Smith And Wesson Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here for your perusal is Smith&Wesson Canadian Lend-lease revolver Serial #943947 chambered in 38 S&W (.380/200), 5 barrel with an excellent, bright bore. This revolver has matching numbers on the frame, cylinder, yoke, extractor, and barrel. The revolver has a US Ordnance Flaming Bomb on the butt with C (Broad Arrow) Canadian property stamp just behind, as well as on the left side of the frame at the knuckle just behind the hammer. The smooth walnut grips are numbered on the interior: 94347. The C arrow under Made in USA is the Canadian ownership mark, C Broad Arrow. On the butt strap are found the serial number, the initials WB for the US Army ordnance officer Col. Waldemar Broberg, the US flaming bomb ordnance mark and the P proof stamps.
497386

497387

497388

497389


497390

497391
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I need fellow members advice. I got this Steinel 38/200 ammo which chambers correctly; can I also use standard .38 S&W ammo (just got the pistol and haven't shot it yet)? I ordered the S&W Letter of Authenticity and will post results when I get it; any idea how long it takes to get the letter?
497399
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
21,029 Posts
The historian's letters are taking about 3 months. I hope you aren't too disappointed with the information you get.
 
  • Like
Reactions: msharley

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
I need fellow members advice. I got this Steinel 38/200 ammo which chambers correctly; can I also use standard .38 S&W ammo (just got the pistol and haven't shot it yet)?
The .38/200 was an American term for the British version of the .38 S&W. Sometime back in the blackpowder era Webley used the S&W load ss the template for its .38, and that caliber then became the .380 official British military cartridge in the late 1920s. It is dimensionally identical to .38 S&W, so when S&W started chambering M&P‘s for the British in 1940, the just put that on the barrel; Colt, who of course didn‘t want to put S&W on anything, put .38/200 on the Official Police they chambered in that caliber for the British.

The 200 comes from the original British 200-grain lead bullet. Ironically, by the time S&W and Colt started building guns for Britain, the official .380 Mk IIz cartridge no longer used a 200gr, but a 178gr jacketed bullet.

So they are interchangeable size-wise. But some military .38/200 can be up to 50% higher pressure than commercial .38 S&W. So you can shoot any .38 S&W out of a large military revolver made for .38/200, but avoid the reverse with older smaller-frame guns chambered in .38 S&W.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
Actually (yes, I said it!) the .38/200 was designed in the 1920s - and NOT by Webley!

Webley had used the .455 round in its military pistols for WW1, and the British Army found that the common "never touched a gun before" conscript had problems dealing with the recoil of that round, so in the early 1920s they looked for a less-powerful round (NOT "in the black powder era").

They settled on a modified .38 S&W round with a 200 grain lead bullet - hence the designation. Webley had been approached to built a version of its standard military pistol for the round, with the gun a little smaller and with some changes to make it easier to make and use - but the pistol Webley submitted was only smaller, they had not incorporated any of the requested (required) design changes.

Therefore, the British government had the government-owned Enfield factory make a near-copy of the Webley with the desired changes, which entered production and service as the Enfield No. 2 Mk 1 pistol. This did cause Webley to sue the government, but they only received a symbolic victory, and only after large numbers of the Enfields had been supplied to the government. Webley did build many of their Mk IV revolver (the same one the government had rejected) during WW2 - about half as many as the total of Enfield No. 2 Mk. 1s.

The round was changed in the 1930s to a 178 grain jacketed round to satisfy the lawyers' concerns that the lead bullets could be considered "expanding/exploding" and therefore violate international treaties.

The standard modern .38 S&W ammo is perfectly safe to fire in any Enfield No. 2 Mk. 1, Webley Mk IV, or other revolver chambered in .38/200 that is in good mechanical condition.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top