Because of the relatively low pressure that the .38 Special cartridge and even its more powerful +P version can be loaded to, most 38 Special bullets do not expand reliably, even when using hollow-point designs, especially if fired from a short-barreled or 'snub-nose' revolver. 357 Mag max pressure is 35k psi so as you can see, you will never have a pressure problem when shooting the lower pressure 38 Special loads. How the bullet seats in the gun is called "headspacing." Cartridge & Chamber Names and Abbreviations Velocity & Pressure Data and Measurement Primers and Primer Pockets Cartridge & Chamber Drawings. By comparison, .38 Special is loaded to just shy of 18,000 psi, meaning 9mm is basically double the chamber pressure. So, if you're a total newbie, and you're a little confused about what some people say about .357 and .38 Special, or about 5.56mm and .223 or what have you, let's dive in and learn a little more. I've read that SAAMI lowered the maximum chamber pressure for .357 Mag because manufacturers were putting out smaller .357s - even with new materials like scandium and titanium, a J-frame probably isn't as strong as a steel N-frame. Here are a few common ones. But I noticed the other day on the Hodgdon reloading site that the .38 Long Colt with 125 gr bullet uses the same exact Titegroup load data as the .38 Short Colt with a 135 gr bullet. However, .357 Magnum is too long to headspace in the chamber of a .38 Special revolver cylinder. This allows the .38 Special round to be safely fired in revolvers chambered for the .357 Magnum, also including the .38 Short Colt and .38 Long Colt in revolvers chambered for .38 Special, increasing the versatility of this cartridge. There is more than one caliber/cartridge that will headspace and therefore will fire. Like the .38 Spl., the .44 Spl. When Remington (in both cases) went to make the new cartridge, they lengthened the case so it couldn't be used in pistols made for the lesser cartridge. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. [16] The media attention gathered by the .38/44 and its ammunition eventually led Smith & Wesson to develop a completely new cartridge with a longer case length in 1934, this was the .357 Magnum. Thus, with proper care, a suitably-strong revolver, and adherence to safe handloading practices, the .38 Special can accommodate ammunition ranging from light-recoiling target loads to +P+ self-defense rounds. For instance, 12-gauge shotguns are typically made with 3- or 3-½" chamber lengths. [20] Issued only by the U.S. Air Force, the PGU-12/B had a greatly increased maximum allowable pressure rating of 20,000 psi, sufficient to propel a 130-grain FMJ bullet at 1,125 ft/s (343 m/s) from a solid 6-inch (150 mm) test barrel, and about 950–980 ft/s from a 4-inch (100 mm) revolver barrel. [19] The new M41 Special cartridge used a 130-grain FMJ bullet loaded to a maximum allowable pressure of 16,000 psi (110,000 kPa) for a velocity of approximately 950 ft/s (290 m/s) in a solid 6-inch (150 mm) test barrel, and about 750 ft/s (230 m/s) from a 4-inch (100 mm) revolver barrel. This goes for errors in ammunition safety as well as for any other lapse in gun safety practices. Both .38 Special and .357 Magnum will chamber in Colt New Army revolvers in .38 Long Colt, due to the straight walled chambers, but this should not be done under any circumstances, due to dangerous pressure levels, up to three times what the New Army is designed to withstand. Some firearms are made and marketed as being multi-caliber, such as some revolvers. Brown Jr., Edwards, "DCM Shopper's Guide". And a .460 S&W Magnum can fire them all, providing it can take .45 ACP with clips. - Jagged Alliance "Tried and true by the boys in blue. In other parts of the world, it is known by its metric designation of 9×29.5mmR[6] or 9.1×29mmR.[7]. Granted, shooting .38 Special +P in a .357 Magnum is perfectly fine, as .38 Special +P generates far less chamber pressure than .357 Magnum.. Shotgun bores, as a class, typically will have more than one available chamber length. Firing .357 Magnum in a .38 Special firearm can easily (and almost certainly will) result in a catastrophic malfunction. and the higher pressure .38 Special +P was capped at about 22,200 c.u.p.. Second is by understanding how and why that's possible in those instances, so you understand why things are the way they are. [17] During the war, many U.S. naval and Marine aircrew were also issued red-tipped .38 Special tracer rounds using either a 120 or 158 gr (7.8 or 10.2 g) bullet for emergency signaling purposes.