Colt Handguns Waldorf MD
White Plains, MD
.380 Shoot Off
Small pistols in this caliber are all the rage, so we took five recent examples to the range and tested them head to head.
If there was one trend on display last year, it was the ascendancy of the .380. The .380 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) was a product of the fertile mind of John Moses Browning and first saw the light of day in 1912 when it chambered in Fabrique Nationale's Mle. 1910 pistol. On this side of the Big Pond, Colt quickly offered its Model 1908 pistol in the same caliber.
As originally loaded, the .380 consisted of a straight walled, rimless case 17mm in length topped with full-metal-jacket bullets weighing 85 to 95 grains traveling at approximately 900 to 1,000 fps.
Over the years, the round--also known variously as 9mm Browning Short, 9mm Kurz, 9mm Corto and 9x17--became very popular and was even adopted as a service cartridge by several European armies and police agencies up until the 1960s....
Model 1917 Colt New Service
The Great War was an interesting mixture of the old and the new, and it was the proving ground for new small arms such as the automatic pistol, but because so many men were being put into the field so rapidly, lots older military firearms were dragged out of storage in arsenals, and many civilian guns were being enlisted for the duration. A good case in point is the Colt Model 1917 New Service revolver.
The standard issue pistol for U.S. forces was the M1911 Colt automatic, but there were not enough of them, so Colt and Smith & Wesson were contracted to manufacture additional arms.
Smith & Wesson devised a method to allow that company’s Second Model Hand Ejector and Colt’s New Service revolvers to handle the rimless .45 ACP cartridge used in the 199 Government Model auto through the use of half-moon clips....