ISO 9mm or 38 super 1911 with Wilson/Nowlin cut

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  • Last Post 11 November 2021
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JohnForrest posted this 26 September 2021

Looking for a 1911 for my new 7.63x25 barrel. Has to be a Wilson-Nowlin cut frame. I guess I don't have have a barrel with it but it would be nice. Also asking for one in the more affordable range. Springfield Range officer or Kimber. Just a fun  gun, nothing serious.

I don't want  to take a file to it and turn it into a Para-Clark at this point..

 

 

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RicinYakima posted this 30 September 2021

big_grin  Took me almost 20 years to find a loose 1911 frame I could afford for a project. I think you are asking too much. 

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JohnForrest posted this 01 October 2021

I'm happy to buy a complete gun in 38 super or 9mm. Ive got a bid in on a Range Officer on GB, wish me luck

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Eutectic posted this 01 October 2021

I just sold a Sig  220 in 38 Super. If you see one buy it they are match accurate.

 The 38 Super is a better cast bullet bet than a 9.

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JohnForrest posted this 02 October 2021

I would prefer a 38 super. I don't have one yet and it might make me feel more "macho" South American. I just got bumped off my bid on GB waiting two days till final to bid again.  A Caspian double stack frame is close to 600 bucks, so I might look into just doing the right mill cut to a unramped frame and be done with it. 

 

Eutectic, Why do you think they are more accurate then a 9mm? 38 super tolerances more for target accuracy?

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 02 October 2021

hi john .. if you want a 9 to feel macho with, you need my Astra 400 in 9mm Largo .. it is a 9 x 23, just like the big boys .. in addition, it is a full sized artymatic, and 

is a direct blowback, which has a chevy valve spring required in it for actuation ... which means i can no longer rack it without a vice and a come-along.

it is pretty nice, in original box with pretty blue and a new Federal barrel and the old barrel. 

****************

following your post here, i reread up on 38/9's  ... and wonder if there are any loose 9x23 Winchester 1911s running around ...  that really would be macho ...

ken

 

 

 

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MP1886 posted this 03 October 2021

Ken in my opinion a better pistol in that same caliber then that Astra is a Star Super Modelo.  A much better pistol and very well made. It's also on the 1911 type format and I like that.  You didn't mention the Astra have quite a harsh recoil in 9mm. 

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Millelacs posted this 21 October 2021

I agree with MP1886 that a Star is a better choice than an Astra

I don't know if 9mm Largo ammo or casings are available, but .38 Super is an option.

A Star Super Modelo in 9mm Largo or if you can find it a Super A in .38 Super.  Failing that, a Super B in 9mm Para, rebarreled with a .38 Super or 9mm Largo barrel.

I tried a .38 Super casing in my Super Modelo 9mm Largo and it jammed terribly.  Then I tried a 9mm Para casing and the same thing happened.  At times, I can be a glutton for punishment.  It turns out with the thicker case rim of the .38 Super or 9mm Para in a Super Modelo, there is not enough room in the extractor gap for the thicker case rim and the pistol will jam.  It will take a LOT of effort to get the case out.

Two solutions I know of:
1.  I've heard of machining the slide face.  Sounds like expensive work to me.
2.  What I had done was to have the extractor "thinned" on the inside to create a larger gap for the case rim.
.    While this conceivably weakens the extractor, I have been shooting mine for a couple of decades, without a problem.
.    That said, when I saw an extractor on eBay, I jumped on it, for "just in case".  Parts for any of the Spanish pistols are getting near impossible to find.  I looked for a Super B slide stop for years until I found one.  Probably, someone parting out a gun.

A note:  the manual that came with my 1975 era Super B shows all the parts are the same between the Super A in .38 Super,  and Super B in 9mm Para, with the exception of the barrel.

I imagine if you thinned the extractor, you could do the same thing with a Model A in 9mm Largo, or rebarreling a Model B in 9mm Para (the older models with a toggle link) to 9mm Largo if you could find Model A barrel, and then thinned the extractor.
Regarding the Astra 400:

As long as the Astra is marked 9m/m (38), you can shoot .38 Super casings without any problems.  The 38 indicates that the pistol was either recalled and modified for .38 AUTO ammo, or manufactured to accommodate .38 AUTO.  The Central and South American marked liked .38 Auto.

