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38 special revolver

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Kleiner riese, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    So just because I choose to carry a revolver for SD I'm a simpleton? I think not. Not much bothers me but what you posted is a little condescending.

    Firing a short barrel revolver with a DA trigger well is much more challenging that most semi-auto pistols. It requires a lot of practice.
     
  2. murf

    murf Member

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    anyone can load anything to any velocity. I left a reference about the 38/44 which tells the loading used back then, not today.

    murf
     
  3. murf

    murf Member

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    this whole paragraph is not true and will need a few good references before I can change my mind.

    i'm not going to hijack the thread anymore. you have your opinions on this and I have my recollections on what I have read (my opinions).

    luck,

    murf
     
  4. murf

    murf Member

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    not on a chaotic system like internal ballistics, imo. i'll stick to reality.

    i'm not going to hijack this thread anymore, mcb. i have my opinion and you have yours on this.

    luck,

    murf
     
  5. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I agree ArchangleCD. The manual of arms for a double action revolver might be simpler to understand compared to the manual of arms for a modern semi-auto but that does not mean its as easy to do in practice, effectively and efficiently. Take a novice shooter with minimal safe gun handling skills and if they spend X-hours of training on both the Revolver and the Semi-auto they will be more effective and capable with the semi-auto than the revolver after equal time invested in training/practice. Everything with the revolver takes more time to learn and a bit more effort and focus to do equally well despite the slightly simpler manual of arms.

    I have spent too many years shooting USPSA and IDPA with both revolvers and semi-autos to believe the revolver is equally as effective despite how much fun I have shooting practical pistol sports with the noble round gun.
     
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  6. John Joseph

    John Joseph Member

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    I happen to think the hammerless snub excels in the pocket pistol role. What other can you fire reliably from inside a pocket? Semiautos and hammer pocket pistols can get fouled easily with the first shot.
    The 158 gr LSWC, standard or +p offer very acceptable penetration from a snub, is accurate, possesses a respectable meplat and has pretty mild recoil.

    It is what it is---it isn't in fashion and likely will never return to fashion unless all semiautos are tagged as being assault guns and legislated out of existence.
    Getting good with any snub takes discipline, which is a useful take away that will also serve you well in other endeavors
     
  7. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    I think I understood what the intended message was here, and as a wheelgun fan I wasn't offended in the least.

    If a non-gun person (like my daughter) asked me for a recommendation, I might make the same suggestion for the same reasons.
     
  8. mcb

    mcb Member

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    RHOdBSTl.jpg

    Too soon? Too much? :rofl:
     
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  9. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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  10. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    Hmm. I think you should read the post more carefully. Nothing I wrote says anything about what you inferred. And I stand by it. A revolver is easier to understand and operate at the most straightforward mechanical level. Beyond that simple statement I did not extend. I shoot both by the way so my application to Mensa must have been lost in the mail.
     
  11. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    It's true they crushed copper, but I Keith did not do that himself. At one point he sent some cartridges out to have them tested. I could not find the figure I read referenced before which is why I wrote "about..." I did find where Gun Digest summarized the results without citing a source:

    "Using a .38/44 Heavy Duty, Keith found he could simply not induce the big gun to come unglued, even with his home-brewed .38 Special loads that generated a ferocious 42,000 CUP."

    We can also re-create Keith's loads based on his load data, and then test them with modern (psi) equipment.

    According to Gun Digest, "Actually, he and Sharpe both pushed the Special to its redline separately with heavier bullets and bigger charges. And the time was ripe to take the cartridge to its ballistic limits. Smith & Wesson released its N-frame .38/44 revolvers in the early 1930s, engineered to weather the high pressure of hot .38 loads. For a short time there was a .38/44 cartridge, simply a .38 Special loaded to produce around 1,150 fps muzzle velocity. Sharpe and Keith took advantage of the beefed-up revolvers, cooking up rounds approaching 1,400 fps at the muzzle with a 158-grain bullet."

    I'm not disputing that factory .38/44's were just as you say they were. But I'm backing up my assertion that the .38 Special case is capable of quite a bit more and very close to the .357 Magnum. What I'll get to in my next reply is how the extra case capacity of the .357's longer case is particularly useful with the bulky "magnum" slow powders (like H110 etc.) and that those powders offer minimal advantage in short barrels (3" or less).
     
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  12. murf

    murf Member

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    thought you might find this interesting as I think you are the engineering/chemist type: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc2.ark:/13960/t5h990t7g&view=1up&seq=8

    I also think the black stuff left by the firearms at the shooting range may be the black stuff we all clean out of our guns once in a while.

    luck,

    murf

    p.s. you can download the book and read it at you leisure as there is a lot to digest
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  13. murf

    murf Member

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    is this helpful: http://sixguns.com/tests/tt38spcl.htm

    and this: http://www.elmerkeithshoot.org/AmericanRifleman/Keith357.pdf

    luck,

    murf
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  14. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I have four slide rules, two passed down from my father and two I have bought since. To the joy of my physics professor and jeering from my classmates I did second semester of physics in college with the pictured Pickett, despite the HP-48SX I also had in my bag.

    So if the 6-shot double action 38 Special is slide rule would that make the 8-shot moonclip fed revolver a Curta??? :D

    A revolver might be easier to understand but that does not make it easier to be effective. Take a novice shooter with basic gun handling and marksman skills to an IDPA match and the contrast between running a revolver vs a semi-auto become night and day. Do it at a USPSA match and the contrast between the two is turned up to eleven. When you put the time constraint, moving, difficult shooting positions and moving targets into the mix the short coming of the revolver rear their ugly head in many ways.

