It's bore is bigger than .357, so you will need a source for the proper bullets if you load lead. They are out there, they just are not as prevalent as 38 bullets.
You can load standard .38 plated or jacketed bullets for it, and while slightly undersized, they shoot just fine.
I have a Victory Model & a H&R top break in .38 S&W. I really enjoy shooting the Victory Model. It's a fun little low recoil caliber. The Victory Model is a cool old gun with history.
I say go for it.
January 31, 2010, 10:44 AM
I used to also load for an old S&W Victory revolver for friend of mine. As Walkalong states the 38 S&W has a bigger diameter than the 38 Special and needs special dies to load it. Back when I loaded this cartridge, 200 gr RNL bullets were available, but have no idea if still available commercially.
January 31, 2010, 04:01 PM
I've been reloading for a circa 1932 38 S&W 5 shot revolver with good success. I'm using a set of 38 S&W Lee dies on my LnL AP and buy 140 grain RNFP lead bullets from Penn Bullets sized at .360". I have loaded some new Starline brass as well as some OF Win nickel plated brass. Works well for me.
I've tried a few different bullets including 140gr, 146gr 158gr and even a 200gr bullet to replicate the original British 38/200 load but the best bullet I've loaded for the .38 S&W is a 160gr LRNFP .360" bullet. For some reason it just seems to be the best choice for my Enfield #2. If you own a revolver chambered for .38 S&W it's by all means a good idea to load for it. You can taylor a round for your needs and you won't spend a ton of money on ammo. Around here 146gr .38 S&W ammo will cost you at least $30 a box. I'm not willing to pay that much for ammo. (Remington R38SW)
February 1, 2010, 02:17 AM
Have not reloaded for .38 S&W, but I plan to.
I will use 'Goez' 3 F, and, a .361 Soft Lead Bullet...trying different Bullet Weights and shapes, ideally.
"777", used judiciously, may also be a good propellent for the .38 S&W Cartridge, seating as per.
A plain soft Lead Hollow Base flat front Wadcutter, may be a good Bullet for these also, especially if one has a .360or .361 Die for fattening the ( usually shy for this Cartridge ) diameter of the .38 Special version of the Bullet.
February 2, 2010, 05:41 AM
I'm not crazy about Goex powder, I just didn't like the results I got with it. I would rethink using 777 because it might be too hot for the .38 S&W. I think Pyrodex P (http://www.hodgdon.com/pyrodex-granular.html) or American Pioneer FFFG (http://www.americanpioneerpowder.com/products.html) would probably be better choices. I've used both for some .45 Colt ammo using a 250gr LRN bullet and both worked well. I'm also thinking about trying some Swiss FFFG (http://www.schuetzenpowder.com/index.php/products) from Schuetzen if I can find any some day. (BTW, that's the real deal Black Powder)
February 2, 2010, 10:45 AM
Handloader Issue No. 261 had a nice article: .38 S&W, .38 Super Obsolete but Not Overlooked by Mike Venturino. Check it out here: