.38 Super in a .38 Special

.38 Super in a .38 Special

This is a discussion on .38 Super in a .38 Special within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I recently inherited some firearms, 2 of which are .38 Super, an AMT Backup and an EAA Witness. My wife uses a S&W .38 (5 ...

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Thread: .38 Super in a .38 Special

  1. #1
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    .38 Super in a .38 Special

    I recently inherited some firearms, 2 of which are .38 Super, an AMT Backup and an EAA Witness.

    My wife uses a S&W .38 (5 shot "snubby") for home protection when I'm not there. Today as we were heading to the range for a little r&r, she picked up a box of the .38 Super's and asked, "These are for my gun, right?"

    Although I have a couple of .357's, I've never worried about her putting .357 cartridges in her .38 because they won't fit. However, the .38 Super's go right in the cylinder. If she makes a mistake, is it dangerous to fire the .38 Super's in her .38?

    Also, I don't know much about AMT and EAA. They feel good in the hand (especially the EAA Witness) and the performance numbers I have found for the .38 Super's seem to be better than 9mm. What are your feelings about these weapons and this caliber.

    The AMT certainly fits my front pocket well and I am considering using it as my carry gun (due to the way I dress, a front pocket carry is the only practical way for my to carry concealed).

    One last question, his collection contained a semi that says, "Made by FEG HUNGARY" and is in 9mm Browning Short (which is, I think, .380). It is a nice looking little gun, but I can find almost no information about it on the net. Any of you guys know anything about it?

    My Uncle had quite a collection, mostly handguns and mostly S&W. Colt and Glock, but I need to find out as much as I can about these "odd" guns.

    Thanks
    If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he will sit in a boat and drink beer.


  2. #2
    Member Array Schwebel's Avatar
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    Well to answer your last question first, here is a little info on your .380,http://www.sunblest.net/gun/FegAPK9.htm, I'm guessing this is the gun you are talking about. If so I own one in 9x18 Makarov, and it is an awesome little gun, eats everything I've fed it, and never had one malfunction. For a cheapy little carry gun they are nice, they are PPK rip-offs.

    As far putting .38 supers in a wheelgun, I would say you are better off not knowing what would happen if you tried to shoot them in there, as I have no idea. If she is a little confused about the differences, I'd say store the ammo in seperate areas/cans/or whatever and make sure it is clearly marked. Maybe even write semi-autos only on the boxes in sharpie.

  3. #3
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    The .38 special loads generate around 17,000 psi.
    The .38 super loads generate around 36,000 psi.

    Thats a recipe for a catastrophic failure.

    Matt
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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    The .38 super is not suited for nor can it be fired in either of the pistols you listed .( the wintess is 9mm , and the amt is .380 unless i miss my guess ) . The eaa is likely a copy of the cz action and as such is a fne gun, the amt is either great or junk , depending on when it was made in the companys history . To re state you need to buy ammo that matches the rollmark on your firearm , and at your stage of learning no other ammo . That will keep you out of trouble while you take the time to learn what ammo can be safely shot thro what .. for instance the 7.6xx that walther marks on some is .32 acp here in america .
    You need to find another store with folks who know more , or are not on commision as clerks tho, just as a local resourse ..IMHO no one should sell an " obscure " cal like .38 super without establishing that is what is actually needed .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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    EAA does make the Witness in .38 Super.

    Excellent point, though - make darn sure the label on the ammo matches the marking on the gun exactly.

    Edit to add: from what I have been able to find, AMT did not produce the backup chambered in .38 Super. Available chamberings were .22LR and .380 auto.

    .380 auto and .28 Super are not compatible.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

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    Ooops, belay that. Apparently, AMT did produce the backup in .38 Super on the same frame as the .45 backup.

    Learned something new today

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

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    Redneck, both the AMT and the EAA are in .38 Super, they are clearly markek as such, and I have fired both. The question involved putting .38 Super into a .38, since the round will fit into the cylinder. The answer above concerning the pressures generated pretty much answered that question and I will take measures so that they will not wind up in the wrong firearm.
    As to my "stage of learning", I am approaching 60, have been hunting and shooting since I was 7. I am a former Marine and served 2 combat tours in Nam. While I don't know everything about firearms, I do know a bit, and I certainly know how to ascertain the correct caliber of ammo for a particular arm.
    I had never had a .38 Super before, and didn't realize, until today, that the round would fit in a .38 revolver. My wife, who is at a lower "stage of learning" almost made the mistake and now that I know what would happen, she won't be able to again.
    Since I did not reference any "store" or buying ammo, why do I need to find another one. The one I use has very knowledgeable personnel, it sells gun related items only.
    If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he will sit in a boat and drink beer.

