Initial Shots: STI Trojan 5" .38 Super... - Pistolsmith

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Old 08-28-2003, 02:47 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Southwest
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Initial Shots: STI Trojan 5" .38 Super...

Hello. This is NOT a full-blown "range report" for the following reasons:

1. Too hot

2. Reloading supplies NOT in

3. Little factory ammo at my local dealer's

Pistol: Some weeks ago, I ordered a 5" STI Trojan w/adjustable sights and the "thick" (standard thickness 1911 grips) from STI. Cost was $1000 even. The gun came with one Mec-Gar 9-round magazine w/rounded follower. My extra 4 Mec-Gar magazines have the older, flat follower. All fed fine.

This is the pistol as I received it, complete with FLGR. This picture does not show it, but the front grip strap is now rounded like Kimber, Colt, and Springfield Armory to name a few. They used to have a more flat profile on the front strap. I think the rounded makes the "STIppling" provide a better grip. The stocks are new and look very nice, at least to me and I have no plans to change them.

Ammunition: I only had two types of ammunition to shoot in the Trojan today. Both are 130-grain ball from PMC and Remington UMC. Both are marked +P. I chronographed these loads from the Trojan and based on 10-shot strings, got the following:

PMC 130-gr FMJ +P: 1091 ft/sec
ES: 35
SD: 12

Remington UMC 130-gr FMJ +P: 1231 ft/sec
ES: 86
SD: 23

I had no "interesting" JHP's to I'll do a full report in the future.

Shooting: I fired at 15 and 25 yards today. The 15-yd groups were fired standing and w/2-hand hold. The 25 yard groups were fired from a rest.

It's pretty obvious that the gun will shoot better than I ever will.

Even with a significant difference in velocities between the two loads, the POI was virtually the same at 25 yards.

There were no failures with the pistol. The magazine that was supplied was difficult to seat with a full magazine, but the others were not. The ejector is NOT touched by either magazine or loaded rounds.

I couldn't measure the trigger pull, but estimate it right at a crisp 4 lbs.

Only a couple of clicks were necessary to have the pistol sighted in for me with the loads shot today. I think this pistol has potential to reloaders.

We'll see.


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Old 08-31-2003, 06:45 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6
One of these days when I grow up I will be able to shoot like Stephen A. Camp!

Nice post and great shooting as usual. If you are ever in North Carolina, let's shoot together!
Old 08-31-2003, 07:15 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Southwest
Posts: 2,371
Hello, sir, and thank you for the kind words and the invite!

Best to you and yours.

Old 09-03-2003, 08:00 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 27
No. 1 in your original post no longer applies (thank goodness!)
Old 09-03-2003, 08:27 PM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Southwest
Posts: 2,371
Hello. Very true; I hope it holds, too.


Old 09-06-2003, 01:30 PM   #6
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Some Handload Results...

Hello. I'm still waiting on significant numbers of brass to arrive, but did do three handloads with the .38 Super. I didn't take any pictures at the range as I simply forgot the camera! Did take pictures of the recovered bullets that were fired into water when I got home.

I tried three loads using 8.4-gr of Blue Dot powder. Two weighed 147-gr with one at 124-gr. The heavier bullets were JHP's. One was Hornady's 147-gr 9mm XTP and the other some older Remington 147-gr 9mm JHP, but were not Golden Sabers. The 124-gr bullet was a 9mm Rainier plated RN. All used Winchester Small Pistol Primers and all were loaded to 1.235" LOA. Both of the JHP loads were fired using Remington UMC cases while the Rainiers were fired from PMC cases. All had been once-fired.

Based on the loading data I was using, I'd estimated velocities to be around 1150 ft/sec to 1250 ft/sec.

I didn't load many as I only wanted to shoot a couple of initial groups to see if they seemed accurate, test function, look for pressure signs, and chronograph.

Chronograph Results:

Handload w/Remington 147-gr JHP:

This one was chronographed twice and resulted in average velocities of 1423 and 1350 ft/sec, but with Extreme Spreads of 114 and 185 ft/sec! Not good.

Handload w/Hornady 147-gr XTP:

It was also checked twice with average velocities of 1320 and 1318 for each 10-shot string! Std. Deviations were both 4 ft/sec!

I also fired each of the JHP loads into water.

As can be seen, even at higher-than-intended speeds the older Remington's showed zero expansion.

The XTP's impacting at an average velocity of 1318 to 1320 ft/sec expanded to: 0.59 x 0.58 x 0.54" tall and 0.58 x 0.56 x 0.49" tall. They weighed 147.0 grains and 147.2 grains, respectively.

These rounds showed no pressure signs and the XTP load will go with me this deer season. The Trojan fed and extracted them fine.

The Rainier 124-grain PRN averaged 1319 ft/sec with an Extreme Spread of 12 and SD of 5. It grouped well.

I'll probably settle on the XTP load for things in the field and use the Rainer bullets for target work. Again, not much shooting's been done, but the two loads hit very, very close to the same POI at 15 and 20 yards.


Old 09-08-2003, 01:36 PM   #7
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 35
38 Super ballistics

Steven if I am not mistaken the 147 gr load you tested is right up there with the 357 mag. particularly from a 4 inch or less bbl. revolver. Any thoughts on this load in comparison to other common defense or service loads ie. 9mm or .40. or .45 ACP. I'm tempted to go out and buy a 38 Super.
Old 09-08-2003, 02:07 PM   #8
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Southwest
Posts: 2,371
Hello. No, not really. I suspect that for protection a 124-grain that opens to a bit larger diameter and perhaps penetrates a tad less might be better.
I'm pretty sure this would do the trick, though. I'll know more after deer season.


Old 11-14-2003, 02:31 PM   #9
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Washington
Posts: 260
.38 Super Info?


I am at the begining stages of a .38 Super Lt. Weight Commander project, with an eye towards defense ammo. Who, besides Cor-Bon, is making a decent 125gr +p load? I would love a Gold Dot at 1350 or so. Any hope?
Old 11-14-2003, 02:35 PM   #10
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Location: Southwest
Posts: 2,371
Hello. I don't believe Speer offers you anything in a .38 Super JHP. Winchester offers their STHP in 125-grains, I think.



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