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How does the .38 super perform compared to the 9mm?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by megatronrules, Jan 22, 2004.

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  1. megatronrules

    megatronrules Member

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    the title says it all how does this round compare power wise to the 9mm ammo standard velocity,+p and +p+ that we have now? I saw a jhp load from corbon a while back and the velocity on thair website was identical to the 115 gr. 9mm jhp they make I don't know if this matters at all but just thought i'd mention it. All in all how is the .38 super for a defenseive round standpoint? I know its pretty populer on the competition level. last thing is who makes ammo for it I don't reload so if this round is loaded commercialy thats great as I may want a 1911 chambered in this round soon.
     
  2. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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  3. Mikul

    Mikul Member

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    I was looking around for a faster 9mm about a year ago. I looked at 38 super, 9x21, and 9x23 and what I learned was that none of them offered a significant improvement over the 9x19. To me, the extra 100-150 fps is insignificant to the extra trouble of dealing with another cartridge.

    The 38 super has a reputation of being a hot round because handloaders, specifically IPSC handloaders, would load the 38 super to psychotic levels in an attept to make major. Shooting loads that flatten your primers on a regular basis sounds like a recipe for disaster.
     
  4. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Factory 9x23 ballistics are a 124gr at about 1450fps (180PF). In a full-size steel 1911, I find 9x23 "faster shooting" than regular 165PF .45ACP IPSC loads. The sights are back on target quicker.

    .38Super will not match that. It might approach it within 75-100fps in pistols with fully supported barrels and feedramps.

    The longer .355" cartridges (.38Super, 9x23) are reputed to run 1911's better, since they are about the same length as .45ACP.

    If you are interested in terminal ballistics ("stopping power") the FBI-protocol gelatin tests show that increasing the speed of a 124-125gr JHP over about 1250fps has no payoff.

    -z
     
  5. griz

    griz Member

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    It is a bit faster, but the main disadvantage of the 38 Super for defensive use is the lack of common factory JHP's.
     
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