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At 85% the size of a standard 1911, Browning’s 1911-380 is aimed at that Goldilocks zone: small and light enough to conceal easily, but big and heavy enough for its caliber to shoot easily.

Thanks to advancements in projectile and powder technologies, .380 ACP can be a legitimate self-defense choice, too. While painfully peppy in the particularly popular pocket pistol paradigm, in this piece it’s a practical palm pampering pussycat. Promise.

Apparently the market agrees, and Browning is responding by expanding the product line. Press release follows . . .

Browning Adds Five New Pistols to the Black Label 1911-380 Line

Since the introduction of the Black Label 1911-380, Browning has continued to add new offerings to this popular line of handy pistols. For 2017 Browning will offer five new models of the Black Label 1911-380 pistol.

The new Black Label 1911-380 Medallion Pro will be available in Full Size and Compact versions. These new pistols will feature an aluminum-reinforced composite frame and slide with a handsome blackened stainless steel finish with silver brush polished flats. Grips on this new model are checkered rosewood with a gold Buckmark logo. The pistol comes with two magazines. The Full Size model barrel length is 4-1/4” and the Compact barrel length is 3-5/8”.  Both the Full Size and Compact versions are available with steel 3-dot sights or steel night sights. Suggested retail price with the 3-dot sights for both models is $799.99, and the suggested retail price with night sights is $879.99.

Browning is also adding three Compact models to the 1911-380 line in 2017.

The Black Label 1911-380 Compact has the same features as the Black Label 1911-380 Full Size but with a shorter, 3-5/8 inch barrel. This model has composite black grips and includes fixed combat sights. The suggested retail price is $669.99.

Browning is also adding Compact models to both the Black Label Pro and the Black Label Pro with Rail. Both of these models have 3-5/8” barrels and are available with either steel 3-dot sights or steel night sights. The Black Label Pro Compact has a suggested retail price of $799.99 for the 3-dot model and $879.99 for the night sight model. The Black Label Pro Compact with Rail with 3-dot sight has a suggested retail price of $829.99 and the railed night sight model has a suggested retail price of $909.99.

For more information on Browning products, please visit the website at

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      • The directors of the firm hired to continue the gun design after the other people had been sacked, wish it to be known that they have just been sacked. The gun designs have been completed in an entirely different style at great expense and at the last minute.

  1. I don’t get 380 1911’s. How hard is it to shoot a 9mm? Oh and I shot Pow’rBall out of a Taurus TCP with zero stress. They do look cool…

    • Scaling it down by 15% and chambering it in .380 is pretty cool. I put a couple mags through one of these 1911-380s at SHOT Show and really enjoyed it. Self-defense or not, the size is handy and easy to manipulate and it was accurate and nice. There really aren’t a lot of .380 ACP guns that are a good fit for target shooting with good triggers and sights and the kind of build you’d expect in a decent 1911.

      I really like 9mm 1911s, but if I had smaller hands or was recoil averse or if .380 was less expensive than 9mm or if my wife/kid wanted to get into shooting, etc, I’d own one of these.

      • I always thought a budget (key word there) CCO-style 1911 in .380 or 9mm would be a great idea, and I cant be the first person with that idea. This almost fits the bill. Here’s to hoping they make a MA-complaint version anytime soon.

      • Grand Power makes the P380 that is not a tiny gun. 3.3 inch barrel, 12+1 capacity and weighs about 26 ounces. According to Graham Bates web site it is a very soft shooter (no surprise). Would be great for a kids starter pistol or someone who is recoil sensitive for whatever reason.

        • That Grand Power is actually slightly smaller than Beretta 84FS with 13+1. Both are blowback guns that have a potential for elevated recoil, when compared with the likes of the Browning 1911-380 or Glock 42.

    • You don’t know anyone too frail to handle a 9mm? My mother in-law, for example, is.
      I think .380s are good for people like that and longer barrels and more weight is a good idea for them too.

      • Likewise, my mom or sister might like a carry gun like this. They could easily run a mid-full size 9mm (Glock 19, Beretta 92), but wouldn’t like a Shield/LC9/Glock43 sized 9mm.

        Guns that size in .380 are better for older, or weaker folks.

        • My brother bought one of these for his wife after she got her CCW.
          Had a chance to shoot it at his home range and was impressed as I’m a 1911 fan big time.
          Thinking of getting one for my wife to carry as well.

