Quantcast

38 Super Bullet Choices

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Reloadron, Sep 23, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    7,686
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    So much for decades of resisting a new caliber in my life. Yesterday I came upon a Colt MK IV Series 70 Government chambered in 38 Super which being a Series 70 type I couldn't say no to. The gun was real nice and the price was real nice, what can I say?
    Already have dies on order and 500 pieces of brass from Starline. Looking at a few manuals I see .355 to .357 bullets used. I do have a box of Armscor 38 Super 125 grain FMJ RN ammo here and the bullets are 9mm (.355" Dia.). Never loaded 38 Super but that is about to end. I have several powders which will work. Yes, I could slug the barrel but I am wondering what others might be doing.

    Many Thanks
    Ron
     
  2. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Messages:
    8,897
    Location:
    East TN
    I generally load 130 FMJs that are designed for 38 Super. In the past, jacketed bullets, more recently, plated. I believe they are .356" diameter

    They work for me for plinking.

    I had, actually still have but it is not installed any more, a barrel that allowed me to shoot 357 Magnum 158 SWC (.358" diameter). These were a very accurate. I believe this barrel was a Series 70, Mark IV barrel. I purchased it new in the mid eighties. It did head space on the rim.

    I replaced the barrel with one that head spaces on the case mouth and the SWC's would no longer chamber.:(

    I'm sure I have shot other bullets in my 38 Supers but for my purposes, I do not need to spend the extra dollars.

    Barrels that head space on the case mouth are more accurate than those that head space on the rim.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    59,415
    Location:
    Alabama
    I have used the Zero 125 Gr .356 JHP and the Berrys 124 Gr .355 HBRN-TP bullets with good results in my .38 Supers. I have not slugged my barrels.

    You can fit a 9MM barrel to that little bundle of joy as well.
     
  4. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    7,686
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Thanks Chuck and I had read about the barrels head spacing off the case mouth being more accurate. Something else I can look into over time is another barrel. Thinking I'll start by loading the .355 (9mm) 115 grain bullets I have. Have some Unique and Bullseye laying around so I should be able to build something once I get dies. Just never in all the years loaded any 38 Super.

    Ron
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  5. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    7,686
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Owww that's pretty. :)

    Thanks Walkalong
    Ron
     
  6. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,903
    Location:
    Great Northwest - Idaho!
    Generally I load 130 grain FMJs that are .356" (Remingtons are usually fairly easy to find.). I have loaded all kinds of 9mm/.355 bullets with very good results. Some really hot loads with itty-bitty 90 grain HPs were a lot of fun to shoot and surprisingly accurate at nearly 1,500 FPS. :)

    .38 Super is a lot of fun. Being a hand loader, you should really enjoy it. It is true that early Supers did headspace on the rim and if yours does, you should definitely get yourself a barrel that headspaces on the case mouth. I've had both and my present Kimber Pro Carry (headspaces on case mouth of course) is a wonderful gun. Very accurate, and very reliable. Factory loads are somewhat anemic, but you can hand load these cartridges to give you the performance this caliber deserves. Have fun!

    My Super is one of my main carry guns. Someone always comes up to you at the range too, wondering what it is. :)

    kimber2a.jpg
     
  7. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    7,686
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Roger, many thanks for the input. I am looking forward to shooting this gun in a big way. Now regretting we have company for the weekend from out of town. :(

    Ron
     
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    25,738
    My .38 dies would not give adequate bullet pull on .355" 9mms.
    .356" was ok, .357" likely better.
     
  9. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    7,686
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio USA
    Thanks Jim, something for me to lookout for. I ordered RCBS 3 Die set.

    Ron
     
  10. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Messages:
    8,897
    Location:
    East TN
    I believe that after market manufacturers started to get really going on barrels head spacing on the case mouth during the 1980s.

    The gun manufacturers finally jumped on the band wagon sometime in the 1990s or so.

    This might give you some time frames to consider.

    My first 38 Super Colt M1911 had been converted to 38 AMU. Unfortunately, i did not know what I had and I converted it back to 38 Super. It is not really a looker anyway. Time frame was the early 1980s.

    I find 38 Super no more difficult to load than other cartridges like 9x19.

    Enjoy your new project.
     
  11. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,903
    Location:
    Great Northwest - Idaho!
    cfullgraf is correct on all counts. I agree that .38 Super isn't any harder to load than anything else, in fact it's probably easier than some simply because the case is bigger and easier to manipulate. The only hassle is picking up your brass at the range! I spend a lot of time making sure I get all I can, as it's too expensive to leave behind. It's best to take along the wife/gf/kid/brass-catcher so you don't lose any!

    R.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice