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why is .380 ammo so expensive?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Chipperxd, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. Chipperxd

    Chipperxd Buffalo Active Member

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    I have never owned a .380 pocket gun as the ammo is so expensive around these parts. From what I understand, .380 is a chopped down 9mm (please correct me if I am wrong). So why do .380s cost almost double that of a 9mm?

    I mean .380 seems to be a very popular round for a carry gun as many companies produce them. Why does it cost so much? :huh:
     
  2. skywag

    skywag On the Columbia River Active Member

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    Econ 101.........supply and demand.
     
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  3. raftman

    raftman Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    It's not quite so ubiquitous as 9mm. You'll likely find that .32 auto and .25 auto probably cost about the same as .380, despite also being lesser cartridges,
     
  4. Misterbill

    Misterbill Yakima County, Washington New Member

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    Because there is less demand, hence less economy of scale.

    Translating this to my own reloading bench:

    It takes roughly 45 minutes to change out calibers, including dialing in desired powder charges.

    I can load about 400 rounds per hour.

    How anxious am I to reload a caliber I shoot once in a great while vs. the one I shoot 300 + of every week? -Not very.
     
  5. Turtle

    Turtle Seattle New Member

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    That was part of the reason I sold my bodyguard .380 for a 9mm. I liked the gun but not the ammo price.
     
  6. Misterbill

    Misterbill Yakima County, Washington New Member

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    This is largely factually incorrect. The ballistics for modern defensive 380 are quite lethal. You should see the numbers of people killed with .22 LR and .25 auto nationally. It's really quite surprising.

    .380 may be the bottom end of the spectrum on lethality, but it works just fine. And let's face it, even 45 ACP is quite a step down from .308. It's all a compromise. And you shoot what you can afford and what is reasonable for you concealment-wise. Bigger is NOT always better.
     
  7. Abiqua

    Abiqua Oregon Active Member

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    This. When the price of ammo (think 9mm and 45ACP) skyrocketed after the last prez election, lots of people picked up 380s to take advantage of the slightly cheaper ammo. The higher demand drove up 380 ammo prices and made it pretty scarce for a while.

    380ACP is also known as "9mm Short", "9mm kurz", or "9mm k" ("kurz" is German for "short"), my Sig P230 is actually marked "9mm kurz". "k" is also used by gunmakers to describe shorter versions of firearms, such as the MP5 and MP5k.
     
  8. bruzer

    bruzer Grants Pass, OR Well-Known Member

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    I have thought the exact same thing and I don't know why it is so expensive. When I see the .380 as much as .40 and sometimes .45 it is not a round I am even going to think about. No matter how effective the little guy might be.
     
  9. One-Eyed Ross

    One-Eyed Ross Winlock, WA Well-Known Member

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    It is that high because people will pay it. When people stop paying high prices for ammo, the price will come down.

    Of course, the suppliers that stocked up when prices were high were hurting for a while, when they couldn't move their high priced inventory...
     
  10. tlfreek

    tlfreek Vancouver WA Active Member

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    13 bucks a 50 is expensive?
     
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  11. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    It's not that ammo is expensive, it's that some folks are too cheap, or buy guns that are not economically feasable for them to own. Maybe a .22lr would be more realistic, at close range a very effective cartridge. God forbid that you can't afford to buy thousands of rounds to go into the woods and make noise.If you must go centerfire, reload on a single station press, that will cause you to consider every shot carefully.
     
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  12. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    I just bought some Prvi Partisan for about $13 a box. Considering what it can do, I think $0.26 for brass-cased new manufactured ammo is a bargain!
     
  13. Chipperxd

    Chipperxd Buffalo Active Member

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    I didnt realize the 380s were only 13 a box now. They were going for more last time I checked. Good to know. Now got to find me a 380 now. The addiction continues ..
     
  14. cyclesarge

    cyclesarge Eugene OR, DUH! We're ALL in the NORTHWEST Well-Known Member

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    This would be completely true IF they didn't make "modern defensive" rounds for 9mm. No matter how you look at it 9mm IS better than .380. Considering the facts that many small 9mm's are more concealable than the medium sized .380's and .380 is more expensive, 380 just doesn't "pencil out".

    So you're saying .380<.45<.308, then you say "Bigger is NOT always better"?:huh:
     
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  15. cyclesarge

    cyclesarge Eugene OR, DUH! We're ALL in the NORTHWEST Well-Known Member

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    As long as I can remember .380 (as well as .25 and .32) has been more expensive than 9mm. That's why I replaced my .380 Accu-Tek with a Ruger P89 in 1992. Aside from there being more 9mm guns out there, the typical 9mm gun gets shot a LOT more than the typical .380 (I've NEVER shot a .380 that was FUN to shoot) I would venture to guess they sell at least 10 times as much 9mm ammo as .380. Anytime you manufacture THAT much more of anything it's gonna be cheaper.

    All the stores around here had .380 longer than 9mm ammo, even though typically they stock about 10 times as much 9mm as .380. During the "Obama scare", even .22lr was impossible to get.
     
  16. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    I don't see why every .380 thread has to automatically become a 9mm-vs.-.380 schlong-wagging contest.

    If you don't "get" .380, then fine, don't. I'm tired of re-iterating the same simple facts over and over again. There is a niche that .380 fills superbly, and it's not about the smallest possible wrist-twister that you can package it into. The same goes for 9mm. Self-defense pistols and calibers don't "pencil out" any more than car models or any other personal choice based on individual needs and requirements.

    One reason why .380 ammo is expensive is because it's so POPULAR.
     
  17. One-Eyed Ross

    One-Eyed Ross Winlock, WA Well-Known Member

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    9x17, 9x18, 9x19, 9x20, .38 Sp, .38 Super, .357 Mag, .357 Sig.... they all work. Each has advantages, each has disadvantages.

    Herself likes .380 because she has a pistol that fits her hand and doesn't hurt to shoot.

    As for the cost of .380, it must be location dependent, because around here it is still close to $20 a box...
     
  18. FarmerTed1971

    FarmerTed1971 Portland, Oregon, United States Well-Known Member

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    It makes no sense... So just buy a 9mm.
     
  19. cyclesarge

    cyclesarge Eugene OR, DUH! We're ALL in the NORTHWEST Well-Known Member

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    Not "schlong-wagging contest", we're just comparing the COST (that's what this thread is all about) of .380 compared to other popular rounds. Why does any thread relating to .380 always have the same argument touting the virtues of "modern defensive rounds" for the .380, like they just stopped making advances in all other pistol ammo?

    So does this mean 9mm is the least popular pistol round? Next to the .22lr of course. Explain please.
     
  20. cyclesarge

    cyclesarge Eugene OR, DUH! We're ALL in the NORTHWEST Well-Known Member

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    Also, please explain this "niche" the 380 fills so superbly, if it's not about the smallest package, or a lower cost ammo, or more plentiful ammo supply, or superior ballistics? I guess I DON'T get .380.