.38 Super vs. .45ACP: If you've Owned Both, Which Do You Prefer?


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SharpsDressedMan
June 16, 2013, 09:43 PM
I am torn. All my exposure and instincts tell me the .45 is a better choice, but I have this unexplainable fondness for the .38 Super, and believe it to be a fine cartridge. When I carry the Super, I have 147gr JHP's running about 1200fps, and this approaches the .357 Mag from a similar sized gun, but more fairly, exceeds most 9mm's with similar weight bullets. The Super comes into its own with the heavier bullets; the 9mm can't keep up without excessive pressures. Whether it clearly BEATS the .45 in incapacitation, I don't know, but I do not feel undergunned when I pack the Super. I know there are lots of .45 fans, but of you who have experience with both, anyone also giving creedence to the .38 Super?

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SharpsDressedMan
June 16, 2013, 09:46 PM
:banghead: Wrong area! Sorry.

mavracer
June 16, 2013, 10:00 PM
I like the Super 38 as well, properly loaded I'm as confident in it as any SD round. IMHO it also makes a pretty good woods gun loaded with a 150gr cast SWC at 1200fps. my Kimber stainless target is very accurate with this load.

Dframe
June 17, 2013, 12:03 AM
I see NOTHING wrong with either. Carry the one YOU like.

Phaedrus/69
June 20, 2013, 05:41 AM
I also am a fan of the Super. Years ago I had a Colt Commander in .38 Super but traded it off. To this day I kick myself for it!:banghead:

Hanshi
June 20, 2013, 03:49 PM
I have the .38sup and .45 both in 1911s. Both have been to the experts and have adjustable sights and stainless match barrels among other ministrations. I like them both a lot.

IMHO the two cartridges do not serve the same purpose. I've always shot a lot of .45acp and reloaded it by the thousands. On the other hand I never seem to have enough .38sup brass. The sup is a premier field/hunting cartridge that can double as a general carry round. The .45acp is a premier carry round that can double in other roles.I like two bullets in my super, a Saeco mold cast 140grn tc for general use and a Hornady 115grn hp for "just in case. The JHP load clocks around 1250fps; the cast load around 1000fps (+ or -). This is just enough to work the slide is any situation and keep the ejected brass close.

Carl N. Brown
June 20, 2013, 03:58 PM
When these threads come up, I always pay attention: I own a .45, shot qualification for my carry permit with my .45, shoot local gun club military match with mine. But I have always been intrigued with the lore about the .38 Super. Please continue.

allaroundhunter
June 20, 2013, 04:06 PM
I carry a Colt Lightweight Commander in .38 super. I inherited the gun from my grandfather when he passed, so it has a considerable amount of sentimental value to me.

When comparing capacity you get 9+1 with the super and 7+1 with the .45 so I wouldn't give too much advantage either way.

I honestly shoot .45s slightly better, but as I said, I carry my .38 for sentimental reasons.

Is there any reason to discount the viability of the .38 Super as a defensive round? Absolutely not.

huntershooter
June 20, 2013, 07:10 PM
Own, and am a fan of both.
The Super is a 9/10 rd. .357 in my mind-a great self defense cartridge.
I find the Super easier to shoot rapidly/accurately.
That said; I carry a .45 much more frequently as a SD gun.
Guess I subscribe to the "large and slow", as opposed to the "fast and light" school.
I do NOT feel disadvantaged carrying either.

Officers'Wife
June 20, 2013, 07:31 PM
I much prefer my Commander in 38 Super than Dad's 1911 45 ACP. Mainly from the lighter weight of the design and the recoil. Besides, with the Commander I can put 7 in the X ring at 50 yards. with the .45 I'm lucky to three and not lucky all that often.

hgte2001
June 20, 2013, 07:36 PM
45 ACP Has well established stats. 38 Supra Does not. Since it slightly out performs 9mm +p+ I would add a couple of performance slots up to about 93% putting up with 357SIG. I would consider the 125 gr HP at 1250 to 1300 FPS range to better duplicate the magic of 357MAG golden performance of the 125 gr HP round . In the limited reports I have read because of its penetration it may zip through the human body without delivering the shock value of Big slow tissue crushing effect of 45 ACP creating the issue that 158GR bullets had with 357mag. Yes it will kill you, but minutes later as opposed to right now.

