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Bought the pistol a few weeks ago and have sent 481 rounds down range to date. Toward the end of the 200 round break-in day on 13 Feb, the pistol was dirty after 100 rounds of WWB, 15 rounds of S&B, and lastly 100 rounds of Aquila. The last round in the last three mags of Aquila failed to feed. Gave it a good cleaning and started again. Of the next 120 rounds I had one Remington GS fail to feed, last round in the mag, and the remaining rounds all fed. These rounds included Speer Gold Dot, Remington GS, Hydra Shock, PMC Starfire, Wold Gold 94 Grain JHP and Hornady JHP. By then it was time to quit as the right side of my trigger finger, already warped by arthritis had been skinned up and band aid wasn't helping much. Went back out on the 16th and put another 84 rounds down range. Fired 16 rounds of Fiochi 90 grain JHP and had numerous failure to feed problems. Then tried five Hornady JHPs as they both appear to use the same 90 grain XTP round and these fed fine. Also fired some Win Silvertips with no problems. Got back home and compared the Hornady and Fiochi JHP and found that the OAL of the Fiochi rounds was just a bit longer and that is probably the cause of all the feeding failures. Hornady measured and average of 0.9574 in. and the Fiochi measured an average of 0.9645 inches. Might add here that the Fiochi feed fine in my LCP. Back out on the 25th and put 62 rounds of Rainier hand loads and six each rounds of GS and Gold Dot down range with no problems. With that final break in, I consider my P380 broken in and good to carry.
 

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I WOULD JUST IGNORE THE FIOCHHI ROUNDS . to many other good defense rounds out there IMO and fiochhi ain't one of them.
 
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Like my reloads the best, flawless in my P380. The only factory ammo I've tested so far have been American Eagle, Corbon DPX, Double Tap, and Buffalo Bore (jacketed FN). No problems whatsoever with any of them.
 

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Camper, great range report and the first of many to come on this forum. I'd love to see a head to head with an LCP. I love carrying mine but it is no fun to shoot, which is why I sold the LCP and just bought a P380. The P380 just feels better in my hand and is only slightly larger than the LCP. As soon as the weather warms up here in Illinois I'll be posting my own range report. Thanks again for yours.
 

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mag318 said:
Camper, great range report and the first of many to come on this forum. I'd love to see a head to head with an LCP. I love carrying mine but it is no fun to shoot, which is why I sold the LCP and just bought a P380. The P380 just feels better in my hand and is only slightly larger than the LCP. As soon as the weather warms up here in Illinois I'll be posting my own range report. Thanks again for yours.
This is the only head to head photo of the two I have:

I still like the LCP a lot and don't find the recoil that bad. Thought about parting with the NAA Guardian, but I would have lost too much in the trade. The Mustang is a classic and a joy to shoot. Its companion, not pictured, a blued version has even less recoil.
 
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I really appreciate the fine range reports on the P380. Gives me great confidence that when I ever get mine it will do just a good.

When I do get mine, I plan some range testing that will include reliability (which already looks good), accuracy, Chrony tests, wetpack comparison with my Bersa and j-frame revolver, and the "Smiley" evaluation. My biggest interest right now is the Smiley test. This is because both the P3AT and the LCP, which have similar locked-breech barrel designs, but both produce nasty Smileys along with the set-back of the bullet. To my knowledge there's never been a KaBoom due to a smiley in either the KelTec or Ruger. But the situation is this...except for the first round, all rounds following are damaged ammo. You wouldn't buy damaged ammo for any of your guns. If you're not familiar with what the Smiley is check this link....
http://usrange.org/smf/index.php?topic=2647.0
Unfortunately you might have to register to see the pictures, but it's free.

So, in the meantime, while I wait for my P380, I'd sure like to see a Smiley Test Report here. You don't need any special tools, wet phonebooks, or even a target. Just load your pistol, fire the first round, then rack the slide so as to eject the round that's now in the chamber. Examine the nose of the bullet for damage. Longer OAL FMJ's might be more susceptible.

We did such as test with the PM9 last year and the results were excellent. It took a magnifying glass to even see an almost invisible dent. So I'm hoping that since the P380 is a miniature PM9 there will be no smileys. The design of the P380 is way different than the P3AT or LCP.

If Kahr has defeated the Smiley curse of the locked-breech design, then they should lead the 380 pistol industry. That's what I'm hoping.

So, can anyone try the Smiley Test? Hopefully, here's some pictures of what some look like. (The LCP was worst, IMHO.)

og

BTW, you have to fire the pistol to do the test. It needs the recoil. Simply hand racking some rounds won't produce the result. This is partly due to the recoil causing the top round in the magazine to move forward slightly where it can get hit by the feed ramp when the slide goes back. So some KT and Ruger fans say they have no smileys but they didn't fire the pistol!!
 

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Granpa, you might be interested in this thread over at the LCP forum.

http://elsiepeaforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=225.0

To be honest with you after firing 400 rounds in my P380, I have not seen fit to examine my loaded rounds for evidence of smileys. Why? In a gun of this type, designed for upfront and personal defense, smiley or no smiley, the bullet is not going to be offended (as opposed to the intended target) whereas in a competition pistol, smileys could impact on accuracy. Smileys really are much ado about nothing - I have never heard of them causing a gun not to go bang, seriously erroding accuracy in a pocket pistol, or contributing to a gun's early demise.

Here is what the P380 mag followers look like by the way:
 

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Kraigster,

Would you compare the LCP and P380 in terms of felt recoil?

I know everyone is different, but I've grown to appreciate your opinions.

