.38 Super Issues

.38 Super Issues

This is a discussion on .38 Super Issues within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Iím having ammo issues with my new to me LW Commander in .38 Super. Today I was shooting Sig 125 JHP +P, Corbon 115 JHP ...

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Thread: .38 Super Issues

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array CWOUSCG's Avatar
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    .38 Super Issues

    Iím having ammo issues with my new to me LW Commander in .38 Super. Today I was shooting Sig 125 JHP +P, Corbon 115 JHP +P, and Magtech 130 FMJ +P. The Magtech fed just fine, the Sig and Corbon would not feed.

    **I just installed a new recoil spring, this was a test session so we can rule that out.**

    I shot 50 rds of the Magtech with no issues at all so tried the high end stuff as possible EDC ammo. First was the Sig, jammed into the feed ramp. I was able to bump the slide but it would not completely chamber so cleared the round and did not try to shoot Sig anymore. The Corbon did the same thing but chambered so I fired that round but it jammed into the feed ramp again so I cleared the pistol and went back to the Magtech which again functioned fine.
    .38 Super Issues-fd6cf19a-343d-43d6-b697-9f313d7becc0.jpeg

    This is what the feed ramp looked like.
    .38 Super Issues-a5e9d42f-06e9-4a0c-a252-6f473582f7d2.jpeg
    When I got home disassembled and measured all rounds and found this:
    Sig - 1.250Ē OAL
    Corbon - 1.234Ē OAL
    Magtech - 1.252Ē OAL

    I've heard a round that is too short will not feed, but I believe 1.250 is the norm?

    I also measured the OD in 2 locations, 1/8Ē below the bullet and 1/8Ē above the extractor grove.
    Sig - .382Ē/.381Ē
    Corbon - .379Ē/.379Ē
    Magtech - .379Ē/.379Ē

    So I did a drop test.
    Sig
    .38 Super Issues-b08502f2-7c63-4ce9-9414-b9836e23fd47.jpeg
    Corbon
    .38 Super Issues-dac6685c-eebd-47ee-b2ba-50b5f9b09f33.jpeg
    Magtech
    .38 Super Issues-c653f69d-7857-48c7-9939-7152cbce3ec1.jpeg
    I think the Corbon is just the bullet shape and is hitting the lands before seating in the chamber. The Sig is definitely larger in diameter and will not seat at all.

    Finally I took photos of the ammo in the mags, while I donít think they are an issue someone may see something I donít. L-R Sig, Corbon, Magtech. Sig and Corbon are in Mecgar mags, the other is a Colt mag.
    .38 Super Issues-8da9a9d0-5e94-4dc7-b503-15c0a8584d54.jpeg
    So, what do I have here? Is the chamber on the small side? Does the feed ramp need to be worked, which if so Iím concerned as this is a LW model. Other than not using Corbon or Sig ammo what do ya'll think?
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  2. #2
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    It's possible the chamber was reamed on the short side. I'd have a local gunsmith check it out, which will likely be a quicker path to resolution than sending it back to Colt.
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    OD*
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    The first pictures looks like you have yourself a 3 point jam, I'd check the extractor and make certain it isn't to tight.

    I agree with Gary too, you might have a tight chamber, have a good smith fix it if it is, say a lot of hassle sending it back to the factory.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member Array Gunnie's Avatar
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    The problem is going to be finding a local Smith with the proper ream. With that said a ream will be cheaper then a trip to Wilson or Brown.

    However first thing I would check is the chamber. I would try some other ammo appears the sig is a touch long at the ogave. In my experience Colt has good customer service but getting them to do it in a timely manner can be daunting. That said last time I called them they gave me an estimate as to work time so worth a shot calling them. If you can find it I would try some Winchester and Federal see how that does.

    I might get berated for this and if so oh well but Iíve got three 38 supers and had nothing but issues with Corbon. That said Sig ran fine for me and Iíve shot a couple hundred rounds of it.

    Whatever you do do not allow anyone to polish the feed ramp on the frame the hardening process will be destroyed if you do.
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  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Struckat's Avatar
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    Only looks like one of the three plunk. The Sig doesnít drop in at all? That one isnít in far enough to be a length issue. Is the chamber undersized?
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    I've got a .38 Super that prefers certain HP bullet profiles to overcome the nosedive of the first 1-2 rounds. If I want 100% feeding of any ammo I load the mag 1 or 2 short.
    But they all plunk like the Magtech you show.

