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S&W Revolvers: 1980 to the Present All NON-PINNED Barrels, the L-Frames, and the New Era Revolvers


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  #51  
Old 04-19-2013, 02:24 PM
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Both factory ammo tables as well as my old Speer #10 book indicate you can get a lot more performance out of the 357 than the Super 38. Seems like all of the guns being discussed here for shooting Super 38 in are already chambered for 357 magnum or are available in 357. I don't see any reason for a super 38 revolver except for being different-- which is OK as long as you admit that's what it's about.
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  #52  
Old 04-20-2013, 09:12 AM
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The question begs for another thought. The 9x23 !
This round out performs the .357 hands down and can be shot in a properly reamed .357.
I shoot it all the time in my M586-- that has been cut to take semi rims and reamed to take the longer bullet.
Good round, this 9x23-----High Pressures though.
I don't do hand loads up to speed max in the revolver.
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  #53  
Old 04-21-2013, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williamlayton View Post
The question begs for another thought. The 9x23 !
This round out performs the .357 hands down and can be shot in a properly reamed .357.
I shoot it all the time in my M586-- that has been cut to take semi rims and reamed to take the longer bullet.
Good round, this 9x23-----High Pressures though.
I don't do hand loads up to speed max in the revolver.
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WHERE do you get such nonsense?? You can't back that up with data from a reputable source. Do you say it because you want to believe it or what? Or do you freelance on reloading and hope for the best?

Here's what Hodgdon says and boy, what a crushing defeat for the .357!

9X23 - 125gr/1300 fps @ 46,000 psi; 469 ft lbs
.357 - 158gr/1591 fps @ 40,700 cup; 882 ft lbs

Don

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  #54  
Old 04-21-2013, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by westkybanded View Post
What's the real scoop? I've heard tell that a few brands will even extract properly. Would there be a ballistic advantage to the super over a +P load in 38 Special? Is a 642 going to fly apart doing this?
Do NOT do this under any circumstances.
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  #55  
Old 04-21-2013, 01:34 PM
shawn mccarver shawn mccarver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westkybanded View Post
What's the real scoop? I've heard tell that a few brands will even extract properly. Would there be a ballistic advantage to the super over a +P load in 38 Special? Is a 642 going to fly apart doing this?
There are apparently a huge number of people on this forum who, for whatever reason, buy a gun in one caliber and then want to shoot other calibers through that gun.

I see this all the time with M&Ps. The questions just keep coming: Can I shoot 9mm in my .40, can I shoot .40 in my 9mm, etc., etc.

Why someone would want to spend hundreds of gunsmith dollars to convert a revolver to a cartridge for which the revolver is unsuitable is beyond me. Besides the fact that the revolver is worth ZERO after such a conversion, the cost of 38 Super ammo is ridiculous.

Why not just buy a gun for the caliber you want? If you want a Super, get one in its original home: the Colt Government Model. They are a joy to shoot. The Commander takes up no more space than a small revolver and is FAR more pleasant to shoot.

This is a bad idea for so many reasons that it is hard to know where to begin.

But hey, if you want to ruin a fine revolver and risk property damage and personal injury, I am ok with that as long as no one else gets hurt. That means, don't have anyone else near you so that no one besides you gets hurt when the whole thing comes apart suddenly and without warning. By the way, it may not happen on the first round. That will be the exciting part - never knowing WHEN.

Don't do it. If you insist on thinking about it, then think about this: bits of steel and aluminum shards implanting themselves in your eyes and body, living the rest of your life blind and without the use of your hands and perhaps other organs.

