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Old 01-08-2017, 05:59 PM
FloridaFlier FloridaFlier is offline
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Default 38 in 357 and 'bullet jump'

I have always preferred buying the .357 and shooting mostly .38's out of it. Besides the flexibility of the power range, I am a reloader and, while I've never done it after 15 years reloading, I think that a 357 may hold together if I ever accidentally double charge a 38 load, while the 38 will probably not.
I am also aware of the comments that 357's may not fit into the cylinder after shooting tons of 38. But I keep my guns clean and shiny after each trip to the range, so that has never been a problem.
The question is: will a 38, shot from a 357, be less accurate that the same 38 shot from a 38? I have heard that the short (0.10") jump that a 38 must make, can cause a bit of wobble that effects accuracy. True? If so, how much?
I'm not an olympic shooter, or even the best among the guys at the range. But, if I'm giving up accuracy for the power flexibility, I'd like to know about it, and if possible, quantify it.
Thanks in advance for the input.
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:09 PM
Johnson184 Johnson184 is offline
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From what I understand, shooting 38 Special or even 9mm through a 357 Magnum has an imperceptible difference in accuracy. Only thing you may get is a slight drop in velocity.
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Old 01-08-2017, 06:09 PM
apollo99 apollo99 is offline
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There is a very good thread on this very topic, It was posted last week sometime. It answers your question and many more about .38 spl in a .357 magnum. I don't know how to give you the link or I would. basically it includes the crud from the shorter 38 leaving a ring, it must be cleaned, Bullet jump wasn't a big deal, I shoot 38 spl ammo in my .357, besides the ring crud, I don't have any unusual bad effects. Accuracy is good, just the crud ring if I shoot enough. I also load .357 mag cases to .38 spl specs. That solves the ring issue.

Last edited by apollo99; 01-08-2017 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:12 PM
Semper Fi 57 Semper Fi 57 is offline
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After too many times of scrubbing the grit ring out of the cylinders of my .357 Smiths, I decided to just load .357 cases to .38 loadings. Voila, problem solved.

Jim
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaFlier View Post
I have always preferred buying the .357 and shooting mostly .38's out of it. Besides the flexibility of the power range, I am a reloader and, while I've never done it after 15 years reloading, I think that a 357 may hold together if I ever accidentally double charge a 38 load, while the 38 will probably not.
I am also aware of the comments that 357's may not fit into the cylinder after shooting tons of 38. But I keep my guns clean and shiny after each trip to the range, so that has never been a problem.
The question is: will a 38, shot from a 357, be less accurate that the same 38 shot from a 38? I have heard that the short (0.10") jump that a 38 must make, can cause a bit of wobble that effects accuracy. True? If so, how much?
I'm not an olympic shooter, or even the best among the guys at the range. But, if I'm giving up accuracy for the power flexibility, I'd like to know about it, and if possible, quantify it.
Thanks in advance for the input.
Evening FloridaFlier

I have been shooting .38 in my 357 mag guns for many
years now.

As far as bullet jump effecting accuracy?-- it can but doesn't
have to & in some cases I have found the .38 to be more
accurate than shooting .357 mag ammo.

You can lose just a little due to bullet jump but that can be
more than offset by the more complete case filling of the
smaller .38 case, then more even combustion of the .38 case.

I play with loads, bullet seating depth, crimp, bullet type,
bullet weight until I get an accurate load (you can get
exceptionally accurate .38 loads in a .357 mag gun if you
are willing to put the work into generating a good
accurate load.
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:32 PM
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I have decided to shoot only .357s in my .357s. It is more expensive but I also get tired of cleaning the crud out of the cylinders. Not a big issue but shooting the .357s makes it a non issue.
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:38 PM
diyj98 diyj98 is online now
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I do it, but I agree with Targets Guy about being a bigger mess to clean. I've always always found 38 slightly more accurate out of 38 special only guns vs 357 magnums, but that just my experience and by no means a scientific experiment

Last edited by diyj98; 01-08-2017 at 11:09 PM.
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:47 PM
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Semper Fi 57 gave the answer I like best. 38 special loads in 357 cases. All the advantages of 38 specials (inexpensive, mild recoil, etc.) without the drawbacks (bullet jump, crud rings, etc.).

Since you reload, that's your ticket.
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Old 01-08-2017, 07:53 PM
gman51 gman51 is offline
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Interesting question and answers. Learn something new all the time.
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:37 PM
Fide686 Fide686 is offline
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My normal load for most shooting is 125 gr. copper washed flat nose, standard primers, and 6.0 gr. unique. It is about +P. I use it in both cases. The groups are about the same as far as my testing went.
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Old 01-08-2017, 09:52 PM
GypsmJim GypsmJim is offline
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I bought my first .357 in 1972. I shot .357 for hunting, and .38 for everything else. I admit to not being anal about cleaning it. A few years ago I switched to .357 exclusively, based on comments about the ring, etc. I DID clean it better before switching.

No problems, no accuracy issues, etc.
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Old 01-08-2017, 10:32 PM
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I think the accuracy of shooting 38 in 357 depends on the load and gun. A Tornado brush seems to clean out any mess in the cylinder.

The target on the left was shot in a .38 case and was the best of the day. The other two targets were shot in .357 cases. It was shot from sand bags.



Currently, I like the most accurate loads possible with the least recoil. Both of the above loads are accurate and light recoiling. But, the 38 load is even more accurate and lighter recoiling so that's what I'm shooting the most of these days.

Dave
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:13 AM
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I shoot 38 short Colts out of my 627/357 cylinder . At an OAL of 1.123". My 38 specials around 1.440" and 357s at 1.590" are much bigger. pictured here are from small to big. Spent case is a short colt I shot yesterday. Shot 200 rounds and only had defensive rounds on moonclips for the special and magnums. This one is spent case example of a 357 case and 38 short. I only load 6 on a clip ever on a magnum. Bullet creep is worse than bullet jump! Ha!ha.



