Conversion Bullet Question


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LubeckTech
March 4, 2010, 12:08 PM
Eventually I will get a Kirst conversion Kit for my .36 revolver. Can I load .375 bullets into .38 special brass or would I have to use .38 Colt brass?

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Curator
March 4, 2010, 03:00 PM
The case won't matter as a .375 diameter bullet won't chamber after it is seated inside a .38 special or .38 Colt case. The original cap & ball/cartridge conversion cartridges were of the "heeled bullet" design. Sort of like today's .22 rimfire ammo. The bullet was the same diameter as the cartridge case. A short sub-diameter "heel" would fit inside the case mouth. They were known as "outside lubricated" bullets. Soon it was determined that design allowed dirt and grit to embed into the bullets, so bore diameters were reduced so bullets could be seated with lube grooves inside standard cases. Original .36 cap & ball revolvers were .36 across the lands but .375 across the grooves. Chamber diameters were .375 and original "outside lubricated" bullets were .375 for both .38 Colt and .38 S&W as was the outside diameter of those cases. Modern .38 Special groove diameter is.357 and it is loaded with .357-.358 diameter bullets.

rcflint
March 4, 2010, 03:23 PM
With 38 Special grass, I use 148 gr hollow base wadcutters, they are available from Speer, Hornady and Remington. They are 357 diameter but open up to 375 in the bore. SASS wants lead showing, so I don't seat them flush, but with about 1/16 lead above the case mouth, which actually helps you tell whether or not the cartridge is loaded at a glance.

If you load a conical 357 hollowbase bullet, or a heeled 375, you will need to use 38 LC brass to keep within the length of the cylinder.

Nicodemus38
March 5, 2010, 12:09 AM
the official specs for the 38 colt and 38 long colt changed in the 1890s around teh time of the mexican american war. the new standard was a .357 diam bullet inside a case, just a shortened version of what we know as a 38 special.

as a result the cylinder you bought is chambered for the .357 diam bullets and case dimensions. in order to used heeled bulelts of .375 outside diam you would most likely have to have a smith ream the chambers out.

rcflint
March 5, 2010, 01:48 AM
No, a Kirst or an R&D conversion cylinder are through bored, they have no bullet throat, so a heeled bullet will chamber. (unless ordered otherwise) A hollow base bullet will open up in the cylinder and pass through, already opened to the forcing cone and barrel bore.

BHP FAN
March 6, 2010, 07:15 AM
Gad custom has both the cartridges and the heeled bullets nessesary to make your own,at reasonable prices.
info@gadcustomcartridges.com

Hoof Hearted
December 13, 2011, 11:59 AM
I would not recommend the Gad Custom cartridges (as linked above).
I see many people having issues with this ammo. What has been sent to me to trouble shoot is not properly loaded (bullets not properly seated in cases) and they appear to be "tumble lubed" instead of properly sized (looks like they are skipping the sizing step). I am getting measurements as large as .395 across the diameter when the loaded round nominal size should be .380 (-). They will not chamber as loaded.
Contact Bernie at Old West, he will set you up for loading/casting your own (and yes he sometimes sells cast bullets).

www.oldwestbulletmoulds.com

Good luck!
HH

andrewstorm
December 13, 2011, 10:57 PM
dont complain or rediriect your clients untill you have asked gad about the error,he may remedy the situation...........a reasonable man knows, errors dont become mistakes untill you refuse to correct them.......J F K

Hoof Hearted
December 16, 2011, 08:15 PM
dont complain or rediriect your clients untill you have asked gad about the error,he may remedy the situation...........a reasonable man knows, errors dont become mistakes untill you refuse to correct them.......J F K
Bernold at GAD cursed my last client when he asked about problems with the ammo he was sent........

I have been a reloader for close to 40 years and have intimate knowledge about this subject.
I would not have posted this without exhausting all possiblities but thank you for pointing this out.

"It's not the mistakes you make but how you man up to them...." My Father

HH

Hoof Hearted
December 16, 2011, 08:16 PM
Here is an excellent source for heel base 38 Colt bullets:

http://www.alphabravobullets.com/products/shop.php?exp=&cat=4

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