Using 38 Special Ammo in 357 Revolver?


Bud The Traveler
January 27, 2013, 10:35 AM
I have a model 28 S&W 357 Revolver. Are there any detrimental effects to the gun of shooting 38 special ammo in my 357 revolver for purposes of target shooting?



If you enjoyed reading about "Using 38 Special Ammo in 357 Revolver?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 27, 2013, 10:50 AM

less accuracy than the magnum length case.

wouldn't even bring this up, but you said, "target shooting".


January 27, 2013, 10:55 AM
38 will leave "carbon rings" in the cylinder bores that need to be scrubbed. Eventually, they will get bad enough to affect the loading/unloading of 357 rounds. Nothing a good brass brush and hoppes won't fix though.

January 27, 2013, 10:57 AM
A good cleaning after you shoot and you're set.

January 27, 2013, 12:19 PM
I've seen plenty of .38 spl loads that are quite accurate from my .357, I don't think accuracy is really affected much. Even .357 rounds have a pretty long jump to the barrel - it's all about how precisely your cylinder throats were cut.

No permanent damaging effects, just clean and brush the cylinders as soon as possible after shooting .38s. Otherwise they get even harder to clean, and will quickly get to the point where you cannot get .357 rounds to fully seat.

January 27, 2013, 12:38 PM
No, just clean & lube the gun properly after you shoot it....

I don't see much of a difference in accuracy between .38 spl and .357 mag my 4" or 6" S&W revolvers especially ....although you might have to adjust your hold point on a target a little bit ...depending on the range you're shooting at...

January 27, 2013, 01:52 PM
Another NO... I've been shooting .38s out of .357s since the mid-1970s. Only thing I've ever noticed is that they are a lot more comfortable to shoot and less expensive.

January 27, 2013, 02:18 PM
We have a saying in Florida: Shooting 38sp in a 357 gun is like kissing your sister.

January 27, 2013, 02:31 PM
It's perfectly safe, one of the few exceptions to the "shoot what it says on the barrel" rule. You won't get quite the gilt edged accuracy you would with a 38 chambered target revolver, but it can still be very good. Go for it.

January 27, 2013, 02:38 PM
No. You would have to be an exceptional shot to notice any significant difference in accuracy.

January 27, 2013, 02:56 PM
Believe what you want. I own a S&W 28, an N frame 357 and an S&W 14, a K frame 38 Special. The 28 is quite accurate with 38 target loads, but not up to the amazing accuracy of the 14. Now there are other variables involved, but at least part of the difference is due to the chamber jump.

January 27, 2013, 06:42 PM
I shoot mostly 38 wadcutters in my .357s. Been doing that for years. I never had a bit of trouble. Just clean them as normal.

January 27, 2013, 07:02 PM
Shoot whichever you have like everyone else has said. I load both cases but way more 38's because they are much cheaper and can actually find them once fired all the time

January 27, 2013, 07:31 PM
There are places in these here United States where "kissin your sister" is a proposal of marriage.


If you enjoyed reading about "Using 38 Special Ammo in 357 Revolver?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!