Initially designed as a pocket pistol cartridge, the .380 ACP has been used in personal defense applications for over a century. While it’s a potent cartridge, it can still be used in handguns small enough to conceal as well as in pistols weighing less than a pound.
One of the most popular handgun cartridges available on the market today, the .380 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) is an easy-to-carry self-defense cartridge. With a variety of small, lightweight compact pistols chambered in this caliber, its mild recoil and minimal muzzle blast make it a popular choice among those who carry concealed, police officers looking for a capable back-up gun, and general backyard plinkers and target shooters.
Typical .380 ammunition, also called .380 Auto ammo, features an 85-95 grain (gr) bullet that measures .355 inch in diameter and 0.984 inch in cartridge length. It’s rimless and straight-walled, and is equipped with low-pressure percussion caps.
While .380 ACP ammo has gone up, down and back up in popularity over the last century, there’s still not a general consensus about the cartridge. When asked about their opinion on .380 ACP ammo, shooters either love it or hate it – and there’s not much middle ground for discussion.