Colt Government .38S Range Report
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Thread: Colt Government .38S Range Report

  1. #1
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    Colt Government .38S Range Report

    Made it the range today with the .38S Colt Government I picked up a week ago this past Monday. First 50 rounds were GECO 124g FMJ .38 Super Auto with FPS of 1410. Second 50 were PMC Bronze 130g FMJ with FPS of 1100.

    Course of fire for each 50 was:

    3 yards - 5 upper left circle, 5 upper right circle
    5 yards - 10 center mass
    7 yards - 10 center mass
    15 yards - 5 center mass
    3 yards - 2 to center mass, 1 to head x 5

    With the Geco ammo, I used 5 Wilson 10 round magazines that Iíve had since 2015 and work flawlessly in my DW Guardian .38S. WC no longer offers these and hasnít for a while.

    With the PMC Bronze ammo, I used the 9 round Colt that came with the gun, two EB 9 round black, two EB 10 round black, and one of the DW Guardian 9 round OEM for the last 3 rounds (to preload 50).

    First 50 rounds (Geco) sucked. 15 fail to feeds (6 first mag, 1 second mag, 3 each 3rd and 4th, and 2 in the 5th). No rhyme or reason on which round. The misfeeds all appeared to make it to, but not into, the chamber. Like a trooper, I powered through, continually clearing malfunctions then reloading ammo ejected during clearing after each magazine was empty and firing it. I attribute these problems to the ammo (see below), as it was 124g and box called it .38 Super Auto (no +P). I had never heard of this ammo before, but I like to shoot many different brands when breaking in a gun. Unfortunately 4 boxes left.

    Second 50 rounds went much better - flawlessly actually. I was relieved since it appeared those first 50 were ammo issues and not magazine or gun issues.

    Next time I shoot this Government Colt .38S, I will use the same two types of ammo, but opposite the magazines, using the WCs with the PMC and Colt/EBs with the Geco. This will confirm whether itís truly an ammo issue (Geco) or a magazine issue (several years old WC 10 rounders).

    Even with these problems, any range day is a good day! Can you tell I was getting a little frustrated with those first 50 Geco rounds? Well that and I had to figure out Coltís sight hold.

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  2. #2
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    Never shot any Geco 38 Super.
    The PMC ammo is closer to the original 38 ACP then a true Super +P load.
    I reload so I shot my own, but over the years have shot mostly Remington and Winchester.
    LEO918 likes this.
    Ken
    "I like Colts and will die that way"

  3. #3
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    Seems an odd place to bury range reports - under smithing and ammo when one is reporting on how a gun and shooter does? I would have never thought to look under smithing/ammo/reloading for any range reports, especially using factory ammo. Shrug.

    You can bet I won’t be buying the Geco ammo again! Sig and Federal American Eagle JHP .38S is my preferred ammo, range and carry; just grabbed some of this Geco and PMC as break in ammo.

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  5. #4
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    Lab4us, interesting about the Geco ammo. I have used it in Colt, Kimber and STI 38 Supers. The Geco functioned flawlessly in all three. I think the advertised 1411 FPS velocity may have been in a 6" barrel. In my 5" Colt and Kimber it averaged 1346 FPS, only 1302 FPS in the STI. I reloaded the once fired GECO cases and again, no issues. Doesn't seem to matter which magazine I use in which gun. My Colt Supers, with factory unramped barrels, were the most finicky about what ammo would function reliably. The Kimber and STI though; boringly reliable with factory ammo, and reloads using 38S, 38 Super Comp, 38TJ and 9X23 Win. cases.
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  6. #5
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    Perhaps it could be “breaking in” issues with the gun, but seems it should have happened with the PMC as well, with so few rounds down range. Cleaning did not uncover anything off with the gun. Like I mentioned, I’ll try the Geco in other magazines next time (have four boxes to get rid of) I take the Colt to the range.

  7. #6
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    Being a Luddite I prefer the old school 130 MC load for the .38 Super. Remington and Winchester started using a 130 RNFP, but Remington seems to have reverted back to the RN.
    Winchester Silvertips are nice and actuall chronographed near advertised m.v. The 130 MC a bit slow.

    I shot some Cor-Bon years ago and when I reloaded the cases they split, which lead me to believe they were over-pressure but probably aren't.
    Wilson Combat has a nice load using the Hornady XTP-HP bullet that seem quite accurate for a .38 Super load.

    The Federal American Eagle load shoots good but it is a 115 grain.
    Some years back I shot a box of Armscor and thought they shot good.
    Ken
    "I like Colts and will die that way"

  8. #7
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    Thanks for the reports. On the subject of mags, my .38 Super build has run very well with Mec Gar mags. Using PMC, Winchester and Armscor, I have had no problems.
    "Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose."
    DeaconKC at surplusrifleforum.com

  9. #8
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    Thought I’d follow up since I got this Colt out to the range again today. Reversed the mags this time (for the first 50 rounds each brand of ammo). The PMC Bronze ammo fired flawlessly with the magazines that the Geco couldn’t load out of last time, then again with the various 9 and 10 round Ed Brown/DW Guardian OEM magazines. The Geco ammo misfed the first two rounds from the Colt OEM magazine that came with this gun, then did okay with the rest of the Ed Browns/Dan Wesson magazines. Unfortunately, the Geco was once again was terrible in the silver 10 rounders, with 9 misfeeds across four of them and two times the gun locked back with a round still in the magazine. I don’t have calipers to measure, but I’m thinking the Geco ammo must be a tad smaller, both length and circumference, than the PMC to cause all the misfeeds/locking back that are never present with the PMC Bronze, all else being equal. 100 rounds left of it, then no more Geco ammo for me. Haven’t tried any JHP yet, but can’t imagine it would go well based on my experiences so far. Will finish up the 100 rounds each of these two brands (which will give me a 500 FMJ total), then try some JHP that works perfectly in my DW Guardian.

  10. #9
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    Sometimes good ammo and good guns just will not play well together. Sounds like you have run across that.
    "Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose."
    DeaconKC at surplusrifleforum.com


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