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  #51  
Old 06-08-2019, 09:25 PM
Diogenes Diogenes is offline
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Why Did the .38 Super Remain a Niche Round?

One place where the .38 Super was surprisingly popular was Mexico. At the time it was possible to legally own a large calibre pistol there (dunno about now) BUT it could not be chambered for a "military cartridge", which included .45ACP and 9x19 Parabellum. Since the .38 Super was never adopted by any country's armed forces it was not a "military round" and could be legally owned. One of my father's friends was a Mexican businessman whom we once visited in Ciudad Juarez ~ 1960. He proudly showed me his Colt 1911 in .38 Super which had been nickle plated and sported the most garish grips I've ever seen. My father later explained that to many Mexicans the more showy the gun the more deadly it was.

Last edited by Diogenes; 06-08-2019 at 11:28 PM.
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  #52  
Old 06-09-2019, 04:33 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
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.38 super, niche round over shadowed by the .45acp

At the turn of the 20th century, the U.S. military lost faith in .38 caliber weapons when during the Phillilpine insurrection, the Moros were not easily stopped or incapacitated with 38 caliber rounds.....the U.S. military wanted a pistol with more stopping power. The Thompson/Lagarde tests at the Chicago cattle stockyards in 1904, and also tests on human cadavers, showed that a FMJ .45acp cartridge was more effective putting down the cattle (PETA would have a field day at this day and age!) The U.S. military followed the rules of warfare by the Geneva convention, and did not use expanding bullets like JHP profiles. Although the U.S. never signed the Geneva convention, they did abide by the majority of the guidelines. JMB developed the 1911 using the .45acp cartridge, and the gun was eventually awarded the military contract after thorough testing.

The 1911 ,45acp pistol won a huge following by the military and those that left the military service. The gun had the potential to be very accurate and reliable.

Nowadays, a good and effective self defense round is never a FMJ profile, but usually some type of JHP that will allow the bullet to expand to a much larger diameter in animal and human tissue when fired with the proper velocities. Thus, the .45acp FMJ round used by the military, is not often used in today's world for self defense. Shooters with experience know that a full metal jacket 230 grain .45acp round fired at roughly 900-1000 FPS, often called "hardball" loads, does exhibit substantial muzzle lift and recoil from the heavy bullet, while lighter bullets at higher velocities, usually offer less felt recoil and muzzle lift. Pistol bullets with JHP profiles seem to expand and perform best with good penetration at velocities in the 1,100 to 1,400 fps range.

Thus, semi auto pistols using 125 gr. JHP bullets at velocities near the low end of a .357 magnum round, offer faster follow up shots, good penetration, good expansion, and good terminal ballistic performance. When a 1911 or STI 2011 is properly built and chambered in .38 super, it can offer outstanding accuracy that may out perform the .45acp round. Many law enforcement agencies in the U.S. used .38 special and .357 magnum revolvers for many years in the 20th century, until better cartridge development and higher capacity handguns were introduced.

My personal choice for a good self defense carry gun is an STI 2011 chambered in .38 super, with JHP Speer Gold Dot or Hornady XTP bullet profiles at velocities at the low end of a .357 magnum round. I carry my gun cocked and locked with 16+1 rounds of hot .38 super ammo, using flush fit STI magazines, and also carry one extra STI 2011 mag on my opposite hip that holds 17 rounds....

The best gun to conceal carry is the one you will carry everyday.....! Guns and calibers are subjective choices made by the individual......
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  #53  
Old 06-12-2019, 08:12 AM
Thumper88 Thumper88 is offline
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I find it amazing how the internet seems, to me at least, to have caused a small resurgence in niche calibers. Probably due tot he fact that information and materials are now readily available quickly. Instead of needing to know someone or research through paper magazines and books, google can quickly answer almost any question regarding even the most obscure loads and firearms. Maybe this will lead to a resurgence of calibers such as .38 super and others that have fallen out of favor or never taken off to begin with.
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  #54  
Old 06-13-2019, 12:16 AM
BoulderTroll BoulderTroll is offline
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I'm uninformed when it comes to the 38 Super and 9x23 Winchester. I've never seen one of either in person. But I have to ask, aside from being able to stack more in a magazine, do either round offer an advantage over 357 SIG? My experience with 357 SIG is that it's by far my favorite pistol caliber. It has excellent ballistics and real world use (which is anecdotal, and not personal knowledge), and is inherently reliable. And it could be argued that the longer cartridge length of the 38 Super or 9x23 sort of negate the benefits of a single stack magazine vs a double stack, in terms of grip size.

