just a question can 357mag be safely fired in a 38 special


fred spencer
June 2, 2004, 11:37 PM
please reply

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June 2, 2004, 11:40 PM
It can be fired, but probably only once. You're asking for a handgrenade. I'm not even sure if the longer .357 Magnum will even fit in the .38 Special cylinder. Definatly NOT something I'd wanna try. You can, however, fire .38 out of a .357.

June 2, 2004, 11:41 PM

A 38 Special can be fired out of a 357 Magnum, but NOT the other way around.

June 3, 2004, 12:09 AM
The .357 cartridge is about .10 inch longer than the .38 for just that reason; to keep the much hotter .357 from going into a .38 special gun.

That said, the original Ruger SP101 was a .38 Special, but in typical Ruger fashion, was overengineered for the .38. Some enterprising gunsmiths tried reaming the chambers out to take .357s, and found that the revolver shot them just fine. Due to the cylinder length, there was a limitation on the overall length of the .357 cartridge used. Soon afterward, the SP101 was modified with a longer cylinder and stamped ".357". The rest is history.

June 3, 2004, 12:29 AM
Also a big Caveat: The .357 Magnum can be chambered in the M1889 Colt New Service .38 Long Colt caliber. DO NOT fire a .357 in an M1889! There is no 'step' inside the cylinder, it is bored straight all the way through!:eek: Most .38 Spls. have a shoulder or 'step' that prevents the .357 Mag. from chambering, the M1889 does not. Firing a .357 in a M1889 would result in a BIG KB!:what:

June 3, 2004, 01:06 AM
Most all Colts chambered in 38 Long Colt will accept a 357 Magnum cartridge. They are BLACK POWDER revolvers. A 357 Magnum fired in one will cause a frag KB!! NO. There are also WWII M&Ps in 38 S&W that have been bored straight through, a 357 Magnum will chamber in them also. NO. It will bite you.

June 3, 2004, 01:33 AM
Fred, welcome to THR! :D

The 38 special pistol is not designed for the .357 magnum.

The 38 has a case length of 1.155 inches long and the .357 has a case length of 1.29 inches. But the .357 can shoot a higher pressure than the .38.

June 3, 2004, 02:04 AM
.357 in .38 bad! Don't even think of doing it! Gun can go boom and blow up!
Bad for gun and worse for shooter!

June 3, 2004, 12:55 PM
I agree it is a very bad idea. It is amazing how much more pressure there is in a .357 then a .38 round. Sometimes just for kicks I will load up a cylnder with .38 and .357 ammo. Boy do you notice the difference then!!!

June 3, 2004, 01:00 PM
Sturmruger, that's also good anti-flinch practice.

June 3, 2004, 03:10 PM

June 3, 2004, 03:42 PM
You can fire a .357 load in a .38 special case.


Make sure you call an ambulance first, and have a good relationship with a trauma surgeon.

Guy B. Meredith
June 3, 2004, 11:55 PM
As shep854 said, the .357 magnum was intentionally designed not to fit into a .38 spl revolver. That is the way the manufacturers make them and anything different indicates damage or tampering.

Travis McGee
June 4, 2004, 01:00 AM
Try it and let us know how it goes.

(Just kidding. DON'T.)

June 4, 2004, 03:58 AM
Matt, you have a sick and twisted mind. I like that in a person!:D Josey, thanks, I had forgot about WWII M&P's. They were the ones sent to the British, IIRC. The 37 of them in my Arms Room were all .38 Spl. , with shouldered cylinders. sturmruger, I used to do that sometimes, particularly to wisea**es that would tell me a .357 snub is easy to shoot accurately. Two rounds of .38 wadcutters to lull them, then one of my 125 gr. JHP handloads loaded with a compressed load! They'd usually do this:what: , and I'd tell them that the last one was my normal defense load, and it is what I practiced with. Made my Mozambiques seem like more of an accomplishment to them then.:evil:

June 4, 2004, 06:59 AM
The reason it's dangerous is that the pressures of the 357 are about TWICE as high as the 38 !!

June 4, 2004, 08:17 AM
I have a Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt so can I fire a .454 Casull round cause it will fit? :what:

Just kidding :neener:

Zach S
June 4, 2004, 08:28 AM
If you decide to go against the advice in this thread, and try it, I'm going to suggest that you do so using your weak hand so you dont have to re-learn how to do, um, almost eveything you can do one-handed...

Not to mention the things that take two hands. Ever tried to tie your shoes one-handed? Learning how to is the hard part. I sure was happy when that cast came off...

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