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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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  #1  
Old 03-14-2010, 07:47 PM
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Default 38 Super in a 38 Special

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?
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:02 PM
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I would have the cylinder cut for it and use moon clips.
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:38 PM
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DON'T! Everything I've read says this is an extremely dangerous combination. Yes, it would make a 642 go into KB mode.

Dimensions are all different and the .38 Super has a SAMMI max pressure of 36,500 PSI as opposed to a .38 Special +P max pressure of 20,000 PSI.

You might succeed with .357 Magnum chambered revolver but why risk it? Just put FBI +P loads in the 642 as they will stop anything on two legs that a .38 Super would stop - and do it cheaper.

William
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Old 03-15-2010, 07:50 AM
David Sinko David Sinko is offline
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I know at least one shooter who had an L Frame .357 modified to take .38 Super cartridges in special moonclips. He loaded bullets sized .357" or .358" into the Super brass and it worked very well. Comparing .38 Super and .38 Special, the .38 Super is in fact the weak sister among the two. Properly handloaded, the .38 Special in a modern revolver will beat it.

Dave Sinko
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sinko View Post
I know at least one shooter who had an L Frame .357 modified to take .38 Super cartridges in special moonclips. He loaded bullets sized .357" or .358" into the Super brass and it worked very well. Comparing .38 Super and .38 Special, the .38 Super is in fact the weak sister among the two. Properly handloaded, the .38 Special in a modern revolver will beat it.

Dave Sinko

I doubt that. Not safely, in a .38 gun. And a .357 is hotter than a Super, so why bother?

Some people have also rechambered .38's for .357 ammo. Again, not a good idea at all.

Today, the .357 SIG achieves what the .38 Super was meant to do. Modern Super ammo is usually loaded lighter than the original 1300 FPS with a 130 grain bullet specs.

T-Star
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:02 AM
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"..weak sister..." Lets see..the hottest factory .38 Special is made by CorBon..about 1200 fps with a 110 grain bullet from a 4" barrel. I have not clocked them yet but since CorBon .38 Super runs 1450 with a 115 from a 5" 1911 I will bet they will run 1300+ from a 4" revolver. So if you would please post some .38 Special handloads that make 1200+ fps with a 125 grain bullet I will post some that will with a .38 Super using a 4" revolver...and yes, I do have a 686-7PC .38 Super...

As to the original question, yes, Winchester .38 Super will fit, fire and eject in many .38 Special revolvers. I have shot them in a 70s vintage Model 36 and a 60-1. There are several gunsmiths who will do the correct conversion to .38 Super... One of the forum members just had his 640 done a short while ago...

The advantage over the .38 Special is speed...

Bob
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sinko View Post
Comparing .38 Super and .38 Special, the .38 Super is in fact the weak sister among the two.
You must have meant to state that the other way around, .38 Super is far more powerful than .38 Special. I have fired lots of .38 Super from my Model 28, and never had any extraction problems. No modifications and no moon clips are required to fire modern Winchester and Magtech brands of .38 Super from modern S&W .38 Special and .357 magnum revolvers. I am not recommending anyone else do it, and I'm not going to do it in my aluminum J frames, but it does work.

The .38 Super is rimmed and has a straight case, not unlike the .38 Special, that is why they will work in the two ammo brands mentioned above.

Below is a pic of my Model 66 with a cylinder full of Winchester 125 grain .38 Super Silvertips...


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Old 03-15-2010, 11:19 AM
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Would someone please explain why you would want to shoot the wrong ammunition in any gun? And, I'm not talking about 38 Specials in a Magnum (or 44 Spl in 44 Mags) the factories advocate that as they are fundamentally the same cartridge except for length.

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Old 03-15-2010, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sinko View Post
Comparing .38 Super and .38 Special, the .38 Super is in fact the weak sister among the two. Properly handloaded, the .38 Special in a modern revolver will beat it.

Dave Sinko
I think you are thinking of the earlier 38 automatic, or was it the 38 Colt automatic?

It was the forerunner of the 38 Super which is the same case loaded to about twice the pressure.

It was one of those times when they didn't make the case longer to create what was essentially a magnum cartridge.
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Old 03-15-2010, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave T View Post
Would someone please explain why you would want to shoot the wrong ammunition in any gun?
I guess two standard answers would be '...because we can...' and '...just to be different...'. Granted, neither of those are very good answers.