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Old 01-09-2017, 03:18 AM
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What kind of accuracy do you get from the shorts? If you didn't mention what they were, I would have assumed the were 9mm brass.
I'll have to look at my loading manual on those shorts. They look interesting.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:13 AM
AveragEd AveragEd is offline
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Your replies are going to be dependent upon experience and that will likely be affected by bullet type, lube on them and brand as well as powder used. Years ago, when my body and eyes were a lot younger, I went to an indoor 25-yard range three evenings each week with a 50-round box of .38 Special 148-grain wadcutter loads and the goal of putting all 50 bullets into the black of an NRA 25-yard pistol target offhand with a 4" Model 19. I managed to do that three times with a LOT of "47s," "48s" and "49s" thrown in, so I doubt that bullet jump hurt the accuracy very much.

I also shot in two police league PPC matches as a substitute. I used my 8-3/8" Model 14 in one and a 6" Python in the other with my wadcutter handloads and recorded 297x300s both times. Accordingly, I remain in the "it doesn't matter" camp.

And as far as the crud ring, I still shoot wadcutters in .38 Special cases in my Model 66s and 686s; the ring cleans right off with Butch's Bore Shine and a bronze bore brush although a ring left by several hundred rounds cleans off more easily with an oversize brush. I use Precision Delta hollow-base wadcutters with their Match Lube over 4.0 grains of discontinued SR4756 powder.

If I didn't have thousands of .38 Special case, I might be tempted to use .357 brass but I really don't see the need to make the change.

Ed
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:27 AM
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Since I do have an abundance of .357 brass I just load them to .38 spec +p. Works for me.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:46 AM
old&slow old&slow is offline
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Good Question ,, Good replies.. Thanks..

I've always loaded .38 +P loads in .357 cases for NRA action pistol and general use / target practice.
But, I recently purchased a 627 and was planning on trying 38 short colts for speed matches.

I've never notice a accuracy problem shooting 40's in my S&W 610. But I don't remember shooting anything with it smaller than 'Minute of Steel Plate '.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:06 AM
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Depends on what bullet you're loading in the .38
The heavier the bullet, the longer the bullet, so if you load the 158 gr bullets the jump will be considerably shorter than say a 110 or even 125 gr. However, the fact is that 38spl chambers will most always shoot 38 spl cartridges more accurately than a longer 357 magnum chamber will. There's a compromise, but the fact that the .357 can load either caliber makes up for any slight loss in accuracy.
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Old 01-09-2017, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Dave View Post
What kind of accuracy do you get from the shorts? If you didn't mention what they were, I would have assumed the were 9mm brass.
I'll have to look at my loading manual on those shorts. They look interesting.
I initially went to shorts looking for a bullet and load that would work better in the 627 and be able to speedload the moonclips faster!
My effective range is 25 yards standing but I know you shoot 100 yards still right? Even I would be interested to know how they'll stack up to 38 specials! And btw. My 38 special 125gr beat my magnums shot out of a 357 cylinder. ..at 25 yards. ..on HP38!

As far as loads for the shorts. You can start at the lowest 9mm published loads using 115,124 and 125gr bullets safely.

For example : 115gr 9mm RN xtreme plated .355 dia. , Winchester WSP's, starline 38 short colt brass (new) , and 3.5g HP38 @ 1.123 OAL.

At 3.5g. It's the starting range in 9mm on a 115gr weight. For Bullseye. The spread on that one is 3.5g- 4.8g?(on memory...) and Bullseye and HP38 are about the same on small cases like that. Using a .34 Lee disk.

I advise against published 38 short loads as the cases and guns published at those times were way weaker unless you see a correlation between using those and the weakest 9mm starting load.

I would use no higher than 4 g. On the 115gr. "A very energetic round" and makes for a great indoor light show!

My 125gr are good also......but maybe my post should be moved if I say more.

I've shot .355,.356 and .357 diameters in shorts. All fun. All reliable at 25 yards.

***I assume no liability in my loads and research sometimes going on old memory and each reloader is responsible for his due diligence and research in loads used in their guns! Be safe and have fun! ***

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Old 01-09-2017, 01:23 PM
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I'm no Olympic shooter either but I can not tell if there is a loss of accuracy when shooting .38 brass in a .357 Magnum. I even tried .38 Special loads in .357 Magnum brass and saw no better accuracy from either.

For those who shoot a lot if .38 Special rounds in their .357 Magnum and like to also shoot magnum rounds the same range trip. If you carry an empty .357 Magnum case what has been chamfered so it's sharp you can use it to clean the charge holes. If there is any carbon buildup you can tap that case into each charge hole and it will remove any carbon ring that is present. It's quick, easy and fool-proof.
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Old 01-09-2017, 02:17 PM
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I shoot a lot of light 38 cases in my 686 when I go to the range
just for a easy outing.
I also test 38 special first time loads for fps and pressure etc.
before I shoot them in my M49 J frame, if the loads are near maximum.
Over the years you "Learn" what a J frame +P loading will be
out of a 6" barrel, within 30 fps.

38 special in 110 and 125gr jackets are ok in my 686 but I get
my best accuracy with the old stand by 158gr lead bullets.
Both a 158 Lwc at 755fps and a LRN at 972fps will have 5 bullets touching at
15 yards off a rest, that I developed with Red Dot and 2400 powder.

I don't mind cleaning a 357 chamber after shooting 38 specials.
I treat my weapons as "Shooters" but I also take pride in keeping them very clean.
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