About Colt Mustang .380

Colt shown with original box and extra factory grips

4 Star Rating: Recommended

The Colt Mustang was manufactured from 1986-1997 (10-12 years). The nickel finish was discontinued in 1994 (only 9 years).

My gun was made in 1992. This particular gun rates very high on my list of collectibles! I've always been partial to nickel plating because I live in the deep south where the humidity can be 80% (not good for blued guns).

The .380 Colt Mustang is ideal for concealment due to it's size and design.

Many states that issue pistol permits today, require that the handgun be concealed. Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) by necessity are generally smaller in size and lighter in weight.

What's my opinion on minimum caliber? The number one (really the only) qualifying factor is environment. I have a .32 semi-auto and a .32 revolver, both of which I feel very comfortable carrying in my environment. The follow-up question that always arises when talking about minimum caliber is, "which is more important, caliber or shot placement"? Given the opportunity for optimal shot placement at very close range, a .22 or .25 caliber can be as deadly as a .45. Again, I think the environment rules.

In all honesty, I can imagine a lot of environmental situations where anything less than a .357 or .45 would be uncomfortable.

In order to make this gun even lighter, Colt installed a plastic guide rod. I purchased an after-market steel guide rod and put it up (haven't installed it).

Colt Mustang with magazine removed

Colt Mustang: Although this gun has never been fired (except the test fire at the factory), I have carried it daily for the last 10 or 12 years. This gun is 21 years old. I paid $750 plus $25 shipping and $25 transfer fee for a total of $800 in 2001. I wouldn't sell this particular gun for three times what I paid, because I've yet to see another nickel finish, unfired gun in the box with real mother of pearl grips from the factory, for sale on any of the online auctions that I monitor. The grips alone are worth $500 on the market.

The Gun Books won't rate the value of this gun that high and many collectors might say I'm crazy. This is one of those cases where the gun is worth a lot to me personally. Would I pay $2,400 for another one just like it? Probably not to have a second one (to store in a safe, I hate doing that with guns), but if I had to replace this one, you bet.

Colt Mustang with box and factory extra grips

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question or comment

Comments and feedback welcome ...

I do not have access to the serial number tables for this line, so I'm afraid I wont' be much help in dating one of these guns. UPDATE: Colt began production of these guns again in 2011 to celebrate its 175th anniversary.

Ultimate Concealed Carrywallet holster

Colt Mustang in Ron Graham wallet holster

The holster pictured above was custom made for my Colt Mustang by Ron Graham. This holster is one of my all-time favorites. The name of the holster is the "Scorpion" and it is done in ostrich.


  • 1.

    Specifications of my 1992 gun

    Colt Mustang: Caliber - .380 ACP, 2.75" bbl., 5.5" Overall, Weight - 18.5 ounces, Finish - Nickel, Grips - Factory Mother-of-Pearl for presentation and black composition for carry and firing.
  • 2.

    Pocket Guns and Weight

    At 18.5 ounces, this gun is heavier than some of it's competition in the same .380 caliber. I think the balance and handling advantage during firing outweighs the slight disadvantage of heft and weight while carrying.
  • 3.

    Size and Caliber

    As gun designs get smaller and lighter, generally the caliber gets smaller. Many gun enthusiasts consider the .380 caliber too small for self defense, while many consider the .380 to be the minimum caliber. There has been a lot of testing and changes in bullet design down through the years. There's a pretty big variety of .380 ammunition to choose from.


  • .380 Colt Mustang next to ink pen for size comparison
  • Nickel plated Colt Mustang
  • Colt Mustang with clip removed
  • Colt .380 Mustang in ostrich holster
  • Colt in open brief case, shown in leather holster