.38 Shorts Vs. .38-55-Could I shoot .38 short cartridges in a .38-55 Marlin Rifle?
I have repeatedly warned parties against using in a rifle any cartridge except the one that the gun is designed for, as no other one will give good results. The caliber of the .38-55 is .375 inch and that of the .38 short is only .358 inch. Thus you see that one is nearly a true .38 caliber while the other is practically a .36. As the shell of the .38-55 is tapered slightly there is even more difference at the heads of the cartridges, and the .38 short would hang very loosely in the chamber of the .38-55 rifle. The firing pin of the rifle would not strike the primer of the .38 short squarely, but even if it would explode the primer perfectly, the shells would burst and allow gas to escape at the sides of the bullet, and it would not fit well in the barrel, as you would be firing a .36 caliber bullet from a .38 caliber barrel. You can easily see that the results would not be satisfactory.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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