1911 ammo


July 16, 2009, 04:31 PM
I'll get a 1911, its inevitable. I just don't know what to get it chambered in... Always figured the 1911 model to be a great (if not best) fit for .45ACP, but what about 38 super? I don't even know what that is; can you slap a couple rounds of that in a .357/.38 revolver, or the cartridges dramatically different? I could also get a 9mm (and 10mm?) 1911... but I feel like if I'm going to get a 9 it might as well be a compact or subcompact.

So I guess I'm thinking 38 super (cause what other platform would you get that in, OR .45ACP (cause everyone should own/shoot a .45)

What are 38 super rounds all about?
What is your favorite round for a 1911 and why?

...thats not even mentioning the brands :uhoh: .... well, first things first.

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July 16, 2009, 04:37 PM
I don't think they make .45 acp anymore; something about raising the price to 99 bucks a box because of the elections, or something like that - not sure -
okay, okay, I'm just kidding......the 38 super is a great round, but really is much more expensive than the .45, also much louder......I like it
the .45 is milder sounding, less recoil, cheaper, very dependable, (in Ball-type), I love it

July 16, 2009, 04:42 PM
I'd go with the .45 ACP, at least for a first 1911. Then later on if you are interested you can go the .38 Super route.

I shoot mostly Blazer Brass FMJ in my Springfield MilSpec 1911A1. I keep it mainly as a fun shooting gun, not a defense piece, but the good thing about the .45 ACP is that, even if your gun is not throated for JHPs, hardball is still very effective for home or woods defense (though I wouldn't want to CCW .45 hardball because of possible over penetration issues).

July 16, 2009, 04:48 PM
38 super was the 357 of its day, it is popular in mexico

go with the 45 and get a 22 conversion kit for plinking

July 16, 2009, 04:50 PM
This glorious platform can shoot anything well. That said, the real advantage IMO is the ability to shoot a fairly devastating projectile comfortably and accurately. There's nothing wrong with a 9mm 1911 (or any other caliber), but other platforms are about as good and generally cost less. :D

July 16, 2009, 05:01 PM
Nope, the super is not interchangeable with .38/.357. It doesn't sound like you're a reloader, if you go the super route you might want to consider reloading due to cost and availability. I have 1911s in 9mm/10mm and .45. My next 1911 will be a .40 double stack for a Limited gun. If I don't go with the Tanfoglio Elite Match-------------first!

July 16, 2009, 05:15 PM
Got to agree with shooter1. If you are going to get a 1911 in 38 Super, take up reloading as well. They are expensive bullets. That being said, the 38 Super is one heck of a round. Much better than the 9mm in my opinion especially if you reload. Most of the match "race" guns are chambered in 38 Super. I own 2 45's and one 38 Super. The 45s get the grunt work, CHL, etc., with the 38 Super being carried every now and then. Like another poster said you could also get a 22 conversion unit for the 45 as well. I also have one of these. Really nice for inexpensive plinking if there is such a thing any more.

July 16, 2009, 06:04 PM
I have both in a Les Baer, if someone told me I had to give one up..... I think I would offer them my first born instead.LOL. That would be a hard choice, I would keep my 45 because I think it's abetter SD round. I have never had any problems finding range ammo for my 38 super. Our local gun range sales it and they are higher then anyone, but American Eagle 50 count is only $26 a box. I bought 4 boxes of Winchester Silvertip's 50 count for a total of $120 off GunBroker. I don't reload so I don't know if this is high or not, but it seems like a good price. If you don't have a SD weapon get the 45 if you do, get the 38 super and have a ball. If you do have trouble finding ammo for it let me know and I will pick some up for you if you pay cost and the shipping. Also plus 1 for 38 super being about the same as a 357 mag.

July 16, 2009, 06:12 PM
1911's in .38 Super are really nice guns to shoot. Anywhere from light loads to some pretty stout ones. (If you reload) I really like my two, a Springfield and a Colt (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=89839&d=1230312106), but the 1911 in .45 ACP is still number one.

July 16, 2009, 06:38 PM
.45acp if it's your 1st 1911, because once you get 1, more are to follow.

Variety is the spice of life. I have 1911's in .45acp, 9mm & .22lr.

July 16, 2009, 06:41 PM
1911 in anything other than .45 ACP is sacrilege. ;)

July 16, 2009, 06:43 PM
I had two and got rid of one. The other got stolen and i replaced it with a Ruger P90. Good riddance. All they'd reliably feed is ball. The one that got stolen would feed a Lee cast 200 grain rounded profile SWC if I set it out OAL far enough to head space on the rifling. Not the best deal, but only way I could get it to feed with that bullet. I have a 220 round nose I cast for a Ruger old army that I would size to .451 and it worked pretty well. But, generally, 1911s are made for ball and that's what they feed best. My Ruger will feed anything, flying ashtray, even an empty case. I have done it. I'm now very spoiled. :D

I wouldn't THINK of owning a 1911 in anything, but .45ACP. Buddy has one in 10mm and it has feeding issues that he never cured. I consider 10mm full power a little hot for the platform, anyway. .45 ball is what the gun was designed for. Stick with it.

