(Nickel-Plated) .38 Special

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  • Wet-tumbled/polished, once fired Nickel-Plated .38 Special brass sourced mainly from indoor ranges
  • May include a variety of manufacturers and headstamps
  • Spent primers will still be intact in the cases and must be removed before beginning the reloading process
  • Extra brass cases will be included to make up for any stray calibers, unusable pieces, or other cosmetic defects that may slip through our screening process
  • It's typical to find some nested calibers (e.g., .357 Magnum or .38S&W brass) mixed in due to the similarity in size and appearance when processing large quantities of brass. The total amount of .38 Special brass should still be equal to or greater than the amount you ordered due to our inclusion of extra brass by weight.
  • We ship orders within one to two business days of receiving your order on our end. Orders are shipped using USPS Priority Mail which includes free shipment tracking.
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.38 Special

.38 Special ( commonly known as .38 S&W Special, .38 Smith & Wesson Special, .38 Spa, .38 Spc, 9x29mmR) is a rimmed, center fire cartridge designed by Smith & Wesson. .38 Special was designed and entered production in 1898 (originally loaded with black powder). Within the first year of production the .38 Special was such a success that they switched over to loading a smokeless powder. .38 Special is most commonly used in revolvers, but since its introduction it has found uses in semiautomatic platforms and carbines. 

Despite the name saying otherwise, the .38 Special cartridge is actually only .357 inches (36 caliber/9.07mm) the “38” referring to the approximate diameter of the loaded brass case. Besides the case length, .38 special is identical to 3 other cartridges (.38 short/long colt, and .357 Magnum). The reasoning for the .38 Special being created was the need for a higher velocity round with better penetration potential than what was being used at the time. The original load for the .38 Special was a 158 grain bullet with velocities reported at or around 970 feet per second. Fast Forward to the 1920s, due to demands from law enforcement, a new standard load was developed by the Western Cartridge Company. They incorporated a 200 grain bullet into the original load and was soon after dubbed by some as  the “.38 Super Police”.

Due to the black-powder heritage, the .38 Special is one of the lowest pressure cartridges in common use today (17,500 psi). By todays standards the .38 Special fires a medium sized bullet at relatively slow speeds. As an example, a common .38 Special target load with a 148 grain bullet only clocks at around 690 ft/s. To counter this in modern times, some loaders choose to take advantage of +p loads. It has been recorded that higher-pressure +p loads produce about 20% more muzzle energy (about 20,000 psi). Most firearm manufacturers that produce .38 Specials do not recommend the use of +p rated loads, unless the manufacturer specifically rates said firearm for +p usage, and should never be used in older revolvers under any circumstances. 

.38 Special is still a very popular cartridge to this day. Reloaders around the world love the .38 Special cartridge, it is particularly popular among handloaders. This is credited to the cartridges headspacing on the rim, ready availability of once fired brass, straight walls, and the ability to be fired from .357 Magnum firearms. Another factor that contributes to the popularity of the .38 Special is the capability of accommodating many types of powders from slow-burning to fast-burning. This makes the .38 Special cartridge just as viable today as it was back in 1898.

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