      • I don’t, actually, but even so I would think the market for such people is ably served with .38s

        .380 auto is the caliber I think of when I want something as small as I can get while still hopefully having an effective enough round to do the job with a couple shots…

          • Many are straight blowback and have very stiff recoil springs, or are pocket guns with stiff recoil springs and little surface area to grab. With a locked breech recoil system and larger size, the spring on these (and the Walther PK380, for example) is a lot softer and there’s plenty of slide to grip. Particularly with the hammer cocked, it’s easy to rack.

            …still, if you’re talking serious arthritis or greatly diminished hand strength, a revolver in a soft-shooting caliber is a great choice.

        • You are ignoring that fact that these are larger short recoil operated guns that are likely much easier to rack than a tiny little blow back gun. Because they are not as you are used to .380s being they are a better product for those with weaker hands.

        • Wasn’t the original Remington 51 a .380 Pederson action?

          That one is easy to work the slide…

        • With the availability of easily pocketable 9mm pistols I don’t see much use for 380 unless it has a long barrel. We bought the Browning because my wife was recovering from a broken arm and she was having trouble racking the slide on her M-9. After she recovered I started carrying it as an anti-critter gun but discovered it was a great carry gun when I want to go light. Unlike pocket 380s, JHP rounds expand and meet FBI penetration standards.

        • The Browning is very easy to rack, but only if pre-cocked. In general, I suggest Glock 42 with Tango Down racker plate in such circumstances.

    • These look great for plinking, with .380 ammo now coming down from the ridiculous high prices of a few years ago.

      I will probably get one of these eventually.

    • We own both a Taurus tcp and a Glock 42 in .380. I shoot 10mm often but carry a .380 m a NY times when I need to deep conceal. The TCP is brutal on the range to run many rounds . The Glock is not reliable if the shooter in the least limp wrists as it will stove pipe every time. The little Browning shoots like a .22 is dead nuts accurate reliable as it gets and is IMO well worth the money. We intend to buy one. Right now looking at a 5 inch double stack 10mm but next one after that will likely be one of the Browning .380’s.

  2. I’d love to meet the marketing guys at Browning. How do you sell self defense guns in a company that pushes only the Outdoor & long gun products?

    Still a Hi power fan

    • Browning is owned by FNH. They have a nice line of pistols called FNP or FNX in 9 or 40 or 45. Oh, and the cool looking FN FiveSeven, too.

  3. This article reads like a “sponsored post”.

    These pistols are nice. My (female) coworker has one, and the similarly sized .22 to go with it.

    Personally, I prefer my Shield 9mm for this size class, but I’ll still admit that these are cool, and make a nice “ladies” gun. I’d recommend one to my wife, mom, or sister, though the Ruger LC380 (not LCP) is probably a better and certainly cheaper way to go.

    • It’s a copied-and-pasted press release with limited personal thoughts preceding it. In this case, I think these guns are unique and in my limited experience with them I liked them a lot.

      We’ll be posting more press releases on new products as they roll in, throwing them up more or less immediately (or on the half-hour) and not replacing any normal content with them. We all want to learn about new stuff coming out! In many cases, I’m sure the brief thoughts preceding the pasted press release will be much more cynical. Just the truth, as usual, as one person sees it.

  4. Not counting people with physical handicaps, .380 or less should come in a gun small enough and light enough to be unnoticeable inside a pocket.

  5. I know that an awful lot of money went into engineering this gun, but still, the price is pretty frightful. I am assuming that they all have composite frames, which ought to be significantly less expensive than aluminum frames, and accounts for their light 17 oz weight. For all you haters, I think this would be a perfect bedside gun for my 85 year old mother, much better than a double action revolver, and with better capacity (8 rounds) to boot.

    • Yeah, IIRC the frames are mostly composite with a 7075 aluminum chassis and rails and trigger and such.

    • No kidding, keep hoping they introduce a metal frame for the 380s, the first 22 models had them. I’m amazed there are people paying this much for a plastic framed gun that doesn’t say H&K and even H&K has recognized the need for lower prices on their products.

    • You.might want to consider the RIA Baby Rock. Runs about $400. It is steel framed and from what I have read feels like you are shooting a 22.

      • I’m not buying these claims. Baby Rock is a blowback gun. Even if it feels okay at first, it will start slapping your hand when the recoil spring sags a little. I haven’t seen one for Baby Rock, but there’s a thread at Beretta forum abut the Cheetah, where half of the posters complain that it kicks like a mule and half claim that it’s soft like .22LR.

