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38 super barrels

2279 Views 12 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  shoepop
Do recent production 38 supers (enhanced, 1991A1's, El series) headspace on the case mouth or on the case rim. If so, can anyone advise when this particular change was made by Colt.
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They headspace on case mouth @ least for the past 50 years . I'm sure is was longer than that but 50 years will give you a start.
So basically your saying they changed the barrel design in the 1950's, as the origional design in 1929 headspaced on the 38 super rim and not the case mouth.
I think the change was made somewhere in the 80 series 38 supers.
From what I read, the Colt factory started in about 1986 following the lead of the aftermarket companies.
col,I read they figured out the 38 Super accuracy problem "headspacing on the rim" way before 1950. I will try and find my source and post or maybe some one the board such as Mark from Colt could find out.
Thanks guys, appreciate the info and anything else you might come up with.
It's in handloader issue 71, Still looking for that issue. Got magazines strung all over
I can tell you for sure that .38 Supers made up to 1970 didn't headspace on the case mouth. Otherwise I wouldn't have had to spend a fortune on Bar-Sto barrels.
They may have figured it out in 1950. But like many other things (Beavertails, Commander style hammers, tighty fit slides and barrels, aluminum target triggers, dovetailed front sights, etc, ect) Colt probably didn't fix it in their production guns until 30 years later.

I can almost guarantee it was a series 80 improvement in the 38 supers.
The change occur apprx 1987 with serial number FG60000. I got one of the last .38 Supers prior to the change but I was going to Bar-Sto anyways for a match barrel.
I stand corrected !!!!!! Bar-sto was first to make 38 Super barrel headspace off case mouth early 1970's .Source "Guns" magazine I will post issue # and author of article.
38 Super headspace on case mouth. Guns magazine March 2001 issue, by Massad Ayoob.Quote "In the 70's Irv Stone @ Bar-Sto made barrels that headspaced on the case mouth,and the 38 Super's superb inherent accuracy at last came to light." another quote from article "It was Rob Leatham's pioneering use of the 38 Super to make IPSC major that led to the renaissance of this under-appreciated cartridge" End quote
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