38 long colt


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dab102999
September 15, 2012, 11:30 PM
Going thru some stuff and orginizing at my dads and noticed in his 38 long colt ammo box (hasnt been shot in A LOT of years...maybe deacades) there is some 38 special and 38 smith and wesson shells. Can all these be fired in a 38 colt? The special is longer and the 38 smith is shorter.

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MICHAEL T
September 16, 2012, 01:59 AM
No matter how hard I tried my father loaded and shot 38spl 148gr wadcutters in his old 38 long Colt revolver . It was his Home defense pistol. I could never get him to stop. He passed away and I have the pistol now One day I tried it with the wadcutters . it was very accurate . Now the pistol is put up and is no longer used .
Can it be done In my case answer was yes. Should it no.

dab102999
September 16, 2012, 04:40 AM
I already thought that and grabbed the 38 special and took it home. But the 38 smith and wesson i wonder about. It is a bit shorter. Kind of like compairing 22 long and 22 short...lol

Old Fuff
September 16, 2012, 11:23 AM
The .38 S&W shouldn't fit inside the chambers, but if they are a bit oversized it might. That said, you probably shouldn't shoot it, but a lot depends on what model Colt you have, and exactly when it was made.

Best rule-of-thumb is: If you're not sure, don't.

waidmann
September 16, 2012, 03:26 PM
The .38 Colt is the Daddy of the .38 S&W Special. The .38 S&W is a true .36 not .357.

If the Colt is an New Army & Navy type (or earlier) then its a .38 Long Colt. If it is an Army Special or Officer's Model it may be either and some were converted perhaps. Colt's annoying practice of simply marking some guns ".38" does not help. An Army Special called Official Police after 1927 is very robust .41 frame and I believe conversion a non-issue, ditto the Officer's Model. The earlier guns are blackpowder era and best left alone.

W.

dab102999
September 16, 2012, 04:25 PM
I will have to look next time i go but i do belive it says police or officer special on it. Couldnt tell ya how old but dad say he always remembers his uncle with it even when he was a child and he was born in 33.

dab102999
September 16, 2012, 07:45 PM
Army special is the issue.

Old Fuff
September 16, 2012, 10:21 PM
Yoy're half way there. Now open the cylinder and look at the frame just under the barrel. The serial number should be stamped there.

If not, look at the bottom of the butt, toward the front.

Jim K
September 17, 2012, 12:04 AM
The Colt New Army and Navy revolvers made after 1903, as well as the military Models 1903 and 1905 were made to accept .38 Special and should do so with no problem as long as the standard (not +P or +P+) .38 Special cartridges are used. In fact, they will accept and fire .357 Magnum, but needless to say using that cartridge is a no-no.

Jim

dab102999
September 17, 2012, 04:55 PM
474933 and below that a c. With a number like that i would suppose a few years into production..my dad also has an officers model 22 long number 15220 with a y below it. Is there a way i can find out years of production.

savit260
September 17, 2012, 05:17 PM
Is there a way i can find out years of production.

www.proofhouse.com

Vern Humphrey
September 17, 2012, 05:32 PM
No matter how hard I tried my father loaded and shot 38spl 148gr wadcutters in his old 38 long Colt revolver . It was his Home defense pistol. I could never get him to stop. He passed away and I have the pistol now One day I tried it with the wadcutters . it was very accurate . Now the pistol is put up and is no longer used .
Can it be done In my case answer was yes. Should it no.
No need to retire the old gun -- just trim back .38 Special brass to .38 Long Colt length and use the same load your dad used.

In fact, if the old gun will chamber those .38 Special wadcutters, keep using them. Wadcutter starting loads are typically around 10-12,000 CUP, which is well below SAAMI maximum.

Old Fuff
September 17, 2012, 05:53 PM
The left side of the barrel: COLT (then in 2 lines) Army/Special (and then) .38

If so, You have an Army Special model, chambered in .38 Special (will also shoot .38 Long Colt) and the serial number dates it as having been made in 1922. While it is safe to shoot some brands of Plus-P ammunition, there are others that I wouldn't recommend, and staying with less powerful standard loads would be wise considering the revolver's age, and the fact that if something broke finding period repair parts and a qualified gunsmith to install them might be difficult. Using used parts from another gun may or may not work, because at the time it was made Colt individually fitted each one.

Your .22 Officers Model was made during the first year of production, which would be 1930.

dab102999
September 17, 2012, 07:27 PM
Yep that is exactly how the 38 is labeled. And thank you for the dates. I already tookthe 38 special ammo and put it thru the wife revolver. And man did some flames come out..loo good thing there was only 5 of those to shoot.

Old Fuff
September 17, 2012, 08:06 PM
I goofed on the .22 Officers Model. It was really made in 1936 (very good year) but I couldn't count so high with my shoes on. :confused:

Be aware that it's a very fine (and valuable) revolver, with both shooters and collectors being interested.

My "home defense" is also loaded with 148 grain wadcutters. At close range they cut a mean hole, and the velocity isn't so high that everybody in the neighborhood is endangered if I miss, which of course is something I never do. :uhoh:

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