        • I bought my wife a Baby Rock for Christmas. It is currently at their service center due to chronic failure to feed issues. The recoil is stout and starts to sting the webbing between the thumb and forefinger after several magazines. The recoil reminds me of a Sig P230/232. The sights are not the best but manage to get the job done if the shooter does their part. My wife loves this gun as it fits her smaller hands well. It is an uncomfortable pistol in my hands but will tear out the bulls eye if I do my part. I really hope that RIA makes it work as my wife has starting accompanying me to the range more frequently since acquiring it.They only come with one magazine. Additional magazines are unobtanium–there simply aren’t any out there. I have tried many times to buy them direct from RIA but they are always out of stock.

    • This Browning feels much more like a full size gun than the Micro, not really comparable in my opinion. The Micro is a pocket 380 – the Browning is not.

  6. The new sights seem promising. I presume they are compatible with something else, like a grown-up 1911. The original sights were impossible to find — nobody wanted to make dedicated sights just for a niche, boutique pistol.

  7. Like the Kimber Micro 380, which has been out for a while, these fill a nitch. Unfortunately, like the Kimber Micro 380, I can’t get one in California. The only place I can get something like this is in the consignment section of a gun shop… which is what I also did yesterday which I picked up a Ruger Mark III Hunter. Yesterday I purchased a Bersa Firestorm 380. I have carried a .380 since the mid 1970s when I purchased a Firearms International Model D (Colt Pony clone) as my backup. The .380 ammo has greatly improved since the 70s. I eagerly await the arrival of a .380 I can buy here.

    I have contacted Kimber, Wilson Combat, and others about either getting a .380 certified in California or producing a .380 conversion kit. A couple seemed receptive. Most just avoid CA. I imagine if we revolted, arms would be flowing across the state line.

    • California’s microstamping requirement cannot be met. No new pistols have been or will be added to the Roster since that took effect (which was in 2012, if I’m not mistaken). It just isn’t technically feasible.

  8. I have this, the cheapest model with simple sights, and when I’m not blowing rounds out my .45’s and 9mm (s), this is a real pleasure to shoot. And, I’m not 85 years old,….yet. Hoping to make it in the next few decades.

  9. Don’t get the hate…

    Not something I need or want, but choices are good, aren’t they? They must be a good fit for SOMEBODY, since they’re not only still making them, but expanding the line-up.

  10. The real advantage of this gun is that your adversary thinks it is 15% farther away from him than it really is.

  11. Did they move the ejector so it ejects duds now, or did they not? Fully serious, when I complained about it, other owners told me “oh, I just filed the ejector with a jeweler’s file until it started working”. I don’t know if I dare to do this, because the little piece seems flimsy. Also, it’s not removable, so if I file just a bit too far back, the whole gun is ruined.

  12. 9 mm is as small as I prepared to go. I have owned a Sig P230 30 years ago, beautiful, handy, futuristic looking and fairly accurate but no very powerful because is was a 380 cal. I sold it and bough a bigger gun (a P226 in 9mm). So no, I would not buy a 380 in whatever the platform. A 9 mm can provide twice the kinetic energy so why go smaller? This more like a novelty gun regardless of how high quality it may be.

    • You might want to look at the ballistics for some of the newer .380 offerings before remaining stuck in that particular mindset/rut.

    • Hope you are joking that a .380 is a “novelty gun!! I stopped a 100 lb Alapaha bulldog dead in his tracks with 2 rounds from a Taurus Tcp. Fired twice hit twice game over can do the same with a human if need be. If I have a Tcp in my hands and you are within 20 yards trust me you have a real problem. I put fist size groups in the 10 ring at 10 yards regularly with both my TCP and my Glock 42.

  13. Cool idea but it looks like execution fail to me.

    How does the saying go? A 9mm will kill your body but a .45 will kill you soul? So what does a .380 kill? Your wallet?

    A 1911 in .45 can sort of justify the lower cap givin that it is shooting a small bowling ball. This 85% 1911 shoots .380 and still only has 8 rounds in the mag. And have you seen the MSRP on these? The are other offerings in .380 that give you more rounds at a 1/2 to a 1/3 the cost.

    A modern 9mm shooting soft loads can’t have much more recoil that these and those usually start at 12 rounds and go up from there.

  14. I have nerve damage in my hands from my past work in construction (jackhammer).

    I really liked this gun when I rented it. It shot very well for me with no recoil.

    I ended up buying a different gun from a competitor. I just didn’t like the polymer frame. I know lots love their plastic guns, but a little 1911 like this would be so classy with an option for a metal frame.

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