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  1. #1
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    Default .38 Super in a Star Super Modelo A?

    I know that it is not recommended to use .38 Super ammo in the older Star Mod. A's chambered in 9mm Largo. Does this also apply to the newer (1950s) Super Modelo A? Its a hunk of a pistol, more than the Colt M1911 by comparison.

  2. #2
    Bob In St. Louis's Avatar
    Bob In St. Louis is online now Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member/Super Moderator
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    I don't recommend it.
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  3. #3
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    Default

    This topic seems to come up annually. I agree with Bob on this; the weapon was not designed for 38 Super so why try it? More importantly (in my mind at least), since 38 Super is more expensive than readily available 9mm Largo surplus, why spend the extra money? If you reload, then it makes even less sense: the only difference between loading 38 Super and 9mm Largo is that the 9mm is a bit lighter of a load.

    Jim

  4. #4
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    I a Star Super in 9mm Largo about 2 years ago. The weapon shot good. At the 1st cleaning I saw that rear ears at the rear of the side were cracked. This was from shooting 38 Super in the weapon and the side hitting the ejector hard. I ordered a replacement side from Sarco. I also made a adapter from a steel 9mm case and lock tite into barrel to shoot 9mm Luger ammo.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimm2003 View Post
    This topic seems to come up annually. I agree with Bob on this; the weapon was not designed for 38 Super so why try it? More importantly (in my mind at least), since 38 Super is more expensive than readily available 9mm Largo surplus, why spend the extra money? If you reload, then it makes even less sense: the only difference between loading 38 Super and 9mm Largo is that the 9mm is a bit lighter of a load.

    Jim
    Ummm... .38 Super is also a semi-rimmed case, while the 9mm Largo is rimless. If you absolutely insist on trying something other than 9mm Largo in you pistol, you might consider .38 ACP instead of .38 Super. It is the parent cartridge of .38 Super, and while the case is identical to the Super case, the charge is about 1/3 less pressure. On the Spanish pistols marked 9mm/38, that is the .38 they are taliking about. Not the .38 Super. But I agree with Jim about the 9mm Largo being cheaper right now. Even the non-corrosive stuff. Why spend more?

  6. #6
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    An interesting note is that the 38 Super COMP brass sold by some manufacturers is RIMLESS. This makes it a perfect candidate for use in the LARGO chamber. I was fretting the difference and then remembered that I had accidently purchased some of this stuff for my 38 super. I guess the competition guys like the rimless for feeding reasons. At any rate. Loaded up some 125gr jacketed hollow points and 3.9 gr of Bullseys... Voilla... nice load

  7. #7
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    Some 38 super ammo is actually lower powered than hotter recommended 9MM Largo loads, I was amazed to find a chart that showed muzzle energy and velocity figures for a few brands that are really below 9MM Largo ME and velocities. Some however, like Corbon, are well above the hottest loads for 9MM Largo. Also, velocity and ME for a particular weight bullet doesn't tell what chamber pressures are, and 9MM Largo max pressures are well below max 38 Super pressures. My point is that it is entirely possible to have Largo loads that are more destructive to longevity than mild 38 Super rounds, but how do you know?
    I load my 9MM Largo loads about the middle of the recommendations, I have no idea what surplus cartridges are loaded to. So, OK, another point, if you load your own you know.
    For what I do with my Spanish guns all I need is enough poop to function reliably, and when I load another batch I'll work up the lowest powered rounds that will function each of them. Just some thoughts.
    I'd post the URL that shows 38 Super MV and ME per brand name but people seem to be wary of copywrite infringement lately. But google it, it was very interesting. The website is concerned only with 38 Super, hint hint.
    I have new recoil spring plugs for Llama .380's and .32's

  8. #8
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    Forget the charts and published specifications, which don't necessarily mean anything. If you want to compare loads in each of the two calibers, get samples and fire them in your pistol. Weigh a few bullets first to determine the actual average weight and chronograph the velocities to see what you are really getting. In the same gun, pressure is primarily a function of bullet weight and velocity; it won't be an exact comparison because of differences in case capacity and propellant, but you'll get a much closer idea of the real difference than anything you'll find in a book or from gibberish on the internet. Pay attention to the high and low spread in velocity; you'll probably find considerable overlap.

    My experience has been that in a 5" barreled Star Super A, there isn't a whole lot of ballistic difference between surplus NC Largo and some of the .38 Super loads I have tested. However, I have not tried many of the Super loads currently available, and have no idea how they actually perform. In any event a practical impediment is often found in functioning, as the semi-rimmed .38 Super may not feed reliably unless the slide face and barrel hood have been relieved to provide rim clearance.

    M
    Last edited by MGMike; 08-08-2011 at 08:21 AM.

  9. #9
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    MGMike, in my post you'll see that the main point was that you can't know without loading your own. My second point was that for longevity loads should be less than maximum data, and for my shooting, I only need function, which certainly will not develop maximum pressures or velocities. 9MM Largo max loads are actually above some commercial MV and ME 38 Super, based on data compiled by the author from empirical data derived from testing various brands of 38 Super. Means nothing? Well, it means something to me. It means that there is an unknown that could be dangerous in a 9MM Largo pistol that will chamber 38 Super at the very least.
    I have new recoil spring plugs for Llama .380's and .32's

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