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Old May 23, 2013, 07:09 PM   #1
Slamburger3
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S&w 38 spcl +p fire 38 super(+p)

Recently bought s&w 38 special revolver. Wondering if i can fire 38 super (+p) ammo?
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Old May 23, 2013, 07:17 PM   #2
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NO!! Different cartridge altogether.
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Old May 23, 2013, 07:38 PM   #3
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You can fire 38 Special +P but not 38 Super.
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Old May 23, 2013, 08:34 PM   #4
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The .38 Super has a higher pressure rating than the .357 magnum.
Very dangerous.
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Old May 23, 2013, 08:42 PM   #5
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If I am not mistaken the 38 Super uses a .355 diameter bullet whereas the 38 Special uses a .357 diameter bullet. The 38 Special uses a rimmed case where the 38 Super case has no rim. The 38 Super has much higher pressure.

NO!
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Old May 23, 2013, 09:38 PM   #6
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http://www.38super.net/Pages/Technical%20Specs.html


.38 Super Specs:
PSI= 36,500
CUP= 33,000

.357 Magnum:
PSI= 35,000
CUP=45,000

.38 Special (non +p):
PSI=17,000
CUP=17,000

So you see a .357 Magnum would, if the .38 Super fit, should work especially since the revolvers have a flash gap and some pressure would be lost.

BUT in a .38 Spl., even a +p (22,000 CUP) it would be a very very BAD IDEA.

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Old May 23, 2013, 10:23 PM   #7
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Also 38 Spl is a revolver cartrige and 38 Super is a auto pistol cartrige.
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Old May 24, 2013, 12:35 PM   #8
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The super was designed as an auto pistol cartridge, but it can be used in revolvers heavy enough to contain the pressure. It is semi-rimmed.
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Old May 24, 2013, 12:42 PM   #9
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Be aware that most .38 Super ammo is designated as +P. This is to differentiate it from .38 ACP. Make sure for your revolver you buy .38 Special.
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Old May 24, 2013, 01:35 PM   #10
Jim Watson
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.38 Super is nominal .384" O.D., .357 Mag is .379".

Depending on tolerance overlap a minimum Super cartridge might chamber in a maximum .357 Magnum cylinder, or it might not; same as .38 S&W in a .38 Special.
When it does, I have seen reports of fired cases sticking tight in the chamber.

Don't do it.

S&W has made some true .38 Super revolvers with correct chambers and magnum heat treat cylinders. They load with moon clips to avoid the risk that the extractor might not pull the empties by their semi-rims.

There is at least one gunsmith who will convert a .357 to take a number of rimless rounds on moon clips, 9mm, .38 Super, and 9x23 Win.
I would expect oddballs like 9x21, 9mm Largo, and 9mm Steyr to work, too.
But then the .38s and .357s will stick in the tapered chambers.

He will convert a late model .38 Special to take 9mm P only.
http://www.pinnacle-guns.com/revolver.asp
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Old May 24, 2013, 04:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
The super was designed as an auto pistol cartridge, but it can be used in revolvers heavy enough to contain the pressure. It is semi-rimmed.
Did you mean to say, it can be used in revolvers that are chambered for it?
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Old May 24, 2013, 09:00 PM   #12
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No....
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Old May 24, 2013, 09:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
S&W has made some true .38 Super revolvers [that] load with moon clips to avoid the risk that the extractor might not pull the empties by their semi-rims.
FWIW I've heard reports of S&W .32 Long revolvers breaking ejector stars after firing semi-rimless .32ACP ammo, and I'm convinced this is the reason why I've seen a couple of .32 Long S&W's with one prong missing from the ejector star. IMHO semi-rimless cases and S&W ejector stars don't mix unless moon clips are used.

Firing .38 Super in .357Mag revolver is on my "possible but don't try it" column.
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Old May 24, 2013, 10:40 PM   #14
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It is usually not possible to chamber .38 Super in a .38 Special or .357 Magnum revolver, since the cases will be too large in diameter.

BUT IT IS POSSIBLE to chamber .38 Super in most revolvers chambered for .38 S&W, and .32 ACP in most revolvers chambered for .32 S&W or .32 S&W Long. With old revolvers, breaktop and swing cylinder, firing those rounds can damage the gun and injure the shooter.

