Taurus PT 1911 .38 Super
Currently, Taurus Int’l makes a .38 Super version of its PT 1911 in Brasil. The Taurus is made from a forged steel slide and frame and comes with all the upgrades of the PT 1911 line at an extremely affordable price.
This undated flier from Colt (but marked July 14, 1959, with stamp of former American Rifleman Editor Walter J. Howe) detailed the specifications for the Super .38 and included an exploded view parts drawing and disassembly instructions. It helpfully noted “The magazine may be charged with any number of cartridges from one to nine.”
The Colt 1929 catalog described the then new .38 Super as “ Modeled after the most famous of all Automatic Pistols the Colt Government Model .45 — this new .38 Super bids fair to match its famous brother in all that a well made powerful Arm can do.” By its 1933 catalog, Colt was promoting the “Colt checked Arched Housing,” and advised “The ‘Super .38’ Model can be furnished with same action as ‘National Match.'"
A 5-inch Colt
The October 15, 1969 Colt dealer price list listed the Colt’s Super .38 Automatic as being available with a 5-inch barrel and in “Colt Blue, Nickel plate optional at additional cost.”
1969 Colt .39
This Exploded View drawing from the October 15, 1969, Colt dealer packet is remarkably similar to the gun as introduced in 1929. Stocks sadly, were only available in “Checkered Coltwood.” This is before the “Series 70” changes were imposed across the Colt line.
1929 American Rifleman Ad
This Colt advertisement from the May 1929 issue of The American Rifleman, one of the first placed for the then brand-new gun, depicted the Super .38 at actual size and extolled virtues of “the unfaltering accuracy of this powerful arm, which is capable of stopping any animal which roams the American Continent.”
1933 American Rifleman Ad
Colt’s claimed that by 1933, when this advertisement ran in The American Rifleman, that “From the Everglades to Hudson Bay, knowing sportsmen depend on this rugged, hard-hitting, straight shooting Colt Super .38 Automatic Pistol – chambered to shoot the powerful, high velocity .38 Automatic cartridge.”
.38 Super Ammo
The January 1933 issue of The American Rifleman carried this Peters Ammunition advertisement for “The New Peters .38 Automatic Colt Pistol Cartridge with Metal Case Hollow Point Bullet” in which Peters claimed, “The hollow point bullet has a delayed mushroom action and does not disintegrate but derives all the benefits of its entire mass.”
Kimber SuperMatch II
Kimber Mfg. makes a .38 Super in its SuperMatch II M1911. The upgraded SuperMatch, shown here with a blue slide and a stainless frame, includes a fully adjustable rear sight and an extended and flared magazine well. It is a gun designed for the .38 Super’s predominant role today, action pistol shooting.
Shown (l. to r.) are the cartridge case heads for a .45 ACP, .38 Super and .38 Auto.