I first did it because someone on The High Road said it could not be done. Also, I have over 1K of factory .38 Super ammo that I consider as backup to my .38 Special and .357 Magnum stash. I don't carry .38 Super in .38 Special or .357 Magnum revolvers, but it's nice to know I could if the ammo well ever ran dry.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:59 PM
JimGnitecki JimGnitecki is offline
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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.

The 38 Super was originally developed as a semiauto cartiridge to compete with the 357 Magnum revolvers. One of its design goals was to enable police officers to shoot through a car door to disable or kill bank robbers. No kidding.

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.

Then, the IPSC competitors, always seeking an advantage, found that the cartridge was strong enough to be loaded to major (versus minor) power levels. The combination of a 115g .355" bullet (same diameter as a 357 Mag actually), at 1300 to 1400 fps, in a cartridge size small enough to load MANY into a semiauto magazine, was VERY attractive to the IPSC shooters. So, they started doing it.

This upset the ammo manufacturers a LOT, as it resulted in 38 Super ammo being "out there" that was clearly way too strong for those cheap imported semiauto pistols mentioned earlier. So, the manuafcturers never did load 38 Super for those higher energy levels.They typically load 38 Super for 115 g at 1100 fps (310 ft lb of energy), or, when feeling more adventuresome (when the corporate attorney is distracted?), they load up to 115g at 1300 fps (430 ft lb of energy).

Now I handload, so for me, using the Vihtavuori relaoding manual at SAFE levels, I can make 38 Super ammo that spits 115g .355 bullets out at 1450 fps (537 ft lb of energy). That's WAY hotter than any "38 Special" factory loads, but as others have already pointed out, still less than 357 Magnum, which easily reaches 600 ft lb of energy and higher as I recall.

So, you can reach a couple of conclusions after digesting the above:

1. CURRENT FACTORY 38 Super ammo MIGHT be safe in some revolvers, but prudence suggests they be 357 revolvers, not 38 Super revolvers.

2. HANDLOADED 38 Super ammo might not be safe in most revolvers, but I'm sure that someone will say that an "N" framed stainless revolver could handle them.

Bear in mind that if anyone gets hurt in either scenario, and that person is not YOU, you may have some very fancy explaining to do on a court witness stand as to why you knowingly loaded and fired the wrong ammo in a revolver. The term the attornies are likely to use is "reckless endangerment".

Jim G
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGnitecki View Post
The 38 Super was originally developed as a semiauto cartiridge to compete with the 357 Magnum revolvers.
That is incorrect. The .38 Super was developed first, offered in 1929, and the .357 Magnum was developed to compete with it in 1935, not the other way around.

Quote:
ammunition manufacturers REALLY watered down the 38 Super cartridges they produced and sold...

They typically load 38 Super for 115 g at 1100 fps
I respectfully disagree. I did a test of old -vs- new .38 Super factory loaded ammo and found that today's ammo and that manufactured 40 to 70 years ago are virtually the same, both averaging over 1200 fps with 130 grain bullets. A link is provided below...

Ammo Test Old -vs- New for 38 Super
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:17 PM
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..why..? Well I love the Super and one day back in the early 1980s wondered if it could be done so I tried it...none of the rounds would work except for the Winchester ST so I tried it..and it ran just fine.

The Super also makes a snubbie on the same power level as a 9mm. It is too bad more of the manufacturers don't chamber snubbies for .38 Super, 9mm or 9x23 Winchester as they are much more effective rounds than the .38 Special...

Bob
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:32 PM
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Jim...Imported handguns was not the reason .38 Super pressures are kept down...there are very few non-American made .38 Supers out there...at least from the time period you are talking about. The correct reason was the early Colt 1903 semis were cambered for .38 Auto. The .38 Super is just a .38 Auto case loaded to a higher pressure. This is where the problem came in...people started using .38 Super in the 1903s...not dangerous...but it beat the guns to pieces.

And it was not the manufacturers who got upset... SAMMI (I think that is the name) who sets the standard pressure limits for cartridges (regular, +P, +P+) recognized the problem and set the limits. So in reality .38 Super isn't much hotter that the original .38 Auto. .38 Super +P is really .38 Auto +P and the only real .38 SUPER ammo on the market that is loaded up to the true potential of the cartridge are those from CorBon.

