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Various factors let me to think of this old cartridge; a thread here looking for a production date on an older S&W which had me thumbing through a reference work on Smiths, noticing Buffalo Bore produces a spicier load for said, bidding on a couple GB auctions for a Webley so chambered, finding a funky subgun prototype in the revolver cartridge, and finally rummaging through the mystery box of old ammo and finding a nearly full box of Magtech ammunition for if I should require them.

There were a ton of American revolvers produced in the cartridge, from various firms (e.g., Smith & Wesson, Colt, H&R, et al.). These ranged from very well made pieces to cheapos. In the from of the .38/200, it was a standard British sidearm cartridge from 1922—1963, with both Webley and Enfield revolvers produced in the chambering.

Other than some limited production runs of Ruger revolvers slated for sales in Commonwealth nations, there really hasn't been many produced in recent memory. Seems like time has passed the old thirty-eight by. The reasons are likely due to rather sedate ballistics that are outperformed by other offerings, as well as the militaries of the world having long since moved away from revolvers. The cartridge is still factory loaded here in the US by various concerns, as well as by Fiocchi in Italy and IOF in India.

Thoughts on this old cartridge and do you have any revolvers so chambered? Cheers. :)
 
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I've been loading this round for the last couple years, since I got a 1943 Enfield revolver. I bought an Accurate mold that approximates the WWII British 38/200 bullet, and worked up an appropriate load for this old gun.

It's a fun gun to shoot once in a while, and surprisingly accurate for what it is. I fabricated a replacement front sight to get it dead on with this load, and it will hit clay targets out on the 25 yard berm fairly regular, even with the heavy DAO trigger.

IMG_6518[1].jpg
 
I load for it, just remember the WWII Enfield and Webley revolvers used a thicker bullet than our 38 S&W. I found an old Lyman mold that drops bullets at .367 and then I size them down to fit the individual gun. Most need .364 or .365.
Once I get the bullet size right I am amazed at how accurate they are.
 
I enjoy shooting my Webley Mk IV, largely for the historical aspect. It is a 1943 "War Finish" with the proper marks. Nothing better than breaking open the action and ejecting the brass. I do retain the brass, as I reload relatively light plinker loads for it. Great fun.

For the historical aspect, I will sometimes shoot the Webley alongside two of its 1943 opponents. I'll bring the 1943 P-38 and the German-contracted, waffenamt 1943 Astra 300, which was manufactured in Guernica. Interestingly, despite the Picasso painting, the Condor Legion was targeting the Astra plant. A few years later the Astra plant was delivering arms to the Luftwaffe.
 
I have two Enfields, a Webley and a S&W all chambered in 38 s&w. Find them fun to shoot especially the brit guns. Breaking them open and watching the brass fly is always fun. Kinda like a Garand and enbloc!
Also found with the low recoil and ease of shooting they were great to get the kids started on revolvers.
With its rather weak ballistics I wouldn't carry it or make my first choice for a defensive gun. But it was also used in many a fight and proved its worth im sure.
 
This one came in yesterday afternoon: post-war, Webley Mk â…Ł, in .38/200.

1710955454683.png

This morning I went up to the home range and shot up about a half box through said, along with a Smith & Wesson in .357 Magnum. The old wheelgun is completely reliable and surprisingly accurate. After spending many months only shooting big blasters in .44 and .500 Magnum, the British revolver felt like a toy.
 
Various factors let me to think of this old cartridge; a thread here looking for a production date on an older S&W which had me thumbing through a reference work on Smiths, noticing Buffalo Bore produces a spicier load for said, bidding on a couple GB auctions for a Webley so chambered, finding a funky subgun prototype in the revolver cartridge, and finally rummaging through the mystery box of old ammo and finding a nearly full box of Magtech ammunition for if I should require them.

There were a ton of American revolvers produced in the cartridge, from various firms (e.g., Smith & Wesson, Colt, H&R, et al.). These ranged from very well made pieces to cheapos. In the from of the .38/200, it was a standard British sidearm cartridge from 1922—1963, with both Webley and Enfield revolvers produced in the chambering.

Other than some limited production runs of Ruger revolvers slated for sales in Commonwealth nations, there really hasn't been many produced in recent memory. Seems like time has passed the old thirty-eight by. The reasons are likely due to rather sedate ballistics that are outperformed by other offerings, as well as the militaries of the world having long since moved away from revolvers. The cartridge is still factory loaded here in the US by various concerns, as well as by Fiocchi in Italy and IOF in India.

Thoughts on this old cartridge and do you have any revolvers so chambered? Cheers. :)
I do have an early Smith and Wesson in this caliber
 
Smith & Wesson made their Models 32 and 33 up to around 1974, these were the smaller J frame size.

Commercial US ammo for these in later years is pretty anemic, out of respect for older, cheaper revolvers so chambered. I've taken apart some 1980's era Remington cartridges in .38 S&W and discovered that the bullets were woefully undersized, I assume for the same reason. I don't remember the numbers, but they were several thousandths under .357. Which could account for some people's comments that the cartridge is inaccurate.

I've mostly owned Smith & Wesson military .38/200's, and 380 Enfield and Webley service revolvers in this cartridge. But I did have a cheap, old US Revolver Co. thing made by Iver Johnson. It wasn't a top break, it was cheaper still, with a pull pin cylinder. You had to remove the cylinder every time you needed to reload. I lost the base pin and subbed a cut-down 20p nail for it. It worked.

When I had .38/200's, I loaded for the cartridge. I used a cast .361 bullet of 200 gr. My home-mades were so much more powerful and accurate than commercial .38 S&W ammo.
 
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That's why the .38 Special is Special. =)

...however...

For anyone reading this thread who is unaware of the differences between the two cartridges mentioned - Technically, the "rule-of-thumb" since long before my time has been to never fire .38 S&W cartridge in a .38 Special revolver. The S&W bullet is larger and there are potential safety hazards.
ALWAYS use the cartridge any weapon is chambered for.

This has been an NWFA Public Service Announcement.
 
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