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Old September 17, 2012, 08:20 AM   #1
Stressfire
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38 S&W and 38 Special/357

A friend of mine was cleaning out his ammo supply of calibers that he no longer has guns for and came across a few boxes of 38 S&W ammo which he offered to me.

Can the bullets be knocked out and reused in 38 Special or 357 mag?
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Old September 17, 2012, 08:53 AM   #2
oldpapps
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You could try but I wouldn't.
Take them to a local gun show and sell/trade them.
.38 Spec and .357 Mags (and others) are .357/8 inches. The .38 S&W is .360 inches. It's not that the bullets wouldn't fit (that bad) but they are the wrong weight and style to make it worth the effort. I commonly use 9MM cast (.355/6) bullets in my .38 S&W loads but I don't want to stress a 'Marlin' top break revolver.
Just trade them off for what you need/want.

Enjoy,

OSOK
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Old September 17, 2012, 09:09 AM   #3
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If they were lead I'd say you could size them down to .357 for 9mm. but I don't know what style or weight they are so its hard to say if they are worth it.
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Old September 17, 2012, 09:34 AM   #4
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They are 145 grain lead iirc, I believe they are Winchester
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Last edited by Stressfire; September 17, 2012 at 02:32 PM.
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Old September 17, 2012, 02:36 PM   #5
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I believe it would be this stuff

Is it safe to assume the exercise would be more trouble than it's worth?

Given that it might or might not be worth the effort - would it be safe?
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Old September 17, 2012, 03:01 PM   #6
m&p45acp10+1
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They will more than likely be too fat to chamber. You could try a couple if you have a sizer you can size them down. Though I would say use them as trade fodder. The brass, and bullets are not easy to come by. If it is factory ammo offer them for trade for some quality .38spcl/.357 Mag.

Better yet you buy an old top break H&R or S&W and shoot them up yourself.
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Old September 17, 2012, 03:44 PM   #7
Salmoneye
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The bullet diameter of .38 S&W according to current SAAMI is .361"

I have never found a bullet close to this diameter when pulling bullets from factory rounds...

The reason I believe is the large spread of bore diameters used in various arms chambered for the .38 S&W/Colt New Police/.38-200 over the decades...

I have old loading manuals that variously list the bullet size required as being from .354"-.360"...

Back to the ammo in question:

I just pulled a bullet from a cartridge of the Winchester X38SWP that I have on hand, and it mic's at .354"...It is dead soft, unlubed, and has a cupped base like a heeled bullet...It is my opinion that this design will 'slug up' on firing, and conform to whatever the bore is on the particular gun it is fired in...

I also believe that if this was fired in a more powerful cartridge with a large bore (like .357") it would strip the rifling and lead the barrel terribly...

These fire fine in my Albion Enfield No2 mk1...Though they are not supposed to, they chamber and fire in my S&W 686...They will NOT chamber in my Rugers...When the pulled Winchester bullet is dropped into a chamber on my Albion, it quite literally falls through the chamber and barrel unmarked...

When I load for the Albion, I use 2gr Red Dot under a regular 158gr .358" bullet for a very accurate, light round...
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Old September 17, 2012, 04:12 PM   #8
BillM
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Don't do it. That 38 S&W ammo is worth AT LEAST a straight across
trade for 38/357. Might take a while to find someone that wants it,
but there are plenty of guns out there that need it, and darned little
of it on the shelf. I think Winchester may be the only company still
loading it.
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Old September 17, 2012, 04:18 PM   #9
sidewindr
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They are some pricey little jobbers.
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Old September 17, 2012, 04:24 PM   #10
89blazin
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Are the boxes of ammo factory loads, or your friend's reloads? Factory new in box, sell them. As stated already, they are hard to find and pricey to boot.
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Old September 18, 2012, 08:16 AM   #11
Stressfire
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Well, I'd say that's enough "don't do it's" to sway me for sure

Both boxes are factory - 1 full, and 1 about half

Are they really that hard to find? I saw they were a bit pricey, but thought that was just due to lack of demand.

Possible downside, the cases don't look like brass but are too shiny for steel. I don't have them in front of me to look, but did these come in nickel-plated brass?
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Old September 18, 2012, 09:55 AM   #12
Salmoneye
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Quote:
Possible downside, the cases don't look like brass but are too shiny for steel. I don't have them in front of me to look, but did these come in nickel-plated brass?
Every one of the .38 S&W Winchesters I have are nickel plated...

Mine are all maybe 20 years old though...
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