Having said all that. Good shot placement in the magic triangle with good HPs should rapidly end the confrontation with either 45ACP or the 38 SUPRA. The magic of 45 ACP is it breaks 90% in one stop shots with a variety of bullet weights. 357MAG, 38 SUPRA, 357SIG, AND 9MM do not. 40 S&W breaks 90% and many rounds with high 80s.

Edge to 45 ACP, 40S/W, 10MM, 357 SIG, then 38 SUPRA.

Would I carry one. No, I subscribe to big slow! with the exception of 357mag which I use as my back-up.



Total ONE SHOT% EXPANSION--PENETRATION
Remington 185 gr GS 83 80 96% 0.69" 12.4"
Federal 230 gr HS 173 166 96% 0.76" 13.9"
CCI 230 gr GD 45 42 93% 0.68" 12.2"
Corbon 185 gr JHP 20 18 90% 0.78" 11.1"
Remington 185 gr GS 39 35 90% 0.62" 11.3" 4" barrel or less
Remington 230 gr GS 10 9 90% 0.73" 12.9"
Federal 230 gr HS 28 25 89% 0.68" 12.9" 4" barrel or less
Federal 185 gr HS 78 69 88% 0.67" 12.9"
Federal 185 gr JHP 128 112 88% 0.71" 11.6"
CCI 200 gr JHP 139 122 88% 0.73" 12.4"
Winchester 230 gr BT 96 84 88% 0.75" 13.9"
Winchester 185 gr ST 121 106 88% 0.78" 11.5"
Winchester 185 gr ST 27 23 85% 0.67" 10.2" 4" barrel or less http://www.handloads.com/misc/stoppingpower.asp?Caliber=18&Weight=All

Officers'Wife
June 20, 2013, 08:41 PM
You are correct, the .45 has much better stats. But I am confident that should I need my Commander for what my late uncle called a "social situation" while two rounds "in the breadbasket" may not stop the aggressor, they will surely give him the impression he may have made a mistake.

Mat, not doormat
June 20, 2013, 09:14 PM
I've owned a bunch of .45s, and two .38 Supers. The first was an all steel RIA 1911 GI. It was a very mild shooter, felt almost like shooting a .22 conversion, but I didn't really have a use for it, so I sold it. The current Super is a Colt LW Commander, which I bought as a carry gun when I got tired of schlepping around heavy steel guns, but didn't want to compromise shootability. I find that the LW Super has very similar recoil to a steel full size .45. Also, it carries a few more rounds, which addresses one of many people's qualms about 1911s.

hgte2001
June 20, 2013, 09:25 PM
Really if you like at this way! You can take the 38SUPRA and get 3 quick shots on target very easily and faster than most people can with 45ACP. Truthfully with my Glock 36 I am just as fast. I am faster with my 357mag 2" rhino as there is no muzzle flip and I can work the trigger and place them because once you lock out with it all you do is pull trigger while staying on target with each full house round, man I love that gun. I practiced lots to get to that level. I have new tucks for 1911s and I am carrying them more. But let me tell you the G36 and G27 carry so much nicer and conceal easily in suits, jeans, shorts, and all manner of clothing easier than 1911s.

45ACP stops the confrontation quicker.

38 SUPRA in the bread basket preferably centered and it is an effective round. The magic Triangle is between the nipples to the throat. A 38 SUPRA centered on the breadbasket will provide hydrostatic shock on the spine and if you are using 147gr, you likely over penetrate, meaning rapid bleed out plus hydrostatic shock on the spine effectively collapsing the perpetrator. The issue is if you outside of the spine by 6" on the edges of the bread basket, the shock value drops dramatically. I am darn accurate with the SUPRA, but right now I can do the same thing with the bigger guns. My dad was a 45 ACP guy for life, in his old age late 60s to 80s he carried a 32ACP, with an explanation I can place 3 in the head before you can blink. I wonder what my old age gun will be.

