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Old 11-13-2004, 01:17 PM   #1
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Questions about 38 super

I don't know anything about 38 super and am looking for a couple of answers. I have a Gold Cup and a Delta Elite, but have never fired (or even seen) a 38 super.

1. Please describe the felt recoil of the 38 super as compared to the 45ACP.

2. How does the 38 super compare to the 45 ballistically? Compared to 9mm?

3. Would a 38 super be a good home defense gun?

4. Would this be a good platform for barrel/spring/magazine swaps to a different caliber? If so, which ones?

My apolgies if these seem like "stupid questions", but I don't have anyone local to ask about this.

Frank G.
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Old 11-13-2004, 06:46 PM   #2
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Felt recoil is subjective, but to me .38 Super has "sharper" but lighter recoil than .45 ACP out of 5" 1911 pattern pistols.

Here are some observations on the 9mm vs. .38 Super:


Old 11-14-2004, 07:01 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 88
The only caliber change you can do, other than the 9 and super derivatives, is the 41AE. Kinda like the .40S&W but it had a 9mm-sized rim so 9's could be converted to 40 caliber. Fell out of favor for the most part but there may still be some stuff around.
Old 11-15-2004, 05:32 AM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 663
A Kimber 38super Procarry is the most accurate out of the box handgun I have owned. It is my 24/7 carry piece. Recoil as staed is subjective butI find the super 'mild" compared to the 45 with factory ammo. PMC 115gr is like shooting a 38sp while my carry load of CorBon 115gr hp is a`straight back push, no rise.
Old 11-20-2004, 11:20 AM   #5
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Location: Texas
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I want to say thanks to all of you who responded!

An opportunity came up for a Colt .38 Super to purchase. After some thought, I decided it might not be the smart thing to do right now. But, after reading your comments and Stephen's web page, I may have to get a pistol in this caliber at a more opportune time!

I really appreciate everyone taking time to respond. As always, I really enjoy the pistolsmith forum. I always learn a lot and get good answers to my questions. And, it's civilized!!!

Frank G.
Old 03-26-2005, 05:23 AM   #6
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I have to agree with Mr Camp: recoil is a pretty subjective topic and I personally find the 38super a bit more sharp. The "weight" of the recoil is less, but the "speed/velocity" is greater. Conversely, I find the 40S&W to be much harcher than 38super or 45acp. The 40S&W has both bullet weight and slide velocity working against it. Again, these are personal opinions.
Old 03-26-2005, 07:59 AM   #7
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Thanks for your input. Yours and Mr. Camp's explanation of the felt recoil make sense to me. Well the opportune time hasn't come about yet. But, I'm still looking for it!

Old 04-11-2008, 05:24 PM   #8
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 5
I have a Les Baer .38 Super being built. I should find out myself in another 6 or 8 weeks or so.
Old 08-07-2012, 07:05 AM   #9
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38 super info

the super is one of my fondest cartridges, and has been for over twenty years. when i was younger and shot more competetively i discovered the super could be what ever you wanted it to be, kinda like a 38 special versus 357 mag loads from the same gun. my favorite handload in my clark comped gun for bianchi matches was a 147 grain lead bullet at slighlty less than 950 fps. this felt more like a 38 special load in a 6 inch model 19, lite powder puff loads but had a power factor of about 140, which easily took over the plates. when i peeled the scope mount off my gun and went back to ipsc style matches i still used a 147 grain bullet and used AA#7 around 1200, which just made major caliber, this load was a little sharper but nothin like the hardball loads in a 5 inch gun. today i shoot mostly for recreation and still use the 147 grain bullet, now out of two 5 inch baers, and it runs around 925. both guns function flawless and will easily do under 3 inches at 50. the one gun is an 1.5 inch gun and it is hard to tell one from the other. i have on a good day, with either gun, put 6 or 7 out of 9 in one small cluster at 25. that load shoots great with any of my supers. over the years i have had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Baer about supers,also one of his favorite cartridges, and he told me this one time. for just a good plinking round use a jacketed 130 grain bullet and 4.6 231 (if you look at Baer's website he is now building a commander size super for carrying). on another ocassion i spoke with a barrel manufactorer in South Dakota, he told me to use 231 and and a 124 grain bullet around 1100. the super is a wonderfull cartridge, it is not a 44 mag therefore i never explored the max you could take this cartridge too. i have heard of and knew a couple guys using 100 grain bullets as fast as they can for comped guns that have ended up with split comps. just was never my thing! i think everyone will agree you can spend a lifetime looking for a perfect load in a gun but i place more faith in time spent at the range to improve ones ability rather than experimentation with different loads for increase in ability, just go shoot the darn thing. one last thing, if money were not an object i would shoot all 124 & 147 xtps through my supers, great bullet by me. if you think about converting it, don't! thats the reason why they make more guns.
Old 08-07-2012, 01:38 PM   #10
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