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Is .380 the same as .38 super?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by fast97rs, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. fast97rs

    fast97rs Active Member

    As stated...

    I'm a bit new and am looking at buying a Walther PPK to acompany my 1911 for beach days....

    Is .380 the same as .38super?


  2. foghornl

    foghornl Well-Known Member

    In one word...No

    .38 super is a longer casing (brass cartrdige) than the .380, generates hgiher pressures when fired.
  3. Starter52

    Starter52 Well-Known Member

    They both have the same bullet diameter, but that's about it.

    The .38 Super is much more powerful than the .380. The muzzle energy is about double.
  4. Bad Flynch

    Bad Flynch Well-Known Member

    In addition to what you have been told: .380ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) is the 9mm Kurtz and the 9mm Corto (Kurtz & Corto = short).
  5. fast97rs

    fast97rs Active Member

    Thanks guys...

    So... what do you boys think about a Walther PPK/S in .380 as a carry gun? My fiance also wants one, but I don't know much about the .380 and was wondering if its a decent self defense cartridge....

  6. Kevinch

    Kevinch Well-Known Member

    I think most people will tell you that a .380ACP is about the minimum in a defense cartridge; You can find a lot of discussion on that here at THR. I sometimes carry a Colt Mustang in .380 during the summer & have never felt I wasn't adequately armed.

    As for the PPK/S, they are good guns. You will find they might be a little heavy in weight, with relatively stiff DA trigger pulls when compared to some of the competition.
  7. isp2605

    isp2605 Well-Known Member

    Kurtz was the Colonel in Apocalypse Now played by Marlon Brando.
    Kurz means short.
  8. fast97rs

    fast97rs Active Member

    well... i have gotten used to carrying a full sized S/A Loaded 1911 w/ 7+1....

    What would you suppose is competition for the PPK? Not trying to be a smart a$$.... just trying to learn.... maybee I can find something else that suits my needs.....

  9. Detritus

    Detritus Well-Known Member

    Or if you ever read Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (the basis for Apocalypse Now), Kurtz, the ivory trader gone native, is about 6'2" and rail thin.
  10. AndyC

    AndyC Well-Known Member

    The smaller the caliber, the better you have to be - and luckier, too. I've never felt undergunned with a .380 and the PPK is a really nice pistol (lousy sights, but hey - we're typically talking a few yards distance in self-defence anyway).
  11. Detritus

    Detritus Well-Known Member

    the Bersa Thunder comes to mind for one example. My wife's thunder has a better DA trigger pull than the walthers i've handled, and it costs less.

    in truth i find the DA triggers of both the PPK and the Thunder to be heavier than i'd really like. but then again i don't intend to carry either one, i have no need currently to cram a CCW into a small space. and frankly i'm too spoiled to 1911 types :D
  12. fast97rs

    fast97rs Active Member

    Would any of you point me to rather carry a J frame in .38+P?

    Just thinking about that now....

  13. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    .380 ACP is little brother to the .38 ACP.
    Both are John Moses Browning babies.
    The hot version of .38 ACP was called .38 Super.
    While you cannot chamber .38 Super in .380 ACP
    you can chamber i.38 Super in a .38 ACP pistol, which
    is the equivalent of shooting .357 mag in .38 spl.

    There was also a 200 gr bullet load for .38S&W revolver
    called .38 Super Police, but it is a revolver round.

    Does that clarify or confuse?
  14. bentwrench

    bentwrench Member

    I would.the 642 smitty is a great little gun,but thats a whoooooooole nuther thead.look it up
    the bentwench
  15. isp2605

    isp2605 Well-Known Member

    "There was also a 200 gr bullet load for .38S&W revolver
    called .38 Super Police, but it is a revolver round.
    Does that clarify or confuse?"

    The 200 gr Police rd was for the .38 Spl, not .38 S&W. It would barely clock 600 fps out of a 4" barrel. Still have some around here somewhere.
    The usual US loading for the .38 S&W was a 146 gr. It was also loaded by the British which they called the .38-200 and by other names.

    MICHAEL T Well-Known Member

    I carry a PPK/S a lot and see nothing wrong with it . I like the 380 from a PPK/S. Bersa size pistol. I feel no less armed with a PPK/S than I do with a J frame Smith and the PPK has a few more rounds. The DA trigger first round is heavy . But try a Beretta Tomcat and the PPK/S will be light.
  17. fast97rs

    fast97rs Active Member

    Are there any 1911 type safties so that I may carry cocked back? Eliminating the first round double action shot?

  18. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Well-Known Member

    There were "Super Police" 200 gr bullet loads for both .38 Special
    AND .38 S&W. That's where the ".38/200" in the Brit .38 S&W
    came from.
  19. Sylvan-Forge

    Sylvan-Forge Well-Known Member

    Some competition for the PPK .380 :

    SIG P-232

    Beretta 80 series

    CZ 83

    Sphinx AT 380

    Some that are smaller in frame/grip size, as well as lighter :

    Kel-Tec P32

    SeeCamp LWS
  20. Frandy

    Frandy Well-Known Member

    We all have our favorites. I shoot my 232 quite a bit at the range and I shoot much more accurately with it (and faster) than my 640 S&W. As a result, I continue to carry my 232 (my alternate CCW to my 1911, when appropriate) and the 640 just might go up for sale.

    Oh, and this photo might make the 232 look like bling, but it is a solid performer.


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