.38 Super +P in .357 revolver?

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by Popwood, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. Popwood

    Popwood New Member

    Apr 21, 2009
    I inherited some .38 Super which I was told was safe to shoot in my Ruger .357 revolver. I have a feeling that is not correct. Can you help me clear this up? I have grown fond of my fingers, and want to keep them.


  2. 7.62 Nato

    7.62 Nato New Member

    Dec 20, 2010
    38 Super is an auto cartridge, think 9mm long. Your 357 revolver will chamber 38 Specials, not 38 Supers. Your best bet is to sell or trade the Supers to get your Specials or 357 Mags.

  3. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    Dimensionally, they are close - Super's .384 body diameter to Magnum's .379. That's only .005 larger, so they will probably fit the chamber. It is a semi-rimmed case, so it will headspace. The bullet is undersize (.355 vs .357), so it should not give the best accuracy.

    All in all, it would probably shoot, but I wouldn't do it in my gun. Theoretically, it'll work, but my guns cost too much money, and I like my body parts too much for "theoretically".

    Edit: Just thought a little more on dimensions. I just measured chamber diameter on one of my 357s.. .383 to .384. The loaded 357s were .376. That's an .008 greater hole, allowing the case to expand .004 in all directions when it's fired. But if I put one of those 384 Supers in that gun, it would completely fill the chamber and would not allow any expansion of the case at all. With the case being unable to expand away from the bullet, pressures would skyrocket. The 38 Super pressures of 28000 would be in a normal 38 Super chamber, which would be about .395. In this tighter chamber, they'd probably go closer to 50, if not higher.

    Yeah, I really wouldn't do it, if it was me.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011
  4. vytoland

    vytoland New Member

    Oct 14, 2008
    .38 special......38 S&W....38 super....357 magnum....four different types of cartridges.....i would not experiment mixing them with the wrong firearm
  5. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    And the .38 Super +P would scare me even more...

    During my IPSC days the factory .38 Super would just BARELY not meet "Major Caliber" so a LOT of IPSC shooters would "push" the standard .38 Super load past maximum to make it hit major, so they would get the extra ammo capacity and the lesser muzzle flip so be back on target faster, without losing the deductions for "b" and "c" hits with a "minor" caliber, and that is why a LOT of old IPSC shooters have beards...to cover the ugly burns on their face from when their .38 Super Colts let go!:eek:

    And I SAW one go boom at a range just because of that, so it is NOT anecdotal.

    And that was in a Colt 1911A1 Series 70 DESIGNED for .38 Super pressures....

    Yeah, I occasionally shoot lead Aquila .32 S&W Longs in my Nagant revolver because of the economics, $10.00/50 vs. $35/50 for the true Nagant ammo, and can live with the bulged and sometimes cracked cases since I don't reload for it, but I am living with a HELLUVA lot less pressure in a $79.99 revolver built like a brick!
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  6. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    Your "feelings" are serving you well! .38 super was never intended to be fired in a revolver, not even one close to the right diamiter. Trade em off!
  7. Popwood

    Popwood New Member

    Apr 21, 2009
    Many thanks to all of you who so precisely and completely answered my question. I am impressed, as I have been in the past when I had a concern, and shared it on this site, how quick, knowledgeable, and courteous the responses are.

    I will find a "Super" shooter and pass the rounds on with all of my fingers.


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