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Why Is There No Love For The .38 Super?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Phydeaux642, Mar 21, 2009.

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  1. Phydeaux642

    Phydeaux642 Member

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    Well, let me rephrase that. Why is there not a lot of love for the .38 Super in the gun shops, but there seems to be quite a few people that shoot competitively that really like it?

    When I go in to any local shop there is never a gun chambered in this cartridge let alone any ammo. I know the cartridge has been around since about 1929, so, what gives?
     
  2. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Member

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    I've got one. Very nice. Accurate, good energy, decent recoil. What's not to love?

    It might be that the shops tend to focus on the "flavor of the month", basically whatever is hot at the moment. That way they make the rent money. My guess anyway.
     
  3. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

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    The .38 Super was introduced by Colt in the 1911 for cops to have something with the ability to penetrate barriers/car bodies. It was
    loaded then hotter than it is today. Today, factory offerings are in the
    same velocity range as the comparable bullet weight in 9mm luger. If
    you handload the .38 SUper can be loaded faster than the 9x19 becasue
    of it's greater case capacity. FOr many years the .38 Super
    suffered from poor accuracy until COlt changed and made it
    headswpace on the case mouth in the later '70s I think.

    I've always thought the .38 SUper in a COmmander made more sense
    than the shorter 9mm Luger becasue they strtched the .38 SUper to
    fit the 1911 Magazines.

    Randall
     
  4. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    The price of brass.
     
  5. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Member

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    I save my brass. :D

    But that's a good point. New is a bit pricey, and used goes quick.
     
  6. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

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    Not that pricey....

    Starline new unprimed cases
    Current PRices
    .
    For a comparison
    ---------------------------------
    9mm Luger ---- $ 61.95 / 500
    9mm Luger +P - $ 64.45 / 500

    38 Super ------ $ 68.75 per 500
    .38 Super +P --- $ 70.00 per 500

    .40 S&W ------ $ 76.65 / 500
    10MM Auto ---- $ 78.95 / 500

    .400 CorBon --- $ 101.55 / 500

    .45 ACP ------- $ 78.75 / 500
    .45 ACP +P ---- $ 85.95 / 500
    .45 Auto RIm -- $ 85.55 / 500

    I included the others some popular and others
    I shoot to keep an eye on prices.
     
  7. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    Even if I pay retail @ $40/thou for once-fired 9x19 range pickup (and I currently pay about a quarter of that), at 5000 rds a year the 9x19 is almost $500 cheaper per year.

    I would love to get back into 38 Super if I could get once-fired brass for anything close to 9x19 prices.
     
  8. robriboflavin

    robriboflavin Member

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    I wish I knew - mine is extremely accurate, reliable, and easy to shoot.

    Though probably it's because Glock doesn't make one...

    Bob
     
  9. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    I feed my Super mostly handloads.

    Such a fine shooter, more oomph than a 9mm, less recoil than a .45. Uncanny accuracy and shootability in a good 1911.

    There was a thread recently about what gun for one shot, I think my answer has changed from my .357 mag revolver to my .38 Super Auto.
     
  10. highorder

    highorder Member

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    Drive by question:

    How many of the .38 super shooters here are in you 50's?
     
  11. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    Knockin' on the door.

    Are you wondering if we like it because it's an old cartridge, like the guys who shoot it?

    One nice thing about the Super at my range, no one else shoots it, so I know the brass I find is mine. I'm not a high volume shooter, so I don't want anyone elses' brass in my gun.
     
  12. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

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    referring to the last post - that's why I like my .400 Corbon NOBODY else
    shoots it, when I do put the Bar-Sto in the 1911. Damn nice versatile platform that old slabsides.

    THe .38 Super does hold a bit of attraction escpecially after seeing the price of .357 SIg brass makes the Starline .38 SUper a bargin for the money.
    Oh, Starline also makes .38 SUper Comp where the rim is the same diameter
    as the case - just 'tune' your extractor - makes for sure extraction. It's based on the heavy duty .38 SUper +P - Note they don't say the 9mm Luger or .38 SPecial +P is Heavy Duty only head stamped that way for brass/load segregation.

    Hey you .38 SUper guys - does anybody know of a double stack platform chambered for .38 SUper. wooo weee that would be sumpin.

