FANDOM


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| .38 Super colspan="3" style="text-align: center; font-size: 90%; border-bottom: 1px solid #aaa; line-height: 1.25em;"
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| File:.38 Super.jpg
Type Pistol Place of origin USA colspan="3" style="background: lightsteelblue; text-align: center; vertical-align: middle;"
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| Production history Manufacturer Colt Produced 1929 colspan="3" style="background: lightsteelblue; text-align: center; vertical-align: middle;"
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| Specifications Parent case .38 ACP Bullet diameter .356 in (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
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 mm
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Neck diameter .384 in (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
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 mm
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Base diameter .384 in (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
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 mm
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Rim diameter .406 in (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
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 mm
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Rim thickness .050 in (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
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 mm
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Case length .900 in (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
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 mm
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Overall length 1.280 in (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
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 mm
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| Ballistic performance Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy style="vertical-align:middle; border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa;
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" | 90 gr (Expression error: Unexpected < operator.
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Test barrel length: 5"
Source: Accurate Powder [1]

The .38 Super is a pistol cartridge that fires a .356 inch diameter bullet. The Super was introduced in the late 1920s as a higher pressure loading of the .38 ACP. The old .38 ACP propelled a 130 grain bullet at 1050 feet per second (fps). The improved .38 Super Auto pushed the same 130 grain bullet at 1280 fps.[2] The .38 Super has gained distinction as the caliber of choice for many top pistol match competitors. In overall sales, it lags far behind most other pistol cartridges today.

DesignEdit

The .38 Super is dimensionally identical to the older .38 ACP but is loaded to higher pressures. It was intended that the cartridge would headspace on the semi-rim, however all new .38 Super pistols headspace on the case mouth as with other cartridges in this class. Because the semi-rimmed case can cause some feeding trouble in magazines, especially double stack magazines, rimless variants of .38 Super like .38 Supercomp, .38 Super Lapua and .38 TJ (.38 Todd Jarrett) have been developed.

In 1974 the industry added the +P headstamp to the .38 Super to further distinguish it from the lower pressure .38 ACP. Most current ammunition manufacturers label ammunition for the Super as .38 Super +P.

The cartridge was designed for use in the M1911 pistol and was capable of penetrating the body armor and automobile bodies of the time.[3]

PerformanceEdit

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The .38 Super offers higher bullet velocities than the 9mm Parabellum in factory cartridges. Greater case capacity allows for more powder and higher velocities at lower pressures. Also, because most .38 Super firearms were designed for the larger .45 ACP, .38 Super guns tend to be strong enough for heavier loads.

The .38 Super has made a huge comeback in IPSC and USPSA sports shooting, particularly when equipped with a compensator, because it meets the minimum power factor to be considered as a Major charge, while having more manageable recoil than .45 ACP.

Muzzle velocityEdit

  • 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

SynonymsEdit

  • .38 Colt Super
  • .38 Super Auto
  • .38 Super ACP
  • .38 Super +P
  • Super 38
  • 9x23mmSR +P

NotesEdit

Due to Mexican laws governing civilian use or possession of ammunition classified as military calibers, such as 9mm Parabellum and .45 ACP, the .38 Super is a popular round in Mexico.

Even though .38 ACP and .38 Super are the same size, it can be potentially dangerous to use .38 Super ammunition in a firearm chambered for .38 ACP. There are over a dozen autoloading pistol cartridges, both semi-rimmed and rimless, in this caliber. Often, foreign or ambiguous headstamps make identification impossible. When in doubt, it is best not to fire suspicious cartridges in any firearm.

CategoriesEdit

Cartridge:handguns
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