BRIT LEND LEASE GUNS
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  1. #1
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    BRIT LEND LEASE GUNS

    I am under the impression from seeing it said so many times, that the Brits when returning both S&W and Colt revolvers to the USA for credit on their lend lease debts, received more for them if they were rechambered to the 38 SPL versus the brit calibers. ???? Truth in this or whats the real deal history here?

    I see both brands sold as "rechambered by the brits prior to returning under lend lease program". Then ill see an ad like " WOW!!! Here is one still in the brit caliber that didnt get rechambered prior to coming home so its rare rare rare!" I also see ads and as a matter of fact there is one for sale on line right now that doesnt sound right to me that says as follows: WW Colt New Service that was brought home in 38/200 and then was sent to Colt to be rechambered in 38 SPL"

    I thought id read a couple times on the net or in a book that S&W and Colt did not like to do the rechambering on these revolvers due to the heavy use and condition because of liability and safety reasons. ???

    I hear all the time from people that their grandpa or great grandpa did this or did that with a certain gun when in reality they dont know whats what in general and its just a story. Anyway, was wanting some of you self proclaimed S&W and or Colt WW history buffs to chimn in and clue me in as far as your opinions on the chambering/re chambering etc.

    thanks

  2. #2
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    Personally, I'm in the "Unaltered" camp.
    I'll even spend a little money to restore a firearm if feasible. (Original grips, parts, etc.)
    Curt360, Oldgungeezer and jeepnut like this.

  3. #3
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    From a collectors standpoint I agree with Lawdog. From a shooters standpoint I would go with the rechambered to a modern cheaper ammo point of view.
    Curt360, Oldgungeezer and jeepnut like this.
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  5. #4
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    None of these were returned by Britain to the US for Lend-lease credit. Total fish story. The British dumped them as dirt-cheap surplus into the commercial market mostly in the 1950s/60s. Uncle Sam most certainly didn’t want those back.

    Some were converted in Britain, most after re-import to the US, to make them more attractive because .38 Special ammo was easier to find. None were rechambered by the Colt or S&W factories. Collector-wise, they are worth significantly more unconverted.

  6. #5
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    Nothing wrong with .38 S&W- fun to shoot and the ammo is readily available on AmmoSeek etc. I don't have a lend/Lease gun as I'm more into I frames, but I have a bunch of 38 RP's.
    No, you won't find it at a big box store, but big whiff, I don't buy there anyway.
    lawdog and Oldgungeezer like this.
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  7. #6
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    There are 2 ways to convert an old shooter originally chambered in .38 S&W (aka "short and weak", or .38/200). One is replace the cylinder. That's the best way but it alters the gun. the barrel will still say .38 S&W (unless you also changed that, but at what price!?).

    The other way is the bubba way. Re-ream the cylinder to accept .38 Special. The .38 Special is both smaller diameter, and longer cased than the ,38/200 round.
    Name:  38 s-w_38 spl_stamp.jpg
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    The effect on the cylinder is there will be 2 riidges in the chambers. One where the fatter brass for the .38/200 round stops, the other for the longer and slightly more slender .38 Special brass stops.
    Name:  38 sw Cyl Conversion.png
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    Many, many guns have been so re-reamed, and shoot fine, except - please don't think about reloading the brass.

    Name:  38 sw conversion 38 Special brass.jpg
Views: 24
Size:  175.1 KB The fatter portion where the .38/200 would have been is unsupported, so will swell and perhaps rupture.

    Of course YMMV. If yours has the dual ridges, it's been re-reamed. By the way it will still shoot .38/200 just fine, but will tend to have carbon fouling in the rereamed areas.
    Last edited by sdismukes; 10-07-2019 at 03:28 PM.
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  8. #7
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    ^^^ Which is why it's just better to shoot Short & Weaks in an unaltered gun.
    "The right to buy weapons is the right to be free." -A.E. van Vogt

    " It is simply not possible to believe fossil fuel emissions will destroy the world and, at the same time, oppose nuclear power. "- Dennis Prager

  9. #8
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    I have enough 38 S&W to reload and I do as my Dillon has the dies (sure others do too). Maybe short and weak but at 200 grain bullet moving slower, would still not want to meet one. Are fun at the range as the old War guns to me, are just fun to shoot. Think of the history one of them has. Mine are all unconverted.
    Regards,
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  10. #9
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    Not a lend/lease but picked up this bubba'd pre 33 for $200, spent another $65 and 10 minutes of my time to put in a new hammer and she's ready to roll.

    "The right to buy weapons is the right to be free." -A.E. van Vogt

    " It is simply not possible to believe fossil fuel emissions will destroy the world and, at the same time, oppose nuclear power. "- Dennis Prager

  11. #10
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    Maybe short and weak but at 200 grain bullet moving slower, would still not want to meet one.
    Then there's these

    https://www.buffalobore.com/index.ph...t_detail&p=350
    Last edited by delcrossv; 10-07-2019 at 03:07 PM.
    Oldgungeezer, sdismukes and lawdog like this.
    "The right to buy weapons is the right to be free." -A.E. van Vogt

    " It is simply not possible to believe fossil fuel emissions will destroy the world and, at the same time, oppose nuclear power. "- Dennis Prager


 
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