    Thanks for the book link. I love the old technical papers and books. I found a larger collection of internal and external ballistic papers from the late 1800's into the 19-oughts on Google books and that has been a great read. I found a particular paper where the authors were still arguing if the drag function should have a linear and/or cubic velocity term in it to go with the now commonly accepted squared velocity term we use to model drag. Some of the early methods for measuring pressure and velocity were pretty interesting too.

    As for the powder clean up it was clearly partially burnt powder as the grain shapes (flakes, stick and ball) were still identifiable in with the other stuff that was just soot and debris. There was a far amount of 380 ACP shot over that time period thus making that clean up especially ladened with partial burnt powder. This partial burnt powder residue from handguns is a real problem for indoor ranges. Improper clean up, especially if this partial burnt powder ends up into some aspect of the ventilation system, has burnt down more than one indoor range down when an ignition source comes along.
     
  15. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    For me, the best quantifiable evidence of power burn percentage for a given load in a given barrel length are the calculated results from Quickload. Others have already pointed out subjective evidence such as the fireball from the combustion (burning) of the powder that is blown out of the barrel after the bullet leaves. The fireball is strong evidence that combustion had not completed or ceased while the bullet was still in the barrel.

    Some powders, notably IMR4427, produce powder skeletons that are grain-shaped but will not combust at atmospheric pressure. Other powders do not noticeably produce these. But my earlier point is not about powder skeletons or unburnt powder. It is about combustion time. A book max load of slow magnum powders (IMR4227, H110, W296, Lil'Gun etc.) will only have completed about 50% combustion by the time a 158-grain bullet's base exits the muzzle of a 1.875" barrel (S&W Model 340). Because of this, the muzzle velocity produced by a book max load of H110 in such a short barrel is only about 2.5% faster than a book max load of HS-6, whereas in a 10" barrel, the H110 load can be as much as 20% faster than the HS-6 load.

    A book max load of the magnum powders often uses more than the capacity of the .357 case and is a compressed load. For these powders, the smaller .38 Special case substantially diminishes the potential velocity. For the less bulky powders like Longshot or HS-6, a book max load only fills about 65% of the case. These loads can fit into a .38 Special case, reduced as necessary so as not to exceed maximum peak pressure with the slightly more deeply seated bullet, and will deliver practically the same performance as they would in a .357 case.
     
  16. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    They do make rimmed .40's, it's called the .38-40. It's actually 40 caliber, not 38, shoots 180g bullets, and its ballistics are similar to a .40 S&W. Several new guns are still chambered in it. A modern DA revolver could certainly handle it loaded to 10mm pressures.
     
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  17. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    Oh, I agree - an autoloader is clearly a better firearm in practice. But a revolver is loaded or not, and that is it. For a non-mechanical person, having to think about whether there is a magazine loaded, and inserted, and whether a round is chambered, and whether the safety is on (if there is one), can be a lot and is probably too much for some to think about under pressure. A revolver is like a computer mouse: point and click. Yes, it might not be as accurate for most, given the double-action trigger, but will go bang, and that is probably what matters for most people.

    My dream is to get one of the Model 1 Curtas, but, since I got kids headed off to college soon, it will have to wait. I am an analog math nerd, and have a nice analog theodolite and a sextant that I threaten the kids with regularly. My best slide rule is a Hughes-Owens Log-Log, but I also have a Concise circular trig slide rule that is pretty cool.

    The analog instinct has also driven be to black powder revolver shooting, with the goal of producing each element: slug, powder, and cap (the scariest part).
     
  18. Ratshooter

    Ratshooter Member

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    I am well aware of the 38WCF round. And yes they did make rifle only loads at one time. And I am sure a few found their way into some of the old iron frame Colts from the 1800s and may have wrecked the gun. I really don't think anyone is going to make a 38/40 gun these days and then sell rounds loaded to 10mm pressures that may find their way in to the cylinders or chamber of some old Winchester or Colt.

    And 38/40 brass is thin. It was reported the old hot rifle only loads pretty much wrecked the brass the first firing. Or the second loading for sure. So no loading to 10mm pressures with that brass.
     
  19. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

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    If I'm not mistaken Ruger made a run of convertible Blackhawks in .38-40/10mm a couple of decades ago.
     
  20. murf

    murf Member

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    mcb, I have read about using a third derivative of velocity for variable acceleration scenarios. I didn't know the ballisticians were doing that.

    I didn't know about the range burnings caused by unburned powder. I know there is no such thing as "complete", so I will have to change my thinking here. thanks for the "heads up".

    murf

    just to add: I am not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination. the extent of my formal science education is high school physics, chemistry and calculus and college statistics. although, I do read a lot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  21. murf

    murf Member

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  22. Paul7

    Paul7 Member

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    Much like elk now need a .338 mag. to die. :)
     
  23. whatnickname

    whatnickname Member

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    Roger that! I concur completely. If all I had was a 38 Special when the stuff hit the fan I wouldn’t go running around feeling sorry for myself. Based on what I’ve read, and heard from police officers, where civilians are concerned the exchange is going to be at bad breath distances and will be over in a matter of seconds. From 380 on up to the heavier stuff, assuming modern high performance ammunition, shot placement has much more to do with it than caliber. Practice, practice, practice!
     
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  24. Kleiner riese

    Kleiner riese Member

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    Thanks. I love my 1911 but dislike flying brass I have to pick up. The more I shoot 38 special and 357 the more I like them. With practice, I have become more accurate with them than a 45.ACP. ( With reloads Ive put holes next to holes at 7 yards with snubnose revolvers.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
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  25. Kleiner riese

    Kleiner riese Member

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    my old 1911
    Thanks
     
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