Colt Mustang XSP 380 Automatic
Handguns, all handguns are a compromise. Between weight, size, capacity, caliber, and ease of use. Depending on what the primary use of the handgun is, will dictate the areas of compromise you concentrate on. When choosing a dedicated concealed carry handgun, one that will be carried much more than shot, you may favor the gun that is small and lightweight. If you choose wisely, you will be more apt to carry the gun and not leave it behind. The .380 Auto on your person is infinitely better then the .45 Auto at home. With that said, proficiency with any and all of your firearms is paramount.
In order to address this, Colt has a new take on a proven design. The new Mustang incorporates a polymer receiver creating the Mustang XSP. With the new polymer receiver almost an ounce is saved over the Mustang Pocketlite (which I reviewed here). Don’t get me wrong, the Pocketlite is a fine carry pistol but it is nice to have options. With the advances in polymer I have no issues with polymer receivers as an option on handguns.
I first saw the Mustang XSP at SHOT show 2014. It appeared to be well done and after being on the market a little while now it also appears to be well received. I have had the test sample a few months now, so Allison and I have both carried and shot it plenty enough to be able to form an opinion.
Left and right side
A close up of the slide stop and magazine catch. Both serrated to aid in finger traction. The front strap is also textured. The squared off trigger guard is generous enough where a gloved finger can still have access.
The left side of the ambidextrous thumb safety and Commander style rowel hammer. Something to note on the safety, it can be engaged and then the slide racked, loading the chamber. That is a nice feature as you can first put the safety on, then load and/or unload the pistol.
The right side of the ambidextrous safety as well as the trigger which broke clean at 5 1/2 pounds with some take up and a little overtravel. The cocking serrations were deep enough to allow a solid purchase to rack the slide, but not bad enough to cause issues when carried close to the skin.
The slide locked back on an empty magazine, an important feature even with the little defensive guns. I believe they should run as any other pistol you have, so you don’t have to retrain yourself depending on the gun you are running.
The rear of the Mustang showing the textured backstrap and the slide to receiver fit. The rear sight is dovetailed in.
The textured stocks, are a part of the receiver so this is what you get. No worries though, they worked well.
The front sight is also dovetailed into the slide. A nice touch but I would have liked to see some color on it. Some folks like that and some don’t. It is no problem to add some color if you so choose.
The ramped barrel was will supported, and gave no trouble even when left uncleaned.
A very small accessory rail.
As it shipped in the Colt blue clam shell box with the extra magazine, lock, and all the paperwork.
Range trips and video summery.
On the initial range trip is when we shot the Mustang for accuracy at twenty-five yards. In my opinion this is excellent accuracy for the little Colt. We also shot it at the twenty-five foot mark and twelve shot groups were easily inside of the three inch circle offhand. All rounds proved reliable and the little Colt gave us no trouble.
The 380 Auto has come a long way in so far as a defensive round, as seen in my ballistic test. Though maybe not an ideal defensive cartridge as compared to the .45 or 10mm Auto it still has it’s merits. One advantage is the .380 can be chambered in smaller guns, easier and more comfortable to carry and conceal. It is also softer recoiling so those who may be a bit recoil sensitive can still operate it with confidence. This is where the Mustang XSP shines as small, light, easy to carry reliable platform. It can also serve as a solid back up pistol to those who choose to carry multiple handguns and space is a factor, and which it usually is. Another good point on the Mustang XSP is it is reliable with any of the Mustang magazines including the Mustang Plus II, though that magazine does protrude a bit from the bottom. I considered purchasing the test sample as I liked the little Mustang but Allison beat me to it, bought the Colt and has pressed it into service as her primary carry pistol. I am sure she will be well served by it. Oh and since it is her’s she has to clean it after all those rounds.