a comparison of my (3 ) .380 autoloading pistols

joepistol

joepistol

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After a range trip in which I tested the 3 .380 cal pistols I own, I thought I'd write a report of my experience with them.

My first disclaimer is.. my accuracy results should NOT be considered an in depth evaluation of each pistol's inherent accuracy.
IN the hands of a more skilled shooter, (or ANY other shooter) the results may / would / could be - very different.

my results are the results of MY shooting with these pistols, on one day, with 1 batch of ammo.

only other disclaimer I'll make is my pistol shooting "skill" seems to have degraded from weeks /months ago.
Not sure why, but the accuracy shown by the hits on the targets were almost NOT included, as I have shot these pistols
with greater accuracy in the past..(just not on this night)

Next a little background on the pistols; First some info the about the Taurus model 58
The Taurus PT-58 is closely modeled on the Beretta Cheetah. They are both scaled down versions of the Beretta & Taurus mod. 92, but are chambered in .380, instead of 9mm.
Though smaller than a model 92, they are not mouse gun small. The model 58 has an aluminum frame, & features a 12 rnd, dbl. stack magazine, so it's a 12+1 capacity .380
Weight: 18.7 oz Barrel Length: 3.25″ Action: SA/DA Length: 6.125″

here's a link to some info & photos: https://www.gunsamerica.com/digest/u...-taurus-pt-58/
though my pistol is identical in appearance to the pistol in the article, the performance of my pistol differs greatly from that tester's experience.

My mod. 58 has been flawlessly reliable with ANY ammo it's been fed. In all the years I've owned it, it's never had a failure to fire or eject cases...
with the exception of my post yesterday, on the Federal ammo misfires.
here's a pic of it disassembled..note barrel is NOT attached to the frame: https://i.postimg.cc/W1mqf9Km/IMG-0617.jpg
 
joepistol

joepistol

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Next up is the CZ-model 83 :https://i.postimg.cc/m2HH7Zy5/IMG-0621.jpg
The CZ-82 is a compact semi-automatic pistol made for Czechoslovakian military service in 1983, using the 9x18mm Makarov round. A civilian export version is the CZ 83, is chambered in .380 caliber
Both are compact, single/double-action, semi-automatic pistols with a conventional blowback action. This type of action allows the barrel to remain solidly fixed to the frame, resulting in improved
accuracy over pistols with pivoting barrels. The low bore axis of the Cz. 83 provides for less muzzle rise and quicker follow-up shots. Both the frame-mounted thumb safety and the magazine release are ambidextrous.
The Cz. 82 was the first service pistol to feature both these features. The bore is chrome plated, which gives it three advantages: longer barrel life, resistance to rust from the use of corrosive ammunition,
and ease of cleaning. Another feature of this pistol is the use of polygonal rifling in the barrel bore.
The all-steel CZ-83 is a "tank" of a pistol , it weighs a sturdy 1.76 pounds (unloaded) This pistol also uses a 12 rnd dbl stack magazine.
Length is 6.8 in Barrel length is 3.8 in Grips are made of plastic, the only "flaw" of it's design, IMO.
Replacement grips are hard to find, expensive to order ( from Europe) ,but as my pic posted above shows,,a little skateboard tape can help a lot!
.
Here's a pic of it in pieces: https://i.postimg.cc/Y2VF4LYF/IMG-0622.jpg
Unfortunately, production of the CZ-83 ceased in January 2013 when CZ began focusing on compacts and subcompacts that use the CZ-75 design.
The .380 ACP CZ-83 is available on the used market and relatively easy to find.
 
joepistol

joepistol

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The 3rd pistol is a Sig Sauer 232..
https://postimg.cc/w7Fvxr8S
The SIG P232 is a double action (SA/DA), blowback operated, fixed barrel, autoloading pistol with a single stack 7 rnd.magazine,retained by a heel clip.
This P232 features an aluminum frame & has a wide, smooth-faced trigger. It's length: 6.6" Barrel length: 3.6"
From the operator's perspective, the P232 is one of the easiest to use autoloading pistols on the market. The only fly in the ointment is that the slide is difficult to pull back.
This is a common complaint with blowback pistols, as only the mass/inertia of the slide and the power of the recoil spring keep the breech closed when the gun is fired,
so the spring must be heavy. One suggestion is to cock the hammer before attempting to pull back the slide.
That way you are not fighting the recoil spring and the hammer spring. (Both are substantial in the P232.)
some good info on the 232 is found here, https://chuckhawks.com/sig_p232.htm
EXCEPT the pistol he's reporting on is the all SS version (which I wanted to buy but couldn't find for sale, anywhere)
the all SS version has the heavier all SS frame, instead of the aluminum frame.
here's a pic of mine, apart: https://i.postimg.cc/9Mg7Yrkv/IMG-0613.jpg
Imports of the SIG Sauer P232 to the United States, and of spare parts and magazines, were discontinued in July 2014.
I found it of interest that all 3 of my 380 pistols are no longer being produced. Production ceased on all 3 pistols years ago.
 
joepistol

joepistol

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the test targets & results​




I set up 3 targets, set out the 3 pistols, with 5 rds loaded in each magazine .
I rotated from one pistol to the next, after firing the 5 rds @ each target.
repeated for the entire run of test shooting.

