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Posted: 11/26/2001 9:06:06 AM EDT
Can anyone tell me anything about the .38 super handgun cartridge. I cannot seem to find any usefull info about it, other than the usual commercial propoganda. Has anybody had any experience with it, or heard something about it? Thanks
Link Posted: 11/26/2001 9:24:31 AM EDT
L. Snake, lots of competitive shooters use this cartridge. What's your use ??
Link Posted: 11/26/2001 9:35:53 AM EDT
What exactly to you want to know about it? It was developed, in the 30s I believe, as a semi-auto equivalent to the 357 Mag. There's little commercial ammo available but there's a small group of idividuals who think it's a great CCW round. Like 5subslr5 said, it's popular in competition. In fact, it's THE cartridge in IPSC Open Division.
Link Posted: 11/26/2001 10:09:45 AM EDT
Have used it in IPSC Open division since 1995. Reloading the round provides the ability to "tune" the load to the gun weight, barrel length and compensator combination so the dot stays in the "A" zone of the standard IPSC target on consecutive shots. There are 1911 Colts chambered for .38 Super. Tougher to find than the standared .45 ACP. HoldHard
Link Posted: 11/26/2001 10:32:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By stipilot: What exactly to you want to know about it? It was developed, in the 30s I believe, as a semi-auto equivalent to the 357 Mag. There's little commercial ammo available but there's a small group of idividuals who think it's a great CCW round. Like 5subslr5 said, it's popular in competition. In fact, it's THE cartridge in IPSC Open Division.
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At the top level in the IPSC Open, the .38 Super Comp has begun to replace the older .38 Super. The Comp is rimless, it cycles more reliably because of that reason. OT: The current European IPSC Open 2001 Junior shoot off winner comes from here where i live, extremely gifted individual and im pleased to call him my friend.
Link Posted: 11/26/2001 10:45:06 AM EDT
It started life as the .38ACP and was chambered in several autos around the turn of the century. It didn't sell, and it died. In the thirties, Law Enforcement wanted a round that had better penetration than the .38spec, etc that they were using, and the old .38ACP was brought out and hot loaded. It became the .38 Super. They were chambered in the Govt Model, and had some success. Not a great amount, but enough to keep it around. The .38ACP and .38Super can be fired in the same chamber, so there's the obvious danger of firing the Super in an old gun. There's not too many of those around, so it's not a big problem. You can compare the stats from the ammo company propaganda. It's popular in competition where power factors matter. There's something about the power class of a cartridge, and you can load the .38Super to run in the same class as the .45 without the recoil, etc. I'm not up on that stuff, but it's a popular IPSC round. Another big boost is overseas, especially Mexico. You can't own a gun in a military caliber in many countries, and the .38Super isn't a military caliber. So it does great overseas. Accuracy will depend on the gun. The cartridge has a semi-rim. If the headspacing is done on that semi-rim, usually accuracy suffers (as most of the older Colts did). If it's headspaced on the case mouth (like any other auto cartridge), then thye usually as a pretty accurate round. Ross
Link Posted: 11/26/2001 11:48:12 AM EDT
What do I know about .38 Super? I know that I can run the empty casings through my .357 Mag. resizer dies and then shoot the casings through my Model 19. Wonder if that counts as a "stupid reloader trick?"
Link Posted: 11/26/2001 1:22:59 PM EDT
i've got a Caspian Framed//colt slide gun that i had built in the early 90's when i could still run fast and squat low enough to shoot IPSC....if you buy a 38 super you should be able to shoot any 38 super commercial ammo in it--i'm not aware of Remington or winchester or anybody like that selling ammo that would hurt it.....where you get into a problem with the super is when you reload for it.....if you're shooting a stock gun that has an unsupported chamber like a colt 1911 45....i've got a casing glued to my powder scales that blew out in the side of the casing back near the rim -- that i loaded hot and shot in an old 38 super that was unsupported.....generally you can tell the guns with the supported chambers because they'll have a feed ramp that goes down into the frame like a glock or browning..... the most accurate pistol i ever owned was a colt 38 super with a Barstow unsupported barrel...so the 38 super is a great round i now shoot the caspian framed gun mentioned above at NRA action pistol matches with loads (Never chronographed) but i guess that may be little hotter than a 9mm with a 125gr lead bullet. as far as it ever being the equivilent of a 357 mag i would say that is a gross overstatement (Unless you've got a new supported barrel and are shooting IPSC power loads) By the way--practically everybody i know shoots IPSC power level bullets keeps a "Good" Pistolsmith on retainer to keep the parts replaced that it WILL tear up.......Dick
Link Posted: 11/26/2001 1:37:55 PM EDT
Actually, it was intended to be Colt's equivalent to the 38/44 outdoorsman that S&W came out with for law enforcement purposes. the 357 round came out later and buried the 38 super.
