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need help converting 45acp 1911 to 38 super

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by afvoo52, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. afvoo52

    afvoo52 Well-Known Member

    I am currently in the process of converting my 45 1911A1 springfield to a 38 super. From what I can gather I need the Barrel, magazine, extracter, ejector, bushing, link, slide stop, recoil spring 38 super rated and firing pin with spring. I also noted some slide stops are for 45 only and others fit all which baffles me. I am going for an aftermarket stop anyway so I may get a 38 super specific. I have a 45 springfield with the infamous 2 piece barrel, so I am also buying a colt 45acp 1 piece barrel as I am going to use the 45 super brass with my 28lb recoil spring and make some mid level 45 super rounds, I am not sure if the MIM parts from the original 45 1911A1 springfield will hold up to 45 super loads so I may need a aftermarket slide stop for starters which I believe is MIM, but the Kimbers have and the 45 super conversions seem to hold together so I guess I will be the first to know. I plan to switch calibers 38 super-45 acp and 45 super back and forth from time to time. I just want the 45 super for hunting not target work.
  2. MoNsTeR

    MoNsTeR Well-Known Member

    How about a slide? .38Super won't work on a .45ACP breechface.

    For what this conversion will cost, you might as well track down a complete Milspec in .38Super.
  3. Onmilo

    Onmilo Well-Known Member

    MONSTER is right.
    You need the whole .38 super slide assembly.
    The .38 Super breechface and firing pin diameter are completely different from the .45 acp.
    You need to change out the .45 extractor for a .38 super extractor.
    You need new magazines.
    You need a .38 super rated recoil spring.

    For what it is worth, if you want a .38 Super pistol, just go out and buy the whole pistol.
  4. ClarkEMyers

    ClarkEMyers Well-Known Member

    Slide stops are pretty generic, slide locks less so

    Rumor has it slide stops are pretty generic (but take a beating so it matters) but slide locks can vary. Some say the fatter .45 is more likely to kick up the slide lock on a bullet ogive - premature lock. The lighter (inertia effects on throwing the cartridge around may be different) and skinnier but higher riding .38 can, so they say, work with a deeper protrusion on the tab that normally hits the follower.

    The magazines are different so the interaction with the follower can be a little different so the slide lock can be a little different. Or not, or take a generic and put a Dremel to it.........
  5. stans

    stans Well-Known Member

    Not all 1911 receivers are created equal. Some 45 ACP receivers have the feed ramp cut deeper and at a steeper angle than 9mm/38 Super/10mm receivers, so feed reliability may be a problem. You would most definitely need a whole 38 Super top end. Converting between 45 ACP and 38 Super requires changing the ejector every time, this can get really old really fast. By the time you spend money gathering all the parts, putting them together, getting it to run, maybe paying a gunsmith to get it to run, you could have bought a 1911 chambered in 38 Super.
  6. afvoo52

    afvoo52 Well-Known Member

    WOW thanks for the input, I didnt realize I also needed the slide, at the cost of parts I might as well shop for a complete super as I do see them from time to time used in good shape.
  7. stans

    stans Well-Known Member

    One more word about 38 Supers, concerning the barrel and Colt produced pistols. Up until the 1980's, Colt insisted upon headspacing this round on the tiny little rim of the Super. What usually happened was the round would mis the recess on the chamber hood and the extractor would headspace the round. This lead to poor accuracy. I guess it was sometime around 1983 or 4 that Colt dropped this idea and started headspacing the round on the case mouth like everyone else. Just something to watch for while shopping for a 38 Super.

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