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Thread: Colt 38 Super Build

  1. #1
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    Colt 38 Super Build

    Just thought I'd take a moment to share a pistol project that my father and I started a few years ago. This started life as a bone stock Colt Government Model purchased new in 2012. We had started reloading for the Colt Government Model chambered in 45ACP that I'd sent to a custom shop, and had picked up a stock Gov Model in 45ACP to figure out the loads with in the meantime, and had seemed to have gotten that right in the second or third batch. One day I was looking at the online listing at the local gun store, and I saw a Colt Gov Model in 38 Super. I had toyed around with the idea of a 38 Super in the past, and we decided to give it a go after I pitched the idea to my father. Now that we were started reloading, getting ammo wouldn't be much of an obstacle, and we figured that it'd only be smoother then the 45's we were used to shooting.

    We sent it off in the late Fall of 2012, and got it back about six months later. I had already started my roughly year long journey to play in the sand and it didn't arrive till I had left, so I only got to see the pistol post-upgrades in person about a month ago, and even then, I didn't get to shoot it till this last Friday when I made it home for a few days.

    Upgrades:
    10-8 Rear Sight
    10-8 Mag Catch
    10-8 Slide Stop
    10-8 1911 Flat Trigger
    10-8 Pre-Scoop Grips(Bought on clearance)

    Wilson Combat Bullet Proof Barrel Bushing
    WC BP Deluxe Commander Hammer
    WC BP A-2 Sear
    WC BP Disconnector
    WC Speed-Chute
    WC BP Tactical Lever Thumb Safety
    WC BP High Ride Grip Safety
    WC BP Extractor
    WC BP Firing Pin Stop
    WC Plain Front Sight

    A Deluxe Trigger Job was done, and the mag-well was blended. We chose parkerizing for the finish because A-it's cheaper, and B-we're planning on shooting the daylights out of the thing, and I'll eventually consider having the front strap checkered. I've only had one chance to shoot it so far since it was worked on, but the workmanship of the team at Wilson Combat combined with the quality of what is coming from Colt these days leaves little to be desired. I do feel it needs a couple of changes, but they are preferences. The front sight was supposed to be tritium, but it wasn't written down on the work order and a plain one was used. No biggie. This probably won't matter much outdoors, but the indoor range I shot at is poorly lit, and the front sight is hardly vissible/not discernible against a black target. I'll have the front replaced at some point with a tritium or gold bead. The only other change I'm considering is having the wider Bullet Proof thumb safety put in. Not sure on that one yet. Oh, I'll be upgrading the grips to the current 10-8 offerings.

    The current plan is to put a few thousand through it, and make changes based on what I learn. I only had a few hours to get to the range, shoot, clean, and take pictures with it, so I apologize that the pictures aren't exactly studio quality.



    Attachment 23646
    Attachment 23647
    Attachment 23648

    (If anyone would like to tell me how to make the pictures larger, I'm all ears.)
    Last edited by taekwondopreacher; 02-17-14 at 16:19.

  2. #2
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    Am I the only one here that shoots 38 Super in a non-race gun?

  3. #3
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    I've got a Colt 38 Super that was manufactured in 1931. It originally belonged to my great-grandfather, and my dad passed it on to me this past summer. This pistol is perfect for its age. No rust, no scratches, nothing whatsoever wrong with it, and it wears some custom ivory grips my great-grandfather had made for it. So yeah, I'm beginning to get very interested in a more modern Colt 38 Super that I wouldn't feel bad about carrying or shooting.

    I've been thinking it over for the past few months and am leaning more and more in the direction you've gone. It's good to get a little inspiration, and I'm feeling better and better about the prospect of what you've done.

    Oh yeah, welcome home.
    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went. -- Will Rogers

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondopreacher View Post
    Am I the only one here that shoots 38 Super in a non-race gun?
    Wish I had one brother........................guess I gotta start lookin'
    Regards,
    Ranger325

    "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf"
    George Orwell

  5. #5
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    YES!

    I have long awaited to see higher-resolution photos of your gun brother!

    Makes me more eager to receive mine. How sweet is the trigger job? How does the 38 Super recoil?

    Ah, yes, welcome home from booger-eater land.
    Last edited by beschatten; 02-18-14 at 20:22.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the warm wishes

    The trigger job is excellent, and I expect it to only get better with further shooting. You take up the minor amount of pre-travel, which is short, and you hit a wall that breaks crisply. It doesn't seem unsafely light, but there's no calling it heavy, gritty, or anything else that would otherwise leave me even remotely unhappy. I consider it money well spent.

    The recoil isn't bad at all. I shot the Colt next to my Full Size M&P9, and I remember thinking that the Colt had a bit less recoil. I was really hoping to post some nice targets, but despite 20/20 vision, at times I literally could not discern my plain black front sight due to the lighting, unless I was willing to struggle with it for 30 seconds at a time. I shot the orange center of a Shoot-N-See target, searched for a bit, shot high, repeated the process for another decent shot, and told myself to get on with it and shoot. Even with the shiny 10-8 brass bead front sight in the M&P, you could just see the bead a little, and the top of the sight was lost in the target. That range is an hour from home, and there's a brand new one being built 25 minutes from home that I'll be able to shoot at soon.

    I really look forward to wringing it out over the next few thousand rounds, and it's going to be my main match gun for the local shoots, since that was the original idea for this gun. Once I get a load or two figured out, I'm setting up the progressive press, and then it's go time.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by taekwondopreacher View Post
    Am I the only one here that shoots 38 Super in a non-race gun?
    No, I just got one with no intention of converting it to "race gun" status. Getting ready to get the caliber conversion for .38 super for my press. My only hang up is the beautiful Colt brushed blue finish. I know holster work will wear it, oh well...

  8. #8
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    I hear you on the finish...

  9. #9
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    I have a few supers and a 9x23 also, all set up as carry guns. I really like the round. Flat shooting with minimal recoil. Good thing you reload because it definitely is a reloaders round.

    For reloading, find yourself some VV N105. The N105 with a Hornady 124 FP has a book load rated at 1500 fps! I get 1450 fps with no pressure signs.

    The thing really gets people's attention at the range. Especially when shooting steel at 50 yards. The time between the bang and the "ting" is short. It shoots flat, flat, flat.

    Be aware you can give yourself a flinch from blast just as easily as you can from physical recoil. I usually double plug when shooting it.

    I also hear good things about Power Pistol in the round, but haven't tried it myself.
    Last edited by JiminAZ; 02-20-14 at 23:11.

  10. #10
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    The slowest powder I've used is VV N340 and Ramshot Silhouette a.k.a., Winchester Action Pistol. Haven't reloaded the super yet, looking forward to it.

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