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Thread: 38 S & W or ???

  1. #21
    denner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgms View Post
    I believe the S&W forum denner intended it the [url=http://www.smith_wessonforum.com]Smith & Wesson Forum a Smith and Wesson only forum.

  2. #22
    denner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.Andrews View Post
    Now you have me even more curious. Why would you need to bore and rechamber it for the .38 special round when it is smaller in diameter, and the projectal is as well smaller?
    The 38 special is smaller in diameter, but longer and a more powerful and popular cartridge(especially in the U.S.) I would not buy or use 38 special +p's in this pistol, just stick w/ 38 special.The reason you would have to rechamber in order for the 38S&W to shoot 38 special is because the 38 special is a somewhat longer cartridge. The .38 Special is 1.55" long, while the .38 S&W is 1.20" long.
    Last edited by denner; 10-31-2012 at 10:37 PM.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by denner View Post
    ...[T]he 38 special is smaller in diameter, but...longer and...more powerful...
    Mr.(?) Andrews;
    Please see the accurate dimensions I gave you in Post #8 of this thread.
    If you fire a .38 Special cartridge of sufficient power in a larger-diameter .38 S&W chamber that had been merely lengthened to fit it, you risk either a split cartridge case and its released attendant hot gasses and brass particles, or even a full-fledged explosion and a ruined cylinder. In either case, your hand will suffer in the extreme, and you could even lose a finger or two.
    If you continue using .38 Special cartridges in this revolver, I strongly suggest that you stick to the very mildest, low-velocity loads.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Mr.(?) Andrews;
    Please see the accurate dimensions I gave you in Post #8 of this thread.
    If you fire a .38 Special cartridge of sufficient power in a larger-diameter .38 S&W chamber that had been merely lengthened to fit it, you risk either a split cartridge case and its released attendant hot gasses and brass particles, or even a full-fledged explosion and a ruined cylinder. In either case, your hand will suffer in the extreme, and you could even lose a finger or two.
    If you continue using .38 Special cartridges in this revolver, I strongly suggest that you stick to the very mildest, low-velocity loads.


    Correct if I'm wrong, but I believe as a safer option would be to shoot the lower powered properly dimensioned 38S&W cartridge from this rechambered pistol(perhaps more accurately as well). I was reading on the S&W forum of problems shooting 38 specials in these rechambered pistols and the advice to stick w/ the 38S&W cartridge, but please check on that one. Case bulge and what Steve has stated would definately be a concern shooting 38 specials from this 71 + year old lend/lease re-chambered pistol..that baby is a piece of history for sure.
    Last edited by denner; 10-31-2012 at 11:04 PM.

  5. #25
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    Dang! I think that you're right again, denner.
    I must be getting senile earlier than I'd expected.

    However, there'd be one heck of a freebore jump, from the mouth of the .38 S&W cartridge to the barrel's forcing cone.
    My thought was that a low-power .38 Special might not bulge or split.

    But why take the chance?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Dang! I think that you're right again, denner.
    I must be getting senile earlier than I'd expected.

    However, there'd be one heck of a freebore jump, from the mouth of the .38 S&W cartridge to the barrel's forcing cone.
    My thought was that a low-power .38 Special might not bulge or split.

    But why take the chance?
    No Steve, I'm getting a little out of my comfort zone, and would much rather defer to your experience and observations in caliber and tolerences. Yes, that would be one heck of a jump from the cylinder to the forcing cone, and I'd find it hard to believe except for reading posts on the S&W forums. All new to me, but quite interesting and educational as well and I don't really know a heck of alot about revolvers, especially this interesting piece. Again, I take a disclaimer on this one. I'm passing along only what I've read from another forum and you know how that is. I myself would have reservations until I was absolutely sure it was safe to do so.
    Last edited by denner; 10-31-2012 at 11:36 PM.

  7. #27
    D.Andrews is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by denner View Post
    D. Andrews, did you read what I posted above including the wikipedia link describing this gun? If you were to (read) more closely you should find your answers, or at least most of them in your quest for information. I found this information with not too much trouble from the S&W forum and my own limited research. Likewise, The S&W forum, not this S&W forum is the place to be regarding this particular at least 71 year old S&W pistol. As you stated you do not want to spend the $50.00 to get an authentication certificate, so the S&W forum is your next best option in my humble opinion. I posted above regarding a plethora of information and folks that know about these pistols from the S&W forum which instead in my opinion would a better option than being spoonfed from the post here, but you're on the right track. "Rechambering of .38-200 cylinders to .38 Special results in oversized chambers which may cause problems": from the wikipedia link I posted above. It should work as evidently the previous owner has shot 38 special from this gun with no ill effect and as you've stated the 38 special cartridge seems to chamber fine in this pistol, but take that w/ a grain of salt as "may" means "may" cause problems or it may not.
    Yes sir I did read everything in your post and links and joined the forum last night, just havent posted yet. Thank you for all that info, gave me a lot of history for sure. I dont feel any better as my life ain't that charmed! My only real concern about shooting it now is the distance the projectile will have to travel to get to the barrel, and through what appears to be a some what smaller area at the end of the cylinder. I havent pit the mic to it yet, but I see the ridge for sure. The looseness of the 38 special round in it is explained for sure now, dont think I will go there, I belive it is a trip to the ammo store for some 38 s&w rounds next, and see how they fit, the 38 special is too loose in my opinion. I have had a case split before, and that is no fun...........D...........

  8. #28
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    Good deal, at least you kinda know what you're looking at. Probably you'll learn much more about the pistol and post your findings here. If possible you may want to have a competent gunsmith give the pistol a good looking over to inspect the re-chambering work done on the pistol, and or if it's safe to shoot 38/200's and/or 38 special.

  9. #29
    redtail is offline Junior Member
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    After WW2 ended, a lot of the 38 S&W M&Ps came back to America. Many of these revolvers were converted after the war, to fire 38 Specials. Some of the conversions were okay at best, where they drilled out the cylinder and replaced the barrel with a marked, 38 Special barrel. But many of these conversions happened as "back room" sort of things, where someone with a bit of machining ability simply bored out the cylinder and left all else alone. There are a lot of these around still.
    You can fire low velocity target 38 Special loads through that revolver, and probably be okay, but at your own risk. The factory load for the 38 S&W 158 grain RN bullet only achieved about a 600-650 fps velocity, depending on barrel length, so you want very LOW power loads, and certainly nothing beyond. The .357 diameter bullets of the 38 Special will slightly skid and slide up the .360 barrel that you have on that revolver, never getting a good, sealed contact with the rifling, and you'll get a little gas blow-by, you will never get the kind of accuracy out of it that a factory-made 38 Special M&P will give you. It'll do okay, at short range, but thats about it. I wish I had better news for you, but I do not.
    If I were in your shoes, and wanted a 38 Special M&P, I'd be patient first of all, and I'd start looking at the Model 10s on the used shelves. You can still find these revolvers for low prices. Police trade in's are usually a good deal (google Bud's gun shop, and look under used/police trade-in's, they've had them on and off recently for $269 shipped), and they can still be found for under $300. There are shops here in New England that have decent enough Model 10's for $275 to $300 and they will usually take a bit less than their asking prices. A used Model 10 will likely last you your life time, if you feed and care for them as they should be.

    Your gun does have some value, maybe you could sell it outright, or part it out, to help you pay for something better.

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