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Old 07-03-2010, 11:36 AM
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Default .38 S&W vs. .38 Colt

This may be under the heading of stupid questions but I'll ask anyway. I have a .38 S&W double action third model. I got a few rounds of ammo with the gun when I bought it and used them to try it out. Since then, someone has given me some ammo marked .38 Colt. The cartridges seem to chamber okay but I don't know if these rounds are interchangeable. Are they safe to shoot in my S&W? Thanks.
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:57 AM
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Does the headstamp read ".38 Colt" rather than .38 Short Colt?

I've used .38 Short Colt in .38 Smith & Wesson chambered revolvers with perfect satisfaction. Neither round gens up enough pressure in today's loadings to run amok. The .38 Short Colt uses a lighter bullet than does the .38 S&W (125 grain rather than 146 grain). The .38 Short Colt may be a thousandth or two smaller in diameter than the .38 S&W but it still won't matter for firing purposes.

There once was the .38 Short Colt and .38 Long Colt. At least Remington has still loaded the .38 Short Colt in recent times. I have a box or two.

The .38 Long Colt is close to .38 Special in length and won't chamber in short cylindered guns made for .38 S&W.

There was once a .38 Colt New Police which was only a .38 S&W with a different bullet design. I think I have a few rounds of ammo around here, loaded with lead bullets with a flattened nose and marked ".38 COLT NP."
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:19 PM
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Thanks bmc. These rounds are stamped ".38 Colt NP." So I guess that means they're safe to fire in my .38 S&W?
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Old 07-03-2010, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
Thanks bmc. These rounds are stamped ".38 Colt NP." So I guess that means they're safe to fire in my .38 S&W?
Yes, same cartridge dimensions.
38 Colt NP = 38 S&W

I don't think I would fire 38 Short Colt in an S&W Top-Break.
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Old 07-03-2010, 04:22 PM
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Great! Thanks for the info.
Pete
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Old 07-04-2010, 05:24 PM
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You might check to make sure there is no collectors value to the 38 NP
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
Does the headstamp read ".38 Colt" rather than .38 Short Colt?

I've used .38 Short Colt in .38 Smith & Wesson chambered revolvers with perfect satisfaction. Neither round gens up enough pressure in today's loadings to run amok. The .38 Short Colt uses a lighter bullet than does the .38 S&W (125 grain rather than 146 grain). The .38 Short Colt may be a thousandth or two smaller in diameter than the .38 S&W but it still won't matter for firing purposes.

There once was the .38 Short Colt and .38 Long Colt. At least Remington has still loaded the .38 Short Colt in recent times. I have a box or two.

The .38 Long Colt is close to .38 Special in length and won't chamber in short cylindered guns made for .38 S&W.

There was once a .38 Colt New Police which was only a .38 S&W with a different bullet design. I think I have a few rounds of ammo around here, loaded with lead bullets with a flattened nose and marked ".38 COLT NP."
Thats Interesting!.
Ill keep an eye out for those rounds at the cartridge collectors shows here.
Here in Australia being a typical "Commonwealth " country we ended up with tons of 38SW ctg revolvers in colts and S&W even larger framed M&P, Victory revolvers shot this underpowered cartridge designed for british. Considering there were one million US troops based in Australia during WW2 we should have used more common to Pacific theatre of war calibre s you guys used such as 38special,45acp. I know I would have felt better carrying something with more puff! if I was there.
Whenever I pick up/buy a colt police positive or I framed S&W they are 99% of the time 38SW calibre only. I have found a lot of guys grabbed the M&P or Victory revolvers removed the 38SW cylinder and barrel and swap to 38 special for a cheap shooter. After the war these guns ended up in companies carrying mail in the country or frieght, or just general use,even in banks. My brother worked in a Bank here in the 1990.s and they still had a revolver there from pre WW2. The bank had been there for about 90 yrs.
Its all interesting as a gun starts out its life heading to say WW2 Europe or Pacific and changes hands and ends up as a gun in a bank or railway, I picked up one recently stamped HKP Hong Kong Police and it was quite pitted but the action was tight , It would definetly have some stories to tell. Thanks for the info
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:18 AM
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Loyalaussie,

I thought they rounded up all the guns in Australia and melted them down. You can still find old pistols and revolvers there?
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:22 AM
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Loyalaussie,

I thought they rounded up all the guns in Australia and melted them down. You can still find old pistols and revolvers there?
Heck no we can still find them lol
while they did a buyback in 1996 of only around 700,000 guns of which very few were military many people replaced their worn out guns with newbies,As for Handguns 2004 they had another buyback and restricted them some more but most people replaced them with new handguns.
yes we have them shoot them Its just a heck of a lot stricter,we still keep them at home,still hunt, still collect , still have club shoots etc etc indoor and outdoor ranges,some states allow 50bmg most dont but all in all we are nothing like England or other parts of the world where its seems extremely strict. Heck in my street where I currently live I know 3 shooters and hunters(that I know of)within 100 yards of my place and I live in a small city with 1/2 million people ,still a great following here.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
I live in a small city with 1/2 million people
SMALL ?!?!?!?!
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45acp, cartridge, colt, headstamp, military, remington, s&w, top-break, victory

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