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Old Yesterday, 05:51 AM   #51
Mike Irwin
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Springfield also offered .38 Super 1911s until fairly recently.

Just had to share this advertisement that I found...

It's from sometime in the mid 1920s (Ford Trimotor introduced 1925) to probably no later than 1932...

OK, a little research shows that Transcontinental and Western Airways (later TWA) came about as a merger in 1930, and the Lindburgh Line started operations as the first coast-to-coast all airline travel in late 1930.

All the talk about arming pilots over the years... Back in the day it was apparently standard company procedure.

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Old Yesterday, 02:17 PM   #52
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I'd love one, but cost and scarcity of ammo alone steer me away and I settled on a 9mm 1911. The .38 super will be a bit more reliable than the 9mm due to the 9mm being too short a round for the 1911 design. As a result 9mm 1911's use a longer ejector which has been known to cause problems, also the mags have a spacer in the back to push the rounds forward and make up for it's short cartridge length. Many will replace their 9mm ejectors with the shorter .38 super ejectors and have zero problems, though so far I haven't had an issue with mine and will leave it as is. As far as ballistics .38 super and 9mm are pretty much identical with a slight edge to the .38 so no real advantage of one over the other there. I bought my 9mm 1911 strictly as a range gun, so ammo cost was my determining factor. If this were to be used for anything serious, I'd go for the .38 Super over the 9mm, and the .45 over either.
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Old Yesterday, 03:50 PM   #53
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I like odd duck calibers, but I really can't see any good reason for the .38 Super.

The bullet itself will be bigger and heavier than a 9mm Luger bullet, but with no real benefit.
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Old Yesterday, 04:01 PM   #54
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Quote:
* * * As far as ballistics .38 super and 9mm are pretty much identical with a slight edge to the .38 so no real advantage of one over the other there. I bought my 9mm 1911 strictly as a range gun, so ammo cost was my determining factor. If this were to be used for anything serious, I'd go for the .38 Super over the 9mm, and the .45 over either.
Not seeing where the .38 Super is superior "for anything serious" over the 10mm AUTO or the .45acp on the same platform.

Look, if you like and shoot the .38S, that's great, but it's been superseded (no pun intended) by the 10mm, and in terms of actual use in L.E. or civvy hands, the .38S never did eclipse the .45acp on the 1911-platform.

Arguably, the .357Sig is preferable if what you want is a high-pressure cartridge topped with 9mm/.355-cal slugs in a pistol that's still concealable and uses hi-cap mags. ... in other words, something like a Glock 32 or 33.

Today, the .38S is little more than a lazy Sunday afternoon 'hobby cartridge' for the curious and the cultists to enjoy for a brief period of self-entertainment at the range.

Last edited by agtman; Yesterday at 04:08 PM.
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Old Yesterday, 04:11 PM   #55
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I'd love one, but cost and scarcity of ammo alone steer me away and I settled on a 9mm 1911. The .38 super will be a bit more reliable than the 9mm due to the 9mm being too short a round for the 1911 design. As a result 9mm 1911's use a longer ejector which has been known to cause problems, also the mags have a spacer in the back to push the rounds forward and make up for it's short cartridge length. Many will replace their 9mm ejectors with the shorter .38 super ejectors and have zero problems, though so far I haven't had an issue with mine and will leave it as is. As far as ballistics .38 super and 9mm are pretty much identical with a slight edge to the .38 so no real advantage of one over the other there. I bought my 9mm 1911 strictly as a range gun, so ammo cost was my determining factor. If this were to be used for anything serious, I'd go for the .38 Super over the 9mm, and the .45 over either.
There are a LOT of 1911 makers out there that make them in 9mm now. I have a Springfield Armory Loaded and it has been perfect. I think they have figured out the kinks or else no one would buy or carry them.
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Old Yesterday, 09:48 PM   #56
Bill DeShivs
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I find it humorous that the Super has been in existence for about a hundred years, but people think it has been superseded by 10mm, .40, and .357 SIG.
Those 3 cartridges are pretty unpopular after having been around 1/4 the time the Super has.
Also- remember that just because a cartridge is more powerful, does not make it better. This is a fact lost on many.
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Old Yesterday, 10:02 PM   #57
74A95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs View Post
I find it humorous that the Super has been in existence for about a hundred years, but people think it has been superseded by 10mm, .40, and .357 SIG.
Those 3 cartridges are pretty unpopular after having been around 1/4 the time the Super has.
Also- remember that just because a cartridge is more powerful, does not make it better. This is a fact lost on many.
Can't see why you're calling the 40 S&W unpopular.
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Old Today, 01:20 AM   #58
Bill DeShivs
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40 S&W was a "flash in the pan" caliber, and is becoming less popular every day.
I'm sure it will be around for a long time.
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Old Today, 05:37 AM   #59
Mike Irwin
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"Today, the .38S is little more than a lazy Sunday afternoon 'hobby cartridge' for the curious and the cultists to enjoy for a brief period of self-entertainment at the range."

Won't really disagree with that.

