45 acp VS 38 super

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by LAWMANMIKEUTPD, Dec 4, 2006.



    Nov 30, 2006
    New Baltimore, MI
    I'm sure this question may have been answered before, but I'm new to the forum. I'm thinking about purchasing a Colt Commander Lightweight in 38 Super over the 45 acp to add to my collection. I currently have a Kimber Royal Carry in 45 acp, and I'm just looking to buy something different (because the wife says I can.) I have never shot a 38 super. Mostlikely, I'll never carry the weapon as I always carry my G26 off duty. The gun will mainly be used for plinking @ the range or a local gravel pit. Besides that, it'll probably spend a majority of it's time in my safe. Anybody have any experience with the 38 super or the Colt Commander Lightweight?? Is the 38 super any cheaper to purchase than the 45 acp?? Anybody?? Mike..
  2. Who What Why would you give up the stoppin power of the .45:p

  3. i have both 45's and 38 supers. it is fun to shoot. it is like a 9mm on steroids. really fast round. i have a colt 3rd model circa 1950 in 38 super for sale in the want ads section. doesn't have the stopping power of the 45 but it can be made to really sing in velocity.
  4. Ursus

    Ursus Active Member

    I'd owned a Colt .38 super a few years ago. (Actually the first gun I bought). Accurate, reliable, and altough It doesn't (usually) have the stopping power of a .45 I don't think I would ask for a second shot if somebody would shoot at me with one!!. Cor-bon has some loadings that take the Super to .357 mag. ballistics. I can live with that kind of SP. Anyway you want it for fun and if your wife say you can do it, well: Just go and get one!!. As for prices over here the .38 Super is more expensive (And less comonn). Maybe it is about the same way in the U.S. Sorry I forgot my manners. Wellcome aboard!!!
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2006
  5. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Well if the Super was good enough for Jeff Cooper when he was in Latin American countries that didn't allow the .45acp in civilian hands, then it's good enough for me!;)

    Actually, it comes pretty CLOSE to "major" in IPSC even stock, in fact many of the old IPSC guys who now sport beards are doing so to cover up the burns and facial injuries caused by the Super "blow ups" they experienced "pushing it" that extra inch to MAKE major....the advantages of the extra rounds and quicker recovery between shots was worth that much when matches were being won or lost by thousandths of a point comstock.....

    In fact the ONLY Colt 1911 "blow up" I ever witnessed was a guy I used to shoot against (NOT a "shooting buddy!":p ) who was doing just that, handloading it past safe to make major....

    But the OTHER dirty little secret was that many of the super shooters felt it was JUST a little more accurate than the .45 out of the same platform, I don't KNOW it it's true or not, but I heard them ALL claim it....

    If you don't handload it past safe like those "old bold" guys, the .38 super should be great for carry....I'd definitely prefer one over any other 9 or even a "10mm Short" (.40 S&W)
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2006
  6. I've always wondered why the .38 Super never really caught on all that well with the shooting public. It's a fine self-defense round with good bullets. I imagine its relatively close resemblence and performance to the 9mm is one possible explanation.
  7. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Easy answer, just about every weapon chambered for it in it's time was ALSO available in .45 ACP. Although on the OTHER hand if it was introduced TODAY I think it would sell like hotcakes as a "New" "modern" round for the people that always seem to flock to "new and improved" anything........

    I mean, it has precedent...MOST late 19th century revolvers were available in .38-40 as well as .44-40 and then later .45LC....but NOBODY bought a .38-40 when a .44 or .45 was available...even though it was a "decent" round...

    But in the past 10 years or so, one of the HOTTEST civilian and law enforcement rounds is the .40 S&W, which is almost ballistically IDENTICAL to the old blackpowder.38-40 round (which was actually more correctly a .40-38) and in reality the ONLY "advantage" it has today over the .45acp is the double stack hicap mags in autos...but no more power than was available in the 1880s, maybe a little less in shorter barrels of today, in what was considered the MID-RANGE self-defense load of that time...

    What goes around.....:cool:
  8. You have a good point there, Polish. There are a LOT of excellent calibers out there that simply never caught on with the American shooting public due to misperception or traditionalism among shooters. The two examples that come imediately to mind are the 10mm auto and the .41 magnum.
  9. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    Timing really IS everything...especially with cartridges.

    The other thing is the NAME....like I've ALWAYS liked the .250-3000, even though I've never owned one, it is probably still one of the BEST dedicated deer rounds you could use, but they named it when 3000 was around the fastest velocity anyone could concieve, and it sounded "hot," but now it seems kind of mediocre....maybe if they named it the .250 "Whitetail Buster" or something it would still be a number one seller....

    But ".38 Super" seems like a name that's pretty catchy, ....maybe it was TOO "modern" sounding for it's time.....
  10. berto64

    berto64 Active Member

    The 38 Super & 9mm Largo have the same dimensions....

    However the 38 Super cannot be fired safely in a 9mm Largo pistol because of the guns were not made for the Higher pressures of the 38 Super.

    Use caution when choosing ammo for your Soanish pistols.
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