.380 ACP, Where art thou?

If you are one of the many people who have joined in the revival of the .380ACP caliber- you’ve asked the same question. OK maybe without the Shakespeare twist, but you’ve wondered.

Since I too have joined in the craze via two Sig Sauer P238s the ammo hunt has been on. Google, Wal-Mart, local shops- the results are the same… Nada…

So I decided to go to the very source of excellent target ammo, Winchester.

Once again utilizing my Google-Fu I tracked down a phone number to Winchester Arms whereby I got the number to Winchester Ammo. After battling the usual automated responses I was sent into a voice mailbox for technical assistance. The message promised a response within one business day. Turns out I did not have to wait that long, Paul Nowak returned my call in less than an hour. Before I get into the details let me say that I couldn’t have been happier or more impressed with Paul. He was buoyant and willing to share his knowledge (non-proprietary). Winchester has a home run rep in Paul.

On to the burning questions… Is the .380ACP a “seasonally” produced round?
NO- Paul may have been asked this question a few hundred times before because he was quick to denounce this myth. Winchester manufactures .380 seven days a week.

Paul quickly pointed out that Winchester has recognized the spike in demand; however .380 in general is still fifth on the list of top sellers.

Paul shared the top six pistol calibers, by demand, with me. The following are

1. 9mm- Winchester also has a military contract
2. .40 S&W- Number one LEO round
3. .38 Special- I found this surprising
4. .45ACP
5. .380ACP- our topic finally shows up!
6. .357 Sig

Even though I asked several different ways Paul did not give up the percentages of manufacturing for each round. Per the rakings we see that despite the resurgence of .380 it is undoubtedly far from the “number one” demanded round.

What does this mean to all of us searching for .380? What I think it means is we have a caliber that was well off the top demand list. Imagine where .380 was a couple years ago before the Rugers, Sigs, and Kahrs. Manufacturers are responding to the surge in market demand; however it will be some time before we can count on snagging a white box of .380 at Wal-Mart.

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