Converting a .38 Special Revolver to 9 mm


PDA






Oyeboten
May 9, 2009, 05:34 PM
I understand some people have converted, or, appealed to able Gunsmiths to convert, an erstwhile ( but one hopes, strong enough ) .38 Special Revolver, to hold and fire 9 mm Cartridges, using full Moon Clips.

Possibly, one could also do this for .38 Auto, or .38 Super.


I'd like to know more about this, maybe names of Smiths who are versed and experienced in the conversion, or any sundry details from those who did their own conversions.

Does one typically replace the Cylinder? Modify and install a previously smaller calibre replacement Cylinder, which when re-bored larger, allows proper Cylinder bore diameter and minimal jump?

Seems to me a .38 Special Cylinder, if left just as it is bore-wise, would have too long a jump for a shorter Cartridge Case of the usual 9 mm.

Cylinders posseing requisite strength of course, for the higher pressure of hese Automatic Cartridges, would be important.

Barrels...would generally be fine as they are?



I think this is a very interesting modification/conversion..!




Phil
Las Vegas

If you enjoyed reading about "Converting a .38 Special Revolver to 9 mm" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Jim Watson
May 9, 2009, 05:39 PM
I do not have one but know it is regularly done at Pinnacle, among others.

http://www.pinnacle-guns.com/revolver.asp

rcmodel
May 9, 2009, 05:45 PM
Seems to me a .38 Special Cylinder, if left just as it is bore-wise, would have too long a jump for a shorter Cartridge Case of the usual 9 mm.Seems to me you are right.

I know people do it, but a .355" 9mm bullet starts out undersize to begin with, then has to make the jump from case to .380" dia chamber to the .357" throat some distance away.

It simply can't be good for power (gas blow-by in the oversize chamber) or accuracy. (Bullet bouncing through the oversize chamber, hitting the oversize throat, and then the oversize barrel.

Seems to me rechambering a .38 Spl to 9mm would just be a good way to spend money and make noise.

rc

Oyeboten
May 9, 2009, 06:39 PM
...or, if such a conversion were done well...


Lol...


Really, were one to bother, probably, .38 Super would be a nice choice to convert to, offering far better performance and a closer Bullet diameter than usual 9mm kinds.


Just interesting to think about these things, and find out about what people are doing...

Oyeboten
May 9, 2009, 06:52 PM
Thanks for the Link Jim Watson..!


I wrote him an e-mail.


Phil
l v

WC145
May 9, 2009, 10:52 PM
Mark at Pinnacle did the conversion on my S&W 360. I've posted here and on other forums numerous times about my gun and how pleased I am with his work.

Typically, people that have no experience with 9mm revolvers decry the idea. Realistically the 9mm is perfect for a short barreled revolver becaause it is a short, efficient round. It fits the gun well and has more power and velocity than the .38spl, approaching .357mag velocities without the violent muzzle blast and painful recoil.

I had to qualify with my gun a few days ago, here's the link to my "range report". It says a lot about the accuracy of these conversions -
http://smith-wessonforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/3001000143/m/66510389

This is a link to a post on stoppingpower.net from a few years ago that compares 9mm velocities out of a S&W 940 (a factory 9mm snubby with a .357mag length cylinder) and .357mag velcities from a snubby.
http://www.stoppingpower.net/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2123&SearchTerms=9mm,snubby

And, if anyone is interested, this is a link to one of my original posts about my gun when it was finished.
http://www.snipershide.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=954001&Searchpage=1&Main=73831&Words=9mm+snubby&Search=true#Post954001


BTW, my gun is chambered for 9x23. It'll shoot 9mm, 9x21, 9x23, .38 Super, and can still handle .38spl if needed.
Also, if you want to speak to Mark, call him, he's not so good with email.
I'll happily answer any questions you have about this conversion, just ask.

Oyeboten
May 9, 2009, 11:50 PM
Hi WC145,




Very nice info, and a real story...does not get any better than that!


I've long thought that S & W should have offered various 'Rimless' Cartridge Revolvers, on the K Frame platform, using Moon Clips, in 9 mm, .38 Auto, .30 Mauser even...once seeing how well received their N Frame M1917 .45 ACP Revolver was.

