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.357mag cases in .38special

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by AgentAdam, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. AgentAdam

    AgentAdam Well-Known Member

    I have read about people using .357 shells in a .38 for shotshells. Would it be possible to load a 148g wad cutter in a .357 case level with the case mouth ,or just sticking out a couple tumble lube grooves, to shoot in a .38 revolver?

    I would only consider this in a SHTF pinch if all i could use was my grandmas pea shooter .38special :neener: with only some manly .357 cases lying around.

    With a good quality S&W the only problem i could see would be reduced case capacity from too long of a WC, or the cylinders tapering at the end and not taking a .357case with the WC crammed flush.

    I would NEVER consider using anything over .38 powder loads and would most likely ONLY use mouse fart cowboy .38 loads.
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    You would have to size the first part of the brass down to fit the throats. Then, if the charge created enough pressure, the case would back out and tie up the cylinder. Better to load them in .38 cases. You can buy the Speer capsules, make them with cut out cardboard wads and plastic keepers, or some folks just use gas checks.

    Nope, won't fit the throats.
  3. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Yes they would, Walkalong...Just administer a hammer to the cases until they don't stick out of the cylinder and it will close...:neener:

    Guess I shouldn't say that. Someone will try to do it...:D
  4. AgentAdam

    AgentAdam Well-Known Member

    Guess i would just have to trim them down to .38 specs.

    What is a "plastic keeper" for shot shells and would it be used in conjunction with or in replacement of a shot wad? Wouldn't you have to use a pretty thick wad to keep the shot cup from breaking in the bore,and wouldn't the shot shell cup break in the barrel anyways because i cant picture them breaking in mid air. If the shot cups break in the barrel wouldn't that defeat the whole purpose of keeping the shot away from the rifling?

    Would you use a regular crimp to hold the shot cup in like a slight roll crimp for .357/.38 and a slight taper for 9mm?
  5. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    NO , the case is to long for the chamber in the cylinder.
  6. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

    The case wall thickness may be to large for this to work.
  7. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    Anyone ever heard of .38 Special cases? They are cheap and easy to find...
  8. 243winxb

    243winxb Well-Known Member

  9. GP100man

    GP100man Well-Known Member

    the capsules are thick enuff to stay intact down the barrel& the cup that plugs the capsule has a surge rite at the point of exiting so
    the capsule breaks upon exiting the barrel.
    whats wrong with the shot touching the barrel??
    it`s just lead or maybe bismuth.
    i load mine with cardboard wads.

    as far as the case length ? ? goes thats why the 357 is longer than the 38spl.

  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I used to cut round .38 caliber plastic discs ("keepers") using a sharpened case mouth to set over the shot in the case. I would roll crimp over it to hold the shot/powder in the case. This is where some folks use gas checks.

    I would cut a couple of cardboard "wads" (back of a note pad etc) to put over the powder, then pour in the shot, then the plastic "keeper" then a roll crimp over the plastic disc. Worked great.

    Of course, so do the Speer capsules, but they cost almost as much as a bullet! I was cheap, nah, frugal, so I made shotshells like I described above, but finally broke down and bought some capsules to try as well.
  11. AgentAdam

    AgentAdam Well-Known Member

    Are you supposed to use a wad before the shot capsule and if so should it be cardboard,cork,or fiber?
  12. evan price

    evan price Well-Known Member

    I know a guy so frugal he takes his .357 cases that have a mouth that's getting frazzled, cuts them down to .38 special and keeps on using them.
  13. Remo-99

    Remo-99 Well-Known Member

    I got a whole stack of 38spl cases and no .38 to shoot them in, I used to use them in my 357mag, but got sick of cleaning the carbon ridge out when I wanna shoot 357mag loads.
    Folks keep giving 357mag cases, so I'm not short of those.
    So if your in need of 38spl cases and willing to email me a shipping address, I'll send some your way. :)
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    If you want .38 Spl. shotshell's, use the CCI/Speer shot capsules in post #8.

    There is no better way to do it.

    No point in leading up your barrel with naked shot if you don't have to.

  15. BIGTAZ351

    BIGTAZ351 Member

    I have trimmed .357 max. to fit my 357 magnum for shot shells, I can reload my custom shells many times, you speand $10 for 50 capsules you can use once! I use 4.5 gr of 231 with about 90 gr of 7 1/2 shot in my .357 mag with a cardboard wad and a gas check as a topper. works very well in my 681 s&w
  16. moxie

    moxie Well-Known Member

    To say I am nonplussed would be an understatement. This is fascinating.
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Stop using big words like nonplussed.

    I don't know what plussed means, let alone nonplussed! :confused:

    Now, I gotta go find a dictionary and find out if I am plussed or not before I can carry on. :D

  18. moxie

    moxie Well-Known Member

    Lack of a dictionary isn't what's wrong with this thread.
  19. 1858rem

    1858rem Well-Known Member

    i got some 357's from a friend but had no .357 so i just trimmed em on down to .38 spec an use em that way:neener:..... i am wondering about the shot loading, have you any idea what kind of pressure you would get with no airspace between powder and wad, i am new to smokeless, coming from bp where you always seat on powder or BOOOM, am still getting over leaving so much empty room in my 45 colt cases, HUGE they are:what:..... so is it within reasonable pressure limits (14000psi) loading up shotshells with a most probably compressed load of powder? ill be trying this with titegroup, relatively fast powder... so whatcha think? i dont mind cleaning the leading outta my barrel..... im used to taking half an hour at least to clean up the bp!
  20. 1858rem

    1858rem Well-Known Member

    afterthought...... anyone try tumbling shot in some lee liquid alox for use w/out capsules?

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