Worth buying a .38 super during ammo shortage?

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by Cambo, Sep 26, 2020.

  1. Cambo

    Cambo

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    I am seriously considering buying a .38 super 1911. Ammo is reasonably priced compared to 9mm, .40sw, and .45 acp. It is also available in large quantities. I would probably be able to shoot more if I buy one. My only fear is that it will eventually dry up too, especially with ammo companies trying to churn out more 9mm.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. ChuteTheMall

    ChuteTheMall Wallbuilder and Weapon Bearer

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    Although it's a great caliber, it's so rare that ammo shortages are inevitable.
    The same is true of .327 Fed. Magnum and 10 mm.
     
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  3. Glolt20-91

    Glolt20-91

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    I wouldn't say the Super is super rare, it's a hand loaders dream and many ammunition manufactures load it with clean powders. It's a popular caliber here along the International Border. I have 6 1911s and a Lonewolf barrel for a G20 in the Super and it's often carried here on the ranch, very accurate.
     
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  4. Mikegti

    Mikegti

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    I don't think I would buy a .38 Super just to get around an ammo shortage. However, if you just want something new and different to play around with, the .38 Super is an excellent cartridge and should be a lot of fun.
     
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  5. 3007

    3007 Previously Will Beararms

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    Yes. If you can verify that ammo is available. It’s one heck of a round.
     
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  6. Scott1970

    Scott1970

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    I don't believe I'd be inclined to buy a gun in a rather archaic caliber just to shoot more right now.

    But saying that, I absolutely love 38 Super and shoot it regularly. I cast and load my own, so I don't have a clue about shelf ammo availability. Here's my two Supers.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Colt38SuperDude

    Colt38SuperDude

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    You better not be around me with that P220 in .38 Super.
    I’d steal it and leave one of my kids behind as an exchange.
     
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  8. Colt38SuperDude

    Colt38SuperDude

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    just buy it. Ammo is plentiful. It’s not a high demand caliber, so the ammo is always there.

    make sure you buy a Colt.


    20ADE0D4-D01C-42D4-9110-8251C284C1B0.jpeg
     
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  9. Scott1970

    Scott1970

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    I've owned the European mag release version in the past, but several years ago I had the chance to buy an unfired 220-1 version for a whopping $600 from the original owner. It's no longer unfired. My former chief still has an unfired one he bought new around 1998.
     
  10. Borg Warner

    Borg Warner Free Full Clip!

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    Buy one, but learn to reload, and get a set of 9mm dies along with the 38 super dies and get an extra barrel in 9mm because 9mm brass is cheaper.

    If Trump is re-elected things will get back to normal, but if Biden is elected, things will get worse. A basic reloading set-up with a Lee hand press, a scale, a powder measure, and a hand priming tool will cost well under 200 dolalrs and with the hand press you don't need a reloading bench and you can even size and deprime cases while watching TV.

    However, you need to pay very close attention when charging cases and seating bullets and always without exception visually check powder levels before seating bullets with a flashlight if necessary. This will prevent a double charge or a squib load.

    The absolute best reloading manuals are the Loadbooks USA individual books for each caliber. And the Lee manual is good for explaining the reloading process an dcontains data for both calibers but teh indiviuaol books has data from every publishe source for more specific information for using differnt components and has more comparative data for working up the best load.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1012856166?pid=692021

    https://www.midwayusa.com/loadbooks-usa/b?bid=1170

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/101284116?pid=639649
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
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  11. 835mag

    835mag

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    I know some 9mm 1911's can be converted to super with a barrel/link and a super mag. Not sure if this applies to all 9mm 1911's or not. I know a guy with a Sig that did it. Works fine.
     
  12. jame

    jame I don't even know....what I'm doing here....

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    Fortunately, I jumped into the 10mm pool last March, and between shelf availability and reloading components being available, I’ve had no shortage of ammo what so ever. (Availability of primers notwithstanding)

    If you’re willing to reload, and maybe even cast your own bullets, you won’t have any problem staying stocked. The six cavity molds available from Lee make it super simple, and I really don’t shoot much except for my reloads.

