Author Topic: .38 Spec Cases  (Read 17393 times)

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askimball (Doc)

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.38 Spec Cases
« on: January 25, 2011, 08:43:41 pm »
I just ran across a few .38 cases, marked 'WESTERN  38 SPL SR'... ??? ???
Anybody ever see this marked case... ::) ??? ::)
Doc - I.Y.A.A.Y.A.S.
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SWANEE

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Re: .38 Spec Cases
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2011, 09:12:54 pm »
Those are semi-rim, made for the AMU (army marksmanship unit) fort benning Ga. They had some colts made to shoot them,mid-range, would have to be loaded with a 148 gr wad-cutter, just like the s&w mod 52. Not sure if they will load on a star but you can shoot them in a 38 spl wheel gun. How many do you have? I could be of interest for em.

rbwillnj

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Re: .38 Spec Cases
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2011, 09:36:55 pm »
I thought the 38 AMU cases were rimless and marked 38 AMU   I had a bunch of them a while back and sold them for a bunch on eBay.......before the current restrictions of course.
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askimball (Doc)

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Re: .38 Spec Cases
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2011, 02:54:28 am »
SWANNE
I just have 5 or 6, I just got a bunch of Star parts from a real good friend of mine that helped me with a Star when I started reloading for the Shreveport Police Pistol Team.. They were in a batch of some other mixed brass.... 8)
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rbwillnj

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Re: .38 Spec Cases
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2011, 07:56:32 am »
Nope, I was wrong, memory failed me again.   I went back and found my old eBay listing and it said Semi-Rimless, but the cases were marked AMU
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 08:07:39 am by rbwillnj »
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askimball (Doc)

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Re: .38 Spec Cases
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2011, 12:31:03 am »
rb
You could NEVER be wrong... 8) ::) ;D
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fc60

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Re: .38 Spec Cases
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 11:02:26 am »
Bruce,

Thanks for the images. I did not know that Federal made any ammo in 38 AMU. I have some factory rounds made by Remington and Western with various headstamps.

Cheers,

Dave Wilson

cary

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Re: .38 Spec Cases
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2011, 05:01:36 pm »
38AMU is basically a 38 special case with a 38 super rim. I reload them on my Star with the 38 special head with a 38 super/9mm shell plate. I was given five thousand empties and two thousand factory rounds from the late Master Gunsmith Bob Chow.

cary

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Re: .38 Spec Cases
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2012, 09:10:43 pm »
Back in the late 50's and early 60's the Army Advanced Marksmanship Unit ( now known as the Army Marksmanship or AMU) was concerned with the major problem of proper functioning of the rimmed .38 Special cartridge through converted 1911 pistols. The major problem was feeding-there was a noticeable difference in the position of rounds in the magazine between the first and last rounds. To overcome this problem magazines were modified, feed ramps were polished, and the chambers enlarged to allow the cartridge to ride up the ramp and into the oversized chamber. This oversized chamber caused problems with accuracy.

To alleviate the feed problems Herman Gano, an AMU gunsmith came up with the ideal of the .38 AMU cartridge. The .38 AMU is basically a .38 Special with a semi-rimmed head, like the .38 Super. When used in appropriate guns, nearly all the feeding problems were eliminated. The first cases were hand made by turning down a .38 Special case in a lathe to remove the rim and form an extraction groove. Later the Army contracted Federal, Winchester-Western and Remington to produce the .38 AMU cartridge.

Colt Industries followed through by producing a conversion kit to be fitted on both the 1911 and Colt .38 Super pistols. The conversion kit consisted of a .38 AMU slide with all the innards, recoil spring, magazine, barrel bushing and a .38 AMU barrel. One interesting note, other than ID markings, there's no difference between the .38 AMU and .38 Super slide. The barrel is unique in that it had only one forward locking lug so the gun wouldn't lock up too tightly and hinder proper cycling with midrange ammo. The work required to "convert" a pistol to .38 AMU is approximately the same as a full accuracy job. The slide must be fitted to the frame, the barrel must be fitted to the slide, and the barrel lug fitted so it cams with the slide stop pin.

.38 AMU never really took to the shooting crowd for several reasons. There were no empties available for reloading, (most shooters were geared for .38 Special), the conversion kits were somewhat difficult to install by the shooter, the advent of the .38 Special Gold Cup magazine which solved the feeding problem with regular .38 Special wadcutters, and the introduction of the Smith and Wesson 52, an out of the box match gun.

xring2245

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Re: .38 Spec Cases
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2012, 10:12:10 pm »
Great explanation.  The details were interesting.  Thank you.  I am currently shooting a Clark .38 1911 and am having a few issues that I am working on.  It's about 95% reliable.  Not good enough yet...


James
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cary

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Re: .38 Spec Cases
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2012, 12:28:48 pm »
What kind of problems are you having with your Clark? I might be able to help you, I learned how to accurize guns from the late F. Bob Chow who also taught Clark.