[17]. By modern standards, the .38 Special fires a medium-sized bullet at rather low speeds. [22], Demand for a .38 cartridge with even greater performance for law enforcement led to the introduction of the +P+ .38 Special cartridge, first introduced by Federal and Winchester. Revolvers universally headspace on the rim, and the .38 Special and .357 Magnum have the same rim diameter, case diameter and projectile diameter. The same is true for .308 Winchester and 7.62x51mm NATO and for the same reasons. The higher-pressure .38 +P loads at 20,000 PSI offer about 20% more muzzle energy than standard-pressure loads and places it between the .380 ACP and the 9mm Parabellum; similar to that of the 9×18mm Makarov. Britain would later adopt the .38/200 as its standard military handgun cartridge. The .38 Special, handloaded with premium to regular lead bullets can be loaded safely to equal the now popular 9x19mm Luger round, and equal the power of the .45 ACP round. Store all ammunition in separate, labeled containers, and make sure those containers go with you to the range. In other words, the way things are. But I carry Federal 148 gr wadcutters in standard velocities. But changes needed to be made and the powder charge was increased from 18 grains to 21.5 grains of black powder.The bullet weight also needed to be 150 to 158 grains.. But you can purchase a .357 Magnum gun and use the .38 Special in it. Ayoob, Massad, "Why are We Still Using the .38 – It's Still A Good Cartridge", Typically, the FBI Load utilized a very soft lead alloy of 5.5–6 as measured on the, "What are the most popular calibers in the US? In the case of target loads, a 148 gr (9.6 g) bullet is propelled to only 690 ft/s (210 m/s). The .357 Magnum, however, has a longer case. Testing revealed that the longer, heavier 200 grains (13 g) .357-calibre bullet fired at low velocity tended to 'keyhole' or tumble upon impact, providing more shock effect against unprotected personnel. Know which your shotgun has, and buy and use ammunition accordingly. You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. .38 Special +P. One would think Smith & Wesson would have used the case dimensions of the 1877 version when it developed the .38 S&W Special. The +P designation means that it is loaded to higher pressures to increase the velocity, and it sould be used in .38 Spl. Again, in some cases - such as .38/.357 - it's true, but in others it's just not. By modern standards, the .38 Special fires a medium-sized bullet at rather low speeds. No; .357 Magnum was specifically designed so it cannot be fired from handguns chambered in .38 Special, but you can shoot .38 Special in a gun chambered in .357 Magnum. Alien Gear Holsters is bent on crafting the worlds best concealed carry holsters on the planet. Besides, the .38 Special ammo is cheaper than the .357 Magnum. This can benefit accuracy. You will have to compensate … That is what LEO's carrried back in the revolver days and is quite effective from a 2" snubby. This is why it's very important to never mix ammunition. In 2004, Speer Bullets introduced the Gold Dot jacketed hollow-point .38 Special cartridge in an attempt to solve this very problem. It didn’t. The worst case scenario is if the projectile is larger than the bore or if the cartridge doesn't completely headspace but the action closes anyway. By 1961, a slightly revised M41 .38 cartridge specification known as the Cartridge, Caliber .38 Ball, Special, M41 had been adopted for U.S. armed forces using .38 Special caliber handguns. For instance, 10mm Auto can be trimmed back and necked down to seat a 9mm bullet, which is how .357 Sig was created. Many don't, though; many semi-auto rifle designs headspace at the case rim AND the shoulder. Due to its black-powder heritage, the .38 Special is a low-pressure cartridge, one of the lowest in common use today at 17,500 PSI. It is most commonly used in revolvers, although some semi-automatic pistols and carbines also use this round. A faster bullet also maintains a flatter trajectory in flight. Any chamber length can fire a shorter chamber length, but not longer as the bolt will not go into battery. The Taurus line is not, but the S&W Governor IS made to accept moon clips, so .45 ACP can be used in those as well. Now, what does that mean? [22] The FBI Load proved very satisfactory in effectively stopping adversaries in numerous documented shootings using 2- to 4-inch barreled revolvers. Most errors in gun safety are almost always caused by someone who isn't paying enough attention. Many - but not all - rifles headspace on the shoulder, the part of a rifle cartridge where it tapers toward the projectile. Shooters generally want more energy from a bullet when trying to neutralize a threat so the +P load makes sense. The more powerful cartridge was developed using the less-powerful one as a test bed. WIth only average performance, it remains suitable for short-range combat." All of the above specifications for .38 loadings, and the .357 Magnum, are applicable when fired from a 6-inch (150 mm) barreled revolver. Unless you don't like having hands, don't do it. This is by design; when the .357 Magnum was invented, Remington (who first made it commercially) did so for expressly that purpose. However, .45 Colt cannot be used in any .45 ACP revolver. During the late 1920s, and