Ammo used was my hand loads..Bayou 105 gr polymer coated bullets ,using Shooter's World Clean Shot powder.
All rds fired on 1st attempt. All 3 pistols functioned perfectly, re: chambering, firing & ejecting fired cases..of my hand loads.
All 3 pistols ejected the empty cases all over everywhere. Always amazed @ how far 380 cases are thrown.

https://i.postimg.cc/gJyzHJ0G/IMG-0625.jpg

It's clear from the Target pic, I shot the CZ-83 more accurately then the other pistols.

I had a smaller target, that of a head, that I used to fire @ with the Federal 90gr. JHP rds .
Shots were fired from the CZ-83... these were the Federal JHP's that actually fired when tried.
https://i.postimg.cc/WzKHDmPz/next.jpg
 
1Sgt_Jerry

1Sgt_Jerry

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Agree with the target assessment. These pistols aren’t meant to be target guns. As afar as consistency, I’ve had days where I couldn’t miss and days I just stopped because I felt like I was wasting ammo. Appreciate the time you put into that.

PS
I only have one .380. A Ruger LC380. It has a few quirks but I definitely prefer a locked breech tilt barrel design.
 
G

Gunflint1

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The 3rd pistol is a Sig Sauer 232..
https://postimg.cc/w7Fvxr8S
The SIG P232 is a double action (SA/DA), blowback operated, fixed barrel, autoloading pistol with a single stack 7 rnd.magazine,retained by a heel clip.
This P232 features an aluminum frame & has a wide, smooth-faced trigger. It's length: 6.6" Barrel length: 3.6"
From the operator's perspective, the P232 is one of the easiest to use autoloading pistols on the market. The only fly in the ointment is that the slide is difficult to pull back.
This is a common complaint with blowback pistols, as only the mass/inertia of the slide and the power of the recoil spring keep the breech closed when the gun is fired,
so the spring must be heavy. One suggestion is to cock the hammer before attempting to pull back the slide.
That way you are not fighting the recoil spring and the hammer spring. (Both are substantial in the P232.)
some good info on the 232 is found here, https://chuckhawks.com/sig_p232.htm
EXCEPT the pistol he's reporting on is the all SS version (which I wanted to buy but couldn't find for sale, anywhere)
the all SS version has the heavier all SS frame, instead of the aluminum frame.
here's a pic of mine, apart: https://i.postimg.cc/9Mg7Yrkv/IMG-0613.jpg
Imports of the SIG Sauer P232 to the United States, and of spare parts and magazines, were discontinued in July 2014.
I found it of interest that all 3 of my 380 pistols are no longer being produced. Production ceased on all 3 pistols years ago.
Of the five 380's I've owned( two CZ83's of different trigger guard configurations), One CZ82, Kahr P380, & Glock G42 Out of that group I kept one CZ83 with factory wood grips, and one Kahr P380. The CZ83 is flawless, shoots very well up to 50Yds, it's heavy and overbuilt. The Kahr is very hard to rack, accurate and reliable "for a short distance pocket pistol". I always felt the .380 round was a border line round. I decided best go with a more powerful 9MM, rounds that are cheaper, and easier to find. Given a choice, of all? A 45ACP is still King.
 
joepistol

joepistol

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Thanks, 1Sgt Jerry.. your comment ," days I just stopped because I felt like I was wasting ammo." made me laugh out loud, , 'cause that's the way I feel almost every range trip. I shoot until I can tell my accuracy is diminishing, & after that, If I continue shooting, I'm just wasting ammo.
It's an unusual day, when my accuracy persists until all the ammo I took to shoot has been expended.
 
Big Biscuit

Big Biscuit

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Thanks for your write up on these classic pistols.

My last was a beautiful Beretta 82bb that I traded for something else. Danged if I can remember what.

The recent panic that we are just coming out from sure drove up the .380 ammo prices.

Lots of first time pistol purchases I'm thinking. These LITTLE .380 blowback designs aren't fun to shoot. Combine that with the astronomical cost of self defense ammo. There should be plenty of nice, low round, sock drawer pistols available in the not distant future.

