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Old September 14, 2000, 03:30 PM   #1
FUD
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With regard to the lower-end defensive loads (125 grn area), is there really a difference between these two calibers?
FUD Share what you know & learn what you don't
[I personally don't have any actual experience with either one which is why I'm asking.]

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Old September 14, 2000, 03:53 PM   #2
J. Parker
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I've had .357 maggies in my collection for years. I'm a big fan of the calibre. After looking at some ballistics tables the 38 super really isn't in the same league as the .357 magnum. I might compare the 38 super more to the 9mm than the .357 magnum. Just my thoughts, J. Parker
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Old September 14, 2000, 06:37 PM   #3
vanfunk
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Cor-Bon loads their 38 Super up to 1350 fps with 130 Gr Hornady XTP's. That's magnum territory. 9x23 Winchester (a rimless 38 Super) is loaded hotter- to about 1450-1470 fps. Remington and Winchester "+P" loads for the Super are pretty mild though- 130 gr. at 1200-1250 fps. Hot 9mm's seem to nip at the Super's heels, and the 357 SIG outperforms it. With handloading, the 38 Super becomes more versatile. Sadly, demand is such that 38 Super is just too expensive to shoot with factory ammo. The "bang for the buck" ratio points clearly to the 9mm, with the 357 SIG only shortly behind. .357 mag IMO remains the most versatile of all- light to very hot with many bullet weights, and all shades in between.
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Old September 14, 2000, 07:47 PM   #4
Matt VDW
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>With regard to the lower-end defensive loads (125 grn area), is there really a difference between these two calibers?[/quote]

Yes -- the Magnum ammo will give you about five times as many choices at two thirds the price.

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Old September 14, 2000, 07:56 PM   #5
C.R.Sam
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Matt VDW and J Parker both got it....Sam
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Old September 14, 2000, 08:23 PM   #6
Grapeshot
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Fud, a while back I looked into the 38 Super for the same reasons you are now, and I came to the conclusion that the only "magnum"-class ammo is the Cor-bon, everything else being pretty 9mm-ish.

The thing is, most manufacturers are, shall we say, "optimistic" when publishing velocities for their ammunition. I'm not saying Cor-bon does it, so far as I know they are a fine company, but it just seems to be a fact of life and more than coincidence that often the actual velocity from my guns isn't quite as high as published.

So, you have to ask yourself if the 38 Super would be worth it if, say velocity were to be 50 to 100 fps less than you expected. And for me, that answer was "no". Also, factory ammo in general just isn't easy to come by for this caliber, not being as popular as the trendy .357 Sig.

And of course you could reload, but that might not be a wise choice for self-defense purposes.

So how did I solve the "I want a .357 in a 1911" dilemma?

I said to heck with it and settled for a .45 Colt 1911. I reasoned that I'd rather bet my life on a .45, since it doesn't need anything "hot" to work well in combat.

Hope this helps!
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Old September 15, 2000, 08:52 AM   #7
TaxPhd
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Factory 38 super is typically loaded light, because of the possibility of the ammo used in weaker, older 38 acp guns. Factory 9X23 or handloaded 38 super can be the ballistic twin of 357 magnum.

Then, there is no contest. 19 rounds of 38 super/9X23 out of a 1911 (Para/Caspian/STI/SVI, take your choice), or 6 rounds of 357 mag out of a revolver.

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Old September 15, 2000, 08:52 PM   #8
WESHOOT2
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If you use and compare the correct ammo there is virtually no difference.

(Actually shooting my 38 Super this week!)

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Old September 15, 2000, 09:07 PM   #9
Glamdring
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Outside the US the 38 Super is very common, at least in certain parts because it is a non military caliber.

I had a buddy in college that was from a S. American country. He was a Cooper disciple, he carried a 1911 [in 38 Super] in his home country because civilians were banned from the 45. I believe he was involved with IPSC or something similar. He had shot a machete wielding goblin once [in the thigh] because the goblin insisted on attacking even after the 1911 was displayed.
He shot a machete wielding goblin with his 38 Super once.
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Old September 16, 2000, 01:55 AM   #10
Archie
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The .357 Magnum will ROUND FOR ROUND beat the Super38 to heck and gone. However, the Super38 with proper loads (my favorite factory load is the WW Silvertip) will do pretty well in a fight.
I've shot Super38 for years (long before IPSC started prostituting it) and I like it. It does very well for a general purpose handgun and serves adequately as a defense gun.

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Old September 16, 2000, 02:28 PM   #11
TaxPhd
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Archie,

Please explain what you mean by, "The .357 Magnum will ROUND FOR ROUND beat the Super38 to heck and gone."

And how did IPSC prostitute the 38 super? Seems that they found ways for the caliber to shoot up to its potential.



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