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Old September 9, 2000, 09:01 PM   #1
pack_rat
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Here's one I found among some 9x19:
a Remington-Peters case stamped 38 AUTO.
It is a 9x19, so I am wondering is it an old
case that's turned up, or is it incorrectly
stamped?

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Old September 9, 2000, 09:21 PM   #2
Mike Irwin
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Was the ammo new or reloaded from range brass?

If the latter, I'd say that someone somewhere along the line had some .38 ACP brass that they wanted to use, so they cut it back to 19mm.



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Old September 9, 2000, 09:43 PM   #3
pack_rat
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It was in the range brass bucket.
There may be more since I haven't
eyeballed each case in the group.
Just happened to notice this one.

p_r
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Old September 9, 2000, 10:41 PM   #4
Bud Helms
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Uh ... Mike, you mean .38 Super, right? Packrat, have you mic'd the case length? Speer #13 shows .380 Auto at 0.6800 in (17.27 mm). .38 Super is way out around 22 or 23 mm and could be trimmed down to 9x19 chamber length, and ...

SAAMI says ...

.380 ACP ............ 21,500 psi
9x19 (Parabellum) ... 35,000 psi
.380 Super Auto ..... 33,000 psi

So the Super should work trimmed back, but it would be wise to stay away from the high end of the 9x19 loads when using that brass (unless the brass maker verifies that their brass will hold up). Might work.

[This message has been edited by sensop (edited September 09, 2000).]
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Old September 10, 2000, 10:11 AM   #5
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Hey sensop,

This case length measures .745 and
the rim diameter is .394.
I have found more info, and it appears
this is a trimmed down .38 ACP case,
not a .380.
Reloading this is not an issue, I am
going to keep it as a novelty item.

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Old September 10, 2000, 11:18 PM   #6
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As luck would have it, my dad just came across an old Colt chambered in .38 Automatic. He has not taken delivery yet, so I don’t have the specifics. I think it is a model 1900. My understanding is that .38 Automatic is the predecessor of .38 Super. Colt stopped making the .38 Automatic in the 1920’s, when they came out with .38 Super. Basically the same cartridge but loaded to higher pressure. The .38 Super gives and extra 200 fps or so. I still have some questions though.

Are the case measurements identical for .38 Automatic and .38 Super? If they are I should be able to use my .38 Super dies to load for .38 Automatic. (Yes, I know I need to use a much lighter powder charge.) Does anybody have load data for .38 Automatic? (Not .38 Super.) Is anybody still commercially loading .38 Automatic? Any help would be much appreciated. I have not been able to find any load data for .38 Automatic yet.
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Old September 10, 2000, 11:54 PM   #7
Mal H
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As usual The Old Western Scrounger comes through and has some 38 Auto. It's going to be expensive, but they have it and it looks like they have dies also.

According to "Cartridges of the World", the 38 Auto and 38 Super Auto do use the same case.
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Old September 11, 2000, 01:38 AM   #8
JayDrummond
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by sensop:

SAAMI says ...
[/quote]

Where are you finding SAAMI specs? I've been looking online, but find only the SAAMI site, and no specs.
http://www.saami.org/
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Old September 11, 2000, 09:37 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by henryb:
Are the case measurements identical for .38 Automatic and .38 Super? If they are I should be able to use my .38 Super dies to load for .38 Automatic. (Yes, I know I need to use a much lighter powder charge.) Does anybody have load data for .38 Automatic? (Not .38 Super.) Is anybody still commercially loading .38 Automatic? Any help would be much appreciated. I have not been able to find any load data for .38 Automatic yet.[/quote]

.38 Auto and .38 Super are dimensionally identical. You can use the same set of dies for both.

Speer's older manuals used to have the load data, IIRC. I think you may be okay using starting .38 Super loads found in modern load books. I would assume that any load sending out a 130 grain FMJ at around 1000 fps would be quite safe in the old guns chambered for .38 Auto.

I am not sure whether any of the major ammo makers is still loading it, though I picked up an old box of Western (Winchester) .38 ammo about 10 years ago. It was probably on the shelf in that gun shop for at least 10 years before I bought it.

From time to time I see it for sale at gun shows along with other "vintage" ammo.
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Old September 11, 2000, 09:40 AM   #10
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Regarding the use of cut-down .38 Auto or .38 Super brass in 9x19mm pistols: I am not sure how wise this is. First, the 9x19mm is a true rimless case, but the .38 is semi-rimmed. I suppose one could turn down the rim on the .38, but this seems like a lot of work considering the availability (universally!) of 9x19mm ammo and brass.

Also, 9x19mm is a tapered case, and IIRC, the .38s are straight walled. I suppose one could size the cut-down .38s in a 9x19mm size die, but again, why?
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Old September 11, 2000, 11:59 AM   #11
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Sensop,

The .38 Auto, or .38 ACP, was the forerunner of the .38 Super.

The cases are idential in lenght (both are longer than the 9mm Para), but the Super is loaded to MUCH higher pressures than the .38 ACP/Auto.

In the days prior to its jump in popularity in the 1970s, 9mm Luger could be kind of hard to find, so this was a very common conversion.

I've seen both .38 ACP and .38 Super brass that has been cut back to 9mm Luger spec.

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Old September 11, 2000, 12:27 PM   #12
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Jay,

I got it out of a reloading manual.

Okay, now I have a question for you guys. My understanding is that the .380 Auto, the .38 ACP and the .38 Automatic are all the same cartridge. The .38 Super is longer and actually predates the others. True? Maybe I need to post this in Harley's forum.
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Old September 11, 2000, 12:51 PM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by sensop:
Okay, now I have a question for you guys. My understanding is that the .380 Auto, the .38 ACP and the .38 Automatic are all the same cartridge. The .38 Super is longer and actually predates the others. True? Maybe I need to post this in Harley's forum.[/quote]

Sensop,

NO. That is NOT the case at all.

