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Old 02-26-2013, 01:19 AM   #21
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A contemporary example of a heeled cartridge is the 22lr rimfire.

The bullet and the case are the same diameter.

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Old 02-26-2013, 01:21 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danf_fl View Post
The .44 Special is .430" as sized for cast bullets, but is .429" in non-cast. The .45 ACP is .452" for cast, and .451" for round ball.

The key is the lead being able to grip the land and grooves.
That makes sense,I never thought about the magnum power and jackets playing a part of that before.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:12 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by canebrake View Post
.38spl/357RemMag?

Want the whole story?

Google Elmer Keith
Elmer Keith takes a little more credit than he's due in the development of the .357 Magnum. (Yeah, I know-bite my tongue.) The idea of the new magnum cartridge, as yet un-named, began about 1930 or so when Major Doug Wesson and several gun writers convened in the Maine woods for a hunt. Among those were Phil Sharpe.

Major Wesson proposed a very powerful cartridge that could be contained in a Smith & Wesson Outdorsman model revolver. Sharpe concocted a "blue pill" load to test the revolver, a load generating from 48,500 psi to 49,600 psi. Two hundred rounds of these "Blue pill" loads were fired without any sign of failure.

Cartridge developmnet centered around selecting a case, the .38 Special, the .38 Super, the .35 Win. Self Loading, the .351 Win. Self Loading, and several specially constructed cases made by Winchester were all tried. In all, some thirteen different experimental case/bullet combinations were tested.

Major contributors to the trials were W.E. Witsel, engineer at Remington; Merton Robinson, engineer at Winchester; L.C. Weldin, engineer from Hercules Powder Co., and Wallace Cox from DuPont. At that time Doug Wesson was president of S&W.

The .357 Magnum was a long time birthing.

Bob Wright
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:27 PM   #24
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Default Another distinction

In my mind, the main difference between the .38 Special and the .357 Magnum is the .38 Special has a maximum chamber pressure limit of 17,000 psi (20,000 for +p) while the .357 Magnum runs at 35,000 psi.

That's why .357 Magnum cases are about an eighth of an inch longer than .38 Special cases so the greater pressure rounds cannot be chambered (theoretically) in the lesser pressure rated revolvers.

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Old 02-27-2013, 12:20 PM   #25
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...cannot be chambered (theoretically) in the lesser pressure rated revolvers.
Yup. Just when you make things foolproof, along comes a better class of fool.
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:31 PM   #26
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As a safety issue the .357 magnum case is 0.125 inches longer than the .38 Special. This prevents accidental firing of the higher pressure .357 magnum in .38 Special revolvers. The projectile diameter is the same for both rounds at 0.357 inches, which is slightly larger than the 9x19mm at 0.355 inches.

From what I can remember the .357 magnum was designed to replace the .38 Special used by many agencies due to the notoriously poor penetration of the subsonic .38 Special of that era. The .38 Special was next to useless against people seeking cover behind a car or solid wall.
This was actually the case with the .32 caliber guns being used by police in the early part of the 1900's. Cars became an issue - bank robbers and getaway cars and all. 32's just wouldn't penetrate. So the 38 Special became dominant - with it's more power - and remained dominant until the 357 became popular in the 1970's - 80's. But the 38 Special hung on with the police forces until Glock came along - in 9mm - around 1984. Then the phase out of the 38 Special began.

As for the 38 special and the 357 - just Google it. It'll explain the history. The 38 Special evolved from the older 38. And both 38 Special and .357 have the same diameter bullet. But there is a vast difference. Much more gunpowder in the longer 357 cartridge - providing much more power (almost double the energy) as the 38 Special.
A 357 revolver can accept both 357 cartridges and 38 Special cartridges (they will both fit in the chamber and are safe to fire). But a 38 Special revolver cannot fire a 357 round. It is too powerful and so the manufacturers made sure that you cannot accidentally put a 357 round into a 38 Special gun by making the 357 cartridge slightly longer. It just won't fit.
And, yes, the more versatile of the two guns is a 357 because it can shoot both cartridges. And since the 38 Special is cheaper - that makes for cheaper practice shooting. It's a good thing....
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:57 PM   #27
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Default Sure enough...

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Yup. Just when you make things foolproof, along comes a better class of fool.
I read, not saw, of an old .38 S&W breaktop something or other that would chamber and close with .357 Magnum ammunition.

He shuddered...
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:43 PM   #28
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I read, not saw, of an old .38 S&W breaktop something or other that would chamber and close with .357 Magnum ammunition.

He shuddered...
Many old .38 Long Colt revovlers will chamber the .357 Magnum round, as they were bored through without the chamber throat.

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Old 03-02-2013, 01:38 AM   #29
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Bob Wright is right about .38 Long Colt(or Short colt), and we should not forget the myriad of Spanish and Belgian Revolvers with "bored straight through" cylinder chambers in .38 caliber that should also be kept far away from a .357 Magnum cartridge.

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Old 03-03-2013, 02:59 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by zackthatsit View Post
Can somebody explain the difference between a .38 and a .357 I've noticed on most .38 specials it also says .357
About a 1/10 of an inch!!!
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