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Replacing a slide, but keeping an existing barrel

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Hi,

 

I have a backup open gun that has a 38 super breechface, which causes issues when shooting 38 super comp, since the breech face doesn't securely hold the smaller diameter rim of 38sc, even with a tuned extractor. This makes the gun somewhat unreliable with 38sc when it comes to extraction.

 

I was looking to replace the slide with a new 9mm/38 caspian slide that has the correct dimensions, so that it will hold onto the rim of the case and extract more reliably. My hope is that I can still utilize the existing barrel that was fitted to the old slide and shoot 38SC on occasion. I'll probably purchase a barrel and ream it to 9x19 dimensions, but I'd like to exhaust my supply of 38SC brass first.

 

I know the lock-up wouldn't be absolutely perfect since it's a new slide and a barrel that was fitted to the older slide, but I'm wondering if it is possible at all, and what the downsides would be.

 

Thoughts?

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TMK the breach faces are exactly the same for 9mm, 38super and 38super comp.

It's all in the extractor used and how it's set up.

Some like AFTEC actually sell different extractors for 38sc vs 38 super.  I believe it is the length of the extractor.

Save some money and get another extractor that fits the cartridge you want to use or have some one who has more knowledge than you might have.

to help set it up.  I'm not trying to offend you so please don't take that above statement the wrong way!

I have built several 9/38's and have never had much of a problem with extraction regardless of the caliber.

If I use Aftec's I do buy the caliber specific one.  

Normally I use regular extractors and just tune and adjust them as needed to run the gun.

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I am with jcc7x7....... Get a new extractor that is made for 38sc and tune it properly before abandoning the slide for another. If you do replace the slide it will be a crap shoot on the existing barrel having enough meat on it to refit to the new slide. If too much has already been taken off the barrel then it will require some welding and refitting to fit it to the new slide properly. At that point its probably cheaper and less of a pain in the butt to simply throw a new barrel in there along with the new slide. But as mentioned before, that is a very expensive solution for what sounds like an extractor problem.

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I actually had a gunsmith attempt to install an Aftec extractor, and he said that the breechface is too large for trying to run 38 super comp reliably since the breechface is too large for 38sc and really the only thing holding on to the case is the extractor itself. So he said not to bother, and that a new slide and barrel would be a better solution.

 

I took the slide off my 9mm open gun and pushed a piece of 38 super comp brass up in, and yes it did hold onto it very nicely (aftec extractor). Same piece of 38SC brass is extremely loose in the breech face of my 38 super slide. I don't know exactly how old the 38 super gun is, I'm at least 3rd owner, but I believe it's an old style 38 super breech face that is significantly wider. Putting a piece of 38 super brass in the breech face, it holds it with the correct amount of tension.

 

I went a step further and put my 9mm Aftec extractor in the 38 super slide - and while it's obviously not fitted exactly to the side, but I had the same amount of tension problems with a piece of 38 super comp brass, so I am fairly certain it's a fairly old slide with larger dimensions than what is currently being machined as both 9mm and 38 super compatible slides.

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As a side note I did replace the extractor today with one from my spare kit and shot about 100 rounds through it at the indoor range. I didn't have any extraction issues - but when I take the slide off and do the extractor tension test like Adam from Atlas did on YouTube, it's not held nearly as securely.

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An AFTEC extractor has a very limited range of motion verses a standard style extractor. You should be able to use a standard style extractor and file material off of the pad just behind the hook to increase the engagement depth of the hook. Once the correct hook depth is set then adjust the inward bend of the extractor hook to set the proper pinch tension.

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Great suggestion. I had previously removed some material from that pad before shooting today so that might explain the lack of issues. I'll shoot it a bit more and work slowly on tuning it.

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I have one more new Aftec to use up, and then I'm going back to the EGW Heavy Duty extractors.  Set them up once and they work forever.  Plus you don't have to be careful when removing and installing.

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I run Aftec in most of my comp guns for the past 20+ years with no real issues but I do switch out the springs after about 5-8K rounds. I also run standard extractors too but have to readjust them in about the same amount of rounds.

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16 hours ago, zzt said:

I have one more new Aftec to use up, and then I'm going back to the EGW Heavy Duty extractors.  Set them up once and they work forever.  Plus you don't have to be careful when removing and installing.

 

I 100% agree with you on this. The AFTEC's work great but the EGW Heavy Duty Extractors are better from a consistency and "Less to fail" perspective. I have been slowly switching over to the EGW HD extractors in all of my 2011's as the AFTEC's wear out. I am surprised that more people are not switching over to the EGW HD extractors.

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spot on me thinks,

maybe cuz some never switched to the Aftec. The EGW's are the current norm. it used to be you had to shop around to find a good extractor then buy a bunch of the same lot.

then a year down the road those were junk so you went through the process again.

btw I'm not trashing Aftec it just seemed to be a solution to a problem of not setting up a good extractor correctly.

also Brian showed me a trick for folks that buy a bag full at a time, shake them around in your hand and you can hear if any are soft, kind of like hearing a cracked casing that makes that different sound. 

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I agree you probably just need to figure out an extractor setup. 

 

As far as keeping your barrel and replacing your slide it is a bit of a crap shoot but I've had good luck doing it so far. I think more often than not it works out just fine. 

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An old friend would say "Go for it, you only have time and money to loose"....he was my gunsmith and "had plenty of time while I was paying for it".

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