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Old September 1, 2000, 01:48 PM   #1
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Is Colt making any of these now?
Does ANYBODY own a Govt. 380?
I had been searching for a stainless Govt. 380 to no avail when I ran into a place that still had some Mustangs, both blue and SS. They're quite high, so I was wondering:
1. Is this my last chance to get a new Colt 380? Should I jump on it?
2. Difference in Gov. and Mustang reliability?
3. How accurate are they?
4. Am I gonna have to spend 200 bucks to get the danged thing to work?
5. Which is more desirable right now? The Govt. is WAY harder to find. Is it because it's rarer and people are snatching them up, or because they are too big and no one WANTS them?

Thanks guys!

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Old September 1, 2000, 02:21 PM   #2
Koolau 2
Join Date: June 12, 2000
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I know someone who owns a blue Govt model. I have shot it extensively, so I might be able to help...

1. Colt stopped making these last fall. At the time, some folks were buying them up for speculation. Don't know if this is the case now.

2. Can't say, only shot the Mustang a couple of times. Some of the 380 built in the mid80s had I believe extractor problems. There is a fix for this. The Govt model I shot had teething problems the first 100 rounds or so, but has been reliable for the last 400 rounds. Doesn't like Silvertips - does like Hydroshocks.

3. Reasonably accurate out to 10 yards or so, with the edge to the Govt model. Terrible sights. They ARE pocket pistols, so considering the limitations accuracy ain't too bad.

4. My friend didn't have to spend any bucks, but if it was to be my backup carry piece I would send it to Scott at SM&A for the Pocket Carry Package ( Website BTW is a good source of info.

5. Most folks that I know go for the Mustang, since they are buying the pistol for maximum concealability. Personally speaking, when I was offered a Govt 380, I passed it up for a Glock 26. Not all that much larger and 9mm to boot.

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Old September 1, 2000, 03:20 PM   #3
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I've got a Govt. 380. It's a decent gun. Agree that the sights are terrible.

But last night I put it up side to side with my Kahr MK9. The Kahr is 9mm, a much, much more effective round than .380. The Govt. model is longer and taller than the MK9. The slide of the Govt. model is slightly narrower than the MK9, but not by much. Grips are about the same width. Kahr is a bit heavier.

So I don't see much purpose to the Govt. 380 when you can get a 9mm Kahr MK9 that's smaller.

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Old September 1, 2000, 04:49 PM   #4
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I bought a blue steel mustang 3 months ago - used (obviously). Took it to the range and was having problems with the magazine feeding and then it stopped ejecting the cases. Took it back to the shop I bought it from (Bernies Sporting Goods, Tucker GA) - No problem they sent it to Colt 4 weeks later I got back the feeding problem gone and the ejector replaced. Colt didn't charge anyone for the work. So far I have put 300 rounds through it with no problems. I bought it as a backup to my Beretta Mini Cougar 8040 and the smaller size, with the right pocket holster works very well. Now if it were only a pocketlite version (12oz vs 17oz)..... BTW I am planning to send it off to SM&A this fall for some customizing.
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Old September 1, 2000, 07:17 PM   #5
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Actually, I have the Kahr K9, and though the gun is very nice, I hate the double-action-only trigger. Even though it's good, every time I pick the gun up, I have to re-learn that long, stacking pull. And the Colt Govt. is just...prettier.
Ok, I don't know why the heck I like it!
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Old September 1, 2000, 07:36 PM   #6
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Does look like a minature 1911, doesn't it?

First time I saw one I thought "Maybe if I bury it it'll grow into a Kimber".
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Old September 2, 2000, 02:53 AM   #7
Juan Hunt Greer
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I've had (for 19 tears now) a post'68 llama 380 auto, and it is even more of a dead-ringer mini 1911 than the Colt.Koolau2 says he had a problem with silvertips. I had also, but problem was in failing to cycle completely back; the 85gr. slug wasn't quite heavy enough for thr RECOIL-OPERATED system. Tried pulling the bullets(inertially) and reloading with 4.5 gr unique and it made all the differeence in the world! I even tried loads as high as 4,9gr. with great results. The reloading manuals, of course, are written around blowback guns, and a good locked-breech gun can go somewhat hotter. I still have the gun and these days I keep it stoked with win sxt. good guns seem to last forever! The latest llamas seem to have really gone down in general quality, and aren't even locked breech anymore
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Old September 2, 2000, 03:05 PM   #8
Peter M. Eick
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I own a little government 380 and have found it exceptionally accurate and reliable. Mine seems to like silvertips, but most of the time I run reloads. It does seem to operate better (smoother) with hotter loads then my md84 or ppk/s likes, but what the heck. Yes the sights are bad, but I can still shoot some good groups. I picked mine up on a whim because my ppk/s was in the shop and I wanted something to carry.

Answers to questions:
1) I would buy one but I have never seen a stainless one.
2) No experience here.
3) better accuracy then a ppk/s, I shoot about 3" 15 yard 50 rnd groups with mine, but I would not say I am a particularly good shot.
4) I have shot mine straight from the box with nothing added but 4 extra magazines and a pistol case. I have around 1000 rnds down it now.
5) I like mine, so I bought it for that reason alone. It is like a miniture pistol, so it is fun to shoot. Besides, it is a great trainer because the recoil is so mild.

P229 Sport and 357 SIG, H&K P7PSP and 9MM, Dual Perfection!!
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Old September 2, 2000, 05:54 PM   #9
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I own a Gov't .380, which I really like and has caused me no problem except for the slide lock pin, which will fall put if you lay it on it's side when not cocked and locked. That is an easy fix. I did not care for the short grip of the pony or the mustang, so I got the gov't. However, you can get the mustang in the plus 2 which has the the frame of the gov't and the slide and barrel of the mustang. Saw them at the gunshow today for $500 blued. Have seen them for as little as $475 and as high as $650. I have seen quite a few pony's in stainless, but the supply of gov't and mustang stainless seems to have dried up for nib pistols. Shoots good and easy to carry.
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Old September 2, 2000, 08:41 PM   #10
Join Date: November 26, 1999
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I have a blue Mustang for shooting and a stainless Mustang Pocketlite to carry. Both were bought used, both have perfect function. Yes, they could use better sights but as pocket guns they are just fine as is. A more useful modification is simply to get Wolff recoil springs as stock springs are a bit wimpy.
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Old September 2, 2000, 08:47 PM   #11
Rosco Benson
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Both the .380 Government Model and the Mustang are genrally reliable. The Mustang is considerably more versatile, as it is small enough for pocket use. The .380 Government Model really isn't (unless your pockets look like Captain Kangaroo's).

Much expensive 'smithing can be lavished on these pistols and the resulting little blasters are absolutely off the scale on "cuteness". However, the only thing they REALLY need is a stiffer mag catch spring ( can fix you up). Most examples can benefit from a good dehorning of the slide and the stainless versions can use a blob of paint (I like yellow) on the integral, gray front sight.

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Old September 2, 2000, 11:07 PM   #12
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How do you guys carry your Colt's? Cocked and Locked or hammer down? If Cocked and Locked how do you feel about that? I'm used to carrying a Glock and have no fears of it going off because the striker isn't cocked until I pull the trigger. But my fiance is going to begin carrying a Mustang. I'm not sure how to advise her to carry it.

Old September 3, 2000, 07:29 AM   #13
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Thanks for the assistance, guys.
I think I'm going to forego the Colt .380's for now. Maybe I'll trade for the Government .380 in the future, since I know it will fit my hand. I just can't seem to justify spending the $400-450 on one of these .380's and then having the possible PIA of sending it away or tinkering with it to get it to work just right. It's too pricey for what you get.
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Old September 3, 2000, 10:23 AM   #14
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I paid $389.00 for my Mustang Pocketlite three years ago. The last one that I saw at a gun show was $550.00. I consider my Mustang second only to my mini Glock as a carry piece. At 12.5 ounces, my Mustang is great for light carry and the only .380 that has a locking barrel like the larger guns. It's a soft shooter. If you pass on one at $400.00, you'll be sorry later.
(At least that's the way I am when I let one get away.) I think $400.00 is a good price for a Mustang.


Mendacity is the system we live in.

[This message has been edited by WLM (edited September 03, 2000).]
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Old September 3, 2000, 10:36 PM   #15
7th Fleet
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I have a stainless Mustang .380 and it gets carried a lot. It will fit perfectly into the back pocket of a pair of jeans. I carry mine in condition 2. I paid $350.00 out the door for mine, back in the mid 90s.


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Old September 4, 2000, 01:31 PM   #16
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I carry my Colt Mustang Pocketlite C&L. I don't feel unsafe with it in that condition, and it's the fastest way to deploy an SA firearm. I suggest beafing up the safety spring to make it harder to accidently release the safety, but that's pretty easy.
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