    Ive always admired the ballistics of the .38 Super. I think you picked a winner.
     
  13. rds95991

    rds95991 NRA Benefactor

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    The 38 Super started as a 38 Auto 'magnum'. A 38 Super will shoot both 38 Auto and 38 Super. A 38 Auto will chamber both but should only be shot with 38 Auto and never 38 Super.

    38 Super shone as a round that allowed competition shooters to make major power with a lower recoiling caliber. When I was in L.A. working at a sporting goods store, we sold a lot of them to people who explained they could use that caliber in Mexico where it was illegal to own a weapon chambered in a military caliber.

    If I found a clean 38 Auto firearm, I would buy 38 Auto ammo to shoot in it. I personally have no incentive to buy a 38 Super firearm because it doesn't do anything I participate in any better than other guns I already own in different calibers.

    I understand the lack of ammo, but I've managed to get 22 conversion kits for many of my guns and have 22 caliber guns that I enjoy shooting. Fortunately I still have a large supply of 22's from our last ammo shortage.

    But if that is your only way to shoot, then far be it for me to dissuade anyone from purchasing a firearm.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
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  14. Railsplitter

    Railsplitter

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    Your ideal is rational since we are not sure what the future holds or if there will ever be a normal gain. I would suggest making a multi case purchase of ammo for the .38 Super first just to ensure you will have the ammo you will need for future use. Then purchase the 38 Super without worry of ammo availability.
     
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  15. billy b

    billy b

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    i have a colt competition 9mm 1911. i bought a gunsmith fit 38 super barrel for it. you also will need 38 super mags. 38 super is a very accurate round. i am a reloader also. recently, i have been shooting some 357 bullets that i have in the super. they shoot great. some of my 124 reloads hit 1425. thats not even max loading.
     
  16. johns961

    johns961

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    I got my Colt 38 Super almost 40 years ago. One of the reasons is because 357 Sig did not exist. The other is I thought ammo would always be available for it. And that is still kind of true. SG ammo does not have any 9mm. But, they do have 38 Super. Including HP's at this time.
    The issue is the commercial 38 Super is watered down to 9mm velocity. I was buying Underwood for a while until that dried up. I am glad I have the 357 Sig. That seems to be available all over. If I wanted a pistol with a not so popular caliber, I would get a 357 Sig. The shop down the street has someLEO trade in's. Including P226 and P229's in 357 Sig. Some in like new condition. I got got a Like new P220 in 45 ACP. I had always wanted one. And all the stars lined up for me this time. And I have plenty of ammo for it. Ammo comes and goes right now at Underwood too.
    John!
     
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  17. George Kaplan

    George Kaplan emeritus

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    Yet another time I miss fnfalman.

    You will be one of the cool kids if you get a .38 Super. Get a colt.

    It's just a bad time to buy anything gun right now. I won't do it. You really want to reload. Ammo shortages is a bad reason to get involved with this cartridge.
     
  18. Scott1970

    Scott1970

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    Unfortunately, reloading components and equipment are very difficult to acquire right now. Prices for some of that stuff are as insane as current inflated ammo prices.
     
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  19. J_Rico

    J_Rico

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    I did not know the P220 was ever made in 38 Super. That is neat.

    Thanks for sharing.

    To the OP. Just my opinion, if you want a 38 Super, buy one.
     
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  20. Cambo

    Cambo

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    Thank you to all who responded. I don't think I'm going to end up doing it.

    1. The point is to buy a gun and have money for ammo left over. There are not that many affordable .38 supers that I would actually want to own. No GI Spec Rock Island Armory 1911s for me.

    2. I have no time for reloading, and as some have said components are hard to find anyway.

    Side note on Sig Sauer P220s - my ex-boss in Texas is selling his almost like new Browning BDA in .38 super on Gun Broker for $1500 or best offer. I have personally fired that gun and I know how great it is firsthand. And that is a difficult one to pass up. If I had more time, I would be offering to work for him again (remotely)to help pay for it.
     
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