I do not subscribe to much small fast. I went through the 380 thing and occasional carry a 38 J Frame. Give me my choice and it looks like this G36 (45acp), G27 (40S&W) as primary, one or the other. My standard backup is Rhino 357. Sometimes other something based on my mood.

mljdeckard
June 20, 2013, 10:39 PM
The only thing that pulls me away from the super is that it is a bit more obscure. I would like to get one eventually. I would have no problem at all using premium defense loads in it.

Mat, not doormat
June 21, 2013, 03:24 AM
It should be noted that hydrostatic shock isn't a phenomenon of much value in handgun rounds. It does indeed exist, and for a demonstration of its power, one need only look at the wounds caused by high power rifles. The problem is that even the so-called small and fast handgun rounds are still too slow to achieve those kinds of results. It would be more apt to describe the alternatives in handguns as big and really slow, vs small and kinda slow. Because neither achieves sufficient velocities for hydrostatic shock to be a viable wounding mechanism, what one must instead rely on is direct tissue damage, leading to neural disruption and/ or blood loss.

More simply, high velocity rifle bullets have enough energy that they damage not only what they touch directly, but a good deal of surrounding tissue, as well. Handgun bullets don't. They're too slow to cause pressure based secondary tissue damage. They have to actually touch something to affect it.

That being the case, naturally a larger bullet is going to contact more tissue on its way through the target, thus increasing the chances that it will hit something important. When all you're really doing is poking holes, you want to make them big holes.

So far, all that argues in favor of the .45. However, big heavy bullets come at a price. They bring with them larger recoil. Thus, to put them where you want them, quickly and accurately, it's best to use a big heavy gun.

Personally, after enough years of toting that big heavy gun, and not needing it, I decided that it was a big, hairy nuisance. This is where a smaller caliber becomes helpful. You can make the gun smaller and lighter, as well, but still retain the necessary speed and accuracy.

So much for Caliber Choices 101. To me, the only reason to pick the Super over the ACP is if you wanted to retain the excellent controllability and handling characteristics of a full size steel 1911 in a lighter package.

But why pick the Super over the 9MM? It's not for the rather trivial few extra FPS, but rather because the Super is the right length to feed well in a 1911. If one's chosen platform were actually designed around the 9MM cartridge length, then well and good. But the 1911, for its excellences, is not. Short rounds have a tendency to nosedive, which is something I'd just as soon not deal with in a defensive situation.

In sum: the .38 Super is sort of a niche round. To me, it's the ideal cartridge for a lightweight 1911. In that niche, it shines. But if I were to carry a steel 1911, I'd make it a .45. If I were to carry something other than a 1911, it'd probably be a 9MM.

Sent from my C771 using Tapatalk 2

jdh
June 21, 2013, 02:50 PM
First what is 38SUPRA?

I would prefer the 35 Super IF ammo were readily available in loads that were up to the potential of the cartridge, not the watered down stuff on the gun shop shelves to keep the less informed from blowing up their 38 ACP or 9mm Largo chambered pistols.

allaroundhunter
June 21, 2013, 04:22 PM
First what is 38SUPRA?

I would prefer the 35 Super IF ammo were readily available in loads that were up to the potential of the cartridge, not the watered down stuff on the gun shop shelves to keep the less informed from blowing up their 38 ACP or 9mm Largo chambered pistols.

Like buffalo bore stuff? I have used it and they can definitely be some stout loads for that size cartridge.

Mat, not doormat
June 21, 2013, 04:55 PM
First what is 38SUPRA?

I would prefer the 35 Super IF ammo were readily available in loads that were up to the potential of the cartridge, not the watered down stuff on the gun shop shelves to keep the less informed from blowing up their 38 ACP or 9mm Largo chambered pistols.