These are just my out loud musings. I'm not trying to start a debate, I'm just genuinely curious if either of them offer a sizable advantage over the SIG.
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  #55  
Old 06-13-2019, 12:22 AM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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I do not really know what to tell you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoulderTroll View Post
I'm uninformed when it comes to the 38 Super and 9x23 Winchester. I've never seen one of either in person. But I have to ask, aside from being able to stack more in a magazine, do either round offer an advantage over 357 SIG? My experience with 357 SIG is that it's by far my favorite pistol caliber. It has excellent ballistics and real world use (which is anecdotal, and not personal knowledge), and is inherently reliable. And it could be argued that the longer cartridge length of the 38 Super or 9x23 sort of negate the benefits of a single stack magazine vs a double stack, in terms of grip size.

These are just my out loud musings. I'm not trying to start a debate, I'm just genuinely curious if either of them offer a sizable advantage over the SIG.
No experience with the .357 Sig round at all. But if memory serves the .357 Sig round is a bottlenecked round. And to me this presents a potential problem for an auto pistol. Not sure if it is merited or not. But by my way of thinking the potential is surely there.
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  #56  
Old 06-13-2019, 02:14 AM
BoulderTroll BoulderTroll is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMM guy View Post
No experience with the .357 Sig round at all. But if memory serves the .357 Sig round is a bottlenecked round. And to me this presents a potential problem for an auto pistol. Not sure if it is merited or not. But by my way of thinking the potential is surely there.
I'd be curious to hear in what way. I haven't experienced any problems with it, but that's not to say you're wrong. But I do know that the prevailing thought seems to be that being bottle-necked makes it more inherently reliable, instead of less.
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  #57  
Old 06-13-2019, 04:04 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
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.356 Sig cartridge

The .357 Sig round is a good, high velocity round. The .38 super round can match the performance of the .357 Sig velocities with a properly supported barrel and the proper powders.

The only thing I can say for the .38 super, is that the straight walled case is easy to reload, and fits any 1911 frame, so it does not increase the grip circumference as some may have suggested. However, a Coonan .357 mag semi auto does have an increased grip size and circumference, which I do not like, and those with smaller hands may have problems with the trigger reach.

I would not want to reload a bottle necked pistol cartridge, and I seldom if ever purchase factory rounds. I reload for every firearm I own, including my rifles, and have developed very accurate loads that surpass factory rounds in each of my firearms.
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  #58  
Old 06-13-2019, 07:53 AM
imjb1911 imjb1911 is offline
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Because there is the 9mm and the .45 acp. What more does anyone need?
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  #59  
Old 06-13-2019, 08:59 AM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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Well there has been talk of bottle neck cartridges not feeding as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoulderTroll View Post
I'd be curious to hear in what way. I haven't experienced any problems with it, but that's not to say you're wrong. But I do know that the prevailing thought seems to be that being bottle-necked makes it more inherently reliable, instead of less.
And even on this thread. Some have stated that the 9X19 is a less reliable feeder for being tapered as opposed to a straight walled case. And while tapered is not the same as a stepped "bottle necked" round the effect is similar. That being that they will not as reliably feed from a stacked magazine. I do not know if this is really the case or not. Just some speculation.

On the Sig round. Is the base section which would presumably be where the magazine walls contact the round. Is that part of the case tapered or straight?
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  #60  
Old 06-13-2019, 09:13 AM
gunnut606 gunnut606 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMM guy View Post

On the Sig round. Is the base section which would presumably be where the magazine walls contact the round. Is that part of the case tapered or straight?

Straight. It's a .40 case necked down to 9mm.

I used to shoot them, had no problem but would like to see a little longer neck.

.
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  #61  
Old 06-13-2019, 10:14 AM
USMM guy USMM guy is online now
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Well if that is the case, no pun intended.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunnut606 View Post
Straight. It's a .40 case necked down to 9mm.

I used to shoot them, had no problem but would like to see a little longer neck.

.
Then that would lead one to believe that there likely is no issue, at least from a feeding standpoint with the round. And certainly you guys that run the round with no issues would support that. Each to their own.

Interesting that hardly anyone besides Sig offers guns chambered for that round. One can only surmise that they are not to eager to make guns chambered for a round with some other gun makers name on it. Kind of like the Colts that came out in .40 S&W. I think that they only made them for one year before they decided that the did not want to give S&W free advertising.
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  #62  
Old 06-13-2019, 01:03 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoulderTroll View Post
I'm uninformed when it comes to the 38 Super and 9x23 Winchester. I've never seen one of either in person. But I have to ask, aside from being able to stack more in a magazine, do either round offer an advantage over 357 SIG? My experience with 357 SIG is that it's by far my favorite pistol caliber. It has excellent ballistics and real world use (which is anecdotal, and not personal knowledge), and is inherently reliable. And it could be argued that the longer cartridge length of the 38 Super or 9x23 sort of negate the benefits of a single stack magazine vs a double stack, in terms of grip size.

