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Thread: P380 and test of new parts and ammo.

  1. #1
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    Default P380 and test of new parts and ammo.

    I wanted to switch from +P Underwood Gold Dots for my Kahr P380 and have been trying to get some Hornady Critical Defense 90-gr FTX for my carry ammo. The +P was no fun to shoot, though probably enough expansion and penetration out of my 2.5" barrel. Fall last year I left "notify me" email info at about 20 sites and made two orders for 10 boxes each at Optics Planet... the only store that would offer back orders. The expected delivery has been pushed back several times... latest to June 28 back in January, I think. If it ever comes in, that would be nice. Those orders were for 10 boxes shipped, each for just under $250. Their most current price was about $34 a box.

    About 10 days ago I got a notice from Palmetto State Armory that they had some and I ordered 10 boxes of 25 for $308 shipped in three days! I don't know if there was a limit, but I needed a supply to try the ammo and get used to it, so I wanted 10 boxes to add to the two I had already swapped for with another dealer a couple of shows ago. He was selling the CD(25) and the FMJ(50) at $59 or so a box! I got one box with an even trade and persuaded him to let get another for two boxes of FMJ more. I had paid $12-$13 a box for the S&B several years ago and bought 3 cases. I still have just over a case and won't be shooting too much of that at the range.

    I just went to the range and tried that in my P380... worked fine, but my eyes were worse... almost 2 years since last range trip.

    Shortages, ammo taxes, and permits could make future ammo purchases difficult. I won't be using much at the range. The range had nothing for the .380 and limited .40 S&W, but I had my own. I had put a stainless guide rod in my P380 to stop rust and got the improved Lakeline striker group, so I wanted to test function, too! It worked great, but after about 60 rounds FMJ, I had one failure to fully chamber a round... needing a small push forward on the slide. I broke the P380 down and cleaned it a bit, especially the barrel and the feed ramp which does have a history of aversion to much grunge.

    It doesn't help that my feed ramp is "not stock". Once upon a time I tried to alter the ramp to facilitate loading and chambering... with my DLT... Dremel-Like Tool... and a diamond abrasive ball... YIKES... like a red hot knife into butter! I spent a long time with much less abrasive stuff and eventually got it looking slick and working, but accumulations of powder residue do take a toll and cleaning should be done after every 50 rounds or so. I used a lot of different grits of sandpaper and worked with the fine wrapped around a pencil and then polishing compound and Flitz. Whew! Cleaning the feed ramp requires removing the slide and taking the barrel out. I didn't have any springs go flying, but that was on my mind enough that I pointed the recoil assembly towards the side instead of down range.

    I'm satisfied that the Critical Defense works in my pistol and have switched to it. I now have just over a box and a half of the +P Underwood... to sell at the next gun show in June. That's 50-round boxes which they don't even offer anymore, not that Underwood has ANY ammo in stock.

    I had only my regular progressive Transition glasses and my uncorrected range glasses, so I couldn't really figure out how to aim with the double vision... one blurry and one darker set of sights in my vision, so I kind of used somewhere in between and pointing quite a bit. Center of mass won't be a problem, but past 10 yards I could still hit a sheet of paper... USUALLY! It didn't matter if I closed the non-dominant eye or not. I shoot with both eyes open and don't usually have a problem with vision. Getting old sucks... 75 in June!

    I'll have to take some bi- and tri-focal shooting glasses with me the next time. I have some with the magnification at the top, the bottom, and both. My far vision is okay, but I had more of a problem with the sight picture this time. I need to shoot more often!

    Some targets from my first of the CD... 7 rounds, then covered with tape and then 7 more rounds... not tight groups, but I think that I can get close enough for self defense. The range was about 7 yards and I did try my four-circle target at 5 yards... guestimates, since there were no longer any range markings on the walls at the range.
    Tgt 1: the S&B 92-grain FMJ at 7 yards
    Tgt 2: the S&B at 5 yards
    Tgt 3: the Critical Defense 90-gr at 7 yards and the first 7 rounds tape covered, then the second 7 rounds.
    Tgt 4: the CD at 5 yards, somewhat quickly.

