FEG SMC-380

 

FEG SMC-380 pistol

FEG SMC-380 - 1990 model

 

 

Technical Information

Manufacturer: Fegyver- és Gépgyár (FEG)
Model: SMC-380
Total Weight with empty magazine: 514g
Country of Origin: Hungary
Barrel Length: 87mm
Calibre: 9mmK (380 ACP)
Length of pistol: 153mm
Action: single / double action semi automatic
Width of pistol: 32mm
Magazine Capacity: 6 Height of pistol:105mm

 

General Information

FEG was an arms manufacturer in Hungary and manufactured arms for the military and police force of Hungary from 1935 right up to 2004 when the company filed for bankruptcy. The company is famous for manufacturing copies of famous brands of guns, like the Browning high power (model PJK-9HP). The model SMC-380 is no exception and is a virtually identical copy of the Walther PPK chambered for 9mmK. This model was issued to South African police detectives during the early 1980's and was also used as a backup gun during some police operations as the gun is very small and conceals well. A lot of these pistols were also sold under the name "Luger" here in South Africa, which is not entirely correct. I suppose because Hungary was part of the communist block copyright laws and such were not particularly enforced.

 

The FEG model SMC-380 is a straight blowback pistol and is configured in single / double action. The pistol is very small, thin and light. The aluminium / titanium alloy frame is very resistant to wear.

 

Ergonomics

Firing the FEG SMC-380 is not the best of experiences I've ever had. Being extremely light due to the aluminium / titanium alloy frame and having no lock-up mechanism (it's pure blow-back) means that recoil is countered only by the recoil spring. Felt recoil is very heavy and the shooter must ensure a very tight grip on the small handgun to prevent possible injury to the shooter's hand. The reasonably small rear beavertail and sharp rear end of the slide does not help either. If the shooters hand is not positioned well below the beavertail, then the slide will cut into the web of the shooters hand, causing a painful and potentially bloody experience. Being a "backup gun" sight are extremely small and quite difficult to get accurately on target. Accuracy is also not the best, but still acceptable for such a small sight radius. Engaging the safety will drop the hammer and also activate the firing pin block is the slide. Firing the gun after the safety was engaged implies that it must be fire in "double action" mode in which the trigger is extremely heavy. It is very safe to carry the handgun with a round in the chamber, but be prepared for an extremely difficult firing (and therefore possible inaccurate) of first round. Magazine capacity is six rounds in a single stack magazine which should be sufficient for backup purpose. This firearm was never designed to be a main self-defence firearm. The slide does lock back when the last round is fired, but there is no slide release lever. This means that the slide needs to be pulled back and release after a new magazine is inserted into the firearm. This makes it very difficult to quickly clear a "double feed" type of misfire even if you have big strong hands. Simply racking the slide requires considerable force and ladies with small hands will have difficulty in safely handling and firing this firearm. The magazine release button is located next to the trigger guard and can easily be accessed by using the left thumb. It does not have a drop-free magazine.

 

 

Reliability

The FEG SMC-380 is very reliable. I have yet to have a single misfeed / failure to fire or any other reliability related problem. I must admit that I do not fire this firearm often and it does not have a huge round count on it. I have test fired some PMC hollow points, 95grain lead as well as 115grain Frontier CMJ's and they all cycle and feed without problems.

 

Determining Year of Manufacture

Unfortunately it is impossible to determine the year of manufacture on FEG firearms. Seems they did not use a fixed system to determine the year in which the firearm was manufactured. My pistol was however bought new in box in 1991 so I can assume it was manufactured in either 1990 or 1991.

 

Accuracy and reloading

Targets coming soon...

 

Buller weight (grain) Powder Type (SomChem) Powder charge (grain) COL (mm) Projectile speed (ft/sec)
115 Frontier CMJ MP200 3.2 25.2 coming soon

 

Information about the calibre

The 9mmK is known by a number of aliases. It is also called the 9x17, 9mm Browning Short, 380Auto, 380ACP, 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz, 9mm Short.

Technically, it is a 9mm bullet, with a case length of 17mm and was designed by John Browning in 1908.

 

Overall Impression

The FEG SMC-380 does what it is supposed to do. It is a reliable back-up gun. It is not however designed for a lot of target shooting and not particularly fun to shoot. It is challenge to shoot accurately due to the very hard first double action shot required after activating the safely. It is small and can conceal well and can save your life if needs be.

 

 

 

FEG SMC-380 field stripped