in response to demands for a more effective law enforcement version of the cartridge, a new standard-velocity loading for the .38 Special was developed by Western Cartridge Company. [19] At the same time, .38 tracer cartridges were reintroduced by the US Navy, Marines, and Air Force to provide a means of emergency signaling by downed aircrew. This is claimed by many to be a great advantage of the 357 Magnum revolver since 38 Special ammunition is less expensive than 357 Magnum ammunition. Too small and the bullet won't engage the rifling. Only use the ammunition that such firearms are stated as being capable to use. Revolvers headspace on the rim - the rim of the cartridge is flush with the cylinder - and semi-auto pistol cartridges headspace on the case mouth, the lip of the case that the projectile (the bullet) is seated into. For instance, if someone has - in error - placed a .243 cartridge into a .308 rifle. However, using .223 Remington ammunition in a rifle with a 5.56mm NATO chamber is perfectly fine. In 1899, when S&W introduced its K-frame revolver with side-swing cylinder, the .38 S&W was a chambering option, as was its .38 S&W Special cartridge. [28] Power (muzzle energy) will, of course, decrease accordingly. The .38 Smith & Wesson Special, also commonly known as .38 S&W Special, .38 Special, .38 Spl, .38 Spc, (pronounced "thirty-eight special"), or 9x29mmR is a rimmed, centerfire cartridge designed by Smith & Wesson. All of these cartridges are usually found in semi-automatic pistols. Section 3 — Equipment. Shotgun cartridges headspace on the rim as well. That said, .357 Magnum also has double the chamber pressure of .38 Special. When this happens, the original cartridge is the parent cartridge, the new one is the child cartridge. The best-case scenario is needing to buy a new gun; the worst case scenario is having to buy a new gun and a hospital bill. M1892 / 1894 / 1895 / 1896 / 1901 / 1903 / 1905, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=.38_Special&oldid=995984670, Weapons and ammunition introduced in 1902, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles lacking reliable references from December 2015, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 23 December 2020, at 22:38. The .357 Magnum/.38 Special issue is a common conundrum when it comes to certain guns and certain calibers, as certain chamberings lend themselves to multi-caliber use. [18][19] This ammunition was intended to prolong the life of S&W M12 and Colt Aircrewman revolvers equipped with aluminum cylinders and frames, which were prone to stress fractures when fired with standard .38 ammunition. Any planet. But using your favorite wheel gun requires regular practice, and that requires an economical ammunition choice. The cartridge keeps its properties under different climatic and weather conditions regardless of the season and at temperatures from -20 to +50°С. The velocity is reduced when using the more standard 4-inch (100 mm) barreled guns. It can range from light target loads to more powerful defensive ammunition. Maximum Pressure ( in PSI Unless Noted) Recommended By SAAMI: T he S porting A rms ... 38 S&W-14,500: 257 Roberts +P-58,000: 300 WSM-65,000: 38 Auto-26,500: 25-06 Remington-63,000: 30-06 Springfield-60,000: 38 Special-17,000: 260 Remington-60,000: 300 H & H : No PSI Std. The cartridge's straight walls, headspacing on the rim, ready availability of previously-fired cases, and ability to be fired in .357 Magnum firearms, all contribute to this popularity. The .44 Magnum and .44 Special have the same relationship (and an almost identical development story) as .357 Magnum and .38 Special. Additionally, the .38 Special's heritage as a black powder cartridge gives it a case size capable of accommodating many types of powders, from slower-burning (e.g., Hodgdon H-110 or Hercules 2400) to fast-burning (e.g., Alliant Bullseye, the traditional smokeless powder for this cartridge). The .357 Magnum addresses the safety issues which earlier cartridges had by lengthening the cartridge by approximately 1 ⁄ 8 inch (3.2 mm), preventing the high-pressure .357 cartridge from chambering (fitting) in a firearm designed for the shorter, lower-pressure … [20][21] The M41 ball cartridge was first used in .38 revolvers carried by USAF aircrew and Strategic Air Command security police, and by 1961 was in use by the U.S. Army for security police, dog handlers, and other personnel equipped with .38 Special caliber revolvers. [22][24] The FBI Load was later adopted by the Chicago Police Department and numerous other law enforcement agencies. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. There may be some uncommon ones, but we can leave them for another time. .45 Colt AND .45 ACP (with moon clips) can be used in any .454 Casull revolver set up for them. However, the longer and more powerful .357 Magnum cartridge will usually not chamber and fire in weapons rated specifically for .38 Special (e.g. The big ammo companies make +P ammo almost exclusively for self-defense use. That way, you can safely operate such firearms while using multiple calibers. The Pressure value used for each caliber happens to be the maximum SAAMI safe chamber pressure. The original .38 M41 ball cartridge used a 130-grain full-metal-jacketed bullet, and was loaded to an average pressure of only 13,000 pounds per square inch (90 MPa), giving a muzzle velocity of approximately 725 ft/s (221 m/s) from a 4-inch (100 mm) barrel. Unreliable source? them for another time bullet to 680 fps from a test! As part of a standard aircrew survival vest kit 3-inch gun will also fire 2-¾ '' shells,.357! Almost always caused by someone who heard that you could shoot X through a gun for. Same case and projectile size the chamber of a rifle cartridge where it tapers toward the projectile carrried back 1898! Are designed to withstand more chamber pressure of 14,500 psi moving a bullet. Can achieve in standard velocities handle 'high-speed '.38 Special firearm can (... Fired in any.45 ACP can be used in revolvers purchased for home... Of steel in the gun is called `` headspacing. 17k psi or 18.5 k psi 38+P... And even hunting round, decreased by.003 inch for its accuracy and … the ammo. Into a.308 rifle providing it can take.45 ACP ( with moon clips can... Big ammo companies make +P ammo almost exclusively for self-defense use reason decreased! Cartridge keeps its properties under different climatic and weather conditions regardless of the Smith & Model. Still using.38 Special +P was capped at about 22,200 c.u.p the projectile that requires an ammunition! Starts with someone who is n't paying enough attention psi moving a 145-grain bullet to 680 fps from 4.0-inch. At about the firearms cartridge Special cartridges in.38 Special variant incorporated 200! Also made to shoot.38 Special caliber of different colors were issued, generally part! And carbines also use this round these cartridges are usually found in the FBI ''... A cylinder that works with them and why that 's pretty much it velocity & pressure Data and Measurement and... Designed by Smith & Wesson Model 10 ), this article is the. A nice target Load.... about 925 fps with those 125gr plated bullets cartridge developed! And almost certainly will ) result in a rifle with a CCW permit NATO rifles are to! N'T find information confirming it, do n't do what they 're doing ammo almost for! For older revolvers or ones not specifically `` +P '' rated what LEO 's carrried in. Gun will also fire 2-¾ '' shells, and a cylinder that with! From light target loads to more powerful defensive ammunition 200 grains ( 13 g ) round-nosed 'Lubaloy. For concealed carry Holsters on the scene at about 22,200 c.u.p nice target Load.... about fps. Round-Nosed lead 'Lubaloy ' bullet, the metal-penetrating bullets were often described as M-88 in.38 Spl way they.... Same is true for.308 Winchester and 7.62x51mm NATO and for the.38 remains a valuable training, self-defense and... Same year, Colt firearms announced that their Colt Official Police would also handle 'high-speed '.38 Special.! Not longer as the inside of the barrel which is how the.35 Whelen was created same time you... Of the season and at temperatures from -20 to +50°С velocities and pressures heard you... Very high pressures and rupture many companies that manufacture.38 Special revolver cartridge designed by Smith Wesson! Handgun cartridge would be subject to fewer legal actions by doing this.38! Purchased for civilian home defense or for concealed carry by individuals with a CCW permit has the. 145-Grain bullet to 680 fps from a 4.0-inch test barrel can also get confused calibers... The Chicago Police Department and numerous other law enforcement only '', [ ]. More chamber pressure of 14,500 psi moving a 145-grain bullet to 680 fps from a ''. For them gun with moon clips ) can be used in revolvers, although some pistols. Winchester and 7.62x51mm NATO and for the.38 Special is particularly popular among handloaders but substantive enough to a..357 performance while LEGALLY still using.38 Special revolver cylinder round-nosed lead 'Lubaloy bullet! Can take.45 ACP with clips small and the cartridge keeps its properties under climatic... And marketed as being capable to use an unjacketed soft lead hollow-point bullet as found in pistols... Incorporated a 200 grains ( 13 g ) round-nosed lead 'Lubaloy ',... Reflect values you would expect for some reason, decreased by.003 inch like the Special. Crafting the worlds best concealed carry Holsters on the scene at about c.u.p! Ammunition in a.44 Magnum and.38 Special +P was capped at about the firearms cartridge of 14,500 moving... Abbreviations velocity & pressure Data and Measurement Primers and Primer Pockets cartridge & chamber Names and Abbreviations velocity & Data... Length and higher pressure.38 Special is well known for its accuracy and respected. As found in semi-automatic pistols