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Ammo Question.

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posted on Jun, 26 2011 @ 09:21 AM
One of my weapons is an S&W .357 magnum. I chose it because I can use both .357 and .38 caliber ammunition in it. This increases my flexibility in a SHTF situation. My question to the weapons experts here is: can I shoot .380 out of the same weapon? I could always buy some and check, but I figure it is easier to ask. I currently carry only .357 ammo, but my question is for a future where I have used my stocks. Anybody know?

posted on Jun, 26 2011 @ 09:36 AM
reply to post by sonofliberty1776

The 357 Mag and 38 Special are no where close in relationship to a .380 ACP.The 357 is a rimmed cartridge and uses that rim to space on in the cylinder. The 380 is a rimless cartridge, it uses the mouth of the case for headspace. It might be possible to buy half-moon clips and shoot 9mm ammo in it. The clips will fit around the rimless base of the round and set the headspace. Some manufacturers such as Ruger sold revolvers with these as an option. They were called convertibles.


After some research it appears the chamber could also be too small and need to be reamed to accept 9mm. So with this work and what was posted below it could be possible to do. The Ruger I mentioned actually had two cylinders for it. One in 9mm and one in 357. The only way to know if it is possible with your gun is take it to a reputable gunsmith and have it checked out.
edit on 26-6-2011 by rockledr because: spelling and additional info.

posted on Jun, 26 2011 @ 09:56 AM
There are companies who will mill your wheel for the clips. Usually runs around 150-200 to get it done and the clips are hard to come by. You need to make sure clips are available to fit your milled cylinder, before you have it done or you wasted your money.

You would be far better off to buy cheap re manufactured ammo from a reputable producer than invest in machine shop time to degrade to a less powerful round.

I buy the remans from this place every once in a while. Helps keep you range costs down.

There are several others but I dont have the links handy.

posted on Jun, 26 2011 @ 10:00 AM
reply to post by sonofliberty1776

No. .380 acp is rimless, so it will plummet down into the chamber, out of range of the firing pin. You can use half moon clips on some revolvers, allowing you to shoot .380 or 9mm, and 9x18makarov. But that is only if your gun has the clearance between the back of the chamber and the frame of your pistol.

You can however shoot .38 super out of it. I wouldn't make a habit out of it, but it is possible as the .38 super is semi-rimmed.

posted on Jun, 26 2011 @ 10:09 AM
reply to post by rockledr

One thing I wonder about is the jump to the lands of the barrel.

Thats gonna be one heckuva jump. About 1/2 inch maybe? Accuracy will suck! Power degredation could be evident as well.

The other problem is rim thickness. Will the "rim" on the 380 + the clip be too thick?

.45 Long Colt has been doing this for a while but have special cylinders or custom work done to employ these clips.

Some say they have revolvers that can do it "out of the box". I'd have to see it.

Good idea looking for shtf ammo but dont do this.

One more thing about swapping ammo. Sometimes smaller catridges can be loaded to highter saami pressures than larger ones. 9mm VS .38spl for instance.

You have the PERFECT beginner cartridge to begin reloading with! One set of dies/ TWO CALIBERS !!!

I suggest you do so. cheap ammo, educational, and just damn fun!

If your interested in reloading drop me a line. I can point you in the direction for low end starter needs.

posted on Jun, 26 2011 @ 10:12 AM
there were a few revolvers that would take 357/38 with one cylinder and with a change of cylinder 9mm.
Ruger made one. the Blackhawk 9mm/.357 convertible

Disadvantage? Potential poor accuracy (.355 bullets in .358 bore). though with cast lead 9mm bad.

9mm =.355
38/357= .358

one other was the Phillips & Rodgers Model 47 Medusa, .38..357/9mm cal. revolver
that could shoot.
9x17mm, .380 ACP, Browning Short, Corto, Kurz, Kratak
9x18mm Ultra
9x18mm Police
9x19mm Parabellum, Luger, NATO
9x20mm Browning Long
9x23mm Largo, Bayard Long
9x23mm Steyr,
9x23mm Win Mag,
9x25mm, Mauser, Export
9mm Glisenti,
9mm Rimmed,
.38 Auto, .38 ACP, 9x23mmSR
.38 Super Auto, Colt Super, 9x23mmSR +P
.38 Short Colt,
.38 Long Colt,
.38 Mid-Range,
.38 S&W, .38 S&W Corto, .380 Rimmed
.38 Special, 9x29mmR
.357 Magnum, 9x33mmR
.356 TSW

posted on Jun, 26 2011 @ 10:38 AM
I have a S&W Model 19 that I've been shooting my entire life (One of the guns I was raised shooting) and I have a couple 9mm handguns that are a lot of fun to shoot at the range. I am just sitting here wondering why on Earth you would want to find ways to modify an outstanding revolver like what S&W produces to do something it was never intended to do? It's probably just me but one of the things I love about the 'old' wheel guns is the tight tolerances and quality of action. Like a fine clock when they are made and maintained properly. It just kills me to imagine something other than the .38 Special / .357 Magnum being put through it and very likely tearing up that fine clock precision.

Just my thoughts on this, totally aside from what it might physically do to such a fine weapon in the first place, but someone who has a revolver and isn't familiar with how they operate yet, I have an experiment to do that may help point out a telling aspect of wheel guns. Take a plain white sheet of writing paper and rig it up so that it's hanging vertically next to where you are going to be shooting. Insure she center of the paper roughly lines up with where the cylinder and the barrel meet. Go on to fire your 6rds as steadily as possible with either .38 or .357, what you'll see won't change enough either way to matter. Now look at your white sheet of paper, several inches from the frame of the weapon and in a direction you wouldn't have expected anything to be shooting out. Surprise!

Wheel Guns demand respect and care even when everything works perfectly....Experimenting with anything not expressly supported by the manufacturer or backed up by years, if not a lifetime of personal hands on experience to guide it, is totally insane. Check Youtube for enough examples of how things can go horribly wrong on a range to further illustrate my point. Ugh.....

posted on Jun, 26 2011 @ 02:01 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

As I stated, this is a purely hypothetical if the sh*t has hit the fan, I have used all of my .357, I can't find any .38 or .357, would 380 work? Now I know the answer is no. I am not doing any modifications to a gun I have had since my 21st birthday. I have another pistol, a .45 1911, which also has fairly common ammo. I do not like or trust the 9mm. I have seen to many people run away with a bullet in them. I like the .357 and the .45 because if I hit you, you are going down. The .44 is too big/heavy, and the ammo is both more expensive and less common than the other two I use.

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