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/Brownster/Blk Dynamite
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As the title states I'm wondering if the .38 round work in a .357 New Model Blackhawk safely and consistently? Thank you.
 

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Yes! After too much 38 shooting, you'll notice a buildup of carbon and residue in the cylinder chambers. This can make 357 usage difficult so be sure to clean thoroughly.
 

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marlin39a said:
38 S&W and 38 Special will work fine and completely safe.
Not true.

.38 Short Colt, .38 Long Colt, .38 Special, .38 Special +P, and .357 Magnum may be safely fired in a .357 Magnum chambered firearm.

.38 S&W uses a larger diameter bullet and case and may NOT be used.
 

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Not true.

.38 Short Colt, .38 Long Colt, .38 Special, .38 Special +P, and .357 Magnum may be safely fired in a .357 Magnum chambered firearm.

.38 S&W uses a larger diameter bullet and case and may NOT be used.
Sorta...

Though the .38 S&W should NOT chamber in a .357, the bullets can range from .354"-.361" depending on manufacturer...

Over the decades many manufacturers used different bore diemeters, and many designations for the cartridge that we know today as .38 S&W...

I have a box of Winchester ".38 S&W 145gr Lead" that I have pulled bullets from that literally fall through the throats of 3 different .357's from Ruger and Smith, and the slug slid easily down the barrel of an Albion made WWII vintage 'Enfield No2 MK1' chambered in .380/200 British (.38 S&W)... Colt also had it's own name for the cartridge (.38 Colt New Police)...

I have an old Ideal reloading Manual that calls for .358" bullets only...I have a newer Lyman manual that calls for .354"-.360" bullets...

Only way to know what will work is to slug the bore...

I am using 2.2gr Red Dot under 158 hard cast Penn TCBB in my Albion with great accuracy and no leading...

Back to 'chambering'...I have a late 80's Smith 686-3 that indeed will chamber and fire .38 S&W though we all know it shouldn't...My two Rugers will not get past the web...

Sorry for the length...
 

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It is true that due to tolerance stacking of chambers, brass and bullets that it may be possible at times to chamber and fire .38 S&W in a .357 Magnum chamber, but as you also noted, not with any reliability or regularity.

If your gun has loose chambers and you happen to find tight brass, the .38 S&W might work that time.

I've also heard of people placing an o-ring on .380 rounds' rim and firing them in a .38 special chamber.

Just like .38 S&W, it can be done sometimes, but it is not a good idea.
 

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To avoid confusion it's best to be sure you're using .38 Special ammunition (marked on the cartridge case as ".38 Special or .38 Spl.") in your .357 Magnum Blackhawk. The .38 Special is a "short" version of the .357 Magnum and it's perfectly safe and recommended to shoot through any revolver marked ".357 Magnum". This also holds true for the .44Spl. which shoots perfectly through .44 Magnum revolvers. Both the .357 Mag & the .44 Mag are desirable for this reason, often you can get "special" ammunition for either for much less cost than their magnum counterparts and the reduction in recoil is an added bonus for many folk's especially small framed, arthritic or senior shooters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay great. I appreciate the added information. This is going to be my first revolver so I want to make sure I'm doing everything right.
 

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All the Ruger .357s in which I've shot the .38 S&W have shot them well and safely. The slightly larger bore diameter of the S&W round CAN elevate the chamber pressure some, but in a weapon that is built for .357 Magnum pressures, it's well within the envelope of what the piece will tolerate. I would NOT try to shoot .38 S&W rounds in older colts or S&W revolvers not specifically chambered for them, but I'm not really sure the larger diameter round would even chamber in these.
 

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RdHwk45Colt, are you 100% sure you are speaking about 38 S&W, and not .38 Special?

.38 Special is quite common, available and cheap. .38 S&W is rare, hard-to-find and expensive.

They are two different cartridges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okay here is a cut and paste from the manual on Rugers website

Model. | Caliber | Ammunition
Blackhawk, Bisley |.357 Magnum| .357 Mag. and .38 SPL
 

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Yep, that looks right. One oversight is that you can also fire .38 Special +P (In between .38 Special and .357 Magnum--but closer to .38 Special in pressure.) The only way you'd come across .38 Short Colt or .38 Long Colt is if you handload or find a niche cowboy load.

.357 Magnum is sort-of like having a 12 gauge chambered for 3 1/2" shells; in that a 12 guage so chambered can safely use 2 3/4" and 3" shells, as well as the 3 1/2" shells.

.38 S&W is an altogether different cartridge with different specs all around. Just stay away from it. :) More information than you probably wanted, but here's the bottom line

Modern Production Ammo:
.38 Short Colt--Safe
.38 Long Colt--Safe
.38 Special--Safe
.38 Special +P--Safe
.357 Magnum--Safe
Anything else--Not Safe

You're only likely to encounter the last three, and don't try anything not on this list cough--.38 S&W--cough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yep, that looks right. One oversight is that you can also fire .38 Special +P (In between .38 Special and .357 Magnum--but closer to .38 Special in pressure.) The only way you'd come across .38 Short Colt or .38 Long Colt is if you handload or find a niche cowboy load.

.357 Magnum is sort-of like having a 12 gauge chambered for 3 1/2" shells; in that a 12 guage so chambered can safely use 2 3/4" and 3" shells, as well as the 3 1/2" shells.

.38 S&W is an altogether different cartridge with different specs all around. Just stay away from it. :) More information than you probably wanted, but here's the bottom line

Modern Production Ammo:
.38 Short Colt--Safe
.38 Long Colt--Safe
.38 Special--Safe
.38 Special +P--Safe
.357 Magnum--Safe
Anything else--Not Safe

You're only likely to encounter the last three, and don't try anything not on this list cough--.38 S&W--cough.
Excellent my friend thank you
 

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Now to find some leather your friend in the picture approves of Brewster...:)

Enjoy, but realize that Blackhawks are addictive...
 

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38 special shoots fine in the 357 mag BH. It's like having two guns in one. My wife loves to shoot the 38's out of the BH, she is not mcuh for shooting 357 mag loads, but she fires a few from time to time.
 

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Okay here is a cut and paste from the manual on Rugers website

Model. | Caliber | Ammunition
Blackhawk, Bisley |.357 Magnum| .357 Mag. and .38 SPL
Stick you that and you will be safe. .38 SPL +P is also safe.
 
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