    I took 4 boxes of 25 CD, but only shot 3.
    I shot a box and a half of the Sellier & Bellot 92-gr FMJ, 75 rounds, though I had another box. I had enough fun to see how good or bad I was doing.
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    USAF Retired '88, NRA Life Member. Wife USAF Retired '96
    Avatar: Wynn re-enlists his wife Desiree, circa 1988 Loring AFB, ME. 42nd BMW, Heavy (SAC) B-52G's
    Frédéric Bastiat’s essay, The Law: http://mises.org/books/thelaw.pdf

    Thomas Jefferson said

    “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”
    and

    "Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".

  2. #2
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    Jul 2016
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    Great report.

    As much as I loved my little P380, it was just too ammo picky for me to carry it with any confidence. I eventually settled on 2 or 3 rather anemic rounds for it...for some reason it would never reliably feed any +P ammo. And I would have been okay if I could've gotten it to cycle the Underwood Extreme Defense round, even without the +P, but those rounds jammed horribly.

    Given that I had 3 .380s that all no such issues--Remington RM380, Beretta Pico, and Glock 42--I just decided that the Kahr had no place in my EDC rotation, and I sold it last year. Loved the gun and wish it had worked out, but....

    Anyway, nice to hear that you have a good one. Enjoy.

  3. #3
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    Expensive range trip. I just sold a 1K case of Gold Dot 380 ammo for 4X my cost and the purchaser was happy with the price. Sold a 1K case of PMC 380 for 3X my cost. Still have quite a stash of SD 380 rounds to keep. I recall being called stupid for hoarding ammo and reload supplies a year and a half ago. I was a Boy Scout, be prepared.

    Capitalism is great.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, prices are what got me and my wife back to the gun shows this year. I shipped a couple of cases to my son who was trying to get ammo for his Glock 22 and his wife's new first pistol, a Glock-19 Gen 5. I sent him at my cost, including shipping, all of my mix of gun show stock and replaced ammo... .40 S&W and 9mm FMJ with 200 rounds replaced by defense ammo. I had paid about $13 a box for the .40,but $22 a box for the 9mm in the last shortage. Prices dropped before I could sell that, and I couldn't even sell it at my cost, but he was paying $40 to $60 a box! I didn't want to sell what he could use.

    Our first show back, we did great as I had a lot of .22... much my own supply, but I don't figure to shoot much .22 anymore. Centerfire is more fun. The last one, some of the fervor had subsided and prices had dropped a bit, and I have no idea what the June show will be like, but I want to unload some more magazines and stuff before it is "outlawed".

    This range trip wasn't that bad, since I got the .380 CD for $30 a box... half the "going rate" and the .40 was from cheaper times.

    I'm even thinking of selling my Rugers "improved+" MK3 22/45 Lite and 1022 so I can sell the rest of my .22. Thinking about it. At almost 75 I'm thinking that maybe I should divest myself of a few guns so Wifey won't have to worry about so many things. I'm hoping to make it to 100 or so, but who knows when the Grim Reaper will pay a visit.

    And Boscobarbell, I'm sorry that you had problems with the P380. I worked on mine a bit and almost ruined the barrel, but it seems to work fine. It looks like I'll have to replace the night sights on it before too long, but I can still use it as a night light in the dark when I have it at the head of the bed... just taken off for the night, not my primary defense there, though. I have my Glock 21 SF and then there's my PA-10 within arm's reach. But the P380 is so versatile... easy to carry around the house and outside... and perfect for doctor's offices in my "briefcase" or in a soft IWB holster switched to my pocket as needed. I once had to drop my shorts unexpectedly for my urologist and there was my P40 in a CrossBreed Hybrid Minituck and a spare mag on the opposite side in a Kydex holder. I felt a little sheepish and hesitated for a second, but complied. He never said a thing. So I make it a habit to use the P380 and place it in my pocket or case. It's my MAX concealment carry.

    Oh, I was going to say that I bought my wife a second P380 but she couldn't rack the slide... or the P9 I got her, but she could do the Glocks and I wound up trying a G-19.3 and a G-19.4 for her, before springing for a Glock 43, Blue Label. I had tried the G-42 at the range hitting consistently at 9 o'clock and 5 inches or more from center, but then I tried the range G-43 and grouped them in the center, so I ordered her one and ALMOST got a second one for myself! I prefer the .40 for carry, though, and my P40 is my main EDC, which isn't much bigger than the G-43... even with the 4" ported Kahr barrel. I put one on my P9, too, and if they had one, I would get a ported barrel for my P45... just to make it more like my other P's.

