1911Forum
Forum   Reviews   Rules   Legal   Site Supporters & Donations   Advertise


Go Back   1911Forum > Hardware & Accessories > Ammo Can


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-26-2003, 05:50 PM
tinfinger tinfinger is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 179
Q on 38 Super and 9x23




OK, gents, I have had a Colt 1991A1 commander in 45ACP for years that Iím quite fond of. Now, the big Tulsa gun show is coming fast and Lord knows I canít go without wanting to buy something -- and for reasons unknown lately I think I want a 1911 in 38 super. Iíve also read what I can on the 9x23. My sense is that the only new 38 supers that would be generally available at a gun show are Colts, Kimbers, and Springfields (and the latter is apparently not in production now).

Now, Iím a little unclear on this. Will a 38 super chamber a 9x23 (cut for straight wall, takes tapered case)? But a 9x23 will not chamber a 38 super? I understand that technically the extractor would require tuning for best results and the recoil spring would be changed.

If a 38 super can chamber and fire a 9x23, is the 9x23 brass damaged or still useable? Is the accuracy essentially the same? Can an unsupported 38 super barrel safely fire Winchester 9x23 ammo (i.e., is Winchesterís 9x23 brass strong enough to be unsupported)?

If all of the above is a ďbad ideaĒ and you still had the hots for 9x23 capability, about how much would it cost to have an extra barrel supplied and fitted and who could be recommended for such work?

Any information would be appreciated.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-26-2003, 06:32 PM
Number 6 Number 6 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,249
FWIW,

my SVI is chambered for 9x23 and shoots .38Super quite happily. I would not do the reverse, however...
__________________
Peace - through superior firepower!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-26-2003, 09:23 PM
ctrmass ctrmass is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,667
It depends on who you talk to, and who built the gun.
Eric
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-26-2003, 10:16 PM
cratz2's Avatar
cratz2 cratz2 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Central IN
Age: 41
Posts: 2,165
I was under the distinct impression that a 9x23 could NOT be inserted into a 38 Super chamber. Never personally tried though. If it can be physically inserted, I personally would not under any circumstances fire 9x23 in a 38 Super-marked barrel unless I knew the person that fitted and/or reamed the barrel. We're talking high pressures here. The bottom of the 9x23 is excellent and very strong, one of the very strongest or so I'm told but the 9x23 is the last thing I want blowing up in my hand.

As to the 38 Super in a 9x23, it depends on who you talk to. The guy that owns my local gun shop owns two raceguns in 9x23 and his wife's open gun is a 9x23 so they seem to be fairly familiar with them. They both say that factory 38 Super should be fine in a 9x23 and their guns are reliable with 38 Super ammo.

My friend also has a 9x23 racegun and will not allow 38 Super to be fired in it.

Take this for what it's worth. The round is a blast and I would love to have a 9x23-stamped Colt or Springfield. I have a 38 Super Commander that is just loads of fun and would probably prove to be a very effective defensive weapon as well.
__________________
PhotoAlbum

What's 230 grains of prevention worth?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-27-2003, 04:37 AM
WESHOOT2 WESHOOT2 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Vermont (Caspian country)
Age: 59
Posts: 15,172
9X38

I would not use an unsupported barrel for either cartridge.

www.americanpistol.com
__________________
'
"all my ammo is mostly-retired factory ammo"
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-27-2003, 06:05 AM
PSchwenke PSchwenke is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Charlevoix, MI
Age: 45
Posts: 395
The 38 super should not chamber fully in a 9 x 23 barrel. If so it was incorrectly chambered. The 38 is a straight wall case and 9x23 is tapered. Since they are the same diameter of case it is not hard to figure out.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-27-2003, 07:07 AM
ctrmass ctrmass is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,667
Re: 9X38

Quote:
Originally posted by WESHOOT2
I would not use an unsupported barrel for either cartridge.

www.americanpistol.com
They say that if you shoot full house loads and use the Winchester brass unsupported is no problem.
I'd still feel better with a supported chamber.
Eric
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-27-2003, 07:09 AM
ctrmass ctrmass is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,667
Quote:
Originally posted by PSchwenke
The 38 super should not chamber fully in a 9 x 23 barrel. If so it was incorrectly chambered. The 38 is a straight wall case and 9x23 is tapered. Since they are the same diameter of case it is not hard to figure out.
There are a LOT of different reamers floaing around out there.
Out of everyone I spoke to, all agree on one thing. Nobody can figure out what reamer Colt is/was using.
Eric
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-27-2003, 07:11 AM
Number 6 Number 6 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,249
Chambers

"The 38 super should not chamber fully in a 9 x 23 barrel.
If so it was incorrectly chambered."

Well, be sure and tell that to Will Schuemann - he supplied the barrel for my gun......
__________________
Peace - through superior firepower!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-27-2003, 08:15 AM
cratz2's Avatar
cratz2 cratz2 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Central IN
Age: 41
Posts: 2,165
Well, since we're offering more specific advice here...

