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.38 S&W in a .357

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by karlsgunbunker, Sep 19, 2011.

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  1. karlsgunbunker

    karlsgunbunker Member

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    I recently purchased 2k of mixed .38 spl.
    It was a real mixed bag of mostly .38spl in Many Flavors, a few .357 mag and quite a few .38 S&W.

    Can I safely shoot .38 S&W from a .357 Mag Pistol?

    I also got some .38 SH Colt and .38 LG Colt, same question can I safely shoot this in a .357 mag pistol?
     
  2. BCCL

    BCCL Member

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    .38 S&W should be to fat to fit in a .357 magnum cylinder.

    Pretty sure .38 Long Colt can be, but the .38 Short Colt used a heeled bullet like a .22 rimfire and it actually a little wider than .38 Long Colt, so it may not fit.
     
  3. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    They are all safe to fire in a .357 (assuming they are safe to fire at all) but the .38 S&W's probably won't fit. Maybe you can separate out the .38 S&W's and resell them to someone who wants them or wants the brass?
     
  4. PRM

    PRM Member

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    I shoot a lot of 38 S&Ws in older guns chambered for that round. Never fired them in a .357 and I agree that they may be too large to fit according to specs. However, the new mfg Remington 38 S&Ws will fit in my Model 60-9.

    Its an older low powered round and won't hurt it if they chamber.
     
  5. waidmann

    waidmann Member

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    Most recently loaded .38 S&W seem to use .357 cast bullets and a quick survey at the LGS shows more often not will chamber in a .38 Spl./.357 mag.

    If they fit, shoot em up, they are loaded to be safe in a blackpowder era S&W top-break revolver. Just make sure they are coming out the barrel.
     
  6. DickM

    DickM Member

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    I have some reasonably recent Remington .38 S&W and just miked a few of them - the bullets were all in the .357" to .358" range, not the .360" specified for the cartridge. I've been loading regular .38 caliber cast bullets for my S&W Terrier for years, but always assumed the factory loads would be .360.
     
  7. mmitch

    mmitch Member

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    I'm big on shooting ammo made specifically for a particular caliber gun.
    What gun are you willing to risk by shooting wrong caliber/unknown provenance ammo?
    I can't afford a "bargain".

    Mike
     
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I know 38 S&W ammo costs more than .38 Special ammo and probably more than .357 Magnum ammo. I'm betting someone who needs 38 S&W would really appreciate it as long as they are factory ammo and not reloads from an unknown source.
     
  9. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    Priv has .38S&W for $20 for a box of 50. Matech is $25 for 50rds. Shot it in the correct .38S&W revolver or sell it.
     
  10. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I've never bought bulk used brass that didn't have at least a handful of calibers other than what I actually bought. It just happens when trying to sort fast. Kind of fun seeing what else is in there.

    In fairness to brass sellers, I've also found that there is always at least the specified number of cases in the caliber I paid for in every batch, usually around 2-3% more.

    No reason to risk shooting a caliber that's not specified for use in a gun, any gun. And I agree with ArchAngel; must be buyers for your .38 S&W.
     
  11. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    So. Just get a 38 S&W pistol to shoot it out of.

    Problem solved.
     
  12. PRM

    PRM Member

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    I would not shoot any reloads without knowing who loaded them and the specs used.

    The original 38 S&W was a black powder cartridge. Modern factory loads are loaded light because so many people are shooting them in vintage guns. Even so, you should not use them in a black powder era gun. Current 38 S&W factory loads are well below the 38 Special. If they fit a modern gun and you want to use them ~ why not?



    Remington 38 S&W

    Technical Information
    Caliber: 38 S&W
    Bullet Weight: 146 Grain
    Bullet Style: Lead Round Nose
    Case Type: Brass

    Ballistics Information:
    Muzzle Velocity: 685 fps
    Muzzle Energy: 150 ft. lbs.
     
  13. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    btw, the original .38 Special load was black powder, too. My oldest .38 SPC was built in 1930. Both have been around for a long time.
     
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