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.38 Special Through GP100?

This is a discussion on .38 Special Through GP100? within the Ammo Dump forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I'm new to guns, so please excuse what is probably common knowledge to most of you guys If read two opinions regarding shooting .38 special ...


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Old May 29th, 2013, 08:00 AM   #1
 
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.38 Special Through GP100?

I'm new to guns, so please excuse what is probably common knowledge to most of you guys

If read two opinions regarding shooting .38 special in a gun (GP100) chambered for .357 magnum. Some say to only do it sparingly b/c the gun can become "damaged" over extended use, while others say its fine to squeeze off a few thousand rounds and it will last forever.

Many of you actually shoot 38 Special through your GP100's, so I was hoping to hear some real world advice. Thoughts?

Also, who can you recommend for bulk 100 - 500rd purchase of 357mag ammo?



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Old May 29th, 2013, 08:04 AM   #2
 
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.38 Special is lower pressure than .357.....some people rarely shoot .357 ammo in there GP's.....will be fine.....no harm will come to pistol...
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Old May 29th, 2013, 08:05 AM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RugerNewb View Post
I'm new to guns, so please excuse what is probably common knowledge to most of you guys

If read two opinions regarding shooting .38 special in a gun (GP100) chambered for .357 magnum. Some say to only do it sparingly b/c the gun can become "damaged" over extended use, while others say its fine to squeeze off a few thousand rounds and it will last forever.

Many of you actually shoot 38 Special through your GP100's, so I was hoping to hear some real world advice. Thoughts?

Also, who can you recommend for bulk 100 - 500rd purchase of 357mag ammo?
Either caliber any time. Just finding ammo is the difficult part. It's a revolver so the gun doesn't care what you feed it.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 08:10 AM   #4
 
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That's good news b/c 38 special is a heck of a lot cheaper.

Even though it is lower pressure, I thought b/c of its slightly larger size it could have adverse affects on the barrel...?

Any recommendations for where to find bulk 357 ammo? (I know supplies are low at most places)

Last edited by RugerNewb; May 29th, 2013 at 08:13 AM.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 09:55 AM   #5
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RugerNewb, Both the 38 Special and 357 Magnum use exactly the same weight and diameter bullets ... .357" for jacketed and .358" for lead with weights from 110 grains to 158 grains. Case dimensions are the same except the 357 Mag case is about .135" longer (1.290" versus 1.155") so magnum cartridges can not be chambered in a 38 Special revolver.

The confusion comes from the name ... 38 Special, which would make it appear to be larger than a 357. Fact is ... the 38 Special got its name from the outside diameter of the case whereas the 357 mag got its name from the bullet diameter.

The only down side with shooting 38 Specials in a 357 Mag chamber is that extra .135" of chamber length will build up with a "crud ring" and not allow 357 Mag cartridges to seat without first cleaning the chambers.

Pressures are radically different where 357 Mag chamber pressure is rated at 35,000 psi or as high as 41,500 psi with European made ammo. 38 Special standard pressures are rated at a mere 17,000 psi or 18,500 psi for 38 Special +P loads. As you can see, 38 Special pressures are roughly half that of a 357 Mag, which will extend the useful life of any 357 Mag revolver by several times over.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 10:02 AM   #6
 
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.38 in .357

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
RugerNewb, Both the 38 Special and 357 Magnum use exactly the same weight and diameter bullets ... .357" for jacketed and .358" for lead with weights from 110 grains to 158 grains. Case dimensions are the same except the 357 Mag case is about .135" longer (1.290" versus 1.155") so magnum cartridges can not be chambered in a 38 Special revolver.

The confusion comes from the name ... 38 Special, which would make it appear to be larger than a 357. Fact is ... the 38 Special got its name from the outside diameter of the case whereas the 357 mag got its name from the bullet diameter.

The only down side with shooting 38 Specials in a 357 Mag chamber is that extra .135" of chamber length will build up with a "crud ring" and not allow 357 Mag cartridges to seat without first cleaning the chambers.

Pressures are radically different where 357 Mag chamber pressure is rated at 35,000 psi or as high as 41,500 psi with European made ammo. 38 Special standard pressures are rated at a mere 17,000 psi or 18,500 psi for 38 Special +P loads. As you can see, 38 Special pressures are roughly half that of a 357 Mag, which will extend the useful life of any 357 Mag revolver by several times over.
+1. Even after a box of 50, the .38s won't seat causing the cylinder to bind, and eventually stop running all together. My GP100 and S&W 686 are more tolerant of .38s, but my custom SP101 2 1/4" will "quit" with as few as 50 rounds ( depending on clean vs. dirty plinking ammo)
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Old May 29th, 2013, 10:04 AM   #7
 
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Iowegan,
Thank you for the data driven response...and of course to the others that chimed in!

