Why .38 will fit in a .357 Mag

Why .38 will fit in a .357 Mag

Here's what I've been told and it, so far, seems to be the best answer. At one time caliber was a measurement of the case diameter instead of the bullet diameter as it is now. So a 38 firearm is actually a 357 caliber by today's measurements. The bullet casing is .38 inches but the bullet is .357 inches. The 38 was so popular as a standard for pistols that when the caliber measurement changed from casing to bullet diameter, the 38 just stayed a 38 instead of changing it's name to a 357. Then the 357 magnum came out and has gained a following and renown of it's own.

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9 Comments

4 years 31 weeks ago, 4:43 PM

greg az

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You are right of course that the .38 is actually .357, and of course the 9MM is actually .355.. And the only diffrence between the 38 and 357 is the longer cartridge length. Interesting side note to this, (least interesting to me) I've heard that when Smith and Wesson developed the cartridge in 1935, that of course was based on there 38 special, the Colt design people were involved with the project.. The only thing ive heard on this is antidotal, but it makes a good story that Colt actually worked with S&W in the development.. and we do know that it (the 357) showed in Colt catalogs in 36 so might be true..

I just don't see how the case size explains a couple of things.. my thought is that as this caliber goes back to the black powder era..and its also called 38 in other case sizes. and not so sure that it is based on just the cartridge length alone.. How about 38 Colt.. which is different.. or 38 short..the 9 kurtz.. Maybe i'm wrong, but thinking there might be more to this story.. Ecaman...thoughts..???

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4 years 31 weeks ago, 5:17 PM

CharlesW

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who does do these formulas ?

A little rebellion is good medicine for the government Thomas Jefferson
4 years 28 weeks ago, 10:10 AM

ohioshooter

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i have

i have a older 3 screw ruger 357 that came with a 9mm cylinder and it shoots all 3 very well

"I carry a gun cause a cop is too heavy."
4 years 28 weeks ago, 10:25 AM

greg az

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I had a re-loader in Tucson that got a great deal on 115 gr FMJ 9MM bullets.. those were a fun little plinking round in 38.. I should have had him make some up in 375 cartridge case.. be an interesting longer range round.. least real fast sucker..

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
4 years 28 weeks ago, 11:34 AM

CharlesW

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Padre GregAz

Throw Elmer Kieth in the middle of S&W
working with Colt on the 357.
Elmer loaded up some 38spl to 357
specs and they had to make a new
gun to fire it. The old 38spl wouldn't
handle it.
You know this, I'm rambling again

A little rebellion is good medicine for the government Thomas Jefferson
4 years 28 weeks ago, 12:20 PM

ecaman

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.38 / .357, etc.

Greg, I ramble on more than I should on here already, so I'm not going to do so here.
Anybody who wants to know more about this can find plenty of good articles in Gun Digest, Cartridges of the World, and other sources. Cartridges of the World will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about any cartridge. It's a great resource. If you read it cover to cover, you're too much of a nerd!

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. (Mark Twain).
4 years 28 weeks ago, 1:19 PM

greg az

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I've read "cartridges of the world".. fascinating Bob, like most Gun Digest stuff.. I need to get a new copy of Gun Values.. Loaded that and a couple of other "history of antique firearms books to the son-n-laws, and forget to ask for them back.. Good excuse to get new copies..

CW.. I thought the same thing re: the interaction are "hidden" interaction of Colt and S&W..
The only thing is that i thought Keith was more in the mix with S&W than Colt, maybe im thinking of Jordan and S&W on the model 19..

i mix Jordan, Keith, and Skeeter Skelton up a lot.. Like you guys ive read all three, and i'll remember a quote from one of them, but not sure which, so never sure who to attribute it to.

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
4 years 28 weeks ago, 1:26 PM

CharlesW

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and he could do it.

Did you ever see Bill Jordan drop a ball the size of
a golf ball, with his gun hand, draw and shoot it
before it hit the ground ?

A little rebellion is good medicine for the government Thomas Jefferson
4 years 28 weeks ago, 1:57 PM

greg az

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I'm sure i screwed that up, you guys know who im talking about wrote "fast and fancy pistol shooting" 100 years ago..

My favorite revolver shooter is Jerry Miculek.. Once again that's way misspelled but i know you guys know who im talking about..

Anyway old Jeffy is the most amazing revolver shooter I've ever seen. He uses the 1917 type half moon clips that are joined together.. so you just "throw" the whole affair in, as opposed to speed loaders..In the best of tactical reloads for a revolver, that's exactly how you use speed loaders, (throwing them in) but you still have the extra push or twist before you "wipe" the loader off closing the cylinder..

Bottom line is he can charge a cylinder as fast as "any" auto shooter IPSC ranked included can put in a magazine.

a man has to hold his word, hold his beliefs, and hold a good sight picture.
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