One way to think about this is as such: a foot-pound is a unit of energy equal to the amount of energy required to raise a weight of one pound a distance of one foot. Accuracy, despite the original (and small) fixed sights, is excellent, facilitated not only by the robust weight of the M1903 but also the light break of the single-action trigger. As you know, the differences are pretty profound. Again, the above is for comparative information purposes only, and you should consult the exact ballistics for the particular .38 Special or .380 Auto ACP cartridge you're looking at purchasing. That brought up two issues. As such, the following is for comparative information purposes only and should not be used to make precise predictions of the trajectory, performance, or true ballistics of any particular .38 Special or .380 Auto ACP rounds for hunting, target shooting, plinking, or any other usage. Modeling clay also provides an easy-to-measure bullet path. My testing proved the P-3AT to be reliable and more than accurate enough for any reasonable self-defense distance. Foundry Outdoors is your trusted home for buying archery, camping, fishing, hunting, shooting sports, and outdoor gear online. Two factors were important for a valid comparison: First, both pistols had to be reasonably close in barrel length. I'm not sure how 38 super, 38 special etc entered into this. The Colt M1903 features a 3.75-inch barrel length as compared to the 2.68-inch barrel of the Kel-Tec P-32, making the M1903 capable of better ballistic performance than the Kel-Tec. The .38 Special, or .38 Smith & Wesson Special, is a rimmed and straight-walled centerfire ammunition commonly used in revolvers. So what’s the difference between the .380 and the .38 Special? The .38 Special has been around for over a century and is the most widely used revolver cartridge in the world because of its deadly accuracy and manageable recoil. For example, if I tested the .380 using Liberty Ammunition Civil Defense .380, which launches a 50-grain monolithic copper bullet downrange at 1,383 feet per second from the PPK/S, and compared it to the slower, heavier Hornady 32 XTP, the test would be invalid. Had the ballistics that I obtained with my chronograph matched the advertised ballistics, then such would not have been the case. Moist modeling clay gives me an inexpensive and easy-to-work-with method of comparing pistol and rifle bullets to each other. This is because the cartridge was designed by Browning and then adopted by the Europeans. However, a .357 cartridge will not usually fire in handguns specifically made for a .38 Special cartridge. We offer cheap ammo and bulk ammo deals on the most popular ammo calibers. The .380 ACP is known by other names such as the .380 Auto, 9x17mm, 9mm short, and 9mm Browning to name a few. We offer a 100% Authenticity Guarantee on all products sold on our website. On paper this is just below the 38 Special.,, If this is your first visit, be sure to Both cartridges have been in action for over a century and are commonly used for self-defense. Sign up for our newsletter to get comparisons delivered to your inbox. Since the more-powerful and widely accepted .380 could be chambered in small guns like the Ruger LCP, newcomers to the locked-breech micro-pistol game did not bother with a .32 ACP chambering. True .38 Special and .380 Auto ACP ballistics information can vary widely from the displayed information, and it is important to understand that the particular characteristics of a given round can make a substantive difference in its true performance.