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38 Super for Bullseye pistol?

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38 Super for Bullseye pistol? - Page 2 Empty 38 Super for Bullseye pistol?

Post by S148 7/4/2017, 3:49 pm

First topic message reminder :

Hi all. I'm wondering how popular the 38 Super is for use in Bullseye pistols. 

Any members here use it?  Thanks.

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Post by Allgoodhits 9/22/2017, 10:33 pm

As one who has loaded many tens of thousands of rounds of 9mm, .38 Spl and .38 Super here is some of what I have garnered. I have variety of guns in al of these calibers which I loaded for and competed with. Some production, some metallic sight and some open division guns.

It is easy to come up with an accurate (<2"@50) load with all three, in quality guns, using quality components and recipes and quality re-loading procedures. To do the same with a soft load is easier with a revolver, since the functioning (feeding, extracting and ejecting) are not impacted by the power or lack of. Barrel twist rate may play a role in your bullet weight selection, but I would fret over that too much. S&W factory revolvers have a 1:18 twist and some will shoot 110 gr up though 158gr bullets very accurately, yet many PPC guns are re-barreled to 1:10, 12 or 14 twist. Semi auto 9mm barrels range from 1:9 to 1:32. Many 1:16 shoot very well.

To attempt to get a 9mm or .38 Super to shoot loads equivalent to .38 Spl WC is likely not going to happen successfully. There are some very accurate .38 spl WC recipes around 700 fps. To get a 9 or Super semi-auto down that low is probably not a good approach for reliability and accuracy. Yes, you could load some 147gr lead or JHP bullets down to mid 800 fps or so, but I don't think you will get good enough accuracy at those speeds, unless maybe you really lighten the slide, and possibly get the barrel sleeved with a fast twist. Still doubtful.

So if you want a soft shooting 9mm or .38 Super, simply compensate it. If done correctly it will take nothing away from accuracy and may even add some. Lead bullets are a pain with a comp, since it will load up more. A quality comped 9 or Super with 115 or 125 grain bullets loaded in the 1090 -1150 and 980-1070 ranges respectively will yield 50 yd groups well under 2" and very little muzzle lift or recoil. They will be louder for sure. If shooting from covered firing point, you may get some snow or insulation dust falling on you. 

I would caution light loads especially in the .38 spl and some very light .38 Super loads when using low charge weights of say W231, HP38, WST and others, because there is a lot of unfilled volume in the case. The first shot from a gun brought up from a low position will be 40-80 fps slower than the remaining shots fired in a string. WC seated flush help prevent this condition. This is not always a huge problem, but it certainly can be on a longer target, or if shooting on a moving target. This is not as much a problem with the smaller 9mm case, or with hotter loads or heavier bullets, which fill more of the case when using the low charge weight powders. ( Don't take my word for it. If you have access to a chronograph try it. Shoot each shot from a vertical gun down get that average. Then shoot each shot starting with a vertical gun muzzle up and get that average. There will be a significant difference, all else being the same)

Compensators work. I have a revolver with a removable comp. Even shooting 148 gr WC in the low to mid 800 fps range, there is a noticeable difference with vs without the comp. Running 125 gr bullets around 1020 fps even more noticeable. Adding a comp to the barrel of a 1911 will impact the functioning. One would have to increase the charge of powder, or reduce the recoil spring, or it will not run. The effect of the comp forcing down on the muzzle, will not allow the barrel to drop down at the rear and unlock. No problem, just run a 6-8 lb recoil spring and a moderate load and you''ll like it.
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Post by Axehandle 9/25/2017, 6:19 am

My take is the 9mm will shoot as well as the 38 Super but at that point recoils like a 45.  My experience with the 38 WC gun was with issued team guns in the form of the 52 S&W and Clark built 1911.  Those 38s shot so good but the slide cycled so slow.  I could feel the slide hit both ends.  They shot very well but my follow through was so poor that I could not shoot them well.   My 38 Super experience is significantly different.  I have a Kart barreled 38 Super built by Dan Norwood and a Bar Sto barreled 38 Super built by KC.  Loaded to the level of a 38 WC load they cycle quickly.  At 65 I'm not the high master shooter I was 30 years ago but these guns shoot good.

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Post by Axehandle 9/26/2017, 7:58 pm

My personal experiences with the 38 Super as a bullseye gun started in the mid 90s with tales of Alan Fulford's  Clark built 38 Super shooting X ring at 50 yards.  Terry Labbe captured Fulford's load information for us.  It used the Nosler 125 JHP with a Vit powder.  As member of the All National Guard shooting team at that point in time it was easy to get Dan Norwood to build me one.   Flash forward to a third wife and retirement and I'm starting back shooting after 18 years off.   I looked for a backup gun for my Norwood Super.  Up comes a KC Crawford 38 Super and with it comes the load that KC developed with 452AA and a 150ish cast bullet running just over 700 FPS.   You guys that have not shot one need to find one to shoot...

