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Thread: 38-45

  1. #1
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    Anyone here every play with the 38-45? Bo Clerke came up with the necked down 45 for use in the 1911.

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    In Handloading Magazine they had a write up on it. Something like "A Wildcat that needed a lot of care." I'll see if I can get the article.
    Rob

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    Thanks jabezkin. I bought a barrel from Clerke in the 60's and made up a few cases and probably fired it 50 times. I still have the forming and reloading dies if someone wants to experiment.

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    PM an address and I'll copy and mail the article.

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    It's probably similar to a .38 super in performance. The .38 super can hold more shots than a 38-45, and it's easier to find brass for reloading .38 super.

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    Neither has found a strong following outside of a niche. One major bullet manufacturer labled it the 38 stupid, something about barrel wear.

  7. #7
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    I agree with you jabezkin, the .38 super is not much more powerful than a 9 mm +p, and the 9mm holds nearly twice as many rounds as a .38 super. The 9 mm ammo is dirt cheap, especially if you don't reload your own ammo. I don't see the purpose for a .38 super. The .40 S&W and .45 auto are my favorite, but I cant afford to shoot the .45 often, because factory ammo prices have went trough the roof in the past 5 years.

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    detroit; reload laddie reload, with cast wheel weights.

  9. #9
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    Mexican gun laws have kept the .38 super alive for the most part. Mexico bans civilians from owning military calibers.

    This elminates the .45 and 9mm leaving the .38 super as the only game in town for several years. Now with the .40 on the scene, maybe the .38 is not so popular south of the border?

    The first handgun I bought was a brand new Coltin .38 super. Nice cartridge better than the 9mm, slightly more firepower in a 1911 than the .45

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    I think that barrel wear was one of the problems by a factor of 10x over 45 auto, and the danger of the 38 super fitting in lower stregnth guns.

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    Does the wheel weight foul up the barrel? I think that the wheel weights have some zinc in them for added stiffness.

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    Not with good lube. We shot a lot of 475 in wheel weights with no trouble. Lube should be soft, not like crayons. At a renge in the desert, the sand would blow away the sand to expose old bullets, and the red and blue lube would still be on them.

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    That was the same problem with the 10 mm. The high pressure destroys the barrels, and factory ammo is expensive. The .40 S&W ammo cost about the same price as 9mm.

    How much does it cost you to reload .45 auto?

    What type of velocity are you shooting your .475 at?

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    45 auto is cheaper than good 22 mag.
    Nastiest 475 is a 440gr(about 1 oz) at just over 1400 fps.

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    I have a 38-45 reamer, case forming and reloading dies. They are fun to play with but is an expensive play thing. Still fun. I chambered a colt .38 super bbl for the 38-45. At that time I felt like velocities were higher than a 9mm luger or the .38 super but I could not check it (no way to measure at at that time). I also chambered a 9mm Bergman Spanish destroyer in that caliber. It is a lot of fun, but be warned pressures can get out of hand quickly!

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    I still have a Clerke .38/45 barrel, RCBS form and loading dies and a few formed cases from the 1960's. Haven't used them in many years. Cases are formed from .45acp, so no shortage there. It was originally designed for target shooters that needed a .38 caliber for use in bulls-eye competition. The .38 Special M1911 conversions of the time were notorious for various feeding problems and resulting jams. It was not meant for high velocity loads, although many of us, myself included, had to try some hot loads. As the S&W M52 and other .38 auto target pistols became available, the .38/45 quickly fell by the wayside. Vic

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    I hope that the 38/45 feeds better than the .400 cor-bon. Mine has been a pain.

  18. #18
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    The .38-.45 was supposed to feed empty cases easily.
    I never got mine to feed that well but it would feed wad cutters with some magazines and some not. Never a problem with full length bullets.


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