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Discussion Starter #1
A friend of mine put this to me tonight. Loading 38 special cases to magnum levels in a 357 carbine. Not to full house levels, say 1400-1500fps. Will jacketed bullets handle that freebore jump okay and have normal accuracy or will they be getting beaten up?
 

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Not the best idea. the smaller case capacity of the 38 will increase pressure. I would limit to +P loads. I have never shot 38s in my 94 so I cannot comment on feeding. I can comment that 357 SWC often hang up. 357 is my favorite all around. The advantage of the carbine in 357 is that you can load a heavier projectile. Velocity can be gained but it's not a spectacular amount. I would not suggest trying to make a 38 a 357. Use the correct brass and try a 180 gr projectile. I remember reading the Skeeter Skelton wrote about loading 38 special at 357 loads but he seated the projectile out to give more space in the brass. Brass is cheap, guns are not, don't risk your rifle for a few FPS.
 

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unless there's a shortage of .357 mag cases, why would you want to?

I mean, with the same hypothetical, I could shoot 44 spl/44 mag in my 444 Marlin. But that jump is twice as long . . .

Just not the same thing as with a revolver.

Then again, some guys shoot .40 S&W in their 10mm, but only Glocks (near as I can tell).
 

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Every rifle is different. Not a good plan to load 357 pressures in a 38 Special in case someone puts it in a pistol - could ruin it and perhaps anyone near by.

Excessive bullet jump doesn't help with accuracy, how much it hurts depends on firearm.
 

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I'm against it. Pushing pressures for marginal or no real world gains seems really silly and risky. Especially if some of that over-pressure ammo ends up in a revolver.

Seriously, is your gun, your fingers, your hand, losing an eye, or worse, worth all the risks for at best marginal "gains?" I think not.

Just use the correct spec ammo.
 

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Why do you ask? 2 Dogs!
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Just for the sake of conversing.....

His accuracy might improve with the free bore jump or it might not. It's something you'd actually need to test to know for sure

Flip side of that, most of the time you'll get your best accuracy out of the bullet when it's just short of engaging the rifling

Considering its a lever action rifle though, the accuracy change, you might not really see because they are notoriously inaccurate compared with bolt guns and single shots because of the trigger, action and the way the barrel is mounted to the gun

In reality....

Don't jack with things you don't know about and the information in internet forums may or may not be true

I don't load with 38 Spec cases, everything I do is on the 357 case from mild to wild

A lever gun won't take much abuse so be careful what you feed it
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Many feathers and Arleigh. I think some people missed the point , which was accuracy, not safety, or plain didnt know the answer .

Which is fine. For the record, I wasnt talking full house loads. 1400-1500fps in a lever action with the long barrel accounting for 300fps+ for that is not hot, and 38 special brass will handle it the same way we use 44 special for skeeter and hotter loads all the time.

Which leads to the second point of "why do it" well firstly as we do with 44 special, its called a "shooting choice"

Being a survival forum, also worth discussing ways to substitute, should shortages ever occur.

Any way I wasnt after safety discussions, since they dont apply. Was just after accuracy opnions. Guess will have to load some up ourselves.
 

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Why not just go with .38 +P+. The extra barrel length will give you a pretty good FPS in an 18 or 20 inch barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Your on point with that suggestion wardj69. +P+ will not be too far off what I am talking about. Its part of the same question, is there a point higher velocities from the shorter case degrade accuracy in the longer 357 chamber?

maybe they stay accurate well into the mid 1000's?

Will see what results my buddy gets. Thanks all
 

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Doubt you would see any accuracy difference from same bullet type fired from a 38spl or 357mag case. There is even potential to argue that using a 38case in a 357 chamber could have added safety. Due to the freebore increase. Seen people try and make this argument for using 40S&W in a 10mm.

Really why? Lack of 357 cases? Personally I'd stick with 357mag cases for handloads in a 357mag rifle. The larger case volume would allow the use of slightly slower burning powders that could take full advantage of a rifle length barrel. -K
 

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Ordinary factory .38 Special +P shoots OK in most carbines, but the lighter bullets weighing less than about 140 grains have a shorter ratio of length-to-diameter and are commonly misaligned in jumping from the 1.155" .38 Special case, to the origin of rifling which begins about 1.35" from the boltface of a .357 chamber. Unless the forepart of the bullet begins to engage the origin of rifling before the bullet base clears the case, gas loss around the bullet, and impaired accuracy is likely, as well as the dreaded "crud ring" which may impair chambering of .357 rounds if you shoot several hundred .38 Specials before cleaning the chamber well.

