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Is 38 special the same as 380 acp?

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September 24, 2012 6:29PM

There can easily be confusion between the names of three cartridges: .38 auto, .380 auto, and .38 special.

.38 auto is an antique and obsolete cartridge replaced by the .380 auto. This is why there is an extra zero on the end of the name and it's called "three-eighty." Neither cartridges have a full rim and are intended for semiautomatic pistols.

.38 special is a fully rimmed cartridge intended for revolvers.