Home > Firearms Forums > General Firearms Forum > Worth buying a .38 super during ammo shortage?

Worth buying a .38 super during ammo shortage?

  1. 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?
     
  2. 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.
     
  3. 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.
     
  4. 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.
     
  5. Yes. If you can verify that ammo is available. It’s one heck of a round.
     
  6. 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. 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.
     
  8. 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
     
  9. 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. 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
     
  11. 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. 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. 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.
     

  14. 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.
     
  15. 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. 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!
     
  17. 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. 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.
     
  19. 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.
     
  20. 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.
     

  21. Also remember the advertised 38 Super velocities are set out of 5 inch barrels 9mm velocities are established out of 4 inch barrels.

    This ammo shortage makes the wisdom of having a gun with the .40 357 Sig barrel swap ability very clear. On most web sites I can still buy one or the other of these calibers which I can use in the same gun and both are better SD calibers than the 38 super for a variety of reasons.
     
  22. YES. Even in the absence of a shortage. It’s a favorite cartridge of mine but I’d you’re going to venture into one I strongly recommend reloading.
     
  23. I don't need anything. I could not, in good conscious sell anything at todays prices. With ammo shortages, I am not shooting. My brother sold a suped up ruger 1022 for 900. I could not do that to anyone. When ammo surpluses exist after election and possibly after new year, then I will buy more when prices comeback down. They are pumping that crap out and selling once they do. It will come back folks.
     
  24. Wasn’t it popular in Mexico when their citizens could have guns but not in
    Military calibers?
     
  25. It still is popular in Mexico and also popular with the Mexicans living in Texas.
     
  26. Although I currently have only one handgun chambered in 38 Super (I foolishly sold a Browning BDA in that caliber), but it is one of my favorite calibers for many of the reasons already stated. One of my local gun stores has it in stock, and another can order it with no problem, but most shops do not stock it. 38 Super has always been more expensive that 9mm, until now, but it may not be the best alternative to 9mm as a hedge against the current inventory situation. I have around 800 rounds and do shoot my pistol often. I save the brass and reload it, of course. I have also used 9mm Largo ammo in the pistol pictured with no problem. Bonus!
    CCO.jpg
     
  27. I'm going to the range today and will shoot a 38Super Kimber Custom Target II. I will shoot 50 rounds of 22lr in a conversion unit and then shoot some 38Super just to keep accustom to the recoil and timing of my 9MM Commander. Not quiet the same. but closer to the recoil than 22lr. I got 500 rounds of 38Super PMC from Grab-A-Gun last week for around $20 a box which is easier to find and cheaper than what 9MM has been going for.
     
  28. Great score on the PMC ammo!