9x23 is a very interesting choice...wow...very cool...

Brian Williams
May 10, 2009, 10:16 AM
I have often wished for a S&W model 10 in 9mm, like the model 13 is in 357, a model 10 in 9mmx23 would be a handful but the reload times would be sweet.

WC145
May 10, 2009, 10:59 AM
There's a couple of guys on the S&W forum that have done 4" K-frames and some L-frames that came out really nice. I'd like to have one but I need to find the right donor. Right now I have a 637 that I got a very good deal on, it will be my next conversion project.

lanternlad1
May 10, 2009, 11:48 AM
I know people do it, but a .355" 9mm bullet starts out undersize to begin with, then has to make the jump from case to .380" dia chamber to the .357" throat some distance away.

It simply can't be good for power (gas blow-by in the oversize chamber) or accuracy. (Bullet bouncing through the oversize chamber, hitting the oversize throat, and then the oversize barrel.

Seems to me rechambering a .38 Spl to 9mm would just be a good way to spend money and make noise.

The 9mm is a more powerful cartridge than the .38 is. The length of the .38 case comes from the time when it used to be filled with black powder, not nitrocellulose. Modern .38 cartridges have very little powder in them comparatively. A 9mm was designed from its outset to be used for war, hence the "parabellum" moniker.

As for distance, that seems to be par for the course for 9mm revolvers. My Smith 940 9mm and Ruger Speed Six 9mm were both chambered for 9mm from the factory, and each had at least 1/4" space in the cylinder to travel before they hit the forcing cone/barrel. My Smith 547, a revolver specifically designed around firing 9mm, is the same way. There is at least 1/2" space in the cylinder from the bullets to forcing cone. Lengthwise, a .357 mag cartridge would fit in my 547's chamber. Can't tell you why, but it works just fine regardless.


I have often wished for a S&W model 10 in 9mm
The model you are looking for is the 547. Smith made 4 inch barrel and a 3 inch heavy barrel versions. The 4-inch looks a lot like a model 10.
http://www.vintagepistols.com/range_report_S&W_547.html

Here's a 3 inch model in action.:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQpiBsEdbmw

WC145
May 10, 2009, 03:17 PM
Very familiar with the 547. They're very nice, very cool, relatively rare, and very expensive. And they don't use moonclips, which I prefer. That isn't to say that if a great deal came along I'd turn my back on a 547, I'd love to have one. But, for me one of the great things about these conversions is that they do use moonclips. They are very convenient and very fast. When I qualified last week I loaded up 10 moonclips for each course of fire, loaded the gun, and dropped the other 9 in my cargo pocket. I was able to reload as fast as most of the guys shooting autos and waaayy faster than a couple of other revolver guys using speed loaders and loose rounds.

Brian Williams
May 10, 2009, 04:02 PM
No, I know what a 547 is and I do not want a 547, I want a model 10 running moonclips. Oh and while I am wishing I want it with a 3" mid weight barrel, round butt grip frame and a semi bobbed hammer like the 547.

WC145
May 10, 2009, 05:54 PM
No, I know what a 547 is and I do not want a 547, I want a model 10 running moonclips. Oh and while I am wishing I want it with a 3" mid weight barrel, round butt grip frame and a semi bobbed hammer like the 547.

Sign me up for one!

Oyeboten
May 10, 2009, 05:57 PM
Very familiar with the 547. They're very nice, very cool, relatively rare, and very expensive. And they don't use moonclips, which I prefer. That isn't to say that if a great deal came along I'd turn my back on a 547, I'd love to have one. But, for me one of the great things about these conversions is that they do use moonclips. They are very convenient and very fast. When I qualified last week I loaded up 10 moonclips for each course of fire, loaded the gun, and dropped the other 9 in my cargo pocket. I was able to reload as fast as most of the guys shooting autos and waaayy faster than a couple of other revolver guys using speed loaders and loose rounds.


Hi WC145,



Yes...to me also, full Moon Clips are an essential part of the appeal I am after.


