38 Special cutdown to 38 S&W

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Slomo, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. Slomo

    Slomo New Member

    Apr 8, 2011
    Mo. Ozarks
    A friend of mine has a H & R "break back" revolver calibered in 38 S&W. We already know the "break back" is a major safety concern so we would like to test it with a reload rather than commercial loads. We would prefer not to invest too much if anything in brass and dies so we concidered cuting down a 38 special case, since I already have the brass and dies. We know the 38 S&W is slightly larger in Dia. than the 38 Spl.
    That is why we would like to draw info from more experienced hand loaders on this project.
  2. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    If you're not sure about the integrity of the firearm, take it to a gunsmith or call it a decoration piece. Do NOT fire it.
    Learning if your $200 antique handgun works is not a reasonable trade-off for risking your hands, face, etc.

  3. Slomo

    Slomo New Member

    Apr 8, 2011
    Mo. Ozarks
    It would be certainly be fired from a vise NOT by hand. Gunsmith? I dont have any locally I would trust.
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    Here's your problem. If you cut 38 Special brass down to 38 S&W length, your Special seating die's crimp shoulder will not be low enough to crimp it.

    Do you, by chance, also have 9mm dies? If so, you can crimp it with a 9mm seating die. 380 will work, for that matter.

    A cut-down 38 special case will work in a 38 S&W chamber. Your case life will be short, as there will be much expansion when fired, and then resizing too small, giving you, again, much expansion when fired. I doubt you'd get more than two - maybe three loadings out of it before you got cracks.
  5. Slomo

    Slomo New Member

    Apr 8, 2011
    Mo. Ozarks
    Thanks for the info.
    I do have 9mm dies I could crimp with. I'm not too concerned with reload cycles.
  6. oldgunfan

    oldgunfan Member

    Sep 12, 2006
    what about sizing with a 9mm makarov? there bullit's are .365 do you think that would work?
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