Does that appeal to you?
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  #56  
Old 04-21-2013, 06:48 PM
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This discussion reminded me of a case. About 20 years ago I examined a revovler used in a shoot-out with police. It was a Colt Army & Navy revovler from the early 1890s, and chambered in .38 Long Colt when all handgun cartridges were loaded with black powder. The suspect was using .38 Super+P in the revolver designed for the pressures of a black powder .38 Long Colt cartridge. The amazing thing is that the cylinder did not split, but that barrel sure did. The suspect; he ended nose down in the grass.
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  #57  
Old 04-21-2013, 07:02 PM
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I can easily be corrected on this, but I believe MOST of the explosive power needs/does take place in the barrel and not the cylinder. That is a well-known warning to most experienced hand-loaders and in particular some rifle cartridges. You want just enough powder burned to start things moving inside the cylinder bore. If you down-load a round too far, all the powder ignites within the cylinder, which is not a good thing. I can understand how what is stated above can happen.
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  #58  
Old 04-21-2013, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jag312 View Post
This discussion reminded me of a case. About 20 years ago I examined a revovler used in a shoot-out with police. It was a Colt Army & Navy revovler from the early 1890s, and chambered in .38 Long Colt when all handgun cartridges were loaded with black powder. The suspect was using .38 Super+P in the revolver designed for the pressures of a black powder .38 Long Colt cartridge. The amazing thing is that the cylinder did not split, but that barrel sure did. The suspect; he ended nose down in the grass.
Thank heaven for stupid crooks. Don
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  #59  
Old 04-21-2013, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snubbiefan View Post
I can easily be corrected on this, but I believe MOST of the explosive power needs/does take place in the barrel and not the cylinder. That is a well-known warning to most experienced hand-loaders and in particular some rifle cartridges. You want just enough powder burned to start things moving inside the cylinder bore. If you down-load a round too far, all the powder ignites within the cylinder, which is not a good thing. I can understand how what is stated above can happen.
To be more accurate, the goal for max power is burning the maximum amount of powder that can be consumed in the barrel of the gun without exceeding allowable pressure levels.

In a .22LR it might be 16-17", in some very overbore cartridges, it might be as much as 28". Don
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  #60  
Old 04-23-2013, 08:52 AM
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Well Don---I am speaking of a 9x23 in a semi-and a revolver.
I can get 1500fps out of either pretty easily As far as a heavier bullet is concerned---any 9mm or .38 will shoot in a 9x23.
I don't know if anybody still makes a semi in .357 except for the 357sig which can do the same speed.
I will take the 9x23 in a semi, any day, over a revolver--in a fire fight.
I know that .357 fans think it is the greatest thing going and my hats off to you and those. I don't wish to argue the point any further.
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  #61  
Old 04-23-2013, 09:25 AM
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Hey....I'm neutral here guys. I have both semi-autos and revolvers and I will just share something I learned. I lean toward a good functioning semi-auto myself in a fire-fight....(as well as most Police Departments and the military), but I finally got around to getting a moon-clip revolver and it may surprise you to know that you can almost load a moonie revolver as fast as you can a magazine-fed semi-auto. With practice....it's amazing what you can do with a moon-clip revolver. I have seen video's of the "trick-shooters" that can empty a revolver with moon-clips twice in something like under 4 seconds. 12-shots in under 4-seconds from a revolver....amazing.
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  #62  
Old 04-23-2013, 09:39 AM
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Redhawks oldman got it right,.357 mag 5 different ammos, 38sp38s&w 38 super 38acp &.357 mag.............survival gun
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  #63  
Old 12-05-2015, 07:13 PM
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If you search the pawn shops, gun buy backs and other places that specialize in collecting antique firearms, you just might run across the 21 caliber, interchangeable ammo Colt Model 17, or perhaps, the Phillips & Rodgers, made until 1996, that also could shoot up to 27 different sizes of ammo and up to 101 different rounds at last count through its magic cylinder.



NOW - I'm looking for a ubiquitous wheel gun to serve as an alternate weapon or tradeable commodity should we shift into the proverbial SHTF/SOL/OMG "there goes the neighborhood" scenario.


Ammo and food will be the#1 priorities (after drinkable water that you can make yourself if you have to).

So, having something on hand, like a revolver that could fire just about anything except suppositories might come in handy.

Since a .357 Mag will already fire six to ten different common rounds and the Phillips & Rodgers has been seen reliably firing up to 101 different rounds (if it's round and not built like Rosie O' Donnell) it will work), I've been calling up as many curio shops, colllectible lawn dwellers, antique dealers, pawn shops, used things that go bang, and lastly, but not least, my local sheriff's gun buyback programs where they get the ill-bergotten gats off the street and sell them to the public for a song (hold the song if you like). Bought a pair of S&W J Frames that one of the local Bonnie & Clydes decided they didn't need anymore after they successfully sat through 6 months of court ordered anger management.


Yes, the .44 Magnum is a lot bigger and makes artificial intestines almost as good as Dr. Carson - but the .357 Mag. is my Mary Poppins that is quite capable of sharing a little Christmas or Chanukah spirit while keeping the nasty green Grinch dressed in all black pajamas from coming down the pipe and stealing it.


Ho. Ho. Holy sh*t!

