Originally posted by Laser Spot
Good info, but semi-obsolete is putting it kindly. It's been obsolete in the US since the 38 Special was invented; that was over 100 years ago.
I don't consider a cartridge to be truly obsolete until all the major U.S. ammo manufacturers (Winchester, Remington, CCI/Speer, Hornady, Cor-Bon, and Federal) quit making ammo for it. Since its only guns that aren't currently produced rather than ammo, I view it as semi-obsolete
Originally posted by jhvaughan2
The British chose the 38 s&W the US chose the long colt. If it was not for the British and all the lend-lease revolvers made in the US the cartridge would have died decades earlier.
Even S&W knew this. The 38 S&W Special is an improvement of the Long Colt not the 38 S&W.
Actually, the .38 S&W remained popular for decades after the introduction of the .38 Special. Until 1950, the smallest gun that S&W made in .38 Special was the K-Frame M&P and K-38 Combat Masterpiece (Pre-Models 10 and 15 respectively). It wasn't until the introduction of the J-Frame Chief Special (Pre-Model 36) in 1950 that S&W made a small-frame .38 Special. Prior to that, the only small .38 that S&W offered was the Terrier which built on the I frame and chambered for .38 S&W. Even after the Chief Special/M36 came out, S&W continued to offer the K-Frame M&P (Model 11) in .38 S&W until 1965 as well as both the Terrier (Model 32) and 38 Regulation Police (Model 33) in the same caliber until 1974 though later models were built on the J rather than I-Frame.
Also, the British adopted the .38/200 (.38 S&W loaded with either a 200grn or 178grn bullet) in 1932 with the Enfield No. 2 Mk.I revolver which replaced the older Webley Mk. VI revolver that chambered the .455 Webley Mk. II cartridge. This was a full 23 years after the United States abandoned the .38 Long Colt as the so-chambered Colt M1892 Army & Navy revolvers were beginning to be phased out in 1909 in favor of the Colt New Service revolver in .45 Long Colt (these were unsurprisingly designated as the Model 1909) which was in turn replaced by the Colt M1911 .45 ACP in (you guessed it) 1911.