I don't know. But then again, I'm none too sure about .35 Super, either. ;p

Sent from my C771 using Tapatalk 2

jdh
June 21, 2013, 06:43 PM
Mat,
Ok, I'll give you that one. Never said I could type, the 8 is right above the 5 on my keyboard. Still I don't claim to know everything firearms related. There may be a new cartridge named 38SUPRA out there that I haven't heard of.

allaround,
When shooting off the shelf ammo from either my RIA or Kimber most was just about even with 9mm+P. Being the cautious person I am I choose not to carry hand loaded ammo for duty or self defense.

allaroundhunter
June 21, 2013, 07:06 PM
Jdh, Buffalo bore is a manufacturer.

jdh
June 21, 2013, 11:23 PM
Well aware of them. The problem around here is the cost of their stuff is so much higher than "normal" loads the shops don't stock it and treat it as a special order item. So in addition to paying the premium price for BB I also have to pay the shipping and wait for it to come in.

Phaedrus/69
June 29, 2013, 04:34 AM
One thing I forgot to mention is ammo availability. With a good loading I'd be very confident in the .38 Super as a defensive sidearm but for every factory offering for it there are probably twenty for the .45 ACP. Not an awful lot of different rounds out there. I don't recall ever seeing a Gold Dot or Federal HST offering in .38 Super, for example. Although I know Underwood and Buffalo Bore do offer some excellent loads for it.

Mat, not doormat
June 29, 2013, 04:41 AM
How many different loads do you need? Now I like variety as much as most, but if you've got one load that functions reliably in your gun, the rest is gravy. Just because a caliber doesn't offer enough loadings to fill a couple of 33 rd Glock mag with no duplications is no reason to discount it.

BigG
June 29, 2013, 01:52 PM
I have the 38 Super as well as the 45. What hasn't been mentioned is the pregnant guppy appearance of the extractor groove - web area of the case where the case upon firing expands to fit the feed ramp. They are not good for many reloads after that. The 45 ACP is better with milder loads.

mavracer
June 29, 2013, 02:55 PM
How many different loads do you need? Now I like variety as much as most, but if you've got one load that functions reliably in your gun, the rest is gravy.
That's my thought as well. Georgia arms 124gr golddots clock 1280fps from my commander, shoot good groups POA and feed perfectly.

mtrmn
June 29, 2013, 03:02 PM
I load 147 gr Gold Dots in mine with good success, but I'm getting low and haven't seen GD bullets for sale in ages.

Peter M. Eick
June 29, 2013, 03:48 PM
It is an interesting question, but at the end of the day I would pick 38 Super.

My reason is logistics.

I reload for 38 Super, 38/44, 357 Sig, 357 Maximum, 357 Magnum, 380 auto, 9mm and 38 special.

I reload for 45 acp and 45Colt. Not much synergy there.

So at the end of the day, it is easier to stockpile supplies for ammo for "9mm" caliber since I can use it on more various calibers.

When it comes to guns, I have 3 45acp's and 4 38 Supers. Kind of tells you where my money goes.

floydster
June 29, 2013, 04:33 PM
I have an Elite Witness Match in 38 Super and 45 ACP, amazing guns, accurate and dependable, right along side my CZ's--very high round count with nary a prob.
I prefer the 38 Super.

cfullgraf
June 29, 2013, 05:01 PM
I have an old 38 Super barrel that headspaces on the rim. It shoots 158 SWC bullets very well.

Unfortunately, the 158 SWC rounds will not chamber in a "head space on the mouth" barrel so since I replaced the barrel in that 38 Super M1911, I cannot shoot those loads any more. Too, bad.

Generally, I load 130 FMJ for 38 Super, 230 GMJ in the 45 ACP. I like both cartridges and really like the M1911. The first Series 80 M1911 that haved owned is a 38 Super. Nice addition to the fifties vintage 38 Super that I have had since the early 1980s.

brickeyee
June 29, 2013, 05:30 PM
I have a switch top 1911 that has .38 Super and .45 ACP tops.

The only real problem was the ejector clearance in the .38 S slide.

I finally opened up the clearance groove in the .45 ACP slide a few thousandths.
(buddy has a horizontal mill that comes in handy every once in a while).