Bob
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:48 AM
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Handloads? OK... 158 gr. SWC, 8.2 grs. SR4756 for 1126 FPS out of my Ruger SP-101 with 2.25" barrel. I'm no fan of light bullets at high velocity and have never handloaded them, but if I did load a 110 gr. bullet and shoot it out of this revolver with the equivalent 5" barrel, your Super will still come up short. Compared to the .38 Special, the Super lacks case capacity and can not handle the heavier bullets. I've said it before and I'll say it again... In modern revolvers, a properly loaded .38 Special puts all its rimless auto pistol counterparts to shame.

Dave Sinko
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:21 AM
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..well we can call it equal...160 grain lead round nose with 6.5 grains of SR4756 @ 1170 fps......and yes .38 Supers will run over 1000 fps with bullets up to 180 grains...

You are also no longer really talking about a .38 Special...just a .38 Special case that is running pressures in the .357 Magnum area. These .38 Super loads can be fired in any .38 Super handgun..your loads can not.

SR4756 is a GREAT powder..10 grains with a 125 Sierra JHC runs 1325 from a 4"...but again how long with a real .38 Special revolver, not just a .357 that is chambered for .38, last at such pressures...

And of course the final problem is that most manufactures won't load .38 Special, or .38 Super for that matter, above SAMMI specs. CorBon and Buffalo Bore seem to be the exception of wanting to push the edge...

Bob
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:28 AM
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Interesting thread. I've shot more .38 Super than any other caliber, except perhaps .45 ACP, numbering in the many tens of thousands of rounds. When Major really was major in IPSC (175 PF) I was running 124 grain bullets at 1425 fps (my favorite and the one I shot most), 115 grainers at 1600 (only briefly--stretched barrel links were a problem) 135s at 1335 and 150s at 1200. All these velocities are from a 5" barrel, using SR-4756 powder. No, you cannot do that with .38 Special without getting way out into +P+ Land. NO, you won't find manuals with those loads in them, at least not for the light bullets. That said, factory .38 Super loads, except for some Cor-Bon and Double Tap loads, are pretty wimpy, and I wouldn't worry much about shooting them in a .38 Special rated for +P. Super cases are much stronger than Specials, which also helps, and bullet diameter is .356", which will reduce pressure a bit in a .357" tube. Nonetheless, I can't see a good reason, other than just not being able to get .38 Special ammo, to use Super ammo in a Special.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:30 AM
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Winchester markets a 38 Super loading that they claim delivers 1240 fps with a 125 gr. hollow point bullet in a 5" barrel.

It is referred to as a 38Super+P

Givin the size of the case, I would guess the pressure to be crowding 30K psi, but that is just a guess.

It ain't no pansey.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:43 AM
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I can't see a good reason, other than just not being able to get .38 Special ammo, to use Super ammo in a Special.
There are those who place great importance on being able to shoot alternate ammo in a revolver. Actually that is one of the advantages of the revolver over the semi auto pistol.

My father was one of those. He spent a lot of time praising the .357 Mg. because of this, citing the fact that .38 Sp. ammo could be used and USUALLY even .38 S&W ammo would chamber and fire and also the .38 Super and the earlier 38 ACP.

I think the old man had a survivalist mentality, but it was wasted on me because I came into the world when it was as easy to get the RIGHT ammo as it was to get something that would just go bang.

I agree with you.....I fail to see the reason, absent, of course, being in a combat situation and .38 Super being all that was available.
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Old 03-16-2010, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
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Winchester markets a 38 Super loading that they claim delivers 1240 fps with a 125 gr. hollow point bullet in a 5" barrel.

It is referred to as a 38Super+P

Givin the size of the case, I would guess the pressure to be crowding 30K psi, but that is just a guess.

It ain't no pansey.
Is that the Silvertip? If so, I've chronoed it, and it runs more like 1050-1100 fps, at least when I last checked it. Even if it actually ran at 1240, that's just barely more than 9x19 NATO, at 1220 fps. I won't stand in front of it, but it barely scratches the surface of what .38 Super can safely do.

And let me correct myself on something: In .38 Special, with 150-158 gr. CAST bullets, one can get velocities that rival .38 Super, without endangering most guns. With the lighter bullets, and jacketed ones of any weight, not so much...
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:04 PM
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As an aside, DoubleTap loads .38 Super to 125gr @ 1350fps / 506ft. lbs. from a 1911, should still be moving pretty quick from a 4" 686.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
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the Super...can not handle the heavier bullets.
My Lee reloading manual has 12 loads listed for the .38 Super with 160 grain bullets.

