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View Full Version : Converting a 38 Wadcutter to 38 Super?


K.O.A.M.
January 03, 2009, 19:29
I keep running across Colt Super 38's that were converted to 38 Special for Wadcutter guns. I know I'd need to get a new magazine and barrel.

Would I need a new slide as well?

Thanks.

BUFF
January 03, 2009, 22:45
Possibly. It depends on who did the conversion. The guns went from locked breech to blow-back and the breech faces were altered, too.

Deltaten
January 04, 2009, 09:48
Boy! that jogged a few distant memories; but not enuff...
Hey BUFF.... what *was* the designation for the S&W .38 wad shooter? An m-52??

side-track switched off ;)

bykerhd
January 04, 2009, 11:31
M-52 is right. I've only seen one.
Bullseye was never much up where I am.

BUFF
January 05, 2009, 06:34
Yep, S&W Model 52. They made -52, -52-1 and -52-2 before they were dropped.

I have owned and shot 3 and have a late -52-2 I haven't shot, still NIB. They are great pistols if all you want is to shoot .38 wadcutters. They have tremendous triggers out of the box and great sights. I am not a very good bullseye shooter but have seen folks put all 5 rounds into a 3/4" hole, hand-held from a bench, at 25 yards, then do it again to show it was no fluke.

Dick Metcalf (many think his first name is most appropriate, but I digress) shot factory .38 Super ammo in his, said it was just fine to do that. If I want to shoot Supers, I'll do it in a gun designed and made to shoot Supers (or 9X23 Winchester!).

I would do some checking before I modified a Colt .38 wadcutter gun. Many were made by name 'smiths like Behlert and are worth some coin.

bouncer50
January 05, 2009, 07:39
Originally posted by BUFF
Yep, S&W Model 52. They made -52, -52-1 and -52-2 before they were dropped.

I have owned and shot 3 and have a late -52-2 I haven't shot, still NIB. They are great pistols if all you want is to shoot .38 wadcutters. They have tremendous triggers out of the box and great sights. I am not a very good bullseye shooter but have seen folks put all 5 rounds into a 3/4" hole, hand-held from a bench, at 25 yards, then do it again to show it was no fluke.

Dick Metcalf (many think his first name is most appropriate, but I digress) shot factory .38 Super ammo in his, said it was just fine to do that. If I want to shoot Supers, I'll do it in a gun designed and made to shoot Supers (or 9X23 Winchester!).

I would do some checking before I modified a Colt .38 wadcutter gun. Many were made by name 'smiths like Behlert and are worth some coin. I would agree with BUFF do some checking on a 38 Colt wadcutter gun. It take a good gunsmith to modified one to feed 38 wadcutter. 38 super Colts are not to hard to find. But a 38 Colt wadcutter is pretty rare bird. And yes i shoot a few Smiths 52-2 and they were one of the most acturate automatic pistol i have ever fired. :)

Jediwarrior
January 08, 2009, 11:51
Converted Colts from 38 Super to 38 Special Wadcutters still retained their locked-breech recoil system. Their breechface were opened up to accomodate the larger rim of the 38 Special.

Original Colt 38 Special Mid-Range were of blowback design.

I would advice against reconversion to 38 Super since a lot of work have been put on to accurize it, like slide-to-rail fitting, barrel build-up, etc. They are worth a lot to those know how to use one.

But if the price of one is really low, you will need a complete upper (slide, barrel) and, of course, magazines.