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.38 Revolvers

The .38 caliber is a very popular one for centerfire revolvers. There are four major cartridges as well as numerous wildcats. The .38 short Colt became popular because black powder cap and ball pistols were being converted to metallic cartridges. Converting the weapon to .38 short Colt was very easy and inexpensive. The .38 Smith & Wesson followed shortly after in 1877. It was chambered in the American Smith & Wesson Victory and Colt Police Positive revolvers as well as the English Enfield and Webley revolvers.

Revolver technology developed quickly, and stronger revolvers meant more powerful loads. Soon, revolvers were chambered in the new and more powerful .38 long Colt. The Colt M1892 revolver in .38 long Colt was adopted by the U.S. Army in 1892. Numerous clones and copies of this revolver were produced around the world, most prominently in Spain.

The most popular and well known .38-caliber round, the .38 special, is also the longest still in service. Spanning over 120 years, the 38 special has served in every size and type of revolver. The .38-caliber revolver has proven itself time and time again as an easy shooting, accurate, and reliable caliber and revolver.


Quick Facts

  • Theodore Roosevelt carried an M1892 in .38 long Colt. This revolver has been stolen twice and returned in both events
  • The .38 special bullet is only .357 of an inch, not .380
  • The .38 Colt New Police, .38/.200, and .38 Smith & Wesson Super Police are all essentially the same round: the original .38 Smith & Wesson. The differences between the rounds are minimal

Recommended Items at Auction

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BELGIAN "TEXAS RANGER" .38 S&W Revolver
Jun 16, 9:00 AM MST
BELGIAN "TEXAS RANGER" .38 S&W Revolver
by R & R Auction INC
Est: $0- $0
$302 Bids
F.I.E .38 SPL Revolver
Jun 23, 10:00 AM EDT
F.I.E .38 SPL Revolver
by Paul Arsenault Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
RUGER U.S. MARKED MODEL SS84L REVOLVER.
Jun 08, 10:00 AM EDT
RUGER U.S. MARKED MODEL SS84L REVOLVER.
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $500- $750
$2500 Bids
Rossi/Interarms Model 68 Double Action Revolver with Box
Jun 05, 9:00 AM CDT
Rossi/Interarms Model 68 Double Action Revolver with Box
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $300- $450
$2500 Bids
U.S. MARKED RUGER 38 SPL. SERVICE-SIX REVOLVER.
Jun 08, 10:00 AM EDT
U.S. MARKED RUGER 38 SPL. SERVICE-SIX REVOLVER.
by Poulin Antiques & Auctions
Est: $500- $750
$2500 Bids
Merwin Hulbert & Co. Pocket Revolver with Extra Barrel
Jun 22, 9:00 AM CDT
Merwin Hulbert & Co. Pocket Revolver with Extra Barrel
by Rock Island Auction Company
Est: $800- $1,200
$7000 Bids
A .38 (RIMFIRE) WHITNEYVILLE ARMORY REVOLVER, serial no. 2353B,
Jul 29, 10:00 AM BST
A .38 (RIMFIRE) WHITNEYVILLE ARMORY REVOLVER, serial no. 2353B,
by Holts Auctioneers
Est: £400- £600
£4000 Bids
Belgian .38CAL Revolver
Jun 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Belgian .38CAL Revolver
by Paul Arsenault Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
* Iver Johnson Cadet Revolver 38 Cal
Jun 03, 10:00 AM EDT
* Iver Johnson Cadet Revolver 38 Cal
by Burns Auction & Appraisal, LLC.
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids

Sellers Who Sell .38 Revolvers


Poulin Antiques & Auctions

Poulin Antiques & Auctions

Rock Island Auction Company

Rock Island Auction Company

Holts Auctioneers

Holts Auctioneers