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Old 03-16-2010, 04:46 PM
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Is that the Silvertip? If so, I've chronoed it, and it runs more like 1050-1100 fps, at least when I last checked it. Even if it actually ran at 1240, that's just barely more than 9x19 NATO, at 1220 fps. I won't stand in front of it, but it barely scratches the surface of what .38 Super can safely do.

And let me correct myself on something: In .38 Special, with 150-158 gr. CAST bullets, one can get velocities that rival .38 Super, without endangering most guns. With the lighter bullets, and jacketed ones of any weight, not so much...
Yes, that is the Silvertip. Did you chrono it with a 5" bbl? Factory ballistics are usually lower than advertised, but not by that much, that represents a velocity difference of about 13%. I will take your word for it though as I have never chronographed any of it.
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:13 PM
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Yes, it was from a 5" barrel, but it has been a few years since I chronoed any. Hopefully, WW has beefed it up some since then, but as I recall, what you stated (1240fps) was what they touted back then. Since I started carrying 9x23 and don't shoot USPSA anymore, I don't burn much Super ammo of any flavor. I used to carry .38 Supers, usually in shorter guns, so I did lots of chronography to see what was best, both in 5-inchers and shorter guns, both 4 1/4" and my 3" Craig Fantom Fighter. Nothing from any of the majors even matched 9mm+P from any barrel length, so I carried Cor-Bon. One I also recall was the 115gr. JHP load from PMC. It clocked a whopping 1150 fps from a 5" barrel. Cor-Bon 115gr. 9x19 gets 1425 from my Hi-Powers, so the PMC .38 Super question was, "Why?"
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:40 PM
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This is all very interesting. I had never even considered this before, but I just got home after looking at a friends guns. He had a pretty new M60 .357 loaded with supers and I think he even had them in an older M36 .38 Spl. I about had a heart attack. I told him not to do that. After reading this I guess it's still not a very good idea, but at least in the .357 he probably won't kill himself if he doesn't listen to me. Ya learn something new every day.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
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Hopefully, WW has beefed it up some since then, but as I recall, what you stated (1240fps) was what they touted back then.
I chrono-ed some of the Winchester 125 grain Silver Tip on three separate occasions back in 2006, from three different boxes. All were shot in my Sig P220 w/4" barrel. On August 12 a 5 shot string averaged 1201 fps. On September 2 two shots averaged 1162 fps, and on October 24 two shots averaged 1176.

The hotter temperatures in August probably influenced the outcomes. Also, the ES on those five shots in August was 43, which I though was a little high. As previously stated, those three results were from different boxes, which I believe spanned a significant time frame of manufacture, because some of the boxes had the cardboard bottom, and others were styrofoam.
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:02 AM
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Thanks, Stiab! Good recordkeeping on your part. As an official old fart, I suffer time compression. I'm not sure, but I expect that the last Super Silvertips I chronoed would have been in 1998-2000, well before yours. Sounds like yours were peppier, especially since Sig barrels often do not give velocities as high as some others, at least in my experience.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:56 AM
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There is a good reason it does not say 38sp AND 38Super on the barrel. That should tell you something unless you think you know more than the designers/engineers at SW in which case ...
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:25 AM
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Default .38 Super in .38 Special

In his book "Pistolsmithing", (Stackpole Books, 1974, sixth printing January 1980) retired Army Ordnance Officer Major George C. Nonte, Jr. mentions on page 393 a S&W M&P converted to .38 Super. Had this conversion been unsafe in any way, he would have advised avoiding this conversion, which he clearly did not. In fact, he has a heading entitled "Conversions Not To Attempt." I quote from the jacket: "George C. Nonte, Jr. , a retired Army Ordnance officer, was one of the most skilled and knowledgeable masters of firearms. A prolific author, he wrote articles and books about almost every aspect of shooting sports. He also operated a professional firearms testing, evaluation, and consultation service." I personally have never tried this, as I have had no reason to up to this point. -Ed.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:12 PM
David Sinko David Sinko is offline
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I see we are now debating the merits of which gun can fire the respective cartridge. Apparently modern .38 Special revolvers are off limits, because "It's just not fair to bring a modern .38 Special into the equation!"

