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View Poll Results: Caliber choice
38 super 22 18.18%
45 acp 99 81.82%
Voters: 121. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 02-26-2009, 10:52 PM
colt45sig9 colt45sig9 is offline
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38 super vs 45 acp




Which do you prefer for self defence? And why?
  #2  
Old 02-26-2009, 11:01 PM
mark2734 mark2734 is offline
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SIZE DOES MATTER. On a serious note, all handguns are pretty weak when compared to a real combat weapon, ie 12 gauge or 5.56. The bigger the better. Besides, the offers in 38 Super are pretty limited. With a .45 you can taylor your ammo to what threats you expect, 230 ball/JHP for big things, 165 high vel for hot climates, 200 gr XTP for in between.

Back in the real gangster days of the 20s and 30s 38 Super did fill a need for a high vel round capable of penatrating a steel car body or the steel mesh bullet proof vests of the day.
  #3  
Old 02-26-2009, 11:09 PM
Formula4Fish Formula4Fish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colt45sig9 View Post
Which do you prefer for self defence? And why?
I prefer the .45ACP because like Mark said, bigger is better, and because I have a Kimber .45 but I don't have a .38 Super.

I do, however have a S&W 60 .357 Magnum... also far superior to a .38 Super.

Dick
  #4  
Old 02-26-2009, 11:10 PM
2k5Adam 2k5Adam is offline
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In my personal opinion, the .45 is the caliber of choice. I believe that a larger, heavier slug will overcome the loss in speed with sheer terminal damage.

Plus, I shoot it better and more accurately than anything else.
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  #5  
Old 02-26-2009, 11:32 PM
jwoolf jwoolf is offline
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Personally, I think 38 super is about the perfect pistol sports bullet... I also think that 45 acp is about the perfect defensive pistol bullet... but, that's just me. You can manage the recoil on a 45 and, with a Ranger T, it'll expand to almost an inch in diameter.
  #6  
Old 02-27-2009, 12:41 AM
chifus chifus is offline
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.45 has better stopping power IMO.
  #7  
Old 02-27-2009, 01:35 AM
Madcap72 Madcap72 is offline
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I carry a .38 super w/ FMJ. Why? I'll be glad to tell you!

1. Fmj's, because overpenatration is B.S. Only shots to the Brain or Spine stop people. True for ANY bullet.

2. Hollow points make no sense, they are supposed to cause more shock. Well most your organs are in your belly. They are also elastic and can take extreme trauma.

3. .38 super goes through lots of common barriers. It'll DESTROY cinder blocks like paper plates, wood, metal the works. I've put FMJ Aguila through 1/4" steel from 50' where .45 would only dent it.

And for people with ramped barrels reloading their own? There is a .38 super load that will penetrate 3a body Armour. (90 grn bullet at 1600 fps)

4. I suck at shooting a pistol straight. The flat trajectory helps my accuracy.

That being said, I still LOVE .45acp. It just doesn't love me.
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  #8  
Old 02-27-2009, 02:51 AM
SLO1911Fan SLO1911Fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Madcap72 View Post
1. Fmj's, because overpenatration is B.S. Only shots to the Brain or Spine stop people. True for ANY bullet.
I don't think I've ever heard of someone getting up after taking 2 or 3 185 grain .45 hollow points in the chest and coming back for more.

And doesn't a hot 38 super fmj penetrate almost 24 inches in ballistic gelatin?

Do you load your own carry ammo for the 38 or do you use factory stuff?

I've seen a lot of people using 38 super for competitions, but very seldom for carry purposes.
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Last edited by SLO1911Fan; 02-27-2009 at 03:33 AM.
  #9  
Old 02-27-2009, 03:22 AM
pdp pdp is offline
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I favor .45 ACP mostly because I have one...and I have one mosly because I favor it most of all Pistols.


If I had an old Colt .38 Super, I'd probably favor them about equally, if according to each their respective merits.


As someone already said, .38 Super in the right loadings and or right projectile and loadings, will penetrate light Armor and 'Vests' or Steel of some fair gauge, where .45 ACP generally will not ( though Steel-Piercing .45 ACP was made or still is ).


Were I up against assailants who were wearing Body Armor, I would prefer a suitable .38 Super Pistol and Ammunition over the .45 ACP. if I were either too harried or too far for making reliable Head Shots.
  #10  
Old 02-27-2009, 07:26 AM
MikeyB MikeyB is offline
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Both are excellent choices, but I lean towards the .45 just for the shear number of available loads (and much easier to find). Also the number of compact autos to choose from in .45.

