380 out of a 9mm Ruger revolver


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TennJed
September 21, 2011, 03:01 AM
Just picked up a P3AT 380acp. It is my first 380 and I have reloading components on the way. While looking at lead cast bullets I noticed I could actually use some 380 and 9mm lead interchangably for my ammo.....so got me to wondering if I could shoot 380 out of my Ruger Blackhawk 9mm.

The 9mm Blackhawk is a single action and does not use moon clips. I am sure I cannot because I have never heard of it. Looking at my manuels the the brass is a little smaller in dia.....would this keep it from firing safely?

Don't really have a reason to do this just curious.

Thanks

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earlthegoat2
September 21, 2011, 05:44 AM
I believe there are case size differences between 380 and 9mm Para. The 380 is staight walled and the 9mm is tapered to name one difference as well as the 380 will not fit the moonclips properly either if the revovler is so equipped.

I know there are firearms out there that can shoot both like the Medusa.

scythefwd
September 21, 2011, 06:40 AM
The headspace off the case mouth. Unless your extractor claw or moon clip is strong enough to old the 380 in place, your firing pin won't even make contact. Can it be done... sure.. It happens in auto loaders frequently enough... like 9mm in .40, .40 in 10mm, etc....
Revolvers don't have to have an extractor though. Your ruger just used an ejector rod... so I'd say no, it won't work.

David Sinko
September 21, 2011, 12:36 PM
Sometimes I shoot .380 out of my S&W 940 9mm revolver using moonclips. The extractor groove in the cases is different and .380 is a very loose fit in 9mm moonclips, but if you can hold them all in and get them into the cylinder they will fire and extract with complete reliability. I have tried individual loose rounds of .380 and that works too, so there's a good chance that it will work in your single action. There is no danger in doing this; either the rounds will fire or they won't fire.

Dave Sinko

FIVETWOSEVEN
September 21, 2011, 12:38 PM
Charter Arms is alledgely making a 9mm revolver and they did state that it could also shoot .380 ACP.

InkEd
September 21, 2011, 04:49 PM
Vaporware for over two years except for some prototypes and SHOT show samples.

waidmann
September 21, 2011, 05:54 PM
If you shoot straight up probably.

mdauben
September 21, 2011, 05:55 PM
Charter Arms is alledgely making a 9mm revolver and they did state that it could also shoot .380 ACP.
That's one of those ideas that makes me scratch my head and ask... why? :confused:

Shooting .38 in a .357 makes some sense, as the .38 is cheaper and does not have the nasty recoil of full-bore .357 ammo. In this case, though, .380 ammo is actually more expensive than 9mm, and the larger rounds do not really have particuarly bad recoil or muzzle blast.

TennJed
September 21, 2011, 08:07 PM
Thanks guys if you will notice in the original post the 9pm blackhawk Does NOT take moonclips. Would this make a difference

The Lone Haranguer
September 21, 2011, 08:15 PM
The .380 case is shorter and smaller in diameter at the base than the 9mm Luger. It is probable that it will fall into the chamber below the surface, much too far for the firing pin to strike it.

Outside of some wildly improbable Armageddon-like scenario where it is needed for survival, you should never shoot the wrong ammunition in any firearm.

TennJed
September 21, 2011, 08:56 PM
Thanks... Yeah I don't plan on doing it I am just a curious fellow and was wondering why it would not work since the bullets are interchangeable

savit260
September 21, 2011, 09:12 PM
Not going to happen in a Blackhawk. The .380 round is too short.

In a moonclipped double action, it could prob. happen though, but not in a single action Ruger.

Maple_City_Woodsman
September 21, 2011, 10:48 PM
^^ That ^^

No moon clips in an SA revolver, so its not going to happen. Though truth be told, I'm not 100% sure it would work in a moon clip either, as the case heads have slightly different dimensions between 380 and 9mm - the clip may or may not hold them securely.

FIVETWOSEVEN
September 22, 2011, 01:26 AM
That's one of those ideas that makes me scratch my head and ask... why?

I believe its just so you can have that option avaliable.

bigfatdave
September 22, 2011, 04:03 AM
That's one of those ideas that makes me scratch my head and ask... why? In theory, because you save all the space a .38/.357 needs compared to a 9x19 round.
Shorter cylinder, shorter frame, saved weight, etc etc

Actual utility, who knows? But an interesting concept, at least.

