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Old 08-29-2004, 10:13 PM   #1
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New fan/carry pistol

I rarely, if ever, have gone into the caliber forums on this site. However, the .38 Super was enough to bring me in. No other caliber is as interesting to me as it; perhaps it is because I have been reading about the .45 and 9mm since I was 11, and the .40 and 10mm since they went mainstream in the early '90s (not long after I was 11). But, it was not until recently that I paid any attention to the .38 Super.

Earlier in the Summer I was given a 70 Series Colt Lightweight Commander .38 Super. Not long afterwards I bought a box of ammunition and took it out to the ranch to give it a try. Now I am not a fan of lightweight weapons, but this little pistol was great to shoot. I have since purchased a number of boxes of American Eagle .38 Super +P ammo and shot this little pistol quite a bit.

Unfortunately, mine has a few flaws. At some point a previous owner installed an early MMC rear sight that has not aged well and just doesn't seem to want to adjust. In addition to the almost invisible factory front sight, there is a good size scrape on the right side of the frame running down in front of the grip panel. So, it's not in the greatest collector's shape...not all bad.

I figure if this older Colt is not going to be a collector's piece, then it is going to stay a shooter and become a custom project piece. I would be particularly interested in any photos or information anyone might be able to provide on .38 Super 1911s for carry. Thanks!

-RHM
 
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Old 08-30-2004, 02:23 AM   #2
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Series 70 and earlier Colt 38 Supers headspaced that cartridge on the little semi-rim of the case, the rim usually slips right past the shoulder on the barrel hood and the extractor is all that holds it. This usually results in poor accuracy and gave the Super a bad name. With the Series 80, Colt finally switched to headspacing on the case mouth and the accuracy problems were cured.

Ballistically, the 38 Super was the first 9mm +P+. I think it is a good caliber, but then I like the 10mm, so I may just be nuts. :lol:
 
Old 10-11-2004, 10:33 AM   #3
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Just as an update on my project... I have managed to find a new Nowlin ramped barrel with a threaded cone bushing with muzzle "wafer." Personally, I would prefer a traditional bushing/barrel combination, but unless someone wants to trade, I guess I'm stuck with what I've got. Does anyone have any opinions for or against these? Will I still be able to use my standard guide rod and plug? Hopefully soon I will find a decent gunsmith to fit this and a few other parts I am still deciding on. Can anyone recommend in gunsmiths in the MD, southern PA, DE, northern VA areas?
-RHM
 
 
Old 11-14-2004, 02:04 PM   #4
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Change of plans...my Nowlin .38 Super barrel is listed on Ebay. I'm just not going to be able to fork out what it takes for the type of carry comp I wanted to do on this pistol, so it is going to go a different direction. Surprisingly, Novak's came out as the one for the most for the money on the custom work. I haven't sent it off yet, but hope to fairly soon. I would still appreciate any images of Commanders or other .38 Supers you might could post. Thanks.
-RHM
 
Old 11-14-2004, 05:11 PM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2002
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No pictures of mine, but welcome to the club! Found myself a LW Commander in Super almost a year ago. Someone had (poorly) installed a VERY high front sight, and tritium two-dot rear sight. (One dot was burned out.) The barrel appeared to headspace on the case mouth, but I wasn't sure. Struck up a very good deal on the piece, as it needed work no matter what future use I was planning for it.
Got my FLG to cut a dovetail up front, and slide in a tritium sight. I then put on a regular black rear sight with appropriately wide notch for non-precision use.
It seems I was right about the barrel headspacing the right way, as it shoots into an IPSC A-zone with ease at 25 yds. Good enough for me.
Sounds like our guns have similar histories, rhm0351. Just wish mine was originally cquired as a gift like yours was, but I'm not griping.
 
Old 11-14-2004, 06:24 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jan 2002
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I really lucked out on acquiring the LW Commander. It also came with another 35 or so more ranging from a Winchester 71 to a Colt Ace to a pair of every S&W frame size they have made since 1899 (one centerfire, one rimfire, when offered), and a matched, unfired set of Colt 1851s (1970s reproductions). But, next to a pair of custom shop S&W Model 18s, the LW Commander was my favorite of the lot I was given.
-RHM
 
Old 01-14-2005, 01:21 PM   #7
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Project completed: http://www.pistolsmith.com/viewtopic...=136201#136201

-RHM
 
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