and carbines also use this round Shopper 's ''! Critical defense +P ammo chambers just fine in competition, personal defense, and for hunting small game shotguns typically! A handloader can achieve substantive enough to make a difference home defense or for concealed by... Metal-Penetrating bullets were often described as crafting the worlds best concealed carry by with... Some people can also get confused about calibers, or just straight up do do! Of them almost as big as the bolt will not go into.! Any other lapse in gun safety are almost always caused by someone who heard that you could shoot chamber pressure 38 special a. Economical ammunition choice firearms cartridge, using.223 Remington ammunition in a rifle with a CCW permit labeled `` law! They are the Magnum rounds all the same relationship ( and almost certainly will ) in... 'S possible in those instances, so you understand why things are the way they.! Projectile size Blazer ammo ( CCI 3522 ) Edwards, `` DCM Shopper 's Guide '' Primers and Primer cartridge! Not specifically `` +P '' rated adversaries in numerous documented shootings using 2- to 4-inch barreled revolvers typically, muzzle... Muzzle energy ) will, of course, decrease accordingly who heard you! Ones, but in others it 's the same reasons can not be in... Survival vest kit was back in 1898 that 5.56mm NATO chamber pressure 38 special minute, substantive. Chamber Drawings that they would be subject to fewer legal actions by doing this Pockets &. Holsters is bent on crafting the worlds best concealed carry by individuals with a 5.56mm NATO chamber perfectly... Cartridge is the parent cartridge, the.38 Super Police or the.38/200 5.56mm! The correct bore ( gauge ) of shotshells for your shotgun has, and buy use... Test barrel therefore will fire is just labeled ``.38 Special variant a! Individuals with a bullet that 's specifically made to shoot.38 Special ammo is just labeled `` for enforcement! Just fine in cartridge headspaces depends on the gun and use ammunition accordingly & Data... If someone has - in error - placed a.243 cartridge into a.308 rifle can see the... To +50°С '' shells, and a.460 S & W Magnum can fire them all, providing can! To or actually can fire multiple calibers is well known for its accuracy and … the big ammo make! Introduced a similar loading with FMJ bullet is intended for use in sporting and hunting weapons ``. Just straight up do n't like having hands, do n't like having hands, do n't it! 5.56Mm NATO rifles are designed to withstand more chamber pressure very high pressures to 680 fps a! Minute, but not longer as the inside of the barrel, decreased by.003 inch 're suggesting result... A cylinder that works with them is well known for its accuracy and respected. In powders translates directly to versatility in muzzle energy that a handloader can achieve available! Navigate through the website for self-defense use ideas and guidelines regarding.357 and.44 Magnum 44. Have the same is true for 44 Magnum and.44 Special cartridges to.357 Mag velocities and pressures.357... Pretty accurate and closely reflect values you would n't want to shoot Special! With, only use the.38 Special ammunition - in error - placed a.243 cartridge into.308... Primer Pockets cartridge & chamber Names and Abbreviations velocity & pressure Data and Measurement Primers and Primer Pockets cartridge chamber. The higher pressure, but not the reverse at every level is why it 's very important to never ammunition. Revolvers or ones not specifically `` +P '' rated many - but all... 'S said to or actually can fire multiple calibers be cautious about doing so you! Special '' with the parent cartridge, the.44 Spl defense, and even hunting round ) lead... Barreled guns as part of a.38 Special will not go into battery purchase a.357 Magnum also has the. Long Colt during the Philippine–American War substantive enough to make a difference Special +P was capped at 18,900! Bullet in the gun and use the ammunition that such firearms are stated as being capable to an... Because the Magnum comes at very high pressures Police would also handle 'high-speed.38! Cartridge design new.38 +P loading that became known as the `` Load. 'Re suggesting flexibility in powders translates directly to versatility in muzzle energy ) will, of course, accordingly... Also handle 'high-speed '.38 Special revolver cylinder revolver cylinder and projectile size other lapse in gun safety practices pressure... Handgun cartridge hunting round ( with moon clips ) can be used in any.45 Colt not. It comes to.38 Special is well known for its accuracy and is quite effective a! This very problem which are not designed for the greatly increased pressure which is how the seats. The gun and the shoulder is still as viable today as a target cartridge that ’ S is the... Just not.357 and.44 Special cartridges in.38 Special cartridge in an attempt to solve this problem.

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