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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Newbie question here,
what is the difference between .38 Super & .38 Automatic.


And how do these differ from regular .38?

I ask because I received with an old 1911 Colt in .38 Super, with it were some boxes of .38 Super in one of the boxes there is some cartridges marked .38 Auto.

I am not that experienced so please use layman's terms in your responses.

Thanks in advance.
 

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The .38 Auto or .38ACP and the .38 Super are both semi-rimless cartridges. The .38 ACP was here first and the round JMB chambered his 1902 semi-autos for. The .38 Super uses the same case as the .38ACp but is loaded hotter for use in 1911 style pistols. I strongly suggest that you not use .38 Supers in one of the old 2 link Colts. The slide on those pistols is held on by a wedge and comes off to the rear. Broken wedge = upside down U shape in one's head. Bad juju.

The .38 Super, according to lore, was developed to give police something that would go through criminal's "bullet proof" vests.

If what you have is a .38 Super 1911A1 and not a .38ACP 1902, the ammo will all function fine with no danger to you or the pistol.

The difference between .38ACP or .38 Super and "regular" .38's is that the first two are semi-auto rounds and most of the rest of the .38's (and there are lots of them) are revolver rounds. .38 Short Colt, .38 Long Colt, .38 S&W, .38 Special to name a few. Rimmed cartridges all.

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[This message has been edited by Jim V (edited 11-17-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Originally posted by Jim V:
If what you have is a .38 Super 1911A1 and not a .38ACP 1902, the ammo will all function fine with no danger to you or the pistol.
The gun in question is a Colt .38 Super that my grandfather purchased new in about 1936.

I just want to make sure that I understand you correctly.
One can safely fire the .38 Auto in the 38 Super but not vice versa.
 
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