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Do P380's create "smileys" on bullet faces?

6039 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  jocko
Do P380's create "smileys" on bullet faces?

I have a P380 on order but while I am waiting I purchased a Kel-tec P3at. One issue with the LCP/P3at is when the barrel comes back to eject/chamber it hits the bullet in the mag and creates a smiley on the nose or in the hollow point. In testing this does affect the performance of the hollow point and it can also set the bullet back in the case a bit causing higher pressures. The bullets also get jarred in the magazine enough for them to deform a bit when banged into the front of the mag under recoil. Does the P380 have any of these issues? You only know if you shoot a couple rounds and then rack the round out of the chamber and empty out the clip.
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Re: Do P380's create "smileys" on bullet faces?

NO, The P380 is good to go. The Ruger lcp and the kel tec 380 all produce smileys. Some say it hurts nothing, more than likely not to, but as one ol timer stated, it is a damaged round and would you buy a box of new ammo with smileys on the front of the bullet???

Ihave never know any lcp or kt to ever go ka-boom due to smileys either, But my kahr does not produce smileys..
Re: Do P380's create "smileys" on bullet faces?

Much has been written about this including at our sister site elsiepeaforum.com:


Don't worry about it unless you are experiencing significant bullet setback as a result.
Re: Do P380's create "smileys" on bullet faces?

I've finished reading the discussion on the LCP site in the referenced link. True, no kabooms or real problems yet. So everyone with a LCP is happy since what you can't see won't hurt you. Or will it?
One comment in the linked discussion even indirectly referred to those like me as "trolls" for making an issue about smileys. Whatever.
It really comes down to this...when we buy a handgun we're stuck with it and might as well rationalize that it's the greatest!
I wrote a blog about rationalizing applied to handguns a while back. I'll dare to post it here, following.....

Rationalize...'to attribute (one's actions) to rational and creditable motive without analysis of true and especially unconscious motives...; to provide plausible but untrue reasons for conduct'...from Webster's Dictionary.

Aren't dictionaries amazing books? A lot of truth in that definition. Especially as applied to firearms. Over quite a few years I've done just that in purchasing firearms, especially handguns. Every one initially was the best handgun in the world. Until my rationalizing was proven wrong.

Like the Bond derringer I just had to have. In 9mm, this was going to be the ultimate SD carry gun for me. Oh, the glowing reports on their website, snake killer, cowboy shootout winner, and 9mm the perfect manstopper. BS can sell anything, and I'm a sucker for fancy advertisements. Well, yes, it shot bullets out the barrel, but left your thumb bloody due to the engineering mistake of putting the breech lock bar on the wrong side. And the recoil, well you'd remember it for a long time! Heavy as a lead brick too!!

Glocks are OK if you don't mind owning a clunker. No way to conceal one of these in your pocket. But after all, the NYPD carried them with mind boggling success. If it's good for them it's good for us dumbies too!! Mine came from a trade-in by the Kentucky FBI, a well used model 19, refurbished with an obvious new barrel. Shot good, but couldn't even carry it in an IWB holster. Couldn't sit down without it digging into my gut. Gave it to a son for target shooting. Rationilizing failed again.

Ah Ha! the ultimate pocket gun arrived. We all got on the KelTec bandwagon with first the P32 and then the P3AT. (A few "lucky" guys had SeeCamps, but none of those were available, more on that later). Well, the P32 shot bullets out the barrel, the recoil wasn't bad if you didn't mind the looong trigger pull. But worthless for SD since most JHP ammo for the thing didn't expand worth a darn in either wetpack tests or gelatin (by GoldenLoki's reports). A nice chrome plated one suffered a failure of the frame hole that holds the dissasembly pin. (Got my money back from dealer friend on that one.) Then also you've heard of rimlock. Surely you've heard of rimlock. Well, it's the only mistake John Browning ever made with the design of the .32acp cartridge which has a rim, like a .22 round. The shorter JHP's would lock up in the magazine, permantely jamming the gun. How could we be so stupid to rationalize that pistol??
Enter the P3AT!! Oh man, this is the perfect SD pocket pistol!!. Lighter than a new born sparrow and shoots a 9mm bullet. Only problems, the looong trigger pull, recoil hurts your trigger finger, no lock back on last round, just goes 'clik' after that, polymer housing problems with cracks, and the miserable smiley problem. After the first round all ammo is damaged after that. Might as well buy used toilet paper too, same difference. All efforts to 'fix' the smiley problem failed, even the Flyer cut on the feed ramp didn't completly cure it.
So how in this great high tech age did Ruger ever decide to copy the worst pistol design ever invented? And how sick is the vast American public that rationalize and buy all of the LCP's being sold. Even I suckered for one, junk gun. Worst case of rationalizing I've had.