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Post by Magload 9/26/2017, 10:41 pm

Axehandle wrote:My personal experiences with the 38 Super as a bullseye gun started in the mid 90s with tales of Alan Fulford's  Clark built 38 Super shooting X ring at 50 yards.  Terry Labbe captured Fulford's load information for us.  It used the Nosler 125 JHP with a Vit powder.  As member of the All National Guard shooting team at that point in time it was easy to get Dan Norwood to build me one.   Flash forward to a third wife and retirement and I'm starting back shooting after 18 years off.   I looked for a backup gun for my Norwood Super.  Up comes a KC Crawford 38 Super and with it comes the load that KC developed with 452AA and a 150ish cast bullet running just over 700 FPS.   You guys that have not shot one need to find one to shoot...
A 38 Super is at the top of my bucket list.  I been working on getting my bay boat back in the water and had to put a hold on the Gun of the Month Club.  Having with drawls so need to start looking.  Don
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Post by Axehandle 11/23/2021, 7:28 am

Getting fired back up here....  You guys done anything new to write about with your 38 Supers?

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Post by jglenn21 11/23/2021, 8:24 am

those of us that ran the Dardus 126, have moved to a lead bullet around 147-150gr with 3.0 of BE or WST. Still somewhat of a novelty for CF.
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Post by inthebeech 12/26/2021, 8:01 am

Could someone please confirm or deny a theory I have about this whole “Nine mm needs to be pushed fast to be accurate?” It seems as if twist rate is the predominant culprit among opinions everywhere.  It also seems that those experimenting with faster twists don’t yet have conclusive data. I’ve had the notion for a long time that even though twist should be shortened, this is NOT THE ROOT CAUSE.  I think it might be the brass.  Nine mm brass has a drastic taper inside resulting in very thick walls for a good portion of its length.  Maybe the reason is its military lineage?  Anyway, you need to push bullets fast, not for their own sake, but only because fast loads are developing higher PRESSURE and it is this higher pressure that is needed (because of the thick case wall) to get A GOOD SEAL.  A poor seal results in a wide variation in pressure curves which cause wide variation in velocity which causes poor precision.  It’s all about the pressure needed.  The 32 twist isn’t helping things but my point is that even a 16 twist will not be accurate with 750 f/s loads because you will still leak gas because of the likely poor seal.  45 and 38 cases have less/no taper in wall thickness and sufficient pressure to get a good seal is lower which enables lower velocities to still be very accurate (as long as twist is pretty close to established rate for accuracy). No one ever talks about what I have always thought was the REAL cause.  Also this theory fits with the fact that the Super is capable of high precision at low velocities; it’s case has walls like the 38/45.  Just a theory.
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Post by jglenn21 12/26/2021, 8:16 am

I came to the same conclusion about the thickness when i built my 9mm EIC pistol. Then i quit worrying about it and went on to develope the lowest recoiling round that still shot well enough.. I'm using 115 XTPs and TG with a KKM barrel.. works fine
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Post by CR10X 12/26/2021, 8:40 am

I would not think the "taper" is the root issue.  The chamber for the 9 mm is tapered as well, so the spec expansion is about the same a for other cartridges.

The main reason for "fast" 9 mm loads is to keep from getting a transition from supersonic to subsonic before the 50 yard line.  A lot of 9mm 115 gr loads start off supersonic at the muzzle and go subsonic before the 50 yard line.  (Its also why a bunch of 9mm loads will do well at 25 and not so great at 50.)

If you keep your rounds above or below the transition velocity, then you have a better chance of getting a good grouping load. 

Just my opinion.  But I keep 115 9 mm loads supersonic for 50 yard groups and heavier weight subsonic and generally get good results.  Just be mindful of the twist rates for 9 mm supersonic loads (like 1 /10) which really stress bullets a lot.  1/ 16 and 1/32 work better for high velocity 115 loads.  1/ 10 is generally better for those slower 147 gr and lead loads.(At least in my guns so far).

CR

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Post by tovaert 12/26/2021, 8:46 am

I have limited experience with a 1:10 twist barrel but that shoots 147 gr JHPs well in the 900-950 fps range. I tried going down to 750 fps but consistency suffered and I had cycling issues. I don't use a crimp but that may help...not sure.

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Post by Axehandle 12/26/2021, 11:45 am

My Norwood Kart and KC Barsto 38 Supers run 100% with the Magnus 147 and 3.0 WST... When I flag the cleaning rod to see the rotation they two barrels look to have the same twist.   Mixed brass at 25.  New brass at 50.   Recoil is very soft.  Soft matters when you are old and trying to shoot three 900s back to back.