Had the 547 emulated it's great grand Pappy, the Model of 1917, .45 ACP in that regard, it probably would have been a far better success, and, I'd want one.


9x23 does seem the most elegant Chambering...in so far as it reduces the jump to about nothing, or rather, once counterbored, there'd be no jump at all with it...though I'd feel nervous about whether an old or older Model 10 would handle the vastly higher pressures.

Now that I am thinking about this, once counterbored for Moon Clips, a .38 Auto/.38 Super would then suffer about no jump at all, too...


Hmmmmmmmmm...


Good discussion!


Phil
Las Vegas

Oyeboten
May 10, 2009, 06:07 PM
No, I know what a 547 is and I do not want a 547, I want a model 10 running moonclips. Oh and while I am wishing I want it with a 3" mid weight barrel, round butt grip frame and a semi bobbed hammer like the 547.


Yes...definitely..!


Really, on such a Revolver, I see no reason not to Bob the Hammer entirely.


One is best to have good Double-Action techniques, and, there is no need for Single Action anyway for something like this...


So, as for me, I'd Bob the Hammer completely, and politely Checker the 'top' of it...so if one does ever wish to shoot Single Action, one merely depresses the Trigger enough for the Hammer to begin coming back, then, one cocks it by the Hammer...


Easy and clean...and no 'Spurr' to catch on anything when drawing.


And if it is to be the 3-Inch, Round-Butt as a Pocket Gun...or if one is to carry it in Winter, or when riding Motorcycle, where one is likely wearing Gloves, one may as well remove the front of the Trigger Bow, also...



Phil
l v

Oyeboten
May 10, 2009, 06:21 PM
Hi lanternlad1,

You'd menioned -


As for distance, that seems to be par for the course for 9mm revolvers. My Smith 940 9mm and Ruger Speed Six 9mm were both chambered for 9mm from the factory, and each had at least 1/4" space in the cylinder to travel before they hit the forcing cone/barrel. My Smith 547, a revolver specifically designed around firing 9mm, is the same way. There is at least 1/2" space in the cylinder from the bullets to forcing cone. Lengthwise, a .357 mag cartridge would fit in my 547's chamber. Can't tell you why, but it works just fine regardless.



Yipes!


Whatever were they thinking??


My own undersanding, is that it has long been held, that as close to no 'jump' as possible, is best...and for several reasons; including how pressures may spike when the Bullet reaches the Forcing Cone after crossing a gap where the Gasses were going around it...as well as the possible distortions to the Bullet, for it's wandering a little in the larger diameter gap region, and reaching the Forcing Cone then at less than ideal align/orientation...


I'm surprised that erstwhile respectable Manufacturers would be so indifferent to fundimental cares which have been well undersood for well over a Hundred years.


Maybe...one could Order .32 Mag Cylinders...and re-bore them ideally, for the 9mm or similar diameter Cartridge one wishes to use, and arrive at an ideal fit for the Cartridge, with no 'jump' through a larger diameter Cylinder region...




Phil
l v

Oyeboten
May 11, 2009, 06:33 PM
As I learn a little more about this, I am finding mentions of 'Moon Clip' conversions being done to .38 Special Revolvers, where, the conversion merely allows a use of 'thin' Moon Clips, on the same .38 Special Cartridges it always fired, which would be handy of course, but...


If a Revolver is strong enough, or, if a strong enough Cylinder may be obtained, converting to 9x23 as others have done and told of in his thread, or, as in the case of my own aspire, converting to .38 Super...seems a far more appealing and interesting gesture.

If a 'Snubby', and if the 'jump' issue were resolved, then convering to 9mm seems very appealing, since this is a Cartridge well suited for loadings which defer to a short Barrel.


Now, far as full power loads, my thought is that those would be the resort only for Carry or occasional practice, and for practice or plinking oherwise, to be reduced power loads, so as not to overstress the Revolver.


Even as was the case with the S & W Model 10-6 in .357 Magnum, or, the subsequent S & W Model 13 in .357 Magnum - the Magnum loadings were never intended to be the steady diet...but rather, only an occasional recourse or for 'carry' contingency.




