Click pictures for a larger version.
Magazine release (top), slide lock (bottom).
Ambidextrous manual safety.
Firing pin safety.
It has been about two years ago that Colt
reintroduced the Colt Mustang 380 semi-automatic pistol. This
dandy little pistol had been out of production for a few years,
and has been welcomed by those who prefer a pocket pistol that
handles, operates, and runs like a miniature 1911. The Mustang
PocketLite is a quality piece, built of stainless steel with
an aluminum frame, and is an excellent pocket pistol. Now, Colt
has just introduced the Mustang XSP, which is pretty much the
PocketLite, but with a polymer frame and a few subtle
differences. They are small differences, but in my opinion, the
differences make the Mustang XSP a better pistol.
First, and of great importance to me, is that
Colt has put an ambidextrous safety on the XSP, making it much
more useful for left-handed shooters like me. There are many 380
pocket guns on the market, but some shooters prefer a pistol
with a manual safety for pocket carry, and with the inclusion of
an ambidextrous safety, this little XSP is an excellent choice,
regardless of which hand you use to fire the pistol. Like the
PocketLite, the slide is machined from stainless bar stock, but
on the XSP, it wears a black finish that compliments the black
polymer frame, and contrasts nicely with the matte stainless
magazine release, slide lock, thumb safety levers, and hammer.
The black polymer frame is heavily textured for a
positive hold, but is not abrasive to the hand. There is a
slight relief just behind the trigger guard, similar to the
relief on the Colt XSE
Series 1911 pistols, which allows the pistol to sit slightly
lower in the shooter’s hand. It is a small change, but makes a
positive difference in the feel of the weapon in the hand. The
XSP front sight is a significant improvement over the
PocketLite, dovetailed into the slide and easier to see.
Changing the front sight out to a tritium
XS Big Dot would be a simple and quick procedure, if the
owner wants to do so. The front of the trigger guard is squared
on the XSP, which I like, as I prefer to shoot a pistol with the
first finger of my support hand placed there for better control.
That was a popular way to shoot a pistol several years ago, but
is now frowned upon by many expert trainers. However, I do not
have the handicap of being an expert, so it works very well for
me. The Colt Mustang XSP is also a bit lighter in weight than
the PocketLite by almost one and one-half ounces. The slide
serrations on the XSP are slightly angled, which looks better
than the serrations on the PocketLite, in my opinion, and seems
to offer a better purchase for the operation the slide. The true
frame of the pistol, which in inserted into the polymer frame,
is made of lightweight aluminum, which is black anodized to
match the polymer frame and stainless slide.
The ramped barrel is highly polished in the ejection port
area, as well as on the feed ramp.
The dust cover section of the frame has an integral
accessory rail. Hopefully, Crimson Trace will soon have a
Laserguard made to fit this little Colt. Just ahead of the thumb
safety levers are molded-in thumb rests, which make it very
comfortable for the shooter’s thumb to rest atop the safety
lever while firing the pistol, and the dovetail under the hammer
is plenty large enough to protect the shooter’s hand from
hammer or slide bite.
specifications for the Mustang XSP are listed in the chart
below. Weights are listed in ounces. Linear dimensions are
listed in inches. Trigger pull is listed in pounds of
resistance, as measured with my Lyman digital trigger pull
scale. Height includes sights and magazine floor plate. Maximum
width is measured across the ambidextrous safety levers.
Weight includes empty magazine.
with empty magazine
||4 pounds 5 ounces
||Black, windage adjustable
|MSRP (as of 8-22-13)
fired the Mustang XSP with every brand and type of 380 auto
ammunition available to me to check for reliable function. I
fired a variety of ammunition over the chronograph to check
velocities, with the results listed in the chart below.
Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (FPS). Bullet weights
are listed in grains. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint bullet.
TAC-XP and DPX are Barnes hollow nose homogenous copper bullets.
FMJ is a full metal jacket roundnose bullet. FP is a full metal
jacket flat-nose bullet. PB
is Cor-Bon Pow’RBall. HC is a
hard-cast flat-nose lead bullet. Velocities were taken at an
elevation of 541 feet above sea level, ten feet from the muzzle,
with an air temperature hovering around the eighty-six degree
Fahrenheit mark, with eighty-two percent
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Buffalo Bore FMJ
|Buffalo Bore HC +P
|Buffalo Bore TAC-XP +P
|Buffalo Bore JHP +P
|Buffalo Bore FMJ +P
The little Mustang XSP is a delight to fire,
handling very much like a miniature 1911. It is the
most-comfortable to shoot of the Mustang pistols, due to its
improved ergonomics. Just the slight changes in the shape of the
frame make a notable difference in the feel, compared to the
PocketLite pistol. As
expected, the Colt XSP ran perfectly with almost every brand and
type of ammunition fed it. My only functioning problems were
with Atomic hollowpoint ammunition. They would often fail to
eject. I also had one failure to eject with Buffalo Bore
grain JHP, but that was not expected, and that same ammunition
ran perfectly for every other shot fired from the XSP. Other
than that, the little Colt ran flawlessly, and this reinforces
the point to, no matter what gun you are firing, run at least a
couple of dozen rounds of your chosen load through your carry
gun, to assure that it will function with that particular load.
Atomic ammo usually runs great in 380 pistols, but would not in
this particular Colt. I fired the little pistol on paper and
steel targets out to twenty-five yards. The sights offered an
excellent sight picture in daylight, but for carry as a
defensive weapon, the addition of night sights such as the
aforementioned XS Big Dot would be a great improvement for use
in poor lighting conditions.
The Colt Mustang XSP is an excellent choice for a pocket pistol
that is small enough and light enough to always be within reach.
Stoked with seven rounds of good high-performance hollowpoint
ammunition, it would serve well as a defensive weapon in a
close-range gunfight. The XSP has no magazine disconnect safety,
but has the manual safety as well as a firing pin safety. If the
hammer is cocked, the slide can be cycled with the safety on or
off. If the hammer is down and the safety applied, the hammer
cannot be cocked nor the slide cycled. This is a very safe
pocket pistol to carry, but can be brought into the fight
quickly and naturally. I prefer to carry the XSP in condition
one; chamber loaded, safety on, and the hammer cocked. To fire,
simply disengage the safety as the pistol is pointed towards the
target, and press the trigger. An added bonus to those who own
1911 style pistols is that the little XSP has pretty much the
same manual of arms, offering familiarity of operation between
the primary fighting pistol, and the one that is more likely to
be with reach when needed: the XSP. The Colt Mustang XSP is the
best version of the Colt Mustang family of pistols, and like all
Colt pistols, it is made in the USA. If you are looking for a lightweight 380 pocket pistol, there
are cheaper choices on the market, but I know of none better
than this little Colt XSP. You never regret buying the best.
Check out the extensive line of Colt firearms
and accessories online at www.colt.com.
For the location of a Colt dealer near you,
click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order Colt firearms online, go to www.galleryofguns.com.
To order quality holsters for the Mustang
XSP, go to www.simplyrugged.com,
order quality 380 ACP ammunition online, go to www.buffalobore.com,
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Click pictures for a larger version.
XSP comes with hard case, instruction manual, two
magazines, and cable lock.
Pistol comes with two six-round steel magazines.
Buffalo Bore Standard Pressure 90-grain JHP is an
excellent defensive load with low recoil.