I think the intention of the original post was to compare the .38 Special IN A REVOLVER to the .38 Super IN A REVOLVER. I owned one of the first "modern" .38 Super revolvers. It was a first run Performance Center 627-4 eight shooter, the 88th one made according to the serial number. Well, that revolver was an embarassment that proves S&W has no shame. It was utterly useless without moonclips (a trend which seems to be creeping into their modern .45 ACP revolvers as well). And apparently the vaunted PC put .357" barrels on these revolvers. Combine that with a .355" cylinder throat and that just might explain why my revolver couldn't hit a man size target at 10 yards with a cast bullet, no matter what the sizing diameter. So why would anybody want such a thing?

The only justification for any .38 Super revolver is ICORE match use, and then mine worked only with jacketed or plated bullets. S&W did make a six shot .38 Super (I believe it was a K Frame) that was intended for IDPA competition, but then shortly thereafter IDPA split the Revolver division and raised the power factor to 165 for the moonclip guns. This decision made demand for that revolver disappear literally overnight. S&W has re-introduced the 8x.38 Super 627 but the hardcore competition shooters suddenly aren't interested. Why is that? Well, at a recent ICORE match I shot side by side with a shooter who was using a 627 Pro .357 Magnum eight shooter with moonclipped .38 Short Colt. That revolver gave excellent accuracy and lightning fast reloads at a fraction of a cost of a Super. Oh, and it works without moonclips! And it works with cast bullets too! S&W's bean counters might be pretty stupid, but competitive shooters who spend their hard earned dollars are not.

Pocket guns? There was a recent thread debating the merits of the 940 chambered in 9mm vs. .38 Super and 9x23. Nobody was able to exceed the velocities I obtained with handloaded 9mm using either the Super or 9x23. In fact, experience has shown me that in a 2" barrel, the 9mm and .38 Special will produce the same velocities with top end loads. Put a longer barrel into the equation and the .38 Special wins every time.

Some shooters want a .38 Super revolver to compliment their Open autos. But guess what? Most of the brass that has been shot out of the Open autos doesn't fit into the Super revolver chambers even after resizing. Why? Because the Open shooters are running at very high pressures in order to make power factor and warping the brass. I never experienced this problem with top end .38 Special handloads in ANY modern revolver.

As far as I see it, the .38 Super has no redeeming value in a revolver. At least not until S&W decides to make their Super revolvers properly. They could start by headspacing the cartridge on the case mouth so that the moonclips wouldn't be necessary for reliable ignition. The semi-rim of the Super cartridge should allow reliable extraction too, meaning that moonclips would be necessary only for fast reloads. And a proper .355" barrel just might be a good idea too. At the moment these minor considerations seem to be too much trouble.

So... what does a .38 Super revolver do that a .38 Special revolver can NOT do, other than cause headaches? I would certainly like to hear from any shooters who have Super revolvers that DO shoot cast bullets well or function properly without moonclips.

Dave Sinko
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sinko View Post
I see we are now debating the merits of which gun can fire the respective cartridge. Apparently modern .38 Special revolvers are off limits, because "It's just not fair to bring a modern .38 Special into the equation!"
What specifically are you referring to? I must of missed something in this thread.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:05 PM
David Sinko David Sinko is offline
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I'm just trying to counter the claim that top end .38 Special loads shouldn't count because "they can't be fired in every .38 Special revolver." Besides, isn't the .38 Super just a hotrodded .38 ACP in modern pistols?

I don't have anything against the .38 Super in a semiauto. I do think it leaves a lot to be desired in a revolver, as it is not better in terms of either power or versatility.

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Old 03-18-2010, 07:59 PM
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I understand now, thanks for the clarification.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:58 PM
smokinj38 smokinj38 is offline
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weaker sister? i run a 115 load in my race gun at 1500. i have a 627 in 38 super that they would work great in.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:03 PM
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Dave...you are right. In a revolver a .38 Special is much more practical. I had one of the .38 Super 627s and while a nice games gun that is all it was good for...so I sold it... I do however love the two 686s I have. As to cast bullets or shooting w/o moon clips in either gun I have no clue as almost all of my .38 Super shooting over the last 15 years has been with jacketed or plated bullets since the indoor range I shoot at went jacketed only.

As to saying the .38 Super is just a hotrodded .38 Auto, that isn't really correct. Although John Browning/Colt made the very bad error of simply using the .38 Auto case loaded to velocities that could be handled in the new 1911 pistols, .38 Super ammo was never intended to be fired in the old Colts that took the .38 Auto. Can Supers be fired in .38 Autos...yes, but they will beat the guns to death in short order.