David Sinko
September 22, 2011, 08:44 AM
The .380 brass will be slightly bulged when fired in a 9mm chamber. Depending on the load, they can be either plucked out with your fingers or poked out with a pencil. Whether or not your single action Ruger fires loose rounds will depend on a couple of factors like the length of the firing pin and strength of the mainspring. Rugers tend to be oversprung but have short firing pins. Maybe they will fire, maybe not.

On a similar note, my S&W 625-4s will all fire loose rounds of .45 GAP as long as the muzzle is slightly elevated before each shot. The newer 625s with their frame mounted CA compliant firing pins often will not reliably fire loose rounds of proper .45 ACP. So as you can see, there are slight engineering changes that can make a big difference.

The appeal of firing the shorter cartridges is strictly emergency use. I like to know all my options.

Dave Sinko

Brian Williams
September 22, 2011, 09:17 AM
Why shoot 380, a more expensive round or has been, when you can shoot 9x19.
Even though the 380 is a weaker round than the 9mm, you will run into what might be a stacking error in measuring. example it the 380 round is manufactured to the minimum spec for the cartridge and your gun happens to have a chamber that is the maximum for a 9x19 chamber, you could have case splitting and maybe head separation.

Word to the WISE, If the gun chambers one cartridge, don't put another one in it unless you know it is a daughter cartridge.

RRBunn
September 22, 2011, 02:02 PM
You might have Bowen or some other gunsmith make up a cylinder for 380ACP, but that would cost you more then another firearm. 9mm brass is all over the place, I'm still collecting 380 brass for my SIG232.

TennJed
September 22, 2011, 03:02 PM
Why shoot 380, a more expensive round or has been, when you can shoot 9x19

As far as cost go I am reloading so that is really not a factor. After initial set up cost I am able to load both 380 and 9mm for about $4 a box.

Again I plan of doing it just curious. As far as why....well I just enjoy shooting and my 6.5" blackhawk is my most accurate (as least with me) handgun I own. Right now I can shoot 357, 38sp, and 9mm out of it. I like working with different load (reloading ) on these and seeing how they perform out of my Blackhawk. Figured it would be great to see how it peformed with 380s also (only if safe). Again that is my favorite handgun and I just really like working up loads for it

06
September 22, 2011, 03:18 PM
Like RRBunn am gathering brass for my Sig 232. Found out that it does not like oversized boolits. The mags jammed badly with them. Do not have a 9mm but do load some for my family/buds.

CraigC
September 22, 2011, 03:26 PM
Don't know if it would work in a moon-clipped DA or not but it for sure won't work in the Blackhawk.

Standing Wolf
September 22, 2011, 04:07 PM
The .380 brass will be slightly bulged when fired in a 9mm chamber.

Bulged cases won't last as long if they're reloaded.

David Sinko
September 23, 2011, 09:11 AM
I took out my 940 with two different .380 ACP handloads to refresh my memory. I had 90 gr. ball and 90 gr. JHP, both loaded with 2.9 grs. of Bullseye. Loose rounds fired with complete reliability as long as the muzzle had been elevated before the shot to position the cartridges as far back as possible. If the cartridges were in the forwardmost position in the cylinder they would not fire and I could barely detect a firing pin indentation. The brass does bulge slightly and while it does look like it could be reloaded again in an emergency, I wouldn't try it. Despite the bulge, some of the fired cases fell right out of the cylinder with no extraction required. Most could be picked out with my fingers and the ones that were too deep came out easily with a pencil. They do not stick and would easily be popped out with the ejector rod of a single action revolver.

Fit in the moonclips is very poor (loose) but if you can hold all five in the clip at the same time and get them into the cylinder the clip will hold them tightly and then they all fire and extract with complete reliability. But you will not be doing any speedloading.

Accuracy was very interesting. I did my accuracy testing at 25 yards with loose rounds to see how the poor headspacing would affect accuracy. The 90 gr. ball load was nothing to brag about, with the occasional flier that would not stay on a man size target. But the 90 gr. JHP was simply stunning with 4" groups well centered right at point of aim.

Again, I do not advocate doing this but it's clear to me that is does work in an emergency. That a revolver can actually pull this off has is one more strength in the revolver vs. auto debate.

Dave Sinko

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