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Taurus 1911 in 38 Super - case support questions

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Z-Michigan, Mar 10, 2011.

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  1. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    I didn't want to hijack the other thread, so here goes. I recently bought a Taurus PT1911 in 38 Super. So far seems like a great gun, and I got a great deal on it. The economics of 38 Super only make sense to me if I can reload. I have some questions about the level of case support and whether cases are being stretched excessively, making reloading for this gun a questionable proposition, like reloading for a Glock in .40 S&W.

    I'm attaching four photos. Two show fired cases. The nickel cases are Remington UMC, the brass cases Aguila. Both are factory loaded 130gr FMJ ammo, recent production. Both of them are showing, to my eyes, some bulging right where the chamber support ends, which is probably about where the case web blends into the thinner case walls. The other two photos show the chamber, one empty and one with a fired case to show where the case isn't supported.

    Questions:
    1) Is this level of case support typical of a 1911 in 38 Super, or below average?
    2) Should I worry about reloading these cases, using load data below maximum published loads in reputable load manuals?
    3) How many reloadings would you guess I will get out of these cases?

    Thanks in advance!
     

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  2. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    Fired cases.
     

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  3. makarovnik

    makarovnik Member

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    I would not reload them more than once. Don't reload at all if they look cracked or thin. I hate unsupported barrels. I wonder if an aftermarket barrel is available that is fully supported.
     
  4. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    Thanks. A fully supported barrel would probably cost almost half of what I paid for this gun, however.
     
  5. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    Well, the cost of the gun is a sunk cost at this point. It shouldn't factor into your decision unless the options are between:

    • rebarrel this gun with a supported barrel;
    • or trade it in on a gun that already is.

    It would really suck to have to toss brass after only 1 firing. Constantly buying new brass will quickly equal the price of that new barrel before you know it.
     
  6. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    After I initially posted this question, I found the following site:

    http://38super.net/Pages/Brass.html

    Based on that, it looks like my brass is within the norm and shouldn't be a safety risk.

    Let me refocus: could I get comments, from people who own and reload for, or otherwise are extremely familiar with 38 Super in a 1911, on how my fired brass and chamber support looks?
     
  7. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    I'd want to know some more specifics about those loads before I could comment.

    You should get plenty of life from those cases if you avoid loading them to +P levels.


    I like supported barrels in a .38 Super. It's not necessary. But at some point you might want to take full advantage of the cartridge's potential. Keep the velocity and pressures low, and you should be fine.

    I shoot a good bit of .38 Super, and I do load for it. I've used Winchester and Federal brass with a lot of success. I've been using Starline SuperComp a lot lately, and I really like it. Mine is a supported barrel. I can't talk much about using unsupported barrels. Most everyone I know who shoots .38 Super uses supported barrels. They shot .38 Super in IPSC and pushed them hard to make major.
     
  8. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    Thanks, Ken. This 1911 is just a range toy for me. I don't currently do IPSC, but may start, and would probably run a Glock or 9mm Ruger if I do start. Likewise, I have other guns as "serious" defensive handguns. This is a pleasant shooting fun gun.

    I don't have specific loads in mind yet, but basically I am planning to use .355 bullets, probably Berry's plated, otherwise possibly FMJ, and probably 124 or 147gr. I intend to use some assortment of Power Pistol, Unique, HS-6 or Universal powders, and I'm looking at manual starting loads (based on Lee's data, or powder manufacturer data) or perhaps halfway between starting and max loads, probably no higher. Basically just want good target ammo that's stiff enough to function, but doesn't need to be any faster because it's just punching paper at 25 yards or less.
     
  9. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

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    This ought to get you started.


    38 Super IPSC Loads list compiled by Jeff Maass


    I found this back when I started shooting 38 Super and 9x23. There's a whole bunch of data here for making both Major and Minor power factor loads. I haven't played with any of the powder you're using besides Unique, and I don't use it much at all because it's so dirty.

    I have used Vihta Vuori 3n37 to make high velocity loads. But mostly I use AA No 5, simply because I had a lot of it on hand from loading other calibers.

    I chronied some of my loads in December, through a Commander length barrel -

    AA No 5, using 124 gr plated bullets.
    7.0 grains = 1060 fps
    7.5 grains = 1140 fps
     
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