.38spl to .38 short

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by MobileMarine, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. MobileMarine

    MobileMarine New Member

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    I have an old owl head iver johnson top break and a colt police positive both in what I call .38 short '' cant recall the proper name '' . I know I can buy the rounds although pricey and uncommon they are out there .Could you cut down the modern 38 case to fit and what would you guys recommend loading them with? Just enough to get it out of the gun and down range with just enough to punch a sheet of paper . The colt is very tight but the Iver has seen better days . But needless to say I dont want any hot rounds in them .
     
  2. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    The 38 spl case is smaller in diameter than the 38 S&W. Cutting down the 38 special cases would be very poor idea. Fair chance that they would not fire due to firing pin not hitting in center of primer.
     

  3. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

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    The cartridge you are probably referring to is 38 S&W. It's not actually
    a short 38 special---it's a little bigger in diameter, both case and bullet.

    That said, I did trim down some 38 special brass once, loaded it with
    a little bit of bullseye and a 148 gr HBWC and fired them in a top break
    S&W. Went bang, didn't go BOOM, and at the time I was young and foolish
    enough to not realize I was pushing my luck.

    If you just HAVE to try it in the Iver Johnson--load them REALLY light or better yet use the powder the old guns were designed for---- black powder.
    A soft HBWC will expand to fit the bore, you might even hit the paper
    if it's close.
     
  4. MobileMarine

    MobileMarine New Member

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    I have quite a few of what I call the funny loads , They are very old and after the hammer falls it takes a good second or two before you heard either pop or POP followed by cumulus cloud of smoke . Also have a made in spain 32-20 or 32 long , better yet I think it says 32 wcf
     
  5. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

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    I have cut down 38 special to make 38 S&W. I used a 148 grain semi wadcutter. I used black powder. After the cases were fired once they expanded pretty well to fit the cylinder. At the time I was not able to find 38 S & W brass. If it is available now I would buy it before cutting down the 38 specials.
     
  6. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    I have some nickel plated .38 S&W brass, I may be willing to part with...
     
  7. MobileMarine

    MobileMarine New Member

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    I found quite a few last night in the midway big book for a decent price . I dropped a 38spl in and saw what yall were talking about , its a bit loose . 9mm fits ok lol
     
  8. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

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    Yup--and that's a scary thought. 9x19 drops right in, and at the pressure
    it generates, it would be a case of instant explosive disassembly on the
    old guns.

    There was a cartridge not too long ago called "9mm Federal". It was
    a rimmed 9x19. Federal discontinued it when they figured out it would
    fit and fire in the old 38 S&W guns.
     
  9. Trez

    Trez Well-Known Member

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    Theres a rimed 9mm?!?! :eek: Wonder if that would fit my Medusa? Man this gun is gonna drive me insane trying to find everything it shoots!
     
  10. MobileMarine

    MobileMarine New Member

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    It would be cool if a company like dina would make an adapter to fire .22 in these old guns . Im sure it can be done , I know I would buy a few but trying to keep the adapter offset for a rim fire would be hard . I have a few for the 12ga to 9mm and it is fairly accurate for what it is . I want to think I saw one for 12 to 7.62x39 and a 12 to .223 . Ithink there is another company that makes something similar but you can get them in like 12in 16 and 18 inch but they were custom order
    Dina Arms Store