Snap Caps: .38 or .357?


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KJS
August 18, 2011, 03:16 AM
While my GP100 manual says dry firing is fine, I'd prefer to be on the safe side.

Is there any reason to get .357 Mag snap caps when I could instead buy .38 Special snap caps?

Seems like .38 snap caps would have borader use, allowing one to practice with a .38 Special revolver if that need should ever come up.

Am I missing something here or is there no logical reason for .357 snap caps to exist when .38 already covers it and then some?

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Odd Job
August 18, 2011, 03:48 AM
I can take a guess: the .357 snap caps might be better for some function tests involving auto-loaders.

KJS
August 18, 2011, 04:41 AM
I can take a guess: the .357 snap caps might be better for some function tests involving auto-loaders.

I hadn't thought of the few rare auto-loaders that fire .357 Mag. The Coonan(spelling?) 1911-style pistol & the Baby Eagle in .357 Mag are the only two models that come to mind.

hq
August 18, 2011, 05:56 AM
& the Baby Eagle in .357 Mag

Not trying to split hairs, but Desert Eagle, not Baby Eagle aka. Jericho. DE Mark I was originally available in .357 only, other calibers followed later. Another more or less loosely 1911-based .357 autoloader was (is?) LAR Grizzly.

As far as snap caps are concerned, cycling them through semi auto or lever action is a quick way to scratch and dent them, anodized aluminum is fairly soft and everything from magazine lips and feed ramp to ejector leaves a mark on contact. I prefer handloaded "empty" (no primer/powder) ammo for that. I've more or less destroyed a number snap caps cycling them through my DE and 1894C.

DWFan
August 18, 2011, 06:09 AM
.38 Special snap caps will work fine in your GP-100.

oldfool
August 18, 2011, 07:46 AM
agree, no reason to not use 38 snap caps in a revolver (but forget about the plastic ones)
use the 357 snap caps in others, but don't expect 'em to hold up well
repeated loading and unloading with the real thing is tough on live cartridges in autoloaders and lever actions, best to not recycle 'em too often

Friendly, Don't Fire!
August 18, 2011, 08:23 AM
38 should be fine if you are using them in a revolver.

Look into the Tipton Snap Caps. They have a spring-loaded metal "primer."

JFrame
August 18, 2011, 04:16 PM
I bought .357 snap caps strictly for identical form factor in doing reloading drills with a speed-loader...But for dry-firing, the .38's are perfectly fine.


.

Tallinar
August 18, 2011, 04:21 PM
.38 special snap caps if the gun headspaces at the rim (ie, revolvers).

I'm not familiar enough with the Desert Eagle to know if the case headspaces at the rim or the mouth. If it headspaces at the rim, then .38 special should be fine there as well - provided you chamber a single round and are not trying to feed them from the magazine.

I'm no expert, but that sounds the most logical to me...

napjerk
August 18, 2011, 05:12 PM
I used .38 snap caps in my .357 snubby and one of the aluminum rims completely busted off, lodging the snap cap in the cylinder, had to knock it out with a dowel. I don't know if this would have happened with the .357 variant. I know they headspace on the rim, so who knows.

SAA
August 19, 2011, 12:04 AM
I used .38 snap caps in my .357 snubby and one of the aluminum rims completely busted off, lodging the snap cap in the cylinder,...

That's interesting. I have the aluminum snap caps for my .45 Colt and noticed how badly peened and flattened the rims had become in short order. So much so that the firing pin barely touches them any more and they no longer really soften the blow of the hammer, so what's the use?

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c315/lookere/snap%20caps/DSCF4707-croppedresized500W.jpg

I ended up making some snap caps out of plain brass shells with nylon rod inserted in the primer pockets. They've lasted quite a while now, and when the time comes to replace the nylon rod it will be a piece of cake and very inexpensive to boot.

ArchAngelCD
August 19, 2011, 02:12 AM
IMO there's no difference when dry firing between the .38 and .357 snap caps. Actually, in a lot of cases they are marked 38 or 357 but are actually the same caps. (but not always)

Tallinar
August 19, 2011, 09:33 AM
When it's all said and done about snap caps, I'd have no problem dry-firing a Ruger. Transfer bar mechanism is about as dry-fire-friendly as you can get.

FWIW, I've dry-fired my .45 New Vaquero thousands of times with no ill effect.

Dry-fire that GP100 with confidence, IMO.

Old Shooter
August 19, 2011, 11:33 AM
I think you answered your own question very well.

Get the 38 Special caps for the flexability to use them in both chambers, 38 and 357.

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