Colt Junior. I'm sure there is a lot more to the story.

HexHead
October 30, 2009, 09:13 PM
It's an interesting story. Spain's Star made a small aluminum framed .380 called the DK, Colt decided to manufacture a steel framed version using proxies here, FIE I think. They were going to call it the "Pony". This was a totally different gun than the later DAO Pony. Anyway, they made about 50 of them and decided (After some quality control problems with FIE) that they would literally scrap the project, almost all of the 50 originals were scrapped. Meanwhile FIE had quite a few components made, so (Somehow) Iver Johnson acquired the selling rights. I'm not sure when FI (Firearms International) got involved, but they also sold some them.
After all of that, much later I believe, Colt took a lot of the DK's ideas and incorporated them into a new gun, the Colt Government model .380, the Mustang and Mustang plus II. I'm not sure what the order of those offerings was.
So really Iver Johnston didn't copy the Colt, Colt copied the Star.

I welcome any corrections to the history I just outlined. But it wasn't the first time Colt worked with Spanish gun steel, they also sold rebranded Astra cubs as the Colt Junior. I'm sure there is a lot more to the story.
Hmmm, I thought only the DA Ponys were the copies of the Star, and that's why Colt had to stop making them, over patent infringement. I'd never heard of the Mustang being connected to that.

To the OP, I have a Mustang and carry it often. I had a "reliability job" done on it, replaced the mag catch spring with a stiffer one, got a new OEM magazine for it, replaced the plastic guide rod and dual springs with a metal guide rod and single Wolff spring and now it's a reliable joy to shoot. I pocket carry it with an Uncle Mikes pocket holster and carry it with Hornady Critical Defense ammo.

Shear_stress
October 31, 2009, 11:59 AM
Hmmm, I thought only the DA Ponys were the copies of the Star, and that's why Colt had to stop making them, over patent infringement.

You might be thinking of the imbroglio with Kahr in the 90s. The Stars in question were SAO.

Quiet
October 31, 2009, 05:32 PM
I owned a Colt Mustang back in the 90s.
Sold when I was a poor starving college student and needed to pay some bills.
Wish I never sold it.

First time I fired my NIB Colt Mustang, I shot 4 rounds then it broke.
Had to send it back to Colt for repairs.
Got it back in about 3 months, worked flawless after it came back.

HisSoldier
October 31, 2009, 07:53 PM
Hmmm, I thought only the DA Ponys were the copies of the Star, and that's why Colt had to stop making them, over patent infringement. I'd never heard of the Mustang being connected to that.

If you take a Star S model apart and look it over, and then a Colt Mustang, you will see that the safety is identical, the disconnector is identical but on the other side.
The Star DK is the exact same gun that Colt started to tool up for as the first "Pony" except it had a steel frame. The FI Pony is the same exact gun. I haven't had an IJ in my hands but it also looks like a DK, and the Star website says it's the same gun I believe.
I have an FI Pony, well broken in, the barrel was made in Spain, has Spanish Proof marks.

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