Forums / Gun Discussion / .38 special in a .357 magnum

3 years 37 weeks ago, 7:00 PM

elgoo

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I (and probobly anyone who knows anything about firearms) know that you can safely shoot a .38 special round in a gun chambered in .357 magnum. However, I dont know why. .38 inches is obviously larger than .357 inches. Can someone explain to me why this works? And can you shoot .38 specials in a marlin 1894 lever action .357 rifle?

3 years 37 weeks ago, 7:08 PM

Vaquero

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elgoo

the.38 and .357 both have a bullet diameter of .357 or .358 inches. That's why the .38 can be fired from the .357 mag.
The .38 can be fired from the .357 rifle. Just be sure and use jacketed bullets, lead cast will leve lead in the arrel at velocities over 1100fps, and it's hard to stay under that in a closed chambered long barrel gun.

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3 years 37 weeks ago, 7:11 PM

elgoo

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interesting, any idea why its labeled as .38 when that isnt the actual size?

3 years 37 weeks ago, 7:11 PM

Reaper308

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yup

what vaq said. They're both .358...I don't know how electricity works, but I know that when I flip the switch, the lights come on.

"Proelium Comminus Auctoritate" "Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is a muzzle flash."
3 years 37 weeks ago, 7:14 PM

Vaquero

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elgoo

I can't recall exactly why.
I do know that the old .36 percussion ball has a larger diameter than .36". Can't recall the story there either.

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3 years 37 weeks ago, 7:16 PM

elgoo

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oh

thank you for explaining to me. Some questions are not meant to be answered i guess.

3 years 37 weeks ago, 1:18 AM

luckybychoice

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the difference is

in the bullet construction,although the 38 and 357 measure the same,the 357 bullet is designed to withstand increased velocity and greater pressure, mostly with an alloy jacket,therefore you get the 357 magnum.

and yes you can shoot the 38 round in the Marlin 1894C rifle,the Marlin 1894 is chambered in 44mag/.44 special,that's what i have.

i tried being reasonable,i didn't like it, NRA LIFE MEMBER,USMC VETERAN
3 years 37 weeks ago, 9:44 AM

elgoo

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DE

What about say a Desert Eagle semi-auto pistol chambered in .357 mag? (I think I know the answer but I'm no expert)

3 years 37 weeks ago, 4:43 PM

Vaquero

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elgoo

I just caught this.
The answer here is NO. It would require lots of tuning( spring adjustments and replacements) and possible magazine mods.
As LBC requersted, I will post another photo and will have my books available this weekend.

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3 years 37 weeks ago, 4:49 PM

luckybychoice

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357

elgoo wrote:
What about say a Desert Eagle semi-auto pistol chambered in .357 mag? (I think I know the answer but I'm no expert)

COONAN makes a 357 magnum semi-auto pistol,they were somewhat popular in the 90s,I know Dan Coonan,consumate tinkerer. You definitely don't want to limp wrist one of his guns.These guns are still available.

i tried being reasonable,i didn't like it, NRA LIFE MEMBER,USMC VETERAN
3 years 37 weeks ago, 4:54 PM

Vaquero

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That's how I interpreted the question.
I could be wrong.
Coonan is back in business. And proud of thier stuff as ever.

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3 years 37 weeks ago, 5:14 PM

elgoo

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yup

That's what I was asking, sorry to all if it was confusing

3 years 37 weeks ago, 9:15 PM

HampsterW

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Now here is a

post that I should have gotten involved in and left turd for the birds.........

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3 years 37 weeks ago, 9:18 PM

Vaquero

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.38 and .357

http://www.gunslot.com/pictures/355-and-357-bullets
a visual aide.

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3 years 37 weeks ago, 1:12 AM

luckybychoice

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Vaq

can you separate the 38 from the 357 a bit more,and take another picture,seems elgoos asking some good questions.

i tried being reasonable,i didn't like it, NRA LIFE MEMBER,USMC VETERAN
3 years 37 weeks ago, 1:43 AM

greg az

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i wrote a long ass article some time ago on this, and about all the diffrent 38 rounds.. Heres the deal im going to give an over view, but you can click the geez and find it on the front page.. think its called a little 38 info for ryo.. (Yeah i know.. what ever)..

In this work which is pretty comprehensive i deal with the Colt 38 then the Smith improvement, but NOT the question that Elmo has.. You guys pretty much have it.. this came from the richard mason conversions of cap and ball 1858 navys which were in 36 cal .. this was like the first cartridge for Colt, and the bullet had a large base diameter close to 38.. 378 or something.. So anyway they called those early ones 38's cause of that big base.. but the bore was still 357-358..

