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A little confused about caliber

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by papafloyd, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. papafloyd

    papafloyd Active Member

    I have an AMT that states the following on slide.
    "Cal. 380 9mm Kurz
    Back Up
    This gun is approx. 25 yrs old. The ammo I have for it is Federal .380 Auto-95grain. No. 380 AP

    I am not very knowledgable about guns but thought the 380 and 9mm to be different. Can anybody enlighten me on my gun.

    Also contemplating buying a new pistol but want to get one that my wife could shoot on occasion also-my concern is recoil. I was told by a few co-workers to get nothing smaller than a 40 caliber as it will be used for HD and some range time. But I don't want to scare her right off the bat-then she wont play anymore!

    Thanks for any help/comments, Ken.
  2. gb6491

    gb6491 Well-Known Member

  3. Dan Crocker

    Dan Crocker Well-Known Member

    9mm with modern defensive hollowpoint ammunition works just fine. Pretty much ALL of the gripes about 9mm come from military users who have to use hardball, and it is a BAD man-stopper that way.
    And anyway, it's better for your wife to have something comfortable that she can shoot, even if it's a .22, than a hand-cannon that she doesn't practice and can't hit anything with.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The .40 S&W is not a pleasant gun to shoot for most folks because of the sharp muzzle blast.

    My two sons prefer shooting my .45 ACP's to shooting my Glock 23 due to the noise factor.

    I think your wife might be better served with a 9mm if she isn't already deaf.

    The other thing is, cheap 9mm ammo for the range is much easier to get then cheap .40 S&W.

  5. chupacabrah

    chupacabrah Well-Known Member

    .380 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) = (9mm Browning Short) = (9mm Kurz) = (9mm Corto)

    Not the same as 9mm LUGER / 9mm PARABELLUM

    9mm LUGER is fine for self defense (with modern JHP designs). anyone who says otherwise is ignorant.

    .380 auto is..."okay" (to me). I'd be okay with it, but not as a primary.

    My personal carry pieces are 9mm/.38spl and up.
  6. Fergy35

    Fergy35 Well-Known Member

    The site linked by gb6491 sums it up pretty well.

    Dan Crocker also hits on a good point. If she (or yourself for that matter) has not shot much, you don't want to start her off with a gun with a lot of recoil. Sure the .40 is a good round, but it is pretty snappy and may scare her off. Most 9mm pistols are pretty low recoiling, but if she is brand new to it, a 22 would be a good place to start the introduction. Then move up to something a little more substantial.

    If you have any ranges in your area that rent guns or if you have any friends that will let you use theirs, you could rent or borrow the 22 if you don't want to buy one.
  7. Travis Bickle

    Travis Bickle member

    What he said. Another name for the 9mm Luger is 9x19mm. When people say "9mm" without further specifying which 9mm round they're talking about, it's usually this round they're talking about, not the 9mm Kurz which your gun is chambered for.

    Anyway, here's a good excerpt from an article Chuck Hawk's website that you might want to read:
  8. CWL

    CWL Well-Known Member

    BTW, "kurtz" is German for "short". "Corto" is Italian/Spanish for "short". This was to distinguish this round from the longer 9mm Luger parabellum.
  9. bondmid003

    bondmid003 Well-Known Member

    CWL beat me to it, 9mm kurtz stands for 9mm 'short'. I.e. .380. Probably the most well known gun to use .380 is the Walther PPK
  10. jimsmith

    jimsmith Member

    With the .380 question answered, I am going after the wife question...

    In my house, I am the gun toting conservative and my wife is the bleeding heart liberal, but she was willing to try shooting.

    My suggestion to you is to do what I did. Go to the range yourself and borrow or rent every platform you can find in the caliber you want her to shoot and see which one will meet the need. Leave your own personal biases at the door and concentrate on what will keep her on the firing line. You will find that sometimes the caliber does not mean as much as the platform when it comes to recoil, getting back on target for the second shot, and just plain fitting into the hand.

