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.38 Smith & Wesson

A box of WWII-dated .380" Revolver Mk IIz cartridges (and separate cartridges)
Type Revolver
Place of origin 22x20px United States
Production history
Designer Smith & Wesson
Designed 1877
Manufacturer Smith & Wesson
Variants .38/200
Bullet diameter .361 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Neck diameter .3855 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Base diameter .3865 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Rim diameter .440 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Rim thickness .055 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Case length .775 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Overall length 1.240 in (Bad rounding hereScript error mm)
Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type Velocity Energy
158 gr (Bad rounding hereScript error g) L SWC767 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s)206 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)
195 gr (Bad rounding hereScript error g) L RN653 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s)185 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)
200 gr (Bad rounding hereScript error g) LRN620 ft/s (Bad rounding hereScript error m/s)176 ft·lbf (Bad rounding hereScript error J)

The .38 S&W is a revolver cartridge developed by Smith & Wesson in 1877. Though similar in name, it is not interchangeable with the later .38 Smith and Wesson Special due to a different case shape and slightly larger bullet diameter.

The British military adopted a loading of this cartridge as the Cartridge, S.A., Revolver Ball, 380 in, MkI .38-200, with the "200" referring to the weight of the bullet in grains. In 1937, this cartridge was replaced in British Service by the Cartridge, S.A., Revolver Ball, 380 in, MkII. The main difference between it and the previous round was that that it had a 178 gn. FMJ bullet.

U.S. VariantsEdit

The .38 Colt New Police was Colt's Manufacturing Company's proprietary name for what was essentially the .38 S&W with a flat-nosed bullet.

The U.S. .38 S&W Super Police cartridge was nearly identical to the British .38/200 Mk I, using a 200 grain (13 g) lead alloy bullet with a muzzle velocity of 630 ft/s (189 m/s) and a muzzle energy of 176 ft·lbf (239 J), and was supplied by several U.S. manufacturers to the British government as equivalent to the Mk I loading.

The .38 S&W is also called the .380 Rim and .38 S&W Corto.

Current StatusEdit

Currently no revolvers are made in this caliber, and only a few companies still manufacture ammunition. The majority that do offer it in only a 145 grain Lead Round Nose bullet, Although Fiocchi still markets FMJ rounds. No known hunting or self-defense rounds are known to be manufactured today.

See alsoEdit

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