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  #64  
Old 12-05-2015, 09:01 PM
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l have some ''Super'' 38 Super ammo. From my ''Super Vel'' ammo collection l shot a few rds from a partial box in my Model SW 28-2. lt put out quite a muzzle flash...Kinda equal to their old 110gr .357 loads..l only did it because l ''COULD''
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  #65  
Old 12-05-2015, 10:00 PM
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Have a Colt 1911 in the aforementioned round and love it. BTW all of the 38 Super that I have purchased in the last few years have been marked +P.
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  #66  
Old 12-05-2015, 11:58 PM
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Default The Medusa. Barrels of fun

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Old 12-05-2015, 11:59 PM
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Airborne Combat Engineer: Medusa multi-caliber revolver
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  #68  
Old 03-17-2017, 04:38 PM
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Last Saturday, March 11, 2017, I was privy to something I didn't realize was possible.
An older woman neighbor, had purchased a new S&W 637 Airweight from Sportsman's Warehouse. She had previously owned a Taurus .38 snubby, but really didn't know a lot about guns.
The person at SW, also sold her two boxes of Winchester .38 Super Auto +P, telling her this is what was needed for her new gun. She did not have a clue and took him at his word.

She called me up and asked if I would meet her out in the woods where she was trying out her new gun. After firing 5 rounds, she thought the recoil was way too much and called me requesting my assistance out there. Having little to do at that moment, I agreed and drove out to meet with her. Upon my arrival, she had already ejected the spent cases in the gravel and reloaded with another 5 rounds. I said well shoot a few more and I will listen and watch the gun recoil. She shot 3 more and I stopped her because her thumb was bleeding in the web area of her right hand. I told her it did sound very loud for standard .38 loads and the recoil was fierce for her.
She swung the cylinder open and I asked her to hand me the gun. I ejected the 3 spent cases and the two live ones.
That's when I realized that she had the wrong ammo. I also realized that she had an injury to the left thumb as well, because the right hand hurt and she tried shooting left handed. Both were cut open, from her hand sliding up onto the frame from the recoil. I stopped her from going any further, due to the danger I realized was imminent. She fired a total of 8 rounds. All loaded and ejected just fine, and none of the cases were split. I inspected the gun and it appears to be sound.
She took the ammo back to SW, told them what happened and they replaced that ammo with 5 boxes of .38 special and apologized for the screw up.
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  #69  
Old 03-17-2017, 05:43 PM
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This is the only story I have about this and since it happened to ME, I will tell it. I took a Super 38 Colt {at least that is what it and all others of the Colt variety say on the barrel hood}, on a trade with 1K rounds of ammo. Having no use for it, I traded it. Then over a period of a couple of months I shot all the ammo in several different .38 specials. Steel went "ping" and it poked nice holes in cardboard. No damage, just fun. That's my story on this subject.
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Old 03-17-2017, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
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I just had to respond when I saw this. Be VERY careful. There is a story behind the 38 Super. Once you have read it, make your own decision. I know a lot about this cartridge because I have shot it for over 11 years.

...

Trouble is, (1) it was not very accurate, as the cartridge headspaced on the rim and (2) a bunch of very cheap pistols were imported that were rather weak to handle the cartridge. Because of the first reason, not many people actually used it. Because of the second reason, ammunition manufacturers REALLY watered down the 38 Super cartridges they produced and sold. The round sort of languished.
This is incorrect. .38 Super headspaces on the rim. The problem is that the early barrels made for it headspaced off of the mouth of the case. The cartridge was fine, the guys at the Colt factory were...well, I don't know what they were thinking.

If you had an aftermarket barrel installed that properly headspaced the cartridge, .38 Super was a real tackdriver.

I think Taffin has an article on this in the current issue of Handgunner. But I know he's definitely written about it in the past.
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Old 03-03-2021, 08:13 PM
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...since my last post...

Sold one of the 686-7s and sent several cylinders to TK Custom for rechambering to .38 Super...the guns all had second cylinders fitted...

S&W 60-10 3" adjustable sight .357
S&W 66-2 3" Ashland Special
S&W 649-1(?) .38 Special...

They all shoot great. The original .38s or .357s will fire in the rechambered cylinders but there is some case swelling as the .38 Super is just a hair larger in the body...

Shown is the modified cylinder for moon clips...they will run Super ammo without moon clips but ejection is iffy...
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  #72  
Old 03-03-2021, 08:21 PM
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This is incorrect. .38 Super headspaces on the rim. The problem is that the early barrels made for it headspaced off of the mouth of the case. The cartridge was fine, the guys at the Colt factory were...well, I don't know what they were thinking.