July 16, 2009, 07:28 PM
I like the 9mm 1911s but I have never owned one only shot one. I would get it in a commander length.

July 16, 2009, 07:35 PM
A .38 Super 1911 is awfully easy to convert back and forth to 9mm (and 9x23 :D but that's a whole 'nother can of worms). :D

July 16, 2009, 07:38 PM
my RIA feeds the lee cast 200 SWC without a hitch, would it have any problems with Hornaday's 230g XTP's?

July 16, 2009, 08:56 PM
Definitely go with 45ACP. 38 Super is more expensive and harder to find.

July 16, 2009, 10:23 PM
I see this statement all the time, but I disagree. Compared to 9 MM the .38 Super is expensive, but compared to .45 ACP the two rounds are right in the same ballpark. If you want to complain about lack of availability and variety in .38 Super I'll agree with that, but don't tell the guy not to select the .38 Super because .45 ACP is less expensive. It's just not true.

Now that I've got that off my chest, I'd would pick the .45 ACP as a first 1911.

July 16, 2009, 10:28 PM
Just like any other platform, a quality production 1911 will feed just about any bullet profile you'd care to feed it. That old story of 1911s only being reliable with ball is a bunch of bull in any 1911 of modern design. Some of the Asian and South American imports manufactured to the old specs might have feeding problems with SD ammo. My limited experience with those hasn't turned up any serious feeding problems with LSWC or HP bullets.

July 16, 2009, 10:42 PM
The .38 Super first became popular in 1911s because certain action shooting sports require a certain power level before it is considered a "major" caliber. The .38 super can be more easily loaded to make major than the 9mm. Yet, it has less recoil than a .45 acp and therefore allows quicker follow up shots.

Everyone needs a 1911 .45 acp. However, the 9 mm is nice because you can still shoot them without taking out a mortgage on the house.

July 17, 2009, 12:23 AM
Man o man I love THR. Let me just say that as far as info sharing by means of opinion goes, this is a solid place to start listening

I had lots to say as I was reading this down, but since KyJim was the latest: that is what i was thinking- everyone needs a 1911 .45 ACP. And from what I gather, the folks that respect the super already also own the .45.

That being said I'd love to hear more about the super (history, range stories, etc.)

Since this thread is some what short :p besides Kimber :o what brands do you like? I'm thinking about acquiring a 1911 for range work and self esteem purposes (doesn't mean it has to bend over my wallet).

What say you???

July 17, 2009, 07:40 AM
The "Super" came into existence in the 1920s as a more powerful replacement for the .38 ACP. It didn't catch on in the states until some 30 years later when action pistol sports started up. It was, and still is to some extent, quite popular in Mexico and South America. Like Jim said, it's easier to make major with the Super or the 9x23 than the 9x19. Making major with the super was risky business in the old days with the brass and powders available. Lots of the early shooters had the scars to show for their efforts. They called it, "Superface". If you want to shoot USPSA with a Super, go with the "Super Comp" or the 9x23. Otherwise, it would be prudent to stick with loadings in the factory pressure range.

July 17, 2009, 09:05 AM
You might try this guy, I was told he made the first official 9x23. I just received a custom Delta Elite by him and am very , very pleased. From what I've been told he was the go to guy in the 90's for custom work. Chuck Warner 505-917-7922, I think he would be a wealth of information on this. Just my 2 cents.

July 17, 2009, 11:53 AM
I like the .38 Super better than the .45. It has a flat trajectory, good accuracy and capable of delivering plenty of wallup. A .38 Super in a 1911 can hold an extra round too.

But the facts are that .45 ammo is more readily available at stores, and has more varieties of ammo.

July 17, 2009, 11:59 AM
For practice I am using (sparingly) 230gr FMJ Winchester
"white box" from Wallyworld.

July 17, 2009, 12:50 PM
If I ever wanted a 1911 in a 9mm sized caliber I'd get a 9x23mm, or convert a .38 Super to 9x23mm. This is sometimes pretty easy as you may only need to switch the barrel, (depending on how it is headspaced) if even that. The 9x23mm is a better round than the .38 Super in that the case is not semi-rimmed and the case is also stronger, for more powerful loads.

On the other hand, the 10mm is probably a better choice than either for self defense if you're okay with the recoil.

But the 9x23mm might be the most fun to shoot.

Zach S
July 17, 2009, 05:23 PM
Everyone needs a 1911 .45 acp. However, the 9 mm is nice because you can still shoot them without taking out a mortgage on the house.Depends on how you look at it. 9mm valuepacks went up six bucks in two or three years. They now have a higher price tag than the 45 valuepacks did two years ago.

In two or three years time, the price of 9mm valuepacks went up 40%. My wages went 6%, maybe 7...

If not for my 22lr 1911 and AR15, I wouldn't be shooting much of anything...

July 17, 2009, 05:36 PM
You can read a bit about the Super here...http://www.38super.net/

Availability of .38 is easy on the net. One can also compare prices with other rounds. See below...



Cor-Bon loads it closest to it's actual potential.

.38 Super is a much more versatile round that the 9mm or the .357 Sig if you reload. It's natural home is the 1911.


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