Something to ponder about a 38 super Ultra - Kimber Forum

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Old 09-04-2019, 05:57 PM   #1
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Something to ponder about a 38 super Ultra

I have been wondering why Kimber doesn't make an Ultra sized pistol in 38 super. The magazine would be about the same size as a 45 round, have more punch than a 9mm, and be the same physical size. Any ideas? It would be a great carry pistol
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:19 PM   #2
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I would guess that while the .38 Super is a great preforming cartridge it's not very popular. Kimber has chambered a couple of different models in .38 Super in the past but they seem to have faded off as quickly as they appeared.

Welcome to the forum Big Tom, how about stopping by our "New Member Introduction" sub forum and introducing yourself to the membership.
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Old 09-05-2019, 05:51 AM   #3
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Big Tom,

I would have to agree with Chuck, even though I am one of the few who 1) Love the 38 Super cartridge, and 2) have all the 38 Super models sold by Kimber. Not sure that I have seen anyone produce an "Ultra" sized 38 Super, so sounds like an opportunity for someone.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:41 AM   #4
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How would it be better than 45? Not trying to be rhetorical, genuinely curious.
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Old 09-05-2019, 09:36 AM   #5
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I too am a huge fan of the Super. The cartridge has a cult like following but unfortunately it is small. Marketing has to come into play in such decisions no doubt.

Additionally, even as a Super fan I just don't think it would offer much over 9mm in a 3" barrel. I would love to have a Pro Carry sized gun in Super though.
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Old 09-06-2019, 06:01 AM   #6
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The 38 Super has had its highs/lows over the years, though today, it is largely supported by some of the shooting sports groups. As far as a better/worse comparisons, I prefer it over a 9MM for greater velocity, impact, flat trajectory to 100y and more.

In an ultra, I am not aware of anyone producing that form factor, today, though KC may be right, but many examples of Pro-sized, from Wilson, Les Baer and others.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:14 PM   #7
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You might guess I’m a big fan of 38 super from my name.

Advantages, extra rounds in the magazine over 45, same as 9mm, but with a supported chamber much higher velocities are possible with 38. My experience comes from shooting IPSC with a 5” 1911 race gun. With a 124 FMJ RN and using a barrel with a fully supported chamber you can easily and safely achieve 1450 FPS. With a 115 fmj rn you can get upward of 1550 FPS.

Again that’s out of a 5” barrel with a fully supported chamber. I got out of IPSC about 25 years ago and sold my race gun.

I currently have one pistol with a fully supported chamber. It’s a Kimber Eclipse Target 5”. I had close to 1000 rounds of these hot loads and wanted to shoot them. I put a 20# spring and shock buffer in the Eclipse and shot them up. With the race gun there’s virtually no recoil but in the un-compensated Eclipse it has some serious recoil. In addition I loaded with WW540, now HS6 and the muzzle flash is substantial indoors. You’re getting pretty close to 357 magnum so that should give you an idea of what they shoot like. In a 3” gun you’d need that supported chamber and an all steel frame. Alloy would be brutal and I’m not sure it it would hold up.

To give you an idea of what these loads can do to a pistol, after a couple of years shooting these in a custom Caspian all SS pistol, the frame cracked under the left rail parallel to the rail. These loads woul be brutal to shoot without being compensated and would possibly destroy a gun.

Factory loads are another thing. They’re very mild compared to the hand loads but lack the energy to make to give it a real advantage over 9mm.

Having said that, I would still like a 38 super 3”.

As to pro carry size, I have a Colt LW Commander 38s that I really like. It doesn’t have a supported chamber and has the alloy frame so I avoid hot loads but it’s still lots of fun to shoot.
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Old 09-13-2019, 03:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Maineiac64 View Post
How would it be better than 45? Not trying to be rhetorical, genuinely curious.
A 38S has almost the same foot pounds of energy from factory loads but if you goose it up a little you can get really close to .45. Also since it is the same diameter as a 9mm you can get more rounds in the magazine. It is a great competition round but it is more expensive retail. I reload my own, kinda light, 124 fmj and 5 grains of WST or 231. Fun to shoot, accurate, and hard hitting. I don't know if better is the right word, but there are advantages in both cases.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:16 PM   #9
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Very good discussion; thanks for the detailed info there, 38SuperMan. I've considered adding a 38S to the battery for no particular reason, just another caliber interest available in the 1911 platform.

This caliber has an interesting history, as it was used in the 30's by some bad hombre's in addition to some of the FBI guys of the period.

Good list of pro's & con's....thanks.
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Old 09-13-2019, 06:41 PM   #10
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just out of curiosity I looked at the ballistics of the 357 Sig and the 9mm Dillon that was a wildcat when I was shooting. I’ve never shot or been around anyone shooting the Sig but the ballistics are impressive if you’re looking for something hotter than safe limitsof hand loaded 38s.

Then I looked at the ballistics on the 9mm Dillon. I never owned one but some of my shooting buddies did 25 years ago. I shot a couple of their race guns and was seriously impressed. The down side was noise and the shockwave from it. When you fired it it was like someone hit you in the chest. The advantage was there was no muzzle flip or recoil with a compensated racegun. Depending on bullet weight there were hitting 2000fps or more at 800 ftLb of energy. I’m guessing this gave birth to the 357 sig as they’re both necked down 1m’s with 9mm bullet.
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