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Definition of "Caliber" 380 (9 short) and 9mm

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  • Definition of "Caliber" 380 (9 short) and 9mm

    I thought this topic could be "Equipment and gear" Thread.
    But it's not performance issue and rather legal issue.

    I'm qualified for .38 and 9mm (also 357,.40,.45) in my California Firearm permit.

    neither California Penal code nor business profession code define word "Caliber".
    (I know it's meaning of "diameter of Bore or diameter of bullet" by Webster but not on California code)

    BSIS Web site's FAQ page shows
    If I qualified with a revolver, can I carry (on duty) an "automatic" as long as it is the same caliber? If I qualified with a .38 revolver and a .45 automatic, can I carry a .45 revolver since I qualified with a revolver and an automatic?

    The caliber must be the same, however the firearms permit does not specify revolver or automatic.
    I know I can carry .38, .38sp, .38 super by qualification of .38.
    but I'm not sure if I can legally carry 380ACP (other common name is 9mm short) with 9mm qualification.
    as many of you know 9mm and 380 (9 short) are same bullet diameter(.355) in different cartridge and powder volume.
    and 380ACP could interpret as " .38 cal Automatic Cartridge Pistol" isn't it ? because there is no .380 diameter (caliber)

    My primary gun is Beretta92F, but I like 84FS because it's size and weight.
    (I also like both Beretta's hammer down safety)
    I wonder if I can carry 380(9 short) with either my 9mm qualification or .38 qualification.

    Does anyone know clear definition, precedent or any court opinions?
    Last edited by Limo LA; 02-05-2008, 04:57 AM.
    Not many but few chauffeurs are armed to protect clients.

  • #2
    me, being a simple minded soul, would think - can you go into a store and find a box of ammo that says "9mm short" if so i would say sure you can carry it. untill you get caught and someone complains or you shoot someone and your gun and ammo is put in evidence. Then your problems start.

    Don't read into things. If it says .38 it means .38 spcl. not anything else, .38super is an auto pistol cartridge, designed for competition, not sure why you would an to carry it for defense but thats your choice.9mm means 9x19 luger, not 9kurtz, or 9 mak.

    About your quals, if you want to carry a .45acp revolver, qual on that, and not a 1911 or some other .45 auto pistol. it will save so you many problems in the long run.
    I've been through the california guard training, although it was years ago, it was pretty cut an dry. if you start to read into things and bend them to your liking you could be the reason the laws there get more screwed up that they already are.
    Last edited by LiveNlearn; 02-06-2008, 11:54 AM.
    Wisdom - Having a lot to say, but knowing when to keep it to yourself.


    • #3
      A .380APC is a .380APC not a .38, not a 9mm (9x19mm). If you want to carry a .380APC, then you need to become qualified on it and add it to your list.

      On a side note, I am truly amazed that you would want to carry an underpowered round like a .380APC as a duty weapon. This is one of the WORST (in regards to ballistics) rounds. If weight is such an issue, then get a polymer framed handgun like the Springfield XD, Glock, or HK USP/P2000... don't downgrade your power just to save 0.5 lbs. This is your life we are talking about!
      Semper Paratus


      • #4
        Thank you for advice.

        I know the best way is just re-qualify for 380.
        That's the way I don't have to think or guess anything and don't have to convince, dispute or argue with anybody (LEO, BSIS, DOJ).
        and I'm aware of questionable low power of 380.

        This is scenario of why I wanted to know about 380.
        Sometimes, choice is mine to be armed or not.
        (If contract was "armed", of course I have no choice)

        I wear white level2 Vest under my shirt, sometimes even when I'm not armed. (When I'm armed I wear inner 3A)
        Then I thought myself why not bring small gun (like backup gun) even when I think I don't need one.

        I think number one choice of Backup gun would be snobby .38 revolver.
        But I already have Beretta 84FS (380) and it's in list of my NV CCW.
        380 is used by many European police for duty gun.
        Also I don't like snobby revolver with some reason.
        (But again, my primary gun is full-size 9mm)

        my firearm renew is just few month away.
        I will add 380 when I renew my firearm permit.
        But I was wondering if I can carry 380 with my .38 or 9mm qualification till I add 380 to my permit.
        Because BSIS kept saying "Caliber" have to be match to permit.
        and definitions of "Caliber" is diameter of bore or bullet (by California Handgun certificate manual), and none said "Caliber" is "type of Cartridge".
        Handgun Certificate manual also said "Caliber is written on side of Barrel".
        Both "Cal.9 short" and "380 auto" engraved on My 84FS barrel. and engraved "84FS CHEETAH- CAL.9 Short" on receiver.
        That's why I am confused.

        I asked this question to Bureau of Security and Investigative Service who issued me permit, they didn't answer me yes or no but suggested me to contact to California DOJ firearm division.
        I sent e-mail to DOJ, but they didn't give me answer either.

        maybe I should add 380 to my permit even renew will be just few month away, or buy snobby 38, compact 9mm or even sub compact 40.
        But if I buy new gun, I have to go Vegas to re-qualify and resister my new gun for NV CCW. otherwise I will be illegal in Nevada.
        Last edited by Limo LA; 02-07-2008, 04:52 AM.
        Not many but few chauffeurs are armed to protect clients.


        • #5
          Definition of "Caliber" 380 (9 short) and 9mm

          You cannot fire a .380 out of a "9mm" pistol , you cannot fire a 9mm in a .380 pistol, you cannot fire a .38 Super in any thing except a .38 cannot fire a .45ACP in a revolver with out half moon clips etc or some other means of headspacing/extracting you can fire a .38 Spl in a .357 but you cannot fire a .357 in a .38 spl. the us Gov't recognizes .380 as does SAMI as a standard US calibre by it self it also reconizes 9mm curz, 9mm corto(short) by them selves as european calibres just like the europeans call shot guns by their bore 12, 16, etc and We (the US ) call them by Gauge. now you know why I don't live in California


          • #6
            Some firearm can interchange caliber.
            But I'm not talking about interchangeablility.
            I asked BSIS who issued me firearm permit.
            They didn't give me clear answer but "Caliber is diameter of bullet" "You should contact with DOJ firearm division for more information"

            I contacted to DOJ firearm division.
            They said "If permit was issued by BSIS, you should contact to BSIS"

            Then I asked DOJ, "What is DOJ firearm division's definition for 9mm ? there are so many cartridges for 9mm caliber.
            9 x 19mm Parabellum (9mm Lugar) is popular and common when people just say "9mm".
            But as you know, there are also
            9 x 18mm Makarov
            9mm mauser
            9mm winchester
            9mm IMI
            9mm Browning (Short and Long)
            9mm Browning short have other name 9mm Kurz and 380 ACP.
            My question is
            Is "9mm Browning short" define "9mm caliber" by law ?"

            answer was
            The term "caliber" is defined as the "diameter of the bullet. A more precise or specific definition than that for the term 'caliber' has never been available from DOJ. "
            I knew they would say so.
            380ACP is not name of caliber, it's name of cartridge.
            But it means 357 and 38 are same "Caliber (same diameter of bullet)" .
            also 9mm, 38 (357) and 380.
            they should use term "type of firearm" instead of term "Caliber" for permit.
            Not many but few chauffeurs are armed to protect clients.