Defensive Carry banner

21 - 40 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,327 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,728 Posts
Correct. A careful reloader can push a .38 Special a good deal beyond what it was designed to handle, provided he examines the spent casings for signs of excess pressure, and uses a modern gun in good condition. Not just any gun, but one known to be able to handle high pressures. I won't name any here for obvious reasons. Of course, every manufacturer will automatically void your warranty if you do that.
Where do you think the 357 magnum came from? 38-44 anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,728 Posts
38 special has a brass that is twice the size of 9mm brass. Pretty comparable bullet weights but the 9mm travels a couple hundred FPS quicker. I am guessing it’s the powder type?
Why does a 9mm have so much power in a small cartridge?

I have never thought of the 9mm as powerful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,258 Posts
That's probably some hotrodding that will shake a gun loose over time.

After I read that I did a search for SAAMI specs and found this:

Max Chamber Pressure - SAAMI Specs

Check out the 454 Casull - 65000!
I have some of the RA9TA Winchester Ranger ammo but I don't load it in any of my current carry guns. It's a very hot load and I can get pretty much the same ballistics from some other loads (+P) which are fine for those carry guns. Just don't want to take the chance of damaging any of my guns or worse, myself.

I have the Guns & Ammo magazine that has the gun test of the .454. Casull Magnum. At that time the cartridge utilized a triplex powder load and generated 2000 fps at 2100 ft/lbs of energy, or was this the other way around? The magazine is in a box in my basement.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OD*

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,948 Posts
I have never thought of the 9mm as powerful.
Pretty sure OP meant how do you get the higher velocity of a 9mm in the little case compared to less velocity in a much larger 38 special case.

45 Colt was the first cartridge I reloaded. I was surprised at how little powder compared to that giant empty case. With modern powder, that thing looks nearly empty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,258 Posts
Pretty sure OP meant how do you get the higher velocity of a 9mm in the little case compared to less velocity in a much larger 38 special case.

45 Colt was the first cartridge I reloaded. I was surprised at how little powder compared to that giant empty case. With modern powder, that thing looks nearly empty.
As I recall, 9mm makes use of relatively fast burning powders. Compare that to the .357 Magnum which uses slower burning powders and fills the case with them. If you filled a 9mm case with a fast burning powder, you are likely to get something you would not want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,688 Posts
Where do you think the 357 magnum came from? 38-44 anyone.
True...But the .357 came along 36 years further into the industrial revolution. Chemistry and metallurgy. I wouldn't want to load a 22,000+ psi 38-44 into a revolver designed for 15,000 psi and built in the late 19th century.

Smith & Wesson .38/44 identifies a series of 6 shot, double-action, Smith & Wesson N-frame revolvers chambered for the .38 Special cartridge loaded to higher pressures than were considered appropriate for earlier revolvers chambered for that cartridge. High-pressure .38/44 loadings of the .38 Special cartridge represented a transition between conventional .38 Special ammunition and the new more powerful .357 Magnum ammo. Revolvers were manufactured from 1930 to 1941, and after World War II from 1946 to 1966 until competitively priced .357 Magnum revolvers became widely available.
Still, he was asking about modern .38 Special loads as compared to 9mm.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bad Bob

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
18,241 Posts
I have never thought of the 9mm as powerful.
Thank you Bad Bob.

Of course you don't think much of .38 Special either and that's ok.

Thing is the .38 Special is underrated these days and the 9mm is overrated in my opinion. They are no more than two peas in a pod and I prefer the best of the .38 Special performance ammunition over any 9mm ammunition. The 9mm pistols just hold lots of ammo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
I thought as powerful as compared to a 38 being the same diameter bullet and traveling hundreds a FPS more with the brass being twice the size.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,402 Posts
Back in the 1980's- 1990's 9mm had less powder, but now manufacturers make "modern" 9mm with more powder, "just as good" :rolleyes: as 40/45. :lol:
 
  • Like
Reactions: OD*

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,728 Posts
I thought as powerful as compared to a 38 being the same diameter bullet and traveling hundreds a FPS more with the brass being twice the size.
Most 38 Special loads use bullets that are a lot heavier than the 9mm. What indicators are you considering as more powerful?


Are you only considering standard pressure loadings or are you considering +P and +P+ loadings? Really the only thing the two have in common is similar groove diameter .355 VS .357 and the fact that they are both old cartridges.

It is a lot more complicated than just what one considers "Power".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,728 Posts
Thank you Bad Bob.

Of course you don't think much of .38 Special either and that's ok.

Thing is the .38 Special is underrated these days and the 9mm is overrated in my opinion. They are no more than two peas in a pod and I prefer the best of the .38 Special performance ammunition over any 9mm ammunition. The 9mm pistols just hold lots of ammo.
Only because of how ineffective it has been proven to be in the real world.

It is a great target shooting cartridge.

