What's up with .380?!

I realize that lately the prices on such popular calibers as 9x19, .45acp and .223 have been going up as demand increases and supply dwindles, but what in God’s name is going on with .380acp? I have noticed that basically all internet ammo sellers have been out of stock for months now, or else they only have the most expensive stuff left, and on Gunbroker people are getting ridiculous money for even the most mundane HP’s: http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=131102056 That’s over $1.00 per cartridge for Rem value-pack .380! Huh!? Since when did .380 become so popular and sought after, and since when did such operators of these pocket-pistols / back-up guns need hundreds and hundreds of cartridges? Is it just that there’s been a mad increase in the U.S. of people getting carry-permits ahead of any possible anti-gun legislation and that people are going with pocket pistols such as .380 allot lately?

All ammo is reaching price heights heretofore unknown. I saw SS-109 .223 offered for 999.95 prer thousand - a buck a round - and you had to buy a thousand. It is stupid. The same thing happened before the Gun Control Act of 68 went into effect, and to a lesser extent, when Clinton was elected. This will end and guys will be stock with this high-priced ammunition. I hope they are and lose their shirts!

It is affecting collectors as well. Several short-run headstamps have come and gone and collectors have been unable to save any of it for posterity, becuase the ammo was sold out before they were learned about. Too bad.

The 380s ae what most of the realy concealable semi-autos shoot therefore they all think they need case of it on hand. I guess they are going to fight armegedon with a 2" barreled pistol. I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m a pretty go handgunner & I don’t think I can stop a armoured personel carrier or aircraft with my PPKS. This whole hoarding thing so far is silly if you ask me.


[quote=“Doug”]This whole hoarding thing so far is silly if you ask me.

It certainly is silly in its present context. I’ve hoarded ammo for years, but it was in the lull between 2002-2007 when things were cheap. I’m sure glad I got all that I did when I did!

No kidding my only regret is I wish I had had a bigger closet to store it in. I reciently saw 380s in the 100 pack boxes for $90 at a KC show. 38s and other handgun ammo was $27 to $45 per 50 depending on what it was. 22s are $28 a brick in the mid-west if you can find them.

I get calls every week asking if I have shooting ammo to sell.

Doug D

There are only so many manufacturers producing that round here in the US. The same equipment used to produce .380 is also used to produce 9mm and 9mm is in such demand, civilian, police, and military right now, that the mfgrs can’t keep up with 9mm, so something has to give. .380 is the weak point in that chain. It was never stocked in the quantities of say, 9mm, so there wasn’t as much around when the stampede started. Stockpiles emptied out early and there’s practically no production to replace it right now.

The .380 is in the catagory of pistols that seldom get fired despite the fact that they are common. So any small increase in demand for ammo represents a big swing in the ammo companies figures.

Also, 50m2hb is right, if the demand is increased across the board the manufacturers are going to concentrate on the big runners rather than stop a machine to switch to a calibre that they still see as chicken feed.

  1. –Shotgun News recently ran a story on a single round of .380ACP sold for $15 (gift-boxed, even!), mainly as a ‘gag’ to show how ridiculous ammo prices can be.

  2. –.380ACP has, in almost instance I can recall, been more expensive than 9/38/357/40/45 from the same manufacturer due to supply and demand. .25ACP is also ridiculously priced in my opinion, but the same caveats apply.

  3. –Ruger and other manufacturers (IMI and Rohrbaugh for instance) have come out with new .380 pistols fairly recently, so there’s new guns to buy in that caliber.

Combine all this with the recent problems affecting the industry and the pricing, while still ridiculous, may make more sense.