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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. Hope I'm doing it correctly. I have a 1947 Colt Super 38 Auto. With the limited availability of 38ACP ammo, I was wondering if these older models can be modified to handle 38 Super +P, or an alternate caliber such as 9mm, which is more available than 38 Super? I know that some of the older 38ACP was loaded to some pretty hot muzzle velocities. Are there factory loads in 38 Super +P that produce low enough pressures to be used in my model? Thanks for your help.
 

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The 38 super and 38 acp are different cartridges. Your gun is designed for the 38 super. In my opinion it would be quite capable of shooting +p ammo. It seems most modern 38 super is loaded to +p specs. A new fresh recoil spring might be advised also. Truman
 

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First welcome to the forum, You have a quite collectable early post war Super .38,-- '47 Super's usually have left over military parts on them. Be cautious of too much modification. I have a '47 Super in the 435xx range, Shipped in Sept '47, It has military 1911A1 type stocks.

Can you share the appx. Ser. # on your's?
 

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Welcome to the Forum.
It is the general consesus that the older .38 Super loadings where a bit hotter than the current .38 Super +P. Actually the +P designation on the .38 Super was to differentiate that load from the milder .38 ACP.

Judging by some empty factory cases fired from Colt .38 Super it does appear by looking at the spent case that there is some cerdibility to my above remarks. We hash this out on occasion when the topic comes up.

You are probably OK th shoot the current .38 Super +P in your pistol, which I am assuming is a Colt Super .38.

I think and you would have to verify this, that the PMC loading is a bit mild compared to the Remington & Winchester.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input. The serial number on my Colt Super 38 is 459XX. I was under the impression that the models designated as "Super 38" were designed for the lower pressure (26500 psi) 38ACP and it wasn't until later, maybe in the 50's, that Colt came out with the "38 Super" model designed for the higher pressure (36500 psi) 38 Super round. I'd be very happy if mine can handle the 38 Super rounds.
 

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As Ken mentioned, .38 Super ammunition had the +P designation added in the mid 1970's just as a caution that it wasn't .38 ACP. The cartridge itself did not change.

A friend has a box of PMC with the +P marking, but their printer screwed up as the box is marked .38 SUPPER.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Truman and chaosrob have both recommended that I change out my springs. Do you prefer to order those directly from Colt, or do you prefer other outlets, such as Brownell's.
 

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CCT1851, welcome to the forum. Any chance you can post a photo of your semiauto? I am a big fan of the early .38 Super Colts even though I don't have one yet. I do have an old 1902 in .38ACP, but as you noted the ammo for that one is harder to find.

Just as an aside, I believe Philip Marlowe carried a .38 Super on the mean streets of LA in the Raymond Chandler novels. Humphrey Bogart played him as a revolver guy, but the purists get their guidance from the books. :D
 

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Just when I thought I'd be content with a current production .38 Super, you guys are killing me. Me thinks I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and get a Super .38.
 
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