Taurus Firearm Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got a few questions on reloading 38 special. To start with I'll preface this with eh fact that this is just academic at this point; just trying to gather information.
I have some 38 special brass from shooting out of my 357 mag. I am wondering can you load the brass to +p or near magnum pressures without compromising the brass? I understand the danger of hit loading 38's and putting it in a gun that can't handle the pressure, that's not an issue for me because all I own are 357 mags, what I am wondering is will the brass hold up, or are the walls thinner, the base won't handle it, anything else that would physically stop it from handling the higher pressure? Again this is all just academic

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
199 Posts
I have loaded .38 special brass with .38 special + P loads using data from Lyman 49th Edition loading manual without any problems. I would never load .357 magnum loads in .38 special brass, the pressures shown in the loading manual for magnum loads would be much higher if loaded in the shorter cases.

Improper reloading can be very dangerous - don't take chances - just follow a trusted loading manual and stay safe!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Appreciate it. That's the info I was looking for

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37,064 Posts
there is a SAMMI listing for 38 Spl Plus P and IF your gun is rated for such pressure then it should be fine ot reload 38's to the plus p pressure.
I am fairly sure that 357 mag brass is thicker , especailly in the web area but then again you are NOT loading the 38 to 357 magnum pressures only to 38 SPL Plus P pressure
38 SPL Plus P pressure is 20,000 PSI
357 Magnum Pressure is 35,000 PSI.
hope this explains it for you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mingaa

·
Administrator
Joined
·
35,713 Posts
Do not load 38 special to anywhere near 357 magnum power. There is a huge gap in the SAAMI listing between the top end of 38 special, and the bottom end of 357 magnum. You can, however, reload and enjoy some pretty mild loadings for target range, and +P loadings for self defense, which is what many people do anyway because of the overpenetration possibilities of 357 mag loadings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,813 Posts
The .38SPL brass is better for target loads than the .357 Mag brass. Use it for that.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,735 Posts
As others have said not a problem. It is possible to load .357 loads in .38 brass. But this should be left to those highly experienced with both cartridges.

I've done it as described in the link, but I don't recommend it for a variety of reasons. The biggest being it's an unecessisary risk. The author had both the knowledge and the need. Absent the need, I see no reason to do it.

I offer this up just to demonstrate that you are unlikely to compromise .38 brass a +P pressures.

http://www.darkcanyon.net/MyFriend_The357.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,952 Posts
Your question was about compromising the .38 spl brass.

By and large, any brass marked .38 spl will handle .38 spl +P. But loading it hot will wear it out faster and you'll get fewer reloads out of it.

I'd go with what most people have said -- if you want to load hot .38 spl loads, you're better off to load moderate .357 mag.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
969 Posts
The current SAAMI Pressure Max for .38 Sp. +P is 20,000 PSI and is what Western loaded close to in their +P data that Aggie shows.

The SAAMI Pressure Max for the .357 Magnum is 35,000 PSI.

Fredward made a good point. Buy a .357 Magnum revolver and you can shoot them all. Medium level .357 Magnum loads are not much higher in recoil and perform better. Then you can shoot any .38 caliber you like including those that have even shorter cases than the .38 Sp. like the .38 S&W etc.;)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,735 Posts
The current SAAMI Pressure Max for .38 Sp. +P is 20,000 PSI and is what Western loaded close to in their +P data that Aggie shows.

The SAAMI Pressure Max for the .357 Magnum is 35,000 PSI.

Fredward made a good point. Buy a .357 Magnum revolver and you can shoot them all. Medium level .357 Magnum loads are not much higher in recoil and perform better. Then you can shoot any .38 caliber you like including those that have even shorter cases than the .38 Sp. like the .38 S&W etc.<img src="http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/images/smilies/gr_wink.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Wink" class="inlineimg" />
You can't shoot .38 S&W in a .38 Special or .357. The .38 S&W used a .361 diameter bullet. You can shoot the .38 long or short Colt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
969 Posts
You can't shoot .38 S&W in a .38 Special or .357. The .38 S&W used a .361 diameter bullet. You can shoot the .38 long or short Colt.
You are correct, sir! My apologies! The .38 Special was an upgrade to the .38 Long Colt (not .38 S&W) resulting from the war in the Phillipines, and with Spain.;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,252 Posts
And, another issue.

