ammo for colt mustang pocketlite 380 - Pistolsmith

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Old 07-19-2020, 09:50 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 2
ammo for colt mustang pocketlite 380

seeking ammo recommendations for a 380 Colt Mustang pocketlite handgun.

Federal American Eagle and Remington 380 95 grain FMJ brass work very good. bullets are rounded at the tip or end.

Winchester is terrible. gun jams. bullets have a flat head tip instead of rounded at the end.

I have not tried other brands. any suggestions?

Will other materials like steel or other grains besides 95 suffice ?
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Old 07-20-2020, 03:54 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,801
What someone recommends for any firearm is not of much real use.
Every firearm is an individual and what works great in my gun may choke in yours.
Some guns don't "like" some ammo but work fine in another gun of the same brand and type.

All you can do is buy a box or two of ammo and test fire YOUR gun to see if it looks like it'll be reliable.
Remember, NOTHING is as important as reliability in a defense gun, not accuracy, not brand, not type, not some "stopping" test.

Looking for "the best" ammo is an exercise in futility. All modern American made premium defense ammo in any specific caliber is so close in effectiveness there's no difference.
What's at the top in one test will be down a couple of steps in another test so the critical test is for reliable operation of YOUR gun and magazines.

Best advice is to pick a premium defense ammo in .380 and test fire at least 50 to 100 rounds to insure THAT ammo is reliable in YOUR gun, then buy as much of that specific ammo as you can.

I would not use steel cased ammo in your Colt.
American firearms were designed to use brass cased ammo and NO thought was given to steel ammo.
American arms have straighter chambers that often give extraction and feed problems with steel.

Steel ammo was designed by the Soviets for their arms and they designed their guns to work with steel ammo. Their arms have more tapered chambers and the ammo is made with tapered cases specifically for those guns to insure proper extraction.

Since American chambers have straighter chambers, steel ammo made in American calibers often give problems like unreliable extraction and possibly broken or excessively worn extractors.

Weight wise, most .380 ammo is in the 88 to 100 grain range. I recommend bullets lighter then the 100 grain with a hollow point.

I'd recommend just looking online or in a gun store at various American made premium defense .380 brands and types of hollow point defense ammo.
Again, this might fail in your gun but I used Winchester Silver Tips in several .380 pistols with complete reliability.
I'm not sure about now, but the original Silver Tip .380 had a jacket made of pure aluminum, but larger calibers are copper jacketed with a silver plating.
The tip of the Silver Tip bullet is more rounded.

Problem today is that virtually all defense ammunition is simply not available due to the buying panic, so you may have few choices and may have to just use what you can get for some time.

Don't over think this.
Looking for "the best" ammo is wasted time.
Just find a good brand of hollow point that works reliably in your Colt and stick with it.
There IS NOTHING more effective then any premium hollow point in any brand that works in your gun.

Last edited by dfariswheel; 07-20-2020 at 03:57 PM.
Old 07-20-2020, 07:08 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 2
Thanks so much for that info! Yes, I agree that the American made bullets are virtually equal in quality. However, even though I did find what I like for practicing in the range (Federal American Eagle), I am reaching out to seek other brands due to every single online store being out of stock of pretty much every type of .380. I have only practiced a few times with the more expensive defense hollow point bullets. I not familiar at all with those. I am only familiar with the cheaper practice ammo. I do not that Winchester 380 FMJ 95 grain is flat at the tip, not round, and causes my gun to jam when the magazine has more than 2 bullets. It wont jam with 1 or 2 bullets. I do not know how I am going to get my hands on different defense hollow points in order to practice. I only have a few to fill a couple magazines.
Old 07-21-2020, 08:22 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,801
We're all in the same boat due to the buying panic.

I have a new home defense shotgun and I can't find any buckshot anywhere.
Old 09-10-2020, 05:34 PM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 2
Consider Learning to Assemble Your Own

You both might consider learning to assemble your own .380 cartridges and shotgun loads. It can also save you money over time.

One can sometimes obtain loading/re-loading supplies when the retail boxes of packaged ammunition are unavailable.

With the right equipment it's not difficult at all. You just have to be precise and carefully check every step you perform.

Edit to add: I started reloading with about $100 of "Lyman" (I was some time ago) hardware (for 2 calibers .380 [aka "9mm kurz" (kurz=short)] and 9mm). That's equivalent to about 3-4 boxes of quality ammo. It paid for itself VERY fast. The cartridge components were readily available and a lot cheaper than manufactured cartridges, and I also started re-using brass casings that were in good shape.

Last edited by draconis; 09-12-2020 at 09:47 AM. Reason: add a little detail about starting reloading experience
Old 10-02-2020, 04:34 AM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1
Reloading the .380 ACP

Good luck finding small pistol primers.

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