Caliber war, 38 super vs 40 S&W


Brian Williams
November 4, 2007, 10:39 PM
Which one is your favorite and why?

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November 4, 2007, 11:07 PM
I prefer the Super .38 myself mainly because of the history. The Super really shines at the reloading bench and is a great round to experiment with.
I have exchanged emails with John K. who developed the .40 S&W and he really knows his stuff.

November 4, 2007, 11:38 PM
i like the 38 super because its a step up over the rounds at the time, while the .40SW is a step down from its big brother the 10mm

November 5, 2007, 01:22 AM
I really like the .40 because it brought more power into the small carry guns category, while the .38 super is too large to be put in a true sub-compact.

November 5, 2007, 01:40 AM
I choose the .40 simply for the fact that it's available in a wider variety of weapons. Nothing to do with the caliber of course, but not everyone is a 1911 fan, sadly.

November 5, 2007, 06:09 AM
.38 super because the .40 is an answer to a question I didn't ask.

November 5, 2007, 07:02 AM
Been a big fan of the Super 38 for many years; but they do require some extra work to get the most out of them. I've owned four 40's; they all worked just fine, but never seemed to get really decent accuracy out of any of them.

November 5, 2007, 09:46 AM
.40 S&W. Just because I like it better, of those two anyway.

November 5, 2007, 09:54 AM
We've got a pair of both and like them all. The .38 Super is a nice round to shoot loaded heavy, light, slow or fast. Brass is not common. Factory loads from the big boys are pretty weak so some fool does not blow up his .38 Auto with a .38 Super Auto load. So you've got to handload to have any fun with it.
The .40S&W is as common as dirt. Seems like all the cops are shooting them I have guys at my club giving away .40 brass to me. This round can also be loaded heavy, light, slow or fast. But you can also buy tons of factory ammo for the .40S&W.
I'm comfortable using either for any duty, target, run and gun, self defense or just turning money into smoke and noise.

November 5, 2007, 09:59 AM
Both penetrate 12" or more but .40 makes a bigger hole.

<--- chooses .40.

November 5, 2007, 10:22 AM
I prefer .40 simply because it is common. I believe it is cheaper. And it works from all reports. THis is not saying .38 super is a bad round but I am a broke student and it isnt for me.

November 5, 2007, 10:43 AM
I like the big-bore caliber in a compact size take for example the G27 and the MK40 - now that's a lot of firepower in the size of a j-frame.

November 5, 2007, 08:35 PM
I like them both, but I'd put the .38 Super ahead of the .40 in my own rankings.

The Super really shines out of a 1911.

The .40 is a nice caliber to have in a smaller, more concealable semi auto.

November 5, 2007, 09:16 PM
I prefer the feel of the 38 super over the 40 cal...the hotter 38 supers are just fun to shoot.

November 5, 2007, 09:24 PM
.38 super, because I love 1911's

November 5, 2007, 10:03 PM
Accuracy: .38 Super. Headspacing a .38 Super on the case mouth slayed the dragon for accuracy. So far the accuracy dragon hasn't been found for the .40

Popularity: .40, but the Super seems to have a resurgence building.

Terminal effectiveness: .40, simply for bullet availability. Yes, the Super can be loaded to .357 Sig performance but you're pushing the envelope a bit.

Which one for me: I'll take one of each, thank you very much!

November 5, 2007, 10:52 PM
I feel a more important question is .357 sig vs .40 s&w.

November 5, 2007, 11:28 PM
I don't know what Voodoo they are using over in Finland, but Vihta Vuori has .38 Super data that leaves the .357 SIG in the dust. Published figures go up to about 1600 fps for a 124 gr. bullet from a 5.5" barrel. Hell the starting load for that powder is 1400 fps.

November 5, 2007, 11:51 PM
I'd have to see that over a chronograph to believe it. 1600 fps in a .357 magnum with that weight bullet would be a pretty darn spicy load much less the smaller 38 super.

November 6, 2007, 12:43 AM
That's about what I was thinking. If it is feasible, I imagine it's a fully-supported-chamber-only type load.

November 6, 2007, 02:22 AM
I own a .40S&W, I dont own a .38super. So my favorite round is the one that fits my gun. But being that I have never fired a .38super I cant really comment on it. In hindsight I may have been better off without hitting the reply button.

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