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Matt i know that eaa made a .38 super , however it is a " rare " bird . Much more likely the OP has a 9mm , and even if not the advise still stands .. buy only what is rollmarked on the firearm for ammo unless and untill YOU know enough to be sure it is safe .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Repairs View Post
    The .38 super is not suited for nor can it be fired in either of the pistols you listed .( the wintess is 9mm , and the amt is .380 unless i miss my guess ) .
    I think you misread his post. He has an EAA and AMT that are marked and which fire .38 Super. EAA has for years and continues to make pistols in .38 Super. AMT made one and Auction Arms even has two new magazines for one on auction at this moment.

    I recently inherited some firearms, 2 of which are .38 Super, an AMT Backup and an EAA Witness.

    My wife uses a S&W .38 (5 shot "snubby") for home protection when I'm not there. Today as we were heading to the range for a little r&r, she picked up a box of the .38 Super's and asked, "These are for my gun, right?"

    Although I have a couple of .357's, I've never worried about her putting .357 cartridges in her .38 because they won't fit. However, the .38 Super's go right in the cylinder. If she makes a mistake, is it dangerous to fire the .38 Super's in her .38?
    In order to answer your question I just tried to put a .38 Super round in a .38 Special pistol and it would not fit. I had suspected this. The .38 Special is not really a .38 caliber round. That's why it can be fired in .357 pistols. The caliber designation was carried over from the pre-metallic cartridge era. The .38 Super round will only go in to my .38 Special until the case gets to the cylinder. It will then stop after the case has traveled less that one sixteenth of an inch. Since the .38 Super is considerably shorter than a .38 Special it is unlikely that it would fire even if it went in since it is a rimless case and would have nothing to hold it in position for the firing pen to strike. This is not something I would want to test however. I would try the .38 Supers you have and see if they will go into the .38 Special cylinder. If they won't, like mine won't, be sure your wife knows not to try to force a round into the cylinder. Appears I misread too. I missed the line that they go right into your .38 Special. I would make sure that she recognized the difference between the names and the lengths of the two sizes and the difference in the rim and rimless. Those three differences should prevent her from making a mistake. It's funny that none of the .38 Super I have will go into my .38 Special and will only go a little farther into my .357. The .38 Super I have is Remington and marked as .38 Super Auto.

    Congratulations on the .38 Super pistols. I haven't been able to scratch that itch yet. The ammo in .38 Super that I have was given to me by the widow of a former National Guard pistol champion. She gave me all his ammo. I have been trying to get her to let me look at his guns, but so far she hasn't decided to part with them. I don't know what he had, but there was ammo for .45 ACP, .40 S&W, 10mm, 9mm Luger, .38 Super, .38 AMU, and .38 Special. I'm keep hoping she will decide to part with some of his guns.
    Last edited by dr_cmg; August 18th, 2007 at 04:26 PM. Reason: Correction
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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_cmg View Post
    The .38 Special is not really a .38 caliber round. That's why it can be fired in .357 pistols. The caliber designation was carried over from the pre-metallic cartridge era.
    The .38 Super isn't .38 caliber either. It uses .356 inch diameter bullets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackeagle View Post
    The .38 Super isn't .38 caliber either. It uses .356 inch diameter bullets.
    Does that drive you as crazy as it does me? The fact that there is no standard after all this time is strange to me. I guess that's why it is so hard to ever really get a grip on firearm's designations. There are just too many systems or maybe too many lacks of systems.
    George

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    you can accidentally load, and fire, a 38super from a S&W 638/642ish, at the very least.....

    15 rounds will not necessarily damage the firearm, either....

    i'd rather not comment on how i know this.

    :p:

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    38super is not going to damage a 38 or 357 mag pistol the listing for pressure and what a 38 super actual runs at now days are 2 different things


    if they go off it s asurpise as since the 38 super is a semi rimmed it usually will fall into the cylinder and not hold on

    not something reccomend but wont destroy a gun ... any one remember the gun that was coming out ohh say 10 years ago that was set up with moon clips to fire 357 38 9mm 38 super and some other rounds?

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    any one remember the gun that was coming out ohh say 10 years ago that was set up with moon clips to fire 357 38 9mm 38 super and some other rounds?
    that would be the MEDUSA.It had a .357 barrel and could use just about any 9mm bullet made with the right moon clips.

    FWIW...lead 9mm bullets run at .356.
    38Special and .357 mag lead bullets run at .358 and yes they can be loaded in either caliber.

    I know of several shooters that loaded the .356 9mm lead roundnose in the .38's and .357's and had great results.

    So as not to confuse the issue...this is ONLY the bullet and not the case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud White View Post
    any one remember the gun that was coming out ohh say 10 years ago that was set up with moon clips to fire 357 38 9mm 38 super and some other rounds?
    HotGuns is right it was the Medusa. What many may not know or remember is that the manufacturer of the Medusa is a member of DefensiveCarry. He is jwphillips2. We had a thread Medusa M47 Multi-Caliber Revolver about the Popular Mechanics article and jw started a thread Misconceptions of Gun testing that contains some photos of the Medusa.
    George

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