Originally Posted by ronl
Now if I could just find a .38 Special cylinder for it.
, are you aware that the .38 S&W cartridge uses a bullet slightly larger (.361") than the .357" .38 Special bullet?
Many handloaders load the .38 S&W with Spl bullets, with varying degrees of success. With a tight .38 S&W bore, and the use of soft Spl bullets, a good degree of accuracy may be possible. The smaller bullet "slugs out," or obturates to fill the larger bore. On the other hand, using hard bullets at low pressures does not allow the bullet base to expand and fill the bore very well. If one is satisfied with a self-defense arrangement of marginal accuracy, with say, a four inch group at 20 FEET (not yards,) then that might be okay.
I haven't priced Colt revolver cylinders in the past 20 years, but I doubt you could buy one in .38SPL and have it installed for under $150. Colt cylinders are NOT "drop-in" parts; they must be fitted by a knowledgeable 'smith. This doesn't even factor in the time, effort, and telephone charges necessary to locate such a cylinder available for purchase.
, it's your revolver, your money, and your Mom, and I wouldn't essay to tell you what to do. I simply submit that it'd be more economical to sell or trade off that neat little revolver and obtain one originally built in .38 SPL. ALSO
, take this into account: You've commented on how soft-shooting it is, and how easy your Mom handles it. That will change greatly with more powerful .38 SPL ammo, especially if you jump right up to +P loads. Might the elderly lady be better off with a less powerful revolver that she can shoot pretty well?
Oh, and one final consideration: It might be reasonable to expect that a Police Positive Special, in a non-standard caliber, with foreign proof marks, could have some significant collector interest. I believe that occasional practice firing with factory ammo or gentle handloads, with prompt and careful cleaning would not harm this little revolver. And a 72-year-old woman would be unlikely to subject it to a lot of wear and tear.
I think it likely that you'll get this piece back some time in the next couple of decades, and it could only have risen in value during that time. UNLESS
, that is, unless you've modified it so as to destroy any collector value.
Again, your choice. Good luck to you.