(The reason is actually simple. When developing his auto pistols, John Browning used the .32 S&W and the .38 S&W revolver cartridges in his first experiments. Later, he found the rims interfered with feeding and cut them down as much as possible, creating the semi-rimmed case. But for proper functioning auto pistols needed a higher and sustained pressure than the old black powder cartridges could give (this was c. 1898, remember) so he had to boost the .32 ACP and .38 ACP beyond what revolvers at that time could handle.)

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Old May 25, 2013, 10:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
It is usually not possible to chamber .38 Super in a .38 Special or .357 Magnum revolver, since the cases will be too large in diameter.
I tried a one of my .38 Supers in the chambers of both my Model 66 and Model 686. Neither would chamber far enough to allow closing of the cylinder.
I do not know why we keep seeing posts about shooting some cartridge in a gun for which it is not chambered. With very few exceptions (.38-.357, .44 Special-.44 Mag., etc.), and there is almost always no good reason to do it.
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Old May 25, 2013, 03:27 PM   #16
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A .38 Super load will fit the cylinder of my F/A .357 or GP100, but will not enter the cylinder of my S&W model 10 (good). The brass on .38 Super is generally very thick at the case mouth.
I have never attempted to fire .38 Super from my .357 revolvers, but I have fired a few .38 Supers in a T/C Contender with an MGM .357 magnum barrel. Shot just fine, but the cases needed help getting extracted.

I don't like the fact that the bearing surface of a .38 Super bullet is unsupported after it leaves the shorter Super brass and before it is supported by the .357 throat. The bullet has a chance to yaw in that gap. With plated or lead bullets, any misalignment as it hits the shoulder at the end of the chamber will scrape the bullet.
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Old May 25, 2013, 04:18 PM   #17
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My 340SC .357 does chamber my Cor-Bon 125gr JHP factory ammo.

I might see if a 5 round moon clip will take the .38 supers and work. I doubt it be who knows. Might make the rim to thick and the cylinder not close.

I suspect different manufactures of .38 Supers use different external specs just as chambers vary to.

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Old May 26, 2013, 08:47 AM   #18
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Quote:
There is at least one gunsmith who will convert a .357 to take a number of rimless rounds on moon clips, 9mm, .38 Super, and 9x23 Win.
I would expect oddballs like 9x21, 9mm Largo, and 9mm Steyr to work, too.
But then the .38s and .357s will stick in the tapered chambers.

He will convert a late model .38 Special to take 9mm P only.
http://www.pinnacle-guns.com/revolver.asp
I have a S&W 360J scandium frame snubby that was rechambered by Pinnacle. The gun is .38spl +P rated from the factory but before I had the job done I spoke to S&W and verified that the frame is the same as the 360 .357mag and the cylinder is also the same as the .357mag, just cut for .38spl. I've carried and shot my gun for over three years now without any problems. I usually shoot standard pressure 115gr 9mm, though I have shot a fair amount of .38 Super and a couple of cylinders of 9x23 Winchester. My carry load is Federal 9BPLE 115gr JHP +P+. It does require moon clips since there is no shoulder for the case mouths to headspace on and standard pressure .38s will bulge and +P .38s will split.

If you recall the old 940, S&W made a small run of guns called the 940PC that was chambered for the 356TSW. It was a very hot round, with pressures similar to the 9x23 Winchester, the cylinders on that gun were chambered to accept the longer case (9x21.5 IIRC), but they were not specially treated. Also, it was fairly common to cut 940 cyls to accept .38 Super, though you lost the ability to fire 9mm without the moonclips if you did that.

Quote:
I don't like the fact that the bearing surface of a .38 Super bullet is unsupported after it leaves the shorter Super brass and before it is supported by the .357 throat. The bullet has a chance to yaw in that gap. With plated or lead bullets, any misalignment as it hits the shoulder at the end of the chamber will scrape the bullet.
I had the forcing cone on my gun chamfered when the work was done and have never had any problems with shaving, even with 9mm ammo which is that much shorter than .38 Super.
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Old May 26, 2013, 10:02 PM   #19
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The Supers have been shot through 357 revolvers. The semi-rimmed case of the Super usually allows it to headspace. Super chamber pressure is way excessive for safety in a 38 Special but like I said, it's been done in 357s although I see no point to it. Best to always use proper ammo.
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