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Old 12-03-2011, 12:11 AM
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Default Guns using 38 S&W cartridge

Inherited a Webley Mark IV revolver and boatload of 38 S&W cartridges -- all in great working order. Where can I find info on other revolvers or pistols that are chambered for the 38 S&W? Can a 38 S&W (not Special or +P) be fired in a 357 magnum?
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:29 AM
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First off, a the 38 S&W cannot be fired in a pistol chambered for either the 38 Special or 357 Magnum. They don't fit because the 38 S&W is a bit wider then the other two cartridges.

As for other pistols who chambered for this cartridge, there are a lot of them. It was a very popular cartridge throughout the world, so lots were made. The Webley, Enfield and Smiths are the strongest of the bunch. Iver Johnson and Harrington & Richardson are two other companies who made tons and tons of revolvers in this cartridge. Meridian Arms and Crescent Arms also made a lot of pistols in this caliber, mainly made under other brand names.

There were a lot of other companies, but I can't think of them at the moment. I'm sure someone else will come along and talk more in depth about this cartridge.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:30 AM
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The .38 S&W is a revolver cartridge developed by Smith & Wesson in 1877. Though similar in name, it is not interchangeable with the later .38 Smith and Wesson Special due to a different case shape and slightly larger bullet diameter.
The British military adopted a loading of this cartridge as the Cartridge, S.A., Revolver Ball, 380 in, MkI .38-200, with the "200" referring to the weight of the bullet in grains. In 1937, this cartridge was replaced in British Service by the Cartridge, S.A., Revolver Ball, 380 in, MkII. The main difference between it and the previous round was that that it had a 178 gn. FMJ bullet.
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter185 View Post
Can a 38 S&W (not Special or +P) be fired in a 357 magnum?
No, the 38 S&W cartridge can't be fired in a .38 Special or .357 Magnum revolver because it's wider than both. The 38 S&W is a fairly low pressure round so that's not the problem, it's the width...
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:36 AM
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I have a couple of S&W Victory revolvers that are 38 S&W.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:37 PM
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I have a 1942 S&W that was sent to England. After the war it was converted to .38 Special. I can shoot either .38 S&W or .38 Special in it. They both seem to be accurate but I never shoot +P in it. No bulges in the Specials either.
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Old 12-03-2011, 08:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter185 View Post
Inherited a Webley Mark IV revolver and boatload of 38 S&W cartridges -- all in great working order. Where can I find info on other revolvers or pistols that are chambered for the 38 S&W? Can a 38 S&W (not Special or +P) be fired in a 357 magnum?
Contrary to other comments, yes, you can shoot .38 S&W in both .38 Special and .357 Magnum revolvers, sometimes.

Due to manufacturing tolerances, about 50% of the time .38 S&W can be chambered in revolvers of either caliber. If your chambers are on the large end of tolerance, and the ammunition you have is on the minimum side this will work. Of the ca. 19 revolvers I have chambered for either .38 Special and .357 Magnum, 11 as I recall, will chamber the .38 S&W ammunition which I have.

If you have a .38 Special or .357 Magnum revolver which will accept .38 S&W it is perfectly safe to shoot it. This is an exceptional situation, and it would not be wise to deliberately buy .38 S&W ammunition for guns of either of these other calibers, nor would it be wise to purchase a revolver in either .38 Special or .357 Magnum with the expectation of shooting your .38 S&W ammunition in it.
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:03 AM
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In addition to my first post I want to add this. Even if you did find a way to shoot .38 S&W ammo in a .38 Special it would be a waste of money. .38 S&W ammo costs way more than .38 Special ammo so even though you tell us you have a lot of .38 S&W ammo I would save it all for revolvers chambered for it. It's harder to find and when you do it can cost you as much as twice the price of .38 Special ammo and that's for plinking ammo, not SD ammo. 146gr LRN .38 S&W ammo in 50 round boxes from both Remington and Winchester are usually well over $30 a box. Even with the still inflated ammo prices you can find 50 rounds of .38 Special for under $15. You really don't want to buy factory .38 S&W ammo if you don't need to...
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357 magnum, 380, cartridge, military, remington, s&w, smith and wesson, victory, webley, winchester

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