.38 Special and .38 Super are two popular cartridges in the firearms world, but they are not the same. While they may share a similar name and caliber, they have distinct differences in terms of power, velocity, and purpose. In this article, we will highlight the differences between these two cartridges.
|Cartridge||Bullet Diameter||Case Length||Overall Length||Max Pressure||Average Velocity|
|.38 Special||.357 in||1.155 in||1.55 in||17,000 psi||800-1,100 fps|
|.38 Super||.355 in||0.9 in||1.28 in||36,500 psi||1,200-1,300 fps|
Differences between 38 special and 38 Super
One of the main differences between .38 Special and .38 Super is their bullet diameter. The .38 Special cartridge uses a .357-inch diameter bullet, while the .38 Super cartridge uses a slightly smaller .355-inch diameter bullet. This may not seem like a significant difference, but it can affect accuracy and performance.
Case Length and Overall Length:
The case length of the .38 Special cartridge is 1.155 inches, while the .38 Super cartridge has a shorter case length of 0.9 inches. The overall length of the .38 Special cartridge is 1.55 inches, while the overall length of the .38 Super cartridge is 1.28 inches.
The maximum pressure for the .38 Special cartridge is 17,000 psi, while the maximum pressure for the .38 Super cartridge is 36,500 psi. This means that the .38 Super cartridge can handle more pressure and therefore can achieve higher velocities.
Due to the differences in max pressure, the average velocity of the .38 Super cartridge is higher than that of the .38 Special cartridge. The average velocity of the .38 Special cartridge ranges from 800 to 1,100 feet per second, while the average velocity of the .38 Super cartridge ranges from 1,200 to 1,300 feet per second.
The .38 Special cartridge is primarily used for target shooting and self-defense. It is commonly used in revolvers and has a reputation for accuracy and reliability. On the other hand, the .38 Super cartridge was originally designed for competitive shooting and is commonly used in semi-automatic pistols. It is known for its high velocity and flat trajectory, making it ideal for long-range shooting and competition.
In conclusion, while the .38 Special and .38 Super cartridges may share a similar name and caliber, they have distinct differences in terms of bullet diameter, case length, overall length, max pressure, average velocity, and purpose. It’s important to understand these differences when choosing a firearm and ammunition for your needs.