Firearm & Gun Forum - FireArmsTalk.com > Handguns > Revolver Handguns > .38 special?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-03-2013, 04:08 PM   #31
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
treehugger49's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Newnan,Georgia
Posts: 421
Liked 42 Times on 36 Posts
Likes Given: 2

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by axxe55 View Post
the 38 Spl. and the 357 magnum share the same size diameter bullets and case diameter. the 38 Spl. is a shorter case than the 357 Magnum. the 357 Magnum will hold a larger powder charge.

the bullet is .357" in diameter. now why is the 38 special called that when it's bullet is the same as the 357 Magnum? honestly i don't know the answer to that.
It is the same bullet. In the case of the .38 special, the diameter is measured from the grooves of the barrel - for the .357 it is from the lands.

At least that's what I remember reading somewhere. If that's not right I'm sure someone will set me straight in pretty short order!

ETA: I guess danf_fl explained it better in post #18 which I didn't initially read. Probably more accurate, but I like mine better....
__________________

XD-40 service, XD-9sc, member GeorgiaCarry.Org, National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, North American Hunting Club, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation


Last edited by treehugger49; 03-04-2013 at 08:12 PM.
treehugger49 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 02:15 AM   #32
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
RustyShackleford101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 774
Liked 80 Times on 67 Posts

Default

I've heard that with a beefy enough gun, the right components, and a disregard for the reloading manual, a really hot .38 load could replicate .357 performance. Is this true? ( I'm not gonna try it, just curios)

__________________
RustyShackleford101 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 02:34 AM   #33
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: The Edge of Darkness
Posts: 6,495
Liked 4790 Times on 2679 Posts
Likes Given: 1736

Default

A .357 Mag. may be .356 with a jacketed bullet. It should be .358 in a cast bullet and can run larger depending on the bore it is fired in. The S&W barrels in .44 Cal. can be .430 and a Ruger .44 BH can be .429 some imports run .428 the common size of the .44-40.
The confusion orginates from converting C&B handguns to Ctgs. in the post Civil War era. The chamber deminsions were large in the BP firearms to allow swagging of the round ball. The early Ctgs held Toed in bullets. Bullets larger than the case.

__________________
nitestalker is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 07:07 PM   #34
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 800
Liked 251 Times on 155 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyShackleford101 View Post
I've heard that with a beefy enough gun, the right components, and a disregard for the reloading manual, a really hot .38 load could replicate .357 performance. Is this true? ( I'm not gonna try it, just curios)
I'm not sure just what the performance figures were, but in the earliest "Blue Pill" loads, chamber pressures close to 50,000 psi were achieved using .38-44 Special cases and a S&W Outdoorsman with a specially heat treated cylinder.

Phil Sharpe reported the gun digested over two hundred rounds of these.


Bob Wright
__________________
Bob Wright is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 07:10 PM   #35
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 800
Liked 251 Times on 155 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitestalker View Post
The early Ctgs held Toed in bullets. Bullets larger than the case.

i know what you mean, but that is the first time I ever heard that term!

Bob Wright
__________________
Bob Wright is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 07:18 PM   #36
FTF_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
John_Deer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 4,826
Liked 1488 Times on 1007 Posts
Likes Given: 515

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc3402 View Post
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.
I am not sure a 357 mag hollow point would penetrate a car door made in the 30's. The window winding mechanism might stop a 30/06, much less a pistol round. Might be a good one for an episode of myth busters. The 357 mag was invented in 1934.
__________________

Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety - Plato

John_Deer is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2013, 08:07 PM   #37
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: The Edge of Darkness
Posts: 6,495
Liked 4790 Times on 2679 Posts
Likes Given: 1736

Default

Bob W. Colloquial terms often require more understanding than proper English. It seems they are born from desperation and a lack of education.

__________________
nitestalker is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 02:20 AM   #38
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 800
Liked 251 Times on 155 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Deer View Post
I am not sure a 357 mag hollow point would penetrate a car door made in the 30's. The window winding mechanism might s The 357 mag was invented in 1934.
The .357 Magnum, along with the .38 special, .38 Super and .45 ACP, was loaded in a special "HiWay Master" loading with metal penetrating bullets. These were hardended lead core with a steel cap and gilding metal jackets. They were of a very pointed conical shape.

I have had them penetrate the body of a 1949 Ford sedan, trunk lid to hood, both seat backs and firewall.
Never could bust an engine block with one, though.

Bob Wright
__________________
Bob Wright is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 05:07 AM   #39
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: The Edge of Darkness
Posts: 6,495
Liked 4790 Times on 2679 Posts
Likes Given: 1736

Default

The first 38-44 S&W was shipped from the plant in April 1930. This was designed by S&W and Elmer Kieth. The heavy loaded .38 Specials only for the 38-44 S&W S-Frame.
The .38 round fired a 158 gr. load at 1175 FPS, 435 FPS from a 5 inch barrel. This load could penetrate 11 7/8s boards. This was for LEOs to shoot thru car windows, doors, and seats. The 38-44 Outdoorsman was the fore runner of the .357 Mdl. 27.

38-44.jpg  
__________________
nitestalker is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2013, 06:28 PM   #40
FTF_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Jacksonville,FL
Posts: 2,831
Liked 1767 Times on 988 Posts
Likes Given: 1302

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colby View Post
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....
Referring to the highlighted portion of your reply, that's not the way I remember it. Our entire department, all 14 of us, carried .357 magnums in the early 70's, as did the local sheriffs department. Somewhere in 70's Florida Highway Patrol phased out their .357 magnum Colt Pythons in favor of the .357 magnum S&W Mod 66 which promptly bit them in the butt. It seems the bushing around the firing pin hole would expand during rapid fire, effectively locking up the cylinder.

I do seem to remember a local deputy that carried a .41 magnum, but that didn't last long since there was no ammo sharing possible with other deputies. About the only officers using .38 during that time period were either desk bound administrators or plainclothes investigators.
__________________
Doc3402 is offline  
 
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Firearms Forum Replies Last Post
Anyone on the forum that was on a special forces or special wafare team in any branch beastmode986 The Club House 19 01-06-2013 04:42 PM
44 special vrs. 45 acp circa81 Revolver Handguns 6 12-18-2011 04:20 PM
38 special thru a .38 special +p chambered gun tomrich Revolver Handguns 8 10-08-2010 12:13 PM
I NEED HELP!!! .38 Special CTG Please!! ronrob84 Revolver Handguns 9 07-15-2010 12:36 AM
Well Now! Ain't this special. Kelly J Politics, Religion and Controversy 2 11-26-2008 03:06 AM