One trade that I do remember making....I traded into a pair of S&W PPK/S pistols. As soon as I had the paperwork done I took them to a guy and traded both for a pretty Colt enhanced in .38 Super. I never even fired the PPKs.
 
1Sgt_Jerry

1Sgt_Jerry

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Thanks, 1Sgt Jerry.. your comment ," days I just stopped because I felt like I was wasting ammo." made me laugh out loud, , 'cause that's the way I feel almost every range trip. I shoot until I can tell my accuracy is diminishing, & after that, If I continue shooting, I'm just wasting ammo.
It's an unusual day, when my accuracy persists until all the ammo I took to shoot has been expended.
It’s all about being happy at the end of the day.
 
G

Gunflint1

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Messages
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Next up is the CZ-model 83 :https://i.postimg.cc/m2HH7Zy5/IMG-0621.jpg
The CZ-82 is a compact semi-automatic pistol made for Czechoslovakian military service in 1983, using the 9x18mm Makarov round. A civilian export version is the CZ 83, is chambered in .380 caliber
Both are compact, single/double-action, semi-automatic pistols with a conventional blowback action. This type of action allows the barrel to remain solidly fixed to the frame, resulting in improved
accuracy over pistols with pivoting barrels. The low bore axis of the Cz. 83 provides for less muzzle rise and quicker follow-up shots. Both the frame-mounted thumb safety and the magazine release are ambidextrous.
The Cz. 82 was the first service pistol to feature both these features. The bore is chrome plated, which gives it three advantages: longer barrel life, resistance to rust from the use of corrosive ammunition,
and ease of cleaning. Another feature of this pistol is the use of polygonal rifling in the barrel bore.
The all-steel CZ-83 is a "tank" of a pistol , it weighs a sturdy 1.76 pounds (unloaded) This pistol also uses a 12 rnd dbl stack magazine.
Length is 6.8 in Barrel length is 3.8 in Grips are made of plastic, the only "flaw" of it's design, IMO.
Replacement grips are hard to find, expensive to order ( from Europe) ,but as my pic posted above shows,,a little skateboard tape can help a lot!
.
Here's a pic of it in pieces: https://i.postimg.cc/Y2VF4LYF/IMG-0622.jpg
Unfortunately, production of the CZ-83 ceased in January 2013 when CZ began focusing on compacts and subcompacts that use the CZ-75 design.
The .380 ACP CZ-83 is available on the used market and relatively easy to find.
I had to laugh when you brought up the CZ83. I've had them for years. At one time I even had a civilian stainless., and one CZ82(polygonal rifling 9X18). They all shot great, a very well made impressive pistol. In Fact Gun Tests recently just ran a comparison of a few 380's and guess who came out on top? It is heavy and maybe overbuilt, but a life time pistol for sure. This is the platform others should use to improve their 380'. A good start would be lightening, and adjustable rear sights.
 
rmc51

rmc51

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I still go with the Beretta 84 or 85 for smaller hands. BDA is alright, just a custom 84 built for Browning. I never could find a Glock 25 or 28. I would have liked to see them.
 
TXPlt

TXPlt

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Sig makes a very nice p238 which is a mini-1911 (got one as well as a 1st generation LCP). I like your Sig version also; my uncle carried one of these for years.

Most have been superceeded by the micro-9s for me. But the 380 remains a viable defensive round for someone who knows how to make it work. Ballistics similar to a snub-38.
 
G

Gunflint1

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Their used to be a number of Military pistols to choose from. Remember the 1911style Star BN? Heavy, cheap and a blast to shoot. Used to pick them up under $200. Also the Makarov, bought my first one at $160.00 PP-83 for about $175.00, P-64 $150.00.. Where did they all go? I was particularly fond of the CZ83, too bad it never came in a 9MM. Today there are only a few 380's out there I would consider owning. My CZ83 and my over priced deep concealment P380. Other than that I will stick to a handful of 9MM I've collected and my favorite 1911's in a 45ACP.
 
D

David A. Blakesley Sr.

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JP, here’s a picture of my P232 that my kids bought me years ago. I had the slide engraved a little and then polished,I really enjoy it.
 

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joepistol

joepistol

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My pistol looks identical to yours.. - the engraving & wood grips. Nice pistol, made to look nicer.
Did your pistol come with those grips ? Or did you make or buy them ?
I've found (other than rubber grips,) the only grips available for a 232 have to be ordered from Europe .
 
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David A. Blakesley Sr.

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I ordered them online but I forget from whom. I could not tell from your pictures, is yours blued? Thanks
 

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