The short answer is “absolutely”, and the longer answer is “yes, think of it as a hot 9mm.” Cor-Bon manufactures several different loads for the .38 Super as a defensive round, from standard jacketed hollow points in 115 and 125 grain weights all the way to a 100 grain Pow’RBall load. DoubleTap also makes a 115 hollow point load for personal defense. The thing to bear in mind is that the .38 Super projectile is the same as the projectile fired from the 9mm, it’s a .355 inch bullet, so any load that you could conceivably handload for the 9mm you could also work up for the .38 Super.
However, there are drawbacks. Ammo isn’t nearly as widely available for the .38 Super as it is for 9mm, and it’s often more expensive in factory loadings. Magazines and spare parts for guns are also more difficult to find, as the caliber has fallen from popularity in recent years. I wouldn’t recommend to anyone who is specifically looking for a defensive firearm, because the ballistics are easily duplicated with 9mm loads. The one caveat to that is for people married to the 1911 platform but not wanting a .45 ACP. The .38 Super tends to be more reliable, as stubby cartridges such as the 9mm tend to be more prone to feed issues in 1911 style pistols; plus they make John Moses Browning weep.
I wouldn’t tell you to go out and buy a gun in .38 Super for concealed carry for the reasons mentioned above. However, if you’ve got one sitting around and want to carry it, then it’s most certainly a viable choice. But don’t think you’re getting anything better than a hotish 9mm, because that’s exactly what you’re getting.
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