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.