And there is a "Modern .38 Special"...it is called the .357 Magnum. .38 Specials loaded to .357 Magnum velocities that can only be shot from a "modern" .38 Special that is nothing more than a short chambered .357 Magnum is not a .38 Special. .38 Special loads that will beat a gun rated for .38 Special +P to pieces are not .38 Specials.

One of my friends on Dallas PD killed a guy with his City Issue Model 15 using the 125 grain Sierra HP with enough powder to run 1250 fps...dropped the guy DRT. It also cracked the forcing cone of the barrel after just a few boxes because unlike the Model 19 .357 Magnum the 15 has much more unsupported barrel sticking out into the frame.

So you can call your Modern .38 Special anything you want like, .38 Special +P++, just like they did back in the 1930s with the .38/44, but you still can't shoot it in a real .38...

Bob
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:17 PM
grendelbane grendelbane is offline
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Some of my .38s and .357s won't chamber a .38 Super cartridge. That is OK with me, as I prefer to shoot .38s and .357s out of wheelguns, and .38 Supers out of bottom feeders. Just funny that way.

I have to wonder if there might not be a .38/.357 chamber out there that is loose enough to chamber a .38 Super, but tight enough to create a high pressure situation when fired.

I also wonder about accuracy, since the cartridge is going to have sloppy headspace on that dinky semi-rim. Plus an extremely long jump to the barrel.

I can't see any call for it other than a true emergency situation.

Fortunately no one has mentioned shooting 9x19 in a 9x23mm chamber.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grendelbane View Post
Some of my .38s and .357s won't chamber a .38 Super cartridge.
Some of mine won't either. A 1970 M60 will not but a 1978 M60 will. A 1968 Detective Special will not but a 1969 Python will.

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I also wonder about accuracy, since the cartridge is going to have sloppy headspace on that dinky semi-rim. Plus an extremely long jump to the barrel.
I have not noticed any accuracy problems out of my M28, it's as good for plinking as shooting 38 Special rounds out of it. And as to "long jump to the barrel", I'll need to measure but I think that leap is not as long as for a 9mm to a J frame barrel.

I think all the OP's questions have been asnwered, including that it will work.
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  #38  
Old 04-07-2010, 10:56 PM
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Without reading the entire thread

I think the thickness of the brass has plenty to do with the PSI/CUP a particular handgun will handle, be it a revolver or an auto. If the Super reamer was'nt so darn expensive, and I allready got enough guns to shoot the Super, and a bunch more to shoot the Special. I'd have tried this by now. (not to mention the guys reamin the 940 to Super, and I'm pretty darn sure its the same cylinder as a 640, matter of fact they're interchangeable)


Anyway.....

Heres some "major" data for the Super....... I've seen some that make this look conservative. THIS stuff I sure wold'nt want to run out an older 38 special....

http://www.k8nd.com/documents/hl38sup.pdf
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:07 AM
Joseph G Joseph G is offline
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I've read enough. Now all I have to do is sell the RBCD 38 Super I bought or buy another gun to run it. Life is too! Super does not really fit in my 357 magnum and I don't want to shoot it in my dad's 38 Special Victory model even though it fits. I've looked to no avail. Can someone point me to a thread on how to legally get rid of this ammo?
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:36 AM
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I've never found anyplace that had .38 Super and didn't have .38 Special or .357 Magnum. I've found lots of places that had .38 Special and/or .357 Magnum that didn't have .38 Super. Just don't see the advantage of shooting expensive ammo from a gun not chambered for it.

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Old 04-18-2013, 02:00 PM
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IMHO if a 38 spl revolver isn't enough, why not just get a 357? What advantage is there to using Super 38 other than being different? Factory loads for the Super 38 are not up to the same power level as a 357, & probably spendier to boot. Personally I handload my 38 spl ammo to warmish levels & am satisfied with it in my j-frames. I wouldn't mind a 9mm j-frame snubby, but mainly because of (hopefully) cheap surplus ball practice ammo, and interchangable ammo capabilities with my 9mm pistol. I don't think my 9mm handload of a 115gr JHP at 1200fps is anymore of a man-stopper than my 38 spl 158gr lead HP's at close to 900.
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:02 PM
snubbiefan snubbiefan is offline
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Ya'll know good-n-well that most of us older retired farts have nothing better to do than sit around and figure.....what if.

