Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >

Reloading All Reloading Topics Go Here


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-18-2020, 12:48 PM
max's Avatar
max max is offline
US Veteran
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: illinois
Posts: 4,875
Likes: 917
Liked 3,657 Times in 1,207 Posts
Default 38 Super Information

Sig has .38 super barrels for $29.00 and I ordered one for my RIA. I also ordered a magazine. I have been thinking about this since I got the 1911 9mm and want to give it a try. I have been reading about this round for over 40 years. I suppose I will have to order a new set of dies next. When I turned 70, I swore I wasn't going to flirt with any new calibers, but it seems to have happened.

What is the best diameter bullet to shoot or will any of the .355 to .358 stuff work? I do not know yet what the diameter of the new barrel will be.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-18-2020, 01:18 PM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 25,448
Likes: 13
Liked 17,166 Times in 9,135 Posts
Default

I have a Government Model (actually a M1911) I have set up to use .45, 9mm, and .38 Super. Same slide works for both 9mm and .38 Super, all you need are barrels and magazines for each and possibly a stronger recoil spring for use with the .38 Super. Recognize that the .45 ejector must be changed with one for 9mm/.38 Super. .38 Super uses the same bullet diameter as the 9mm, .355-.356. I also use my .38 Super barrel with 9x23 Winchester, but you will need a substantially stronger recoil spring for the 9x23. You will need a .38 Super die set.

Last edited by DWalt; 01-18-2020 at 01:19 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #3  
Old 01-18-2020, 01:45 PM
LoboGunLeather's Avatar
LoboGunLeather LoboGunLeather is offline
US Veteran
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 4,817
Likes: 5,017
Liked 15,862 Times in 3,063 Posts
Default

Yup. Differences in the ejector, extractor, recoil spring in addition to the barrel and magazine. Like DWalt said, best approach is to set up an upper (slide, barrel, recoil spring) for use with .38 Super, and you will still have to R&R the extractor in your lower each time you swap back and forth.

Another possible issue will be the barrel link, which locks the barrel in battery to the slide (these are made in several overall lengths to allow fine tuning of that critical function). After setting up the new barrel with the barrel link I would peen the link pin firmly in place and keep that together as a unit.

I would wait until the barrel arrives and slug it for groove diameter, then choose bullets accordingly. My old Colt Super .38 handles just about anything, including cast .357 SWC up to 150 grains, but I'm sure most will do best with 9mm bullets in the usual range (115-130 grains).
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #4  
Old 01-18-2020, 01:55 PM
bigggbbruce's Avatar
bigggbbruce bigggbbruce is offline
Member
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Where this month?
Posts: 3,326
Likes: 232
Liked 3,725 Times in 1,553 Posts
Default

9mm is .355
38 super is .356
38spl./357 is .357

yes all those will work.. but 38 super is .356
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #5  
Old 01-18-2020, 02:12 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,487
Likes: 4
Liked 2,270 Times in 1,195 Posts
Default

I don't have any .38 Supers now, but did have two Colts years ago. I used cast bullets mostly but neither gun shot very accurately with cast or jacketed bullets. If I was going to work with a .38 Super again, I'd use the largest diameter cast bullet that would allow cartridge chambering without difficulty. That might be .356" but it might also be larger.

In all 9mm pistols I've tried so far, bullets of around .358" (as long as they permit easy chambering) are usually more accurate than smaller diameter bullets. However, IF you have everything just right with bullet fit, alloy mix, and powder charge, a smaller diameter bullet would probably obturate to the point where accuracy could be very good, regardless of the cartridge.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-18-2020, 02:30 PM
CH4's Avatar
CH4 CH4 is offline
Member
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Nevada/Philippines
Posts: 3,914
Likes: 8,375
Liked 7,076 Times in 2,371 Posts
Default

I have a 9mm DW Specialist I had a .38S barrel fitted to. Great combo!
Attached Thumbnails
38 Super Information-1e69a863-2048-49cd-a057-e0a78bb28062-jpg  
__________________
FBINA 213
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #7  
Old 01-18-2020, 03:10 PM
Funflyer's Avatar
Funflyer Funflyer is offline
Member
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Central Arizona
Posts: 637
Likes: 565
Liked 905 Times in 337 Posts
Default

I bought a Sig 38S barrel to fit to my SR1911 10mm. Using a standard link it fit very nice with just a bit of upper lug stoning, so far fits nicer than the stock barrel. Still need to weld a tack on each side of the hood to fit properly in lock-up but waiting on a TIG welder. Anyway, the Sig barrel mic'd at .3552" so a .356"-.357" coated bullet should make it shoot real well.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-18-2020, 03:24 PM
Ia.redneck Ia.redneck is offline
Member
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: May 2012
Location: NE Iowa
Posts: 39
Likes: 2
Liked 14 Times in 9 Posts
Default

I put one of those Sig 38 Super barrels (made in Korea) in a Springfield 1911 38 Super that has mediocre accuracy. I wasn't expecting much given where its made. What a surprise! It shoots WAY better than the stock Springfield barrel. Really likes the .357 Hornady 125gr XTP you would normally load for 38 Special/357. I slugged the new Sig barrel at.3555. I usually size lead bullets at .3575 for it.

