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I recently "traded up" to an LC9, which is on a smaller frame than my PK380 was, and I want to know if I can use the .380 ammo in the LC9. Before I blow myself up (or destroy my lovely new LC9), has anyone reseached this possibility?

My understanding is that .380 is just 9mm "short" (Browning designation), and the the difference is two millimeters in the length of the casing. The bullet nose should theoretically still enter the rifled portion of the barrel upon chambering...

I know it is not a fair comparison, but I shoot 2.75" shells in a 3" chambered shotgun all the time, even slugs. Why shouldn't I shoot .380 rounds in a 9mm?

Yes, I'm a noobe here, someone can give me the obligatory, "why don't you try it and tell us what happens!" :wink: But serious answers are what is sought...


Thanks,
Dave
 

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It will not work, as 9mm and .380acp are rimless casings/cartridges. That is to say the diameter of the rim is the same as the diameter of the casing.

.410 shells and .38 special cartridges have rims that are larger than the diameter of the casing. The rim holds the round of ammo in it's proper place when the action is closed. That is why you can shoot 2.5 & 2.75 shells in a 3 inch chambered .410. It is also why you can shoot .38 specials in a .357 magnum.

Rimless cartridges are held in their proper place by the way the chamber is machined in conjunction with the casing having the proper length. Since the casing of the .380acp (also known as a 9x17mm) is shorter than the 9mm luger/parabellum (also known as the 9x19mm), the .380 will go too far into the chamber.

This means the firing pin will not strike the primer because the .380 is 2mm further into the chamber than the 9mm.

If the extractor does happen to attach to the rim of the .380 as it is chambered, it may or may not be strong enough to hold while the firing pin strikes the primer in order to get reliable firing.

If the extractor does hold the .380 in it's proper place and then has enough to hold onto it while the firing pin strikes to primer and it goes bang, you will only get that one round off before the gun jams.

9x19mm semi-automatics are designed to work with 9x19mm rounds. This includes the pressures that are generated from the firing of the cartridge in addition to the proper chamber length.

The pressures generated by the .380 cartridge will not be enough to fully move the slide to the rear, extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge and then picking up a new cartridge on it's return trip forward.

Long story short, it may work for pull of the trigger, but that is all. It will be a single shot.

As the safety rules say, Only use the proper ammunition in the firearm that you are using.
 

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I do agree with what Sabbath Music has suggested here. After all, apart from the fact that it won’t work, it is better that you consider ammunition meant for the chamber only. I know many of my friends who got into trouble who went otherwise. Safety comes first, friend.
 

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I am not sure what you guys are talking about and where you get your info.

The 380 will shoot all day long and without failure in any 9MM. The only thing that will NOT happen is it may not eject which will cause you to have to eject each empty by racking the slide.

I have shot lots and lots of 380 in lots of 9MM and NEVER experienced a problem nor have they failed to fire, EVER.

UF
 

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UncleFudd said:
I am not sure what you guys are talking about and where you get your info.
Seriously? Take a basic firearms safety course. You will be taught you only use the proper ammunition in a firearm.

.380 is not the proper ammunition for a 9x19.
 

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woa back pistolero;
Nothing said about "proper ammo". The question asked, "can he shoot 380 in a 9MM".

The answer is yes and without a problem other than ejecting the empty. The brass is the same diameter, just shorter, the bullet is the same diameter, just lighter weight and the powder charge is less, thus causing the ejection problems when compressing the springs on the 9MM.

As for taking a safety course. My good friend, I have taught courses from basic pistol throughout advanced pistol, rifle and shotgun for more than 30 years.
I also spend time with SWAT units teaching basic through advanced and transition from rifle to pistol and shotgun to pistol.
I am also a training counselor and have been for many years. (That means those who want to become an instructor, come to me and I have the records to show that I have done so for several dozens of men and women who have become and are very successful instructors).

All that said, I also spend time teaching civilian as well as LEO what can be used in their firearms, (pistol) in emergencies.
I am not sure of your experience nor how much you are aware of what people carry for primary weapons and for their back-up weapon.
But for what it is worth and for your edification, you may want/need to know if you ever experience such emergency, what if any ammo will work in your gun, IE; some people carry 9MM for primary and .380 for BU. It is important for them to know that if all goes South, they can put theirs or perhaps their partners 380 ammo in their 9MM and have it work just fine.
The same applies for using 9MM in a 40 S&W. You will not be able to use the brass again and again you will probably have to eject the empties by hand (wracking the slide physically) but the ammo will feed, fire just fine.
Same as with the 40 in the 10 and the 38 in 357.

I am NOT telling anyone to make a habit of firing anything other than the ammo designed for their guns. But the question was asked and I correctly answered, YES, your 380 ammo can and will fire through your 9MM, period.

You may not like the answer and all the BS about rimless this and that is just that, BS. Before we answer a question it is usually a good idea to have the facts.

UF
 

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I too am a firearms instructor.

The text book answer is only fire the proper ammunition in the firearm. Period. End of story.

.380 is not the proper ammunition for a 9x19.

9x19 is not the proper ammo for .40 S&W.
 

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RIGHT!!!!
So you became an instructor and quit listening and learning. SHHEESSH!! :roll:
Once again from the top. I am not advocating using anything other than the ammo specified for the gun. NUF SAID? :?:

You gave the guy some off the wall BS about rimless cartridges and the fact that they won't fit. The case is the same diameter as is the rim, 380 vs 9MM. The bullets are the same dia. One is lighter than the other and there is a difference in the charge weight of the powders. OK? 8)

The 380 rounds will feed, fire (without fail) and even in some guns eject. Depends on the mainspring in the specific firearm. So your crap about the cartridge going to far into the chamber, that dog won't hunt. At least get what you are saying correct if you are giving advice. :wink:

To answer his specific question, yes the 380 can be fired safely in the 9MM.
HOWEVER, do I advise it or am I telling him to fire the 380 in his gun, NO< NO and NO. I merely said it can be done if necessary. DON'T THROW IT AWAY JUST BECAUSE HE BOUGHT A 9MM.

DON'T make this personal my friend just because you goofed and don't like the facts as they are presented. I AGREE with you and the book and I teach it the same, USE THE AMMO SPECIFIED FOR YOUR GUN.
See, we agree.

You are so right, end of story. :D

UF
 

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Off the wall?

I gave a technical explanation why .38 special could be fired in a .357 mag with out any problems. Why .410 shells, 2.5 inches in length could be fired in a 3 inch chamber without any problems. And the difference in rimmed cartridges versus rimless cartridges and chamber lengths. I went further to add that the only thing keeping a too short of of a rimless cartridge in the proper position was the extractor. If you look up the definition of an extractor, you will see that it is designed to extract to spent cartridge from the chamber, it is not designed to hold the wrong sized cartridge in the chamber during firing.

Sorry you don't understand nomenclature and the total design concept of semi-automatic pistols that use rimless cartridges.

It's nothing personal. You have admitted the correct answer is use the proper ammunition in the firearm, after telling people that it is okay to use the improper ammunition in a firearm. You are wrong. Dispense with the sillyness. Teach what you have been taught and know to be 100% reliable and accurate.
 
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