38 Super


June 1, 2012, 06:04 PM
I have a couple of these(Colts)--I'd like to know how they compare to
45 acp
38 special

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June 1, 2012, 06:40 PM
In what regard? If it is ballistics, perhaps do a Google search and build a spread sheet.
I have all four calibers. Two in the 1911 platform and 38 special and 357 mag in revolvers. Of course the platforms are very different and affect the shooting.
Please explain what you would like to know and I will try to share my experience.
38 Super is a great Steel Challenge caliber as well as a great Open caliber in IPSC


Steve CT
June 1, 2012, 09:55 PM
Jim- I'm interested to know more about .38 Super. I have a great 1911 in .45, and I'm and avid .357 shooter. I don't shoot competition, I'm more of a range paper puncher at up to 25 yards,and I like playing around at longer handgun ranges. I'm just getting started again reloading, and I'm really interested in accuracy load development in both .45 and .357.

I think .38 Super would be a good match for my interests as well. I've always heard the .38 Super referred to as a "shooters caliber", ammunition availability and cost has scared me off, but I think reloading get's me past this.

Is this a good fit for me?

June 1, 2012, 11:13 PM
It is also a great SD round.

June 2, 2012, 07:49 AM
38 Super is one of my favorite calibers to shoot. It is very similar to 9mm and 9x23 (my favorite). In fact I have one 1911 that I just switch the barrels to shoot all three calibers.
As with most calibers, you can load a hot round or a very easy round, so it is up to you how you want to develop your loads.
I use Hogdon Titegroup powder and Montana Gold bullets. I load on a Dillon 650, so I can load around 400 per hour. I use Redding dies.
In any event, I expect that you will enjoy the caliber. Your Colts in 38 Super may be highly collectible depending upon the age and model.

June 2, 2012, 07:58 AM
Another nice thing about a M1911 pistol chambered for .38 Super is that it's easily converted to 9mm. All you need is a 9mm. barrel assembly and some 9mm. magazines and you're ready to go. Save some money by practicing with less expensive 9mm. ammo.

June 2, 2012, 08:01 AM
As I mentioned, not just 9mm but 9x23 too. I use the same magazines for all three calibers. They work fine

June 2, 2012, 11:37 AM
38 Super is very respectable major power factor. A colleague of mine is a 38 Super collector (while I went dark side to collect 10mm) so lots of personal trigger time has turned me into a fan. I considered buying one since this same colleague has 3,000 rounds of nickle-plated brass, bullets, primers and powder all stored here at my domicile...:evil:

Which Colts do you have in 38 Super? I've seen some beautiful Colts - all the south-of-the-boarder jobs, etc. How about a pic?

June 2, 2012, 03:52 PM
My Colt Series 80 Enhanced in .38 Super is fun to shoot. As pictured it has a Storm Lake 9MM barrel in it. Cheap light 9MM for fun, a barrel swap, and then some full power .38 Super for more fun.


John Holbrook
June 3, 2012, 12:00 AM
Here is my Series 70 Super .38/9MM that I swap barrels in.. I can use the Super mag for both rounds...


June 3, 2012, 01:01 AM
I have a couple of these(Colts)--I'd like to know how they compare to
45 acp
38 special

Comparing it to the .45 ACP is kinda apples and oranges. But power-wise, it does fall between the .38 SPecial and .357 Magnum with a similar bullet diameter.

More appropriate would be to compare it to 9mm Luger. .38 Super will slightly outperform 9x19mm +P loads.

June 3, 2012, 10:25 AM
I can use the Super mag for both rounds...My Colt .38 Super mag will feed 9MM as well, but it doesn't lock the slide back. (Either caliber) That is a Check-Mate mag in the gun for 9MM. It locks the slide back and feeds great.

It is hard for me to "compare" .38 Super to the other calibers. In what way are you looking for?

Peter M. Eick
June 3, 2012, 11:29 AM
Compare the 38 super? Hmmmm....

Compared to the 45acp the bullets are lighter and travel faster. Accuracy is about the same with good quality guns.

Compared to the 357 magnum, about the same ballistics out of about the same barrel lengths in commercial ammo. If you load your own, the mag has a definite advantage. Recoil seems lighter out of the super to me over a python but out of a model 27 the revolver is easier to shoot and control.

No comparison to the a 38 special. More power on tap with the Super, easier to shoot well in my opinion, about the same bullet weights although the Special can go heavier.

You can see why I am a fan of the Super. It uses lighter cheaper bullets than the 45 and less weight to drag to the range. Today I will probably load up 2000 rounds of 38 Super with 135 grn LRN's and SR4756 to 1300 FPS. This is my standard plinking load with the 38 Super.

June 3, 2012, 11:45 AM
Everyone should have at least one 38 Super for when Mexico finally takes over the U.S. We can still own a gun that way.

My bobtail.


June 3, 2012, 02:47 PM
She's a beauty, 71Commander. :)

June 3, 2012, 05:26 PM
Props to everyone who has posted pictures. All are great guns. Thanks.

fallout mike
June 4, 2012, 01:42 PM
I've been debating getting one for a while myself. Im enjoying this thread as well.

June 4, 2012, 07:27 PM

Nice looking Colt Commander! Over the years I would say I have had a definite preference for my .38 Super guns to be either Colt Combat Commanders or Lightweight Commanders. To me the cartridge and the gun just seem to be made for each other.

June 4, 2012, 08:14 PM
My accurized, well worn 1952 Colt Super with some pre-war parts and carved grips. My favorite 1911, and made the year I was born. http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m247/matquig/DSC06174.jpg

June 4, 2012, 08:30 PM
Beautiful pistol! I am a 1952 vintage as well: 8/12/1952.
Happy 60th to you!!!


June 4, 2012, 08:45 PM

June 4, 2012, 10:07 PM
Everyone should have at least one gun from the year they were born. It would be too cool to have one made on the DAY you were born, but that would be hard to determine.

Cocked & Locked
June 4, 2012, 10:21 PM
Everyone should have at least one gun from the year they were born.

I better be looking for something from 1943 :scrutiny: A flintlock I guess.

June 4, 2012, 10:34 PM
This thread is going down quickly:D:D
Guys, I really don't mind being almost 60 as the alternative really is not all that good.
Too funny on the flintlock, C&L.....

June 4, 2012, 10:50 PM
In just 23 years, mine will be 100 years old.


June 5, 2012, 12:02 PM
Appreciate all the info--
Why are these so appreciated south of the border?

June 5, 2012, 12:29 PM
Why are these so appreciated south of the border?

It's against the law to own a gun that shoots the same caliber that is used by the military or Police.

June 5, 2012, 06:24 PM
A little more info on the Super can be found here...



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