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38 SPL 1911

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38 SPL 1911 Empty 38 SPL 1911

Post by jobo10811 Thu May 23, 2024 11:57 am

I note that Kart still includes on its price list 5" and 6" 1911 barrels in 38 SPL.  Is there still a gunsmith from whom one can order a .38 special wadcutter 1911?

Thank you in advance.

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Post by chiz1180 Thu May 23, 2024 12:11 pm

Shue had one for sale at Perry last year. The challenge with 38spl 1911 is the magazines, if you have good mags, they are great fun, otherwise they can be difficult. 

Personally I think a 38super or a 9mm would be a better option as you gain significant magazine availability and a more diverse supply of components. 

FWIW I have both  38spl and 9mm, I think the 9mm is a better value in the long run. I do not have a super but many prefer them to the 9mm.
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Post by james r chapman Thu May 23, 2024 12:18 pm

Correct. Many 9mm magazines work with .38 super-comp cases
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Post by jobo10811 Thu May 23, 2024 12:21 pm

Thank you! But is it true that 38 special can be an accurate round at a considerably lower velocity/energy than is feasible with either 9mm or 38 super?

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Post by Centerline Thu May 23, 2024 1:25 pm

Possibly, but not sure if "considerably". My 38 super is best with a 125gn TC coated lead with 3.4gn titegroup. It's less snappy than a 9mm, and I feel the larger case gives a wider band of accuracy. Some people will go with a 148gn swc or rnfp bullet and a heavier spring, which I think would maybe be even softer. Certainly can't shoot soft 148gn HBWC out of it though. That makes a mess of the barrel real quick.

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Post by chiz1180 Thu May 23, 2024 2:11 pm

jobo10811 wrote:Thank you! But is it true that 38 special can be an accurate round at a considerably lower velocity/energy than is feasible with either 9mm or 38 super?
Honestly not enough to matter. 9mm will have more of a snap impulse than the push of a 38spl. I don't have any experience with 38super but I would expect similar. What I would consider a significant difference would be like 45acp 230gr ball compared to 9mm 115gr ball, the 9mm is significantly softer.

This is probably going to cause some disagreement, but for the most part when people are chasing the absolute lowest recoil loads, they are often trying to bandaid a problem that can't be fixed with a bandaid. 

38spl 1911s are not forgiving at all on the long line. When I am shooting really well, I will often shoot higher scores with my 45 than my 38spl (both guns shoot similar sized groups at 50 from a rest too). The 38 is softer shooting that the 45 and it is fun, however it is much more difficult to shoot big numbers.
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Post by fc60 Thu May 23, 2024 2:51 pm

Greetings,

My friend built a 38 Super on a Caspian frame and slide using a Kart Barrel.

With an H&G #73 clone mould he gets X-ring results at 50 yards with Bullseye powder.

I cannot recall the exact charge; but, it is very similar in velocity to 38 Special WadCutter ammo.

Cheers,

Dave
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Post by Wobbley Thu May 23, 2024 2:55 pm

I concur with Chiz1180. My 52 shoots as well as my 45. I have the test targets to prove it. But the results are that there is NO advantage to using it. The recoil impulse is lower (about a third less), but that isn’t as beneficial in practice. I’m NOT saying that they don’t have a purpose, but it’s not a way to improve your score, UNLESS you use them as a training tool to improve your shot process. They’re GREAT for that!
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Post by straybrit Thu May 23, 2024 3:43 pm

They are, indeed, historically good at pointing out your trigger/grip/flinch issues. With near perfect technique they can be awesomely accurate. Note the caveat. Great for training or international CF though.

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Post by javaduke Thu May 23, 2024 3:58 pm

jobo10811 wrote:I note that Kart still includes on its price list 5" and 6" 1911 barrels in 38 SPL.  Is there still a gunsmith from whom one can order a .38 special wadcutter 1911?

Thank you in advance.
Well, yes and no, I've built some 1911s in .38 special and I can build one for you, but, as others have pointed out, magazines are an issue. It is still possible find an old Colt 38spl magazine but it will cost arm and leg.

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Post by straybrit Thu May 23, 2024 3:59 pm

javaduke wrote:
jobo10811 wrote:I note that Kart still includes on its price list 5" and 6" 1911 barrels in 38 SPL.  Is there still a gunsmith from whom one can order a .38 special wadcutter 1911?

Thank you in advance.
Well, yes and no, I've built some 1911s in .38 special and I can build one for you, but, as others have pointed out, magazines are an issue. It is still possible find an old Colt 38spl magazine but it will cost arm and leg.

Clark makes the magazines. Horribly expensive but they are there.

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Post by javaduke Thu May 23, 2024 4:05 pm

Clark makes the magazines. Horribly expensive but they are there.
Hmm, interesting, I don't see anything on their website. Is there any vendor who has them for sale?

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Post by straybrit Thu May 23, 2024 6:27 pm

javaduke wrote:
Clark makes the magazines. Horribly expensive but they are there.
Hmm, interesting, I don't see anything on their website. Is there any vendor who has them for sale?

Huh - all I can say is that they were there a while ago. I have a Clark 38SP and I was looking at getting another couple of mags. Until I saw the price. They were made to order so if you call them they may do some.

