.38 Super in Revolvers


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MagnumDweeb
February 5, 2010, 10:44 PM
I toyed with the idea of converting a .38 special Model 10-8(or higher) to .38 super. After all the research it looks like the pressure is too much for the gun. I thought it was a nice idea given how a lot of folks like .38 super in revovlers for target shooting and in a S&W K frame .38 special, since converting a .38 special looks like a bad idea(can anyone tell me different) I thought maybe converting a S&W 27 if I can get one(in a spare cylinder). The N frame handling the less pressures of the round with ease. I've got a chance at a 27 with 3.5" barrel and thought a low grain high velocity load like that of Corbon Pow'R Ball (100 grains, 1500+fps) would make a fun target shooting round, or small game keeper round(new property I'm doing classes on seems to have a coyote problem and the guy got told by Fish and Wildlife that the coyotes aren't protected).

If I could get some spare 27 cylinders it'd be nice to convert one of them to .38 Super would be fun, or am I just wasting my time.

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MikePGS
February 6, 2010, 12:25 AM
Not sure if you're aware or not, but S&W actually does make a revolver in .38 super. http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10001&storeId=10001&productId=753594&langId=-1&isFirearm=Y
Its super fancy looking though and judging by the "Contact Your Dealer For Pricing" bit I'm sure its much more expensive than it would cost to simply convert an existing gun.

Oyeboten
February 6, 2010, 12:33 AM
Hi MagnumDweeb,


Lol...


I've been brooding on this myself for quite a while.


Originally, my thought was to convert a post 1919, early '20s S&W 'M&P' to .38 ACP...which, m-a-y-b-e, would be alright if definitely pushing it.

I guess one would have to do it, and, see how things seem after a few hundred ruonds ( 'Lead' Bullets only, far as my thoughts go for this, if loaing to .38 Auto/ACP specs ).


This for me, led to brooding on converting a Model 13 S&W ( .357 Magnum) or, one of the Model 10-6 which came in .357 Magnum, to .38 Super...BUT with the intention of shooting reduced and Lead Bullet only Loads, for fun, and, full house Lead or semi-jacketed for SD or sparce tests only.


Far as I can fathom, there should be no problems for a .357 Magnum Revolver, being converted to, and, handling .38 Super pessures/stresses.


But, if intending to shoot full house Rounds, and, Patched/FMJ or partial Jacket Bullets, a heftier frame than the "K" in my opinion, would be wise, if one wishes the Revolver to be durable over time and frequent use.




Once the erstwhile .357 Magnum Cylinder is shortened at the rear for full Moon Clips, the 'jump' in the Cylinder Bores, for the .38 Super Cartridge's Bullet, would be minimal.

AmEngRifles
February 6, 2010, 01:41 PM
What are you guys fussing over? The .38 super is a "semi-rimmed" cartridge. Very early OLD SCHOOL for the day back, in the early 1900s when the .38 AUTO was developed for the early Colt Automatics. Later, the .38 AUTO was beefed up to a .38 SUPER since newer powders and the 1911 would handle that added power as well.

I used to own both a S&W 686 (.357 Mag) , and a Colt, 1911 Commander (.38 super). As long as the gun is rated to withstand .357 magnum pressure, you should not have a problem shooting .38 super cartridges out of it. I used to do it out of that 686 with no issues. It doesn't take much rim to have the extractor star work and it always did.

The same approach might work in a gun rated for .38 Special +P+. The .38 Special cartridge is longer than a .38 Super cartridge, so no worries fitting the cylinder. I would prefer the extra pressure rating and handling of a full blown .357 mag pistol.

I am not sure how many "semi-rimmed" cartridges were developed in the early days of auto loaders, but the .38 Super has always been thus.

I never worried about the jump in cylinder bores either, since .38 specials do it in .357 magnums all the time with no real problem. You might get better accuracy from a .38 Special in a dedicated .38 Special revolver, but I never shot competition with any revolver.

bhp9mm
February 6, 2010, 01:58 PM
Smith and wesson has made a few .38 super guns they did make a 686 in 2003 they still make a 627 in super

rcmodel
February 6, 2010, 02:13 PM
I bet they make them with .355" / 9mm cylinder throats and barrels though.

