Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

S&W 38 brass


Recommended Posts

Just some info in these hard times. I picked up (5) S&W 38 cal pocket guns recently. As we all know anything ammo related is scarce, expensive or not to be found. I need 38 S&W brass and found .357 brass will fit most of the 38 S&W brass criteria if cut down. I don’t shoot .357 but have several hundred rounds I have picked up as result of Cowboy shooting (I use 38 special) and gets easily mixed in with my pick-ups. First thing needed is to cut .357 brass near SAMI specs (.775) I found cutting at 1/32sec or a tad more leaves room for good trimming. Don’t try to cut exact. The brass will never cut straight without some high end equipment.  I bought a Harbor 6” cut off saw. Make sure to use metal cut off blades and NO type of steel blade. The attached PIC (1) displays a proto type jig to hold brass at proper length. Insert brass in back hole ensure fully seated. I’m sure anyone can improve on this idea.

The rest is basic case preparation. Trim to size. And may vary from SAMI. I measured commercial loaded ammo and case was .677 so use your best reloading knowledge. I am starting with .780 as my guns don’t really care and I got a fudge factor. I am not recommending you do this but just letting you know what I’m doing in a crunch. I am planning to use black powder and will fire form brass in a 38 police special (38 S&W of course) It has a strong action. My top breaks are older than me and that’s old. Also no liberals were harmed during any case preparation sequence

 

Please excuse pic aspects. For some reason I correct and they still post askew. bullet.thumb.jpg.cd526d85ad2559115d992166dbb4a586.jpgtrim.thumb.jpg.bfa8463560b1051dfd344ecd792151d7.jpgsaw.thumb.jpg.539f5051935d31ca96d820f28ebf2f01.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

.357 brass and .38 Special brass is smaller in diameter than .38 S&W.  Sure shortened .357 brass will go in the chamber but they will likley split when fired.  .38 S&W will not chamber in a .38 Special chamber as it is to large in diameter.  Thousands of war surplus S&W Victory revolvers chambered in .38 S&W for the British were ruined by "rechambering" them for .38 Special in order to sell them on the American market.  The Specials would load but would split or deform.  The .38 S&W bullet is also larger in diameter than a .357/.38 Special.

 

.38 Smith & Wesson
Bullet diameter .361 in (9.2 mm)
Neck diameter .3855 in (9.79 mm)
Base diameter .3865 in (9.82 mm)
Rim diameter .440 in (11.2 mm)
Edited by Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A 94 year old man got engaged to a 24 year old woman. The family on both sides was aghast and tried to talk them out of such a doomed marriage. They approached the old man and all reaffirmed than 99% of May-December marriages prove fatal. The old man is a shaken voice said, “well, if she dies, she dies.”

Appreciate the feedback but I have short supply of brass. I re measured some dimensions. I’m using a factory PPU 38 S&W as baseline.  

                                                PPU                       .357 mixed head

Dia at ctr of brass             .380                        .378

Rim dia                                 .440                        .440

Base dia                               .381                        .380       

Cast bullet size                  .3585

 the split case was considered but I found many users stating they did not have problem after many reloads. I only plan to neck size vice full sizing after fired formed. My first choice is to by proper brass, But where? And I will follow up with a review after a few firings. Hard data overcomes speculation. It may well not pan out and I’ve hand many plans fall through. I get back up and try to correct the problem. The problem is I have the guns and nothing to shoot in them. And again thanks for taking time to review. I am always open to hear another point.          

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Snake for info. And all taking time to comment. Getting to go to shop and set up proper line to crank out a few hundred modified 38 S&W. I have done a little math prior to starting and looking at the properties of brass. With cartridge brass not too much is ever static. We push and squeeze brass all day long and measurements change. The circumference delta  between 38 spc and S&W is  .0204. Note: C not diameter.  The expansion needed for brass to conform to 38 S&W is down to third or fourth digits. It happens every time we light one off. Not willing to bet my life on anything but till you plan and test you don't have an answer.  Thanks

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The saga continues. Sun I cut down the .357 cases(50) and first off a Harbor cut off is not precision. So leave room to trim to spec. Also I final trimmed cases to .773 or very near. (trimmer does job but not to thousands perfect) I noticed on thing that the .357 cases I have are thinner at mouth case than at new mouth when cut down. The sample cases varied a few .001 but were all thicker at the new cut down mouth. I took note. Mon I had emergency so did not work on this project. Went to mail box and had package. "Please God don't let it be the packages of springs I ordered" It was! So spent day working on one of the 4 top break pocket guns I bought a week ago. Got it up and running.   So back to 38S&W.  I had cast some .360 RN and made a dummy load. Tried it in a Hopkins and Allen police and case not fit due to expansion of thicker case and the stated diameter for a S&W38.  So I slugged the Hopkins and Allen and it was .355, And the rifling overall is best described as not overly pronounced. I resized bullets to .357 and made a dummy round.  It measures out to a S&W38 cartridge except for rim thickness. This could be issue in other guns but all my prospective shooters work fine.  Plan to load and test at range today. I am debating about using Black MZ 2ff or Schuetzen 3fff.  Bullet is lead 10bhn and 125gn. Lube is my homebrew.  (again sorry for pic. I'm trying to fix but them pocket guns keep calling me out) LOLdummybullet.thumb.jpg.83ce27befd3b0076f7241f947d1cd36f.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You want to do that, that's fine. You want to teach other people how to do that, that's fine also.

 

But why the heck is this in the classifieds?

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My error. I have sold two items here so I was not aware of different forums. I posted my test results at the correct forum having figured out my mistake. I'm sorry if I offended.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/28/2021 at 9:16 PM, Alpo said:

You want to do that, that's fine. You want to teach other people how to do that, that's fine also.

 

But why the heck is this in the classifieds?

 

Haha, I was hoping this was a FS ad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Howdy Pard

 

I’m fortunate to at least a sufficient supply of 38 S&W. Bot it pre-Obama era. Thanks to your good info I now know of an alternative source should my stuff run out.

 

Adios

 

Fort Reno Kid 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.