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I have shot .45's for a long while and always concidered the .38 super a round left to the "Open" class of high tech shooting.

What was the original intent behind the .38 super? What application does it have today?

I am thinking that it could be a fun round to shoot. Would it be more approprete hunting round than a .45 beyond close quarters combat distances?
 

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I don't know what the original purpose for the round was, but currently, it make can make a major power factor in IPSC / IDPA with less felt recoil. It uses a lighter and smaller bullet, at higher velocities. This makes it a good caliber choice for compensators in IPSC.

As far as hunting is concerned, its lighter and faster, so it will penetrate better, but leave a smaller hole. Whether its better than the .45 is debatable. Ask 10 people and you likeley to get 11 different answers.

Hope this helps.

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-Electric Armadillo-
 

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The .38 Super was introduced about 1928 as a souped up version of the 1902 vintage .38ACP to give police more penetration on crook cover such as cars and early bulletproof vests. I am not a hunter but I would not go after deer with a Super or a .45ACP either.
Maybe a 460 Rowland but a .44 Mag or heavy load .45 Colt would be better.
 

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Originally posted by dream45:
I have shot .45's for a long while and always concidered the .38 super a round left to the "Open" class of high tech shooting.

What was the original intent behind the .38 super? What application does it have today?

I am thinking that it could be a fun round to shoot. Would it be more approprete hunting round than a .45 beyond close quarters combat distances?
In order:

1. It has been around a lot longer than the "high tech" shooters :)

2. Like any other cartridge its purpose is to generate revenue for the maker.... who is hoping enough people will find a use for it that will cause sufficient profit
That is why ammo has that nifty Kinetic Energy rating.. it confuses the issue. That said a lot of people use the Super for vermin (it is flat shooing and plenty enough bullet for critters under 100 pounds). If one does not handload there are some disadvantages in that there aren't many factory loads out there for hunting (Win. Silver Tip, Cor-Bon, Triton etc). It can be used for self defense of course and is at least as good (or as bad) as the 9mm if you are into them.

3. It sure is fun, at least in its original loading it was a real cream puff to shoot in a 1911. Old guns (pre '85 or so) had the problem of headspacing on the little rim, which often slipped off the little lip on the barrel hood of the 1911 and so it was not extremely accurate until chamber were cut correctly. Almost all modern Supers have a correct chamber.

Is it more "appropriate" than a .45 for hunting? I would think it would depend on what you were hunting. I have taken deer with both (several with the .45 ACP) and wild boar with the .45 (I have seen some shot with the 9mm and .357.. it was not impressive). On a critter with a "kill-zone" of about 8 to 10", zeroed correctly, a .45 is Point Blank to 100 yards... I am not likely to shoot a critter with an iron sighted pistol at farther than 100 yards so distance would not seem to have much to do with it. On the other hand if the game was smaller - say vermin or Javelina - then the slightly flatter trajectory might make a difference.

What is really neat is that you can get an extra barrel in 9X23 (be sure to set the springs up though) or just have a gunsmith build you a gun that you can shoot both Super .38 and 9X23 in. A very versitile package - but it won't replace the .45 for defense I think.

Food for thought,
Cordially
Jim Higginbotham
 
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