But thank goodness so many mainstream manufacturers are catering to the curious and cultists and offering... 10mms...
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Old Today, 08:33 AM   #60
agtman
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Quote:
Quote:Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs
I find it humorous that the Super has been in existence for about a hundred years, but people think it has been superseded by 10mm, .40, and .357 SIG. Those 3 cartridges are pretty unpopular after having been around 1/4 the time the Super has.


Quote:
Can't see why you're calling the 40 S&W unpopular.
Not only that, but more guns are currently being made in 10mm AUTO that at any time since the cartridge was first introduced in 1983 - remember, that was waaay back in a decade called 'the '80s'?

Not so much for the .38S ... The length of time a cartridge has been in existence bears no necessary relation to its popularity.
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Old Today, 08:59 AM   #61
74A95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs View Post
40 S&W was a "flash in the pan" caliber, and is becoming less popular every day.
Is this based on sales figures? Have a source for that?
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Old Today, 10:09 AM   #62
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Thing is that unless a round is adopted in large numbers by the military or law enforcement it will be a niche caliber. That's not a bad thing, it just is a true thing.

The top center fire semi auto pistol rounds in the U.S. are 9mm, 40 S&W and the 45 acp. beyond that they are all niche calibers. The size of that niche will grow and retract over the decades as they go in and out of fashion.

There is always an argument over what's more powerful. Which is kinda pointless. There is always something more powerful, in one way or another.

A person shoots the Super because they like what it does and how it does it. Not because it's "better" than any other round. It is arguably better than some rounds at some things, as a hunting caliber it's better than the 9mm at appropriate ranges.

A fella says that the 38 Super was supplanted by the 10mm. A statement that is the equivalent of saying that low fat milk supplanted orange juice as a beverage.

Folks shoot the Super because they like how it shoots and feels out of the guns they like it in. That's all. That's all that is needed.

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Old Today, 11:21 AM   #63
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Thing is that unless a round is adopted in large numbers by the military or law enforcement it will be a niche caliber. That's not a bad thing, it just is a true thing.
Both the .38S and the 10mm AUTO were "adopted by L.E." for a while, although both the duration and the number of pistols actually in L.E. hands in those calibers varies markedly.

The FBI did briefly issue 1911s chambers in .38S somewhere way back in the '30s or 40s; however, state and local L.E. never followed suit, at least not on any mass scale.

The Bureau formally adopted the 10mm in 1989, after which many state agencies (e.g., Kentucky State Police) and local PDs (e.g., Brick Twp, N.J.) followed suit, either issuing a 10mm pistol as a duty gun or recognizing the 10mm as a departmentally "approved" caliber for an officer's second gun or for off-duty carry - provided, of course, they first qualified with it.

And yes, the .40S&W did eventually supplant the 10mm in L.E. use, but that took a while, and the 10mm's run with L.E. lasted much longer than the .38S.

Even today you can still find departments and agencies that allow officers to carry a 10mm pistol as either an alternative to the issued duty gun or for off-duty carry (again, provided the gun itself meets departmental standards and the officer quals with it).

The .38S? Ah, not so much, ... unless you're channelling Elliot Ness.
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Old Today, 12:18 PM   #64
tipoc
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Thing is that unless a round is adopted in large numbers by the military or law enforcement it will be a niche caliber.
That statement is true of the 38 Super, the 10mm, the 41 Magnum, and even the 357 Sig. The latter was issued more widely to law enforcement than either the 10mm or the 38 Super. The Sig round has fallen into niche status and was never close to the top three rounds (9mm, 40 S&W, 45 acp).

10mm has always been a niche round. It has been rescued from oblivion several times in it's life span. First time was by the Colt Delta Elite, next by the FBI's year or so adoption of it where it was chambered by S&W in their guns that they never completed delivery on when it was replaced by the 40 S&W. It was next revived by Glock. It simmered there for several years as a niche caliber for them. Colt and Dan Wesson in the Razorback, again revived it some and that waned. It is currently enjoying another revival. Ruger following S&W is placing it in a wheelgun. S&W did the same years back and production of the 610 has gone on and off for some years. It is an excellent round and revivals are welcome. It's a good round that simmers and occasionally boils up. It's a niche round. 10mms use in law enforcement was never widespread enough or long lasting enough to get it into a position to threaten the 9mm or the 45acp in law enforcement. In law enforcement it was supplanted by the 40 S&W and by the arrival of the Glock 17 in 9mm in the late 1980s.

Folks should note that the 38 Super was used by some law enforcement in the 30's and 40s. Also by the military and by the U.S. Border Patrol up into the 1990s. Should also note that it's small heyday, if you can call it that, in law enforcement was a time when revolvers ruled in law enforcement and no semi auto pistol, including the 1911 in 45 acp, made much of an impact there. The U.S. was a nation of wheelgunners till the late 1970s and that was especially true in law enforcement. For that reason any attempt to compare the use of the 38 Super in law enforcement against the use of other more recent semi auto rounds is not really valid.

Efforts to compare the 10mm and the Super are kinda pointless. The two don't compare. The comparison with the 10mm would be with the 45 acp and the 40 S&W. You'd ask what do you want to do with the gun? You'd go from there. The comparison is in the use you'd put the gun. You look at the gun, the bullet and caliber to the job intended and choose what you like for that.

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4. Identify your target and know what is beyond it.
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