Phil
Las Vegas

Brian Williams
May 11, 2009, 07:33 PM
Converting to 38 super is less of a problem than 9x23, super 38 has less pressure and is a bit of a shorter case.

lanternlad1
May 11, 2009, 07:58 PM
Whatever were they thinking??

I think they were trying to make the gun as inexpensively as possible.

My 547 is a Smith K frame. Its usually used for a .357 magnum, and I think they just reamed out a .357 mag cylinder and added the special extractor for it. The K-frame can handle the .357 mag, so I guess it can handle anything the 9mm can dish out. The same thing with the Speed Six 9mm.

The 940 was made on the j-frame centennial platform, and isn't good with +p ammo.

WC145
May 11, 2009, 09:47 PM
For the record, chambering my gun for 9x23 was not my idea. That is how the gunsmith does these conversions, there's no choice of chambering, you choose what you shoot through it. It works for me, I like the versatility it affords me.

If a 'Snubby', and if the 'jump' issue were resolved, then convering to 9mm seems very appealing, since this is a Cartridge well suited for loadings which defer to a short Barrel.

There is no 'jump' issue. S&W used a .38/.357 length cyinder in the 940 and it worked just fine. There is no loss of velocity, accuracy, or anything else due to the length of the cyinder. My Taurus 905 uses a short cylinder/frame. The only advantage is that it is a more compact gun (that weighs 9oz more than my 360).

marv
May 11, 2009, 09:58 PM
I loaded a few 95gr 9mm fmj in .38sp cases with Bullseye. Tried them in my M67. Accuracy Sucked.

Oyeboten
May 11, 2009, 10:08 PM
Converting to 38 super is less of a problem than 9x23, super 38 has less pressure and is a bit of a shorter case.


Yes...and in the early-to-mid production ( pre 'powder-metal' ) Model 10s I have in mind to convert...the .38 Super might be the upper limit pressure-wise, of what it could stand...if..."if"...it could even stand it...and I have not found out yet on that. Maybe .38 Super would be too much for it.

The 9x23 seems such a wonderful Cartridge, and interesting to boot, but, I'd fear it'd be too much for a 10-6, say.

Possibly later Model 10s would have stronger Cylinders? Or, a .357 Cylinder, adapted...

I dunno...'Brainstorming'...


But, an earstwhile Model 10, four-inch Heavy Barrel, converted to chamber the .38 Super, would be a very nice package.


Phil
l v

Oyeboten
May 11, 2009, 10:21 PM
it worked just fine. There is no loss of velocity, accuracy, or anything else due to the length of the cyinder. My Taurus 905 uses a short cylinder/frame. The only advantage is that it is a more compact gun (that weighs 9oz more than my 360).

Hi WC145,


It's not the lenght of the Cylinder that conerns me, but, the location of the Step in the Cylinder Bore...

If the same lengh Cylinder is deferentially Bored for say 9mm, then, the step will be where the Case ends...

But, if the step is still present from .38 Special, or .357, then, it'll be a long way away from where a 9mm Case mouth ends...


Possibly, in practice, his would not make enough difference to be of any concern...but, my acceptance has been, that it should/could.


So, if I were to have my way, 'ideally', I'd want a Cylinder Bored for the Cartridge I intend to use, so the step occurs at the Cartridge Case mouth end, and, thus, leaving no 'jump' for the Bullet.



Phil
l v

WC145
May 12, 2009, 12:02 AM
The "step" is appropriate for a 9x23 round to headspace on. The cylinder can't be cut with a "step" for the 9mm to headspace on because it's already larger in diameter than the 9mm, hence the need for moonclips. To do what you're talking about you'd have to start with a smaller caliber cylinder than 9mm. Or you could just find yourself a S&W 940 and be done with it. They headspace on the case shoulder and don't require a moonclip except for ease of extraction, same as the Taurus 905.

wditto
May 12, 2009, 12:26 AM
I find ALL this very interesting, but keep going to the question that begs to be asked; why push a 9mm or sub a .38 super when you already have a .357 mag.?
and, does not the .38 special have a "jump" when in a .357 cyl. and still work well?
hmmmmmmmm

Oyeboten
May 12, 2009, 05:56 AM
Hi WC145, all...