    So I'm seeing two separate feeding problems. One is the round not making it up the ramp and the other is the round chambering hard when it does.
    On the chamber problem I would see if another 38S barrel works fine with the Sig ammo. That would rule out the ammo. If it's your chamber you can polish the chamber easy enough. Chuck a section of cleaning rod in a drill with a small brass (30cal) brush attached. Put a little 0000 steel wool on the brush to build it up to the right diameter and have at it. Check often and realize you'll need to blow out or snake any loose steel wool particles. It might not take much. At least that's what I'd do on a used gun.

    I'd also polish the ramp and get that build up off it and use a bullet profile the ramp likes.
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    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    Have you tried the Federal 115Gr +p ammo yet?
    That seems to work VERY well in my 3 Colt Commanders...... ( 2- 50s era guns and 1- 70 series gun)
    Never had a FTF FTE in em... I also use the Fiocci 130 gr stuff, along with the Magtec....
    The Sig V-Crown looks more like a Gold Dot type, and I see other people shy away from the Sig Ammo (various calibers) for some reason...Who knows why...

    Seems like you have, or may have, a short chamber....and possibly Reamer that was nearing the end of Spec was used on your Chamber, thus, the Sig ammo wouldn't fit.
    I'm NOT too sure on the Sig ammo specs either.....Might be out of Spec.
    Have you tried the Buffalo Bore 147 Gr? THAT may very well be your carry load.......
    Last resort is to send the gun back to Colt, with your findings, or call them and see what they want you to do....
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    The case dimension you gave for the SIG round is definitely oversize. In "general," I add .010 (for case wall thickness) to each side (.020 overall) of bullet diameter to guesstimate loaded case diameter. So .356 + .020 = .376, which is the approximate size of the Magtach and Corbon rounds (.379).
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    Two thoughts based on my observation.

    Extractor is too tight.

    It also appears that the crimp may not be the same based on the plunk test. The tighter crimp of MagTech may allow it to be more forgiving, and the looser crimp on the others may cause the edge of the case mouth to drag and catch on the lip of the barrel ramp.

    A cheap and easy fix would be to buy a Super 38 head space gauge and check the ammo. If it doesnít flush in the gauge, then you have solved the problem.
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    JD
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    I may be deranged, but you could call Colt and see if they will fix it.

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  12. #11
    OD*
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    The first pictures looks like you have yourself a 3 point jam...
    Fingers over rode my brain, that is not the notorious "3 point jam" but is the nose dive jam. Google "the nose dive jam in the 1911 pistol" and you'll get tons of reading. This article is one of the better ones. https://americanhandgunner.com/gear/...e-1911-45-acp/
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    VIP Member Array G-man*'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    Fingers over rode my brain, that is not the notorious "3 point jam" but is the nose dive jam. Google "the nose dive jam in the 1911 pistol" and you'll get tons of reading. This article is one of the better ones. https://americanhandgunner.com/gear/...e-1911-45-acp/
    Excellent! I never thought of that! Thanks for sharing!

    What do you make of the plunk test? Do you think that could be a crimp issue?
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    The case dimension you gave for the SIG round is definitely oversize. In "general," I add .010 (for case wall thickness) to each side (.020 overall) of bullet diameter to guesstimate loaded case diameter. So .356 + .020 = .376, which is the approximate size of the Magtach and Corbon rounds (.379).
    I donít think the Sig is oversized. SAAMI specs show a max case OD of 9.75 mm which equates to 0.3838Ē. This Sig case is at the limit but appear to be in spec.
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  15. #14
    OD*
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-man* View Post
    Excellent! I never thought of that! Thanks for sharing!

    What do you make of the plunk test? Do you think that could be a crimp issue?
    I guess it could be, not sure what else it might be if his cartridge case measurements are correct?
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  16. #15
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    My thoughts in no order.

    The Sig ammo is a problem. The plunk test shows a potential problem that could be fixed with a chamber reamer, but don't look to be a problem with the other sample ammo in this instance.

    With 1911's the general rule of thumb is nose down is a mag problem and nose up is a gun problem.

    If you can, try another brand of mag and other ammo. Gold Dot, HST, or Golden Saber's would be my choice for ammo. Wilson, Metalform, or Tripp for mags.

    If at all possible I'd have the chamber reamed just for insurance. It's not the problem in this example of the nose into the feed ramp but if the Sig had made it across the feed ramp it would have been a problem that a reamed chamber might have fixed.

    Also check the extractor tension. Also look for sharp edges that the rim could hang on. I don't think it's the main problem but it could be contributing.
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