.38 Super

From Academic Kids

The .38 Super pistol cartridge is the child of the famous firearms company Colt. It is a 9 mm cartridge, that uses the same .355 inch bullets as used in the 9 mm Luger.

Contents

Design

The .38 Super is based upon the .38 Auto (.38 ACP), the case being dimensionally identical but loaded to higher pressures. It was intended that the cartridge would headspace on its semi-rim but in this mode the it soon gained a reputation for inaccuracy - whether this was due to the pistols or the cartridge is now moot - all new .38 Super pistols headspace on the case mouth.

The cartridge was designed for use in a modified 1911 pistol, the goal being to pierce through the steel armor mobsters added to their cars in the early 1930s. The .357 Magnum from Smith & Wesson came to be for the same reasons in that period.

Performance

The .38 Super offers higher bullet velocities then the 9 mm Luger, and it is better suited for hot-rodding as it has a longer casing which allows for larger powder charges. The .38 Super has made a huge comeback in IPSC sports shooting because it meets the minimum power level to be considered as a Major charge.

Some special forces use hot-rod .38 Super cartridges because they are very capable at defeating body armor, armor on armored cars and armored glass at short ranges. This is only possible with special high quality match barrels that can withstand these powerful loads, in combination with steel core bullets.

Muzzle velocity

  • 7.5 g (115 Gr) Full Metal Jacket: 425 m/s : 1395 ft/s
  • 8.0 g (124 Gr) Full Metal Jacket: 410 m/s : 1346 ft/s

Notes

Due to laws which have historically restricted the civilian use of ammunition classified as "military", this is a popular round in Mexico, and to some extent in the adjacent U.S. states.

Synonyms

  • .38 Super Auto
  • .38 Super ACP

See also

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