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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, newbie here, first i've got to say im from México, where proper ammo sometimes is hard to Find, specially For old handguns.
With this beeing said, there are many old 38 short revolvers arround but no 38 short ammo whatsoever.
So, i was wondering if this old revolvers could be loaded with the 38 spl wadcutter?
WC will fit in lenght of the 38 short cilinder with no problem, but some cilinders like mine have an inside "ring" in the chamber that will stop the case about 5mm but if you take this ring the cartridge will fit properly
I think the pressure of both ctgs is quite similar, maybe wc a little bit higher but not quite high to endanger the gun.
Wadcutters in México are also hard to find but not as hard as the 38 short, so do you think it would be an option?
 

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Diameters are different. The .38 S&W is larger diameter. this could lead to.38 special cases splitting. Some of the .38 S&W handguns won’t do well with even “moderate“ pressure increases And .38 Special is definitely a higher pressure round.
 

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Diameters are different. The .38 S&W is larger diameter. this could lead to.38 special cases splitting. Some of the .38 S&W handguns won’t do well with even “moderate“ pressure increases And .38 Special is definitely a higher pressure round.
Thanks doc. But isnt 38 wadcutter beeing a target ctg. Supposed to be a low pressure load?
 

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Thanks doc. But isnt 38 wadcutter beeing a target ctg. Supposed to be a low pressure load?
They can be but don’t have to be. If you didn’t load it yourself, and know what powder and charge are inside the case, you can’t be sure until you fire it. There are actually some hot wadcutter loads out there that were popular with bowling pin match competitors.

Main reasons wadcutter rounds were used for target shooting were:
  • the bullet profile cut a clean hole in paper for scoring
  • the bullets seat deeper in the shell which decreases excess space,not occupied by the powder charge. This leads to more consistent powder ignition and even burn, which increases accuracy from shot to shot, by reducing variables in powder ignition rate.

Having less air space can increase pressure with smaller powder charges.

Having loosely fit shells is still a problem too. .361 diameter bullets in .38 S&W vs .357 diameter in .38 special. Case neck diameter is .3855 For the S&W and .379 for the Special. This could cause case rupture.

So, I’m not an expert. I’m not going to say it CAN’T be done. But I’d really advise against it. S&W made the sizes different to prevent folks from accidentally using one in the other.
 
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