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How Painful is a .38 Super to 9MM Conversion in a 1911?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by D-Man, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. D-Man

    D-Man Well-Known Member

    I'm trying to find a 9MM 1911, and know that it is possible to convert .38 super models to fire the 9MM.

    How difficult is this process? Obviously a new barrel would be needed, but what else would need to be swapped out? And does this depend on the model involved (for example, maybe in a Colt you could keep the extractor, but on a Springfield you need to swap them out)?
  2. Hawker45

    Hawker45 New Member

    Fit new the 9mm barrel. Chek the extractor tension and the ejector length.
    That should do it.
  3. Snap

    Snap Well-Known Member

    Personally, I think I'd just try to find a 9mm top end and have two guns in one. Just a thought, I'll admit I don't know too much about 1911's.
  4. Spartacus451

    Spartacus451 Well-Known Member

    +1 Hawker45
    It's as simple as that.
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    You have to have a 9mm barrel.
    The .38 extractor might work for 9mm or it might require adjustment or replacement, I have had one of each.
    Colt uses the same recoil spring for both.
    The dedicated 9mm ejector is longer but the .38s seems to work ok.
    Some .38 magazines will feed 9mms, some won't. I actually prefer the Metalform 9-round Super magazine with convex steel follower for either caliber.
  6. DogBonz

    DogBonz Well-Known Member

    I may be wrong on this one, but...

    Should'n you use a different slide with a smaller firing pin hole due to the higher pressure of the 38 super and 9mm. Or am I off base here?
  7. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Well, he is planning on starting with a .38 gun so the firing pin will be fine.
    If a .45 he would have to buy a .38/9mm slide anyway to get the right breechface width and extractor placment.
  8. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Well-Known Member

    VEry easy conversion and a blast to shoot! 38 super can be alot of fun ;)
  9. daysleeprx

    daysleeprx Well-Known Member

    I believe BullfrogKen recently posted a .38 super colt commander that also runs with a 9mm barrel. Might wanna look up his post, his guns are gorgeous!
  10. D-Man

    D-Man Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the help so far.....

    I should of added that my gunsmith abilities go as far as doing a basic field strip. When people mention 'fitting' of the barrel and extractor adjustments, those are beyond my means.

    Another concern would be what could happen if the barrel wasn't sitting right in the gun, or something else was wrong. If only feed or extraction failures could happen, that's one thing. But could worse things happen?

    Think maybe a more in-depth chat with the local gunsmith is a good idea - especially since I'd want to do a few other things (full beavertail, extended safety, magwell).

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