I was not aware of how the measurements were taken for the two different rounds and your explanation was invaluable.

Thank you again for the various data points.

Last edited by RugerNewb; May 29th, 2013 at 10:18 AM.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 10:10 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RugerNewb View Post
Iowegan,
Thank you for the data driven response...and of course to the others that chimed in!

I was not aware of how the measurement were taken for the two different rounds and your explanation was invaluable.

Thank you again for the various data points.
Always take heed to Iowegan. He's the undisputed guru here.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 03:39 PM   #9
 
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I have shot 38 sp. and 357 back and forth for more than 30 years. Never had
problem in rugers and sw . If you don't reload , 357 prices are way to high to target shoot with. 38sp. or 38+p will be all you need. After shooting, just wire brush the out crud. Or start reloading 38 sp. in 357 cases. Thats where the fun starts ! Load up or down.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 03:59 PM   #10
 
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Shooting .38 specials out of a 357 mag won't do any harm go the gun. Its made to be able to. Just clean your gun after shooting it, but you should do that anyways.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 04:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
RugerNewb, Both the 38 Special and 357 Magnum use exactly the same weight and diameter bullets ... .357" for jacketed and .358" for lead with weights from 110 grains to 158 grains. Case dimensions are the same except the 357 Mag case is about .135" longer (1.290" versus 1.155") so magnum cartridges can not be chambered in a 38 Special revolver.

The confusion comes from the name ... 38 Special, which would make it appear to be larger than a 357. Fact is ... the 38 Special got its name from the outside diameter of the case whereas the 357 mag got its name from the bullet diameter.

The only down side with shooting 38 Specials in a 357 Mag chamber is that extra .135" of chamber length will build up with a "crud ring" and not allow 357 Mag cartridges to seat without first cleaning the chambers.

Pressures are radically different where 357 Mag chamber pressure is rated at 35,000 psi or as high as 41,500 psi with European made ammo. 38 Special standard pressures are rated at a mere 17,000 psi or 18,500 psi for 38 Special +P loads. As you can see, 38 Special pressures are roughly half that of a 357 Mag, which will extend the useful life of any 357 Mag revolver by several times over.
Best answer so far.

I have several 357 Mag rifles and pistols that I've never shot a single 357 though. All they ever get is 38 Specials and I'm sure if I do shoot 357 I will need to do a ton of cleaning first.

I"ve recently experienced the same thing in shooting .22 shorts. After awhile the LR's would not seat until I gave it a good cleaning. And I'm talking about a reallllllly good cleaning to the chamber.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 04:29 PM   #12
 
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I shoot almost exclusively .38 spl through my GP100 and the gun is like new. Iowegan is (as always) quite right about the "crud ring" from 38 specials, but hey, clean the darned gun and all will be well. Doesn't take long.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 06:31 PM   #13
 
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Rugernewb,

As has been said, no problem with shooting .38s in a .357 chamber.

Have shot hundreds of .38s to every .357 shot in my old stainless Security Six.

Now, the issue about needing to clean the cylinders after shooting .38s is, in my opinion, over stated.

The problem will be worse if your are shooting cast bullet .38s which is almost all I shoot, as the lube/lead and powder will form a ring in the cylindar ahead of the .38 case mouth.

Really, No big thing!

After a shooting session with the .38s, just drop a loaded .357 round in each of the chambers. If they go in easy, no problem. If they go in with a slight bit or resistance, it is about time to clean the build up out of the chambers.

You can do the brush and scrub thing to each of the chambers, or if your GP is as easy to tear down as the Security Six, take it apart and soak the cylindar is some Hoppies or other cleaner over night and the build up will quickly come out.

I bought the Security years back, and I have never needed to do more then what is listed above even with shooting mostly and MANY .38s.

Just remember to check the chambers with the loaded .357 rounds, and the gun will tell you if you need to do a deep clean.

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Old June 3rd, 2013, 06:36 PM   #14
 
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I shoot almost exclusively 38 specials from my Security Six .357 and my Blackhawk .357
It costs less and being honest, I target shoot better with the 38 specials because the recoil is so light.
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Old June 3rd, 2013, 08:09 PM   #15
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I shoot a lot of .38 wadcutters through my GP100 ... very accurate, fun to shoot, and extremely low cost if you load your own.

The only caution for Ruger owners is to take Iowegan's advice and chamfer the forcing cone ... as well as ream the cylinder throats in order to eliminate or reduce leading.

http://rugerforum.net/library/18570-...hamfering.html
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