S&W 1911 in 9mm/fit 38 super barrel

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by highlander 5, Jan 16, 2015.

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  1. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    I have a S&W 1911 pro series in 9 mm luger and was thinking of having a 38 super or maybe a 9x23 win barrel fitted. Now I do know that the 9mm barrel is fully supported but as I understand there are 2 different types of supported barrels and I'm wondering if one is cheaper to fit than the other. Thanks for any info.
     
  2. BBBBill

    BBBBill Member

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    What does your gun currently have - standard or ramped?
    Two major types of ramped barrels (Wilson/Nowlin and Clark/Para/Lisner) with enough variation dimensionally to ensure that you must individually measure and fit every barrel. Cheaper to fit? I suppose you could nickel dime it so that the Clark type is a tiny bit cheaper since the frame is machined in one setup instead of two.
    The questions are: What type barrel do you have now (standard or ramped/supported)? If ramped/supported, which variation?
    If a standard (feed ramp on the frame/not integral with the barrel), your existing barrel will be useless after cutting the frame.
    If ramped, you can either stick with the current style (with minor adjustments for the chosen barrels) or (only if it's a Wilson) change it to a Clark style. There's no going from Clark to Wilson without a large infusion of money for welding and re-machining the old cut.
    Standard (unramped) barrels will work just fine for a 38 Super unless you're going to be shooting old IPSC overloads. Factory ammo from any major manufacturer or reasonable reloads will be fine. The only time the ramp is really needed is with those hot IPSC reloads or some of the stuff from the little "boutique" reloaders that skate the edge of sanity. 9x23 was designed from the outset to run safely in a standard (unramped) barrel. Again, factory loads or reloads in Winchester manufactured brass are not an issue. Some of the other brass out there can cause problems.
     
  3. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    Barrel is ramped but I don't know if it's Wilson or Clark design. Whichever I go with the barrel will have to be ramped.
     
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    There are pictures here and there of the two main types of integral ramp.
    I am certain any gunsmith capable of doing the work will know what to get.

    What do you expect to gain with a .38 Super barrel? Most factory Supers are little if any hotter than high end 9mm P.
    The 9x23 Win is a horse of a different color, much more powerful with a very manly bang and snappy recoil.

    You are a proficient handloader, right?
     
  5. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    I wouldn't call myself a professional who shoots for a living but I do shoot 44 mag,heavy 45 Colt loads and when I'm in a masochistic mood 454 Casull. The last are fired from a Ruger Super Redhawks that has been MagnaPorted.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Then you are a client for 9x23, it is about the hottest thing you can put in that gun.
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Here is a link to good photos of the different types.

    http://www.homegunsmith.com/archive/T20965.html

    I believe the S&W is a Clark/ Para style.
    But whether it is a pure C/P design, or a S&W proprietary design, I don't know.

    rc
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
  8. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    Looks to be Clark/Para the only difference is a slot cut in the hood as a loaded cartridge indicator per MA law.
    The other question is how heavy a recoil spring and would I use 38 super mags rather than the current mags that I purchased and got with the pistol.
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Factory rating recoil spring for .38 super & 9mm is 14 Lbs.

    (FYI: Factory .45 ACP is 16 Lbs.)

    You will have to use .38 Super mags because they won't fit in mags altered ( shortened) to fit 9mm.

    rc
     
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