9mm in a 38?


crooked stripe
October 11, 2012, 02:45 PM
Would it be safe to load 125 gr lrn listed as 9mm in a 38 special? Is one thousands that critical? Im sure there is a reason but the searching I have been doing isn't coming up with an answer. I am sure someone here knows the answer.

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October 11, 2012, 02:52 PM
You can. Nothing unsafe about it.

But you may have case neck tension problems unless you use a 9mm expander.

And a worst case would be oversize cylinder throats in your revolver with the under-size 9mm bullets, and a bad case of bore leading.


October 11, 2012, 04:06 PM
Getting a crimp on the bullet could be a problem. Does your set of dies have a taper crimp, most 38 Special dies are made to roll crimp into a crimp groove, where as the 9mm bullet won't have a crimp groove. Will the dies taper down the extra .002? You'd be in for a pain if the bullet jumped your crimp and locked up your cylinder.

MBC lead bullets are cheap, I'd just order the correct ones, but I don't doubt others have done it.

crooked stripe
October 11, 2012, 04:12 PM
So the leading would be caused by the bullet slop as it travels down the barrel? What about Copper coated or FMJ bullets? Accuracy must fall fast as it would not get the propper spin. The bullet manufactures must work in tenthousands. I have no means of measuring that. Thank you for the reply. rj

Steve C
October 11, 2012, 04:16 PM
Tried it, accuracy is lousy.

October 11, 2012, 04:39 PM
It will work only if you use LOTS OF LUBE on the bullets.

That way, you can blame the atrocious accuracy on your inability to see the target after the first shot, due to the colossal smoke cloud generated by shooting lead bullets that permit excess blow-by in the bore.

crooked stripe
October 11, 2012, 04:40 PM
I wasn't thinking about crimp grove. I bought a couple thousand of 125 CCRN from Rainier in 38 spec. early last year and I haven't been crimping in a grove so when I spilled my 9mm bullets and they looked the same I started thinking. I will just keep loading the correct bullets for the correct caliber. My 38 dies came with a roll crimp die and the 9mm a taper crimp die. Just wandering if it was possible and would cause a problem. Thanks again, rj

October 11, 2012, 04:46 PM
Actually, I've had decent luck burning up a surplus of MBC SmallBall bullets in a couple different 38 Specials. Leading has been no worse than any other load (quite low), and accuracy is better than expected - good enough for range work, anyway. Neck tension was/is borderline but never problematic. I used a heavy crimp, just in case, and have had no issues so far with setback or jump.

They're loaded warmish, but not hot, and I expect that the soft lead and reasonable pressures are giving me decent obduration.

October 11, 2012, 06:34 PM
Your not going to get a lot of neck tension when you load 9mm bullets in .38 cases using .38 dies. You can expand with a 9mm expander and that will help. I use to do some experimenting with the Remington 124 gr. JHP in 9mm. This was strictly for two 3" barreled .357 Magnums. I got the best results by trimming .357 brass down to .38 length. I can't recommend you do that due to cartridge identification issues. I actually got pretty good accuracy with the 9mm bullet but I resized with a .357 sizing die followed by sizing just the neck area with a 9mm sizing die followed by expanding with a 9mm expander die. It presents more chore than its worth since I also loaded my "Short Magnums" with .357" Remington 125 gr. SJHPs.

Magnum Shooter
October 11, 2012, 08:11 PM
I cast my own 124gTC and size them to .357. I get good to exceptional performance out of my magnums. I haven’t tried them in a special but don’t think they would give me much trouble.

Magnum Mike
October 11, 2012, 08:45 PM
I would keep 9mm bullets in 9mm cases, and .38/357 bullets with their properly loaded .38 Special or .357 Magnum rounds.

October 12, 2012, 10:12 AM
I shot quite a few 9mm bullets (lead, plated & jacketed) in .357's a few years back when bullets were hard to find.
I seat them so the nose just enters the case & give them a light roll crimp on the ogive.
No problems and respectable accuracy in my .357 revo. The lead ones did better after a bath in liquid alox.

crooked stripe
October 12, 2012, 06:02 PM
Good to know, I would not go out of my way to buy 9mm bullets for the 38 but good to know it is possible without hurting anything.

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