A .38/.357 cylinder & barrel would have a lot of gas blow-by with .355"/.356" bullets.

Seems like a bad idea to me.

rc

SaxonPig
February 6, 2010, 02:36 PM
You can probably load and shoot Supers in a 357 revolver without modification. The late Skeet Skelton wrote of doing this. Pressure might be too high for a 38 revolver.

I say might because the last box of Winchester 38 Supers I clocked only ran 1050 FPS or so. Obviously they have downloaded the Super to the same level as the old 38 ACP. 20 years ago factory Super ammo went 1200+.

Micro
February 6, 2010, 02:55 PM
I've shot a few WWB and UMC .38 Super in a .357 Mag revolver. The only issue I had was the extractor occassionally jumping the .38 Super's rim, but only when they were nearly fully extracted. And accuracy was actually pretty good.

MachIVshooter
February 6, 2010, 03:40 PM
I bet they make them with .355" / 9mm cylinder throats and barrels though.

A .38/.357 cylinder & barrel would have a lot of gas blow-by with .355"/.356" bullets.

Seems like a bad idea to me.

I wouldn't worry so much about the blow by, but being small for bore, accuracy might suffer. That said, you could load .357" bullets into a .38 Super case if it were to be used in a revolver only. Just keep that ammo separate from your .38 Super for automatic stuff.

However, with the .38 Spl. guns not being able to handle the pressure, the .357 Magnum easily exceeding the .38 Super, and Super ammo being harder to find and more expensive than either, I guess I don't see the point.

MagnumDweeb
February 6, 2010, 03:45 PM
Sounds like I could get an extra Cylinder for a .357 magnum revolver and have it cut for .357 magnum moonclips and run the .38 super with the moonclips. I think I'm going to get the S&W 27-2 I've been talking to my parents' neighbor about and buy an extra cylinder to have cut.

A dumb quesiton. I'm looking at http://www.dakotaammo.net/Glaser-PowRBall/38-Super-Plus-P-100gr-PowRBall/PB38X100-20/600/Product and the .38 super is clocking over 1500fps while the .357 magnum is -- http://www.dakotaammo.net/Glaser-PowRBall/357-Mag-100gr-PowRBall/PB357100-20/600/Product clocking 1450 fps with lest energy. Did they simply load the .357 lighter, they are both the same weight but the .357 uses a longer case so I would think it could take a more powerful powder load.

Thanks to everyone so far.

rcmodel
February 6, 2010, 03:53 PM
They tested the .38 Super load in a 5" pistol barrel.

They tested the .357 Mag load in a 4" revolver.
And barrel/cylinder gap in the revolver could account for a 50 FPS velocity loss.

The 38 Super load shot in the same revolver would likely get even less velocity due to loose 9mm bullet fit & resulting gas loss in the cylinder throats.

rc

Gunfighter123
February 7, 2010, 02:33 AM
Here is a pic of my older S&W 627-4 in .38 Super from the S&W Performance Center. If I remember -- they were a VERY limited production in the mid-1980s.

Mine is a 8 shot , uses full moon clips , and has a factory removeable "comp" along with a threaded flush fitting "thread protector" when not useing the comp.

For IPSC and Steel shooting , I use 9mm .355 FMJ 115 or 124 grainers ---- for "messing around" I use my own cast lead 125 and 200 grainers.

This revolver is SCARY accurate with either !!!

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b199/Jailbird123/DSC01674.jpg

Oyeboten
February 7, 2010, 06:33 AM
This is not my Thread, but, it is a topic I have interest in...enjoy to chome in about in my own way, and it is about plans or intentions I am wishing to do.

So...

For me anyway, the whole point would be to have a special and intentionally modified, Blue, 1/2 round Front Sight, old fashioned-by-now, Revolver, which has a look and design I already like, possibly from a time-period I like, which would use Full Moon Clips, firing/chambering a particular semi-rimmed Ammunition I like, and, which thus ejects all Six rounds at-once via the Full-Moon-Clips, properly and fully every time...and accept re-loads of six-at-once, elegantly, and with alacrity.



