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9mm in a 38 super barrel


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Well I heard this for the first time yesterday and it has me wondering. I was reading that you can shoot a 9mm round out of the 38 super barrel.

I get it they are the same size bullet, but I also thought that they headspaced off the case mouth. I would say super loaded to 1.240 and 9 to 1.165 it wont chamber properly not long enough to reach the end of the chamber forget abut the whole 9mm case being tapered and such, are you are relying on the extractor to hold the case to the breechface for the firing pin to do its work? Wont it just push it forward and not go off? Have a extractor that's tight as hell to hold it?

What say you?

Thanks for any insight

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I have done it with a few of my 38 Super/Supercomps, as have many others. I personally didn't have any feed, extraction, or accuracy issues. Then the debate starts about whether it is safe, smart, blah, blah, blah.

Please do a search, there many threads on here about it.

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I'm interested too. I have a 38 super open gun wouldn't mind shooting some cheap brass for practice once in a blue moon or borrowing a mag to finish a match. This topic normally gets locked up after a few insults and a bit of name calling. I've personally shot 40 in a 10mm and would do it again with out hesitation. I would do 9 in 9x21 if I had any older 9x21 guns. I know 9x23 in super is common (sti recommend a box for break in) or did at one time. Hopefully this will be a information thread not a name calling one. Normally it's Ppl who have done it and said well go for it if you want but I can go wrong or Ppl who haven't and say the world will end.

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Actually, pretty much all semi-autos head space on the extractor. One problem you may run into using a 9mm in a .38 Super barrel is the fouling that you'll get in the chamber with the shorter cartridge that will hamper if not prevent loading the longer Super if not cleaned out completely.

I've shot a few 9mm rounds from my 9X23 with no problems, but it is set up for low PF loads (125-130 PF) in a Bianchi gun. Accuracy was a bit off, but the rounds did run fine with no extraction or ejection problems.

If you decide to do that and want to run Supers later, be sure to do an extreme cleaning of the chamber area after the 9s are run through it.

Alan~^~

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it is like 22 short in a 22 lr barrel

a steady diet will burn the chamber making extraction of the lr difficult, having expanded to the full dimension available in the damaged chamber

Otherwise it should load, fire and extract fairly reliably

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Everybody keeps telling me 9mm (and other autos) headspace on the case mouth. In around 1973 and older marine Master Gunnery Sergeant (in charge of weapons maint. Dept.) told me that the case will not go any more forward than the extractor lets if. He then proceed to display examples of .45 ACP cases from Winchester, Federal and Remington, along with military issue. He pulled the bullets and measured the case length with a micrometer. I was amazed at the variance in length of the cases, even from the same box. I do not remember the exact lengths, but the difference between the shortest and the longest was substantial by cartridge case dimensions. I am not an advocate for or against, but am merely providing information I came across.

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Following up on Biloxi23's post, I don't know anyone who has ever trimmed or for that matter measured the length of their pistol cases before loading them. The only time we reject them is when they are cracked or just too ugly for our taste.

For grins we measured Starline cases straight out of the package and there was a variation in length.

The only real reason I can see for not running 9 in a 38S is because we normally have enough trouble keeping the damn things running anyway. Unless you have a very robust shooter or a couple backups the NO WAY folks are probably scared they will have to visit the gunsmith again...........

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Actually, pretty much all semi-autos head space on the extractor. One problem you may run into using a 9mm in a .38 Super barrel is the fouling that you'll get in the chamber with the shorter cartridge that will hamper if not prevent loading the longer Super if not cleaned out completely.

I've shot a few 9mm rounds from my 9X23 with no problems, but it is set up for low PF loads (125-130 PF) in a Bianchi gun. Accuracy was a bit off, but the rounds did run fine with no extraction or ejection problems.

If you decide to do that and want to run Supers later, be sure to do an extreme cleaning of the chamber area after the 9s are run through it.

Alan~^~

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headspace_%28firearms%29

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Following up on Biloxi23's post, I don't know anyone who has ever trimmed or for that matter measured the length of their pistol cases before loading them. The only time we reject them is when they are cracked or just too ugly for our taste.

For grins we measured Starline cases straight out of the package and there was a variation in length.

The only real reason I can see for not running 9 in a 38S is because we normally have enough trouble keeping the damn things running anyway. Unless you have a very robust shooter or a couple backups the NO WAY folks are probably scared they will have to visit the gunsmith again...........

I went through at least one full season doing this, with no single problem, not in matches, not in practice... figure 10,000 to 20,000 rounds. IMM gun with Aftec extractor.

Just a data point... not a recommendation. :)

Edited by Foxbat
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Ok so if this works why would you change barrels or have a firearm with 2 top ends? I just don't get it, I have a hard time doing it just because (so-and-so) "insert whatever name you want" does and its not a problem.

There has to be more to it. Sorry and you can call me stupid/dumb if you want. I'm wearing my big boy panties.

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If the round comes off the extractor, which is more likely if it is set up for Super rather than Super Comp, the round might fall too deep into the chamber. All the slide racking in the world will not clear it. I just didn't think it was worth the possible aggravation so I've rebarreled two open guns to 9mm. Plus the possibility of barrel throat erosion.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

Another reason to have two barrels is that your 38 barrel has more holes than you could get away with shooting 9mm

That's the best argument so far.

I have a .38 SC with three 5/32 holes and a 3-port comp with two smaller horizontal holes in the front chamber (hybrid). It likes 3n38 best and gets dot-jumpy with anything faster. The smaller amounts of faster powders (WAC, HS6) in 9mm aren't going to create as much gas.

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