Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Thoughts on a 1911 in .38 Super

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by malakili, Jul 31, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. malakili

    malakili Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    180
    Location:
    Brevard
    Hi, guys. I've owned three 1911s before, Springfield, Para, and Armscor, all 5" guns in .45 ACP. Ended up getting rid of them for various reasons.

    The 1911 bug has been biting again recently though, as I do really love the platform. Great feel, great trigger, nostalgia, etc.

    This time, I'm bouncing around the thought of skipping .45 ACP and trying one of these mysterious .38 Supers I keep hearing about. Sounds like a neat little round, with some high performance defense ammo available (115 gr Corbon JHP at 1425 fps!). It also beats the .45 in capacity, holding 9+1 in this platform.

    A big advantage would be reloading-wise, as I already reload 9mm, and would be able to use the same bullets, powder, and primers I already have. Would just need the dies.

    The model I'm looking at is the Rock Island GI model in .38 Super, which runs under $450. Anyone out there with experience with this pistol, or .38 Super 1911s in general? Is this a smart way to get back into 1911s?

    Thanks.
     
  2. surjimmy

    surjimmy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    1,187
    See if they make it in the Tactical, you will love it. Outstanding round.
     
  3. springer99

    springer99 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    360
    Yep, I picked up a RIA GI in 38Super earlier this year and have to say I'm very pleased with it. If you reload, you can easily surpass 45ACP in power and do it with less recoil.

    I've had my LGS fit a tighter barrel bushing and adjustable sights so I can use this as a back-up for centerfire "bullseye" type competition. With just these changes, my best, full power loads will hold 2.4" -10shot groups at 50yds (from a ransom rest). That load is much too stout to use for bullseye though, so I'm now dialing it back with some .357 lead, semi-wadcutters, that will be easier to manage in timed and rapid fire.

    I like to think of the 38Super as "what a 9mm wants to be when it grows up"!
     
  4. Cowboybootnut

    Cowboybootnut Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Messages:
    298
    Location:
    North of Dallas
    I have a .38 Super 1911 from Colt, and I love it. I love the cartridge, I have another in Auto Ordinance, 2 Taurus PT 38, and an EAA Witness in the same caliber.



    [​IMG]
     
  5. malakili

    malakili Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2009
    Messages:
    180
    Location:
    Brevard
    Springer99, has your RIA been reliable? I want to be able to trust this gun.

    Cowboy, beautiful Colt!!

    Thanks for all the input so far, guys.
     
  6. springer99

    springer99 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    360
    malakili,

    I only have around 1200 rounds thru this so far, but I haven't had one malfunction of any type. Mostly 125gr. HAP rounds, but also some LSWC's. Even have played with 148gr. DEWC's seated flush, but there's not much room left for powder, so pressure get a bit "spikey" if that makes sense. Even the DEWC's fed fine though.
     
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    46,755
    Location:
    Alabama
    Go for it. It's a great caliber. Very versatile.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Cowboybootnut

    Cowboybootnut Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Messages:
    298
    Location:
    North of Dallas
    Here is my Auto Ordinance 1911 .38 Super from Hurley, NY. I bought it in the early 1980s, had a local 'smith do some work on it (trigger, beaver-tail, sights). It is pretty reliable.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. cuba

    cuba Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Messages:
    110
    The 38 super was in its inception developed around the 1911 platform as was the 45 acp, two peas in a pod, as far as recommending a manufacturer that will give you the most bang for your buck I think that Taurus PT1911 will fill that bill best. If you can live with a little bit of BLING, right now CDNN has a special on the PT1911 for $399 till they last.

    [​IMG]

    shoot safe, shoot straight, and have fun
     
  10. Cowboybootnut

    Cowboybootnut Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Messages:
    298
    Location:
    North of Dallas
    cuba,

    Beautiful, but I'd be afraid of that gold coming off.
     
