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Old 04-15-2018, 07:29 AM
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Default .38 S&W WARNING!!!

Hi fellas, I'm wondering if some obliging S&W Aficionado who is handy with a Camera would do me a small but potentially crucial favor....

I need some clear pictures of a modern .38 S&W Ammo Package; showing the Calibre, Brand and most importantly the Warning not to use Modern Ammo in old, faulty or Antique Guns.

From what I'm told there is such a warning on Ammo packaging and i may well need these pics to get the State Troopers off my back.

I'm in (Tasmania) Australia and we cant even get .38 S&W Ammo here, but I'm being hounded about my Pre 1899 Top Breaks and their Legality here. If I can show that modern .38 S&W is not strictly the Ammo that my TBs were made to fire, all will be good.

Now i know some of you guys use Modern Ammo in old Guns and I'm not wanting to start a debate on the subject; I just need some pics to show that my ole Smiths are kosher with our (insanely strict) Firearms Laws here.

If somebody has a pack of 38 Smith and can get some nice, clear shots showing those details, i would be much obliged.

yours in Antique S&Ws!!

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Old 04-15-2018, 08:31 AM
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Can I safely shoot modern ammo in this gun?

This doesn't help your case, but it's from this forum, so it's probably pretty reliable . . .
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:50 AM
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Not home now but I have a couple of boxes at the house . I'll check to see if the warning will help you any , not sure what it says past only use in guns originally designed for this cartridge and in good condition . I take crappy pictures but I can send you the empty box flat if it will help .

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Old 04-15-2018, 08:56 AM
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Sorry, but I reload, so do not have any modern 38 S&W ammo boxes. I do know that there were gun boxes with warnings about smokeless powder in the early 1900s, but that changed within a few years. You might try searching the Forum since I have seen images of those early warnings on gun boxes.

I have not seen any US ammo with specific warnings about vintage and antique revolvers, but rather they were all along the line of "This ammunition is intended only for revolvers in good working order" or something like that.

From what I read about Australia and other countries gun laws, I would be surprised if the government officials would care much. Their intent was to limit ownership to firearms and access to ammunition, so why would they want to ease current regulations? The long slippery slope only goes in one direction once you start down that trail. That is what we worry about here in the US.
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Old 04-15-2018, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Southgate View Post
Not home now but I have a couple of boxes at the house . I'll check to see if the warning will help you any , not sure what it says past only use in guns originally designed for this cartridge and in good condition . I take crappy pictures but I can send you the empty box flat if it will help .

Eddie
Eddie, that would be fantastic!! See what the Warning says first up; but even what you say would be of help. The Law here states that the Gun must be made pre 1900 and 'for which there is no Ammunition Commercially Available' - to be legal (without a lot of hoop jumping) All i need to show is that todays Ammo is not the same Ammo that was made before 1900 - that's all. I'm looking for anything that will strengthen my argument...

It's late here so i'll sign off and see what else eventuates by tomorrow.

Thank you all for the help so far; the link to the other thread was very interesting too. Thanks Muss.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:09 AM
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I have some PPU and some Magtech. Here are what the two boxes say, which is basically the same. Not sure it helps you. It is still commercially available.




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Old 04-15-2018, 02:35 PM
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S&W Safety Hammerless models made and shipped circa 1900 era contained a flyer in the box stating that the gun was designed for blackpowder ammo. & it could be harmful & unsafe to fire smokeless powder ammo. for which the gun was not designed. As you know, blackpowder .38 ammo. is no longer made. Perhaps a Forum member could post a photo of that flyer ( I don't currently have one ) . Also there are Forum & S&WCA Members in Australia that have these guns in their collections and have apparently satisfied their law enforcement requirements regarding the Safety H.hammerless models. Also, the Australian Arms Auction in Melbourne sells the SH Models, w/o a problem, so they may know how to prove the legality to the authorities. Ed.
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:26 PM
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I have a couple of different brands of new 38 S&W ammo none have warning you need primarily because there really isn't a safety issue. Modern 38 S&W ammo is loaded with the older top breaks in mind as long as said guns are in good shape, yes they may wear faster with modern smokeless ammo but they won't blow up shooting it.
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Old 04-15-2018, 04:51 PM
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Buffalo Arms makes a 150 grain round nose holllow base over black powder.

Or at least it's the first hit on "38 s&w black powder for sale" Google search
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:04 PM
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Do the local gendarmes have 38 SPECIAL in mind as the mistakenly modern equivalent? Perhaps 38 SW is not commercially available to you as it would be in this part of the world?
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Old 04-15-2018, 05:43 PM
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I finally located the references to smokeless powder in the S&W catalogs. First attachment is from a 1900 catalog, basically stating that the company would not warranty their revolvers with the use of smokeless powder, but by 1903, they they still did not warranty the use of smokeless, but extolled the virtues of manufactured ammo.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:51 PM
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Russ,

The Winchester boxes I have say : " Use only in arms in good condition designed and chambered by the manufacturer for this cartridge . If in doubt check with the gun manufacturer . " The rest is just stuff about the use of +P marked ammo and warnings not to reload without proper instruction . I will be glad to send you the box but looks to me like it would hurt you rather than help you . Id take opoefc's advice about contacting the local collectors and the auction house he mentioned . They should be able to help you with whatever documentation you need to prove your case .