These are just my out loud musings. I'm not trying to start a debate, I'm just genuinely curious if either of them offer a sizable advantage over the SIG.
Higher reliability overall
Less risk of massively damaging setback
More rounds (as you said)
More reliable function in a 1911
Lower operating psi
Lower recoil overall
Far easier to reload
Can use 9mm uppers
Cheaper overall
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  #63  
Old 06-13-2019, 01:05 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMM guy View Post
And even on this thread. Some have stated that the 9X19 is a less reliable feeder for being tapered as opposed to a straight walled case. And while tapered is not the same as a stepped "bottle necked" round the effect is similar. That being that they will not as reliably feed from a stacked magazine. I do not know if this is really the case or not. Just some speculation.

On the Sig round. Is the base section which would presumably be where the magazine walls contact the round. Is that part of the case tapered or straight?
Correct, the bottle neck will make the round have less area the feed lips can control it for. Plus of something does go wrong it goes WRONG, like a FTE could tear the bottle neck OFF the rest of the case entirely.

I have three guns in .357 sig and while I quite like them there is honestly nothing they can do that my 9mm major and .38 supers can't do better with one exception. My G32c shoots damn flat with no extra length of an external comp. My SIG229 is great but the gun is a custom piece and I'm not sure how much of it is the gun or the round. The feel is like a lower recoil .40

However what's the point for carry use when a 9mm does the exact same thing to a human target? A 9mm HST 124 is the same from a 9mm as the .357 except the latter is louder and flashier with a little more energy. Not enough to matter though.......so why bother?

Last edited by Striker2237; 06-13-2019 at 01:09 PM.
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  #64  
Old 06-13-2019, 01:51 PM
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Kevin Rohrer Kevin Rohrer is online now
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It was replaced by the .357 SIG?
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  #65  
Old 06-13-2019, 06:13 PM
BoulderTroll BoulderTroll is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
Higher reliability overall
Again, this has been mentioned. And again, I'm not saying that I disagree, or have better information than anyone else. I do hear what you're saying for the theoretical reason, that the feed lips have a shorter distance to control it. I've also many times heard the counter argument; that bottlenecks feed in a superior manner because of the "funnel effect" of taking a narrow thing (the bullet) and inserting it into a larger opening (for a .40 cal case).

So theoretically, it could have advantages or disadvantages. But since I've never heard of anyone having issues with feeding the cartridge, and usually hear the opposite (in terms of theory), I'm wondering if there are actual reports of it been a less reliable feeder?

Sorry for the thread derail. We don't have to keep discussing it, it just was the first round that came to mind when we're talking about the popularity or lack of, in a higher velocity 9mm round.
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  #66  
Old 07-08-2019, 01:46 PM
Pantexan Pantexan is offline
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9x23

I shoot the 9x23 from a Para Ordnance P-18. So round capacity is great. I even put a Dawson magazine extension on one of my mags for a little more capacity. I swapped my stock flat wire recoil spring for an 18.5 lb round wire spring. The cases were ejecting a little too far so I installed a 20 lb recoil spring and am waiting on a range trip to try it out. I also replaced the firing pin with a titanium firing pin and installed a heavy duty firing pin spring. I am considering installing a heavy duty hammer spring as well.
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  #67  
Old 07-08-2019, 02:26 PM
brickeyee brickeyee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMM guy View Post
No experience with the .357 Sig round at all. But if memory serves the .357 Sig round is a bottlenecked round. And to me this presents a potential problem for an auto pistol. Not sure if it is merited or not. But by my way of thinking the potential is surely there.
Bottle necked makes it a PITA to reload.

Needs lube no mater what.
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  #68  
Old 07-08-2019, 03:00 PM
UncleEd UncleEd is offline
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Saw the resurrection of this thread today and oddly enough
just hours earlier I was at a gun store that had a Series 70
.38 Super in excellent shape. Thought about it--$799 plus
tax--but decided I like the 9mm and its cheaper cost.

By the way, Hollywood often plays a part in a caliber's
popularity. While it was never touted as such, Don
Johnson as Nash Bridges carried a .38 Super specially
built from a Colt slide and Springfield Armory frame.
It was custom built by the same adviser who worked
on Miami Vice and was an IPSC champ.
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  #69  
Old 07-08-2019, 07:37 PM
Boge Boge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickeyee View Post
Bottle necked makes it a PITA to reload.

Needs lube no mater what.
Use a .40 S&W carbide sizing die for the .357 SIG and a Lee Factory Crimp die for the final stage.
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