38 Super Ammunition
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The .38 Super was introduced in 1927 by Colt’s Manufacturing Company as an improved version of the .38 ACP. The driving force behind the development of this cartridge was in response to demand for higher powered pistol cartridges from law enforcement agencies at the time. The 130 grain bullet was fired at 1200+ feet per second performed well against the body armor that was being used by criminals at the time. It has been noted that the FBI adopted the cartridge because it was able to punch through the body armor of the day at over fifty yards and still cause a lethal wound! It also turned in impressive performance when used against criminals that were employing automobiles as shields during their escape.
The .38 Super had users on both sides of the law. John Dillinger was captured with a Colt’s .38 Super in his possession. He also had a custom built Colt M1911A1 chambered in .38 Super that was modified to fire fully automatic. It was outfitted with a Cutts compensator, a modified fore grip from a Thompson submachine gun, and an extended magazine.
As World War two came to control the development and production of ammunition and firearms, the .38 Super went into a sort of hibernation until the early 1980’s. Thanks to Rob Leatham and Brian Enos, the .38 super saw a rebirth among competitive shooters. The most common reasons for this renewed popularity were the ability to load the cartridge to “Major” power factor with less recoil and higher magazine capacity than the .45 ACP.
The ballistics for the .38 Super are rather impressive as it will easily generate in excess of 500 foot pounds of energy with a velocity over 1300 feet per second. Considering that a 1911 frame handgun chambered in .38 super will hold 2 additional rounds in a flush fitting magazine, the .38 Super delivers great performance with less recoil than similar cartridges. The .38 Super is a proven cartridge that will deliver for its’ user on the range or the street.
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