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Posted: 8/9/2005 9:02:07 AM EDT
Why is it so rare? Why is it used mainly in race-shooting? What other caliber does it compare to balistically?
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:06:06 AM EDT
Somewhere between 357 Sig and 9mm ballistically speaking.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:09:03 AM EDT
It's used in race shooting to make "major" caliber status (same category as .45Auto), but with lower recoil and higher capacity. Same with the 9mmx23 Win. round.

The difference between "major" and "minor" is you have to pass the magic number when taking bullet weight and multiplying by velocity. 9mm +P cannot make it, but .38Super +P can, because it has a higher case capacity.

I'm guessing it's rather rare here in the states because it got supplanted by the power of the .45Auto early on, and the popularity (and maybe cost) of the 9mmLuger round.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:10:04 AM EDT
its what a 9mm should be.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:10:06 AM EDT
Not really that rare i'm on my 4th. . It is from 1929 , predated the 357, its way popular in mexico, and has the same ft. lbs. of energy as the .45 does, race gunners like it 'cause it makes major and holds alot of rnds.Also it is the best O.A.L. for the 1911 platform, feeds better than 9mm in that gun. Yea, i'm an old guy, so what else is new
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:23:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 9:24:30 AM EDT by mywifehatesguns]
Wow you guys are great!! You answered all of my questions very quickly. Thanks!


But dammit, now I have to spend money on a 1911 platform in .38 super.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:25:04 AM EDT
Yeap, it used to be a popular caliber back in the 30s, but its sorta died out in this country. Military calibers are illegal in Mexico, so they love the .38Super instead of .45acp.

Kharn
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:37:49 AM EDT
Great cartridge, I have one in a Commander. Get used to reloading for it though.

(I have two boxes left of some CAREFULLY hoarded Silvertips)
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:40:54 AM EDT
Same here, Johninsustin, i only have 1 box , they sure are purty to look at tho.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 9:43:22 AM EDT
Rare? Not really as it is nothing more than a non-SAAMI loding level of the very old .38 ACP (NOT .380 ACP). That is why it is "rare", not many companies want the liability of loading it, lest someone use it in a .38 ACP pistol.

The .38 ACP was introduced in 1900 and launches a 130 grain bullet at 1020 FPS. THe .38 Super was introduced in 1929 and can launch the same bullet at 1500 FPS. Quite a bit more than the .357 Sig.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 10:18:52 AM EDT
In addition to magazine capacity, the other reason race gunners like it is th elarge volume of gas it generates. The gas is used by hte compensators these pistolss have to almost eliminate muzzle flip and greatly reduce felt recoil. Both of these help the shooter stay on target and shoot faster.

You have to deal with the awesome muzzle blast being redirected towards you by the compensator rather than down-range by the barrel. This is a major risk to your hearing.

The big penalty with these pistols is the incredible pressures they run at. Many, many pistols have been destroyed and shooters injured by KABOOMs trying to make major using 38 Super ammo. It bordered on irresponsible during the development years. Things are better now that the gunsmiths have figuerd out how to make major safely but it remains a specialty cartridge for a specialty pistol.

.45 ACP and .38 Super both make USPSA/IPSC major power factor but teh 45 ACP does it safely.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 10:22:38 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 10:45:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Rare? Not really as it is nothing more than a non-SAAMI loding level of the very old .38 ACP (NOT .380 ACP). That is why it is "rare", not many companies want the liability of loading it, lest someone use it in a .38 ACP pistol.

The .38 ACP was introduced in 1900 and launches a 130 grain bullet at 1020 FPS. THe .38 Super was introduced in 1929 and can launch the same bullet at 1500 FPS. Quite a bit more than the .357 Sig.



