There have been many excellent posts regarding the velocity increase of .357 in and 1894 over that of a revolver. I was curious is 38 special got a similar boost. I would guess 38 special in a 1894 would also pack a good wallop, perhaps 1200-1300 FPS (really good for 2 legged varmit control, i.e. self defense), and still probably pretty good for small game. Probably would not want to go as far as a .357 for home defence. I'm guessing a 38 out of a 1894 is similar to a .357 out of a revo!
All data appreciated!
I believe the effect of increased velocity relates to the amount of gas developed. A 357 typically has a greater charge in order to create the gas pressure required to generate the higher velocity in a revolver. Since there is now no cylinder gap to bleed pressure and a longer combustion chamber we reap the effect. 38 spl ammunition isnt designed to develop as great initial velocity. We'll expect some increase due to the factors mentioned but as the gas reaches peak pressure it can no longer push the bullet faster. Reloading using slower powders or different bullet weights may alter the results. Surely someone has chronographed the differences. Ben
In my 1894 .357 CB I load a 158 grain RF in the .357 case going about 950 fps in a pistol and in the .38 SPL case I load the 158 grain RF to a +P load of about 950 fps in a pistol. They are pretty much the same out of the rifle. I use them interchangably with good results for blasting ammo.
Actual data, loads fired in a Marlin 1894C .357 and a Ruger Security six .357 with 4" barrel. They were fired the same day out of the same boxes of ammo and were loaded in .38 special cases with Lee 158g RF bullets.
4.5g Unique pistol 762 fps rifle 975 fps
4.2g Trail boss pistol 784 fps rifle 962 fps
The old standard .38 special loading was a 158g bullet at 755 fps for 200 foot pounds of energy.
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It also depends on a jacketed or cast boolit. Jacketed actually slows down before it exits the barrel at 38 spl pressures. Faster powders will of course not develop as much steam as slower powders. The Lee 158 RNFP over WST is a favorite of mine.
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With 38 spl +P loads using Universal powder and a 125 gr bullet, I'm getting 1815 fps out of my 1894C.
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I'm using only .357 brass.
The loads my guns like best, so far, are 6.8gr of Herco under a 158gr LRNFP. That load is about midway between the upper +P .38 loads and the bottom end .357 loads for Herco.
I don't have a chrono, so your guess is as good as mine as to velocity...but they are pretty spicy out of the GeeP.
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