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  1. #1
    45Sidekick's Avatar
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    38super vs. 45acp

    i have been considering getting a 1911 framed pistol and i am a big fan of 45acp's so im prone to get one in 45. anyways i've also noticed that more and more 1911 framed 38super's are popping up. ive read a few articles on the round and a few reviews but no hands on experience with the round itself. so what im wanting to know is side by side how do they stack up against each other. especially like to hear from someone who has a 1911 framed 38super and how it handles and accuracy. im sure ill end up with one in 45 but considering the 38super as well
    thanks
    45Sidekick

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  3. #2
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    You may have trouble finding .38 Super ammunition, while .45 ACP is available in grocery stores and news stands all across the nation.
    I hear that .38 Super is big in Mexico, though.

    The .38 Super is a high-velocity round that was designed in (I believe) the 1930s, to go through automobile windshields. It was meant for use by highway-patrol and other police officers.
    As I have written elsewhere, the ballistics of the cartridge aren't important unless the delivery system (that is, you) can place each and every shot accurately and effectively, in which case almost any round will suffice if you understand its limitations.

    The reason that .38 Super 1911s are "popping up" may be that their owners are dissatisfied with some aspect of the gun's performance. High-velocity cartridges are hard to control, and to deliver accurate fire with.

  4. #3
    45Sidekick's Avatar
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    Thank you steve

  5. #4
    extremist's Avatar
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    I have recently become enamored with the 38 Super round and started reloading/shooting mine about 6 months ago. I have two Wilson Combat 9mm/38Super combo guns so I can shoot either cartridge. While 38 Super ammo is not available at Walmart, it IS available and can be found from major manufacturers at about the same cost as .45. Armscorp, Aguilla and Fiocchi make great loads. But you have to order from the internet, not your local gun store

    Where 38 Super really shines is if you are a reloader. Initially the brass will cost more to obtain at about 2x the price of .45 brass, but if you don't load major loads, they will last for a long time. 38 Super is more reliable in the 1911 frame than the 9mm (although if you have a Wilson that's a moot point). But I find the feeding is more positive, and I don't have to be as concerned about OAL and case bulges like you do with 9mm. That's because the 38 Super is a straight walled case and the 9mm is not, it's tapered and if you use a Dillon Square Deal B like I do, the case bulges at the base caused by Glocks and other guns that don't have a fully supported chamber sometimes don't get re-sized in that area and are problematic. Not an issue with 38 Super.

    Mine are superbly accurate and I can basically use the same load and bullets as my 9mm to make IDPA ESP Power Factor of 125 easily.

    Lot's of good resources for 38 Super on the web. If you have lots of .45s and want something different, get a 38 Super.

    Regards,
    James

  6. #5
    extremist's Avatar
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    Oh and Did I mention there is hardly any recoil with the 38 Super? Another good and fun reason to shoot that caliber. More fun than a 9mm because you can soup it up if you want to.

    James

  7. #6
    Cat's Avatar
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    Both are great,Love your pistols & And they will love you back. A clean pistol is a good working tool.

  8. #7
    Vintage Racer's Avatar
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    .45 ACP.

    It's because a 1911 should be a .45 and because that ammo is cheaper (around here).

  9. #8
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by extremist View Post
    Oh and Did I mention there is hardly any recoil with the 38 Super?...
    That's not exactly true.
    The .38 Super loaded to proper cartridge specifications has about the same perceived recoil as does a .45 ACP. But if it's downloaded a bit and fired in a fairly heavy, compensated, "full race" gun, it's a pussycat.

  10. #9
    extremist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    That's not exactly true.
    The .38 Super loaded to proper cartridge specifications has about the same perceived recoil as does a .45 ACP. But if it's downloaded a bit and fired in a fairly heavy, compensated, "full race" gun, it's a pussycat.
    True, I was speaking specifically about IDPA minor power factor loads. Pussycats in both my all steel CQB and in my ULC.

    James

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