Last edited by Ia.redneck; 01-18-2020 at 03:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-18-2020, 04:04 PM
boatbum101 boatbum101 is offline
Member
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Pensacola,FL
Posts: 1,414
Likes: 2,531
Liked 688 Times in 347 Posts
Default

+ 1 on slugging the actual barrel you're going to use . That way no suprises . Size your cast bullet .002 over bore slug size . Join the Bullseye-L forum it's free . Guy named Len V has done this & posted a couple of threads complete with loads , targets etc . IIRC he also used one of those SIG barrels .
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-18-2020, 08:13 PM
LoboGunLeather's Avatar
LoboGunLeather LoboGunLeather is offline
US Veteran
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 4,817
Likes: 5,017
Liked 15,862 Times in 3,063 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigggbbruce View Post
9mm is .355
38 super is .356
38spl./357 is .357

yes all those will work.. but 38 super is .356
This is correct, so far as nominal production dimensions are concerned. In each production cycle there will be tool wear that results in different dimensions from one finished piece to the next, and there must be manufacturing tolerances to compensate.

I have seen Colt Python revolvers with groove diameters as small as .354". I have seen Browning Hi Power 9mm pistols with groove diameters as large as .358". Some .380 ACP pistols have been reported to have groove diameters as large as .362", although the standard bullet diameter is .355. There is simply no way in the universe for every .38 Super barrel from every producer to have identical dimensions (nor any other caliber for that matter).

Assuming that any firearm conforms perfectly to SAAMI standards (chamber, bore, groove diameter, headspace, ball seat/freebore or any other specification) is like putting on blinders to protect us from reality. Manufacturing processes, machine tools, boring devices, rifling buttons, and every other part of the process will vary, and each will function differently as wear and tear takes its toll through the production run.

The only true constant is manufacturing tolerance. Beyond that is manufacturing tolerances (which may include errors or intentional disregard).
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #11  
Old 01-20-2020, 04:51 PM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 25,448
Likes: 13
Liked 17,166 Times in 9,135 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigggbbruce View Post
9mm is .355
38 super is .356
38spl./357 is .357

yes all those will work.. but 38 super is .356
Official SAAMI bullet diameter tolerance specifications are as follows:

9x19 - 0.3525-0.3555
.38 Super/.38 ACP - 0.3500-0.3560
.38 Special (jacketed) - 0.3550-0.3580

I have loaded .38 Super cases using .38 Special bullets. The only possible problem is that larger diameter bullets may expand the .38 Super case mouth making it difficult to chamber the round. If such loaded rounds do not enter the chamber easily, I would not use them. There needs to be a little space in the chamber to allow case mouth expansion for bullet release upon firing.

Last edited by DWalt; 01-20-2020 at 05:33 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #12  
Old 01-23-2020, 10:33 AM
max's Avatar
max max is offline
US Veteran
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: illinois
Posts: 4,875
Likes: 917
Liked 3,657 Times in 1,207 Posts
Default

After more thought, I have decided to cancel this project. I am sending the barrel and magazine back. They should arrive today. I will stick with the 9mm and .45acp.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-23-2020, 11:13 AM
colt_saa's Avatar
colt_saa colt_saa is offline
SWCA Member
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Cocoa Beach, Florida
Posts: 7,978
Likes: 1,163
Liked 13,111 Times in 3,756 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by max View Post
After more thought, I have decided to cancel this project. I am sending the barrel and magazine back. They should arrive today. I will stick with the 9mm and .45acp.
max,
That is a shame.

The 38 SUPER appears to be inherently more accurate than the 9MM Parabellum cartridge.