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Post by Colt711 Thu May 23, 2024 6:43 pm

I modified a 38 Super mag to be as close to my Colt mags as I could. It is preferred to the several Colts I have. Lighter springs make it easier to load and insert in the pistol. Function is fine.

Ron


Last edited by Colt711 on Thu May 23, 2024 6:49 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : 5/23 Spelling & grammer errors corrected)

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Post by NukeMMC Thu May 23, 2024 7:27 pm

I have a Eulette-modified SARO 9mm with a KKM 38super barrel built as an EIC pistol.  Using supercomp brass, I have shot Brazos 150gr SWC similar to H&G73 with 2.8gr of bullseye and also their button nose 148gr wadcutters with the same charge.  They shoot very well on the short line with very pleasant recoil.  I haven't benched them at 50 yet, but will eventually.  I have been shooting 115HAP bullets with 5.1gr of 231 for 50.  Sharper recoil but it shoots well for me.

For magazines, when Jon did my pistol, I sent a couple 9mm Wilson mags that had the rear spacer removed and 38super followers/springs installed.  Jon said they wouldn't feed reliably as the feed lips were too far forward and released the cartridges too late.  He recommended the Ed Brown 38super mags for their reliability.
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Post by cdrt Thu May 23, 2024 10:52 pm

I have a Clark Heavy Slide on a Series 70 pistol, that Clark Sr. built for me in 1984.  I much prefer it to my 1911 in 9mm, especially at 50 yards. The groups opened up on it a few years ago and I had Buddy Chapman install a new bushing. Using his ransom rest, it shot an inch and a half group at 50 yards.  I have never had a problem with either Colt magazines or Triple-Ks.  Still using 2.7 grains of Bullseye and 148 HBWC bullets.  I hadn't shot it for a while, but was able to shoot a 270-5x, outdoors for our monthly 1800, just before we got rained out.
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Post by john bickar Fri May 24, 2024 12:01 am

I believe that the AMU is shooting 9mm 1911s for service pistol.

That said: old, fat, and slow can work sometimes too.

Get yer X-count up.

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Post by chiz1180 Fri May 24, 2024 8:01 am

john bickar wrote:I believe that the AMU is shooting 9mm 1911s for service pistol.

That said: old, fat, and slow can work sometimes too.

Get yer X-count up.
To further the point of old, fat, and slow. The following was shot with a 9mm, if it was shot with a 45 the score would be higher. 
38 SPL 1911 Img_9310
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Post by tovaert Fri May 24, 2024 8:08 am

IMHO 9 mm comes in two distinct flavors: lower weight bullets moving fast (thus the snappy recoil) through the "Beretta" type slow twist barrels, and heavy 147 gr going slower, say, in the 900 fps range, through fast-twist barrels...with some variations in between. My 147 gr loads are soft shooting and group well at 50 yards. If you run some numbers through Hornady's online ballistics program, the 9 mm 147 XTP's time-of-flight (@900 fps MV) to 50 yards is roughly 0.170 seconds, and a .45 185 gr XTP (@800 fps MV) is 0.192 seconds, about 11% slower. A .22LR is even faster (TOF to 50 yards = ~0.148 s), with significantly reduced bullet shift due to angular movement of the barrel at ignition. Scoring line shots will definitely favor the .45, so there's that.

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Post by troystaten Sat May 25, 2024 6:21 pm

A pistol smith (Stan Huey) I knew who learned the craft from Bob Chow built 1911's in 38 special until he passed away last summer.  I handled a few of them and they where really nice but priced out of my league. Stan told me that he thought the 38 special 1911's had a slight accuracy edge over the 45 but it made more sense to shoot a 45 for both sections of a 2700 match. 38 SPL 1911 20170212

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38 SPL 1911 Empty 38 Special- M1911 Magazines

Post by alaronstein Sun May 26, 2024 12:46 am

I have sold these magazines at Camp Perry for years. I didn't have any last year BUT, I plan to have a small amount of them at CP this year.- Alan Aronstein

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Post by Colt711 Sun May 26, 2024 9:00 am

chiz1180 wrote:
john bickar wrote:I believe that the AMU is shooting 9mm 1911s for service pistol.

That said: old, fat, and slow can work sometimes too.

Get yer X-count up.
To further the point of old, fat, and slow. The following was shot with a 9mm, if it was shot with a 45 the score would be higher. 
38 SPL 1911 Img_9310
This target illustrates the results I get with the 1911 .38 Good shot execution results in the good shots we see here, but, make a mistake and the shaky 9's (or worse) are the outcome. Can be fun, but quite often frustrating. 

Jon, I am fat, maybe just not slow enough?

Ron Habegger

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Post by Rodger Barthlow Sun May 26, 2024 10:25 am

The trick to making a 38spl feed in a 1911 style pistol is the magazine and Colt magazines made especially for 38spl are the most reliable. They use a special follower and a round feed spring in the front of the magazine to hold the shell case up so it feeds into the chamber and not into the barrel ramp.
Colt improved their design over the years and I have all three styles/types they made. A 38Super would be a better choice
if you want a smaller caliber center fire then the .45acp. Cheaper magazines and more bullet styles to choose from.
 38 SPL 1911 Kimg1030
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