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Old September 6, 2008, 10:58 AM   #1
Genepix
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.38 Special vs .38 Super?

Another area where I thought I knew the answer, but am not sure. Is the difference casing length? Wasn't Super introduced long ago and was replaced by Special? Are they, in fact, interchangeable? I don't plan on shooting Supers, yet when I went to order some A Zoom snap caps, they were offered in Super, not Special... Anyone?
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Old September 6, 2008, 11:24 AM   #2
C Philip
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They are not interchangeable, and all of their dimensions are different. The .38 special was actually made first, introduced in 1902 as a revolver cartridge by S&W. The .38 super is a semi auto cartridge introduced in 1929 by Colt. The .38 super is more powerful than the .38 special, and is mainly used in competitive shooting today chambered in 1911's or custom race guns.
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Old September 6, 2008, 11:26 AM   #3
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They are not interchangeable. The .38 Special is a rimmed case while the .38 Super is a rimless case.
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Old September 6, 2008, 11:28 AM   #4
astromanluca
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You might be thinking of the .38 Special and .357 Magnum, which are interchangeable to a degree - revolvers designed to fire .357 Magnum can also fire .38 Special, but there are many revolvers designed to fire only .38 Special that cannot fire .357 Mag.
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Old September 6, 2008, 11:40 AM   #5
Genepix
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Thanks- clearer now. Now- any problems with dry-firing.38 Super A_Zoom snap caps in my .38 Special? Shouldn't be any difference for the firing pin, right? Sorry if this is a silly question- just trying to getthe facts...
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Old September 6, 2008, 12:31 PM   #6
JohnKSa
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I don't have the dimensions of both rounds in front of me, but I doubt you can use .38Super snap caps for dry-firing in a .38 Special revolver. They're very different rounds in spite of the fact that the numerical parts of the caliber designation are similar.
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Old September 6, 2008, 12:41 PM   #7
Genepix
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Thanks John.
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Old September 6, 2008, 12:45 PM   #8
Bill DeShivs
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.38 Super is a semi-rimmed cartridge. They will fit in many .38 Special chambers. It's not a good idea to shoot them in .38 Special, though! Pressures are much higher.
If the Super snap caps will chamber, it will be OK to use them.
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Old September 6, 2008, 01:49 PM   #9
zippy13
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Super?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs
If the Super snap caps will chamber, it will be OK to use them.
Perhaps not...
A .38 Super (auto) case is shorter and wider than the .38 Special. Safety issues aside, it would be unwise to place an auto round in a revolver cylinder for fear of having it jam. But, we're talking snap caps here. The purpose of a snap cap is to provide resistance, to the firing pin, simulating a primer. Just because the snap cap's dimensions allow it to be chambered in the revolver doesn't mean it's okay to dry fire. The auto's semi-rim is almost 20% thinner than the intended round, and may not provide adequate resistance to the firing pin.
There may some confusion about the "Super" part of the snap cap's ID. It's all in the way you look at things, are they
.38
Super Snap Caps
-or-
.38 Super
Snap Caps
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Old September 6, 2008, 05:52 PM   #10
Genepix
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As I looked further, I found 38 sp. snap caps- some were plastic, some weren't, so listed in different groups....I appreciate the feedback all...
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