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Old March 19, 2001, 09:09 AM   #1
1911fan
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Can 38 Super be loaded using regular 9mm FMJ bullets?? According to the manuals that I have, there is only a .005" difference in the bullet diameter. Is this enough to make a difference??

thanks,

Mike
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Old March 19, 2001, 09:36 AM   #2
Pampers
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.38 Super IS 9mm!

It's just been Anglosized to satisfy the American market! But if your pump it up to "Major" as used to be the style in IPSC, from what I've seen, the brass may be "use it once and throw it away!"

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Old March 19, 2001, 12:04 PM   #3
Intel6
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Most people who shoot .38 super use 9mm bullets without any problems. I use them in my race gun and find then to be very accurate.

If you are shooting a stock factory barrel, I would try both. You don't have much of a choice in .356" bullets but you could try some 130 fmj's to see if they shoot better in your gun. If you don't see any difference, then just shoot the .355" stuff.

Pampers,

Shooting major loads in modern .38 super brass is not a problem and you can get many firings out of modern brass before it becomes pratice brass.
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Old March 19, 2001, 12:37 PM   #4
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I know that loading up to "Major" can be done, but I've seen a few hand granades too! Some people just can't keep from carrying things beyond the extreem. I've picked up more than one piece of.38 Super brass from the range, and had the primer fall out.

Since USPSC no longer allows .38 Super, or any other sub .40 Caliber round, to be loaded up to "Major," there's no reason to build hand granades. To paraphrase Harry Callahan, "A man's got to know the limits."


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Old March 19, 2001, 02:40 PM   #5
1911fan
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Thanks guys, that's what I figured. I just wanted a reality check before I started loading them. I have about 2400 124gr 9mm's left from a lot of 3000 I bought a while back. I figured I'd split them between 9 and 38, as I don't shoot the 9 that much (it's a Sig 226, not a 1911 like the rest of my handguns).

Mike
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Old March 19, 2001, 03:50 PM   #6
Intel6
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Pampers said:

"I know that loading up to "Major" can be done"

"Major" and "Monior" are power ratings that are used by USPSA/IPSC to ensure competetors are shooting ammo of like power. Loading to major not only can be done but must be done by competetors who want their scores to be scored properly. Loading to major is done all the time and has been since the 80's.

"Since USPSC no longer allows .38 Super, or any other sub .40 Caliber round, to be loaded up to "Major," there's no reason to build hand granades."


That is an incorrect statement. The rules for "limited" category guns is that to be scored as "Major" they have to be .40 cal and above and they still have to be loaded to Major power levels.


I can't link this info so I will cut and paste it here. It is an excerpt from the USPSA page by Vernon Walls that talks about this very subject and explains it in further detail. For more info go to http://www.USPSA.org and look around.

USPSA uses what is called a "power factor" (PF) to classify ammo. Your ammo's PF is calculated by
multiplying the weight of your bullet (not the entire round) times the velocity of the bullet, and then dividing
the result by 1000. The minimum power factor allowed is 125 PF. A standard 9mm factory round, as well
as almost all full power .38 Special factory ammo, will make this minimum PF. Any ammunition that meets
this minimum PF level and is 9mm caliber or larger will be legal to use in any USPSA competition (either
the "Limited" or the unlimited "Open" gun divisions).

USPSA categorizes ammo into one of two power levels, either "Major" or"Minor". (Rule 7.24) For ammo
to be considered "Major" it must achieve at least a 165 PF [this document has been updated from the
original 175pf, since the rules were changed to 165pf on May 10, 2000] and be a minimum diameter of .40
caliber for "Limited" competition (9mm or larger for "Open"). The one exception to this minimum caiber for
"Major" is the .357 magnum revolver, which is scored as "Major" if it reaches the 165 PF. Anything that
exceeds the minimum 125 PF and falls short of the 165 PF (or is less than .40 caliber in "Limited") is called
"Minor".

The reason for the two power factors has to do with the scoring of your hits on the targets. Since "Major"
power loads are usually heavier recoiling loads and are hence usually considered to be more difficult to
handle, they get scored higher on the outer scoring areas than do "Minor" PF loads. The IPSC equivalent of
a "bullseye" (which is called the "A" zone in IPSC) gets scored the same for both PF levels. The only time
your ammo's PF makes a difference is on the non-A zone area hits (the "B", "C", and "D" zones). As long
as you shoot all "A" zones (bullseyes), it won't matter which power factor you use. However, it can be
quite frustrating to see other shooters get one point more for each of their "B", "C", and "D" zone hits than
you get for yours just because you are shooting "Minor".

Still, there are some advantages for a new shooter who reloads, starts out with "Minor" loads, and works
their way up gradually. Some shooters use "Minor" loads because they feel they can shoot quicker and
more accurately with the lower recoiling loads. If you don't reload, you really don't have a choice - you'll
have to shoot factory ammo. However, the rules for "Limited" automatically result in 38 Super and 9mm
being classified as "Minor" regardless of their power factor (because of the minimum caliber), while 40
S&ampW can be either (depending on the bullet weight and loading, "Major" usually requires 180-200 gr.
bullets), and the 45 ACP will almost always be "Major".
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