Revolver modified to shoot 9mm AND 38spl??? - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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Default Revolver modified to shoot 9mm AND 38spl???

I saw a gun on a Facebook thread that the owner said (if I understood him correctly) was modified in a way I've never seen or heard of before. He said it was a 38 that had been re worked to take 9mm on moon clips and could still shoot 38. I would think that it's possible to ream and cut a 38 to 9mm, but still taking 38?

What's the story? Is this a known modification? I'm curious to know more.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Forgot to add; I asked the poster if he'd tell me more but didn't get any response.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 08:09 AM
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Really the bore is only 1 or 2 thousandths different.


Cast boolits adjust to that much if they start out big enough.


Load a 125 gr .358 cast into a 9mm and I can see where you could do it.


I also really don't see the point.



I have several hundred .38 special brass to play with. You can load your cboice of bullet and powder and go have fun with no worries.


I don't see what you would gain by going to moon clips and 9mm brass unless you simply don't have enough .38 brass.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 09:02 AM
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When I first started loading for my 357 Magnum, I tried .38 Specials before the Magnum brass.All I had was some target copper plated bullets, Berrt's I think, that were meant for .357 or 9mm. They shot fine at the 50' target I tried them with.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 09:34 AM
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The bore size isn't a problem, although it's possible accuracy may not be as good with 9mm's as it is with the .38's.

I'm not sure how a 9mm/.38 cylinder could be modified to function and have proper headspace with both, but I guess anything's possible?

Taurus makes a double action that shoots both 9mm and .357/.38, but uses 2 cylinders. And of course the Ruger Blackhawk 9mm/.357 has been made for a long time, also with 2 cylinders.

Maybe his "no reply" is a clue!! I'm sure I could make anything work on Facebook if I didn't have to explain it!
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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I'm aware that the bore size isn't an issue. As for headspacing the rimless 9mm they were in moon clips.

The issue I see is that the base of the chamber would be a bit bigger in 9mm. I would think that 38 would crack or at least swell into the chamber.

As for the "why" of it, I don't know. I don't really care. I saw it, want to know more so I asked here.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 03:03 PM
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I guess the moonclips would probably work as long as the .38 cylinder wasn't the type with recessed rims. Seeing as how the .38 special operates at a relatively low pressure the cases may not crack, but case life may be short!

I would think it's one of those things that are feasible, but not really practical - unless someone just wants to do it. None of us gun nuts are very practical. If we were we'd only own one or two guns!
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-28-2020, 03:30 PM
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cutting away the surface of the cylinder to the depth of the rim of the 38 spc case enough to allow the moon clips enough space to fit, The rim of the 38 spc does not need to be surrounded-supported anyway
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-29-2020, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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I got through to the owner of the mystery gun. Here's the info I got. He had it done by TK Custom. It works with both 38spl and 9mm. 38 works as normal, nine with moon clips.

TK doesn't list that exact job on their site, but they specialize in moon clips and 9mm conversion as well as other basic revolver work.

I didn't ask why. I'm aware that people convert J frames to 9mm because they use it as a backup to a full size pistol in the same caliber. I'm figuring that he went with the two cartridge option because he can, which is enough reason in itself.

https://tkcustom.com/?fbclid=IwAR1Rk...QW5BuYuz-vL2ss is the link to TK if anyone is keen to know more.

Interesting gun. Neat idea.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-29-2020, 10:53 AM
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jl: interesting gun, maybe. Neat idea - naw, imo a waste of time. I really can't see any reason to try and fire 9mms from a 38 or 38 snubbie. You will simply not get anything worth 9mm pistol velocities and you really can't reload the 9mm to be any better than the original 38 in those revolvers. And from my opinion, which is imo only, the notion of a same caliber back-up piece to a duty or issue piece for ammunition or caliber interchangeability is a bit off, because if you run out of ammo in your primary piece are you going to reload it from your back-up or just shoot the back-up????

I have seen some 9mm/38 conversions. One fella told me it was necessary so he could manage faster reloads with the 9mms because their noses were narrower and smaller than the 38 and he could chamber his reloads faster. But he didn't carry a reload because it was too bulky in his pocket, so okay, now what. He liked the idea of hollowpoints in his reloads for the expansion, even though the bullets moved so slowly from the barrel of his snubby that they wouldn't expand. Since he didn't shoot a 357 he had no use for semi-wadcutter cast loads and you couldn't get them for the 38 because they were police loads, so he said but then he asked me where I had purchased mine. He was surprised they were so available and thought he may even switch back to the 38 on accounta he never carried a reload anyhow.

And btw, I once heard directly from Colt that all 38 Spl, 357 magnum, 9 mm and 38 Super barrels all had the same bore dimension, which was 9mm. I'm not putting a lot of stock in that even though 9 mm bullets loaded into 38 cases shot just fine from my Detective Special and both my Pythons but not so accurately from my 38 Supers, although the Colts in 38 Super then were not too accurate; and apparently with a 357 diameter jacketed slug in the 357s there wasn't any problem so it worked well enough back then, so who knows. Just sayin' ....
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