.38 Auto ammo isn't as hot as .38 Super or .38 Super Auto.  If you shoot .38 Super level ammo in an Astra 400, with the Astra grip angle it isn't as comfortable as a Star.

I shot the same powder charge in .38 Super casings in my Super Modelo and Astra 400s as I did in my 9mm Paras.

Later I was able to pick up 9mm Para barrels for my Super Modelo and Astra 400s.  That's all I use in them now, as 9mm Para casings are so much easier to come by.

Regarding the Astra's " chevy valve spring", a washer with an appropriately sized hole to fit over the barrel to push down on the barrel bushing lock makes it easier to hold on to things.  Even better is a .50 cal cartridge casing.  I use a .50 AE casing.

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MP1886 posted this 22 October 2021

Word to the wise, one should never shoot anything in a pistols chambered for the 9mm Largo except the 9mm Largo cartridge. The stories about the Astra's being able to shoot any 9mm ammo is BS and they were not designed with that purpose in mind. Yes you can get away with it sometimes, sometimes.  Don't do it. 

Starline, for one, makes brass for the 9mm Largo.  

I don't care what anyone says the Astra, being blowback, have excessive recoil, and like mentioned they are hard to rack. The grip angle makes me feel like I'm holding a carpenter's square.  Other then that they are very well made pistols. 

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Millelacs posted this 29 October 2021

MP1886,

You are partially correct:  " The stories about the Astra's being able to shoot any 9mm ammo is BS and they were not designed with that purpose in mind."  I've run across 9mm Para casings that were shot in Astra 400s, and they show a very pronounced bulge near the base of the casing that can not be removed.  I would be even less hopeful of .380 ACP / 9mm Short.

Shooting .38's in an Astra is an entirely different story.

Per the 9mm-largo.com folks /
authorities (9mm Largo, including Astra):

"Some pistol barrels are marked '9mm/38' indicating pistols that were made with/converted to a compromise bolt face that will accept either the 9mm Largo cartridge or the .38 ACP (not Super) cartridge."

They add a second caveat:

"Yes, the .38 Super and 9x23mm Winchester will chamber in most 9mm Largo firearms, and if they will chamber they will fire. However these rounds produce too much pressure for the metallurgy and design of the Astra 400."

https://www.9mm-largo.com/400/index.htm

As to using .38 Super casings, I was talking about reloading, NOT factory ammo.  .38 Super / .38 Super Auto casings are dimensionally identical to .38 Auto / .38 ACP.  The only difference is the headstamp.  Being Astra 400s marked 9mm/38 have been "made with/converted to a compromise bolt face" for the .38 Auto, they are safe to loads at .38 Auto levels.  I noted earlier that I used the same powder charge in my .38 Auto loads that I used in my 9mm Para loads.  With the longer .38 Super case and increased case capacity, that would result in a lower chamber pressure.  The lower chamber pressure makes them more comfortable to shoot, with the Astra grip angle.

We are an organization of experimenters.  We design / shoot bullets that ammunition manufacturers don't offer.  We reform casings to allow us to shoot obsolete calibers, for which commercial ammunition is no longer available.

We do what we can.  We make our own choices.

 

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45 2.1 posted this 29 October 2021

There are several other cartridges that are older and almost identical to what you're calling the 9mm Largo as well as the newer 9X23 cartridge (way to much for an old blowback). The Astra is predated by some 20 years by them and were chambered in older Spanish pistols. To date, these cartridges have been fired in the Astra 400 pistols: 9mm Largo, 9mm Bergman Bayard (the original cartridge), 9mm Bayard Long, 9mm Luger, 380 ACP, 38 ACP and 9mm Steyr by me or others many years ago. The Luger (American loading) and 380 ACP usually don't function the pistol. The 38 ACP/38 Super cases on the 9mm/38 marked barrels usually get their rims cut by the extractor somewhat also. Spain had a hodge podge of various pistols and rifle (the 9mm Destroyer carbine) chambered for this cartridge.

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 30 October 2021

I just sold a Sig  220 in 38 Super. If you see one buy it they are match accurate.

 The 38 Super is a better cast bullet bet than a 9.         

 

I'd love to see some of your data - I've got a couple of 38 Supers.

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MP1886 posted this 30 October 2021

Cat you ougth to see what my tuned (built and tuned by me) can do. I was the man that talked Freddy Kart into changing the bore and groove dimention of his 38 Super barrels. I have the first one with that change. The pistol is amazing accurate. 

