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Old November 25, 2021, 08:34 AM   #26
jar
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There are a whole bunch of nice 38S&W handguns out there that are a whole bunch less expensive that that example.

Personally, I am a fan of 38S&W and have quite a few revolvers chambered for it.
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Old November 25, 2021, 10:31 AM   #27
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Hang on to the 38 S&W ammo (it is a short round but you don't call it a short ...just 38 S&W ) The old top break S&W revolvers and the few swing out models made aren't high on the collectors list . One in used condition are easy to come by with a little looking around and careful shopping . As of a few years ago $100.00 to $150.00 would buy a decent shooter .
I have a S&W Double Action 4th model , passed down from grandfather, ammo used to be easy to find ... not many people shoot 38 S&W so ammo tends to sit on a dealers shelf ...till someone buys it by mistake .
Lots of these 38 S&W top breaks spend their entire lives in a dressor drawer .
A fried inherited his mom's ... I thought it was refinished because it looked so perfectly new ...nope , no refinish just lived in the top drawer .
Mine was used by grandfather to take small game during the Great Depression ...
Mom said if it hadn't been for the wild game he killed with it they would have starved slap to death !
Keep the ammo and find a top break ... they are fun shooters !
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Old November 25, 2021, 06:45 PM   #28
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.38 S&W

Three in .38 S&W

A WW2 Webley mk.IV.
A Forehand and Wadsworth and a British Bulldog
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Old November 26, 2021, 03:09 PM   #29
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Smith & Wesson was still making .38 S&W chambered revolvers into the 1970s or early 1980s, mostly J frames.

They made some K frames on special order for the Royal Hong Kong Police in, IIRC, 1981 or so. You can occasionally find those but prices have jumped QUITE a bit over the last few years.
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Old November 27, 2021, 08:48 AM   #30
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For the last few days my carry has been my Webley IV in 38S&W that was an ex-Singapore Police Force revolver. It's in a Bucheimer Perfect Fit B7 holster and both were made in the late 1950s.
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Old November 27, 2021, 07:32 PM   #31
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So, how's the trigger on that Webley?
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Old November 27, 2021, 07:52 PM   #32
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So, how's the trigger on that Webley?
Long and heavy DA, nice SA.

But I like such triggers.
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Old November 27, 2021, 09:35 PM   #33
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I have a prewar No. 2 Mk.1 and a Colt Police Positive, would be fun to load some 200 grain bullets, duplicate the original British load. Later they adopted a 178 grain cupro-nickel bullet to comply with The Hague Convention.
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Old November 28, 2021, 08:18 AM   #34
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The Lyman bullet mold #358430 drops a 195 grain bullet at .360” (wheel weight alloy). These shoot very nicely from my MK.IV.
I have an NEI mold that drops 200 grain bullets in the same pattern as the British .380/200 loading. Unfortunately, NEI is long gone.
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Old November 28, 2021, 03:32 PM   #35
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I started reading this thread while I was away from my house and it got me wondering but I didn't want to say anything until I got back and checked.

I have half a box of .38 CBC Special Short, but for some reason as this thread was going on I thought the box just said .38 short and I spent the last week wondering how I got half a box of .38 S&W through a 642 a few years ago. Turns out I didn't. But add the CBC short round to the list of possibly confusing .38 rounds.
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Old November 28, 2021, 04:38 PM   #36
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Just as with the discussion about the .45 Colt vs .45 Long Colt, the .38 S&W has also been known as the .38 S&W Short (the same with the .32 S&W).

All part of the rich tapestry of the development and history of the self-contained metallic cartridge.

Bit of interesting history about the .380-200 round that the British adopted in 1926.

As originally adopted, it did have a 200-gr. lead round nose bullet.

But, a few years later, concern mounted about the all lead bullet and the new jacketed Mk II bullet round was adopted with a bullet weight of 170 grs.

Given the low priority that the British placed on handguns and handgun rounds, when war broke out in 1939 existing ammunition supplies were completely inadequate for the war. Many British officers went to Europe with 12 rounds of the Mk I ammunition in their kit.