What does work OK is loading a long-nosed bullet in .38 Special brass which presents an overall cartridge length of 1.50-1.60" so as to minimize the free bullet travel before the bullet begins to engrave. The Lyman #358429 crimped in its normal crimp groove in .38 Special cases with 11 grains of #2400 powder produces 1300 fps from a carbine at a measured 28,000 psi. using the Oehler M43PBL. It is an effective +P+ field load which is the practical maximum useable for a plainbased bullet firing in a carbine without requiring a gascheck to maintain accuracy and freedom from bore leading. It performs well in the carbines and represents an absolute maximum, not to be exceed .38 Special +P+ load suitable ONLY for sturdy, heavy frame revolvers such as the Colt Official Police, Colt New Service, N-frame S&W .38-44 Heavy Duty, the Ruger Six Series, SP101 or GP100 as well as any revolver originally chambered for .357 magnum ammo.

DO NOT use this load in any S&W J-frames, K-frames, Colt Police Positive, Charter Arms, or any "airweight" frames regardless of make.
 

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Why do you ask? 2 Dogs!
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Thanks Many feathers and Arleigh. I think some people missed the point , which was accuracy, not safety, or plain didnt know the answer .
With large amounts of free bore, the bullet doesn't engage the rifling the same way every time. The bullet can be pitched up, down or sideways.

Increasing the powder charge kind of exacerbates the problem.

That's why it better to have the bullet just shy of the rifling. You want it to enter perfectly straight upon its axis, you also want it to leave the same way, that's why your crown is important
 
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Why do you ask? 2 Dogs!
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I load .357 case down to .38 +P loads. they work great. I find them to be more accurate than doing it the other way.
Exactly, plus most dies are either 38 Spec or 357, not many will do both effectively
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Really why? Lack of 357 cases?
Partly, re-ead my second post.
Personally I'd stick with 357mag cases for handloads in a 357mag rifle. The larger case volume would allow the use of slightly slower burning powders that could take full advantage of a rifle length barrel. -K
I believe his project is not power, but accuracy with 5-6 grain loads which means being able to shoot forever on a couple tins of powder, and having a brass alternative in the calibre.

Nothing too suprising the way I see it, this forum exists after all to discuss ways around events of low probability but high inconvenience.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ordinary factory .38 Special +P shoots OK in most carbines, but the lighter bullets weighing less than about 140 grains have a shorter ratio of length-to-diameter and are commonly misaligned in jumping from the 1.155" .38 Special case, to the origin of rifling which begins about 1.35" from the boltface of a .357 chamber. Unless the forepart of the bullet begins to engage the origin of rifling before the bullet base clears the case, gas loss around the bullet, and impaired accuracy is likely, as well as the dreaded "crud ring" which may impair chambering of .357 rounds if you shoot several hundred .38 Specials before cleaning the chamber well.

What does work OK is loading a long-nosed bullet in .38 Special brass which presents an overall cartridge length of 1.50-1.60" so as to minimize the free bullet travel before the bullet begins to engrave. The Lyman #358429 crimped in its normal crimp groove in .38 Special cases with 11 grains of #2400 powder produces 1300 fps from a carbine at a measured 28,000 psi. using the Oehler M43PBL. It is an effective +P+ field load which is the practical maximum useable for a plainbased bullet firing in a carbine without requiring a gascheck to maintain accuracy and freedom from bore leading. It performs well in the carbines and represents an absolute maximum, not to be exceed .38 Special +P+ load suitable ONLY for sturdy, heavy frame revolvers such as the Colt Official Police, Colt New Service, N-frame S&W .38-44 Heavy Duty, the Ruger Six Series, SP101 or GP100 as well as any revolver originally chambered for .357 magnum ammo.

DO NOT use this load in any S&W J-frames, K-frames, Colt Police Positive, Charter Arms, or any "airweight" frames regardless of make.

Thanks Outpost75, thats what I figured. He wanted to try some of the standard jacketed offerings too including 135 GDHP and 158 XTP so will be interesting to see how they go.

That sounds like a good load with the lyman bullet. 1300fps is decent velocity, like using an oversize 22LR, will create some tissue rupture as well. Id consider that a medium game getter to 100 yards if the accuracy is there and someone knows their shots.
 

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Another thing to consider is projectile performance. Pistol projectiles tend to open and make big holes. speeding them up in a carbine may cost performance as the expansion may limit your penetration. A cast SWC is not going to be an issue but a 110 gr hollow point may not be a good choice for deer. I loaded heavier projectiles in my carbines until the lead ban in California stopped my using them to hunt, now I use Barnes projectiles. for a good plinking round you might try 3 grains of bullseye with a 158 gr cast projectile. Crimp on the second lube groove as opposed to the crimp groove.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Another thing to consider is projectile performance. Pistol projectiles tend to open and make big holes. speeding them up in a carbine may cost performance as the expansion may limit your penetration.
The actual velocities are close to heavy 357 revolver factory levels, not carbine. That said the 135 gold dot will probably only handle into the 1200's or so. Ive seen tests of it maintaining its .55cal max expansion from 880-1180fps, pretty good performance range really, considering it is a 38 special bullet. The 158 XTP will of course handle faster than 1500fps.
 
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