    Randall
     
  13. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    They are trying to gain advantage in a game, and are handloaders.
     
  14. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    Competition revived it, but now competitions are moving tword .40 caliber for major power factor. The Super is loosing it's niche, and might slip backwards in popularity.

    I almost forgot to pimp Superdudes' website:
    http://38super.net/
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    is the only reason mine do not get shot any more than they do now, but it is much better than the 9MM, which I shoot because brass is free or cheap. I would hate to feed a .38 Super AR, although one would be awesome. My 9MM AR is bad enough. :)
     
  16. atblis

    atblis Member

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    What happens if you take a 38 super gun and chamber in 9x19 but throated such that you could load long?

    Can you get 9x19 up to 38 super velocities?
     
  17. dave from mesa

    dave from mesa Member

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    Pretty close. Not sure of the real answer but IPSC shooters are using long 9x19 bullets to make major.
    I have 2 38s race guns for open class (mine and wifes). 28 rds in the mag. There are 30 rounders but you only need at most 1 reload so I don't see the need to change.
    highorder
    Not sure what this has to do with anything but my wife and I ARE over 50.
     
  18. highorder

    highorder Member

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    Thanks :) I was just thinking... From what I understand, modern shooting competitions really came of age in the 70's, and those that swelled the ranks were in their 20's then.

    I was postulating that many fans of the .38 Super would then be in their 50's.

    These days, it seems that .40S&W rules the competition circuit. The "younger crowd" probably treats the 40S&W like the "new" .38 Super...
     
  19. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    [​IMG][/IMG] My wife wanted to make sure I got hers in this column. We have several Supers, but this is one of her anniversary gifts. Engraving by J.R. French.
     
  20. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

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    To answer a few questions, the .38 Super really starts to shine when loaded with 147 bullets. I can get 1150-1250, depending on brass, powder, etc, and this blows away anything that load with a 147gr in the 9mm. It approaches the .357 Mag, and the Super would seem to still be "powerworthy" to the IDPA guys with the 147 or 150 gr. loads. Can you load a 9mm "out" a bit in a longer mag gun like the 1911, with the right throat? Maybe, but you may not have enough "grab" on the bullet at the neck to secure it from being pushed in during chambering, or jerking out during recoil. Then there is the 9x23. That brass is thicker, and can be loaded to higher pressures in the 1911, and can run with the full house .357 with 125 gr bullets. Any .38 Super 1911 could be rebarreled to 9x23, with maybe a little stronger spring. For my wife and I, the super adds a nice alternative to the .45, and she likes the handling of the 1911 pattern guns. Any Super can have a 9mm barrel installed to use available 9mm ammo (or cheaper brass, if that becomes a serious problem). And, a few minutes later, you can switch back to the .38 Super. I also believe, with slight chamber moadification, that a good smith can convert a .38 Super to 10mm, keeping it as a combo gun, as the 10mm uses the .38 Super extractor in many guns. Makes the Colt Super a very versatile and worthy packing gun.
     
  21. BlindJustice

    BlindJustice Member

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    An article years ago in Guns & Ammo - Late 70s or early 80s, a gun writer had a Combat Commander fitted with Bar-Sto barrels in both 9mm & .38 Super. Only thing he had to do for reliability for each cartrdige was the
    correct magazines due to the difference in case length, and change out the
    extractor which is 'tuned" different for the rebated rim of the .38 Super.

    Randall
     
  22. alistaire

    alistaire Member

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    I love 38 Super. It has so little recoil compared to the manly .45
     
  23. WoofersInc

    WoofersInc Member

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    Another 38 Super owner. Currently have 2 guns chambered for it.
     
  24. Gunfighter123

    Gunfighter123 Member

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    Another 38 Super user in competion -- around here , IPSC is still ruled by 38/9mm and not .40.

    Main reason is being able to make " major power factor" with a lighter weight bullet.

    I've been useing the 38Super for over 15/20 years in competition and think it is also a good self-defense como -- with the right gun.

    My EAA Witness Elite Match holds 18 rounds of Super and is the same size as a 5" .45 1911.

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Clifford

    Clifford Member

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    I'm 29 and I love the super, low recoil and the muzzle flash at night is so friggin cool. It is a handloaders cartrige due to the price of factory ammo.
     
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