You'd menioned -


The "step" is appropriate for a 9x23 round to headspace on. The cylinder can't be cut with a "step" for the 9mm to headspace on because it's already larger in diameter than the 9mm, hence the need for moonclips. To do what you're talking about you'd have to start with a smaller caliber cylinder than 9mm. Or you could just find yourself a S&W 940 and be done with it. They headspace on the case shoulder and don't require a moonclip except for ease of extraction, same as the Taurus 905.


Understood...


Originally, all this began in my mind, in admiring my Model 1917 Colt New Service in .45 ACP, and, comparing it with it's rival, the S & W Model of 1917 in .45 ACP.

...and thinking..."Why ever did not Colt and S & W offer mid-frame Revolvers right then, or soon after, which using Half-Moon or Full Moon Clips, could chamber and fire .30 Mauser, 9mm Parabellum, .38 ACP or others?


I think they would have been very well received and appreciated all over the World...and would have sold well.


Both S & W and Colt could have ( and in my view, should have) began making and offering these by 1919, if not a lot earlier.


So...originally, what I wanted to make, or have made, is either a 'teens to 'twenties or even 'thirties Colt Army Special, or ditto S & W 'M&P', chambering the .38 ACP Cartridge, and, using Full Moon Clips to do it.

Or, a 'Snubbie' of either, chambering the 9mm Parabellum, with Full Moon Clips ( if having to 'Snub' the Army Special myself, since Colt did not seem to offer any Snubbies at that time...unless one went through 'Fitz' or did it one's self or had a Smith do it. )


Now...sadly, I am not confident either would stand the Pressures safely, but, maybe they would, I don't know.


Later...I began thinking, an S & W Model 10, Heavy Barrel, 4 inch, Square Butt, or, ditto in 3 inch Round Butt, would be a very nice Revolver in .38 Super, if using Full Moon Clips...and, or, chambering 9mm Para, and Full Moon Clips, and...thus began my Thread...

I like Full Moon Clips...and, I do not really feel drawn to other methods of chambering semi-rim or rimless Cartridges in a Revolver.


The S & W 940, while a fine Revolver, is of no interest to me, since it is around sixty to eighty years late as for S &W having had any savvy at all, and, because in their trying to be clever for the sake of clever, and at the expense of common sense and convenience, it does not relyon the forthright use of Full Moon Clips.


And, rather than patronize their remarkable tardyness to get with it, I'd far rather make my own, or, commission the modification to an able and savvy ( and one would hope, sympathetic ) Smith.


It is not a matter of having just anything which as a Revolver, would fire 9mm...for the sake of firing 9mm...rather, it is a matter for me, of only a very few Revolver kinds, I would want to have do so, for me to own, use, or carry them.


And really, the Revolver I would most wish to have chambering 9mm Para, would be an old, 'Round Front Sight' S & W M&P 'Snubby'...far as 9mm goes.


Probably, an S & W Model 13 would really be the best Candidate for me, if I wanted to convert to 9x23, or, to .38 Super, since I could expect it to have the strength
needed...and, I like it's looks, 'feel' and balance, same as I do the Heavy Barrel Model 10s.


So, while this conversation is academic, and anecdotal, and also practical, for me, it is also only about a very few possible Candidates for conversion...and of course, about understanding how various Cylinder Bore issues would be reconciled.

Now, an S & W 'Terrier' or 3 inch early J Frame with the 'Round' Front Sight...or, a short Barrel Colt 'Police Positive' ( ditto ) in 9mm Para, would also be appealing...if able tohandle the pressures, and, I doubt they would!


I have a Model 13 ( .357 Magnum, 4 inch Heavy Barrel, Square Butt ), and, I love and admire it for what it is...it is 'perfect' and excellent as what it is.


The 'Full Moon, .38 Super, Model 10, Heavy Barrel" ( if it is feasable, ) would be it's own thing...perfect for what it is, intrinsically interesting, and appealing to me.


If they'd made them, I'd buy one.