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Post by Axehandle 12/26/2021, 7:58 pm

Need to look a little harder at the bullets too.  Not just the weight.  Diameter wise there are .355, .356. and .357 for the 9mm bore guns.

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Post by LenV 12/27/2021, 2:14 pm

I took a real close look at several diameters. I'm saving the . 357 for my revolvers. 38 Super for Bullseye pistol? - Page 2 20190411
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Post by 8eightring 12/27/2021, 2:31 pm

LenV wrote:I took a real close look at several diameters. I'm saving the . 357 for my revolvers. 38 Super for Bullseye pistol? - Page 2 20190411
LenV, what powder were you using. Did you use 38 Super or 38 Comp brass?
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Post by LenV 12/27/2021, 3:03 pm

I use  Comp brass in my 40cal and my 9mm conversions ..Those targets were shot with Bullseye powder.

my best load . ..125gr . 356 JHP and 4.6 Bullseye powder
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Post by Axehandle 12/27/2021, 6:49 pm

Quick word on 38 Super Comp brass.   Loading on a Dillon SDB.  I was getting the random case stuck in the size die.  First few times I thought I was simply not getting the case in the shell holder well.  Then I realized it was ALWAYS Super Comp brass that was stuck.  Culled those cases and it never happened again.

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Post by Mainiac 12/27/2021, 7:16 pm

Havent got much to offer you high rollers,but my 1 and only 9mm,is the new sig210.
10 twist,,1 of its real tight loads is the 275 copy mp bullet,and 3.4 powerpistol,,shoots about 780fps,,,and 100% runs,,,my alloy drops 133 gr,,,,,love this fast twist,,

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Post by inthebeech 12/29/2021, 8:43 am

[quote="CR10X"]I would not think the "taper" is the root issue.  The chamber for the 9 mm is tapered as well, so the spec expansion is about the same a for other cartridges.


CR[/quote]

Cecil,
I meant that the INTERNAL taper is greater than 38/45, not the external taper.  Cut a case in half and measure the wall.  I theorize that the required minimum chamber pressure to seal the case against the chamber, is significantly greater in the 9mm and this, not twist or aerodynamic stability, or anything else, is at the heart of the conclusion that this cartridge must be loaded hot to be accurate (again, assuming twist rate is already somewhere in the sweet spot). I think that because the thirty-two inch twist is the popular rate, it has been twist that has always been blamed, where in fact you would still need to push these loads fairly fast even if you swapped in a sixteen inch twist barrel.  
If one truly wanted to verify the theory, after fitting a sixteen inch barrel, one would have to come up with a 9mm case with wall thickness near 38/45 values.  Can some nearby case be modified to create what I’m talking about?  What’s this 9 x 21 case that I’ve seen somewhere?  Don’t know how to carry out this experiment short of getting a case manufacturer to form an experimental batch, or an entrepreneuring pistolsmith reaming out a batch of brass and load up some 750 f/s cartridges with proven bullets.  
Don’t the small groups achieved with 38 Special barrels fitted to 1911’s and light loads, already prove the theory anyway?
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Post by S148 12/29/2021, 10:55 am

I don't get the taper argument. Why is the assumption made that the seal is only made by the lower portion of the brass? Why can't the thin brass at the neck form the seal?

The correlation between accuracy, case taper and velocity sounds spurious. You'd need a lot of compelling data to prove that.

One could test it by using different brands of 9mm brass that have different internal capacity. If the hypothesis is correct, those with greater capacity would provide better accuracy. Factors that would have to be controlled are velocity and pressure. Larger capacity cases with the same powder charge will produce less velocity and pressure, so they would need to be equalized for a fair comparison. Case expansion might also need to be measured.

9X21 case = what about it?

There is no compelling evidence that velocity extreme spread is correlated with accuracy. 
https://americanhandgunner.com/handguns/exclusive-consistent-velocity-accuracy/

"Don’t the small groups achieved with 38 Special barrels fitted to 1911’s and light loads, already prove the theory anyway?"

No.

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Post by CR10X 12/29/2021, 2:07 pm

Maybe the internal taper (or rather thicker case walls for a portion of the case) can make a difference.  But I did achieve really good loads in 9mm with lead bullets at relatively low velocities when I used a 1/10 twist barrel and 147 gr lead bullets at .356 (plain lead and coated).  

Depending on the internal dimensions you might try some 9mm Automatic brass, which is a straight .380 case and ream out the inside of the case as far as you want (or dare) to do some testing.  Would take a new chamber though.

https://www.shootingtimes.com/editorial/9mm-automatic-better-9mm-cartridge/99151

And these guys are going the other way to get greater case wall thickness.  Lots of discussions on Enos' site about 9mm loading (albeit for IPSC / USPSA) . 

https://forums.brianenos.com/topic/266438-anyone-loading-9mm-automatic-brass/

Anyway, interesting topic.  

