Colt 38 Super ?

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by TJC357, Oct 25, 2019.

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  1. TJC357

    TJC357 Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    763
    Oct 18, 2011
    I just placed an order for one of the new Colt Series 70 38 Super with a 5" N.M Bbl. I've never shot a 38 super before but have read some articles about that caliber and I always wanted one. My questions are more geared toward ammo brand and bullet grain weight. What are some of the ammo brands that are good and which ones should I stay away from. I'm planning on reloading once I get all the data and components worked out. Also what Mags. would be good to get. The gun is standard COLT Mod. style I figured at least it would be a good base gun for future mods once I shot it and got used to it. I would appreciate any advice any one could give me to get started. The Colt won't be here till sometime next month. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
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  2. Joni Lynn

    Joni Lynn Professional Pest, NRA Patron member

    Dec 21, 2014
    Congrats.
    Try to determine the bore size. Traditional size would be .3565" while a good number of people now make their 38 Super barrels in .355".
    Best wishes.
     
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  3. Brianfede

    Brianfede Well-Known Member

    179
    Sep 11, 2018
    I have a Les Baer 38 Super and an STI DVC Ltd in 38 Super. Factory ammo as you are likely aware is pretty expensive. I have purchase all the cheap stuff, Armscor, Magtech and Aguilla in 125 to 130 grain, you can find it for $15 ish a box. I haven't had any issues whatsoever and have a good 3k rounds of this stuff thru my 2 guns. I just purchased a Dillon and will be reloading in the next month.
     
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  4. TheCollector

    TheCollector Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2018
    I'm not a serious comp. shooter but do enjoy shooting my several .38 sups. I was given a light load recipe for Mrs. C when she shoots her two .38s. A lighter recoil spring is needed. I load mine a little heavier but not hot. Armscor was my first factory purchase and it worked fine. It seems to bulge some if you reuse the brass for reloads. I think you will find that caliber to be .38 superb as @Dwe calls it.
     
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  5. TJC357

    TJC357 Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    763
    Oct 18, 2011
    Thanks for the replies, I'm going to look on line for some ammo and do some more research on my reloading data. I've only shot and reloaded for my .45cal's. I've got two Wilson CQBE's, Colt NM, Les Baer TRS, and a SA GI. This will be my first non .45cal, that I ever owned so I'm kind of stoked to get it and try it out.
     
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  6. cmblake6

    cmblake6 New Member

    2
    Oct 25, 2019
    The .38 Super is a superb cartridge. I've had several. Bonnie and Clyde were taken out by Melvin Purvis with one. If you want an even hotter load, go 9x23. It starts where the Super ends. And all of my Supers have loved it with no modifications.
     
  7. Dallas Knight

    Dallas Knight Max Otto von Stierlitz

    Jun 22, 2015
    Ahhhh....yea,
    NO.
    Melvin Purvis did not kill Bonnie & Clyde - he had nothing to do with it.


    Purvis is most noted for bringing down John Dillinger - even though he didn’t fire his weapon at all. Purvis officially recorded “two or three” other g-men shot Dillinger. He stated point blank (pardon the pun), that he had not shot during the episode.

    Purvis committed suicide in 1960 by shooting himself in the head with his .45ACP 1911.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
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  8. BCD 45

    BCD 45 Well-Known Member

    Feb 13, 2019
    Bonnie & Clyde were taken out in 1934 by a posse led by a Texas Ranger named Frank Hamer. One of his relatives, also named Frank after him, is one of my best friends and just retired from law enforcement.
     
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  9. im.runandgun

    im.runandgun Member

    33
    Dec 11, 2015
    I'm guessing the barrel you purchased to convert the 1911 is not supported, so stay with lighter loads and factory ammo.

    Sent from my SM-T590 using Tapatalk
     
  10. TJC357

    TJC357 Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    763
    Oct 18, 2011
    I didn't buy a barrel I bought the whole gun. I went back and edited the orginal post.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
  11. Busa Dave

    Busa Dave Well-Known Member

    Mar 3, 2018
    Just so you are aware if you were to take a dial caliper to the OFB out of the super an the 9x23 fired out of the super barrel you would see the reason there are 2 different chamberings. The 9x23 operates at 55k psi where the super operates at 36.5 psi and more importantly it is a straight wall case whereas the 9x23 is a tapered case. The taper makes the 9x23 when fired in a 38 super barrel forced into compression at the back of the case (caused reliability problems for mine) and the front does not fill to the edge of the chamber. This is not good for accuracy and can cause reliability problems which I now about first hand because of a build I had done that was not done correctly shall we say.

