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2740 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Bob_K
How many of you 1911 shooters out there have converted your 45s to different calibers, and not just to the 400 CorBon or the 22 LR.

A number of years ago I saw adds for conversions for the 1911 that would allow an incredible number of different calibers to be fired from the same platform, with just a slide/barrel and magazine change.

From my 1911 I shoot the 45 ACP. There is also the 45 Super and the 460 Rowland that I believe are the same case as the ACP just with heavier loadings.

The we have the 400 CorBon, which I feel has not yet reached its full potential as either a target or hunting caliber.

But then we can covert to the 9mm family: The 38 Super/9x23, 38 Special, 9x21, 9mm Luger, 30 Luger and even the 7.62x25 so I'm told. I re-sculpted my ejector on my 45 to accept a 38 Super slide and still eject 45 cases and was able to just switch a complete slide setup and magazine and then shoot the 38 Super and the 9x23 interchangeably. It was a gas. The 38 Super slide came from an old Army Marksmanship Unit 1911 that had been converted to shoot 38 Special and I still have that barrel. I even managed to find some old 38 AMU brass that worked well with wadcutter loads. I had a friend cast out some hard 148 grain wadcutters for me and loaded them with the heaviest charge I could find from the older Lyman manual I was using - somewhere around 1100'/sec I believe. What a blast. Those darn things were accurate and hard hitting out to about 25 yards but would loose it after fifty. The 38 Super with 160 grain round noses would do better at the longer ranges.

I still want to try the 30 Luger and the 7.62x25 Tokarev just for schmidts and giggles.

Anybody else had fun like this?? Let us know. Mikey.
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I had a .38/.45 Clerke conversion a few years ago. Apparantly it was an early attempt to get .357 velocities out of an auto, but the concept failed due to the unsupported chamber. It was an easy conversion since you used a necked down .45 ACP case, so your original .45 magazine and slide could be used without modification. The barrel was a rechambered .38 super. Target shooters picked up on it for a while for used in the Centerfire Match since the bottle neck shape would even feed full wad .38 bullets. Kind of fun to play with although I did lose 10% of my cases in forming them. Military brass did not form well, nor did cases with a channelure on them.

I currently have two .38 Specials on .45 frames. One is a 6" Clark Long Heavy Slide that shoots like a dream. The other is a Springfield 9MM that was reworked. It has Bomar sights on it, so it looks like a hardball gun. The barrel is a fully ramped Caspian. The slide was an early Springfield, so the 9MM face had to be opened up a bit. The magazines are some after market ones that do not have the follower that changes angles as more rounds are loaded into it, so feeding is good for only four rounds. In bullseye matches we only shoot five shot strings so I load one in the chamber, four in the magazine and I'm good to go.

All these conversions are are separate frames, rather than conversions on a single .45 frame.
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38/45 Conversion


The .38/45 did not seem to me to have a long neck. Quite the opposite. The neck seemed rather short. The modern version of this round could be considered to be the .357 Sig. It's a necked down .40, rather than a .45, but the concept is still there. Large case capacity, bottle neck shape, trying to achieve higher velocities. The basic difference is the .40 is a higher pressure round than the .45 to start with, and the .357 Sig certainly is a higher pressure round the the .38/45.
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