If I was going to do this conversion, I would re-load to my own intentions...use "Lead" Bullets only, of whatever shape and alloy for their speed or purpose...and, use Bullets of .358 diameter, for the me-load .38 ACP or .38 Super Cartridge the Revolver would use...and, not arbitrarily just buy and shoot any off-the-shelf, hard to find, inconvenient, super expensive, wrong bullet type, wrong bullet weight, wrong bullet kind, undersize bullet, wrong-for-the-Revolver jacketed/semi-jacketed whatever.


It's like someone saying they would like to build/re-build a high-compression mild Race Engine, such as a Red Ram Hemi out of a late '50s Daimler, for an old early 1940s Dodge Coupe they have and like, and then all the HeeHaws and naysayers going on about how "Well! How you gunna run it on pump gas Bub?"..."Why doncha just buy a Race Car?" "Get a Horse!"..."Why doncha just get an "Viper???" and so on.


As if any of those options were what it is about.


They are NOT what it is about...for me anyway.



For me, if I am willing to undergo the troubles and finesse and expense of conceiving and making/having an erstwhile .38 Special Revolver, converted rightly to shortened Cylinder Full-Moon-Clip .38 Autocolt, or, an erstwhile intentionally chosen model of .357 Magnum Revolver converted ditto to .38 Super, I would load my own Ammunition.


The point is not merely to satisfy the most banal and superficial as possible definition of a cheap shortcut or getting the most up-to-date thing off-the-shelf or special-order, but rather, sometimes at least, to have the particular thing one wants, with the particulars one wants, in the way one wants it, because that is what one wants to do and have...and, because there IS no other way to have it that particular way.


Yes?


Yes...


Lol...


Best wishes...

Oyeboten
February 7, 2010, 06:54 AM
Gunfighter123 shows us about the most lovely up-to-date outfit anyone could ever want...8 shots, right Metalurgy, perfect integration, and all totally serious and sophisticated and cool in every way.


But...what I am after, is a different thing - which is a used, basic, early 1920s S&W 'M&P', 60 percent Factory 'Blue', five inch Pancil Barrel, period correct Stocks, chambering rightly via modification, the .38 Autocolt Cartridge.

Or, maybe, a used, 60 percent factory Blue, Model 13, 4 inch, Bull Barrel, modified for the .38 Super Cartridge.



Since neither of these Revolvers were ever made in this configuration, I have no choice but to make one, or, hire out the modifications.


For me, it is not abuot having a Revolver which will abide the .38 semi-rimmed Cartridge...it is not about demuring toward the expense of having the only and very recent lovely and rare S&W Factory revolvers made to do so...it is about having the Revolver I want, chambering the semi-rimmed Cartridge I want.

If I want a 1941 Dodge with a period souped up Daimler provenance Red Ram Hemi, I may admire a new 'Viper', but, the Viper is not what I am after.

And yes, if you really put your foot into a '41 Dodge with a hot Red Ram Hemi, for the 1/4 mile start off, or other, you could break-an-Axle...blow the tranny...twist the frame, etc...( or maybe not...)


Lol...


Thing is...you would not tend to do so after all that trouble...

Or, I wouldn't, anyway...I'd drive 'sensible'...and pour the soup s-l-o-w...

kanook
February 7, 2010, 10:47 AM
Just a question, how aboput taking a 9mm revolver and making it for 38 super?

stiab
February 7, 2010, 01:10 PM
You can shoot two brands of factory .38 Super in most modern S&W .38 Special and .357 mag revolvers. These two are Winchester and MagTech. Others will not easily chamber. They shoot just fine in my Model 28.

From SaxonPig: I say might because the last box of Winchester 38 Supers I clocked only ran 1050 FPS or so.

I've seen that statement before, but it does not agree with the documented testing in the link below...

http://smith-wessonforum.com/ammo/65553-ammo-test-old-vs-new-38-super.html

MachIVshooter
February 7, 2010, 01:58 PM
It's like someone saying they would like to build/re-build a high-compression mild Race Engine, such as a Red Ram Hemi out of a late '50s Daimler, for an old early 1940s Dodge Coupe they have and like, and then all the HeeHaws and naysayers going on about how "Well! How you gunna run it on pump gas Bub?"..."Why doncha just buy a Race Car?" "Get a Horse!"..."Why doncha just get an "Viper???" and so on.

