Mid 1960s .380 2Z Rounds


I have to British .380 2Z Revolver rounds made in the mid-1960s. One is stamped “K66 .380 2Z” and the other “RG 65 380 2Z”. I thought the Webley Mk IV and Enfield revolvers using this calibre were long obsolete by those dates, but obviously not if ammunition was still being manufactured. So were the British Military still using them at that time, and to what degree?


In 1975 whilst in the Army I was issued an Enfield .380 revolver and 6 rds of ammunition, the ammuniton was IIRC all 1950’s dated.


1975?? I didn’t realise they had them that late. What date were they actually taken out of service? I presume they were all destroyed like the No. 4s, surely they wouldn’t have them still in storage now. I wouldn’t trust 20+ year old ammunition either.


If I Recall Correctly, a number of countries in the Commonwealth used the .380 round. The 1960s dates could easily be for export contracts. In the mid to late 80s the Israeli Army even issued a few of the pistols to friends of mine, however the ammo was GFL. They were both on UN Liaison duty in Lebanon.


Israel issued those pistols in the 1980s? They were obsolescent and underpowered even when they first came into service in the 1930s. I think that my ammo has been used within the UK, as they are fired cases, and the guy I got them from had a small box full. It is quite possible that they were used here if Simon was issued a .380 Enfield revolver by the British army in 1975.


Have a KF (Kirkee India) 1984 dated ( KF 94 [over] .380 2 ) headstamped round in my collection. And Omark (Speer - CCI) made some Aluminum cased, NR (Non-reloadable) .380 MK II for a contract too, I believe Pakastain (sp?) This should also be from the late 1990’s or perhaps 2000-3. No date at hand.


Re the .380 Revolvers, If I recall correctly the Enfield revolvers were withdrawn not long after 1975, they had been issued to the UDR as personal protection wpns and the 7.65 & 9mmK Walther PP (XL47A1)replaced them.

Before I handed the revolver back in to the armoury I popped onto the range and fired the 6 rds, 4 fired, 1 misfired and 1 left the bullet halfway up the barrel, slight loss of confidence ensued resulting in me refusing an Enfield revolver and taking the Browning 9mm HP instead (although the mag held 13 rds I was only issued 10 rds!!! )


I was serving in the RN Aircraft Carrier HMS Eagle during 1964 through to the end of 1966. We had a mix of smallarms in the armoury, different allowances for the Air Department (better known as the “Airy Fairies”) and the ships company (also known as the “Fishheads”). The Airy Fairies got 9mm Brownings (Inglis manufacture) and 9mm Sterling smg’s. The Fishheads had .303 number 4 rifles, 9mm Lanchesters (with the 50-round magazine), .303" Mark II Bren guns, 2 inch Mortars and .380" revolvers. In 1967 I joined the RN Gunnery School, HMS Excellent, at Whale Island, Portsmouth and found that we still had Webley and Enfield .380" revolvers 'though the 9mm Browning was used more. One GI (Gunnery Instructor) tried to commit suicide with a .380 revolver AND MISSED! The bullet penetrated just above his ear and traveled a few inches between scalp and skull before exitting on the other side. When he recovered from his wound, and a terrific headache, he decided that life must be worth living after all and continued his naval career, producing the undamaged bullet from his pocket at the bar when the tale might earn him a beer or few. I don’t think that his shooting skills improved 'though.




The rounds you have are British military and were still in use in the mid sixties. I believe that 1965 was the last year that Radway made this calibre. They were still making the .380 L1T blackpwder blank in 1964.

The quality of this ammo was very poor for some reason. A previous post mentions a bullet sticking in the barrel. I have seen an Enfield with all SIX stuck in the barrel one behind the other.

Kynoch loaded contract ammo for various export orders (Singapore, Pakistan) and Gevelot made a batch in 1967 headstamped GT 67 .380 2Z, but I believe this was for Singapore. CIS made a late but undated batch for the Singapore police also. South Africa loaded the round under its metric designamtion of 9.65mm with a 9mm bullet until at least the mid 70s.

I know you knock it, but it was not a bad round when properly loaded.



@ gravelbelly: Were there still any of the .455 Webley & Scott self-loading pistol’s in the HMS Eagle’s armoury? Or did they go out a long time before.

@TonyE: I don’t mean to knock the .380 IIZ, which I’m sure would perform okay when correctly loaded. I just thought it was an ineffective round based on what I’ve read. How rare is the .380 L1T blackpowder blank? I have never seen one of those before.

Can the 9mm Parabellum be used in full moon clips in the Enfield and Webley revolvers? The bullet diameter seems identical.


[quote=“Falcon”]@ gravelbelly: Were there still any of the .455 Webley & Scott self-loading pistol’s in the HMS Eagle’s armoury? Or did they go out a long time before.

Can the 9mm Parabellum be used in full moon clips in the Enfield and Webley revolvers? The bullet diameter seems identical.[/quote]

The .455" Webley & Scott self-loading pistol was obsolete for service use well before my RN time (1959-1973). The .455 Webley revolver had also completely disappeared from the inventory, probably by the end of WW2. However I did privately own two Webley Mark VI .455" revolvers which I shot regularly until the Great Confiscation of 1997. I have seen photos of full moon clips for 9mm parabellum in revolvers. However, for this to work in the .380" revolvers you may have to skim a bit off the rear of the cylinder. I have also seen 9mm rounds where the rim has been squeezed in several places to produce crude lugs which stop the cartridges from running forward in the cylinder. However the light bullet and higher velocity may cause the shots to hit way off the sightline. The Mark I .380" round with the heavier lead bullet shot better and was probably more effective militarily but was not legal except for target practice.



.38 blanks:

The .380 blanks are relatively uncommon. I have RL 38 and RG 64, both headstamped as LIT, and ORBEA and SAM with ball headstamps.