New to revolvers


September 11, 2007, 11:17 PM
Do most or all revolvers chambered in 38special also allow use of 380acp for lower cost practice rounds? Are there exceptions?

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September 11, 2007, 11:29 PM
The "headspace" is totally wrong for shooting 380 acp. ammo in a .38 special revolver, as the 380 is designed primarily for use in semi automatic pistols...

Ammo for the .38 special is cheap enough and reloading it makes it much cheaper yet as it costs me less than $3.00 per hundred to load and shoot....

September 12, 2007, 12:47 AM
38 special is about as cheap as it get in a revolver. Aside from headspace issues, 380 uses a 0.355 diameter bullet and 38 uses a 0.357 diameter bulley.
Unless you happen to own a Medusa, I suggest you don't try shooting 380.

September 12, 2007, 09:56 PM
It seems you can safely shoot a 38special cartridge in a 357mag revolver, correct? For range plinking, this would be a cost savings I think if you are not a reloader, but i'm looking into that yet.

September 12, 2007, 11:05 PM
Yes, you can shoot a .38 Special round in a .357 Magnum but not the other way around. The .357 Magnum was developed from the .38 Special so it's almost the same. It's just a little longer to prevent someone from mistakenly loading .357 Magnum rounds in a .38 Special revolver. The .380 Auto is just that, a semi-auto round and not suitable for revolvers. Besides, .38 Special ammo is probably cheaper than .380 Auto anyway.

Blazer ammo is made with Aluminum casings and is cheaper. You can't reload the cases but since you don't reload that won't be a problem. Fiocchi and S&B ammo is cheap too.

Sportsman's Guide has "American" 158 gr LRN ammo for $9.77 a box of 50.

They have S&B 148 gr WC for $10.17, 158 gr LRN for $10.97 and 158 gr FMJ for $12.27 a box of 50.

Fiocchi 158 gr LRN is $10.17 a box.
Blazers are around the same price too.

They have Remington 130 gr MC UMC for $97.97 a case of 500, that's $9.79 a box and a great price for Remington ammo...

I would go with the Remington ammo since it's the cheapest and it is always good ammo.

September 14, 2007, 08:51 PM
You should look into one of these:

The Ruger Blackhawk Convertible ( shoots .357 Magnum and the .38 family of cartridges. It comes with a second cylinder for 9mm Luger ammunition. It still won't fire the .380. The revolver is single action only, but I'm interpreting your post to mean you're looking for fun, rather than concealed carry.

They're not very expensive, too.


September 15, 2007, 03:47 AM
it costs me less than $3.00 per hundred to load and shoot....

I had no idea that reloading saved THAT kind of money! I'm going to buy some books on reloading tomorrow. Enough putting it off.

September 15, 2007, 04:23 AM
I had no idea that reloading saved THAT kind of money! I'm going to buy some books on reloading tomorrow. Enough putting it off.
I just started reloading this year so I bought my components recently. I am producing a box of 50 .38 Special WC rounds for $3.32 a box. The cheapest practice ammo I can find locally is Remington UMC ammo for $12.99 a box. You save even more on .357 Magnum ammo. Remington UMC .357 Magnums are $20.99 a box and I can produce a box of 50 for under $6.00. Those are a little more because the FMJ bullets cost more than Cast Lead and you use more powder with the Magnum rounds than you do with .38 Special rounds.

If you go to the range and shoot only 100 rounds of .38 Special and 100 .357 Magnum rounds you will save $49.32. Retail ammo would cost you $67.96 and my reloads cost me $18.64 to make. I'm shooting 200 rounds for less than the price of 1 box of .357 Magnum Factory Ammo.

How are you making 100 rounds for under $3.00? I thought I was doing good for 100 rounds at $6.64. Are you still using components you bought back before the prices almost doubled?

September 15, 2007, 05:19 AM
pleaseeeeee dont put a 380 into that revolver you might get hurt! also 357 mag is just a "little" diffrent on the outside. however inside your comparing 3.5 grains to 17 grains of powder! well atlest in my loads!

September 15, 2007, 06:32 AM
Today's prices for ammo, homebrew or store-bought, have risen over those of six months back, much less a year ago. Locally, primers are $29-$30/1k - and, say, if you use the load I like, 3.5gr Titegroup and a 158gr LSWC, that would run you $16+/lb (7,000 gr) for propellant. That makes $3.70/100 minimum - if you make your own lead bullets, have some decent brass, and already have an abundance of tumbling media, lube, etc - and the reloading press. If you have to buy bullets, as I do, expect $49/1k minimum for lead to ~$100+/1k for jacketed. Don't forget shipping... or Haz Mat fees for the primers and powder, if you can't get it locally or at a gunshow. So, real world rounds in .38 Special will cost you $8.60/100 plus.

Of course, reloading is a hobby. It permits you to shoot more... you have to, just to make more 'empties' to reload! Also, it allows you to make exactly what you want. For example, I was shooting mainly .45 Colts five years ago when I started reloading, which I did to make just those rounds. I had bagged over 2,700 such spent cases of that ammo which I had shot over the years. Even bare-bones 'cowboy' loads were $22/50 locally then - if you could find them. The new Dillon 550 I bought to reload would pay for itself before I finished 2,100 reloads... wrong! It started another hobby. For example, I make a steel plate pinger load for my .38's - a 125gr Berry's HP - $60/1k - over 3.5gr Titegroup for 700 fps from a 5" tube (686+ or 627). This is my local 'Steel Plate Challenge' plate popper round - no recoil, very little smoke, nice 'ping'. I also need easy-to-pop primers, ie, Federal, in my .45 ACP's for my 625JM revolver, due to it's lightened springs - another reason.

The first step is the revolver... and the aforementioned Ruger convertible is a great idea. That's how I 'discovered' .45 Colt - from their model in .45 ACP & .45 Colt (I had a G21 and tons of ACP ammo.). Just save your brass. You just never know when you might start that 'other' hobby... I never thought I would, either. Now I am one of those dumpster-diving fools you see 'digging for gold' (brass and decent empty boxes) at the range...


Ala Dan
September 15, 2007, 07:39 AM
I agree with my friend Stainz, on the upward swing as to the cost
of handloading vs. factory ammo. And, I do not believe the end is in sight?
Lots of factors are dependent on the cost of the rounds you shoot; such
as the demand for ammo devoted to the current war's the U.S. is fight'in.
This is true for copper [to make jacketed ammo], as well as lead. :eek:

To answer the original question, NO you cannot shoot .380 ACP's out of
a firearm chambered in .38 Special. :)

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