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38 special to 38 super

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bdrake
Jon Eulette
1911a145
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38 special to 38 super Empty 38 special to 38 super

Post by 1911a145 7/15/2021, 7:18 pm

I’ve read a little about people shooting 38 super for centerfire with super light loads. Could you convert a old 1911 38 special wadgun into 38 super using the same slide? Thanks

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38 special to 38 super Empty Re: 38 special to 38 super

Post by Jon Eulette 7/15/2021, 8:14 pm

38 special rim is 0.440” and 38 Super is 0.406”. You might have extraction issues from the 38 special breech face being wider. Other than that everything else should work with a new 38 Super barrel.
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Post by bdrake 7/15/2021, 9:05 pm

An easier more modern conversion would be to convert a 9mm 1911 slide with a 38 super barrel and then use a 9mm Super Comp brass (38 Super length but with a 9x19 rim diameter).

I built a switch barrel 1911 with a 9x19 slide/barrel and a 38 Super slide/barrel (with the Super Comp brass from Starline) a few years back and yes, its a lot of fun.

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38 special to 38 super Empty Re: 38 special to 38 super

Post by Tripscape 7/16/2021, 1:48 am

38sp to 38 super should be fine, just make sure you tune springs right to higher pressure of super. 9mm reamed to 38 super is also fine and is a choice of speed shooters (open guns, compensated, etc). In later you can use super comp ammo or rimmed ammo but need to tine extractor for rimmed. In a backward move the 38 super will also shoot 9mm just fine. In a really backward move you can also shoot 9x21 in 38 super.

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38 special to 38 super Empty Re: 38 special to 38 super

Post by rich.tullo 7/19/2021, 12:27 pm

Tripscape wrote:38sp to 38 super should be fine, just make sure you tune springs right to higher pressure of super. 9mm reamed to 38 super is also fine and is a choice of speed shooters (open guns, compensated, etc). In later you can use super comp ammo or rimmed ammo but need to tine extractor for rimmed. In a backward move the 38 super will also shoot 9mm just fine. In a really backward move you can also shoot 9x21 in 38 super.


I believe in the old days the Colt 38 midrange's were 38 Supers converted to 38 Special. 

You would have to change the barrel and bushing , ejector, extractor (my guess) , recoil spring, magazines and maybe the mainspring. 

I would also note as the timing and recoil may be different you are going to want to make sure your hammer, disco and sear are 100%. 

Basically you are rebuilding the gun to buy maybe an inch tighter group at 50 yards but maybe a harder gun to shoot at 25 yards. 

An easier and cheaper way to go is re-barrel a Springfield 9MM RO. Change the barrel, change the mags and your are GTG.
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38 special to 38 super Empty Re: 38 special to 38 super

Post by 1911a145 7/19/2021, 2:19 pm

I already have a no name 38 special 1911 that is old and beat up. 38 special is more difficult to get to work and this gun doesn’t feed or function well. Not to many smiths that can re build and fix this gun. Putting a 38 super barrel seems easiest to make work

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Post by james r chapman 7/19/2021, 2:22 pm

Sig .38 super barrels (1911) were on eBay for $40 awhile back .
Worked great for trying. Use .38 supercomp brass
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38 special to 38 super Empty Re: 38 special to 38 super

Post by rich.tullo 7/19/2021, 3:04 pm

1911a145 wrote:I already have a no name 38 special 1911 that is old and beat up. 38 special is more difficult to get to work and this gun doesn’t feed or function well. Not to many smiths that can re build and fix this gun. Putting a 38 super barrel seems easiest to make work


You might be right and you may be shocked by how much those 38 Special Mags are worth.
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38 special to 38 super Empty Re: 38 special to 38 super

Post by Allgoodhits 7/19/2021, 5:56 pm

1911a145 wrote:I already have a no name 38 special 1911 that is old and beat up. 38 special is more difficult to get to work and this gun doesn’t feed or function well. Not to many smiths that can re build and fix this gun. Putting a 38 super barrel seems easiest to make work
FWIW, I have a friend who has a quality 1911 in .38 spl. It had been to several big name gunsmiths over a few decades to get it to work as it should. He and I both have Jon Shue wad guns that we are happy with. Finally, he sent the .38 spl 1911 to Jon Shue in Liberty, NC. When he got the gun back, the gun ran like it never did before. I do not know what Jon did to this gun, but now it is a reliable, accurate and pleasant to shoot 1911 in .38 spl. It may be worth reaching out to Jon, he made this gun "Shuet" when others had failed.

Martin
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38 special to 38 super Empty Re: 38 special to 38 super

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