Dave
 
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Dave, thank you. Very similiar, negligable difference IMHO. The P380 seems to be a hair lighter but not by much.
 
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agreed, kraigster, smileys have not yet produced a documented problem. Maybe I am too concerned about perfection. But how 'bout doing a smiley test just for me. I'm curious to know and now that some of you have P380's I'd sure like to see how it compares to the LCP ala P3AT's.
og

(don't forget Murphy's Law ::) )
 
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oldgranpa said:
agreed, kraigster, smileys have not yet produced a documented problem. Maybe I am too concerned about perfection. But how 'bout doing a smiley test just for me. I'm curious to know and now that some of you have P380's I'd sure like to see how it compares to the LCP ala P3AT's.
og

(don't forget Murphy's Law ::) )
You read my mine Granpa. I will try and do today (and post pics). I'll use factory American Eagle as my test bed. Hold that thought. :)
 
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Here is a comparison of "smileys" between the LCP and the P380. Both are American Eagle 95 gr. FMJ factory rounds. Note that the LCP incurred a more traditional "smiley" while the P380 blem is less pronounced, more of a roundish indentation at the very top of the bullet. Regardless, smileys have no bearing on either the gun's ability to go bang or land on target. And for an upfront and personal, point-and-shot pocket gun are not worth worrying about.

 
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Good job! Now we're getting somewhere. A full nose FMJ like the AmerEagle ammo is a good test since it's about the longest OAL ammo. What your test picture tells me is that no smiley should be expected from the P380 with JHP ammo that has a much shorter OAL. Unfortunately, the LCP produced smileys with JHP.
Winchester ValuBox 380 ammo has a flat nose and shorter OAL than AmerEagle and should show no smiley with the P380 according to your picture.

So now to complete the fine test you've started some JHP tests would be wonderful to see.

And BTW, to really make sense of the smiley effect you need OAL measurement before and after to evaluate any setback. I did this in my tests with P3AT's and the LCP. In addition I did a few Chrony tests on ammo with and without smileys. One in particular was interesting and shows the setback can up the chamber pressure, maybe not enough at first....quote from a LCP test posted elsewhere....

"DoubleTap 90gr GoldDot JHP (heavy recoil all shots)
no smiley...................995.0 and 992.1 fps
smileys......................1027 and 1013 fps with .002" setback ( severe nose damage)"


I know this is a waste of time for you since I can't prove smileys really matter that much. But I just plain don't like them and the setback they cause and hope the P380 will reduce them to next to nothing, especially with JHP and flat nose FMJ.

Whatever!

og
 
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Granpa, it is evident from the pics that while smileys do occur with the P380 they are not as pronounced as is the case with other pocket .380s. The pic of the P380 round above actually looks worse than it is. I would label it at best, a superficial ding and I have far worse on this old body of mine. I put the dinger back in the box of American Eagle and I will fire it like any other round. Bad guy will never know. Worry about global warming, not smileys. :)

As for before and after OAL, there was no change and therefore no setback either with the LCP or the P380 rounds. The OAL of the American Eagle before the smileys was 0.960, after the smileys, 0.960. (A digital caliper was used). At least in the case of the American Eagle, bullet setback is a non-issue. With other factory rounds, I'd have to see proof of major setback before I'd worry.

Great to have you here.
 
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thanks again, what you're saying is most encouraging. I'll test a bunch of different brands, including the "BB" I've ordered at your suggestion.
I'll be offline awhile and maybe when I get back I'll have the P380.
Appreciate a fine site like this where we can discuss even trivial matters.
Cheers,
og
 
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The opening week at p380forum.com has been fun Granpa. No doubt as more P380's start hitting the streets our numbers will rise significantly and we'll be able to share more feedback. Right now I feel like a beta tester, no, make that THE beta tester LOL. :)
 

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kraigster414 said:
Here is a comparison of "smileys" between the LCP and the P380. Both are American Eagle 95 gr. FMJ factory rounds. Note that the LCP incurred a more traditional "smiley" while the P380 blem is less pronounced, more of a roundish indentation at the very top of the bullet. Regardless, smileys have no bearing on either the gun's ability to go bang or land on target. And for an upfront and personal, point-and-shot pocket gun are not worth worrying about.

kraigster, I am wondering at looking at that 380 RN with that very small indentation on it, if possable that could have occured even upon trying to eject that bullet to check for a smiley. When I eject manually, sometimes it is damn hard to even get the round out with it hitting the barrel hood or ejection port. These guns are basically designed to eject a brass (shorter) casing and not the entire round. Just my obsevation. I have since checked a few more of my RN bullets and occassionally I will see a very very small dent but it is usually when I screwed up trying to eject the round and it hangs up inside the ejection port etc. These P380 are not the easiest to rack a slide IMO and when I do a perfect ejection, the bullet looks fine but when I screw up and don't get the roundout of the gun properly, I see that small dent. I attribute that to hitting the barrel hood or right side edge of the chamber and not clearing those two areas properly

Again makes zero different to me as IMO there is no smiley's from the P380. I have seen none in the hp's at all... If they were like the lcp and kt'ws which is very very visible, I would be more concerned. It ain't there on the P380's..
 
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No Jocko, they are what they are. If it was ejection, you would typically see marks on the side of the bullet and friction marks on the casing - at least that's been my experience. More importantly, there was no deep seating as a result and my feeling about smileys unless is seriously results in deep seating, is that "it's much ado about nothing." These are up front and personal weapons, not target pieces, and the bullet will go where it is aimed (if the shooter does his/her part). The only time I even think about "smileys" is when someone brings it up. It is bullet specific. American Eagle is the only round I bothered to examine.
 
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