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Old May 7, 2013, 05:37 PM   #9
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Join Date: January 20, 2009
Location: Overlooking the Baker River Valley
Posts: 1,637
I have 6 guns that are either .38 Spcl, or .357 Mag. and .38 S&W will not chamber in any of them. It is too fat to fit in the cylinder of any of them.
Is it possible Remington is deliberately making R38SW undersized so it will chamber in more guns?
Interesting. I have a couple dozen revolvers (and one semi-auto) in .38 Special and/or .357 Mag. I also have an old S&W Terrier in .38 S&W, so happened to have an unopened box of Remington .38 S&W 146 gr LRN cartridges on the shelf. I just took one of the factory-new .38 S&Ws and it fit into every one of the revolver chambers I tried it in (and I tried most, but not all of them) - in most cases it dropped right in, in some guns (my Colt Python and 357) it needed a little push, but it fit easily.

So, I hunted up my micrometer and I find that the Remington .38 S&W cartridges are .3808 at the neck and .3818 at the base, vs.the specified .3855 and .3865 for the cartridge. Looks like Remington may indeed be making them a bit undersized.

That said, I'm a great believer in shooting only the caliber a gun is chambered for, no matter what may fit, so I wouldn't dream of firing any of the .38 S&Ws in any of the .38 Specials and .357s - but I suspect nothing too onerous would result.
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