    My wife is actually more comfortable with the HK USP Compact .40 than she is with any other platform or caliber. What this means is that my liberal wife is willing to do range time and will now try other platforms and calibers now that she is comfortable shooting in the first place. And that, IMHO, is priceless.
  11. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Well-Known Member

    AMT 380 is blowback operated and the recoil is sharp and biting. in a larger bersa the 380 is rather tame. also triple check that the AMT safeties are in fact operational. my OMC [forerunner to the AMT] is the greatest point-shooter i own. i retired it when colt marketed the pony pocketlite.
  12. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Well-Known Member


    I would not recommend a .380 for your wife. The problem is the guns are pretty much pocket rocket backup guns...halfway powerful in small packages. The Walther PPK, one of the best .380s, is really not fun to shoot. It hurts, it is loud, it will bite your hand bad if you are not careful. For the experienced shooter...it is a great gun.

    There is a trend to hook up new female shooters with these little powerhouses and it has probably scared quite a few new shooters away.

    Same goes for "cute" snubbie .38. They are kind of a handful and take some practice to shoot well.

    My advice as someone who has taken several novices out shooting over the years, go with a medium or full sized .38 or 9mm (Glock 19, S&W Model 10 etc). The rounds have sufficient power to give the true shooting experience and be useful for SD, and the guns are large enough to hang onto, soak up some recoil and are easy enough to shoot that she will hit the target.

    my $.02

  13. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Personally, I would start the wife off with a ,.22 pistol, just so she can get the feel of shooting and have a good chance of being successful. Once she starts having fun, start moving up in caliber and let HER tell you what SHE likes and get her one,. Then you get the one you like and the two of you can go shooting together.
  14. LoneCoon

    LoneCoon Well-Known Member

    As they've said in this thread, there's actually a bunch of 9 x # ammo out there.

    9mm Kurtz = 9x17 =.380 ACP
    9mm Makarov = 9x18
    9mm parabellum = 9x19 = 9mm Luger = 9mm

    Theer's also the 9x23 Winchester, 9x21 IMI, and a bunch of others in 9mm.
  15. papafloyd

    papafloyd Active Member

    Well the wife says she doesn't want a handgun.....or any gun for that matter, so she is out of the equation. Hopefully I can get her to go to the range and maybe she'll change her mind. She has shot my .380 up in mountains several years ago but when she closed her eyes to shoot I politely said my turn! Anyway thanks for all your help/comments, hopefully I will decide what I want in the next few days. One of my problems is I don't have any weekends off for awhile and the local range won't let me shoot unless I go thru the safety course....so I don't want to wait to try out some different guns.

    Again thanks for your help, Ken.
  16. richyoung

    richyoung Well-Known Member

    If you MUSt have ONE handgun that MUST be used both to teach the wife to shoot with mild recoil AND use for home defense, the answer is:

    ...a .357 Magnum double-action revolver with adjustable sights.

    The wife can fire mild .38 special target loads that are just a whisper stouter than a .22, and thumb-cock it. For HD, load it with the magnum round of choice and fire double-action.
  17. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Well-Known Member

    Well, the contributors have have pretty much dscribed different names
    which arise for the cartridges mentioned. I thought I'd add
    for Papafloyd:

    A name/title like 9x17 is the european metric designation, because the
    caliber or bore of the barrel is 9mm, and the height of the case is 17mm

    And for all in caps for emphasis

    GUNS ARE CHAMBERED FOR CARTRIDGES with an appropriate bore/caliber

    Caliber is NOT a synonomous term for Cartridge

    a characteristic of a specific cartridge is it's caliber

    if someone asks what's the best .40 load he probably
    means the most common cartridge with .40 caliber, the .40 S&W
    however, there are other cartridges in .40 cal. like 10MM
    AUto, .400 CorBon and .38-40.

    This isn't being anal it's being specific in definition and leads
    to less confusion.

    Multiple names can arise for cartridges due to the proper name,
    then over time the popular name as well as the generic euro
    metric designation.

    WHether or not the .380 Automatic Colt Pistol cartridge is or not
    is not the question asked


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