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Can you trim down .38 Special cases to work in a 9mm revolver?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by FIVETWOSEVEN, Feb 27, 2011.

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  1. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    A thought that came to mind even though I don't own a 9mm revolver, could you trim .38 special to the length of 9mm luger so you can shoot a 9mm revolver without the clips?
     
  2. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Right off the bat I am going to have to say that headspacing would have to be way out of whack. And no, I dont think so. I have been wrong before though.
     
  3. bergmen

    bergmen Member.

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    A 9mm bullet (.355 diameter) will run down the bore of a .38 Special (.357 diameter) but the opposite would be dangerous.

    The 9mm bullet is too small to be able to be crimped into a .38 Special case so that is out too.

    Dan
     
  4. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    Try it and see. We haven't done it. Let us know your results.
     
  5. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    38 speial is a straight wall case 9mm is tapered you would buldge cases and potentially blow them out headspacing would prolly be a probblem too.
     
  6. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    Hhmmmm!!!

    as ya cut the case down the walls get thicker , if you have enuff chamber space after a bullet is seated & room enuff for the brass to release the bullet , 1 of those try & see things !!

    First thing to check is the 38special rim as thick as the 9mm & clip ???
     
  7. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    Isn't there a case like the .38 auto that is rimmed or semi rimmed that works in 9mm revolvers?
     
  8. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    What's 0.013" base dimension among eyeballs?

    38special.jpg 9mm.jpg
     
  9. HelterSkelter

    HelterSkelter Member

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    if the case fits and you can seat a 9 mm bullet properly in it, it should work.
     
  10. Rxster

    Rxster Member

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    38 spl +p = 20,000 psi
    9mm = 39,000 +
    Just say no, probably not a good idea.
     
  11. Bexar

    Bexar Member

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    I don't know how they did it but I've seen a clip of them. After WW2 when liberated 9mm guns were coming back and ammo was in short supply 38 special cases were being machined down to be fired in the bringback 9mm pistols. I asked the WW2 vet if he'd ever shot any of them and he said he had but didn't want to use all his ammo up. Almost 60 years in the same clip in his dresser drawer. I'll check next time I see him if he still has them. I promptly went out and bought him a box of 9mm FMJ to replace the 38 special Frankenstiens.:p

    Bexar
     
  12. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    UM the pressure issue is THE GUN
    Not the case
     
  13. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I'm guessing if it could be safely done someone would have already done so over the past 100 or so years.
     
  14. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    Not true...I use the same bullet to load 38 Spec, 9mm, 38 Super and 9x23, it is a .357 diameter JHP...

    125grain.jpg

    As long as the revolver was set up to use moon clips you probably could. I talked to these folks ( http://www.moonclips.com/ ) about using 38 Spl ammo in a revolver they set up for 38 Super in moon clips and they said it would work but would likely bulge cases.
     
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The problem would be headspace, not bullet diameter and probably not taper.

    If the hypothetical 9mm revolver the OP does not have were a S&W 547 with patent extractor not requiring clips, there would be no clearance for the rim of a shortened .38 Special case (Or .38 S&W which would be a better fit otherwise.)

    If you started with a clip loaded 9mm revolver like a Ruger Speed Six, the Special rim would not be thick enough to take up the space of 9mm rim + clip. Look at the .45 ACP revolvers and how thick the rim of a .45 Auto Rim is to make that adaptation.
     
  16. natman

    natman Member

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    Bore size of a 9mm is slightly smaller than a 38 Special / 357 Mag.

    Check out the bullet size for 9mm:
    http://www.hornady.com/store/.355-9mm/
    as opposed to 38 Special:
    http://www.hornady.com/store/.357-38-CAL/

    Hornady (and everyone else) doesn't make 9mm bullets smaller for no reason. Sure you can cram a 357 bullet down a 9mm bore, but pressures will rise because of it.
     
  17. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    Anyone here remember the 9mm Federal a rimmed version of the 9x19. Case looked like a 38 S&W.
     
  18. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Member

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    I've read that you can trim .38 S&W cases (not .38 Special) from .775" to .754" for use in 9mm revolvers. I haven't done it, but I may be trying it soon.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  19. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    I think you could get by with it if you keep pressures sensible.

    38SmithandWesson.jpg
     
  20. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Much easier to trim .38 ACP cases to 9 mm specs...which some people used to do way back when, if having trouble obtaining 9mm Cases proper.
     
  21. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    It would likely work. Your FL sizer die would handle putting the taper on the case. The case would also then accept a standard .355" 9mm bullet once sized, which would be the appropriate width for the bore of a 9mm revolver.

    I think the main reason you don't see this more is that to me, the appeal of shooting a 9mm revolver is in keeping the revolver platform but using the easily availabile and cheap 9x19mm ammo. If you're doing all this work with the handloading then you might as well just get a .38 special in the first place :).

    As in interesting note, I actually have heard of some very dedicated people making 7.62x25 cases out of .38 special before the ammo was widely available. They'd trim it, turn down the rim and then somehow form an extractor groove, then use a FL sizer to form the neck. A lot of work, some sometimes you have to get creative. I personally have made 7.62x25 cases out of surplus 5.56 NATO brass - that's a little less troublesome though (just trim and form - no fiddling with the case head).
     
  22. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Member

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    I'm very interested in testing my S&W M649-3 revolver (convertible) with 9mm Luger, .38 Special, and .357 Magnum rounds once it gets back from Pinnacle Performance. I've read so many "opinions" on the internet about .38 Special vs. 9mm Luger vs. .357 Magnum out of a snubnose revolver, that the opportunity to get real data out of my own revolver should be a heck of a lot of fun! Using rimmed .38 S&W cases cut down to 9mm Luger length in the M649-3 is just an option that I may or may not pursue, depending on how much I like using moonclips with standard 9mm Luger rounds.
     
  23. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    Yes it is, 2/1000ths smaller, such a small difference to be nearly imperceptible. Some 9mm actually shoot the .357 bullet better, I know both my HK P7M8 and Browning Hi Power do, my Glocks don't care one way or the other.

    Again the increase will be insignificant in most cases. I have seen Colt .357s with grossly undersized bores. But as a general rule that 2/1000ths won't make enough difference to measure.

    If you miked a box of 9mm (marked .355) I bet you would find =/- 2/1000ths variation in diameter.

    Btw...my 38 Super shoots that bullet into an 1 1/2 inch at 50 yards.
     
  24. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    All the drawings are nice ,but I still believe it`ll come down to how thick the neck is after trimmin & if they`ll be room enuff to release the bullet .

    Even on mr 451 Detonics using 357 bullets in 9mm , ya add a few .001"to neck thickness & ya got a case thats binding on the chamber & bullet , NOT GOOD
     
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