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Did S&W ever heat treat their .38 Spl. cylinders same as those intended for .357 Magnum?
 

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I believe all S&W revolver cylinders (steel) after 1919 were hardened.
 

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Yes they are heat treated to harden, but I don't know that its to same degree as the 357 cylinders. I wouldn't expect S&W to say that the 38 cylinders are heat treated "LIKE" 357 cylinders, or everyone would assume you could bore out your 38 to a 357
 

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I wouldn't expect S&W to say that the 38 cylinders are heat treated "LIKE" 357 cylinders, or everyone would assume you could bore out your 38 to a 357
On the 'blue S&W forum', reaming S&W .38 cylinders to .357 length seemed to a fairly common practice among LEOs, back when revolvers were SOP. Several posters mentioned doing it, with no reports of problems.

Edit: this was with K frames, blue and stainless.
 

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I expect I'd be much more comfortable with a .357 firearm and cylider produced in the factory, and proof tested with their proof loads and testing procedures prior to shipment.

This is, in practical truth, how a firearm is determined to be safe to fire the loads it's designed for. Not the design, or the specification but the testing of individual guns.

Of course, many people experiment. I just don't do it at home with 37,000 PSI pressures. It is not just the maximum pressure either, but rather the pressure over time.

Your results may vary.
 

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It's quite obvious that for liability reasons a manufacturer would never give an answer that condones or approves any caliber conversion. That said I can't imagine that multiple heat treating processes for different calibers would be cost effective in production. I have two K Frames in .327 Federal Magnum built using .22LR cylinders that have never had an issue.
 
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