Jump to content
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo!
Sign in to follow this  
phil plesetz

38 Super/9MM Bullet Heads

Recommended Posts

My wife's bullet heads are .356 124 grain PD on her 38 Super, and my bullet heads are .355 124 grain PD on my 9mm. Can I use my .355 on her 38 Super just to standardize and run 1 bullet type?

 

Thanks,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That all depends. 38 super is technically .356, and 9mm is .355...but it depends on your barrel. I have a 38 super, and I have ran nothing but .355 through it, as that is what the barrel slugged to. If it is a newer 38 super, it most likely has a .355 barrel in it. What is the make of the super?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, phil plesetz said:

Tanfo Gold Team, about 12 years old.

Kneelingatlas will be the person you need to ask. He is the resident old Tanfo expert, but I would bet money on it being a .355 barrel.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The simple answer is yes. 9mm barrel dimensions are all over the place, as are some 38 Super barrels.

 

Even if the bullets are oversized, no problem. Some people recommend using oversize bullets to ensures a good gas seal and positive rifling engagement. Schuemann recommends a jacketed bullet of .001 to .002 inches larger, and lead bullets .002 to .003 inches larger for the best accuracy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello: Load some up and see if the accuracy is good enough for her. Thanks, Eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use a KKM .355 barrel with HAP .356 bullets, accuracy is great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use .358 coated in a 9mm and they are the most accurate in that particular gun.  You need to try several sizes from a rest - a Ransom would be the best - to see what is most accurate in your barrel/gun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The original .38 Super was spec'd with a .356 bullet in 1927. Todays commercially manufactured 38 Supers all run 9mm bore dimensions to simplify things, a .001" tighter bore doesnt pose a safety issue and manufacturers don't have to inventory two different bore diameter barrels. Same thing is practiced by every custom pistol maker by stocking short chambered barrels in 9mm bore dimension and finish cuts the chamber per order in either 9 or 38 super. You can use either a .355 or .356 and you'll be fine.

The .355 bore is an advantage in Supers, you can shoot the crap out of them with .355's and if they ever have barrel wear related accuracy loss you can switch to a .356 bullet and can usually get some of the accuracy back.  

Edited by BallisticianX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I understand it, Colt introduced their Super 38 pistol in 1929 (first ads appeared in December 1928 American Rifleman). It was chambered for the 38 Automatic, which had been around since 1900 in John Browning's Model 1900 pistol. Ads from that time list the cartridge for the new pistol as 38 Automatic. The 38 Super cartridge evolved from that a few years later, around 1933, when Remington started to offer a hotter load for the new guns, and the low pressure version for the old guns. As far as I know, the bullet diameter for the 38 Auto/Super has always been .356. 

 

Reference: Sheldon, Douglas G. 1997. Colt's Super .38, The Production History From 1929 Through 1971. Quick Vend, Inc. Willernie, MN.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use .355 for both 9mm and super. Thet work great and the accuracy is spot on. I've also used .356 for both with the same result. It's easier buying the same bullet for both guns just as you asked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 38 super (Schuemann barrel) does best with 0.357 bullets.  As mentioned by many others, you need to test out different diameter bullets or slug your barrel.   Bullet profiles matter a lot as well.   Mine loves the TC style bullets much more than round nose or SWC.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/1/2019 at 6:58 PM, phil plesetz said:

My wife's bullet heads are .356 124 grain PD on her 38 Super, and my bullet heads are .355 124 grain PD on my 9mm. Can I use my .355 on her 38 Super just to standardize and run 1 bullet type?

 

Thanks,

 

Yes, you CAN. You'll likely do better consolidating on her .356 bullets for both guns.

At the end of the day, you can work up loads for both pistols with both bullets and test it yourself.  Guns quite often do better with bullets oversized by a thousandth or two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/10/2019 at 3:03 PM, pcschwenke said:

My 38 super (Schuemann barrel) does best with 0.357 bullets.  As mentioned by many others, you need to test out different diameter bullets or slug your barrel.   Bullet profiles matter a lot as well.   Mine loves the TC style bullets much more than round nose or SWC.  

In both my Schuemann barrels .355 bullets, especially Precision Delta 124 HP, shoot quite well. A#7 & PD 124 HP produce 5 shots into 3/4" at 20 yards out of both my Bedells. A guy I helped get setup to load 38 SC bought .356 PD 124's. I tried some with my current load of A#7 and they shot identical to my .355 version in regard to accuracy and maybe a couple FPS difference. Goes to show each gun will have its own personal preferences...and no single rule applies unilaterally! 

 

On 1/12/2019 at 10:29 AM, IDescribe said:

 

Yes, you CAN. You'll likely do better consolidating on her .356 bullets for both guns.

At the end of the day, you can work up loads for both pistols with both bullets and test it yourself.  Guns quite often do better with bullets oversized by a thousandth or two.

" A larger bullet diameter shooting better quite often" is more commonly true with lower velocities. With higher velocities with heavy powder chargers its not a golden rule. With the obturation you get from major and magnum loads the .001" diameter difference has less effect on bore sealing/performance as compared to minor loads and less yet to a powder puff bullseye load etc. With higher velocity major and magnum loads a larger bullet diameter of .002" also carries the possibility of increase chamber pressures....something to consider. One other thing to consider is tighter fit jacketed bullets under higher velocities may increase bore wear.. Ultimately the guns actual bore diameter will dictate what it likes. In Yester years less controlled and gauged manufacturing the bore diameters did vary to where a bullet diameter played a major role in accuracy. Today's advanced processes and gauging techniques deployed by reputable barrel makers have diminished this variable considerably. 

Edited by BallisticianX

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×