It is a rel hoot to shot .45 ACP and switch to .38 S in about 45 seconds.

I keep full length guide rods in both slides to retain the springs, and just hang the slide release from the barrel link.

Unload, remove mag, remove slide, install slide, insert other mag, off and running.

The .45 boom becomes the .38 S crack (1300 ft/s at 130 grains with WAP).

BigG
June 29, 2013, 07:46 PM
How do you keep the brass safe to reload with the hot loads. Nobody has answered that.

SharpsDressedMan
June 29, 2013, 08:31 PM
Like any other case, .38 Super brass wears out eventually, but faster than lower pressure rounds. You just use them until you feel they are getting stretched, brittle, or otherwise weakened, and discard. Same with .223, .308, .357 Mag, etc. I have a Bar Sto barrel in mine, and I can easily get 3-4 loadings per case before I pitch some of them, then I generally run lower pressure loadings in cases fired 3-4 times, and reserve the top loadings for new cases.

mavracer
June 29, 2013, 09:32 PM
Unfortunately, the 158 SWC rounds will not chamber in a "head space on the mouth" barrel so since I replaced the barrel in that 38 Super M1911, I cannot shoot those loads any more. Too, bad.
Meister has a 150gr SWC that's designed for 38 super.

Walkalong
June 29, 2013, 10:56 PM
I have both and love both, but if I had to choose, I would keep the .45 ACP.

pendennis
June 29, 2013, 11:29 PM
Tough choice, but right now I'm carrying a Colt Talo LWC, in .38 Super. It just replaced a Government Model in .38 Super. I have absolute confidence in both guns. They're loaded with Cor-Bon 125gr JHP, stated to run @ 1350fps.

My bedside gun is a Kimber Ultra Shadow, in .45 ACP, with Winchester 185gr STHP's. Until I switched over to the .38 Super, it was in the carry rotation.

The Kimber barks a bit louder, and the 3" barrel does flip a bit more. The Government Model is a pleasure to shoot, and the LWC is the most comfortable gun to carry, with the alloy frame. I carry it in an El Paso Saddlery "Crosshair" holster.

From the previous comments, it comes down to personal preference.

I wouldn't want to take a round from either caliber.

MCgunner
June 29, 2013, 11:54 PM
I prefer .45 to live with and it has nothing to do with terminal performance or how big the hole is. The thing is EASY to load and cast accurate bullets for. I don't find .355" bullets terribly easy to work with handloading cast bullets. As a carry, either works fine. I just think the .45ACP is easier for a handloader to work with and components like brass are a lot easier to come by, too.

BTW, I cast my own bullets.

Peter M. Eick
June 30, 2013, 12:31 PM
Regarding the "keeping the brass safe" question. Just buy guys with a fully supported barrel. Most of my 38 Supers are so brass life is good. Unless I am trying to mimic a 9x23 I can get 6 to 8 loads out of my brass before the rim is beat up from the ejection process.

ku4hx
June 30, 2013, 12:47 PM
I've got both and I like both. But as a boolit caster and hand loader, the 45 ACP is one of my dream cartridges. It's more of an intangible thing when it comes to loading and shooting the two but I seldom reach for the Super.

ghitch75
June 30, 2013, 01:33 PM
i have both and i like my 45's the best.....but it's fun to load some 125gr Super's with 14gr of lil'gun and watch people on the ranger line jump:what::eek::eek:

PO2Hammer
June 30, 2013, 01:45 PM
Self defense aside, I liked loading and shooting the Super a lot more than I enjoyed loading and shooting .45acp.

tipoc
June 30, 2013, 02:40 PM
If you are thinking about the 38 Super this is a very useful website to visit and spend some time on:

http://www.38super.net/

tipoc

horsemen61
June 30, 2013, 02:55 PM
I think this thread could use pics of all of these 38 supers please :D

tipoc
June 30, 2013, 02:59 PM
The 38 Super is a niche round, just like the 44 Spl., 41 Magnum and 10mm it's in about the same class in terms of popularity as those others.