Do you have any data for loads like that? I've never seen any and I'm interested.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 2:55:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 3:04:07 PM EDT
I have a .38 super and I love it! It is very accurate, and throws a nice fireball.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 3:10:49 PM EDT
[antenna deployed] [recording]
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 3:12:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mike_Mills:
In addition to magazine capacity, the other reason race gunners like it is th elarge volume of gas it generates. The gas is used by hte compensators these pistolss have to almost eliminate muzzle flip and greatly reduce felt recoil. Both of these help the shooter stay on target and shoot faster.

You have to deal with the awesome muzzle blast being redirected towards you by the compensator rather than down-range by the barrel. This is a major risk to your hearing.

The big penalty with these pistols is the incredible pressures they run at. Many, many pistols have been destroyed and shooters injured by KABOOMs trying to make major using 38 Super ammo. It bordered on irresponsible during the development years. Things are better now that the gunsmiths have figuerd out how to make major safely but it remains a specialty cartridge for a specialty pistol.

.45 ACP and .38 Super both make USPSA/IPSC major power factor but teh 45 ACP does it safely.



Yeah, to put it mildly, IT'S LOUD AS SHIT. We have some people that shoot it at my USPSA club, and we all wear ear plugs and muffs when somebody gets one out.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 3:16:57 PM EDT
IF you reload 9x23 will do everything 38 Super will do and do it faster with heavier bullet.
9x23 can be safely loaded to beyond 38 Super or 357Sig and keep up with 357 Magnum at all bullet weight (from a 5" barreled pistol).

Link Posted: 8/9/2005 3:18:27 PM EDT
While we are on the topic, I started another thread here to see some race gun pics. Post 'em if you've got 'em.......

www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=377946&page=1

Link Posted: 8/9/2005 3:19:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 3:19:44 PM EDT by mywifehatesguns]

Link Posted: 8/9/2005 3:27:54 PM EDT
What are the metric measurements for the .38 Super casing?
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 4:57:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By WildBoar:
its what a 9mm should be.



(my first and maybe my last) +1
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 10:02:02 PM EDT
I think my ideal carry pistol would probably be a 1911 Commander in .38 Super. More oomph than a 9mm, and more ammo capacity than 45. I'm sure modern pistols can handle some pretty admirable pressures, not that I'd handload some really hot shit. I don't shoot IPSC.

What I know about the history of the cartridge echos what many others have said. It came out in the 30s, and was a great cartridge, but due to the military using the 45, and it not being restricted, civilians just used the 45 and the 38 Super fell out of favor. In Mexico and other south American countries, I have heard, it is very popular, because military calibers are forbidden. Which would mean civvies couldn't use 9mm Para OR 45 ACP. The 38 Super gets the job done.

I've saw some 38 Super at the Sportsman's Warehouse down the street from me. Can't remember which brand, but it was a major brand.

Someday I'll try to score a modern 1911 in 38 Super.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 11:39:20 PM EDT
Changed to 38 super comp for me.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 11:26:13 AM EDT
The data in my manuals for .38 Super suck. I think one approached 175. Does anyone have proven data for the caliber- source for same? I have Lee/Hodgen/Sierra/Speer manuals.

Mfgs I've looked at are Baer/Brown- 2000.00. Kimber, 900-1000 IIRC. I think EAA makes one. Any other current mfgs. worth looking at? I'm ASSUMING big makers turn out a pistol that will handle the desired pressures. Would surely make certain.

Link Posted: 8/10/2005 11:52:11 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 12:06:52 PM EDT
I wouldn't have a .38 Super.

BigDozer66
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 2:17:27 PM EDT

Do you have any data for loads like that? I've never seen any and I'm interested.


home.columbus.rr.com/jmaass/ipscload.htm
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 2:21:47 PM EDT
tagd
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 2:49:09 PM EDT
Cor-Bon makes defensive loads for it, so you can buy them.

Tends to be a little more powerful than 9x23, not quite as hot as 357 SIG, and certainly nowhere near 9x23.

My 'ideal' pistol is a Hi-Cap 9x23 1911. I'll probably never own one, but the concept is... alluring.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 2:58:03 PM EDT
Actually the history of the .38 super is pretty exciting, if you want to call it that.