But if I could find a 'reasonably priced' 1911 in .38 Super I wouldn't hesitate buying it.

MikeyB
  #11  
Old 02-27-2009, 08:05 AM
MSgt Dotson MSgt Dotson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formula4Fish View Post
I prefer the .45ACP because like Mark said, bigger is better, and because I have a Kimber .45 but I don't have a .38 Super.

I do, however have a S&W 60 .357 Magnum... also far superior to a .38 Super.
Dick
But in a 2 or 3" bbl, what is the actual chrono'd velocity of the typical Win/Fed/Rem 125 gr JHP in .357 Mag? (I would actually think they are quite close compared to a stout Super from Corbon, truthfully...; although, handloading either would indeed likely give the velocity edge to the Magnum, which has a case capacity and safe pressure advantage)
  #12  
Old 02-27-2009, 08:08 AM
MSgt Dotson MSgt Dotson is offline
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But as to the original posters question:

Perference? .45 ACP...but, the Super is quite nice, and, I have a few old 10 round Wilson mags left for it!
  #13  
Old 02-27-2009, 09:27 AM
bigun bigun is offline
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Ug Big hole even if it doesnt expand, Way more available and way more choices available for decent ammo. A lot cheaper for defensive bullets also.
  #14  
Old 02-27-2009, 11:28 AM
WESHOOT2 WESHOOT2 is offline
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uncommon fallacies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Madcap72 View Post
I carry a .38 super w/ FMJ. Why? I'll be glad to tell you!

1. Fmj's, because overpenatration is B.S. Only shots to the Brain or Spine stop people. True for ANY bullet.

2. Hollow points make no sense, they are supposed to cause more shock. Well most your organs are in your belly. They are also elastic and can take extreme trauma.

3. .38 super goes through lots of common barriers. It'll DESTROY cinder blocks like paper plates, wood, metal the works. I've put FMJ Aguila through 1/4" steel from 50' where .45 would only dent it.

And for people with ramped barrels reloading their own? There is a .38 super load that will penetrate 3a body Armour. (90 grn bullet at 1600 fps)

4. I suck at shooting a pistol straight. The flat trajectory helps my accuracy.

That being said, I still LOVE .45acp. It just doesn't love me.
Interesting albeit uninformed view, but to each his or her own.

I did not vote, because there was no choice for "The one in hand".
A properly loaded 38 Super cartridge duplicates the 125g 357 Magnum; a properly loaded 45 ACP does not, but still can work as required.
Factory-loaded 38 Super options are more difficult to find.
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  #15  
Old 02-27-2009, 02:49 PM
Madcap72 Madcap72 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLO1911Fan View Post
I don't think I've ever heard of someone getting up after taking 2 or 3 185 grain .45 hollow points in the chest and coming back for more.

And doesn't a hot 38 super fmj penetrate almost 24 inches in ballistic gelatin?

Do you load your own carry ammo for the 38 or do you use factory stuff?

I've seen a lot of people using 38 super for competitions, but very seldom for carry purposes.
I've seen plenty of Iraqi's hit by everything to know that the way terminal ballistics work is "hit or miss" (). After seeing a dude get clipped hard in the head by a 7.62x51 I lost ALL faith in hydrostatic shock from anything. Not only did he not die, he regained consciousness and started struggling to get away with a big chunk of skull missing.

I don't know the penetration on hot .38, I know regular .45 ball can penetrate obscene amounts of gelatin (I think 28"?).

I carry factory loaded Aguila fmj (130 grn 1230 fps), and also have some PMC 124 grn hollow points in the spare mag (little less poop, but more accurate in my gun).
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  #16  
Old 02-27-2009, 02:52 PM
Madcap72 Madcap72 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WESHOOT2
Interesting albeit uninformed view, but to each his or her own.
I'd be interested in hearing why you think that. I'd like to think my experience and research would lead me to forming well informed opinions.
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  #17  
Old 02-27-2009, 03:07 PM
Formula4Fish Formula4Fish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSgt Dotson View Post
But in a 2 or 3" bbl, what is the actual chrono'd velocity of the typical Win/Fed/Rem 125 gr JHP in .357 Mag? (I would actually think they are quite close compared to a stout Super from Corbon, truthfully...; although, handloading either would indeed likely give the velocity edge to the Magnum, which has a case capacity and safe pressure advantage)
How about an apples to apples comparison Msgt?

