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Do Not Use .38's in a .357 Magnum!

This is a discussion on Do Not Use .38's in a .357 Magnum! within the Maintenance forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; If the title of this thread has you a bit confused, then join the club. I was at the range to do a little shooting, ...


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Old December 22nd, 2009, 07:24 PM   #1
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Do Not Use .38's in a .357 Magnum!

If the title of this thread has you a bit confused, then join the club. I was at the range to do a little shooting, and I was asking about prices on .38's for my SP101 .357 magnum. The man behind the counter said, "Do not use .38's in a .357 Magnum!" When I asked why, he said that over time, the .38 can crack the forcing cone, and crack the frame of the gun.

Now, I understand his reasoning for it, and while it is plausible, just how likely is this? If you cannot shoot .38's from a .357 magnum, then why does Ruger advertise that you can? My dad and I have been shooting wheelguns since before I can remember, and I've never heard of this happening in real life. In fact, the other night was the only time I've heard of this.

When I countered his argument, he just happened to have two stories of how this has happened to their rental range guns - TWICE! Rentals? I've handled rental guns before and I have to say that they aren't the nicest examples of guns in the world. I asked if the guns themselves had problems and the man insisted it was because they get shot with .38's all the time.

While I'm sure this can happen to some guns, I'm skeptical that it WILL happen to every gun. Does anybody have any information that can confirm or deny this?



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Old December 22nd, 2009, 07:49 PM   #2
 
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That's simply ridiculous.

Anyone who says .38 special will damage ANY .357 knows nothing about hand guns.

The .357 magnum was made ever so slightly longer than the .38 Special simply to protect older, weaker revolvers from the increased pressure. Shooting .38's from a .357 will lengthen, not shorten, the life of a revolver.

A good example of this is: The Smith & Wesson Model 19 is a .357 which was made for practicing with .38 Specials, but using .357 magnums for use while on duty.

I would advise ignoring "the man behind the counter" on anything he says.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 07:52 PM   #3
 
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If I had to be rode as hard and put away wet as most range guns, I'd probably have a cracked frame too.

So Raminator - Is this guy a Moron or an Idiot?
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 08:53 PM   #4
 
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Like the other posts, total BS, you may get dirt build up, after a long time/lots of rounds you may get a burn scar in the charge holes (at .38spl length) that may make getting the .357's in a little sticky but good cleaning and maintenance will take care of that, I have a GP-100 (.357) that has only had .38spl through it, all 10,000 of them. No problems at all.

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Old December 22nd, 2009, 09:44 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raminator
The man behind the counter said, "Do not use .38's in a .357 Magnum!" When I asked why, he said that over time, the .38 can crack the forcing cone, and crack the frame of the gun.
I'm sure that IOWEGAN can give an authoritative answer, but my experience indicates you found
yet another "internet expert"
(subtitled - - DUMMY).
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 09:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liberalsmakemepuke View Post

So Raminator - Is this guy a Moron or an Idiot?
Considering some of his other subject matter, I'm thinking moron. I might just start shooting at the Marksman in Tacoma. It's a little further away, but at least they don't give misinformation.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 10:30 PM   #7
 
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The first S&W mod.19 pistols had that problem with the 357mag 125gr bullets but 158 gr would go for ever. The problem comes from the bullet being out of the case before hitting the forcing cone and sometimes with an upset so it doesn't go in square plus gas escaping before the bullet hits the cone.Its not near the problem of the 357max in the Blackhawk that was taken off the market because of it
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 10:34 PM   #8
 
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I have a 1976 Ruger .357 and have shot over 2000 rounds of .38 special with of course no damage. The guy at the range is mistaken. Less pressure means less chance of cracks, not more. A person can be incorrect and still not be a moron.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 12:12 AM   #9
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Amigo Will, If you open the cylinder on any K-frame, you'll see the bottom of the barrel just under the forcing cone was machined very thin to accommodate the yoke. With 38 Specials, this is not a problem, however with 357 Mags, the extra bullet thrust may crack the cone ... sometimes even the frame. It's strictly a metal thickness issue with the lower part of the barrel.

Raminator, All range guys are experts .... just ask them! Pure bogus information. WVfishguy got it right.

FYI, all revolver cylinders have an internal forcing cone at the start of the throat. This forces the bullet to "square up" so it will exit the throat lined up properly with the bore. This allows shorter cases or deeper seated bullets to be used without losing accuracy.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 01:48 AM   #10
 
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Bs flag!

Here is what you found at the range. A idiot behind the counter is selling ammo. Thus he has a financial stake in what is sold(weather it is his ammo or his boss's). He is willing to sell you the more expensive ammo to "bump" his profit line. The guy is so full of crap. I cant tell you how many round of 38's I have fired in my 357's and NEVER a problem. Are you required to purchase ammo at this range as part of using it? Makes me wonder...
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 04:08 AM   #11
 
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38 specials = a light load to a 357mag . i've shot many 38 in 357!!! no problems!! and it easier on ur ears. so in IMHO he was just trying to sell the more expensive ammo.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 05:16 AM   #12
 
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glad to hear this issue is a non-issue. when i read the OP, a little red flag went up, which my conventional wisdom, and you guys have reinforced. strange how someone who deals with guns on a daily basis could be so off-base, which clearly he was. i do wonder however what brand of .357s these supposed malfunctions happened in, and how much maintenance they saw in their life on the range.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 07:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruiserbruiser View Post
A person can be incorrect and still not be a moron.
Except that this guy was bragging to another customer about the groupings of his spitwads on a chalkboard.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 07:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
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i do wonder however what brand of .357s these supposed malfunctions happened in, and how much maintenance they saw in their life on the range.
It's funny because when I asked, he could not remember and they didn't ahve them at the time.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 07:48 AM   #15
 
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Raminator,

Was this the same range that you got "swept" at. If so i think i might not go there anymore, it sounds like even if the noobs wanted to learn the range personell wouldn't be much help.
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