In terms of sales of guns Colt says that the sale of guns in 38 Super is immediately behind sales in 45acp. They have always sold more 1911s in 38 Super than in 9mm. I'm not sure about the other makers. But the Super is a popular round.

On ammo: Most manufacturers make decent plinking and range ammo in 38 Super. They load these to about the same velocity as the 9mm and most use 9mm bullets of 130 gr. Federal, Winchester, Aguila, Fiocchi, Remington, Magtech and others all make practice ammo of this type.

Winchester produces a decent self defense load with their 125 gr. STHP though it's a tad slow for the Super.

Others produce self defense loads that come closer to what the Super can do. These companies include Cor-Bon, Double Tap, Buffalo Bore, Wilson, Georgia Arms. There is more good factory self defense ammo these days than there was a decade ago.

Look here for an example of some of what is available;

http://www.midwayusa.com/find?sortby=1&itemsperpage=24&newcategorydimensionid=15427&pageNumber=1

tipoc

BigG
June 30, 2013, 03:14 PM
I buy Colt automatics and won't have the frame cut for a ramped bbl so that keeps me with the standard Super 38 and 45 ACP.

tipoc
June 30, 2013, 03:29 PM
Colt Super 38 GM from 1961 with a Bar-Sto barrel and an auxiliary barrel in 9mm.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v432/tipoc/Colt%201961%2038%20Super/61super7.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/tipoc/media/Colt%201961%2038%20Super/61super7.jpg.html)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v432/tipoc/Colt%201961%2038%20Super/c38604.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/tipoc/media/Colt%201961%2038%20Super/c38604.jpg.html)

Colt Commander in 38 Super from 1951. Bar-Sto barrel.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v432/tipoc/Commanders/38comm3.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/tipoc/media/Commanders/38comm3.jpg.html)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v432/tipoc/Commanders/38comm2.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/tipoc/media/Commanders/38comm2.jpg.html)

orionengnr
June 30, 2013, 03:57 PM
I'd like to try .38 Super one day, but I already have a 10mm. One type of hard-to-find, easy-to-lose brass is enough.

Think I'll limit my one-off loads to revolver rounds, like .45LC and .41 Mag. At least that brass doesn't disappear...

Robert101
June 30, 2013, 03:58 PM
I think both the 38 Super and 45 Automatic are great rounds. Both will serve the handgun SD role admirably. I like the 38 Super penetration but favor the 45 Automatic as a SD cartridge. My reasons are heavier bullets and I already have plenty of other handgun cartridges to reload in my garage - don't need anther one. I elected to stay with the 10MM (and 40 S&W) in the smaller than .45 caliber role.

tipoc
June 30, 2013, 04:46 PM
I buy Colt automatics and won't have the frame cut for a ramped bbl so that keeps me with the standard Super 38 and 45 ACP.

That makes sense. For a number of years in the 80s and 1990s and later some competitive shooters were overloading their guns way beyond maximun pressure to make major power factor and because the Super works so well in compensated guns. Many blew out the bottom of their cases. One response was to develp fully ramped and supported barrels.

But IMHO, if you don't overload the round you don't need these.

SAMMI sets the maximum pressure for various round. The 38 Super has a maximum pressure of 36,500 psi or 33,000 cup (copper units of pressure). By comparison the 9mm has a max pressure of 35,000 psi and 33,000 cup. The 40 S&W operates at a max 35,000 psi and the 45acp 21,000 psi max. ost loads work well below these maximums and don't need to get close.

The 9mm works at roughly the same pressure as the Super but with less case capacity. This means that the Super can reach higher velocities with the same weight bullets as the 9mm and do it at lower pressures. Which is easier on the gun and increases case life. It also means that the Super is more useful over a wider range of bullet weights.

The Super is slower than the 357 Sig in some bullet weights. But again it's length provides for more options with differing weight bullets and bullet types.

It's easy in the Super to get a 147 gr. bullet to 1200 or 1250 fps from a 5" barrel without signs of over pressure with the right powders.

