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Your 38 Super Experience

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by cowboy77845, Sep 24, 2017.

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  1. cowboy77845

    cowboy77845 Member

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    I just got a Series 80 stainless 1911 Colt in 38 Super. What do you all think of the cartridge/pistol? All I've done so far is polish the scratches. Hope to shoot it soon. Got a few boxes of +P and am looking forward to trying it out.
     
  2. yaonttwo

    yaonttwo Member

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    great round (try Georgia Arms, 124 gr hp) at 1,350 fps for a defensive round.
     
  3. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    cowboy77845

    Been a big fan of the .38 Super for many years. For some reason I have always preferred it in a Commander size gun. I just like the way it handles and balances with that shorter slide configuration. Proper handloads will give you the performance levels that the cartridge has to offer. Having it in .38 Super also allows for a quick and easy conversion to 9mm. (a barrel assembly and magazines are the only things you need for it), for less expensive practice ammo. Let us know how it goes after your first range visit.

    g9nMpYn.jpg
     
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  4. critter

    critter Member

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    Got an old Colt in that chambering. I like to shoot the thing. Have not carried it, but no reason why it wouldn't be great in that role as well as a fun gun.
     
  5. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I enjoy shooting my 38 Supers. I load and shoot mostly 130 FMJ to about 1200 fps.

    I have one that was originally built in the mid-1950s. It had one of the old standard "headspace on the rim" barrels and it would shoot 38 caliber, 158 grain SWC cast bullets like a bullseye competition gun. I eventually replaced the barrel with a "headspace on the case mouth" barrel to improve the accuracy of conventional 38 Super ammunition and SWC ammunition would no longer chamber.

    A couple years ago, I resurrected my casting gear and one project on the list will be to try appropriately sized semi-wadcutter bullets in the 38 Super again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    A fun round.
    EAA Witnes .38 Super Pic 1.JPG
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
  7. silversport

    silversport Member

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    I am a fan of Super .38...my experience is with the 1911 pattern and SIG P220...

    Bill
     
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    silversport

    Still kick myself for not picking up a Browning BDA (a.k.a. SIG P220), in .38 Super years ago. Those and the 9mm. versions just sat on dealer's shelves, gathering dust until some astute shooter (obviously not me), picked them up for next to nothing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2017
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  9. tark

    tark Member

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    I'm Just glad the round is still around. I feed my Star Super A with it. Can't tell the difference between supers and Largo's when I mix them in the magazine. I stay away from I.P.S.C. loads.
     
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  10. expat_alaska

    expat_alaska Member

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    FWIW:

    I am a 1911 .45 ACP guy and have owned several, all 5" Government Models. Still have one, but it is not a Colt.

    About 1988 I bought a used Colt Combat Commander .38 Super matte/electroless nickel finish, with one factory mag for about $300 on a whim. It ran flawlessly with 130 grain FMJ, and cosmetically it was just about perfect. I liked the feel of it in the hand, as it had the flat mainspring housing, not an A1 arched type.

    Compared to the .45's, I could not hit the proverbial broad side of a barn with it. After studying the cartridge, I found out it had a rebated rim, unlike the 9mm, and Colt did not headspace it on the case mouth. So I splurged and bought a spendy Bar-Sto barrel that supposedly headspaced on the case mouth. I had high hopes.

    No joy. I gave up on it, sold it with both barrels at a loss, and stuck to the .45.

    I imagine others have had much better luck than I had. Kudos to you folks!

    Jim
     
  11. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    I have owned a .38 Super for years. I carried my 4" Kimber for a long time - utterly reliable pistol, btw. It still is. Personally, I really like the cartridge and it has a ton of potential. To take advantage of that potential, you really ought to be a hand loader though. The over-the-counter .38 Super loads are generally pretty lame in my opinion and little better than 9mm rounds (some people are going to scream about how they can buy super hot .38 Super rounds now)... but I said "generally". Yes there are hot rounds out there for sale, but good luck finding them and being able to afford them. I have not bought factory rounds in years, so I'm not current on prices. I hand load exclusively and really enjoy the caliber. It runs a 1911 superbly - the cartridge profile is excellent for reliability - slim, relatively long and straight. Any .38 Super you buy these days is going to headspace correctly on the case mouth just like a 9mm, so accuracy is generally very good also. I've had fun with everything from 90 grain super-fast loads just for fun, to heavier rounds totally suitable for personal protection. The only reason I don't carry mine all that much anymore is because there are so many 9mm handguns these days that are way lighter than my all-stainless 1911. Enjoy your pistol! At the range, you'll have all kinds of guys asking what it is you're shooting and a lot of them won't have any idea what a .38 Super is. Recoil is pretty light, so you'll be quick to reacquire the target. The only downside in my opinion is, it will be relatively expensive to shoot. Even if you hand load, the brass is more difficult to find (Starline is great brass) and of course you have to spend a bunch of time looking for your brass all over the ground after shooting. I probably lose 20% each time I go to the range. Have fun!
     
