Semi-auto in .38 super

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by 4095fanatic, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. Was watching a tv show when they found shell casings from a cop's service weapon which was chambered in .38 super. Later I clearly saw a semi-automatic pistol being said duty weapon. Anyone know of a semi-auto chambered in .38 super for duty use? I know it's common in South America where military calibers aren't allowed for civilian use, but never heard of it in the US.
  2. Strangerous

    Strangerous Member

    “The†.38 Super was made in 1929 in a Colt Govt. Model 1911. The Govt. Model was stronger than the earlier Colt .38 Auto pistol, and could handle more pressure. So… the .38 Auto case has been loaded to higher pressure for better performance. The end result was the .38 Super Auto, at the time it was introduced, it was the most powerful auto pistol cartridge in the world.
    Winchester factory loads for the .38 Super include a Super-X load and a less expensive USA brand load. The Super-X offering advertises a 125 grain Silvertip bullet at a MV of 1240 fps with 427 ft. lbs. of ME. This is the factory load to use for personal defense or in the field. The economical USA brand ammunition is great for practice and is loaded with a 130 grain FMJ bullet at a MV of 1215 fps and a ME of 426 ft. lbs.
    The .38 Auto and .38 Super both use standard .355" (9mm) diameter bullets, so there are plenty of choices available to the reloader. Pistols chambered for the old .38 Auto should probably be retired, but any reloader with a .38 Super pistol can turn out very effective loads using modern JHP bullets.
    Oh, and you are correct about the .38 Super's popularity in south america, particularly in Mexico.

  3. Ari

    Ari Guest

    Many folks have carried 38 super over the years. Each department set their own standards for duty carry. It used to be many departments used 1911s since the 1911 can be setup to shoot 38 super I am sure more then a few did. But I would not think this is something you would see much of today.
  4. This took place in 1997-1998 I belive. Most departments by then had transitioned to the cheaper G17/19/22/23, or an equiv. in 9mm or 40. A few used .357 SIG, .45, or 10mm, but were quite rare. Could imagine though afew backwoods jurisdictions with poor funding using the older ones though... thanks for clearing it up.
  5. urotu

    urotu Member


    Here's a Wiki page on it.

    I looked at a .38 Super when I was looking for my CZ52, but figured that 7.62x25 would be hard enoug to find, and I didn't need two guns that had odd ammo in them. It's actually a very old cartridge, as mentioned by a previous poster.