Should I go one? If you've read this far without wanting to hang me by my toes, or worse, I'll just mention a few others.
Advertisements go a long way to sell guns. NAA is no exception. I got on that bandwagon too. The first 380 broke the second range trip, the MIM trigger casting fell apart, second shot. How's that for a good deal during a serious SD situation. Rationalization!!
Makarov's are the answer, I thought, cheap and use a 9mm bullet. The one I got was "new" from war surplus, even had a chrome plated barrel. Again, like a Glock, ain't gonna pocket carry, but who cares, I rationalized I got the best deal ever. Even could get some Russian ammo for it that had fair wetpack results. But then the flaw surfaced. On a range trip with a grandson, the gun went ballistic, full auto and emptied the magazine, fortunately down range. Turns out, there's no firing pin spring, and if you hold the tigger back, like Brandon did, during firing, the slide cycles with the firing pin exposed that sets off the following rounds. Lemme out of that lemmon!!
Did I mention SeeCamps. Good friend had one that we did several range tests with it. Our rationale was it would shoot good and even show fair, but inconsistent, wetpack results. Did the keyholing of the bullets bother us, we rationalized that this might be good for more damage to the villian during SD. Keyholing? Bull, that's a defective design, period. And how about recoil? You can read all the rationalized reports about how this guy and that guy can handle the recoil just fine. More bull, I'd rather shoot my .357magnum j-frame snubbie than any more SeeCamp crappola.

I've really only started on all the stupid rationalizing I've done over the years. Owned, traded, sold, gave away over 50. But you get the idea. So before you sucker for your next handgun purchase, try to read between the lines and look for the truth. Bet you'll find it hard to find!

og........who is the world's biggest sucker for rationalizing.

(Go ahead and ban me from the site for my remarks. I've been banned from other sites before by site admins who just couldn't stand hearing the truth!)
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Re: Do P380's create "smileys" on bullet faces?

Grandpa, we gotta get you a hobby ;D. No one is going to ban you unless you perform an outrageous act and I don't think you're quite there yet. ;) The only words of wisdom I can offer up (and this is applicable to all) is not to present opinion as fact. Folks have different, experiences, requirements, and expectations.

I truly hope you find a gun that meets your needs and wants. Lose the ones that don't measure up and enjoy. Unlike your relatives and your neighbors you are not stuck with them in perpetuity. Cheers.
Re: Do P380's create "smileys" on bullet faces?

Yes, that's right, my remarks are only opinions, nothing more. I'm not a John Browning or a Bill Ruger. Just an ordinary CCW owner.
I'm not a member of the ElsiePea site and don't even read there. But the link above about smileys caught my attention so I took time to read all the pages. I was surprised that links to my threads about smileys on USRange were given. And even one poster implied that guys like me concerned about smileys are "trolls". I really resent implications on a site where I'm not a member and can't defend myself. I don't plan to register there and post any replies. I think moderators on sites that allow insulting remarks about folks, regarding gun subjects, that are not even members are being unfair.

Regarding smileys, I've said it before at several sites, I didn't invent smileys. A man on the original KelTec site years ago, "Flyer", was the one who discovered them. He thought he cured the problem with the half-moon cut on the feed ramp. Even KelTec adopted the cut on the second generation P3AT. Obviously that didn't cure the problem and smileys still occur on KT's and the LCP. No big deal except for the setback that happens with the bullet. This has got to raise chamber pressure. Not much maybe, but who knows over time what damage it might do to the barrel. Probably nothing.
All I've done over time is try to evaluate the effect and see if any way it could be eliminated easily on several P3AT's and the LCP I've owned. I've tried punch marks on the magazine to hold the rounds in place. I've ground off the slick, black paint hoping to produce some friction. Nothing has worked. The only locked breech pistol I've found that has no smileys on JHP ammo and only a small nick on longer OAL FMJ is the Kahr P380. The P380 is not a target pistol but a top pocket carry self defense weapon. And for that reason most of us would only carry JHP in it. Again IMHO.
Would a smiley affect JHP performance. An expert gelatin tester reported that it would on KTOG...
So what I plan to do from here on is ignore anymore insulting comments, like "big tado about nothing", and leave people to their own choices.
So fine. If you don't think smileys are a 'fact' and only an opinion, that's your call.
In the meantime, I hope this site continues to emphasize the P380 and not LCP's or P3AT's. That's the only reason I'm here.
Oh, BTW, my "hobby" is mostly found at www.usrange.org in the Ammo and Ballistic section.
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Re: Do P380's create "smileys" on bullet faces?

I have to agree with the comments on the Seecamp and K-T P3-AT. I've had one of each, and had miserable unreliability from each of them. No way were they pistols I'd care to trust with my life.

The Seecamp broke firing pins four times before I ditched it, and the 1st gen. P3-AT was never capable of firing more than 40 rounds between full cleanings without FTEs, even with the third-gen extractor and all the "fixes" touted by the KTrange guys (who are, IMHO completely deluded about the design quality of the P3-AT - it is Not good, IMHO).

I have average-size slim hands, and both pistols were also nearly unshootable, with such sharp muzzle lift that the trigger guard would chew a hole in my index finger after a half-dozen rounds, no matter what ammo I used.

I've got a P380 on-order, and I'm hoping that it will turn out to be the "perfect" pocket pistol for me...
Re: Do P380's create "smileys" on bullet faces?

My P380 produces no smileys. I will say that with a few fmj rounds I have seen an ever so small dent in the front of the bullet, nothing compared to the kt's or lcps but I have seen a few. none on any hp ammo though.

We are squeezing alot into these every so small guns and quite frankly I was suprised that Kahr was able to really eliminate the smiley thing, which truly has been a no k-boom issue in any kt or lcp, just annoying to some.

Best advice I can give is to just shoot the damn thing like u stole it..
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