ammo differences?


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paleosteveo
03-10-2010, 11:12 PM
can some one please tell me what is the difference between .38, .38 special and .38 super? are they all the same?

thanks in advance!

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Popeye
03-11-2010, 12:12 AM
can some one please tell me what is the difference between .38, .38 special and .38 super? are they all the same?

thanks in advance!

.38 is a caliber, not a cartridge.

.38 Special is a rimmed, revolver cartridge.

.38 Super is a semi automatic pistol cartridge.

This is a short listing of handgun cartridges using .38 as part of their name.

.38 Automatic (.38 ACP)
.38 Ballard Extra Long
.38 Casull
.38 Extra Long
.38 Long
.38 Long, Centerfire
.38 Short Colt
.38 Long Colt
.38 Short
.38 S&W
.38 Colt New Police (same as .38 S&W)
.38 Special/.38-44 Target
.38 Super

jimfox
03-11-2010, 06:43 AM
.38 is a caliber, not a cartridge.

.38 Special is a rimmed, revolver cartridge.

.38 Super is a semi automatic pistol cartridge.

This is a short listing of handgun cartridges using .38 as part of their name.

.38 Automatic (.38 ACP)
.38 Ballard Extra Long
.38 Casull
.38 Extra Long
.38 Long
.38 Long, Centerfire
.38 Short Colt
.38 Long Colt
.38 Short
.38 S&W
.38 Colt New Police (same as .38 S&W)
.38 Special/.38-44 Target
.38 Super

And, to add to the confusion, some cartridges have the same dimensions, as another cartridge, but most definitely should not be used interchangeably. The .38 Auto (aka .38 ACP) has the same dimensions as the .38 Super - a higher intensity round which, if used in an older gun chambered in .38 auto might well cause it to separate.

bluedlightning
03-11-2010, 12:59 PM
Lets confuse this a little more. Most cartridges that have 38 in them are not 38 caliber thier 35 caliber. Confused? Don't blame you if you are. It all stems from the black powder days when people were converting the old cap and ball firearms to the new fangled cartridges, It was a simple matter to machine off the back of a revolvers cylinder, install a recoil sheild with loading gate, and ejector rod. Most of the old 36 caliber revolvers got the new name of 38 and it stuck for shells of that general size. They allso missed the 38 WCF or 38-40 round which is actually a 40 caliber shell. If you need help with this and by now probly do pick up a copy of Cartridges of the World, this will help. :cents:

Williamlayton
03-11-2010, 05:47 PM
Further confusion!
A .38 bullet can be used in 9mm reloads and a .38, .9mm, .357, .38 super and a 9x23 can use 9mm OR .38 bullets--not cartridges---but you can shoot .38 super cartridges in a 9x23 but may not be able to reverse the process and shoot 9x23 in a .38Super.

The .38, Special, .38 +P, .38 +p+ andre the same bullet but npt the same round and while you can shoot the .38 in a .357 OR a .38 +P don't try eithe in a .38.
Blessings :psycho:

tony pasley
03-11-2010, 09:26 PM
I hope you gentlemen did not scare him off from ever asking anything else. Good info but maybe a little too much at once.

Popeye
03-11-2010, 11:20 PM
can some one please tell me what is the difference between .38, .38 special and .38 super? are they all the same?

thanks in advance!

They are not the same and cannot be interchanged.

jimfox
03-11-2010, 11:45 PM
They are not the same and cannot be interchanged.

Well, that is the short (and definitive) answer. But it takes a lot of the interest out. ;)

:D:D:D

TheGunsmith78
04-24-2010, 03:09 AM
Nice Job Guys. oh and to add more confusion to the fire if you have a .357 mag you can also fire .38 specials thru your gun

lookingforthewayback
04-24-2010, 02:23 PM
Unless you firearm says it can use a certain cartridge don't try to fire it from your gun. That way unless you are just interested in different calibers and cartridges you don't need info on all the rest. I find the information interesting but not something I choose to catalog in my brain, reference manuals and forums like this take care of that.

bluedlightning
04-24-2010, 04:57 PM
To be on the safe side just use the shells that your gun is chambered for and you can't go wrong. Don't experiment its not worth your life or the lives of others around you.

Stevejet
04-24-2010, 06:34 PM
The Lee Reloading manual and Lyman Reloading Manual will, like most other manuals, provide dimensions, applicable bullets (lead or jacketes), histories and specifications. They are good reads for anyone with questions and interests. Thumb thru a few at a gun store to find which manual satisfies your curiosity.

TheGunsmith78
04-25-2010, 01:49 AM
LOL I didn't mean to make ya think that you could try just any gun. But Yes ANY .357 mag revolver WILL fire .38 special I have own a few of them and learned that trick from my grandfather because it is cheaper to fire .38special then .357mag also note When i was in gunsmith school I was taught the same thing... I would never steer you wrong and play with your life by giveing you bad info. :D o

bluedlightning
04-25-2010, 11:30 PM
One type of firearm you have to be carefull with on this issue is the New army and navy colt revolvers of 1899. Thier chambered for the 38 long colt round but the chambers are bored straight through with no step to prevent you firing the longer 38 special or .357 mag rounds in them, which would be a diaster as these rounds are overpowered for this model revolver. :cents:

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