View Full Version : FN Browning 380 safe for cocked and locked carry?

Rusty S
July 15, 2000, 12:28 PM
Recently purchased two pre-GCA'68 FN Browning 380 pistols, one lnib and apparently unfired and one with slight finish wear but apparently mechanically near new condition.

Was recently told by a knowlegeable person that in spite of thumb safety and grip safety, it was a hammerless striker fired firearm and should the striker slip the sear, there was no "half cock" notch to prevent inadvertent firing.

I have no reason to doubt him, but wish to know if additional information modifies the risk factors for cocked and locked carry. How significant is the risk of inadvertent discharge? Will any form of holster change the risk factor significantly.

Also, who can I contact to have a hoster made for discrete carry?

Am reminded of the story of an early FBI Instructor sent to teach some Texas Rangers how to shoot. On the firing line he noted one Ranger with a 45 auto cocked and unlocked, stuck in his waistband, no holster. The Agent approached the Ranger and politely asked "Pardon me sir, but isn't carrying that way that a bit dangerous?" The Ranger replied: "Son, if that dam**d old thing wasn't dangerous, I wouldn't be carrying it!"

I'm more safety concious than the old Ranger, but after ensuring I've done all to make it safe for me I want it to be dangerous to any assailant, which means one hand operation - i.e. chamber loaded. Does someone see something I'm missing here? This is a John Moses design, but...

Many thanks.

No more for him lads, it's time he was on the wagon. Wouldn't be a proper hanging without the guest of honor.

Rosco Benson
July 15, 2000, 04:13 PM
I had one of these years ago. I regret selling it. It was a nice, small .380 that was very reliable...even feeding the horrid 88 grain JHP's that S&W offered back when the Fiochi ammo was marketed as S&W.

Your friend is right about there being no "half-cock" equivalent. This is a striker-fired pistol and if the sear or the little nub on the stiker slips or shears, it'll fire. Another problem with cocked and locked carry of this piece is that the thumb safety is tiny.


[This message has been edited by Rosco Benson (edited July 15, 2000).]

Rusty S
July 15, 2000, 06:05 PM
I appreciate the help, Rosco. Given that these are both in near perfect condition mechanically - how significant is the likelihood of that kind of discharge?

Given that it is intended as an always piece, the simplest way of asking seems to be this:

You smiths who know the design -
if you personally broke it down and it checked out in excellent working order, how would you feel about carrying it cocked and locked yourself?

No more for him lads, it's time he was on the wagon. Can't have a proper hanging without the guest of honor.

Rosco Benson
July 15, 2000, 07:52 PM
Rusty, I'm no gunsmith. I can't give you any "odds" on the likelyhood of the piece discharging if dropped or otherwise banged about. If I was carrying the pistol for self-defense purposes, I would personally carry it cocked and locked. You might choose to do otherwise.


[This message has been edited by Rosco Benson (edited July 15, 2000).]

Juan Hunt Greer
July 22, 2000, 02:12 AM
I'm only a hobby "smith" myself, but can refer you to my personal method of deciding carry safety- place empty primed case in chamber; with hammer/striker cocked and UNLOCKED drop from shoulder height onto linoleum floor in random orientation; repeat 9 times without resetting mechanism. If no primer-pop, gun should be safe enough ( Yes, this test is ABUSIVE in the extreme to the gun ) I have 2 guns I have put though it, though, a Colt combat commander and a mini colt clone llama .380. Both passed! In neither case was the cosmetics an issue, however. Your Brownings are probably too nice to this to.
paranoia can be a pretty good thing when they actually are out to get you!

George Stringer
July 22, 2000, 08:19 AM
Rusty, if the sear, striker and grip safety are in good shape, not showing much in the way of wear, then if it was all I had and I felt the need, I might carry it. I really wouldn't feel comfortable carrying a pistol with a striker. George

Rusty S
July 22, 2000, 05:07 PM
That is pretty plain. Thanks George.