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  1. #1
    zebramochaman is offline Member
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    H&R D/A #6 Revolver

    I just won the subject revolver on auctionarms.com. It is chambered in .38 S&W. My question is can I safely shoot .38 Auto through this weapon? I am not really familiar with the .38 cartridge. I do shoot .38 Special through my Rugers but I know that the .38 auto & S&W are quite different. Please chime in.

  2. #2
    Ra's Avatar
    Ra
    Ra is offline Junior Member
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    The short answer is "No". .38 special is a revolver round and .38 auto a.k.a .38 ACP is for as the name implies "Automatic" pistol. The cartridge of the .38 auto is not even rimmed and would fall straight through the cylinders of a revolver, if it even fits. The bullets and cartridges also have different dimensions, and thus different firing pressures.

    More info: Wikipedia

    .38 Auto (ACP)
    .38 ACP - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    .38 Special
    .38 Special - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And congrats on your new hardware.

  3. #3
    zebramochaman is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ra View Post
    The short answer is "No". .38 special is a revolver round and .38 auto a.k.a .38 ACP is for as the name implies "Automatic" pistol. The cartridge of the .38 auto is not even rimmed and would fall straight through the cylinders of a revolver, if it even fits. The bullets and cartridges also have different dimensions, and thus different firing pressures.

    More info: Wikipedia

    .38 Auto (ACP)
    .38 ACP - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    .38 Special
    .38 Special - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And congrats on your new hardware.
    I am embarrassed that I asked the question. I do know that acp stands for automatic Colt pistol but I was just not thinking when I wrote the post. I appreciate the info.

  4. #4
    Ra's Avatar
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    Ra is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebramochaman View Post
    I am embarrassed that I asked the question.
    Don't be. It happens to the best of us at times.

  5. #5
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    Your "new" revolver fires the .38 S&W cartridge, which differs from the .38 Special in that it is shorter, fatter, and fires a heavier bullet at a slower velocity.
    You should be able to find some lead-bullet, factory-loaded, .38 S&W cartridges with a little searching. Start with Google. Maybe Remington? Buffalo Bore? Old Western Scrounger?

    During WW2, Great Britain used the .38 S&W cartridge (under another, more British, name) as their standard service-revolver load. It used a true .380", 200-grain bullet at about 750fps velocity. (The .38 Special fires a .357" bullet.)
    Their theory was that a heavy bullet, travelling quite slowly, made the pistol easy to control while still presenting deadly force at pistol ranges.
    The theory proved untrue, at least in battlefield conditions: It was indeed easy to control, but it was ineffective as a man-stopper.

    During the period 1880—1940, the .38 S&W cartridge was popular in the US, used in inexpensive so-called pocket revolvers (today: "Saturday-Night Specials").
    H&R sold self-defense revolvers in this caliber well into the 1970s, and maybe even the 1980s.

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