38 AMU - Anyone with direct experience?


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Peter M. Eick
March 7, 2010, 01:04 PM
My shooting buddy is thinking about building a 52-2 in 38 AMU and he got me interested in the round. I am slowly accumulating information about it and trying to learn more details about its pros/cons.

If you have direct experience with the round could you give me a general opinion and "brain dump" about it?

Thanks

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rcmodel
March 7, 2010, 01:19 PM
I shot them a little in .38 AMU Colts when I was shooting for 5th. Inf. AMU in the late 60's.

For NRA Bullseye & Model 52's, I thought they were more trouble then they were worth.
The S&W Model 52 works just fine with .38 Specials.

Apparently Army AMU at Ft. Benning thought so too, as they were pretty shot lived.

rc

Peter M. Eick
March 7, 2010, 03:58 PM
I thought you said that somewhere so I posted the question.

Was it accurate as a 38 special or was it just an extra pain that did not work out?

He has several 52's for 38 special and just wanted to make something different. I know brass will have to be turned to make work as it is unlikely we can find someone who wants to make such a small lot of custom brass with todays economy.

rcmodel
March 7, 2010, 05:01 PM
No, the accuracy was no better or worse that I recall.
There was some thought that they would increase the reliability in the .38 Spl. 1911 conversions was all. And I think they did.

But by that time the Model 52 took over and very few people continued to shoot .38 Colts in the centerfire matches.
Or Model 52's either.

By the late 60's early 70's, almost all the military teams that were winning were shooting 1911 .45 softball/wadcutter guns in Centerfire matches & .45 ACP Hardball guns in .45 matches.

Today, it just seems like a lot of work with nothing to gain to make cases for a perfectly good Model 52 that runs .38 Spl just fine.

rc

Old Fuff
March 7, 2010, 08:00 PM
The .38 AMU (Army Marksmanship Unit) was nothing more nor less then a .38 Special with a rimless head. Accuracy was identical to the .38 Special mid-range wadcutter load in an accurized pistol, but the rimless cases stacked and fed more reliably from a magazine then the regular rimmed case. Colt, among others, made parts and magazines to accomplish a conversion on a regular .38 Super platform. Very few were made, and as shooters switched to shooting .45's in the center fire match interest soon desolved. I suspect that today it would be almost impossible to find new brass.

ReloaderFred
March 7, 2010, 09:35 PM
The .38 AMU was simply the .38 Special case with a .38 Super rim and extractor groove. The one I have in my collection is headstamped ".38 Rem". I had some fun with this case at the SHOT Show two years ago, when I had about 15 Remington reps gathered around me, trying to figure out what in the world it was. None of them knew, but Ed Nowak, at Winchester, correctly identified it. I took it back with me this year and had some more fun with it at the Remington booth. They wanted it for their collection, but I wouldn't turn loose of it, since I only have one.

Try this link for a picture of one: www.municion.org/38sp/38AmuG.jpg

Hope this helps.

Fred

Peter M. Eick
March 8, 2010, 08:13 PM
I have brass samples and so does my shooting buddy. He is making this up as he is a serious collector and experimenter and just wants to build up an AMU. My interest is with anything 38 so it just caught my fancy and I am investigating.

Thanks a bunch for the information.

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