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So I accidentally purchased some ammo for my wife and I didn't realize a .38 S&W is not the same as a .38 special... I noticed the most obvious difference was that the .38 S&W has a shorter case. Long story short, I can easily fit the .38 S&W rounds into the .38 special's cylinder. Would it be a bad idea to go ahead and fire the .38 S&W's out of her LCR?
 

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You need to do a good Google search on this one, especially looking at the S&W forum. It's complicated, but it my work withe specific brands of ammo.

For what .38 Spl costs, I would not do it myself
 

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Time to go buy a .38 S&W revolver so you can use that box of ammo
 

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I'm a bit surprised the .38 S&W will fit in your Ruger; it will not generally fit in any of my Colt or S&W .38 Specials. I doubt it would do any damage to shoot it in your LCR, might lead up the barrel swaging down a .363 bullet to .357, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. Hopefully whoever sold you this ammo didn't lead you down the wrong path? Back in the day when .38 S&W was a bit more common, I saw a gun store commando try to sell a man a box of .38 S&W cartridges, I butted in and turns out the man needed .38 Special.
 

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The 38 SW is perfectly safe to shoot in 38 special chamber or even in a 357 mag . It is a short 38 special :)
TGR, you sure you aren't confusing the .38S&W with the .38 Colt or .38 Long Colt? I have four .38 special revolvers and four .357 revolvers and two .38 S&W revolvers and I cannot fully chamber a .38 S&W in any of the .38 specials or .357 magnums.
 

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Would not try that without really researching it. Kinda like the .223 5.56 discussions.
 

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The nominal bullet diameter for a 38 S&W is .360 whereas the 38 SP is .357. If the rounds are loaded with .357/8 bullets and the cases sized down to 38 Sp diameter then they may work. What reducing standard case size does to pressure is not predictable. Your revolver, your hand but if it blows please don't post a thread about how the LCR won't hold up.
 

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I would just try and resell it at a discount,like on Armslist ...explain how you ended up with it .If its not made for your revolver don't use it!
 

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You could shoot it, there are some 38spl wad cutters loaded very low will fit and work in a 38 S&W gun. But for the cost of, you have just one 50 round box correct, I would put it on a shelf and buy some 38 special. Where I live I have not seen a box of 38 S&W in years. I have several old guns that shoot that round and I have no ammo for them.
 
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