First of all, you should always be able to chamber a 38 Super cartridge in a 9x23 barrel. I've never seen one where you coudn'
t though as mentioned, not sure about the reamer Colt was using. This is based on experience with guns from EGW, Neil Keller and SVI.

As to the folly supported vs unsupported issue... the 9x23 has an infinately stronger webbing than the 38 Super and thus can be safely fired in a barrel that doesn't fully support it. The webbing itself would literally support 5,000 pounds it's that strong. 38 Super typically is fully supported because of the weaker webbing. The problem lies in firing the much weaker 38 Super brass in a non-fully-supported 9x23 chamber... Some 9x23 barrels are fully supported and in this case, in my opinion, there should be no problems firing the 38 Super in a 9x23 barrel that is fully supported but firing 38 Super in a non-fully-supported 9x23 barrel is a blown case waiting to happen.

See... this is why so many manufacturers and 'smiths recommend against shooting 38 Super in a 9x23 chamber. There's just too much variation to be able to give a blanket answer. Another thing is most folks that shoot 9x23 for sport, load their own ammo (due to cost if nothing else) and loading your own 9x23 costs maybe .1% more than 38 Super so there's no real reason to ever fire 38 Super in a 9x23 unless you're just getting a super great price on factory 38 Super.
__________________
PhotoAlbum

What's 230 grains of prevention worth?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-27-2003, 12:41 PM
Brian Dover Brian Dover is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,887
Cornfusing ain't it?

My 1991 Gov't (that started as a 9mm Parabellum, btw) has an aftermarket .38 Super barrel I use both Super and 9x23 in. Both drop right in. Don't know what brand the bbl is though, bought it at a gun show before I even knew about the 9x23. Also have a 1991 Commander in .38 super (with the normal factory bbl.) that the 9x23 rounds didn't want to drop into. Bought another (Colt)Super barrel--Commander length-- that the 9x23 rounds drop right into. The only 9x23 ammo I shoot in either gun is Winchester factory stuff I bought from a store that was going out of business. I have seen no pressure signs during any of my shooting. Wish somebody had a true definitive answer. All I'm doing here is posting my personal experience, YMMV as they say.
__________________
"If you decide to carry a pistol, you will have to dress around it, not just try to fit it into your wardobe"---BillD, 03/06/07 @ 09:42 e.s.t.

MINO: 'Money Is No Object'. Feel free to steal that one, everybody!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-27-2003, 03:15 PM
tinfinger tinfinger is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 179
On the one hand, it is quite convenient that Winchester kept the 9x23 dimensions essentially the same as the 38 super (also continuing a tradition started by the evolution of the 38 ACP to 38 super). On the other hand, the lack of widespread acceptance seems to have left a grey area. Kinda like the perpetual "is 308 the same as 7.62 NATO?" debate.

Thanks to all for the information. Keep it coming!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-27-2003, 03:30 PM
cratz2's Avatar
cratz2 cratz2 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Central IN
Age: 41
Posts: 2,165
Quote:
Wish somebody had a true definitive answer.
A true definitive answer to what, exactly?

I've talked at length with several people very familiar with the 38 Super and the 9x23 both in building custom guns, adapting factory guns and that use Limited and Open class guns in competition and they almost all agree that it is safe to shoot 38 Super in a 9x23 barrel as long as it is completely supported. It depends on the barrel you have. You can simply insert a cartridge into the barrel when it is removed from the gun. If you can see any of the case on the bottom past the rebate, it is not fully supported and I would not shoot 38 Super in the barrel.

9x23 brass is extremely strong and as long as the cartridge completely seats in the barrel, I wouldn't have a problem shooting it. This is not advice, just an opinion.
__________________
PhotoAlbum

What's 230 grains of prevention worth?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-27-2003, 08:37 PM
JoeMc JoeMc is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Republic of New Jersey
Posts: 1,259
The designer of the 9x23, John Ricco, designed the 9x23 to be used as a major power IPSC load in the 38 super guns. The main difference is that the 9x23 is a rimless tapered case that has the base beefed up. The 9x23 winchester was stolen by Winchester and they changed it a bit in the dimensions. There in lies the problem. All makers of the 9x23 barrels use different size reamers, there is no standard size. The best I've found so far is the Bar-Sto chambers. Both factory 9x23 and 38 supers will function flawlessly in all of my 38 supers and 9x23's. That being said, I would not fire reloaded 38 supers or 38 ACP in anything but a supported chamber. The 9x23 I would fire, and do, in any of the guns due to its case construction.

Both rounds can be loaded with .355(9mm) or .356(38 super) bullets and they headspace on the mouth and are the same length. The big difference is in the size of the rear chamber. Thats why I would not fire reloads in an unsupported chamber. Metal has only so much elasticity, once its resized and expanded a few times it starts to break down and can cause a case blowout.

Do I recommend shooting either cartridge in either chambers?...NO. If you have a 9x23 then use 9x23 cartridges and the same with the 38 super. All of my 9x23's are tuned to run the 9x23 winchester, it holds up the best. I usually lose the brass before it cracks and I have reloaded some of the cases over 20 times.