  11. cuba

    cuba Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Messages:
    110
    Though no as durable as stainless I hear that the gold wears pretty good, but at that price range you can't go wrong, you can alway buy stainless parts from Taurus and still be ahead, and leave the Gold parts for special occations(Bar.B.Q time)

    [​IMG]

    shoot safe, shoot straight, and have fun
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  12. Bikewer

    Bikewer Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    Messages:
    183
    Location:
    St. Louis, Mo
    Way back when I was in the army in the mid 60s, I read an article about how the "super" was going to be the next big thing in handgun rounds.
    It so happened that the base gun store had one, a Llama in that caliber.
    Essentially, a 1911 clone.
    It was a pretty gun...On the outside. Nicely finished and it had a nice vent rib on the top. Inside, there were a lot of tool marks...
    Still, it shot OK.
    It's main flaw with the .38 Super was that it flung brass all over the landscape. If you reloaded, you almost needed to employ an energetic young boy to chase down your empties.
    Turned out back then the round wasn't the next big thing, and I ended up trading the thing for a 1911.
     
  13. TonyT

    TonyT Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,353
    Location:
    Michigan
    The minus to the 38 Super is the cost of the brass. Have you considerd a 1911 in 9mm? The brass is very inexpensive. I shoot 38 Super in revolvers where retrievng one's brass is not an issue.
     
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    46,755
    Location:
    Alabama
    That is certainly true, but I think it is worth the cost of having to buy brass, even if new vs once fired. That is how good the .38 Super is.

    Another way to go is to get a 9MM barrel for your .38 Super.

    Here is my Series 80 Colt Enhanced .38 Super with a Storm Lake 9MM barrel installed. The best of both worlds.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    46,755
    Location:
    Alabama
    I would like to own one someday.
     
  16. retsam lotsip

    retsam lotsip Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    concord
    .38 auto 1911

    didnt dillinger have a .38 1911 back in the day that he smithed himself....? Brilliant! Didnt know that was possible. I am just getting into smithing myself and have had a G.I. issue springfield 1911-A-1 that I have truly done the works to it. Last pgrade is the sites. After that, not sure what else there is..... Looks beautiful l now though. Polished all the internals, trigger pull is down to an even 2 lbs. :)
     
  17. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Messages:
    5,170
    Location:
    Wet Oregon
    ^Wasn't that full-auto? I forget.

    Hey, welcome to the site!
     
  18. Kyle M.

    Kyle M. Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2012
    Messages:
    323
    Location:
    Bucyrus Ohio
    I had a rock island in .45 and it always worked, and it shot pretty darn good. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another especially a .38 super.
     
  19. CountGlockulla

    CountGlockulla Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    196
    Location:
    Texas
    I have one that is currently at Chambers Custom to get a 9mm barrel.

    9mm in modern ammo performs just as well, is cheaper, and easier to find.

    IMO .38 super is not worth it outside of some specialized applications like making major in a USPSA Open gun.
     
  20. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2007
    Messages:
    5,957
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    The 9mm +p and +P+ certanly give the super a run for the money, but with heavier 147gr bullets. only the Super can deliver, as 147's create too much pressure for the 9mm with too little case capacity. The heavy bulleted Super gives the .357 Mag a run for the money then, and the 9mm falls behind.
     
  21. mavracer

    mavracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Messages:
    4,395
    Location:
    wichita
    love my 1911 supers, as SDM eluded to try pushing 150gr SWCs 1200 fps with a 9mm. My commander sometimes doubles as a woods gun so loaded.
    [​IMG]
     
  22. Nushif

    Nushif Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,082
    Location:
    Corvallis, OR
    I love the idea of the .38 super.

    But I would also want to shoot it before I spend the money to get one of those unicorns to the PNW.

    Can a regular shooter of the round give me kind of a description of the recoil in comparison to 9x19 and .45 Auto?
     
  23. lead slinger

    lead slinger Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    right near the beach
    i have a one a pt from taurus its been great. I really love the trigger on it runs great i do reload which helps. but i really dont shoot it as much because of the brass i dont have much but its still a graet gun
     
  24. retsam lotsip

    retsam lotsip Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    concord
    Has to be some reason..

    Well theres gotta be some reason dillinger preferred the .38 to the .45 in his 1911. Other than the fact that it was easier to control under full auto fire. Many of his 1911's were semi auto .38's It just got me thinking what was the big deal with that round....
     
  25. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Messages:
    4,606
    Location:
    Arizona
    Cop car doors? Also, wasn't he a kinda small guy - like 5-7, 150 pounds?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page