Defensive Carry banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts
Hi all! I am having a pretty good time working with the 38 Super cartridge. My load development so far has been rewarding. If your interested in seeing my progress, the link below will take you to my most recent video. Be sure to let me know what you think!

HRF



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
As a long time fan of the 38 Super, always glad to learn of others experience with the cartridge. I've been reloading the Super since the '70s, and have owned several Colts, Kimbers and an STI chambered for the cartridge. The Accurate arms powders are a favorite of mine loading the .38 Super,.38 Super Comp, 9X23 Winchester and 10MM, especially #7 and #9. I even experimented with the similar 9MM "Super Cooper" some back in the day. Using a 5" Colt with unsupported barrel, I got to 1625 FPS with a 115 grain bullet before deciding I wasn't going to push my luck by going further.

I've long thought where the Super shows an advantage over the best 9MM +P and +P+ ammo is with the heavier bullets. I've been using a load with various 147s for several years utilizing AA-9 powder that averages ~1250 FPS. No pressure issues even in unsupported barrels as in the Colt.

STI,KIMBER,COLT Supers (6).JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,160 Posts
I'm a big fan of 38 super carried one for years. I still have my blue 70 series government mostly used my stainless 1991a1 for carry and load testing after I got it. I found AA #9 to be a great powder for hot loads. Was able to run 1400+ with 124gr and mirrored rock185s results with 147. Typically always used a hornady XTP bullet. Though Speer Gold Dots are available in my area for reloading from time to time. Always wanted to try Vitavorhia but not available in my area and don't want to order it at just a pound. Sadly I sold my stainless one to finance another project stopped carrying it prior to that and needed the money. Course I still have one in the battery if needed she's a fine underrated cartridge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
In the not too distant future, I want to give some heavy-weight bullets a try in the Super. I'm expecting some good results with the AA powders!

HRF

As a long time fan of the 38 Super, always glad to learn of others experience with the cartridge. I've been reloading the Super since the '70s, and have owned several Colts, Kimbers and an STI chambered for the cartridge. The Accurate arms powders are a favorite of mine loading the .38 Super,.38 Super Comp, 9X23 Winchester and 10MM, especially #7 and #9. I even experimented with the similar 9MM "Super Cooper" some back in the day. Using a 5" Colt with unsupported barrel, I got to 1625 FPS with a 115 grain bullet before deciding I wasn't going to push my luck by going further.

I've long thought where the Super shows an advantage over the best 9MM +P and +P+ ammo is with the heavier bullets. I've been using a load with various 147s for several years utilizing AA-9 powder that averages ~1250 FPS. No pressure issues even in unsupported barrels as in the Colt.

View attachment 260617
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It sounds like you got some GREAT performance out of those 124 grain XTP's. I don't think I want to push them much harder, but that's OK with me. I'm already 200 fps (+/-) over the velocity of the hottest 9mm loading in that bullet weight.

HRF

I'm a big fan of 38 super carried one for years. I still have my blue 70 series government mostly used my stainless 1991a1 for carry and load testing after I got it. I found AA #9 to be a great powder for hot loads. Was able to run 1400+ with 124gr and mirrored rock185s results with 147. Typically always used a hornady XTP bullet. Though Speer Gold Dots are available in my area for reloading from time to time. Always wanted to try Vitavorhia but not available in my area and don't want to order it at just a pound. Sadly I sold my stainless one to finance another project stopped carrying it prior to that and needed the money. Course I still have one in the battery if needed she's a fine underrated cartridge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,160 Posts
Check out the article well worth a read. And to my opinion that's the beauty of the 38 super it's super versatile you can load to light 9mm velocities or 357 mag defensive loads. The 147s I developed specifically for the woods. All in a very good carriable weapon one of the best cartridges in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
That is preciesly the opinion I am developing about it.

HRF

Check out the article well worth a read. And to my opinion that's the beauty of the 38 super it's super versatile you can load to light 9mm velocities or 357 mag defensive loads. The 147s I developed specifically for the woods. All in a very good carriable weapon one of the best cartridges in my opinion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,444 Posts
I started shooting .38 super in 1989. First I was using 160gr bullets in front of WW571(aka HS-7). Later on this changed to 135gr bullets at about 1325 fps. Burned many pounds of this powder. As mentioned AA-7 and AA-9 also work well. As far as I can tell Vihtavuori N105 is the current king of powders for the super. They actually publish loads with 124gr bullets that make about 1490 fps. The downside is the stuff is bad expensive.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,812 Posts
When I reloaded , I was getting some fabulous performance from my Supers . Time to start doing it again . It's a great, and yeah, under appreciated round . Does everything one could want in a pistol cartridge .

And floors still fear me
 
  • Like
Reactions: hrfunk

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I started shooting .38 super in 1989. First I was using 160gr bullets in front of WW571(aka HS-7). Later on this changed to 135gr bullets at about 1325 fps. Burned many pounds of this powder. As mentioned AA-7 and AA-9 also work well. As far as I can tell Vihtavuori N105 is the current king of powders for the super. They actually publish loads with 124gr bullets that make about 1490 fps. The downside is the stuff is bad expensive.
May I ask what brand/type of 135 grain bullets you were using? That sounds like an interesting bullet weight to experiment with.

HRF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,444 Posts
May I ask what brand/type of 135 grain bullets you were using? That sounds like an interesting bullet weight to experiment with.

HRF
It's been a long time ago. It was a guy who ran a mail order component supply from over on the upper east coast and I don't think they are still in business. I just looked through the USPSA Frontsight magazine and didn't notice any business the looked familiar for them. He had the bullets custom made somewhere and also sold a 150gr variety I shot before going to the 135's. He was also a big proponent of using AA-7 powder. He also had an '86 or '87 Buick Grand National that had been chipped.:image035:
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,248 Posts
Good stuff in this thread, video and linked article.

I'm just jealous for not having a .38 Super. Would be great to play with.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,230 Posts
I agree with Bryan...

And I'd be playing around with .38 Super Comp (reduced rim diameter, and generally thicker-wall brass) in addition to .38 Super... just because I could.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
19,230 Posts
May I ask what brand/type of 135 grain bullets you were using? That sounds like an interesting bullet weight to experiment with.

HRF
X-Treme Bullets has a plated 135 gr in RNFP and HP styles, labeled as "9mm," 0.355 dia. Berrys has a 130 gr plated RN they market for .38 Super, 0.356" dia.

Guys I shoot with who run Open division compensated .38 Supers load 0.355, 0.356 and even 0.357" dia bullets - I don't think a thousandth of an inch makes a credible difference in a relatively soft lead bullet that's plated or jacketed. What's ultimately most important is how they run (function and accuracy-wise) in your gun.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top