Penetration: .38 Super vs 9mm


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RonDeer10mm
June 19, 2012, 12:04 AM
Which has better penetration the .38 super or 9mm? I would guess the .38 super, but I'm not sure. :confused:

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CmdrSlander
June 19, 2012, 12:06 AM
.38 Super. That was sort of the point of it. It was created in the 1920s-30s to combat "motor bandits" like Bonnie Clyde. At the time most .38 Special and .45 Auto loads would not penetrate car doors which these outlaws often used for cover, and this is to say nothing of 9mm.

NG VI
June 19, 2012, 12:08 AM
Penetration of what? Sheet metal? The Super loaded to potential with similar bullet weights will outdo the 9mm loaded to potential.

It also depends on the bullet itself, probably much more so than the extra 150 feet per second or so the Super gives you.

NG VI
June 19, 2012, 12:09 AM
9mm usually penetrates hard barriers better than .45 ACP, because of the smaller cross section and higher velocity. Hard barriers react very differently to stimulus than soft tissue.

1SOW
June 19, 2012, 12:20 AM
Penetration of what? Sheet metal? The Super loaded to potential with similar bullet weights will outdo the 9mm loaded to potential.

Yes. The 38 Super's bigger case does provide a higher performance potential.

One thing sometimes overlooked, is that 9mm Luger is commonly loaded using 38 Super bullets (.356 or 9mm .355) with 1500-1700+ fps loads in Open Class USPSA Comp. Mostly seems to be 115-125gr bullets. So with the right bullet it will do fairly well penetrating various materlials.

M7
June 19, 2012, 11:42 AM
Which has better penetration the .38 super or 9mm? I would guess the .38 super, but I'm not sure. :confused:
Check this out-

http://www.quantitativeammunitionselection.com

My CHL instructor put me on to it a while back (I just finished reading it) and it answers the question you are asking. Got mine for about $10 after shopping around a little. Definitely worth it, IMHO.

Although I am not that great at math, it seems like all you have to do is punch in a few numbers and you are good to go.

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