Back during the Depression and Abolishion, gangsters were up-armoring their cars...not that they really needed to. A .45 has a hard time plowing through a thick steel car door, especially when the window's rolled down in it. Why do you think they went after Bonnie and Clyde with BAR's and shotguns?

Basically a new round was needed. Some design and work went into it, and presto...the Super 38. It had the velocity and oomph to punch through a car door (and the person behind it), could fit in the Government Model frame, and made some tremendous energy for the time.

A lot of lawmen, FBI, border patrol, etc favored the .38 super as their carry piece.

The big problem was, and the reason it never took off in the States...was that the .357 mag came out very soon after. The .357 mag was IT during that timeperiod. Even though the .38 super could keep up (and with some loadings, exceed the .357 in energy and velocity)...it slowly died, except for a few die-hards who kept it going, either out of necessity, spite, or love.

On top of that, the .38 super was an autopistol round...not a revolver round. Most cops still carried, and preferred, wheelguns. The .357 mag was a wheelgun round, through and through.

Add all that up, and you have a pretty interesting historical footnote...and a cartridge that more people are discovering each day.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 4:54:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BigDozer66:
I wouldn't have a .38 Super.

BigDozer66



Why?
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 5:14:10 PM EDT
9mm sucks to reload, the case is just to short. The .38 super gives you the room to do those hot loads.
Link Posted: 8/10/2005 5:31:27 PM EDT
Looking back at my old note book from my IPSC days in the early 90's, In my Gann race gun with a Barsto barrel, I loaded 9.0 grns of W540 behind a 125 grn, jrn bullet gave me 1413 fps and a power factor of 176.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:49:44 PM EDT
I haven't checked recently, but all the published reloading data from the major sources was very conservative and would work in any 38 Super pistol. If you wanted to "make major" with 38 Super you need a non-standard barrel (supporting the case all the way around its periphery) and non-standard (high pressure) hand loads.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 1:55:19 PM EDT
It was the weapon of choice of G. Gordon Liddy's "G-Man" Uncle Ray! :)

Reading "Will" right now, most excellent book.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 2:06:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By topknot:
It was the weapon of choice of G. Gordon Liddy's "G-Man" Uncle Ray! :)

Reading "Will" right now, most excellent book.



LONG time since I read it. IIRC he ticked off the other inmates when he sang military songs in German in the shower. Since his incarceration, he can't own firearms, (was he pardoned?) but I heard him say his wife owned a lot. I thought someone living in the same house as a person ineligible to own firearms couldn't keep them in the same house.
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 2:36:16 PM EDT
http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/38SuperTo9mm.htm
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 4:29:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ASUsax:
Tends to be a little more powerful than 9x23, not quite as hot as 357 SIG, and certainly nowhere near 9x23.




I read that 3 times and still can't figure it out. Could you re-phrase?



.38 Super is:

a little more powerful than 9x23
not quite as hot as .357 Sig
not as powerful as 9x23





Typo?
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 6:06:10 PM EDT
I believe .38super is 9x21, but I'm not sure.

.38super is hotter and faster than .357sig, but not as hot or fast as 9x23
Link Posted: 8/11/2005 6:15:49 PM EDT
tag....wondedering if it's worth another barrel and slide.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 12:35:39 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 12:53:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
The .38 ACP was introduced in 1900 and launches a 130 grain bullet at 1020 FPS. THe .38 Super was introduced in 1929 and can launch the same bullet at 1500 FPS. Quite a bit more than the .357 Sig.