Let me know if you want the box .

Eddie
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:50 AM
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This is the only real warning on a Winchester/Western box of 38S&W 145 Gr.

Stu


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Old 04-16-2018, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opoefc View Post
S&W Safety Hammerless models made and shipped circa 1900 era contained a flyer in the box stating that the gun was designed for blackpowder ammo. & it could be harmful & unsafe to fire smokeless powder ammo. for which the gun was not designed. As you know, blackpowder .38 ammo. is no longer made. Perhaps a Forum member could post a photo of that flyer ( I don't currently have one ) . Also there are Forum & S&WCA Members in Australia that have these guns in their collections and have apparently satisfied their law enforcement requirements regarding the Safety H.hammerless models. Also, the Australian Arms Auction in Melbourne sells the SH Models, w/o a problem, so they may know how to prove the legality to the authorities. Ed.
Ed; this is GOLD!!! Better than what I asked for....now, to find a copy of that Flyer and some way to verify the Date....

i'm thinking maybe a new thread now; specifically to find a copy...

Thanks heaps man, this is exactly what I need!
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Old 04-16-2018, 11:09 AM
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Shark Bait, Stu, Eddie, Gary and all; thank you so much for your input....some of your images may indeed help.

Ed's heads up about this Flyer from around 1900 is going to be my Silver Bullet I think....

Now to track down an example.....

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Old 04-16-2018, 12:21 PM
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I don't know if this will help or hinder your quest, but I dug out this box of Remington ammo for my .38 Lemon Squeezer; not sure of the vintage.

John

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Old 04-16-2018, 12:26 PM
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Here is what it says on the Buffalo Bore web site about 38 S&W loads:

"This ammunition is safe to use in ANY solid frame revolver that is in ordinary shooting condition. “Solid frame” means any revolver that is not a top break frame. “Ordinary shooting condition”, means ANY revolver that is in condition to fire any factory made, 38 S&W ammo, without malfunction. Have a competent gun smith check your revolver for “ordinary shooting condition” if you have doubts, as many of these revolvers are very old and some imports were made of questionable quality as manufacturing techniques and materials were not advanced one hundred+ years ago. Be certain to take a copy of this press release to your gunsmith, so he can understand the context of your questions."

38 S&W (38 COLT NEW POLICE) Pistol & Handgun Ammunition
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Old 04-16-2018, 12:30 PM
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I don't know if this will help or hinder your quest, but I dug out this box of Remington ammo for my .38 Lemon Squeezer; not sure of the vintage of the ammo.

John



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Old 04-16-2018, 01:26 PM
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Old 04-16-2018, 01:53 PM
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I don't remember ever seeing any warnings printed on ammunition boxes about not using factory ammunition in old or antique guns, just warnings similar to those shown in the pictures above. Modern.38 S&W factory ammunition (with one exception, being Buffalo Bore) is lightly loaded with smokeless powder to pressures no higher than the old black powder .38 S&W loadings from the 19th century precisely because there is such a large number of old top break revolvers still around, and that people still shoot them. Buffalo Bore sells a more heavily loaded .38 S&W cartridge which they warn is to be used ONLY in newer solid frame revolvers, not top breaks. Maybe someone does have a box of those which shows that warning. See posting #17 above. That might be your best bet.

I suppose you could contend that any revolver made prior to around 1900 (or slightly earlier) was designed for the use of ammunition loaded with black powder, and that type of ammunition is no longer generally available. At least in the USA, .38 S&W ammunition has been loaded using smokeless powder since 1894.

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Old 04-16-2018, 03:14 PM
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Actually, black powder 38 S&W is available now for cowboy action shooters.

38 S&W Black Powder Ammo .358" 150 Grain RN Hollow Base Bullet (THIS IS NOT 38 SPECIAL) Box of 50 - Buffalo Arms

That is the problem with countries having laws permitting ownership of revolvers that have no source for ammunition today.. The UK has such laws and as they are reviewed, more and more "legal" arms will become illegal to own. I have sold quite a few Model 3 revolvers to the UK under their obsolete ammo laws, but today almost every caliber has a commercial manufactured source, so what does that mean down the road??
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:31 PM
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Hi, Chris. The warning I think you're looking for was more prominent on boxes of ammo from about 1900 to 1930s, with the advent of smokeless powder to warn user it may not be suitable for black powder guns. Are you seeking such warning on a modern box of ammo ? Those black powder warnings were no longer emphasized by the 1950s.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
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Hi, Chris. The warning I think you're looking for was more prominent on boxes of ammo from about 1900 to 1930s, with the advent of smokeless powder to warn user it may not be suitable for black powder guns. Are you seeking such warning on a modern box of ammo ? Those black powder warnings were no longer emphasized by the 1950s.
Hi Sal; basically anything that shows that the Pre. 1900 Top Breaks were designed and manufactured for a Cartridge no longer available here in my Jurisdiction. Now .38 S&W is obviously still made and in theory still available here; even though no one brings it into Aus because there is really no demand for it.

