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Is there any reason to take 38 super over .45 acp?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by MikePGS, Nov 25, 2007.

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  1. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    Its probably a dumb question, but I was just wondering if there is any reason to choose .38 super over a .45 in a defensive 1911, possibly in a commander configuration. I know there are a lot of advantages to .45, in that it's easier to find, roughly the same cost if not cheaper, and is of course the "legendary manstopper". Then again, i really like the ballistics of the .38 super, and you get two more rounds out of it. So is there any reason that .38 super should be picked instead if i'm not using it in some sort of competition?
     
  2. Gila Jorge

    Gila Jorge Member

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    Competitive advantage would be the only reason for me....but that is me...I also like 9mm and that will give you fire power in a double stack if that is your objective...personally I will stay with the 45acp....
     
  3. wally

    wally Member

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    If you live in a country where police/military calibers are banned for civilains, .38Super might be the best you can do.

    Other than that, its pretty much a reloader/gamer caliber only, but I think it makes more sense than the .357SIG.

    --wally.
     
  4. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

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    Nope. .38 Super is a gaming round pure and simple. Look at the choices for loads available in both .45 ACP and .38 Super and that should answer your questions.
     
  5. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    Uh...no :scrutiny:
     
  6. Geno

    Geno Member

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    Mike:

    Go with a .45 ACP. The .38 Super is only up to true ability when hand loaded. The .38 Super factory loadings are literally 300 to 400 FPS under the ability of the round. When properly and fully loaded, the .38 Super should be only about 15 FPS lower velocity than the .357 Sig. However, as currently factory-loaded, the .38 Super is no hotter than a 9mm.

    Doc2005
     
  7. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    in regard to the OP probably not.But come on guys corbon DPX 125 barnes @1350 there's nothin' wrong with a super as a SD round.I wish Doubletap would load some 124 golddots for it.
     
  8. Geno

    Geno Member

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    mavracer:

    But, 1,594 FPS with a 124 gr. round handloaded is better, is it not? Note, that is a full 254 FPS faster than what you noted.

    Doc2005
     
  9. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    Yeah mav, looking at some of the figures make me start to salivate, that and the potential of the caliber make me want one. However, its unfortunate that a company like Doubletap and or Buffalo Bore hasn't yet started to get involved in making a .38 Super at or near its full potential. I apologize, i really shouldn't read Stephen Hunter and then post on the internet afterwards :D
     
  10. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    I've picked up two 38 supers in the last month a taurus pt38s and just this weekend a kimber stainless target.love the round and yes I do reload.I've never seen those kind of numbers from a 5" gun my old STI compgun was on the ragged edge at 1400 FPS with 130s.BTH I'm not a it has to start with a 4 kind of guy more of a can you put a well designed bullet with 400+ ft lbs. where you want (the more the better).
     
  11. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Some of my favorite fun to shoot guns have been Super 38's, though I would have to agree with those who say that the .45 would be the better choice overall in a PDW. It's just that sometimes it's a little more interesting to take the road (or caliber), that's less traveled.
     
  12. Geno

    Geno Member

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    My Colt 5" .38 Super is ultra-accurate, and light in the recoil department. But I still go back to the penetration videos that I have seen of various rounds fired through, say automobile windsheilds, and the sole round that was dead-on consistent was the .45 ACP. Lighter rounds didn't do as well. That doesn't mean I'd ever sell my .38 Super.
     
  13. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    Higher capacity, less recoil and better penetration. That being said; I own a couple of .45acp's and no .38 supers. I'd like to get one though.
     
  14. kansas45

    kansas45 Member

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    I have several 45ACP's, XD's, 1911's & a revolver. It's my favorite caliber. I recently bought a 1911 in 38 Super. WOW! I like it! :D It won't replace my 45's, but I rarely shoot my 9mm's anymore. ;)
     
  15. Geno

    Geno Member

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    Yes, she is pretty, and pretty sweet to shoot...I haven't named her yet. Personification is a beautiful thing!

    [​IMG]
     
  16. eldon519

    eldon519 Member

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    I looked into the .38 Super alot, but to get the full potential of the round, you need a ramped, fully-supported barrel. To my knowledge, Kimber is the only company that makes such a gun from the factory, and I don't particularly care for that individual model or Kimber as a company. Check out the VihtaVouri load data though. They have some crazy velocity data on that page. I've never seen it verified though. Most of it is several hundred FPS higher than anyone else's data which makes me suspect it is way over SAAMI specs.
     
  17. sm

    sm member

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    If you like the .38 Super, run the .38 Super.

    Clyde, of Bonnie and Clyde and others in their chosen profession used .38 Supers with much success, along with BARs [Browning Automatic Rifle], and Remington Model 11 shotguns

    Texas Rangers, and others in this chose Profession also used .38 Supers, and BARs and 11s

    Gamers? Umm no.
    Serious Running & Gunning is more like it. Since the targets shoot at each other.

    *grin*
     
  18. Roswell 1847

    Roswell 1847 member

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    Standard .45 ACP doesn't penetrate nearly as well as 9mm and the .38 Super has potential to out penetrate the hottest 9mm loadings.

    For a close up face to face self defense situation the .45 is the better round.
    If your enemy might take advantage of commonly available urban setting cover the .38 Super is the better choice.

    Neither will defeat the light body armorof today, back in the thirties the Motorized bandits often wore body armor that would stop a .45 at a distance, but the .38 Super would walk right through the same level of protection. Same went for Military helmets of the era.
     
  19. Geno

    Geno Member

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    Roswell 1847:

    Have you viewed these two videos?

    1) Deadly Weapons: Firearms and Firepower, ANITE Productions.

    2) Deadly Effects: Wound Ballistics, ANITE Productions.

    These are the research conducted by some firearms experts. The part I enjoyed most was the projectile penetration research. Only three firearms calibers were demonstrated, on tape, as being effective through windshields and car doors:

    .45 ACP
    12 gauge
    .50 BMG.

    The 9mm calibers experienced considerable deflection, to the point of missing the target in the driver's seat when fired through a windshield.

    Doc2005
     
  20. atblis

    atblis Member

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    Yeah

    Interesting. My experiences shooting metal objects was that the 38 SA penetrated stuff the 45 ACP would bounce off of. This was with factory ammo in both guns.
     
  21. jfh

    jfh Member

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    There's an advantage if you live in Mexico.

    38 Super is legal there for civilians, 45ACP is not--or, at least it used to be that way. I understand there were / are similar prohibitions in European countries as well.

    Jim H.
     
  22. atblis

    atblis Member

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    Possibly

    I find that 38SA recoils considerably less (even with hot loads).

    Not as big a deal with the single stack guns, but your capacity is increased.

    A 125ish gr bullet at 1400+ fps with mild recoil is nice.

    Neither is clearly superior to the other. If you want a 38 Super Automatic, buy one! That's a good enough reason for me.
     
  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    More folks like the .45, but the .38 Super crowd loves them. It is a good cartridge. I much prefer the .45 myself.
     
  24. MikePGS

    MikePGS Member

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    How exactly does the recoil of 38 super compare to .45 acp?
     
  25. AndyC

    AndyC Member

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    The .38 Super made a comback in the early days of IPSC/pin-shooting when compensators started showing up - there's a greater muzzle-rise reduction when shooting the higher pressure .38 through it than the low-pressure .45ACP. More pressure through the vents = less muzzle-flip.

    Defensive use - I think the jury's out on that, but I certainly wouldn't feel undergunned with a .38 Super.
     
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