Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-30-2010, 08:33 PM
Sacerdote Sacerdote is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 82
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default .38 S&W auto vs. .38 Special vs. 38 S&W

Just found some old S&W .38 auto in some boxes I inherited. Not familier with this round. Can I shoot it in a .38/.357 revolver? Looks like the same round but shorter.

Also-I have some .38 S&W. They seem fatter than the .38 special and on another forum I get mixed answers if I can fire from a .38/357 gun.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2010, 09:07 PM
bmcgilvray's Avatar
bmcgilvray bmcgilvray is offline
SWCA Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,336
Likes: 1,708
Liked 1,395 Times in 351 Posts

I'm not certain to which cartridge you refer. There was the old Colt .38 ACP and the later .38 Super. There was a .35 S&W auto cartridge. There's the .380 ACP. There was the .38 AMU.

Is this Smith & Wesson brand ammunition, perhaps in a blue box with white lettering?

I've fired .38 S&W factory loads in .38 Special guns over the years, at least the ones that will chamber. In a given box of factory .38 S&W ammunition I've found that some will chamber and some won't. Some can be forced with varying degrees of success. If one becomes stuck then it must be prodded out with a rod. When firing .38 S&W ammunition in a .38 Special the results are "underwhelming." Accuracy is reasonable at close range and cases eject normally. Nothing detrimental happens and nothing enriching happens either.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2010, 09:22 PM
s&wchad's Avatar
s&wchad s&wchad is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Great Lakes State
Posts: 15,065
Likes: 1,672
Liked 3,273 Times in 1,026 Posts

.38 Auto is also known as .38 Rimless Smokeless. It's a John Browning design originally chambered in the Colt 1900 "Sight Safety". The case dimensions are virtually identical to the .38 Super, but the .38 Auto is much lower pressure.

Colt 1902 Pocket (Hammer) top - .38 Rimless, Smokeless

.38 S&W is a shorter/fatter cartridge than a .38 S&W Special and the two are not interchangeable.
"I also cook."

Last edited by s&wchad; 01-30-2010 at 09:37 PM. Reason: Pic added
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 01:37 PM
Sacerdote Sacerdote is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 82
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts

No boxes on either. Just marked " Peters .38 S&W" and another group "Peters .32 S&W". The ".38 auto" was a typo.......sorry. That was .32 Auto which I understand only goes in .32 semi-autos and not revolvers.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 04:05 PM
handgunner356 handgunner356 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: SE Iowa on the Mississipp
Posts: 3,119
Likes: 1
Liked 286 Times in 197 Posts

The 38 S&W uses a larger .361" bullet and not a .357" one, so no it can't be shot out of .38/.357 gun.

Last edited by handgunner356; 02-01-2010 at 04:08 PM.
Reply With Quote

380, browning, cartridge, colt, s&w

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Need info re: Chief's Special 45 Auto nearlynormalmike Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols 8 02-22-2012 10:35 PM
WTS/WTT: M&P 360 Chief's Special for your .40 PPS or other CCW semi-auto spfldiraqmedic GUNS - For Sale or Trade 1 01-25-2012 09:11 PM
45 auto labeled chief special drtibikr Smith & Wesson Semi-Auto Pistols 14 02-24-2010 08:16 PM
SOLD- CS45 Chief's Special . 45 AUTO - NIB- $550 FFL to FFL john14_18 GUNS - For Sale or Trade 0 02-06-2010 07:44 PM
.38 Special Semi-Auto?? truckemup97 The Lounge 18 09-03-2009 09:48 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3 tested by Norton Internet Security tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:46 PM.

S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015 is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)