Sorta interesting as we have a couple of threads now on the 1858 conversion.. (how can you not like this piece..roll engraved cyl .. real history you can fire the most popular round (38) out of.. Just super cool..

Ok from there Colt screwed up.. they made a 38 short and 38 long.. this was the one that failed in the PI with the Moros.. giving an opening for the 45 ACP.. At this time Smith came up with a WAY improved round the 38 special...and then in 1935 Smith added 1/10 and got the 357 mag... Thier are between all the 9's five i know of..and 38's 6 i know of.. (dont forget the 38-200 and the 38-44 HD.. more bullets that mic from 355 to 357 than just about any other.. but this is really fun.. For example my padre plinkers which are PERFECT rounds for me, are a 9 mm round (125 gr) that Pard loads at around 800 fps.. love this round.. ok my friends hope that helped..

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3 years 29 weeks ago, 2:30 PM

bulldog136

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.357 is the correct diameter for jacketed bullets, the .358 is used in cast bullets.

3 years 29 weeks ago, 6:26 PM

Vaquero

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Remington and many others offer .358 hollow and soft point for the .357 Mag.

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3 years 29 weeks ago, 10:58 PM

bulldog136

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haven't seen them

Vaquero wrote:
Remington and many others offer .358 hollow and soft point for the .357 Mag.

I've never seen jacketed in .358, just the lead. Flipped thru Midwayusa.com and didn't see any, where are you getting them?

3 years 29 weeks ago, 9:50 AM

Vaquero

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.358

I suppose the answer would be, I got them quite awhile back at a local shop. Didn't much care for them and really havent looked for any since.

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3 years 29 weeks ago, 1:32 PM

Koed00

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If you reload you can easily load a .357 magnum case with a .38 special load. This will make for a cartridge that shoots like the .38 special but won't leave carbon rings in your cylinder. Great for target practice and simplifies your brass management.

3 years 24 weeks ago, 9:03 AM

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It gets it's name because the outside of the case neck is 0.38" in diameter. The cartridge was based on the old .38 Short Colt and .38 Long Colt which used heeled bullets which are flush with the outside of the case. The actual diameter of the bullet is the same as the .357 Magnum.

elgoo wrote:
I (and probobly anyone who knows anything about firearms) know that you can safely shoot a .38 special round in a gun chambered in .357 magnum. However, I dont know why. .38 inches is obviously larger than .357 inches. Can someone explain to me why this works? And can you shoot .38 specials in a marlin 1894 lever action .357 rifle?

2 years 46 weeks ago, 10:10 AM

Seamus

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.38

Like 38 never shot .357 mag

2 years 46 weeks ago, 7:40 PM

Anonymous

.38/.357

I like to shoot a .38 but that damn .357 is a real ear ringer! I dont like the .357 just for this reason even though I respect the power of the cartridge. The .357 seems to be extra hard on the ears like a .41 Magnum for some reason.

2 years 46 weeks ago, 9:15 PM

Larry Wagner

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38/357

Well,
Gotta agree with what you have been told so far. 357mag is an ear buster, no matter what load you choose. BUT !!! 38 Special, super LIGHT loaded wad cutter, in a house, or trailer, or apartment, WILL send your ear drums running for the next state!!!!! Question is, If you pick a 38 special 5 shot 2" snubbie for CC & Defense, WHY NOT a 2 " 357mag 5 shot???? Your ears are gonna ring the same amount with either load., personally, If not my P345 45 Auto, I am packing my 2 1/4" hammerless 357 Mag with 110gr Silvertip personal defense HP.
The discussion is actually a mute point, when you get right down to to the nitty gritty.
When it;'s balls out , live or die, anything in your hand is better than nothing!!!!,

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2 years 43 weeks ago, 11:50 PM

Ironmike15

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38 vs 357

I have an ultra lite 38 snub nose and with +p loads, its recoil is pretty sharp. I like the 357 in an all steel pistol with at least a 4 inch barrel, but if you can handle the 357 out of a 13 ounce or so pistol, it certainly will give an advantage.

2 years 42 weeks ago, 7:10 AM

TXLUCKYGUY

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plenty of confusion

Lots of cartridges are not labeled/catalogued according to actual bullet or bore diameter.

.44 Rem Mag is 0.429", .32ACP is basically 0.30".....and so on and so on.

I've been told that the most common discrepancy is bore diameter vs. bullet diameter in older, black-powder-based cartridges.

Besides, who'd buy a .43 Magnum? Bigger almost always sounds better....the metric cartridges are *generally* more correctly descriptive.

FYI the new Coonan .357M is offered with a reduced weight recoil spring for shooting .38sp.

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