    Just to make sure everyone knows the two chamberings are Not interchangeable. The Purvis issue has already been addressed. :)
     
  12. TJC357

    TJC357 Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    763
    Oct 18, 2011
    Am I ever sorry I posted this. I ordered a whole new gun, a COLT 70 SERIES chambered in 38super and all I wanted to know is what brand of ammo and what brands of Mags. that were reliable. Thanks for the history lesson on Bonnie & Clyde but that really didn't answer my questions but it was a good read. Thanks for the replies I'll just figure it out on my own.
     
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  13. Busa Dave

    Busa Dave Well-Known Member

    Mar 3, 2018
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  14. Descartian

    Descartian Well-Known Member

    Apr 13, 2017
    I’ve shot Aguilla and S&B for range ammo @ 124gr. I carry Underwood or buffalo bore that are on the hot side.

    Some 1911’s can be mag finicky but I’ve always had good luck with Wilson mags.
     
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  15. TJC357

    TJC357 Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    763
    Oct 18, 2011
    Thanks guy, I wasn't trying to be a smart ass I really enjoyed the Bonnie & Clyde read, just poking fun at myself on my post. I'll start looking for ammo and may order some Wilson Mags. I've had good luck with them, then I'll start reading up on my reloading and see what all I need.
     
  16. dakota1911

    dakota1911 Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2015
    My 38 Super experience began back in the 70s when I traded into a Colt 1911 in 38 Super with about 500 rounds of fired brass and the reloading dies. I was not impressed with it and after about a year I traded it off with about 400 rounds of more fired brass and the reloading dies. Of course today we know it was about 1986 or so that Colt started headspacing the 38 Super on the front of the case and not the semi rim.

    Anyway flash forward and in 2009 a friend bought a Colt XSE LW Commander in 38 Super. I was with him at the LGS and, knowing he did not reload, reminded him 38 Super was a bit pricey. Anyway, within the year I bought the pistol from him for a good price with the box etc. It is in the middle below with a 2006 XSE LW Commander 45ACP on top and a 2015 XSE LW Commander in 9mm Luger on the bottom.

    [​IMG]

    Anyway with the 2009 I bought and fit a Nowlin 9mm (9x19) "drop in" barrel and bushing (I will now stop and laugh about the "drop in" part). Anyway I also bought some 38 Super ammo and was very impressed with shooting it. So impressed I ordered some 38 Super reloading dies.

    My second 38 Super was also a Colt I bought in 2013. A LGS had a lovely 1991 Gov. The fit and finish was very nice. I bought it and was impressed and how well it shot. My wife calls it my "Dillinger gun". I tell her it is more like the great grandson of one he might have carried.

    [​IMG]

    Flash forward and the last one I bought was a Gold Cup Lite in 38 Super last fall. Below it is field stripped after I bought it.

    [​IMG]

    Now as to commercial ammo and chamber size. Some time ago I was playing with some store bought 38 Super and I still buy it even though I reload. I had been out shooting some Ruger Blackhawks in 357 Mag and was trying some 38 Super in the cylinders. By the way the SS one is built more than 10 years after the blued one. Also I tried playing with different cylinders and Ruger did get all 6 the same.

    [​IMG]

    Anyway the Magtech and Armscor dropped right in. The white box in the middle dropped into the SS cylinder but I would have had to push it a bit in the blue one. American Eagle might have gone in if I had reeeely pushed it. Remington no way. The moral of the story is there is a difference in the store bought 38 Super so chamber size is not trivial.

    Next there is the fact Colt does not have a "fully supported" chamber. Years ago now there was an article on "Glock Bulge" with 40 S&W I think it was in "Handloader" magazine. Anyway they talked about an undersized sizing die EGW Gun Parts made. I ordered one as I am more into 10mm than 38 Super. While at EGW they also had one in 38 Super so I ordered that also.

    http://www.egwguns.com/index.php?p=catalog&mode=search&search_in=all&search_str=sizing+dies

    Anyway, enjoy your 38 Super. As mentioned before I would have more but went down the 10mm road so that took away time from the 38 Super.
     
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  17. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2015
    You will like the .38 Superb. I have had good luck with Aguila, S&B, Fiochi, and Geco ammo. For carry ammo, Underwood. I have used Tripp mags with no problems. Current setup is Metalform mags. 2 came with the DW, so I picked up a couple more, they work fine and are flush fit to bottom of grip.

    Reloading is the way to go with 38 Superb, but I can usually find ammo around town, I order JHP ammo online.
     
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  18. dakota1911

    dakota1911 Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2015
    Maybe a good time to show a comparison between 9mm Luger on the left (9x19), then 38 Super (9x23SR). Next is our good ol 45ACP. On the right a 10mm (10x25).

    [​IMG]

    Actually my next purchase for my shooty collection may be the recently announced Colt GCNM in 38 Super. I have a 2015 in 45 ACP and a 2017 in 9mm but now Colt has one in 38 Super.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. TheCollector

    TheCollector Well-Known Member

    Aug 25, 2018
    I found Fiocchi to be the best value for a decent factory ammo.
     
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