38 spec 1911

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by bompa, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. bompa

    bompa New Member

    May 25, 2001
    Western Mass.
    Not sure if this is the right place to ask this so if not please place it where it should be..
    That said I have always wanted a 38 spec 1911 and am wondering if someone has any idea where I might find a inexpensive,read cheap, barrel..
    This is to be sort of a winter project and not sure it will ever come about so I don't want to put much money into it..
    I know that years ago Colt made some GC's but those are way out of reach even if one is to be found..
    Hope someone can help me out..

  2. AlleninAlaska

    AlleninAlaska New Member

    Apr 29, 2004
    Bethel, Alaska
    38 special or 38 Super? There are several 38 Super 1911's on the market. Some are even very inexpensive.

  3. Dont think you're going to find one that fits the 'cheap' category.

    Clark Custom Guns still does .38 Special conversions on 1911's, and they sell barrels. Note that the conversions are done on either .38 Super or 9mm guns due to ejector, etc. You would also need a different magazine, springs, etc.

    I believe all Clark's .38 barrels are going to be ramped which will require modifications to the frame. Check with them, though, for specifics.
  4. Pistolsmith

    Pistolsmith New Member

    Feb 14, 2004
    The U.S. Army Advanced Marksmanship Unit perfected this (.38 AMU) conversion for low powered target loads, and you may be able to find literature and prints if you search the archives for the early 1960's. I don't know what became of my AMU manuals, but others may have taken better care of theirs and still have them.
    Oddly, Hi Standard also once made a prototype of .38 special autoloader on a G frame, that jammed even more frequently than the Colt conversion.
    A suggestion: Go with a conversion to a low to medium power RIMLESS case. I personally prefer using "Super comp" cases and a 9mm extractor/ejector. By varying spring tension, you can get certainty of function with any level of ballistics you choose and Wilson .38 super magazines feed the cases flawlessly. This allows you to avoid a ramped barrel that needs frame modification to fit and function.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2004
  5. bompa

    bompa New Member

    May 25, 2001
    Western Mass.
    Thanks guys for your answers to my question about the 38 spec in an auto loader..Guess what I have been doing is about the best for the least investment..I am loading 158 gr lswc in 38 super brass with a light,3.5gr,load of Bullseye..This works great on the indoor range that I shoot most on except it is smokie..Guess that was part of the reason to go to a full wadcutter.plated,and figured the long case,38spec,would be needed..Haven't tried a plated swc as yet only because I can't find one with a long front section so the bullet doesn't have to be seated so deep in the case..That is what caused me to not use the regular WC..A gas checked bullet would solve most of the smoke problem but finding one is almost impossible as is making them myself again..Stopped casting about thirty years ago..
    Well back to the drawing board..

  6. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    A .38 "wad" gun is do-able, as the .38 AMU demonstrates. Having said that, why not, first, look at the Smith M-52, which wasdesigned for the "centerfire" chore, from the outset, and runs like a swiss watch?
    2.8 of Bullseye, 148 gr wads, and small ragged groups appear, with, essentially, no recoil.
    I owned, for a time, an ex-AF AMU pistol, which shot very well; the M-52 Smith has available parts, mags, etc, and shoots as well, perhaps better.
    FYI... Terry
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2004
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