If you had an aftermarket barrel installed that properly headspaced the cartridge, .38 Super was a real tackdriver.

I think Taffin has an article on this in the current issue of Handgunner. But I know he's definitely written about it in the past.
...you have it reversed... The original 1903/.38 ACP and the COLT SUPER .38 1911 headspaced off the case rim...it was not till the 1970s when BarSto started making replacement barrels that headspaced off the case mouth like a .45 ACP that the 1911 in .38 Super became a tackdriver...
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  #73  
Old 03-03-2021, 08:26 PM
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Exactly itís the chamber pressure.

But most argue about a Llama Extra in 9 mm largo. Some shoot any round that fits it. Even the shorter 9 mm x 19 letting the extractor head space the round instead of the barrel. Or they shoot 38super. Just an example food for thought.

Hmmm letting the extractor headspace the round thereís an idea?
But think with a knotched cam opposite the extractor. Not just thinking out loud.
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Old 03-06-2021, 02:38 AM
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FWIW this thread got me remembering my experiments reloading .38 Super and trying to get them to fit a S&W chamber. Not with much success I might add.
However I remembered I have a box of Sig 125 FMJ .38/Super, so I pulled one and tried it in my 66-8 and my 19-5. Chambered perfectly in both guns.
Not saying Iíll shoot them in these guns, although the 66-8 snubby tempts me.... maybe when ammo is easier to find, if ever.
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  #75  
Old 03-06-2021, 03:14 AM
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I think this thread will have some renewed interest as it looks like picking will be slim for some time, perhaps several years.

But, as we've seen, manufacturers appear to be adapting and focusing more on the common calibers. .38 Special and .357 Magnum are A LOT more common than .38 Super.

My take on the entire thread: it's possible, but less than ideal. Better than shooting .45 Colt from a .410 shotgun to be sure, but not what it was designed to do.
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  #76  
Old 03-06-2021, 08:50 AM
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I sent my 442 cylinder to TK custom and had it re-chambered with moon clips for 9mm and it shoots great. I can still shoot 38ís they recommend not using 9mm+p ammo because the emptyís will stick in the cylinder. 9mm is loaded to higher pressure then +p 38spl.
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  #77  
Old 03-06-2021, 09:24 AM
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Some technical notes:

1. .38 Super +P in a .38 Special is *not* listed in the "Unsafe Combinations" Data Sheet at SAMMI. Of course there's a lot of things I could come up with that also aren't on that sheet. They only list .380 and .357 as an unsafe combination in the .38 Special.

2. All .38 Super ammo is +P. SAMMI has no designation for .38 Super without the +P affixed. Some years ago they did this to try and further differentiate it from the parent .38 ACP which of course has an identical case.

There's a bunch of obsolete European 9mm's out there that could theoretically chamber a .38 Super if their chamber/extractor was sloppy enough. I'm talking about 9mm Largo, 9mm Steyr. These are the guns the ammo manufacturers were worried about the .38 Super finding it's way into.
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:54 AM
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This seems to be a pointless thread. Why not use a handgun chambered for the .38 Super if you want to shoot .38 Super ammo and be content with using .38 Special ammo in revolvers so chambered? "Because it will work" in the wrong gun leaves lots of room for anything but sane interpretation.
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Old 03-06-2021, 04:02 PM
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Where is the buttered popcorn? This is going on far too long. I want to see the movie.
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Old 03-07-2021, 01:05 PM
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Default A little knowledge can be bad

First time poster here and hoping I'm not to far off topic. Posting a cautionary tale. In this ammo shortage I stopped into a chain store while on a getaway and thought I hit an ammo goldmine. My son in laws and I have modern revolvers that take 38.
I bought six boxes of 50 "Remmington 38 s&w wheelgun" ammunition not knowing that it would not work in our modern revolvers. Shame on me. I had no clue that 38 s&w was a specific caliber for antique firearms. Now trying to find a buyer.
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Old 03-07-2021, 01:33 PM
gnystrom gnystrom is offline
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An interesting thread. All I have gleaned from the common-sense crowd is;
1. Why?
or
2. They MIGHT work.

I vote for #1
If you have a few thousand rounds of 38 Super lying around your house, go buy a gun that was manufactured to specifically shoot that round.
If you have a few hundred, they ought to make for some good trades for something you actually can use.

Last edited by gnystrom; 03-07-2021 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 03-07-2021, 03:40 PM
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Eleven. Years.
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