The .380 ACP is a completely and totally different cartridge, using a much shorter case. It is most freqently used in blowback operated pistols. It was, I believe, first offered in 1904, but I'll have to check my sources on that.

The .38 Auto/.38 ACP has a longer case and produces higher velocities/pressures. It was originally chambered in the Colt 1900 model, which used not one, but TWO swinging links to unlock the barrel from the slide during cycling.

The .38 Super case is interchangable with the .38 Auto/ACP, but is loaded to MUCH higher pressure and velocity levels. Use of .38 Super ammo in a .38 ACP gun can have nasty consequences.

The .38 Super is the NEWEST cartridge in this lineup, it was offered commercially for the first time in the 1920s, partially in response to police requests for a cartridge/handgun combination that could provide greater power and be able to punch through the heavy sheet metal on the cars of the period.

The .38 Super, along with the .38/44 Heavy Duty (the FIRST +P .38 Spl. cartridge), and the .45 ACP, were all loaded around this time with special metal piercing bullets by Remington, Winchester-Western, and I believe Peters.

I highly recommend reading the section on these cartridges in Barnes "Cartridges of the World."

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Old September 11, 2000, 01:02 PM   #14
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My old Hornady manual confirms the .38Auto is identical in size to 38super. I don't have it handy, or I'd post some of the load data. If you have no luck w/load data, post back here and I'll share load data next week.
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Old September 11, 2000, 08:26 PM   #15
Bud Helms
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Very good. Thanks, Mike. I was at work when I posted the question. I'll look up these cartridges now that I'm home.
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Old September 11, 2000, 08:58 PM   #16
Mike Irwin
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You're home?

SLACKER!

It's 10 p.m. and I'm still at work!

My dogs probably just heard a commercial on TV... "It's 10 p.m., do you know where your master is?"

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Old September 11, 2000, 09:58 PM   #17
pack_rat
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"'Scuse me, while I whip this out..."
-Cleavon Little

Per DST-1160G-514-81-VOL1
(Small Caliber Ammunition Guide, Volume 1)

9x17
Other Designations:
9-mm Browning Short, 9-mm Corto,
9-mm Kurz, .380 ACP, .380 Automatic,
9-mm M34

The 9x17 cartridge was introduced in Europe
in 1908 as the 9-mm Browning Short and in the
United States as the .380 ACP. The full metal
jacketed bullet weighs approximately 6.2
grams. Muzzle velocity varies from 275 to
310 m/s, depending on the manufacturer.
Practical range is 15 to 25 meters.
In addition to widespread use in police and
defense weapons, this cartridge has been used
in military pistols, notably by
Czechoslovakia in the Vz 64 machine pistol,
by Spain, and by Italy in the Model 1934
Beretta pistols.

9x20SR (Semi-Rimmed)
Other Designations:
9-mm Browning Long, 9-mm Swedish Model 07

This cartridge was designed by John M.
Browning for the M1903 military automatic
pistol, which was produced by Fabrique
Nationale of Belgium and adopted by Sweden
as the M 07 pistol. It remained in service
until about 1940, when it was replaced by
the 9x19 cartridge in the M1940 Swedish
pistol. This cartridge was also used in
other models of pistols and submachineguns,
but it is now obsolete for military purposes.
With a full metal jacketed bullet weighing
approximately 7 grams and a muzzle velocity
of about 335 m/s, the cartridge is not quite
the equal of the more widely known 9x19
Parabellum cartridge. Its practical range is
about the same: 25 to 50 meters from a pistol
and 75 to 100 meters from a submachinegun.

9x23SR (Semi-Rimmed)
Other Designations:
.38 ACP, .38 Super Automatic

The designation .38 ACP is not to be con-
fused with the .380 ACP designation of the
9x17 Browning Short cartridge; the two
cartridges are quite different. The 9x23SR
was not developed as a metric-designation
cartridge; it was introduced in 1900 by Colt
for their Browing designed .38 automatic
pistol. In addition to Colt, pistols
chambered for this cartridge were made by
Webley & Scott. The 9x23SR cartridge has
approximately the same characteristics as
the 9x19 Luger cartridge. In 1929, a higher-
velocity load using the same case was
introduced as the .38 Colt Super Automatic
cartridge, and headstamps may be found with
this designation. Llama, Star, and Astra
automatic pistols have been made for this
cartridge.
==========
And that, my friends, is that.
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Old September 11, 2000, 09:58 PM   #18
henryb
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LIProgun and Hutch,

Thanks for the info. It looks like my best bet is to just use .38 Super brass and dies and load to a much lower pressure. I have a couple friends with older reloading manuals, but have not had a chance to browse through them yet. I have not found .38 Automatic data in any of the newer manuals I have looked at.
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Old September 11, 2000, 11:32 PM   #19
Mal H
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Ok, henry, you've searched long enough. I really don't like to post load data because I could write it wrong or you could read it wrong - but here goes...

From "Cartridges of the World" in the 38 Colt Automatic heading:
115 FMJ - 5.0 gr. Bullseye
125 JHP - 4.7 gr. Bullseye

From Hodgdon Manual #20 (1966) .38 ACP (not .380 ACP):
125 gr. lead bullet - 6.8 gr. HS-6
125 gr. lead bullet - 6.0 gr. HS-5 (if they still make it)

All of these yield roughly 1050 to 1150 fps.

HTH
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Old September 11, 2000, 11:59 PM   #20
henryb
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Mal H,

Thank you. I will use the information cautiously.
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