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The 38 Special calibre

The 38 Special calibre cartridge was first produced in 1902 by extrapolation of the 38 Long Colt ammunition, with which it should not be confused. The 38 Special calibre cartridge has been widely distributed since World War II and mounts a bullet of .357 to .358 inches, i.e., 9.07 to 9.09 mm, making it a real 9 mm. This ammunition equipped with a rimmed case is used in revolvers; it has the metric denomination 9x29 mm R. The standard load for this cartridge includes a bare lead cylindrical ogival bullet weighing 10.60 grammes (158 grains), with an initial speed of c. 240 m/s. The 38 Special calibre cartridge is a very widespread ammunition that is mostly used for revolvers, whether for defence weapons or sports shooting. Practically all manufacturers of revolvers have at least one model for this powerful ammunition, which is precise and adapted for a wide range of uses. Its particular feature is that it can also be shot with all 357 Magnum revolvers, and this increases even further its range of uses, since the 357 Magnum cartridge is a longer and much more powerful version of the 38 Special. The 38 Special was regularly used in the American army during World War II for defence and in the Police some years ago. It has made a major comeback with the French Municipal Police. It remains a reference cartridge for sports shooting in the “large calibre” category, with an operating range for loading bullets weighing from 7.15 grammes (110 grains) to 10.58 grammes (163 grains). At present, with their long experience for this calibre, Winchester offer several totally optimised loads.

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