They did not...so...if I want one, I will have to have one converted.


Thus the brooding...



What fun..!


This is a good Thread, and good learning for me...good thinking, brainstorming...


Good discussion...



Thanks!



Phil
l v

WC145
May 12, 2009, 06:59 AM
I find ALL this very interesting, but keep going to the question that begs to be asked; why push a 9mm or sub a .38 super when you already have a .357 mag.?
and, does not the .38 special have a "jump" when in a .357 cyl. and still work well?
hmmmmmmmm

In my case going with 9mm in my snubby/BUG is a simple matter of caliber consolidation. I carry a 9mm on and off the job, I keep a folding 9mm carbine in my gear bag. It makes sense for my BUG to be a 9mm and the revolver is the most reliable and fool proof platform available. I do not "push" the loads, I use only factory ammo in my guns, standard pressure for training, +P+ for duty/SD carry.

Yes, you're correct, the .38spl has a "jump" when shot from a .357mag, like many other guns that shoot multiple calibers. I've never known it to be an issue as far as practical performance and accuracy.

WC145
May 12, 2009, 07:17 AM
Oyeboten-
I understand what you're talking about and certainly, had S&W or Colt come out with other auto caliber revolvers using moonclips early on they would probably be more popular/accepted now. Instead they're viewed as an oddity by many and the usual question I hear is, "Why?".

As to the question of why weren't more moonclip, auto caliber revolvers made back then, I'd agree that pressure would be the main reason. These rounds operate at near .357mag pressures and, remember, the first .357mags were N-frames. The lighter framed guns probably would never have handled the smaller, hotter rounds. Plus, the fact that the .45ACP was an all-american military round and readily available probably had a lot to do with it. I don't know how available 9mm Luger, .30 Mauser, etc would have been at the time, nor, given the state of the world, how well accepted those calibers would have been. The .38 Super might have caught on as a hot revolver load, especially since it is semi-rimmed and you wouldn't need a moonclip, but it was probably too hot for the smaller guns and the .357mag was king of the big guns onve it came on the scene. Indeed, there are plenty of .38spls out there that will chamber .38 Super without any trouble. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some people using Supers in their .38's then but, again, I'd imagine there were lots of factors in play - ammo availibility, gun strength, advertising, general gun knowledge, cost effectiveness, etc.

Jim Watson
May 12, 2009, 08:35 AM
I also wonder about the jump through the .380" i.d. Special chamber and its effect on accuracy in a K frame gun with the grip, weight, and sight radius to make it more easily measurable than in a J frame hideout. If the rechamber is to 9x23, there is also a jump through a .382" chamber section if shooting 9x19 before getting to the .380". And a step too slight for headspace control but enough to snag a bullet.

Has somebody ever Ransom Rested one of these things?

Historical notes:
The Webley-Fosberry Automatic Revolver was available in .38 ACP with eight shot clip loading in 1902.
Smith & Smith illustrate a copy of the S&W M&P in 9mm P using half moon clips a la 1917 made by the Workers' Industry for Arms in Israel.
Smith & Wesson built a few M686 revolvers in .38 Super for the IDPA trade; also two batches in .40 S&W. There were also some 627 Supers, I presume for ICORE.
The S&W 547 (clipless) and 940, the Ruger Speed Six and SP101, the Taurii, and Charter are better known, along with foreign efforts from FN, Manhurin, and Korth.

Production was low for all. The clipped revolver for rimless rounds other than the .45 ACP is a niche product more often seen on the Internet than the range.

Oyeboten
May 12, 2009, 05:41 PM
Oyeboten-
I understand what you're talking about and certainly, had S&W or Colt come out with other auto caliber revolvers using moonclips early on they would probably be more popular/accepted now. Instead they're viewed as an oddity by many and the usual question I hear is, "Why?".

