Handgun Cartridge Detail

Cartridge Specifications for Caliber: .38 Spl
.38 Special (.38 Smith & Wesson Special)
.38 Special
Case Type: Rimmed, straight
Introduced: 1902 Made For:Revolver
Cart Len:1.550-in Case Len:1.155-in
Case Dia:0.379-in Bul Dia:0.358-in
Ballistics measured with:
4-inch revolver barrel
Cartridge Variants
From:90 gr1200 ft/sec288 ft-lbs
To158 gr925 ft/sec300 ft-lbs
Cartridge Used in Database
158 gr755 ft/sec200 ft-lbs
Rankings for
Cartridge Used in Database
PF: 119290 TKO: 6.101

Developed by Smith & Wesson and introduced along with its Military & Police Model revolver in 1902, this was originally a military cartridge intended to replace the unsatisfactory .38 Long Colt then in use by the Army. Colt brought out its own version of the .38 Special in 1909, which differs from the original only in bullet shape, being a flat-point style. The .38 Special is considered one of the best-balanced, all-round handgun cartridges ever designed. It is also one of the most accurate and very widely used for match shooting.