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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I strolled into my local Bass Pro Shop this afternoon just to see what might be in stock in the ammo aisle. They actually had a bit of WWB in .357 Mag, .357 Sig and .44 Mag, plus two different Winchester loads of .22 WMR. There was also some Federal .38 Special 110 gr Hydra-shok. Seems to be getting a bit better, as the ammo had lasted on the shelf for several hours by that time of the day.

The funny thing was that there was one caliber of Remington pistol ammunition in stock, packaged in the brand new style box. Can you guess what it was?

40 S&W? Maybe an slight odd ball like .45 GAP or .32 S&W Long?

Nope, the recent production ammo that occupied resources on the manufacturing line during this great ammo shortage was .38 Short Colt, in all its glory. :scratchchin:

Explain that one to me???
 

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Yep, my mom that lives in southern Indiana , who is new to guns mistakenly picked up 5 boxes thinking it was .38 special. Not sure why an odd ball caliber like that is being made right now. Honestly I had never seen it out before and didnt think to warn her about it. I honestly thought .38 short was pretty much a hndloader caliber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lucky for you the .38 Short Colt is functional in any .38 Special / .357 Mag revolver, so you should be able to use those 5 boxes without issue, just mild performance. The .38 Smith and Wesson is a different story, and is generally too big to fit in .38 Special / .357 Mag chambers.
 
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I'm no expert in major ammunition manufacturing, but maybe the machines they make the .38 Short Colt isn't able to be used for making more common calibers?

I've heard one of the reasons .380ACP is so hard to find during shortages (2008 from my experience) is that the machines are used for 9mm instead of .380.

So I assume some machines can only make certain calibers.
 

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Lucky for you the .38 Short Colt is functional in any .38 Special / .357 Mag revolver, so you should be able to use those 5 boxes without issue, just mild performance. The .38 Smith and Wesson is a different story, and is generally too big to fit in .38 Special / .357 Mag chambers.
I stand corrected , your right it was the .38 S&W. She was able to get it swapped out though. I remember she called me and asked about it when she got home and opened the box of ammo and realized they were to fat.
 

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Wonder if the .38 Short Colt was from supplies that had been warehoused for some time.
 

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It sounds to me like the person in charge of ordering what ammo is produced pressed the wrong button and mad this ammo instead of 38 special
 

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It sounds to me like the person in charge of ordering what ammo is produced pressed the wrong button and mad this ammo instead of 38 special
Or just ordered some of EVERYTHING so he can put SOMETHING on the shelf. I noticed my local Academy has a lot of exotic calibers in stock. I don't see any wild African big game wandering around so I guess they just don't want an empty shelf.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wonder if the .38 Short Colt was from supplies that had been warehoused for some time.
That was my initial thought, but then I noticed that the packaging was the brand new style that has replaced the traditional "Express" boxes since the beginning of the year.
 

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As I understand it the manufacturers use the same equipment to make several different calibers. They run line "A" for so many days making .38 special. Once that run is done they recalibrate and do .38 +P. Next they do .357 magnum. Then they swap out all the dies and shell holders etc and set up for say .44 special, then .44 magnum.
They might run .38 special for three weeks but only run .38 S&W for two days. Once they are running three shifts a day the only way to increase production of one caliber is to decrease production of another. The reason we might find only oddball stuff every now and then is they just ship whatever they have made that week.
 

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Either the short run of 38 short colt was already scheduled when the shortage and and they just ran because it came up in the queue or they ran out of some other materials and ran it just to keep the machines running.
 

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I'm not familiar with factory ammunition production. Would love to go through the Remington plant sometime when I'm visiting my son in Little Rock.

mcp1810's and phreddy's explanations sound most plausible though I also wonder if they have capacity to store bulk quantities of finished ammunition for packaging later. Can't imagine any production efficiency in handling ammunition in such a fashion though.

As someone who loves fooling around with old calibers, I think it's cool that they are making runs of .38 Short Colt at all.
 

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As someone who loves fooling around with old calibers, I think it's cool that they are making runs of .38 Short Colt at all.
Unfortunately for all the .38 Short Colt shooters, it turns out he meant to say .38 S&W.

Ooops! See my next post. I was mistaken about who was mistaken! :confused:
 

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Drawn to a .38 conversation like a moth to a flame. . . !

Eric, just triple-checking. If the ammo was indeed too fat to fit into .38 SPL chambers, it was likely .38 S&W caliber. If it fit the chambers of a SPL but wasn't one, I'd normally expect it to be .38 Long Colt or .38 Short Colt, which in lengthened form became the 38 S&W Special, and eventually the .357 Magnum. Sometimes, however, .38 S&W ammo will fit into .38 SPL chambers, as bmcgilvray has related elsewhere from his personal experience.

For the purists out there, I'll acknowledge that .38 Colt New Police is the .38 S&W cartridge with a flatter, slightly heavier bullet. AFAIK, however, neither Remington nor anyone else has manufactured 38NP in many moons, whereas .38 S&W has remained in their catalog.
 
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