No it can't. The published velocities for the .38 Super for pretty much all its life have been about 1300 fps with a 130 gr bullet. To try to get 1500 fps out of a 130 gr would be to have the gun blow up in your face. Keep in mind that IPSC shooters were experiment (with a LOT of blown up guns) in the 80s to try to make major (Power factor of 175). The velocity you suggest (130gr x 1500 fps = PF 195) is just not possible with the .38 Super. Not even a .38 Super Comp, .38 TJ or 9x23 can get that kind of velocities.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 1:04:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mall-Ninja:
The difference between "major" and "minor" is you have to pass the magic number when taking bullet weight and multiplying by velocity. 9mm +P cannot make it



They lowered the PF to make major, so 9mm can make it now.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 1:11:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/12/2005 1:17:16 PM EDT by TWIRE]

Originally Posted By FAIL-SAFE:
I believe .38super is 9x21, but I'm not sure.

.38super is hotter and faster than .357sig, but not as hot or fast as 9x23



That is correct.


One of mine.


Link Posted: 8/12/2005 1:27:56 PM EDT
I personally don't want a gun chambered for .38 Super simply because I don't want a lot of oddball rounds in my collection. I want guns I can readily obtain ammo for if the need arises.

The exceptions would be some com-bloc calibers, like 7.62x25mm Tokarev, 7.62x39mm, and 7.62x54R. Those are cheap enough to just stock-pile a crapload of ammo in each caliber without breaking the bank and in the case of 7.62x39mm, get produced in fair amounts by U.S. manufacturers.

.38 Super just doesn't appeal to me. The guns are expensive, the ammo is expensive and difficult to find, and most of the calibers I own or use get the job done just as efficiently.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 1:30:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By mywifehatesguns:

Originally Posted By BigDozer66:
I wouldn't have a .38 Super.

BigDozer66



Why?



The .45 acp is just a better all around choice.

BigDozer66
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 1:35:40 PM EDT


My everyday carry gun. (Not a .38 Super!)



Because one .45 1911 style pistol is not enough!

BigDozer66
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 1:39:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
I personally don't want a gun chambered for .38 Super simply because I don't want a lot of oddball rounds in my collection. I want guns I can readily obtain ammo for if the need arises.

The exceptions would be some com-bloc calibers, like 7.62x25mm Tokarev, 7.62x39mm, and 7.62x54R. Those are cheap enough to just stock-pile a crapload of ammo in each caliber without breaking the bank and in the case of 7.62x39mm, get produced in fair amounts by U.S. manufacturers.

.38 Super just doesn't appeal to me. The guns are expensive, the ammo is expensive and difficult to find, and most of the calibers I own or use get the job done just as efficiently.



If you ever go south of the border, you'll run into .38 Super more often than you'll run into any of the rounds you listed..Mexico/Central/South America loves the .38 Super on the civilian side.
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 2:03:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BigDozer66:
img.photobucket.com/albums/v373/BigDozer66/DSCN0807Medium_edited.jpg

My everyday carry gun. (Not a .38 Super!)

img.photobucket.com/albums/v373/BigDozer66/KimberCustomCDP1.jpg

Because one .45 1911 style pistol is not enough!

BigDozer66



Nice pistola!!!
Link Posted: 8/12/2005 2:26:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Evil_Ed:

Originally Posted By Swindle1984:
I personally don't want a gun chambered for .38 Super simply because I don't want a lot of oddball rounds in my collection. I want guns I can readily obtain ammo for if the need arises.

The exceptions would be some com-bloc calibers, like 7.62x25mm Tokarev, 7.62x39mm, and 7.62x54R. Those are cheap enough to just stock-pile a crapload of ammo in each caliber without breaking the bank and in the case of 7.62x39mm, get produced in fair amounts by U.S. manufacturers.

.38 Super just doesn't appeal to me. The guns are expensive, the ammo is expensive and difficult to find, and most of the calibers I own or use get the job done just as efficiently.



If you ever go south of the border, you'll run into .38 Super more often than you'll run into any of the rounds you listed..Mexico/Central/South America loves the .38 Super on the civilian side.



I understand this. But frankly, I'd rather be holed up with a stockpile of ammo and let the shitholes come to me than go to the shitholes unarmed or lightly armed.
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