I played around with the 9 some (well more than I probably should) and really shot some good scores (295 NMC DP) with 9mm Beretta (1/16 and 1/32) with fast 115 gr loads.  Then a 9mm 1911 and SA 5.25 XDM with 1/10 and 1/16 barrels in both.  

In the end I finally decided I needed to dryfire more and just keep shooting .45 for most everything I can.  Although I do like shooting the 9's every now and then as I have a pretty good supply or reloading components stocked up. 

CR

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Post by S148 12/29/2021, 3:54 pm

All cases have an internal taper. That is, the case wall get thicker at some point as you get closer to the head. 

As pressure expands the case to form a seal, the thinner area will (should) do so first, and that will be at the mouth/neck region before it does so down farther down where it is thicker.

The 9mm Auto was a prototype.  And you don't need it for this task because: all cases have an internal taper.  Existing 9mm cases will do since different brands have different case capacity - therefore different amounts of taper, and that's all that's needed for this test. 

I think the taper thing is a red herring. I could be wrong.

The question as posed is whether a good seal is required for good accuracy. You'd need a way to measure the effectiveness of the seal. Sooty cases might work, but to be stringent a measurable method of pressure loss would be required.  

I suspect, as it is with most instances of accuracy, it's just a matter of finding the right bullet/powder combination for a given barrel / twist rate. 

I've done a fair amount of Ransom Rest testing, and chasing accuracy is tricky when you have loads of similar precision. It would require a LOT of ammo to draw a conclusion unless this is a real night and day difference. And as noted in my previous post, there are lots of variables (velocity/pressure) to control for.

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Post by CR10X 12/30/2021, 5:39 am

But, using the 9mm Automatic will allow one to use a straight reamer to reduce the case sidewall thickness rather than needing a tapered reamer for a tapered case if you would like to do some type of test.  That will allow an easy method to see the effects of reducing case wall thickness to various depths consistently without having to adjust for outside case taper each time.

Again, I'm not denying or supporting any particular thoughts on this.   I found dryfiring more productive.  

CR

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Post by tovaert 12/30/2021, 9:36 am

I've noticed S&B 9x19 NATO brass definitely has a heavier wall near the case mouth. Could be more material to work with.

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Post by S148 12/30/2021, 11:11 am

There are a couple of things to keep in mind. The "taper" thing and "gas seal" thing contributing to 9mm accuracy are made up out of thin air.

inthebeech has presented zero evidence that: 1) gas seal has anything to do with accuracy. 2) taper is a factor at all, because all cartridges have internal taper simply due to the fact that at some point case wall thickness increases as you go deeper in the case. 

inthebeech has also not stated what pressure is required for a gas seal and it's likely different for different wall thickness. 

Notably, 45 Auto rounds typically used for match loads are very low pressure. looking at Hodgdon and Lyman manuals show that 45 Auto pressure at the typical speeds used for target loads is around 10,000 12,000 CUP. 

Data for 9mm ammo at this same velocity range (750-800 fps) is hard to come by since few 9mm rounds are loaded to that velocity. Still, Hodgdon shows a 125 HAP with 2.8 gr of 231 producing 753 fps and 25,300 psi. A 124 berry's RN loaded with Clays to 791 fps produced 27,900 psi. A 147 XTP loaded to 707 fps with 2.8 gr SR 7625 makes 24,000 psi, and loaded with 3.0 gr SR 4756 to 668 fps runs 21,800 psi.

While it's tricky at best to compare CUP with psi it appears to suggest that 9mm pressure are probably higher than the 45 when loading bullets to the same speed. Since pressure is behind case expansion, inthebeech has to show the pressure required for a "proper seal" and if it is the same or different in the 45 Auto and 9mm, and why that is, such as case wall thickness - which must be accompanied by case wall thickness measurements. 

We can speculate all day but until inthebeech comes up with actual physical evidence to support their made-up claim, there's no reason to give it any merit.

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Post by Allgoodhits 12/30/2021, 12:55 pm

Axehandle wrote:Quick word on 38 Super Comp brass.   Loading on a Dillon SDB.  I was getting the random case stuck in the size die.  First few times I thought I was simply not getting the case in the shell holder well.  Then I realized it was ALWAYS Super Comp brass that was stuck.  Culled those cases and it never happened again.
.38 Super Comp brass has a smaller rim diameter than the .38 Super brass. That is the primary difference.  .38 Super is semi-rimmed, .38 Super Comp is considered rimless. Get a .380 shell holder when using .38 Super comp brass. I think that will cure your problem of stuck cases in the sizer.

Martin
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