If someone wants to do such things, more power to 'em. Some of us jut don't understand spending more money to get less performance, that's all. That's why I leave the tuner stuff to the kiddies and build stroked V-8's :D

AmEngRifles
February 7, 2010, 04:19 PM
Had to go back and check a reloading manual (Hornady, Vol. 1, Rifle-Pistol, Fourth Edition). I was curious when I saw mention of "blowby" with .38 Super rounds in a .357 mag pistol in an earlier post. ??

I see now from the manual that .38 Super IS listed for loads with BOTH .355 AND .357 bullets. I used .357 Honady in the XTP style exclusively for my reloading of .38 Super defensive rounds and several hard cast 160s in the same .357. I had not realized that the .38 Super would even be considered for the .355 diameter, but there it was in the Hornady Manual....so, I could see blowby or les than stellar accuracy as a result. BUT, in my experience, the pistols made for it are cut for .357 dimater bullets just like any other pistol designed for the American calibers, .38 Special and .357 magnum.

I see the .38 Super in the same American lineage as the other two cartdriges, just from a slightly different direction of having it designed for an automatic.

I still contend, take your .357 magnum revolver, shoot .38 Supers in it, see how it likes them, and if your extractor star doesn't positively dump all your empty cases, then move to have a relief cut made to accommodate a full moon clip. I am not thinking competition here, so if that is your intention, I understand the cut for moon clips. They will allow faster reloading. I guess I need to recall what the intention of the question was. Seemed there was some confusion about the pistol taking the round at all and if it was safe?

Stlll love my .38 Super, but love it out of my Springfield Armory 1911. 9 rounds of fast, flat shooting, then a quick mag change and I am ready for another 9!

Oyeboten
February 7, 2010, 09:21 PM
Hi Kanook,


You'd saked -

Just a question, how aboput taking a 9mm revolver and making it for 38 super?


I would think that this would be an easy conversion to do, and, that the Revolver would be fine with it, so long as the Cylinder is long enough for the longer Cartridge's OAL.

9mm Largo is very close in dimension to .38 ACP/.38 Super, also...far as that goes...

I just wish S&W and Colt would have offered intentional Revolvers chambered for some of these before WWI, when the poularity and allure of the 9mm Luger, and the .38 ACP were still fresh.


'Official Police', S&W J-Frames, and other smaller frame 5-Shot models in 9mm or .30 Mauser/7.62x25would have been fun also.

Heck, a shrouded Hammer, five shot Break Top, Pocket Model in 9mm would be wonderful.


The only older 9mm Revolver I know of, was the late 1940s Israeli 'copy' of the S&W 'M&P'.


If I could find one, I'd give it a whirl...


None of the recent ones have the look I am after, though, if Steel, 'Blue', and no 'powder-parts', one could maybe be modified exterior-wise to assume an earlier character.

MagnumDweeb
February 7, 2010, 10:27 PM
Hey guys, thanks for the input. For some reason I'm attracted to the .38 super and I couldn't tell you why. For some reason I want it in a revolver. I'm working up some reloads using a 100+/- grain lead cast SWC(trimmed the back slightly to get the right weight and hollowed the back some[will probably go odd]) and using the same load data to push a 158 grain SWC at 1200 fps. I think that will satisfy my velocity addiction. Hoping for 1400fps, to get a light load that'll do what my Tokarev does but with a slightly larger caliber and ammo flexibility.

The S&W 27-2 in 3.5" I passed up(made sure the seller got $550 from an older guy I know who will appreciate it properly) and out of thanks I got the 19-2 4" for $160(gun shop offered $100). The blueing is only 50% so it'll be the fourth or fifth test subject for when I start nickeling at my house and I think I have the bath just right. Till then it'll work to satisfy my velocity. I got four others and I only shoot .38 special out of the 19-4 6".

Don't know why I'm still addicted to wanting a .38 super. Maybe one day I'll pay a professional gunsmith to properly modify a 686 or 627 for me. Thanks again all.

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