Each and every 38 SUPER firearm that I own or have tried is a tack driver. Much more accurate than their 9MM Parabellum brothers (if there is one)

Additionally, it might just be the powders I use, the 38 SUPPER does not go off with a BANG like a 9MM Parabellum, it has a nice deep throaty KaaaBOOM that is very satisfying to hear
__________________
"Acta non verba"
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #14  
Old 02-01-2020, 01:41 PM
Rock185's Avatar
Rock185 Rock185 is offline
US Veteran
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Under the Tonto Rim
Posts: 1,122
Likes: 8,842
Liked 1,436 Times in 555 Posts
Default

Max, I agree with colt_saa. 38S is a Fun, versatile, caliber, not complicated to reload,etc. I've used bullets from .354" to 358" in various pistols. It's not rocket surgery
BTW, I ordered one of the SIG 38S barrels mentioned just to try out. Very nicely finished in and out, dropped in without loose/sloppy fit, accurate as factory barrel, and ZERO malfunctions with factory or reloaded ammo.

BTW, depending on particular chamber and die dimensions, you may be able to load the 38S with your 9MM dies....
__________________
NRA Life, COTEP 640

Last edited by Rock185; 02-01-2020 at 01:43 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-01-2020, 05:01 PM
boatbum101 boatbum101 is offline
Member
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Pensacola,FL
Posts: 1,414
Likes: 2,531
Liked 688 Times in 347 Posts
Default

38 Super will make you throw rocks at the 9mm .
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-02-2020, 11:19 AM
max's Avatar
max max is offline
US Veteran
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: illinois
Posts: 4,875
Likes: 917
Liked 3,657 Times in 1,207 Posts
Default

The barrel and magazine have been returned. Maybe I will try again someday. A guy on the 1911 forum reported that the RIA's 9mm guns might not work with .38 Super. I will keep reading.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-02-2020, 12:54 PM
PALADIN85020's Avatar
PALADIN85020 PALADIN85020 is offline
US Veteran
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 7,950
Likes: 2,087
Liked 30,974 Times in 3,881 Posts
Default

Little known fact: .38 Super and .38 ACP cartridges will fit and function in .357 Magnum revolver chambers... the semi-rim is the reason - it provides the necessary headspace to keep the round from falling through the chamber. That semi-rim is a bit slimmer than the .357's, but it's close enough to allow firing.

The .38 Super and .38 ACP have identical dimensions, but the Super round, loaded to much higher pressure, should never be fired in a .38 ACP pistol such as the Colt 1903 Pocket Hammer. When the Super was first offered, the cases were nickeled to distinguish them from .38 ACP rounds.

John
__________________
- Cogito, ergo armatus sum -

Last edited by PALADIN85020; 02-02-2020 at 01:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Like Post:
  #18  
Old 02-02-2020, 03:22 PM
max's Avatar
max max is offline
US Veteran
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: illinois
Posts: 4,875
Likes: 917
Liked 3,657 Times in 1,207 Posts
Default

At one time, I think Ayoob or someone was recommending carrying super ammo in the .357.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-03-2020, 01:06 AM
DWalt's Avatar
DWalt DWalt is offline
Member
38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information 38 Super Information  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 25,448
Likes: 13
Liked 17,166 Times in 9,135 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PALADIN85020 View Post
Little known fact: .38 Super and .38 ACP cartridges will fit and function in .357 Magnum revolver chambers... the semi-rim is the reason - it provides the necessary headspace to keep the round from falling through the chamber. That semi-rim is a bit slimmer than the .357's, but it's close enough to allow firing.

The .38 Super and .38 ACP have identical dimensions, but the Super round, loaded to much higher pressure, should never be fired in a .38 ACP pistol such as the Colt 1903 Pocket Hammer. When the Super was first offered, the cases were nickeled to distinguish them from .38 ACP rounds.

John
Not exactly correct, and it is fairly widely known. Some makes of .38 Super ammo will chamber OK in some .38 Special and .357 revolvers. And some will not. It is a matter of diameter tolerances for the cartridge cases and revolver chambers. I have a friend who has a Ruger Security Six which will chamber and fire all brands of .38 Super ammo, but it is probably because its chambers are on the sloppy side. You have to try it and see. If .38 Super ammo fits and you want to shoot it, fine. Same idea as firing .32 ACP ammo in .32 S&W Long revolvers. For several reasons I do not recommend the latter, but it can be done.

Last edited by DWalt; 02-03-2020 at 01:10 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
RCBS 38 Super carbide die set; R-P 38 super brass elfego baca Accessories/Misc - For Sale or Trade 0 07-03-2019 02:26 PM
5906 “Super 9” Information skjos Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols 138 05-29-2019 11:06 AM
4506 .40 super .45 super info needed 3rdgenman Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols 11 03-22-2015 06:50 PM
Information of Model 66 "Super K" WCCPHD S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present 3 04-06-2013 08:39 PM
Vintage Lab Test of 38 Ammunition- Super Police and Super Vel BreakerDan Ammo 3 11-05-2009 12:22 AM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:09 AM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.42 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
© S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2020
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)