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JohnForrest posted this 10 November 2021

So J and G sales have a Kimber 9mm on special; Aluminum lower and steel slide. Single stack 9 rounds. I ordered yesterday, so something else good should surface for me in the next day or so.  I guess to get Tokarev rounds to sit down flat in 9mm super mags I have to reduce spec COAL down just a tad. This pushing bullets down into  the taper is getting to be a thing with everything I do lately. Not sure I really like it much.  

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Eutectic posted this 11 November 2021

 

Yes, I prefer the 38 Super over the 9mm Luger for cast bullets.

 

The longer straight case can handle longer bodied cast bullets.

 

The bore and groove dimensions are more standardized (maybe because Supers were not war babies)

 

The standard 1:16 twist is better for cast bullets and is adequate for any bullet weight.

 

 

 

When I started shooting 38 Super in the 1960’s the Star and 1911 pistols exhibited very poor accuracy. I knew the same pistols in 45 ACP and 9mm were 20 yard tin-can accurate. In comparison the 38 Supers were awful, move the cans to 10 yards or less. Paper targets from a rest were 8 to 12 inches at 25 yards from a Super.

 

The Colt designed semi-rim only extended 0.007” and was supposed to headspace on a tiny portion of the hood at the top of the chamber. This may have worked with carefully made test pistols. However manufacturing tolerances and wear frequently allowed the cartridge to drop into the chamber. This sometimes allowed 0.100” headspace, only stopped by the extractor. The long firing pin protrusion of the pistols allowed firing with this excessive headspace.  Accuracy however was non-existent.

 

When the cause of 38 Super inaccuracy was worked out, Irv Stone at Bar-Sto Barrels started making replacement barrels with chambers which headspace on the case mouth. These corrected the accuracy problem. If you have an older pistol which headspaces consistently count yourself lucky.

 

When I saw the SIG 220 in 38 Super for sale I went home and filed the case rim off a Super case and went back to the store and checked the chamber. SIG got it right, the chamber headspaced on the case mouth. The SIG was a very accurate pistol.

 

Another problem was feeding the semi-rimmed case from some magazines. Starline brass solved this by producing 38 Super Comp and 38 TJ cases which are 38 Super with reduced or no rim. My SIG had no problems feeding any of the cases. Starline 38 Super Comp cases gave me the best case life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MP1886 posted this 11 November 2021

 

Yes, I prefer the 38 Super over the 9mm Luger for cast bullets.

 

The longer straight case can handle longer bodied cast bullets.

 

The bore and groove dimensions are more standardized (maybe because Supers were not war babies)

 

The standard 1:16 twist is better for cast bullets and is adequate for any bullet weight.

 

 

 

When I started shooting 38 Super in the 1960’s the Star and 1911 pistols exhibited very poor accuracy. I knew the same pistols in 45 ACP and 9mm were 20 yard tin-can accurate. In comparison the 38 Supers were awful, move the cans to 10 yards or less. Paper targets from a rest were 8 to 12 inches at 25 yards from a Super.

 

The Colt designed semi-rim only extended 0.007” and was supposed to headspace on a tiny portion of the hood at the top of the chamber. This may have worked with carefully made test pistols. However manufacturing tolerances and wear frequently allowed the cartridge to drop into the chamber. This sometimes allowed 0.100” headspace, only stopped by the extractor. The long firing pin protrusion of the pistols allowed firing with this excessive headspace.  Accuracy however was non-existent.

 

When the cause of 38 Super inaccuracy was worked out, Irv Stone at Bar-Sto Barrels started making replacement barrels with chambers which headspace on the case mouth. These corrected the accuracy problem. If you have an older pistol which headspaces consistently count yourself lucky.

 

When I saw the SIG 220 in 38 Super for sale I went home and filed the case rim off a Super case and went back to the store and checked the chamber. SIG got it right, the chamber headspaced on the case mouth. The SIG was a very accurate pistol.

 

Another problem was feeding the semi-rimmed case from some magazines. Starline brass solved this by producing 38 Super Comp and 38 TJ cases which are 38 Super with reduced or no rim. My SIG had no problems feeding any of the cases. Starline 38 Super Comp cases gave me the best case life.

 

If you were shooting strictly cast you could have just loaded your bullet out to head space on it and accuracy would have improved. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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