I picked this gun up on Friday of last week and have not yet found the time or the ammo to take it to the range and shake it down. Being a good little scout, I did do a field strip, cleaned, and lubed it. This pistol may well be the last gun I ever purchase. The hobby has grown old; sometimes it is tiring. We all know how expensive gun collecting and recreational shooting can be. Whether you shoot them or not, guns need periodic maintenance and proper storage. Another reason the hobby has gown stale is that none of the new wonder-guns excites me. Everything is a mutant clone of something else; nothing under the sun is new. None has any elegance; they are all plain and ugly.
Why end my collection with the .38 Super Government Model? It closes a circle for me. It was among the first of the many pistols I truly lusted after but it was a purchase that, over the years, I kept pushing away in favor of something else. When I first fired one, it was like holding magic in my hand, it had 9MM recoil in a full size 1911A1 frame. After that initiation, I would borrow or rent a range owned .38 Super Colt 1911A1 whenever I had the chance. Some guns fit some people better than others; the .38 Super Colt fits me well. Why did I not buy a Government Model in 9x19MM? They are hard to find, I never fired one, and something about a 9x19MM in a Colt 1911A1 just seems unnatural. Why did I not consider the .38 Super in a different platform? Colt introduced the .38 Super in the Colt Government Model back in 1929 and that pistol is where the cartridge belongs. I have several Government Models in .45ACP, one in 10MM, and all are carbon steel. I have long wanted to add a stainless .38 Super to the rack; my quest is now complete. I am whole. I like the 9X19MM very much, but I like it most in my SIG and Glocks. Do I believe the .38 Super to be superior to the 9X19MM +P loads? If I ignore those wonderfully edgy Corbon loads, I would have to say they are pretty much equal.
I hope this pistol is typical of what is coming from Colt Manufacturing today. It is well cut and fitted. The last two Colt Government models I bought factory new (several years ago) had poorly staked plunger tubes among other quality problems. Everything on this gun is as it should be. The plastic carrying case is of very good quality, and I was surprised to find a spare magazine included. The pistol’s trigger is very good, especially considering that this is a Series 80 pistol.
This gun will remain stock. As long as it feeds reliably, there will no tune-up; there will be no fancy sights or grips, no trigger job, nothing at all. With practice, I have confidence I will shoot better with this gun than I do with any of my large bore 1911s. The arthritis in my right hand is beginning to tax my abilities. My time for the .38 Super is now.
There is not a plethora of tactical ammunition available in .38 Super, but the Winchester 125 Grain Silvertip should be everything I need. Corbon’s standard .38 Super 115 Grain jacketed hollowpoint should be no less effective than the vaunted Federal 9BPLE 9MM +P+ police load, and on paper Corbon’s .38 Super 125-grain DPX load looks to be nothing short of imposing.
For me, this will be a utility gun rather than a collector’s piece. Stainless steel will resist corrosion from perspiration better than does carbon steel. I find that matt stainless is much easier for me to hang onto than polished stainless; I find it to be less slippery. The standard nine round single stack magazine is politically correct; a round in the chamber cocked and locked gives me ten.