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  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    It's real fun in a gun you can load it up to its potential in.

    A "retired" .38 Super race gun I picked up reasonable. Thank goodness for "progress". :D
    [​IMG]
     

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  13. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I've always heard what a great round it is. My personal experience is I bought an unfired Colt from 1963 for $1,000, and it remains unfired in my safe. Don't even have any ammo for it, cause I'll end up firing it. Probably not the type of "experience" you're looking for.
     
  14. Sergei Mosin

    Sergei Mosin Member

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    I want to buy one when I turn 38 next year - probably a new stainless Colt 1991 Government Model, if I can find one.
     
  15. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    Bought a STI framed race gun back in the mid 90s when I was shooting IPSC, traded it off when I quit shooting ISPC. It's a great round and can be very accurate.
    In about 2005 I traded for a Kimber stainless target and rekindled my interest in 38 super and I bought a Colt LW commander also, I'll echo some of the sentiment here Georgia arms golddots should be GTG for SD, it's what I have in the commander. I also think it makes a awesome woods bumming gun loaded with a 150gr SWC @ 1100 fps.
     
  16. il.bill

    il.bill Member

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    I bought a used .38 Super Taurus PT1911 AR in shiny Stainless Steel with Gold trim from a buddy. It looks unlike any other firearm I own - it makes me smile now just typing about it.

    That pistol shoots 130 grain bullets like the .38 Super was made for a 1911, and vice versa. It is a joy to fire, but it is the only one I own in that caliber because I like the more pronounced 'thump' of a .45 ACP.

    I believe that just about all .38 Super cartridges are labeled +P these days in order to avoid any possible confusion with the lower pressure .38 ACP rounds loaded with the same size bullets..
     
  17. il.bill

    il.bill Member

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    just remembered that Santa Claus is holding my .38 Super 1911 in my il.bill avatar photo ...

    Here is my very first shot with that pistol from a little over ten yards.

    image9.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017
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  18. Rodentman

    Rodentman Member

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    I have a couple, an EAA and a Colt. In fact we are going to the range tomorrow! It's easy and fun to reload.

    standard.jpg

    standard.jpg
     
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  19. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    I have one in an older Colt Series 70 and enjoy shooting and loading for it. It's the only 38 Super I own. :(

    Ron
     
  20. If1HitU

    If1HitU Member

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    What's the weight of the SA with that scope on it?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2017
  21. stchman

    stchman Member

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    I have had people swear by shooting a 1911 in .38 Super and I have had people swear by shooting a 1911 in 9mm. Heck some people swear a 1911 in .357Sig is the best.

    As far as .38 Super vs 9mm in a 1911, is there a big difference in shooting them from a shooter's standpoint? They seem to have ballistics that are relatively close to each other (.38 Super is a more powerful round).
     
  22. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    For a long time, 9mm (and other short-length rounds) were harder to make reliable out of a 1911 (which was built around 45ACP-length rounds... and the 38 super is very close to that same length). That was the biggest difference. The rounds themselves "feel" about as similar as the ballistics suggest.
     
  23. DazedandConfuzed

    DazedandConfuzed Member

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    I have the same pistol, a gift from my father. He liked it so much, he purchased one for himself only blue w/gold accents.
     
  24. Nuclear

    Nuclear Member

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    I have an Armscor 1911 in 38 Super (technically the Citadel brand), it is a lot of fun to shoot - all that steel soaks up the recoil, and the length of the round means it has never malfunctioned on me. With an unsupported chamber (like in a stock 1911) you have to watch for over pressure signs on hot loadings. Whenever I take people to the range, it is always requested. Biggest downside is chasing brass. Fun fact, the brass appears to be the same length as a 40S&W brass case.
     
  25. surjimmy

    surjimmy Member

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    It will spoil you
     
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