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38 super, accuracy is anything but super.

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by MHWASH, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. MHWASH

    MHWASH

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    Apr 8, 2010
    E. Washington
    I have a '50s Colt 38 Super. I've shot a variety of handloads through it, but everthing goes 3-4" low with about a 6-7" spread. The only thing I can possibly accout for the lack of accuary is all the bullets I've used are 9mm. I can't imagine .001 will make that much difference.
     
  2. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

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    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    A thousandth can make a huge difference. It's worth a try...
     

  3. dewidmt

    dewidmt Gunaholic

    770
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    May 25, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    Most of the older .38 Supers were not that accurate at all. It was only into the 80's-90's that Colt and other makers started making a true .38 Super barrel and throating it correctly. I would be looking into getting a newer barrel for it, myself.
     
  4. 38 Super Fan

    38 Super Fan

    1,614
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    Jul 15, 2010
    KY
    The older 38 Super barrels headspaced on the rim, as opposed to the neck of the case as in newer barrels, poor accuracy was pretty common in the old barrels.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  5. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

    18,888
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    Jun 19, 2008
    NW Ark.
    If you can find a more accurate .38 Super than this one, you can have it. :cool:


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  6. MHWASH

    MHWASH

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    Apr 8, 2010
    E. Washington
    I don't suppose 1911 barrels swap as easily as GLocks. Where's a good place to go looking?
     
  7. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

    18,083
    19
    May 31, 2007
    Old Colorado City
    Service cartridges headspace off the extractor all the time, even though they're meant to headspace off the case mouth. Shouldn't make that big of a difference.

    Lot cheaper to try a .356 bullet first.
     
  8. GVFlyer

    GVFlyer Senior Member

    11,003
    2,158
    Sep 9, 2008
    Somewhere in the air.
    This .38 Super is a as accurate as any Baer, Brown, Wesson or Wilson I own.

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  9. R0CKETMAN

    R0CKETMAN NRA MEMBER

    1,064
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    Dec 19, 2007
    SECONUS in HARD TARGET
    Nice Colt
     
  10. BuckyP

    BuckyP Lifetime Member

    16,341
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    Feb 1, 2005
    PA
    You might be surprised. My SV Race gun has 50K+ .356 rounds through it. I tried running .355 and the group was pretty wide. However, with .356 it is insanely accurate. :dunno:
     
  11. 38 Super Fan

    38 Super Fan

    1,614
    74
    Jul 15, 2010
    KY
    It can make a pretty big difference, old 38 Supers are notorious for inaccuracy, the fact that Colt changed the design of their Super barrels in the 80s says quite a bit. That said, I agree, a change of bullets is definately worth a try.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  12. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    51,453
    3,822
    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    I don't know about old Colt .38 Super (love to get one of those), but the new Colt .38 Supers are plenty accurate.

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  13. BuckyP

    BuckyP Lifetime Member

    16,341
    3,286
    Feb 1, 2005
    PA
    Keep in mind that the winners of Bianchi cup typically shoot .38 super. Bianchi cup is one of the most (likely the most) accuracy intensive of the handgun sports. Winners shoot nothing below the 10 ring, and the winner is determined by the number of X hits. Those guns need to (and do) shoot 1" or less at 25 yards.
     
  14. I can't remember which of the early great 1911 gunsmiths started making barrels with the headspace off the case mouth, but a solution is a barrel away, with some fitting. My low end Rock Island is awesome.
     
  15. MHWASH

    MHWASH

    34
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    Apr 8, 2010
    E. Washington
    I ordered a box of .356s from Grafs, should know in about a week if that fixes things.
     
  16. bac1023

    bac1023

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    Sep 26, 2004
    PA
    As others have mentioned, some older 38 Super barrels were not so good.
     
  17. GVFlyer

    GVFlyer Senior Member

    11,003
    2,158
    Sep 9, 2008
    Somewhere in the air.
    As BAC, 38 Super Fan and others have mentioned - older .38 Supers headspaced on the semi-rim - a poor design. Modern pistols using the .38 Super cartridge headspace by allowing the case mouth to [FONT=Verdana, Arial]headspace against a shoulder in the chamber. A new barrel will fix your accuracy problem.
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  18. MHWASH

    MHWASH

    34
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    Apr 8, 2010
    E. Washington
    Can I buy a simple drop in barrel, like I did for my GLock? Where is a good place to shop for barrels?
     
  19. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

    18,888
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    Jun 19, 2008
    NW Ark.
    There's no such thing as a "drop in" barrel for a 1911.
     
  20. Cobra64

    Cobra64 Deals in Facts

    I agree. :)


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