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Hi guys!

Maybe you can help... I am doing some research and just wanted to confirm that shooting .38 S&W (not .38 Special) would be safe from my Colt .38 Police Positive. It is chambered in .38 New Police, but I was told it would be safe to shoot .38 Short Colt, by my dealer back home in Anchorage. (I live in Oregon now)

.38 S&W - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Regards, Grant
 

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The only difference between 38 Colt New Police and 38 S&W is the weight and shape of the slug. S&W uses a 145/146 gr. round nose projectile and Colt uses a 150/151 gr. flat nose projectile.
The cartridge dimensions and the powder charges are identical other than that. The performance is also identical. Either round will chamber and fire safely in either company's products.

The two companies were in hot competition for decades. S&W invented the cartridge in the late 1870s. Colt soon followed suit with their own version. Neither company wanted to have the other company's caliber name stamped on their firearms.
 

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I was told it would be safe to shoot .38 Short Colt, by my dealer - No, the .38 Short Colt is the wrong cartridge for a .38 S&W, it is undersize.
 

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Hi, Malysh, .38 S&W Short? If gcoop has .38 Short Colts, he could shoot them in a .38 Special, along with .38 Long Colts. But, he'd probably be better off selling them to someone who needs them. I'm assuming the longer cartridge you mention is the .38 S&W? I'm getting confused, help!

Dick
 
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Dick,
I'll amend the post to be clearer. I should have just typed : What you can use is 38 S&W Short or 38 S&W.
I can see how that post was confusing. I am too wordy!
 

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And to top it all off, welcome to the Forum, Grant! I know you'll enjoy many more informative experiences like this one today.
 
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Dick,
I'll amend the post to be clearer. I should have just typed : What you can use is 38 S&W Short or 38 S&W.
I can see how that post was confusing. I am too wordy!
Hi Maylish,


What is ".38 S & W Short"?

As far as I recall, there is '.38 S & W'...and I recall no 'short' version...or long version.
 

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There was never a .38 S&W Short, but some of the foreign cartridge manufacturers label their ammo as .38 S&W Short. Maybe they think there is confusion between the .shorter .38 S&W and the longer .38 S&W Special. Some of the cartridge manufacturers are now labeling their .45 Colt ammo as .45 Long Colt which I suppose came from the common use of the 'Long Colt".
 

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"Some of the cartridge manufacturers are now labeling their .45 Colt ammo as .45 Long Colt which I suppose came from the common use of the 'Long Colt".

That's just wrong!
 

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There was also a 38 Super Police load that used a 200 grain bullet.
Which was the standard British 38 S&W load, called the 38/200 by them. Generally with a copper jacketed bullet like the 38 Super Police.

I have exactly 6 new rounds of 38 Super Police, thanks to my friend Skysoldier. Eventually they will get used for some photos.
 

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There was never a .38 S&W Short, but some of the foreign cartridge manufacturers label their ammo as .38 S&W Short. Maybe they think there is confusion between the .shorter .38 S&W and the longer .38 S&W Special. Some of the cartridge manufacturers are now labeling their .45 Colt ammo as .45 Long Colt which I suppose came from the common use of the 'Long Colt".
Yup. Fiocchi for one, and I think Sellior & Bellot and Privi Partisan among others.
I generally prefer Fiocchi hp or fmj in my PPKs. Fiocchi is top quality ammo. I have basically retired my PPKs, though.
 

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.38 S & W and .38 S & W Special are not merely different by length, but, by diameter...and the .38 S & W which is fatter, will not chamber in a ( proper ) .38 Special Revolver, nor will the .38 Special which is smaller in diameter and longer, chamber in a Revolver made for the .38 S & W.

Trying to distinguish them by saying one is 'short' or one is 'long' would be an error, since it neglects that they are not going to chamber in the Same Revolver and are not interchangeable in the same Revolver.

.38 Short Colt, .38 Long Colt, and .38 Special, will all chamber and fire in the same .38 Special Revolver, or they and .38 Special ( being all the same diameter ) wil chamber and fire in any .357 Magnum..

The .357 Magnum is the same diameter as .38 Special, and is longer than .38 Special.

The .38 Short Colt, and the .38 Long Colt, were shorter than the .38 Special, and, the same diameter, and wlil chamber and function in any .38 Special Revolver, or any .357 Magnum...just as .38 Special will.

Europe will have to determine for themselves, how to think rationally...and or how to label Ammunition intelligently.

What I find, is that the best method of identification or of Labeling, for anything, is to just use the correct terms and or proper names!
 

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The 38/200 shot a heavier bullet at a slower velocity for virtually the same muzzle energy, however the limeys thought the heavier round a superior stopper.
Maybe it was, I dunno.
 

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I've done that which is evil in two instances and experimetally fired .38 Short Colt in a .38 S&W chambered arm. It gave perfect satisfaction at self-defense distances. Well as perfect satisfaction as a .38 caliber round even less powerful than factory .38 S&W can give.

I've also fired .38 S&W in .38 Special revolvers. They are most prone to fit a 1971 vintage Smith & Wesson Model 10 I have but will fit several other Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolvers here. About half of any given box of factory loads will chamber without forcing. Shooting gave normal .38 S&W performance. The Colt .38 Speical revolver chamber is apparently bored a bit tighter as .38 S&W is not likely to fit in Colt chambers.
 

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Properly speaking, there is ".45 Colt".


Other .45 Calibre Revolver Cartridges all have their own individual names, which distinguish them from .45 Colt, and, vice versa.

What was the proper name for the Frankfurt Arsenal .45 Calibre Cartridge, which was for use in either the Colt SAA or the S W Revolver?
 

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Sorry, Malysh, The way it was worded made me think you were talking about two different cartridges.

I don't know about the propriety of copying a post from another forum (or my ability to do it!) but there is a post on the "other" forum with some historical background on the Colt/Long Colt "discussion" contained in post #23 of a thread entitled, "Hand Ejector 2nd model 45 COLT**NOW WITH PICTURES**" and dated 8-17-2013.

And thank you, majdad93, for the gentle reminder about manners. Welcome to the forum, Grant. I hope you enjoy your .38 Police Positive as much as those of us do ours!

bmcgilvray--naughty, naughty!

Oyeboten, Frank Suydam, in his U.S. Cartridges and Their Handguns, refers to it as the ".45 Colt Government."

Dick
 
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