Which cartridge would I go with if I were buying a new 1911? Hands down would be the 9x23 Winchester, it is the most versitile cartridge ever developed for the 1911. It can be loaded from soft 9mm to over 357 ballistics. Since I load most of the rounds myself they are about the same cost to make and white box Winchesters can be had for the same price as any factory Super load.

Thats just my opinion, I could be wrong. So call John Ricco at Classic Pistol or George Smith from EGW(Ibelieve he is also listed on the patent) They are more than willing to talk to you about the 9x23. Then you will have the true definative answer.
__________________
If I can't shoot it, I don't want to buy it.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-28-2003, 02:40 AM
cratz2's Avatar
cratz2 cratz2 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Central IN
Age: 41
Posts: 2,165
Take Joe's advice... he's had, what, like 6 or 8 of them?
__________________
PhotoAlbum

What's 230 grains of prevention worth?
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-31-2003, 10:44 AM
tinfinger tinfinger is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 179
OK, Iíve think Iíve got a better understanding now. In addition to the above comments, I found this info on a thread at falfiles.com:

******
"Small Arms of the World" by Ezell page 880 shows the 9mm Largo, also known as the 9mm Bayard or 9mm Bergmann, as having a case .91" long.

"Cartridges of the World 9th edition" by Barnes page 501 shows the 9mm Bayard and the 9x23 both having .355" bullets and .390" bases, but the 9x23 has a .380" neck, a .9" case, and a 1.245" OAL, while the 9mm Bayard is .375, .91", and 1.32" respectivly.


"Handloading" by William C. Davis and the NRA 1981 has SAAMI drawing of the .38 Super Automatic and .38 automatic that show bullets .3560 -.0060", .384-.006" base .900-.010" case, .384 - .006" neck, and 1.280-.025" OAL.

base: Largo .375", 38 super: .384", 9x23: .390"
case: Largo: .91", 38 Super: .9", 9x23mm: .9"
neck: Largo: .375", 38 Super: .384", 9x23mm: .380"
OAL: Largo: 1.32", 38 Super: 1.28", 9x23mm: 1.245"

I use a .9" Starline 9mm Supercomp case, a .358" bullet, and a 1.3" OAL in Star Super B and 1.36" in a Tokarev.
******

NOTE: I am not interesting in Largo ammo, or the use of Stars or Tokarevs for 38 super or 9x23. Having said that:

Assuming this info is correct, a chamber must be cut larger than the case specs so that cartridges chamber. In this case, the 9x23 neck is slightly smaller than the 38 super so thatís no problem as far as 9x23 in 38 super guns. The base (head?) of the 9x23 is slightly larger, but Iím guessing that unless the brass and chamber are at (or exceed) opposing nominal tolerances the 9x23 would still fit in a 38 super chamber. Ancecdotes noted here and on other threads seem to support this notion.

So, a fully-supported 38 super chamber would seem to be the way to go Ė it is more widely available and it would let you use 38 super, hot 38 super, and 9x23 (again, noting spring and extractor changes as required and assuming the 38 super chamber is not real tight or out of spec). An unsupported 38 super chamber would probably allow use of 9x23, if you have faith in the Winchester brass to take the pressure in the unsupported area.

A fully-supported 9x23 specific chamber would probably be ďlooserĒ at the base (head) as far as 38 super goes, and hot 38 super loads may be rough on the brass. An unsupported 9x23 specific chamber would probably be rough on standard 38 super brass and not adviseable with hot 38 super loads. I bet it would be rare for a 9x23 chamber to be so tight at the neck as to preclude 38 super ammo from chambering.

A 9x23 specific chamber may give a better fit for 9x23 ammo, but in accounting for tolerance accumulations would it be substantially better? Whether it would give enough of a better fit to make an accuracy difference, I donít know -- but I would suspect it would be difficult to discern in hand-held shooting.

There is some mention of freebore issues with 9x23, and if someone could elaborate on this I would appreciate it.

Otherwise, concerning the comments I have presented: as the Bear in the Big Blue House would say, ďWhat do you think?Ē
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-01-2003, 05:26 PM
JoeMc JoeMc is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Republic of New Jersey
Posts: 1,259
That is one of the problems with the different reamers on the market. They all have different freebore dimensions. Depending on what your using the gun for would probably make the biggest difference. If your using plated, jacketed, or lead bullets would be another. I remember talking to John Ricco about this and he told me his preference, but I forget(comes with age). If anyone wants the definative answer just call John at 215-953-7264.
__________________
If I can't shoot it, I don't want to buy it.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:34 AM.


NOTICE TO USERS OF THIS SITE: By continuing to use this site, you certify that you have read and agree to abide by the Legal Terms of Use. All information, data, text or other materials ("Content") posted to this site by any users are the sole responsibility of those users. 1911Forum does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity, or quality of such Content.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2011 1911Forum.com, LLC. All Rights Reserved