I know that is gonna twist some panties.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,298 Posts
Thank you Bad Bob.

Of course you don't think much of .38 Special either and that's ok.

Thing is the .38 Special is underrated these days and the 9mm is overrated in my opinion. They are no more than two peas in a pod and I prefer the best of the .38 Special performance ammunition over any 9mm ammunition. The 9mm pistols just hold lots of ammo.
You know, it is a verifiable fact that the 38 spl was the dominant cartridge for LE use up until the 80’s and 90’s. And it really wasn’t any other cartridge that changed that, it was the replacement of revolvers with semi auto pistols.
Even the 357 magnum ( which actually had a short run in LE) could not kill the 38 spl, and is verifiable to anyone who has good google-fu. Heck, even the BP used the 38spl with the Treasury Load for some time.
One can look at even the Miami shootout and see that even though they were issued 357 mag revolvers, they were loaded with 38 spl cartridges.

The old 38 must have done something right for 80 plus years to dominate the LE /SD arena like it did!

The 38/44 is a fun cartridge as you probably know:)
I can understand the concern they must have had back then about people loading the 38/44 in to an older model k frame since the 38 spl and 38/44 are identical. The 44 spl frame was the safe way to do 38/44 back then, although I must admit I will occasionally handload 158 weight bullets to 38/44 velocities and shoot them out of my more modern 38 spl k frames.

The thing that people either are ignorant of, or just don’t understand, is the FBI never chose the 9mm because they said it was “ better” than any other cartridge.......they said it was “ better” for “ their” uses. To me that’s not a real positive endorsement.

My thoughts on the 357, is that, for my purposes, it’s a worthless cartridge. It has too much blast and concussion when used in a smaller carry gun, especially if one has to use in an enclosed environment without hearing protection. Can you imagine touching off a 110 or 125 Maggie from a short barrel revolver in your house or store? Yikes!

So, that leaves it for outdoor uses, which, for my uses, it is useless because the 44spl, 41 mag and 44 mag are so much better for those intended roles. Actually, a 45 Colt in its original loading would be preferred by me for just about anything than the 357 mag.

But it’s great that we all can pick and choose:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,728 Posts
You know, it is a verifiable fact that the 38 spl was the dominant cartridge for LE use up until the 80’s and 90’s. And it really wasn’t any other cartridge that changed that, it was the replacement of revolvers with semi auto pistols.

It was dominant in some regions. Two factors played into that politics and cost. Having seen and investigated numerous people shot with various things as well as discussed it with other investigators I am of the opinion that the 357 magnum is significantly more effective than the 38 Special. If one is not dedicated enough to master the 357 magnum it is certainly best to stay with the 38 Special. The 9mm +P+ on the other hand seems to work about as good as the 357 mag when fired from service pistol length barrels. Maybe that is why I like the 357 Sig.


Even the 357 magnum ( which actually had a short run in LE) could not kill the 38 spl, and is verifiable to anyone who has good google-fu. Heck, even the BP used the 38spl with the Treasury Load for some time.
Short run? Yea I guess 80 years is a short run to some. For example, Jelly Bryce traded his 44 Specials for 357 magnums in the 1930's. The treasure load you reference was the 110 grain magnum, not the 110 grain special. The other factor is that many people jut cannot handle the 357 magnum.

One can look at even the Miami shootout and see that even though they were issued 357 mag revolvers, they were loaded with 38 spl cartridges.
OK, A bunch of lawyers and accountants........Since the 1930's the FBI has been pretty much a white collar crime enforcement agency. They easy get out of their depth. We had one here using a propane tank as cover serving a warrant. If you want to look at a Federal Agency that uses its guns look to the USBP.

The old 38 must have done something right for 80 plus years to dominate the LE /SD arena like it did!
It is cheap and easy to shoot.

The thing that people either are ignorant of, or just don’t understand, is the FBI never chose the 9mm because they said it was “ better” than any other cartridge.......they said it was “ better” for “ their” uses. To me that’s not a real positive endorsement.
Yep, gotta read between the lines.

My thoughts on the 357, is that, for my purposes, it’s a worthless cartridge. It has too much blast and concussion when used in a smaller carry gun, especially if one has to use in an enclosed environment without hearing protection. Can you imagine touching off a 110 or 125 Maggie from a short barrel revolver in your house or store? Yikes!
We all have our opinions. The 357 magnum is one of my all time favorite cartridges, almost neck and neck with the 44 magnum. Noise and blast are range issues. When the adrenaline dumps you will experience sensory deprivation.

So, that leaves it for outdoor uses, which, for my uses, it is useless because the 44spl, 41 mag and 44 mag are so much better for those intended roles. Actually, a 45 Colt in its original loading would be preferred by me for just about anything than the 357 mag.
All of those a great cartridges, isn't it great to have those options. But I don't see many big bore snubbies the size of a J frame 357 magnum.
 
21 - 40 of 47 Posts
Top