I would certainly agree that purchasing a 357-Magnum for the sole purpose of shooting the 38-Super would be for somebody that just had to have that "niche" gun.....or a LOT of 38-Super ammo on his hands and not enough guns to shoot it in. Lets not let it escape those that don't know, but before the 357 came along....the 38-Super was the hottest handgun load on the market.

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Old 04-18-2013, 03:34 PM
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all 38 super is plus p. my series 70 colt 1911 puts a lot of ammo down the tube in excess of 1300 fps. 38 super is not watered down .38 spl. do a little research and you will find (per FBI data) that there are 3 rounds that will pass through a car with no prob. one is fn 5.7, one is .357 in 115 or 125 gr., and the last is 38 super. 38 special is not in the top 5. i'll put my 1911 in 38 super up against any .38 special, including federal +p+ hydros... and i would not shoot any ammo from any of my guns that is not stamped on the outside of said gun.
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Winchester markets a 38 Super loading that they claim delivers 1240 fps with a 125 gr. hollow point bullet in a 5" barrel.

It is referred to as a 38Super+P

Givin the size of the case, I would guess the pressure to be crowding 30K psi, but that is just a guess.

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Old 04-18-2013, 04:15 PM
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I believe Mr. Sinko has given the most cogent case against the .38 Super in a .357/.38.

If nothing else, optimally the .38 Super takes a jacketed .355 bullet while the .357 does take a jacketed .357.

Given that S&W has usually been generous in cutting its barrels, unlike a Colt Python that cuts them around .355, the Smith barrels with .357/.358/.359 dimensions just doesn't allow
for the best accuracy with the .38 Super's .355.

As an aside, I don't believe the 9mm is all that great shakes in the Ruger Blackhawk .357 convertibles when it comes to accuracy.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:04 PM
snubbiefan snubbiefan is offline
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Just to second getoff.....the 38-Super was +P at birth. It's a hopped-up 38 Automatic round. I guess when it was born, they didn't want to call it a 38 Automatic +P. +P may not have been invented yet....that was 1928.



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Old 04-18-2013, 05:27 PM
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It actually had to do with pistol design and metallurgy. The 1902 was not a very strong pistol and isn't safe for the super round even though dimensionally they're the same cartridge.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:48 PM
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.38 Automatic and .38 Super will definitely fit and function in a .357 magnum-chambered firearm. The .38 auto and Super cartridges are identical dimensionally. I don't have any .38 Super cartridges, but here is a .38 Auto cartridge chambered below a .357 magnum cartridge in a Model 66 snubby. The semi-rim of the .38 Auto and Super is a bit thinner than a .38 special or .357 magnum, but either cartridge should work well. Nice to know if all you can get is .38 Super (like often in Mexico or South American countries).

John

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  #48  
Old 04-18-2013, 06:34 PM
snubbiefan snubbiefan is offline
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I only argue (humbly and respectfully) that not just any-old 38-Super round will chamber in any-old 357. Certain rounds produced by certain manufacturers work....others not so much. There are several post here in the thread above that attest to that. It has to be a little undersized round, or a little over-sized chamber...or some of both.

I understand that the popularity of the round "south-of-the-border" is due to the fact that citizens cannot own a gun chambered in a military round and the military round of choice in those countries is the 45ACP.

Hey.....just grab a 9MM revolver and be done with it. The 9 can be loaded-up to idiotic pressures, but you need a lot of gun under it to shoot it. The Russians did all sorts of crazy stuff to the 9x19....even had a body-armor piercing load and one that zipped along at a muzzle-velocity approaching 2,000 fps.

By-the-way....I too have had several Colt 1911's chambered in 38-Super and I love the round.

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Old 04-18-2013, 06:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlewisiii View Post
DON'T! Everything I've read says this is an extremely dangerous combination. Yes, it would make a 642 go into KB mode.

Dimensions are all different and the .38 Super has a SAMMI max pressure of 36,500 PSI as opposed to a .38 Special +P max pressure of 20,000 PSI.

You might succeed with .357 Magnum chambered revolver but why risk it? Just put FBI +P loads in the 642 as they will stop anything on two legs that a .38 Super would stop - and do it cheaper.

William
I really agree with the safety concerns expressed here. I don't think the .38 Special +P is the equal to a full house .38 Super, the Super has a significant energy edge. All things being equal, more velocity/energy in the same weight slug means better terminal performance. Don
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:55 PM
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A .308 Winchester will chamber in a .270 Winchester, but pulling the trigger is a poor idea. Recoil is significant!
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