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Penetration: .38 Super vs 9mm

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by RonDeer10mm, Jun 19, 2012.

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  1. RonDeer10mm

    RonDeer10mm Member

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    Which has better penetration the .38 super or 9mm? I would guess the .38 super, but I'm not sure. :confused:
     
  2. CmdrSlander

    CmdrSlander Member

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    .38 Super. That was sort of the point of it. It was created in the 1920s-30s to combat "motor bandits" like Bonnie Clyde. At the time most .38 Special and .45 Auto loads would not penetrate car doors which these outlaws often used for cover, and this is to say nothing of 9mm.
     
  3. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    Penetration of what? Sheet metal? The Super loaded to potential with similar bullet weights will outdo the 9mm loaded to potential.

    It also depends on the bullet itself, probably much more so than the extra 150 feet per second or so the Super gives you.
     
  4. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    9mm usually penetrates hard barriers better than .45 ACP, because of the smaller cross section and higher velocity. Hard barriers react very differently to stimulus than soft tissue.
     
  5. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    Yes. The 38 Super's bigger case does provide a higher performance potential.

    One thing sometimes overlooked, is that 9mm Luger is commonly loaded using 38 Super bullets (.356 or 9mm .355) with 1500-1700+ fps loads in Open Class USPSA Comp. Mostly seems to be 115-125gr bullets. So with the right bullet it will do fairly well penetrating various materlials.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  6. M7

    M7 Member

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    Check this out-

    http://www.quantitativeammunitionselection.com

    My CHL instructor put me on to it a while back (I just finished reading it) and it answers the question you are asking. Got mine for about $10 after shopping around a little. Definitely worth it, IMHO.

    Although I am not that great at math, it seems like all you have to do is punch in a few numbers and you are good to go.
     
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