Link Posted: 11/26/2001 1:56:41 PM EDT
A .38 super was one of the first Loads I ever shot. I was in a handgun defense class, and my teacher called up one of his Competition shooter friends and he brought down his .38 super caspian. It had a red dot scope, 28 round meg, trigger job, match barrel and all kinds of balancing tricks done to it. Total price on gun was $3200. He used home loads so his .38 super sounded and felt like a .50 AE or a beefed up .44 meg round. Except when I shot it, it felt like a .380!!! It was amazing! I was told by him the .38 super is mostly a competition round.
Link Posted: 11/26/2001 3:04:48 PM EDT
My absolute favorite recreational pistol cartridge. You can safely push a 115 grain bullet from 1000 fps to well over 1300,and most of the open class boys are closer to 1600.Light loads are pretty much the same as 9mm Luger.Loaded hot it makes a hell of boom,and with some slower powders it throws YARDS of muzzle flash. At higher velocities it will shoot wicked flat,like dead on holds at 100 yds.With a flush mag you can get two more shots than 45 too.Unfortunetly you GENERALLY cant expect 100% reliability in a single stack 1911 in 38 Super without some "tuning" .Personally I wouldn't want to get hit with a 115 grain hollowpoint at 1500 fps ,but if its a real life defensive pistol you seek, there might be better choices.
Link Posted: 11/26/2001 8:21:24 PM EDT
I've been shooting IPSC for nearly 20yrs. 38 super for almost that much. Not sure what you plan to use this round for but if you use the factory loaded round it's really only a little better than a 9mm. The 38 super round in competion is another story! Handloaded in highly modified IPSC guns with ramped barrels can be loaded very "HOT" to make IPSC "major power factor", but once these pistols are modified to IPSC specs. with a comp most of them dont shoot factory loads very well if at all. If you plan to use the round for defense you'd be better off with a 45 acp or a 40s&w, If you plan on shooting IPSC the 38 super is hard to beat in open class- WELCOM TO THE DARK SIDE!
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 4:02:02 PM EDT
Thanks for the advice guys. I recently acquired my purchase permit, and was deciding on a caliber for a general purpose range/protection gun. I have heard about .38 super before, but I just wanted to know a little more about it, as to build my knowledge about the various calibers available.
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 9:28:15 PM EDT
A little more info..... Last I checked, the load from Cor-Bon for 38 Super and 357 Sig were near carbon copies. I have a Mark IV Series 80 in bright stainless steel (miror finish), factory wrap around grips and three dot sight. Fits the hand nicely. According to Colt, it's a 98 production. (You can see the 1991-A1 series chambers it too (a few are still out there.))Bought it to replace my dad's old one (it was retired from use, not sold). I can say one thing, the old ammo from Winchester, loose pack box, no styrafoam, IS MUCH hotter then the stuff they sell today. And that's 130grain bullet too!!! Sprinfeild Armory is selling a 38 Super. EAA has one also and if you find the hicap mags.... sweet. Sig chambered the Super in the P220 a while ago (no more)....found one of them too. Someone also said that there was a Tommy Gun chambered for 38 Super too, back in the 20's. That would be sweet. The 38 Super is a great round. When loaded properly, its much better then a 9mm. The 38 TJ round is a modified 38 Super. Has the same case dimentions, but is a true rimless. But it has internal webbing. It can be used in 38 Super guns. I think it allows a warm load in the unsuported barrel guns. But caution is advised.
Link Posted: 11/27/2001 10:31:51 PM EDT
Any time you find fired .38 super cases you can assume it's been fired by mexican immigrants. IPSC guys police their brass.
Link Posted: 11/28/2001 6:33:39 AM EDT
they may think they police it up but Dick "Brass Magnet" Holliday is the final solution.............Dick
Link Posted: 11/28/2001 7:49:33 AM EDT
There's a fella named Dane Burns who's a gunsmith and an extreme advocate of the .38 sooper as a defense cartridge. He's got a website that I don't remember the URL of. Try a web search on his name & see what pops up. He's reputed to be quite a character, though I don't know him personally.
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