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Discussion Starter #1
since the case of a 357 mag. is made slightly longer so it won't mistakenly be put in a 38 spec. revolver.
my question is if you are shooting a vaquero 38/357 using the same cylinder for both, then can you just overload your 38 to 357 specs. and now be shooting a 357 in a short case?
major drawback is if you own another 38 special only revolver.:eek:
 

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And, what would be accomplished?
But I knew someone years ago who shot bowling pins with long heavy cast bullets in .38 cases. The loads were too long for .38 chambers.
 

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You can but if you're reloading Im not sure why you would want to. Buffalo Bore and Underwood have some loads that get into 357 territory so it can be safely done. Mind you these are not close to "full power" 357 loads but I'm guessing they are on the upper limit of safety for the 38 case. And like you said, better mark the boxes as "Ruger only" :eek:
 

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That is such a bad idea on so many levels!

Load up appropriate recipes for what caliber is marked on the case head. Not whatever you feel like loading up because it fits!
 

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I guess if you want to try and be that stupid,,, it's a free country.
 

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Here is a one word answer to your question

Liability.
 

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I've made a few hot 38 special +p+ loads when I didn't have any 357 mag brass to work with, but I made sure I labeled the box with big writing saying " DANGER use in 357 magnum revolver ONLY " I don't have any of them left anymore and now that I have plenty of 357 mag brass I probably wont do that again. However, I did recently buy a 170 grain Elmer Keith designed Lyman 357 magnum mold. If they turn out to be too long for my Ruger GP100 I might have to use 38 special brass or maybe just trim down the 357 mag brass a little bit so it's not as short as 38 special, but still short enough to have room for the long and heavy Keith bullets.
 

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Ever hear of the 38/44? Heavy loaded 38 spl loads intended for S&W 38/44 N frame revolvers. They predated the 357 mag. by a few years.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
so you guys are trying to say in a not so polite way that the 38 case is not as strong as a 357. do you mean it is thinner?

...and i am not stupid, the gun was made to handle 357 mag.
 

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Not meaning to be jerks....just want to make sure you stay safe.

It's not a thinner/thicker issue. It's the pressures related to each particular cartridge. A .357 mag charge in a .38 special case will likely compress the powder and cause dangerous pressure spikes. Will a GP100 or Blackhawk handle it? I don't know. I would not want to try it in my guns.

Going the opposite way with 38 charges in 357 cases would be ok I guess, but you don't want to undercharge a case either. A squib load can be just as dangerous as an over pressure load. I know I have loaded my 357 cases down for target practice and letting new shooters get used to shooting.

I normally just load according to my manuals.

Stay safe and keep learning. Reloading is fun when done correctly.
 

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This is not new territory. Research 38/44 loads. In a strong gun (I own a 38sp GP100) they are approximately low end 357 mag equivalent. You can find videos of the Smith and Wesson 38/44 Heavy Duty on YouTube. They're just heavily loaded 38s. Used in revolvers built on the N frame.
You do have to remember that the 38 Special case, when loaded to normal overall length, has about 84% of the capacity of the 357, so using 357 data will increase pressures significantly over the 357 case.
This is not entry-level reloading, so I'll agree to the previous caveats; mark them, keep them separate, resist the urge to load higher, and resist the urge to shoot them in older, lightly built revolvers.
 

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Ever hear of the 38/44? Heavy loaded 38 spl loads intended for S&W 38/44 N frame revolvers. They predated the 357 mag. by a few years.
You were quicker on the reply than me, and, as I surmise by your handle, you have some knowledge of this subject. Love my Rugers, but those older Smiths were timeless beauties.
 

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I go along with Hunter49 and would be concerned with pressure spikes. Also, the possibility of you or someone else getting on into a .38 Special gun.
 

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Pressure doesn't always act in a linear fashion, a little more powder and it could become geometric. Elmer Keith experimented with overloading 38's and 44 Specials and blew up guns in the process. At that point he knew he had exceeded the limit. Enough said.
 

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I have always believed wisdom is learning from other's mistakes. I figure the people who put out the reloading formulas have already made the mistakes. No use me duplicating their efforts. I reload my 38 brass to 38 specs and my 357 brass to 357 specs. JMO.
 

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A far better idea is to load .38 and .357 using ONLY .357 brass. That way you dont carbon up your cylinder. But its best to use the appropriate brass for the job. The original suggestion is a BAD idea. Someone could get seriously hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
thanks for all the input. i hadn't really planned on doing it, i was just trying to find a reason why it couldn't be done since the extra length of the 357 seems to be nothing more than a deterrent for not getting the 357 load in a 38 revolver.
 

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About the only reason I could see to do that is if you are shooting the old 173 grain swc which is too long for most 357 cylinders.
 
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