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Do all .357 Magnum caliber revolvers accept .38 Special also?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by CountGlockula, Sep 3, 2008.

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  1. CountGlockula

    CountGlockula Member

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    I know that Ruger GP100 and S&W 686 takes both.

    But no matter what type of wheel gun it is; as long the barrel says .357mag, it will automatically take .38spls?

    How can you tell the difference or does it depend on the manual? Thanks.

    P.S. Sorry for beating a dead horse.
     
  2. Loomis

    Loomis member

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    "...as long the barrel says .357mag, it will automatically take .38spls?"

    yes.
     
  3. CountGlockula

    CountGlockula Member

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  4. BigBlock

    BigBlock member

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    Yep, a .38 special is the same as a .357 Mag, except that the case is a little longer in the mag, and obviously the specials are lighter loads.
     
  5. gwnorth

    gwnorth Member

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    357 magnum case is 1/8th of an inch longer, that's all. The sole reason being that when developed in the 1930's, there were loads of older .38 guns already out there not designed for the higher chamber pressures generated by the magnum loads. So the idea was to make it impossible to load the new magnum round in those older pistols, but not keep any magnum buyers from using older .38spl ammunition.
     
  6. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...case is 1/8th of an inch longer..." 1/10" but close enough.
    A .38 will fit in any .357 revolver. However, they may not feed well in a .357 mag rifle.
     
  7. SimpleIsGood229

    SimpleIsGood229 Member

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    Due to very tight tolerances and clearance, Freedom arms recommends a seperate cylinder for their .357 models (and .45 Colt for .454's and etc.). They are the exception, however.
     
  8. Brasso

    Brasso Member

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    .38spl could experience a bit of accuracy loss if fired from a .357 due to having to jump a longer distance to the forcing cone. Could. But it's perfectly safe.
     
  9. Mason38

    Mason38 Member

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    I ran into some guy at my local gunshop today, he didn't work there, who told me that a 357 Mag will also fire 38 colt... I'm highly skeptical on that because I have never read anything about this anywhere.

    -Allen
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes, the .38 Colt can be fired in a .38 Special, or a .357 Magnum.

    It is shorter then either, so they can't be fired in a .38 Colt however.

    rcmodel
     
  11. Drgong

    Drgong Member

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    Yep Mason38, that is correct.

    This is a rundown of two ranges of common revolver cartrages, the greater then/less then refers to pressure generated

    38 colt < 38 special < .357 Mag

    32 long < 32 H&R < .327 Mag
     
  12. Checkman

    Checkman member

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    Whew. I was worried that there would be at least one smart aleck response. But there isn't one. Good job. Everyone is staying true to THR.
     
  13. tblt

    tblt member

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    I mosty shoot 38 in my 357 except when hunting I load it up w/158 gr hp as my side arm.I also have 2 38 snubs so i buy 38 special and can shoot it in three guns
     
  14. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    Any .38 Special load will fire safely in any .357-chambered revolver. As you probably know (or know by now), the bullet diameters are the same at .357" despite the moniker. Only two things of consequence will happen when firing the Special in a Magnum. One, some revolvers may be less accurate with the shorter Special - but others may be more accurate, so this is an individual gun thing. Two, if you switch cartridges very much, fouling buildup between the shorter Special case and chamber shoulder can cause difficulty with initial chambering - or extraction after firing - of the longer Magnum cases. This simply requires extra attention to cleaning.
     
  15. jparham

    jparham Member

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    Note- I don't think the Mateba .357revolver will reliably cycle .38 rounds.
     
  16. sherman123

    sherman123 Member

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    The mateba is semi-automatic revolver though, a great gun and there are few others like it. other than that any normal style single or double action .357revolover is fine with .38 spl. And sorry if I'm beating a dead horse too but does a .38 s&w work in a .357 the same as .38 colt? (i found some laying around a friends house but I'd want to make sure first)
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
  17. The_Shootist

    The_Shootist Member

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    Just Curious

    But .38 colt doesn't seem too common - any compelling reason to use them in a .357? I've got a 686P and SP 101 in this calibre.
     
  18. Beatnik

    Beatnik Member

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    Couple thoughts...

    I have only run into this in two cases - first, with a range gun which obviously had not been cleaned in some time. Second, with a 22LR revolver which had been used to fire 22short. My guess is that lead bullets make this more of a possibility.


    I've never seen 38 colt for sale. Wikipedia says that 38 short colt can be fired in 38 special, but it also says it was the parent case for 38 long colt - and 38 long colt is supposed to have a bullet diameter of .361". So I wouldn't do it, personally - at least not without putting a micrometer on every relevant dimension of a cartridge and double-checking.
     
  19. KI.W.

    KI.W. Member

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    I have Dan Wesson .357 Supermag revolver and T/C G2.357 Rem Maximum pistol. I never shoot 38 colt, 38 spl or 357 mag with those guns. Because there are very shiny chambers. I only reload catridges with diferents levels with 357-maximum cases. ;)
     
  20. krs

    krs Member

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    .38 S&W is not the same as .38 Colt and will not chamber in a .38 Special unless, I guess, the .38 Special chamber is badly oversize. There's some .010" difference between the two - .38 S&W is the bigger diameter. .38 Colt is not the same as .38 S&W.
     
  21. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    Not a one of my .357 magnums will shoot .38 Specials...But I have .38 specials that do...
     
  22. KI.W.

    KI.W. Member

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    Of course I have .38spl too. It is Renato Gamba Trident Match 900.

    Mr The Bushmaster, hove are you?
    K.W./huntingnut
     
  23. bflobill_69

    bflobill_69 Member

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    Yeah all .357's will shoot .38's, BUT, I find some .357's shoot .38's better than others - you may have to try different ammo as you go along...

    I find the S&W's shoot .38 and .357 very accurately... my other revolvers sometimes have issues with one or the other.

    Bflobill69
     
  24. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    All my .357s shoot .38 Specials with gilt-edge accuracy. They do require cleaning now and then to make sure they will accept .357s.
     
  25. Timthinker

    Timthinker Member

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    An interesting aside to the OP's question is whether the .357 Magnum Desert Eagle pistol will chamber reliabily with .38 Specials. The reason I bring up this obscure point is I recently watched a video where a Desert Eagle had problems chambering magnum rounds. Whether this is a defect with that particular pistol type or the ammo is an interesting point to muse over.

    But all .357 Magnum revolvers I have fired demonstrated equal accuracy with both magnum and special rounds. I should add that these test did not exceed 20 yards.


    Timthinker
     
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