You can also get a 124 gr. jhp moving at 1300-1350 from a 5" barrel again without reaching maximum pressures.

Personally I like both the 45 and the Super. For me it's not one or the other. In a lightweight Commander though I prefer the lighter recoil of the Super and the 9+1 rounds in the gun.

tipoc

LeonCarr
June 30, 2013, 05:00 PM
If you look at the old pictures of lawmen in the early 1930s you see a lot of them carrying 1911s. Most people instantly assume they are .45s, but a lot of them were .38 Supers. A .38 Super with its 130 Grain FMJ at 1215 fps had better penetration on the automobiles of the time and on the primitive body armor some gangsters took to wearing.

If buying off the shelf, I would pick a .45 ACP. If having a 1911 built, I would pick the 9x23 Winchester before the .38 Super. Stronger brass and higher velocities.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

brickeyee
June 30, 2013, 06:29 PM
How do you keep the brass safe to reload with the hot loads. Nobody has answered that.

ramped barrels.

The .45 ACP does not need as much 'help' as .38 Super though.

230 grains of hollow point should be more than adequate when properly applied.

SharpsDressedMan
June 30, 2013, 06:29 PM
I've posted it before, but it's not hard to have both, and an extra conversion for 10mm. Add a 9mm barrel to your .38 Super upper, and you have a four caliber conversion. http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m247/matquig/DSC05356.jpg (http://s106.photobucket.com/user/matquig/media/DSC05356.jpg.html)

tipoc
June 30, 2013, 07:31 PM
How do you keep the brass safe to reload with the hot loads. Nobody has answered that.

A couple of fellas have, me included.

If you intend to regularly load close to or above Max pressures then a fully ramped barrel is worth it.

If you normally keep the loads below max pressures then a standard barrel is fine.

There is nothing weak about 38 Super brass.

tipoc

BigG
June 30, 2013, 07:34 PM
Nope. You can't fire it through a stock Colt Super 38 so I won't cut the frame to put a ramped bbl in. :banghead:

tipoc
June 30, 2013, 07:46 PM
Nope. You can't fire it through a stock Colt Super 38 so I won't cut the frame to put a ramped bbl in.

I'm not sure what you are talking about here. You "can't fire" what exactly?

Earlier, you said;

I buy Colt automatics and won't have the frame cut for a ramped bbl so that keeps me with the standard Super 38 and 45 ACP.

Yeah and what's wrong with that? With a standard barrel, like the ones I have, you can shoot the commercial loads from Cor-Bon, Double Tap, etc. So long as these rounds don't exceed max pressures or show signs of over pressure in your gun.

You can load any round that does not exceed max pressure. You can shoot the loads the gun was meant to shoot.

tipoc

pendennis
June 30, 2013, 08:48 PM
The LWC has had new grips and Dawson Precision rear sight. I like the spalted Maples for the Government Model, and they're very comfortable.

http://i661.photobucket.com/albums/uu331/pendennis1947/ColtGovernmentModel38SuperSpaltedMapleGrips_zps789ba226.jpg
http://i661.photobucket.com/albums/uu331/pendennis1947/ColtLightweightCommander-GripsRrSights-Right_zps2dd828d5.jpg

VAPOPO
June 30, 2013, 08:50 PM
Have had both and kept the .45
Positives for the .38 super
1. flat trajectory 100 yds at man sized targets is no problem
2. easy to reload
3. components are available but take more effort to find than .45
4. rate of fire with a 1911 is wonderfull recoils no more than a 9mm beretta with a standard load.

