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.357 Magnum Chambering compatability

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Shopping A Round, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Shopping A Round

    Shopping A Round Well-Known Member

    Can a revolver chamered in .357 Magnum safely fire .38 Special?

    If so, can it also safely be used with .38 S&W?

    Any other compatabilities?
  2. Yarddog

    Yarddog Well-Known Member

    38 S&W is a different round than 38 spl ; )
  3. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

    You cannot (or ought not) shoot .38S&W in a .357mag or .38spl gun. As Yarddog indicated, it's a different cartridge altogether.

    In addition to .38spl, .38 Long Colt and .38 Short Colt can be used in a .357mag gun. They can be used in a .38spl gun as well.
  4. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    The .38 S&W has a larger nominal OD case diameter (.3855") than the .38 spl/.357 mag (.3790") so it will not chamber in typical .38/.357 revolvers.

    The .38 Colt Special is compatible and was the same as the .38 S&W Special, not to be confused with the .38 Colt NP (New Police) which is the same as the .38 S&W. Colt wouldn't put S&W's name on their guns so they renamed popular cartridges developed by S&W. The manufacturers names have long since been dropped from common usage for the ".38 special" and the cartridge is now normally known as the ".38 Special" only.
  5. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    The simple answer is...Yes. .38 Special ammunition can be fired in any .357 Magnum revolver.

    The .357 Magnum cartridge is no more than a stretched .38 Special. Think of it the same as firing a 2 and 3/4 inch shotshell in a 3-inch chamber.

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