Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

380 out of a 9mm Ruger revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by TennJed, Sep 21, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. TennJed

    TennJed Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    3,454
    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
     
  2. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    Messages:
    4,514
    Location:
    SE GA
    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.
     
  3. scythefwd

    scythefwd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    3,597
    Location:
    Manassas Park, VA
    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.
     
  4. David Sinko

    David Sinko Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    85
    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
     
  5. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    5,078
    Charter Arms is alledgely making a 9mm revolver and they did state that it could also shoot .380 ACP.
     
  6. InkEd

    InkEd Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    2,575
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    Vaporware for over two years except for some prototypes and SHOT show samples.
     
  7. waidmann

    waidmann Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Messages:
    671
    Location:
    Tennessee
    If you shoot straight up probably.
     
  8. mdauben

    mdauben Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2011
    Messages:
    2,163
    Location:
    Huntville, AL
    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.
     
  9. TennJed

    TennJed Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    3,454
    Thanks guys if you will notice in the original post the 9pm blackhawk Does NOT take moonclips. Would this make a difference
     
  10. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    Messages:
    11,717
    Location:
    Johnson City, TN
    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.
     
  11. TennJed

    TennJed Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    3,454
    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
     
  12. savit260

    savit260 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Messages:
    792
    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.
     
  13. Maple_City_Woodsman

    Maple_City_Woodsman Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Messages:
    430
    ^^ 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.
     
  14. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Messages:
    5,078
    I believe its just so you can have that option avaliable.
     
  15. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Messages:
    5,961
    Location:
    Near Camp Perry
    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.
     
  16. David Sinko

    David Sinko Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    85
    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
     
  17. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    9,869
    Location:
    Kampong Cham, Cambodia
    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.
     
  18. RRBunn

    RRBunn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    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.
     
  19. TennJed

    TennJed Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2010
    Messages:
    3,454
    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
     
  20. 06

    06 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2006
    Messages:
    738
    Location:
    Too close to Charlotte, NC
    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.
     
  21. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    Messages:
    15,327
    Location:
    West Tennessee
    Don't know if it would work in a moon-clipped DA or not but it for sure won't work in the Blackhawk.
     
  22. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    24,041
    Location:
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    Bulged cases won't last as long if they're reloaded.
     
  23. David Sinko

    David Sinko Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    85
    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
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page