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Posted: 4/15/2006 4:59:36 PM EST
So I found a nice looking 38 Super from Springfield Armory last week and bought. it. It was used but in great shape. Ramped barrel, basically a Mil-Spec model with the taller sights. I was thinking I'd like to turn this into a "fun gun" for USPSA. Two things have me hesitant though.

1. Ammo availability. I've found 5 boxes of 50 in my area. I'm thinking converting it to 9mm would make finding ammo a lot less of a problem. Is this feasible? Obviously I'd need a new barrel and bushing, but would I be able to use the same mags? An eyeball check says yes, but I'd love to hear from anyone with actual experience with this.

2. Who does the work? Springfield Custom shop? YoBo? Local guy?

I'd love to hear from other 38 Super owners out there. I love my 1911's, but 45 beats me up a little bit. I would think a smaller caliber 1911 would be all sort of fun. 10 rounds at a time sounds nice too.
Link Posted: 4/15/2006 5:47:21 PM EST
Sometimes you can use the same mags. Small chance you may need 9mm mags.

You dont need a new bushing as long as the old fits the new barrel.

All you will need to change is the barrel. Maybe a recoil sping. 9mm and 38 super use the same slide, ejector, extractor, and firing pin.

If the barrel is a drop in you can do it yourself. If you buy a gunsmith barrel a local gunsmith can fit a 1911 barrel.

I have gone from 9mm to 38 super, now I am going from 45 acp to 9mm.

Being both make minor PF have fun with the gun in ipsc (USPSA) 2 options there ltd 10 or this new divison called single stack.
Link Posted: 4/15/2006 5:57:01 PM EST
Link Posted: 4/15/2006 6:02:17 PM EST
Fitting a new barrel is work for an experienced professional. I would send it to Yost-Bonitz, but I have a YoBo habit. You could also send it to the SA custom shop--they do excellent work by all accounts.
Link Posted: 4/15/2006 8:23:41 PM EST
First off, converting it to 9mm from 38 Super is a VERY simple process, but should be done by a good gunsmith. After that, you MIGHT have to get new mags due to the shorter OAL of the 9x19, versus the .38 Super. Not a big deal as mags are cheap.

Being in VA, you could send it up PA to Evolution Gun Works. George Smith is one of the best gunsmiths period.

BTW, ramped barrels still use a standard link.

SPC Richard A. White, Senior Medic
249th MP Detachment (EACF)
Camp Humphreys, ROK


Link Posted: 4/17/2006 4:13:43 PM EST
Or you could just sell it and buy a factory 9mm. I wouldn't mind a SA milspec in .38 S.
Are things cooling down at Hump., Bigdawg?
Link Posted: 4/17/2006 4:21:34 PM EST
Springfield quoted me $175 to fit a 9mm barrel to my Mil-Spec 38 Super.



Link Posted: 4/17/2006 8:13:02 PM EST
I agree, you should reload. It is the only way to make the 38 Super affordable. It is a great caliber. I have the same pistol. I got rid of the lockable mainspring housing and had a CMC thumb and grip safety installed. I also had a Nowlin trigger put in. I left the sights alone because they are on with any type of ammo. Which is astonishing. If I come across another pistol like it, I'll snap it up. $175 for a fitted barrel is a good deal.
Link Posted: 4/18/2006 2:07:51 AM EST
that cost better labor and parts?
Link Posted: 4/18/2006 3:13:27 AM EST
You might be able to get away with a Nowlin drop-in 9mm barrel. I put one in my .38 Super but it had to be fit.

.38 Super mags will probably work with ball ammo. If you want to run JHP's you'll more than likely need to buy the "Springfield" mags with the little spacer/feed ramp in the front of the tube.

Try Tripp Research for custom work. Virgil's second to none with price and turn-around.
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