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Does .38 special always work in a .357?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Aaryq, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Aaryq

    Aaryq Well-Known Member

    I'm eyeballing some revolvers online. Taurus has a few revolvers in .357 Magnum and their Gaucho line which is in .38S/.357M. If you tried to fire a .38 special in a standard .357 would that be dangerous?
  2. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Well-Known Member

    No problem shooting 38s in .357. The .38s (even +p stuff) are loaded lighter than .357s, and are about 1/10" shorter. The purpose was so that .357s couldn't be loaded into .38s.

    Unless someone knows something I don't know...

  3. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    No problem at all - same case and as has been mentioned ....... just 1/10" shorter.

    But do be aware that over time with mainly .38 spl use, it is possible to build up a ''carbon'' ring inthe chambers which ultimately could prevent full length .357 cases chambering easily.

    Answer? - scrub and clean chambers often enough to keep this controlled.
  4. Wolfpackin

    Wolfpackin Well-Known Member

    I agree with the above posts.
    The only drawback of the .357 models is that they are heavier than the .38 models. If you are planning to use as a carry weapon you may want to consider that.
    Be aware that you cannot use .357 rounds in the .38 models. It only works the other way around.
  5. Geister

    Geister Well-Known Member

    Still, a small frame .357 Magnum can still be easily carried. The power of the .357 over the .38 would be worth the extra size and weight to me.
  6. perpster

    perpster Well-Known Member

    Go for it. Great to have the choice and versatility to fire cheaper .38 or more effective .357. Not dangerous at all (the other way around IS dangerous and that's why the .357 was made too long to fit into a .38 chamber).
  7. Jim March

    Jim March Well-Known Member

    All correct so far.

    One interesting point: just before the 357 was released, a caliber called the "38-44" was common. It was the 38spl loaded WAY hot for "44 sized guns"...more heat on it than any modern 38+P.

    Some idiots inevitably put them in guns too small, old or weak. Blowups were uncommon but did happen sometimes; fast gun wear was a more common problem.

    The 357 was stretched enough that the new even-higher-power 357 couldn't fit in older/weaker 38 guns, but the length difference wasn't enough to hurt 38Spl performance in the 357 guns much. So the 357 guns were meant from the get-go to be compatible with all 38Spl/+P/38-44 ammo - no exceptions.

    There is a tiny accuracy cost. A few very high end revolvers can be had with your choice of 38 or 357 cylinders (or sometimes both) so you can maximize accuracy in the caliber of your choice. Freedom Arms will do this on any 357 gun they sell, offer 38Spl match-grade secondary cylinders as an option. But it's not a safety issue, it's a max-accuracy thing.
  8. perpster

    perpster Well-Known Member

    Just curious: why only Taurus?
  9. Jim March

    Jim March Well-Known Member

    Ummm...yeah, that's a good question actually.

    The Gaucho has gotten a LOT of trouble reports here and on the SASSNET forums. I have the more-or-less-equivelent Ruger New Vaquero in 357 (same size frame, also has a transfer bar safety) and those are solid as a rock...better quality than most previous Ruger SAs and worlds ahead of Taurus.

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