.38 special question

.38 special question

This is a discussion on .38 special question within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; The .38 special has been around for years and years. Many police departments issued .38 revolvers for years. I wonder why gun makers have never ...

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Thread: .38 special question

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Crowman's Avatar
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    .38 special question

    The .38 special has been around for years and years. Many police departments issued .38 revolvers for years. I wonder why gun makers have never made a semi-automatic pistol in .38 special. I know they make them in .38 super but I do not know of any in .38 special. Just curious.
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    Member Array Scouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crowman View Post
    The .38 special has been around for years and years. Many police departments issued .38 revolvers for years. I wonder why gun makers have never made a semi-automatic pistol in .38 special. I know they make them in .38 super but I do not know of any in .38 special. Just curious.
    They do, S&W Mod 52. Target pistol, only will fire full wad cutters, 148g, no exposed bullet nose. Very accurate, but as a true target pistol, the .45 ACP is a better bet, to me.

    The .38 Special was started off as a black powder cartridge, hence the case size, IE volume. The 9mm is a far more efficient cartridge, the Sig 210 is an incredibly accurate 9mm Pistol (and expensive) too boot.
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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    The length of the round for one thing, which like Scouse said was originally that long as it was a black powder round. With current powder, the 9mm is essentially the semi-auto equivalent and much shorter.
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    For one thing, make the .38 special work in an auto, I believe they would have to redesign the shell casing, changing it from a rimmed to a rimless case. It could be done, but why? Many fine calibers were not adapted to the auto loader format (there are a few exceptions, but not really popular). The .357 Mag., .45 Long Colt, .44 Remington are all great and popular rounds, just not adapted.
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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    22 long rifle is a rimmed case that works in both revolvers and semi-autos. I imagine a gun could have been designed around the existing rimmed 38 case, but like you said....why? It would be a lot of trouble, low demand, and the 9mm already fits the bill and is a less expensive round.
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    The S&W Model 52 was set up for .38SPL target midrange Wadcutter ammo only.
    In standard .38SPECIAL rimmed brass. It punched magnificent perfectly round cookie-cutter holes in paper.
    An incredibly accurate and (believe it or not) ultra-reliable handgun and beautifully crafted handgun with great functional reliability.
    The problem with it??? Try and find one. AND...extra magazines are very expensive these days if you can ever find them also.
    What a great, fun handgun to shoot!
    I have never owned one but, I have shot one before.

    YouTube VID so that you can see what the magazine looks like.



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    And then don't forget the COONAN .357 Magnum semi-automatic.
    Also extremely reliable.
    And available yet again.


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    Distinguished Member Array hardluk1's Avatar
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    And there 1911's around in 38 super that are more like a +P 38 and some customs in an older 9x21 and the far faster 9x23 and that one is like the 357 mag in most ways. Way more practical than a coonan too.

    38 special being a bp designed round is just not practical for a defence semi-auto . Cheaper to reload a 9mm and offers better perfromance.

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crowman View Post
    The .38 special has been around for years and years. Many police departments issued .38 revolvers for years. I wonder why gun makers have never made a semi-automatic pistol in .38 special. I know they make them in .38 super but I do not know of any in .38 special. Just curious.
    If Clint Eastwood would have wanted one.....they would have made one. Apparently he didn't want one.
    BugDude likes this.

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