    The P380 is more a PM380 with the CT model being the P-model.
    USAF Retired '88, NRA Life Member. Wife USAF Retired '96
    Avatar: Wynn re-enlists his wife Desiree, circa 1988 Loring AFB, ME. 42nd BMW, Heavy (SAC) B-52G's
    Frédéric Bastiat’s essay, The Law: http://mises.org/books/thelaw.pdf

    Thomas Jefferson said

    “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”
    and

    "Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".

  5. #5
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    Jul 2016
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    My G42 is stupid accurate. I was ringing steel for my son at 25 yards and then--just to brag--took it out to 50 and did the same. And that was with crappy Blazer range ammo.

    But, of course, it is a much bigger gun than the Kahr, and so fills a different niche. The fairer comparison would be the Pico, and I would say it is about on par with the Kahr. But while the Pico is more reliable with a range of ammo choices, the Kahr felt much better in my hand. The triggers are very different but both quite good (my Pico is the latest gen...the first couple of offerings had pretty hard pulls).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyntrout View Post
    Oh, I was going to say that I bought my wife a second P380 but she couldn't rack the slide...
    It's riding comfortably in my right pocket as I type. Runs just fine. Thanks again!

  7. #7
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    YOU bought it! That's great. I had as many as 7 Kahrs at one time with the two P380's. Mine stays in my worn, soft Uncle Mike's IWB holster unless I'm working in the yard, then I use a Center of Mass Kydex holster to carry it between my belt and my jeans... inside the belt.

    It's definitely more fun to shoot with standard pressure ammo. The +P was just too much and I was grouping 8 o'clock at 5-7 inches from center of the target at 7 yards. It was like full .357 Magnum in a 2" snubbie!

    I haven't shot my other two Kahrs in a long time... the P9 and P45, nor my Glocks, but I did finally sell that MechTech carbine conversion with the dedicated G-21 SF lower at the last gun show. I've had that since 2013 and never shot it because I changed my mind and finally got the PA-10 .308 that I wanted. It's a beast, but I wanted a powerful home defense weapon. I even built a "hidden" shelf under my twin bed in the back of the van just to fit it or my 1022 if we ever want to carry it somewhere, but don't plan on it. I feel better that it would be out of sight and not just lying on the floor in a case.

    I don't know what it will be like to travel again after almost two years. We're hoping to do a Christmas trip and hit some casinos on the way. My wife still needs to get a vaccination... soon I hope.
    USAF Retired '88, NRA Life Member. Wife USAF Retired '96
    Avatar: Wynn re-enlists his wife Desiree, circa 1988 Loring AFB, ME. 42nd BMW, Heavy (SAC) B-52G's
    Frédéric Bastiat’s essay, The Law: http://mises.org/books/thelaw.pdf

    Thomas Jefferson said

    “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”
    and

    "Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".

  8. #8
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    wisconsin
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    I have never had a problem with a P or CW380 being dirty. I never fired more that about 250 rounds between cleanings since I always clean when I return from the range.

  9. #9
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    I can remember discussions about the P380 being averse to dirty feed ramps... long ago, but that was after 50-60 rounds or more... just something to watch for. I need a swab that fits the ejection port so that I don't have to break the pistol down at the range to clean the feed ramp!

    Mine just had the one incidence where the slide didn't fully go forward... S&B 92-grain FMJ. The ammo might be dirtier than some with powder residue.
    USAF Retired '88, NRA Life Member. Wife USAF Retired '96
    Avatar: Wynn re-enlists his wife Desiree, circa 1988 Loring AFB, ME. 42nd BMW, Heavy (SAC) B-52G's
    Frédéric Bastiat’s essay, The Law: http://mises.org/books/thelaw.pdf

    Thomas Jefferson said

    “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”
    and

    "Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading".

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    131

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    My P380 feeds and shoots my carry round which is Buffalo Bore +P 90grain JHP. Dan

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