Given the .357 magnum and the .38 super are fired from the same length barrels, the .357 FAR outperforms the .38 super, and that includes the .38 super +P.
  #18  
Old 02-27-2009, 03:52 PM
Madcap72 Madcap72 is offline
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Originally Posted by Formula4Fish View Post
How about an apples to apples comparison Msgt?

Given the .357 magnum and the .38 super are fired from the same length barrels, the .357 FAR outperforms the .38 super, and that includes the .38 super +P.
Because a bad guy is going to tell the difference between less than 150 fps how?

In keeping with your comparison, the super holds more ammo, and is faster to reload unless your last name is Miculek.

Modern loadings for the super are putting out a LOT of heat, as much as a .357 and if thats the benchmark, then a 9x23win barrel will put a 1911 over the edge vs. a .357. (but before doing all that I'd just get a 10mm).
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  #19  
Old 02-27-2009, 04:26 PM
TheQuietMan TheQuietMan is offline
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Chrono'd at 10 feet, My .38S GM runs Corbon 115's at 1456 fps (541 ft lbs), Corbon 125's at 1379 fps (528 ft lbs), and GA Arms 124 Gold Dots at 1322 fps (485 ft lbs).

All loads are over 500 ft lbs of energy at the muzzle, which I prefer. They are still close at impact distance of close quarter combat.
  #20  
Old 02-27-2009, 06:30 PM
MSgt Dotson MSgt Dotson is offline
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Originally Posted by Formula4Fish View Post
How about an apples to apples comparison Msgt?

Given the .357 magnum and the .38 super are fired from the same length barrels, the .357 FAR outperforms the .38 super, and that includes the .38 super +P.
I grant the .357 mag has an advantage over the .38 Super (how couldn't it, given its operating pressures and case capacity?), and even stated as much...

It was you that said, "I have a S&W Model 60 .357 Mag, also far superior to a .38 Super". I assumed you meant in the Model 60.

My small point was the advantage may not be as big (if at all) comparing a 2" revolver with a 5" Govt model variant when both are using top 125 gr commercial loadings....
  #21  
Old 02-27-2009, 06:59 PM
Madcap72 Madcap72 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSgt Dotson\
I grant the .357 mag has an advantage over the .38 Super (how couldn't it, given its operating pressures and case capacity?)
.38super's 36,500 psi

.357 mag is 35,000psi
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  #22  
Old 02-27-2009, 07:51 PM
DR505 DR505 is offline
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Originally Posted by Madcap72 View Post
I carry a .38 super w/ FMJ. Why? I'll be glad to tell you!

1. Fmj's, because overpenatration is B.S. Only shots to the Brain or Spine stop people. True for ANY bullet.

2. Hollow points make no sense, they are supposed to cause more shock. Well most your organs are in your belly. They are also elastic and can take extreme trauma.
I think you need to take a few anatomy and physiology courses. People also die from exsanguination (blood loss), not just CNS hits.

Organs in your belly? You must have been born without a ribcage.
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  #23  
Old 02-27-2009, 09:52 PM
ACRIMSONTIDE ACRIMSONTIDE is online now
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Originally Posted by Madcap72 View Post
2. Hollow points make no sense, they are supposed to cause more shock. Well most your organs are in your belly. They are also elastic and can take extreme trauma.

HUH? Surely you jest!! Have you ever actually seen the wound channel from a full metal jacket and a well expanded hollow point? I don't think there are many humans out there that would have to be hit in the brain or spine to be stopped by .45 ACP 230 grain Federal Hydra Shocks. If you should ever have to fire in a self defense situation, I would hope you wouldn't shoot for the "belly'. Nothing wrong with the .38 super, but I certainly don't understand your theory on expanding ammunition.
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  #24  
Old 02-27-2009, 10:14 PM
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DeltaKilo DeltaKilo is offline
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Bigger bullet in the .45 ACP, and the ammo is so readily available it's practically a standard. .38 Super would be a PITA to locate ammo for if one had to in a pinch.
  #25  
Old 02-27-2009, 10:26 PM
MyGlockWorks MyGlockWorks is offline
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Originally Posted by DR505 View Post
I think you need to take a few anatomy and physiology courses. People also die from exsanguination (blood loss), not just CNS hits.

Organs in your belly? You must have been born without a ribcage.
He said STOP not die. You can still attack your victim while you bleed to death. CNS gets severed, you are a limp sack of dead kittens.
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