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What's This 380 ACP Ammo?

3716 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  dogtowntom


Empresa Nacional
Santa Barbara de
Industrias Militares S.A.

25 Cartruchos

9mm (CORTO)


From my limited knowledge of language, I make it out to read something like

Spain's national military industry
25 cartridges
jacketed or semi-jacketed (maybe softpoint)


I can't read TETRINOX - I think it may be a proper noun - but it claims not to be corrosive.

My gunstore has a whole lot of this at about $6 per 25. Is it worth it, and what does it shoot like?


Josh <><
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Hello, Josh. It is Spanish-made ammo. The bullet appears to be a softpoint but I've not been able to get them to expand. It IS hot, averaging 1161 ft/sec from a Walter PP. I have quite a bit of it but don't shoot it as it much at all as I think it may be a little warm for continued use.

I think that is Spanish .380 ACP to fit Stars, Llama and other smaller Spanish made pocket pistols. I remember shooting some up in an odd looking Astra 600 that would shoot any 9mm cartridge you could stuff in it! Worked ok but I don't remember it being corrosive.
Yes, for sure it's Spanish surplus ammo. The reason the point is exposed lead is the way they made the bullet. They started with a cup, closed on one end, poured in the lead, then swaged the nose of the bullet to shape leaving the little bit of exposed lead. Then it ends up like Winchester's "WinClean" ammo with the back of the bullet jacketed so lead vapors will not form during firing.
In the .380 stuff that I tried out it was really "hot" ammo. I didn't like it for that reason, the recoil with a 380 pistol was severe. Some people think it's great. IMO, only the price is good.
For a while, this ammo was all the rage among Kel-Tec P3AT users, because it was so hot and so cheap ($2.50/box). It doesn't seem to be readily available anymore. I shot a bit of it, liked it, although it was a handful in the little KT. At $6/box, it's not quite the deal it used to be, but is still pretty inexpensive. I'd buy a few boxes and give it a try. Hold on tight.
Yep. Not much to add to what's already been said except that the Sta. Barbara factory also produced 9mm largo ammunition for the M1921 Astra 400s and Stars and so on too. Believe-it-or-not but Santa Barbara is the patron saint of the artillery. (Also firemen, go figure...) Toledo is home to the Alcazar castle/military school which was a big deal for Franco's forces during the Spanish Civil War, and now is slated to be the new Spanish army museum. Ammo has been produced there in Toledo for a long time.

I shoot the 9mm largo stuff in a 1937-mfr Astra 400 and a 1961-mfr "Destroyer" carbine. I think you'll find it is Berdan primed and therefore not reloadable, if that is a factor in your decision of whether to buy or not.

I bought 20 boxes for $3.00/25 about a year and a half ago. Mine has a 1983 headstamp. Still goes bang everytime. Seems pretty hot compared to WWB or Blazer.

$6.00 for a box of 25 seems a bit high for twenty five year old ammo. I have been buying new Aguila .380 at Dallas area gunshows for less than $11.00/50

I would love to see someone chronograph this stuff to see how hot it really is.

I would have no problem using it as my carry ammo in my NAA Guardian .380
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