My Own Little CCH Shootout


May 22, 2010, 06:22 PM
I decided to have a little shootout using the various .380 pea shooters I've picked up this year. So, this would include a Diamondback 380, Colt Government model, 1908 Colt Hammerless 380, Mauser HSC Super, and the Sig P232. I picked up a Walther PPS9 on the way home last night, so I let it play too. :)

I haven't really shot any of these pistols much, but before today hadn't shot the Government Model, the PPS9 or the P232. I've shot less than 100 rounds each through the others.

I set up a target at 7 yards and took 6 shots each. All targets were shot from the exact same spot, with a two handed grip that seemed to best suit each pistol. The shooting pace was about 5 seconds for each 6-shot group.

I was a bit surprised at the results.

All the pistols grouped tight enough that my iPhone would cover all six shots, though this was just barely the case with the Mauser. This was my first surprise. I honestly felt the Mauser would have grouped tighter. I gave it a mulligan and tried again, but got the same result. I will say, that it's the only double stack gun in the group, so the 13 round capacity is probably worth the trade off. Also, the Mauser just doesn't fit my hands. The trigger has too much curve for me. The sights are very small, and strangely short. I will say that for me the Mauser was the easiest of the bunch to get back on target for the follow up shots. It just seemed to want to fall right back into place.

Probably not a surprise to many, but the Sig turned in the tightest group. At least half the size of the others. I figured it would shoot well, but based on the large sights, I was shocked when it did as well as it did. She does bite, however. (I have large hands.) I'm going to see if I can't round off the bottom rear portion of the slide a bit to help in this department. The sights are a bit large for my taste. Easily the largest of the sights on the 380s in the group.

I think the Diamondback may have done the second best. It's really too small for me, and it's the reason for the 6 shot groups, as all the other pistols had a capacity of at least 7 shots. I don't personally care for a DAO trigger. That being said, the Diamondback's trigger isn't too bad.

The PPS had the largest sights, and shot fairly wide groups, but I'd never shot one, and I think the grip is going to take some getting used to. (It feels a bit like an axe handle. Narrow, but deep from the front to the back.) The PPS has a strange trigger. It's going to take some getting used to as well. The trigger pull is even, but it always seems to be a surprise when it breaks.

I'm sure the old Colt would turn in tighter groups with a little practice. The sights are tiny and the thing locks up very nicely. She definitely deserves more range time.

The Government model 380 is very loose and was shooting quite high. Easily 4-5" higher than the other pistols. Going to have to shoot it some more before I get a feel for what's going on.

All very unscientific, but I had a good time.

I also found out that the Don Hume IWB holster I picked up for the Sig P232 also fits the 1908 Colt and the Colt Government model pretty well. The Mauser kind of fit into it.


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May 22, 2010, 06:29 PM
P232 Target:

Diamondback Target:

Colt Government .380 Target:

Colt 1908 Hammerless .380 Target:

Mauser HSc Super Target:

PPS 9 Target:


May 22, 2010, 06:35 PM
Just a little experience with the 1908 Colt .
It near demands a firm grip due to the grip safety . This is a good thing as it contributes noticeably to accuracy . Practice consistent thumb pressure on follow up shots . I am surprised the HSC didn't perform better but I have seen wild variations in quality .
That the sig grouped that well was not a surprise .


May 22, 2010, 06:47 PM
Yup, I was expecting the Sig to do nicely. I guess the real shocker for me was the Diamondback. Same score as the Sig, but LOTS smaller.

I'm confident the Colt will shoot better. It's been a few months since I've shot it. I should have grabbed my '03 Colt in .32ACP as well, but didn't even think of it.


May 23, 2010, 02:23 PM
The trigger on the PPS gets noticably better with time. Once you get it up to 500 rounds or thereabouts, either through range work or with snap caps, the doggone thing is like butter, IMO. The more you work with the trigger, the more your groupings will improve.

May 23, 2010, 02:51 PM
I had the same issue with an old Colt 1908 - it shot significantly high. I often wondered if .380 loads were different back in the day, because a pre-war Walther I had also shot high.

May 23, 2010, 03:08 PM
Were there any malfunctions?

May 23, 2010, 05:28 PM
I had the same issue with an old Colt 1908...

The 1908 was okay. It was the Government 380 that was shooting high. To get it to hit the red part of the target I had to aim just below the 6 o'clock position. I own another 1908 .380 (a Type I) and it shoots pretty much spot on too.

Were there any malfunctions?


I was using hand loads. They are apparently a bit soft. I used 2.5 grains of TiteGroup behind a 90 grain copper plated RN bullet.

The Diamondback manual states a break-in period of 100 rounds. I don't normally worry much about break in, but in the case of the Diamondback, I will say the recoil spring seemed VERY tight to start with. After almost 100 rounds, it's noticeably smoother.

The first 50 rounds out of the Diamondback came a couple of weeks ago, using Sel&Bel target loads. I got 4 FTF and one FTE out of that 50. My hand loads would fail to extract (the spent case would jam in the slide) and fail to feed every single time. This told me the slide wasn't likely being pushed all the way back. I took the pistol home and disassembled it in order to clean it and lube it, but the thing was so darned clean that I didn't bother. I cycled the slide by hand a few dozen times.

About a week ago I tried again, and my reloads were now about as reliable as the Sel & Bel. This told me the recoil spring was loosening up. When I got home I operated the slide several dozen times by hand.

This brings us to yesterday. IIRC, I had one spent cartridge jam in the slide. I'm guessing that by the time I hit 100 rounds with the pistol, even my soft hand loads will function 100%.

The Sig had one FTF. As in the spent case ejected fine, but the next round didn't chamber. However, one of the three magazines I have for the pistol has some little alignment dimples in the rear of the magazine, and it seemed very picky when loading the first time. I don't recall if this was the magazine used with the failure, but if it was, that could well explain that failure.

The Mauser continues to puke with my hand loads. I need to try it with some factory ammo or stiffen up my reloads a bit.


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