As to the question of why weren't more moonclip, auto caliber revolvers made back then, I'd agree that pressure would be the main reason. These rounds operate at near .357mag pressures and, remember, the first .357mags were N-frames. The lighter framed guns probably would never have handled the smaller, hotter rounds. Plus, the fact that the .45ACP was an all-american military round and readily available probably had a lot to do with it. I don't know how available 9mm Luger, .30 Mauser, etc would have been at the time, nor, given the state of the world, how well accepted those calibers would have been. The .38 Super might have caught on as a hot revolver load, especially since it is semi-rimmed and you wouldn't need a moonclip, but it was probably too hot for the smaller guns and the .357mag was king of the big guns onve it came on the scene. Indeed, there are plenty of .38spls out there that will chamber .38 Super without any trouble. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some people using Supers in their .38's then but, again, I'd imagine there were lots of factors in play - ammo availibility, gun strength, advertising, general gun knowledge, cost effectiveness, etc.


Hi WC145,


Good mentions...


I think what impeded the development and offering of mid-size-frame Revolvers in erstwhile Auto-Loader Cartridges, was three things, much as you suggest -


Unpleasant recoil, especially in an era where many adults were used to BP loadings...or learned in shooting BP ( ie, 1900 to say 1917 )

Metalurgy was doing very well, and would have had no roubles producing Frames and Cylinders adapted to handle the pressures of say, .30 Mauser, .38 ACP, 9mm Parabellum, et al.

But, given that Colt really cringed to stamp, say, ".44 S & W Russian" or ".44 S & W Special" on the sides of New Service Revolvers...and, S & W was loathe to stamp even ".38 Service C'tg" in lieu of stamping ".38 Colt", etc...( or so I have heard )...one suspects they had some bias, or pride, or proprieary desire to stay with and promote their 'own' Cartridges as much as possible, only grudgingly offering Revolvers adaped to anyone else's.


So, it seems there was a bias toward other's Cartridge types, as well as toward eachother's...so, probably, also, toward foreign ones.


Which leaves the mystery then, as for why Colt did nothing Revolver wise, with their own, proprietary, .38 ACP Cartridge ( and later, .38 Super) or .380 ACP Cartridge.


Granted, by the '30s, S & W's "38-44" was widely respected, shooting hopped-up .38 Specials. Where, Colt, could have done similar, adapting New Service, or even their Army Special, for their own peppy-enough .38 Super, or, as they pleased.


And a Police Positive or New Police, in .380, would have been dandy!


My understanding from childhood, talking with World War One Veterans, is that pretty well all admired the Lugar and ( 'Broom Handle ' ) Mauser Pistols, and, the Cartridges they fired.


Lots of other people in the US, in the 'teens, 'twenties, 'thirties, also admired the Lugar and Mauser Pistols and their Ammunitions, and, far as I could ( or can ) tell, the American Public held no bias toward these Arms, or the Cartridges they fired. Or if anything, it was quite the opposite of bias - people liked them!


I remember my dad and some his friends, having taken me along to go plinking, around 1959, and one of them had a WWI bring-home Lugar, and everyone there was all "Ooooos" and "Ahhhhhhs" over it, and saying compliments and hushed admires on it's powerful Cartridge...Toggle Bolt Action, acccuracy, comfort in the Hand, and so on.


So, it sort of seems, that it was the Manufacturers who demured, for reasons of their own...reasons which I would suggest, only harmed their innovation, creativity, earnings, and sales.


Probably, the recoil and Fireball in a mid-frame, or smaller frame Revolver, from .30 Mauser, would be terrible...from .38 Super, likewise...from 38 ACP, tolerable to the strong of Heart...and from 9mm Para, about the same.


These concerns, as with other things, are easily left to the individual to decide for themselves. And probably, enough people would have accepted the Recoil of these, and been alright with it. Serious LEO of the day, and Hunters carrying an ancillary Side Arm, especially.

As Defensive Weapons, these would have been hard to beat, and I am confident this would not have been lost on anyone interested.


Phil
l v

Jim Watson
May 12, 2009, 07:41 PM
Well, about 40 years ago, Jan Stevenson suggested that updating the French Modele d'Ordnance Revolver 1892 with more ergonomic grips, heavy barrel, and better steel to allow chambering for 9mm Mauser Export (9x25) in clips would be about as modern a revolver as you could get.

If you enjoyed reading about "Converting a .38 Special Revolver to 9 mm" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!