Negatives
1. loaded ammo can be hard to find, No WWB available at wally world and when you do it is more expensive than .45ACP.
2. Limited loading component availability. Brass and bullets can be difficult to locate and usually must be ordered offline.

mavracer
June 30, 2013, 09:38 PM
I think this thread could use pics of all of these 38 supers please
OK
http://i266.photobucket.com/albums/ii261/mavracer/SANY0177.jpg (http://s266.photobucket.com/user/mavracer/media/SANY0177.jpg.html)

bannockburn
June 30, 2013, 09:52 PM
I love both my .45 and my .38 Super M1911s. In a .45 I prefer the Government and the Combat Commander models. For the .38 Super I like a lighter weight Commander.

ghitch75
June 30, 2013, 10:34 PM
Colt Government 80 Series Super 38....

http://i50.tinypic.com/f3gy8y.jpg

1968 Colt LWC Super 38

http://i41.tinypic.com/9qe0bn.jpg

Cherokee
July 1, 2013, 12:43 AM
Have 1911's in both. Love them both. Shoot 45 ACP mostly but would feel fine carrying either one. Brass life depends on the loads but 8 loads of less than max is not a problem. Can work up some really great loads for 38 Super.

RainDodger
July 1, 2013, 11:27 AM
I own both and I carry either one, but generally it is this Kimber Pro Carry HD in .38 Super. The HD has the stainless receiver, so it's not really a lightweight.

My alternate carry is now a Sig Fastback Carry, which is a bobbed 4", in .45. Also very nice.

Either will work.... but I'll always like the .38 Super. It's just a little "different"....

Add pic:

http://www.hotelling.com/kimber2a.jpg

firesky101
July 2, 2013, 06:44 PM
this is my less conventional .38 super, but I much prefer it with its 9x23 barrel.:D

Mat, not doormat
July 2, 2013, 07:46 PM
I tried to post this the other day, but it doesn't seem to have gone through.

The one in the middle is the Colt LW Commander in .38 Super. Flanking it, to the left is my much modified Taurus in .45 ACP, and to the right is my Argentinean Sistema Colt, in 11.27 MM.

http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x320/fastgun24/IMG_20130319_164454_zps6f4e5da2.jpg

Sent from my C771 using Tapatalk 2

Walkalong
July 2, 2013, 09:31 PM
My son and I shot this .38 Super last weekend. It was a retired race gun I picked up very reasonable. Shoots great.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=143520&stc=1&d=1307296863

2@low8
July 3, 2013, 06:26 AM
I bought a Colt Combat Commander in 9x19 to practice with cheap factory or reloaded ammo and then I was going to purchase a .38 Super barrel for carry.

I changed my mind about the Super barrel and upped the ante by buying a Colt 9x23 barrel (they only come in a 5” length) and had my gunsmith cut it down to 4 “ to fit the Commander. I get a solid 1400 fps with a 125 gr. bullet -- true .357 Mag performance in a very controllable package with 9 + 1 capacity and no worries about blowing up a case that is rated for 50,000 psi when loading to max 9x23 velocities . (Must be reloaded with small rifle primers.) The rimless case also feeds better than the Super as well.

I have 6 1911 pistols in various configurations and except for the Detonics (issues with safety) that I carry without hesitation. However, I’m beginning to enjoy shooting the 9x23 more and since .357 performance is nothing to be sneered at I find myself carrying it more and more.

rfwobbly
July 4, 2013, 11:53 PM
What hasn't been mentioned is the pregnant guppy appearance of the extractor groove - web area of the case where the case upon firing expands to fit the feed ramp.

That's a function of the unsupported chamber provided by the manufacturer, and is certainly not common to all 38S guns or aftermarket barrels.

tipoc
July 5, 2013, 03:14 AM
What hasn't been mentioned is the pregnant guppy appearance of the extractor groove - web area of the case where the case upon firing expands to fit the feed ramp.

I also was trying to figure this comment out. I've never seen any "pregnant guppy" look to the extractor grove of the cases after firing. Either with commercial ammo or handloads from the Super. That look, and damage to the case, is not typical of the 38 Super.

This would be a symptom of a seriously overpressure load though and I have seen it in some handloads done as an experiment by a friend with the 40S&W.

For 70 years the Super did just fine shooting from standard barrels even with hot loads. Provided those loads are within standard pressure range for the Super. Only in the last 15 or so years have ramped barrels with fully supported chambers become popular in some quarters, particularly with competitive shooters. They can help extend case life though. That's the case with any caliber brass though.

tipoc

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