Warnings on Boxes might help to establish that an 1899 SH or DA in 38 was made for BP, so NP is not technically the Charge it was meant to fire. The old boxes would be the ones of most help for sure.

Ed's suggestion of the Warning Flyer found in S&W Boxes of the Era is the best one by far; basically irrefutable proof so long as its date can be verified.

I wrote a letter about a year ago to the Historical folks we get our S&W Letters from but never heard back from them.

Thanks for the pics of your Ammo Boxes fellas; they will be of help and I have plenty now that show what I was asking for.

Proof of the 'Flyer' Ed mentioned and/or of the fact S&W did not Guarantee their Guns with NP puts me on safe ground theoretically; all i need now is something verifiable and I'm set.
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
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Actually, black powder 38 S&W is available now for cowboy action shooters.

38 S&W Black Powder Ammo .358" 150 Grain RN Hollow Base Bullet (THIS IS NOT 38 SPECIAL) Box of 50 - Buffalo Arms

That is the problem with countries having laws permitting ownership of revolvers that have no source for ammunition today.. The UK has such laws and as they are reviewed, more and more "legal" arms will become illegal to own. I have sold quite a few Model 3 revolvers to the UK under their obsolete ammo laws, but today almost every caliber has a commercial manufactured source, so what does that mean down the road??
Hi Gary; it's going to depend on how Laws are worded and how they are interpreted in each Jurisdiction. For example; it was brought up in Court here that places like Buffalo Arms are making limited quantities of BP Ammo for Antique guns very recently. The argument was shot down in flames because Buffalo Arms are not going to post Live Ammo to the UK, Aus, or anywhere else outside Mainland US, so effectively the Cartridge is unavailable outside the US. Here, even if someone in our State of Queensland has a stock of say NP .38 S&W on the shelf; it cant be transported here except by an Explosives Carrier and the cost would be horrendous. So effectively its unavailable in my Jurisdiction.
Our only Importer is Winchester and they do not bring in any Cartridge unless they have an Order of !0,000 Rounds or more.
So here; if you want to shoot .38 S&W, you buy the separate components and load your own. Same goes for .450 and .455 Webley, and many others. We tend to only use BP in BP Guns here, so we are big on Reloading and therefore there is no demand for the 'Re-made' Obsolete Cartridges.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:11 PM
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Have you written to S&W themselves? If they state that the guns may be unsafe with modern loads, that should weigh heavily in your favor.

The basic problem is that you live in a nanny state that's intolerant of firearms ownership. They'll probably twist anything they can to deny ownership.

The .38 S&W/.38-200 was the Australian military revolver round in WW II and for years after. That the ammo is now unavailable there shows the extent to which these anti-gun zealots have achieved their goals.

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Old 04-16-2018, 08:17 PM
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Has anyone there seen the YouTube video saying that the automatic rifle used in the Tasmania shooting that caused the current wave of gun laws was done with a rifle that was supposedly in a police armory when it was misused?
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:41 PM
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It's unfortunate that you have to deal with such oppressive laws. Get in touch if you ever come to New Mexico. We'll go to the range for some fun. Best of luck with your situation. I truly hope it works out in your favor.
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:14 PM
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Shark Bait; that's damn nice of you and if I ever get the chance to visit the US; I'll be sure to look up a few of you boys; a couple of which i have bought S&Ws from and had 'em shipped over here. Antique Smiths are pretty uncommon here as most of our Guns came in through England where Colt was well established and Webley and the London and Birmingham Makers had the Market pretty much sewn up.
I've had a thing for S&Ws for many years and favor them over most every other Maker for their sheer quality and handsome looks.

collecting can be a stressful business here for the reasons you outline Texas Star; my Country started out a Penal Colony; a far flung prison for largely Irish Rebels and Political Prisoners. Several of which i descend from. A lot of the 'Convicts and Gaolers' mentality still exists here and it's still clear who descends from whom; most noticably here in Tasmania, which was the Prison island of Van Diemens Land. We have more Guns here per capita than any other State and the lowest crime rate; much like the US States when you look at the figures.

The 'Port Arthur Massacre' of 1996 which happened about 2 hours from where I am gave our Federal Govt an excuse to make Guns incredibly highly controlled and in effect outlawed anything you would use on anything bigger than a Rabbit. There was no public will to reform Gun Laws before it happened and a lot of foks here say the whole thing was a set up to take our Guns off us.

Luckily we do have our pre.1900 examption; its only a few bad eggs in the Police Force here that are acting outside the Law and persecuting Collectors. We'll sort it out; we have a Big Gun lobby here too and we are onto it. Thanks to all for your kind wishes and friendship; it is a worldwide brotherhood as it should be and we do take heart from the kind acts and words we receive from our American Brothers. We often do it tough over here, but we dont take their cr*p lying down!!
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