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357 vs. 38

1792 Views 18 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Terry_P
I plan on loading 357 Magnum, and just realized that bulk bullets are sold for each. i had assumed that any 38 caliber bullet would work. What is the difference between the two? I'm guessing lenght, but we know what happens when I guess. :?
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There is no difference between the two. Both .38s and .357s are sized .357.
So the 38's are just cheaper because they're lighter?
357 Sig, 38 Auto,& 38 Super Auto bullet diameter is 0.355".
38 Special, 357 Mag, 357 Maximum, 357 Herrett bullet diameter is 0.357".
0.358" for lead bullets.
Guess I'll buy the cheaper ones then. :)
It makes no sense what so ever to me that anyone would sell bullets marked ".38" cheaper than bullets marked ".357"!
Bountyhunter said:
So the 38's are just cheaper because they're lighter?
No, a 125 grain .357 bullet and a 125 grain .38 bullet are the same. So is all the other weight bullets, same length, same weight, no difference.
These are what's listed. Maybe it's the style of bullet that makes them a different price. :?

.38 Spcl 125 Gr. SJSP
.38 Spcl 158 Gr. SJSP
.38 Spcl 158 Gr. LFN
.357 Mag 158 Gr. SJHP
.357 Mag 158 Gr. SJSP ... hasJS=true
Thats why it is cheaper, the .38s are 125 grain, and the .38 158 grain is lead. The .357s are jacketed.
don't know much about mag-tech bullets.
standard jacketed bullets from hornady, speer, and such generalize them as innerchangable between the 38/357 in loading and function.

some of these latest and greatest high tech bullets may be formulated specific for the lower velocity of the 38 and may be too violent in expansion and may frag at 357 velocities but thats strictly guessing on my part. on the other side of the coin, some hunting bullets for the 357 may be so tuff that they will not expand at all at 38 velocity..........

I avoid the high-tech end all-together in my reloads and stay with the cheap vanilla stuff myself

i'd be more concerned about the lead bullets and how hard or soft they are. They might work fine at 38 velocity but may lead badly when pushed at 357 speeds.
Here are the jacketed bullets I use: ... mid=186739

They have doubled in price in two years!

I buy lead bullets from Georgia Arms.
Gunman, I was just looking at Georgia Arms website yesterday. I assume you've had good luck with their lead bullets.....
Alright guys. thanks. I was confused when I saw the 38 and the 357's listed seperately. After getting the 38 supers, which I didn't even know existed, I was confused and didn't want to be ordering anything that I couldn't use.

I have been looking at bullet prices for a while and they seem to be going up all the time. I should probably order 500 before they go up again. I can't believe that my local shop doesn't carry fmj or jacketed 38's. I know that everytime the 230 grain fmj 45 acp's come in they are a little more.

I've decided that I'm going to load 158 grain jacketed or fmj and use H110 powder for my 357 loads. I'm hoping to score some brass from members here. The price of brass is worse than the bullets. I got lucky with the 45 acp. I got 700 pieces off Chance for $20. :mrgreen: I know I'll never do as good with the 357 brass, but hey anything I can save helps out.
I know what you mean, BH....I was pricing Starline brass yesterday, and in 9mm and .38 sp, the price/1000 has jumped about $4 in the last 3 weeks. Lead is also rising quickly. On the 1st, (payday), I'm going to place an order with Georgia Arms for 3000 158gr LRN in .38/357. Should keep me busy for a while. Want to order a cople thousand unprimed brass, too.....
Wizard said:
Gunman, I was just looking at Georgia Arms website yesterday. I assume you've had good luck with their lead bullets.....
I have used their lead bullets for many years now. I have been very satisfied with their bullets, but like everyone else, the cost is getting prohibitive.
do any of ya'll make it to outdoor public or private ranges?
its amazing how much brass some folks never bother to pick up and leave on the ground.

or if any of ya'll have any leo buds, talk them into taking you to their range--especially smaller pd's. same thing goes as not all officers are into reloading and not all pd's save brass---especially if an officer is firing a different caliber weapon from what is issued.

And don't forget those "community" spots. The open places where folks go and shoot such as gravel pits and such. We have a pit out at our public lake where a lot of folks go and shoot cans. Got myself some good 45 brass out there before.
My BIL and I go to our outdoor range about once/week. We spend the first 30 min. picking up left behind brass. Seems like the most left behind is .40 S&W. I don't currently own one but my BIL does. We find some 9mm and .45acp also. Wish they would start leaving .38 sp..... :D
The only range near me is an indoor one. I've picked up a lot of 45 acp brass there. I've noticed that most people don't pick up their brass. That's good for me. :)
It may be the construction of the bullet for the 38 vs 357 bullets is different as the 38's may expand at slower speeds. If it is then it's the first I've heard of it as there is usually no difference.
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