Domestic production of .380 revolver ammunition couldn't keep pace with the need, so the British contracted with Dominion in Canada and American companies to provide whatever .380 ammunition that they could.

The British received hundreds of thousands of 145-gr. lead bullet loads from Western and other US companies, as well as 200-gr. lead bullet loads. Essentially, they were taking whatever they could get.

No clue if any of that ammo ever made it into combat or if it was held back for training.
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Old November 29, 2021, 04:00 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Irwin View Post

Bit of interesting history about the .380-200 round that the British adopted in 1926.

As originally adopted, it did have a 200-gr. lead round nose bullet.

But, a few years later, concern mounted about the all lead bullet and the new jacketed Mk II bullet round was adopted with a bullet weight of 170 grs.
According to Wikipedia, the proper designation is .38/200. The .380 is assigned to the .380 Mk II or .380 Mk IIz.

The .38/200 was designated Mk I.

Also, the FMJ bullet was 180 grains, not 170.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.38_S%26W
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Old December 1, 2021, 05:39 PM   #38
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Somebody has to say it: there's no such a thing as .38 S&W short. It's called .38 S&W, period. And it's a fun cartridge for the reloader.
Thanks ... if you didn't do it ... I was going to !
Although the 38 S&W cartridge is rather length challenged...don't call it short .
It's just the 38 Smith & Wesson or 38 S&W .

Rule #1 ... never pass up an excuse to buy a firearm . I've bought guns simply because I had a set of reloading dies ... a box of ammo is a great excuse , don't waste it .
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Old December 1, 2021, 08:24 PM   #39
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ok, in a nutshell and skipping a lot of details for brevity,

.38 LONG COLT introduced in 1875. Developed from the earlier .38 Short Colt (for which I have not yet found a valid introduction date. .38 Long colt same dimensions as the .38 short colt but longer case.

Adopted by the US Army in 1892.

.38 S&W introduced in 1877. Shorter, fatter case than the .38 Long Colt. Also known as the .38 Colt New Police when loaded with a flat point bullet and the .38/200 when loaded for the British with the 200gr bullet. NEVER any "short" or "long" attached to the cartridge name.

when the guns and ammo are in proper spec, the .38 S&W will not fit in a .38 Long Colt gun, its too fat. And a .38 Long Colt will not fit in a .38 S&W gun, its too long. Yes, there are real world exceptions not everything in the real world is to book specs.

.38 Special (originally .38 S&W Special) introduced in 1899. Same rim, head, and case body dimensions as the .38 Long Colt, but a longer case length. Also will not fit in .38 S&W or vice versa (when things are in proper spec)

And if you want to carry the line out even further, add the .357 Magnum and the .357 Maximum as the more modern end of the family. All these rounds share the same rim, head size and case body diameter, only differing in case length (and the pressures they are loaded to)

The oddball is the .38 S&W. its case body is about .005" FATTER than the others. It was not developed from an earilier round and never spawned any family of its own, only a few different names for the same case when different people loaded it with different bullets.

There is a lot of confusion and mistakes made with the names of the early ,38 and .32 cal revolver rounds.

So, to be clear, while the .38 S&W is a short case, the word "short" was never part of its name.
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Old December 2, 2021, 12:05 PM   #40
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"According to Wikipedia, the proper designation is .38/200. The .380 is assigned to the .380 Mk II or .380 Mk IIz.

The .38/200 was designated Mk I."


Yep. I was typing for simplicity's sake, not exactitude...


"Also, the FMJ bullet was 180 grains, not 170."

Typo.
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Old December 2, 2021, 12:15 PM   #41
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"Developed from the earlier .38 Short Colt (for which I have not yet found a valid introduction date."

It's generally considered that the .38 Short Colt was introduced for use in Colt 1851 conversions.

The Rollin White patent expired in April 1869 so it's a good bet that the round was introduced in the 1869 to 1871 time frame.
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Old December 2, 2021, 09:13 PM   #42
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sounds right, I could find how the .38 Short Colt was loaded with a heel type bullet and made for the 1851 Navy conversions, what I couldn't find was an introduction date for the cartridge.

Also what I found was that the .38/200 was the name Smith & Wesson used for the cartridge when loaded for the British.
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