If you happened to lose some of those hot rounds and somebody found them and tried them in their
.38 ......... you get the picture I'm sure.

I've found quite a few unfired rounds of ammo over they years especially at IDPA competition sites. I
usually take them home and destroy them.

All the Best,
D. White
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,735 Posts
You are correct, sir! My apologies! The .38 Special was an upgrade to the .38 Long Colt (not .38 S&W) resulting from the war in the Phillipines, and with Spain.;)
The nomenclature for .38 revolver cartridges is just as confusing as all the 9mm's.

Colt developed the .38 Short Colt for cap and ball conversions. Later they went to the longer case for their swing-out DA revolvers. S&W didn't want to use a "Colt" cartridge for their top breaks and develops the .38 S&W. They could have used the .38 long Colt. But noooo.......

The original "Special" cartridge was called the .38 S&W Special, which is more than a little confusing given there was already a .38 S&W. Of course since S&W developed the cartridge from the .38 Long Colt they just had to put their name on it, as both manufacturers were loath to stamp their competitor's name on their own guns for the caliber designation.

Colt changed the bullet in the .38 S&W and called it the .38 Colt New Police. There was a 200gr bullet load for both cartridges called the .38 Super Police, not to be confused with the .38 Super chambered in the 1911. It seems Colt finally stopped the "change and rename" war and simply labeled their guns ".38 Special".

Then there were the hotter loads for the S&W .38/44 (also usable in a Colt Official Police) that were designated .38 Special Hi-Speed. Then the Brits adopted the 200gr S&W loading as a service round and came up with their own bunch of names... .38/200, .380 Rimmed.

All those names, but really only two different cases. This has stopped, thanks to SAMMI now being the naming authority. You can still get your company name on a cartridge (witness the .500 S&W Magnum) but that's it, no re-works by competitors are allowed.

If you want to use "official" full names and "official" abbreviations, they are all in the table of contents:

https://saami.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Z299-3_ANSI-SAAMI_CFPandR.pdf#page=10
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
969 Posts
The nomenclature for .38 revolver cartridges is just as confusing as all the 9mm's.

Colt developed the .38 Short Colt for cap and ball conversions. Later they went to the longer case for their swing-out DA revolvers. S&W didn't want to use a "Colt" cartridge for their top breaks and develops the .38 S&W. They could have used the .38 long Colt. But noooo.......

The original "Special" cartridge was called the .38 S&W Special, which is more than a little confusing given there was already a .38 S&W. Of course since S&W developed the cartridge from the .38 Long Colt they just had to put their name on it, as both manufacturers were loath to stamp their competitor's name on their own guns for the caliber designation.

Colt changed the bullet in the .38 S&W and called it the .38 Colt New Police. There was a 200gr bullet load for both cartridges called the .38 Super Police, not to be confused with the .38 Super chambered in the 1911. It seems Colt finally stopped the "change and rename" war and simply labeled their guns ".38 Special".

Then there were the hotter loads for the S&W .38/44 (also usable in a Colt Official Police) that were designated .38 Special Hi-Speed. Then the Brits adopted the 200gr S&W loading as a service round and came up with their own bunch of names... .38/200, .380 Rimmed.

All those names, but really only two different cases. This has stopped, thanks to SAMMI now being the naming authority. You can still get your company name on a cartridge (witness the .500 S&W Magnum) but that's it, no re-works by competitors are allowed.

If you want to use "official" full names and "official" abbreviations, they are all in the table of contents:

https://saami.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Z299-3_ANSI-SAAMI_CFPandR.pdf#page=10
In my case, I was thinking .38 Short & Long Colt. Went to the manual to look at data and there was none. I saw the .38 S&W and I thought about Lyman stating that True Blue was the most accurate powder tested and I forgot all about it's slightly larger diameter.

Some guys are loading the .38 Short Colt for competition with Starline's stronger cases, so there's some resurgence. The .38 Long Colt has the unfortunate record of being a poor stopper against the Fillipinos that used their potent narcotic during our conflict there that was part of the Spanish American War. The Army's reaction was to reissue Peacemakers in .45 Colt that they had stored in large numbers. Pretty significant in firearms history since the Army decided to stay with .45 caliber and wanted a variation when they started considering an autoloading pistol. And that resulted with the 1911.;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: glenwolde

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,735 Posts
In my case, I was thinking .38 Short & Long Colt. Went to the manual to look at data and there was none. I saw the .38 S&W and I thought about Lyman stating that True Blue was the most accurate powder tested and I forgot all about it's slightly larger diameter.

Some guys are loading the .38 Short Colt for competition with Starline's stronger cases, so there's some resurgence. The .38 Long Colt has the unfortunate record of being a poor stopper against the Fillipinos that used their potent narcotic during our conflict there that was part of the Spanish American War. The Army's reaction was to reissue Peacemakers in .45 Colt that they had stored in large numbers. Pretty significant in firearms history since the Army decided to stay with .45 caliber and wanted a variation when they started considering an autoloading pistol. And that resulted with the 1911.;)
There's other uses for the. 38 Short Colt.....

https://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/reloads/70480-wildcat-making-rimmed-380-case-m380-revolver.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,965 Posts
When loading .38 Special in my .357 I use Hodgdons +P data with Longshot. Plenty o power out of a .38. Anything further needs to be in a .357 Magnum case. jmho
I shutter to think what would happen if someone fired a .38 case loaded to magnum level in a little light weight snub nose.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jwc007 and 57K

·
Registered
Joined
·
969 Posts
When loading .38 Special in my .357 I use Hodgdons +P data with Longshot. Plenty o power out of a .38. Anything further needs to be in a .357 Magnum case. jmho
I shutter to think what would happen if someone fired a .38 case loaded to magnum level in a little light weight snub nose.

MoKen, I definitely agree! If one is going to load warmer than existing .38 Sp. +P data, those loads need to be in shortened .357 Magnum cases for positive identification and only fired from .357 Magnum revolvers. Back when we were able to buy bulk bullets in thousands at very reasonable prices, I decided to replicate a load that Cor-Bon was selling at the time. A .38 Sp. +P with a 9mm 115 gr. JHP. I had an abundance of the old-style REM 9mm 124 gr. JHPs and decided to do some testing with .38 Sp. cases. Getting enough case-neck tension required extra steps to the cases. Trimming .357 Magnum cases gave greater thickness on the case-neck and case-mouth for plenty of tension.

Another reason I was interested in doing this came when my shooting partner bought a .357 Magnum Tracker back when they were still fairly new on the market. Every time we shot it with factory .357 Magnum loads, cases were hard to extract. The shortened loads in .357 Magnum cases ejected much easier. Then there's also the situation with some .357s that have barrel lengths under 3" like K-Frame Smiths with 2.5" barrels; they have to use shorter ejector rods than 3" models. Not a problem with the Rugers that have 2 3/4" barrels, but sticky extraction is not something anyone wants to occur in a defensive shooting situation. Eventually, I replaced the 9mm bullets with 125 & 140 gr. .357" diameter bullets, and they don't go into anything but .357 Magnum cases. I haven't had a chance to handle a new S&W M66, but Smith is now using 2 3/4" barrels rather than the older ones with 2 1/2" barrels. I don't know yet if this was done so that a longer, or standard length ejector rod could be used, but that's my suspicion.;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: MoKen
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top